The alternative New York itinerary
Want a more chilled NYC experience away from the tourist hot spots? We've got you.
If you’re lucky enough to visit New York City, it can be tempting to stick to the traditional tourist sights – climb the Empire State Building, visit Macy’s, walk around Central Park – you’ve heard it all before.
Don’t get us wrong, these are fun. But if you really want to soak up the atmosphere of the heart and soul of New York and experience a different side to the city that never sleeps (debatable if you need a coffee at 5am), here’s what we recommend.
STAY IN SOHO
Hotels in the tourist areas like Times Square are very overpriced for the quality of the room. For a cooler, more authentic experience, check out the PUBLIC hotel in SoHo.
All of the rooms have beds in the window nooks, meaning you’ll wake up to incredible views across the city. The smart technology in the hotel means everything you need is within arm’s reach, and you can leave luggage in self-serve lockers for as long as you need.
A fast food bazaar, bakery, pisco bar and Peruvian-inspired brunch spot are all under one roof at this hotel, but the real gem is the rooftop bar with 360 degree views across Manhattan.
The best bit? Residents of the hotel can enjoy wine hour every day between 5-6pm. Trust us, you won’t want to leave.
WALK ACROSS BROOKLYN BRIDGE
Head to Brooklyn for a trendy vibe without as many tourists and crowds.
Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge is fun, it’s easily accessible from the bottom of Broadway and just on the other side, there are so many areas to walk around parks, have lunch and sit people-watching.
Visit one of the rooftop bars for views of New York City that the central bars can’t match.
HEAD TO CONEY ISLAND FOR A LOBSTER ROLL
Sitting on the beach during a trip to New York might be unexpected, but hear us out.
It’s a 45 minute(ish) Subway ride to Coney Island where you can walk along the promenade, sit on the sandy beach and visit Luna Park with the legendary wooden rollercoaster and fortune teller seen in many films.
Of course, we’re always all about the food and here you can pick up one of the best lobster rolls we predict you’ll have ever eaten in your life. It’s a fast-food stand but take it to the beach and enjoy.
This is technically a Blackpool in New York City so bear that in mind – there’s no luxury here but it’s an experience worth having.
EAT OYSTERS AT THE OLD BAR IN CENTAL STATION
Again, not fancy or luxurious, but super authentic (don’t get dressed up to go).
Visit the Grand Central Oyster Bar and Restaurant in Central Station and you’ll feel like you’ve been transported back in time. New Yorkers sit alone at the bar enjoying bowls of chowder and a huge selection of oysters and crackers.
If you love oysters, ask the server to surprise you with a selection to try so you can find your favourite.
PEOPLE WATCH ON THE PATIO AT PASQUAL JONES
Our favourite restaurant in SoHo, the food and wine at Pasqual Jones is insane. Super fresh, simple small plates, pasta and pizza done very well.
During patio season, our favourite thing to do is spend a couple of hours sitting outside eating, drinking and watching New Yorkers going about their day.
SIT IN WASHINGTON SQUARE PARK AT NIGHT
The vibes in this park come alive at night. There’s music playing everywhere, people chatting, laughing and dancing.
Grab an ice cream or a slice of pizza and take it all in.