Ahh, New York. They say if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere… While we’re not talking about moving your whole life to the city that never sleeps, we think the same saying applies when traveling to New York. With its busy streets, iconic subways, the always on-the-go New Yorkers, yellow cabs, world-class bars and restaurants and its overall relentless energy—if you’re able to take on all of that and get out of the city alive, then you can survive traveling anywhere else, right?
So let’s get straight to business—we’re here to help you make the most out of your New York tour for the first time via our 48-hour city guide:
Day 1 (Downtown New York)
8:00 am – Statue of Liberty and Staten Island
Start early and spend half a day at Ellis Island learning about the history of American immigration and how the country was built by these hardworking migrants.
12:30 pm – Lunch at Eataly
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Michellin Star and Celebrity chef Mario Batali started a brand for the ordinary man and he called it Eataly. Expect an out-of the-box dining experience in this grocery-restaurant concept.
2:00 pm – Shop at Century 21
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Right across Eataly await the best deals from the best brands. Who needs outlet stores when there’s Century 21? (Did that just sound like radio ad? Ha.)
3:00 pm – Snacks at Luke’s Lobster
Definitely worth trying. There’s also one around the downtown area. Best lobster roll in town!
4:00 pm – World Trade Centre Memorial
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A short walk away from Century 21 is the site of the tragic ground zero of the 9/11 World Trade Centre disaster. And just right beside it is the Oculus, New York’s $4 billion train station, which serves as the main station hub downtown.
5:00 pm – Shop and walk around West Village and SoHo
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The coolest shops, whether homegrown in NY, fashion boutiques or high-end brands, can be found here. Complete your shopping by grabbing some afternoon eats from all the amazing food choices and coffee shops in the area.
7:00 pm – Dinner at CUT by Wolfgang Puck
NYC is all about food-tripping and steak is way up in the food chain. The best ones are definitely worth the reservation. CUT by Wolfgang Puck is the best downtown by far. Other steak finalists include Peter Luger Steak House & the original Wolfgang’s Steakhouse at Midtown East.
10:00 pm – Nightlife: Meatpacking District
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Walk around this once industrial area and discover amazing digs and bars.
2:00 am – Times Square
You know when they say NYC is the city that never sleeps? Just go to Times Square and you’ll know what we’re talking about. Photos aren’t complete without this iconic spot, where most of the broadway theaters and those big billboards you see in movies are located.
Caveman tip: Times Square is best photographed at 2 in the morning and later if you want it to have it all to yourself. Just exercise caution as this is the time when all the crazies come out and hang around the area.
8:00 am – Landmarks and parks
Start early and go around all the major landmarks and buildings that are in close proximity to each other, like the following:
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Trivia: Wall Street was originally called “de Waal Straat”, named by the Dutch when New York was a Dutch Settlement known as New Amsterdam. It is believed that it was named Wall Street because of a wall built by the Dutch to protect the area from the British.
Old Capitol Building
New York is abundant with beautiful parks such as Central Park and Rockefeller Park. Here you’ll see a lot of the New Yorkers in and out of their offices and tourists having lunch or lounging around.
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3:00 pm – Theater
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Do not go to New York if you’re not checking out at least one musical or play on Broadway. It’s just not right! Home to the best production in the world and the American equivalent of London’s West End, theater lovers and non-lovers alike will enjoy the different shows around Broadway. You can watch a matinee and a nighttime gala show if you’re trying to catch more than one.
Caveman Picks: Jersey Boys, Aladin, Lion King, Book of Mormons, School of Rock and Miss Saigon (the reboot). Book alternative theatrical productions like Fuerza Bruta or Sleep No More if you want to experience something out of the ordinary.
The best stand-up comedy and jazz bars are located in the downtown area as well, like the Comedy Cellar and New York Comedy Club. You’ll be surprised to have onstage some of the guys you used to just watch online or on Comedy Central.
10:00 pm – Nightlife
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Some of the coolest dive bars one must check out when in NYC are BillyMark’s West and Rudy’s Bar & Grill. Go for a cold glass of beer (or three) before heading to Electric Room or Dream Bar.
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Make sure to end your NYC bar-hopping by hitting up 1 Oak. That’s where all the hot ladies are at. You can thank us later.
4:00 am – Early breakfast at Halal Guys
I don’t know if it’s the meat, the weather, the fact that you’re trying to sober up (or that it all started here) that makes this pop-up food stall’s lamb rice so damn delicious—everything’s actually good and the whole world is talking about it. It’s amazing how they have stand-alone stores all over the world yet they still have the original one on the south-east corner of 53rd st. and Sixth Avenue in Manhattan.
Caveman Tip: Make sure you line up at the right one as there’s another one across the same corner.
Overall, I can sum up my New York into a couple of things: food trip, entertainment, amazing megastructures and crazy parties. So what’s your New York? Tell us in the comments.