After years of wanting to visit New York for my birthday, we finally decided to just go ahead and do it!
We decided to book our trip through lastminute.com as they had the cheapest package deals, and opted to stay for 4 nights and 5 days so we could make the most of it. After spending ages searching for the right hotel in the perfect location we decided to go with the Wellington hotel. Our choice was based on the fact that it’s located right between Times Square and Central Park, and therefore pretty Central to everything. The hotel was quite dated and in desperate need of repair, however this was not much of an issue due to the fact we didn’t spend much time in the hotel at all.
Day 1 Central Park Zoo, Central Park and Times Square
Our first day in New York was my birthday! I had already decided that I wanted to visit Central Park Zoo ($12 per person) and go for a walk around central park afterwards. The zoo is quite small and only takes a couple of hours to walk around, however I think it’s worth a visit, we were lucky enough that it had snowed upon our arrival to New York and so we got to see all of the animals playing around in the snow.
Once we had finished at the zoo, we got some lunch and headed into Central Park. You can take horse and carriage rides and guided tours around the park however we opted to walk and see where we ended up, we spent at least two hours wandering around in the snow and got to see the Balto state, the Alice in Wonderland Statue and the Belvedere castle to name a few.
That evening we headed out to Times Square which was only about a five-minute walk from our hotel. There are plenty of bars, restaurants, shops and people dressed up all over the place. You are also likely to get harassed by people offering you CD’s which they will then want you to pay for, as well as people handing out leaflets and trying to get you to go to various shows. It’s best to ignore them all and keep walking. We decided to visit Ripleys as we had some time to wait until our dinner reservation at the Hard Rock Cafe.
Day 2 The Intrepid and the Rockefeller Centre
My partner really wanted to visit the Intrepid sea, air and space museum, it was about a half an hour walk from the hotel, the museum is on the aircraft carrier Intrepid, admission for the museum and the space shuttle pavilion costs $36 each but I managed to find a discount code online which saved us a bit of money. It was pretty awesome to wonder around an aircraft carrier but the highlights have to be the Growler, a guided missile submarine and the Enterprise, the worlds first space shuttle, as it’s not everyday you get to see these.
That evening we went to the Rockefeller centre, it costs $34 per person to go to the top but it’s worth it just for the lift, as it has a glass ceiling so you look up all the way to the 70th floor.
Day 3 Empire State Building and the 9/11 Memorial
I had read online about horrendous queues at the Empire state Building unless you get there early, so we decided to get there for eight o’clock when it opened, it took us about half an hour to walk down to it. We were met by a couple of ticket touts in the street who tried to tell us there was a ninety minute wait and we were better off buying their tickets, we declined their offer and upon arriving there was no queue at all. We went straight up to the 86th floor and there was only a few other people there already. This floor is the main deck which is outside, most people just buy tickets for this, however we decided to buy the ticket that gets you all the way up to the 102nd floor ($54 per person), this floor is smaller and is inside only, but it was worth it just to say we’d been all the way up.
That afternoon we took the subway down to the 9/11 memorial, and found the Wall Street bull statue. We then took a walk down to Battery Park to see the Statue of Liberty, you can go on a boat which will take you around the island but we decided that we’d seen it and that was enough, rather than paying out $30 each just to get a bit closer. If you want to go up into the crown of the statue then you have to book this online way in advance as they only let a certain number of people up each day.
Day 4 American Museum of Natural History
As it was our last day in New York and we had seen most things we decided to take a walk up to the American museum of natural history. It took about 20 minutes from our hotel, they have a general admission charge of $22 however if you go the desk you can opt to pay however much you like, which is odd, but we paid $10 for the two of us as we didn’t have much time left before our flight. This museum is huge and I’m sure if you’re a natural history enthusiast you could spend all day here, we found the dinosaur section to be the most interesting, it’s worth visiting if you just want to wonder around for a couple of hours in the afternoon.
I’d highly recommend a trip to New York, there’s so much to see and do it’s impossible to get bored! Hopefully this post has been informative, I’ve tried to keep it as brief as possible. If you have any questions about anything at all then feel free to ask 🙂