New York is the first city that springs to mind when British people talk of ‘crossing over the pond’. The city’s choicest buildings and memorable yellow taxis have graced our cinema and television screens for so long that they’ve acquired an iconic status in our imagination.
New York City is a sprawling metropolis like no other. It offers innumerable opportunities for dining, shopping, and sightseeing. It’s ironic but this very paradox of choice leads to completely clueless tourists running from one end to the other, trying to ‘see’ everything or cross everything off their checklist.
Given the hundreds of things to do in New York, seeing everything is physically impossible. If you’re visiting New York City, make sure you research in advance and find things that suit your temperament. If you love architecture, the skyscrapers of Manhattan should feature heavily on your itinerary. If you’re interested in diversity and street art, then hit Brooklyn. On the other hand, if you enjoy devouring art in museums, then you should spend a significant amount of your time in the city at the famed Museum Mile, home to amazing museums including the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), The Jewish Museum, Guggenheim Museum and many more.
However before you plan your trip to New York and devour all it has to offer make sure you acquire a permit to visit USA by filling the ESTA application. The ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorisation) process is necessary but it isn’t cumbersome in any way, shape, or form. Just make sure you’re have your credit or debit card handy when you fill the form online. If you manage to fill in the form successfully and provide all relevant information, you can get hold of your permit within 24 hours. However, we suggest playing it safe and applying at least a week in advance.
Once you have your permit, you can begin dreaming about your vacation in the Big Apple and fleshing an itinerary. If you’re visiting New York for the first time, the likes of The Empire State Building and The Statue of Liberty will definitely feature on your programme. If you’re a Sex And The City fan, then you might want to visit a few iconic locations that made an appearance in the famed TV series or hop on to The Staten Island Ferry. But what after you’ve done all that? Here are some of our favourite things to do in New York after you’ve covered the touristy bits :-
1) Go for a walk around Greenwich Village
Greenwich village is the bohemian, artsy corner of New York. Here vintage boutiques vie for attention alongside thrift shops, independent cafes, and artisan bakeries. This is our favourite area of New York city – it never disappoints!
2) Explore Williamsburg, Brooklyn
As Greenwich Village continues to become gentrified, there are other alternative pockets developing in New York City. Williamsburg is just one such eclectic area. There are a number of cutting edge art galleries in this neighbourhood and the (in)famous Brooklyn Sunday flea market is around the corner. One thing is for sure – there’s never a dearth of things to do in this trendy neighbourhood
3) Visit New Haven, Connecticut for a day trip
New Haven might be known for being home to Yale University but there’s much more to this city than just that. The area is peppered with wine trails and scenic drives and is absolutely magical during fall. Rent a car and drive down to New Haven for a fun day trip from New York – make sure to stop at a pumpkin patch or two if you visit the area during Autumn months.
4) Go shopping in New Jersey
This might seem like a strange tip but trust us on this one. Parts of New Jersey (for eg. Hoboken) are just a 15 minute train ride away from the madness of Manhattan but they seem like a world away. If you want to go shopping in New York (and let’s face it, who doesn’t?), then it’s best to escape to the malls in neighbouring New Jersey. They’re much less crowded and make shopping so much more fun. After all, who wants to queue up at the till in Forever 21 on Times Square? Not us!!
What are your favourite things to do in New York?