For my birthday this year, the hubby and I took a quick three-day trip to NYC and stayed at the Conrad New York Midtown (check out my review on the hotel here). The last time I spent a decent amount of time in NYC was in 2002, 20 years ago! One of my favorite things is exploring cities and immersing myself in the culture. New York City is the perfect city to do this in; it’s such a melting pot of cultures and people! There is so much to do and see.
I’m breaking down some of the top attractions in NYC and what we ended up doing. Again, since this wasn’t my first time in the city, we skipped some tourist attractions, but I’ll list them below. Keep reading for my New York City Itinerary!
Getting around NYC is super easy, and there are plenty of ways to explore: walking, biking, scooting, driving, subway, ride shares, boating, and even flying. Our hotel in Midtown was about a 5-minute walk to Times Square in one direction and a 5-minute walk to Central Park in the other direction. During our stay, we mostly biked everywhere! I highly recommend using the Citi bikes available throughout the city every few blocks. They are easy to use, cheap, and you can see so much more of the city this way! We biked most places using Maps navigation on my Apple Watch, and the app took us through streets with dedicated bike lanes. NYC has bike lanes everywhere. We had a blast! Pro tip: If you have a smartwatch, bring it with you, as the bikes do not have a phone rest. I navigated everywhere on my Apple Watch.
You can use the Citi Bike or Lyft app to find the nearest station and scan an available bike, and you are ready to go! They have two different types of bikes available, either a regular bike or an electric bike, which gives you a boost as you pedal. The electric bikes are easier and faster but a little bit more expensive. Overall, a 30-minute bike ride costs anywhere $2-$6, whereas an Uber/Lyft would mostly run about $30 for the same distance.
We also discovered that in NYC, cabs tend to run cheaper than Uber/Lyft in most cases, and they are also more readily available. For example, we traveled to dinner one night from our hotel in Midtown to a restaurant in Nomad, and Uber quoted us $30 for the 1.6-mile drive at around 7 p.m. We took a cab and spent about $20. Cabs also have an app called Curb that you can use to order ahead of time or get a price quote. We tried using the app once after dinner and the wait time went up to about 20 minutes. I guess it was a popular time because we even struggled to get an open cab outside and had to order a Lyft. This was on a Tuesday night around 10 p.m. Cabs also have a flat fee for airports, $65 to JFK and $39 to LGA.
The subway is another great transportation method in NYC. You can use Google Maps for directions as well. We only used the subway one day when it was raining, and it wasn’t ideal biking weather.
We were in the city Sunday-Wednesday, which was plenty of time for us to see what we had on our agenda! There is so much available! Here are some of the most popular things to do:
Central Park(we did a fun pedicab tour via Viator it was a great experience)
Empire State Building
Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island
9/11 Memorial & Freedom Tower
Brooklyn Bridge(you can bike, walk, or drive)
DUMBO(Manhattan Bridge View is on the corner of Water St and Washington St)
New York Stock Exchange/Wall Street
5th Avenue (great shopping)
Washington Square Park
SoHo(cute area for shopping, restaurants and pictures of cast-iron architecture)
St. Patrick’s Cathedral
Radio City Music Hall
Madison Square Garden
Vessel(only the first floor is available, but a great spot to take pictures)
Summit One Vanderbilt(such a fun experience, highly recommend: check out my reel here)
Museum of Ice cream
NYC has so many amazing restaurants to try! Planning out where we ate was the hardest part about planning our trip! I’ll list where we went and provide a few other recommendations:
John’s of Bleecker Street– (coal-oven pizza) our NYC friends swear by this place and we loved it
Katz’s Deli– Famous Jewish Deli known for their Pastrami on Rye. I had the Reuben Pastrami and Matzo Ball soup (huge portions). It was super good and the wait went quickly!
Peter Luger Steak House– Great Steak
Sushi Nakazawa– Omakase menu
Madame Vo– Vietnamese food, try the wings they were amazing!
Nusr-Et– Salt Bae’s restaurant, pricey, but a fun experience
LittleMad- Fun and creative dishes
Other notables: Cacio e Pepe, Daniel, Clinton St. Baking, Bar Masa
Dominique Ansel Bakery– Famous for their Cronut and Watermelon Sorbet (honestly wasn’t a fan of the cronut personally)
Levain Bakery– Must try the chocolate chip walnut cookie
DO, Cookie Dough Confections– edible cookie dough (was on my list but we didn’t make it)
Magnolia Bakery– cupcakes had a cameo in Sex and the City
Day 1 (we had half a day)
-Checked into our hotel
-Walked over to Times Square
-Ate Pizza at John’s of Bleecker Street (and ate ice cream/sorbet next door)
-Rode bikes to Washington square park (quick ride from John’s )
-Rode bikes to SoHo (for some shopping and more Dominique Ansel bakery, DO is in the area too)
-We planned to go check out the Museum of Ice cream, but we were so tired we ended up heading back to our hotel to relax before dinner
-We started the day riding our bikes to Summit One Vanderbilt for the 2-hour tour and experience. It was so much fun, and we got to take in some fantastic city views, even watching a storm roll through
-Took the subway under Summit One to Ess-a Bagels for lunch to avoid the rain!
-Walked to shopping (Bloomingdale’s on 59th, 5th Avenue, etc.)
-Took a cab to Levain’s Bakery for cookies
-Rode our bikes through Central Park and back to our hotel
-Started the morning with a tour of Central Park via pedicab
-Rode our bikes to lunch at Madame Vo’s and then to North Cove Marina for a boat cruise
-Wrapped up the day by visiting the 9/11 Memorial across the street
Day 4: Our flight left at 6 p.m. this day, so we spent the entire day biking 16+ miles through the city via the westside bike trail, all the way south to the Brooklyn Bridge, and back to Midtown. This was one of my favorite days! Check out my reel here!
-We started in Midtown and biked towards the Hudson to get on the bike trail. This is such a beautiful trail, where you can see the Intrepid Museum.
-Our first stop was the Vessel for a few quick pictures, and then we made it around the block to take a picture of the Peloton Studios, where I got to meet one of my favorite trainers Robyn!
-Next, we got back on the trail heading South, passing the 9/11 Memorial and Freedom tour, and stopped at Wall Street and the New York Stock Exchange (also, the Bull is located right around here)
-We passed through Battery Park (which has fantastic views of the Statue of Liberty)
-And biked to and through the Brooklyn Bridge on our way to DUMBO
-Biked through DUMBO and stopped at the Manhattan Bridge view located on Water and Washington
-We biked back through on the Manhattan Bridge, through Chinatown and Canal Street, to Katz Deli for lunch
-After this, we biked back and went to the airport
This was a great experience, and we mainly took the bike trail everywhere! Super easy to bike and a beautiful way to see the city. Our stops, including lunch and heading back to our hotel, took us 5 hours. Here is the map of where we biked:
I linked some of my outfits on my LTK and throughout my blog, but here are a few of them for easy access: