Going to New York like any 21-year-old girl has been my dream. It is the fashion capital and I just knew I had to experience. You see it in the films as a magical place where dreams come true but it did make me realise that it isn’t really the case. Don’t get me wrong I absolutely LOVE New York but it isn’t like the films haha. With that being said I just know I have to go back especially at Christmas.
We (Jack and I) actually booked this trip way back in January so waited a whole nine months to go, as you can imagine we just couldn’t stop talking about the trip. We did five nights in NY and then five nights in LA (blog post coming soon on that). So, here is my ultimate guide to New York.
When to go
We decided to go in September as it gave us plenty of time to save up especially for all the shopping we knew we were going to do. As you know with New York the weather is pretty hit and miss so it was quite gloomy and did rain quite a bit the first two days but it didn’t stop us from doing what we wanted. As well, September was a cheaper time to go due to it not being the school holidays. I’ve also heard that May/ June is a good time too as well as December but obviously, that is on the pricer side.
Travelling to NY from the UK is actually pretty easy you can fly from Gatwick, Heathrow, Manchester and Leeds all direct. We chose to fly from Gatwick with the Norweigan as it was the cheapest early flight around £230 which was a great deal.
From JFK into Manhattan we got a yellow cab as well you’ve got to experience it haven’t you. You can also get some sort of rail into but with all our luggage we decided a yellow cab would be easier and it was a set fare.
In terms of getting around in New York there are uber and taxis but they can be a bit pricey. So I would highly recommend using the subway, we bought a 7 day pass which was around $30 dollars I believe. There are misconceptions that you will get murdered down there and I will say I was scared at first and there are a few dodgy people on it but it is so fast and convenient. To find out what stops to get I just used google maps which were super handy.
Where to stay
Our first night in NYC we stayed at the Crowne Plaza Times Square which was amazing! The hotel was super modern, had great amenities and it really made me feel like omg I’m in New York. We were able to check in early which was great as we arrived at the hotel about 11am so this then gave us time to freshen up, get out of our airport clothes and get ready for the busy day ahead. The following four days we then stayed in an Airbnb downtown as accommodation in New York is super expensive we thought this would be the best option for us. In terms of getting around, being able to have our own kitchen and for the price it was perfect. However, in New York I don’t think I would stay in one again as this apartment was quite cramped and didn’t feel as safe and homely like the hotel did, but for our budget, it had to do.
Where to eat
In terms of eating out, we actually didn’t do this as much as we thought during the day we kind of just grabbed as we went along because we wanted to fit so much in. The places we did eat though: By Chloe, Rays Pizza, Chipotle and Applebees were great and I would highly recommend Wholefoods.
Some restaurants that were on my list to go to were Jacks Wife Freida, The Butchers Daughter, Milk and Ellens Stardust Diner.
Where to shop
Now while we didn’t do so much eating, shopping we did it all! My first time in a Sephora and I can tell you it was successful we visited the one downtown, did all the big department stores like Sakks, Barneys, Bloomingdales and Macys. Clothes wise I didn’t really do too much as I really went for the American beauty but I did love the Guess that was downtown as they released a new collection while we were there so me and Jack both picked up a t-shirt from that.
I’d recommend doing all your shopping in the downtown/Soho area as it has all the same shops as uptown but they are slightly quieter and it is easier to get around.
What to do
As it was my first time in New York I wanted to tick off all the classic tourist spots. So we did the Top of the Rock which is my favourite view of Manhattan, Empire State Building, Central Park, Broadway show, Times Square, Brooklyn Bridge, Statue of Liberty etc.
As our itinerary was quite jam-packed I’m going to upload a separate post detailing our itinerary, what we did and how we planned it all so we could fit everything in.
Some things that might not be so typical that we did was we actually went to a Yankee baseball game, it was extremely fun and cool to see life outside of Manhattan.
Things I want to do next time
Walk the high line
Explore more of Central Park: go on a bike ride, rent a boat or go in a horse and carriage.
Eat out at more places
Go to a rooftop bar