How many city trips fit in a week? These three definitely: On this six-day trip, you will experience New York City in the state of New York with its dizzying high skyscrapers, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with its streets steeped in history, and of course Washington, D.C., where the US government is located. Find out for yourself what the “Spirit of the USA” is all about.
It is also called the city that never sleeps – and not without reason: In New York City, culinary enjoyment knows no time, luxury shopping has no limits and amazement has no limits.
Let’s go in Midtown: Here the billboards in Times Square shine with dazzling Broadway shows (by the way, cheap tickets are available in the TKTS advance booking office directly in Times Square). Not to forget Macy’s, one of the largest department stores in the world, which should not only impress shopaholics. The famous Empire State Building is also not far away. The elevator takes you up to the viewing platforms on the 86th and 102nd floors – where else could you find the “Empire State of Mind”, if not here? Midtown is also home to Rockefeller Center and Bloomingdale’s, another department store giant. A little further “uptown” in the northern part of Manhattan, the Metropolitan Museum of Art presents masterpieces of everything that has rank and name on the international art scene. You can experience real New York flair on a walk through Central Park, which is also home to the residents of Central Park Zoo.
Lower Manhattan sunset, NY
The next day is Lower Manhattan, so it’s downtown. There you can take the Staten Island Ferry past the Statue of Liberty, see the 9/11 Memorial, stroll through trendy shops and galleries in SoHo or cross the Brooklyn Bridge to experience the hustle and bustle from a completely different perspective.
About halfway between New York and Washington, D.C., is Philadelphia – a metropolis that can best be described as a mix of historic landmarks, charming neighborhoods, and a fantastic food scene.
Independence National Historical Park, Philadelphia
The main attractions are all close to the historic city center. One of the most important places is the Independence National Historical Park, where the United States of America declared independence from Great Britain in 1776. The famous Liberty Bell also hangs here. From there you can easily walk to the market halls of Reading Terminal Market and Rittenhouse Square, an upscale residential area with a public park.
Philadelphia Museum of Art
Inside the Philadelphia Museum of Art, a world-renowned art collection awaits you before you step along a completely different art object in front of the museum: the famous stairs from the “Rocky” films. How about a souvenir photo? In true rocky pose, of course. If you want to have the film hero on your snapshot, just take a few steps to the Rocky Balboa statue a little below the steps … or go for a jog. You then head back towards the city center through the pretty Schuylkill River Park right on the river.
Enough history and culture. Now you get to know Philly from his delicious side – because the diverse gastronomy scene is impressive. At the top of your menu should be a cheesesteak sandwich, which gained fame thanks to two steak snack rivals Pat’s King of Steaks and Geno’s Steaks.
Washington, D.C. lives up to its title as the capital of the United States, as it is here that visitors will find some of the most famous monuments and museums in the country.
The center is easy to see: the National Mall, an elongated open space in the heart of the city. Take plenty of time to see symbols of American national pride like the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument. The Mall is also home to many of the Smithsonian Institute Museums, including the famous National Air and Space Museum and the National Museum of Natural History. And the best part: Admission is free. North of the mall you will find the home of the US President – the White House. In the far east towers the white dome of the US Capitol, the workplace of the congressmen.
Potomac River Washington, D.C.
On your second day in Washington, D.C., across the Potomac River to Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. After you have watched the changing of the guard at the tomb of the unknown soldier, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, you have to visit the house of the first US President George Washington on Mount Vernon. After so much local knowledge, relaxation is the order of the day, for example in Washington’s trendy district, the U Street Corridor, with many restaurants, clubs, and bars.
The easiest way to get there is to take the Amtrak trains or – for a little cheaper – the Bolt Bus or Megabus bus routes from New York City via Philadelphia to Washington, D.C. The Amtrak trains only need 90 minutes to cover the 156 km from New York to Philadelphia, while a bus trip takes around two hours. Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., separate another 140 miles, meaning you are around two hours by train and around three hours by bus. Of course, you can also travel from city to city by car, but finding a parking space can be costly and time-consuming.
As part of your city trip, you shouldn’t miss the following shops and cafés:
New York City
Gramercy Tavern (42 E. 20th St.): Noble restaurant and bar by the well-known New York restaurateur Danny Meyer.
Lombardi’s Pizza (32 Spring St.): Pizzeria was founded in 1905 and the birthplace of the “New York-style pizza”.
Shake Shack: Burger and milkshake restaurant chain with multiple branches in NYC, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C.
Bud & Marilyn’s (1234 Locust St.): Traditional American cuisine is reinterpreted in this chic restaurant and cocktail bar.
Mercato (1216 Spruce St.): Italian restaurant where guests can bring wine or other alcoholic beverages.
Parc (227 p. 18th St.): Bistro with breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus as well as the best view of Rittenhouse Square.
Jaleo (480 7th St. NW): Celebrity chef Jose Andres serves Spanish tapas at this hip Washington, D.C. eatery.
Le Diplomate (1601 14th St. NW): French bistro on 14th Street with exquisite lunch and dinner dishes.
Martin’s Tavern (1264 Wisconsin Ave.): Quaint eatery in Georgetown that was also extremely popular with previous US presidents.
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