Destination Guides Travel Tips USA


New York City is a fast-paced, innovative city with so much to see, do and eat – you can never simply visit once. This was our second visit to the Big Apple and we only had 5 days to experience as much as possible.

This time round we used a New York Explorer Pass to explore as much of this incredible city as we could. Here are 10 experiences you need to have in New York City during your next visit.


1. See NY on a double decker bus

Sometimes when you are in a city like New York you simply need to embrace your inner tourist. Jumping on a big red double decker bus to explore Manhattan ended up being one of the funnest days during our stay. We learnt about Manhattans neighbourhoods and some cool fun facts as we drove in a loop through downtown.

2. Take a ferry to the Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty is one of the most recognized landmarks in the world and such an iconic and historical part of New York. To get there you need to take the Staten Island ferry, which gives you amazing views of New York on your way to the island. 


3. Experience Times Square

Brightly adorned with billboards and advertisements, Times Square is a place you simply can not miss when visiting New York City. It may feel a little crowded and overwhelming, but it all adds to the experience. 


4. Take in the views

New York has the best skyline we have ever seen. We suggest heading up the Empire State building or the Top of the Rock to get an incredible view! Our favourite out of the two would have to be Top of the Rock at night as you get to see the Empire State Building all lit up. 


5. Visit a museum

If there is one thing New York has a lot of, it’s museums. There are so many to choose from depending on what you’re in to. There’s the American Museum of Natural History, The Museum of Modern Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Intrepid Musuem and Guggenhiem Musuem just to name a few. 

6. Grab lunch at the Shake Shack

For a true New Yorker meal you need to grab a burger and shake from the Shake Shack. They began in 2004 in Madison Sqaure Park, and has since blown into one of the best known burger joints in NYC. We went to the one on 8th Ave and got a ‘Shroom Burger with a Vanilla Shake and ate it in the middle of Times Square – the perfect way to eat lunch while embracing this crazy city.


7. See a show on Broadway

We are both musical nerds and love seeing live shows, so of course we have to recommend hitting up Broadway during your time in New York. We suggest getting tickets for The Book of Morman, The Lion King, Aladdin and Mamma Mia (which is sadly ending this September).

8. Cycle through Central Park

In the middle of Manhattan you will find Central Park. It is the most visited urban park in the US as well as one of the most filmed locations in the world! We feel the best way to experience Central Park is by hiring a bike and cycling through the 843 acres of beautiful, green parkland. 


9. Dumplings in Chinatown

Chinatown in Manhattan, home to the highest concentration of Chinese people in the Western Hemisphere, is rich in culture, entertainment and delicious food. We highly recommend heading to Prosperity Dumpling for cheap, tasty Chinese dumplings. 

10. Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge

You can either walk or cycle across the Brooklyn Bridge on the pedestrian pathway that has been there since it opened in 1883. Once you have crossed the bridge we suggest heading to Dumbo for an iconic shot of the Manhattan Bridge.



Thanks to New York Explorer Pass for kindly providing Flying the Nest with two 5 attraction explorer passes. 

What NYC experience would you add to our list?

Stephen and Jess signoff


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  • Krista

    I would add the 9/11 memorial and Museum. Such a sad but beautiful tribute to all that lost their lives on that day. Just walking through the Museum you get to see fire trucks that were damaged along with peoples possessions that were lost in all that rubble. You need a good half day if not more to do the Museum.
    I would add the Observation Deck at the new Freedom Tower. That was amazing to see! Plus the elevator ride is really good.
    During the summer months head over to Smorgasburg in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. A huge variety on food and drinks to indulge in under the hot New York Sun!
    Krista xx

  • For me, Central Park and Times Square are places in movies. If I really visit New York, I’d like to bring them to the real world!
    And I love local things, too, so I’ll be happy to have a burger in my hand with seeing yellow cabs!

  • Ohhh, I miss New York so much.. if you’ve been there once you want to go back very month!

  • I went last year and have wanted to go back ever since! I think next time I’m there i’ll take a more relaxing route, spending time in central park, taking in the views and shopping! 🙂

  • Love NY & shake shack! 🙂 So happy they finally got one in Vegas. If you want in n out and shake shack in the same day, you should go to Vegas… it’s the only place with both!

  • New York’s definitely grown on me. I think seeing a Broadway play and strolling down Central Park and Park Avenue really hits home. Oh yea, and some delicious Brooklyn pizza!

  • I think this is a great idea. Next time I visit NYC I’m getting a pass.

  • Emma Hart

    I’ve been lucky enough to go to New York twice in the past year and I’d go back again and again if I could, There’s so much to see and do, you’d probably need a lifetime to see it all. I agree that going to see a show on Broadway one evening is a great thing to do. Aladdin was brilliant when I saw it in April but I bet The Book of Mormon is hilarious – it’s brilliant in London so I can imagine it being just as good in NYC 🙂 It looks like you guys had a great time!

  • Tom

    Old cities are some of the best places to go, they have their own flavor. New Orleans is great, so is San Francisco and Seattle. Places like LA I can do without:)