My New York State of Mind: Top Things to See and Do In NYC

(Last Updated On: September 5, 2017)

Writing about New York would be the daintiest task I had so far. I have left my heart in so many cities but none of them is anything like New York.

I am obsessed with TV Shows like Friends, Seinfeld, 2 Broke Girls, just to name some. So actually being in New York was an out of the world experience for me.

New York was the last city on my USA Trip before I got back home after couple of months traveling through the States.

I will not give you an itinerary of things that you should see and do in New York in this post, because that would be impossible. I have spent 7 days in New York and I did not have enough time to see everything that was on my list. Instead, I will give you a list of things that you should not miss for the world, and I leave it up to you to squeeze them in in your itinerary.

New York Skyline

The first day, I arrived in New York around 5 pm and I was exhausted from my Las Vegas tour so I went straight to bed. I thought I have enough time to explore the city, and how wrong I was. Anyhow I was staying in Harlem, a very safe neighborhood in New York and for some reason I feel the need to point that out.  The first thing I did in the morning was to climb the fire escapes and go on the roof of the building. The view was amazing, and I cannot compare it to anything that I have seen so far in other cities that I have been to.

Statue of Liberty

This attraction is somehow hard to miss. But I went there for a reason. I was traveling solo for the day so the best thing that I thought I could do was go to Elise Island and visit the Statue of Liberty. Do not get me wrong. The trip is amazing, but I was there in October and it was really windy and cold and I was not prepared for autumn in New York since all my clothes were from Sunny Florida.

Get Lost in Manhattan

I knew that seeing a sunset in Manhattan is something I should not miss. My love of walking came in handy here. So after visiting the Statue of Liberty I thought it would be a good idea to walk up to wherever I had the strength to go and then take the subway to get to Harlem. And I did, I walked up to 86th street. It took me a whole day with short breaks for coffee and lunch but I did get lost in Manhattan, and I saw the most of it on foot.

Talk to the locals

There is a certain stereotype that New Yorkers are rude and always in a hurry. As a matter of fact they are, but not all of them. My friend, the one that  I was staying with was New Yorker and my other friend has been living in New York for many years. So thanks to both of them I had an awesome time while I was there. But not just that, there were random people who would approach you and talk to you, and every time I was looking for a place they were happy to help. I mean I wouldn`t ask someone on the Wall Street, talking on the phone, for directions and you shouldn`t either.

Apple Store

I am not that into technology, even though I cannot live without my laptop and my iPad, so visiting the Apple Store was not that appealing to me. That is because I had not an idea what the Apple Store looks like. It is an ice cube on the 5th Avenue and it is nothing like I have imagined it.

Tip: If you do not have your laptop and you need one while you are in New York you can use the laptops in the Apple Store for 15 minutes according to the rules. You can stay longer if you want, since everyone that works there is always busy so no one will keep track of the time.

Greenwich Village

Greenwich Village is a popular neighborhood in New York where famous people live. The place is packed with restaurants and bars so it can be a great choice for a night out.

Central Park

Central Park is another thing that you cannot miss while you are in New York. To explore the whole park you would probably need a day. This can be great when you get tired from walking and you want to do something that is more relaxing. You can enjoy the beautiful statues, ponds, have a picnic and enjoy the day.

Go Beyond Manhattan

Manhattan might be a synonym for New York but that is not what makes this city what it really is. There are actually 4 more boroughs in New York besides Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens and Staten Island. You have to visit at least one. I had the chance to visit only Bronx and it was very different from the rest of New York. This is the place where the hip hop was born, and I just wish I had the time to visit Brooklyn too.

Times Square

Times Square is another place that is hard to miss. During the day it is crowded but I would prefer the crowd during the night. This is when all the surrounding buildings are illuminated. At one point it reminded me of the Piccadilly Circus in London because of the billboards and monitors displaying commercials, but Times Square is way more crowded.  It is impossible to find a plug in Starbucks and you might end up waiting in line longer for plugs than for coffee.

Ground Zero

When I was in New York the Memorial Center was still under construction so I had only sneaked a pick of the memorial fountain. This is a place that evokes so many emotions I believe in everyone and is a constant reminder of how some people are inhumane.

Empire State Building

Empire State Building is definitely something you should see. I am not talking about the building itself, which is stunning, but climbing the top deck ad see the popular Manhattan skyline. Check the ticket prices here. This is one of the busiest attractions in New York so you might want to book your tickets in advance. I would suggest you to visit the Empire State Building during the day and during the night. Or go before the sunset and stay a bit longer, it is up to you.

Grand Central Station

Grand Central Station is one of the busiest transportation center it is also a very popular tourist destination. Mainly because many scenes from famous movies were shoot here.

Interesting Fact: There is one part in the Central Station which is called Whispering Arch. This is an area where you can experience a sound effect. Namely you have to stand with a friend at opposite ends and one of you should talk in a normal voice. Even though your friend is about 10 meters away they can still hear you.

The High Line

The High Line is probably the most popular urban garden in New York. The park was built on an old railway and it is 1.4 miles long. It is the perfect place for late evening walks.

Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge is another magnificent sight in New York. It connects two of its most popular boroughs Manhattan and Brooklyn and at the same time it is one of the oldest bridges in USA. 

Love Sign

I am not romantic at all, but for some reasons I love the ‘LOVE’ sign. If you want to take a picture here, the sign is located on 54th and 6th avenue.

 Tom`s Restaurant

I have visited most of the popular places where popular scenes were shoot, like the apartment building from Friends, the café where Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis had coffee in Friends with Benefits. But I was happiest when I went to Tom`s Restaurant which is the diner from Seinfeld.

New York City can be very pricey so you have to be extra careful. I would advise you to get the The New York CITYPass. This card offers abundance of deals and you can visit many attractions with it. I also purchased the 7 Day Subway Pass which you can use unlimited times for the period of 7 days. You will use the subway and the bus more than you think, and imagine you catch the wrong bus, that will cost you extra if you do not have the unlimited pass.

Where to stay in New York

New York is no short of hotels, apartments and hostels. You can find the best place on according to your price range, since that is the website that I always use when I am looking for accommodation. You can also rent an apartment with AirBnb, use this code to get $27 free AirBnb credit.

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Author: Elena

Freelancer, blogger and a world citizen.


  1. Avatar


    September 21, 2017 at 6:42 pm

    Ohh I would love to go back to NY! When thinking of NY I think of emotions because NY was our last stop of our round the world trip in 2015 and just a couple of days before we landed in NY we found out that I was pregnant. I remember it was over 20degres outside , we were happy to end our trip but at the same time very happy because of the baby. At the end our three days in NY was spent in our Airbnb room just feeling overwhelmed.

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    Ania Travels

    September 21, 2017 at 7:49 pm

    I’m from Chicago so I’ve always LOVED New York because it’s pretty much the same city lol. These are spot on for things to do. Now I want to go back.

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    September 21, 2017 at 7:57 pm

    New York is a place that I’ve wanted to visit for so long! It’s such a vibrant city. This is a great list of ‘must see’ things because I would have never thought of the Apple store…lol.

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    Chelsea Elizabeth

    September 21, 2017 at 8:34 pm

    I’ve always dreamed of visiting New York! I’d love to go at Christmas time and see all of the beautiful sights. I’d love to go on a huge Christmas shopping spree too. Maybe one day!

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    Amber Myers

    September 22, 2017 at 12:20 am

    I just love your photos! I’ve always been a fan of NYC. I was there YEARS ago so I need to get back and do the things on your list. I have been to the Statue of Liberty before, but I do want to go to Ground Zero to pay my respects.

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    September 22, 2017 at 1:42 pm

    NYC is a grand city filled with stories at every turn and love that you highlighted the key places to go to. Living in Jersey in a town 20 minutes away from Manhattan, I can’t help but still be in awe at how majestic the skyline looks. Hope you can come back soon again!

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    Jojo Hua

    September 22, 2017 at 1:45 pm

    New York is truly an incredible place. I still have never visited before, I’d love love love to go one day! I’ve pinned this to my boards of places to go, thanks for sharing!

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    September 22, 2017 at 8:29 pm

    We are planning a trip to New York for the first time with my husband and your post will be an awesome guide for us! We want to go either fall or winter and see everything decorated! You have beautiful pictures!

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    September 22, 2017 at 8:46 pm

    I have been to NYC 6 times and I never get bored. There is just SO much to see and do. Brooklyn is a must.

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    September 22, 2017 at 11:21 pm

    I really hope I get to visit NYC one day. It looks like such a wonderful place to go. I’ve been wanting to visit since I was in my teens, and I’m in my 30’s now and have still never been to America!!

    Louise x

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    Marissa Zurfluh

    September 24, 2017 at 2:00 am

    I want to go to New York and see Ground Zero so bad. However, I know when I do I will bawl like a baby and embarrass myself.

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    September 24, 2017 at 4:53 am

    This early summer I had wonderful holidays in NYC and believe me it was most beautiful one. I loved lively Times Square and cruising to Statue of Liberty.

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