Nowhere on Earth quite compares to New York. Whether you’re planning a brief city break or a 2-week long stay, everyone leaves feeling like they still haven’t managed to see everything. The city buzzes with creativity and potential, and there’s nowhere else in the world you can find so much culture crammed into one tiny island.
It’s a massive cliché that NY is the city that never sleeps, but clichés are there for a reason. No matter what time of year you visit the city, you’ll be overwhelmed with choices of things to do. One of the best times of year to visit is in the Summer – apart from the fact it’s hot AF, there’s some seriously amazing things to do. If you visit during June, make sure you go during Pride. New York created the Pride parade, and it’s insane. With celebs everywhere, the whole city is alive with a carnival, party vibe like no other, and the after parties get crazy.
If you get to the city between May and September, you can also see the Met’s Costume Institute’s annual fashion exhibit – you know, the one that the Met Gala opens every year. Nothing beats wandering up those iconic steps (thanks, Gossip Girl) and knowing that just a few weeks earlier there were hundreds of total A-listers wheeling out some of the best fashions of the year. The exhibits themselves are always incredible, too – you can see them up close and personal; a total must-do for any fashion savvy Thirsty Girl.
It should go without saying that you should try to visit New York during one of the Fashion Weeks (Feb/Sept). Although you probably won’t get to see any actual shows – unless you’ve got the gift of the gab, some decent connections, or a lack of fear about jumping some fences – you can wait outside to see all the celebs, designers and fashion icons coming and going, and try to hustle your way into the after parties. They do also occasionally host shows that are open to the public, so even if you won’t be seeing the Savage X Fenty show, you’ll still get a taste of fashion week.
Where to Eat
When you’re in New York, you have to have a proper burger, and Clinton Hall does Instagrammable burgers better than anyone else. Think massive, think cheese fondue poured over the top – they even have a doughnut grilled cheese. Yep, that’s a doughnut. Full of cheese. Grilled (it’s better than it sounds, honest). They have locations all across the city, and each one has everything from giant lawn games to rooftop beer gardens – total Instagram hot spot and perfect for a chilled night out.
Looking for a place to try and catch your favourite bloggers? Jacks Wife Freda is the perfect spot for a boujee brunch. Favourite of Instagram royalty Danielle Bernstein of WeWoreWhat, it’s best to go mid-week to avoid tourists and have the best chance of spotting your fave influencers.
If you’re looking for a quick snack-stop while you’re out and about, no NY trip is complete without an Instagram snap of Cupcake Market’s face cookies. With everything from Kim K’s crying face to Anna Wintour herself, you can pick your all-time favourite celebrity face to dine out on as you wander the streets downtown.
Nothing can beat the killer views and the kind of hipster place you’d come to expect from Brooklyn. Smorgasburg is an outdoor hot spot of local street food, so you can eat your way through the whole city without having to go more than a few hundred meters – sounds like our kind of afternoon. With unbeatable views of Manhattan across the river, this is the number one place to while away a lazy Sunday in the city.
What to Do
If you’re looking for classic New York, no trip is complete without a trip up either (or both) the Empire State Building or Rockefeller Centre. Get down there early to see the city waking up, or head up in the evening to watch the sun and the city go from all business to its infamous party vibes in just a few minutes.
Speaking of insane views, if you feel like walking, get downtown and take a stroll across Brooklyn Bridge. It’s a massive cliché, but for good reason. You get amazing views of the city that you just can’t get from Manhattan, not to mention Brooklyn itself is New York’s edgier and less commercial little sister – perfect for the girls who love something a little bit different.
You can’t go to New York without shopping. It’s just a fact. If you come back empty handed, you’re a stronger woman than we are. Hit up 5th Avenue for all the top designers and department stores and get yourself a total splurge piece that you’ll keep forever – your bank account might hate you, but we definitely won’t. If you’re more of a thrifty kind of gal, there isn’t a city in the world that does vintage shops quite like New York. Scattered across the city, there’s everything from grungy second hand band t-shirts and denim, to second hand designer pieces at a fraction of the price. Hit up ‘A Second Chance’ for those pre-loved luxury pieces, or try downtown’s ‘Mr Throwback’ for one of a kind retro pieces that you won’t get anywhere else.
The Moxy Hotel is a total hidden gem – and it won’t look too shabby on your Insta feed either. There’s three different locations around Manhattan and each one is overflowing with totally unique bits and bobs. Whether you want to book yourself in for a tattoo, or you just want to pop by for a cocktail on a rooftop carousel – yes, really – this place has got it all – even if you aren’t staying there. There’s different themed bars and restaurants and the rooms are straight out of a homeware inspo hashtag.
If you’re heading there in the Summer, trust us when we say you’re going to want to cool off. McCarren Hotel has a private rooftop pool which can be accessed for $60 a day – it might sound pricey, but you’ll be thanking me when you’re cooling off on the rooftop with spectacular views of the city all around you. Think Samantha from SATC – but without having to lie about your identity.
There’s nothing chicer than a rooftop bar in NYC, and 250 Fifth Rooftop bar gives you the most insane views of the Empire State Building. Grab yourself a cocktail and kick back on the tropical themed terrace during the Summer, or book yourself into one of their heated igloos during the Winter, so you can enjoy the views without losing a few fingers.
Split your trip into areas. I. Can’t. Stress. This. Enough. I’ve made the mistake before of trying to do about 5,000 things all over the city every day, and I just ended up exhausted with a blister the size of a 2p piece on my foot that meant my boyfriend had to call us an Uber to get back to the hotel. Instead, get your Monica from Friends on and plan that shit out. Pick a part of the city, then decide everything you want to do there – you’ll squeeze in so much stuff, and you won’t be left crying at the side of the road because your favourite shoes have betrayed you and you need to try and get an Uber in Manhattan on a Saturday night.
Whilst we’re on the subject of Ubers; wherever you can, take the subway. Taxis are extortionate and there’s only so much walking one human being can do. The subway isn’t nearly as confusing or scary as you might think, and it’ll have you from one end of the city to the other in no time. You might even get to see one of those live performances of the Lion King that seem to keep breaking out on them too.
You want to get the most out of your trip, so these are our top three tips for making sure it runs as smoothly as possible. First and foremost, get yourself a New York Pass (https://www.newyorkpass.com). These seem like such a basic-bitch thing to do, but honestly they’re a lifesaver. They get you into all the major tourist attractions for free and they’ll end up saving you hundreds of dollars. It means you don’t have to pick and choose what to see – just decided what you want to cram into your day and get down there.
Now you know our top tips for New York, you better start planning those outfits and get ready for the trip of a lifetime.
by Faith Richardson
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