These New York hints + Tips are not exhaustive, they do not cover everything, but these were written for a colleague so I hope they will help someone else too!
– The View Mimosa Brunch, Marquis Hotel, Time Square – Stunning views, absolutely phenomonal food and great ambience. Really worth the money
– Stage Door Deli, Vasey Street. A proper hustle & bustle new York diner full of locals having breakfast and lunch. It’s by 9/11 memorial. Dirt cheap, more of a café than a proper restaurant
– Dylans Candy Bar A huge shop full of pick and mix with an upstairs ice cream parlour and bar selling sweetie based cocktails
– The Diner This restaurant is next to the high line and Chelsea market which makes it a great place to start the day. Huge breakfasts and burgers for lunch
– Grand Central Oyster Tucked away in the basement of Grand Central next to the famous whispering walls. Mostly fish on the menu but they have the menu online if you need to check it out. It’s famous and if you sit at the bar you’ll see why. We loved watching them shuck our fresh oysters
– Hillstone A sleek midtown restaurant with live jazz and a really romantic vibe thanks to the dimmed lighting. Posh but not expensive. The Kale and cashew salad is so delicious!
– Grimaldis Pizzeria in Brooklyn is meant to be the best pizza in New York. It’s right under the bridge and the place fills up from the minute it opens. Basic surroundings for good pizza
– PJ Clarkes Frequented by Frank Sinatra, this is super old fashioned bar with a restaurant out the back serving generous, high quality American food. Well worth a visit!
– Hudson Malone We thought this was the best pub we had found in New York. You can sit at the bar and chat to the barmen who are all super nice. With excellent food and drink choices, the staff and regulars really make this a must-visit bar
– Teak on the Hudson If you make it to the Hoboken Ferry Terminal to marvel at the magnificent views, be sure to check out Teak. A japanese fusion restaurant, the bar is pretty cool just to sit for a drink. The food is delicious, especially the Lobster bisque and Egg drop soup
– The taxi’s have an official flat rate of around $52 (+ tolls & tip) and no one can charge you more than that to or from the airport. All taxis take cards too so you don’t need to worry about currency as soon as you land.
– Immigration in Terminal 7 took us 2.5hrs. Only 2 planes landed at the same time and our plane was only 30% full. Prepare for a long wait!
– Travelling around New York on foot is tiring for the most part so the subway is a godsend. Consider the train routes and lines when picking a hotel as it really does make all the difference
– The METRO cards for a week are about $30 ( + $1 charge) and are pretty much the same as an Oyster card. Yes, the trains are always rammed but they are so regular it doesn’t matter if you miss one….. If you pick the wrong turnstile to go through and come straight back out, there’s an 18 minute delay before you can re-enter another one. We found out the hard way!
– If you walk over the Brooklyn Bridge and down on to the riverside, not only are the views magnificent there’s a water taxi to take you across to Wall Street
– I recommend getting the PATH (or ferry) over to Hoboken, New Jersey and walking along the riverside there as the views right next to the ferry and train are stunning. There is a special PATH station next to the 9/11 memorial. It’s about $5 for a return as you cant use your METRO card on those trains
– The Staten Island ferry is free from the terminal next to Wall Street / Bowling Green. There’s not much in Staten Island for a tourist but it’s a good view of the Statue of Liberty. Just make sure you fight your way on and stand on the right hand side going out, and the left coming back as that’s the side with the view.
– The ferry to the Statue and Ellis Island is only about $18 dollars but doesn’t include entry to the statue itself but you can get right up close to it and walk right round the base. Ellis island is really interesting as it is still partly abandoned. Ellis island entry is included in the price for $18. On both islands you get an audio guide included in the price
– Everyone says the Empire State building at night is the best but we found going for it opening meant you get the best views for photos, no crowds and no queues.
– If you go to Grand Central, go to the food court level in the basement and in front of the oyster bar is the famous arched ceiling where if you stand at opposite corners and whisper at the wall, you can hear what the other person has said.
– The Public Library is free to walk round. Made popular by lots of films, the grand reading rooms are a sight to behold. It has the oldest Winnie the Pooh bear inside too in the kids section.
– If you are going to do Central Park, don’t underestimate the size. It is HUGE and it took us about 3.5 to do half of it walking slowly. We went at night next to the ice rink but I wouldn’t want to be in the secluded middle parts at night. The Guggenheim museum is worth a look if you have the time and is half way down the park on the East side
– The horse & Carriage is $50 for 20 minutes
– The Highline in Chelsea is brilliant. Start at 14th Street and go as far as it goes northwards. When you get off the high line, turn right and it pretty much takes you straight to the Flat Iron building / Madison Square Gardens
– The Chelsea Market, 9th avenue, is cool place to look round. A treasure trove for foodies or those on the hunt for unique little trinket shops.
– If you go to Empire, Statue or 9/11 they have airport style security meaning you have to take everything off and put your bag through the scanner bear that in mind when dressing for the day!
– If you get the ferry to the Statue, in Battery Park where the terminal is, the golden globe that was once inside the Twin Towers and survived, is now in the park. It shows it in the 9/11 memorial.
– We didn’t book in advance for 9/11 but we were there early in the morning and got straight in but if you go in peak season or for piece of mind I would advise booking in advance.
Well these were just a few of our essential basic tips and hints. Everyones holiday goals are different but we enjoyed our stay.
If I could only recommend 1 thing from the list, it would be a visit to Hudson Malone on 53rd /3rd Avenue