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Help With Our Itinerary

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Help With Our Itinerary

Hi guys well we got 5 weeks sunday until we fly over to USA.Just need abit of help with our itinerary and if it would be worth buying tickets here in UK before we arrive or when we get there and the best and cheapest place/website to get them. We will be in New York for 3 nights from the 08/03/12 staying at the Edison hotel. The main things on our list to do are as follow:

Empire State (do in daytime)

Top of the Rock (dusk)

Statue of Lib (round it,if we need to do staten island ferry thats fine)

Central Park

WTC (ground zero/museum)

Flatiron building

FAO Schwarz

M&M candy shop

We would like to do these trips in 2 days if possible as we'd like a day for shopping. If there is any other attractions which haven't been added which can be done as its by the same area as the attractions mentioned be grateful if added.

Thanks and regards in advance


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1. Re: Help With Our Itinerary


Silver Spring...
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2. Re: Help With Our Itinerary

You should definitely get the tickets for the 9/11 Memorial now.

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3. Re: Help With Our Itinerary

I wouldn't go to NYC without walking the Brooklyn Bridge toward Manhattan.

Belfast, United...
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4. Re: Help With Our Itinerary

Many people recommend the express passes for the Empire State Building to enable you to skip the (often long) lines. You can buy these in advance.

There is no real need to buy Top of the Rock tickets in advance, especially as they are timed (i.e. if it's raining or foggy you can't put it off until another time when the weather is better).

If you actually want to go on to Liberty Island (bearing in mind the statue is currently closed) or to Ellis Island, you're best to book in advance on the Statue Cruises website - those who do not have timed tickets often wait in line for hours. If you just want to get a close up view of the Statue, there are various cruises that do this - you'd need to research your options there to see what would best suit you (e.g. check the sailing times etc).

You should also reserve your free tickets for the 9/11 Memorial as soon as possible. Don't be disheartened if there are none for your dates - apparently tickets have been known to be added right up until the day before. Also please note that many locals don't like the term "ground zero", so try to use "World Trade Centre site" or "9/11 Memorial" instead. Also I'm not sure if by "ground zero/museum", you actually mean the Ground Zero Museum Workshop rather than the actual 9/11 Memorial (the museum for which is not yet open). If so, please avoid this - there are plenty of threads on this forum explaining why if you search for them.

While you're downtown you could also check out all the financial district tourist hotspots if it interests you (e.g. the Stock Exchange, Federal Hall, Charging Bull). St Paul's Chapel is also a wonderful if sobering place to visit. For something a little more frivolous you could brave the bargain-hunting crowds at Century 21.

As for grouping things together and seeing what else there is to see and do in those areas, Google Maps is great for this. If you have a Google account you can create and save your own maps including pinpoints for the various attractions you want to visit. You can then figure out what is near to each other. You can also add a layer for public transport which will show you the subway lines, so you can see how easy/difficult it is to get from one place to another.

Hope this helps a bit.

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5. Re: Help With Our Itinerary

Great post - alot of good suggestions.. Thanks!

New York City, New...
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6. Re: Help With Our Itinerary

When you leave Top of the Rock, be sure to take a stroll in Times Square, it'll be right up the block. Also there's the NBC store and they also have a studio tour.

Central Park can be a day unto itself, it's pretty massive, so try to decide exactly what to see of the park. The zoo? The Lake? The Great Lawn? The Bethsaida fountain?

I personally find the Top of the Rock to be a much better experience than the Empire State Building. You get in, buy your ticket, and up you go. When you're at the top it's much much more roomier than at the top of the Empire State Building and big plus is you get to the top much faster!

You picked a great time for it though, dusk. Just enough to see NY by day and by night.

Edited: 19 June 2012, 14:43
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7. Re: Help With Our Itinerary

cheers for input guys.sorry if offened anyone using ground zero,i do apologise for that.Gonna try and work out how to use that google maps

New York, NY
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8. Re: Help With Our Itinerary

I agree with the previous post that I prefer Top of the Rock more (you'll actually see the Empire State building AND a beautiful bird's eye view of Central Park) versus going up the empire state.

Some more suggestions:

Central Park-

FAO Schwarz is near the southeast corner of Central Park. New York City's main Apple store is nearby (it's open 24 hours!) and the classic Plaza hotel, etc. Central Park is HUGE though there are areas that I think are must-sees for visitors (i.e. Bethesda Fountain, the Mall, Obelisk to name a few.)

WTC (ground zero/museum)-

I've never been to the museum but definitely get your free tickets now!


Flatiron building-

Definitely eat lunch or dinner at Shake Shack! The original shack is right by the Flatiron building in Madison Square Park. Note the long line (wait is normally 20 minutes) but it is definitely part of the NYC experience. A lot of locals eat there (more locals than tourists to this day since the burgers are just so good!)

If you do'nt like eating outside, an alternative option would be Eataly (yes I spelled that right) which is just across the street from Madison Square Park and Flatiron building.

M&M candy shop-

This is right in Times Sq and can be visited before/after your Top of the Rock visit.

Realistically, I think you can visit all these places in 2 days. Perhaps downtown areas one day (statue of liberty, 9/11 memorial, flatiron building, empire state) and midtown area another day (central park, top of the rock, fao schwarz, m&m shop)

Most tourists also buy broadway tickets at TKTS.

Brooklyn, NY
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9. Re: Help With Our Itinerary

The problem with your itinerary, and indeed most itineraries, is that it focuses on individual sights, as opposed to real neighborhoods where we live and play. Make sure that you spend some time leaving your guidebook behind and just walking around a neighborhood like Greenwich Village or the Upper West Side. Why not take the subway into Brooklyn and visit Park Slope - which NY Mag called the best neighborhood in NYC [and while you are there you can check out the Botanic Gardens, Prospect Park or the Brooklyn Museum.

Sometimes, you can just let the City come to you. That is the case when you are just wandering aimlessly. Yes, the sites you mentioned [except maybe the M&M shop] are iconic - but for me, the backbone of NYC are the various neighborhoods. Take some time and visit one or two.

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10. Re: Help With Our Itinerary

I agree with Brooklyn Mel re the neighbourhoods that the real vibe of New York City - maybe on your shopping day kill two birds with one stone by shopping the Flatiron district , the 23rd street subway station is just at the back of the building ( the short straight end of the iron , lol ) and there is lots of shopping around this area from 23rd all the way down to Union Square at 14th street . Again well worth a little nosy of the area on google maps .