As a first timer to New York just two weeks ago, of course I went to quite a few tourist attractions because if you have a city pass, it simply makes sense. 
Now, I have seen quite a few of these kinda posts around when I was researching what to do in the ‘city that never sleeps’ – which is honestly very true, thanks to massive colourful billboards, the hooting of taxis and the sirens in-between – but you can honestly make your trip to New York as individual as you want it to be. 
Take a cruise around Manhattan. 
Honestly, if you want to see the sights without be in crowded and busy streets, then take a cruise around the island. We went on the ‘Landmark Cruise’ which is operated by Circle Cruises. It is about an hour and a half but you see so much. From the Empire State Building to the One World Trade Centre to Wall Street to Brooklyn Bridge and the Statue of Liberty. Plus you can get some seriously good photos, except when people stand up but hey you get to see everything twice. Also you get an experienced New Yorker telling you about everything on the way around as well. 
Top of the Rock or Empire State? 
For me personally, the Top of the Rock experience was much better than the Empire State experience for a number of reasons. 
Number one, it is less crowded even during the day. We went about mid afternoon, and yes you do have to do a bit of queuing to get into the lifts but nothing compared to Empire State, although that wasn’t as bad as what I had read. 
Number two, you get better views in my opinion. Yes the view from the Empire State is incredible and you are about 12 floors higher and you can see a bit further. However, from the top of the rock you can see central park clearer and you get an incredible view of the manhattan skyline which includes the Empire State Building.
It’s all about Soho. 
If you are looking to escape the hustle and bustle of midtown/times square, then head to soho. We actually walked to Soho from the 9/11 memorial, so we just walked straight up Broadway and it took us about 20 minutes, but it was quite a nice walk as it wasn’t that busy in comparison to 5th Avenue or Times Square area. 
There are some really beautiful shops and some gorgeous little cafes and restaurants. Unfortunately, we didn’t go into Jack’s Wife Frieda because the wait was 45 minutes to an hour and we had too much stuff to do. However, this was ‘brunch time’ in New York, so it was kinda expected. Like my mum buying converse in the Converse Shop and looking in the cute Bloomingdales – in which I should have brought the trainers I wanted as that was the only place that I went in that had them. Sad times. 
You gotta see a show on Broadway!!
If you are a musical fan or not a musical fan, you have to see at least one broadway musical, because honestly there is something special about the whole thing. The theatres may lake some of the magic as what they do in London’s West End, but there is still something quite magical there to. Plus Americas have a very different approach to seeing musicals than us Brits. Like the standing ovation from the whole audience at the end of the show. I mean I have been to about 14 West End shows and never have I seen the whole audience stand up. 
Tip: If you queue outside the box office before it opens in the morning, you can get really good seats at a really good price, and you don’t have to queue up in Times Square then or worry about booking tickets advance online. 
Explore Central Park.
When you only have three hours in central park you really can’t do that much, but the one thing I wish I had done more, was to explore central park more. It is just an oasis of clam in the city that is busy and loud, but truly amazing as well. We actually got as far as the boating lake, where we had an ice cream, but I would have liked to have seen a lot more. 
However, you simply can’t go to NYC without visiting central park and just trying to take it all in, even if you do only have a small amount of time. 
Love Alicia x 
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