A Nearly Flawless Diamond
Be among the first members of the public to see Okavango Blue, a rare and nearly flawless 20-carat blue diamond. The centerpiece of a new display of diamonds from Botswana, it’s now on view in the revamped Allison and Roberto Mignone Halls of Gems and Minerals at the American Museum of Natural History. You can learn more about the region and the science behind diamonds. Or you can just go be dazzled.
Where To Stay In New York City
New York City is divided into five boroughs, each with its own atmosphere: Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Harlem, and The Bronx.
With only 4 days in New York, you could never visit all five boroughs, so I focused on Manhattan and Brooklyn, with an opportunity to visit Queens too.
For first time visitors to New York, I recommend staying somewhere in Manhattan or Brooklyn, maybe even splitting your trip between the two. Check out our guide on the best neighborhoods in New York, or my reference below.
Whispering Gallery At Grand Central Terminal
If youre heading down to the Oyster Bar , you’ll often spot a couple people facing opposite corners and speaking quietly into the walls. It’s a cool acoustical trick: The arched ceilings in that spot conduct the sound in a way that one person can hear the other perfectly even amid the rush hour crowds and announcements. Sarah Bruning, Senior Editor
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Catch A View Of The Skyline
Many choose to go to the top of the Empire State Building for its views of the city. Alternatively, you’ll get the iconic Empire State Building actually in all your photos if you go to the top of the Rockefeller Center instead!
Or hop on a subway to view the entire iconic skyline of New York from one of these two locations:
Historically used to quarantine criminals, the mentally ill, or physically ill, you won’t find many tourists here . Roosevelt Island is a part of Manhattan, once removed.
It’s far enough for an excellent skyline view, but not too far to get there, as it only takes a quick air tram ride across the East River or one stop on the F train toward Queens.
Manhattan Bridge to Brooklyn Bridge Park
Another quick ride to Brooklyn on the F or A/C trains will get you to the area known to New Yorkers and Brooklynites as “DUMBO” or Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass.
The city has been putting a lot of work into the area stretching along the river to Brooklyn Bridge Park recently. Pathways and seating have opened up, artistic installations have sprouted, and lots of greenery has been planted along the walkways.
Construction is ongoing, but that doesn’t diminish the views. You will spot the Statue of Liberty from here as well as the downtown Manhattan skyline.
While you’re in the area, you might as well walk across Brooklyn Bridge!
The Metropolitan Museum Of Art
I haven’t lived in the city for very long, so I don’t have cool, under-the-radar spots to share. When I first moved to New York City, though, my parents gave me a membership to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and its one of the best, most useful gifts Ive received. Ive spent countless hours wandering the galleries, and each time I visit, I find something new I’ve never noticed before. My perfect Sunday consists of a Met visit followed by cookies from the nearby Levain Bakery and a stroll through Central Park. Elizabeth Rhodes, Associate Digital Editor
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Where To Stay In New York At Christmas
The last time we stayed in New York, we lodged in the Intercontinental Times Square. Its an amazing property that offers a different, more upscale choice. This time, we were on more of a budget. So when using our IHG Rewards, we choose the Holiday Inn Times Square. Even though our room was a bit small at the Holiday Inn Times Square, it had all the amenities we needed and a fantastic view of Manhattan. Armed with our New York Pass, we set out to do everything festive in New York City.
What we love about New York is that we dont spend a lot of time in our room so the best thing to think about when booking a hotel is the location and affordability and the Holiday Inn is affordable. You are, after all, in the city that never sleeps! Staying in Times Square at Christmas keeps you close to all the Christmas attractions. We were within walking distance of many activities and Christmas attractions.
- Read About these Times Square Hotels that we have stayed at. It is a great place to make a home base when visiting New York during the holidays.
- Check out more things to see in Times Square at Things to do in Times Square A Walking Tour and Nearby Attractions
Holiday Pop Up Brooklyn
The Miracle holiday pop-up phenomenon is back this year with Miracle on Union, taking over Williamsburg cocktail bar Thief. Look for over-the-top holiday decor and the seasonal cheer that goes with it. Specialty drinks will be served and bespoke Miracle glassware will be for sale to knock a couple of names off your gift-giving list.
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Safety Planning & Tips
Yes. The safety exit button featured on our website can quickly remove you from our website at any time and redirect you to . However, this button will not erase your history and cookies from your computer. Learn how to erase your computer’s history and cookies through Safety and Crime Prevention Tips.
A safety plan is a personalized, practical list of strategies that can help you reduce or eliminate dangerous situations, and inform you about the best ways to react when you are at risk.
Every situation is different. To develop a detailed personalized safety plan, please call the NYC 24-hour Hotline at 866-689-HELP to be connected with a victim advocate who can help you create one.
In addition, an NYPD crime prevention officer may be able to conduct a security survey of your home or business, as well as provide you with recommendations on improved safety options.
The Department’s Safety and Crime Prevention Tips contains information on protecting your personal property, burglary prevention, credit card fraud, identity theft, and other helpful safety tips.
Aids Memorial Park At St Vincent’s Triangle
The AIDS Memorial Park opened just before I first moved to New York City and something about this perfect little green space being new to the area just like me always made it feel extra special. Looking into its history, the park is dedicated to the 100,000 New Yorkers who died of AIDS and is purposely situated outside of what used to be known as St. Vincent Hospital, which housed one of the first wards on the East Coast dedicated to fighting the disease. Today, a beautiful and massive memorial stands with a fountain, along with dozens of benches and tables for reading or eating lunch. The park serves as a little piece of solace next to busy 7th Avenue and a great spot to meet up with friends before browsing around the West Village.Christine Burroni, Digital News Editor
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Best Airbnb In New York Fully Furnished Studio Overlooking Magnolia Bakery
Perfectly located in West Village, this serviced apartment with every amenity you can imagine also has a shared garden with a bubbling fountain. It has a high-security monitoring system with 16 cameras throughout the buildings public areas and entry doors controlled by electric fobs. This place is recommended for where to stay in New York City if you want to have a home away from home.
If this is still not the right catch for you, check out the other amazing Airbnbs in Manhattan instead.
Spot The Filming Of A Show Or Movie
When you live in New York City for a while, you start to catch onto all the celebrity activities going on.
For one, you may spot parking notices on telephone poles informing residents and business owners to refrain from parking on that street on certain dates. These notices are usually a good indication of a television show or movie coming in to do some filming and park their trailers along the sidewalks.
Earlier this year, they parked them directly in front of my Upper East Side sublet. Then, a few days later, there was another show happening a few blocks over.
Other times, you’ll be walking down the street and someone will suddenly rush by you, chased by a group of people carrying boom mics and camera equipment. Dozens of times I’ve found myself wondering, “Was I just in the background of that shot?!”
A perfect example is when Jono and I were walking around DUMBO. We noticed people blocking the street up ahead and then an explosion went off from the top of a nearby building. People came running toward us and that’s when a guy with an earpiece told us the street was closed for filming. We captured the moment on camera:
Apparently, they were filming Stephen King’s up-and-coming The Dark Tower! The people running were extras and the street was closed so we wouldn’t accidentally enter the shot .
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Best Airbnb In Upper West Side Quiet And Cozy One Bedroom
Just 100 paces from beautiful Central Park, this apartment in a bright 7th-floor south-facing building has the classic New york skyline view. With a cozy kitchen, one bed and cushions that can be used as a mattress, this is the perfect New York vacation rental for a small family. The building also has a washer and dryer in the basement.
Admire Street Art In Bushwick
New York City is a mecca for graffiti and street art, making it a very attractive playground for artists from around the world. Bushwick is a working-class district on the north side of Brooklyn where you admire amazing street art. Check how Barry McGee made this mural on Brooklyn. Watch Barry McGees Brooklyn Mural from Jason Schmidt on Vimeo. Discover NYCs street art scene with a walking tour starting from 20$.
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Walk The Brooklyn Bridge
The Brooklyn Bridge can be walked over 24 hours a day, and until around 9 or 10 pm you will likely find many other people here.
Sunsets are especially spectacular.
From the bridge, you’ll get incredible 360- degree skyline views of the New York Harbor, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and you can see the Statue of Liberty way off in the distance.
You can use our detailed post on walking the Brooklyn Bridge to make the most of this unforgettable experience.
For those who want some personal guidance while walking the Bridge at night, join us for our combined 911 Memorial and Brooklyn Bridge Night Tour.
It runs Tuesday, Fridays, and Sundays at 7:30 pm from March through October.
We also have a GPS-enabled audio tour of the Brooklyn Bridge that can be used at any time of the day or night.
Visit the 9/11 Memorial
This memorial to the lost lives of 9/11 is located in a simple, spacious wide-open plaza in Lower Manhattan.
Its massive twin fountains are an architectural wonder. Click here to find out about how to visit the Memorial.
Note: If you are considering visiting the 9/11 Museum, they have free hours on Tuesday evenings. To find out more, click here.
Walk the High Line
The High Line is one of the most unusual city parks, built on an abandoned elevated railroad.
A stroll during the day is lovely but it also attracts crowds.
Watkins Glen State Park
Watkins Glen is located at the southern tip of Seneca Lake within the Finger Lakes State Parks. The glen extends for two miles, dropping a total of 400 feet over 19 waterfalls, past 200-foot cliffs that were carved by the water.
In addition to admiring the gorge from its rim trails, visitors will find many things to do, including fishing, hiking, and even swimming in the park’s Olympic-sized pool. The park has campsites for both tents and RVs, as well as picnic areas for day visitors. Guided tours of the gorge are available in season.
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Walt Disney World Resort
This mega amusement park in Orlando is the top family attraction in America, and has been catering to both young and old for decades. Opened in 1971, Walt Disney World has managed to maintain its relevance and its allure for children and even many adults throughout the years.
Walt Disney World Resort encompasses not only the various theme parks, it also includes water parks, Downtown Disney with shopping and theaters, and much more, from fine dining to golf. This is a place where you can spend a day or a week.
If you feel the need for a bit of sand and surf, the beaches of Florida’s Atlantic coast are only an hour away.
A Holiday Show From Cirque Du Soleil
Cirque du Soleils first holiday show is back after selling out to enthusiastic crowds in 2019. Twas the Night Before… conveys its message of sharing and friendship courtesy of delightful characters that come alive with Cirques unique and breathtaking acrobatic magic. Limited run through December 27th, get your tickets nowuse code GUIDE for up to 50% off select performances. Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden.
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Make Money Online Whilst Backpacking New York City
Traveling in New York City long-term? Keen to make some cash when you are not exploring the city?
Teaching English online is a great way to earn a consistent incomefrom anywhere in the world with a good internet connection. Depending on your qualifications you can teach English remotely from your laptop, save some cash for your next adventure, and make a positive impact on the world by improving another persons language skills!
Its a win-win! Check out this detailed article for everything you need to know to start teaching English online.
In addition to giving you the qualifications to teach English online, TEFL courses open up a huge range of opportunities and you can find teaching work all over the world. To find out more about TEFL courses and how you can teach English around the world, read my in-depth report on teaching English abroad.
Broke Backpacker readers get a 35% discount on TEFL courses with MyTEFL , to find out more, please read my in-depth report on teaching English abroad.
Whether you are keen to teach English online or looking to take your teaching game a step further by finding a job teaching English in a foreign country, getting your TEFL certificate is absolutely a step in the right direction.
Slow Down With An Nyc Spa Day Visit
This concrete jungle is about as fast-paced as any place on the planet, so its important to take an opportunity to catch your breath once in a while.
Whether youre traveling solo or as part of a couple, a number of massage options await, with the option to add steam rooms, reflexology, or even chocolate facial treatments!
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Night 1 For New York City Itinerary: Manhattan Continued
Today was a jam-packed day of walking and wandering, and you may have logged in a dozen miles on your #Fitbit. I wouldnt blame you for keeping it a low-key kind of night, but this is the city that never sleeps and you should experience that.
Another awesome thing to do in Chelsea at night is hit up the art galleries. Its one of the best things to do in New York for free, and I cover all of that in the free things to do in New York section below.
You could catch a concert, dance show, or even a comedy show afterward. Consider heading to one of the best in NY, Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre.
After catching an awesome live performance, go out in Greenwich Village or Chelsea for a taste of a more authentic side of New York with plenty of bars, restaurants, and things to do in New York at night. This area is also quite festive around the holidays!
Here, youll find anything from swanky cocktail bars and lounge rooms to dives with $8 beer pitchers and clubs in the Meatpacking District.
It would obviously be impossible to do all of these things in one night, so whatever you miss that you want to do, youll have time on your second night in New York.
Metropolitan Museum Of Art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, or the Met, as it is commonly known, was founded in 1870, and is one of the most famous museums in the United States. The permanent collection of The Met contains more than two million works of art, spanning a period of 5,000 years.
Although the museum has three sites, the centerpiece is The Met Fifth Avenue. Highlights of the collection include American decorative arts, arms and armor, costumes, Egyptian art, musical instruments, photographs, and much more.
Exhibitions bring some of the world’s most famous works to the public. If you are serious about your visit to the Met, consider a VIP: Empty Met Tour at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and see this incredible museum with just 25 people before it opens to the general public in the morning.
The Met Cloisters, located in Fort Tryon Park in northern Manhattan, is another extremely popular New York museum. This branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, housed in an outstanding structure, built around medieval cloisters, chapels, and halls, focuses on the medieval art and architecture of Europe.
Address: 1000 5th Avenue, New York, New York
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