When I think of New York, I immediately associate it with the most exciting and the most expensive week in my entire life. Fancy week comes at a price, right?
I had long dreamt of going to New York: Sex and the City, Shopping until you drop, the city that never sleeps, Central Park, just to name some clichés you grow up with as a teenage girl that you want to see one day with your own eyes. I was no exception, had always been in my Bucket List and 2 years ago, on a wintery and snowy week in February I took the chance and flew to the City that never sleeps! New York was the second solo trip I did in my life and I must say it is a perfect city for solo travelers. You might disagree with me obviously, but if you go with someone, please make sure you share the same interests and you plan everything ahead and carefully! New York has so much to offer that if you go with someome with opposite interests, I believe it would be very hard to conciliate those differences. Imagine someone wanting to visit all the iconic museums and the other person only having an interest in going to NBA matches, would not be easy, right? No matter if you are staying 4 days or 2 weeks, New York is an entire world and please be aware that you will never see everything in just one trip, it is meant to be visited many times in this life. Therefore, the very first time you go, you should plan what you really want to visit, and if possible buying certain tickets in advance to avoid long queues, especially during holidays.
Flying to New York for me meant also flying my very first time with Singapore Airlines which is my favourite airline with such a great service and professionalism: from Haagen Dazs icecreams in Economy Class to body lotion; extreme kindness towards customers and the most perfect landing I have ever experienced.
To which airport should I fly to?
New York has 3 main airports: Newark, JFK and La Guardia.
La Guardia is the furthest way. I flew to JFK and it was almost 1h by car to reach Manhattan. Newark and JFK are equally distant and the major airlines fly to both airports, therefore I believe there is not such a big difference. As Singapore Airlines only flys to JFK I had no other option 😉
How to get from JFK to Manhattan?
Taxis/Ubers will cost you around $60. I took one of the major shuttle buses, taking up to 10 people and dropping you at your hotel. I was impressed that in just 1 hour I was at Broadway, where my hotel was located, so I would definitely use this service again – Go Air Link
Once you pick up your luggage, you will see them on your right. You just have to take a ticket and wait in the waiting room until they call your name. You can book in advance, as I did, but you can also just drop by anytime.
Traffic in New York – How to go about it?
This is no cliché, traffic in New York is pure chaotic. Plan your journey to the airport CAREFULLY, I like to be on the safe side and do not mind waiting long hours at the airport shopping at Duty Free, but I would say at least 2 hours just for the journey is the minimum, even more if you travel during rush hours (7-9 am; 4 – 7 pm). Not to mention the airport controls at JFK with very long queues…
In which season should I visit New York?
In terms of weather, I went in February and could see sunny days, rain and snow storm in one week. Perhaps the winter months would be more complicated due to heavy snow (even though New York is beautiful when it is snowing), otherwise all year around is suitable to visit New York. Tip: If you are heading to New York during holidays or special occasions, such as Easter or Summer, make sure to buy your tickets to the main sights even more in advance, as it is gets sold out very fast. For example, Tickets for the Statue of Liberty for Easter were already sold out in February…
Which tickets do you recommend buying?
I bought the New York City Pass for $100 and found it very reasonable priced, compared to the average entrance tickets of the main sights, as it includes the Empire State Building (two entrances on the same day), American Museum of Natural History, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Top of the Rock Observation Deck or Guggenheim Museum, Ferry Access to Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island or Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises, 9/11 Memorial Museum or Interpind Sea, Air & Space Museum.
I chose Top of the Rock, Ferry Acess and 9/11 Memorial Museum.
What should I not miss in New York by no means?
– Top of the Rock (go there at dawn, it is marvellous). I preferred it to the Empire State Building. If you can, visit one or the other twice on the same day. In this way, you will see NY by day and night (let me tell at night it is something out of this world) 😉
– Central Park (beautiful stroll)
– Times Square
– Walking along Brooklyn Bridge towards Manhattan
– Take a ferry to Staten Island (for free) to see the Statue of Liberty and to have the most amazing view of New York Skyline. It departs from the South Ferry Terminal in Manhattan
– High Line: A public park built on a historic freight rail line elevated above the streets on Manhattan’s West Side. A wonderful walk and panorama over New York.
– UN Headquarters (I really enjoyed the visit). You can also book tickets online here. You can pick the date and time, usually last one hour and are available in all UN official languages.
– Chelsea Market: The spot for Foodies. DO not miss the Lobster roll and Velvet Brownie from Fatty Witch
– New York Public Library (definitely one of the most beautiful libraries in the world, located in Manhattan)
– Broadway show (Pricey, but worth it) You can buy tickets here.
– Shopping at Macy’s (it is a shopping Mecca and foreigers do get extra 10% discount)… Imagine buying Levis jeans for 50€, Guess and Tommy Hilfiger half price and so much more. When there is a snow storm, it is the perfect spot.
UN Headquarters in New York
Times Square New York
Panorama from Staten Island Ferry
New York is a fancy and cosmopolitan city, so the Fancy Explorer felt at “home”, even if it meant having the most expensive week in my life. But as they say, you only live once.
You will spend $60 for a filet mignon, but it will be the VERY BEST in your life. Why?
Gallagher’s Steakhouse is well-know for their prime steak quality, where the meat locker is a landmark. This meat lockers gathers a wide variety of different meat types, which are dry-aged in perfection for more than 21 days. My filet mignon was incredibly juicy and such an exquisite and tender quality that I have never tasted anywhere else in the world. Kobe Beef was very tasty as well, but still the one in New York has earned more points for me, especially because while having dinner you listen to Frank Sinatra 🙂
Amazing, fresh, beautiful and with amazing flavours. I fell in love with Anne’s Cupcakery. There is a store on the way to the United Nations Headquarters.
Located on the iconic Fifth Avenue, it is a very fancy Rooftop Bar with the most amazing view over New York. I am honest, I was a bit “disappointed” it was located “only” on the 20th floor, however it is just impressive. Do not forget to take your passport with you for registration 😉
It has both sits inside and outside. I sat outside on a freezy February night just to admire the Skyline and it was such a wonderful feeling! During Spring and Summer, it is a favourite spot for Brunch! It should be on your To Do List for New York!
Top Tips for New York:
- Buy Peanut Butter
- Buy trainer shoes: Converse, Nike, Adidas, etc
- Walk through Times Square at night and then watch the panorama at Empire State Building or Top of the Rock
- Do not rush, even though the pace is fast, it is better to see less and experience more than trying to pack 11 visits in one week. Leave some for your next trip to New York
- Buy your electronic travel authorization at least 48 hours in advance
- Contemplate the Skyline from the Staten Island Ferry or walking through Brooklyn Bridge
- Take as many pictures as you can
- Go to the 230 Fifh Rooftop Bar
- Enjoy the citylife and the incredibly fast pace!
I hope you enjoy my tips to make your trip to New York memorable! Let me know what you think!
See you around Fancy Explorers!