For a heart that craves for adventures and a mind that cannot be constraint within boundaries, I often find myself on Pinterest looking through pictures under the ‘Travelling’ category whenever I am taking a study break or on the edge of falling asleep in my Math class (Don’t tell my professor!). Each picture of a tourist attraction with its glorious magnificence triggers my enthusiasm and my passion for travelling. Ever since I was seven, I have made myself a list of destinations I must visit before I die. The list gets longer as I grow older. Of the 83 destinations on my list, New York City, or so-called “The Big Apple”, stands out. The city that never sleeps always manages to take the number one spot in the long list of world’s best destinations to travel on TripAdvisor and CNN Travels. As a kid, I have always imagined myself standing in front of the giant Rockefeller Christmas tree making a wish (like the kid in Home Alone 2) or ice-skating in the Bryant Park rink while admiring the modern architecture of the skylines (like Serendipity).
It was not until the Thanksgiving break of 2015 that I finally got to explore the beauty of The Big Apple. Even though I had planned out my trip earlier, it was always postponed due to my short of budget (I always spent way too much on Chipotle and Starbucks). Just like in the movies I had watched, New York City embraced the irresistible charm.
If you have never been to New York City or happen to be sitting in Math class and need a little mental escape (like me), then this is the post for you. I will take you on a trip to all the must-see things in New York City, especially for first-timer. Since I am a broke college students, most of the things mentioned here are usually free events.
1. Rockefeller Center – Always start with the Rockefeller Center first! They have the biggest Christmas tree and the coolest Christmas decorations. What’s better than ice-skating with a hot chocolate on your hand and adore the spectaculars of the holiday season?
2. Times Square – No one travels to New York City without visiting Times Square. As the symbol of New York City, it is a buzzing tourist magnet located in the central of Manhattan. Surrounded with bright neon lights, Broadway signs, and television studios, Times Square is where tourists witness the reality of the city that never sleeps. If you’re lucky enough, you may be able to see street performances at night. Also, it is a girl’s heaven – The biggest Abercrombie & Fitch store is located next to Bubba Gump Shrimp Company (shopping and food)!
3. Central Park – Besides the spectacular views of the skyscrapers, New York City is also known for its delightful green nature. Having a small picnic with your loved ones in a beautiful afternoon while admiring the breathtaking scenery of New York City is how New Yorkers usually roll.
4. and Central Perk in Soho – If you are a F.R.I.E.N.D.S fan, this is the place you HAVE to check out. Although the coffee shop is closed down (Yeah I was sad too), you can still see the Central Perk sticker on the outside of the coffee shop window. A good selfie material to post on social media and show off to your friends.
5. New York Public Library – Well trust me when I say I don’t read, but New York Public Library has one of the most stunning architecture.
6. Wall Street – For those who need inspirations to study, visiting Wall Street and watching people dressed in suits and Givenchy will make you want to look smart and rich too.
7. Ladurée Bakery – This is where you taste heaven.
8. Brooklyn Bridge Park – This is where the modern harmonizes with the ancient. On one side of the bridge, the city is immersed in the beauty of the classy French architecture; on the other side, the monumental view of the skylines.
9. Flushing, New York – They even have better Chinese food here than in China. No kidding!
10. Brooklyn Botanic Garden – Looking for a new Instagram post? It’s free on weekdays from December to February!