5 day trip to New York City

New York. Concrete jungle where dreams are made. The city that never sleeps. The Big Apple.

New York City is like fitting over 100 different countries into one small island, 13 miles long and two miles wide. There is nothing you can’t do when you are in New York City.

For me, I’ve always dreamt of visiting New York so for my boyfriend to surprise me with a 5 day trip for my Christmas present, it is safe to say i was very very excited!

After hours of research and loads of planning, we decided to buy a CityPass ticket each which allowed us both to do 3 of the main attractions for $74 per adult- which is a really great price as some attractions are around $35 per person.(If you are staying longer you can choose to buy a CityPass ticket which allows you to visit 6 attractions for $122 per person.) Out of the extensive list of attraction options, we decided to visit;

  • Top of the rock observation deck
  • 9/11 Memorial and museum
  • Statue of Liberty
  • American museum of natural history (free, however suggested entry $17 per student, so this is what we paid.)

5 Day Itinerary:

Day 1:

Morning: Today was the day, after three months of waiting. Today we were finally leaving for New York City.

Afternoon/ Night: We left from Glasgow at 5am arrived in London around 7am then boarded our connection flight which took a long 7 1/2 hours to reach JFK. When we arrived in the beautiful New York City early Wednesday afternoon, the sun was shining, with bright blue skys and a mild 15 degrees heat. When we arrived in the city, we checked into our hotel (Shelburne Affinia) and then decided to take a walk to make the most of the day. This walk led us to Grand Central Station, followed by an early dinner at a restaurant called ‘Rare’ which was actually situated right next door to our hotel. The food served was amazing, i went for a burger which was delicious!


Grand Central Station


Cheese burger from ‘Rare’

Day 2:

Morning: On our second day we had a very busy day ahead of us, starting with the Statue of Liberty. For this attraction, there is a boat which stops at Liberty island(where the statue of liberty stands), then Ellis island(which was previously the gateway for millions of immigrants to the United States) however we only got off of the boat on Liberty island, skipping Ellis island as it was freezing!


Statue of Liberty

Afternoon: After the boat had docked, we stumbled upon Wall Street, where we grabbed lunch at ‘Luke’s lobster’– highly recommend! Later in the afternoon, we visited the 9/11 memorial museum which was an absolutely incredible experience, very very sad but also so beautiful, it really is a must see if you visit New York.


Twin towers in 2000


Paint plaques painted by New York artists with their interpretation of the colour of the sky on the 11th of September 2001

Night: After a long day of exploring the city, our day had not yet came to an end as on our agenda for that night was a trip to Broadway to see the musical ‘Chicago’ (at the ambassador theatre). We decided (after many recommendations)to eat in ‘Ellen’s stardust diner’ before we headed to the theatre. This really is an absolute must if you enjoy anything musical theatre as all of the waiters are aspiring broadway stars, and they sing as they serve you food, something you can really only find in New York!

As for ‘Chicago’…. if you enjoy musicals then i really could not recommend this enough! It really was by far the most amazing musical i have ever seen in my entire life and it really made my time in the city that little bit more special. Before we got a cab home, we decided to walk a little further down to take a look at Times Square. By the time we arrived it was around 12am, I could not believe how busy the square was, this was when i really understood what people mean by ‘the city that never sleeps.’


Chicago at the Ambassador theatre on Broadway


Times square at night

Day 3: 

Morning: By the third day i was feeling really jet lagged and to my absolute surprise when i looked out of my hotel window, it was snowing! With a temperature of -6 degrees we wrapped up in the warmest clothes we had brought with us and made the most of a shopping day on Fifth Avenue– no complaints from me! If you have never visited NYC before then you will never understand just how amazing the shops are, but be prepared to spend ALOT of money…

Afternoon: By late afternoon the snow had eventually stopped so we had a spur of the moment idea that led us to the ‘Top of the Rock’ to watch the sun set over the city. As i am writing this, i am really struggling to find words to explain how amazing this was and that is coming from someone who is terrified of heights! We were really indecisive as to whether to do the Empire state or top of the rock but after asking loads of people who had previously experienced both, top of the rock won by a long mile. We also came to conclusion that if we were up the top of the rock then we would see the Empire state, which also helped sway our decision. However next time i visit NYC (hopefully sometime soon) i will be sure to do the Empire state.


View from the Top of the Rock at sunset

Night: By night time we were both absolutely exhausted. So deciding to have an early-ish night, we ordered pizza from a pizzeria called ‘Two boots pizza’ and took it back to our hotel room. We went for the traditional New York pizza, my mouth is watering even thinking of the sauce! Delicious!


Day 4:

Morning: On our fourth day, we grabbed breakfast at a little cafe called ‘Scotty’s diner’ which served the best pancakes in NYC- i am now a HUGE fan of pancakes, bacon and maple syrup. My boyfriend really wanted to walk the New York Highline (despite it being freezing cold) so that’s what we decided to do. The views from here of the city really were incredible, and the funky artwork along the line made the cold that little bit more bearable. After coming down off of the highline, we ended up taking a walk through the Chelsea markets, where we had a browse through the shops, and got a little warmth back into our bodies!


Chelsea Markets


New York highline









Afternoon: Trying to fit as much in as possible, we visited the American Museum of Natural History in the afternoon, however the museum was ALOT bigger than we thought and you definitely need a whole day to make your way through each and every room, so we visited the rooms that were of interest to us, then finished the day off by a walk around central park.


Central Park

Night: With a temperature of -6 degrees, we were really struggling to stay outdoors for long so we went to Macy’s where we done even more shopping then we went to a nice little Italian restaurant for dinner, which was just around the corner from our hotel.

Day 5:

Morning: On our final day (very sad) we decided to explore New York a little more outside of Manhattan, so took a stroll over the Brooklyn Bridge, where we spent the day exploring a different side to New York.

Afternoon: We had some lunch in a lovely little restaurant in Dumbo called AlMar which sold mainly Italian food.

Night: Home time.

Overall, i absolutely loved New York City, and thought it was the experience of a lifetime, one i would re-live in a heartbeat!

Until next time NYC…



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