ULTIMATE NEW YORK TRAVEL GUIDE – EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW

New York is where I call home. I sure did not grow up there but the moment I moved to New York I knew I made the right choice. Back in 2012, I made the best decision I have ever made. I decided to leave my hometown of Los Angeles to start a new life in the Big Apple. Within the first week I already knew my way around all of Manhattan and after a week of using the subway I was a pro! I easily felt at home and at ease within the first week in the “concrete jungle”. I have fallen in love with New York City, where I spent three amazing years exploring everything I could. If this is your first time visiting New York, I highly recommend 4-5 days if you’re interested in seeing all that the city has to offer. So here is my ultimate New York City travel guide!

AIRPORTS

New York has three major airports:

JFK is roughly 40 minutes, the cheapest way to get into Manhattan is using the subway. Take the Airtrain to Jamaica Center and hop onto the E train towards World Trade Center. The fastest way to the city is the LIRR. Take the Airtrain to Jamaica Center and purchase a train ticket to Penn Station.

La Guardia is my favorite airport since it’s only 20 minutes away and less crowded. I typically take an Uber or Taxi for this airport.

Newark is located in New Jersey and is about 30 minutes when taking the New Jersey Transit. This will take you directly to Penn Station.

TRANSPORTATION

The number one transportation in New York is the subway. It’s really easy to use so don’t be afraid! The subway system is color coordinated with letters or numbers. One thing to remember is Uptown is going North towards Central Park, Downtown is going down towards the World Trade Center. When in doubt an Uber or taxi is pretty cheap in New York.

WHERE TO STAY

There are so many great hotels and it really depends on what you’re looking for.

NoMo SoHo Entrance

NoMo SoHo Entrance

Central Park is a great location for families. With many great options in this are, 1 Hotel is a boutique hotel has great views of Central Park and has a greenhouse theme to it.

SoHo f you enjoy the quietness and do not want to be near Times Square, great shopping and lots of options for bars and restaurants. NoMo SoHo is one of my favorite places as it has a beautiful exterior and very trendy hotspot. The Sixty SoHo is another great boutique hotel and in the perfect area!

Times Square for first timers who enjoy being in the center of it all. Hyatt Times Square is great as it also has an awesome rooftop bar called Bar 54. The Knickerbocker is another great option with a rooftop bar called St. Cloud, enviably perched directly beneath the iconic New Year’s Eve Ball!

Union Square is great for convenience as it has most subways located at Union Square. The Edition Hotel is a gorgeous hotel located right across Madison Square Park.



Booking.com

WHAT TO DO

1. Central Park

Central Park

Central Park

Central Park

Central Park

2. Empire State Building Observation Deck

Empire State Building

3. Grand Central Terminal

Grand Central Terminal

4. Broadway/Times Square

Times Square

5. Top Of The Rock

Top of the Rock

6. Flatiron Building

Flatiron Building

7. The Highline

The Highline

The Highline

8. Chelsea Market

Chelsea Market

9. Shopping – 5th Ave, Soho, Union Square and Herald Square

SoHo

10. Statue of Liberty

Statue of Liberty

11. One World Observatory & 9/11 Memorial

One World Observatory

Photo by: @oneworldnyc

One World Observatory

12. Brooklyn – Brooklyn Bridge, Brooklyn Bridge Park (Dumbo), Williamsburg

Brooklyn Bridge Walk

Brooklyn Bridge Park

Brooklyn Bridge Park

Williamsburg

Williamsburg

13. Helicopter Ride over New York City with FlyNyon

OTHER ACTIVITIES

Rooftops is the thing to do in New York especially during summer.
Here is a list of the 17 Best Rooftops in Manhattan

Speakeasy Bars: Call and make reservations in advance! Below are two of my favorites.
Employees Only – Hidden behind a fortune teller shop. Also serves amazing food, great for dinner or a date night!
Please Don’t Tell – Hidden behind a phone booth in a hot dog restaurant.

Museums: New York has all the museums to fit any individual. My personal favorite is The Whitney Museum, I enjoy the modern contemporary art. Other museums include: Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), The Met, Natural History Museum, Guggnheim Museum, New Museum, Brooklyn Museum and Brooklyn Botanical Garden.

Parks: Bryant Park, Madison Square Park and Washington Spare Park

Rockefeller Center & Radio City: During the winter holiday Rockefeller turns into a skating rink and it’s great for kids.

WHAT TO EAT

Check out the below posts on all things food! =)

Ultimate Foodie Guide to New York City

Where To Brunch In Manhattan

12 Best Desserts In Manhattan

20 Best Ice Creams In New York City

Enjoy your time in New York as it’s one of the greatest cities on earth! I’m here to help so please let me know if you have any questions and need some advice.

New York City Travel Guide

New York City Travel Guide

 

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12 comments

  • Charles McCool

    July 13, 2016 at 12:26 pm

    Nice summary of some things to do in the big apple, one of the world’s great cities. I see you have an article on best ice cream in NYC. Yum, I will check that out.

    1. Tour de Lust

      July 13, 2016 at 3:57 pm

      It really is one of the greatest cities! Everyone seems to love the ice cream post. haha

  • mark wyld

    July 13, 2016 at 1:19 pm

    Great run down on all the basics for the first time traveller to the big apple. we have never visited before so this was great information for someone who has never really read to much about new york except for knowing the obvious.

    1. Tour de Lust

      July 13, 2016 at 3:57 pm

      Thanks!! Hope you get to visit one day, its a must!

  • Heather Cole

    July 13, 2016 at 2:09 pm

    What a great and comprehensive guide! We’re hoping to make it to NY next year and don’t really know where to start with our plans! Soho sounds like the ideal place to be based, a bit like our own Soho here in London!

    1. Tour de Lust

      July 13, 2016 at 3:58 pm

      Yes!! It’s a great place. Let me know if you have any questions when you do decide to go =)

  • Christina

    July 14, 2016 at 7:35 am

    Great summary! NYC is one of my favorite cities and since we have family there we visit every year (with the added bonus of free accommodation hehehe). I love how easy it is to get to the city and no matter how many times I’ve been there is always something new to explore.

    1. Tour de Lust

      July 14, 2016 at 8:39 am

      Exactly, there is always so many new places to explore even when I was living there! =)

  • Beth Daubner

    July 14, 2016 at 11:01 am

    Definitely saving this post, I would like to move there someday!

    1. Tour de Lust

      July 14, 2016 at 12:13 pm

      Yay! I hope you get to move there too, it’s one of the best places to live!

  • John Morris

    July 14, 2016 at 8:28 pm

    Nice guide! There are a few hotels I frequent when in NYC, all located in Midtown between E 49th & 57th, near Lexington Ave. This is a great spot to stay, as so much is in walking distance, and it’s a quick subway or city bus ride to other “must see” things in the city. Central Park, Times Square, 5th Ave., and the Rockefeller Center are all in walking distance.

    1. Tour de Lust

      July 14, 2016 at 10:29 pm

      The area you mentioned is a great area for hotel options as it’s definitely convenient, especially to the subways. Thanks for sharing! =)

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