We decided to visit New York for the Xmas season this year and, I have to say, that was an amazing experience. New York is always a stunning city, but I think this is by far the best period of the year to visit it (unless you do not like cold weather, since it gets very cold down there…). We got there for a long weekend, from Wednesday afternoon to Sunday evening, but to be honest I would have preferred our stay to be at least one day longer…
We stayed at The New York Edition, which is on 5 Madison Ave, right on Madison Square Park, very close to the Flatiron building and to the very first Shake Shack (in case you are starving you can just pop out and get a delicious burger ;-)). The hotel is very conveniently located and you can easily walk to both downtown. If you get there we suggest you get a room at least on the 35th floor – we got a very nice room on the 37th floor and view was just amazing as you can see from the pictures below:
We decided to just go around the city and get the most of the Xmas experience. There is a lot going on in any single corner of the city , although I have to say there is a lot going on especially between Park Ave and the 7th. At certain times of the day actually the 5th Ave was soooo crowded it was almost impossible to walk. I would not miss the spectacular lights show at Saks 5th Ave.
In terms of things to do I would definitely suggest:
- Walk on 5th Avenue up to Central Park for shopping and sightseeing: there is just a magical atmosphere with all the shops and the thousands of people going around
- Stop by Saks 5th Ave and watch the spectacular lights show
- Have a look at the Rockfeller Center with its Christmas tree and if you want, try ice-skating there (I have to say that despite this being the most popular ice-skating rink in NYC, I would suggest to go to the one in Central Park or Bryant Park – they are both much bigger and much less crowded)
- Spend at least half day, if not an entire day, in Soho – you will not find the same Xmas vibe you will get in the upper part of Manhattan, but it has a much more vibrant scene, with a lot of nice shops, bars, restaurants… In terms of shopping, two things I would highlight there: there is an amazing jeans shop in Mercer Street, called 3×1, which I would visit if you like denim in all shapes and forms (they also make bespoke jeans, made to measure), and then I would also stop by Le Labo shop, in Elizabeth Street, to buy some of the best fragrances you can find in NYC (by the way, if you stay at the New York Edition, you will also find Le Labo products in you room and you will fall in love with their Edition fragrance, which is very similar to The Noir 29)
- If you have never been there yet, go to the Freedom Tower and to the 9/11 Memorial – the view from the One World Observatory it is just breathtaking
- Spend half day in Brooklyn, and if you go there at night you will experience one of the best views of Manhattan you can ever dream of (although I have to say that you can get a beautiful one from Jersey City as well)
- Walk on the High Line which starts in the Meatpacking district (although during this period of the year, if you happen to be there during a windy day, it might get a pretty freezing experience)
- Go to the Lincoln Center, where you will always find amazing shows – during this period of the year, I would go for the George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker – WHAT A SHOW!
I think this should be enough for a long weekend in the city that never sleeps – for culinary experiences we will get back to you in a separate post – please stay tuned! 😉