An Insider’s Guide to New York City
With five boroughs, diverse neighborhoods, and an endless number of attractions, New York City is truly unlike any other city in the world.
If you’re traveling to the city, it can be overwhelming to decide how to fill your time. Hotel Engine’s team based in New York City has handpicked their favorite destinations so you can make the most of your visit.
Where to Go
Don’t fall for the many tourist traps, like a Hop-On, Hop-Off tour. Here’s a list of the must-see attractions that are actually worth your time and money.
The MET Rooftop Bar
The Metropolitan Museum of Art draws millions of tourists every year with one of the largest collections of fine art in the world. Less famously, one of the museum’s most treasured gems is its rooftop. With stunning views of Central Park, The MET’s Cantor Roof Garden Bar is the perfect setting to end a day at the museum or for a happy hour with coworkers. The garden also displays several pieces created by Argentinian artist Adrián Villar Rojas.
The High Line
For being such a concrete jungle, New York City surprisingly has plenty of green space to roam about. Perhaps the most innovative park in NYC is the High Line. Located on Manhattan’s West Side, this elevated linear park was built on a historic freight rail line stretching 1.45 miles. Visitors can enjoy the view of the Hudson River, grab a popsicle or glass of wine at the food court, or lounge for a while on one of the many lounge chairs.
Brooklyn Bridge/Brooklyn Waterfront
Stretching from Pier 6 to just north of the Manhattan Bridge, the Brooklyn Waterfront park is 85-acres of beautiful city views and recreation space. Explore the many sports fields and boat launches into the surrounding waterfront. Don’t be surprised to see engagement and wedding photo shoots, too.
The Met Cloisters
Tucked away in Manhattan’s Tryon Park, The Met Cloisters slips under the radar for most visitors, even though it hosts some of the best medieval European architecture and artwork in the city. Be sure to check out the museum’s gardens and terraces overlooking the Hudson River.
What to Do & See
New York City is an entertainment epicenter with everything from comedy and sports to its world-famous Broadway shows.
Perhaps one of New York City’s most popular attractions, attending a Broadway show is an entertainment experience like no other. Tickets can be pricey, especially for the more popular shows, so make sure to plan in advance and check out discounted ticket sites. Some of our favorites include The Phantom of the Opera, Chicago, and Aladdin.
A West Village gem, the Comedy Cellar is a small, underground club that can fit 150 people. Over the years, it has hosted some of the best and brightest comedians, including Robin Williams, Dave Chappelle, and Jerry Seinfeld.
New York City and the surrounding suburbs host numerous professional sports teams. Choose from baseball, basketball, football, hockey, and more for an exciting and rowdy experience. Try to find discounted sports tickets when you can.
Photo courtesy of Jessica Fiess-Hill
Where to Dine & Drink
No trip to New York City is complete without a slice of New York-style pizza, a sandwich from a traditional Jewish deli, or a heavenly piece of cheesecake. But there are plenty of other unique restaurant destinations that may not be on your radar. Check out these local-approved suggestions.
Black Seed Bagels
This Lower Manhattan bagel shop stands out from the hundreds available in the city. Black Seed Bagels makes “Montreal-style” bagels, which are soaked in honey water and seeded before being baked to golden perfection. Whether you’re in the mood for classic lox or want to try a more adventurous combination (like the Milk and Honey spread with sweet ricotta, honey, and apples), you are sure to find a flavor combination that excites your taste buds.
Contrary to its name, Cafeteria serves a swanky, upscale twist on American comfort food. It’s the perfect place in Chelsea to grab a breakfast bite any hour of the day or a nightcap cocktail in the basement bar.
Tacombi at Fonda Nolita
Of its multiple locations, Tacombi at Fonda Nolita is perhaps its most unique. Patrons can order its signature Mexican tacos, tamales, and horchata out of a converted VW bus placed in a vibrantly decorated loft. Bring cash to exchange — their food can be purchased only with poker chips. You’ll feel as if you’re in a small Mexican town rather than the heart of New York City.
You don’t have to travel to Southern Europe for some of the best Napoleon-style pizza. Owner Gino Sorbillo is an Italian legend, and his latest NYC location opened in Fall 2016. Each pizza is a delicious blend of organic and fresh ingredients, crisped to perfection in the pizzeria’s wood-fired oven. The Antica Margherita and Portofino pizzas are must-try classics.
Strong, no-frills drinks are the name of the game at Whiskey Tavern in Chinatown. With tons of beer options and whiskey flights, this is the place to catch a game, grab a pre-dinner drink, or pregame a night out in SoHo. Patrons can sit out on the bar’s outdoor patio in good weather and snack on can’t-miss fried pickles.
If there was a king of NYC’s rooftop bar scene, 230 Fifth would be it. Be prepared for a wait to get inside, where you’ll enter through a dimly-lit lounge with plush seating and walls of glass. The former owner, Steven Greenberg, was a notable art collector, and many of his finds are on display. But the main attraction is the upstairs rooftop. During the winter months, warming igloos are provided so you won’t freeze while you nurse your cocktail.
The Biergarten at The Standard
Finish off a walk on the High Line with a cold, refreshing beer stein and a giant pretzel the size of your face. The Biergarten at The Standard is a great option due to its laid-back indoor/outdoor beer garden just beneath the High Line. The beer selection here is unique, with options like Bitburger or Licher imported from Germany. Bring along some coworkers and challenge them to a ping-pong match while you sip on your beer.
Audrey Fairbrother is the Content and SEO Manager at Hotel Engine. She spends her days writing about all things business travel, researching topics that are important to Hotel Engine’s audience and cultivating the company’s brand voice. When she’s not working, Audrey enjoys spending time with her family, and hiking in the nearby Rockies with her dog, Albie.