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Our first visit to New York city

Barry, Wales, UK
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261 posts
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Our first visit to New York city

Hi everyone.

My wife and I will be arriving in the "BIG APPLE" on Jan 20th, arriving at Newark late afternoon. We have booked into the Belvedere Hotel (319 West 48th St).

We then have 3 full days to see the sights and leave for Orlando on 24th.

We have made a must do list, broke them down to what appears to be areas and was wondering what you think.

1) Brooklyn Bridge - ferry past Statue of Liberty - Ellis Island

Ground Zero and St Pauls Chapel.

2) Central Park - Rockefella Plaza and TOTR - Empire State.

3) Grand Central - United Nations - Chrysler Building - Times Sq

St Patricks Cathedral.

All the above are not in any order except for areas as I mentioned.

Obviously we will be doing some shopping and Macys and Tiffanys have been mentioned by my better half.

Would appreciate any comments, suggestions.

Peter and Dilys

New Zealand
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1. Re: Our first visit to New York city

We did virtually the same sights in four days, two years ago. The ferry to Staten Island is free but be prepared to alight to go through a security check before making the return journey. We went back to Ground Zero twice as it's not a place to rush around. St. Paul's Church there takes time for contemplation. Likewise, St. Patrick's Cathedral - the main bronze doors are unique and imposing. We stayed just along the road from the main entrance to Grand Central Station (a great place to people watch) and therefore within walking distance of the United Nation's building - try to go there during working hours, when all the flags of the various nations are on the flagpoles outside. In the evenings, we felt perfectly safe walkiing around Times Square etc. We also took a HOHO bus tour which covered Upper Manhatten, Lower Manhatten and the night tour which took us across the Brooklyn Bridge - the lights were stunning. The Subway was efficient and easy enough to negotiate.

Ah...the memories! Enjoy the planning and then your time in NY - you won't be disappointed!

Sheffield, United...
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2. Re: Our first visit to New York city

Just don't forget your 10% visitor discount card from Macy's.

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3. Re: Our first visit to New York city

We arrived back yesterday, our umpteenth visit. New York is one of the easiest cities to navigate, by foot or subway, the people are pleasant and warmful to tourists...yes you will encounter the odd rude one, but they are few and far between. Put Bloomingdales on your list, you can also get discount there.Try and do a show on Broadway.Your visit will organise itself, everything is so doable, enjoy.

Brooklyn, NY
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4. Re: Our first visit to New York city

The Staten Island Ferry does indeed pass close to the Statue of Liberty - but it does not stop at Ellis Island. To go to Ellis Island you need to take the Statue of Liberty Ferry. There are great things to do on the Brooklyn side of the Bridge. In DUMBO [down the steps] you can get a hot chocolate at Jacques Torres, visit the galleries at 111 Front Street and walk in the great waterfront park. In Brooklyn Heights [down the ramp] you can walk around brownstone elegance and visit the famous Promenade.

All your groupings do indeed make sense and you do leave a lot of time for exploration. I'd try to make time to visit Greenwich Village and Soho during your stay. Spend some time in a neighborhood where we actually live.

Barry, Wales, UK
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261 posts
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5. Re: Our first visit to New York city

Thank you all for replying.

This trip was only decided on last week as our usual flight to Orlando was

best done via New York, so decided as we were here to stop over and see what we know as one of the "Must see" places in the world.

Allready adding your suggestions to our do list and have looked at many of the trip reports from fellow travellers. A great source of information, as we found out on our trip around Australia and New Zealand earlier this year.

Could not plan a trip without studying TripAdvisor first. Also the advice from you locals is without doubt what makes planning a trip almost as enjoyable as the trip.

We both enjoy walking around, seeing not only the sights but also the people and the places they live in, so as you suggest "BrooklynMe", we will spend time in your neighborhood, just people watching. Its something I do a lot, especially when the betterhalf is shopping.

Many thanks


Manchester, UK
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6. Re: Our first visit to New York city

If you're going to visit Brooklyn (which I'd highly recommend anyway) then best to plan your trip so you go over on the subway and then walk back across the Brooklyn Bridge. The views are miles better coming back to Manhattan than the other way.

There's a lovely diner - Clarks - in Brooklyn Heights which I loved at breakfast, especially with a window seat, just watching the world go by. Then you've got the old brownstones in Brooklyn Heights and some lovely shopping areas (much nicer and less hectic than midtwon Manhattan) where I got all the clothes that my wife ordered in about ten minutes (I'm not one for shopping!).

Maybe I missed it but you really should visit Central Park. An amazing place. And my personal thought is that TOTR is a much better view and experience than the ESB.

New York City, New...
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7. Re: Our first visit to New York city

And if you are sure you want to do Ellis Island then you should book a RESERVE ticket in advance so you don't have to wait in any lines. January might not be too bad for lines but why stand out in the cold longer than you have to.

And just so you know the boat that goes to Ellis Island stops first at Liberty Island (where the statue sits). If you plan to do both islands pick a time earlier in the day.

The website explains the amount of time needed:


8. Re: Our first visit to New York city

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