The streets will make you feel brand new.
Big lights will inspire. – Jay Z
So I am finally getting around to share my pictures and travel diary from New York with you….it’s only been two month. Oops.
It will be a long one, so grab a cup of tea and get comfortable…
We set off on an early morning flight from Heathrow. Being a nervous flyer I preferred the early start, just get it done and over with. But to my surprise it was a lovely and fairly quick flight.
We arrived at Newark at about midday, but didn’t leave it until about 2pm due to the long queues at passport control. But we weren’t in a rush, so all was fine.
We decided to save some money and take the train into Penn Station rather than getting a cab. This was super easy. The airport provides a free shuttle to the station and from there it was maybe 30min into the City.
As the city is expense enough we decided to make this trip as cheap as possible without compromising on the experience. Therefore, once we arrived at Penn Station we purchased a MetroCard from the subway station. You can get it at any of the machines at the station and it will definitely save you some bucks. Despite only being there for 5 days, we opted for the 7-Day unlimited MetroCard at $32. With all the things to do and see on our agenda it still worked out cheaper than buying individual fares or day tickets. By the way we still ended up walking loads, which I definitely recommend if you want to soak in the City and see the neighborhoods.
Transport sorted, we made our way to the ‘Hotel’. I say hotel, but really we actually stayed in a hostel. Don’t dismiss this idea. It is a great option as most hostels nowadays offer private rooms and bathrooms, which is what we went for. We stayed the YMCA West Side right next to Central Park. Try and find a hotel that is less than a £1000 for 5 nights, that location and that time of year….impossible. So the hostel was a great option and served our needs completely – a safe and clean room with a bed.
Despite being tired, we decided to pull through and have a wonder around town before heading to Brooklyn for dinner. As we were close to Times Square we made this our first destination. This place can blow your mind with all the lights and people.
We were hungry of course, so we opted for one of New Yorks specialties: Pizza! This turned out to be a re-occuring theme during our trip, the 99c and $1 pizza’s in town. You can find them everywhere and they are seriously yummy and well within budget!
After exploring times square we made our way to Brooklyn to have dinner at Emily’s. My husband found this place through extensive YouTube research watching hours and hours of ‘Best Burger/Pizza/Fast Food in New York’.
Emily’s didn’t disappoint. Because we were still full up from our 99c Pizza we decided to share a Burger, and oh my, that was yummy. Definitely worth the trip!
After that we headed back to the hostel to catch some much needed sleep.
The next day the jet leg has hit us hard and we woke up at 5am. We were out of the hostel by 6am. I am not complaining, as we had the whole of Hyde Park to ourselves…well apart from the joggers and people walking their dogs. It was a beautiful, sunny morning. So we grabbed some coffee and started walking through the park.
Then we decided to have breakfast. There wasn’t much around, but we stumbled upon a little cafe serving everything you could possibly want for breakfast. We went for waffles and french toast…of course.
We decided to stay around the midtown area as we had the ‘Top of the Rock’ booked for 10.30am. I think we chose the best day for our trip up the Rock. It was sunny and the views were breathtaking! Have a look yourself:
The rest of the day was spent walking around town, eating more pizza and a bit of shopping. Because why not?! 🙂
In the evening we went on to have some southern BBQ food. No pictures, as the place was simply too dark. But trust me, the brisket, wings and ribs were mouthwatering. Dinner was followed up by drinks in one of the coolest bars: Barcade!
Make sure you stop buy for a drink and a play on one of their machines.
The last stop was the Top of the Rock again, to see the never-sleeping city at night. Still breathtaking.
The next couple days were spent exploring the city more. It included a trip to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, walking around the financial district and visiting the Twin Tower Memorial, a visit to China Town and and an early morning walk over Brooklyn Bridge. Here are a few snapshoots:
Our last day in New York was pretty uneventful and chilled. A bit more shopping, a bit more coffee and doughnuts (try Dough) and a bit more fast food (try the original Shake Shack in Madison Square Park).
To finish off our holiday we got tickets to see Katy Perry at Madison Square Garden. The show she put on was epic, including oversize lips, a baseket ball court and floating on a planet.
Here are a few more to-do’s you should add to your list:
- Make sure you have a Hot Dog from one of the street vendors. Warning though: They will charge you a fortune. My husband fell for it and paid $16!!!
- Check out Chelsea Market for all the food options you can think off. We had the Los Tacos, so so good and so so hot!
- Visit Dumbo for the famous Insta Shot of Manhatten Bridge. Top Tip: Come early, like really early.
- Go and see a show on Broadway. We saw School of Rock, which was amazing. Another tip: Buy it via the ticket lottery. So much cheaper. You apply the day before/on the day, and will be notified on the day whether you got the tickets. If you’re flexible this is a good option and will save you some serious money.
- Check out the flag ship Microsoft store on 5th Avenue. Not only do you get to play with the latest gadgets, every hour they do a tour of the behind the scene’s of the store, which includes trying the Hololens, which layers digital images onto the real world using holograms! What an epic experience. The tour takes an hour, is absolutely free and definitely worth it.
I hope you find this post helpful. It is mainly touristy things we did, as it was our first time in New York. What an amazing City.
Until next time New York!