There is something special and exciting about visiting a city for the first time. And I find that coming to a place without a strict itinerary, three-page plan or set expectations often makes the overall experience so much enjoyable. It is not easy to get off the tourist trail in New York City and avoid the famous city sights like Brooklyn Bridge, Staten Island or Museum of Modern Art.
But I came to Big Apple without any to-do list. I’ve just walked among the concrete jungle, enjoying the people watching, delicious food and discover New York’s life.
If my goal was to design a city for a walk and inspiration, I might just copy NYC
Here are 14 of the coolest things to do in New York City:
1. Visit Metropolitan Opera
Metropolitan Opera is the world-famous theatre founded in 1880. And it is the ultimate destination for opera lovers. I was lucky enough to see «The Magic Flute» by Mozart and it was awesome.
I recommend to reserve tickets in advance.
2. Make an art pilgrimage in Upper East Side
Upper East Side is the magnificent living area in Manhattan. It is nice to take a walk among the most beautiful buildings of the city, to visit the museums with the best works of art. You can choose to spend the whole day in Metropolitan Museum of Art or visit 3-4 galleries and small museums in a several hours.
I have begun with The Frick Collection on Fifth Avenue. It is huge ancient mansion, the former house of Henry Clay Frick, with the tremendous picture of old artists, sculptures and works of decorative art. Don’t miss the fountain in outdoor garden where you can make a lovely shooting.
Then I’ve dropped in Gagosian Gallery of the modern art.
Walking along the Central Park I have reached Neue Galeria — the museum of the Austrian and German art. Then I couldn’t miss the huge white building over there — Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. I’ve finished by the Jewish Museum
3. Don’t forget about Musical on Broadway
I personally like Chicago and Cats. But the choice of musicals is huge.
?Small tip: you don’t need to wait the whole line in advance. Just come in 5 minutes before the musical starts and you can entrance easily
Where is the best New York City’s views
4. Enjoy the city view from above
It is worth to watch New York City from above.
I matched three gorgeous places:
- Empire State Building: this was my favorite one, I love the view and indoor design of the building;
- The Top of the Rock: here is the best view at Empire State Building;
- One World Observatory: beautiful scenes of the sea
Enjoy outdoor dining and cocktails with the view at the New York City’s best rooftop bars.
Here is my personal list of amazing rooftop bars with the view in NYC:
- Bar at the Park South Hotel;
- The Roof at the Public Hotel;
- Bar at Moxy NYC Times Square;
- 230 Fifth Rooftop Bar
- Sky Terrace at Hudson Hotel
- Westlight at the The William Vale Hotel;
- 1 rooftop at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge;
- The Ideas Bar at Wythe Hotel;
- The Press Lounge;
- Bar at Kimpton Ink48 Hotel;
- Refinery Rooftop at Refinery Hotel
Where to walk in New York City
5. Explore a Chinatown
As in many major cities there is a Chinatown in New York City.
It is absolutely worth to go there to plunge into a completely different world of neon signs, sharp smells, specific Chinese restaurants, shocking counters with the trays of everything like dried shark’s stomach or mushrooms.
Just don’t forget to drink greet tea mate in some cafes in Chinatown
6. Walk through Broadway
I’ve started walking from the Battery Park.
Stop at the huge bronze statue of Charging Bull weighing 3200 kg. It is a financial symbol of New York authored by the American-Italian sculptor Arthur Di Modica.
A copy of the same bull was installed by him in Shanghai in 2010. Rub his nose, horns and ‘somewhere else» is considered a symbol of luck.
The bull’s nose and horns are rubbed to shine. Well, I chose «something else»
Next stop is the famous Red Cube — bright red sculpture by Isamu Noguchi, executed in a cube form and balancing on one corner. Look at the stunning game of colors: red cube against the black background with the brown and grey buildings. Looking into it you can notice a cylindrical hole in the center of the cube. Noguchi means to show the connection between the architecture and sculpture.
After reaching Spring Street, turn left and walk along. Dominique Ansel Bakery with cozy terrace is always worth a stop for a cup of coffee and delicious pastry
7. See the Flatiron Building
Flatiron Building is the most unique buildings I’ve seen in New York City. You can take a magnificent pictures in front of it. Flatiron is not the tallest one in Manhattan, it has 22 floors. It recalling the shape of the iron. It became revolutionary in the method of construction. The building has a width of only 183 cm on one side.
Interesting fact: because of the shape of structure there are rising air currents near to the building.
Do you remember the famous photo of Marilyn Monroe?
8. Walk along The High Line
This gorgeous highlight of the city was recommended to me by locals.
The High Line was officially a railway which was decommissioned in 1980. A strip of almost 3 km in length was revived in 2009 and turned into a walking park with meadow flowers and rare plant species that stretches along the Manhattan waterfront.
Ideal place for hiking with a beautiful view
9. Explore Central Park
It does not matter what time of the year you are in New York City, go to Central Park. It is always charming: whether it is snow-covered in winter or wrapped by orange and yellow leaves in the fall. In summer, green meadow carpets attract picnic lovers.
The Central Park is huge. To stray from the numerous masses of tourists, I entered the park on the west side, opposite the fashionable Dakota house. I walked along the Strawberry Field, the section of the park dedicated to the memory of John Lennon, through Cherry Hill Fountain, and went down to the Bethesda Fountain. Walking along the lake I decided to have a lunch in The Loab Restaurant, and then went for the boat trip
Soak under the warm rays of sun on the Sheep Meadow. Then pass the carousel on the right and the by Wollman Rink finish to Fifth Avenue
10. Catch the Yellow Taxi
Using the Uber is quite easy in New York City. But charming yellow taxi have some special vibes
Where to eat in New York City
11. Have a lunch in the restaurant Oyster Island (Governors Island)
You can have a breathtaking view of NYC from the harbor side not only from Staten Island. Jump on the ferry to Governors Island, which will take you from the Battery Park to the island for $2 and 10 minutes. I had a perfect day there and truly enjoyed a panoramic view that stretches from Brooklyn to Stated Island.
Have a lunch in the outdoor seafood restaurant «Island Oyster» with oysters, lobster rolls and the best New York view.
To be honest, this restaurant was my reason to come here. Our dozen of Oysters and crab roll were simply delicious
12. Grab your favorite dessert
I had too many delicious treats to try in New York City. The gastronomic scene of the city is so great, and I couldn’t stop to taste something new: from ravioli in Little Italy to dumplings in Chinatown or Korean cuisine from trucks.
These authentic 1950’s style Hong Kong egg waffles with ice cream is one of my delicious find
13. Don’t miss the Sunday Brunch in Maison Kayser
Be a real New Yorker and go to the brunch on Sunday. I’ve chosen a Maison Kayser where I spent a super spiritual Sunday.
14. Eat the best burger in Shake Shuck
I, as a big lover of burgers, boldly declare that the most delicious hamburger you can find in Shake Shuck. For more accuracy, order a signature Shake Shuck Hamburger