Blog

City Guide, New York City, Travel, USA

What To Do In New York – A 5 Day NYC Itinerary

Kyroshtravelscom NYC Header

New York has been on our bucket list for many many years, and after travelling around Asia and Europe, we decided it was time to tick it off. Even with 10month old travelling with us half way around the world, we were ready to take on the big apple.

New York City has it all, the concrete jungle where dreams are made of. The hustle and bustle of this modern metropolis can sometimes be overwhelming especially coming from Melbourne, Australia. But we loved it, it’s all part of the experience!

New York has something for everyone, from modern art galleries to neighbourhoods of Brooklyn and Harlem. We have put together a 5 day NYC itinerary with what we believe the best of New York. If you don’t have five days, then feel free to cherry pick your fav things to see and do, and create your own two or three day New York itinerary.

For more about New York’s Best place to eat, CLICK HERE to read our best place to eat in New York City

The Ultimate 5 Day New York City Itinerary

Day 1 –The High Line, Chelsea Markets, Washington Square Park and Shopping in SoHo

⇒ Optional: Sunset Helicopter Tour over New York

⇒ Areas: Meatpacking District, West Village and SoHo

KyroshTravels - The High Line.png

Stop A – The High Line – http://www.thehighline.org/ 

We stayed right near Time Square and decided to catch an Uber to start point of The High Line. which on the Hudson River end of W34th Street. We started early around 8am to beat the tourist rush.

The start of The High Line has some magnificent views overlooking the Hudson River into New Jersey. Take some time out to sit in one of the big benches to “let the world go by”. On the opposite side was the Hudson railway yards for any avid train hobbyists.

The High Line walk is easy, winding through tall buildings and crossing some roads. There are lots of sculptures and other art works along the walk. Towards meatpacking district area, few street performers, who are so talented. Take a few moments to support and listen to these amazing artists.

This was one our NYC highlights, we loved it. We did the full walk from start to finish and if we had more time, we would have love to come back at night to see the different atmosphere.

Stop B – Whitney Museum of American Art – https://whitney.org/

This area is well known for its amazing art galleries and studios. We decided to pop into the Whitney Museum, which was a stones throw away from the end of our High Line Walk. Some of the other favourites around the area are:

Pace Gallery – https://www.pacegallery.com/

Cheim & Read – http://www.cheimread.com/

Gagosian – https://www.gagosian.com/

Mary Boone – https://maryboonegallery.com/

Barbara Gladstone – https://gladstonegallery.com/

Paula Cooper – https://www.paulacoopergallery.com/

kyroshtravels.com - Chelsea Markets, New York City
kyroshtravels.com – Chelsea Markets, New York City

Stop C – Chelsea Markets – http://chelseamarket.com/

After the long walk and strolling amongst some of the finest art galleries in New York, like us you would have built up a great appetite. Chelsea Market, is the perfect stop for break and to try some delicious food. This place has such an electric atmosphere, you can walk around all the unique shops or grab something to eat.

Check out our Top 10 Best Places to eat for more suggestions.

Our Favourite vendor was Los Tacos No.1. It was simply some of the best tacos i have ever eaten (We haven’t been to Mexico!)

If nothing grabs your attention, across the road from Chelsea market is another unique Food Hall – Gansevoort Market Food Hall (Stop D)

Stop E – Magnolia Bakery (Sex and the City – TV Show)

Some of you might know it or some of you might be the biggest fans of the late 90’s TV series Sex and the City. But whether you are are fan or not, this is must try bakery for any sweet tooth. The hot favourite is the banana pudding, but really anything from this bakery is totally delicious.

Stop F – Carrie’s Apartment from “Sexy and the City” TV Show

Continuing with the “Sex and the city” theme just around corner from the Bleecker Street Magnolia Bakery is Carrie’s Apartment that was featured on the show. Please note its now a private residence so tourist aren’t encouraged to loiter around. But the official address is 66 Perry Street, New York

Stop G – F R I E N D S  TV Show Apartment

Another great TV show that was filmed in this great city, FRIENDS was the one of the most watched TV shows in the late 90’s and early 00’s. Most of the locations on the TV shows can be found around New York City. Follow the crowds and relive the 90’s.

Stop H – Washington Square Park

Described as the unofficial town square of the village, a photogenic quadrangle of park space that’s bursting with energy – impromptu music jams, spirited political debate and giddy student chatter.

Feel free to bring a picnic rug and enjoy the sunshine under the trees. Feel the energy of this amazing place.

Stop I – Shopping in SoHo

Most of us have heard of SoHo neighbourhood and to be there in real life to see the modernised apartments and high end shopping felt surreal. All the top designer brands can be found walking through the streets, but there are so many independent shops that offer some great items that you won’t find anywhere else. If you are like us, and just like the window shopping, well thats totally fine as well.

Sunset Helicopter Tour over New York City

Kyrosh Travels - Sunset Helicopter Tour

This was my WOW moment for the New York Trip! I think this picture taken from my Iphone X sums it up. I flew by myself as Kylie was happy to have her feet on the ground. There were two Sunset flights offered by FlyNeon a 20min fly by over lower manhattan and the 30min flight which not only takes the lower manhattan but goes all the way to central park, empire state building and Times Square. For me the best and the scariest bit was having the doors open on the helicopter. It does get cold but the experience was once in a life time for me.

I loved the Fly Neon experience, only negative was the 35min drive to Kearny, New Jersey as that departure point. There are few other companies that offer departure from Downtown Manhattan Helipad.

Approx. Pricing – USD $275 for 15-20min flight and USD $399 for 30min

Fly Neon – https://www.flynyon.com/new-york

Helicopter Flight Services – https://heliny.com/

Kyrosh Travels - Sunset Helicopter Tour 2

images

Day 2 – Times Square, Big Bus Tour, Top of the Rock & Empire state building

Option – Basketball game (in season)

images

Day 3 – Chinatown, Financial District, 9/11 Memorial & Museum & World Trade Centre

Option – Broadway show and Times Square at night

images

Day 4 – New York Library, 5th Avenue, Grand Central Station and Central Park 

Option – Baseball game

images

Day 5 – Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn, DUMBO and Brooklyn Bridge 

Option – Cityline Night Cruise

 

Food & Restaurants, New York City, USA

Best Food in New York City

kyroshtravels.com - New York City JPG Header

New York City offers some of the most diverse food choices in the world. A melting pot of cultures that have come to call NYC home over the last 200 years. You can find your traditional New York burgers or Hot Dogs to some of the best Asian and South American cuisine, in different parts of this vibrant city.

As you may know we travelled with our little boy, Prince, who was only 10months old at the time, we are lucky parents because Prince loves to try anything and he loved pretty much all of the food, that he was allowed to eat. We did keep deep fried and food with lots of sugar away from him.

This was our first visit to the BIG APPLE, we had spoken to a few food bloggers and locals, to come with our favourite hangouts (so far!). For us it was about getting away from the hustle and bustle of Times Square (where we stayed) to explore neighbourhoods such as Harlem and Brooklyn, which was the real highlight. We found the further you go away from these tourist driven areas, the cheaper the everythng became.

The list below doesn’t include any fine dining places, most of the places below have share dishes, which could be eaten on the fly or a short stop on your adventures around New York.

Price Guide- 

$ – 0-20 per person

$$ – 20-50 per person

$$$ – 50+ per person

 

Our Top 10 Favorite Places To Eat In New York City

 

1. Chelsea Markets – Meatpacking District –

Price guide – $ -$$$ depending on the eatery

What an electric atmosphere this place is. We went on an early morning walk through The High Line starting from 34th Street, and ending just 200m away from the famous Chelsea Markets. This place is full of shops and eateries and a perfect short stop to recharge your batteries.

TIP: To Avoid long queues and lots of crowd go in the morning for breakfast or early lunch.

 

Chelsea Market in the Meatpacking District

It is an Old Nabisco factory turned into an office building with a massive food market on the first floor, offering high-quality food.

Most popular vendor: Rows of oysters, sea urchins, and line-caught fish chill behind the Lobster Place’s counter at this OG food hall (which has been around since well before food halls were a “thing”), but it’s the massive whole lobsters that draw the most attention. Price guide – $$

Most underrated vendor: Very Fresh Noodles specializes in Xi’an hand-pulled biangbiang noodles, an essential element of central Chinese cuisine. The Tingly Cumin Lamb Soup is the bowl to get — the rich meat is soaked in Shaoxing wine and seasoned with Chinese five-spice, star anise, ginger, and soy, and the noodles are topped with cumin, Sichuan peppercorns, and chili oil. Price guide – $

kyroshtravels.com - Chelsea Markets, New York City
kyroshtravels.com – Chelsea Markets, New York City
Fish market and restaurant inside Chelsea Market

Overall best vendor: Out of the 35 vendors housed inside Chelsea Market, Los Tacos No. 1 is the winner for us, proving that New York can do Mexican food well. Order from a handful of different tacos, including carne asada, adobada marinated pork, nopal (grilled cactus), all of which come wrapped in homemade tortillas. Once you’ve made your way through the regular menu, come back for the secret-menu taco, with a shell made entirely of cheese. Price guide – $

kyroshtravels.com - Los Tacos No 1, Chelsea Markets, New York City
kyroshtravels.com – Los Tacos No 1, Chelsea Markets, New York City
kyroshtravels.com - Los Tacos No 1, Chelsea Markets, New York CityLos Tacos No 1 inside Chelsea Market.

2. Urbanspace Vanderbuilt – Food Hall – Grand Central Station

East 45th (at Vanderbilt Avenue), Midtown East

http://urbanspacenyc.com/urbanspace-vanderbilt/

Price guide – $ to $$ depending on the vendor

One of our favourite food halls in whole of New York. its vibrant and has something for everyone. You will not be disappointed. Get in early for lunch for later in the afternoon when the office crowds have disappeared.

Most popular vendor: Popular Bushwick pizza joint Roberta’s created major hype when it launched its first brick-and-mortar outpost across the East River. But don’t worry, it didn’t leave its beloved pies in Brooklyn. You can still order the famous flaky garlic knots and soppressata, chili, and honey-topped Bee Sting pizza. Price guide – $$

Our favourite vendor: Hai Street Kitchen & Co, hands down was our favourite. Sushi Burrito with atlantic salmon was a hit with everyone, including little Prince. It was crunchy, delicious and healthy. Price guide – $

kyroshtravels.com - Sushi Burrito, Urbanspace Vanderbuilt Food Hall, New York Citykyroshtravels.com - Sushi Burrito, Urbanspace Vanderbuilt Food Hall, New York CitySalmon Salmon Sushi Burrito from Hai Street Kitchen & Co

3. Red Rooster – Harlem

http://www.redroosterharlem.com/

Price guide – $$$

We caught the subway north of central park to see the vibrant neighbourhood, Harlem. Red Rooster was in 3 of our recommendations for “must visit” restaurants. So we decided to try it out. You cant miss this local icon, from the moment you walk in you will just want to groove to the reggae music and totally fall in love with the vibe.

We had the corn bread as a starter, and we both fell in love with it. For mains we ordered the slow cooked lamb (on the menu as Shabba Shank) and the Jamaican style steak (on the menu as Uptown Rib Eye). Both got 5 out 5 from both of us.

kyroshtravels.com - Red Rooster, Harlem, New York CityRed Rooster, Harlem
kyroshtravels.com - Red Rooster, Harlem, New York CitySlow cooked lamb, Red Rooster – Harlem

4. Magnolia Bakery

https://www.magnoliabakery.com/

Price guide – $

Magnolia Bakery on Bleecker Street, Manhattan.

Kylie wanted to go on a Sex and the City tour, but we couldn’t find any that were rated well. So we decided to do our own, at our pace. Around the corner from Carrie’s house in Perry Street is the world famous Magnolia Bakery. There are multiple locations of the bakery now in New York and around the world.

But even if you are not Sex and the City fan, this place has some of the most delicious desserts. They are famous for their banana pudding but pretty much anything from the shop will satisfy your sweet cravings.

5. Juliana’s Pizza Parlour – Brooklyn

http://julianaspizza.com/

Price guide – $$

Pizza 1.jpg

After long walk around Brooklyn Bridge Park, we stopped over for an early lunch at Juliana’s Pizza Parlour. Perfect New York style pizza, served with a little bit of Brooklyn love.

You can get the usual pizza favourites, but the special pizzas is where are eyes locked into. Anything looked and sounded delicious. Do yourself a favour and try Juliana’s when you go to Brooklyn.

6. Shake Shack – Madison Square Park

https://www.shakeshack.com/

Price guide – $

If you want to experience something that is authentically Yankee, then nothing beats burger and a milkshake. now there are heaps of Burger joints around manhattan but one of the best in our eyes was Shake Shack. It’s grown in the last 5years to have multiple locations but we were at the original location Madison Square Park (20min walk from Times Square) on a Sunday afternoon.

The lines can be long at times, but they move quickly and the food comes out as fast as possible. they have wide variety of burgers to suit all taste buds.

7. Canal Street Market – Food Hall – Chinatown

http://canalstreet.market/

Price guide – $ to $$

If you are like us, and more restaurants planned out than what you could eat in a few hours that you had in one place, well the answer to that is going to food hall and trying out small share portion, so you can try more from this culinary heaven.

Our second favourite food hall on this top 10 list was the Canal St Market, this newly renovated space has some great small vendors  that have pushed the boundaries in food. If you want to grab a quick bite to eat, well then the market is perfect place.

Most popular vendor: Bubble tea-specialists Boba Guys draw in lines of people waiting to taste the strawberry matcha latte or the sea salt chocochata (horchata with chocolate). Price guide – $

Most underrated vendor: The brainchild of the East Village’s Izakaya and Japanese chain Samurice, Izakaya Samurice serves an inventive menu of miso soups, bento boxes, and Japanese curry rice. But your attention should be directed to the ochazuke — made like drip coffee, the dish involves hot dashi soup broth poured over a filter of bonito flakes into cups filled with cooked rice balls. Price guide – $

Overall best vendor: Nom Wah Kuai, a spin-off of the 1920 dim sum favorite Nom Wah Tea Parlor, takes the prize for its diverse lineup of dumplings and rice bowls. The spicy tofu rice bowl and the shrimp and snow pea leaf dumplings are both top picks. Price guide – $

8. Ess-a-Bagel – 831 3rd Ave, New York

https://www.ess-a-bagel.com/

Price guide – $

If you are in New York you have to try a freshly baked bagel, and they dont come any better than Ess-a-bagel. The lunch time lines sometimes can be long but you know you are going to get the freshest bagel in town.

We shared the salmon bagel, which was delicious.

IMG_6670.jpg

9. Luke’s Lobster Roll – Under the Brooklyn Bridge

https://www.lukeslobster.com/location/brooklyn-bridge-park/

Price guide – $

This unexpected find which is located under the Brooklyn Bridge near the Carousel was a great treat. It wasn’t cheap for USD $18 but it was very delicious and fresh. We purchased the roll and  walked around the corner to the carousel where we could and watch the children playing. Also it has one of the best views Brooklyn Bridge looking towards Manhattan financial district with One World Trade Centre.

10. Gray’s Papaya – Hot Dogs

http://grayspapayanyc.com/

Price guide – $

The institution of New York City has been standing for more than 40 Years. Gray’s at Broadway and 72nd is the only one left standing but its Recession Special — aka hot dogs and a drink — remains intact. (As with all things New York, there have been some price increases throughout the years, but the meal still costs under $5). Best Pina Colada in NYC.

*Sex and The City Fans would remember this from one of the scenes.

kyroshtravels.com - Gray's Papaya, New York City
kyroshtravels.com – Gray’s Papaya, New York City
Gray’s Papaya Hot Doggery

Thank-you for taking time to read our blog, i hope it helps you plan out your next visit to NYC that little easier. If you do have any favourites from this list please comment below and feel free to share with your friends.

Safe travels, Kyrosh Family.

City Guide

Sri Lanka – Ella

kyroshtravels.com - 98 Acres Resort, Ella, Sri Lanka
98 Acres Resort, Ella, Sri Lanka
Breakfast with a view at 98Acres Resort.

Ella, Sri Lanka

Ella, located in the up country between the beautiful slopes of the tea estates, has been ranked by travellers as MUST SEE. This sleepy village, first became a destination stop for backpackers 5-6 years ago. Now, little Ella town has become a thriving tourist hotspot for anyone that is lucky enough to visit Sri Lanka.

Ella is nestled in a valley at about 1000m elevation, surrounded by even higher mountains.

You can experience how the locals live from the tea plantations or farming in this beautiful part of the world.

kyroshtravels.com - 9 arch bridge, Ella, Sri Lanka
9 Arch Bridge, Ella, Sri Lanka
Nine Arch Train Bridge

Things to do in Ella:

Nine Arch Bridge

One of the best things we loved doing was taking a 20min walk from Little Adam’s Peak to see the world famous Nine Arch Bridge. You can catch a tuk tuk from the main town centre past the 98 acres resort through a small road that leads to a great vantage point, but you can take small steep path down towards the bridge. Kylie stayed up at the look out point with a local family who runs a small coffee/drink cafe. Go and say hello to Nihal and his gorgeous family, despite the small language barrier they will look after you so well.

kyroshtravels.com - Little Adam's Peak, Ella, Sri Lanka
Mini Adam’s Peak, Ella, Sri Lanka
kyroshtravels.com - Little Adam's Peak
kyroshtravels.com – Mini Adam’s Peak
Morning Sunset view from the Little Adam’s Peak

Little or Mini Adam’s Peak

We were lucky enough to stay at the 98 Acres Resort, which is the start of the track for the Little Adam’s peak. Its 15-20min walk up to the summit. I would classify this as beginner skill set. Do advice that there are loose stones and no handrails.

 

kyroshtravels.com - Ravana Waterfalls, Ella, Sri Lanka
kyroshtravels.com – Ravana Waterfalls, Ella, Sri Lanka
Ravana Falls – 20mins drive from Ella City Centre

Ravana Falls

20 min drive by car from the city centre of Ella, is the beautiful Ravana Falls. This a favourite with the locals and tourist alike. You can jump into the lower parts of Ravana Falls and have swim with the locals. Be careful it can be very slippery, so please take care.

images.jpg

How to get there:

What could only be described as one of the best train journey’s in the world the Colombo to Ella train is a once in life time moment where you will get to experience not only local culture but breath taking views of the up country tea plantations. It can be long 6hr journey so i recommend to catch the 5-6am train leaving the busy colombo fort station.

We had a car and driver, the last time we went. So we decided to go the Ella Station and catch the train to Demodara Station (next stop) to see the world famous nine arch bridge and Demodara railway loop. The ticket will cost you USD $1, best dollar value.

kyroshtravels.com - Train journey, Ella, Sri Lanka

images.jpg

Where to stay:

Hands down the best experience for us was at 98 Acres Resort & Spa. This tea plantation has been converted into luxury accommodation with villas spanning the property. It is high in demand and you are looking at USD $250 – $300 per night and will need to book well in advance (4-6months). The food to the jaw dropping views, this was one of the best places to stay in whole of Sri Lanka. Well worth it.

Find out the latest prices & availability

kyroshtravels.com - 98 Acres Resort, Ella, Sri Lankakyroshtravels.com - 98 Acres Resort, Ella, Sri Lanka

Budget

Hotel Laura – Family owned small hotel will set you back USD $70 per night with stunning views of the valley from the balcony.

Find out the latest prices & availability

images.jpg

Resources:

We found the best website for the latest travel information for Ella was the local Ella tourism website.

Ella Tourism Website.

kyroshtravels.com - Mini Adam's Peak, Ella, Sri Lanka

City Guide

Sri Lanka – Galle

Galle Sri Lanka Header

Galle, Mirissa, Unawatuna and South Coast Beaches. (Dec 2017)

This was our second time together to Sri Lanka but it as Arosh’s 5th visit after migrating to Melbourne in 1995. We wanted to a place to relax and thought we should try resort in the old Dutch port city of Galle. We just fell in love with this place!

Travel

We flew from Melbourne, Australia to Colombo with Emirates via Singapore. Its relatively a short flight with 1hr layover in Singapore to stretch your legs and arms out. There are direct flights to Colombo from all major cities in Australia with Sri Lankan Airlines. This is the shortest flight at around 10hrs from MEL. Other airlines include Malaysian Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways and Qantas with transit in Singapore as well.

Busy season is from December till middle of February. In offseason tickets can be cheap as AUD$695 return. (May 2018). We paid around AUD$1500 per ticket and 10% for the baby, who got 10kg luggage allowance and dedicated bassinet, which was travelling in the busy christmas rush.

Stay

We saw a special on booking.com for Amari Resort, a new resort that opened in Galle in Oct 2017. It wasn’t cheap as we booked it last minute and we wanted a bigger room so the baby had enough space to play. We paid AUD$1200 for 4nights. We gave it 7 out of 10 for the hotel. It had a beautiful lobby and entrance but the rest of the resort had this finish feel to it.

There are lots of new hotels popping up along the coast near Galle, and if you book early enough you should get a good deal around USD$150 – USD$250 in the off season.The Sri Lankan service is amazing so any hotel or resort you stay at will be a great experience.

Amari Resort, Galle26233264_10155817529536469_8041502600642658941_o

Far Horizons Villa, Unawatuna

If you are travelling as a family this 5 bedroom villa on top of the Unawatuna hill is the perfect place to stay. With stunning view of the beach and 15min walk down the hill you can easily reach Sri Lanka’s best beaches. The villa is equipped with chef, a daily tuk tuk ride and 50ft infinity pool to enjoy the perfect sunset on the beach.

download (3)images (1)

Jetwing Lighthouse, Galle

Jetwing Lighthouse is one of the best Galle hotels that boasts of splendid architecture and location, with 5-10min tuk tuk ride to the centre of Galle and Galle Fort.

 images

Galle Fort – MUST SEE

Located 10mins drive from Amari Resort is the UNESCO Heritage listed old Dutch Fort. This is now one of the busiest tourist destinations in Sri Lanka. Built first in 1588 by the Portuguese, then extensively fortified by the Dutch during the 17th century from 1649 onwards. It is a historical, archaeological and architectural heritage monument, which even after more than 423 years maintains a polished appearance.

Lighthouse, is one picturesque parts located on the tip of the Fort. You can walk along the wall around the fort on the small walking tracks. *We found it hard with pram as there was no disable access ramps. But once we got onto the path it was a lot easier.

Magnificent Galle Fort Lighthouse, Picture taken by Mavic Pro Drone26220926_10155817528986469_678573458946362076_o.jpg

There are a lot of places to eat and drink within the fort. As with most tourist attractions the prices are expensive. If you are a vegetarian or want a cheap all you can eat meal, we found this little hut just on the main Church Street called Coconut Sambol. All you can of tradition not so spicy Sri Lankan food for Rs850 per person. (AUD $8)

Jungle Beach

Jungle Beach Unawatuna, is a small isolated beach close to Galle and Unawatuna Beach in Sri Lanka. You can get there with a tuk-tuk, on a narrow and steep path through the jungle. The start is very crowded with tourist but as you keep following the track the crowds disappear.

Unawatuna Beach

Unawatuna is one of the famous tourist beaches in Sri Lanka. It’s popular with locals and tourist alike. beware of the street vendors that come and sell you hand made items. You can have beautiful view from up the hilltop of the entire beach.

Be sure to visit Temple on the edge of beach, Unawatuna Devol Devalaya.