10 Reasons You NEED To Visit NYC! #12Countries12Months

10 reasons why NYC should be next on your travel bucket list & what to do whilst there! - Words by Hayley / Pictures by Kat...

I think you guys *kind of understand just quite how much I love New York by now (pretty sure I haven't stopped banging on about it since I touched down in the UK!), as a part of my #12Countries12Months project I wanted to share with you all; 10 reasons why you NEED to visit NYC (although I'm sure you didn't need too much convincing anyway?!). I can't believe that I've now covered my 9th country this year, and only have 3 more left to visit and cover, it's gone so quick it's unreal! I'm excited to share my last three destinations with you all though so keep your eyes peeled!


Probably one of my favourite things that we did whilst in NYC, I won’t lie! I never walked the highline on my last visit to New York (hell, I’m not even sure if it was built then or not!), myself and Kat had a finished our work for the day by lunchtime and it was a beautiful day so we strolled from our hotel (in Times Square) all the way down to the highline (It runs from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District to West 34th Street, between 10th and 12th Avenues) and along it (approx 1.45 miles) we followed it all the way to the end and ended up in Chelsea which is a beautiful district you also need to check out! We’d worked up quite an appetite so we headed to the Chelsea Food Market for some delicious homemade Thai noodles!

It doesn’t cost anything to walk the highline and it’s a great way to spend a few hours, taking in the city sites – it’s also another great way to see the city from a different view! If you’re travelling with elderly or kids, there’s lots of benches and cute little places to sit and rest (we sure plenty of people just chilling out reading their books!), so be sure to do it at a leisurely pace and take everything in!



If I could even recommend just one thing to do whilst in New York, it would have to be… visit the Top of the Rock (or the Rockafella centre as people know it!), the views are absolutely breathtaking and I have to say that I personally think the views are so much better than that of the empire state building. I went up the Empire state on my last visit to NYC and whilst I loved it, I think the Empire state is a really impressive building so it’s incredible to see that from another viewpoint in the city. The Rockafella also practically looks right over central park too so you’ll get great views of that also!

Our tickets were around £20-£25 each but it’s 1000000% worth it! We booked in for 5.15pm and actually found it to be the perfect time as the sun was starting to lower and we captured some great shots! It was busy but not overly crowded to the point where you couldn’t get snaps etc, everyone was super friendly and we were never rushed to leave so we spend a good 45 minutes soaking up the views before we flew home to London!



On our last night we stayed in Brooklyn so that we’d be able to explore the area and see a new part of the city, our hotel; Aloft was only around a 10 minute walk from the start of the Brooklyn bridge so we walked across it into Manhattan both in the morning and of an evening, if you’re able to – I’d highly recommend doing both! It’s the most stunning view of the city and to see it at night is just incredible! Again, it’s something that I’d recommend to take your time and do at a leisurely pace, make sure you really take in the sights – I know I’ll have those views with me for a very long time!



I have to say that the Meatpacking district was probably my favourite area in NYC, it felt very New York but at the same time it kind of didn’t. I loved how all the roads are super wide and the buildings are a lot lower – it’s a super cool area packed with amazing eateries and incredible warehouse-turnt-office-spaces, we even strolled past a huge Google HQ whilst there! Oh, and we also bumped into the Mayor of the Meatpacking district (whilst taking a picture of a door for Instagram, OBV), he was the most charming guy and we had a good ol’ natter with him for at least 10 minutes… new BFFL?!



Admittedly, this is probably something that you would end up doing anyway to get around the city (although we hardly used it as we made the most of the weather and walked everywhereeeee) but we bought a weekly travel card anyway (only $30… so much cheaper than London!), but I always love to check out the undergrounds when I go to cities, it’s something that I find fascinating and I think with NYC especially as I just envision so many films etc filmed on the New York subway!



We headed to the Bleeker Street area and wondered up to Carrie’s infamous apartment (yup, someone actually lives there – how ridiculously cool is that?! "I live at Carris Bradshaws apartment"…) so there is a rope across the steps and you can’t get inside or up the steps, but alas, like the toursist/SATC lover in us, we sat on the steps for a cheeky picture and loved every minute! Even if you’re not a Carrie/SATC fan, I’d highly recommend checking out Bleeker Street as again that was another favourite district of mine, so many good healthy restaurants too (you have to have to have to visit By Chloe it’s awesome!).



Oh my god. I have never watched a show on broadway before so myself and Kat went to watch School of Rock (which is already pretty high up there as one of my favourite films) but ohmigoddddd it was the best show I have ever seen! The kids were absolutely out of this world (especially Zack on the guitar!!), their singing, acting and live musical skills genuinely gave me goosebumps (and yes, okay we *may have shed a little tear at one point!). Trust me, if there’s one show to see in NYC… it has to be this one!



Xoxo Gossip Girl... Kat and I were/are obsessed with GG, the whole time during our trip we were like ‘oh my god so this is where this happened’ and ‘remember that scene filmed here’ – maybe that’s sad, who knows?! But we LOVED IT! Naturally we headed to the Met Museum to check out the infamous GG steps and had to stop for a picture! We actually got there in the afternoon and spent an hour just chilling on the steps and watching the world go by in the sunshine, it was lush!



One night during our trip we actually stayed on Staten Island, again to get a different feel for the city. The ferry across to Staten Island is free and takes around 15/20 minutes, I’d highly recommend boarding with a camera and taking some shots – again, it’s a great way to see the city (and the statue of liberty) from another perspective!



After our stay in Staten Island the ferry brought us into downtown New York, we walked up through Wall Street (again, pretty cool to see especially during lunch time, it’s all hustle and bustle!), and up to One World. The last time I was in NYC I visited and they had a memorial ground but they hadn’t started building One World yet, it’s honestly the most impressive and beautiful building that I’ve ever seen. You can really imagine quite how big it actually is until you’re there craning your neck just to try and see the top! Apparently the views from the top are also incredible but we ran out of time to do this, next time!


Have you been to NYC?! What are your 'must-visits'? Anything I need to add onto my to-do list for next time? I'd love to know your favourite spots!


  1. Rebecca 28th September 2016 / 9:40 am

    Great advice – I’ll have to save this post for my trip to New York in November.

    PS. It’s ROCKEFELLER not Rockafella!

    • Hayley 30th September 2016 / 1:48 pm

      So glad to hear it – I hope you have the best time! 🙂 eeeep, thank you love, changing now! x

  2. Jayd Alice 28th September 2016 / 10:02 am

    New York has been at the top of my travel list for so long but this post has made me want to go there even more! Love your photos, it all looks amazing! x

    Always, Alice

    • Hayley 30th September 2016 / 1:49 pm

      You NEED to go girl, honestly it’s my favourite city in the world (and YES, I know it’s SO cliche but I just love it!!) x

  3. Gabrielle 28th September 2016 / 12:16 pm

    This post was so exciting to read through as I’m super keen to visit NYC – it’s still on my bucket list! Walking across Brooklyn Bridge would be at the top of my to-do list (by night). The photography in this post is superb, by the way 🙂


    • Hayley 30th September 2016 / 1:50 pm

      Thank you lovely one, all images are by my beautiful pal Kat; she’s incredible! You really need to go, it’s my favourite place EVER! x

    • Hayley 30th September 2016 / 1:51 pm

      Thank you love! 🙂 x

  4. Laura 28th September 2016 / 1:30 pm

    Gorgeous pictures! I’ve been to New York once a few years ago and I luckily managed to do a few of these things. If all goes well, I should be going back next May and then hopefully I can tick of the rest of the places and much more. I can’t wait! x

    Laura // Middle of Adventure

    • Hayley 30th September 2016 / 1:52 pm

      Ah yay, so glad to hear that lovely! Let me know if you get to do any of them and what you thought! Have the BEST time if you go back in May!! x

  5. Josie 28th September 2016 / 3:50 pm

    This is amazing! I am absolutely in love with New York, probably the most amazing place I’ve been and it was only for a day! Therefore I haven’t done a lot of these things so that’s a good enough reason to have to go back and do the ferry and Top of the Rock etc. We went to see Sister Act when we went a few years ago but Omg I bet School of Rock was amazing!



    • Hayley 30th September 2016 / 1:54 pm

      I was the same love, I’d been for a day and on a uni trip but it almost felt like it didn’t count because we had an itinerary and not much free time! It was SO nice to go back and do it on my own terms, can’t wait to hear all about it if you go back! And YES IT WAS THE BEST SHOW EVERRRRRR <3 <3 xx

  6. Gingi 28th September 2016 / 4:54 pm

    I visited when I was a teenager, and my husband visited as a toddler.. we are both due for a return trip! Haha! Great post, thanks for sharing!! <3 – http://www.domesticgeekgirl.com

    • Hayley 30th September 2016 / 1:54 pm

      No worries lovely! Hope you get to go back soon, would love to hear all about your trip if you do go back! 🙂 x

  7. Carmen 28th September 2016 / 8:16 pm

    Great pictures & post. I’ve never been but my boyfriend & I really want to. My all-time favorite city would have to be Paris, especially during their independence day celebration. I will never forget my time there. :]

    // ▲ itsCarmen.com ▲

    • Hayley 30th September 2016 / 1:55 pm

      I absolutely ADORE Paris, it’s the most beautifully romantic city! You absolutely have to visit NYC if you get the chance darl, you will both love it so much! xx

  8. Hannah 28th September 2016 / 11:44 pm

    NYC is such an amazing place. I’m lucky to live within a few hours of there, however I don’t get to go to often. I would love to make a point to visit NYC more! Lovely photos 🙂


    • Hayley 30th September 2016 / 1:56 pm

      Ah you are SO lucky lady, I would be there all the time if I were you! 🙂 Thank you! x

  9. Sophie 29th September 2016 / 2:19 pm

    Oh my gosh, all of these photos are INCREDIBLE! New York is my fave place in the woooooorld and I’m dying to go back now xxx
    Sophie Cliff

    • Hayley 30th September 2016 / 1:56 pm

      Thank you beautiful lady! My lovely Kat took them; (www.katsfilms.com) she’s THE BOMB! <3 Oh god same love, I've not long come back and I'm dying to visit again already! xx

    • Hayley 30th September 2016 / 1:57 pm

      Couldn’t agree more love – it’s just one of those places everyone needs to see for themselves! I’ve never met anyone who hasn’t loved the city! x

  10. Emma Harrison 30th September 2016 / 4:55 pm

    This is like my dream itinerary for an NYC visit! I’ve wanted to go for years but I think next year could be the year for me fingers crossed!

    Emma | HarmonyBlaze.co.uk

    • Hayley 4th October 2016 / 11:12 am

      Ah YAYAY! SO hope you get to visit lady, you need to fill me in on what you do – but this is a great starters list! x

    • Hayley 4th October 2016 / 11:12 am

      I hear ya sister! I went to Grand Central Station but didn’t get ‘the shot’ – dammit! Although that only calls for another trip back to NYC surely?! 🙂 x

      • Jasmine 7th October 2016 / 9:11 pm

        Oh shucks, think you need to take yo ass back to NY and take one for the team sister!! Erm….can I be your plus one…!!! 🙂 xxx

  11. Jecky 3rd October 2016 / 3:37 pm

    I was in New York last October and did so much of what you did – High Line, Subway, The Ferry – all absolutely great experiences I wouldn’t want to miss! However, I missed Top of the Rock and the Gossip Girl steps – boohoo!

    XX from Germany
    Want Get Repeat

    • Hayley 4th October 2016 / 11:13 am

      The High Line was one of my favourites! If you go back you HAVE TO go to the Top of the Rock – you will just love it! x

  12. The Sunday Mode 5th October 2016 / 12:30 pm

    Oh the School of Rock show sounds so cool! I’d love to see something like that.

    One of my favourite places to go in NY is Eataly, I love the vibe there and the food is amazing!


    • Hayley 13th October 2016 / 10:21 pm

      It really was the best show I’ve seen! Ooh that sounds fab – I’ll check that out for next time love 🙂 x

  13. Jenny Cole 5th October 2016 / 6:00 pm

    Gorgeous photos – they bring back so many good memories! I’ve only been to New York once, but actually cried when I got home because I didn’t want to leave. I definitely need to make a promise to myself to go back again.

    Jenny xx


    • Hayley 13th October 2016 / 10:24 pm

      Thank you lovely – Kat it SO talented 🙂 I don’t blame you love – I always leave a piece of my heart there! x

    • Hayley 13th October 2016 / 10:22 pm

      Ah thank you love – so glad you thought so! Same, I already can’t wait to go back! x

    • Hayley 13th October 2016 / 10:22 pm

      I’d love to go around Christmas time – it would be just so magical! x

  14. Emma Hart | Paper Plane and Caramel Waffles 12th October 2016 / 10:49 pm

    Oh how I love NYC! Definitely one of my favourite cities in the world and you’ve hit the nail on the head with so many things on this list. The view from the Rockefeller Centre is 100 times better than the Empire State but I think the Empire State definitely has that sense of occasion about it doesn’t it? It’s like a true NYC bucket list item! And The Highline is amazing, the first time I walked down it, it was a very hot September day and I was feeling extremely worse for wear from the night before but the second time I had a spare evening and managed to get in a walk just as the sun was going down. Perfect timing! Glad you both had such a good time! Mind you, is it possible to have a bad time in NYC?

    • Hayley 13th October 2016 / 10:23 pm

      Ah thank you lady! I know what you mean about the Empire State – it’s just so New York-y, if that’s a thing haha?! I’m glad I’ve had the chance to do both but can’t help but love the view from the top of the rock that bit more! God I hear you love, I’ve never met anyone who hasn’t loved the big apple! x

  15. Sophie 14th October 2016 / 9:02 pm

    I’ve been living in New York for 2 months now, you picked out some of my favourite things to do! I still need to go to Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment though, I always seem to forget when I’m in Greewhich Village!

    Sophie | http://www.dreamsandcolourschemes.com

  16. Annabelle 24th October 2016 / 3:00 pm

    I am so in love with your photography style! You captured New York perfectly! Oh and I adore your blue off the shoulder dress.

    x Annabelle

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