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New York City

5 days in New York
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Travaa Guides

3rd September 2019
Welcome to New York, a.k.a. the Big Apple! I wish you wonderful travels and hope you enjoy every minute of it ☺.
Le Pain Quotidien
Begin with lunch, because you can! You have earned a late start after your long travels getting here. This is a nice little café-restaurant with branches spread all over the city, with many of them on the Upper East Side. It offers organic and vegan/vegetarian items, if you like, and it’s all very tasty.
Saks Fifth Avenue
The famous 5th Avenue is where luxury shopping happens in NYC. The main flagship store of Saks Fifth Avenue (an American luxury department store owned by the oldest commercial corporation in North America, the Hudson's Bay Company). Whether window shopping or serious shopping .. it's your call! Many of the shops in this area have chains across the country/globe, so it's ok to have feel for the place, take photos and continue moving on light ..
Rockefeller Center
You are now in the center of Midtown Manhattan. The Rockefeller Center is a famous complex consisting of nineteen (yes, 19!) commercial buildings between 48th and 51st Streets. Note the large quantities of art present on almost all of its Art Deco buildings, as well as its Radio City section and its ice-skating rink.
Top of The Rock
Time to get up high and see the whole city from above! The Top of the Rock (Observatory on top of Rockefeller Center) gives you amazing views over the city and Central Park. The view from here is much better than from the Empire State Building, in my honest opinion. It's better value here and you get to avoid the much more horrendous lines too.
Times Square
Take a stroll through this crazy area. As a New Yorker, I would highly recommend not staying here too long, because you won’t get to see the real New York at Times Square. Whilst here, check out the huge M&M store! That’s one thing worth seeing ☺.
A Broadway show
View at least one theatre show here! Note that theatres and show times do change. Show descriptions and times by clicking on the website link provided. My recommendations in order would be: 1) Lion King 2) Wicked 3) Avenue Q 4) Kinky Boots 5) School of Rock Lion King and Wicked are usually quite expensive, but Avenue Q and Kinky Boots offer great deals all week around. If you haven’t gotten the app yet, try to check “TodayTIX” for some good deals; otherwise go to the TKTS counter - right on Times Square, or the theater’s box office, directly.
Columbus Circle
Taking a trip to the Upper West Side for dinner and see Columbus Circle.
Jazz At Lincoln Center
If not Birdland, there’s also Jazz at the Lincoln Center, which I have not been to myself yet, but heard good things about it as well. It’s right by Columbus Circle, which is a nice area in general and worth checking out. This one is also serving dinner with the performance.
This is an awesome Jazz Club that also serves dinner. Their peach martinis are really yummy and they have performances most days of the week. Highly recommend to buy tickets in advance.
Central Park
Start the day by heading straight to this enormous park first .. before it gets "corrupted" by hotdog sellers and the likes! Mornings on clear days are best for going to Central Park. Take a walking tour, or explore this place on your own - which is probably the best way to go.
Sheep Meadow
Here is Sheep Meadow which would be a lovely spot for a morning picnic if you have opted for the takeaway breakfast option.
John Lennon Memorial
For fans of the Beatles, here is Strawberry Fields named after the Beatles' song "Strawberry Fields Forever" written by John Lennon. Strawberry Fields was dedicated on what would have been Lennon's 45th birthday, October 9, 1985, by New York Mayor Ed Koch and Lennon's widow Yoko Ono. The entrance to the memorial (on the west side) is across the street from the Dakota Apartments where Lennon lived and was murdered in 1980. ref: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strawberry_Fields_(memorial)
The Loeb Boathouse
While you’re at Central Park and if the weather is nice, you can take advantage of it and rent a canoe by the Boathouse and cruise around the lake. Very romantic and idyllic!
Belvedere Castle
This is Belvedere Castle in the park, which is quite lovely for a picnic too.
Cafe Sabarsky
For lunch, my recommendation would be my all-time favorite, Sabarsky Café, inside the museum Neue Gallerie (a pretty museum if you’re a lover of German and Austrian art). However, you can just go to the restaurant without visiting the museum, so don’t worry at all. The Spaetzle are the best item on their menu, and all of their desserts are also quite worth the calories! This is located on the Upper East Side, so it depends on where you are in the park: You can walk here, because it’s right by Central Park on the Upper East Side, or take a cab if you are not close by.
The MET, a.k.a. The Metropolitan Museum of Art If you have to choose between MoMa and the MET, the MET should be your choice! It’s huge, so I would recommend planning your trip in advance and trying to figure out what you really want to see; sort of make a list of the highlights! Also, you can scratch the Tenement Museum, if this is more important to you, of course.
Treat House
For a break in between: The most amazing Rice Krispy place, which is called Treat House. It’s the best of the best!! The Smore one is my personal favorite, but they have all kinds of flavors for every person’s liking, and they have 2 locations; one of them on the Upper East Side! Lucky you ☺.
The Meatball Shop
Stop by the Meatball Shop for dinner.
Gotham Comedy Club
If you're not doing a Broadway show tonight and if you love comedy, this place is a must! This is one of the best comedy clubs in NYC. Please check the schedule, and enjoy the show!
Statue of Liberty Ferry
Ideally you would have purchased your tickets in advance (from Statue Cruises, only) and it is time to take the Statue of Liberty ferry. This ferry allows you to first dock at Liberty Island, and thereafter (after visiting Lady Liberty) head on to the Ellis Island Immigration Museum. There is also the Staten Island ferry, which you can get on for free - but it passes the statue, and does not let you get off there.
Statue of Liberty National Monument
Lady Liberty on Liberty Island. If you are walking fit, you can consider the climb up into the crown of Lady Liberty. It is several stories high up a narrow stairwell. To get up into her crown, you will need to have purchased these special tickets months in advance - as there are only limited tickets for each day.
Ellis Island Immigration Museum
The Ellis Island Immigration Museum is well-worth a visit, and bears a lot of history of the early immigrants coming into America.
Charging Bull
Take a photo with the famous Charging Bull! You know you are now in the Financial District in Manhattan, New York City. Grab a sandwich or a quick bite along the way whilst in this area.
NYSE & Wall St
As a tourist, there isn't much to see or do here, but as you are here in the Big Apple, take a picture with the NYSE. The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE, nicknamed "The Big Board") is by far the world's largest stock exchange by market capitalization of its listed companies at US$21.3 trillion as of June 2017. In 2013, the average daily trading value was approximately US$169 billion.
Freedom Tower
In place of ground zero is the new Freedom Tower, the main building of the rebuilt World Trade Center complex in Lower Manhattan. It is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, and the sixth-tallest in the world.
Brooklyn Bridge
If you are very walking fit, consider this lovely walk (on a good day!) across this icon of New York City. The Brooklyn Bridge is a hybrid cable-stayed/suspension bridge in New York City and is one of the oldest roadway bridges in the United States. Started in 1869 and completed fourteen years later in 1883. At the time it was built, this bridge was the longest suspension bridge in the world. The Brooklyn Bridge one of the seven wonders of the industrial world.
The River Café
If you have done the Brooklyn Bridge walk, it's time for a well deserved break! The most romantic restaurant lies here: The River Café. It is very expensive, but it’s absolutely lovely and ideal for special occasions.
Brooklyn Bridge Park
Check out the stunning views from the Brooklyn Bridge Park. This is an other good place for a break, if you had skipped the River Cafe.
Crif Dogs
Criff Dogs is an awesome place for different kinds of hotdogs and it’s something you can’t get anywhere else, so I would definitely try one of them. The so-called spicy redneck (minus the Jalapenos, unless you like it really spicy) is the best! Great, and cheap dinner option.
East River State Park
You can then walk to the waterfront and go to the East River State Park for amazing views of the New York skyline, before it gets dark. From here, you can also take a ferry back to Manhattan, if the weather permits it. All of these options are in walking distance from the subway stop and waterfront.
Brooklyn Bowl
Brooklyn Bowl is a really nice bowling alley with table service. The choices are endless, and so are the food options.
Nitehawk Cinema
Check out this dine-in movie theater, which is quite unique! Check the schedules for show-times. They often play old movies here, but also many independent and unusual movies. This is definitely a place for locals, and I think you would enjoy it!
Alternatively for dinner, Robertas in Brooklyn is famous for their outstanding pizza, if you want to try that.
Tenement Museum
This museum will give you an interesting tour of how immigrants used to live in New York and how they provided for their families. Even if you’re not so much into museums, this really is interesting and educational at the same time.
Rice To Riches
If you’re a die-heart fan of rice pudding, like me ☺, you’ll want a little treat from Rice to Riches. This is the best rice pudding place in the city with innumerable flavors to choose from and try before you settle on your favorite. The cheesecake one is divine and my personal number 1!
Sundaes and Cones
Sundaes and Cones is just a few blocks down from the Penny Farthing. They have very unique flavors, such as green tea and lavender.
Max Brenner Chocolate Bar
This is a perfect lunch spot, right by Union Square. This is a fantastic chocolate-oriented restaurant with outstanding burgers and chocolate fondues. That being said, if you go, you simply can’t skip the dessert-part!
The Penny Farthing
Here is another lunch place. The Penny Farthing is a casual bar- environment place with great food as well as a good drink selection.
Union Square
If you have never been to New York, check out Union Square next - there is a big Whole Foods (affordable lunch option, if you’re on a budget), some shops and Union Square Park is right in the middle of it. That’s where Alec Baldwin walks his dogs☺.
Flatiron Building
The Flatiron Building is a vertical Renaissance palazzo with Beaux-Arts styling. It is a signature looking building in the Flatiron District, which has become an icon of New York City.
Eataly NYC Flatiron
Still hungry? Stop at the fine Italian food store Eataly on 23rd street. It’s a combination of a grocery store with different eating places inside; all great! They have a Nutella bar, if you care for some Nutella-food items, but also have all the items needed for a picnic. High quality food all around; a little pricey, but well worth it.
Empire State Building
This is a good time to go see it, if you still want to! Be sure to have tickets in advance to beat some of the lines, else be ready to camp here for a while. But, I think you will agree that Top of the Rocks beats the view ☺.
New York Public Library
Good place for free Wifi and some rest time.
Grand Central Station
A busy place and a very famous landmark in NYC.
Chrysler Building
The Chrysler Building is an Art Deco-style skyscraper. It was briefly the world's tallest building (for 11 months) before it was surpassed by the Empire State Building in 1931. It is now seen as a paragon of the Art Deco architectural style
Luke's Lobster East Village
Or. try Luke's Lobster. It is a great place, and serves yummy food!! Very casual and you can also choose to have it to-go. The lobster rolls are the bestsellers.
Duane Park
Or for something different for a dinner show out .. Duane Park is my all time favorite: The tickets come with a 3-course-dinner, live music and an exquisite burlesque show! Very sexy and romantic.
Brooklyn Botanic Garden
The Brooklyn Botanic Garden is a beautiful place. April is when the cherry orchard trees bloom! It’s an incredible sight.
Park Slope
Nice place for a stroll. Plenty of restaurants and shops here.
Luigi's Pizza
Try Luigi's Pizza for lunch - I haven’t been there myself, but it’s supposedly a good pizza place.
The Museum of Modern Art
Give yourself at least for 2,3 hours to see the most important sights of the museum.
Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
For the science/war geeks, or anyone who's ever wanted to see some previous generation planes or get into the hanger bays and control room of a retired aircraft carrier .. You can do both on this floating museum!
Harbor Cruise
If you still have time to spare, and energy!, I would suggest a Harbor cruise to enjoy excellent views of the city. Click the link provided; the website gives you a ton of options to choose from. Note that the departure location and length of the cruise depends on which harbor cruise you choose.
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