As the title suggests, yes it was my FIRST TIME IN NEW YORK!
We arrived home early on Saturday morning after spending 1 week in The Big Apple and it was such an incredible place.
We got good flight deals to Stewart Airport direct from Edinburgh which was ideal (8 hours). The airline was Norwegian Air who are known for doing long-haul budget deals. It made much more sense to fly cheaper into Stewart Airport and drive 90 minutes on the bus into Manhattan than pay for more expensive flights to JFK.
There is no “cheap” way of doing New York properly but there are plenty of wallet-friendlier alternatives…
After researching the cost of the attractions that we wanted to visit (there were so many) we thought it was cheaper to purchase a 5 Day New York Pass. This pass granted us access to all of the city’s main attractions. This was great because it meant that we could visit everything we wanted to in the time we had! For the 1 day pass it was $127 but for 5 days it was only $325. The pass was definitely worth it because there was 4 of us doing on average 3 attractions per day. For example the price to visit the observatory deck at the Empire State building is $57 per person…
It would take far too long to write a day by day itinerary of my week in New York… so I’ll give you a quick run through of my favourite things to see and do!
1. Brooklyn Bridge at Sunset
For the best view of the complete Manhattan skyline spend the day in Brooklyn! There are so many cool places to visit in Brooklyn, we loved Dumbo! This is the area of Brooklyn that is just over the bridge and is home to Jane’s Carousel and the BEST pizza you may ever try in NYC!
The pizza parlour was called Julianas Pizza and was run by the pizza legends themselves….the Grimaldi’s in New York!
After exploring Dumbo follow the pedestrian signs onto the Brooklyn Bridge at sunset and watch Manhattan light up! The walk took around 30 minutes but we stopped for lots of pictures.
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2. Empire State Building
Included in our New York Pass was entry to the observatory decks at the Empire State building. I don’t know if we just got EXTREMELY LUCKY but we went up to the top at around 10pm and there was NO QUEUE!!
Even if there was a line we would have waited for this magical view!
3. Top of the Rocks
On our last full day we realised that we still had to check out the view from Top of the Rock! Again we flashed our New York Passes and got entry up to the top. The fact that we didn’t have to pay more for the entry was good as we might not have seen the view because the weather was similar to Scotland…hence my signing in the rain picture!
4. Broadway Show
Even if you are not a huge theatre fan (like my brother) most people still love the experience of seeing a show on Broadway at least once! We saw Chicago in the Ambassador Theatre and it was definitely worth seeing. If you are not too fussy and looking for discounted tickets try websites like BroadwayBox.
5. The High Line
I know when people think about parks in New York, Central Park springs to mind. However, The High Line is a cool green space hidden above the busy city streets. This space used to be home for an old railway line now it’s an urban oasis.
6. New York Water Taxi
I know this isn’t an attraction but it was a great way to see the city! You can hop on a New York Water Taxi either in Midtown Manhattan, Battery Park, Seaport or Brooklyn. My favourite part of the ride was sailing around the Statue of Liberty with the Alicia Keys “Empire State of Mind” playing!
As I come to the end of this post, I’m a little sad that I didn’t mention all the other amazing attractions. However, I would be writing a book not a blog post in that case and that’s not what I do!
Watch this space for Newbies Guide To New York #2 Wine & Dine!