30 Mar 2018

The Only New York City Travel Guide You Will Need!

Since I remember, New York City has always been on my list to visit! Due to other commitments, I have never been able too and in all fairness, it is a pretty expensive trip so it wasn't something I could afford back then. This year I was meant to go to Dubai but that changed and instead, I ended up in New York, and boy am I glad I did! It was one of the best travel decisions I have made so far and it's now my top city to travel too. I am already planning to go again next year or the year after!

Where I stayed
As we all know NYC can be expensive or very expensive! I booked my trip again with British Airways - if you guys have read my previous travel blog posts you will know I have had good experience with them, therefore, keep going back to book holiday packages with them. Saying that though this time the experience wasn't great which I will go into more detail later on in another post! I stayed at Holiday Inn in Lower East Side and it cost roughly around £800 for a whole week (flights and hotel), bargain ey?!

About the location
Before I booked this hotel I was debating whether I should stay in Times Square or Financial District or somewhere more central, but all the hotels which were central they all had some extra charges such as taxes to be paid at the hotel as well as having to pay for WiFi. This all adds up so in the end I went with my gut instinct and went with Holiday Inn in LES. 
My experience in LES as a female was great, never did I once feel unsafe. Even walking back to the hotel at 11pm. The area itself is a little run down compared to other parts of New York, however, there is the beauty of art as you walk through LES. Next door there is Little Italy and Chinatown, both areas full of culture, atmosphere and a different lifestyle! LES had plenty of cheap food places such as pizza, bakery, tacos, Thai and Indian. I thought this location was very convenient, we walked everywhere, and when I say everywhere I mean everywhere! We walked from the hotel all the way to Times Square and Central Park - up to 86th St for Ultra (Ofc I needed to pick up Shape Tape concealer!). We also walked all the way south to battery park to get on the cruise for Statue Of Liberty, 9/11 Memorial, and Financial District. Then we walked to Brooklyn Bridge as well the opposite side to Soho, Hells Kitchen etc! Yes a lot of walking, but I believe that is the only way to make sure you have seen everything! Therefore for me, I give this location a good 8/10! 

Things to see/places to visit in no particular order
  1. Empire State building
  2. Statue Of Liberty
  3. Top of the Rocks (Preferred this over ESB)
  4. Times Square
  5. 9/11 Memorial
  6. Cental Park
  7. Grand Terminal Station
  8. Brooklyn Bridge
  9. Ellis Island
  10. Washington Park
  11. Union Park
  12. 56th - 58th St 5th and 6th Avenue (Designer shops)
  13. Soho area
  14. Chinatown
  15. Wall Street
  16. Federal Reserve Tour (Can book free tickets online 30 days in advance)
  17. Williamsburg Bridge
  18. Manhattan Bridge
  19. World Trade Centre
  20. Meatpacking district
  21. Madison Square Park
  22. Rockefeller Centre
  23. Museum of the city of New York
  24. St Patricks Cathedral
  25. Lower East and West Side
Shopping (my favs!)
  1. CVS
  2. Sephora
  3. Macy's
  4. Ultra
  5. Bloomingdales
  6. Nordstrom
  7. Century21
  8. Best Buy
  9. Whole Foods Market
  10. Walmart
  11. Bed, Bath and Beyond
Food places
Ok, so this all depends on personal preferences and what you guys like to eat. I am pretty easy going when it comes to food as long as it tastes nice. Here are the places which I have tried and liked. These places are more budget friendly and not the typical Instagramable places except for the last five on the list! Again in no particular order...
  • Chipotle (these restaurants are everywhere!)
  • Halal guys on 6th Avenue, 53rd St
  • Tai Thai on E 1st St
  • Goa Tacos on Delancy Street
  • Cookie Dough confections on LaGuardia Pl near Washington Park
  • Ahisma - Indian Vegetarian restaurant on Thompson St - must say wasn't keen on staff there!
  • Shake Shack 
  • Essex Market which sells authentic doughnuts which are yummy!
  • 99C Pizza store next to Holiday Inn on Delancy Street
  • Russ and Daughter Cafe on Allen Street
  • Beauty and Essex on Essex Street
  • Le Souk which is a Morrocan place near the cookie dough shop
  • Laudree New York in Soho
  • La Esquina which is a Mexican on Cleveland Pl
7-day itinerary 
Day 1
This will depend on what time you get to the hotel, we reached the hotel by 2pm, freshened up and off we went to explore!
  • Williamsburg Bridge
  • Explored Lower East Side
  • Walked down to Manhattan Bridge
  • Tenement Museum
  • Explored Chinatown 
  • Explored Little Italy

Day 2
  • Walked to Washington Park
  • New York University
  • Greenwich Village
  • Union Square
  • Madison Square Park
Day 3
  • Statue Of Liberty
  • Ellis Island
  • Battery Park
  • Explored Financial District
  • Wall Street
  • 9/11 Memorial
  • World Trade Centre
  • Shopping at Century 21
  • If its time for the Sunset then walk up to Brooklyn Bridge
Day 4
  • Explored West Village
  • Explored Soho
  • Meatpacking District
  • Chelsea
  • Hudson
Day 5
  • Times Square
  • Herald Square
  • Empire State Building
  • Top of the rocks
  • Grand Terminal Station
  • United Nations
  • St Patricks Cathedral
Day 6
  • Rockefeller Centre
  • Times Square
  • Hells Kitchen
  • Central Park
  • Upper East Side
  • Upper West Side
  • Lincoln Centre
Day 7 and 8
  • Times Square
  • Shopping
  • Anything you want to re-do or missed out! 
So this was just an idea of what I got up to in New York! Don't forget to check out my Youtube video as well as my Instagram for travel photos! 

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