Statue of Liberty | Looking for alternative things to do in New York as a tourist? We visited after previously doing all of the tourist attractions and did New York my way | Travel Guide | The Social Media Virgin

New York can be completely overwhelming. You are expected to cover absolutely every tourist attraction imaginable, irrespective of the duration of your visit and even over several visits. This can be absolutely impossible. You already know it’s going to be full on but don’t stress it! 

Do some of the highlights but don’t expect to cover everywhere in just a couple of days, it really can be exhausting. Be prepared to walk miles, have a sore neck from always looking up and have the best time in one of the worlds greatest cities.

New York by bus

Take a bus tour early in your trip. Get your bearings straightaway by taking a hop on hop off tour. Buy a ticket that will last a couple of days and make the most of it. Definitely incorporate a night bus tour over to Brooklyn. It is simply magical. 

It is so tempting to hop off at the first big attraction but do stay on the entire route the first time around. To decide where you really really want to hop off and explore in more depth.

Suggestions for Breaking the Routine and Seeing the World | Travel Guide | The Social Media Virgin

There are a few companies who run hop on hop off tours these are;
Big Bus Tours
Hop On Hop Off Tours
Top View (probably wouldn’t recommend)

You can compare all bus tickets here.

New York Shopping

Shop ‘til you drop. New York is a shoppers paradise. There are shopping extravaganzas for every purse and every taste. Everyone must go to Macy’s on 34th Street just to say you’ve been. The same goes for Tiffany’s on Fifth Avenue, Saks and Bloomingdales. Whether you are looking for the ultimate in high fashion, catwalk chic to bargain basement; New York has it all. Look out for sample sales you can pick up some great designer outfits for a snip of the retail price.

Outlet shopping at Woodbury Common is also a great day out. Bus tours run from multiple locations to the outlet and you can spend a full day discount shopping for the brands you know and love. As a Brit, I particularly like the Kate Spade outlet and Under Armour.

Depending on the time of year that you travel if it is sale season Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Coach, Michael Kors, Timberland and Ugg offer some fabulous savings. Trainers are also a great buy. Do take a suitcase when you go shopping at the outlet to make it easier to transport your purchases.

Don’t worry you certainly won’t be the only one and you will find most people are buying extra luggage to accommodate their bargains!

New York Iconic Buildings

Do go Building spotting. The Freedom Tower is an absolute must. Make sure you also tick off your list The Chrysler Building, The Flat Iron, Empire State Building and Rockefeller Centre when you are out and about but unless you have loads of time in New York don’t go up for the view as there are far more buildings that offer spectacular skyline views free of charge and lots of rooftop bars where you can grab a cocktail too.

If you are looking to get to the Empire State you can get free entry with the New York Pass.

Pod 39 or The Empire (double tick for Gossip Girl fans) are amongst some of the bars offering the best views. The rooftop bar at 230 fifth offers great views and has a great club atmosphere. They have a weekend brunch which isn’t a patch on a Vegas brunch but it’s still worth a visit. In Winter, sharing igloos are added to the rooftop so you can enjoy the experience all year round.

I have always been super impressed by Grand Central Station it is spectacular and worth trying to find the whispering wall. Bryant Park is pretty any time of the year and hosts numerous events throughout. The ice rink in winter here is my personal favourite. And no trip to New York is complete without going to Central Park, weather permitting hiring a bike in the park is the best way to get around.

There is nothing quite like New York traffic so be prepared it takes a while to get around the city overground. The subway is efficient if a bit grubby and can be a bit uncomfortable at times but can get you across town quite quickly.

Lady Liberty

Try to squeeze in a boat tour, you can’t be in New York without seeing the Statue of Liberty. The Staten Island ferry is free and you can catch it next to Battery Park.

If you have bought a hop on hop off bus tour these usually also combine a boat tour so check your ticket and make sure you take full advantage.

Have you been to New York? I’d love to know what your favourite sight seeing tips are.

Looking for alternative things to do in New York as a tourist? We visited after previously doing all of the tourist attractions and did New York my way | Travel Guide | The Social Media Virgin