The bustling streets and neon lights of New York City make an ideal setting for the ultimate girls’ trip, and for good reason.
There are so many amazing experiences on offer, from the iconic Brooklyn Bridge, to moody bars where you can enjoy cocktails, to a fun bike tour around Central Park.
Add to this the endless shopping hot spots and the array of dining options and you have all the elements for a perfect girls’ trip.
Tips for planning your trip
- Start planning early. The best way to create the ultimate trip is to be aware of what is on offer in the city you’re going to visit. Take into account the weather at the time of year you’ll be travelling as this will influence your activities.
- Have an honest discussion about budget with your girlfriends. This will impact the accommodation, activities and transport options.
- Discuss accommodation. Will you all share one large space or have a hotel room each?
- Not everyone has the same interests and there may be some things that everyone doesn’t want to do. This either calls for compromise or agreeing that there may be days where you split up and do your own thing.
- Map out a basic itinerary before you go to avoid wasting valuable time when you arrive.
- Consider booking activities in advance. There are plenty of early bird and online discounts available.
Things to do in New York City
Central Park Bike Tour
This cruisy tour highlights locations that have featured in movies and TV shows and visits some of the famous sites in Central Park.
The fully-guided ride lasts three hours and is paced for all capabilities. There is really no traffic to contend with apart from other cyclists, so it’s very safe.
For comfort, hire a basket for a small fee to hold your water bottle and bag.
Central Park Bike Tour: Starts at 892 9th Ave (between 57th & 58th St), NY.
Sex and the City tour
Think girls’ trip to New York City and you probably think about the Sex and the City tour.
Hop on a tour bus for three hours of laughs and flashbacks of the popular TV series, which ran from 1998-2004.
The tour visits locations from the most memorable episodes plus it treats you to a Magnolia Bakery cupcake, takes you to shop at the Pleasure Chest, includes a drink at Aiden’s bar and, of course, a visit to Carrie’s apartment.
On Location Tours: Pick up near 5th Ave and 58th St, NY (exact location given upon booking).
The High Line
This innovative park is the result of a local community concept transforming 2.3kms of disused railway line into public space.
The elevated rail line has been overhauled and features gardens, trees, public art and strategically located seating where you can sit and enjoy the city views.
Events are often held in the park so check the website before you visit.
The High Line: Runs from Gansevoort St to 34th St, with many access points.
See the Statue of Liberty by boat
A visit to the Big Apple is not complete without seeing the city’s leading lady, the Statue of Liberty.
This one-hour boat trip cruises right past Ellis Island and Liberty Island.
The commentary is informative, and they have a soundtrack of New York themed songs playing as you enjoy the views.
Hornblower Cruises and Events: Pier 15, East River Esplanade, NY.
Take the scenic walk across the famous bridge that connects the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn.
The views are spectacular and the bridge structure itself is impressive.
When you get to Brooklyn turn left and head into DUMBO, which stands for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass. This area is full of great restaurants and boutique shops.
Access the Brooklyn Bridge from Manhattan via the walkway starting from Park Row behind City Hall.
One World Observatory
Opened in 2015, this tower is located in the vicinity of the original twin towers which were tragically lost in the September 11 terrorist attacks.
At 1,776 feet tall, it is the tallest building in the western hemisphere. The observation deck is 102 stories high and the elevator whisks you up there in only 47 seconds.
Enjoy extensive views of Manhattan, Brooklyn and beyond.
One World Observatory: One World Trade Centre, 285 Fulton St, NY.
Where to eat and drink in New York City
Cocktails on a rooftop
Rooftop bars are a great way to enjoy the New York skyline while sipping on cocktails with your friends.
Here are some to consider:
Gallow Green: 542 West 27th St, NY
The Heights: 11 East 31st St, NY
La Birreria: 200 Fifth Ave, NY
Ophelia: 3 Mitchell Place (49th & 1st Ave) NY.
Once the home of the Oreo cookie, the Nabisco Factory has recently been converted into an indoor food market.
Hot dogs, tacos, cookies, pizza, doughnuts, brisket, lobster, clam chowder, oysters, burgers and ice cream are just some of the menu items available.
Chelsea Market: 75 9th Ave (between 15th and 16th St), Chelsea, NY
New York pizza
You absolutely must experience a slice of New York pizza during your visit. Slices are often supersize and cost just a few dollars.
There are many ways to eat this ginormous slice, but the New York style is to fold it in half and eat it standing or walking.
There are pizza joints on every block, but try Joe’s Pizza for the classic New York favourite.
Food cart walking tour
Combine food and sightseeing on a guided tour that takes you to a range of food carts.
For more than two hours you can enjoy up to six generous tastings from some of the street’s leading vendors.
Turnstile Tours: Midtown tours begin at the Bank of America Tower, corner 6th Avenue between 42nd and 43rd St. Financial District tours begin in the public atrium at 60 Wall St, NY.
Places to shop in New York City
Of course, every girls’ trip must include a bit of shopping.
Where this takes place will be determined by what you are looking to buy and the cash you are willing to splash.
A walk down Fifth Avenue is a must, even if it’s just to window shop.
Here are some options:
Macy’s: Herald Square Store, 151 West 34th St, NY
Old Navy: 150 West 34th St, NY
Century 21: Lincoln Square, 1972 Broadway, NY
Tiffany and Co: Flagship Store, 5th Ave and 57th St, NY
Nordstrom Rack: Union Square, 60 East 14th St, NY.
Where to stay in New York City
The Evelyn is a centrally located, beautiful art-deco boutique hotel.
Rooms are small but stylish and adequate. Front desk service is exceptional and standard hotel facilities are included such as a gym, restaurant, bar, lounge, free Wi-Fi and cafe.
The Evelyn: 7 East 27th St, NY.
Alternatively, Airbnb is a good option for groups. Get in early to select the best location and potentially a more affordable rate than hotels.
Try Hell’s Kitchen or the West Village, as both are good and accessible neighbourhoods. Consider the distance from the nearest subway station when selecting your accommodation as that is the most effective and affordable way to get around the city.
TELL US: Do you have any tips or recommendations for a trip to New York City? Share them in the comments section below.