New York is one of my favourite cities and one that I will keep returning to for as long as I’m travelling. A cultural melting pot, full of vibrancy and life, this city truly has something for everyone. The hustle and bustle of the place may be off putting, particularly around the tourist traps such as Times Square, but it is worth persisting because there is magic all around in this iconic city. I spent four days here on my last trip, so thought I’d put together a list of some of the things I really loved experiencing while I was in town.
9/11 Memorial and Museum
To truly understand the impact and tragedy of September 11, this is a must see. It is overwhelmingly tragic, maddening, poignant and eye-opening. This was an event that changed the shape of the world forever. It was completely unprecedented and left the city reeling. Bring tissues.
Top of the Rock
Look, it’s super touristy, but offering the best view of the city skyline from on high. Full length views of Central Park are a drawcard on one side of the building and on the other side a crystal clear shot of the Empire State Building lies waiting for eager eyes. Beyond that the Statue of Liberty shines on the water on a clear day.
The High Line
My new favourite spot in New York, this park on high along a former railway track is a peaceful and innovative use of space, giving the Meatpacking District a touch of greenery to break up the grey of the city. Wander at your leisure, sit amongst the leaves and take it in and grab breakfast at one of the trendy cafes at the bottom.
This is the original New York City park. The lungs of an every growing and evolving city, Central Park remains a refuge for those seeking tranquility, adventure or their own little patch of green. In Fall, the leaves turn gold and brown and orange and crunch as New Yorkers walk through them.
Join the throng at an event
New York always has something on. Whether it’s a parade, a rally, a party or a celebration, there is always a gathering of some sort that locals are headed to. It’s an awesome way to brush shoulders with New Yorkers, and get swept up in the vibe of the city. I walked in the Halloween Parade through the West Village and it was definitely an experience to remember!
Sleep No More
A far cry from the polished boards of Broadway, this immersive theatre production is an institution in New York, but there aren’t a lot of non-theatre lovers that know about it. Participants will be given a mask and be forbidden to talk throughout the choose-your-own adventure event. Chase characters from Macbeth up and down and through the McKittrick Hotel having a truly individual and unique experience.
New York Public Library
As impressive inside as it is out, this enormous building inspires even the least studious among us to pop in for a look. With beautiful rooms and great big steps to take a coffee or lunch on after your walk, this library represents all the history and grandeur of days gone by.
A Walking Tour
A walking tour through New York is always a good idea. How else can you hear from the locals about their lives, the history of their city as they see fit and find little stops along the way that would go undiscovered without someone in the know? I choose Urban Adventures from my walking tour in the city through the Tenement buildings and different immigrant areas of the city.
A night on the town
In the city that never sleeps, it is compulsory to have a night out bar and club hopping in the city. Worried about being dusty the next day? You can sleep in and head out again the next night to do it all again!
A Broadway Show
A New York staple is the Broadway show. Line up for TKTS to find discounted tickets to shows on the day, or order online on the mobile app Today Tix to make sure you get the best deals to see you favourites. Some shows also have a lottery with a select few front row seats being sold off each day for around $20US, so this is a good way to give yourself a chance to see some of the shows that aren’t available at the discount booths, like Hamilton. This time around, I saw Anastasia which made all my childhood dreams come true.