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New York, New York - Our first trip to the Big Apple

Updated: Mar 25, 2023

New York here we come! Some time has passed since my last blog entry. In the meantime, there are only 45 days left until departure and the whole family is getting more nervous by the day. The mood is pulsating. The "Big Apple", as the world-famous metropolis is still called, has had a strong attraction for globetrotters and emigrants for many years. In this melting pot, the possibilities are even a touch more unlimited than in the rest of the United States, it seems. That's exactly where we want to go: my wife, our two children and me. It will be exciting, that much is certain.

A blog full of anticipation

Most travel bloggers write their travel reports only during the trip or shortly afterwards. They report how it is or was in a foreign country and draw on their experiences. I want to do that too, of course, but I also want to let others share in my anticipation and the information we've gathered so far. A lot has come together in the last few months and that can be quite helpful if you want to go to the city that never sleeps.

„I want to wake up in a city, that never sleeps.”

Frank Sinatra

Six days time

In total, we will stay overnight in New York six times. We will land in Newark on the afternoon of 1 July, most likely wait two hours at immigration and finally, overtired, take a taxi to our hotel Hotel Element Times Square West . Knowing us, however, we will only pause briefly and throw ourselves into the fray as quickly as we can. We will spend the first four and the last two nights of our four-week USA trip in New York. In the end, we booked a room at the Margaritaville Resort Times Square. The extraordinary hotel on 7th Avenue has a fitness centre, a pool and supposedly a real Caribbean feeling in the middle of an excellent location.

Im Margaritaville Resort Times Square verbringen wir leider nur zwei Nächte.

A little info about New York

Before we start our travels, we always inform ourselves about our next destination. We don't read scientific treatises, but we want to know at least the basics of how the country and its people are perceived by other travellers, and we look at a few historical key points. Not only our children, but also we learn a lot of new things. There is a lot to learn about New York in particular. The city on the east coast of the United States is located in the state of the same name and, with almost nine million inhabitants (officially), is the most populous city in the USA. According to Forbes magazine, the city with the incredible number of sights is the one with the highest cost of living in the United States and has been one of the most expensive cities in the world for decades.

Many international corporations and organisations have their headquarters in New York (e.g. the United Nations) and it is an important centre of international diplomacy. New Yorkers are very proud of their city with over 500 galleries, 150 theatres, 200 museums and over 18,000 restaurants. 50 million visitors a year can't be wrong. The choice of hotels and accommodation is also almost endless. You have to visit New York at least once. But what should you see in what is certainly far too short a time? This question kept us busy for quite a long time and still does.

What we want to see in New York

There are many wonderful cities, but when it comes to the number of sights, New York is definitely at the top of the list. On our city trips so far, we have got into the habit of not just rushing from one highlight to the next. We want to internalise the flair of a city, feel the lifestyle and inhale the scent (which is not the best idea in some cities). We want to talk to some locals, eat what is eaten there and also take something with us that cannot be found in every travel guide. Nevertheless, we also want to see some of the well-known highlights. That will be difficult.

Of the most famous spots, the following are on our list:
  • Statue of Liberty: we want to see the old lady on Liberty Island as part of a boat tour. We don't want to go to the island itself.

  • Times Square: the square at the intersection of Broadway and Seventh Avenue is the centre of the most famous theatre district in the world. From our first hotel we will walk about 20 minutes to the "Center of the Universe".

  • Broadway: Here we want to see a musical with the children. Let's see if we can get reasonably priced tickets.

  • Central Park: A trip to New York's green lung with the kids is a must. Equipped with all kinds of food and a double litre of Coke, we want to spend at least two to three hours in Manhattan's city park. The 349-hectare park has several bodies of water and several playgrounds.

  • Grand Central Station: The station with the most tracks in the world (67 tracks end at 44 platforms) is one of our son's wishes - he loves trains and train travel more than anything else - which is why we will certainly test the New York Metro sufficiently.

  • One World Trade Center: The tallest building in the city at Ground Zero (541.3 metres) is worth a visit. Right next to it is the ...

  • 9/11 Memorial: The National September 11 Memorial and Museum (also 9/11 Memorial) is the central memorial to this historic day. We would like to visit the attached museum.

  • High Line: The High Line is a 2.33 kilometre long former goods train track that has been converted into a recreational area. Nearby is the ...

  • Chelsea Market: In a former factory building (Biscuit Company - where the Oreo biscuits were developed) there is now a great culinary hot spot with many different restaurants and food stalls. We'll be sure to fortify ourselves there after a walk along the Highline.

  • Brooklyn Bridge: At New York's most famous bridge, we plan to watch the big fireworks on 4 July, Independence Day.

If we manage to see these sights in six days, we also want to get off the beaten track a little. We have already picked out a few tips from the lesser-known New York:

  • Red Hook Brooklyn: The former harbour district, which is not so easy to reach by public transport, offers a great view of the Statue of Liberty and a few brilliant restaurants.

  • Abandoned Metro Station under City Hall: This lost place under City Hall was closed in 1945 and is said to still be accessible. It's worth a try. The Ghostbusters say hello!

  • Four Freedoms Park: From this place at the southern tip of Manhattan you have a great view of the skyline - from the side that is rarely photographed!

  • The Vessel: An impressive building near the High Line, made entirely of stairs.

  • Museum of Ice Cream: Nothing to write home about, right?

  • Brooklyn Bridge Park: Find a nice spot with a coffee-to-go and enjoy the view of the world-famous bridge.

  • Free concert in Bryant Park

  • A tour with the Big Apple Greeter Service: Here, real New Yorkers offer free tours and show visitors their city - you won't see it like this anywhere else:

If we manage to do all that, we can be proud. I am already curious how many kilometres we will cover on foot in New York.

A very good tip is the various "New York Passes". With them, you can visit selected sights at a reduced price. On our favourite website about New York you can find a very good comparison of the different passes:

It's best to compare what is most worthwhile for your desired spots!

Also check out my other travel blogs, especially this one if you are interested in the USA:

Maybe there's something in there for you. In my next blog I will write about our planned route through Florida. In the meantime, the excitement has grown even more.

We look forward to your feedback and are open to a lively exchange. You also want to travel, like to travel often and have a question, just write us and comment.

Kind regards,

Steffi, Max and the kids

(Author of this blog: Max)

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The classic and the baseball caps. This baseball cap is world famous and available in different colours!

You can bring the New York flair home with it.

If that's not cool?


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