Travel Guide: New York City
“How alive the city is, how alive, how alive, how alive. Each of those windows has someone behind it, each of these streets is a current under my feet. A network of people, a living field — each grass a soul, each grass alive. So let us give thanks after all, and be glad, and rejoice. To be in life with so many people!” – Alfred Kazin
When Should You Go?
Autumn (Sep – Nov) is NY”s peak holiday season when its considered to be its most beautiful.
Alternatively – Summer (June – August) Is an ideal time if you’re looking for a city bustling with fun and open air activities.
Go-To NYC Places To Adventure
See a broadway show
Beautiful Highline Boardwalk That Ends Goes Chelsea’s Market
Empire State Building
Liberty Island Statue
One Trade Centre / Freedom Tower
Newly opened 360 view on top floor.
Metropolitan Museum Of Art (MET)
Museum Of Modern Art (MoMA)
Sip Champagne at The Plaza Hotel
The ultimate in romance and old-school glamour, the illustrious Plaza hotel has hosted many high-profile weddings and engagements. Dress up and make your way to The Champagne Bar or The Rose Club to celebrate your own special occasion (or perhaps a proposal).
Be enchanted at The Butterfly Conservatory
Heated to an average temperature of 27°C and brimming with blooms and butterflies, the American Museum of Natural History’s Butterfly Conservatory is a kind of tropical oasis away from the bustle of the city. Enjoy a dreamy escape here with your sweetheart during the winter months.
Swill martinis at The Met’s rooftop bar
While skipping the art may seem sacrilegious, The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Roof Garden Bar has one of the lushest lawns – and best views – in NYC. Open May to October, it’s the perfect perch for a pre-dinner cocktail with a companion.
Stargaze at the Lincoln Center
If you’re feeling starry-eyed, head to the acclaimed Lincoln Center’s Josie Robertson Plaza to observe the sky through high-powered telescopes. The sessions are offered on select nights during summer, in partnership with the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York. Why not take in the ballet while you’re there?
Wine and dine at Barbetta Restaurant
Established in 1906, Barbetta is the oldest Italian restaurant in NYC still owned by the family that founded it. With genuine antiques from 18th-century Italy and a chandelier formerly owned by the Italian royal family, the opulent interiors are almost as decadent as the Piedmont-inspired cuisine.
Paddle under Bow Bridge
The beautiful Bow Bridge is one of the most recognisable landmarks in Central Park. Romantics can hire a rowboat from The Loeb Boathouse or opt for a Venetian-style gondola ride on the lake (weather permitting). When you’ve moored your vessel, stop by the picture-perfect Boathouse for a meal.
Walk The High Line hand in hand
Artfully repurposed from an out-of-service New York Central Railroad track formerly known as the West Side Line, the 2.3-kilometre-long elevated park offers unrivalled views over Chelsea and the Hudson River. Pick up some artisan snacks from the nearby Chelsea Market and find a spot among the greenery for an impromptu picnic.
Take a breather in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Prospect Park’s botanic garden looks like a fairytale setting in spring, when the cherry blossom trees bloom along the aptly named Cherry Esplanade. Located between the Cranford Rose Garden and the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden, the peaceful sanctuary is one of the prettiest and most romantic spots in Brooklyn.
Hidden NYC: How to Visit Like a Local
Enjoy Nature Outside of Central Park: The Cloisters Museum
Location: 99 Margaret Corbin Dr. (45min train from Times Square)
Part of visiting New York like a local is realizing that locals don’t predominantly live in Midtown. So much of the island can easily be overlooked—The Cloisters, in Fort Tryon Park, is a prime example of a beautiful daytime excursion that is off the beaten path. Located at the top of Manhattan, The Cloisters is an offshoot museum run by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The buildings and the collections housed inside are modeled after the architectural and artistic styles of the 12th-through-15th centuries and feature cloistered gardens that adorn the landscape, hence the name. It’s a piece of Medieval Europe brought to life in a modern city.
Laugh at Your Own Jokes: EastVille Comedy Club
Location: 85 E 4th St (20min train from Times Square)
Some of the best comics on the planet cut their teeth in one of the various comedy cellars of New York, so it’s hard to pick a bad club to visit. But the EastVille Comedy Club sets itself apart. EastVille is known for being a testing ground for new material and the club does a great job of pairing top talent with up-and-coming local comedians. This all-ages venue has featured Sarah Silverman, Louis C.K. and Aziz Ansari, to name a few, and it boasts cover-free open mic nights on weekdays. If you want an experience to remember, write five minutes worth of jokes and take the same stage as the greats. Your family and friends will love it and who knows who might be watching!
Bike and Roll: Guided Bike & Boat Tour
Cost US$64 + tip
Duration 3 hours. Starts at Battery Park, Manhattan
Get Up and Ride: The Classic Bike Tour of Brooklyn
Cost US$89 + tip
Duration Five hours.
Starts at 449 Broadway, Brooklyn
Frequency Wed, Fri, Sun
Bike the Big Apple: The Sensational Park and Soul Tour
Cost US$90 + tip
Duration Five hours.
Starts at 1306 2nd Avenue, Manhattan
Unleash your inner child on this masterfully restored carousel in the Dumbo section of Brooklyn Bridge Park. Situated on the picturesque East River waterfront and within walking distance to an array of dining destinations, Jane’s Carousel is open to the public year-round (check the website for winter and summer opening hours).
BEST view of NYC.
Don’t Sleep ‘Til Brooklyn: Output
Location: 74 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn (25 min train from TS)
If you’re looking for a night that focuses on music and dancing instead of glow sticks and bottle service, Output is the place to be. The Funktion One sound system is one of the best in the city, rivaling its Manhattan counterparts. While the main room features more up-tempo beats, the adjoining Panther Room keeps things a little mellower. There is also rooftop access for when you need a minute to catch some air. Output has proven that substance wins over flash every time.
Flee To A Flea Market: Brooklyn Flea
Location: 1000 Dean St, Brooklyn (indoor address)
From high-end retailers to the smallest corner shops, New York is world-renowned for its shopping. But before spending yourself into oblivion at Saks 5th Avenue or the M&M Store, check out the vendors at the Brooklyn Flea, a giant, recurring flea market conglomeration. Between November and March, the Brooklyn Flea operates indoors, housing nearly 100 antique, vintage, and homemade good vendors along with upwards of 25 food shops. The market runs every weekend from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. through April, when the Fort Greene (176 Lafayette Ave, Saturdays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and Williamsburg (50 Kent Ave, Sundays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) flea markets re-open. Brooklyn Flea is a great way to get goods for New Yorkers made by New Yorkers, and it also serves to entertain you for a full day.