DREAMS DO COME TRUE!!! I was given an opportunity to go to the United States for work last year, April 2018. When I learned that I’ll be going to Connecticut, which is just an hour away from New York, I was so, so happy!!! After all our business meetings, I spent my weekend in one of my dream destinations, New York City! So, I’ve listed some of the things to do and places that you can visit there (in no particular order):
New York Skyline (via cruise)
My client and I went on a cruise in New York. It’s called Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises, you may buy your tickets on their website. Here, you will experience over 130 landmarks, including the Statue of Liberty, from the comfort of our state-of-the art boats. There’s also a very cool guide who will give you insights while on the cruise. It costs $40 per person.
A photo before we go on a cruise. By the way, this cost $20
We took the 5:00 PM schedule so we can see the lights and New York Skyline
I was able to take a peak of the Empire State Building
Statue of Liberty
Part of the Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises is seeing her beauty, the Statue of Liberty. I was in awe while looking at it
It was Spring season, and there were Cherry Blossoms! For those who’ve read my previous blogs, I LOVE CHERRY BLOSSOMS! So, I made sure to experience it in New York. The Spring season is from march to May.
You can see most of the Cherry Blossoms at Central Park and New York Botanical Garden
Empire State Building
Top of the Rock is your best view to see the Empire State Building. You may purchase your tickets in this link. Ticket price is around $40 and additional $5 if you want to catch the sunset. We made sure to see the Empire State Building from sunlight until the lights lit up.
Rockefeller Center is a large complex consisting of 19 commercial buildings covering 22 acres between 48th and 51st Streets, facing Fifth Avenue, in New York City. Commissioned by the Rockefeller family, it is located in the center of Midtown Manhattan. It’s cool to go here during winter as they have skating rink set up.
Ahhhh Time Square!!! When I was younger, I only see this in the movies. Being there physically was indescribable! This place is full of life! Times Square is a major commercial intersection, tourist destination, entertainment center and neighborhood in the Midtown Manhattan section of New York City. Brightly adorned with billboards and advertisements. Times Square is one of the world’s most visited tourist attractions, drawing an estimated 50 million visitors annually.
Grand Central Terminal
A world-famous landmark in Midtown Manhattan is not simply a transportation hub – it’s also a shopping, dining, and cultural destination. I love it! I love the architecture, the ambiance, the people! I feel like I was in a Hollywood movie.
One World Trade Center
The original World Trade Center was a large complex of seven buildings in Lower Manhattan, New York City, United States. It featured the landmark Twin Towers, which opened on April 4, 1973 and were destroyed in 2001 during the September 11 attacks. This is One World Trade Center, the main building of the rebuilt World Trade Center.
The National September 11 Memorial & Museum is a memorial and museum in New York City commemorating the September 11, 2001 attacks. When my client, Miche, was telling me stories of her experience with 9/11, the news flash backed in my head and I felt sad at that moment.
The white flower means it’s their birthday
You can go to the museum with entrance fee, but we didn’t go since there was a long line.
The Brooklyn Bridge is a hybrid cable-stayed/suspension bridge in New York City. It connects the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn, spanning the East River.
Since we’re already in Brooklyn Bridge, my friend brought me to Dumbo. Trendy Dumbo’s cobblestone streets and converted Brooklyn warehouse buildings are the backdrop for independent boutiques, high-end restaurants and trendy cafes. North end of Brooklyn Bridge Park features historic Jane’s Carousel as well as picturesque views of the Manhattan skyline.
Radio City Music Hall
Radio City Music Hall is an entertainment venue at 1260 Avenue of the Americas, within Rockefeller Center, in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. Nicknamed the Showplace of the Nation, it is notable as the headquarters for the Rockettes, the precision dance company. I had to take a photo even just outside it.
The Flatiron Building, originally the Fuller Building, is a triangular 22-story, 285-foot tall steel-framed land marked building located at 175 Fifth Avenue in the borough of Manhattan, New York City, which is considered to be a groundbreaking skyscraper. Isn’t it cute?
Little Italy is a small neighborhood in Lower Manhattan which used to be highly populated by Italian Americans. It is fun to walk through its’ streets and explore the Italian stores and restaurants.
Just next to Little Italy, you can also visit Chinatown. We had our Chinese lunch there.
The Charging Bull has become a symbol of the American Stock Market. It is also one of the most popular sights in New York City. Tourists go there from all around to see the bronze beast, striking poses and snapping pictures in front of it. You have to fall in line to have a decent photo!
Other places that you can visit:
- Metropolitan Museum of Art
- Museum of Modert Art
- Madame Tussauds New York
- Coney Island
- The High Line
Shopping in New York City:
Macy’s Herald Square in New York City is one of the world’s largest department stores. It has top fashion brands, a full-service Visitor Center, top events and dining. I swear I told myself that I will just LOOK, but I ended up buying a bag and wallet since they are on sale!
There are several Footlocker branches in New York City and, my mind boggled when I saw all the shoes! I’m a heels and sneakers kinda girl so you can just imagine how happy I was seeing the wide variety of shoes that we don’t have in the Philippines. I wanted to buy two or maybe three shoes, but due to budget constraint, I only bought one haha! They also have a lot of shoes on sale.
This is not the typical budget travel guide, that I usually write about since this is a business trip. The company that I’m working for paid for almost everything except my weekend expenses in NYC, that’s why I won’t be able to give you the breakdown of my expenses there. I’ve learned that everything is more expensive in New York City as compared to the other cities in the U.S. But I can give you some tips on how to save in the Big Apple with transportation and food:
- If you’re curious about transportation, I just took the subway! I bought the 7-Day unlimited Metrocard for $32 (around PHP 1,700) and I was all set. I was able to go to all those tourist attractions with no hassle. I only paid for the cruise and Top of the Rock NYC, all the other places we’ve been to are free.
- For the directions, I have the Google Maps app that I always use when I travel abroad. It gives you detailed directions and what train/bus to take to go to your location, even the route for walking.
- I don’t recommend you to ride the cab or Uber. It is very expensive and New York City can be traffic at times. Better take the subway and walk your way to your destination.
- I booked a SuperShuttle shared ride going to the airport from the hotel. It’s very convenient and affordable. Make sure to book a pick up at least 3 hours before your flight since they’ll be picking up other passengers.
- Eating at a fast-food restaurant varies from $8 to $10 for a main dish + drink + dessert. There are small restaurants, in which the main course (pizza, pasta, meat) costs from $10 to $12 per person. A full meal costs $20 – $26 per person.
- Try the burgers at Shake Shack, burger costs $4 – $10
- There are hotdog stands everywhere, costs around $2.50.
- The average price of a Starbucks drink in the U.S. is $2.75, but New York City is the most expensive location coming in at $3.25 for a tall cappuccino.
- Prepare your hearts out with all the dessert place in New York City. There’s many to mention, please just Google it 🙂
- You must know the weather before going to NYC so you can prepare what clothes to bring. It was Spring when I went, but it’s still cold, so I brought a lot of coats and jackets.
- Wear comfortable shoes as you will do a lot of walking when visiting the tourist attractions. It might really look nice to wear heels or heeled boots for your OOTD photos but better safe than sorry.
- Bring water. Since you’ll be doing a lot of walking, it’s best to be hydrated.
- TAKE LOTS OF PHOTOS! You’ll never know when you’ll be back, so take as much photos as you can!
- Be cautious, especially when taking the subway. Yes, you are in New York City, but I’ve seen some bullying and people asking for money in the subway.
How to Apply for a U.S. Visa?
The company that I’m working for helped me with my U.S. Visa application since it’s for a business trip. I was granted a single entry on my first application, and a multiple entry on my second. I don’t really know how to apply if you’re going as a tourist. You can refer to this website for more information http://www.ustraveldocs.com/ph/ph-niv-typeb1b2.asp
Thank you for reading this blog and I hope you learn a thing or two! I would love to go back to New York if given a chance or visit California and the beaches of Florida next time. For more of my travel tips, reviews and adventures, you may follow me on Facebook and Instagram. Happy travels! 🙂