I started planning my trip to the Big Apple in January 2012. I got there in November, a week after Superstorm Sandy swept through town. Okay, I need to work on my timing. But those New Yorkers are awesome; so much of Manhattan was up and running, I didn’t have a second to be bored in the three days I was there.
If you only have a limited time to see everything, I recommend a bus tour. You may drive by all the important landmarks but you’ve at least laid eyes on them. You can go back and hit the ones you want to visit later. I was very lucky; the tour I went on included lunch in Little Italy (so very tasty!) and a harbour cruise.
I think it says something about me in that a lot of the sites I recognized from the movies. Look, it’s the Natural History Museum from “A Night at the Museum”! Hey, the New York Public Library from “The Day After Tomorrow”! If I had been a “Sex and the City” fan I would have been in perpetual OMG-mode.
In six hours we saw everything from Harlem to the Upper East Side, Central Park, Wall Street, the Brooklyn Bridge and the shops of 5th Avenue. If you decide to take a bus tour, try not to do it after a near-hurricane. The tunnels were still flooded and the subway lines downtown still weren’t running.
Downtown Manhattan is not actually that big. Wear your walking shoes and you can see a lot of it by foot. Little Italy is only blocks from China Town. Wall Street to Battery Park is almost spitting distance. And it’s all well-laid out. Good job, city planners.
And when it’s all over, go see the night life.