Going on vacation in New York City is something everyone should do at least once in their lifetime. The only problem with visiting the Big Apple is there’s so much stuff to experience there that you simply can’t do it all in a week, let alone a weekend city break. From finding a great hotel to fit any budget to incredible places to visit, Skyscanner’s here to let you know how to do NYC right.
Top of the class
If you head to the Time Warner Towers in Columbus Square you’ll find the exquisite [Mandarin Oriental](http://www.skyscanner.com/hotels/hotels/Mandarin Oriental New York?id=47025077&sd=2014-10-24&ed=2014-10-26&tab=index&q=New+York+City%2C+New+York%2C+United+States&mqd=1&hidx=24&did=318732&rid=65934677&meid=27537542&langid=en&usrplace=US&ccy=USD). Rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows that let you soak up views of the Hudson River, Brooklyn, and Central Park. Some rooms even have walk-in closets for those that can’t really travel without taking six suitcases because you never know what you’ll need to wear. You’ll also get the same killer views in Asiate, which ups the ante with some inventive cuisine, like egg pasta with blue prawns and Wagyu beef tenderloin. If you’ve got the kids with you, then you can take them to burn some energy at Central Park or at the legendary FAO Schwartz. We know it’s a pricy place to stay, but it’s definitely worth the money.
Head to Midtown Manhattan for the [Grand Hyatt New York](http://www.skyscanner.com/hotels/hotels/Grand Hyatt New York?id=106034174&sd=2014-10-24&ed=2014-10-26&tab=index&q=New+York+City%2C+New+York%2C+United+States&mqd=1&hidx=4&did=27440&meid=27537542&langid=en&usrplace=US&ccy=USD) for five-star quality at a price that’s more manageable for many. The rooms are modern and very comfortable with views of the skyline. It’s a half-hour walk from Central Park and only 11 minutes by foot see United Nations Plaza. Oh, and it’s right next door to the famed Grand Central Station, so you can reenact some romantic comedy scene.
It’s hard to believe that you can find a great budget option for hotels in NYC, but [Pod 51](http://www.skyscanner.com/hotels/hotels/Pod 51St Street?id=115638640&sd=2014-10-24&ed=2014-10-26&tab=index&q=New+York+City%2C+New+York%2C+United+States&mqd=1&hidx=1&did=841215&meid=27537542&langid=en&usrplace=US&ccy=USD) gives you that choice to be in the heart of it all and not break the bank. The rooms range from a single pod that’s just a touch bigger than the bed inside of it to a studio that comfortably sleeps four people. There are some tradeoffs for the good rates. If you choose the single or bunk pods, you’ll be using a shared bathroom with other guests from similar rooms. And all rooms run a bit snug, but you’ll be too busy enjoying the city to worry about that now, right?
If you’re looking for the ultimate in fine dining, then you’re going to want to visit Le Bernardin. Chef Eric Ripert’s consistently finds itself at the top of Zagat lists, and with good reason. This French seafood restaurant has been called a “religious experience” with menu options that include Dover sole, king fish-caviar and white tuna-kobe beef. Ripert also opened the Aldo Sohm Wine Bar just around the corner from the restaurant, which is more casual with artwork that seems to so captivating that you’d swear it jumps off the wall at you. Shouldn’t expect anything less than that from a man with a Michelin Guide three-star rating.
The best of American cuisine is on full display when you head over to The Dutch on the corner of Sullivan and Prince Street. American classics like fried chicken and fresh takes like Korean-style hanger steak are both worth trying if you’re near Washington Square Park. You could see a celebrity or two walk through the place, so try to hold yourself back from trying to take a picture or demanding an autograph.
You can’t go to New York and not get a slice pizza. And if you’re going to grab a slice, it has to be from Joe’s Pizza in Greenwich Village. New Yorkers (both stars and average folks) know what’s up as they line up outside the modest storefront to get a hold of this pie. This pizza proves beauty comes from simplicity, and in awfully large slices. It’s too good to miss.
This Australian import is perfectly suited to the fast pace of New York City. Pie Face provides visitors with a plethora of hand-held pies that include the traditional Australian meat pie, Thai chicken curry, Philly cheese steak and chunky steak, just to name a few. Pile ‘em up with some mushy green peas or mashed potatoes and gravy. Nothing better than hitting up one of the six NYC locations for a bite to eat after spending some quality time in one of the city’s many bars.
McSorley’s Old Ale House
Just stepping into McSorley’s is like going back in time. New York City’s oldest continuously operated saloon has been helping locals relax since 1854. This pub has the well-worn look of its age with a warmth that welcomes anyone in to sit a spell and have a beer. Those beers, by the way, run in two options – dark and light. Simplicity in a pint.
Rudy’s Bar & Grill
Sometimes all you want is cheap beer and eats. Well, that’s why it pays to go into Hell’s Kitchen for Rudy’s Bar & Grill. This place was frequented by the likes of Al Capone (yep, that Al Capone) when this place was supposedly a speakeasy. While you don’t have to know a password to get into this dive bar, you do get greeted by a six-foot pig outside the front door. Once inside you can enjoy bottles or pints of beer that don’t get higher than $5, and every drink comes with free hot dogs.
Most of us will never get a chance to hang out with Jay-Z, but that doesn’t mean we can’t party in his club. The 40/40 Club (named after the baseball feat of 40 home runs & 40 stolen bases) is the brainchild of the famous rapper and Juan Perez. Its 12,000 square feet of sports entertainment and opulent nightlife fun. The food is an upscale take on the usual sports bar fare, while the illuminated champagne tower points to you not being in Kansas anymore.
This is the spot to come in NYC for the finer things in life at Wal-Mart prices… well, high-end Wal-Mart prices. Century 21 brings heavyweight designer goods (Michael Kors, Ben Sherman, Vivienne Westwood) to the masses at prices that can be had at discounts upwards of 60 percent on the price tag. The only thing to keep in mind is this place gets busy. We won’t say it’s Black Friday quality busy, but it’s pretty freaking close.
You can now find Macy’s in many corners of the United States, but a visit to the original haunts in the Big Apple are well worth the time. It’s 11 floors of everything you could possibly imagine, which makes sense in what is one of the world’s largest department store. Definitely worth the stroll to see the latest in wigs before grabbing a bite in one the restaurants in the store. Yeah, that’s what you get when perusing a shop with 2.2 million square feet.
SoHo & NoLIta
SoHo (south of Houston Street) and NoLIta (North of Little Italy) are home to some of the best shopping in the world. Filled with chic boutiques selling top-shelf clothes and accessories you’ll be hard pressed to find anywhere else. While you can walk the streets on your own and have a lot of fun, there are some good walking tours that don’t cost much and are quite thorough.
No matter the time of year, Central Park is one of the must-see spots in New York. Summer was made for lazy days on the Great Lawn near Mid-Park. The Loch near the North End feels like you’re in the countryside and not a metropolis. Strawberry Fields is a necessity for Beatles fans everywhere, while Central Park Zoo will let the kiddies see animals from all points around the world. And don’t forget to visit Belvedere Castle for incredible views of the park and cityscape.
When you’re not visiting Rockefeller Center for a taping of “Saturday Night Live” or “Late Night,” you should head to the 70th floor of the building for spectacular 360-degree views of the city. And you can always make a meal of it with a stop on the 30th floor to get something to eat from the many options there.
It may be a little somber for some to visit the 9/11 Memorial, but it’s one of the most amazing spots to see in the city. The twin reflecting pools, complete with waterfalls, in the footprints of the Twin Towers are awe inspiring. And it’s hard not to be affected by the etched names of the victims of the 9/11 attack and ’93 bombing. The museum on site is also incredible to learn more about tragedy.
Coming to the city during the summer? Great, take advantage of the weather by catching a baseball game. Yankee Stadium is the home of the most famous sports team in the States. And it has plenty to keep you interested outside of the ball game with the Great Hall that’s full of Yankees history, Monument Park for the retired numbers of team greats and the restaurant NYY Steak for one of the best steaks of your life.