New York is one of my favourite cities in the world. I was surprised with a 4 night stay for my 21st birthday and it is still one of my favourite trips to date. I think cried when I found out we were going, I had always been so desperate to visit!

We stayed at The Pearl Hotel just off Times Square and it was the perfect base – they also did a free cheese and wine hour every afternoon!!

Read on to find out about my favourite parts of our trip.

(Note: these photos were taken in 2015 before I had my good camera/was Instagramming, so they aren’t as good as I would like! I just really wanted to write this post as NYC is such an iconic destination and lots of people ask me about it!)

Brooklyn New York yellow taxi

NYC traffic



As we had limited time, it was suggested that we go to the top of the Rockefeller Center rather than the Empire State Building. This is because you get a great view of the Empire State itself, and a better view of Central Park. Try to go on a clear day to get the best views! We went up just before sunset and were treated to a gorgeous orange sky.

Sunset over New York
Central Park from Top of the Rock at night
Sunset over Central Park NYC
Top of the Rock


Easily one of my highlights of New York. It feels like you are constantly walking through a film set, it all feels so familiar. It is the best place for a spot of people watching too.

We only had time to explore the Southernmost third of Central Park and I would love to go again to see the rest. I hear the zoo is worth a visit too.

Central Park panoramic New York City

Daffodils in Central Park in April Park benches in Central Park New York


I loved walking across Brooklyn Bridge. It was a buzz of activity with walkers, runners and cyclists. In fact it was a bit too busy when we visited, so it might be best to go early in the morning or at sunset when it will be a bit quieter.

When we reached the other side we had a little wander around Brooklyn – again it felt like a movie set and the houses were so picturesque.

Brooklyn Bridge Brooklyn Bridge New York Brooklyn, NYC Brooklyn, NYC

Views from the Brooklyn Bridge, NYC


Bright. Busy. Buzzing. Everything you imagine it will be!

Times Square at night, NYC


5th Avenue and its locality is simply shopping heaven.

Click here to see a list of the 5th Avenue shops!

Macys New York shopping


I had not heard of the High Line until shortly before visiting New York. It is an elevated park running along a disused railway line above the streets of Manhattan.

We enjoyed this green and scenic walk, a unique experience in New York. It is free too 🙂

The highline New York

The highline New York
Wall art on the highline New York

Yellow bus and taxi New York city

Views from the highline New York Street art the highline New York


An incredibly poignant place to visit.

The two fountain pools sit where the Twin Towers once stood and being there brings back the enormity of the event. I can still remember being told about it whilst it was happening at Primary School. The names of the fallen are engraved alongside the pools, it is really heart-wrenching to see but an important visit nonetheless.

9/11 memorial NYC

Memorial New York Twin Towers


We mostly followed recommendations from friends who had visited not long before us. These are the ones that stood out:

  1. Rosie O’Grady’s – great steak and the best chowder I have ever had!
  2. Rue 57 – a beautiful French-style restaurant with fantastic service
  3. Hard Rock Cafe – J and I have got a bit of a tradition of trying to eat at Hard Rock whenever there is one nearby. We have been to 10 so far in 8 different countries!

We would have liked to visit Hakkasan too as I’ve still not been to one and have heard nothing but fantastic reviews!

Hard Rock Cafe New York Times Square


Previously used as a biscuit factory, Chelsea Market is an eclectic collection of individual shops and food stalls for all to enjoy. We definitely took advantage of the free samples on offer when we were there, and enjoyed some delicious sushi!

Chelsea Market New York

Chelsea Market New York

Chelsea Market New York Amy's Bread


I love both listening to and playing jazz music so some live jazz in NYC was a must for me. We watched a live band in the Lincoln Center and absolutely loved it. I highly recommend this authentic experience if you are into music like I am.

Jazz at the Lincoln Center New York


It was fantastic to finally visit the iconic landmark that I had seen so many times in the media. We didn’t go up to the top of the Statue but got the boat over to Liberty Island and listened to the audio tour. Well worth a visit. You can also visit neighbouring Ellis Island on a twin-trip but we didn’t have the time.

New York skyline Statue of Liberty New York Statue of Liberty New York

Statue of Liberty New York


Our trip to New York was only 2 years after The Wolf of Wall Street was released, so we could hardly visit without a wander down to the financial district on our way to the Statue of Liberty.

We took some photos with the ‘Charging Bull’- supposedly if you rub it’s nether regions it will bring you luck so I gave him a good feel haha!

James and I even ended up on a TV interview for CNBC while we were there…despite lots of searching we never managed to find the clip of us online!

Wall street

Wall street NY CNBC Interview Wall Street

Charging Bull NYC


Yet another classic New York location…

Grand Central Station
Grand Central Station


As you can see, we crammed in quite a lot in our short time in NYC! I would love to go back one day to see more of Central Park and to enjoy the city at a more relaxed pace. We didn’t get time to go up the Empire State Building, or visit one of the designer outlets I had been told I should visit for some great bargains. I’d also love to see it at Christmas time but I think I’d be anxious about there being too much snow and not being able to do anything!

Have you been to New York?

Is there anywhere else I should visit next time?

Let me know in the comments!

You may also be interested in my other destination guides:

NYC traffic


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