New York is easily one of my favorite cities in the world. The atmosphere, the buildings, everything is overwhelming and incredible. I have been there twice so far, and I would like to return as many times as possible. In this post I would like to give you a few recommendations and tips, if you visit New York City for the first time.
From munich you can reach New York within about 10 hours and many airlines fly to one of the three of New York's airports.
In my opinion it is best to visit around September/October or April/May. The weather is really nice, not too cold or too humid.
New York is really expensive in everything you can do there. Still it is possible to find really nice hotels in the best districts in the city, that are affordable and of good quality.
We stayed at the Ace Hotel, a boutique hotel which located near the famous Flatiron building in the Flatiron district. Within a few minutes you can reach Herald square and several metro stations.
Click here to see a Map, which shows you exactly where the Hotel is located.
This is the description from the hotel itself:
"Ace Hotel New York lives in a historic, turn-of-the-century building in Midtown Manhattan, invested with the spirit of its surroundings, the culture of the city and the ancient bones of the building. Ace New York has become a central hub for New Yorkers, Brooklynites and international travelers, and a hotbed of startups, freelancers and people who just want to kick it. However bustling the lobby gets, the hotel is a respite from New York's mayhem — full of local art, thoughtful details and the best beds in the universe.
We're centrally located, so it’s easy to get to museums, shops, restaurants, theaters, parks, arenas, bars or wherever you may be going by foot, cab, bike, train, bus and pogo stick. We also have some of the best dining and shopping right in the building, so even the agoraphobic will find everything they need without ever stepping foot outside. New York, however, is one of our favorite cities in the world, and there's a lot to explore — we can help you discover and navigate in the wild as well."
If you visit NYC for the first time, I recommend to bring lots of time and good shoes ;)
Here is a guide for a one-week-stay with the most popular things to visit and a few hidden spots!
The first thing to do, when arriving in a new city, is to get to know your public transportation. I have already discovered that for a relatively low price, I can buy a 7-day metro pass. This will be my lifeline, and my first purchase. This card is good for seven days from first use, not a Sunday - Saturday week.
Understandably you will want to find your hotel, check it, stow your baggage, and then kick back out to the streets. But where to go first? What to see? Everything will be so overwhelming At this point the light will be failing, and darkness will soon overtake the streets. Clearly there is but one place to go: Time's square.
With the bright lights in this big city, you will be able to take your first memorable photographs of the city.
Waking up early on the next day, you want to take your first walking tour of the city. Each tour was taken from my New York City guide book. I transposed the most interesting of the walks into my custom Google Map, so that I could see what areas of the city I'll cover by doing these alone.
The first walk you will be taking is Bowling Green to Schermerhorn Row. Clocking in at two and a half hours, this walk will take you from Castle Clinton, across Wall Street, and over to the historic seaport district.
As luck would have it, the first walk ends right at the beginning of the second: City Hall to Washington Square. It will take me from Ground Zero, past St. Paul's Chapel, on route to city hall. From there I will walk through Little Italy, and onwards to Washington Square.
Taking about two hours, this walk will lead you very close to 177A Bleeker St, Dr. Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum.
By this point, you will probably be starting to feel all the walking, but there can be no ending yet. This is your first time to New York City, and who knows when you will next be back. From the home site of Marvel's most Arcane Magician, you will make your way to Greenwich Village, walking past all manner of used, vintage, and other hipster-esque stores.
With miles of New York under your belt, and a good understanding of what is to come, you feel you can safely leave the rest of the day undecided: however much time there may be left.
The next night will come early, as much sleep is required for the morning and day that is to follow. So why not allow this to be a slower-paced day? One in which there will be no quests, no long walks, just simply sights seen and relaxation felt.
And where better for that, than Queens? You will start your day out in Forest Hills, wandering Spider-Man's old stomping grounds. From his Aunt May's house, you will explore the neighbourhood, eventually leading you to Forest Hills High School where, as Peter Parker, our hero attended both as a student, and later a teacher.
On the way back into the city you will make sure to stop by P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Centerand 5 Pointz to view the local graffiti.
A leisurely ride on the F Train, and a trip across the water on the Staten Island Ferry will hopefully round out this low-key experience, and allow you all the time I need to rest up.
You will get up early enough to plant yourself along 5th Avenue to watch the world's greatest shops. And why not visit something else delightfully, like the Statue of Liberty?
Make sure you are going to take that chance and visit Central park by bike, because it is huge.
Today you start with a trip to the Bronx Zoo. When done viewing all the animals you can see, you will attempt to make your way into Harlem to see the Apolo Theatre and then, head to Park Ave. and East 106 Street where you can see the graffiti Wall of Fame.
The morning will be packed, unfortunately rushed, and full of mass transit. But, with only a few days remaining, and so much left unseen, there is no time to pause for everything.
Breaking into the cultural side of the city, as many museums as possible will be fit into the remainder of this day's hours. Those missed, will be unfortunate, but - again - in one week, there is only so much one can accomplish.
One full day, followed by another. Is there any other way to do a giant urban expanse? Most likely not. Today will see you exploring from Macy's to Rockefeller, as well as walking42nd to UN. The second walk will grant you the chance to view Time's Square during the day time, the Public Library, Grand Central Station, the Chrystler building, and finally the United Nations headquarters.
The first self-directed tour, however, will be a very different sort of affair. It will take you through shopping districts, and past the Radio City Music Hall. Obviously, it will include Macy's and the Rockefeller Center - and where it heads north on 6th avenue, will put you quite close to both the Brooklyn Superhero Supply and the Marvel Comics headquarters, both located near fifth avenue between 35th and 38th street.
The Empire State Building will also be on the docket for today's explorations, as will a number of shops that you would like to visit, such as Forbidden Planet, located over at 840 Broadway.
Waking up on the last full day in New York City will be bitter sweet. So many things will have been seen and done by this point, but the understanding that there are so many other things still waiting to be explored - not to mention all that which exists off the beaten path, presently unknown by you.
Today you will wander Chinatown, and attempt to find some delicious dumplings, or sweet and sour pork. From there, you will walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, and set down the path of your final walking tour: Brooklyn Heights. Were it not part of New York City, I read, it would be America's sixth largest city. Though I know very little about Brooklyn - aside from the Jackie Robinson story - you will, without a doubt, gain a great insight into this district before my time is done.
In the evening you will try to take a whirlwind tour of both the Museum of Modern Art (free on Friday's from 4-8) and the Guggenheim Museum (also free on Friday's from 6:00 - 8:00.). Again, as a perfect allegory for the city itself, while you will experience so much in these locations - there is so much more that will remain unknown.
** If you like Cupcakes, visit Magnolia Bakery. Best cupcakes ever!
Image source: www.the guardian.com
** You want to safe money and love sightseeing? Get a New York Pass in advance and spare lots of money, with pretty much everything you do in NCY.
Here you will be guided directly to the official webpage: New York Pass Official
Here are some impressions from my trip to New York City in 2009 ...