New York City Travel Guide

Best Places To Get A Bagel In NYC - New York City Travel Guide

Oh New York City, how I love you. I was born in New York, outside the city about 45 minutes. Both my parents are born and raised in New York and it is definitely a part of my identity. Although I may not have lived there long, I still consider myself a New Yorker. For many reasons. One, I’ll never forget being made fun of as a kid living in Montreal for saying “watermelon” funny (I mean it’s WOR-ter-melon, right?) and I attribute my fast paced, no bull shit attitude to my New York roots that were instilled in me by my parents at a young age. We visited often in the summers, and now go back every so often. Myself more for work and pleasure too.

New York City is a massive yet also tiny island. It’s exhausting but also inspiring. It gets me excited and also has me feeling immense regret that I never lived there in my early 20s. So many emotions when I’m in the city but I can 100% attest that I feel MOST at home in this city than almost anywhere else in the world, that even includes Atlanta. The people, the vibe, the culture, I see myself more in New York and the people than I do anywhere else.

NYC is quite big so although this New York City travel guide is just a list of my personal favorite things, it may not make ANY sense to visit this one restaurant in the East Village. Or to treck up to the Upper West Side for a Levain cookie. But if you can, go, the cookie is insane. These are my favorite places that I’ve been to after years of visiting the city. I clearly have more to add to the list so now I’m debating another trip to expand my list of restaurants! Bu here are my favorite things to see, eat and do in NYC.

Getting To New York City

Flying In – It seems as though each airport has their people. I personally usually fly into Laguardia (LGA). A complete shit storm of an airport, but closest to the city. There’s a bus you can take to get into the city that takes you to Port Authority for all of $16. But then consider where you’re staying from there. I typically just take a taxi and it’s always around $55. I’ve heard JFK is much more enjoyable in terms of the airport itself, but it’s not super close to Manhattan so your cab ride may be much longer and more expensive. I say, choose what’s more important. Flight times/budget and if you’re willing to spend more time in the car. And always consider where you’re staying in the city as it may play a role in which airport you should fly into.

taxis in NYC - how to get around NYC

Getting Around Town

I am ALL ABOUT that subway life. You can just use your iPhone Maps App and switch your directions to transit and it will show you which station to walk to, which line to take in which direction and so on. It’s insanely easy. I highly recommend the subway since it’s faster, cheaper and honestly, super easy. It’s safe, just as always be aware of your surroundings and don’t be an idiot.

There are also Ubers/Lyft and lots of taxis. Just hail a cab by holding up your hand, it’s truly that simple. Well if there’s a cab nearby that’s available. Always look for the light in the middle to be lit to know if it’s available! And don’t forget that cabs turn over at 4pm which makes it nearly impossible to get one at times.

New York City Travel Guide

My Favorite Neighborhoods

New York City can be a little confusing since there are boroughs and neighborhoods. NYC Is made up of 5 boroughs. Manhattan (where all of this post is a guide to), Brooklyn, the Bronx, Staten Island, and Queens. But within Manhattan are loads of great neighborhoods. Here are some of my favorite because they’re full of great restaurants, are charming and where I’d like to live one day.

Lower East Side – Also known as Alphabet City, this part of town is an eclectic part of town that was more recently gentrified. There is still a ton of Jewish heritage here as it is home to Katz’s Deli and Russ & Daughters. Personally, skip Katz’s and definitely hit up R&D (bagel seen above is from them!)

Chelsea – One of my favorite neighborhoods in the city. It’s so charming and full of residential streets. It’s also home to Chelsea Market, a must visit place for all the best food. Plus, it’s where you can pick up the High Line. An elevated walkway through the city. This is one of the best things to do in the spring time!

Greenwich Village – Below Chelsea, is Greenwich Village. Nearby is Meatpacking District and the West Village. So many great little restaurants in this area and stunning homes. A few must-visit spots in this area is Washington Square Arch

Where To Eat

Breakfast & Brunch

Russ & Daughters
Russ & Daughters Cafe
Le Pain Quotodien
Citizens of Chelsea
Any Bodega Near You (no seriously)

Quick & Casual

by Chloe
Dig Inn
Urbanspace Vanderbilt – Food Hall
Chelsea Market – Food Hall
Gotham Market – Food Hall
Citizens of Chelsea

Lunch & Dinner

Cafe Medi
ABC Cocina
Quality Meats
Room Service
The Spotted Pig

Coffee, Cocktails, Pizza & More!

Coffee Shops, Juices & Treats

Cha Cha Matcha
Van Leewans
Levain Bakery – best cookie ever
Big Gay Ice Cream
Stumptown Coffee Roasters
Joe Coffee Company
Magnolia Bakery
La Colombe

Pizza & Bars

Mr. Purple
Frying Pan
No Fun
Air’s Champagne Parlor
Emily Pizza
2 Bro’s Pizza – $1/slice can’t beat it
Artichoke Pizza

Where To Stay
Hotel Indigo Lower East Side - Room

Hotel Indigo Lower East Side – read the post

Langham Hotel – read the post


Ace Hotel

The New York EDITION

Sites To See
New York City Skyline, things to see in New York City - Travel Guide

Top Of The Rock – Rockefeller Center observation deck. Amazing views of the city. I’d say give yourself at least an hour to do this

Central Park – Stay as short or as long as you like. You could easily spend half a day here!

Empire State Building – I have always been told to go to Top Of The Rock to see the Empire State Building, no need to visit it.

Flatiron Building – A popular photographic corner that’s also close to Eataly!

Rockefeller Center – While at Top Of The Rock, be sure to visit Rockefeller Center and go ice skating if it’s open!

St. Patricks Cathedral – Across from Rockefeller Center

The Met – Metropolitan Museum Of Art

9/11 Museum & Observation Deck – Get the tissues ready, this was the toughest museum I’ve been to next to the Holocaust Museum. It’s really the only museum as a millennial that we can walk through and remember it happening.

Grand Central Station – A bustling destination. Visit the oyster bar upstairs for a cocktail and oysters!

Times Square – An absolute zoo, but worth a quick visit if you’ve never been.

Empire State Building – I’ve personally never done this!

What To Pack

Must Pack Items

There are a few things I always recommend having on hand when you’re visiting NYC. An external charger (you’ll be relying heavily on your phone for Maps and subway info or ordering an Uber). Plus, comfortable shoes. You’ll be doing a ton of walking and the comfier the shoes the better. I’m almost always in a sneaker in NYC. I also usually like to carry bags that can hold extra items like a backpack or tote. This makes it easier since you’ll spend most of your day away from the hotel exploring and you’ll want to pack essentials like a water bottle, external charger and so on. If there’s a chance of rain, be sure to pack an umbrella just in case.

Instagram Worthy

Best Photo Spots in NYC

Photos in NYC make me SO insanely happy. They’re some of my most favorite content I’ve ever created for the blog. The city has so much character. And there’s a million great places to shoot. Below are a few personal favorites (although I have yet to do Brooklyn Bridge). If you’re looking for photographers to work with in the area I recommend Allie Provost or Lydia Hudgens.

  • Brooklyn Bridge
  • Minneta Street x Minnetta Lane (photo to the right was taken on that street)
  • Flatiron Building (Broadway & 5th for that iconic shot!)
  • Central Park Gapstow Bridge
  • Plaza Hotel
  • Washington Square Park
  • Grand Central Station (inside or outside!)
  • Tribeca (anywhere, but Vestry Street x Greenwich Street are in my opinion most iconic to the neighborhood vibe)
  • Top Of The Rock – TIP, go up one story while your subject is on the viewing deck to get an epic shot!

Photos by Hannah Lozano

Jessica is an Atlanta life and style blogger. Aiming to bring practical tips to your every day life. Tips that you can easily tackle and make your life feel just a tad more 'put-together'.

Leave a Comment


  1. 5.30.19

    The subway is ESSENTIAL for experiencing all the city offers. Great travel guide, Jessica!

    Affordable by Amanda

  2. 5.30.19
    Rachel said:

    This post is phenomenal! I have never been to New York (I know, I know) and am itching to go this summer/fall since it’s such a short plane ride from Boston. Definitely adding all of these places to my list!


    • 5.30.19
      Jessica said:

      I just still can’t believe that it’s so close to you!!

  3. 5.31.19

    Thank you for this in deoth roundup! Super helpful. And that bagel looks divine!!?

  4. 6.1.19
    Lisa Autumn said:

    Oh i need to travel to NYC one day!

    x Lisa |

    • 6.1.19
      Jessica said:

      Yes you do it’s so great! And can honestly be done on a budget too

  5. 8.17.19
    Mira said:

    I’m going to New York in a few weeks & your post is absolutely amazing! So helpful and detailed!