Making the most of a short break in New York

New York is definitely one city where you need to live the experience rather than rush around a lot of attractions, especially if you’re only there for a few days. But that’s easier said than done if you don’t have a native New Yorker to help you out. Well, don’t worry, our guide will give you an exciting morning to evening itinerary.

Breakfast

Americans really know how to do breakfast, and if you choose one of the more substantial dishes (they’re all pretty substantial, to be honest) you won’t need to eat again till the evening. The amazing Pastis in the meatpacking district is a great place for a week day breakfast or brunch, serving classics such as eggs Benedict, pancakes, and, amazingly, a full English breakfast.

Paradou, again in the meatpacking district, is the perfect choice for relaxed weekend brunch, with Champagne cocktails coming as part of the deal. Prepare to be fed well, with dishes such as ‘the best burger in town’ and Duck Reuben – an enormous duck sandwich served with baked potato.

If you want a real American diner experience, the Hudson Diner on Hudson Street has a million different breakfast varieties and a warm, traditional American vibe.

Daytime attractions

OK, we said we weren’t going to do the big tourist sites, but really, you can’t miss the Empire State Building. Not only does it have the best view of New York, it’s also an art deco masterpiece from the city’s golden era. Pretend you’re Fay Wray as you cling to the viewing deck at the very top. Be warned, though, that the queues can be immense, so give yourself plenty of time. You can skip some of those queues if you buy your tickets online (available through various outlets).

You will probably want to go to a couple of museums. We’d recommend the Museum of Modern Art, otherwise known as MoMA, which is roughly New York’s equivalent of London’s Tate Modern. MoMA houses a huge range of modern artefacts, from architecture and design to media and performance art. Special exhibitions will cost more, so check online to see what’s on.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is a more imposing affair, and something akin to the National Gallery in London or the British Museum. The collection contains Egyptian, Greek and Roman art, mediaeval art, costume and modern American art. Again, you can buy tickets for special exhibitions online.

Take a stroll

If it’s a beautiful New York day (and it may well be, even in winter) then take a walk around some of New York’s most beautiful districts. To see the city at its iconic best walk across Brooklyn Bridge and take in the entire skyline. If you want an inner city, Breakfast at Tiffany’s type experience then wander around the East and West Village, perhaps stopping at the famous Magnolia Bakery for cup cakes.

Of course you’ll want to visit Central Park. Be careful though, it is enormous and will take a while to get across. If you want to pretend you’re a real New Yorker you can take a run around the reservoir, or take a boat out on the lake.

Shopping

Are you on a budget or prepared to splurge? If you’re on a budget try bargain hunting around Chinatown, and while you’re there, help yourself to some authentic dim sum. If you’re after something more stylish then head for Fifth Avenue for the full designer experience, or SoHo for a mix of designer outlets and inexpensive, independent boutiques.

Dinner

New York, like any big city, has a huge range of top quality restaurants and you’ll probably have a great dining experience in any district. A few restaurants that stand out are Buddakan, which featured in the first Sex and the City movie and which serves up delicious and delicate Asian fusion food. Another is Gotham Grill, serving classic American and international dishes.

Matt Walls is the Senior Director of Marketing at Hotels.com.

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Comments (3)

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  1. The views from the top of the Empire State Building are phenomenal at night. Less crowds, also.

  2. We’re glad you decided to write about New York City. Our flagship store is based out of Manhattan, which by the way, is one of the most exciting boroughs in the city. The MOMA is definitely one of our favorite sites to see!

  3. Rhydian says:

    Rather than doing the Empire State Building I suggest doing “Top of the Rock” (The Rockefeller Centre).
    I thought the views were better as you see an unobstructed view of Central Park.
    There is the bonus that it is less popular than the Empire State Building, so less queues and your pictures will have the skyline with the Empire State Building in it as well.

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