There are cities to explore and wonder, cities where you get inspired and create, cities to meditate and relax, cities with great museums and galleries, cities to work hard and dream big, cities to enjoy and love, and New York City has it all. What you find in NYC depends on the purpose of your trip and the level of your open-mindedness to be amused by the electric charm of the city.
This story started some years ago when I first realized that I was closer to New York than ever. Just three hours on the airplane, two hours waiting at the airport, and one hour on the road with no traffic. Though technically it seems easy, international border implied months of preparation. But every traveler knows that all these make the trip so much more fascinating.
At the end of March 2022, I used Delta airlines to fly to New York, the flight went nice, and the airplane landed smoothly at JFK airport. Looking outside the window, I saw a grey city line with little to no greenery. It was the first remarkable difference I noticed after flying from a sunny Cancun. Coming out of the terminal, cold wind and tiny snowflakes made me rush to the pickup spot indicated on the Uber map. Luckily, the driver was just several minutes away. The price of the Uber trip from JFK airport to the Columbus Circle, near Central Park in Manhattan, was 72 USD. There, I booked a nice hostel that promised a fantastic location for avid travelers who love to walk around the city.
Are you a traveler or a tourist on a solo trip to New York City?
A traveler was my role on this trip. Every new day I hit the road with the exact landmark in mind that served as a compass, but I was always strolling along multiple streets and footpaths to get there. Following Google maps is tempting, but what is then left to you, a wonderer? I wanted to see different sides of big city life – glimpse of a sunlight playing hide and seek with me and the skyscrapers, people rushing to their offices, yellows taxis and city buses trying to get through the traffic as fast as possible, Times Square always flourishing with tourists haunting for the best photo spot, white steam coming out of orange-white tubes, coffee shops serving aromatic coffee and fresh pastries, hot dog stands on every third corner, flower shops adding delightful colors to a busy city picture, Empire State Building and Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center, and a myriad of statues hidden from tourist but visible to every traveler who is ready to spend hours visually studying New York City.
Following my professional photographer’s calling and especially after being published in New York Times, I should have taken my camera on this trip to New York City, but it didn’t seem to fit in the picture of my first solo wonderer vacation in the Big Apple. So, in place of professional New York images, you will find aesthetic pictures that I took with the iPhone in this article. As some photographers love to repeat that it’s not the camera; it’s the photographer’s eye that has the most value. So, it was time to prove this hypothesis.
Interesting facts about New York City:
- New York is the most linguistically diverse city in the world, with more than 800 languages spoken in the area.
- NYC was the first capital of the United States once the Constitution was ratified on March 4, 1789.
- New York was founded in 1624 by the Dutch, after they settled along the Hudson River. They established a colony on New Amsterdam on Manhattan island two years later. In 1664 after the English took control of the area, the city was renamed New York.
- Between 1892 and 1954, millions of immigrants passed through Ellis Island and arrived in New York. Research shows that around 40% of Americans can trace at least one ancestor to that moment (port of entry).
- The United Nations headquarters was established in New York after World War Two.
- The Statue of Liberty, one of New York’s symbols, was a gift from France in 1886.
- In New York, it’s illegal to honk your horn, except there is an emergency.
- The famous Times Square got its name after the New York Times newspaper.
- The Empire State Building got hits by lightning around 23 times a year.
- New York’s city Federal Reserve bank has the most extensive gold storage in the world.
- New York City is the home to the most billionaires in the world and more than 380,000 millionaires.
Best Museums in New York City.
- The MET. The Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York City is the largest in Western Hemisphere, and it was established in 1870. Its collection contains over 2 million works and is divided into 17 curatorial departments. On the day of my visit, I braved the freezing wind and made it in 20 minutes after leaving the hotel I was staying at (Find detailed info about it at the end of the article). One day is a moderate time-lapse that allows you to get the general idea of this palace of art. Get ready to walk a lot if you want to comprehend the cultural richness presented in every hall of the Metropolitan Museum. Make sure to book your tickets online to avoid waiting in one of the lines – one to a ticket office, the second to enter the MET. Opening hours: Thursday – Tuesday 10 AM -5 PM, admission ticket price 12-25 USD.
- Moma. Museum of a Modern Art. It was established in 1929 and is located in Midtown Manhattan. MOMA is considered one of the largest and most influential museums of modern art. Whether you are a true admirer of modern art or just visiting to expand your collection of visual experiences, make sure to pay a visit to the Museum of Modern Art. I toured MOMA the next day after spending a day in the MET and felt the contrast I knew existed, but it became much more apparent. I am happy that I had a chance to get to know the Museum of Modern Art, but on my next trip to New York, I will allocate more time to MET. Opening hours: Monday – Sunday 10.30 AM-5.30 PM, Saturday 10.30 AM-7 PM admission ticket price 14-25 USD.
- Museum of Art and Design. Founded in 1956, it offers visitors a new way of experiencing and telling stories about art, craft, and design. Opening hours: Tuesday – Sunday 10.30 AM -5.30 PM, admission ticket price 18 USD.
- American Museum of Natural History. Hours given over to walk around this Museum will sparkle a genuine curiosity about the outskirts of the Planet Earth and the natural world so crucial in understanding the mechanism of life on our planet. Opening hours: Wednesday-Sunday 10 AM -5.30 PM. admission ticket price 13-23 USD and must be reserved online.
- Brooklyn Museum. Founded in 1897 and is the third-largest Museum in New York. The primary attention revolves around the Egyptian, African art and painting of 17-the 20 century. Opening hours: Wednesday – Sunday 11 AM – 6 PM, admission ticket price 16 USD.
- Guggenheim Museum. Established in 1939 as a Museum of Non-Objective Painting, it has an impressive collection of Post Impressionist, Early Modern, and Contemporary Art. Expand your visual experience by seeing the paintings presented in a building designed by a famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Opening hours: Wednesday – Monday 11 AM -6 PM, admission ticket price 18 USD.
- Whitney Museum of American Art was founded in 1930. Its primary focus is on 20-21 century American Art. Opening hours: Wednesday – Monday 10.30 AM -6 PM, admission ticket price 18-25 USD.
- National Museum of the American Indian. Its primary focus is on the culture of the indigenous people of the Americas. It was established in 1916. Opening hours: Wednesday – Monday 10 AM -5.30 PM, admission ticket price 18-25 USD.
- Merchant’s House Museum. It was constructed in 1832 and is the only nineteenth-century family home in NYC that remains intact both inside and out. Beside exhibits in the period rooms, the Museum also holds lectures, performances, and presentations. Opening hours: Thursday – Sunday 12 AM -5 PM, admission ticket price 10-15 USD.
- The Morgan Library and Museum. The main room. Opening hours: Tuesday – Sunday 10.30 AM-5 PM, admission ticket price 12-22 USD. I was impressed by this museum! I love reading, and seeing this incredible collections of books, published in different centuries, was like experiencing a journey in time.
- New York historical societies. Opening hours: Wednesday – Sunday 11 AM -5 PM, admission ticket price 13 -22 USD.
- Rubin Museum of Art. Opening hours: Thursday – Sunday 11 AM -5 PM, admission ticket price 10-15 USD
- International Center of Photography. Opening hours: Wednesday – Monday 11 AM -7 PM, admission ticket price 12-16 USD
- Skyscraper Museum. Opening hours: Thursday – Saturday 12 AM – 6 PM, admission ticket price 20-50 USD
- El Museo del Barrio. Opening hours: Thursday – Saturday 11 AM – 5 PM, admission ticket price 9 USD
- Mademe Tussauds Museum. Opening hours: Thursday – Saturday 10 AM – 8 PM, admission ticket price 30 USD
- National Museum of Mathematics. Opening hours: Monday – Sunday 10 AM – 5 PM, admission ticket price 25 USD
- Museum of the City of New York. Opening hours: Thursday – Monday 10 AM – 5 PM, admission ticket price 20 USD
- Neue Gallery, Museum of German and Austrian Art. Opening hours: Thursday – Monday 11 AM – 6 PM, admission ticket price 25 USD
- The Jewish Museum. Opening hours: Wednesday – Sunday 10 AM – 5 PM, admission ticket price 25 USD
- New Museum. Opening hours: Tuesday – Sunday 11 AM – 6 PM, admission ticket price 12-18USD
- Ellis Island Immigration Museum and the Statue of Liberty. Opening hours: Monday – Sunday 9.45 AM – 4.45 PM, admission ticket price 9-18 USD
- New York Hall of Science. Opening hours: Friday 2 – 5 PM, Saturday-Sunday 10 AM – 5 PM, admission ticket price 11-14 USD
I got so used to dreaming about visiting New York that it took me a long time to believe that I was in NYC once I got there. Later, analyzing this confusing thought, I concluded that it resulted from postponing my trip under the false reasoning of being busy. Now I believe that dreaming is only good if you are ready to act. Otherwise, it might turn into a bubble where one tries to escape reality. But once you realize that the capability to dream big (visiting New York City was one of my big dreams) already signifies that you own that dream and you can make it happen, you will feel an unstoppable flow of energy aligned to help you get there. Just trust yourself and ACT!
How to plan a female solo travel to New York City?
After making several solo dream trips to different countries (including Spain, Finland and many cities in Mexico), I learned that the best gift of traveling is to wonder when you become an explorer in the infinite space of the unknown. And not only that, as a result, you can change your life most amazingly. That’s what happened to me on my solo female trip to Cancun, and I wrote about that in the article: “How to plan your first visit to Cancun, Mexico?”
I was planning on making a solo trip to New York in the summer to celebrate my anniversary, but due to the work schedule, I had to make some changes. And instead, I enjoyed NYC at the end of March. It’s always easy to travel when it’s warm and sunny outside, but try doing it when it’s cold winter or the beginning of spring. I did it, and I can assure you that New York City tours were still available. Tourist spots are still as attractive as probably in the summertime. The only inconvenience is wearing a warm coat, hat, and even gloves. Thought I understand that my judgment is based on my life in a tropical area. Thus I perceive cold weather differently than most New Yorkers.
Are you planning a female solo vacation or a cultural solo trip to New York City? Then here are some travel guidelines that you might want to consider:
- A hotel’s location. With an 8,8 million population New York City is the biggest city in the USA; thus, the hotel’s location will directly affect the amount of time you spend on the road to the main New York tourist attractions. And if you intend to see all of them or at least the most significant ones, better look for hotels in Midtown Manhattan, Upper West Side, or Upper Eastside, with Times Square and Central Park conveniently away. After doing extended research online, I decided to stay at a hostel located 2 minutes away from Central Park and 5 minutes walking from a Columbus circle. Check out the details at the end of the article.
- A healthy breakfast guarantees your body will have sufficient energy to stroll the picturesque grounds of NYC. Facilitate your morning travel routine, and look for a place that serves breakfast before your trip or after you check-in at the hotel. Another easy option is to book a hotel with a “Breakfast included.”
- Make a list of New York tourist attractions you want to visit before taking a solo trip.
- Transportation. Decide how you will move around New York. Are you inclined to use a bus or metro? MTA (Metropolitan Transportation Authority) is the fastest way to move from one spot to another. A bus might get stuck in traffic, but the advantage is that you will see NYC’s real-time life flow on the streets. Uber is also an affordable option. I paid from 12-27 USD within Manhattan, depending on the travel distance. The most expensive Uber trip (67 USD) I had was from JFK International airport to the hostel in Manhattan. And if you like walking, as I do, make sure to have a pair of comfortable shoes and an active Google map.
- Be prepared to wait in line to enter a museum or any of the Observation Desks, for example, Top of the Rock at the Rockefeller Center. Booking tickets online will help to speed up the process.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions and directions. Imagine this, Google maps gave confusing directions. You feel lost in a big city; an easy solution is to ask a passerby (who looks friendly and not in a rush) for directions.
- Make sure to have some cash with you. Trust in debit and credit cards, but have some USD cash as a backup.
New York food.
My friend, who has been to New York several times, told me before my trip: “You must try a hot dog !” my boyfriend added: “And a pizza!” While in NYC, I decided to try one more iconic New York food – pretzel. Being in a state of a deep travel euphoria (that state when you love everything about the city, without even answering why), it would be difficult not to love that food. So, if you ask: “How was it?” I answer: “Delicious!” Besides that, it’s convenient, and you can find a hot dog stand almost on every corner. And paying 2-3 USD, you can enjoy the benefits of fast food in a Big Apple. A slice of pizza is 3-4 USD. Pretzel in a Central Park – 5 USD.
I didn’t have a chance to visit any restaurants on this trip. Though I knew New York is famous for being one of the oldest dining cities, that means hundreds of fantastic restaurants for you to choose from. Are you looking for one? Take a look at TripAdvisor, a great online assistant that will facilitate your search.
Where to try the best hot dog in New York?
- Crif Dog
- Nathan’s Famous
- Feltman’s Kitchen
- Pastrami Queen
- Crif Dog’s
- Dog Day Afternoon
- Kat’s Delicatessen
- Fulton Hot Dog King
- Schaller’s Stube Sausage Bar
- Papaya King
- Frankies Dogs on the Go
I had a “hot dog experience” in Central Park in Manhattan. There are at least 3 to 5 hot dog stands at every entrance to the park, so you don’t have to worry about the lack of options.
Free things to do in New York today.
- Walk along the New York streets; this is one of the first free things you can do in New York today or any other day of the week. And it won’t cost you a penny. I love walking! It’s a highly engaging process, and I often feel like I am having a visual dialogue with the city. You can see so much strolling along the streets that you can easily miss on a bus tour. Let me share some New York images with you that showed what grabbed my attention.
- Times Square. A vibrant sightseeing spot where everywhere you turn, a bright, gleaming light shining off the big screens illuminates you with ideas of glamorous and ever-wanting-more life. Always busy and filled with hectic traffic sounds, an intersection of streets welcomes everyone ready to dive into the whirlwind of a megapolis’s life.
- Wall Street – financial district. I was there on Sunday, so it didn’t look as busy as I envisioned it, so it almost felt strange. I thought: “Is that the famous Wall Street, a lullaby of human altruistic values and a kingdom of finance and greed?” No matter your personal opinion about the practical actions happening inside the main buildings, Wall Street is worth visiting. The Charging Bull, The Fearless Girl Statue, The New York Stock Exchange building and The National Museum of the American Indian are the main places of tourist interest.
- Central Park in Manhattan. It was on my “First Time Must visit” list, and no excuse, “It’s cold outside,” was accepted. Luckily enough, my short outing in Central Park happened on a sunny day, and yellow flowers made my New York images much more appealing.
- Visit a Grand Central Terminal located in Midtown Manhattan. It was opened to the public on February 2, 1913, and has a rich and remarkable history. With the four-faced opal clock being the main attraction, it has many other historically-glamorous architectural details available for appreciation by curious travelers. Five minutes after I entered, I felt a strange feeling of coziness, probably, partly created by a honey-golden color created by the light bouncing into the ambiance.
- New York Library. A place to inhale knowledge and exhale peace. Opened Monday, Thursday- Saturday 10-6 PM, Sunday 1-5 PM, Tuesday- Wednesday 10-8 PM.
- Brooklyn Bridge. A must-visit place on the first trip to New York City. One of the most iconic sightseeing spots in New York City.
- Museum at FIT. A hidden gem for everyone passionate about fashion and costume history. It opened Wednesday- Friday 12-8 PM, Saturday- Sunday 10-5 PM. For me visiting this Museum at FIT was an aesthetically profound experience. The only questions I had after is why it is so dark there? Shouldn’t looking at designer dresses be a bright experience. If so, adding a little light might be a good idea.
- American Folk Art Museum showcases folk artworks and creations of self-taught artists from the United States and around the world. Located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan at the Lincoln Square; and is open Wednesday- Sunday, 11.30-6 PM.
Transportation in New York City.
Transportation in New York City is as active as the lifestyle of locals and the guidelines for tourists. When I was planning my solo trip to New York City, I didn’t do detailed research about this topic because it was evident that it would be easy to move around, given the variety of means of transportation in a big city.
One of the most popular NYC taxi apps is Uber, and it’s no wonder since Uber became a synonym for a taxi app long ago. I used Uber New York several times: from JFK airport to Columbus Circle in Manhattan – 72 USD, from a New York Public Library to One World Observatory – 18 USD, a 15 min ride, on a super cold day, from a Museum of Art and Design to Metropolitan Museum – 15 USD.
I am using the Uber app everywhere I travel. The convenience of using it made me forget to try a service of taxi in New York City. Those yellow cabs – one of the city’s symbols – create a charismatic, visual texture in the overall look of a busy city.
Another popular way of transportation in New York City is a metro, short abbreviation MTA (Metropolitan Transportation Authority). On my second day in NYC, I decided to try using the metro. But because the machines selling MAT MetroCards weren’t accepting cash (they usually do!), and it didn’t want to take my credit card, I couldn’t do it that day. So, the next day, I tried one more time on my way back from Wall Street. Finally, I was able to purchase a MAT metro card. There were several options, and being a visitor in NYC, I didn’t need an unlimited metro card, so I opted for a 12 USD card, which meant I could have five rides. While on the train, I missed a metro station I needed and got lost. That was my little adventure! I got a little nervous, but then I asked a young woman passing by to help me understand my location (unfortunately, my Internet connection wasn’t working well that day). She helped me enormously: she walked me through the metro; showed me where I needed to take a train; that went in the direction I needed, and indicated what station I needed to leave. Thanks to her help, my adventure in the NYC metro turned out well and finished fast!
One more way of transportation in New York City is the NYC bus, also part of MTA. The price varies depending on the bus, and you can pay with a credit/debit card or MTA metro card. The lowest price I paid was 2.75 USD, and the highest was 6.75 USD when I took an express bus. I didn’t know the difference, and I found out about it talking to a driver while waiting for the green light.
After getting lost in the NYC metro, I decided to use only buses as public transportation. The apparent advantage for a traveler like me was the possibility to admire the views of the streets to nurture my visual side of the brain with New York images. That busy city is so rich with amazing views that it is better to explore it either walking or by bus in case of long distances between sightseeing spots.
Fun things to do in NYC.
Revive your inner kid and have a break from the artistic side of NYC, and plan your visit to a fun, interactive gallery or Museum. Here is a list of fun things to do in NYC.
- Color Factory – pop up some color in your day. A fun and engaging art experience that will fill your mind with bright ideas, vibrant images, and invigorating design. Located in the Soho area. Operating hours: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday – 9 AM-6 PM, Friday and Saturday 9 AM-8 PM, entrance by appointment, that you can book online. Tickets price: 28-38 USD. I am big fan of all things colorful and do photo sessions in colorful flying dresses. So, when I found online an information about the Color Factory in New York it didn’t take me long to say: “Yes!” to this colorful experience. If you are looking for fun things to do in NYC, check out Color Factory.
- Summit. Experience looking at hypnotically energetic New York City through the transparent crystal floors and walls located 1060 feet above Madison Avenue. Opened Wednesday- Sunday 9 AM – 10.30 PM. Tickets can be purchased online at 53-73 USD.
- The Museum of the Moving Image is a media museum dedicated to film and television. Opened: Saturday-Sunday 12-6 PM, Thursday and Friday 2-6 PM. Admission is 11-15 USD.
- The Museum of Ice Cream, where grown-ups can experience a sweet blast from the past. Explore three levels of an interactive museum filled with unlimited ice cream. It is open on Sunday, Monday, and Thursday 10 AM-7 PM, and Friday and Saturday 10 AM – 8.30 PM. Ticket admission: 36-44 USD.
- The Hayden Planetarium. A digital Universe and space exhibits allow every visitor to dream beyond the limits of the Earth. They are open on Wednesday-Sunday 10 AM-5.30 PM. Ticket admission is 18-33 USD.
- Fotografiska is a branch of the Swedish photography museum located in Gramercy Park in Manhattan. Take a close look at the modern world through the prism of explicit photos and be ready to experience the unexpected fusion of grace, fun, and amazement. It opened from Monday to Sunday from 9 AM- 9 PM. Admission is 16-26 USD.
- Spyscape is a private, interactive espionage museum located in Midtown Manhattan that offers you to experience a full-of-action life of a spy. Opened on Wednesday-Thursday 12-8 PM, Friday 12-9 PM, Saturday 11 AM-8 PM, Sunday 11 AM – 7 PM. Admission is 39 USD.
Top best views in NYC.
Enjoying one of the top best views in NYC, you might get a feeling of absolute freedom that allows you to dream beyond the limits of your imagination. The breathtaking view that opens in front of you once you step on the top deck is liberating. But at the same time, observing the perfectly aligned buildings down below creates an image of a scheduled perfection. A well-maintained balance between those two contradictory feelings makes it even more attractive for those looking for visual inspiration.
- Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center NYC. That was when I finally realized that I was in New York City. I exhaled the tension of a long-distance dream that stopped me from fully embracing the joy of traveling. I visited it on my first full day of staying in New York City, and it gave me a great perspective of the city where I was planning to spend a week. Hours: Monday-Sunday 9 AM-11 PM. General Admission 34-40 USD, VIP tours 125 USD.
- One World Observatory is located in Lower Manhattan next to Westfield World Trade Center. It is the tallest building (1,776 ft) in New York City. Hours: Monday-Sunday 9 AM-9 PM. Tickets: 38-58 USD.
- Summit One Vanderbuilt. It is open Wednesday- Sunday 9 AM – 10.30 PM. You can purchase tickets online at 53-73 USD.
- Empire State Building. A 102-level Art Deco skyscraper located in Midtown Manhattan. A legendary building and a historic landmark that offers its visitors one of the top best views in NYC. Hours: Monday-Thursday 11 AM-11 PM, Friday-Sunday 9 AM-12 PM. Price 38-129 USD.
- Roosevelt Island Tram is an aerial tramway that covers the East River and connects Roosevelt Island to Manhattan’s Upper East Side. This activity can be easily added to the list of “Fun things to do in New York” with the bonus of a fantastic view 250 feet above the city. Hours 6 AM-1 PM. Price 4 USD both ways.
And don’t forget to admire the best view of the NYC skyline from Brooklyn Bridge Park. As a photographer, I would add that place is just made for lifestyle photo sessions.
I would put it on the “Must have photos” list on a trip to New York City.
Best theaters in New York City.
A cultural trip to New York can’t be complete without visiting one of the theaters. Take a look at the list of the best theaters in New York City and visit broadway.com to buy a ticket online.
- St. James Theatre
- Vivian Beaumont
- Richard Roberts
- Palace theatre
- Lincoln Center for the performing arts
- Kings’ theatre
- Radio City Music Hall
- New Amsterdam Theatre
Several days before the trip, I purchased a ticket to the Moulin Rouge musical at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre, and they did a brilliant show. It was the first theater I visited in New York, so I was super excited. The Moulin Rouge – a dramatic story of love, performed by talented actors, with stunning decorations, energizing colors, and affectionate music – you can’t miss it!
Best Parks in New York City.
It’s one of the free things to do in New York today and any time of the year. My short, one-week vacation in New York City implied having time to visit only one park. And my choice was obvious because I stayed at the hostel (detailed information about it you can find at the end of the article) located just five minutes walk from Central Park NYC. The cities of the park that I saw made me want to come back there in summer when the green trees and flowers help create a remarkable contrast with the skyscrapers in the background.
- Central Park NYC is located between the Upper East and Upper West sides of Manhattan. It’s the fifth-largest park in the city, created in 1857 – 1876. It’s widely regarded as a masterpiece of landscape architecture and was the first landscaped park in the United States. The most iconic park, where over 200 films have shot scenes. And for a wonderer and explorers, Central Park NYC is a great place to look and observe the mundane life of New Yorkers. Also, you might be interested in a bike ride, ice skating ring in Wollman Rink, a ride on a horse, Central Park Carousel and Zoo, Delacorte Theatre, Ramble and Lake, Hallett Nature Sanctuary.
- Riverside Park is a scenic waterfront public park in the Upper West Side, Morningside Heights, and Hamilton Heights neighborhoods in NYC
- Bryant Park NYC is located next to the New York Public Library
- Washington Square park
- The High Line
- Inwood Hill Park
- Tompkins Square Park is located in East Village, NYC
- Prospect Park
- Bowling Green Park was the first official park in New York City, established in 1733
- Brooklyn Bridge Park is located on the Brooklyn side of the East River. It’s considered the most important public space to be built in Brooklyn in over a century
- Maclaren Park
- Fort Green Park
- The Hills at Governor island
- Hudson River Park is a waterside park extending over four miles on Manhattan’s west side
- Flushing Meadows – Corona Park
- Astoria Park is located in the Queens area
- Pelham Bay Park is the largest park in NYC
West Side YMCA hostel New York.
New York is an amazing, magnificent, buzzing city and one of the most desirable travel destinations in the world. And it’s a well-known fact, along with that it’s on the list of the most expensive cities. But it doesn’t stop millions of travelers from enjoying its powerful, contagious vibes generated by the unique architecture and the resident’s lifestyle.
In my research for the best hotels, I usually use the Booking App. This time it didn’t take me long to realize that finding a highly rated hotel downtown, that means Manhattan, within my budget, would be impossible. After I narrowed my search to hostels and took a day of consideration, I booked the West Side YMCA hostel in New York. The main advantage of this hostel is the location, 5 min walking from Columbus circle and 2 min from Central Park. I couldn’t ask for more on that trip to New York. I have been familiar with a hostel culture since my solo female trip to Spain in 2013. I stayed at the hostels in every city I visited on that trip, so I was prepared for a shared restroom and a shower. I opted for a single-occupancy room, and 8 square meters room was my home during a magical week in NYC. The room was clean, with a mild noise from the street, which didn’t stop me from sleeping like a baby. West Side YMCA hostel in New York is an excellent option for travelers who like to explore a city and need a room, basically just to sleep. The reception was very friendly and helped with directions on my first day in the Big Apple. If you decide to stay there, I would recommend visiting a Breads Bakery cafe (just behind the corner with Broadway street, 1 min walking from the hostel), where they serve delicious scrambled eggs sandwiches with gouda cheese and chives, Rugelach filled with dark chocolate, that became my favorites pastry.
New York City is a place to dream big and act fearlessly. Besides all the unique sightseeing spots, museums, art exhibitions, restaurants, and many other places to visit, there is something more to do in New York. And that is – have a dialogue with a city – and allow it to inspire you. It’s easy to do in a city that never sleeps.