New York City has something for everyone. From a single woman or man who wants to go out at night to a family who wants to explore the city with huge skyscrapers and see the Statue of Liberty. From shopaholics who can shop-till-they-drop in this city to a person who wants to find some peace and quiet in Central Park, rent a bike or make a long walk.
When to go? Always! Spring is gorgeous with the flowers popping up in Central Park. Summer with the many festivals and things-to-do all over the city. Fall with the colored leaves and the Thanksgiving Parade. Winter with the famous Christmas tree at Rockefeller Centre, ice-skating at Central Park and the many decorations all over the city!
Length of the stay
I’ve been to NY for 1 day, 2 days and even 5 days. It depends on what you want to see and do. At a daytrip you can catch the vibe of this city. Two or three days you got the chance to see the most important highlights and maybe visit one or two museums. I`ve put together an itinerary of my personal experiences if you`re going 3 days to NYC. If you have five days, then you even have more time to shop! 🙂
Arrival at Newark International Airport (EWR) instead of JFK, my personal thoughts on the advantages are: smaller airport, less crowded and modern building. However the terminal I flew in last time (Terminal 8) was renewed.
Continental airlines, airline hub (transfer point and headquarters) in Newark. I had several good experiences with this airline.
Ways to get to New York
Super shuttle Con’s: If you’re unlucky and you have a lot of fellow passengers, it takes you a bit longer to get to your hotel. Because sometimes their hotel location comes first. Pro’s: It’s cheaper because it’s shared. And it has a hotel to hotel service!
Newark Liberty Airport Express There is a bus every 15 minutes, from morning till late. Price is 25 dollars for a return ticket (15 dollar, one way). It takes you about 45 minutes to get downtown (depending on traffic of course). It makes stops at Port Authority, Bryant Park and Grand Central Station.
Air train Never tried this way, but I read that it makes 2 stops. But the advantage is: no traffic!
Taxi It’s more expensive (last time it was around 65 dollars without toll and tip), except if you’re with 4 or more persons.
Helicopter I haven’t tried this one (yet!), but it’s a possibility.
Holiday Inn New York City-Midtown (44Owest 57th street) I thought the rooms were nice, clean, friendly service. And it’s close to Columbus Circle and Central Park.
TIP: Check out ‘Le pain Quotidien’. Very good for breakfast! Try the basket for two! This is also a nice place to pick up a snack for during the day.
Salisbury Hotel (123 West 57th street) This hotel is even closer to Central Park and Le Pain Quotidien. 🙂 Clean and very spacious rooms!
Courtyard® by Marriott® New York Manhattan/Fifth Avenue (3 East 40th Street) Comfortable rooms, Marriott quality. It is close to Fifth Avenue and Bryant Park. But more expensive than the previous hotels I described.
Hotel The Muse (130 West 46Th Street) Location, location, location. If you walk out the street, you`re at Times Square. Close to Rockefeller Center, Fifth Avenue,… Boutique hotel with comfortable beds.
City Sights NY offers for one price: a 48 hours ‘hop-on hop-off’ ticket, a ticket for a boat trip and entrance to 2 museums. Down tour and Up tour, both very good! Because you also get to see Brooklyn. Don’t forget the night tour! And at night you can see the Brooklyn bridge from other side! (There are several other companies offering similar tours, but I used this one and was a satisfied customer.)
Statue of Liberty probably one of the biggest highlights of New York City!
Times Square: very busy. You have to see this by night. M&M world, largest Toys R Us with carrousel for kids. If you have kids with you, don’t forget besides Toys R Us with an actual Ferris wheel in the store (!), to pay a visit at FAO Swartz (this is on Fifth Avenue) with the giant piano where you can play music using your feet!
Central Park is nice and quiet! Great for walks. Or just sitting on the Great Lawn. I just love this park! It always amazes me how quiet it is even though you’re in the middle of a busy city.
Grand Central, this beautiful building is more than a busy station. If you don’t want to miss anything in the terminal, you can take a guided tour. There are also events planned here during the year, because of the amazing setting!
Instead of the Empire State Building, go on Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Plaza.
You can overview Central Park AND see the Empire State Building!
If you want to see more views over NY, take a helicopter flight! (I haven’t done this yet over New York, only over the Grand Canyon, but I can imagine over a city as New York, it must be amazing.)
Fifth Avenue is the place to be for stores from famous designers, but also Gap and Abercrombie & Fitch… are located here. In Greenwich Village and Soho you can find more shops. These are special and smaller, more vintage. I can give you lots of advice on shopping, but it depends on what you’re looking for. Clothing, kids toys, home interior, decoration,… Just fill in my contact form!
Serendipity3 is a place you just have to check out, if you like desserts and chocolate. (I do 🙂 They serve lunch and dinner too! But I went looking for it after I saw the amazing sundaes in the movie ‘Serendipity’. And I have to say, they don’t just look good! It’s located at 225 East 60th Street (between 2nd and 3rd Avenues). When I went, it was packed! You can make reservations, but only for lunch or dinner, not for desserts. They open at 11.30 am.
More food suggestions: Eating Places in New York
Website of NY city for more information.