Friday, October 18, 2013

New York City: Top Five Visiting Tips

My Five on Friday is a bit different this week! I got back from an amazing trip to New York City with my best friend and roommate Emily this past week. We planned this trip back in June and were able to get great flight deals because of how early we booked. Emily and I visited so many places in our short five day trip... Day One Post {here}, Day Two Post {here}, Day Three Post {here}, Day Four Post {here}, Day Five Post {here}. We definitely learned the city as we went, which is why I wanted to post my top five visiting tips! 
{one} Transportation is key in the city. My number one recommendation is public transportation! There is no need to spend money on cabs when it could be better spent eating out and going shopping. You can even ride the M60 bus from LaGuardia Airport to 125th Street and take the 6 train downtown to Grand Central at 42nd Street. I would definitely purchase the $30.00 weekly MetroCard because $2.50 fares add up quickly. 

The key for learning the subway is that DOWNtown is down towards the Financial District (numbers get lower) and UPtown is up towards Central Park and the Upper Eastside (numbers get higher). You'd think this makes perfect sense but sometimes you can't access both uptown and downtown from the same entrance so it is important to read what station you are going into before you swipe! 

We took the 6 train everyday, it takes you from the Upper Eastside to Grand Central where you can transfer to the S which is the Times Square shuttle or we would ride to 14th Street Union Square Station where you can transfer to trains to take you anywhere in lower Manhattan.
{two} Broadway tickets are a tricky business. Emily and I had our hearts set on seeing Wicked but it is a very popular show and it's tickets hardly ever are discounted. Broadway has an understated discount process that does not involve the long lines in Times Square at the TKTS red booth. A majority of the shows have something called Rush Tickets and some even have Student Rush Tickets. 

These tickets range from $20-$40 and are available in the morning when the ticket booths at each show's specific theater open. We were able to get $40 rush tickets to Annie! They generally reserve the first few rows for rush tickets so its not the best view but we were so wrapped up in the magic of the musical it didn't matter. Click {here} to see which shows have Rush Seats Available!
{three} Walking the Brooklyn Bridge was one of the standout memories from the trip. It was absolutely incredible. The views from the bridge are remarkable! We took the 4 train downtown from 14th Street Union Square Station and got off at Fulton Street. From there we transferred to the downtown A train and got off at High Street in Brooklyn. We walked down to the water and devoured a whole pizza {here}. If you have a day to give to Brooklyn definitely take the subway there, enjoy pizza, gawk at the waterfront views, and walk the iconic Bridge back to Manhattan.
{four} Restaurants are where we spent the majority of our money. We didn't go anywhere that would completely break the bank but an average low price meal in NYC still costs between $10 and $20. For breakfast we mosly ate breakfast bars we brought with us along with a Starbucks Coffee... they are on almost every block and they make you feel like you need one haha! Here are some of our favorite places:

159 Lexington Ave New York, NY
We went to Penelope on our last night and it was by far our favorite! It is such a southern comfort food restaurant with great prices, atmosphere and food. The water is served in old milk jars, how cool is that?! {here}

The Little Cupcake Bakeshop
30 Prince St New York, NY
Whatever you do, EAT HERE. Emily and I shared an enormous piece of pumpkin spice cake with maple cream cheese icing... my mouth is watering just remembering it! The cakes and cupcakes are incredible, I wish we had made it here more than once to indulge. {here}

Chelsea Market
75 9th Ave New York, NY 
We went to the Chelsea Market twice during our trip. I have decided this market is where all good smelling things reside... IT SMELLS DELICIOUS! All of the fresh bread, pasta, spices, cheese and everything else mix beautifully together. It definitely makes actually picking one place to eat really difficult. Be sure not to miss the free samples from Rana {here} (I recommend the Spinach and Ricotta Girasoli with Butter, Parmigiano Reggiano and Fresh Baby Spinach) and Friedman's {here} also has HUGE sandwiches you can split and still fill up on. {here}

The Smith
55 3rd Ave, New York, NY ‎
Katie took us here for dinner one night, it is a delicious comfort food restaurant with a young, "hip" atmosphere. If the great food doesn't sell you they have a photo-booth downstairs, yep sold. {here}

Shake Shack
original location: Madison Square Park
Great burger/hotdog/milkshake place to grab a quick bite! {here}

4 Water St Brooklyn, NY
Be sure to enjoy mouthwatering New York pizza with an incredible view of the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan skyline. It is right on the water and there is an ice cream place right across the street!

McGee's Pub
240 W 55th St New York, NY
I am a HUGEE How I Met Your Mother fan, so visiting the pub that started it all was legend...wait for it...dary. It is a classic bar with great pub food and of course drafts. {here}
{five} Different neighborhoods other than the traditional NYC 42nd street area are where we spent most of our time. Don't get me wrong we still visited Times Square numerous times, walked Fifth Avenue's designer shops, and went to Rockefeller Center but we also explored so much more of New York City than I ever had before. 

We walked the streets of Greenwich Village, West Village, SoHo, Garment District and the Meat Packing District. The High Line is in Meat Packing District and it is a great stroll above the streets. It is an old railway that the city turned into an above ground park and trail along the Hudson River.

And if you have time on Sunday, you should MOST DEFINITELY head to Hillsong Church NYC {my post here}. They hold service at Irving Plaza which is right beside 14th Street Union Square Station at 10am, 12pm, 2pm, 5pm, 7pm, and 9pm!
Hope you enjoyed my top five tips for visiting NYC! Please feel free to ask any questions:)


  1. hey beautiful! hopping over from the linkup!! love this post..makes me even more excited to go visit my little sissy in nyc soon!!

    happy weekend!

  2. You've made me want to go to NYC!!! Stopping over from 5 on Friday!

  3. Shake Shack is the best...and Chelsea!!