Finally another blogpost about a visit to my favorite city in the world! I got back the end of May from 10 days in New York. I went a week with some of my friends which have never been to the city so it was their first time which was very exciting. They called me their city guide and I showed them around my favorite places and things to do. They really liked it so that was really nice to hear that they also appreciate the city like I do & I'm glad I could show it to them. This blogpost I will show you all the things that we did that week so you'll get a perfect week planning to go to NYC for the first time.
The first day we arrived at noon at the airport and we took to an Uber to our Airbnb in New Jersey. We had a really nice and spacious apartment in a nice area, which I really recommend when being a group of 6 friends, staying in the city. We installed ourselves and after that we took a walk outside and went to Whole Foods to get some basic groceries. When we got back, we were all pretty tired and jetlagged, so we decided to have a cosy evening at home ordering some pizza and playing some games.
The next day we were up very early because of the jetlag, so we decided to have a walk to the waterfront of NJ and took the ferry to midtown (in Manhattan). The sun was shining the whole week so we were lucky with the weather. The first activity that we planned was a visit to Top of the Rock. You have a pretty amazing city view there, which we all really loved. The view is pretty impressive and it's always a pleasure to see it again, even after a couple of times. After that, we walked around the neighbourhood and saw the Radio City Music Hall, the Rockefeller, some nice shops & we had a smoothie and some coffee and just strolled around which is my favorite thing to do in the city. We walked to the New York Public Library and had some lunch at Bryant park, where we stayed and relaxed for a bit. We walked to the Grand Central Station which you all know of the iconic Gossip Girl scene. After, we went to the food market which is under the station. Along our stroll we went to Barnes & Nobles which is a very nice bookshop and of course I had to buy some books to start the trip in a good way. We had a quick dinner at Shake Shack, before going to the 'Funny Girl' musical on Broadway, which was very nice. After, we had to take a look at Times Square which is really close to the theater.
The next day two of my friends had a work-out class planned at Barry's, while the others had some breakfast in the neighbourhood, the Flatiron District. We just strolled around a bit, went to the park, did some shopping & took the subway to Central Park where we first did some groceries shopping at WholeFoods, for our picknick in the park. It was very good weather so it's always nice to chill in the park, especially with such a lovely group of friends. After that we rented some bikes and did a whole tour in Central Park, which was a very very nice activity to do together. I had never done this before so it was also very exciting for me, I really liked it. On our way back, we stopped at Bethesda Terrace and had some ice cream before going to the MET Museum. Me and a friend when to the Karl Lagerfeld exhibition, which I was really happy to see. The other ones did some other exhibitions. It's always very nice to just walk around in the MET, which is such a big building, full of different exhibitions. I went up to the rooftop of the museum, which was the first time for me seeing that, you have a really nice view on Central Park there, so that was lovely to see. We later had a reservation at an Italian restaurant and really enjoyed some Apérols and pasta.
The next morning we started our day in the Financial District and strolled around. We saw the Lady of Liberty by the water, we walked to Stone Street and Wall Street, we passed the Bull and we did some more shopping. We also went to the 9/11 memorial which is still very impressive to see and we had some lunch in Eataly in the Oculus there. After, we walked a bit more to one of my favourite neighbourhoods: Soho and did some more shopping there. We also walked to Washington Square Park, which is the park next to the New York University. There was a band playing some nice music and a lot of people were enjoying the sun. We went to a small Mexican place and had some margaritas and chips with guacamole which was really nice. After that we went to the Strand Bookstore, which is a really nice one and I of course had to buy some more books. We walked a bit more and we took the Uber back to our place and had some Chinese food in. At midnight, it was one of my friends birthday, so we took a walk outside to see the skyline of Manhattan and enjoyed a drink.
The next morning we had a reservation for brunch at Jack's wife Frieda which is a very nice place. We had a lot of fun and good food and drinks & after that we walked around Soho again and did some more shopping. Then we went to the Brooklyn Bridge which I also really recommend to do. It's the perfect way to get to Brooklyn. At the end of the bridge, we arrived in Dumbo, which is also one of my favorite areas. We had some lunch next to the water and took the ferry to Williamsburg, which is the area I worked at when I lived in NYC for 5 months in 2018. Everybody got very excited about this area. We did some more shopping and had some cocktails at a very nice place. After, we took the Uber to Tacombi in downtown, where we had a really nice dinner with a lot of tacos and margaritas and guacamole. That day it was my friend's birthday so we looked for a place to dance a little and we ended up dancing in a small cafe, with some fun music.
The next day it was the last full day so we went to the Hudson Yards and saw The Vessel. We went into the shopping mall and had a nice walk on the Highline, which is also one of my favorite things to do in the city. All my friends also really liked it, so that was nice. After that, we went to Chelsea Market and went to another bookstore, before going to Artichoke Pizza where we had a nice lunch. We took a walk to the waterfront and we went to Little Island, which is a new park on the water, that's only been there for a few years. After that, we walked to West Village, had an ice cream and saw the Friends & Carrie Bradshaw's house. We strolled around and ended up at 5th Rooftop Bar, where you have a pretty amazing view on the Empire State Building. We had some drinks & after that, we had our last dinner at Shake Shack in Madison Square Park.
The next day, we had a walk to the waterfront in NJ and had a really nice brunch, before saying bye to my friends, who were off to the airport, I took the uber to my hotel in Bowery. As much as I really enjoyed our week together, I could also appreciate to stay a few more days in the city, by myself, doing the 'usual' things, strolling around a bit more and going to the shops I still wanted to do. So the next 3 days, I walked around, had some very good bagels from BlackSeed, some more ice cream from Van Leeuwen & finished 2 more books. I read while sitting on the Highline and in Central Park. I also went to the Art & Design museum and I just took some time for myself to relax, before going back to the usual worklife in Belgium. I also had dinner with a friend that lives in the city, so that was very nice and the food was very yummy. I also went to the David Zwirner x Yayoi Kusama exhibition, which was also very nice to see.
As you can see, there's a lot of things to do in New York City, and I really recommend to see a lot of different areas when you go there. There's so much to see and so many good restaurants to enjoy, so be bold and see more than the 'touristy' stuff like Times Square for example, a must-see when you visit the first time, but I prefer to not go back there, as it's way too crowded and touristy for me.
NYC has the perfect atmosphere for me, a mix of cultures, good food & drinks, a nice history and buildings to see, a good mix of city & nature and some good shops to enjoy.
Enjoy & let me know if you have any Q's! Find more here on my IG :)