There are all kinds of cities in the world, each with its own unique atmosphere. Some are soothing (Prague) some romantic (Paris) and some are historic (Berlin). New York? Its atmosphere is complete maddness. I came back yet again from this amazing city not too long ago – truly a city that never sleeps. In such big cities, with such an abundant amount of possibilities, I keep feeling I’m not going to be able to make it all happen – I’m here only for 10 days (two weeks, it doesn’t matter!), every second counts!
This race after ‘doing it all’ is very tiring, for me at least. If you, too, suffer from this tendency, I tell you – let go! You can’t ‘do it all’ in New York, be in a number of places at once. In such cities, every second something cool happens, and if you attend one hot event – chances are, you missed a dozen of others. I teach myself to breathe deep, enjoy the moment and…. I’m still not good at it, but I’m trying!
And still – here are my top 10 recomendations for New York (on top of shopping, restaurants and all that). You don’t have to do them all in one visit, really. Pick and choose what you like and save the rest for next time. Even this list is a sum of a few visits. Enjoy!
1. See the Statue of Liberty from above
We did this on our last family visit to the city, and enjoyed it so much – both adults and teenagers, who are famously difficult to please. To rise above the city, and see it from above, including the statue of liberty, to get a unique perspective on the skyscrapers, while Alicia Keys’ powerful song ‘New York’ plays in the background – priceless. Not cheap for sure, but unforgettable – book in advance, and know that since the chopper has 6 places, there will be other people with you if you don’t fill the seats. It doesn’t bother however. Where to book? These are Tripadvisor’s 10 best recomendations.
2. Picnic at Central Park
Central Park is an amazing place providing tons of attractions for the whole family. In good weather, spending half a day here is easy. If you’re into picnics, do what I did with my daughter – on Columbus square, go to the supermarket and buy a picnic bag. Then rent a bike and head in! We did it when she was 10, and she still remembers it! It could be a family, or a romantic experience, to your choosing.
3.Be a celebrity for a minute
What’s more American than cruising the city streets in a long stretch limo with music, plus waving to passerbys on Times Square through the window? Making selfies, yelling, laughing and being silly? It’s kitchy but fun, and if you’re kids-free, do it in the evening with a splash of alcohol. Great mood for the night – and the next day – is guaranteed. I did it with my daughter and I promise – you’ll never forget it!
Mariya Nicole Photography
4. Tour Chelsea galleries
Chelsea is a great area to walk around. It’s famous for the galleries – around 400, and it’s impossible to go through them all (plus, you have to know wehere to go!) For this reason, I recommend booking a private tour or joining a group. I really liked our guide, who spoke in an aproachable, clear way, and the tour itself – not only for art collectors! After the tour you can keep walking around, of course. It’s good for kids, but only if they’re patient, like my daughter :) Book with Gabriella, the tour operator, here.
5. Alladin for the whole family
There are endless musicals in New York, but this one is relatively new – and it’s an amazing experience for all senses. Despite its ‘childish’ name, I highly recommend watching with the whole family, not only kids. You’ll have a great time! The production is spectacular with music, stage design, costumes and acting like no other. James Monroe Eaglehart, who plays the genie, even won a Tony for his role, and rightfully so.
6. Enjoying the sights
Get out of Manhattan and check out the Dumbo, on the other side of the river, under the Brooklyn bridge. The view of Manhattan is incredible, so pick a day with clear air. Click here for more photos in daylight. .
7. Remember September 11
A visit at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, including the new mall built there recently, is, in my opinion, a must for everyone. The place retells the tragedy of 2011 – yeare went by, but sadly terrorism has only escalated since and expanded everywhere in the world. A sad, impressive and touching place, fit for children too – but maybe not the smallest ones. Tickets can be bought here. And as for the new Westfield World Trade Center – it’s an architecturally stunning place!
8. Whitney Museum
This time, in addition to all the famous museums – Metropolitain and Gugenhaim for example, I also went to the Whitney and loved it, for the exhibitions and the building itself. There’s something very pleasant about it – it’s relatively small (3 floors), located in the Meatpacking District, and the view from the balconies is spectacular. You must stop there to soak it in. Tickets are best bought in advance and the museum is closed on Tuesday. On the first floor there’s an excellent restaurant, ideal for nibbling before exploring further.
9. Witness Woody Allen Playing Jazz
I found out only recently, and want to share – I haven’t had a chance to see it, but I fully intent to try this unique experience on my next visit. At the Carlyle, on 77 Madison Av, Woody Allen himself (one of the people I admire most!) plays on the piano every Monday, at the hotel bar. Honestly, I’m thrilled to even think I could see him up close. You can order tickets here, preferably way in advance, one you know your flight’s dates. I tried to obtain them this visit, but unsuccessfully.
10. Watch an NBA game
Another thing you can only do in NYC is experiencing a basketball game by the world’s leading league! You don’t have to be a basketball fan to enjoy the atmosphere, just like you don’t have to be a soccer fan to love sEeing Messi in Barcelona or Ronaldo in Madrid. It’s worth checking if there’s a game during your visit and ordering tickets. It’s a once in a lifetime experience, for men, women and kids, with crazy energy!
You can find more New York tips here .
Got recommendations of your own? Tell me in the comments!