Remember that time I went to New York?
The bars in Brooklyn and East Village
The revolving bar at the top of the Times Square Marriott for an interesting lift experience and a 360 degree view of the city.
BUT, the view from the Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg gets the award for ‘Best view of the skyline’ on our visit. Go for a drink at the Ides at sunset or after dark.
The World Trade Centre Memorial and Museum. Make sure you allow around three hours, if not more, if you want to see everything.
Brunch at Buttermilk Channel was our favourite.
We also loved brunch at Five Leaves.
Walking Brooklyn Bridge
Watching the sunset from the Staten Island Ferry.
Is January a good time to visit New York?
We were taking advantage of a few main factors by going in January – obviously, it was my 30th birthday, and Sam was already in the states on a business trip, so we only had to pay airfare for one in order for us both to travel. It was a no-brainer that we’d go at that time of year, but if you are deliberating over a winter break or going at a different time of year, here are my tips.
It is cold. If you are a NOT a cold weather person, probably best to avoid going to New York in winter. It is often very snowy. And / or rainy. I have a feeling we got very lucky with the weather we had. There were a couple of freezing days, then a couple of mild, sunny days. So, we were able to walk around outside all day and the weather didn’t have any effect on our sightseeing. January weather in New York can be much harsher than we experienced. Two weeks after our trip, there was a blizzard, flights were cancelled, and everyone got stuck indoors for several days.
Also, I have a feeling that things like Central Park, and the Highline look their best when the leaves are in bloom. So, if this is your ‘once in a lifetime’ trip, I’d try and avoid winter. Unless you’re going for the Christmas stuff, or snow is your thing.
Is five days in New York long enough?
We were very lucky to have a personal tour guide in our friend Tommy, who’s been living in Brooklyn for a while. It meant we took the most efficient route between all the landmarks and the sightseeing stuff, didn’t waste time looking at maps or getting lost, and visited a lot of bars that we definitely wouldn’t have discovered on our own.
Sam and I are happy to be on our feet for long days (and really, it all seemed so easy and LIGHT doing it without the children). By the end of our second full day, we’d covered the majority of things on our ‘must see’ list, leaving a more relaxed pace for the remaining few days.
If you’re on your first visit to New York, I’d say a week is the ideal length of time to give most people enough time to do everything on your wishlist at a non-stressful pace.
For more New York travel reading, check out:
Tips for booking a New York trip on a budget
How to plan a child-free trip to New York