My first time to visit New York was nothing short of oohs and ahhs. I’ve seen a lot of movies and heard a lot of songs, but if there’s anything at all that I’ve learned during my two-month stay, it’s that the Big Apple is indeed everything they paint it to be.
Apart from all the tourist-y clichés written in my travel guide, I had another checklist on hand as I tried to satisfy my New York wanderlust. You see, there are about hundreds of things that a first-timer can do in the city that never sleeps, but if you’re a girl who’s not just after a typical itinerary, then here are some that you might want to prioritize above all else.
1. Have breakfast at Tiffany’s.
Yes, literally! Channel your inner Audrey Hepburn while strolling around one of the best and most expensive shopping districts in the world. Pack a bagel or buy a two-dollar pretzel right in front of Tiffany & Co.’s main store along Fifth Avenue, and get a feel of what it’s like to be Holly Golightly for a day.
2. Get a good look at the New York City skyline.
The Top of the Rock Observation Deck and One World Trade Center also offer an incredible view of New York, but personally, I feel like it’s impossible to leave the city without going to the top of the Empire State Building. Others call it a tourist trap, but given that it’s one of the world’s most iconic skyscrapers, I call it a must.
3. See a Broadway show.
Because if you don’t see one, then you haven’t really been to New York.
4. Visit Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment.
It’s been nearly two decades since Sex and the City last aired, but please do tell me you know what I’m talking about? Acquaint yourself with Carrie Bradshaw (a.k.a. Sarah Jessica Parker’s most fashionable on-screen portrayal) by visiting her iconic brownstone apartment located at 64 Perry St. in Manhattan’s West Village. However, when taking pictures, do remember that it’s a private residence. So keep calm as you Carrie on!
5. Satisfy your sweet tooth.
Speaking of film locations, included in my checklist was the famous Serendipity 3 restaurant at the Upper East Side where John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale had their unforgettable date in the classic 2001 rom-com Serendipity. It offers really good desserts, and its frozen hot chocolate is a total must-try—it’s the same thing they ordered in the film, by the way. But if, for some twisted reason, you’re not into milk shakes, there are always lots of other IG-worthy treats to try in New York. The rainbow bagel, perhaps?
6. Pull a Blair Waldorf and sit on the steps of the Met.
If you’re a huge Gossip Girl fan like I am, then the Metropolitan Museum of Art should be at the top of your priority list. It’s also the largest museum in the United States. So after you’re done taking a picture and pulling a Blair Waldorf at the Met steps, be sure to go in and check what’s inside. Trust me, you’ll instantly feel more ~*cultured*~.
7. Explore Central Park.
Central Park is the most frequently visited urban park in the United States for a reason. There’s always loads to see and do, since it’s more than 750 acres of land housing multiple attractions, including playgrounds, fountains, and famous sculptures and architecture. It’s especially beautiful during spring and fall (which was too bad since I only had the chance to visit it in the winter), and you’re going to need a map or its downloadable app if you’re planning to explore the entire park.
8. Ride the subway.
The New York City Subway is one of the largest, busiest, yet most efficient rapid transit rail systems in the world. It was nearly impossible for me to figure out how the transfers work without getting lost a couple of times. But it really is the best way to experience the city—getting lost included. So if you want to make the most of your stay in the Big Apple, I suggest you muster enough guts, figure out how to navigate a map, prepare for long walks, and learn how to commute—in heels, if you dare.
9. Forget about your diet… at least for now.
It’s neither the time nor the place to do some calorie counting. Loosen up and go take a bite of that sumptuous Shake Shack Shroom Burger. For goodness' sake, you’re in New York—no regrets, just love!
This article originally appeared on StyleBible.ph. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.