Everyone is the same where New York City is concerned – if you’ve never been you want to go and if you’ve been one hundred times before, you want to go back. There’s no doubt about it, the Big Apple casts some kind of spell and makes everyone fall head over heels in love with it.
From the stunning city sights to the bustling bars of Manhattan, there’s something for everyone in New York. Maybe I’m a little biased but I think the best way to explore New York is with your girlfriends. If you’ve ever watched Sex and the City or Gossip Girl, I think you’ll agree.
I was lucky enough to have a girls’ getaway in New York this summer and it didn’t disappoint. Here’s my top tips on how to have the best girls trip of your life in New York without breaking the bank.
Things to see
From the Statue of Liberty to the top of the Empire State Building, you’ll never be short of places to visit in New York. If it’s your first time in New York, you will probably want to cram as much as you can into a few days in order to see everything. If this is the case, check out the some of the city passes which offer free entrance and discount to all the main attractions.
However, there’s plenty to see in NYC without spending too much. Begin your fun-filled girls’ trip by introducing yourselves to the city skyline. Whilst there are plenty of boat tours on offer, I highly recommend hopping on board the Staten Island Ferry to take in the spectacular New York City views and if that doesn’t already sound amazing, guess what – it’s free!
Some of the most iconic museums in the world are located in Manhattan but it’s virtually impossible to go to them all. The Metropolitan Museum of Art is a fantastic one to go to with the girls. Not only does it hold some of the finest art in the world but the steps outside are one of the filming locations of Gossip Girl (if you haven’t already guessed, I’m a big fan) and it has a stunning rooftop bar where you can grab a cocktail after your trip.
New York can be very expensive but cut down the costs by indulging in the free attractions and soaking in that magic New York spirit such as by taking a stroll along Brooklyn Bridge or the wonderful New York highline and you can’t visit New York without chilling out on the grass in Central Park.
Another must-see is Coney Island, less than an hour long subway from Manhattan, it allows you to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. Like something out of the movies, Coney Island is a perfect spot for a daytrip.
Food and Drink
When you research New York online, it suggests that the average cost of food per day will be around $60. Yes, New York can be expensive but don’t let that put you off.
Chelsea Market is a great atmospheric spot for getting a taste of what New York is all about and it’s right below the iconic highline.
If you’re looking to cut down cost, try to stay clear of the big chain restaurants in Times’ Square. Instead of giving in and having yet another McDonald’s, why not try out something we don’t have back home – the Shake Shack. Famous for their wonderful burgers and crinkle cut French fries, this chain is becoming increasingly popular. The one situated in Madison Square Park is a very relaxing spot to enjoy your meal.
There’s also a great spot that I happened to stumble upon in Central Manhattan – Big Daddy’s. Whilst the name may be a little random… this American style diner offers the best pancakes and waffles I have ever tasted!
It’s unlikely you’ll be enjoying a girls’ getaway in New York without having a cocktail in hand at some point – if you’re over 21 that is. If you’re a Belfast girl like myself, the Dead Rabbit, named after an Irish American criminal street gang and owned by Belfast locals was voted the World’s Best Bar in 2016 and is a must-see for all Belfast visitors. It may be $16 a cocktail but hey at least it’s a piece of home.
230 Fifth is a rooftop bar with a stunning view of the Empire State Building where you can enjoy a cocktail whilst taking in the breath-taking city lights. If you don’t want to pay the money to see the views up the Rockefeller Building or the Empire State Building, 230 Fifth is a free alternative which includes alcohol, what’s not to enjoy?
You’re with your girlfriends in New York, one of the shopping capitals of the world. Whether you’re out for a new wardrobe or you don’t want to spend a penny, dive into the grand shopping experience that we see in the movies and begin your stroll up the magical Fifth Avenue. Visit Bloomingdale’s, Bergdorf Goodman, Sak’s Fifth Avenue, Macy’s and of course you can’t miss popping your head into Tiffany & Co.
If you’re looking for something a little more affordable, head down to Soho which offers a wide variety of stores which are bound to take your fancy.
Planning your trip
New York can be expensive but there’s various ways you can find somewhere affordable. On a girl’s trip, Manhattan is probably your best bet.
Travelling around New York
This one’s easy! The subway will become your best friend and it’s also very simple. It is $37 for a 7-day subway card and from there you will be unstoppable.
Now, what are you waiting for? Book that girls’ trip to New York now – the Big Apple awaits!