Sunday, 24 May 2015

Top things to do on your first trip to New York

I went to New York for five snowy days in February to see the main tourist hotspots...

The Rock v Empire State

No trip to New York is complete without a visit up the Empire State Building. We chose to visit at midnight to really capture the city lights – and we also avoided all the queues. Be prepared though, if you plan this in winter like us, you'll freeze outside at the top, so wrap up in as many layers as possible! Unless you're scared of heights, you'll be captivated by the views and you'll feel on top of the world.

Night view from the Empire State Building

To counter our midnight views from the Empire State, we also decided to climb to the Top of the Rock Observation Deck at sunset the following day. While not as high as the Empire State Building, you get the added benefit of getting the Empire State in all your pics. Watching the sun set over the city was breathtaking, too.

Top of the Rock at sunset

With so much to see and do, shopping here has become a tourist experience in its own right. While  there are the obvious choices of Bloomingdales and Macy's, you'll also find boutiques and a great choice of products in the city's flea markets. Don't forget to check out SoHo too – this ultra-hip neighbourhood with its eclectic mix of trendy boutiques and international stores is a shopper's paradise.

Financial District

At the Southern tip of Manhattan is the financial district. Here you'll find Wall Street and the New York Stock Exchange. The World Trade Center once resided here, so you'll also be able to visit the 9/11 memorial and museum, as well as the One World Trade Center "Freedom Tower," which is the fourth tallest building in the world.

One World Trade Center "Freedom Tower"

Chelsea Market

If you love Shoreditch in London, then you'll love the Chelsea Market. This enclosed urban food court and shopping mall is a must-visit if you're looking for a quirky find. With boutiques, pop-up shops and sample sales, as well as different events held throughout the year, you're bound to stumble upon something you love. As well as this, you'll also find a great choice of places to eat – we chose the Green Table, a farm-to-table restaurant where the food was hearty, fresh and super tasty.

Dig in at the Green Table
Grand Central Station

You've seen it in the movies but it needs to be experienced in person. This amazing station really makes a statement. It's one of the nation's most historic landmarks and the busiest station in the country, plus it's beautiful, too – even the ceiling of the Main Concourse is ornate. Stand at the top of the steps and watch the world go by.


A post about New York wouldn't be complete without raving about food. Although I'm a veggie and have been since I was 12, I still found New York was perfect for all my foodie needs. With pancakes each morning, pizza slices through the day and burgers for dinner (healthy living went straight out the window) it was a good thing that most of each day was spent exploring the city by foot.


Make sure you check out Katz's Deli – if you remember When Harry Met Sally you'll know the place. It does the best grilled cheese, and if you're a meat eater you'll love it here, too.

Katz's Deli delights

If you love a musical (and if you're going to New York, this really is a requirement) then you should also head to Ellen's Stardust Diner. Singing waiters/waitresses galore make this a must-visit.

The food at Ellen's Stardust Diner

Central Park

When I visited Central Park it was a winter wonderland, deep under mountains of snow. While this made for a pretty magical experience, navigating was quite difficult. Don't let this put you off though – while temperatures below freezing aren't enticing, we found our day exploring Central Park to be one of the most memorable. It definitely deserves its status as most popular urban park in the United States.

Statue of Liberty 

This iconic statue on Liberty Island in New York Harbor makes for some great snaps. While you can opt for a sightseeing ferry for a close-up, if you're on a budget, take the free ferry to Staten Island – this will still give you great views.


You can't go to New York without experiencing the magic of Broadway. As a musical lover, I was in my element. Even if you've never dreamt of Broadway, you have to experience at least one production here.

You'll need more than five days to really discover this city's secrets. I knew I would fall in love with this place  – it has so much to offer and next time I'll be able to step away from the tourist bubble. I'm already dreaming of that reunion...



  1. I went to NYC in March this year, not quite as snowy but still amazing!
    We went up the Empire State Building towards sunset but i wish i'd have gone at night now looking at your photo!

    1. It's such a great place :) I'd really love to go back but maybe in Summer next time! The Empire State was so amazing at night – seeing all the lights was incredible, definitely recommend xx

  2. Love your article and your website such an inspiration :)


© Traveller days | All rights reserved.
Blogger Template Designed by pipdig