“I want to come visit you!” has said every single best friend ever. Since they’re your BFF, you would love the idea of showing your partner in crime your college and NYC life, but where to begin? You want them to feel the authenticity of the city and not merely be sucked in by the flashing lights of Times Square or tacky, overpriced souvenir shops. If they’re really your girl/boy/homie/BFFL or whatever you want to call them, you’ll definitely need to take them to these hotspots. Keep reading for the best places in New York City to take your out of town friends!
1. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Upper East Side
Sure the Met is absolutely huge and you’ll be super tired after walking through not even half of the exhibits, but if you’re in NYC you just cannot not go to the Met. The Met holds some of the most incredible pieces of art around the globe ranging from medieval artillery to the ever so dreamy paintings of Claude Monet and Vincent Van Gogh. The museum itself is a sure masterpiece and do not forget about those Met steps. Gossip girl? Blair Waldorf? It could make for a killer Instagram post, showing their newfound art culture appreciation and Upper East Side vibes.
2. The Highline, Chelsea
A contemporary park built upon an abandoned rail line, can that sound any cooler? The Highline is the epitome of urban renewal and architecture with views of the city and the Hudson River. The park itself has various small shops and food available, as well as city art all around you. If you find that Central Park might be just a little too big and overwhelming for someone new to the city, the Highline is perfect.
3. The Strand Bookstore, East Village
If your friend is a total bookworm then a visit to The Strand is a must. Founded in 1927, this bookstore has exceeded the maximum level of cuteness and is basically heaven on Earth. The company’s slogan “18 miles of books” is no joke; The Strand carries literally 2.5 million books. Your friend will never forget the moment they step into The Strand and inhale the wonderful, captivating scent of real, authentic books. Owners Fred Bass and Nancy Bass Wyden, we salute you and your cheap prices.
4. Washington Square Park, Greenwich Village
The epicenter of the calm and coolness of Greenwich Village and directly west of the brains of NYU is none other than Washington Square Park. Walking around NYC can get pretty tiring so a quick rest on a bench with a cup of coffee would be very nice. Washington Square Park is one of the best parks to people watch, not that I know that from experience… cough. The arch is also an iconic NYC landmark amidst downtown to have them check out. All in all, Washington Square Park is pretty chill.
5. Other Music, East Village
Whether your friend is a metal-head or pop princess, Other Music music store deserves a visit. The store focuses on mostly indie, electronic, rare & imported vinyl selections and CDs, but is a transcending experience within itself. NYC has such a deep and rich culture rooted in music, so it would be a shame to pass up an opportunity to see it and live it first hand in Other Music.
6. Chinatown & Little Italy
Long hours of walking and sightseeing lead to hunger, especially for a newbie, so I’d recommend a lunch break in another country, sort of. Divided by Canal Street are arguably two of the most famous cultural neighborhoods in the world, right here in NYC. Authentic Chinese and Italian meals are at your fingertips, as well as small fun shops. What’s great about these neighborhoods is that one minute you’re socializing in Italy and living in China, and then two streets away you are back in NYC. Freaky huh?
7. Brooklyn Waterfront, DUMBO
If your friend is feeling a little more adventurous and wants to leave Manhattan for another borough, the Brooklyn Waterfront is a good choice. With breathtaking views of Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge, the waterfront is by far the most picturesque place to snap some photos. Once you can somehow mange to peel your eyes away from it you can experience DUMBO, walk around and get to see the locals. Taking a look at Manhattan from the Brooklyn Waterfront is a great way to end a fun, memorable day.