Looking for quick tips on a short (and by short I mean really short) trip to New York City?! We only decided to do one day here because parking my SUV costs as much a hotel stay for one person (que crying face) so here’s some tips for one day or if you have longer you can make this a day! Honestly I am a bit slow in the mornings so we started at noon, so you could probably do this in half a day, let’s be real.

What to bring:

We went on January 2 which is wintertime in New York City and although it was cold we were REALLY lucky with a sunny day, which kept us warm. We were lucky enough to scoot out before a big snowstorm hit! I would recommend a WARM winter coat, hat, gloves (that are easy to use your phone with, scarf,  cover those legs and warm socks. The sidewalks were clear so we we’re okay to romp around in our sneakers but might want to bring some boots just in case. Nothing worse than soaking wet, cold feet all day! New York has all four seasons usually, Winter followed by Spring in April to May, Summer in June to August and Fall is September to November.

Square in New York City


Our feet! We walked around everywhere, our hotel was in a really good location, which is truly not hard to find in New York City. There’s is a metro which can be confusing so download a good app and always route your way BEFORE you go down into the subway station. Once you’re down there you’ll disconnected from the outside world temporarily. There’s also buses and taxis! Taxis are so fun but make sure you’re familiar with your route before you get in. For example ask them somewhere by way “street names” so they don’t drive you around in circles.

View from outside our hotel!

Where to sleep: 

Gosh I have slept in New York City so many times. I’ve never slept in the same place twice, but my travel buddy found a prime hotel this time that I definitely would try to go back again! Clarion Hotel Park Ave if you use this BOOKING.COM link you can save $20 on your trip! It was within 5 minutes to walk to the Empire State Building AND Grand Central Station, it was also half a block from a subway station and some gooooood New York Pizza.

Other places I have stayed that get the seal of approval:

  • Double Tree Inn 51st and Lexington close to Park avenue, when we were there they had shut it down so you could walk and ride your bike down the normally busy street!
  • ROW HOTEL super close to Times Square and uh Shake Shack, because why else do you go to New York City?!

Where to eat:

So this time we were SO busy we didn’t sit down and have a proper meal, at all but there are so many delicious places to go in New York City and they’re forever changing. This time we had a lot of street food, hot dogs, and a chicken and rice dish from one of the carts that sells gyros, we also grabbed pizza from Bread and Butter but this place had everything for a quick bite. The food at 230 5th Rooftop Ave bar was also really good and really affordable.

One of my forever favorite restaurants that we found a few years ago by chance is Villagio on the Park. If you’re into Italian, which I am, it’s in my blood, this place is for you.

Where to drink:

230 5th Avenue Rooftop bar was AMAZING, amazing. The view speaks for itself and the food and drinks were super affordable and good. On a cold night you won’t regret the apple pie cider.

Other bars I have been to: Barcelona Bar ask for the flaming Harry Potter shot and Reunion Surf Bar is really close to Times Square.

Flat Iron Building

What to see:

We mapped out a plan of attack walking from our Hotel: Empire State Building (Go to the top!) —> Bryant Park (my favorite Christmas market is held here, we hit the last day of it)—> Times Square (we actually accidentally stumbled upon this when I looked up and said “Oh hey! Is that where the ball drops from?!” and it was haha) –> Rockefeller Center (go to the Top of the Rock) —> Grand Central Station—> 230 5th Avenue Rooftop Bar—> Flatiron Building—> Union Square Park. We really wanted to try to get up to Central Park this time but we ran out of time before we had to meet friends at 230 5th! I think that is the cheapest place to go Ice Skating in NY too. We (meaning I) also did some shopping on 5th avenue near union square park, all the nice stores are over there- Levis, Gap, Ect.

Grand Central Station
In front of the Grand Central Station
Grand Central Station
Inside the Grand Central Station

What to buy:

Okay so my favorite thing to buy on all my trips is postcards and I always try to send some home but this trip I totally forgot. Oops. I did however buy more than I planned on, I can’t help myself when I only make it to the Christmas Market in Bryant Park every few years. So I snagged some Truffle Mustard and some Personalized Ornaments that were actually half off because it was after Christmas! So you can shop for next year if you plan that far in advance, these were just late gifts because I am chronically late as a person and that will never change. Also stores like Gap and American Eagle Outfitters have A LOT of merchandise that is special to New York City. I found some adorable PJS with NYC prints on them from Gap.

Other tips:

If you want to do a lot of “touristy things” while you’re there, consider getting a combined ticket. I’m sure there’s a few, ask your hotel concierge or something like the New York Pass gives you discounted entrance to a lot of the popular places like the Empire State Building and the Top of the Rock.

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