New York City is a wonderful place, and we'd highly suggest that everyone throws it onto their bucket list as a destination they need to visit before time's up. Even if you aren't a big fan of the United States you should certainly entertain the thought of going to NYC, if only because there are millions of people who will back up the claim that it's one of the greatest cities on Earth.
Of course, with every high profile location, there are going to be some negatives, as is the case again here. Some of them are minor and others are slightly more irritating, but it's all the same kind of thing if you're the one who experiences it. At the end of the day, there are always going to be tourists roaming the streets there - but it's just a little bit overbearing at times.
Don't get us wrong, we'd highly suggest that you still do all twenty activities on this list, but you just need to be smart about your timing. Some of the selections may take a little bit longer to queue up for than others, and sometimes, you may wait all day long to no avail.
New Yorkers themselves have even pointed out these issues, which shouldn't really come as much of a surprise given that anyone who lives in a popular tourist area gets sick of it eventually. That doesn't really sound like we're selling NYC to you all that well, but trust us, by the time this article is all said and done we have a suspicion that you'll be looking up flight prices to the Big Apple.
20 OVERRUN: Statue of Liberty - So. Many. People
The Statue of Liberty really is a fantastic symbol of hope, courage and freedom, but in the current landscape of US politics, it certainly feels a little bit false. While it's still a spectacle in itself that we'd all love to see one day, it feels like the overbearing patriotism that you see from Americans who have travelled from around the country to see it is a little bit 'off'.
At this moment in time it feels like we aren't really able to sit back and enjoy Lady Liberty as was originally intended, and that's a shame. Perhaps this one is more of a personal burden as opposed to something that everyone feels.
19 DO IT: Central Park - Beautiful
In a city with a reputation for being very 'hustle and bustle'-esque, you're often unlikely to find many parks to sit down and relax at - but that isn't the case in New York. Central Park is a shining example of everything that we love about the city, even if some would argue they use it to gloss over any major issues in NYC.
We just love the vibe there and we don't think that's ever going to change, because there's just so much to love about it. Whether you visit in the summer or winter months you're guaranteed to have a lovely time, at least, in our opinion.
18 DO IT: Ground Zero Memorial - An Important Place
On September 11th, 2001 the United States of America changed forever. That, in itself, will never be an overstatement, and it's an indication of just how groundbreaking the events of that day were in regards to the history of this great country.
No matter how many people visit the Ground Zero Memorial it'll never feel overcrowded, because most of the time, you could hear a pin drop. 99% of tourists who visit honour the dead respectfully, and while it may have been 17 years now since that fateful day, the world is still in mourning - and we always will be.
17 OVERRUN: Metropolitan Museum of Art - A Risky Selection
If you enjoy some cultural pieces of art, or just art in general, then the Met is probably going to be somewhere that you'll be interested in visiting. As far as museums go it's up there with the best of them in the States, although the negatives far outweigh the positives in our mind.
It just feels like there's such an obnoxious atmosphere that resonates through the majority of folks who go there, and it's all pretty unique. On one side of things you've got people who don't respect the art whatsoever, and on the other you've got folks who think they know everything there is to know.
16 DO IT: Broadway - Start Spreading The News
If you have never been to a Broadway show then to say that you're missing out would be a dramatic understatement. Much like the West End over in London, you'll find some of the world's finest performers taking part in world-class productions in almost all of these shows.
Plus, because Broadway isn't exactly for everyone, you won't have all too many issues with tourists (at least, we don't think). You can go and enjoy the show for everything it represents, and that's a really nice position to find yourself in when you're in the midst of such a crowded city.
15 DO IT: See The Skyline - Breathtaking
Sometimes you just have to take a step back and say 'wow' and this is one of those moments. We'd make the argument that the New York City skyline is the most famous skyline on the planet, and at the same time, we honestly believe it's the most breathtaking.
There are few cities that can compete with NYC in this regard and we'd challenge anyone to say differently because no matter where you are within a 5-10 mile radius you'll be able to get a great shot of the Big Apple.
Some call it overrated, but we'd suggest that it more than lives up to the hype.
14 OVERRUN: Times Square - So Many Tourists
New York City is indeed the city that never sleeps, and Times Square is the perfect example of that. From the locals walking through the streets (although they try to avoid Times Square whenever possible) to people having breakfast to the larger than life advertising boards, everything about the Square screams 'LOUD'.
Which, in some ways, is a problem. The argument has been made before that you only need to visit TS once in order to get a good feel for it, because if you go more than once, you'll soon realise that it is absolutely littered with tourists coming from every direction.
That's acceptable to some, but we aren't big fans.
13 DO IT: Grand Central - What A Station
This is one for the train nerds out there, and even if you don't enjoy public transport you should be able to have a great appreciation for this entry. Grand Central Station is where the majority of commuters arrive when they begin their working day, and what a way to kick things off.
It's a magnificent structure that dates back many, many years, and funnily enough, you aren't likely to find many tourists who are happy to get caught up in the middle of it. Of course, we can somewhat understand their logic, but we find ourselves having more of an appreciation for Grand Central than that.
12 DO IT: Empire State Building - A Staple Of NYC
You don't even necessarily need to go up to the top of the Empire State Building to appreciate its beauty, because this is a piece of architecture that has stood the test of time. It truly does represent the strength of this city more so than anything else, and that's a cool thing to be able to experience.
Everything from the exterior to the interior makes for a great building, and again, we can appreciate that this may only apply to the true architecture nerds out there - or just the guys and girls who want to catch a quick glimpse of it for their social media.
11 OVERRUN: Knicks Games - Go Knicks!
The purpose of going to a New York Knicks game, for many, is to enjoy watching the sport of basketball. Alas, courtesy of the fact that they play at Madison Square Garden, the majority of folks who go to games these days are often tourists who want to have a fun night out.
There is nothing wrong with that, but just be warned that people can get a little bit rowdy - especially if they didn't take into account how long the games actually are. This is especially true for Europeans who have made the trip over, because they're used to a slightly different atmosphere.
10 DO IT: One World Observatory - Bouncing Back
One World Trade Center is much more than just a building because it's a statement: you will never break us. It doesn't matter how much you push them or test them, because they will come out the other side with a fire burning in their stomachs.
The observatory section of the building is a great example of that, because you're able to look out onto a city that will always be proud of both OWTC and the Twin Towers that came before it.
Nobody will ever forget what happened that day, but they'll also forever be proud of how NYC as a community reacted.
9 DO IT: Breakfast at Tiffany’s - You Know The Story
The fact that you have to book at least a month in advance for this one should tell you everything that you need to know.
Breakfast at Tiffany's is much more than just a movie or a song, because to some, it's a way of life. Okay, that may be a little bit overdramatic, but you can see where we're coming from.
The Blue Box Cafe allows people to live out the dream of actually having Breakfast at Tiffany's, and because it's quite a niché thing to do, there aren't all too many folks who try and do it in comparison to the other tourist hot spots.
With that being said, you need to be extra fast in order to arrange your booking online.
8 OVERRUN: Top of the Rock - What A (Obstructed) View
Rockefeller Center is another of the many beautiful buildings in New York City, and arguably one of it's greatest features comes in the form of the 'Top of the Rock' viewpoint. Alas, we aren't the only ones who are well aware of that fact.
Many, many people can be found at the Top of the Rock from the minute it opens until the minute it shuts, and you need to be really precise and smart about what time you visit. Otherwise, you could find yourself queuing up for even longer than it would take to go up the Eiffel Tower.
7 DO IT: Sports Bar - All the Televisions you can imagine
Sports bars aren't for everyone because, obviously, there are people who don't really enjoy sports all too much. Even if that's the case, though, the novelty of walking into a bar and seeing 20-25 different screens playing a host of sporting events should be enough to draw you in.
For what it's worth the food and drink are usually slightly cheaper if you can find some more 'hipster' sports bars, too, and let's face it, it's always good to be able to save some money when you're in a city as expensive as NYC. Don't let that put you off making the trip, though.
6 OVERRUN: Horse-Drawn Carriage - Far Too Tacky
If we were to say that this isn't for everyone then that would probably be yet another wild understatement, but it's the truth. Horse-drawn carriages are often seen as being quite tacky and played out, but even though that's the general consensus, some people tend to like them.
Unfortunately, they aren't really worth the price of admission given A) how many people use them and B) how much you actually get to see. It's a nice idea but you need to consider how smart you're being with your money, because it could prove to be a deal breaker once you've done some research.
5 DO IT: Yellow Cabs - Pricey But Worth It
The majority of people who actually live in New York City often find themselves taking an Uber or the subway, or alternatively, they opt out for a bus or a bike ride. Alas, that does indeed mean that there aren't too many yellow cab lovers out there - other than the tourists themselves, of course.
There's an argument to be made that tourists keep the yellow cab community going, other than the loyal New Yorkers who are desperate to cling onto tradition. Still, it's a fairly enjoyable experience to go in a yellow cab, if only because most drivers are really friendly.
4 OVERRUN: Brooklyn Bridge - Too Many Humans
Heading over Brooklyn Bridge signals the start of a whole new adventure (which we'll come onto in a later entry), but nonetheless, the actual process of going over there is quite exhausting. Out of all the bridges to be found across the States this seems to be the one, alongside Golden Gate, that people obsess over the most.
There's nothing necessarily wrong with that but the number of folks going over there can make it quite tricky sometimes, to the point where some people will actually go out of their way to find alternative forms of transport. Or, they'll just go a different route altogether.
It sounds unlikely, but it's true.
3 DO IT: Upper East Side - Hey Upper East Siders
For all of you Gossip Girl fans out there, we hope you loved the reference. Xoxo.
Anyway, back to the list. The Upper East Side of Manhattan plays host to the rich and famous, with many privileged individuals taking up residence here. It's not like everyone else in the city is poor or anything, but the Upper East Siders really do take things to a whole new level.
Even if you just want to walk down the street there, we'd suggest that's perfectly acceptable, if only to get a sense of how the other half lives. Of course, it could also be quite upsetting given that most of us will never acquire that kind of wealth, but try and put that to the back of your mind while you're there.
2 OVERRUN: Bryant Park - Ice Skating Mayhem
The chaos of ice skating is something that not everyone enjoys, and trust us when we say that we can understand the logic. It's not an activity that everyone is going to be great at, and that can make for an awkward exchange or two once you're heading around the rink.
They seem to do an okay job of limiting the number of people who do indeed go ice skating, but the more that we think about it, the more that we realise this can apply to every single rink in the city as opposed to just Bryant Park. Whoops.
1 DO IT: Head To Brooklyn - Yes, The Actual Brooklyn
Aside from having to get across the Brooklyn Bridge, there aren't too many bad things you can say about Brooklyn. It's smaller, it's cooler, and most importantly to some: it's cheaper. Brooklyn represents the heart and soul of New York City as a community, and that's not exactly a bad reputation to have.
It serves as one of the many highlights when you make the trip over there, and if you're hesitant about it, then we can understand - but just try and pick out the positives from what we've said.
Even the negatives have their moments, and let's face it, you'll forget all about the problems on your first visit.