Travel Tips: Top 5 New York City

I love a good holiday. The buzz of going somewhere new and exciting is like nothing else. I also love a good ‘alpha city’ – London, Paris and New York are all in my favourites list for different reasons. When we travelled to NYC I spent a lot of time researching beforehand but the tips we learnt being there were actually the most useful so I thought I would share them with you all.

1. The River Café, Brooklyn

Fancy a dinner with a view? Then get yourself over to Brooklyn where you’ll find this amazing restaurant housed by the river right under Brooklyn Bridge. We were lucky enough to get a seat by the window where we had the most stunning view of the Manhattan skyline. The food is unreal – the steak was one of the best that I have had and sipping champagne with your beloved with that view in the background is one of the most romantic things i’ve ever experienced. Go. You won’t regret it.

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2. Bike Tour of Central Park

Central Park is as you would expect, huge! The traditional way to explore the park for tourists seems to be by hiring one of the horse and carts. That didn’t work for me for a few reasons. Firstly, it’s about $150 for a 15 minute ride (are you kidding?!) and secondly I had heard reports of the horses being worked to exhaustion and not having the best of conditions. It was a no from me.

Instead we chose to see the park via a bike tour. We had the most amazing guide who knew some of the most random facts about the park that I had ever heard. We clambered into our little tuc-tuc style bike and were wrapped up in a blanket to keep warm while our hard working guide did all the work. He knew all the best places to stop for the best photos and let us do so without pressurising us to hurry up. We seen the famous spots from various movies like Elf and Home Alone 2 and our guide even pointed out the buildings where the stars lived. In all the tour lasted about 90 minutes and only cost around $70. I felt like we left having seen a lot more of the park than we would have if we had walked or hired one of the horse and carts!

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3. Top of the Rock at Twilight

Top of the Rock gives you spectacular views of the city.  You get the breath taking shot of Central Park from an aerial perspective and can see the Empire State Building from the other side of the viewing deck.

The best time to go to TOTR is twilight. Trust me. If you time it right you will catch the city in all of it’s day time glory including the lush green landscape of Central Park. As twilight descends you’ll see the city start to twinkle. Then as the darkness really comes in, you’ll catch the Empire State building all lit up.

Three views in one trip. Totally worth the faffing about trying to time it.

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4. Catch a Broadway Show

I know it’s an obvious one, but it really is a must do. When we went we caught Aladdin and were blown away by the standard of the production. We got lucky and got tickets for around $50 each as it had only opened a few months. You can try the TKTS stand at Times Square for discounted Broadway tickets. The shows are of the highest standard and it really completes that magical NYC experience.

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5. General Thoughts

Don’t overspend on your hotel. You won’t spend that long in it. It’s literally a place to rest your head.

I personally wouldn’t recommend the full trip to Liberty Island. While it is a great experience to see Lady Liberty up close, it’s not worth the time that it takes. Take the Statten Island ferry instead and catch a snap of the Statue there.

Be mindful of time if you’re leaving the city at the weekend. We left tea time on a Friday and underestimated how difficult it would be to get a cab never mind one that wasn’t going to try to charge us a small fortune. We marginally made it!

Explore off the island of Manhattan. It’s one I will definitely do when I go back as we didn’t get to see Brooklyn etc properly. Walk the Brooklyn Bridge, explore the cool places to eat and drink and soak up the hipster vibe.

Have you been to NYC before? What are your top tips?

Thanks for reading!

Lynsey xox

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