You probably already know this but just in case you've forgotten (it was so long ago) - in June one of my besties and I flew off to New York for two weeks of shopping and tourist related fun. I can't believe it was over a month ago. I swear, we spent more time planning the trip than we spent on the actual trip and putting this post together is making me really sad because I didn't realise how much I actually miss the city.
We had everything down to a 'T. Most days were planned down to the minute so we got the best out of our two weeks. We purchased New York City attraction passes way back when we booked our flights in January so we wanted to make sure we squeezed in everything we could on the three day pass. If you're going to New York and plan on doing touristy type stuff I really recommend you purchase the pass, my friend managed to buy it when there was a deal on so we made even more savings which was great because it meant extra money for shopping.
This post is picture heavy, so proceed with caution.
My first big NYC moment was Grand Central. It was nothing more than a 'pinch me' moment. The whole time I was in the city I felt like I was in a dream, the sounds of the city, the sirens, the people, the smells. The first time I saw Times Square was unforgettable. It was everything I imagined and more. I just can't describe the feelings to you guys. I'm itching to go back already, but for work, not a holiday. The city has so much to offer and I feel like we just hit a quarter of that.
Our first proper day in the city we tried to do as many 'touristy' things as we could. We hit Statue of Lib, Ellis Island, Times Square (nightmare, hated it), Grand Central (Serena moment), Top of the Rock, Madamme Ts (overrated) and One Trade Center (whole load of emotions).
We did Top of the Rock during the day so we would have a day time view of the city, and did Empire State Building at night. The view from Top of the Rock was breath taking. I have no words.
If you've never been to NYC before, little heads up - Statue of Lib, Top of the Rock & Empire State Building all have airport style security. Something we weren't expecting and found to be a lot more intimidating than the security in JFK - true story bro. Being in New York for the first time was surreal. I can't describe how strange, yet familiar it felt at the same time. My friend said to me before I left that it would feel like I'd been there before and she was so right. The sounds, the sites, they all felt oddly familiar. If you were curious - the city smells like a combination of Italian food (garlic, cheese), vanilla cupcakes, humidity and petrol.
The city was as crazy as you would expect, everyone was in a hurry to go somewhere. We were no exception. We quickly became pros with the subway (the subway is kind of scary, don't be fooled and always have your wits about you) and learned how to get around without getting lost. Google maps and iMaps were lifesavers. Wifi in the city is harder to come by than you'd expect, we visited many Starbucks because of this. Wifi is kind of essential when your phone refuses to work - thank you Vodafone.
We took a lot of photos, a lot. My Instagram never looked better tbh. I'm going to throw up another picture diary after this and maybe another on the food places we went - Two Hands = LOVE. But here are just a few little tips if you're ever going to NYC.
- Buy a 7 day metro card. You can use it as often as you like for the subway and bus and it costs 31$.
- Google Maps is a lifesaver. You can search from your current location and use it for the subway and different buses too and because it's an app on your phone, no one has to know you're completely and utterly lost. Who uses real maps anyway?
- Look into buying a New York City attractions pass. You'll save so much money. I think we saved something like 90$ when we added up the total cost of all the attractions we visited. We wanted to get our moneys worth so we packed in as much as possible for our three day pass.
- Learn how to tip. We still don't know if we were tipping enough or too much or not enough and it was actually really stressful.
- Wear comfortable shoes. We were up and out 6am - 11pm most days, trust us. You will do a lot of walking. Don't wear flip flops or sandals, go for tennis shoes or pumps. I lived in my trusty Primark pumps for the two weeks and my feet were perfect.
- Plan, plan, plan. A lot of attractions are closer together than others, so try and see the ones that are grouped together on the same day to save you time. Especially if you want to see a lot of things.