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Itinerary help please - 15th Dec - 20th Dec

Manchester, United...
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Itinerary help please - 15th Dec - 20th Dec

Hi, I've spent so long mulling around this forum and reading so many itineraries that I think I've driven myself to the point of insanity trying to organise my trip. We are a couple (20 and 21) travelling from the UK for 5 nights from the 15th December. This will be our first trip and we will be staying in the Jolly Madison Towers near madison square garden.

So far our itinerary is looking a bit sparse - and I don't want to miss any "must do's" so any further recommendations would be fantastic! Also any input and changes to days/times would be very helpful too!

I've tried to keep it fairly unplanned as the other half is worried about "over-planning" and I wanted to keep it realistic enough to have enough time to enjoy things we see on the way and do christmas shopping;

DAY 1

Land at JFK at 1.35, taxi to the hotel to check in and freshen up

Grand Central station and holiday markets

Walk around Times Square at night, walk down 5th ave

Find somewhere for food

DAY 2

Empire state building at 8am (We have booked standard tickets so want to miss the queues)

Breakfast then Bryant Park holiday markets

Visit to dylans candy bar

Brooklyn Bridge and Brooklyn Heights at night

DAY 3

Staten Island Ferry

Day is pretty much free for shopping and visiting flagship stores eg FAO Schwartz etc

Rockettes Christmas Spectacular evening performance

DAY 4

Central Park Ice skating

Natural history museum

Top of the rock and rockerfella christmas tree in the evening

DAY 5

9/11 memorial

Wall Street

Trip to the movies to watch Anchorman 2

DAY 6

Free for shopping and last minute revisits.

london,uk
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1. Re: Itinerary help please - 15th Dec - 20th Dec

Have you thought about getting the metro from JFK? It's so easy and cheap, I've just done it. Also buy a weeks metro pass from the kiosk at Jamaica. Best bargain of the Holliday. You must have pizza at Juliana's at Brooklyn Bridge. Amazing.

Manchester, United...
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2. Re: Itinerary help please - 15th Dec - 20th Dec

Will be sure to check that out, do you know of any websites I would be able to find a metro map or something of the sort? Thanks so much!

New York City, New...
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3. Re: Itinerary help please - 15th Dec - 20th Dec

It's called the subway here, not the metro.

http://www.mta.info/maps/submap.html

You can get a hard copy at one of the stations when you are here

Newark, New Jersey
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4. Re: Itinerary help please - 15th Dec - 20th Dec

You can also download MTA maps to your smartphone. Just check the app store of your choice. Look under 'NYC apps.'

A few suggestions for you:

Day 1 looks lovely! You'll want to relax. I would suggest eating in the Oyster Bar at Grand Central Terminal. It's one of the oldest eating places in New York. For the most fun, ask to sit at the counter and have an oyster roast. Watching the chefs is a pleasure. You can also grab some snacks in Grand Central Market. Also, for much cheaper, ask for directions to the Duane Reade across from Grand Central- they have a good assortment of snacks and other items. There are Duane Reades all over town, and since they've upgraded, they are wonderful for tourists. The same with CVS, another mega-store/phamacy. There really isn't much to eat along Fifth Avenue except hot dog carts.

There are plenty of places to eat in Brooklyn. Ask some of the other people walking the Bridge, or go to Juliana's, which seems to be popular. I would pick up snacks at the holiday market too- there's tons of food there.

The Staten Island Ferry is wonderful at night too- the whole city is lit up. You can stop at Bouchon Bakery in Rockefeller Center for a bite, and there are plenty of places to eat within the complex during the day. You can see the tree at that time, too. Radio City Music Hall is right there, and that's where the Christmas Spectacular will be. Top of the Rock is right there in Rockefeller Center, too. Are you sure you don't want to spend a day in the area, instead of visiting there three times?

I'm imagining you're going to Wollman Rink in Central Park. Cool. The American Museum of Natural History actually has decent food, even if it's over-priced. There are plenty of places to eat in the area. Just ask folks.

There's a movie theater right near the Work=ld Financial Center, within walking distance of the World Trade center. You can probably see Anchorman 2 there, unless you want to do it at a Times Square theater.

It sounds like you have a good plan. Most tourists don't factor in walking and eating, and you did. This sounds like a nice time. Enjoy!

Manchester, United...
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5. Re: Itinerary help please - 15th Dec - 20th Dec

Thanks for that!

Would people reccommend the free ferry to staten island over booking the boat with pedestel access? We arent overly fussed about going inside but don't want to miss out if the free boat is full.

London, United...
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6. Re: Itinerary help please - 15th Dec - 20th Dec

Me and the missus are planning our loose itinerary for our first trip to NY too, and it can be quite maddening.

I would recommend using tripomatic as it makes it easy to throw together an itinerary, and also make it obvious where you are losing time traveling all over the island.

One change I can point out from spending far too long figuring out where everything is, is to do 9/11 memorial, Wall Street and the Staten island ferry at the same time (And probably Battery park), they're right near each other so would save you retracing your routes.

I personally wouldn't spend time going to see a film, anything we can do at home is right out on our trip (except bar hopping, but no Bud, Coors or Miller allowed). We live near London, so for the same reason a show on Broadway has been excluded.

It's your trip, but I want to see as much of New York as I can, it may be the only time I go.

Brooklyn, NY
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7. Re: Itinerary help please - 15th Dec - 20th Dec

Honestly....I would also skip the movie.

If it's something that you can see at home, I would not bother spending 2hrs in a theatre when visiting NYC during the holiday season.

Manchester, United...
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8. Re: Itinerary help please - 15th Dec - 20th Dec

Ahh yeah we thought the same about things we can do at home - but we can't go to any bars as he's ony 20 so won't get in anywhere!

It's not set in stone but just there as an idea of things we can do at the nights, as after we have eaten we don't really have much else planned other than what's already stated!

london,uk
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9. Re: Itinerary help please - 15th Dec - 20th Dec

When is he 21? Is he allowed to drink in restaurants?

Sydney, Australia
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10. Re: Itinerary help please - 15th Dec - 20th Dec

It's rare that the Staten Island ferry is "full" but getting a prime spot for viewing the statue might be difficult. The back of the boat, outside, is good for viewing the statue as well as having an excellent view of Manhattan as it leaves. Or the front when you return to Manhattan.

Nothing beats being on Liberty Island to see the statue up close. The SI ferry only passes at a distance and you'll need a zoom lens to get close up shots.