I want to start off by saying how incredibly lucky I am that I get to travel as much as I do. I’m also fortunate that I can do it on a budget that doesn’t skint me. I also make no apologies that I am able to do this. My circumstances allow me to be able to travel across the world.
With that being said, it’s time to write about the awesome time I had in New York City!
I was sitting at work one day on my break and just browsing around for places to go (as I always do) and decided that I wanted to go to New York. I had booked all my holiday for 2016 so that made the decision that I had to visit in 2017. I had already had a trip to Aachen planned for January so decided that February would be when I go. I somehow managed to plan it for about 10 days after I got back from Aachen.
I found a flight from Gatwick to JFK with Norwegian that included a pre-booked seat, meal and 2 checked bags. It was a steal at around £250 and I couldn’t pass it up. So book it I did and I worried about getting my annual leave approved after I booked it (as I always do, Ha).
The trip down to Gatwick wasn’t so much fun. I got lost trying to find the new Thameslink station and it turned out to be just across the road and I took the long way round. Typical. I got to Gatwick with plenty of time to spare. The flight was supposed to be around 8 hours and we landed about 75 minutes earlier than planned. We flew on the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner and it was better than any others I have flown on in a while. For a budget airline, Norwegian were pretty damn good. Cruising altitude of 41,000ft and cruising speed of 610mph. The flight back was 5:55 in total. An airline I would recommend.
I landed at JFK and headed to arrivals to wait for my shuttle bus to the hostel. I waited for about 20 mins and then it took us 2 hours to get to the hostel as the shuttle was a shared shuttle. The hostel itself was also pretty good. Clean dorms and clean bathrooms. Much better than others I have stayed at.
My itinerary for the trip was as follows:
Day1: Sightseeing bus.
Day 2: Sightseeing bus and Statue of Liberty.
Day3: Ground Zero/WTC and general exploring.
Day 4: General exploring and back to the airport for home.
I decided that today I would use the sightseeing bus to get a brief history of New York.
The first bus took us all round Upper Manhattan.
We went up the Upper West side of Manhattan and along the west side of Central Park. We then went by the Cathedral of St John the Divine. After this, we then headed up by Grants Tomb, Harlem, East Harlem and down the Upper East side and the east side of Central Park. We went past the museums and then back to Times Square.
Once back there, I hopped on the Lower Manhattan/Midtown tour.
This tour took us all around Midtown and Lower Manhattan. We went by Koreatown, the FlatIron building, SoHo, NoHo, Battery Park, World Trade Centre, Tribeca, Chelsea, Madison Square Garden and back to Times Square.
Each route took approximately 2.5 hours – I reckon mostly because of the traffic.
I managed to come across some buskers on the subway and here are a couple of vids
Here are some pictures from the bus trips.