The first time I went away without any adult supervision was in 2016, when a friend and I decided to book a holiday. We decided to be bold in our choice of destination, and instead of opting for the classic European weekend break most people choose for a trip away, we booked ourselves a trip to New York. It was amazing, and now I have experienced the ‘Big Apple’ myself, I have come up with a list of things you just have to do if you ever get the chance to visit New York City!

Firstly, try to walk everywhere, as there is so much to see down every street. Google Maps helped us out a lot. If walking isn’t for you, use Big Bus sightseeing to travel around, especially if you’re going around the different boroughs. You’ll see so much more than going on the subway. Also, you have to go to the Disney store in Times Square as soon as they open! From the moment staff open the doors, they all sing! Disney songs of course.

For food, go to the Hard Rock Cafe in Times Square, and get a picture with the famous Hard Rock sign on the wall inside. Oh, and their mac n’ cheese is out of this world. Ellen’s Stardust diner in Manhattan is a classic American diner with a twist: the staff sing! Some staff have actually been on Broadway, and during my trip I met a waiter who was in The Lion King – unbelievable! Make sure you try their chocolate chip pancakes too, they are just the best.

For a quick bite, go to Papaya Dog, one of NYC’s most well known hot dog spots, and order their chilli cheese dog. Or, go to a food truck outside the Natural History Museum and have a philly cheese steak baguette, and sit on the steps of the museum.

An important note, avoid taking pictures with the different characters in Times Square, they ask for money and will not leave you alone until you pay (I didn’t experience this, but I did see it happen to another tourist). Times Square, both in the day and at night, is a sight to behold, so make sure you make the trip! Another tip, only use yellow taxis, especially to and from the airports. They have fixed rates, for example a trip to JFK airport was $50.

So I realised that the majority of the list is food, but New York City is famous for its amazing food spots! I could have put the obvious sights on the list, but I think that is a given. Instead, I wanted to give you an ‘insider’ look and experience of the famous Big Apple. If you do ever go, have fun and be safe! Make sure to check travel advice for the USA so you’re prepared for your trip.


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