Tips For Your First or Tenth Trip to New York City

Money Saving Tips

Purchase a Broadway Show Ticket at 1/2 Price Theatre Booth

The staff is incredibly helpful and will answer any questions. Plus, they give great recommendations! There are box offices in Times Square, South Street Seaport and Brooklyn. I used the ticket box in South Street Seaport right as they opened and got great seats! View tickets here. 

Favorite Broadway Show I’ve Seen in NYC: Kinky Boots 

Others have been wonderful too: Phantom of the Opera, Wicked, Something Rotten, Waitress, Chicago, The Lion King.

Seattle shows: Hamilton & The Book of Mormon.

Plan Ahead and Book Statue of Liberty Tickets Months in Advance

I happened to look into Statue of Liberty tickets a few months before my first trip. All of the crown tickets were sold out (3+ months before my vacation). I booked pedestal tickets immediately. If you want to go up to the crown, be sure to book months in advance.

Visit Museums on Fridays

The Guggenheim (after 5 PM) and the Museum of Modern Art (after 4 PM) are free on Fridays. The Guggenheim museum asks to make a donation of your choice. Warning: there is usually a line wrapped around the building to get in. The line, however, isn’t terrible to stand in and moves at a decent pace.

Use the subway system to get into the city from the airport

This is quite the money saver, especially if you’re solo or with a small group. I’ve split a cost of $110 dollars for a ride into the city. Expensive! Plus, the taxi lines can be long and even booking private pickup with certain companies, you have to wait 30-45 minutes. Be sure to do some research at what stop you need to get off at when you take the subway.

Don’t want to deal with the subway & prefer to book a private car? Book with Precision NY Chauffeur and Airport Transportation. They track your flight and are ready to pick you up within 5 minutes of arriving for pickup. 

Where to Eat – Tasty Treats

Every time I am in NYC, I always stop at these lovely bakeries! My list is in order from my most favorite.

1.) #1 Treat in NYC:

Chocolate Babka Bread at Bread’s Bakery. If this was the only treat I could get while visiting NYC, I would always choose this. The Cinnamon Raisin is also delicious for those who don’t like chocolate or have an allergy.

2.) Best Cake/ Cupcake

Two Little Red Hens – Brooklyn Blackout (this rivals our homemade chocolate cake!)

Molly’s Cupcake – Birthday Cake (I have tried a few from here, but this is the only one I have found that’s worth it)

3.) Magnolia Bakery

Banana Pudding is so delicious. Skip the cupcakes & go to one of the bakeries above.

4.) Most unique dessert

Cookie dough from DŌ. If you are a cookie dough lover, you should love this bakery. Chocolate chip is my favorite. While I can’t consume the entire 8 oz at once, I enjoy having a few bites here and there.

A few items from Dominique Ansel Bakery – They are known for their cronuts, but I like their milk & cookie shot & DKA best.

Note: I have tried the best of the best when it comes to bakeries in NYC. These are my favorite.

Lunch & Dinner Restaurant Recommendations

Best NYC Pizza By The Slice

Prince Street or Bleeker Street

Best Italian Restaurant

Carbone. I did enjoy L’Artusi too. Get reservations several weeks in advance.

Quick Bite:

Shake Shack Burger

Who would have thought a fast food burger would be worth it? This burger is worth it for me, however, the fries are not my favorite.

My Favorite Time of Year to Visit

I have been to NYC all four seasons and I think spring is my favorite! So many beautiful flowers are bloomed out and Central Park is gorgeous. I also really enjoyed Christmas time too. Although the crowds were much worse, seeing all the Christmas decorations was worth it!

First Visit To The City? Must Do List.

  1. Visit the Statue of Liberty / Ellis Island
  2. Rockefeller Center
  3. Walk the Brooklyn Bridge
  4. Watch a Broadway show
  5. Central Park
  6. Times Square
  7. Visit the Top of the Rockefeller or Empire State Building
  8. 9/11 Memorial + Museum (visit Wall Street while you’re there)
  9. St. Patrick’s Cathedral
  10. Public Library
  11. Choose a Museum(s) to Visit

When planning your first trip to NYC, I highly recommend building an itinerary based on location. Each day can be organized by what you want to see in a specific area (EX: a day in Midtown: Visit the Empire State Building, Public Library, Times Square, Rockefeller Center, Grand Central Station, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Magnolia Bakery, etc.)

Going During The Holiday Season?

  1. Buy Tickets to see The Nutcracker during Christmas time (book early!)
  2. Buy Tickets for the Christmas Lights in Brooklyn
  3. Seek Out The Decorations!
  4. Radio City Rockettes Show

Places I Visit Every Time I’m in NYC

  • St. Patrick’s Cathedral
  • Rockefeller Center
  • Wander The West Village
  • Stroll Central Park
  • Broadway Show
  • Eat My Way Through The City
Chocolate Babka Bread at Bread's Bakery