New York, New York. The city that never sleeps. The Big Apple. If you’ve ever been to this remarkable concrete jungle, you’ll know how impossible it is to shake the empire state of mind once you leave. This enthralling and culturally diverse city is so enchanting and unparalleled to anything else.

Whether you’re there for a week, a month or a year, New York has so much to offer; from the smorgasbord of culinary hotspots, to its eclectic art scene, the bars and brunch spots where you leisurely spend an entire Sunday sipping mimosas.

If you can imagine it, New York has it. So, in no particular order, here 10 things you should check out when you’re in NYC.

1. Smorgasburg

Held in Williamsburg, Brooklyn every Saturday and Sunday, Smorgasburg is every foodie’s dream turned into a scrumptious reality. With over 100 food vendors, your taste buds will be awakened to all kinds of cuisines. For example: a grand serving of sweet and crunchy buttermilk fried chicken and waffles.


2. Empire State Building

If you go during peak hours, visiting the Empire State Building would be a traumatic venture. However, early on a weekday morning is definitely the time to do it. While some people think it’s a major tourist attraction (which it is, to be honest) and therefore a waste of time and money, the view you get from the top really makes you realise what a concrete jungle the city of New York is, and a beautiful one at that.

3. Statue of Liberty

There’s some indescribable feeling that overcomes you as Lady Liberty starts growing larger and larger as the ferry approaches Liberty Island. It’s one of New York’s biggest icons and she truly is a remarkable statue. Again, morning time is best to visit as the Island isn’t too crowded and you can get some alone time with the Lady.

4. Smalls Jazz Bar

Located in the East Village, Smalls Jazz Bar is an escape from NYC’s hustle and bustle into a world of woody saxophones and brassy trumpets. Playing jazz all night, it’s best to go on a Monday because that’s when it really kicks off. When the music’s over, wander around the streets for a slice of New York’s famous $1 a slice pizza.

5. Central Park

Perhaps one of New York’s most iconic tourist spots, it’s popular for a reason. One can’t understand the sheer size of Central Park until they spend the day riding or walking around its beautiful grounds. From brilliant buskers to some sensational artists, Central Park is a cultural hotpot. As you wander, don’t be surprised if you hear every language of the world in one day. Everybody goes to Central Park and I mean everybody.


6. West Village

Forget the Upper East Side, the West Village is where all the cools kids hang out. With quaint cafes and plenty of boutique shops, the West Village is another quiet escape and a place to grab a cup of coffee and a good feed. Don’t forget to try the chocolate chip and sea salt cookies from the Sweet Corner Bakeshop – mind-blowing doesn’t even come close to explaining how good they are.

7. Washington Square Park

One of the best things to do in New York is to read in Washington Square Park. One of New York’s smaller parks, Washington Square Park is the ultimate place to relax, cool off in the fountain or just listen to some fantastic jazz music that’s always echoing throughout the park. Or, try your luck at a chess game. There’s always a local willing to play.


8. Williamsburg Flea 

Every Sunday in Williamsburg is the artist’s flea markets. You’ll find anything from paintings and furniture to jewellery and knick-knacks. Then, spend the day exploring Brooklyn – why New Yorker’s tend to snub this borough doesn’t make sense – perhaps it’s because Brooklyn ‘suburban’ than Manhattan. Nonetheless, Brooklyn is filled with quintessential charm and loads of places to explore.

9. Times Square

Why New York is dubbed the City of Lights is blindingly (literally) obvious when you visit Times Square at night. Neon lights and colours burst in every direction and the buzz is palpable. Grab a hotdog, sit on the Times Square steps and let sheer craziness of it wash over you.

10. Brooklyn Night Bazaar 

Another Brooklyn beauty – Brooklyn Night Bazaar offers artisan products of all kinds, food vendors and great live performances. Find a nice dinner spot in Brooklyn and then wander over to the Bazaar – its free entry and definitely worth a gander.

Our friends at Inspired Adventures offer some unique New York travel experiences which can be found here.

About The Author

Ally’s greatest passions include the written word, travel and philanthropy. She has a Communications degree majoring in Journalism, and is currently completing her Master of Arts in Creative Writing. Ally was bitten by the travel bug a long time ago and has since gone on to cycle 350kms across Vietnam and Cambodia, swim with turtles in the Great Barrier Reef, eat her way through Hoi An, climb to the top of the Big Buddha in Hong Kong, float the Dead Sea in Israel, eat her weight in churros in Mexico, and snorkel in Samoa. So far she’s visited 25 countries. She hopes to one day see every country in the world.

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