Hey guys! And welcome to the second part of my New York City blog post series! If you read the first part, thank you so much for coming back! And if you haven’t, go ahead and check it out as well, here 🙂
Personally, I don’t like being identified as a tourist, although when visiting different countries and cities, you are a tourist and there is not many ways around being identified as one instantly 😀 Especially in New York because there are just so many touristy things you can do! And of course its always packed with people and you have to line up for almost everything but nevertheless these activities are fun and you should have seen them once when you’re in New York City!
To save some money and time we decided to purchase the New York City Pass in advance. This pass grants you free admission to almost all of the attractions and further discount for different restaurants and activities like bike rentals. All in all there are 99 things to do with the New York Pass so prepare for intense days of sightseeing!
As I enjoy exploring the city without guides and tours, just by walking, we only booked the pass for three days. Three days is definitely enough to see all of the very famous attractions (which I will talk about in just a sec) and to make your pass worth a good 100 dollars more than you actually paid.
We started right on the second day after arrival. It was a beautiful sunny and hot day and we took off with a ferry to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, first thing in the morning. Make sure you take the ferry around 10 AM latest, to avoid the really big crowds of tourists. I’m a huge fan of cities located near the sea, I love the fresh salty air and the feeling of holiday it gives you. Enjoy the beautiful views of the Manhattan skyline while on the boat to the Statue of Liberty and make sure to catch some nice pictures on the way because the views are simply amazing!
Arrived on Ellis Island you take the walk around the statue. Personally I didn’t fancy going inside the statue and it was not included in the ticket anyways. But if you’re up for that, make sure to take the very first ferry and get one of the special tickets because they only have a limited amount per day and it’s first come first serve. Again don’t miss out on getting a nice foto taken of you in front of the Manhattan skyline, it’s a beautiful setting.
The Statue of Liberty itself seems to be huge in the beginning but when taking the walk around it, it appears much smaller actually. Nevertheless it’s so cool to finally see the statue so close up when you only always have seen it in movies. You can even take some breakfast with you from the city and enjoy it sitting on the grass around the statue while taking in the amazing surrounding!
After spending about an hour, maybe an hour and a half at the Statue of Liberty, we hopped back on the boat which takes you straight to Ellis Island. This is where all the immigrants used to arrive a long time ago and the whole island was converted into a huge museum. Just like in any museum, a lot of people can easily get annoying…..but in New York City there is just no way around it so you’re probably better off just accepting the fact of not getting a single picture of anything within a museum without another person on it. I found the whole history very interesting, and the way they arranged the museum in different time spans made it easy to understand what was going on. I especially liked the installed phone stations that you could pick up and you could listen to audio recordings from people that had to go through the whole immigration process at different stages. So if you’re a fan of history, this is definitely worth a visit! When you’re done here, you can hop back on the boat and it will bring you directly back to Manhattan.
One of my favourite attractions was the Top of the Rock which is the observatory on the highest building of the Rockefeller Center complex. Unfortunately as you can see on the pictures, the weather wasn’t too nice so the views weren’t as clear as on a beautiful sunny day. But nevertheless it was so cool to see the city from so high up! I’m a person that fancies height anyway so this is perfect for me, I love how small everything looks from above. And even though the weather was dizzy and rainy, I really like the apocalyptic atmosphere the pictures got so in the end I think the weather doesn’t really matter, the views are stunning anyways.
Another one of my most favourite attractions was the observatory at the Empire State building. Since we went up on the Top of the Rock during the day, we wanted to experience the Empire State building by night, which was a perfect idea! All the lights make the experience magical and it’s just crazy how many little light spots can be seen! Of course it’s super packed up at the Empire State building at night so it’s nice to just find a nice spot in-between all the people, take a few minutes, and try to blend out all the noice and faces. Enjoy the merging of the pitch black sky with the bright warm lights from buzzing Manhattan and focus on the experience, not the people.
A very convenient way to see New York City and to get an idea of it, is taking one of the sightseeing bus tours. At some point you will get sick of all the walking and your feet won’t stop aching anymore. This is when it’s a good time to hop on a bus tour and just enjoy the scenery of the city, while listening to the funny and interesting stories that the guides on the bus are telling. We actually had some really cool guides on our buses which made the ride a whole lot more fun! These buses take you literally everywhere! Just make sure to avoid peak times. Although the traffic is always terrible in NYC, it is the worst around lunch and just after work. But this way you will see everything and you can rest your feet for a bit. Hop off at Brooklyn Bridge, Grand Central Station or Flat Iron Building, which are all beautiful spots to experience the buzz of the city and take nice pictures:) In front of the Flat Iron Building are chairs and tables located which invite you to take a seat and enjoy some take away lunch within the beautiful scenery.
Now last but not least on this very small list of must-see New York City attractions is the One World Trade Center Observatory. Book your tickets in advance and you’ll get a small discount. The memorials next to this giant skyscraper will give you goosebumps for sure! I don’t really know how to describe the mixture of shock, sadness and beautiful way of remembrance. I guess you’ll have to go and see for yourself. The Observatory itself offers you various types of tours, we decided to just take the normal one and catch some views. The whole tour is a really cool experience to be honest, it starts underground and you can actually see the solid rock upon which all of Manhattan is built. Now the elevators are super fast and take you up to the 102nd floor in just about a minute. While on the elevator, they show you an animation of how the surrounding would look like, if the elevator had glass walls. So it’s all pretty cool already. Once you arrived at the top, you are so high up it’s almost unreal. Helicopters actually flew at the same height as we were which was weird and cool to see at the same time 😀 We spent about an hour there I would say, trying to find streets on the ground that we have already walked through and just looking at the city from above. It’s definitely worth the visit and the money I would say!
Now there are many more things that we did and even more things that you can do. This is just a small glimpse and I hope you enjoy reading and escaping everyday life for a few minutes:)
Leave me some comments and likes if you want and stay tuned for the next part of the series!