New York City in 2 days
Since I’ve been an aupair very close to the New York State border I’ve been to the city a lot. Also I had a lot of friends and family visiting who I wanted to show all my favorite places in NYC. Most of the times they only bought limited time and since there’s sooo much to explore in this awesome place I kinda created my own tour around Manhattan and I’m gonna share it with you:
This time the tour starts at 34th Street where the Highline begins at the Hudson Yards subway stop. We get on the Highline which is a former train track and walk all the way South to Chelsea where we get off the Highline to go inside of Chelsea Market to grab something to eat. You’ll find the weirdest but yummiest things to eat in there. I guess most famous are the tacos but I also love the little donuts that you can design by yourself. After we take the L-train to 6th Ave where get off and walk down South towards Washington Square Park which contains an arch and a fountain and which is close to another hotspot in NYC called DŌ. It’s a place where even celebrities go to get their favorite (healthy) cookie dough in a cone. It’s made without raw eggs which makes it kinda “healthy” – and worth the 45 minute wait. To burn the calories we walk down the 6th Ave through SOHO and don’t be shy – go inside every store that interests you! But don’t miss out on one, it has no name and it’s behind a random door but it’s like a market where local artists sell their work and every time I’m in NYC I love going there again it’s absolutely worth it. It’s across the street from a Starbucks (if anyone finds out the name of this place let me know!). After a few more blocks we turn left and we’ll get to Little Italy where you can find the world’s best Cannoli and where you can sit outside and eat in one of the hundreds of little restaurants and cafés. The streets of Little Italy give you a feeling of really being in Italy for a moment and in summer they have huge street festivals where the streets are packed! But soon after Little Italy you’ll get to Chinatown which is not as beautiful anymore. If you’re looking for the cheapest souvenirs in the city – this is your place to go! Just keep on walking southbound and you’ll reach the World Trade Center and Ground Zero. For the ones who can’t decide whether on going on the “Top of the Rock”, the Empire State Building or the World Trade Center – I would recommend the last one since it’s not only the highest but also the cheapest and you’ll get to see the other two buildings and Ground Zero from above. Also, the waiting times are much shorter than in the other two buildings. If you turn slightly left you’ll pass the famous St.Paul’s Cathedral on your way to Wall St. After touching the famous bull you can walk around Battery Park until you get to the shore where you can decide if you want t take a ferry to Liberty Island to see the Statue of Liberty but I’m telling you: Don’t waste your time by that since you can see her from every other place and is it really worth two hours just to take the well-known picture in front of her? I’d rather recommend you keep on walking until you get to see the Brooklyn Bridge for sunset.
If you’re bringing more time here are some places you must have been:
- I strongly recommend to go visit Coney Island which is the southernmost point of Brooklyn. Of course it’s even more beautiful to go there in summer when the amusement park and all the little stores and shops are open – but it’ll also be very crowded then. If you have enough of the fast living vibe of the city this is your place to go to relax and chill at the beach. I also went there in winter a few times and it’s still nice to go there – it’s less crowded of course and a piece of nature just a few subway stops away.
- Do you like shopping but the prices in 5th Avenue are frustrating you? No problem, take a bus from Grand Central to the Outlets in New Jersey! The bus is only 30$ and it takes 45 minutes to take you there. It’s not even necessary to book your ticket in advance.
- Another nice option to walking around in Manhattan is exploring Brooklyn. This part of NYC has so many nice neighborhoods that there’s nothing you can do wrong by just taking a subway to Borough Hall or Lafayette Ave (careful – there’s also one in Manhattan) and walk around starting in the middle of Brooklyn. You’ll discover sweet little cafés, shops and stores but also yummy restaurants with all kinds of food. For the ones who like basketball there’s also the stunning Barclays Center designed by Jay-Z which it’s totally worth to see (but you literally can’t miss it if you get off the station Atlantic Ave). There’s a Starbucks right inside of it and through a glass wall you can see the Brooklyn Nets train while sipping on your coffee.Not to forget Williamsburg where you can see beautiful neighborhoods and where you can take a tour through the brewery where the famous Brooklyn Lager is brewed.If you would like to have a totally different view on the Statue of Liberty and Manhattan you should go to the Red Hook District and watch the sunset at the shore. No one else is gonna be there and this neighborhood has some really nice little bars that remind you of How I Met Your Mother. Talking about Brooklyn it’s also a nice walk crossing the Brooklyn Bridge to go take the famous picture after in DUMBO with the Manhattan Bridge in the background.
- If it’s summer and you want to spend some nice days at the beach to leave the stressful city days behind you take the LIRR to Long Island or the MNR to Connecticut where you’ll find beautiful beaches in Fairfield, Westport and Stamford (but be careful: the entrance can be very expensive!)
- If you like hiking I recommend to rent a car and drive up to Bear Mountain State Park. You can park the car at the foot of the mountain and hike all the way up to the top. If you’re lucky there are no clouds and you can see the skyline of Manhattan from far away but if not you still get to see an awesome view over the whole Hudson River Valley.
- Museums – who doesn’t like them? And NYC has so many that couldn’t be any more different from each other. So there’s the MoMA (Museum of Modern Art) which I really loved, then there’s of course the American Museum of Natural History known from so many movies. A very funny one is the Museum of Sex. Also there’s the Metropolitan Museum of art known from Sex and the City and the National September 11 Museum which is absolutely worth to visit.
- You’re sporty and adventurous? No problem in NYC since you can go kayaking for free on the Hudson River. Just get yourself a kayak at pier 26, 84 or 96 and go ahead! Or just rent a city bike and ride it around in Central Park or at Hudson River.
- I can’ tell you much about Queens since I’ve only been there a few times but you should definitely take a subway to Astoria and walk to Astoria park from where you can get the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge and the Hell Gate Bridge into one picture.