New York!! WOW what can I say about it, there is so much to say! I was literally on transport from the airport, until I stepped out of the the ‘SUBWAY’ GUYS 😉 onto Times Square where dreams came true! So I’ve been reminded on movies such as Gossip Girl and Miracle on 34th street. The bright lights hit me and I just stood there and looked up for 5 minutes to take it all in. Every time I gazed at New York on TV everyone always looks so glamorous and I could feel the atmosphere from just watching it on TV!
In 2011, I went on a working holiday to Cape Cod about 6 hours from New York. We didn’t want to base ourselves in New York that summer as I was very young at the time and you know how Irish Mammies get……….But I was going to New York and when I have something in my mind there is no stopping me! Sorry Mammy! At the age of 18 I paid 10 dollars for the cheapest Lucky Star Coach company to NYC at the most awkward time but I was indifferent and on my way to the city that never sleeps. There was no stopping me! Believe me when I say I was on a budget holiday that year! There’s more…..
I had it on the brain that I desperately would visit The Statue of Liberty, The Twin Towers memorial site, Century 21 and Times Square (I only had a day there). My Mum sent me details about how to get to the Statue of Liberty Free on the Staten Island Ferry, perfect and off I went! Bearing in mind, I only had a day in NYC and it was the last day of my summer well spent in America working three jobs! I probably had €$100 dollars left before catching my flight the next day! You know what they say? FAKE IT UNTIL YOU MAKE IT! Well, deep down, I knew I wasn’t going to ‘make it’ that summer.
After visiting the Statue of Liberty for free, I made my way to century 21. My friend was with me and watched as I filled a big basket with clothes. We both laughed after I put the 5th item of clothing in, knowing that I couldn’t even afford one, I walked empty handed out and dreamed of a day where I could visit again with a little bit more money in my back pocket.
It was a dream come true, but…unfortunately, I had imagined it a bit differently walking around like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman except I imagined being sort of like Elle Woods too with a poodle in my hand and I definitely would need a PA to carry all my bags.
Luckily for me, I returned to NYC 3 years later, in a better position, more mature and certainly more lucrative, which wouldn’t have been too difficult! In 2015, I returned with Cathal (My Boyfriend) and we did a whole USA trip NYC – SAN FRAN- SAN JOSE – LA – LAS VEGAS – BOSTON. I’ve been to Orlando and Miami so we gave that a skip because we decided to visit Disney World in LA. Cathal always says it was his favourite trip and we’ve been on 6 together.
Anyway back to talking about the amazing NYC trip! Three days was perfect in NYC, we saw and did everything we planned. We flew from Dublin- Iceland-NYC with Wowair and the only time we can fly together during the summer is August. Wowair and Norweigan airlines do the cheapest flights to NYC but it is always good to check Skyscanner too. If you really want cheap flights, join my newsletter and I use google software to do more deep searches in comparison to sky scanner and Kayak.
Unsurprisingly, as it was, prices for hotels were as sky high as their buildings…I know I’m pretty hilarious 😉 We decided to book The Seton Hotel which was walking distance to everything you needed in NYC. I also advise if you want visit big-name attractions like the Statue of Liberty and Empire State Building, then it might be worth investing in a New York City Pass. They cost $122 per adult ($98 aged 6–17) and cover 6 museums and attractions, if you plan to visit them all you can save $83 on entrance fees.
We didn’t plan on seeing a Broadway show because we’ve seen plenty in London and it was our preference to visit the other attractions but if you would like to then you can pick up discounted theater tickets at ticket booths which sell same-day seats for up to 50% off. Their Times Square booth usually has big queues, but there are quieter branches at South Street Seaport and Downtown Brooklyn.
We used a metro card to get from the airport and decided to top this up but actually because our hotel was so close we barely used the Subway. I find the subway quite confusing to understand routes, probably because there is an idiots guide at every tube station and so many arrows to make it clear. In NYC, you have to already know whether it is A/B/C/D you need and it just seemed too much hassle when we were trying to enjoy ourselves. I’m sure if our phones were working properly we would have been on the pigs back! What would life be like without google maps? I honestly don’t know how we survived. We walked around Times Square on the first day as Cathal wasn’t in NYC and as our hotel was near Byron Park we went there too. In Times Square, I made Cathal get a picture with some of the entertainers there and he was mortified. I also took a picture with NYPD. Got some lunch in a really nice restaurant called Bourbon Street Bar & Grille
We were stuffed after dinner so we needed a walk! we visited The Twin Towers memorial and paid $10 to enter. It was so emotional. It was upsetting, reading letters from small children telling their parents they missed them and of course there were people in bits in every corner of the room. Well worth the visit to show respect and remember the victims as it displays artifacts related to the catastrophe.
That night we had dinner in The Hard Rock Cafe in Times Square, for a while we were obsessed with Hard Rock! It never fails and at least you know what you’ll get. Whereas now, we always try to eat somewhere we haven’t been before.
We went to sleep early on Day 1 and the next morning we went straight to look at the empire state building and visited the view from the Rockerfeller Centre. Who doesn’t go here when they go to NYC? It is well worth the $38 visit as you get a Birdseye view of the city. If you want an even better view you could also book a heli tour from above which is a lot more expensive $300- $400 but imagine the experience! It was a good idea to visit in the morning as it wasn’t too busy but I think during August time you are not going to escape the tourists anyway!
After visiting The Rockerfeller Centre Top of the Rock, we went to the Dead Rabbit which was voted the Number 1 Bar in the World!! It is owned by two Irish men so we said it would be great to support the Irish abroad. Amazing food and it’s like standing into a cosy living room, everyone was so happy and the staff were really friendly too. Across the road you can get a ferry to Staten Island or if you want to pay money for a boat tour around The Statue of Liberty then you could do that instead. On the way back from Staten Island, we walked across the Brooklyn Bridge to experience an interesting view of the New York skyline and harbor. It’s a long walk but good food and drinks await you on the other side. Stopping to take photos and meandering along the way will make the walk about 40 minutes. I enjoyed doing the walk at night when downtown Manhattan was all lit up.
Today we really chilled out before our afternoon flight to San Francisco, we walked around central park and we did a bit of shopping in Century 21 and I was also able to treat myself to DKNY shoes this time unlike 2011 when I only had enough to return to Ireland. We also visited Radio City Music Hall – Is there a more American theater than Radio City Music Hall? This timeless testament to entertainment has captivated visitors since the 1930s. Tours run daily from 9:30am-5pm and cost $27 (you can get a discount by purchasing your tickets online).
If you’re visiting NYC for three days I would budget for $100 dollars a day excluding your hotel price. Do plenty of research beforehand and book everything online except Broadway to ensure you save some dollas!