Lemon's mix: New York City for First Timers

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

New York City for First Timers

There are just a few weeks left until I'll be back in the most amazing city on earth: New York! And accumulate, I have already spent several weeks in this great city and really seen a lot. So that's why I decided to post the most common must-see's and must-do's if you are visiting for the first time the "Big Apple". 

Attractions in Downtown / Lower Manhattan 
(1-2 days) 

  • Visit Battery Park and take the Ferry to Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island which was the nation's busiest immigrant inspection station for years. Alternatively, you can also take the free Staten Island Ferry (South Ferry Station) and enjoy (more or less) the "close-up view" of the Statue of Liberty.
  • Stop at the Charging Bull in Bowling Green Park. It is one of the key symbols for the New York Stock Exchange.
  • Go to Wall Street. You can't miss the home of the New York Stock Exchange!
  • Spend some time at the 9/11 Memorial. The Memorial honors the people who lost their lives back in 2001 and features two enormous waterfalls and reflecting pool. Very moving!
  • Across the street from the 9/11 Memorial & One World Trade Center is also the department store "Century 21", where you can make great deals on designer clothes!
  • The South Street Seaport and Pier 17 has a very nice view of the water and the Brooklyn Bridge. Right now it is under renovation but soon there will be a new shopping mall with a large rooftop. (For a picture back in  2009 click here).
  • Go to the Brooklyn Bridge! And if you have some time left, walk across the bridge to Brooklyn and enjoy a little bit the Brooklyn Bridge Park. (For a picture click here).
  • Take a walk through Chinatown (just to have seen it once).
  • Take a walk through Little Italy. As a matter of course, you will find there italian restaurants (mainly on Mulberry Street) and nearby a very lovely cupcake shop called "Little Cupcake Bakeshop" (in Nolita).  It's one of my favorites!
  • Visit Soho, a  fashionable neighborhood with art galleries and boutiques. I love it!
  • Relax at Washington Square Park and watch musicians, artists, dancers and sometimes just weird people!
  • If you still have time left, take a walk through West Village (& Greenwich Village). It's a calm and very beautiful neighborhood.

Attractions Lower Manhattan © Lemon's mix

Attractions in Midtown
(1-2 days)

  • Discover the Highline Park on a historic freight rail line elevated above the streets and if you're already there, visit also the crowded but quite interesting Chelsea Market.
  • Definitely a must do is walking along the 5th Avenue. So why not first take a look at the iconic Flatiron Building and then just walk uptown toward the Empire State Building?!
  • Another must do is: Looking at the city from the top! And here you can choose between the Empire State Building or the Top of the Rock Observation Deck at the Rockefeller Center. I went to both of them and as you can see, the view is different!

View from the Empire State Building (December 2013) © Lemon's mix

View from Rockefeller Center (May 2013) © Lemon's mix

  • Only one block from the Empire State Building you will find Macy's, the world's largest store until 2009. You can shop there clothes, cosmetics, accessories, bedroom essentials and so much more.
  • Also don't miss to enter the Grand Central Terminal where 750.000 visitors pass through daily!
  • Buy yourself lunch (for example downstairs at Gand Central Terminal) and enjoy it at Bryant Park which is pretty much the backyard of the Public Library. Afterwards you can explore the library.
  • Go after dark to Times Square and enjoy the "Zoo"! (And if you enjoy the Broadway, get your reduced price tickets at the TKTS Discount Booths).
  • If you love Art, visit the MoMA at 5th Avenue and start your museum tour from the top.

Attractions Midtown © Lemon's mix

Attractions in Uptown
(1-2 days)

  •  Enjoy a ride with the aerial tramway to Roosevelt Island (after dark it's even nicer).
  •  Fashion Lovers shouldn't miss the Bergdorf Goodman experience (department store for luxury goods).
  • Go to the Central Park and walk at least until the Bethesda Fountain / Bethesda Terrace.
  • Visit the Metropolitan Opera on Upper West Side.
  • If you love Art, stop at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Both museums are located on Upper East Side. And keep in mind, that the 25 USD admission fee for the Metropolitan Museum of Art is just a suggestion what means, you can also enter for 5 USD or without paying at all. 

Attractions Uptown © Lemon's mix

So this is pretty much it with the must-see's and must-do's for first timers (as far as I know). But perhaps I should also mention for sports fans the Yankee Stadium in the Bronx (New York Yankees, MLB), 
the Madison Square Garden in Midtown (New York Knicks, NBA & New York Rangers, NHL) and
the Barclays Center in Brooklyn (Brooklyn Nets, NBA).

The MetLife Stadium (New York Giants & New York Jets, NFL) is unfortunately outside the city but still worth to go there because of the whole American Football experience (incl. tailgate party). 

The best time to watch all four sports in New York City could be end of October if the Yankees make it to the finals. Otherwise you have definitely November and December to watch the regular season of NBA, NHL and NFL.