When you think of New York you think of many things, bright lights and big buildings, The Statue of Liberty, The Empire State building, and ground zero, to name a few.
There are so many iconic landmarks and places to see in the city, that you really need more than just a couple off days to see them all.
I spent three months living in the Big Apple last Summer, so I got to see my fair share of the city. While I saw most of the major landmarks, I found it was the less obvious places to go visit that I ended up enjoying the most, as they really embodied all that New York was.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t go see the Empire State, or a show on Broadway, but you should consider making time for these gems too.
Located in Williamsburg on Saturday’s, Smorsgasburg is a food market that has the best food that the city has to offer. Whether it’s coconut water drank straight from the coconut, jalapeno chips, or even shaved ice and huge doughnuts, it has everything.
The market is located right by the river meaning you can eat your food as you gaze at the magnificent skyline of New York.
Plus the area itself is very quaint, so once you’ve finished at the market, there’s plenty of cute bars to check out in the area.
The Museum of the American Gangster
Not only is this place insanely interesting, but it is also located in an amazing area, filled with trendy bars, and cuisines from all over the world. The Tim Burton bar, which I’ll talk about next, is only around the corner from this. It’s that type of area, quirky and fun, and it’s the perfect location for this museum.
The word ‘museum’ can often be a massive turn off for people as they assume it means “boring”, however, this place is very interesting. It’s one of the less known sites in the city, but one of my favourites. You can check out the museum for free, but to be honest, without a guide you really won’t get much from this place.
Guided tours start at 12 dollars for students, and are 20 dollars for adults. For this you get an in dept look at the history of the American gangsters, as well as getting to see real pieces of clothing and bullets from famous shoot outs. It wasn’t until I did the tour that I realised how little I knew, and our tour guide was so helpful and knowledgeable.
Part of the tour sees you brought down into the gangs hideout as well as their speakeasy bar, the only one in New York to never be shut down during the prohibition. I’d recommend doing one of the later tours as we did an earlier one and so the bar wasn’t open, but if you go later then you could grab a drink there and really experience the history.
So if you’re looking for a really interesting tour this is perfect, 20 dollars may seem steep but it was worth every penny.
The Tim Burton Bar: Beetle House…
I’m a massive Tim Burton fan, so when I heard about this place opening I knew I had to go. The place is decorated top to toe in Burton-esque props, the waiters are dressed as characters from Burtons movies, and the food is delicious.
I thought the food would be lacking as the place looked amazing, it had Burton music even playing so as to really set the atmosphere. So naturally, I thought so much effort had gone into the look of the place that the food would have been overlooked. I was wrong.
The menu is again Burton themed, with each item on the menu nodding to a Burton classic. I’m vegetarian so I got the vegetarian burger and it was delicious.
This place is reasonably priced- for New York. And it has an amazing atmosphere. It’s a fun place to go for a meal, and you can even have lovely cocktails there too. If you’re looking for somewhere that embodies the fun and eccentric nature of New York city then this is the place. Where else would such a niche bar be so popular?
Making a reservation is kind of essential though as when we were there they were fully booked until December. We got lucky that we were living there and my boyfriend worked with someone who had made a reservation well in advance only for people to drop out, so we took their places.
And lastly, but most certainly not least…Coney Island.
Coney Island isn’t a place a lot of tourists visit. Mainly because you’d want to spend a whole day there to enjoy it, and when you’re visiting the city for only 4 or 5 days, they might not have that sort of time, but it really is worth it.
Coney Island is kind of like your typical seaside town, tacky funfairs and fried food. Except it’s better. There’s bars where you can sit out on the roof and enjoy cocktails overlooking the beach, there’s a lot of fried food like Nathan’s famous hot dogs, and then there’s Luna Park. A better than average seaside funfair.
Go up on the Ferris Wheel and get an amazing view of the seaside. The park can be expensive, but it’s well worth it for an amazing day out. Spend the morning chilling by the sea, then grab some lunch, (let it settle in your stomach), and hit Luna Park.
They’re just some of the few amazing spots that New York has to offer. One of the great things about the city, is that one minute you can be chilling on the beach in Coney Island, and the next, you’re up the top of the Empire State building looking at the vast city, that is, New York.