In order to breathe in the city and it’s endless possibilities and the vibe – > WALK ! NYC is a city with so much happening on it’s street corners, you want to be there to see it. From jaw dropping performances in unexpected places, the beautifully delicate piano performance in Washington Square Park, dance troops in Times Square, inspiring fashion choices all around SoHo and West Village and quirky fun mini patios you will want to see it all. 🙂
Use the subway:
- To experience it at least once
- When in a hurry
- When weather situations and clothing combinations say that’s the wise choice to make
My favourite walks in NYC – UPTOWN EDITION
1.Midtown to Central Park, UES and UWS
No matter the season there’s something special to be found in this oasis in the concrete jungle. Start on the east side by the Plaza hotel or west by Columbus circle and dive straight in. Head towards to boat house and if weather permits get that movie moment by renting the row boat. https://www.centralpark.com/things-to-do/sports/boating/ If you need a coffee break, grab a great treat and a good coffee at La Pain Quotidien https://www.lepainquotidien.com/us/en/locations/sailboat_pond/east-72nd-st-and-5th-ave?utm_source=google&utm_medium=business-listing&utm_campaign= . If you’re on the West side and in the mood for a bit of a detour, head to Levain bakery https://www.levainbakery.com and head back into the park with New York’s best Chocolate chip cookies in hand. Best served warm the cookie is as rich as the city that surrounds you, too much at times but you just can’t stop. With some extra calories to burn head towards the Jackie Onassis reservoir stopping at Belvedere Castle on your way. The park is surrounded by world famous museum, each worth a visit; from the MET, the Guggenheim and the Frick collection on the UES to the American Museum of Natural History on the UWS, you can’t go wrong. The MET and Natural History museum are huge and require time so make sure you account for that on you walk. If visiting the MET between April and October on a sunny(dry) day, make sure to inquire if the rooftop is open. It’s one of my favourite places, you can grab a drink, relax and take in the stark difference of the greenery fenced in so perfectly by high rises.
Midtown East to Upper East Side
One of the cities iconic neighbourhoods has so much to offer, which ever avenue you choose to walk up and explore the UES you will not be disappointed. For coffee, cakes and short breaks check out Alice’s tea cup, Cafe Sabarsky or the coffee classics like Bluestone Lane or Birch coffee, Sant Ambroeus, Maison Kaiser, Le Pain Quotidien. If you’re feeling a bit fancy you can always drop in for coffee, tea, dessert at any of the hotels that line 5th Avenue and Central Park. We had a lovely but prices afternoon escape from the rain at the Pierre. The coffee and pastries cost us the price of dinner but the setting was beautiful and we had a great time. We were the only ones there which made it a bit odd but lovely nonetheless. Madison Avenue is lined with shops from street brands to high end and an incredible amount of Ralph Lauren stores from various labels the brand carries.
My favourite walks in NYC – DOWNTOWN EDITION
High Line, Chelsea to Hudson Yards / the Vessel
The High Line is a public park built on a historic freight rail line elevated above the streets on Manhattan’s West Side. Saved from demolition by neighbourhood residents and the City of New York, the High Line opened in 2009 as a hybrid public space where visitors experience nature, art, and design.
( https://www.thehighline.org/visit/ ). The highline offers stunning views of the bustling city all the while providing a sense of distance from the madness. When in Chelsea make sure to stop by the famous Chelsea Market and the incredible new Starbucks Reserve.Hudson Yards, the city’s newest development now awaits at the end of the High Line. Book your tickets for the Vessel ahead of time https://www.hudsonyardsnewyork.com/discover/vessel and explore New York’s newest and shiniest neighbourhood.
Midtown to SoHo, Nolita and West Village
This walk could easily take all day and is one of my absolute favourite walks in the city. It has that perfect mix of tourist must-sees and local hot spots. Start by exploring the Grand Central station and once you’re ready to leave make your way to 5th avenue and Bryant Park, a short 2 block walk. If you feel like taking in more sights go into the NY Public Library. The building’s exterior is grandiose and inspiring but it is even more beautiful on the inside. Don’t miss seeing the Rose Main reading room, a NY Landmark since 2017. After all this indoor exploration there is nothing better than an al fresco break in the bustling Bryant Park. Take a seat, have some water, observe the skyscrapers and the people around you; both equally fascinating. When you’re ready for more walking head back to 5th avenue and start your way down towards the Flatiron Building, another stunning NYC Landmark. Five blocks into your walk you’ll notice crowds, street sellers and a lot of commotion. You’ve reached the Empire State Building, the iconic Art Deco skyscraper. You are now 10 blocks away from Madison Square Park and during your walk down, stop a few times and turn around for some beautiful views of the Empire State Building. Once you’ve reached Madison Square Park take in the views of the Flatiron building in front of you as well as the One World Trade Centre in the distance. A little italian oasis, Eataly awaits on 5th avenue and 23rd street. On a sunny day I highly recommend getting some coffee and treats to go and finding a seat in Madison Square Park. If you’re hungry for something for substantial Eataly has great sandwiches available as well as a few restaurants offering everything from pizza and pasta to fish and meat. If Eataly is not your flavour or is too busy, Le Pain Quotidien is 3min walking distance on Broadway and 22nd street. The rustic cool three story bakery-restaurant offers everything from brunch style meals, coffee, desserts, stews( my husband is addicted to their stew and had it every day on our last trip), you name it. Once your midday break is done, it’s time to head into a completely different NYC, the old NYC, the real NYC. You are leaving the skyscrapers behind for a bit and entering the zone of fire escape, cobblestone streets, quaint restaurants, NYC style townhouses, high end restaurants and cool nightlife hotspots. Wander around the stores and cafes. Some of my favourite stores in the area are Sezanne, Allbirds, Diesel, Mango and Bloomingdales. Some cafes/restaurants worth visiting are definitely; The Butcher’s Daughter, Jack’s Wife Freda, Balthazar, La Mercerie and many many others. If you find yourself in the area later in the evening you can stop by the iconic Comedy cellar where all the greats started and still stop by. Or, if you’re into some jazz you will not be disappointed by the Django NYC http://www.thedjangonyc.com/ .
3.SoHo/West Village/Tribeca to downtown to Brooklyn Bridge and Dumbo
Depending on where your hotel is located you can take the subway and start your day with some coffee or pancakes in some of the cool Soho or West Village locations or head down to Tribeca for the classic American pancakes at Sarabeth’s. When you’ve finished with your breakfast/coffee take your time on your way down to the 9/11 memorial; you’re in a very cool part of the city, unique for its history and fun for its people. From Sarabeth’s to the memorial is a 12 min walk.The World Trade Centre ground zero is a profoundly sad but incredible memorial to one of the darkest days in the city’s history. Now surrounded by the 9/11 museum, the One word trade with the observatory located on floors 100-102, and Oculus; the train station and shopping mall. Go into the oculus and look up, you’ll soon notice that there is a perfect vantage point to see the whole of One world trade. One world trade observatory is the coolest new modern viewpoint of the city, even the elevators are high tech and fun. The views are spectacular and provide a different point to take in Manhattan. One that is not just skyscrapers and towers. Top of the Rock in my opinion still provides that iconic view of NYC everyone knows from movies and TV shows so if you have to choose between the two observatories I’d still go with Top of the Rock for your 1st view of the city from a high vantage point. When you’re around the world trade area you’re only a 10-12min walk to Wall street and the iconic charging bull. Wall street has its iconic cobblestone streets worth a visit; Stone street has a very European vibe with outdoor patios and cool little shops. Battery Park is only 10 min away from the 9/11 memorial if Wall Street is of interest. Depending on your preferences you can decide if you want to take the Staten Island Ferry and get a view of the city from the water that is unparalleled and free of charge or you can go across the Brooklyn Bridge and into Dumbo; New York’s popular neighbourhood with stunning views of the Manhattan skyline and some insta famous photo ups. The ferry is less than 20 min walking distance from the memorial. The Ferry runs 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week. More frequent service (every 15 or 20 minutes,) is provided on weekdays during the rush hours of 6:00AM- 9:30AM and 3:30PM-8:00PM, with 30-minute service to follow. On weekends, service is provided every 30 minutes on Saturdays and Sundays. The ride is about 25 minutes, once you reach Staten Island you can just get on the next ferry back to downtown. You’ll go past the Statue of Liberty as well in case you didn’t have time for a full tour of Ellis Island. If you choose Brooklyn, you’ll reach the Bridge in about 15 minutes. Be prepared for crowds but the views are worth it. It will take you about 40 minutes to reach Brooklyn Bridge park with spectacular views of the downtown skyline. Once you’ve taken it all in you’ll want to find the “instagram” photo stop with Manhattan bridge arch and Empire State Building; it’s a popular busy spot but still a cool view. The short block starts at Washington and Water Street, 10 min walking distance from the Brooklyn Bridge Park. You are now in Dumbo, close to the famous Jane’s carousel and many urban and cool bars and cafes.
The walks around NYC