Travel Diaries – New York City, USA

You might have thought it was impossible for me to fall in love with another city more than Oslo, but New York is definitely a strong contender! New York is the most inspiring city I have ever been to. People who say it’s like London are so wrong, it really isn’t. It’s bigger, it’s bolder and its like twenty times better. At first, it was a little daunting but by the end of the first day I was already horrified at the thought of leaving. I now want a holiday home in Holmenkollen and an apartment in New York for the Summer.

Flights: British Airways and American Airlines
Accommodation: The Roger Hotel, Midtown Manhattan
Recommendations: Coney Island, Little Italy Pizza and Walmart

Top Tips

Tip! – Yes, it’s true what they say, you have to tip. Most of the tips come up as options when you pay. So for example, when you’re handed the receipt, it will have suggestions on it of how much to tip – usually between 18% and 20%. The service is pretty exceptional over there though so they definitely deserve it.

Two meals a day – I could not stomach three meals a day, USA sized. No way. You order one thing and then they bring you extras for the table. Those extras are usually in the form of bread sticks, which in the USA are literally sticks of bread. There’s so much food in such large quantities that a big lunch and a big dinner are genuinely enough to keep you going throughout the day.

Get a metro card – A 7 day metro card costs about $30 and will give you access to all the trains around the city. New York is pretty easy to navigate, everything is in a grid and most of the lines run through to the most central locations like Times Square. They’re quick too and they have air conditioning.

Visit Coney Island – We went to Coney Island on 4th July, which was the perfect way to celebrate. Yes, it was absolutely heaving but it was so nice. It’s a great way to get a bit of beach relaxation time into your city trip, providing you with the best of both worlds. There are also lots of rides and a very picturesque boardwalk.

Check hotel fees – Every hotel has their own fees which they charge either at the beginning, end of per night of your stay. We got caught out with this as we booked with British Airways, who stated that we would have to pay a fee at the end of our stay. This was actually incorrect, as when we arrived, we were told that it is hotel policy to charge the room at $100 a night, which we would get back if we didn’t use anything from the minibar. So, always check direct with the hotel.

Brooklyn Bridge is a long walk – Brooklyn Bridge is the longest bridge I have ever walked in my life. Honestly, my feet were blistered so badly after crossing it. As stunning as the views are, it’s no joke. It’s genuinely a trek so don’t be fooled. Also, if you don’t like heights, maybe just avoid it altogether. The wooden slats look quite old and there are prominent gaps in them allowing you to look down at the moving cars below. I didn’t mind it but my friend was not comfortable walking across it at all.

Don’t plan – New York is such a cool city that it encourages you to be spontaneous. You can have a rough idea of where you want to go and what you want to see on each day, but leave yourself open to a bit of exploring too. It’s so easy to get the subway around and to figure out where you’re going because all of the streets are numbered.

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