Barely back from my trip to New York and here I am getting right back into it with this brand-new article. You asked me why I like writing so much. Here is your answer. 🥰
In this article, I'll try to remain super clear and straight to the point in order to make it a real source of inspiration for your upcoming trip to New York (city biiiitch). Here, you'll thus find our 4 days-planning, a foodie list (I know you are here for this), and also a couple of great things I wish I could have time to visit.
Day 1: Upper East Side & Midtown
After 8 intense hours on a night bus, we finally made it to New York in the early morning. Not gonna lie, not the best commute I've ever tried. We were quite tired, like super tired actually, but no way to even think about napping. It's New York baby!
Plan of the day:
After dropping off our backpacks at the Airbnb, we headed to For 5 Coffee Roaster for a first (and well-deserved) costly breakfast (welcome in NY 😅). Fortunately, the muffin I ordered was very delicious, and let's be honest, it's hard to find cheaper prices in New York, we have to get used to it.
For 5 Coffee is hailed for its yummy cookies. Cookies I couldn't even try as the first batch was still in the oven (youhouuu) when I came. Anyway, a place I definitely recommend if, like me, you guys are cookie lovers.
After such a breakfast, we opted for a digestive walk in Central Park passing by Times Square. Time Square remains very impressive whatever the time of the day or the season of the year. As for Central Park, there're so many things to see, you could easily spend the entire morning strolling along. We walked for 2 hours in Central Park stopping by a few monuments such as Balto, Alice in Wonderland, the Bethesda fountain, etc. What I like the most about Central Park is getting lost and enjoying the calm away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Between joggers, dogsitters, and a bunch of early birds, we get immediately soaked into New York's vibes. It's by far one of my favorite places in New York.
Tip 1: I recommend you visit Central Park by foot rather than by bike. In fact, with bikes, you can only stay on the bike path and therefore not enjoy the park's monuments, zoo, views, etc.
Then, we went to Ess a Bagel stopping by Grand Central Terminal. We paid approximately 10 to 15$ for a bagel. I know, it's high-priced but it was very filling.
In the afternoon, we went to Bloomingdale's (a luxury shopping center) walking by Madison Avenue, an Avenue crossing some nice neighborhoods of New York and known for its luxury shops. If I had to do it all over again, I would not go to Bloomingdale's, simply because I'm not super big on luxury and shopping.
Around 5:00 pm, we went back to the Airbnb located in Times Square. We went out in the early evening to eat something and enjoy NY by night. New York by night definitely implies Rockefeller Center! It's by far my favorite rooftop because from there you can also admire the Empire State Building. There's a line, but promised, it's fast! In terms of the prices, it costs 40$/person.
Tip 2: I recommend you book your ticket in advance in order to select your time schedule.
On the way back to the Airbnb, we stopped by Milkbar Store because obviously, I could not end the day with a cookie!
Day 2: West Village/Greenwich Village, Soho & lower Manhattan
For this second day in New York, we tackled the West village & Lower Manhattan.
Plan of the day:
La High Line
West Village/Greenwich Village
As a good day always starts with breakfast, we went to Blank Slate NYC a few steps away from the High Line. Benja ordered some scrambled eggs and a coffee. However, the vegan banana bread and chai latte called my name. I approved!
Then, we went to the Highline, which is a must-do in New York. In fact, it's an old track, which has been rearranged in a suspended "park". The Highline measures 2,3 km and it offers so many great views over the city. The access is totally free. :)
Chelsea Market is literally on the way, so we stopped by. It's a covered garden where you can find different sorts of cooking and some clothing shops as well.
Tip 3: I recommend you stop by Chelsea Market for lunch or snacks and indulge in the delicious food.
After half an hour spent in Chelsea Market, we went to Little Island. I've never got the chance to visit it yet, and I have to say that it was a great discovery! We talk about a small park on an artificial island built on the Huson River. The view over Brooklyn is very nice. Once again, the access is totally free.
Thereafter, we walked along the Hudson River to achieve Greenwich Village and West Village (those 2 neighborhoods are interconnected, I don't really make the difference :p).
West Village, is my favorite place in New York. Chill vibes, fewer tourists, more bars and restaurants, some commercial streets, and a residential yet trendy neighborhood. In other words, I love it! It's right in West village, and more precisely in Greenwich Village, that you can find Monica's apartment or even Carrie's. clearly, I could not miss them!
After a few poses in front of Monica's apartment and countless awkward looks from Benjamin, I gave in and we went to Chinatown stopping by Soho & Little Italy, some nice neighborhoods where it's always pleasant to walk in.
We can not miss Chinatown with its Buddhist temples and its Chinese signs and restaurants. Passing by Chinatown without trying the Chinese food, would be a total failure! That's why we took the opportunity to have lunch at Shanghai 21, it was delishh!
We continued the afternoon at the Financial District where we went to see Wall Street, the bull of Wall Street (apparently, touching its balls brings luck), and the Ground Zero memorial. If you have enough time, you can also stop by the marina of the World Trade Center or by Battery Park.
On the way back, we stopped by West Village for me to try the famous edible cookie dough from DO. My opinion? It's over-rated, mine is better!
For the end of the day, we simply enjoyed downtown New York before eating at Shake Shack, another must-eat in NY. There's even a veggie burger, which for one, was very good. I recommend you try a vanilla milkshake with your burger, it's so much better (crème de la crème)!
Jour 3: Brooklyn
Brooklyn is also part of the must-do list of NY. It's one of the fifth boroughs of the city along with
Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island & le Bronx. Brooklyn is quite residential counting the biggest number of citizens (2,5 million). Although the neighborhood is hailed for its culture, street arts, museums, flea markets, and so much more, Brooklyn is also full of trendy neighborhoods and parks! You got it, in Brooklyn, no chance to get bored. To be certain to not miss a thing, we rented 2 bikes. It was such a good decision! Plus it helped us rest our poor feet. :p
Plan of the day:
Dumbo area (Manhattan Bridge / Brooklyn park)
Our Airbnb was located in Time Square so, we took the metro to Brooklyn bridge. By the way, did you know that the Brooklyn Bridge was the oldest suspended bridge in New York? I bet you do!
Tip 4: If you are motivated enough, I recommend you wake up super early (6 am) to enjoy the bridge without the crowd.
Once in Brooklyn, we went for brunch at Café Volkan. The food was delicious and, for once, it was not too expensive. :p
Tip 5: Never ever order big portions in NY (drinks/food). Everything is oversized in comparison with Europe.
Then, we rented those bikes for the day with the app named City bike NYC. The principle is to rent a bike for a certain amount of time (here 24h). Cautious though, because you cannot ride for more than 30 minutes in a row. Therefore, you constantly have to log your bike after 30 minutes ride (don't worry, there're terminals everywhere).
Ready with our bikes, we paddled to Sunset Park. A park with lots of animations (ok, it was Saturday, might help) and a breathtaking view over Manhattan.
After, we paddled to Brooklyn Heights, where we had a nice walk along the East River and another beautiful view of lower Manhattan. Believe me, you never get rid of those views.
Dumbo is located next to Brooklyn Heights, it was thus our next stop. Over there, there's a beautiful view over Manhattan Bridge. There's also Brooklyn Park, which is quite small but still nice, and a Time Out Market for greedy breaks. :)
We ended up on our getaway in Brooklyn with Williamsburg, another trendy neighborhood with nice bars.
In the evening, we enjoyed Central Park at night. A different atmosphere, which was as pleasant as by day. Ben also tried the popular hot dogs from New York.
Day 4: Chilling in New York
Another great thing to do in New York is to stroll along the city, such as real New Yorkers.
Some of you might say that there are still so many things to do/visit before doing so. I agree. However, as it was not my first experience in New York, and as I knew that Benjamin would prefer this option, we did it. :)
That Sunday, was our last day in New York. It was rainy and grey, but the city remains alive.
We started with a cookie from Levain Bakery (did you seriously think I missed out on them?) and let me tell you, it was epic! There are as good as pretty.
Thereafter, we walked in the Upper West Side before strolling in some shops downtown (not on Madison Avenue :p).
Around 2 pm, we went back to the Airbnb along with a salad and we watched Stuart Little (cliché? I know, but so fun).
By the end of the afternoon, we went out to enjoy West Village one last time. We had a drink at Dante and we ate at Corallo Trattoria. In terms of the prices, the bar was super pricy, we paid like 35$ for 2 cocktails. As for the restaurant, it was very honest. To give you an idea, we paid 65$ for one bolognese spaghetti, one pizza, and two glasses of wine.
NY foodie list
Upper East Side
Maman (rustic cafe)
Murray's bagel (bagel)
Shake Shack (burgers)
Five Guys (burgers)
Ess a Bagel (bagel)
Pizza 99ct (pizza slice for 99 cents)
Milkbar store (cookies, cakes)
Blank Slate NYC (cafe)
Butler Bakeshop & Expresso (cafe)
Urban backyard (cafe)
Good Thanks (cafe)
Shanghai 21 (Chinese food known for its dim sum)