Après two stay in the wonderful New York City, I though I was ready to write here my advices to travel there 🙂 I will update this post every time something will come in my mind. It’ll be in the Diary category for now. In this post you can find my pix of the week I spent there with my love for nye ! You will find :
- What you have to know before going
- Little things which will make your life there easier
- Particular advises for winter holidays
- My personal tips on what to do absolutely
Before going to NYC, what you have to know
Is New-York a good destination for you ? Here are some things you may consider before buying your plane tickets and flying to my favorite city in the world !
⇒ It is an expensive destination. Probably you guys are american, but even if you live near NY, living in it it’s far from cheap according to me. Except if you have a bunch of friends there ready to give you a home and awesome advices of course 😉
⇒ NY is a very crowded place. If you like to be alone, if you’ve agoraphobia or you can’t stand to wait in a line more than 20 min, please don’t go !
⇒ If we call it “the city who never sleeps“, it’s for a reason. The noise, the excitement, the energy are flowing from everywhere there, day and night. If you are dying for nature, space, tranquility, I don’t recommend NY for you guys.
⇒ To avoid useless stress, try to plane your trip some weeks before. If you’re not an US citizen, you’ll need a visa, a valid passport, a reserved place to sleep to show to the authority, and perhaps some ideas of what you want to see, to really enjoy your NY experience !
⇒ The weather is extreme there. Unbearable heat during summer ’cause of the pollution, and ice cold wind in winter. I went in spring too, and I can say that you have to wear some hot hot clothes too, because the wind between the buildings is causing some serious draft ! So, take some big big coats. And don’t forget some moisturizing creams either for your skin, at the end of a walking day it can save you 😀
⇒ My little additional advice would be to not pack too much things to go there : everyone can find some treats and souvenirs, ’cause there everything is less cheap than in Europe : clothes, makeup, books, CDs, decor… and if you’re american, you can find your happiness too 😉
Little things to know while you’re there
Here are some things you should know when you'll be there, and some tips which can be useful too, but only for the non-american citizens I think. American friends, tell me if you find all this useful but I doubt it, because you already know all that ;)
→ Prices in stores, restaurants, etc are without taxes. So if your dress worths 60$, it will cost you 60 plus taxes, so maybe 65$. At the restaurant, add taxes to the prices PLUS the tips, between 8 and 20% of your meal cost. No worry, it’s very often indicate on the bill, under “GRATUITY” mention. So if your meal was 30$, it can raise until 45$ !
→ NY is a “new” town, it’s not arranged like an european city with messy streets : it is organized by square, so it’s very easy to find your way ! Distances are counted by “blocks”, and a block is around 80 meters length. It’s three blocks on the left then one block on the right, and bam ! You’re there. You don’t need Google Map to find your way in NY, a map is more than enough and they give it in every hotels.
→ New Yorkers are SO FRIENDLY. Really. Many times, they asked spontaneously if they can help, if we needed anything… it’s so nice ! And there, europeans and especially french people are loved. Enjoy 😉
→ Need WiFi ? Most of restaurants give free access, otherwise you can go to Starbucks. It became our shatter very quickly to warm up, drink good stuff, go to the bathroom and online ! It’s so cheaper than in France : 6 dollars here, and less than 2 dollars in NY for a hot chocolate ! No need localization, there’re Starbucks every 200m in the city !
Particular advises for winter holidays
New-York is at its tourism paroxysm during winter holidays. If you want to go there like I did, the followings tips from my experience will be useful for you.
〉 To have the privilege to spend a week in New-York from 27th december to 3rd january 2015, I booked my plane tickets and my hotel apartment in early september. Prices were already so hiiiigh, and it becomes even crazier until november when there is no places anymore, except in luxury hotels maybe. So : booked everything early guys ! In august it’s the best, I think.
〉 As you can see on the pix above, it’s so cold in winter ! Think big coats, many layers, and warms accessories if you want to visit and discover the city without be freezing !
〉 Do you want to see the Times Square festivities, with the ball drop and the shows in the crowd for new year’s eve ? You have to be extremely patient ! I would like someone to tell me that BEFORE I was there : to be a part of all that, you have to find a place on times square, and keep it, from 8am til midnight ! Because in the afternoon, the place is locked and surround by officers, and you can go anymore. So you have to be able to be still during 15 hours, without really drinking or eating (backpacks are often not allowed) and without going to the bathroom. All that with -5°, without moving, otherwise your loose your tiny space ! If you are brave, you can do it, if you’re rich, you can afford a party in a hotel with the view on the ball drop, for at least 500 dollars by person, of course.
〉 If you neither are bold or fortuned (like me lol), you can find a friendly bar or hotel near Times Square, which offers diners and party for the special night, in really cool decor. With my love, we picked Hôtel Hugo, and we spent a magic evening, even without the balldrop : 4* italian restaurant, dance and music on the rooftop with free drinks, goodies, photo cabin, and obviously the midnight celebration. The good points of this kind of party ? It’s affordable, we don’t catch a cold, and we are surrounded exclusively by new-yorkers people, or at least americans. (I forgot a pretty drunk norwegian very friendly met in the elevator hehe)
My personal tips on what to do absolutely
When I travelled to NY, I really wanted to enjoy my stay as a tourist but also as a "random" new yorker. So here is a list of things to do absolutely to combine both !
→ To hang out in the city without map and to loose yourself in Greenwich Village, Upper West Side, Brooklyn… and every other neighborhoods ! That way you’ll discover amazing stores and delicious restaurants !
→ Go at least one time on Times Square ! To connect with those crazy buildings, and see all this lights which mesmerize you by day and by night.
→ To go for a run in Central Park. Yes, you can do it ! New yorkers are so energetic, so in shape, and to run with them it’s magic. Especially in an amazing decor like Central Park.
→ See a Broadway show. I didn’t had the chance to do it, but next time I swear ! 😉 On the top of my list it is !
→ Shopping ! I know, it’s very consumerist, but it worths it. Come on, buy yourself a little treat !
→ Have diner in a bar or restaurant which isn’t in the tourist guide; it’s this way you can really be a part of the city, surrounded by people who lived across the street, listen to their lives, their accents, their energies…
→ Eat a bagel ! Absolutely ! With cream cheese, wrap in paper. It’s the best !
→ Go on the Top of the Rock : the most beautiful view of NY for me, much better that the
Empire State’s one despite of the cliché. It’s also cheaper !
I’m building a Manhattan’s map to show you my favorites places ! Hope I will put it online in not too long.
Je suis en train de vous construire une carte de Manhattan pour vous indiquez les adresses que je recommande ! J’espère la mettre en ligne d’ici fin février, bien que je la remplirai au fur et à mesure 😉