New York – the most famous city in the whole world. There’s a good reason, why it’s called “the city that never sleeps”. There always something you can do by day or at night, and that’s why it’s impossible to see everything in a week. I had the opportunity to spend 3 weeks in New York, so I had enough time to see almost everything I had on my bucket list (almost everything). Based on this, I’ve compiled a list of the best things to do if you’re spending 7 days in New York City.
New York is huuuuuge – please don’t underestimate this! That’s why it impossible to go see attractions for example on the Upper East Side and then Downtown in one day. You would lose so much time driving around the city and end up seeing only 2 attractions a day and extremely exhausted. That’s why I organized this itinerary so that on each day you visit the places that are not far apart from each other. Now let’s get started 🙂
1. Statue of Liberty
Visiting New York City without taking a look at the city’s most famous landmark is virtually unthinkable. There is a plethora of ways to do it, but in my opinion, the best and the cheapest (or more precisely – free) way to do it is to take the Staten Island Ferry. From the deck of the ferry you’ll have a perfect view of the Statue of Liberty and the skyline of Lower Manhattan. However, if you want to go directly to Liberty Island, make sure to reserve tickets a month or two in advance. We unfortunately didn’t do it, so we couldn’t visit it.
2. Wall Street
After visiting the Statue of Liberty, take a walk to the famous Wall street, which is just about 10 minutes walking distance from the Whitehall Terminal. Did you know that Wall Street got its name after an actual wall that was erected in the 17th century and formed the northern border of Manhattan? Back then, the people actually thought that Manhattan would never grow northern of the Wall (and today, the Wall Street is located in Lower Manhattan. Funny, right?) Must sees: The New York Stock Exchange and the Charging Bull.
3. 9/11 Memorial
The 9/11 Memorial is just about 10 minutes walking distance from Wall Street, so it’s quite convenient to see this landmark too when you’re already nearby. The 9/11 Memorial is a memorial site for the ones who lost their lives in the attacks of September 11, 2001. The cascading reflecting pools, where the names of those who died are inscribed, make really your flesh crawl.
4. Pastrami Sandwich at Katz’s Deli
After you’re finished with sightseeing, you’ve definitely deserved a little treat for your tummy. Since it’s not so far away, I would recommend getting the legendary pastrami sandwich. A pastrami sandwich is one of the typical New York dishes you mustn’t miss when you’re visiting New York City. The most famous and the best one you’ll get at Katz’s Delicatessen which is located on the Lower East Side, more precisely on 205 East Houston Street. Plus you’ll get the opportunity to eat at the place where Meg Ryan faked an orgasm in „When Harry Met Sally“. I love this movie 🙂
Note: the sandwich is too big for one person. Me and my husband had just one and we were totally sated. Since it’s so big, don’t be surprised that you’ll spend about 20 bucks on a sandwich :D.
1. Shopping on 5th Avenue
A heaven for every fashionista – the world’s best known shopping street. My recommendations: Saks Fifth Avenue, Henry Bendel (a must for all Gossip Girl fans!) and Bergdorf Goodman.
2. Shake Shack in Madison Square Park
A shopping tour along 5th Avenue can be really exhausting (especially if you are like me and want to look into every shop). A great way to relax is to go to one of the parks (for this day I’ve picked the Madison Square Park) and have something to eat. One of my favorite parks is the Madison Square park, but why? Because there you can have one of the best burgers – at Shake Shack, relax in the beautiful park and enjoy the view of the magnificent Flatiron Building – a perfect combination.
3. Empire State Building
The late afternoon is the perfect time for visiting the top of the Empire State Building. Even though it doesn’t offer the best view of the skyline, going to the top of the world’s most famous skyscraper is a must. However, if you don’t want to spend hours waiting in the line, I warmly recommend buying the CityPass New York with which you can just skip the line. In these 2 pictures you can see the view from the Empire State Building. Although it is not the skyline you expect to see (since the ESB is not there), it’s still breathtaking.
Love this view of the Bryant Park. Beautiful.
1. The Plaza Hotel
The third day we go back to the 5th Avenue and visit „the world-renowned Plaza Hotel. New York’s most exciting hotel experience“, as it’s described in Home Alone 2. If this movie has shaped your childhood as mine, then you just have to visit this stunning building. Especially if you’re visiting New York now around Christmas, the experience will be perfect. In the basement of the hotel, there is a food court, which offers a great variety of food exquisite deserts (the macarons are highly recommended). Great for a nice breakfast.
2. Central Park
Since the Plaza Hotel is located right at the Central Park, take the opportunity and go into the probably most known park in the whole world – with good reason. It’s just unbelievably beautiful. Just take a stroll through the park and enjoy the nature. Please, don’t underestimate the size of it – I would recommend spending at least a half day in the park. There is so much to do. If you plan visiting NYC in the summer, I also really recommend going to the open air cinema in the Central Park. Take a blanket and some snacks (although you actually don’t need any snacks, since there is free popcorn for everyone) and enjoy the movie. This was one of my most beautiful experiences in New York. If you’re visiting now in the winter, ice skating in the park is a must-do.
3. Top of the Rock
The late afternoon is again the time to enjoy the breathtaking skyline of the city – you have the opportunity to see it at daylight and when it gets dark, you can savor the shiny lights of the skyscrapers. The observation deck of the Rockefeller Center offers the greatest view of Manhattan’s skyline. Isn’t it too beautiful? Oh, I miss this place so much!
4. Cocktails at a rooftop bar
Having a cocktail at one of the many rooftop bars the city offers is a perfect end of a day in New York. My favorite rooftop bar is Mad46 Rooftop Lounge at the Roosevelt Hotel, 45 E 45th Street. It’s romantic, it’s quiet, the view is stunning and the cocktails perfect.
That’s all for the first three days, since you don’t want to get too exhausted :). Believe me, I made the mistake and wanted to see everything on the first day. I ended up being so exhausted that it wasn’t fun anymore. In the next few days, we’ll proceed with itineraries for the remaining days, so make sure to stay tuned :).