NYC City Guide

Last month I was in NYC for a few days and I had so many of you reach out asking me for tips and suggestions for the city.  So, here I am, sharing my tips!

Where to Stay:

The Standard Highline: We absolutely LOVED this hotel.  The vibes, the views, and the rooftop bar… SO GOOD.  I can’t recommend this hotel enough.  We were there celebrating a special birthday and I emailed the concierge before our arrival not expecting much.  To our surprise they upgraded our room and had a bottle of champagne (with a personalized note) waiting for us.  Not only was the hotel itself great, we loved the area, too.  The meatpacking district is littered with amazing restaurants, lounges, clubs, and rooftop bars.

*This is the only hotel I am going to recommend as I haven’t stayed anywhere else and I don’t want to recommend a place I haven’t stayed at. BUT with that being said,  I have heard that The Dream Hotel is great, too!

Be warned, hotels in NYC are crazy expensive so don’t hesitate to check out Airbnb!

Where to Eat:

Okay, I’m actually borderline embarrassed at how long this list is but I SERIOUSLY love to eat!  I swear it is one of the best parts of travelling!

Catch – amazing. I’ve been three times! Once in L.A and twice in New York.  It is primarily seafood, but if that’s not your thing they do have other options.  Keep your eyes open for celebs at this spot!
Hakkasan– if you’re a Sex and the City fan, this is where Carrie and Big had their rehearsal dinner!
Nobu– We never went to the NYC location but I went in Australia and it is SO good.  Make sure to get the crispy rice, it’s to die for. Another hotspot for celebrities.
– Santina-  Italian.  Great vibes and not super fancy.  I got a spicy pasta with lobster. The sweet lobster and spicy sauce was amazing…likely my favourite pasta I’ve ever had.
Joe’s Pizza-  known as the best by the slice pizza in the city.  It did not disappoint. Classic  paper plate, fold the slice in half while the grease drips down your arm, pizza.  If you don’t go here, did you really even go to New York?
The Chelsea Market Los Tacos- this place was closed when we were there (they were filming something) but I have heard nothing but amazing things about it.  I will definitely be trying it the next time I’m back.
Milk Bar – Before heading to the Big Apple, watch the Milk Bar episode of Chef’s Table.  After watching the episode I won’t have to explain why you need to make this a priority on your to-do list.

The following places are spots that were recommended to me but we didn’t have a chance to get to:
Fig & Olive
-Pizza Beach
– Sarafina

What to Do:

A Broadway Show– We went to The Book of Mormon and it was super funny!  Obviously, look into it before going (it may offend you) but I’m telling you it was hilarious! Tickets are always expensive for these shows but I went both times I was in NYC and I don’t regret it.  It is a NYC must do!  Stubhub is a great option to find tickets for a bit cheaper.  Also, you can go to TKTS booth in Time Square for discounted tickets if you’re not picky about which show you want to see.
Sex and the City Tour- My sister and I did this the first time we went to the city and it was THE BEST!!! Obviously I only suggest this if you are a fan of the show.
TMZ Tour- Another tour my sister and I did and again, we loved it.  I’m typically not big on tours but it was a fun way to see all the hot spots in the city.  I would suggest doing this at the beginning of your stay, that way you can get a feel for the city and decide which parts you want to spend a little more time in.
Central Park- Grab a coffee and stroll through the park.  It’s iconic and beautiful and it’s a nice escape from all the hussle and bussle.
The Brooklyn Bridge- It’s just one of those things you have to do! The views are pretty awesome and it makes for a GREAT photo op.  I would suggest trying to get there early in the morning before it gets super busy.  And if you don’t, like us, just take a deep breath and take it all in… you’re in New York did you expect it to be quiet?! LOL
DryBar- Drink some champagne while someone else does your hair.  Sounds amazing, right? It is!
Walk around West Village- this is likely my favourite neighbourhood in NYC.  If you stay at The Standard it’s within walking distance.  Grab a nice coffee and maybe a sweet treat at Magnolia Bakery and just stroll around.  You will be in awe of the picturesque neighbourhood.  It is exactly what I dreamed NYC would be like.  When you’re in the ‘hood make sure to find the Friends apartment, get a pic on Carrie Bradshaw’s stoop and then stop by Joe’s Pizza for a slice.  (Find all of the above on google maps.)
The World Trade Center Memorial & Museum-   I have gone twice now and both times I am in awe.  It is sad but absolutely beautiful.  The first time I was there we did the museum.  It was lined up but 100% worth the wait.
A Sports Event- The Yankees and Mets, Islanders and Rangers, Knicks and Nets… I mean the options are endless.   Even if you’re not a big sports fan, get a draft beer and a dog, and just take it all in.  The atmosphere is something else,  I promise you’ll have fun!
Chelsea Market– A great place to grab breakfast or lunch and then get some shopping in!  There are lots of unique little shops here.  When I was there last month there was an Elizabeth and James sample sale, I behaved myself but my lanta was I tempted.
SHOP- The options are seriously unlimited.  To be honest, the last time I was there I didn’t do much shopping as I had been galavanting all over the globe the previous six weeks.  But, if you’re in the market to drop some cash on shopping you won’t have any trouble 🙂

Other tips and tricks:

  • Take a cab from the airport.  I made this mistake and got an Uber and got totally ripped off.  There is a flat fee for all taxis from the airport and it is MUCH cheaper than Uber.
  • Pack comfortable walking shoes. I cannot stress this one enough.  You can take cabs but you’ll be stuck in traffic for quite some time.  I would suggest walking as much as you can or if you’re feeling adventurous take the subway!
  • Save lots of dollar bills before you go.  Seriously, New York is amazing but it is very expensive.  I would not suggest this city if you are on a budget.
  • Plan your days out according to location.  Again, the traffic in the city is crazy so if you don’t plan your days according to neighbourhoods you will waste a lot of time in traffic.
  • Don’t waste your time in Time Square. You will see if when you go to your Broadway show and trust me that is all you need to see.

There you have it!  I feel like I have likely missed a lot of things but there is just SO MUCH TO SEE AND DO!  Every corner you turn has something to see!  I freaking love this city and I can’t wait to go back and add more to this list! If you’ve been, please leave a comment so I can check it out next time I head back!