New York – it’s the sprawling metropolis of everyone’s dreams. New York’s yellow taxis and the view from the Brooklyn Bridge are some of the first images that come to mind at the slightest mention of the United States of America. Call it a F.R.I.E.N.D.S hangover or a Sex And The City addiction, New York has made a special place in a lot of our hearts even before we physically visit it.
When you DO decide to hop over across the pond to the East Coast of America, make sure you’ve filled your ESTA application form. The form itself doesn’t take very long to fill and it takes only 24 hours for the permit to arrive once the form has been duly filled and the payment has been made. Make sure you answer all questions correctly and double check the information provided on the form. Wrong information is one of the most common reasons for rejection of a tourist’s ESTA application
Once you have your permit in hand, it’s time to start penning a list of things you want to be doing in New York. From dining in the finest restaurants in the world to discovering hole-in-the-wall eateries, from designer shops to thrift stores, from museums to iconic theatres, this is one city that has it all. Of course there is no dearth of things to do in New York City but here are some of our favourites :-
1) Go on top of the Empire State Building
Yes this is a cliched, even touristy, thing to do in NYC. But it’s on the beaten path for a reason. The view from the top of the Empire State Building is truly spectacular. Make sure you consult the weather forecast and choose a clear day for your visit. It goes without saying that the weather can make or break the experience.
2) Brooklyn Bridge at Sunset
There are few sights as famous as the Brooklyn Bridge. It’s been featured in so many films and television shows that you will recognise it on first glance. The Brooklyn Bridge is quite overwhelming at all times of the day – however it is truly special at sunset. The ochre sky lends it a magical aura that is hard to beat.
3) The Brooklyn Flea Market
This weekly market is a bit of a local secret. Dozens of vendors congregate to make it one of the most sprawling flea markets in the world. You can hunt down a vintage treasure or two or devour some street food. The choice is entirely yours to make.
4) A Day Trip to Princeton
Princeton is close enough to New York City for it to be a comfortable day trip. However it seems like a world away. The charming historical by-lanes of Princeton are a far cry from the chaos of Times Square and must be explored on foot.
5) Shop at Times Square
This is another one of those things that just need to be done. You’re in New York City – how can you not inhale the air at Times Square. However make sure you limit yourself to window shopping in this area if you want to avoid queueing up at the tills on checkout
6) Serious shopping in New Jersey
If you’re in the mood for some serious shopping, hop on to a train to neighbouring New Jersey. Here the malls are just as big but a lot less crowded. You can shop in peace and get some amazing bargains.
7) Visit Greenwich Village
The trendy corner of New York City is perfect for that amazing cup of coffee accompanied by blueberry pancakes or any other scrumptious breakfast you might have in mind. The area is home to some of New York’s best bakeries and independent cafés.
8) Take The Staten Island Ferry
This free ferry transports passengers from the heart of New York City aka Manhattan to Staten Island. In an expensive city like New York, this is the greatest bargain of them all. Don’t miss it for the world.
9) Spend a lazy afternoon at Central Park
Manhattan can get crowded expensive, and loud. A quiet afternoon in Central Park is the perfect antidote to the chaos of Manhattan. Make sure you pack a picnic, an ipod, and your book – it’s an experience you won’t forget.
10) Spend a day (or two) at The Museum Mile
If you enjoy museums, then The Museum Mile in New York City is a dream come true for you. Spend a couple of days here and explore the museums at a leisurely pace. Don’t try to rush through them as there is a wealth of information to be devoured. There is no dearth of museums at the Museum Mile but make sure you hit the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) and The Guggenheim Museum.