New York City is by far one of the most visited destinations in the world. It’s famous for its art, food, history, fashion and everything else that it has to offer. It’s refined, yet grungy, unapologetically loud yet serene, and all at the same time! The contrasts found living in NYC is an experience bar none. Basically, there’s something for everyone traveling to New York, for work or vacation! In this New York travel guide, we’re listing out everything you can and should do in New York on a long vacation, that is, on an itinerary of 10 days or more!
Wait, but how do you afford living in NYC when you’re on a long vacation?
Long vacation or not, living in NYC can be quite affordable. All you need to be is a little nifty and a little creative. Here’s a small guide to afford to live in NYC when traveling for over a week!
Related: 5 Ways To Save Money For Your Next Vacation
New York Travel Guide Rule 1: Know your travel priorities.
Your reasons for traveling to New York could be any. And whatever the reason, we recommend listing down your top priorities for your visit. You might want to skip on the hotel expenses and try subletting for the duration of your stay. Or find cheaper alternatives on sites like Airbnb.
New York Travel Guide Rule 2: Public transport and your walking shoes.
As a rule, do not let your rent exceed 30% of your overall budget. That’s a good place to start. Then, maybe pick a place close to the subway, or at a walkable distance from the places you definitely do not want to miss out on. Public transit will be your best friend, after those walking shoes of yours, of course. Maybe even rent a bike! Oh, the possibilities are endless.
Related: Traveling by NYC’s Transit System: A Guide To NYC’s Subway
New York Travel Guide Rule 3: Do not forget to keep a record of your expenses.
It can be quite hard to keep up with your expenses, especially on vacation. But, the great thing about New York is the endless amount of choice it comes with. The trick is to take charge. Record what you spend weekly, then monthly. Daily coffees stack up quickly. So do water bottles at newsstands.
New York Travel Guide Rule 4: If it’s a long vacation, enjoy the days you spend less as well as the days you spend more.
The good thing about a long vacation in New York is that you can take some days to just relax, take a walk around the neighborhood you’re in, and let the day take its course. Not every one of your days needs to end with a fancy bottle of wine. Sometimes cheap take-out and some beer, against the sound of the streets of New York over dinner will do the trick just as well.
And now for the daytime treats for when you’re on a long vacation in New York City!
Before we begin, it’s important to mention that this is by no means a “top things to do on vacation in NYC” list. These are some of our favorite spots around the city that are often missed by tourists, especially those who don’t have a lot of time on their hands.
P.S.: When you’re on vacation, you mustn’t let yourself get embarrassed about all the touristy things you wish to do. Once you know what your vacation budget is, there shouldn’t be anything stopping you from having the best time possible!
Big Bus Tours
The routes offered on Big Bus New York include: Uptown, Downtown, Harlem and Brooklyn routes, each ranging from 1 hour to 1.5 hours in duration, which run approximately every couple of hours. On a bright morning, get yourself a bagel and a coffee and get on a big bus!
Harlem Gospel walking tour!
Harlem Heritage Tours offers a range of walking tours to help you get acquainted with the area’s incredible history. But a major stand out, that no one should miss, especially when they have time is the Harlem gospel walking tour.
Not all New York travel guides will mention this, but if you get yourself here, what will unfold after is incredible. Prepare yourself for a moving morning, with lessons in African American history and its many contributions to global culture from visiting the Apollo Theatre and former President Bill Clinton’s office to walking the same streets as Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr did during the American civil rights movement of the ’50s and ’60s.
Central Park bike ride
Take it from us, there’s no better way to enjoy the crisp Autumn air any other way but by riding around Central Park. You can sign up for a guided tour to ensure you don’t miss the park’s hidden treasures like the Olmsted-designed waterfall!
Vintage may or may not be your style, but a visit to Beacon’s Closet is completely worth your time. The store runs on a ‘buy, sell, trade’ model and has completely embraced sustainable and ethical business practices.
Related: Best Vintage, Designer & Thrift Stores For Peeps Shopping On A Budget In New York
Come in for the New York Toasting Bagels, stay for the story of this legendary NYC hit! In 1934 Louis and Lillian Zabar opened up shop, introducing New Yorkers to quality delicacies like smoked fish, caviar, gnocchi, brie and sun-dried tomatoes. This is a big ‘don’t miss!’
AIRE Ancient Baths
By now, you’re probably a week into your vacation and in strong need of some downtime after all those days of living in NYC. For the ultimate morning relaxation, head to AIRE Ancient Baths. They offer a wide variety of bath and massage experiences, and some of them even include wine-time!
Delights for your afternoon & evenings in New York City!
New York City Ballet, Lincoln Center Theatre
There’s no competing with the grace of New York City Ballet, especially when you see them on their home turf. Experts recommend that you’re a beginner, opt for a showcase performance such as the NYCB Classics to help you get acquainted with the work of Balanchine while also seeing contemporary styles coming from choreographers such as Pam Tanowitz and Justin Peck.
Joe’s Shanghai, Chinatown!
Classic soup dumplings, wontons, and pork pancakes. Chinatown in New York City doesn’t get any better than that. And you really don’t need a New York travel guide to tell you that.
The first Joe’s Shanghai was founded in Flushing, Queens NY in 1994 and their famous soup dumplings soon became the talk of NYC. A mecca for every authentic Chinese food enthusiast, this is a must-visit, take our word for it. If you’re living in NYC, even for the shortest while, drop by here.
Prince Street Pizza
This is quite frankly, a New York City institution. According to many NYC folks, this is probably the only place to try a classic NYC square slice.
But that’s not all Prince Street has to offer! Window-shop Prince Street’s many boutiques — think antique stores, perfumeries, bespoke jewellery stores, and beauty boutiques — before refuelling with a classic NYC slice.
Dinner at Hell’s Kitchen
This section of this blog has naturally turned into a food recommendations’ list and we know no one’s complaining. Hell’s Kitchen is one of Manhattan’s most bustling foodie destinations. This is the area where many first-time restaurateurs try out new ideas, so there’s something for all palates. Bolivian, Uighur, American, Italian, Peruvian, Haitian, Venezuelan, Mexican, Japanese, Uzbek, Afghan, Thai and Cuban are all on offer.
Dizzy’s Club and Milton’s Playhouse
No one recommends missing on some of the world’s best jazz during your visit to NYC. Dizzy’s Club is the Lincoln Centre’s intimate jazz club, also home to southern-inspired American food and craft cocktails. If you’re up for it, make sure you attend one of the club’s Late Night Sessions, or for the adventurous among us, a Late Night Dance Session!
Related: 6 Best Kept Secrets about Living in the Bronx
Want more jazz? Milton’s Playhouse in Harlem is a shrine to the history of Jazz. It is one of NYC’s most revered live music venues. It was established in 1938 by saxophonist Henry Minton and is much-adored around the world for being the first official home of Bebop.
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