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New York City like a local. Tendelle's Top 6 Hotspots.

November 25th, 2020
If you value experiences over things, then you’ll want to experience New York City like a true New Yorker. 

Our Product Manager, Tendelle, has lived in the Big Apple and shares her top tips for exploring the city that never sleeps. 


Tendelle’s 6 Top Tips 
People-watch on the subway

8 million riders commute on the New York subway every single day. Here you’ll see a slice of New York’s daily life where the city’s hodgepodge of cultures mix. You’ll see suited businesspeople touching shoulders with the homeless and Hasidic couples seated next to Muslim women. Ride the line from end-to-end to people-watch, and you’ll see what New York City is all about.

Bonus points: Find street performers inside the subway station. These are not your ordinary buskers – major subway stations such as Union Square and Grand Central actually host hand-picked local artists vetted by the Music Under New York committee. Even Christina Aguilera has performed in disguise at a New York subway station!

Subway platform New york city

Eat like a New Yorker

Who said living like a New Yorker would break the bank? New York’s finest is found all around you on the streets! 

Get a giant piece of pizza for $1 at omnipresent hole-in-the-wall type pizzerias. Stand in line and get chicken over rice with special garlic sauce from Halal food trucks at four in the morning.

Finally, try a “dirty water dog” from one of the thousands of street carts found around the city. Don’t worry, the murky water where the hot dogs reside is cloudy from the delicious seasoning. At least, that’s what we choose to believe. 

Bonus points: Buy lunch outside of the Metropolitan Museum and eat on the steps for real-life Gossip Girl vibes.

Hot Dog Stand Times Square

Speed walk over Times Square

As a tourist, you can’t miss the highlights. But why not do them in New Yorker style! The bright lights of Time Square are always on, and for a first-time visitor, it is a thrilling view of the city that never sleeps. 

Tourists understandably stop in their tracks to lift their heads and marvel at the sights, even if it is in the middle of the sidewalk. This is a huge pet peeve of busy New Yorkers. So after you’ve done the tourist thing, do as New Yorkers do: walk back across Times Square with a purpose and frown down upon the tourists that block your path. 

Bonus points: Spot the “naked cowboy”, NYC’s iconic street performer who is guaranteed to be there in rain, snow or shine. He’s been doing it for 20 years so far! 

times Square New York

Walk over the Brooklyn Bridge

Each day, millions of people stream in through the so-called “bridge and tunnels” to get into Manhattan for work. The most iconic of these bridges is the Brooklyn Bridge. When it was constructed, it was considered a feat in 19th-century engineering due to the way it is suspended. 

Walk over the bridge from Brooklyn to Manhattan to enjoy a great view as you slowly approach the downtown Manhattan skyline. After exiting the bridge, hop over to Wall Street for sightseeing or Chinatown for some food. 

Bonus points: Jog over the Brooklyn Bridge early in the morning to avoid tourist crowds and to be in the company of true New Yorkers. 

Brooklyn Bridge

Get out of Manhattan

There’s more to New York City than Manhattan. Take the subway and visit the lively neighbourhoods of Brooklyn, Queens, Harlem and the Bronx. The Bushwick neighbourhood in Brooklyn is one of the hippest neighbourhoods in NYC and is a great place to find street art. Harlem is known internationally as the home of Black culture and an important birthplace to musical movements such as Jazz.

Bonus points: Take a walking tour in Harlem and get to know this culturally-rich part of New York and the central hub of the Civil Rights Movement.

New York roof top bar

Rooftop bars

Whew, being a New Yorker can be tiring! After the day is over, there is one last thing that New Yorkers love to do. Dress to the nines and visit one of the many rooftop bars in the city (watch out: many bars will refuse entry with sneakers and t-shirt). Holding an overpriced cocktail, there’s nothing quite like standing over the city gazing out at what many believe to be the most spectacular skyline in the world.

Bonus points: Try walking over the cobblestone streets of the Meatpacking district with stiletto heels. 


Hotelgift offers over 365 hotel options to choose from in New York City. From luxury to a bargain, traditional to modern, there’s something for everyone. It’s time to make memories… in NYC! 

Buy a Hotelgift for someone special here.  

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