What to do if you have a weekend spare or the chance for an extended layover? – you plan well, unless you’re a total fly by the seat of your pants type.
Know what you want to do or see and plan your days, you’ll still be left with plenty of hours to be spontaneous, believe me.
My 50 hours in New York before the cold weather set in, might give you some pointers. [Ed’s note: this is the first in our new 50 hours in… travel series].
And if you get the chance, visit New York, it’s a beautiful city, diverse, and 50 hours allows you to scratch the surface and will whet your appetite for a longer stay.
With a short visit, plan, book ahead, and consider the lines and crowds in your choice of places to see and do – you’ll need to figure that time standing in line into your itinerary!
10.30am: Arrived at La Guardia Airport and took a taxi to our Airbnb – booked well in advance in Astoria, Queens. Much cheaper than a hotel, close enough to Manhattan, two blocks to the subway, spacious, and with cooking facilities, not that we cooked.
Sorry, can’t give you the booking details, as I want to stay there again without it being booked up. It also gave us the chance to see another borough as well as the usual ‘City’ (Manhattan) that tourists flock too.
Midday: Dropped our bags and hit the list of things to see for the day. Use Uber – cheaper than taxis although with 70,000 uber drivers check out their ratings first if you’re worried about getting a stunt driver.
Hit the Metropolitan Museum of Art first – really a multiple day visit if you’re a hard core art lover, but I wanted to see set areas and art pieces, so a few hours was Ok.
Amazing collections and truly worth the visit. Go to the roof garden just to sit and enjoy the view of Central park and the city – soak it in!
2.30pm: We then walk through Central Park, have a late lunch on the grass and a drink by the pond. Very New York as you watch all the locals being walked by their dogs.
6pm: Rounded off the evening by going to see a show, The Book of Mormon (hilarious), and seeing Times Square. If you don’t care what show you see you can buy cheap tickets on the day for whatever shows have seats left or book in advance and see what you really want to.
10pm: Topped off the night with eats and cocktails at the revolving restaurant atop the Marriott Marquis, found by chance while just wandering. Now it’s not the Empire State Building, but it has great views and alcohol – perfect in my book.
10.30am: Took the subway to Grand Central Station – a must if visiting NYC – cheap, convenient and easy to navigate if you do a little research on where you plan on going. Grand Central has wonderful architecture, a massive food market for you food lovers, and will make you want to recreate your favourite movie scene or music video.
11.30am: Wandered through the expensive stores down 5th Avenue, window-shopping only (my wallet puckered at some of the prices).
1.45pm: Then took a three-hour boat ride around the Island of Manhattan getting to see the Manhattan skyline from a different perspective, plus the Statue of Liberty.
There are multiple choices of tours so check out www.sail-nyc.com. We did the Architecture Tour – loved all the bridges but this one may not be everyone’s cup of tea. Just get out on the water; it’s worth it.
6pm: We decided to enjoy the local scene in Astoria for the evening so went to a German beer garden, enjoyed a relaxing evening, met some locals and lifted a few steins.
10am: Enjoyed the local bagels (big, crunchy, chewy and delicious) and dashed through the Natural History Museum – yes, that one from The Night at the Museum.
Great exhibits, lots to see, worth the visit if you’re a museum freak like I am.
12.30pm: Would have enjoyed more time there but had to head to the airport. C’est la vie. Just means I have to come back again doesn’t it.