I’ve been living and working in the NYC area for almost five years now, and there’s still so much to see and do. But I thought I’d put together a little guide for those of you who haven’t been to New York City and plan to come visit.

So here are 10 places I’ve been that I absolutely love, and would recommend visiting while you’re in New York City.

1. See the city from the Top of the Rock
Top of the Rock | empire state at night | NYC | greaseandglamour

Yes, it’s worth the $25 ticket. It is every bit worth it. I’ve been up here multiple times, and when I have someone from out of town visiting me, I always recommend them to go. It’s an amazing view, and you won’t regret it. I prefer this over the Empire State Building view, primarily because you can actually see the Empire State Building in the skyline when on top of the Rockefeller Center. I’d recommend going right before sunset, so you can get three views for one price – day, sunset and night.

2. Walk the Brooklyn Bridge
Brooklyn Bridge NYC

Grab a buddy or go alone. For beautiful photo opp’s and a good ol’ stroll from lower Manhattan into Dumbo, Brooklyn, please take an hour or two to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge and enjoy the view behind you – especially when it’s a beautiful day outside. When you get to Dumbo, head on over to Brooklyn Bridge Park for an amazing view of lower Manhattan, right on the water.

3. Eat, taste and shop at Eataly
Things to Do in NYC | Eataly

Hello, Italian heaven. It may not be the same as being in the markets of Florence, but it is definitely somewhere to spend a few hours during the day. Eataly is an all-out market filled with different vendors, shops, restaurants and bakeries. Cheeses, pastries, fresh produce and wonderful restaurants that often host cooking classes – Eataly is a must-see, must-explore store beautifully located right in front of the Flatiron Building.

4. Relax and read at The Strand Bookstore
strand bookstore nyc

A local favorite – The Strand Bookstore has a wonderfully curated collection of books, and sweet spots to sit and read. It’s worth a visit, especially if you’re a lover of books!

5. Indulge at Magnolia Bakery
Magnolia Bakery NYC

The line is usually out the door, but it’s worth it baby – Magnolia Bakery has some of the best cupcakes and sweets in the city. If it’s not sold out when you get there, do try the banana pudding. Hopefully it’s nice outside because there’s usually nowhere to sit – grab and go and sit outside on a bench and enjoy with a loved one!

6. Explore the Chelsea Market
Chelsea Market NYC

Yet another place in NYC that you could easily get lost roaming around – the Chelsea Market is a cluster of cool shops, cafes, restaurants and groceries all packed into an awesome venue in the heart of the Meatpacking District. Seafood markets, handmade pasta, bakeries, ramen shops, vintage fleas – you name it, they’ve got it.

7. Check out the goodness that is Beecher’s Cheese Shop
Beecher's Cheese | NYC

Stroll into Beecher’s Handmade Cheese Shop and yes, you’ll see lots of cheese, but you’ll also get to see the factory they make it in – surrounded by glass walls that you can look into, to see how the cheese is being made right inside the shop. Do try the mac and cheese, and thank me later.

8. Shop ’til you drop at Century 21.
Where to Shop in NYC | Century 21

A New York City icon in itself, Century 21 is a department store that is eight floors of absolute ridiculous deals – from the lower end, everyday brands to high-end designer brands right off the runway, you’ll spend hours searching through racks of clothing, accessories, home goods, electronics, jewelry and cosmetics. It’s like Macy’s but on crack. It’s one of my favorite places to shop when I’m looking for one-of-a-kind goodies for a great deal.

9. Take a field trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Metropolitan Museum of Art

Ahh, yes museums. If you’re the type to enjoy museums – I’d visit them all. But there are a lot of museums in NYC, so if you’re only planning on visiting one, I’d recommend visiting the Met. The history, the architecture, the exhibitions – it’s a cultural time machine that will make you wonder why you ever hated going on field trips to the museum in grade school. Note that there’s actually no entrance fee – it’s donation-based. If you see a sign and it says $20 for an adult – that’s a recommended donation, not required for entrance. You can donate $1 if you want – the donation amount is up to you.

10. Stroll through Central Park
Central Park in the Snow | Grease and Glamour | NYC

When it’s covered in snow, it’s absolutely magical – cold, but magical. If you do visit in the spring/summer, plan to soak in the sun, lay out on the grass, watch tourists and locals alike do the same, and enjoy the company of a loved one. You can rent a canoe or just toss a frisbee with a furry friend. There’s always something to do, and always something to see.


I found most of these places on the Shop NYC app from Hayes & Jarvis – an app helps you plan your activities in NYC and lays them out in map form. The best part is that the app gives you suggestions on where to go – from museums, department stores, restaurants and “New York One-Offs” – places you’ve definitely got to visit while in the Big Apple. Download the app for free and build your itinerary here.


Do you have any suggestions as to where to go or what to see in New York City? Share them with our community in the comments section below!

  • AMAZING list – includes all of my favourites, perhaps apart from the Magnolia Bakery. I thought their cupcakes were on the underwhelming side…

    Chelsea market is a true epicurean paradise – i can literally eat until i cannot move there.

    I would recommend Murray’s Cheese in West Village if you like cheese!

  • Oooh I’ve never been to New York, and this all looks fantastic!!! I’m dying to go one day and would love to talk with you about a possible job shadow visit…please shoot me an email!!! I’d love to visit NY for SO many reasons (including visiting the German consulate…lol thinking of a visa!) but I’d really love to connect with you!
    ~ Samantha

  • Been to New York and went to walk along the high-line, which is amazing!! Central park is incredible too, I can’t believe how big it is. if you haven’t been to the high-line before, then check it out. Would definitely go to the Top of the Rock if I go again, and Eatily looks lush!!

    Growing Positive

  • shelby

    Ah I can’t wait to go there!!

  • Bronwyn

    The photo of snowy Central Park is beautiful

  • It’s tough to narrow New York down to 10 things to do, but you’ve done a really great job of it. I happened to be in NYC the week that Eataly opened and loved it!

  • Great list, makes me want to book a flight right now! It’s my favorite city after Paris. I try to visit once a year, mainly for eating purposes. 🙂 And the Magnolia bakery photo and Central Park photo – holy cow!! Beautiful.

  • Ahh, this makes me want to go back to New York <3 I've been there last summer and it was an amazing experience. Bummer, I didn't walk the Brooklyn Bridge 🙁 Wish I'd done that! x Isabella (

  • Wow, these images are breathtaking! They make me miss the city so much…I last visited 5 years ago and I feel like my return has been long overdue – a love for NYC has become very cliché these days but it was one of few cities that I fell in love with in an instant (the others being Paris, Singapore and Sydney). I remember heading to the Rockefeller Centre as we were advised by our friends there that the view was better than that of the Empire State, and they were right; it was incredible to look out on this gridded skyscraper playground. Even just walking in the streets makes you feel very small and still in an ocean of movement. One of my favourite things to do was visit a café called Cosí for breakfast as their smoothies were delicious (and $1 hotdogs for lunch everyday, bliss).

    With love ♥︎ » Paris by Friday

  • I LOVE NYC. Ate lunch in central park but I want to go back just so I can go to Century 21!!!!

  • I’m going to New York in June and I am beyond excited! Thanks so much for this list, will be sure to tick these things off. 🙂

  • Thanks so much for this, I’ll be going to NYC again this summer and I need ideas of what to do, you should add Williamsburg flea market, it is great!!!

    my friend was recently killed by a stray bullet, could you please donate to his fund

  • Krystal Carty

    Central Park in the snow is beautiful!! Can’t wait to go back and visit NYC!

  • Alexandra Cordato

    Great post! Top of the Rock is definitely worth it. I went up there and the Empire State building and Top of the Rock definitely wins!

  • Julie M. K

    Love this post. So help full as i am going to the big city again this summer. I personally love to walk the High Line Park, using an hour or two, just walking and enjoying the beautiful flowers and view.
    XOXO from Copenhagen, Denmark

  • Going to New York next week! Glad I came across this post…taking notes!

  • Jess

    i’m heading to NYC next month so this post was great 😀 x

  • Bianca

    I loved the Natural history museum too! its also donation based…no one told me that till AFTER and oh The High Line park is very relaxing and beautiful as well. Grab a cookie from Insomnia and watch the sunset on those awesome reclined benches! It’s an old railroad that they repurposed! But I wish I saw this before I went to NYC for the first time. Definitely have to go to the places you recommended

  • Jinna, You are awesome! My husband and I commend you. Thank you for being brave, creative, and yourself. New York City is great! We have started a travel website of our own called and we are so passionate about USA travel! Thanks a bunch. Keep doing what you’re doing! -Mal

  • Great list. Spent some time in NYC this summer and did all of these things. I would add in Smorgasbord at Brooklyn Bridge Park, an outdoor movie at sunset and a theater performance in Bryant Park for summertime visitors. We also enjoyed the quirkiness of Sleep No More.

  • Thanks for these great ideas… I’m there for New Year’s Eve so any tips or recommendations would be much appreciated!

  • Great tips. What is the dress of the 21 century department store at? I see they so many locations. Thanks.