Exploring NYC with a City Pass

I left New York City feeling like I had found another home – The only other places I’ve had that feeling are in Chiang Mai and (anywhere) in Scotland. I felt instantly comfortable there and navigating the blocks, riding the subway and walking around Times Square at 1am felt completely natural to me. After finally experiencing NYC for myself I definitely understand what all the fuss is about – Even my city hating husband was googling if we could live there which was more amazing that NYC itself.
Before we went we decided to spent £92 ($122) on a city pass as we knew we would want to see all of the touristy things with it being our first visit. I would say that the city pass definitely made our visit a lot easier (although you don’t really get to jump any queues as everyone else has had the same idea) so if it’s your first time I would recommend that you look into getting one as it works out much cheaper than paying for each attraction individually.
Next time we go to NYC (cos there will definitely be a next time!) we probably won’t bother with any of the touristy things (I tell a lie – Jody wants to go to the top of Lady Liberty’s crown) but I think seeing these attractions is something you simply have to do when you first visit NYC.

Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island (Circle Line cruises)
Seeing the Statue of Liberty was number one on Jody’s NYC bucket list so we decided to do it on the first day. We have seen the statue in so many movies and tv shows so seeing it with our own eyes was actually pretty surreal. It was a lot smaller than I expected but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t impressive. Unfortunately we never booked Pedestal or Crown tickets (they sell out in months in advance) but we still got to have a good look at her. Not gunna lie, we got the boat to Ellis Island, walked in and pretty much walked straight out and got on the next boat back to Battery Park – We just weren’t that interested in it.


The 9/11 Memorial and Museum
The 9/11 memorial and museum affected me a lot more than expected as I’m known for being a bit on an ice queen. To see where the Twin Towers once stood was unreal as I never imagined them to be that big. Knowing that 3,000 people had lost their lives where I was standing was just so saddening. The museum itself is full of things collected from the debris – Crushed fire engines, people’s belongings, even the buckled steel from where the plane hit one of the towers. The hardest part of the museum however was seeing all the missing posters and my heart broke reading every single one. I came out of the museum feeling pretty blue but I think it’s so important to remember all those that lost their lives that day, and all those who are still suffering because of it.


The American Museum of Natural History
The Natural History Museum in London is one of my most favourite places in the world but the AMNH in NYC was just too big. It was hot, full of school kids and badly sign posted so we kept getting lost. If you have the time/patience then I’m sure it’s great but it just wasn’t for me. I did love the animal/taxidermy displays though as they were much grander than the London ones – The ones here are all bundled in glass cases whereas the NYC ones have proper scenery.

Top of the Rock
Top of the Rock had a ridiculous queue but I tell you what, it was bloody worth it and probably my number one thing to do in NYC (just a shame about the crap weather we got). You can see Central Park from one side and the Empire State Building from the other which was really cool. We spent quite a while up there and if you put a couple of quarters in the binoculars you can spot Lady Liberty. If you do anything in NYC, do this.
Empire State BUILDING

The Empire State Building
We went to the Empire State Building at night so it was really cool seeing NYC lit up – We didn’t see the stars the whole time we were there and after seeing all the lights I know why. We went at ten pm and it was still absolutely manic so I dread to think what it’s like during the day. We had to queue to get to the railings so we could take photos which was a bit of a bummer but I suppose when you go to one of the biggest cities in the world you aren’t going to have a private tour of everything are you?

Would you consider buying a city pass? Or would you rather wing it?

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