NYC is one of the most amazing cities in the world. Founded as a modest Dutch trading post, it has since grown to be one of the most diverse, bustling melting pots in the world. About 8.2 million people call the Big Apple home and over 45 million visitors flock to it each year. No matter which corner you explore, you’re bound to find something interesting.
Literally everywhere you look there is a bit of history or some sort of record. Towering above you, the iconic skyline includes some of the tallest buildings in the world. Below ground, the New York City subway is the most extensive subway system on the planet. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a frequent one, The City That Never Sleeps has lots of great things in store. To get you started, here are 5 must-dos in NYC.
Eat, Drink and Be MerryNYC has some of the best bars and restaurants in the world. From the quirky to the historic, the hole-in-the-wall place to the 5-star restaurant, NYC is a foodie paradise. You could spend weeks in the city and not get to sample everything locals recommend. But here are a few places to add to your must-visit list.
McSorley's Old Ale House: this place is both historic and quirky. Founded in 1854, it’s NYC’s oldest continuously operated saloon. Famous people through the centuries, from Abe Lincoln to John Lennon, have quenched their thirst here. Today’s patrons have a choice of two kinds of beer: “light” or “dark,” which comes in two small mugs per order. There is still sawdust on the floor and memorabilia is everywhere, from Houdini’s handcuffs on the bar rail to wishbones hanging over the bar (purportedly left there by young men headed off to World War I to be removed when they returned).
Ferdinando’s Focacceria: if you’re craving authentic Sicilian cuisine, this is the place to go. Featured multiple times in The New York Times and popular with neighborhood residents, this restaurant has delicious, homemade dishes. Try the panelle (fritters made from chickpeas), potato croquettes or the arancina (fried rice balls coated with breadcrumbs).
Lombardi’s Pizzeria: opening its doors in 1905, Lombardi’s is America’s oldest pizzeria. The pizza is still baked in a coal oven and the atmosphere is classic, with black and white pictures on the walls and checkered table cloths. Note that the restaurant only serves whole pies made to order.
Junior’s Restaurant: if you’re looking for some of the best cheesecake in NYC, this is one place to go. The original location is in downtown Brooklyn, but it there’s also a Junior’s Restaurant in the Times Square area and one inside Grand Central Terminal.
Take a Stroll or Sit in Central Park
Visit a museumNYC has some of the best museums in the world. While there are a number of them, a couple definitely worth visiting are the American Museum of Natural History and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The American Museum of Natural History is one of the largest museums in the world. Across the street from Central Park, it consists of 25 interconnected buildings housing over 130 million specimens. Among the impressive things visitors can see are the life-size dioramas and awe-inspiring dinosaur skeletons. The Metropolitan Museum of Art (AKA “The Met”) is America’s largest art museum and the one of the three largest art museums on earth. With more than two million works of art from around the world and throughout the ages, it’s an impressive place to explore for art experts and novices alike.
Watch a Broadway Play
Take a Bus TourThe hop-on hop-off buses are a great way to explore the city, especially if it’s your first time visiting. First-time visitors will not only learn about the history of NYC and interesting tidbits about its architecture, but they’ll also have a better sense of the city’s layout and neighborhoods. Visitors who have explored the city on foot but not taken the tour yet might be surprised at all of the history they unwittingly passed without a glance. It’s like seeing layers of the city you never realized existed.
These five activities will no doubt make for an eventful trip to NYC. To recharge your batteries between your NYC adventures, you should be sure to book the perfect NYC accommodations to serve as your “NYC trip headquarters.” An NYC vacation rental is a great option: whether it’s a trendy apartment in Chelsea or an affordable apartment Uptown, having a great place to stay will make all the difference. Enjoy NYC and don’t worry if you don’t get around to everything. That’s all the more reason to come back!