New York is one of the few cities in the world that we could come back to time and time again, and on each occasion experience completely different things. NYC never gets boring. Although we’re incredibly blessed to be able to spend a week in this magnificent place, the limited time made it incredibly difficult to decide what we should do with our days.
Barring a short work trip, this was our first time in NYC so we felt like we just had to start with all of the standard tourist attractions. If you’re ever looking to make this process easy and affordable, look no further than the CityPASS. Costing £110, this gave us access to the “big 6”:
- Top of the Rock
- Empire State Building
- Boat trip to Ellis Island and Statue of Liberty
- Metropolitan Museum of Art
- Natural History Museum
- 9/11 Memorial and Museum
Armed with our passes when we set foot in the USA, we knew we had a good chunk of each day filled with something brand new, exciting and paid for. NYC is by no means cheap, and considering the Empire State Building can be upwards of £60 alone, we deemed this to be an absolute bargain.
Going into complete planning overdrive to make sure we were maximising our time in New York, we also planned our visits to these attractions alongside other nearby places so we weren’t on the subway too much and didn’t end up being inside or outside all day long either.
With our trusty Lonely Planet guide and map with us at all times, we knew for example that when we’d head to the the World Trade Center for a spot of shopping, we’d also take some time in the 9/11 Museum. This was a harrowing experience but one we completely recommend. The statistics about this fateful day are shocking, but it’s the individual stories of the lives lost that gave us awfully heavy hearts. This is documented so well and provides a wonderful tribute to those who lost their lives in 2001. Probably more than anything we did on our trip, it gave us the time and headspace to take some long moments to appreciate how lucky we are.
The World Trade Center’s train station acts as a major commuter hub for those travelling in from from New Jersey on the PATH trains. It’s also where we caught our train to head out to station for our helicopter ride (yep, helicopter ride!!).
With celebrating our five year anniversary the day after touchdown in NYC, we needed to find something that we really would remember forever. We needed something that encapsulated the journey we’ve taken both as individuals and as a couple to get to this point in our lives, and something that would make us step slightly out of our comfort zones and fill us with adrenaline.
FlyNYON’s 30 minute ride over Manhattan was exactly that. It was one of the best singular moments in time we’ve ever had and we implore you to do this or something similar when celebrating a big milestone. FlyNYON is the only company to fly over Manhattan, not just around it, so make sure you go with them if you’re up for experiencing this to the fullest.
Again making the most of our CityPASS with a visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, we combined this with a stroll through the world famous Central Park and a spontaneous hour long row on one of the many lakes. Unlike our helicopter ride, the weather was absolutely glorious and made the photos look as dreamy as the day itself. This is also another pretty cheap option if you’re looking for something to do on a budget. You pay by boat and as there was four of us, we paid $3.75 each for the hour.
We’re going to keep this post short and sweet, with part 2 of how we spent our week in NYC coming to the blog next week! We want to give you the opportunity to ask questions, give us your recommendations and let us know what you think of anything you’ve read above.
We’ll be answering all in part 2. Thanks for reading!