I can’t believe how time flies. It was just like yesterday when I was dreaming about New York and see the Statue of Liberty. When they said, be careful what you wish for. Believe them.
We spent five days in “The City that Never Sleeps”. Did the touristy things to do and laughed at ourselves about it. I chose New York as our first vacation away from home: here in the heart of Midwest.
I played with the idea that if we survived the biggest and perhaps the busiest concrete jungle in the world. It can prepare us for more travel adventures in the future.
I won’t be telling everything, since those memories you should do on your own. But I will be sharing my observations and tips about visiting New York.
- New York is huge but they have a really good subway system and over-all the transportation is so efficient and cost-friendly. Tip: Go get the 7 days unlimited subway metro-card once you arrive in the airport.
- New Yorkers aren’t rude they are just literally “in a hurry” all the time. It is not just brisk walking they do, they run. You need to understand where they’re coming from. They go to work and they want to be on time. When they go home, they don’t want to waste any time.
- The best you can do as a tourist is to also adapt their pace. We did just that in New York. It was kinda fun.
- If you want to pause, remember not to stand on the middle or on the way where people walk. Try to lean on the wall of a building or in a safe corner instead to give way for pedestrians who are in a hurry. If you don’t, you might make one trip and that’s when you’ll encounter the New York style rudeness.
- We bought the Statue of Liberty ticket, a VIP ticket to the top of Empire State Building and Miss Saigon (Broadway show) ticket in advance. The rest we just purchased the tickets before we queue which was fast.
- There are so many things to see in New York, but we managed to do all the major attractions in 5 days. It is about prioritizing and getting advanced tickets to save our time – big time.
- New York is a walking city. Choose the most comfortable footwear you own. Yes, there is a subway and Uber. But if you’re in the middle of Central Park, you will walk for hours. Same thing with visiting the Statue of Liberty. Insane hours of walking happens when also you visit The MET. How you enjoyed your trip sometimes just all boils down to how comfortable your shoes are. Trust me on this.
- Great food is everywhere and with the help of the subway. You can reach any place in 15 – 20 minutes.
- The queues to most attractions were fast and efficient, even the ticket kiosks and security screening. That’s New York for yah. We end up having more time to do just whatever.
- Going to the bathroom or toilets will be a little problem in New York. Public bathrooms are limited and only accessible to the customers of the building, coffee shops and restaurants. When you see one, just do it. Don’t think you can just go to any Starbucks because you have to buy a coffee when you do. They will watch you like a hawk. Real story. It happened to me lol.
- Central Park is huge and you can get lost in it. It feels like being in the forest so please be sure to get a free map. If you go there in summer, you’ll sweat badly and don’t carry any heavy bags with you like we did. It was our fault, we put Central Park in our last day and we have to check out before we went to the Park. That didn’t go too well with us. We learned a lot from it though like we want to travel on cooler months from now on.
- Huge backpacks aren’t allowed to bring in with you especially going to the top of Statue of Liberty or any high-rise building. There are security screenings just like in the airports. It’s fast and efficient but to save you more time. Just bring a small purse for your important needs and bring your passport or a green card with you. They will ask for an identification.
- Don’t forget that there are free attractions or touristy activities you can do in New York. We don’t have to really break the bank you know when you travel and it surprises you. Who would’ve thought we will enjoy so much being in the Brooklyn Bridge. That place was fantastic at night. So magical. Being there was so New York and it’s free.
Now, it’s time to share our itinerary. It worked for us and hopefully can give you an idea of the realistic timeline you can do when you visit New York. But you should also do your own research, the admission fees and the closing hours. Since it is New York and in fact, it really doesn’t sleep. We get to visit the attractions even at night.
That worked flawlessly in the plan. Here you go.
NEW YORK ITINERARY
- Arrival in the airport
- Check in the hotel and rest
- Empire State Building at Night (with a VIP Pass)
- Times Square (at Night)
- Top of the Rock
- Rockefeller Center
- St. Patrick’s Cathedral
- The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
- Watch Miss Saigon (at 4 PM)
- Grand Central Terminal (at Night)
- Trinity Church
- Wall Street
- Battery park
- Statue of Liberty
- The National 9/11 Memorial and Museum
- Brooklyn Bridge (at Night)
- The MET (Metropolitan Museum of Art)
- Central Park
Below is a photo gallery as a summary of our trip.
EMPIRE STATE BUILDING + TIMES SQUARE
TOP OF THE ROCK OBSERVATORY
ST. PATRICK CHURCH
MoMA (Museum of Modern Art)
MISS SAIGON (BROADWAY)
GRAND CENTRAL TERMINAL
THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE
The MET (Metropolitan Museum of Art)
It was emotional when we visit the 9/11 Memorial Museum. It is something that you just got to do and you’ll have a deep respect, emptiness and understand in your heart.
NATIONAL SEPTEMBER 11 MEMORIAL MUSEUM
We also spotted a cool building on our way back.
Trinity Church was surprisingly another special place for us. We find ourselves the only ones who were there one early morning. It was like being on a time machine. It whisked us away from the bustle of the city in the 21st century to a different time. When the country was new and just starting out. With people long dead in its arms with their hopes and dreams of a better America in the future.
Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton is buried here, wife of Alexander Hamilton. One of the founders of the USA. Queen Elizabeth II also visited the church.
Five days was a breeze, tiring yet very rewarding. It is a memorable trip for us. We also get to eat the famous New York bagels and pizza. Don’t forget to try those in “The City that Has it’s Own Heartbeat.” Yep, that is New York for me.
Of course Statue of Liberty stole the crown of our trip. The Lady deserves it. What was once a dream, now became a reality to me. She is a beauty with imposing presence but doesn’t give you a fright. She wows you instead.
I have decided to write a different post about her. She is that special to me. As a starry eyed immigrant that I am. She is very dear to my heart. She also gives you uncanny (subspace) messages. You’ll know what I mean when you see her. See you on my PART TWO.