New York : A guide to your first visit

If there’s one city in the world that I miss regularly is New York.

The city is filled with an energy that I always find difficult to explain, but which personally gives me wings.

My few visits over the years have allowed me to gather a list of some addresses, good plans and essentials, which you must absolutely do on your first visit. So here they are:

The ESTA ! About 15 € online, it is mandatory to enter the United States, no negotiations possible. It is valid for 2 years for all your visits in the country. I’ll advise you to do it  at least 15 days before leaving in case there is a problem for your authorization. : Https:// And never go anywhere without your ID , especially at the restaurant, Americans almost systematically control the majority for alcohol.

First, get yourself the New York City Pass. It’s a pass gathering all essential visits to the city, Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, Top of the Rock and now the 9/11 Memorial. You will pay roughly 40% less than if you buy your tickets at each attraction. You can buy it online or on site when you arrive at your first visit available in the pass: New York City Pass

Then, of course, a Metro Card : 1 unlimited week will take you anywhere in the city throughout your stay, the metro is open  24/7 Like all major cities at night, the Big Apple is not the safest, I recommend the taxi, relatively affordable, for your evening ends, and then it’s always fun to just raise your hand to stop one (our little Sex And The City fantasy).

The CityMapper app is the best to calculate your routes, it takes into account all the possibilities (metro, walk, taxi) and will save you infinite time. It is also available in several cities such as Paris.

See you after these few photos ->

Regarding visits there is one for every taste, without going into details, here are for me the first visit must-see :

  • Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island : Ellis is the island on which immigrants arrived at the beginning of the 20th century, it is a place full of history that is unavoidable to understand the history of the United States
  • The MET Museum : So this one is by far my favorite. A kind of Louvre in the artworks you will come across, less impressive in interior architecture but in a magnificent building, and especially an absolutely amazing Egyptian gallery!
  • 5th Avenue : Whoever believes that the Fifth is only shopping has not seen anything! The Public Library, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the Rockefeller Center Skating Rink, the Trump Tower ? or not… But it is still impressive. The avenue goes up to Central Park and the Apple Store, surmounted by this glass cube now inescapable, and finally the famous Plaza Hotel (the hotel from “Home Alone, Lost in New York” )
  • Central Park: be careful, you will never see the whole park in one time, arm yourselves with good shoes and get lost in it!
  • Observatories : so, there are 3 very beautiful now: The Empire State Building , for the height and the legendary side, the Freedom Tower , the new World Trade Center, which I have not yet had the pleasure of visiting, and my favorite: Top Of The Rock , at the top of the Rockefeller Center, which has the merit of being open until 11pm and from where you can see the day fall on the city.
  • 9/11 Memorial : The first time I went to New York, Ground Zero was barely under construction, and still in ruins in some places. The streets were dusty and the windows of some buildings still shattered. Needless to say that going back to this place is every time a challenge, but to see its evolution is fascinating. Without saying too much, the fountains will take your breath away and the museum, which I discovered on my last visit, is sober, monumental, exactly what it took to represent this place and pay tribute to all the lost lives. Do not miss the story of the tree that survived the horror « The Survivor Tree », which was the only tree in bloom on my last visit.

So much for the basics, I highly recommend the Guide du Routard of NYC, it seems cliché, but thanks to its indications you will see in a short time ten times more interesting things than if you run in the jungle (and what a jungle).

There are obviously a billion other things that I could talk about, maybe in a future article?

And now, what do we eat ? –>

Small exhaustive list of my favorite places to eat:

  • La Bonbonniere : in the West Village, it is a tiny place that resembles nothing from the outside, it smells oil inside, but don’t get me wrong, it’s delicious and full of famous followers. (And not far away you can cross the building from Friends …)
  • Lombardi’s : The first pizzeria in New York (and even the USA I think) and honestly one of the best pizzas in my life (Italy lovers will hate me, but I said it). Total Italy ambiance, maybe a bit too cliché, but it is worth the detour.
  • Katz’s Delicatessen : Pastrami sandwiches, the typical atmosphere of the American deli and the famous sofa from « When Harry meets Sally » 
  • Big Gay Ice Cream : Close to Washington Square, I’ve never seen such ice cream, it’s indecent the number of toppings you can put on it …
  • Absolute Bagel : My favorite New York bagel, tiny but effective!
  • Levain Bakery & Vesuvio Bakery : the best cookies of my life
  • The Press Lounge : one of the many rooftops bars in town, I have not tried enough to tell you if it is the best but in any case the view is guaranteed!

Attention French friends: wine is VERY expensive … Important to know, nothing to do with our beautiful France, so drink something else or break the piggy bank.

I leave you with a few last pictures. Again, these are for me the essentials of a first visit, I will not fail to redo an article with less tourist addresses and visits.

If you have  any questions to prepare your trip, do not hesitate to leave them in comments I will answer with pleasure. If you have good addresses for me, I also take them, you’ve never seen everything!

« No place in the world that can compare » 

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14 commentaires sur « New York : A guide to your first visit »

  1. New York is definitely one of my dream tourist destinations, given that I have been hearing so much about it all my life. Definitely gonna visit if and when I am in the US, and then I will have a look at your helpful suggestions once again 🙂
    P.S. The night view in the last picture is beautiful !

  2. I love visiting New York. There is so much to see and I haven’t seen it all yet. Perhaps impossible. LOL. I love going to walk on the Brooklyn Bridge it’s my favorite bridge so far. And yes, the food is so awesome in New York. They really know how to feed you there. Not like here in Toronto where they give you something measly and charge you large for it. I must go back to NYC soon.

  3. This is one of my dream locations. I live how your blog really helps people make the most of there stay even if it’s short. Thanks for sharing a great post

  4. I have been to NYC twice but NEVER visited the Statue of Liberty! LOL! Your guide is very neat! I would only add a burger at Five Guys which is my favorite burger place in the world and definitely a Broadway show.

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