What To Do In New York Without Friends: the Best Activities for Those Who Are Alone

10:10 am  |  18.02.2021

Here you can feel the life, the frantic rhythm of which rushes through the streets and underground, the life that rages on the busy Wall Street, in the hipster Williamsburg, in the touristy Times Square.


Here, everyone their own coffee shop, their own bakery to buy bagels in the morning, and if you find a place with the best cuisine in the back streets of the East Village, you only give out the secret of its address on special occasions. 

New York is a city in which 48 hours will fly by without you even noticing it, so I am happy to share a guide not only for two days but also additional ideas on what to do in the “Big Apple”.

New York from a bird’s eye view

You should definitely spend it on a walk around Manhattan and see the most iconic places in New York. The most convenient way to start your walk is from the very bottom of Manhattan, arriving at Battery Park. Here, visit the Staten Island Ferry and admire the Iron Lady, the “Statue of Liberty”. If you want to drive directly to the island, then get ready to spend a decent amount of time on a visit – the ticket will cost 25.5 bucks and you need to lay down about 3 hours for inspection, including a trip on a special ferry. Many tourists prefer to admire the Statue of Liberty from afar.

Statue of Liberty

Do not miss the famous sculpture – the symbol of Wall Street – the bronze bull, which is sure to crowd with tourists. Continue down Broadway past Trinity Church (one of the oldest churches in New York, founded in 1657) until the intersection with Liberty Street, where you need to turn left to the side. Your attention will be attracted by two beautiful fountains, which were installed as memorials on the site of the twin towers.

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Central Park

Then, through the small City Hall Park, turn to the right to the Brooklyn Bridge, which is already the same symbol of New York as the Statue of Liberty. It is worth going through the bridge at least halfway and looking down with bated breath to see how cars rush under you.

Visit one of the most colorful neighborhoods in New York, Chinatown, which was formed as a district of Chinese immigrants in the mid-19th century. Moreover, mainly people from the Guangdong region settled here, for whom the Cantonese culture and dialect are characteristic, which is why there are many cafes and restaurants of Cantonese cuisine. Here you should definitely go to Taiyaki NYC (address – 119 Baxter St), which serves soft ice cream in a fish-shaped cone.

Gathering of bikers in Little Italy

Chinatown will smoothly move into another colorful area – Little Italy. During the Great Depression, the Italian mafia clans lived here, and now it is mostly tourist restaurants and cafes. Especially bright and elegant Mulberry street, where do not forget to look around and do not miss the beautiful graffiti on the walls of the same cafes.

Gathering of bikers in Little Italy

At Broome Street, turn left again. Here, from Broadway to Thompson street, the SoHo district (the name from the abbreviation South of Houston) is spread.

From SoHo, we head west to Greenwich Village, where you will immediately notice a much lower concentration of people. Here, at 90 Bedford Street, there is a house that is familiar to all fans of the TV series “Friends”, and nearby on 64 Perry Street there is another “serial building” – the house of Carrie Bradshaw from “Sex in the Big City”.

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After lunch, we leave the market from the western exit and after crossing the street we go up the stairs to get into the unique urban space – The High Line. Once upon a time, there were rails and trains running here, but in the 2000s the former railway line was turned into a steep and green park, which is pleasant to walk along.

Having reached the end of the High Line, we turn onto 34th Street, which will lead you to the famous Empire State Building. If this is your first time in New York, you should definitely get here, although tickets are not cheap (by the way, you can buy them on the website in advance so as not to stand in line). The building itself, of course, is simply amazing and it is hard to believe that it has existed since the 30s of the XX century. And you will never forget the view of New York from it, even in spite of the protective grilles.

Coney Island

New York is not only a rock jungle but an ocean and beaches, so hop on the subway and head to Coney Island. Here, firstly, there is an amusement park – aka amusement park, which was among the first three amusement parks opened in the United States. Second, Coney Island is considered the birthplace of, attention, hot dog! For the first time, it was here that the German émigré Charles Feltman began selling sausages in a bun. And, finally, thirdly, there is a beautiful beach where you can relax and sunbathe.

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The Coney Island beach through the promenade connects with another place that a Russian should definitely visit – Brighton Beach. It rarely rains, despite the reference to the famous film, but there are plenty of Russian immigrants here.

Life hacks:

  • In the main New York Metropolitan Museum, the indicated ticket price is the recommended price, you can pay any amount you want (for example, no more than $ 5).
  • MoMA, which exhibits Van Gogh’s Starry Night and other Impressionist and avant-garde paintings, is free on Fridays from 4 pm to 8 pm.
  • Tickets for the musical are available at 50-70% off at the TKTS booth in Times Square.
  • If you are too lazy to stand in line at the booth, then download the TodayTix application, where you can also buy tickets with decent discounts.
  • If you buy something in Macy’s, then ask for a loyalty card – then there will be a 10% discount from the first purchase.
  • Visit nycgovparks.gov for a list of upcoming free events. For example, Bryants Park has a free movie every Monday.
  • In subway machines, you can pay for a Metrocard with a card, but sometimes machines ask you to enter an index. If you do not know the index of your hotel or other places of residence, then you can safely enter 90210.
  • On the way to the airport by subway from Manhattan, lay at least three hours: train traffic is not always according to the schedule and there are often delays.

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