New York is divided into five boroughs. It is impossible to visit them all in one day, so it is best if you break you trip into key areas, which focuses on individual neighbourhoods. The following is a quick guide:
Midtown is the main town where tourist attractions are found. If you’re an expert in planning your trip, then it is possible that you hit up all the main sites just in one day. Start your morning at the Empire State Building; this is when crowds are smaller. Afterwards, make sure to make your way up to Bryant Park and the New York Public Library. If it’s around lunch time, head to Rockefeller Center or Grand Central Terminal, then walk across Central Park and pop into Carnegie Hall, or check out the architecture around Columbus Circle. Make your way down into Times Square, where you can take all your selfies while trying to figure out how much electricity Times Square generates every hour. Finish your day off with dinner and drinks at one of the Thai or Mexican restaurants in Hell’s Kitchen.
Downtown is another area which is filled with landmarks and sites which surely interest tourists. It is the oldest city which is taken for granted. Make sure to spare a moment to admire the old Dutch-style architecture around Stone Street, William Street and Wall Street, then have a moment of reflection at the 9/11 Memorial. The buildings around City Hall Park and City Hall Park itself are a fresh change from the skyscrapers which are stacked high elsewhere. Grab some karma points by applauding new brides at the NYC Marriage Bureau on Worth Street. A word of advice: Take your Statue of Liberty pictures from the Staten Island Ferry, which is a free ride. Once you get to Staten Island, then you get to check out “the Forgotten Borough”.
Above 96th Street
Locals tell you that they definitely do not go above 96th street unless they live there, which makes this part of town one of the most legit and laid back. A less crowded park is the Marcus Garvey Park, while restaurants like Rao’s and Patsy’s are local and have been there for decades. The Hispanic Society of America puts on some pretty dope exhibitions. The Inwood Hill Park provides the oldest, together with the most preserved piece of New York history in its forests, caves and salt marsh, and if you want to get back into nature and develop an appreciation for what Manhattan New York used to be, then this place is definitely the place to visit.
Williamsburg and Bushwick, Brooklyn
A short trip on the L train brings you to the Hipster Promised Land. At first, it may feel a bit like a circus, but checking out the cute jewellery from Catbird, or catching a show at the Music Hall of Williamsburg can make you feel like you are part of the city of NYC. Slightly further you will find Bushwick, which is Brooklyn’s quickly-growing “it” neighbourhood, and one in the midst of a cultural revolution. Head to Roberta’s and grab a Famous Original or a Bee Sting pie before heading to Pearl’s Social and Billy Club. On the other hand, if you are feeling adventurous, get insulted by the salty barmaids at Boobie Trap.
Get a bit more laid-back while venturing into this part of Queens. The row houses make it feel like you suburban hometown packed up and headed for the big city, but there is still loads to do. Check out the Greek food at Stamatis and the Bohemian Beer Garden for beer and card games (all day). At the Museum of the Moving Image you will come across films and cool movie memorabilia and at the Socrates Sculpture Park you will come across sweet views of the skyline.
The West Village and Soho
This is what new money in New York is all about. The cheapest thing you will afford here is a cup of coffee, but stepping into quirky boutique like The Little House, or taking pictures at the Ghostbusters Firehouse are absolutely free. Check out the Stonewall Inn, which is now an official NYC Landmark, together with the ice cream shop at Big Gay Ice Cream. Make your way up to the Meatpacking District, and party on top of rooftops at The Standard or The Gansevoort hotels.
The East Village and the LES
This town has seen a complete design-focused revolution, from roach-infested, tenement-style apartments, to where all the rich artists hang out at present. Try and work your way through crowds of college kids heading to the Crocodile Lounge and past the vintage shops only to find Sake Bar Decibel, which is a teeny tiny Japanese Speakeasy which you will probably walk past for the very first time. Relax with the hipsters who are chilling in Tompkins Square Park before finishing off your day at Mehanata.