New York City Travel Guide – All you need to know to plan your visit for all budgets!

You guys know I just got back from NYFW and one of the most asked questions was about places to stay and to eat so I thought after visiting the city for the 7th time I can share a thing or two! I’ll tackle this New York City Guide based on questions I received from you guys via Instagram DM’s and the overall opinion I have, so let’s do this – Warning: I tried to find pics dating back 2013, not very successful but loads of good info here!

Which airport to fly to?

NYC has three main airports, JFK which is the fanciest and biggest. It’s in the city and requires more time to commute depending on where you will be staying on the island of Manhattan. LaGuardia is my favorite, much smaller, much less glam but SO EASY to get around it. Commuting to it is much faster since it’s located in Queens. The last one is Newark, which is technically in New Jersey but just as far as JFK to get around. Newark was the very first airport I flew in when I arrived in the US coming from Brazil, so it holds a special place in my heart. But it’s expensive to travel to the city. Around $85 in comparison to $45 from Laguardia (travel to midtown).

Best Places to Stay in New York

The first time I went I stayed with a friend in New Jersey (talk about being in a major budget). Jersey is just a train ride away and much much cheaper to stay, if you’re looking into visiting NYC in a very tight budget this can be an option, food is also more affordable, and guess what? They don’t tax clothing!! Ha, bet you didn’t know that!! You can also bring your own bottle of vino and consume it in restaurants in New Jersey. Yeah, babe, that’s what I’m talking about!! Hehe

I have also stayed in Queens at another friend building which was incredible, her apartment had huge windows that overlooked the skyline of manhattan. Queens actually have the best views of the island. It’s trendy and safe. It’s one subway stop from manhattan and we walked back to her place at night just fine. They have amazing restaurants and small clubs that are much less crowded than NYC places and equally fun!

Now if you choose to stay in Manhattan, it’s absolutely amazing! I’ve stayed in the Times Square / Broadway area before. It’s fun if you’re looking to get the feel of NYC entertainment and iconic touristic places. It’s busy and there’s a lot of cool places to see in the area. However, if you’re looking for a more low key but equally exciting place to stay I can’t recommend the Soho/Tribeca area enough. It has more of a neighboorhood feel with other iconic (think buildings with the emergency stairs out, hi-end designer shopping, Little Italy and amazing restaurants). I have friends who live in Midtown and it’s a more business-y area with lots of great shopping and sightseeing.

Many of you asked for hotel recommendations. My two favorites are right by one another: 11 Howard and NoMo, in Soho.

If you love views and windows you’ll die over the NoMo, request a corner room for front and side views and a huge window from the shower!

More into a fancy vibe and amazing service? You’ll enjoy the 11 Howard, they hand you a water bottle every time you go in and out of the hotel.

Places to See:

Empire State Building, super crowded but nothing beats these views. Top fo The Rock; can be crowded unless you got early in the morning. Views are just as breathtaking. I actually like TOTR more than ESB. These are paid attractions.

Karina Reske | NYC | Top of The Rock

Flat Iron District; has the iconic triangle-shaped building. I love that’s right by Eataly, a sort of an Italian market with small little Italian restaurants and a grocery store with all Italian Specialties!

Karina Style Diaries Flat Iron district New York city guide

Central Park; must confess I never spent too much time there regretfully. It’s on the to-do list for the next visit. I’ve passed by and saw the amazing views of the surrounding buildings that look just like the movies!

Rockefeller Center: where the ice rink is set up in the wintertime, this square has flags of all countries in the word and it’s the home of some of the biggest news channels in America. Close by is the Times Square; where all the Broadway shows are featured, some TV stations are housed as well as where the huge lightning billboards flash day and night. All of the above are free attractions and anyone can stop by and snap pics + explore!

Karina Reske and Karin in Rockefeller center

Statue Of Liberty; I only saw it the first time I went to NYC. They offer several tours and the one we took was not the one that goes to the statue, we just sailed by it in the boat. It’s pretty incredible even from afar. I would love to go back and explore inside of it. Paid attraction.

Restaurants

Some of my friends want their fix of shake shack when in NYC, which to me is no different than McDonald’s, not trying to be stuck up here guys, I just like really good food. New York is the home of thousands of immigrants, and the best place to explore good worldly food! Yes, it can get expensive unfortunately but you can budget for one amazing meal a day and grab snacks on the go like the many juice/salad places they have around town!

Any restaurant in Little Italy is amazing, you really can’t go wrong. We found the cutest hole in the wall the Australian Ruby’s, a little tight joint that looks crowded and uncomfortable but has seriously amazing dishes! The Mercer Kitchen is an all American elevated restaurant. Officina Latina has authentic Mexican and amazing spicy margaritas! Their truffle oil pizza is fantastic! These are the ones I remember that are worth the mention. Do brunch! The Smith, Lafayette Bakery and 1803 NYC,

Other Things to Do:

Besides sightseeing and eating amazing food: Any SATC fans in the house? Take the SATC Tour! It’s so much fun and will take you back to Carrie Bradshaw and crew days! See a Broadway show, last year I saw Wicked with a friend and it was such a surreal experience. Check the Broadway website prior to traveling because they run sales all the time! Lastly, go shopping friend!!! I usually save money to shop in NYC because they have the best variety of shops. 5th Ave and Broadway St. have everything you can think of! Also, a memorable mention is Showfields, it’s a new concept of retail that features small booths with all kinds of genuine merch and a shopping experience like no other.

I hope this was informative and helpful for you to plan your next visit to New York City!

Beijos,

-K