On the way to sunny Florida, I decided that a 5-day stay in New York would not hurt, especially since the price of air travel has not increased and the effort of obtaining visas was worth exploiting to the maximum.
Obtaining visas is a clear and extremely well-organized process, you only need to visit the US embassy page and everything is there. I paid the $160/equivalent fees and then it's all online.
We chose to travel with Delta Airlines because they have the best connections and reasonable prices and on top of that we were able to make a multi-city selection without affecting the final price. We traveled on the route London - JFK - MCO (Orlando) - London and paid 834 USD/person.
Accommodation in New York. Here it is up for discussion, depending on budget, period, and interests. Thus, us traveling during the week of Thanksgiving and Black Friday (11/25-30) everything was more expensive. Reasonable accommodation in Manhattan is around $200-$300/night.
I recommend staying at a hotel in Manhattan and not the surrounding area because a lot of time is lost with the transfer. Originally we wanted to stay at a cheaper hotel in Queens, but it would have been about a 50-minute subway ride to Times Square. More than that, NY is so attractive at night that you are likely to stay until later, and then it is more difficult with the transfer.
From the airport, in JFK you can take a taxi (fixed rate, 50USD+tips) to anywhere in Manhattan or public transport. There is also a shuttle that goes from JFK to Central Station. Our hotel was right next to Central Station. We were met by a friend who took us to the hotel and gave us a small tour of the city, especially the Queens area.
The transport in New York City
The transport is extremely well developed, both the metro and buses. For a stay longer than 4-5 days I recommend a 7-day transport card, otherwise, a trip is 2.50 USD no matter where to where! A metro map at hand is extremely useful, obtainable from any station at the information point.
Walking - One of the great things about New York City is that it is very walkable. If you are staying in Manhattan, you can pretty much get anywhere you need to go on foot. Walking is also a great way to see the city and get some fresh air. Just be sure to wear comfortable shoes and watch out for sidewalk traffic!
Subway - The subway is one of the most efficient ways to get around New York City. It can take a little bit of time to figure out the subway system, but once you do, you'll be able to get around with ease. The subway is also a great option if you're trying to avoid traffic or if you're looking for a cheaper option than taking a cab.
Cabs - Taxis are plentiful in New York City and they are generally easy to hail. Cabs are a great option if you're in a hurry or if you're carrying a lot of bags. However, cabs can be more expensive than other options and they can get stuck in traffic just like any other vehicle.
Biking - Biking is another great option for getting around New York City. There are plenty of bike lanes throughout the city, making it relatively safe to bike around. Plus, biking is a great way to get some exercise! Just be sure to wear a helmet and watch out for car doors opening into your path.
The food in New York City
The food is expensive at any restaurant, but NY is expensive in general at everything. Fast food solutions can be found everywhere, but I recommend Starbucks for its Wi_Fi and good coffee. In crowded areas, there are also business lunch restaurants where you can eat well at reasonable prices (10-15 USD/person - something to drink and a barbeque).
An evening at a restaurant with wine and excellent roast beef can run you around $30-40/per person) There are hot dogs and some sandwiches on the street. It should be noted that in the US all prices shown are tax-free. At any price, about 8.5% taxes are added for NY and as a tip (if they are not included in the bill) 12-20% is applied, usually 15%.
Some of the best food the city has to offer:
Pizza - No discussion of New York food would be complete without mentioning pizza. This classic dish is ubiquitous in the city, and there are seemingly endless options to choose from. Whether you want a simple slice or a gourmet pie, you can find it in New York. Some of the best pizza places in the city include Di Fara Pizza, Lombardi’s, and John’s of Bleecker Street.
Bagels - New Yorkers take their bagels seriously, and for good reason. These delicious breakfast (or lunch, or dinner) staples are perfect for on-the-go eating. They can be found at pretty much any corner deli, but if you want the best of the best, head to Russ & Daughters or Ess-a-Bagel.
Chinese Food - New York is home to a large Chinese population, and as a result, there are countless amazing Chinese restaurants throughout the city. If you’re looking for authentic Chinese cuisine, head to Jing Fong or Vanessa’s Dumpling House in Chinatown. For something a little more upscale, try RedFarm or Mr. Chow.
Tourism in New York City
New York City is often referred to as "The Big Apple," and with good reason. It's one of the most populous cities in the world, and it's home to some of the most iconic landmarks and attractions. But for all its size and fame, NYC can be a bit overwhelming for first-time visitors.
There is an energy here that is palpable, and it seems like there is always something to do. Whether you're a fan of art, fashion, food, or history, there's a place for you in the city that never sleeps. Here are just a few of the best places to visit in New York City.
Empire State Building
I went in the morning, there was no queue and I got a combo ticket (ESB+Virtual Tour 3D+Statue of Liberty Cruise) which I paid 87 USD (with taxes).
I recommend visiting either in the first hour 9-10 AM, or in the evening after 6 PM, otherwise, you can stand in line for 2 hours! I don't recommend the ticket for the 102nd floor, it's double and you don't get anything extra in the way of a view. Beware of street vendors, they don't cheat, but they also don't have discounts or VIP tickets (no line) and want to sell packages, valid at any tourist point with a wait.
There's no mistaking the Rockefeller Center when you see it. This world-famous complex in the heart of Midtown Manhattan is one of New York City's most popular tourist destinations.
The Rockefeller Center was built in the 1930s as a complex of 14 commercial buildings. It was funded by John D. Rockefeller Jr., who envisioned it as a new kind of urban community that would bring together businesses, residents, and tourists alike.
Today, the Rockefeller Center is home to some of the world's most famous businesses and attractions, including NBC Studios, Radio City Music Hall, and the Top of the Rock Observation Deck.
No trip to New York City is complete without a visit to the Rockefeller Center.
The Brooklyn Bridge is one of New York City's most iconic structures. Spanning the East River, it connects the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn. The bridge is a popular spot for tourists and locals alike, offering stunning views of the skyline and the river below.
It's also a great place to people-watch or go for a walk or jog. If you're planning a trip to New York City, be sure to add the Brooklyn Bridge to your list of places to see!
The Bridge was built between 1869 and 1883. It was the first bridge to use steel cables and was considered an engineering marvel at the time. The bridge was originally named the New York and Brooklyn Bridge but was later renamed the Brooklyn Bridge after it was completed.
An estimated 250,000 people crossed the bridge on opening day. Today, the Brooklyn Bridge is one of New York City's most popular tourist attractions, with over 4 million visitors each year.
The next time you're in New York City, be sure to take a walk or jog across the iconic Brooklyn Bridge!
This vibrant neighborhood is always abuzz with activity, and there's always something new to see and do. From Chinese markets and medicinal shops to delicious dim sum restaurants, Chinatown is a must-visit for any traveler to New York.
Chinatown is one of the most densely populated neighborhoods in New York City, and it's easy to see why. The streets are lined with businesses of all kinds, from traditional Chinese markets selling medicinal herbs and spices to modern-day bistros serving up delicious dim sum. There's also a wide variety of shops selling everything from souvenirs to authentic Chinese art.
The Financial District
Just south of Midtown is the Financial District, home to some of the most important financial institutions in the world. But the area has so much more to offer than just a place to conduct business.
The Financial District is one of the oldest neighborhoods in New York City, and it shows in its architecture. Walking around you'll see grand old buildings that have been standing for centuries alongside modern glass-and-steel skyscrapers.
It's truly a sight to behold. And if you want to get a bird's eye view of it all, head up to the Top of the Rock Observation Deck at Rockefeller Center for some of the best views in town.
Central Park is one of the most famous parks in the world, and for good reason. This man-made oasis in the heart of New York City offers visitors a respite from the hustle and bustle of city life.
The Great Lawn is one of Central Park's most popular destinations. This sprawling lawn is the perfect place to relax, have a picnic, or play a game of catch. The Great Lawn is also home to two iconic landmarks: Belvedere Castle and Shakespeare Garden.
Belvedere Castle is a beautiful folly that was built in 1869. The castle sits atop Vista Rock, the second-highest point in Central Park. Visitors can climb to the top of the castle for stunning views of the park and city skyline.
Shakespeare Garden is a 4-acre garden that features over 150 varieties of plants mentioned in Shakespeare's works. The garden is also home to a statue of the Bard himself. Visitors can take a moment to enjoy the peace and quiet of this serene spot.
The Mall is a tree-lined promenade that runs for half a mile through Central Park. The Mall is lined with American elm trees and features two rows of benches where weary travelers can rest their feet. At the end of the Mall is the Literary Walk, which features statues of some of history's most famous writers, including Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott, and George Washington Irving.
Bethesda Terrace and Fountain are located at the southern end of Central Park near The Mall. The terrace offers stunning views of the park, and the fountain is a popular spot for photos. Visitors can also descend into the underground Concourse, which offers access to public restrooms, a food court, and an art gallery.
The Museum of Natural History
The American Museum of Natural History in New York City is one of the largest in the world. Founded in 1869, the museum has amassed a collection of over 32 million specimens, many of which are on display to the public.
The museum is particularly well-known for its dinosaur exhibits, which feature life-size replicas of some of the most famous dinosaurs to ever walk the earth.
In addition to its impressive dinosaur exhibits, the Museum of Natural History is home to a number of other interesting displays. The Hall of Ocean Life, for example, features a 94-foot-long blue whale replica suspended from the ceiling.
The Hall of Human Origins tells the story of human evolution, while the Margaret Mead Hall of Pacific Peoples showcases the diverse cultures of Oceania.
The museum also offers a number of special exhibitions throughout the year. Recent exhibitions have included The Secret World Inside You (an exhibit about microbes), Senses (an exhibit about human senses), and Water (an exhibit about freshwater ecosystems).
They say that if you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere. From the bright lights to the bustling crowds, Times Square is the perfect place to immerse yourself in the energy of New York City.
With so much to see and do, it can be tough to know where to start when visiting Times Square. Here are a few of our favorite things to do in this vibrant corner of NYC:
Catch a Broadway show: Times Square is famously home to some of the best theaters in the world. From classics like The Phantom of the Opera to newer hits like Hamilton, there's a Broadway show for everyone in Times Square.
Visit Madame Tussauds: Step into a world of celebrities at Madame Tussauds New York wax museum. Rub shoulders with your favorite stars—from Beyoncé to Leonardo DiCaprio—and take some fun selfies along the way.
See a concert: If you're a music fan, you'll be in heaven in Times Square. Some of NYC's best concert venues—including Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall—are located here.
Go on a rooftop bar crawl: One of the best ways to experience Times Square is from above. Start at Stubby's Tavern for views of Bryant Park, then head to Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge for sweeping views of Midtown Manhattan. End your night at Sky Room for stunning panoramic views of the city skyline—just don't forget your camera!
People watch: One of the best things about Times Square is simply taking it all in. Grab a cup of coffee or a slice of pizza and find a spot to people-watch—you never know who (or what!) you'll see in this vibrant corner of NYC.
For first-time visitors to NY City, the sheer number of things to see and do can be overwhelming. But one street that should definitely be on your list is Fifth Avenue.
This world-famous avenue is home to some of the city's most iconic landmarks, including the Empire State Building and Rockefeller Center. It's also a shopper's paradise, with high-end stores like Saks Fifth Avenue and Tiffany & Co.
When it comes to landmarks, Fifth Avenue has them in spades. Start at the southern end of the street at Washington Square Park, then make your way up to iconic buildings like the Empire State Building, St. Patrick's Cathedral, Rockefeller Center, and Radio City Music Hall.
If you want to do some people-watching, head over to Fifth Avenue between 49th and 60th Streets—this is where you'll find some of the city's most famous luxury stores.
Shopping in New York
New York City is a shopper’s paradise. There are so many places to explore and find hidden gems. Here are some of the best places to go shopping in New York City.
Soho – This is the place to go for high-end fashion. You’ll find all the major designer brands here as well as some up-and-coming designers. If you’re looking to splurge on a new outfit, Soho is the place to do it.
Chinatown – Chinatown is a great place to find cheap knock-offs of designer brands as well as unique souvenirs. haggling is expected here so don’t be afraid to bargain with the shopkeepers.
5th Avenue – Fifth Avenue is one of the most famous shopping streets in the world. You’ll find everything from high-end department stores to more affordable chain stores. No matter what you’re looking for, you’ll find it on 5th Avenue.
Brooklyn Flea Market – The Brooklyn Flea Market is a great place to find vintage clothing, antique furniture, and handmade goods. It’s also a great place to people-watch and grab a bite to eat from one of the food trucks parked there.
The Shop at Columbus Circle – The Shops at Columbus Circle is an upscale mall located in Manhattan. It’s home to high-end retailers like Tiffany & Co., Sephora, and H&M. If you’re looking for a more traditional mall experience, this is the place to go.
SoHo Grand Hotel – The SoHo Grand Hotel is home to one of the best shopping experiences in New York City: The Grand Collective. The Grand Collective is an ever-changing pop-up shop that features products from local designers and artisans. It’s the perfect place to find unique gifts or treat yourself to something special.
8th Street – Eighth Street is another great shopping street in New York City. You’ll find everything from chain stores like H&M and Forever 21 to independent boutiques selling vintage clothing and handmade jewelry.
Union Square Greenmarket - Union Square Greenmarket is a farmers market that sells locally grown produce, flowers, plants, baked goods, and more. It’s open year-round, so you can always find something fresh and seasonal. Even if you don’t need anything, it’s worth stopping by just to see all of the different vendors and their wares.
Queens Night Market - The Queens Night Market is a foodie paradise. It features over 100 vendors selling everything from Filipino street food to Indian curries. There are also arts and crafts, live music, and performances. The Queens Night Market takes place every Saturday night from April through October.
Hotel Accommodation in New York
New York City is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, and for good reason. From the bright lights of Times Square to the towering skyscrapers of Midtown, there's something for everyone in NYC. And when it comes to finding a place to stay, there are plenty of great hotels to choose from.
But with so many options, it can be tough to know where to start. That's why I've put together a list of the 10 best hotels in New York City, perfect for any traveler.
1. The Peninsula New York – Located in Midtown Manhattan, this luxury hotel offers stunning views of Fifth Avenue and Central Park. Guests can enjoy world-class dining and shopping, as well as a variety of on-site amenities including a spa, fitness center, and indoor pool.
2. Waldorf Astoria New York – Another Midtown option, the Waldorf Astoria is a historic hotel that has been welcoming guests since 1931. The Art Deco property features elegant guest rooms and suites, as well as a Michelin-starred restaurant and a luxurious spa.
3. Four Seasons Hotel New York – This Midtown hotel offers breathtaking views of Central Park and the city skyline. Guests can enjoy luxurious accommodations, five-star dining, and an award-winning spa. The Four Seasons is also conveniently located near many of NYC's best attractions.
4. The St. Regis New York – This iconic Fifth Avenue hotel has been a favorite among travelers for over a century. Guests can enjoy sumptuous accommodations, an award-winning restaurant, and impeccable service. St. Regis is also located close to many of NYC's top sights and attractions.
5. The Plaza Hotel – Located on Fifth Avenue at Central Park South, the Plaza Hotel is one of NYC's most iconic landmarks. The luxury hotel offers an array of amenities including fine dining, a spa, and an indoor pool. Guests can also enjoy stunning views of Central Park from many of the hotel's rooms and suites.
6. Mandarin Oriental New York – This luxury hotel offers panoramic views of Central Park and the city skyline from its prime location on Columbus Circle. Guests can enjoy five-star accommodations and service, as well as an award-winning spa and Michelin-starred dining at Asiate restaurant.
7. Trump International Hotel & Tower New York – This 46-story luxury hotel overlooks Central Park and offers stunning views of the cityscape from its prime location on Columbus Circle. Guests can enjoy 5-star accommodations, world-class dining, and unparalleled service during their stay at this luxurious property.
8. The Ritz Carlton New York Central Park – Situated on Central Park South between Sixth Avenue and Seventh Avenue, this luxury hotel offers stunning views of Central Park from its guest rooms and suites. Guests can enjoy five-star accommodations along with world-class dining at Michelin-starred restaurant Daniel Boulud Brasserie Francaise.
9. Le Parker Meridien New York – This stylish Midtown hotel offers panoramic views of the cityscape from its prime location on West 56th Street between Sixth Avenue and Seventh Avenue. Guests can enjoy modern accommodations along with an array of onsite amenities including a rooftop pool, 24-hour fitness center, and full-service spa.
10. The Greenwich Hotel – Located in Lower Manhattan, this luxury boutique hotel offers stunning views of One World Trade Center from its rooftop bar. Guests can enjoy premium accommodations along with five-star service during their stay at this one-of-a-kind property.
These are just some examples. When it comes to finding a place to stay in New York City, there is no shortage of great options.
Although this itinerary is for five days, it can easily be tailored to fit any length of stay. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned New Yorker, we hope you find this guide helpful and that it inspires you to explore all the city has to offer.
With its never-ending energy and plethora of things to see and do, there’s no better place than New York City to experience all that life has to offer.