4 days in New York City
One of my first posts on this blog was about places I would love to visit again. New York City was no.1 on that list and about a year later, I OD’ed on NYC, visiting it 3 times thanks to friends and family who travelled to this part of the world. Fortunately, 4 trips later I have been able to see a considerable number of attractions in the city and have also more or less figured the insane alphanumeric addresses.
Enough and more has been written about what to see or do in New York, and there is no tourist attraction listed here that has not been mentioned over and over in blogs and articles. However, based on my personal experiences and trips so far, I have made a small list of places to visit and things to do if you have 4 days in New York City, especially if it is your first time here.
Day – 1
Eat at the Chelsea Market
It’s like a food fair of cuisines from all corners of the world in a colourful, quirky indoor set up. You can walk around in Chelsea Market with a glass of beer and a delicious Nutella crepes. It’s quite a task to pick what you want to eat from the wide collection of foods from all corners of the world. From vegan Sushi Bars to mini doughnut stands, this place is a bliss for food lovers.
Walk ‘The High Line’
Burn all those extra calories from eating by walking on the High Line. It is pretty much in walking distance from The Chelsea Market and has some really good views of the Manhattan skyline. An almost 1.5 mile long park built on an elevation is actually built on an unused portion of the NYC railway line.
Go Bar hopping in Midtown Manhattan
On my first trip to NYC, I went to Meat packing district, which is known for its high-end clubs and bars. However, on subsequent trips, I realised that it was the sit down lounge-y bars of the city that I enjoyed more. One such bar worth all your time and money is ‘230 5th’. Named after its address – 230th Street, 5th Avenue, it has the most stunning views of the Manhattan skyline. A large rooftop seating which has you covered during the winters with its warm red robes and heated blowers. You can enjoy your drinks and food with the Empire State Building shining bright in the backdrop.
Day – 2
The Manhattan cruise – Do it at least once and check it off your list!
No trip to NYC is complete without a cruise in the Hudson. The view of the Manhattan skyline as seen from the river is breathtaking. Usually these cruises last about 2 hours and depending on what you want to see, you can select the cruise online. They have choices ranging from basic cruises to brunch cruises, late night and party cruises. Most of them take you through the boroughs of Manhattan and finally the Statue of Liberty before heading back to the pier. BTW, you can even book a private cruise.
5th Avenue, Rockefeller Center, St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Bryant Park
Just walking around in 5th Avenue is a magical experience. Fancy shops, food carts, broad sidewalks and a lot of charm. If you are a movie buff, you might recognise a lot of these locations. If you are a shopaholic, you can go crazy shopping in this area.
Walk to the Rockefeller Center which is buzzing all through the year. Depending on the time of the year, you might see a summer concert or an ice skating rink. The Christmas Tree lighting at the Rockefeller Center is an event in itself. So if you ever find yourself in NYC around the holidays, you know where to go.
From Rockefeller Center, you can walk down to St. Patrick’s Cathedral. This is by far the most gorgeous and biggest Cathedral I’ve seen. Proof – Takes up an entire block on 5th Avenue.
Bryant Park is a cute little park in the middle of the city and another park that changes its appearance depending on the time of the year. Open bars running till midnight during summers; crafty christmas markets and ice skating during winters.
Eat Korean food in Korea town
Try out some authentic delicious Korean Bbq in Korea Town. The entire street is lined with Korean food places and a lot of them are open through the night. We ate at a small place called Muk Eun Ji and absolutely loved the food. Try out some of their signature dishes and with rice wine. This restaurant is open till 6 am and has special late night menu in case you get hungry after pulling an all nighter in the city.
Day – 3
Downtown and Midtown Manhattan
Once you reach Downtown Manhattan, all of these are within waking distance. Start with the 9/11 memorial. We skipped the museum because there’s usually a very long line for it. The memorial is open to all and is a really wonderful one.
From the memorial, walk down to Wall Street. On your way to Wall Street, take a break from all the walking and visit the Trinity Church. It’s amazing that in the middle of Wall Street, the hub of global capitalism, stands this peaceful historic and beautiful church as a symbol of love and spirituality.
Walk down to Wall Street, the place where all the magic happens and home to the Bull. You can even visit the beautiful flagship store of Tiffany’s (The one shown in Breakfast at Tiffany’s).
Walk on Brooklyn Bridge to get a different view of NYC and some photo ops. Give your legs a little rest in Battery Park before heading off in a subway uptown to see Washington Square Park. You will remember this structure from a lot of movies and TV shows.
Take the subway further uptown and get off at Grand Central Terminal. I personally love this place. People running around to catch their trains, greeting and hugging their loved ones. Not to mention the beautiful interiors and the amazing architecture.
And finally, take a cab to the Empire State Building from Grand Central to get a 360 degree view of the city from the 82nd floor. I’ve visited the ESB during the day, but I’ve heard that the view is even better at dusk and at night. It’s open till 2 am, in case you wish to visit at night!
Call it a day by eating pizza by the slice from the small pizza shops in the city, without a doubt some of the best pizza I’ve eaten so far. They are at almost every corner.
Day – 4
On your last day, take a walk in the pretty and peaceful West Village or The Village as it is popularly known. This is where the Friends Apartment stands. So if you are a Friends fan, it is a must visit. West Village has a very hippi-esh yet pop culture vibe to it with boutique stores, cobbled streets and side-walk cafes.
Honestly, Central Park is so huge that you can spend an entire day walking around, relaxing, kayaking, reading a book or just taking a nap. depending on the amount of time you, you can plan your visit to the park. Do not forget to pack some hot dogs and coffee and make it a picnic.
Upper East Side
Walk over to the Upper East side of Central Park and step out to see some aesthetic million dollar brownstone houses. Again, reminiscent of the countless hollywood movies and sitcoms that have featured them.
Catch a broadway on broadway – Another NYC treat. Do book your show in advance though, the popular ones can get full weeks in advance.
Even at night, its brighter than the day in Times Square, the lights are blinding and its energy is contagious. You can sit back with some beer and just spend your evening observing people from all parts of the world. At any given moment, Times Square is the apt representation of a melting pot of all cultures and nationalities.
End your day by indulging in some classic NYC lamb/ chicken over rice from one of the awesome food carts at Times Square.
We hope this list can serve as a cheat sheet when you visit NYC. There can be a whole another itinerary for the museums and the boroughs. Hopefully that should come up soon too. Till then, Happy Travelling!