Friday, December 21, 2018

Top 10 Attraction Places that you MUST Visit in New York

New York City, I've made it there! One more place to tick off my bucket list. I've always wonder what is it like in the Time Squares, to be able to stand right at the centre of it, going into central park, one that is always mention in the movies, Empire State Building and the streets of NYC. Being able to finally travel there was a blessing and I was so excited for it.

I've got to thank my university for this. The main reason I was in New York was for my studies. I had to do one of my modules there. It was a 3-day course but I decided to extend my stay for another 3 day more days. And then head over to Washington and Boston.

4th - 9th May 

We stayed in an AirBnb in Astoria and the host was extremely nice and flexible. The check-in and check-out times were so flexible as compare to other places which were quite strict about it. Considering we were travelling to places at odd hours just for a cheaper price, this came in really useful for us! Also, staying in Astoria was quite convenient as the Metro is close by and it only took 20 mins to get into Time Square. There was also a lot of restaurants nearby as well.

I had so many things on my list to do that I couldn't decide which one should I go for. One thing for sure was I had to do all the top attraction places.

Oh! Before I jump into that, I actually got the NewYork City Pass for about £91.50 on Isango. I compare all the websites selling the NewYork City Pass and pick the cheapest offered. The pass include: 

  • Empire State Building
  • American Museum of Natural History
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Top of the Rock OR Guggenheim Museum
  • Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island OR Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises
  • 9/11 Memorial & Museum OR Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
When I added the entrance ticket for these separately, it was definitely worth it to get the City Pass. I picked the Top of the Rock, Status of Liberty and Ellis Island and 9/11 Memorial & Museum.

Arrived in NY early in the morning, took the train and begin my adventures...

Time Square

The famous intersection, one of the most visited tourist attractions in the Midtown Manhattan section. Right at the junction of Broadway and Seventh Avenue, this site that always appeared movies, felt so surreal to be there. I've got to admit one thing for sure, Time Square is definitely more alive at night than it is during the day. There's more feel being there at night. Both times, it was equally busy. Indeed, it felt like the city that never sleeps. People were everywhere, rushing to work, tourist taking photos, car honking and also the busy traffic. 

For us tourist, we think of the square as 'Time Square' while in actual fact, to the locals, it's actually a larger neighbourhood where it stretches from 40th St all the way to 52nd street and 6th to 8th avenue. There's so much to do here, all the other tourist attractions around this area and of course, shopping. Also, do note there's naked people walking around, some covering the x-rated part with paint or also the famous 'Naked Cowboy'. So much happening.. 

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Also known as 'the Met', this is the largest museum in United States. If you are a big fan of museum, do check out their website for the upcoming exhibition and plan your visit there to make sure you make the most out of it. I spend about 2-3 hours in the museum. I did not go to all the exhibition but I pick those that were of my interest. After the museum at Vatican City, I felt that I hit my museum quota for the year. However, the Met is a well known tourist attraction and I had to visit to see it for myself. 

I've got to confessed that I am not one that get super excited when it comes to museum but I definitely will make most of my time when I am there. But I am sure for museum fanatic, this is one that you would enjoy! 

If you go up to the 3rd or 4th floor of the museum, guess what?

A view of this and a bar for you to chill at ! Amazing isn't it?

Top of the Rock & Rockefeller Plaza

One way to connect more with NYC would definitely be getting to Rockefeller Plaza and visit the historic landmark. My favourite was definitely Top of the Rock where you go all the way up up up up to the 70th floor to get the city view! Wherever I go, if there's a skyscraper for city views, I'm all in for it. As I had the pass for both Top of the Rock and Empire State Building, I decided to do the night view at Top of the Rock. And I was definitely taken back when I was at the top. The city was beautiful! Lights were everywhere and it was so captivating being at the top. 

Of course, you would be able to see the empire state building from here. 1 point for Top of the Rock for this. A lot of people have a dilemma on which building should they go up too. I would say Top of the Rock doesn't have the barrier so you can actually get really good photos without the reflection of the glass. 

The best time to visit the Rockefeller Plaza would be close to Christmas and New Year. Well known for the decoration and the huge Christmas tree, I told myself that I will be in NYC one more time and this time during Christmas. The season of giving and happiness, coupled with such a beautiful view of the city, it will definitely make it count. 

Get a tour around Rockefeller Plaza and visit all the landmarks. You can also walk around and there's so much to do such as Rock Center, the Ice Skating Rink, Lego store and more shopping. 

Empire State Building

102-storey skyscraper, once the tallest building in the world, also one of the iconic building of NYC. At night, the building light up and changes colour. Definitely a building worth making a visit. I've got to experience an amazing day view from this very building. This was definitely the best city view I've seen among all the skyscraper building that I've been to. The view was breathtaking. I absolutely love it and I could just stay there all day. I bet the sunrise or sunset view would have been perfect. 

There's also a free app that you can download to guide you throughout your visit. Every inch of the building tells a story so why not share this experience to know about the building. My favourite part of this visit is getting the view of the entire Manhattan Island all the way out to the World Trade Center. Writing this again, relive the feeling and moment I visited there. 

One World Trade Center

The original WTC located in lower Manhattan, consist of 7 large building until the 9/11 event happened. Two of the buildings were destroyed in that tragic event. One WTC was rebuilt and became the tallest building in the US. The architect, David Childs is the same guy who designed Burj Khalifa and Wills Tower. I like the interior design of the building which is a modern-theme design. 

9/11 Memorial & Museum

When you visiting the WTC, be sure to stop by at the 9/11 Memorial & Museum. The tragic event that happened on the 11 September 2011. The memorial was to remembered all the lives loss on that day. The museum outline the timeline of the events and there were the remains of the buildings and vehicle from then. It really saddened me when I was in the museum, hearing the voice recording of the victims, sending to their families. It was a very depressing visit, going through the museum. 

There's a room where they have all the photos of the lives loss and also their bio. The museum commemorating the event and those brave firemen who went into the building to save lives. It reminded me of how we should appreciate our lives and promote peace all around. The firemen, knowing that it was dangerous and that there was a chance they might not make it, risk their lives for others. 

This visit gave me a different perspective of life and I would definitely recommend a visit. I definitely learn more about the event. There were slide shows and I spend 2-3 hours in it without even realising. 

Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island

When I was younger, the 'Status of Liberty' was introduced to me when I was watching X-Men. The end scenes was right at the Liberty statue. I remember asking my dad about it and he said 'oh this is in US'. Many years later, I am actually visiting the statue and see it with my own eyes. We took a cruise to the island and had a tour about the history of how this statue came to be. 

The statue was actually a gift from the people of France. It is an icon of freedom and now becoming one of the famous attraction sights. In France, if you are cruising along the Seine River, you will definitely see a mini version of this statue. Not to forget, its a welcoming sight for the immigrant who were entering NYC. That's where Ellis Island come in. That's where the immigrant come in to go through their checks to see if they were fit and healthy. This particular island house many stories, the happy ones where they manage to pass the tests and sad ones where families have to be separated.

The tour in the Immigrant Museum was definitely insightful. I've learned so much. There's audio guide everywhere and these were the things I never knew. I realise that it was a hassle to immigrate to the US back in the old times. There were a lot of people taking the boat ride from their home country with hopes of moving to the US. Some of them did not even make it in the boat. There were some who took days to reach only to be rejected at the door. 

Not to forget, during this cruise and from the islands you have get a great picture of the Manhattan skyline. Right before my trip, I was fixing a puzzle of the Manhattan skyline and it felt so good to be able to see the exact same image that I build up. 

Brooklyn Bridge

The cable suspension bridge which connects Manhattan and Brooklyn. You can choose to walk across the bridge for whichever side. I definitely suggest to go there during the day time. You can see the Manhattan skyline for here as well. I went there during the night time - it was dark but still a beautiful sight. I've seen pictures during the day and I kind of compare and think that I should have went there during the day.

Visiting the bridge - although just the bridge but you are definitely exploring another part of the city. A feeling of completeness.

Wall Street 

Global financial crisis, another event in 2008 that seen the fall of banks such as Lehman Brothers and a lot of other companies going into bankruptcy. The trip is not complete without a Wall Street Tour experience. Learning more and being at this particular area felt like I had to know more and visit these landmarks. One hypothesis said by the tour guide that I can remember so clearly was 'Everything a skyscraper is built, the financial crisis is bound to happen' Proven with the Taipei 101 and the Asian crisis and OWTC or ESB then the financial crisis. Interesting....

Of course when you are at the Wall Street, the main attraction would be the New York Stock Exchange building, the bull statue and the little girl statue (also known as the Fearless Girl).

Grand Central Terminal

An elegant and classic design rail terminal located on the 42nd street. There were a lot of different shops in the terminal and not to mention food as well. It was quite big and I took a walk around the terminal for an hour. Just browsing and window shopping. 

The first time I saw Grand Central Terminal was in the movie 'Just my Luck'. Lindsay Lohan was the luckiest woman until she met this guy and they switched luck. The ending scene was film here where they both make up and kissed with the board flickering with delay and on time as their luck kept switching. The moment I walked into the terminal and saw the board, I knew the movie was film here. 

Central Park

Last but not least, the famous Central Park. This is a huge park and it will take you awhile to walk the entire park. Rectangle shaped park, huge and surrounded by all the building in Manhattan. For a guide to visit the central park, just head over here and you can see all the attraction points and things to do. I gotta confess I did not spend as much time but I walk around it for a bit as we were heading off to visit other places as well. It right beside the Met Museum so it's definitely wise to visit the both place the same time. 



Yes food..definitely better than in London. You can enter a random restaurant and be impressed in the city. My favourite was definitely in Koreatown. The BBQ and dishes were definitely places I would come back to again and again. 

I had quite a lot of American food as well. We were always super hungry after a full day of travelling and hence, ate wherever we see there's a crowd but no line. Portion were huge so most of the time we end up sharing as well. My two favourite dessert there was definitely :

Lady M Crepe Cake

They have the franchise all around the world but this was the first time I was trying it. I love love love crepe cake and this was one of the best I've had after Nadeje. It's definitely not too sweet and the layers were perfect. 

Simple, elegant but 110% tasty! 

Momofuku Milk Bar

First time trying cereal milk shake, and loving it. I had it once in NYC and found out that Washington has a branch. Immediately went straight for it. I ordered the Cereal Milk ice cream and a few cookies. My favourite was definitely the milk shake. The cookies were alright, typical cookies. 

The design of the store were very neon-like. A different type of store. Highly recommended to head over there for sure. 

A well spend 5-6 days in NY and we took the midnight bus heading over to Washington! I was very heavy hearted to leave NY and told myself I will definitely come back. This is the first part of my USA Traventures. To follow on, feel free to read my trip on Washington and Boston (coming up soon).

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  1. This was a fun post! NYC is definitely on my bucket list. I probably wouldn't be able to go to the 9/11 museum, because I still get emotional thinking about it. I can still remember when my mum called my and told me what had happened. She was napping on the couch, and she woke to see the second plane go into the building. She thought that it was a movie at first. I was shopping at Tesco's, and she called me on my phone to tell me. I couldn't believe it! It felt surreal, and as though the world was ending. This was also just when we thought that with the end of the IRA, the West was terrorism free. I think that was the event that made the 21st century.

    1. Oh no... it must have affected you so much more. When I was there visiting the museum, I thought to myself it must have been a terrible experience to be even hearing the news and witnessing the entire thing. I was so depressed after visiting the museum. There are still a lot of family and friends of the victims paying respect.

  2. New York, the big city of dreams! Love it!

  3. I love New York, and you just took me back there! There's so much to see and do in this dynamic city. Great tip about the City Pass, too.

  4. A great post on a great city! I've been lucky enough to visit quite a few of these places but will have to book another trip to see the Brooklyn Bridge!

  5. I miss New York, I visited the same places way back, I guess, there's a new added girl statue at the Wall Street :) Brooklyn Bridge still my fave.

    1. Yes, this girl was only suppose to be there for a particular period but due to its popularity, they decided to keep her there!

  6. New York is one of my favorite cities in the world and love how you featured these attractions. Love them as well especially the Brooklyn Bridge.

  7. I went to school upstate NY so I took trips to NYC often. I absolutely loved the MET, and went there a few times actually. the Times Square area is pretty awesome to chill and have some food from those halal foodtrucks.

  8. I haven't been to NYC for year - and at this moment, I refrain from travelling to the US. However, the city pass is great for a first time visit, only that some of the attractions are free or on a pay what you wish basis. Then, of course, you might not be free to pick your day.
    I'm surprised that you were allowed to touch the exhibits since usually you're not supposed to do that at exhibitions.

  9. Loved reading this as NYC is one of my favourite cities... we went there for a week in 2015. Seems a long time ago now! But reading this brings back the memories, as we did many of these things :)
    It's a great list of suggestions for sure!

  10. I am overdue another trip to NYC. I have been there 3 times yet I haven't even done everything on your list! Also crepes cake? Hmmmm yes please!!!

  11. I have never been to New York but i feel like i know the city already as ive seen most of these places in the movies but being there physically must be really fulfilling. I really cant wait to visit one time mostly to see the famous time square and the Brooklyn bridge. You seem like you really had an amazing time in New York, fingers crossed for my turn!!

  12. I was just in New York City 2 weeks ago and tried to see everything on your list, but missed a few. Oh well, great excuse to go back!

  13. I love how in depth and detailed your article on NY is! I haven't been to NY yet but really want to go. Your attractions are all really high on my list!

  14. This is an inspiring post especially for the young minds.Its so true that there are so many places to explore.

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