The city, home to over 8.5 million people, contains so much to see and do. We only had 3 days to explore the city so we spent every waking moment wandering around the streets of Manhattan. You won’t see even a tiny percentage of this vast city in three days, but this is a list of the must do’s of my favorite places. They are a mix of shopping, tourist spots and our favorite places to eat.
STOP #1 – Rockefeller Center – 34$: Located right in the heart of Midtown Manhattan, it’s nearly impossible to visit New York without going to the Rockefeller Center. When going to NYC for such a short trip, we had to choose between going up to the Empire State Building or the Rockefeller Center. After some readings online, we picked the Rockefeller for the 360 degrees view of the city it offers. At the top of the observation deck you can almost see all of Manhattan. North, you can see Central Park, and south brings a view of the Empire State Building and the other beautiful buildings of New York.
STOP #2 – Central Park – free: After going to the top of the Rockefeller Center, we walked to Central Park. Central Park was perfect to relax and leave the crowds behind us. You can spend couple hours just wandering in the park. It’s huge. Also, it’s free – great news, isn’t it? – there are lots of paths to walk, and the possibility to rent bikes or row-boat.
STOP #3 – The Metropolitan Museum of Art – free: The Metropolitan Museum of Art -MET is one of the biggest museums in the world, and if you can only visit one museum during your trip I would definitely recommend this one. It seems like its galleries never end.
STOP #4 – Times Square – Free: It is definitely something touristy to do. However I am not going to lie, I didn’t particularly enjoy Times Square as it was packed with people and there is not much to do in this area except if you are going to see a show.
STOP #1 – Grand Central Station – free: it’s the city’s historic train station. It is definitely a place to see. It almost seems like time stops for a couple of minutes looking at all those people trying to catch their trains. Grand central often appears as a romantic backdrop in movies and TV shows, such as The Avenger, Super Man or Gossip girl. You should definitely take the metro at least once just to get the feel of a real New Yorker.
STOP #2 – Staten Island Ferry – Free: The Staten Island Ferry is one of the last remaining ferry systems in New York City that transport people between Manhattan and its boroughs. Hop aboard this free ferry to see one of New York City’s most famous attractions: The Statue of Liberty. We decided it was not worth the money (and the time) to go up the Statue of Liberty, and instead chose to take this ferry to Brooklyn where you have a beautiful view of both the Statue of Liberty AND the New York Skyline.
STOP #3 – Brooklyn Bridge – Free: You will get a lot of wonderful views of downtown as you walk across the bridge. I enjoyed doing this walk at night as well, when downtown Manhattan is all lit up, it seems like you are in a different place.
STOP #1 – High Line Park – Free: The High Line is a converted train track that is now an urban walking park. This walk is one of the best things to do in the city, especially on a nice day. It’s a beautiful green park that runs from the Meatpacking District to West 34th Street. Along the way you’ll pass through the artsy neighborhood of Chelsea.
STOP #2 – Chelsea Market – Free: Next up was lunch so we headed towards the Chelsea Market that I had heard so much about. If you’re looking for a place to get food, shopping and stay inside, away from the summer heat, nothing beats the appeal of Chelsea Market. The downside – which really isn’t – is that it’s hard to find a place to eat as there are so many options. But we finally manage to choose Dickson’s Farmstand which offers meats and house-made charcuterie as well as a rotisserie. We shared half a chicken with roasted potatoes, there are no words to explain how delicious this meal was! On our way out we came across a doughnuts shop called Doughnuttery which looked like it was making fresh mini donuts so I had to try it. These little donoughts were super cute and were pretty good (not the best donuts I ever had though).
STOP #3 – Shopping: Macy’s Herald Square is of course a must see as it is one of the largest stores in the world. Walk around and you will find all the shops you have dreamed of.
STOP #4 – The Museum of Modern Art ~ MoMA – free every friday 4-8pm: Head over to the MoMA for lots of beautiful but weird modern art that can be quite bizarre. I have to say, I’m not really into modern art but it is worth the visit.