NYC in 48 Hours: Tips for a Weekend Getaway

Oh my goodness, where do I even start to describe my weekend in NYC?!?

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This weekend was filled with lots of walking, amazing views, and phenomenal food.  Here’s my recommendation to make the most out of a weekend in New York City:

Food: 

I love, love, love the food I got to try while in the city! For brunch the first day of the trip, I went to Bonjour and had a delicious strawberry Nutella crepe.

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For dinner, we went to Rocky’s Pizza, and had ravioli pizza.  Let’s just say its a good thing that place is not in Boston, otherwise I would be eating there daily.

For dessert, we went to Cookie DŌ NYC.  I tried three flavors, puppy chow cookie batter, sugar cookie dough, and the classic chocolate chip cookie dough.  This cookie dough was very yummy, but I’d recommend going earlier in the day.  We went late at night and there was a fairly long line.  However, the line moves quickly and we were able to be served 20 minutes.

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For brunch on Sunday, we went to Sarabeth’s right off of Central Park.  You can make reservations, or wait for a table.  We didn’t make reservations, and ended up waiting about 25 minutes.  The food was moderately priced, but well worth it! I got scrambled eggs and a blueberry scone.  I can’t wait to go back and eat more of those scones! My friend Christa got a cheese omelet and a croissant (pictured below).

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I have linked all of the restaurants’ websites so you can take a look at the menus and make planning your meals for the trip a little easier!

Attractions: 

New York Public Library: Attention all nerds, this site is a must see! The New York Public Library is the fourth largest library in the world.  I walked through rows and rows of beautifully bound books.  If I lived closer, I would go there every day to study.  It was so peaceful and full of rich history.  Definitely put this stop on your list if you enjoy reading!

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Grand Central: Ok so this stop is definitely a little cliche, but walking through here is a a must.  The hustle and bustle of this train station will give you a true NYC vibe.  The terminal was constructed in 1913, and the design will leave you in awe.

Broadway/ Times Square: if you love musicals, going to a show on Broadway is a must! I saw Anastasia and was blown away by the talent in the show. If you plan ahead of time, you can usually get reasonably priced tickets (we sat in nearly the last row and still had a great view of the stage). There is also the option to try and get rush tickets the day of the show, which is a cheaper option to be able to see some of the best shows on Broadway. However, there is a chance they could be sold out by the time you get there, so if you’re planing to do this, be flexible with your schedule so you could go the next day if you miss out on tickets.

Also, while you’re in the area, take a walk through Times Square. The buildings will amaze you. It was surreal to see the giant billboards that I’ve always seen on TV during the New Year’s Rockin Eve special. Hopefully next time I go back, it will be a little less windy and warmer so I can walk around longer!

Central Park: I am a big fan of being outside, so walking through one of the most famous parks in the country was a must. However, it was extremely cold and super windy the day we went, so our walk was cut fairly short. I’m hoping to go back in the spring when everything turns green again and doesn’t look like a frozen tundra. I also plan on packing my running shoes for the next trip so I can take a jog through the park.

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The Met:

This was the last stop on our trip so we didn’t spend too much time here. Unfortunately the lines to get into the exhibits in the MET were too long (we had only an hour or so there before we had to head back home) so we didn’t get to see the exhibits. I’m putting this at the top of my list for my next trip. However, the outside of the building was beautiful and we still got some great pictures there!

Also, you can save money if you’re planning to go to multiple museums on your trip by buying a city pass, which allows you to visit all the museums for a bundled price. Click here for the link to purchase a city pass.

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Transportation and Hotel: 

Getting to NYC: I took the Amtrak train, and would highly recommend for anyone living on the east coast.  It was relatively inexpensive ($49 each way) and easy to navigate.  I got to the train station about 30 minutes before departure, and still had plenty of time to find my platform and even grab a quick breakfast.  I arrived in the city about 4 hours later.  It was a quick walk to the subway and then it was off to my hotel!

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My view from the train.

Where to stay: My friend Christa found an Airbnb for us to stay on the Upper East Side ($89 per night).  Click the link to find your next place to stay while traveling.  The room was about the standard size of a hotel room and was a quick walk to the subway.  With the room, we also had access to a kitchen, which made bringing leftovers back to the room very convenient! I’d highly recommend staying there because it was only a 5-10 minute walk to Central Park and there were tons of restaurants right down the street.

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How to navigate: I recommend taking the subway while in the city.  It costs about $3 per trip, and if you plan on being there more than 2 days, it is worth it to get the 7-day unlimited pass (cost is $31).  You can also take an Uber in between your various destinations, but it will be a little more expensive.  As I am traveling on a grad student budget, I try to save money where I can, so I definitely recommend taking public transportation when possible.  I looked up the address prior to leaving on Google Maps, which provides the quickest route to get to your destination as well as times for subway trains.

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Penn Station: This was my view right before getting back on the train to head home.

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I am already planning my next trip back! I cannot wait to return back to this wonderful city.  Do you have any favorite spots in the city that you recommend??

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