Eight Must Do’s For Your First Trip To New York

Eight Must Do’s For Your First Trip To New York

As a city New York can be quite overwhelming and a little intimidating, especially if it’s your first trip to New York.  There’s just so many things to do and so much space to explore and much like London some parts of New York are so spread out that you’ll need to sit on a train for an hour or two to get to them. I’ve been lucky enough to visit New York five times; three times with family, once solo and once with Luke but even then there’s still things on my to-do list that I still need to experience, most of them being seasonal or food related. If you’re thinking of going or have booked your first trip to New York here are eight things I think you need to do.

Explore the Ground Zero site and join a tour

There’s a lot to do around Ground Zero and while the museum and going up the new One World Observatory are great if it’s your first trip to New York I’d recommend joining a tour and exploring the site itself. There are a few companies that do tours and they will talk you through the events, show you where buildings were and the future for them and talk about some of the heroic people from the day. It’s quite an emotional tour but it’s so fulfilling and you’ll learn stuff you wouldn’t get from anywhere else.

statue of liberty

Go over to Liberty Island to see Lady Liberty

To those people who say that getting the Staten Island ferry is enough to see The Statue of Liberty I have to disagree. The only way to get a great experience and see the statue properly is to take a boat over to Liberty Island. If you pre-book or get a combo pass it doesn’t cost much but there’s so much information around the statue about New York in general and the statue that it’s well worth the trip. Plus it’s so iconic it’s a definite must for your first trip to New York.

Eat a pretzel and hot dog from a street vendor

I have so many food recommendations but if it’s your first trip to New York you’ve got to do a staple and get a pretzel and a hot dog from a street vendor as it’s kind of tradition. Some people turn their noses up at the little stalls on street corners but they’re super traditional and every pretzel and hot dog I’ve had has been really tasty. Plus if you’re on a budget or pushed for time they’re a quick, cheap and easy option.

new york skyline

Head up the Rockafeller Centre

If it’s your first trip take an early morning ascent up the Rockafeller Centre and look out over New York’s glory and see The Empire State Building up close. You do get a different view of the city from each but I prefer the Rockafeller as you get to see the Empire State which in itself is a pretty impressive building.

Walk the Highline and get off at Chelsea Market

When I was on my first trip to New York, the Highline was a little under the radar but now it seems that everyone knows about it, but for good reason. The Highline is a disused railway line above Manhattan which has been turned into a pedestrian and cycling walkway so you can experience New York above the streets. I’d recommend a morning stroll as it’s a bit quieter and as you walk along you’ll see lots of street art which changes every time I go. If you get off at Chelsea Market there’s some lovely shops and food stalls and you can easily spend a few hours there.

Walk through Time Square early in the morning

Time Square is something you can’t miss on your first trip to New York but if you go anytime after 11am you’re likely to find it rammed with tourists so head there first thing in the morning to see what it’s like and take some photos. If you do head there later make sure you stay away after 9pm as when the theatres around Time Square let out it’s mental and I always make an effort to walk around Time Square as it’s always quicker than walking through.

Do a tour of Madison Square Garden (And catch some sport there if you can)

Madison Square Garden is an iconic venue right in the centre of Manhattan and it’s the home turf for The New York Rangers ice hockey team and the New York Knicks Basketball team among others. The venue also hosts concerts and other events and you can do a tour around the arena which is well worth it as it’s such an amazing space. If you’re there during the Ice Hockey/ Basketball season and you can afford it I’d definitely say go and watch a game as our Ice Hockey experience was one of a kind.

sprinkles cupcakes

Go to the Sprinkles cupcake ATM

My final recommendation is another foodie one and it’s the iconic Sprinkles cupcake ATM which is located on Lexington Avenue by Central Park. Sprinkles cupcakes are one of my all-time favourites anyway but here you get the novelty of the pink ATM machine which works just like a cash ATM and you’re dispensed a freshly baked cupcake. If you love Red Velvet, theirs is one of the best.

Have you been to New York? Or are you planning on going?

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Eight must do's for your first trip to New York #travel #newyork #nyc



  1. Dani
    October 17, 2018 / 3:10 pm

    I have never been to New York before but it is definitely on the bucket list and I would love to do all of these suggestions.
    I cannot wait to visit Times Square and go to the Sprinkles Cupcake ATM! 🙂

    Dani x

  2. October 17, 2018 / 8:20 pm

    New York is most definitively on our family bucket list, it looks amazing.

  3. October 19, 2018 / 10:57 am

    Like many people I suppose, NYC is on my bucket list! I’d definitely want to get up close and personal to Lady Liberty- who wouldn’t want a selfie with her anyway? I would much prefer to see her face to face, so to speak, than from a ferry.

  4. October 19, 2018 / 12:34 pm

    Maddison square garden would be my first item on the agenda as I would lobe to watch an ince hockey game state side!

  5. Sam Jeffery
    October 20, 2018 / 7:45 pm

    I have seriously always wanted to go to New York, it is on my list of where to go next!

  6. October 21, 2018 / 3:52 pm

    Beautiful pictures, those cupcakes look so yummy. Thanks for the advice. Definitely something I would bear in mind if I ever visit Newyork

  7. October 23, 2018 / 11:33 am

    I have never been to New York, I am planning on visiting with my daughter when she is 18 in two years time. I want to do all of these things when we go x

  8. Monidipa Dutta
    October 23, 2018 / 9:28 pm

    Tips are great and to the point. It will be beneficial for the first time nyc visitors.

  9. Annemarie LeBlanc
    October 24, 2018 / 6:40 am

    I have been to New York before but it was a business trip so I did not have much free time to explore the city. I will make it a point to see all these places the next time I am in New York.

  10. October 24, 2018 / 8:56 am

    Definitely, New Your is an amazing place for travelling but I have never Visit The New York, and your pictures and post make me crazy and now I’m planning to explore it.

  11. October 24, 2018 / 4:58 pm

    These are some great ideas. I’d head to Madison Square Garden and then get some streetvendor food!

  12. Everything beautiful
    October 24, 2018 / 5:08 pm

    Lovely pictures. I’ve not been to New York yet but it is on my list of things to do. This is one to bookmark, great suggestions. I will definitely have in mind when I eventually visit

  13. MichelleV
    October 24, 2018 / 5:11 pm

    Going back to NYC has been on my list for quite awhile. I went on a school trip and everything was decided for us, so I’d like to go an explore for myself this time.

  14. October 24, 2018 / 5:13 pm

    Excellent list of things to do on your first trip to New York! Although I have been to New York I never went into the city… One day I hope to visit all the wonders of the city! I definitely want to visit the Statue Of Liberty and Madison Square Gardens!!

  15. October 24, 2018 / 11:40 pm

    I’ve always loved visiting NYC. There’s a lot of things on this list that I haven’t done yet, so hopefully I will get the chance to do them the next time I am there!

  16. October 25, 2018 / 12:35 am

    These are great things to do in New York. I have been to New York once, but it was a quick trip and I was not able to sight see. I hope to go back and do many of the things you listed. It is crazy that I live in the US and have not really experienced one of the greatest cities in my country.

  17. October 25, 2018 / 12:15 pm

    I went to New York with sixth form a good few years ago and although we only went for a few days, we managed to pack loads in! I loved visiting the Empire State Building and Ground Zero, and visiting Harlem was a memorable experience too.

  18. October 26, 2018 / 4:44 am

    There is so much to do within a block in NY that you’d need years to see everything. I definitely agree that a visit to Ground Zero, Liberty and Empire State building is a must.

  19. October 26, 2018 / 8:42 pm

    Walking at the Time Square early in the morning is the best idea ever! It’s one of my favorite things to do when in New York.

  20. October 26, 2018 / 10:01 pm

    We went to New York for our honeymoon back in 2009 and we’d love to go back. Ground Zero was so poignant and emotional. It’s changed a lot even since we went.

  21. Musings of a tired mummy...zzz...
    October 26, 2018 / 10:05 pm

    I have never been to New York and am unlikely to due to my fear of flying. I love reading posts about allthe places I will probably never see for myself. My husband used to live there!

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