An alternative tour guide to New York City

by Laurene Mondet
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If you are coming to New York for a vacation but do not want to limit your visit to the usual attractions, here is a selection of the best activities to make your holiday something really special. Enjoy a leading city break in the Big Apple that you will talk about for years to come.

You can also find our alternative tour guide to Amsterdam.

New York Transit Museum

Visit this Brooklyn-based museum and experience the best heritage break in New York. The museum is housed in an authentic 1930s subway station and is the largest museum in the United States devoted to the history of urban public transportation history, and one of the premier institutions of its kind in the world. For anyone who loves trains, subways and local history, this is an excellent spot to stop off at to see old train cars and fare collection methods.

Aerial Fitness: Trapeze school

If you suffer from vertigo, this activity is absolutely not for you! The school provides classes designed for anyone who has ever wanted to experience flying gracefully through the air. If you are not a serious aerialist, don’t worry: they have an array of levels. They also offer different class styles from flying trapeze to aerial silks, from trampoline to acrobatics. A day in that school and you will experience the best outdoor escape in the USA.

The High Line

The High Line is a public park built on an historic freight rail line elevated above the streets on Manhattan’s West Side. It is home to some of the most beautiful flora, lush greenery and aesthetically-pleasing benches. Walking on the High Line will give you a feeling like you are floating with the clouds while still being on the ground. Additionally, in a part of the park you can remove your shoes and walk through a shallow stream of flowing water on your special outdoors getaway in New York City.

Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market

Just to be clear, this is not the latest Gordon Ramsay’s TV show! Running every weekend from 9am to 5pm on the 39th Street, this flea market is a nice mix of antiques sellers, vintage-housewares, local-produce stands and street-food vendors. If you love digging and want to bring back a little souvenir, the Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market is the perfect spot on your luxury city break in New York.

Kayaking on the Hudson River

Downtown Boathouse offers free kayaking sessions every weekend between May and mid-October. If you have never paddled before, they provide lessons so take your bathing suit and enjoy this must-do activity for the best family getaway in New York City.


Bargemusic is New York City’s floating concert hall. Moored in Brooklyn just under the Brooklyn Bridge, Bargemusic presents chamber music up to five days a week, every week of the year. The barge offers thrilling views of lower Manhattan and excellent acoustics. Experience why critics call Bargemusic “the perfect chamber-music hall” and enjoy a special art break in New York.

The City Reliquary Museum

The unusual City Reliquary Museum is definitely worth checking out on your trip to New York City. There you will find odd New York artefacts including everything from old photographs, postcards and videos, to the bones of subway rats, to pigeon feathers and bed bugs! The City Reliquary Museum connects visitors to both the past and present for the best city break in the Big Apple.

Spa Castle

If you are visiting New York in winter, this Korean spa is the perfect place to escape the chill of the city. There you can spend the entire day bathing, steaming, and feasting on treats from a snack bar or, even better, sipping fruity cocktails in the whirlpool lounge. At night, enjoy the benefits of rooftop hot tubs and heated pools with you partner for a special romantic getaway in the city.

Takashi restaurant

Takashi’s menu is beef, all beef and nothing but beef. This Japanese restaurant serves the tastiest meat from sustainably-raised cattle with no antibiotics or hormones and they proudly feature beef from local New York state farms. They offer delicious ribeyes and short ribs but if you are more adventurous, you can try their raw liver and flash-boiled achilles tendon. This temple of beef is a true paradise for meat lovers where you will experience a luxury gastronomy break in New York.

Where to stay?

Algonquin Hotel boasts excellent access in the centre of fashionable Midtown Manhattan. The superb location and wealth of amenities make the hotel an ideal choice for a leading city break in New York City.

If you are planning a trip to Italy, you can find our alternative tour guide to Rome.

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A destination for every age… - by Laurene Mondet