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Last Updated on November 16, 2016

On the east coast of the United States there is place called New York City…oh, you’ve heard of it, have you?

If you’ve never been, you need to go at least once. If you have been, you know you need to go back. We have been to New York twice now and every time we fall ever more in love! Your list might look entirely different than ours, but that is the beauty of New York. The city can be something different for everyone.

Read on for our list of the thirty-three things we love about New York City, then check out our all-time favorite NYC tribute song, and then please add your own favorites in the comments below.

1. The romance of couples in horse-drawn carriages in Central Park.

2. The innovative parking spaces.

nyc parking3. And the ways NYC tells you where not to park.

parking sign new york city
Watching the neighborhoods change as we walk all the way down 5th Ave from Harlem to Washington Square.

5. Laying in the sun chairs on the rails of Highline Park – New York’s most exciting urban renewal project.

Highline Park New York City6. Running straight into a mid-morning model photo-shoot in the Meatpacking district.

7. Union Square
Especially the buzz and bustle here from right after the sun goes down until way late into the night.

8. The genius eggplant Parmesan pizza slices at Underground Pizza around the corner from Wall St.

eggplant pizza nyc 9. Reading the paper in Bryant Park

10. Ordering coffee off a Russian menu at Starbucks in Brighton Beach, near Coney Island.

russian starbucks in brighton beach new york11. Standing in Grand Central station and imagining where everyone is going to and coming from in such a hurry.

12. The anonymity
On any given day, celebrities and world leaders join millions of locals and tourists, rich and poor, going about daily life on the streets of New York. Unlike in any other U.S. city, in New York City you, or the person next to you, could be just about anybody in the world.

13. The walk over the Brooklyn Bridge

brooklyn bridge14. Harlem Pride
Black, white, old, young, American or ex-pat, residents of Harlem are proud in a way unlike any other New Yorker.

15. The Library Hotel in Midtown Manhattan

16. Watching tourists watch other tourists in Times Square.

times square at night with people17. The creative urban and contemporary art in the MoMA.

18. The changing cultures in Central Park throughout the day
The pet-owners and joggers in the morning, before the nannies and professional dog-walkers invade in the afternoon.

19. Looking back at the skyscrapers of Battery Park from the Statue of Liberty.

Manhattan Skyscrapers from Ellis Island20. The availability of authentic cuisines from around the world.

21. Observing locals fishing in possibly polluted waters off the Coney Island pier.

coney island fishermen22. The gravity-defying break dancers in Times Square Subway Station.

23. Observing the Orthodox Hasidic Jewish families on Staten Island.

orthodox jews staten island nyc 24. Wandering through Chelsea Market

25. Continuing the wandering through the skyscrapers in Manhattan.

26. Exploring the unique architecture of the Cast Iron district

cast iron district nyc27. Grabbing $1-$2 slices of New York style pizza on the go.

28. The pictures plastered on the walls at the uber-kitsch restaurants in Little Italy.
So many restaurants here have pictures of either well-known celebrities who ate there, or loads of ‘regular joe’ diners from throughout the years. As cheesy, faded and curled up around the edges as some of the pics can be, it still gives that feeling of ‘When you’re here, you’re family’. What else would you expect in Little Italy!

29. The opportunities for perspective
The views from the Top of the Rock and the Empire State Building let you get such a good feeling for this dense city.

manhattan skyscrapers from top of the rock30. Spotting film crews and trailers on location filming the next great NYC movie.

31. Contemplating what constitutes a New Yorker
Contrasting people who live out near Coney Island to those on the Upper East Side, and marveling at the fact that no matter their differences, they are all still New Yorkers.

32. Mariachi bands on the subway

mariachi band subway new york city33. New York is within everyone’s budget
With the exception of accommodation, hanging out in New York City can be cheap as chips and exhilarating at the same time. It might be testing out a highly-recommended hole in the wall and people watching in the park rather than Michelin-starred dining and a Broadway show, but no matter your budget, you will have a distinctly authentic New York time.

And now, our all-time favorite tribute to New York City:

We would like to thank for providing us with two New York CityPASSes for our time in New York City. We were able to squeeze in six of NYC’s main attractions in three days without wasting any time lining up for tickets.

If you enjoyed this, you might like to check out things we loved about some other cities on our travels:

Thirty-three things we love about Lisbon
Thirty-three things we love about Mexico
Thirty-three things we love about Nicaragua

Tags : new yorkthings i lovethings we love


  1. It’s controversial but I didn’t really like New York! Maybe I need to go back not in November and try out some of your suggestions. I did love the cheap tasty pizza slices and the view from the Top of the Rock though.

    1. I know that New York is not everyone’s thing but I’d happily be your personal guide on your next visit and try to change your mind 😉 I think you’d enjoy the city best in spring or in the summer. I’d love to go back in September when the colors of the leaves change – it must look so pretty!

  2. Same with me, I’m afraid. I’ve never really taken to New York City, even though I must have been there at least 10 times. But it’s been nearly 20 years since the last time. Perhaps it’s better in this century 🙂

  3. Love this post! so want to go back to New York, you’ve just showed us some more things to do.

    I forgot about those creative parking spots, I used to spend ages trying to work out how they got them all up and down. Organized chaos.

    And that is one of my fave songs!!

    1. Thank you, Caz, I was wondering exactly the same thing when we were there – how do they get the cars up there, what if the owner of the car on top comes back first, how does it work?? 😉 The song is just such a perfect love letter to NYC and the video captures the city so well.

    1. You could really be addicted to them, Samuel! They’re cheap and you can get a fix anywhere in town 🙂 Plus they are just so so good!

  4. Okay… way to make me totally homesick and teary eyed! I love New York with all my heart and feel great pride at knowing others love it so much too.

    And there are so many great New York songs. My parent’s wedding song was “New York, New York” but my current personal favorite is Cat Power’s version.

    1. Awww, Alex, sorry about that! We really do love it there. We’ll have to download the Cat Power version and give it a listen, thanks for the tip.

    1. Thanks Bret! We have yet to see Central Park in autumn but it’s one of the things I’d really love to see – it must look gorgeous! And I’d love to ice skate in Central Park in the winter 🙂

  5. Three things I love about New York, which is my hometown since three years now:

    * Williamsburg: take the L train from Union Square to Brooklyn and get off at Bedford Avenue. You can find many cute small bars, restaurants, shops at Bedford Avenue and around. Great brunch places and secret restaurants like the Vutera underneath Rose live music at Grand St.
    There is a artists and flea market with local designers which I really recommend:

    * The possibility to meet people with same interests: Try to find a bunch of people with the same interests. Pick what ever you like and you’ll find a group: Photosafari through Central Park, Snowboarder sharing ride and accommodation, Language meetups, writing groups…
    New York is the perfect place for finding like minded people from all over the world.

    * Kite Surfing: Even though NY is not the best Kite Surfing Location there are some good places where Kite Surfers are, no matter how cold it gets. Plumb Beach, West Meadow Beach. Along the East Coast are other good spots like Lewes, DE, Hatteras, OBX which is all not too far so you could do it over a longer weekend if you’ve got a car.

    1. Thanks for adding to our list, Inge. These are three great things and we’ll make sure to head to Williamsburg next time we’re in town – sounds like a fabulous place: little independent restaurants & flea markets are exactly what we like! We didn’t know about but we’ll definitely try the site – what a great idea!

  6. I love New York and your list was wonderful… however, the horse drawn carriage rides should be taken off this list. Horses have been dying because of poor treatment and unsanitary conditions and it’s extremely dangerous and tiring for the horses to breathe in car fumes and constantly carrying the carriages and people. People should experience and all aspects of New York, but the horse drawn carriages should not be one of them.

    1. Hi Jennifer – Duly noted. You’re definitely right, and I suppose there may have been a couple of newlyweds who diverted our attention away from that. Thanks for stopping by and glad you like the rest of the list 🙂

  7. Number 34 – Carnegie Deli

    I was in NY a few years ago and come across this deli, I have never seen anything quite like it….looking forward to tasting the treats of the Big Apple again soon.

    1. AJ that’s awesome, thanks for the advice. It’s right near Hotel Casablanca, where we stayed! Shame we missed it. The menu seems a bit pricey, but I think I need to re-orient myself to New York prices 🙂 The website has the entire menu online, and it does look to be New York classics at their finest:

    1. Hey there NewYorker…no offense intended to you ‘real’ New Yorkers. If you read the post in a bit more detail, we make it pretty clear we’ve only been to NYC twice, and that these are just thirty-three (33) things we happen to love – so far. If you want to provide us with any insider tips or more information, we’d love to incorporate them into our next trip to your city.

  8. People either absolutely love NYC or don’t like it at all. So far I haven’t heard anyone saying ‘NYC is ok’.

    This city has so many different faces and some are easy to catch, like the things that you can find in the guide books. But there are also wonderful places that don’t fit into the guide books because there are just way too many.

    The good thing about this is, that the locals know their city by heart. So here comes my idea for your next expedition to the city 🙂 Check out You’ll find plenty of couchsurfers in each borough. There are 514 Williamsburg locals, some host, some would meet for a coffee. So even if you don’t want to stay at someone’s place for a night or two, you could still meet for coffee, lunch, dinner or go to one of the many events.
    Get tons of insider tips 🙂

    1. Hi Inge, you’re right – you either love NYC or hate it. We are really into couchsurfing, definitely, and considered it for New York when we were there. The problem was we had a short amount of time and couldn’t guarantee our dates in town until shortly before. but we have done couchsurfing meet-ups in places around the world, including in Lisbon, Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, etc, and it helped us immensely to get to know the ‘real’ city!

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