NYC is a bustling place, but if you plan accordingly, you will be able to really get the most out of it in a few hours! Use my tips below, share your experience and enjoy!!!!
1. Take 30 Minutes to Pick the Top Locations You'd Like to Visit!
I do not go anywhere without first doing some research on it! I have learned this the hard way. I get more out of my time when I plan the locations where I want to visit and it also helps me eliminate the ones that do not align with my interest. This simple trick also helps me prioritize my list of must-sees.
Another thing that I do (although its more time consuming) is to draw out a map of the city, place little pins on the attractions and boxes next to them. This helps me have a better picture of the city's layout. I like to use Google Maps for this part. And since I'm a list kinda gal, my favorite part of this is to see all the attractions checked off my list. That feeling of accomplishing your goals is the best!
2. Wake Up Early!
The fiancé and I woke up at 4 am Sunday morning to be out of my grandmas apartment by 5 am. If you’re driving in, I suggest getting there around the same time to get the early bird advantage. The smaller the crowds, the more you'll enjoy. Also, if you’re just driving in for the day choose a parking garage on the opposite side of where you’ll end up... and then take a train to the other side. For example if you are starting out in Grand Central Station (North West part NYC) and plan on having the last stop be at the Charging Bull (South Part of NYC), park near the Charging bull and take a train to Grand Central Station to begin your journey down. I believe a one way ticket is $2.50 per person.
3. Get a Hop-on Hop-off Bus 🚌
I recommend purchasing tickets online at sightseeingpass.com instead of getting them there from a street vendor (you’ll also save a few bucks) and choose a tour of your liking. The one my fiancé and I chose was The Uptown.
I really recommend investing in these tickets as they will save you money in transportation, come with a map of the city's top attractions and be convenient as they stop every few minutes at the pick-up locations.
4. Download This Train App to Help You Navigate the NYC Trains
"Transit - Bus and Subway Times" is what the app is called. It helps you find the closest stations near you and tells you which trains to take. Unless you are a native, the underground transportation lines can get a bit confusing. This practically saved me when I needed to take a train back from lower Manhattan to my grandma’s apartment in uptown.
5. Download a map of the city to your phone. One that doesn't require you to use extra battery juice. Just in case you find yourself in a no service zone. This also allows you to have more battery to take pictures! Now... if we only had enough storage space for those pictures!
6. Wear a Comfortable Pair of Walking Shoes!
I went against this and wore a thin cushioned pair of boots because they were so cute! Not only did I become immobile within the last few hours but my feet, ankles and knees were swollen the entire next day!
Its okay though, I walked that NY concrete jungle of dreams because there is nothing I can't do :) (referencing Alecia Keys in Empire State of Mind).
TOP WORTHY ATTRACTIONS
1. One World Trade Center/ Tribute Center- The 360 View of NYC is Phenomenal!
2. Brooklyn Bridge- Stunning, especially on a sunny day.
3. Empire State Building- The staple of NYC..
4. Times Square- Smaller than you'd expect.
5. Radio City Music Hall- Tour the place! It's pretty cool.
6. Grand Central Station- Newly rebuilt with beautiful white arches. Supposed to represent a bird in flight for those who passed away in 911.
7. 5th Avenue- Shop top brands!
8. Flat Iron Building- Iconic & cool!
9. Top of the Rock- Incredible view! Make sure to get there early. Its unbearably crowded from 10 AM forward.
10. SoHo- Where you can find the most beautiful cobblestone streets.
11. Love Sign- Because who doesn't love NYC?!
12. Rockefeller Center- Skate in the rink! Visit during Christmas!
13. Bryant Park- An urban oasis.
14. Monarch Rooftop Bar and Restaurant- Perfect way to end the night, great drinks, good food, amazing sunset view.
LEAST WORTHY ATTRACTIONS
1. Running Bull Statue: Personally, I found this a bit boring, too crowded and dangerous with two main busy streets on each side. My TIP: Stay on the bus, sit on the top left corner and catch the full view of the statue, and all the tourists fighting for a spot next to it from the comfort of your seat.
2. NYC Wall street Stock Exchange- It's not open on weekends.
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