New York City is a dense metropolis, an urban ecosystem that contains every type of neighborhood and vibe – from the posh to the gritty, from concrete jungles to green spaces. A world in itself, the Big Apple is home to some of the planet's most visited landmarks, including number two world attraction, Times Square.
But there's much, much more to Midtown's neighborhood than its primary claim to fame. From speakeasies to fine art, here are all the stops you need to make to experience the Manhattan district like a local.
When picking a home base to explore Midtown from, CitizenM is hands-down your best bet. With the perfect location, style, and level of comfort, the sleek modernist hotel boasts some pretty impressive and innovative design, from the check-in system to the 'windowsill beds'. The breakfast bar, library room, and patio space are ideal spots to spend time when not busy running around town.
When it comes to satisfying a variety of tastes, no one does it better than Union Fare. The bakery-meets-gastrohall-meets-brunch-staple serves everything from breakfast cereal croissants to Hawaiian poke and beer throughout the day. Stretching a full city block, the restaurant accommodates upscale diners and casual coffee sippers alike.
The Great Outdoors
The famed High Line is famous for a reason. A stunning green space that rises above the city noise, walking along the park is an absolute must. Keep an eye out for food cart festivals and theater performances in the summer months.
End your stroll along the High Line with a visit to the Chelsea Market, just below the park. Browse through the amazing collection of boutiques, bakeries and grocers, and before you know it a few hours will have gone by. Jumbo jars of Nutella at Buon Italia and ginger milkshakes from Ronnybrook come highly recommended.
NYC is stuffed with speakeasies, so if you want to see them all, you'll have to start early. Just renovated and reopened, The Campbell Apartment is hidden in one of the busiest metro stations in the world: Grand Central Terminal. Sip on a classic Negroni while sitting amongst authentic 1920's decor and soak it all in.
If you think St. Patrick's Cathedral is gorgeous on the outside, wait until you see the inside. The Neo-Gothic-style church stands in stark contrast to the Rockefeller Center across the street, and serves as a popular yet serenely peaceful spot to take a break and people-watch.
Yes, there is MoMA, but if you're looking for something off the beaten track, the boundary-pushing Museum of Arts and Design, the fashion-forward Museum at FIT, and the always-fun Museum of Sex are all nearby alternatives. And yes, the last museum on that list does have a breast-themed bouncy castle.
It's hard to go wrong when dining out in NYC, but there are a few iconic restaurants that should always be checked off a visitor's foodie bucket list. If you're looking to make dinner a formal event, Le Bernardin is a fail-safe choice for world-class French seafood. For those lusting after something a bit more hearty and a little less upscale, Ippudo's ramen, omakase, and sake does wonders for the palate and the stomach.
Late Night Cocktails
As soon as you ring the Raines Law Room's secret bell and enter its plush lounge bedecked in velvet and low lighting, you know you've hit something special. Semi-hidden below street level, the cocktails here are straight from the Prohibition era and are as beautiful as they are delicious.