“I can’t believe you have never been to New York”! That is what everyone says after we tell them this is our first time in NYC, so go ahead and join the chorus. It has always been on our list but work and our few weeks of vacation each year never brought us to NYC. This year, we decided to make up for that glaring gap in our travels. With so few direct flight options from Phoenix to Europe we decided a stopover in New York would be the perfect solution.
We are now true New Yorkers! We lived in Hell’s Kitchen, ate Pizza, Bagels and Pastrami, had Manhattans at the Dead Rabbit pub and actually found the door to an unmarked speakeasy.
We stood on the wrong platform waiting for a subway train that never came and found our way through the maze that is Penn Station in order to catch a train to Newark. We biked around Central park, walked the Highline, Chelsea market, Little Island and across the Brooklyn Bridge. We went to the Met Gala….ok, we looked at pictures of all the famous people at the Met Gala online then we went to the Met on a rainy day a few days later. But we looked fabulous in our raincoats after walking through Central Park in the pouring rain and gale force winds, just like the Gala attendees.
We spent our entire week in Manhattan leaving the exploration of the other boroughs for another trip. Our only exceptions were a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge for a drink at the Time Out Market and our trip out to Ellis Island which I think is technically in New Jersey. For my budget minded friends Manhattan is the most expensive city in the country rivaled only by San Francisco. You will be hard pressed to sit down at any bar or restaurant and not drop at least $50. You could however hang out at Rudy’s Bar and Grill in Hell’s Kitchen drinking $4 beers and eating free hot dogs but you would miss a lot of the city.
We did stop in for a beer (me), a whiskey (Kelly)and a bit of people watching, but no free hotdog. Our bill totaled $11, even with the almost mandatory 20% tip we were only up to $13. In the rest of NYC $10 dollar beers are common as are $20 glasses of wine and cocktails. We split a delicious pastrami sandwich at Katz’s Deli, $27, that was just one sandwich!
The Highline and Brooklyn
For lodging we rented an en suite room in an apartment we shared with owner Jordan and his girlfriend, both are PhD candidates at Columbia. We hardly saw them all week but it was a very nice experience for our first shared airbnb. Cost with tax and fees was still $183 a night but significantly less than most hotels, the Holiday Inn Times Square was quoting $400 a night!
We bought New York Passes for the week which is basically pre-paying for most of your tourist attractions. The pass will get you access to over 70 tours, activities and museums. We spent $269 each for a 1 person 7 day pass. The cost if we bought tickets for each of our activities separately?
Circle line boat tour $45
The Ride $80
Empire State observation deck $48
One World Trade Center observation deck $47
9/11 Museum $30
Ellis island Boat trip $ 31
Bike tour of Central Park $51
St Patrick’s Cathedral tour $23
Total $355 per person
KayMay 11, 2022 at 5:27 am
Sounds like y’all had an amazing week!!!!
DeniseMay 11, 2022 at 9:02 am
Like you, I’d never been to NYC until last fall. My bestie and I took the train up from Richmond and stayed with her daughter before heading to Greece. I think I spent more in NYC in four days than two weeks in Greece lol. But it was worth it, I loved it, and will be there again this fall for a couple of days. There is just SO much to do, see, eat and drink!
G&KMay 11, 2022 at 9:24 am
Loved NYC but loving Barcelona’s prices much more, we had some $2 a glass local wine last night that was better than anything we had for $20 a glass in NYC.
Amy Daly-DonovanMay 11, 2022 at 9:30 pm
Let me know the name of the place! 🙂
G&KMay 12, 2022 at 10:21 pm
If you signed up for Adrian’s food tour he will take you there and plenty others.
Diana GiusepponeMay 11, 2022 at 12:18 pm
As a native New Yorker I am thrilled you enjoyed my city. Please come back!
And just FYI, as a native, we consider Ellis Island
Loved your blog and happy travels
Travel with Kevin and RuthMay 11, 2022 at 10:08 pm
Nice blog. I like the informative style and the fact that you give prices for things.
G&KMay 12, 2022 at 10:18 pm
Thanks, I am glad you enjoyed it. I always like to talk about budget and costs as it is the first question on most peoples minds.
MavisMay 12, 2022 at 4:41 pm
What a wonderful read — glad you two are having such adventures!
G&KMay 12, 2022 at 10:15 pm
Thanks, I am sure our paths will cross again soon,
MicheleMay 20, 2022 at 7:12 am
We were in Barcelona at the same time! We loved it. I am sorry to see your post after we got home as a food tour with Adrian sounds marvelous. It would have been fun to arrange to meet in person to swap tips and stories. We were connected back when we all lived in WS. Love hearing about your trips and travels.
G&KMay 20, 2022 at 10:05 am
Sorry we missed you, maybe next time. Our travel schedule is on our website.