I was so excited when we booked New York! It has been on my bucket list for years and the experience was amazing! I was there for four days and it was jam-packed. As you might have seen from my previous travel guide (My Dearest Santorini) I always do my research leading up to the trip. New York has a tremendous amount of things to see and do… and let’s not even start with the food options.
New York is the focal point of a lot of things… movies, tv shows, the stock market, just to name a few. I re-watched Gossip Girl a few months ago before the trip just to get me even more in the mood. It is amazing to actually see it in real life… but also prepare for the chaos! People and traffic EVERYWHERE. I thought living in London prepped me for chaos… well no it didn’t haha. New York felt a lot busier, but it adds to the charm.
PREPPING FOR NYC
While doing my research on New York for my travel map, I started with the landmarks. Since this was my first time visiting the Big Apple I wanted to make sure I saw the big ticket items. Time Square, the Empire State Building, the Grand Central Terminal and the World Trade Center to name a few. Obviously the Upper East Side and Brooklyn Bridge were in my must. Serena and Blair would have been very disappointed if I didn’t visit (I know I am a #loser).
After completing my list of landmarks (which actually hit 20 locations) I moved into my Insta-spots. This was very tricky because some of my insta-spots are also restaurants and cafes. Categorizing them as insta-spots reminded me to go and take a picture even if I wasn’t hungry. You make the call on what you want to label them as. I wasn’t able to hit all the spots but did manage to get a lot of them which made me happy and over caffeinated.
Now onto the eats and drinks. There are the regular eats which are restaurants. Then we have the outdoor dining, which are amazing rooftops, as well as the rooftop bars. You can also eat (snacks) at the rooftop bars if you want but they are best knows for their drinks. I managed to go to a lot of rooftop bars/restaurants to experience as much of the local lifestyle as possible. All the suggestions for my map I got from friends who have lived there or visited.
WHERE TO STAY
Staying central is crucial as there is a lot to visit. Midtown is a great location to stay in; I ended up staying near Time Square. The AC Hotel was truly an oasis amidst the hustle and bustle of the city. The location was absolutely spot-on and the metro lines were super close. Not only was the hotel wonderful, the rooftop has amazing views. Just to clarify, this post was not sponsored. I just loved the hotel.
Overall New York was a great time! There were so many highlights. Seeing the city from the One World Observatory was really “up there” for me; the views are absolutely breathtaking! I am a huge taco lover and I tried a few places; I would say that Mad Dog & Beans and Tacombi were the best. Seriously so so good!
As per the rooftops, I got to explore a bunch of them. SERRA by Birreria is so pretty and super instagrammable. Do make sure to book beforehand as they are super booked up. Pod 39 is a hotel, but the rooftop was named the best in America, so make sure to check it out. Surprise, surprise it is also a taco joint! Salvation Taco Rooftop Bar.
I strongly encourage getting lost in Central Park. It is truly a magnificent park and it’s even great for people-watching and sipping on some coffee. Loved exploring where all the pathways lead you to, and seeing all the wildlife.
NEW YORK MAP
You will find five different categories in the map; explores, insta-spots, eats, outdoor dining and rooftop bars. I would say I got to about 85% of it during my time in New York. They were long days and so so much walking but it was so worth it!
Hope this map helps you while exploring the Big Apple.
Instructions on how to download the map can be found on my Santorini travel guide.
Hope you have the best time exploring NYC as I did!