Top 5 things to do in New York City

Top 5 Things to do in New York City - Travel for a Living

After London New York City is my second favourite city in the world (can you tell I’m a city girl at heart? Who would have guessed I grew up in the countryside)

First time we went to New York was for our honeymoon. A long trip with the intention to see it all and tick it off the bucket list once and for all. Little did I know this was just the start of an ongoing romance.

We’ve since been back twice and I can’t wait for the next time (Christmas shopping in New York would probably be next on my bucket list)

There is a lot to see and do in New York, so today I share my personal Top 5 things to do in New York City with you

Top 5 Things to do in New York City: Go up the Empire State Building

Yes this might be a rather obvious one, but honestly go and see it. You have a perfect 360 view of New York. But save the money for the 102nd floor. Yes it is higher up than the main observation deck on the 86th floor but you are indoors only and (in my opinion) the view does not equal the extra money spent.

We’ve been up twice, once during the day and once at night.


Both views are stunning, but the night view certainly is more memorable. The Empire State Building opens until very late, so there is a slim chance of beating the crowds by going extra late (or extra early if you are one of those rare morning persons)

Top 5 Things to do in New York City: Walk the High Line Park

The Highline Park was something we completely missed first time round. It is an unused elevated rail track on the West Side that was transformed into a garden walk a couple of years ago. Start at the bottom (somewhere below 14th Street) and walk all the way up to the end at 34th Street. It sounds a lot, but it actually is a pleasant stroll (around 1.5 miles) that allows you to see the city from a completely different angle. But wrap up warm, it can be very windy up here.

High Line Park needs to be on your Top 5 list of things to do in New York City - Travel for a Living

Top 5 Things to do in New York City: Shop at Macy’s

Going to New York and not going on a shopping spree? Nope, didn’t think so either. For me every NYC trip includes at least one trip to Macy’s (more likely one a day if we are being honest). I can literally spend (and have spent) hours in there. They have just about everything you can wish for and if you are lucky enough to go during sales (which I seem to manage quite regularly) you can grab some real bargains.

As a visitor go to the mezzanine floor first and get your 10% off visitor pass.

Shopping as a plus size girl isn’t always easy (or fun), but Macy’s offers an amazing selection of designer clothes (like Ralph Lauren and Michael Kors) in plus sizes. And you don’t have to hunt through aisles of other clothes first to find them. On the 7th floor they have dedicated half a floor to plus size only, so you can browse with ease and go crazy (at least I do).

And since you can’t buy a dress without accessories (I mean yes, you obviously can, but what’s the fun in that?), head to the 2nd floor for shoes and ground floor for handbags on your way down.

Oh and take a look at the old wooden escalators from the early 1900s, which are still in place (if you can take your eyes of the clothes that is). Intrigued? You will find Macy’s at the corner Broadway and 34th Street (massive big building with a bright red Macy’s advert, you really can’t miss it).

As hubby gets bored within the first 5 minutes of me clothes shopping (well I can’t blame him as I really go on for hours), his personal shopping tip would probably be the B&H store further down the road (corner 34th and 9th) which offers a vast selection of photography gear.

Top 5 Things to do in New York City: Have a bagel at Pick A Bagel and a pastrami sandwich at Katz’s Delicatessen

All that exploring is eventually gonna leave you starving (and wishing for a foot massage… that might just be me though). There is plenty of great food all around you, from posh restaurants to quick street food. So if you are going hungry you only have yourself to blame.

My favourite go to for a quick lunch is Pick a Bagel on the Upper East Side (saying that I think they have more shops around, but this is the one I’ve tested and liked). You can pick from a variety of bagels and a myriad of fillings. And if I say filling I mean proper deep filled, so probably not ideal if you are counting calories or watching your carb intake.

For a true New York classic head down to the Lower East Side for a pastrami sandwich at Katz’s Delicatessen. You might not know that you know it, but I would be very surprised if you don’t remember that famous scene from ‘Where Harry met Sally’. Yes this is the very same deli.

I would advise to time your visit well to avoid hitting any rush hour, as the ordering service is both chaotic and a bit dated. Don’t expect a proper menu or even anyone talking you through the food on offer. Just have a look, take a pick and hope for the best… and don’t faint when you pay, a pastrami sandwich will set you back a good 20$. But with the amount of meat in there it will keep you going for the rest of the day.


Top 5 Things to do in New York City: Go and see a show

Living in London, where most of the musicals are right on my door step, I don’t quite fancy hitting the Broadway to see yet another musical. But what we have done is went to see the ‘New York Spring Spectacular’, one of the shows with the legendary Rockettes at the Radio City Musical Hall, as well as head to the Lincoln Center for a performance of the New York City Ballet (third time lucky, first two visits were always outside their season). So whatever takes your fancy really, everything goes in the city that never sleeps.

Top 5 Things to do in New York City - Travel for a Living   

Well, obviously we made our fare share of rookie mistakes as well, so read on to avoid the same traps.

Have you been to the Big Apple? What are your favourites?

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