I was fortunate enough a few years back to be able to plan a weeklong trip to New York City that allowed me to experience a lot of what the city has to offer. Although I was a student, and thus my funds were quite short, I had acquired enough that would allow me to visit enough of the must-see attractions to make my trip unforgettable.
During one summer vacation, my friends and I decided to road trip it to New York City for one fun-filled week. We booked ourselves into the cheapest hostel
we could find and bunked up for the duration of our trip. Being able to save precious money on our accommodations left us lots for much more important things like sightseeing and experiencing the city in all its glory. The hostel was clean, but incredibly hot and stuffy when trying to sleep as there was no air conditioning and the weather was very hot while we were there. Nevertheless, our accommodations were great for what we needed, as we didn’t spend any time there except to sleep.
One full week proved to be the perfect amount of time to see the sights and deplete our cash. The subway became our friend, and enabled us to visit all the major areas of the city including Greenwich Village, SoHo, Harlem, and Upper, Mid, and Lower Manhattan. We spent a lot of time in Time Square, not so much because we wanted to but because we were subconsciously drawn to it. It seemed like almost every day we ended up in Time Square at some point. We also spent a good part of one day wondering around Central Park. You never really appreciate its size until you are inside it and try to navigate your way through it.
Because of our meager funds, we were unable to spend much time shopping which was a bit heartbreaking being in a fashion hotspot. I plan to return with more spending money so that I can take full advantage of the shopping next time. Instead of spending our money on shopping, we put it towards seeing many of the city’s sites and attractions. We took the ferry to the Statue of Liberty, went up the Empire State Building, went to the Metropolitan Museum and the Guggenheim, took a tour of Rockefeller Center and NBC Studios, toured Wall Street and Ground Zero, and visited the United Nations.
If that still doesn’t seem like enough, we were also lucky enough to score some last minute student-discount tickets to two Broadway shows. These shows actually ended up being my favorite part of the whole trip. We got to see the Phantom of the Opera and The Producers and for both shows we had pretty fantastic seats. It was a special highlight of our trip because we hadn’t gone expecting to be able to see anything.
Finally, no trip to New York City would be complete without experiencing some of the nightlife. We went out one night in Harlem and one night in the meat packing district. Both nights were fun and offered completely different experiences. It added a little something extra to our trip and made us feel a little less touristy for a minute or two.