Monday 14 February 2022

I always thought I'd find New York overrated, but when I went it actually exceeded my expectations. It makes sense why so many movies and TV shows are filmed here! The big apple can be a big and overwhelming place, but once you get a hang of the subway system you'll be surprised how easy it is to explore the districts and pack a lot into your trip. If you're flying from London, you can reach New York in 8 hours, and sometimes you can get flights for as little as £300.  If it's your first time visiting NYC, here are 10 things you should experience on your trip.


1. See the Statue of Liberty

We'll start the list with one of New York's most famous landmarks, the Statue of Liberty. To reach her you'll have to take a boat tour, the journeys are 1 hour and take you through some other landmarks and Ellis island. I recommend getting your ticket online so you don't have to queue up in person, and if you can find a sunny day in your itinerary for it then even better!

Get your ticket: NYC Cruise around Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island (£22)

2. Visit Coney Island

If you're a Lana Del Rey fan you would have heard her quote this place in a number of her songs. I definitely felt like I had been transported back to the 50s here and loved the whole aesthetic. There's also a small amusement park here but if you're not feeling very adventurous, it's also a great place to just stroll along the promenade with an ice-cream. 

3. Snap photos at famous filming locations

There are endless movie photo spots in New York, and you could probably spend a whole day finding them! The notable ones that we visited were the 'Friends' Apartment Building which is located at 90 Bedford Street at the corner of Grove Street, and Grand Central Terminal. Which has probably been in hundreds of movies but we wanted to recreate the Gossip Girl scene where Serena firsts arrives and is looking over the balcony. 

If you know your pop culture, you may have also heard how Sid Vicious from the Sex Pistols stabbed Nancy Spungen in the Chelsea Hotel, and the hotel was also the narrative of a Leonard Cohen song. If you do head to Coney Island you'll also see where parts of Requiem for a Dream were shot (coincidentally in the same spot as I took my photo prior to me watching the movie). 

4. Walk along the High Line

Found in Manhattan, the High Line is an old unused railroad converted into a public space and features art and clothing stalls. It was definitely one of my favourite things we stumbled upon! You can enter through Gansevoort to 34th Street and it takes you through to Chelsea. 

5. Visit the MOMA and MET museums 

Even if you're not a massive fan of art, these two are must sees when you're in New York. The Met is the largest art museum in the western hemisphere and houses over 2 million works of art. The MOMA focuses on modern art and is where you can find the famous Starry Night painting by Van Gogh. 

6. Choose from one of the many cheesecakes at Junior's

We walked 30 minutes just to eat here, and it did not disappoint. Junior's is NYC most famous cheesecake establishment, and offers over 20 cheesecake options. I went for the apple crumble cheesecake but the red velvet one was a close contender. 

7. Visit the 9/11 memorial museum 

The former site of the World Trade Center is now dedicated to the victims of the attack and the efforts that went into saving lives that day. There are some heartbreaking exhibits including phone transcripts from the people that were on the hijacked plane and stories about the individuals that lost their lives. There were also interesting manuscripts and documentation of the terrorists, such as their applications to get into flight schools in the US to prepare for their roles in the attack. 

Get your ticket: 9/11 Museum Entry Ticket (£22)

8. Walk across Brooklyn bridge 

Unless you wake up at the crack of dawn (and even then you'll be faced with all the morning commuters), be prepared for this to be pretty busy. Nevertheless it makes for a nice walk and the views around are great. Even if you stroll at a leisurely pace, this won't take you more than an hour. 

9. Watch a movie in Bryant Park

On Monday nights throughout the summer, free classic movies are shown in Bryant Park. You get the perfect backdrop of the skyline and it's something free to do if you're reaching the end of your budget!

10. Climb the Empire State Building 

If you're scared of heights then you might want to skip this one, if not you will get the chance to get a 360 view of the city from the 86th floor or the 102nd Floor of the Empire State Building. It truly is something spectacular! 

I wanted to include some alternative things to do in this list, but here you can find a further list of New York City attractions to check off your list. 

Whether it's your first or second trip to New York, you'll find there's always things to discover in the city. I'd love to go back in a few years and experience it at Christmas. Here's hoping!

1 comment

  1. I came back from New York in December and can’t wait to go back! There’s sooo much to do, I really want to go in the summer!! This is such a good list of things to do :-)

    Courtney x


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