9 things I wish I'd known before going to New York
Are you planning a trip to the concrete jungle?
New York is definitely at the top of most travellers' bucket lists. From the amazing galleries to the stunning skylines there is just so much to see and do in NY.
Make sure you make the most out of your time in the Big Apple and avoid some of the usual tourist pitfalls and traps.
Here are some of the things I wish I had known before my first trip.
Avoid the Empire State Building
It's expensive, overcrowded and the views aren't that great to be honest. Go up Top of The Rock instead it's much nicer, there's loads more space and you can get photos of the actual Empire State Building. It's a no-brainer.
There's so much free stuff
New York is an expensive city but if you do your research you'll be able to find lots of free events and tourist attractions. Did you know you can kayak for free on the Hudson? Head down to the Manhattan Community Boathouse at Pier 96 in the Hudson River Park. Once you sign a waiver and get your life jacket you can paddle away to your heart's content. Don't forget the selfie stick!
Avoid organised tours
You will see hop-on-hop-off bus tours all over Manhattan but just ignore them. You will see so much more simply walking around yourself.
You will walk a lot
Forget your Sex and the City fantasies of strutting up 5th Avenue in a pair of Manolo Blahniks, it ain't gonna happen. Chances are you will clock up some serious walking miles during a trip to New York so make sure you bring your trusty runners, you're gonna need them.
Don't go to Liberty Island
Keep your feet on dry land and make the most of your precious time in New York. Liberty Island is great but if you're only in New York for a few days then give it a miss. You'll spend most of your time waiting around. Get a cruise past Lady Liberty instead. You'll still get all the great photos just in half the time.
The subway isn't as scary as you think it will be
Forget all those horror stories you've heard about New York's subway and bite the bullet. It's a great cheap way to get around and is much quicker than getting a taxi.
You don't actually have to pay to get into The Met
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of the best museums in the whole world and the best part is it's completely free. The museum lists admission prices on their website but these are only a suggestion. You can actually pay whatever you what. They also have a fab rooftop terrace and bar that is perfect for a quick rest break. Don't forget to recreate the classic Serena and Blair pose on the steps.
Go to the High Line mid-week or early in the morning
Unless you want to feel like a cow in a cattle mart. The reconstructed freight railway line turned floating garden is popular with both tourists and New Yorkers alike meaning it can get a little crowded. Go at quiet times to really make the most of this gorgeous area.
Don't stay in Manhattan your whole trip
It can be tempting but staying in Manhattan means that you will miss out on all the other places NY has to offer. New York has four other boroughs, Brooklyn, Staten Island, Queens and the Bronx. An easy way to get to Brooklyn is simply by walking across the Brooklyn Bridge. You'll get great views along the way too.