Knowledge Forum

Search for a question...

...or ask one

Ask a question

First Time In New York, what are your must-do's

It will actually be my first time in New York later this year. I have things I'd like to do, but what are your must-do's and preference of hop on/off or tours?? Any Broadway shows we should see, secret shopping places (especially for shoes!)

Comments:

Must dos are The Highline, a fabulous park on a disused railway track above street level that you can walk along, the USS Intrepid/Space Shuttle on the waterfront, Urban Safari Private Walking tour with Jim Dykes, take the Staten Island ferry to get onto the harbour and the trip is FREE. Galaxy Diner on 48th & 9th Ave is a great for breakfast. Try the subway it is fun. Book your Broadway shows before you go as at the moment a lot of the popular ones are booked out for weeks and you may miss out. If there for a long time I would recommend the New York CityPASS it does save you heaps. Walk or bike the Brooklyn Bridge. Another suggestion is head down to Asbury Park with New Jersey Transit train, only 1.30 hours and a nice day at the beach only US$15 each way. Depart from Penn Station. Apple Greeter-this was free and the guy that takes you around is wonderful Open Table to book restaurants-you can book your special nights out on this website Book Empire State Building and Statue of Liberty online- to avoid crowds and a wait for security checks - Debby McRobbie | Senior Travel Consultant on Tue, 06/16/2015 - 04:38


Add a comment or answer the question below.

16 answers


Grab a New York City Pass to get the main things a tourist would want to see - a 9 day pass includes the Guggenheim, MOMA, Top of the rock, Statue of Liberty or Circle Line cruise and much more - all at a saving compared to buying on the ground!!!! Shopping - thats hard to recommend as there is so much to buy!!! But there are so many options, including outlets just out of town where some amazing bargains can be found!

answered on 16/06/2015
Your Profile Image
Matt Grigg
Flight Centre Group Travel Group Travel Manager
Answered on 16/06/2015
Comments:

I Personally found that using the water taxi's were another really awesome way of getting around Manhatten and other area's. They start from the wharf area just down from Times Square and take you down to Wall Steet, Battery Park (you can walk to the 9/11 Memorial from either of these ports), Brooklyn where you have have pizza's at two of the original pizza palours in New York, and then you float infront of the Statue of Liberty so you can take some photo's. They have running commentary, and it's just a cool and relaxed way to get around. Stopping and spending time at the Brooklyn port was definitely a must do, the pizza was amazing, and you can take some really cool photos with the Brooklyn Bridge. Just FYI don't go around 4pm because that's generally when they clean out the pizza ovens before the night rush starts, so you can experience come wait. The Lion King on Broadway is amazing, a definite must see. I love New York, have an amazing time!!

answered on 16/06/2015
Your Profile Image
Rebecca Rose
Flight Centre Team Leader
Answered on 16/06/2015
Comments:

DSW Shoe Warehouse- DSW is arguably the best place in the city to go for discounted designer shoes. From Alexander McQueen to Stella McCartney, Pucci to Missoni, and everything in between, you can find the high-end and low-end side by side in this huge, reasonably priced shoe store.

SERENDIPITY - 225 E 60th St, New York, NY 10022 

If you like the movie, Serendipity, you have to go the restaurant used in the movie, of the same name. You can't book, so you have to get their early for a table. We got there at 11.00am for a Noon seating for lunch. Amazing desserts, but a huge menu.

 

Comments:

Must dos are The Highline, a fabulous park on a disused railway track above street level that you can walk along, the USS Intrepid/Space Shuttle on the waterfront, Urban Safari Private Walking tour with Jim Dykes, take the Staten Island ferry to get onto the harbour and the trip is FREE. Galaxy Diner on 48th & 9th Ave is a great for breakfast. Try the subway it is fun. Book your Broadway shows before you go as at the moment a lot of the popular ones are booked out for weeks and you may miss out. If there for a long time I would recommend the New York CityPASS it does save you heaps. Walk or bike the Brooklyn Bridge. Another suggestion is head down to Asbury Park with New Jersey Transit train, only 1.30 hours and a nice day at the beach only US$15 each way. Depart from Penn Station. Apple Greeter-this was free and the guy that takes you around is wonderful Open Table to book restaurants-you can book your special nights out on this website Book Empire State Building and Statue of Liberty online- to avoid crowds and a wait for security checks – Debby McRobbie | House of Travel Hastings 2 seconds ago

Comments:

If you complete the NYC Travel Training Academy, you'll be elgible for a number of discounts/free admission to various attractions, tours and activites. You'll also receive a free City Pass. 

The below link is where you'll find the program; it's quick and easy to do. 

http://www.nyctrainingacademy.com/login/ 

Comments:

I'm with Rebecca, complete the training and you'll have access to heaps of things. I loved the hop on/off, and I also did the Slice of Brooklyn which was really cool.  The free Staten Island Ferry is awesome.

Take your walking shoes and walk, it's the best way to see NYC, wander around Central Park, and a carriage ride is cool as corny as it seems. I love watching the squirrels as well!

The water taxis are cool as is a harbour cruise around Manhattan.

People watch in Times Square, so interesting!

Enjoy!

Comments:

Go to the top of both the Rockefellar Centre and the Empire State for two different points of view.  And now One World Trade is open, visit that as well.  The hop on hop off is the best way to go, espeically if you are time poor.  You just stay on the bus for any of the loops and you still get to see everything.  Make sure you do their night tour as well.  It is fantastic.  

Visit FAO Schwartz to play on the piano from the movie BIG.  

I was lucky enough to meet the Naked Cowboy a few years ago.  Not sure if he is still rocking out in Times Square.  

On a more sombre side, the reflection pools at Ground Zero are amazing.  Gives you an idea of the footprint of the twin towers, and perspective into what happened on 9/11.

I will be in New York from 17-20 July so will add more when I get back.

Comments:

That's true. I found out FAO Schwartz had now closed. - Karen Coggan | Travel Consultant on Tue, 07/21/2015 - 06:44


Add a comment or answer the question below.

Just back last Saturday from New York and the new Observation Deck at the One World Trade Centre is worth seeing on the 101st - 103rd floors, must book a time if you want avoid queing for hours, we booked 5.30pm and walked straight in bypassing a line that went around the block! Personally the view from the Rockerfeller Center Building in mid town is more 'New York', more impressive as you are outside and right amongst the buildings and you can see Central Park from there.

High Line is a must, do the whole 1.5 mile walk, Circle Line cruise is always good, gives you an excellent skyline view of Manhattan and the sights such as Statue of Liberty and Brooklyn Bridge.

If you like Seafood try a little chain call Luke's Lobster and try the Lobster Roll, not cheap up yummo!!

You can't go to NYC without going to Central Park, fantastic open space, take a packed lunch and enjoy the people watching and dog walkers!

 

 

Comments:

I was going to say the new Obsevation Deck at the Freedom tower as it has just opened.  

Visit the M&M's shop in Times Square to see all the different flavours and colours that adorn the walls in their plastic tubes.  It is amazing how much stuff is devoted to this chocolate.

And then there is the Hershey's store across the street where you can stock up on your kisses and even more chocolate.

Nothing beats a carriage ride through Central Park.  In winter you get a blanket for your lap to make it more cosy.  Summer is just as brilliant.

And you can't go past sitting on the red stairs in Times Square and just people watching.  So many people doing so many things.  It is amazing.  The city does not sleep.

Comments:

Hi Linda, 

For your first time in New York you'll want to tick off many of the 'must see' items mentioned above...and definitely see the city from above - whether you choose the iconicEmpire State Building, the lofty 'Top of the Rock' or the new One World Observatory, BOOK AHEAD and avoid queues!!

You mentioned hop on/hop off tours - I recommend doing the downtown loop only, the uptown loop focuses more on architecture but you'd be better served walking through Central Park and down the Museum Mile section of Fifth rather than sitting in the cold on a double decker stuck in traffic. If you do the downtown loop, you can get off at Battery Park and see Wall Street, the 9/11 Memorial and take the free Staten Island Ferry (mentioned above) to see Lady Liberty herself...this would be a morning or afternoon well spent.  When you get off the ferry, you are very close to Century 21 a discount department store, great for shoes!!

If you want a couple of more off the tourist path experiences but still ticking off some great New York sights, I recommend the follows;

1) The Municipal Art Society (MAS) runs really interesting tours, often to far less visited parts of New York for about $20pp.  You can do a tour of Harlem, Brooklyn's Bazaars, Williamsburgs and everything in between. The guides are usually excellent.  More info at http://www.mas.org/ under the tours tab.

2) Definitely walk the Highline - I'd suggest starting at 30th St and walking south towards Chelsea Market.  Chelsea Market is an awesome spot for lunch, forage or browse but to take it to the next level you can do a NYC food tour http://www.foodsofny.com/. Delicious! The Standard Hotel is also an excellent place to have a Manhattan(!) but be warned there is a dress code and it's fancy!

3) For something hipster and cool head to the Brooklyn Night Bazaar (take a cab!).  It's funky, it's fun, there's a market with jewelery, clothes and nik naks, there's fantastic food, live entertainment and arcade games.  Only on Friday and Saturday nights 7pm until 1am. http://bkbazaar.com/

You also mentioned shows...if you're in New York close to Christmas, try to catch something quintessentially 'NYC Winter' like the Nutcracker or the Rockettes!

Have a brilliant trip.  Jealous. 

answered on 01/07/2015
Your Profile Image
Grace McLean
Academy Travel Manager
Answered on 01/07/2015
Comments:

I would get the New York Pass and combine it with the hop on and off bus! Great value and easiest way to get around, without having to line up to get into attractions like the Empire Stare Building.

If you complete the NYC training at http://www.nyctrainingacademy.com/login/ you get a lot of different benefits for completing it.

answered on 07/07/2015
Your Profile Image
Christina Moir
Escape Travel Travel Consultant
Answered on 07/07/2015
Comments:

Hi Linda,

I just love NYC! If you are interested in seeing Museums, you could opt to get the New York City Pass and since you've pre paid, you can often go to the pre-paid line which is a lot quicker.

I always buy a 1 week subway pass as it is THE way to get around, cost for 7 days is $30 + $1 for the card.

If you want to see the big green lady and go into the Crown, you need book direct with Statue Cruises about 5 months in advance (I booked in June for November). Booking with Statue Cruises is the only way to get in.

If you want to see the 9/11 memorial, that is free and they've done a really lovely job. The museum has an entry free and I'm glad I did it when I went back but completley understand if you don't want to do it.

Take a stroll through Central Mark and don't forget to visit "The Mall" which is where a lot of movies/TV shows are filmed. Strawberry Fields is at the corner of W 72nd & Central Park West, you can visit the tribute to John Lennon - the Imagine mosaic.

A visit to the Empire Building is a must - we did this during the date and Top of the Rock as night. Don't let the long ques put you off, they do move! If you are going to any attraction, there will be secuirty. We went in summer the frist time which wasn't a problem but when we were there in November, we had to take all of our layers off (jackets, scarfs, beanies ect) every time we went through secuirty so that can be a bit tideous!

If you are arriving/departing NY from an airport, it is best to book a private car transfer. We did the super shuttle frist time round and I thought we were going to die coming in from JFK to the Beacon Hotel (OMG it was horrible). It was just horrednous. I have used dial 7 https://www.dial7.com/ and our family in NY have said that Carmel Limo is good also https://www.carmellimo.com/

Have a fab time in NY!! Hope this info helps :)

 

Comments:

If possible, book a crown tour at the Statue of Liberty- its a long way to the top, but worth it- Amazing place to be. I would also get a New York pass- they list so many attraction, which are included, and skip the line. But not worry about the bus- this we found a hassle to find the bus stops and figure out where to convert tickets! Instead, use the subway- Fast and convenient, a week ticket is about $30USD. Also- bike around central park! An absolute must! - Ashlee Lorenz | Travel Consultant on Tue, 07/07/2015 - 06:10


Add a comment or answer the question below.

If you are a Broadway fan I suggest you join Playbill.com as that is where you can get discount tickets but it also lets you know which ones have lottery tickets before the shows. Also the best news for theatre fans. Tops must see shows at the moment would be Fun House, Kinky Boots and Something Rotten. but there are lots of great shows currently on.

Your best views of NYC are the Rockafeller. If you go to the Top of the Rock you get your iconic New York pics. Dont be fooled by those whio say go to the Empire State Building as if you are up there you can not get the iconic pic of the Emipre State Building in there . Rockafeller you get that beautiful panoramic pic.

An afternoon walking around Central Park is a must. I was lucky enough to stumble upon some AMAZING busters but also in a small nook there were people reciting shakespeare sonnets on a little stage.  

Museums my must see are the Gugenheim and the Frick Gallery but also the Sex Museum is something totally out there too.

Shopping wise you need to get one of the day tours that goes out of town to the Outlet malls. Nothing better than snapping up those bargins and coming back with shoes that would cost 4 times as much here.

Soho is the best shopping for chic boutique but if you are wanting more department store the go to Macys. If you take in your passport you get a discount card for all your purchases. 

 

 

Comments:

Thankyou everyone for your fantastic advice. I love the idea of doing the training too, that way I learn as I go.

And for your detailed responses too, greatly appreciated.

Comments:

Linda

Another great option if you are there over spring/summer is to go to either a Mets or Yankees baseball game. Singalong at the bottom of the 4th innings eat a hotdog and candycorn - the game maybe great as well :)

Also if time permits visit the other burroughs as there is lots to see and do there as well especially the Bronx on a tour - take part in a church choir etc. In Queens there is Palm Meadows for the US Open tennis and the park where the world exhibition was held, the science centre and if you love music the Louis Armstrong museum.

Brooklyn has some fabulous markets and greta restaurants. There is so much to do in NYC you have to go back a few times.

answered on 07/07/2015
Your Profile Image
Anne Bain
AccessAbility Travel Consultant
Answered on 07/07/2015
Comments:

Apart from all the above tips. Don't be afraid to wander.  Pretty much no -where in Manhattan is off limits, and you can find some amazing places by just exploring, such as the Maiden Lane Sidewalk Clock, the World War II figher plane on the Water Street Rooftop, or remnants of the Berlin Wall in Paley Park. Over Summer, join the New Yorkers and watch free outdoor movies at venues such as Coney Island or Bryant Park, crowed, but fun and free.

Best place for a Cosmo!! The R Lounge at Two Times Square @ Renaissance Times Square Hotel.  Just go for a drink & nibbles and you have floor to ceiling views over Times Square.

Comments:

Your Answer

CAPTCHA This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.