A city that never sleeps. We found that to be pretty much true for New York. Museums, art galleries, smoky corners on busy streets, interesting buildings and, well, any kind of food you desire.

It's easy to give in to this city's seduction and find yourself falling asleep on the subway out of sheer exhaustion. New York will take everything you are willing to give (tasty, yet quite pricy)

View from the rooftop bar at Ink48

When it comes down to essentials, we found these a must see in New York:

Central Park

When in Central Park, have breakfast at the Loeb Boathouse and, if you have time, stop by the conservatory garden, which is especially stunning in spring.

On your way you might stumble upon keen bird-watchers, joggers, picnics and couples, looking for a romantic photo op under the trees.

If you like the Beatles, visit Strawberry Fields, a memorial to John Lennon, who was killed  in front of the Dakota building. There are always enough enthusiastic Beatle fans around to provide an ongoing Beatle playlist and worship.

Tribute to John Lennon

Grand Central Terminal is...well breathtaking. Busy, yet so much to experience.

Grand Central Terminal

When choosing between the hipster corners of Williamsburg, trendy Brooklyn and busy Manhattan, I found the Red Hook neighbourhood most pleasant, though also already positively hipster. The slightly empty, red-brick district seems perfect for urban solitude.

Veggie dish at The Good Fork

We ate at The Good Fork and found it delicious. Both veggie and meat versions of New American/Korean food were great, and so was the local bourbon.

Hipster bar in Red Hook with great coffee and super long wifi password

If you love books, you might want to stop by Bluestockings bookshop, always well stocked with progressive literature, be it political, novels or simply fun reads. 

Brooklyn Bridge

When it comes to food, we followed tips of ex-New Yorkers, guides and well, our nose. Culinary must-tries in New York:

  • Shake Shack burgers (they are good but fries not quite Brussels quality)
  • A cookie from Levain bakery (there's always a queue bit well worth it)
  • Doughnuts at the Doughnut Plant
  • Brunch at Williamsburg market

Snacks @ Williamsburg market

What can be said about cookies from Levain bakery is that they're the most delicious cookies I've ever had. You get them still warm, so the chocolate inside will melt at your first bite. It's hard to eat anything else after you've had one - they are a meal in themselves. There have been many attempts at trying to discover the secret recipe and we're for sure on a mission to create our own version. It is the sort of cookie that books are written about.

Walnut chocolate chip cookie from Levain bakery

Crème brûlée or a doughnut? Why choose?

When it comes to views, the Big Apple has many good ones. We checked the ones from the top of hotel Ink48 and the Top of the Rock (Rockefeller Center). Most of the famous spots will be crowded with other tourists, trying to snap a selfie. We found nice alternative views from the Staten Island Ferry, as well as from the Long Island City waterfront.

Manhattan view from Long Island City waterfront

If I can make it there
I’ll make it anywhere
It’s up to you
New York, New York

-Frank Sinatra

New York was interesting yet pricy. We became masters of calculating tips and found it quite expensive if you want to eat in restaurants. 

A melting pot of culture and class, this city has it all, and while it more often than not displays its glamorous side, there is a side of New York that breathes poverty and despair. It is a city of many faces, depending which one you want and can afford to see.

Lady Liberty from Ellis Island boat