Have you ever been to New York City? It’s quite magical, especially in winter, which is when I braved the cold and traveled there. I had never seen falling snow before and when I visited in March, it snowed on the last day I was there. It caught me off guard and was really cool! I’ve been to New York several times to visit family and sight-see; this time around I was interested in visiting local spots and staying within an affordable budget. If you’re interested in visiting NYC on a budget and still want to have a great time, see below for my top picks to stay, eat and play!
STAY: Yotel Hotel
Greg and I stayed at the Yotel Hotel and it was fantastic! We actually scored the hotel with a Priceline deal. I love Priceline’s name your own price and vacation package deals because you can get a hotel and flight for a really inexpensive price. We stayed for 3 days and payed $700 total for a flight with JetBlue and the Yotel Hotel for the two of us. The Yotel is a 4 star hotel that is extremely tech savvy and trendy. When you first enter the hotel, you can check in via their kiosk and then you go up the elevator to level FOUR which features a lounge, restaurant, computers and more. When you get to your hotel room, its decorated in a futuristic fashion and is energy and space efficient. My favorite thing was the cool LED lights in the room that emit a purple light. You can also switch from a couch to a bed in the room with their remote control feature. I definitely recommend this hotel as its within walking distance of Times Square and around a bunch of awesome restaurants near Hell’s Kitchen. It’s perfect for couples, a girls getaway, or spring break with friends.
EAT: Bouchon Bakery & The Shake Shack
Nestled in between the beautiful ice skating rink and Rockefeller Plaza, lies the quaint Bouchon Bakery. I fell in love with their macaroons a few years ago and had to take Greg to try them out. They also offer small meals like their incredible soups. On our last day of the trip, we stood in line in front of the Shake Shack right before it opened at 11AM. We actually couldn’t believe how crowded the line was so early in the morning, but apparently locals love this place and I can see why. The burgers are delicious with great ingredients and the shakes are so thick and creamy!
PLAY: Avenue Q, The High Line & American Museum of Natural History
I love going to Broadway plays but they can get expensive. I was lucky enough to purchase Avenue Q tickets through a discounted site and we saw the play for $45 each. The play was SOOO GOOD! I never thought watching puppets on stage would be so hilarious. The actors were phenomenal and I would definitely recommend it for a night out or date night. The singing was on point! I really enjoyed the High Line as well. It’s a little under 1.5 miles and it’s described as an elevated linear urban park. Bring your camera and sneakers and spend a gorgeous afternoon walking through the park. Since it’s elevated, you get to see several rooftops in the city and there are sitting areas and photo-ops everywhere. I also love the American Museum of Natural History. The suggested admission is $22 but you can choose to pay a different donation. We payed $5 each and spent an hour at the museum enjoying all of the culture and fun exhibits.
TIPS + TRICKS:
1) Check out discounted sites like Groupon or Living Social for reduced admission to museums, plays and restaurants.
2) Instead of grabbing a taxi at the airport, try Uber. We were able to snag a ride to our hotel for $40 with tip. They also have promo codes for NYC trips. It’s a great deal and our drivers were very nice!
3) Download a Subway app to help navigate your trip. I can’t tell you how helpful these apps were for me to find my way around the city!
Where are your favorite places to visit in New York City? Let me know in the comments section!