I visited New York for about 8 days and I loved getting to explore the city with more time. I had visited before, but it was always quick weekend trips. Going to NYC for a whole week lets you explore so much more, it’s awesome.
If you are not going for that long, this guide will still give you a ton of ideas to choose from. But I also have a 2-day guide here.
Where we stayed: Chelsea
We stayed in the Chelsea neighborhood in Manhattan. We wanted to be in Manhattan so that we would be relatively close to most things. We rented an Airbnb which was super nice because we used the kitchen to make breakfasts and the view from the studio was amazing.
Tip: We got a week-long metro pass and we used that to move around in the metro and buses. It’s so helpful.
Other neighborhoods I recommend staying at: Soho, West Village, Lower East Side, Upper East Side, Williamsburg (Brooklyn).
List of spots to visit during your trip
Here are the spots we visited during our time there, and at the end, I will break down the days so you can save it on your phone:
Brooklyn Bridge and DUMBO:
This one is so good. We got there as early as we could (9ish) so we didn’t have the big crowds. We took the subway down to the Brooklyn Bridge station. We walked all the way through from Manhattan to Brooklyn, and then we explored the DUMBO neighborhood. They had a cute coffee spot called Butler where we grabbed breakfast. Here is where you will get that famous pic with the Manhattan bridge in the background.
When to visit: Takes about 1/2 day, best in the morning of a weekday
The Metropolitan Museum of art (MET)
One of the ‘Gossip Girl spots that we visited. This museum is huge and has so much to offer. There are so many different exhibitions, my favorite was the Egyptian collection. They also had a showing on “camp” including lots of designer pieces, those were the most fun. Don’t miss the rooftop which has insane views of Central Park.
When to visit: Weekdays and as early as possible. They close at 5:30 on weekdays.
Grand Central Station
The iconic train station is so fun to explore. We tried recreating the opening scene in Gossip Girl haha totally felt like Serena. It’s a must if you’re around. Visit anytime you’re in the neighborhood or you’re passing by.
The iconic park is so fun to visit. It’s hugee, so you might visit starting from 5th avenue, or after visiting the MET. Another cool spot is the Sheep’s meadow which has that big grass area. I took the best nap there.
I have to admit that this is not my favorite part of New York but if it’s your first time, then you have to visit. Nighttime is the best, so you can get a sense of how bright those billboards are. Most Broadway shows are around these streets too, so check those out. This website has discounted tickets.
Hudson Yards and the High Line
One of the newer neighborhoods in the city, Hudson Yards has The Vessel, a really cool architectural structure that you can visit for free (just reserve tickets!). There is a shopping mall right beside it with lots of food options too. Just a block away you will find the high line which is a super cool place to take an afternoon walk. It’s a park built on an old train railroad, you will love it.
Upper East Side
I loved walking around this area and seeing the pretty townhomes and cafes. I think it’s a cool area to walk around if you visit the MET. You will get even more vibes of how Blair Waldorf lives.
SOHO / China town / Little Italy
Soho is one of my favorite areas in NYC. It is a much younger and hip area where you will find tons of shops, restaurants and pretty streets to walk on. This is where some of my favorite stores are: Glossier, & other stories, Outdoor Voices, Matt & Natt, Stella McCartney. China town is right there too, which is worth a visit. It’s so pretty and different from the rest of the city. If you’re a fan of makeup, make sure to visit one of the Asian beauty stores. Little Italy is also around there with amazing restaurants and shops.
9/11 memorial and the World Trade Center
I’ve never visited the 9/11 memorial museum but I’ve heard it’s excellent. I did see the memorial space that’s outdoors and free to visit. The new world trade center is the tallest building in town, and you can go to the top floor if you want as well. The train station is impressive and the backstory is so special. There’s a pretty big shopping area inside, a good place to escape if it’s raining.
The Modern Museum of Art (MOMA)
I mentioned it on my 2-day guide, and I actually didn’t get to visit it this time as it was temporarily closed. But if you have a chance to go, do it! they have the starry night by Van Gogh so it’s just worth it for that. They have a bunch of other pieces that are worth spending a few hours enjoying.
Statue of Liberty
This is something that I never visited in my shorter visits to NYC and when I got to go, I was so surprised by how much I enjoyed it! The statue itself looks so big in person. We got tickets online through this website. The ferry also stops at Ellis Island, we didn’t go down because it was so hot! If you are coming in the summer I recommend bringing snacks, sunscreen, and sunglasses.
This was such a cute area! We took the train directly right by it and took a bunch of pics. The flatiron is so pretty! Also one of our favorite places for snacks and lunch is right there (ByChloe!).
Rockerfeller, 5th Avenue and Top of the Rock
5th avenue shops are so fun to visit as they have huge stores. You will find lots of retail stores like Uniqlo, H&M, Victoria’s secret, etc. There are a ton of high-end stores too like Dior, Gucci, Fendi, etc. The Rockefeller Center is cool to visit too, if you are there in winter you will find the famous Christmas tree and skating rink. Don’t miss the NBC studios at the Rockerfeller and on the last few stories of the building, the iconic Top of the Rock. That spot has the BEST views of New york, period. Reserve tickets for those a few days beforehand. To me, this is a must-go.
I hope you like this guide of NYC. Here is an easy way of saving this itinerary:
Thank you for reading. Save this on your Pinterest: