First night in New York.
The arrival, the tiredness, the initial feeling of being lost – above all if it is the first time in the city – and at the same time the willing to start exploring and “tasting” the Big Apple immediately.
Many people’s choice – almost forced because of time issues (among the arrival of the intercontinental flight, the checking and the baggage claim we find ourselves at the hotel/accommodation almost always from late in the afternoon on) – is Times Square.
A short indicative walk, a few pictures, many “wows” and if we are not too tired the choice to give ourselves a dinner in the area, maybe at Bubba Gamp’s, Hard Rock Café or Five Guys’.
I have a ritual as regards my first night in New York, a ritual I have been following for 20 years by now: a peaceful walk of a couple of hours, some “emotional” stops, greet some friends working in the area, check on changes and novelties, and my dinner at Virgil’s BBQ.
A short itinerary that I’ve recommended often lately, an itinerary I used successfully also in “My author itineraries New York” which along the path allows to enjoy some of the most iconic locations and others unusual as well in New York. And it can be easily shorten according to the needs and/or finish in Times Square if you want.
Find down here the complete path – with map and links to the deepener posts of the single stages – Times Square’s final stage included.
First night in New York: a short itinerary on foot between iconic locations and unusual stages
“When I’m in New York, I just want to walk down the street and feel this thing,
like I’m in a movie”
First night in New York: from Herald Square as far as Chrysler Building, passing by the Public Library, Bryant Park and Grand Central Terminal
The “walk” begins from Herald Square.
It’s quite simple reaching it – for who lodges in Midtown, but also for who lodges further –it will be enough to use the subway and get off in 34th Street-Herald Sq. Station.
From this nice square hosting the historic Macy’s Department Stores and where 6th Ave and Broadway one meet and start again, take 34th Street towards the Empire State Building. You can see the tip and then little by little the whole building, in pure – unmistakable – art deco style.
If it is a clear day my tip is to go up immediately to the Observatory (at 82nd and 102nd floor the two alternatives) – if you have bought a New York City Pass admission is included, on the contrary click here and buy the ticket online – and enjoy one of the most magic and suggestive sunset on the city – according to me, despite the Rockefeller Center and the Freedom Tower.
Right at the corner of the Empire take 5th Ave and enjoy the walk (northwards) in one of the most famous New York streets as far as 40th street.
If you want to do a small detour in 36th Ave on the right in Madison Ave, you’ll have the chance to pass by one of the most beautiful and precious libraries-museum in the USA – the Morgan Library. Click here to get further information about admission and tour.
Once come back in 5th Ave, reach the crossroad with 40th Street and enjoy the view (on the left) of one among the New Yorker icons – the wonderful New York Public Library (take a bit of time to enter and admire at least the amazing Rose Main Reading Room, usually free admittance until 8pm) and the adjoining, very famous Bryant Park not to be missed – the most beautiful park in Midtown, in my opinion.
Once gone out, take 41st Street – just opposite the Nyc Public Library entrance: this street is called Library Way for a short trait because on its sidewalks sentences and quotations from the books of the greatest writers ever are quoted, a sort of “literary” street taking right to the Public Library.
Go along as far as Madison Ave, then turn left and go straight as far as taking 42nd street and enjoy the amazing view of Grand Central Terminal: and furtherer the lighted tip of the wonderful Chrysler Building.
You can enter both the station and the hall of the Chrysler to admire paintings, decorations and engravings. And go as far as the News Building to see the old Globe of The Daily News which inspired Superman’s comics and movies, shot here in part.
First night in New York: from Grand Central Terminal as far as Times Square, passing by the Rockefeller Center and the Radio City Music Hall
From Grand Central Terminal come back to 5th Ave, keep going northwards as far as find yourselves in 49th Street between the Saks Fifth Ave Department Stores and the Rockefeller Center.
Turn right going along the aisle as far as the heart of the Rockefeller Center.
Here you can reckon to go up to the Top of the Rock for an amazing 360-degrees night view of the city, both with the New York City Pass and buying the ticket online or directly on site if you travel in low season.
Then turn left into 50th Street and keep going as far as the corner with 6th Ave: you’ll find yourselves right near the entrance of another New Yorker icon – the Radio City Music Hall.
From here you can easily reach Times Square going down 6th Ave, both turning left into 48th Street and passing by the M&M’s megastore, and turning left – a bit southwards – into 44th Street and then stop and have dinner maybe in my favorite BBQ – at Virgil’s – or in the other restaurants mentioned at the beginning of the post.
A nice way to end your first night in New York!
First night in New York: some more tips
One of the best areas where to stay overnight in Midtown – regardless of the first night itinerary in New York – is certainly that one around Herald Square. From here you can reach on foot a great part of the attractions and it’s possible to reach the others using the convenient 34th Street Herald Sq. Station subway stop.
My choice has been for years the Best Western Premier Herald Square for my stay in the city – both for pleasure and business. Very good position, modern accommodations – comfortable and clean, many ones with a view of the Empire State Building. Breakfast and Wi-Fi included.
You can look the supplied section of the blog up here for any other info about your journey to New York.
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