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Start your New York trip by wrapping your teeth around a typical New Yorker’s breakfast at Ess-a-Bagel (831 3rd Avenue), whose large, pillowy bagels piled high with cream cheese and salmon lox are a brilliant deal. Then catch the subway from Union Square to New York Harbor for the Staten Island Ferry, which goes directly to the Statue of Liberty.
After checking out Lady Liberty, take the ferry to Ellis Island for a fascinating glimpse into the lives of the millions of migrants processed here.
Enjoy a leisurely lunch overlooking Central Park’s peaceful lake at Loeb Boathouse (the crab cakes here are the stuff of legends). Grab an oar for an equally lazy turn around the lake or head over to one of the park’s two ice rinks (the Lasker Rink turns into a swimming pool in the summer months). Over at the east end of the park is the mighty Metropolitan Museum of Art (1,000 5th Avenue). No New York city break is complete without a thorough peruse of its treasures.
Catch a cab to Midtown Manhattan’s Theatre District for a star-studded night of Broadway entertainment a la ‘Chicago’ and ‘Wicked’. Splash out on chilled oysters and other high-class fare at Le Bernardin (155 West 51st Street), one of New York’s highest rated restaurants, before rounding off the first day off your short break in New York in one of Manhattan’s glitzy bars. You can’t go wrong with Don’t Tell Mama (343 West 46th Street), a piano bar and cabaret venue all rolled into one, where audiences are invited to sing along.
For more after-hours recommendations, check out our New York nightlife page.
Kick-start the second day of your short break in New York with a classic working man’s breakfast of fried bacon, eggs and blueberry pancakes (all smothered in syrup) at the city’s first Denny’s Diner (150 Nassau Street). From here you are a stone’s throw away from the 9/11 Memorial and Museum (200 Liberty Street), a moving tribute to all who perished during New York’s terrorist attacks.
A block east you also have Century 21 (21 Dey Street), packed with rock-bottom deals and a mecca for fashionistas jetting in for a bargain-hunting break in New York.
Cross the East River along the iconic Brooklyn Bridge and stroll south along the embankment to East River State Park where free summer concerts (including SummerStage in 2016 in New York) are a great excuse to book a cheap break in New York.
A couple of blocks east of here is Brooklyn Brewery (79 North 11th Street), which is spearheading New York’s craft beer craze with its famous brews.
But first, grab a boozy lunch at the fashionably industrial Fette Sau (354 Metropolitan Avenue).
Make your city break in New York even more memorable by catching the subway back into Manhattan to watch the sun set from the top of the Empire State Building (350 5th Avenue). Then head north on the subway for dim sum at RedFarm (529 Hudson Street) in West Village before checking out the night owl action in Greenwich Village. The Village Vanguard (178 7th Avenue) has hosted jazz legends such as Jimmy Coltrane in the past, while Vin Sur Vingt (201 West 11th Street) is a charming place to check in for a fine glass of vino before your New York break wraps.
Looking for somewhere to stay on your New York adventure? Take a look at our New York hotels page.