A Guide to New York City for First Timers
N E W Y O R K C I T Y
It's hard to believe a year ago we were in New York City to celebrate my little sister's high school graduation. We had a great time on her Senior Week away from the beach exploring a new place. While I'm far from being an expert, here's a recap of what we saw, ate, and did while in the Big Apple. I hope this guide will help you if you're visiting New York City for the first time like we were last year. Take a look back at my old blog posts from New York City here!
Here's how we managed to see it all in less than 6 whole days:
Monday - flight in + Central Park
Tuesday - Flatiron District + Washington Square Park
Wednesday - The Met + Beyonce concert at CitiField
Thursday - Chelsea Market + The High Line + SoHo + Top of the Rock + Times Square
Friday - Brooklyn + Little Italy + Chinatown + Ground Zero
Saturday - 5th Ave + Rockefeller Center + flight home
Do everything you can for free. Check to see if you can pay what you want for admission to museums. NYC has tons of great parks that are open to the public. There are also some breathtaking buildings that you can photograph for fun!
Take the Subway to save on time and money. You can buy a pass for a few days for pretty cheap! Plan out where you're going to go better than we did so that you go back and forth on the subway less. We could have planned to see things closer together and spent more time at each location that way.
Ask a local where to eat before you go. We stumbled upon some great places to eat but we probably could have eaten at some real gems if we had done our research beforehand. One of the best places we ate while visiting with our friend Parth was Nanking in Times Square (an IndoChinese restaurant that is now closed). They had dry chili paneer and we haven't been able to get it in our hometown to try again!
We are by no means experts at NYC after just one trip, but here's our guide to seeing New York City as first timers!
Where to Eat
Midtown - 162 W 56th St - $$
Chicken Souvlaki Pita + Hand-Cut Greek Fries
Madison Square Park - E 23rd St & Madison Ave - $$
Upper East Side - 225 East 60th St - $$
Frozen Hot Chocolate + "Can't Say No" Sundae
SoHo - 100 Grand St - $$
Paris Ham & Cheddar w/ mustard trio + hummus
Midtown - 891 8th Ave - $
Sausage, Egg, and Cheese on Everything
SoHo - 398 W Broadway - $$$
all the macarons
coffee + lemon + salted caramel + orange blossom + lemon + pistachio
SoHo - 475 W Broadway - $$
guac + tacos + rice & beans
Chinatown - 10 Mott Street - $
oreo rolled ice cream w/ oreos & golden grahams
Hell's Kitchen - 366 W 46th St - $$
byob (build your own burger) + fries & o-rings + root beer
What to See
The Plaza Hotel
The Flatiron District
Washington Square Park
(go through the line and pay what you can)
The High Line
(get on at Chelsea Market and kill two birds with one stone)
Top of the Rock
Times Square & The Theater District
(the lights are more impressive at night)
Little Italy + China Town
5th Ave + Rockefeller Center
The Queen Bee
(Sorry... I ain't sorry...)
So that's it! That's how we managed to walk 40 miles in NYC while taking the Subway. It was a jam-packed week and I'm ready to go back. Just don't tell my sister that I want to go back because I tell her all the time that I love Chicago more. It's true though, I'm ready for another trip to the Big Apple now that we know what districts we like best. I'd also like to do some things we weren't able to check off our list like actually walking across the Brooklyn Bridge, going inside more art museums, and tasting beer at Brooklyn breweries.
Have you been to NYC? Leave me all your tips for our next trip!