10 things to do in New York City (Part I)

New York City is a place which, like London, you’d probably never run out of things to do.

We were there a couple of weeks ago and it was my first time ever visiting the Big Apple.

And what did I think?

Why the hell I’d wasted 26 years of my life to get there.

Carmen jumping in Times Square  New York City Double-Barrelled Travel

Extremely excited to be in New York City – jumping up and down in Times Square

New York City gives you an adrenaline rush. Some have described it as London on steroids but it’s more than that. It’s a vibrant, colourful place and if you are someone who loves big cities like I am, you’ll fall in love straight away.

We only had two full days to spend in the city, which certainly wasn’t enough time.

But we managed to cram in as many things as possible into our visit.

And if you’ve only got 48 hours to experience the magic, I’ve devised a list of 10 things to do in New York City to help you on your journey.

I had so much to say and so many photos to show you though, that I’ve had to split it into two posts.

1. Stroll along the High Line

Flowers at the Highline Garden in NYC  New York City Double-Barrelled Travel

The beautiful flowers of the High Line

I first read about the High Line a couple of years ago when it first opened and put it straight onto my list of things to do in New York City.

The idea behind the High Line is inspiring – locals prevented a historic freight rail line from being demolished by turning it into a park. But it’s not just any park because the rail line was elevated up high, meaning you can wander along its paths amongst the skyscrapers.

It’s in Manhattan’s West Side and runs through the Meatpacking District, which is an area that in the ‘80s was rife with drugs and prostitution. The High Line is just one development that has helped turn the neighbourhood into the hip place it is today.

And it’s free!

Carmen at the High Line  New York City Double-Barrelled Travel

Me walking the High Line (and posing)

2. Marvel at the Street art

Like any good city, from Berlin to Bristol, New York City has great street art. Some of you might already know from my previous posts that I’m a little obsessed when it comes to street art. I love seeking it out.

Street art from the High Line New York City Double-Barrelled Travel

The famous end of WWII scene as depicted by a street artist

So I was happy to find that one of New York City’s best pieces – a graffiti version of the famous image of a sailor kissing a nurse in Times Square after the announcement that World War II was over – can be seen from the High Line.

You’re bound to see more street art when you stroll through New York City as it’s probably one of the best places in the world to spot pieces. Brooklyn, where we were staying, has some unique pieces. And if you need any further help to guide you, I found this brilliant blog on street art in New York.

Baby hulk street art in  New York City Double-Barrelled Travel

I nicknamed this piece of street art ‘The Baby Hulk’

3. Chelsea Market

After strolling along the High Line and taking in everything there is to see, finish up at Chelsea Market. The market is housed in a former biscuit factory, none other than the birthplace of the Oreo. It’s a beautiful building made from red brick, little lanes and archways.

Best of all, it’s a great place to go for lunch and if you’ve just walked the High Line you’ve probably worked up an appetite.

Spices at Chelsea Market  New York City Double-Barrelled Travel

The spices of Chelsea Market

You can buy many foods at Chelsea Market, from tacos to cupcakes, fish to cheese.

Dave and I went to Freidman’s for lunch and he ate possibly the biggest Reuben sandwich ever. He struggled to finish it and that’s saying something for Dave.

I went for the ‘lighter’ chicken salad option but even so it was enormous.

Freidman’s is probably a little on the pricier side – our mains were between $12-$15 – but it was worth it.

Chelsea Wine Vault at Chelsea Market New York City Double-Barrelled Travel

If you fancy wine, Chelsea Wine Vault is a good place to drink it at Chelsea Market

After we’d eaten we went exploring and discovered The Lobster Place Seafood Market where you can order delicious lobster rolls. We knew they were fresh because some of the lobsters were climbing around in their tanks, awaiting certain death.

We’d have love to have gone back for a meal there if we’d had more time. Go there for us if you get the chance!

4. Eat gelato from Ferrara, Little Italy

I couldn’t write this post without mentioning food and one of our favourites is gelato.

Where to find the best though? Unfortunately we didn’t get a chance to sample all New York City had to offer (I think that would take years) but we did find a place called Ferrara.

Eating ice cream at Ferrara  New York City Double-Barrelled Travel

About to stuff my face with Gelato outside of Ferrara

Opened in 1892, if it doesn’t sell the best gelato in New York City, it’s probably been selling it for the longest.

There was quite a large queue but as we got our ice creams on a swelteringly hot New York City day, we decided it was worth the wait as we licked them quickly on the sidewalk. You can expect to pay about $4 for two scoops of ice cream.

5. Get the taste of a food tour

If you’re like me and Dave and love your food, you HAVE to do a food tour of New York City.

We went on The Original Greenwich Village Food and Culture Walking Tour with Foods of New York Tours and it’s one of the best things we’ve experienced on our trip so far.

Dave eating Pizza from Joe's Pizza New York City Double-Barrelled Travel

Dave eating pizza from Joe’s on the food tour

It was actually on this tour we discovered that some of the best Italian food in New York City isn’t to be found in Little Italy but in Greenwich Village. We know this for sure because we were lucky enough to taste some of these foods at amazing restaurants like Palma’s.

But the full blog post and video is to come on that soon, so stay tuned.

Our only regret of the tour was leaving it to the last day we were in New York City because you taste food at so many great restaurants that you’re dying to go back again and have a full meal there. So do it as soon as you get to New York for top tips on where to eat.

Palma's restaurant in NYC New York City Double-Barrelled Travel

Palma’s – a beautiful Italian restaurant we discovered on the food tour

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post so far… stay tuned for Part II of 10 things to do in New York City.

And in the meantime let me know what your favourite things to do in New York City are!

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About the author

Carmen has been nomadic since May 2013 and the co-founder of Double-Barrelled Travel. She loves experiencing new cultures and learning new languages. She is having the most fun when skiing down a mountain, scuba diving in the Caribbean or curled up with a good book.

5 comments on “10 things to do in New York City (Part I)”

    • Carmen Allan-Petale Reply

      Yeah, we did those two things and it was great! I had to pinch myself when I was in Times Square, it was magical.
      – Carmen

    • Carmen Allan-Petale Reply

      We missed that – will have to do it next time! Thanks for the tip 🙂

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