New York City is the most populous city in the US and famously competitive. If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. As the headquarters for commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, technology, healthcare, entertainment and international diplomacy, NYC’s influence extends across the globe. In recent years, tech and new media industries have become big business particularly in “Silicon Alley’”, defined as Upper Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island. With renowned cultural institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim, Lincoln Center and Julliard, Broadway Theater District, Rockefeller Center and the Empire State Building, the Big Apple is widely deemed the cultural capital of the world.

WHERE TO STAY

MIDTOWN

  • THE ROGER HOTEL – A few blocks from the Empire State Building, The Roger is a small but solid boutique hotel. It works well as a base for a few nights with generally reasonable rates.
  • HUDSON HOTEL CENTRAL PARK – Super stylish and incredibly well-located, this hotel overlooks Central Park and offers affordable prices. The decor is supreme!
  • THE ARCHER HOTEL  A new vogue hotel that evokes the creative soul of its Garment District neighborhood, The Archer offers a carefully curated experience filled with quirky luxuries and remarkable customer service.
  • CITIZENM – A unique, concept hotel located in Time Square, CitizenM has designed their lobby to look and feel like comfortable living rooms. Their beautifully appointed relaxation and work spaces are filled with books, magazines and eclectic items from all over the world. The hotel also includes a cafe, which is open New York hours (24/7) as well as trendy rooftop bar.

BROOKLYN

  • MCCARREN HOTEL & POOL  Located in the heart of Brooklyn’s most vibrant neighborhood, McCarren Hotel & Pool can be described as an urban retreat. It has a delectable rooftop bar offering breathtaking views of Manhattan and one of New York City’s largest outdoor swimming pools.
  • THE WYTHE HOTEL  Housed in a historic refurbished factory on the Brooklyn waterfront, this boutique hotel is a 5-minute walk from the seasonal Brooklyn Flea. Industrial-chic rooms have free Wi-Fi, custom-made furniture and surround sound systems. Additional perks include a screening room, free access to a nearby gym, live entertainment (at a surcharge), a swank rooftop bar and a French-inspired restaurant.

CO-WORKING

  • WEWORK – At 30 offices across New York, the city is your oyster!
  • GRIND – Four locations across New York. Our pick is the Park Avenue office located at 419 Park Avenue South.

COFFEE & KAI

FOR COFFEE

  • TAYLOR ST. BARISTAS – Aussie-founded coffee shop right around the corner from the NZTE New York City office. Pair a good flat white with some Lamingtons (can you have just one?)!
  • HAPPY BONES – Owned by Google’s Kiwi Craig Neville-Manning, Happy Bones is a minimalist coffee shop specializing in flat whites in Lower Manhattan.
  • BLUESTONE LANE – Provides cross-Manhattan access to your daily caffeine fix.
  • BLUE BOTTLE COFFEE – The quintessential San Francisco chain has NYC locations across Midtown (Bryant Park and Rockefeller Center), Chelsea/West Village and Williamsburg.
  • SATURDAYS NYC – Brews some of the best coffee in NYC but is actually a surf shop with cool clothes and accessories. Who knew surfers made such good baristas? The Soho location has a wonderful backyard that gets full in the summer.
  • NYC WIFI & COFFEE – A meticulous online list of obscure finds (from parks to cafes) with free Wi-Fi and easy access to hot, delicious java. Works with iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

FOR LUNCH AND DINNER

  • CHAMP’S DINER – All vegan, 50’s inspired diner for hipsters and biker gangs alike. They have the best pancakes in New York and the most incredible Chikn’ n’ Waffles. Chikn’, not chicken.
  • JOE’S SHANGHAI – A New York classic, Joe’s Shanghai reminds you of the city’s melting pot. Our tip: order the soup dumplings and be surprised by the “soup”. This place is BYOB except for beer (they have their own).
  • THE MUSKET ROOM – Fantastic Michelin-star New Zealand-owned restaurant in Lower Manhattan for dinner only. The Musket Room specializes in modern New Zealand cuisine and is ideal for events and hosting.
  • ASIATE – Perched atop the Mandarin Oriental hotel, Asiate is super formal: home of the suited and booted high-power lunch. Look forward to impeccable service and magnificent views of Manhattan and Central Park.
  • HARRY CIPRIANI – An institution on Central Park, Harry Cipriani is everyone’s neighborhood favorite. Italian classic meets Hollywood glamor, Harry Cipriani is more than a watering hole for titans of industry. They do a good brunch too!

NIGHT SPOTS

  • POD 39 ROOFTOP BAR – Close to the NZTE office, Pod 39 is open for breakfast, lunch and evening drinks/bites.
  • REFINERY ROOFTOP – A short walk from the NZTE office, the Refinery’s unforgettable rooftop bar hosts a relaxed yet refined happy hour.
  • RARE BAR & GRILL, MURRAY HILL – Another neighborhood favorite near the NYC NZTE offices, you’ll feel like an old family Italian native in their plush red booths.
  • THE BAR DOWNSTAIRS – Sleek, sophisticated bar located under the Andaz Hotel.
  • THE STANDARD HOTEL ROOFTOP – Hosting regular DJ’s, the rooftop bar at the Standard is a super trendy hangout spot for a casual cocktail.

COOL HUNTING

  • BROOKLYN BRIDGE – An iconic walk with spectacular views from Brooklyn to Manhattan.
  • EAST RIVER FERRY – New York’s East River Ferry features frequent services connecting Manhattan to Brooklyn, Queens and seasonally, Governor’s Island.
  • Top of the Rock (at the Rockefeller Center) is a 70-story observation deck with better views than the Empire State Building.
  • If you visit Times Square, stroll through this district well after dark to take in the bright lights and avoid the tourists. Seek out the Naked Singing Cowboy!
  • Walk/visit THE HIGH LINE, a 1.45-mile-long park built on an elevated section of an old  NEW YORK CENTRAL RAILROAD.
  • New York has an abundance of world-class museums such as the American Museum of Natural History, the Museum of Modern Art, the Immigration Museum on Ellis Island and the Guggenheim. Some less popular museums worth a visit include the Museum of the Moving Image and the Brooklyn Museum of Art.
  • A visit to NYC is not complete without a Broadway show! Try TODAYTIX for help finding cheap Broadway tickets.
  • SMORGASBURG is Brooklyn’s food flea market. It’s open every weekend at East River State Park in Williamsburg, Brooklyn rain or shine. 100 food vendors have assembled at Smorgasburg to compete for your attention. An additional bonus is its location directly across from a beautiful Manhattan skyline.
  • LEVAIN BAKERY on the Upper West Side is an old-school bakery started by running enthusiasts. Expect robust loaves and massive cookies suitable for post-sightseeing appetites.
  • For more ideas on things to do in NYC (there’s never enough time!) try the INFATUATION for a delicious guide to New York’s dining scene or TIME OUT NEW YORK for insights on all happenings in the city. Finally, read up on these Big Apple LIFE HACKS on the plane over – you’ll feel like a New Yorker before you hit the ground!

GETTING AROUND

NAVIGATING NEW YORK

  • NYC is fantastically easy to navigate. The grid system and New York’s distinct neighborhoods make walking extremely easy and a delight. There are also tons of efficient and cheap public transport options if your dogs start barking.
  • Those bright blue bikes everywhere are CitiBike, NYC’s bike-sharing system. Get the APP, which locates the closest CitiBike station, generates biking routes and even suggests places to dine, shop and sight-see. Works with Android, iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
  • Rail travel through the Northeast is a great option. It’s cheaper than flying and sometimes faster as you’ll forego airport check-in. NYC winters can be brutal (icicles will appear in subway stations) and freak weather often causes flight cancellations. AMTRAK connects New York to DC in 3.5 hrs and Philadelphia in 1.5 hrs.

NEW YORK IS SERVED BY THREE DIFFERENT AIRPORTS

  • John F Kennedy (JFK), the largest and most well-served of the three regional airports, JFK is typically used for long-haul international flights. Transportation from JFK to Manhattan is ~$55 in an Uber.
  • LaGuardia (LGA) is JFK’s younger brother. Its small size means most traffic is from US domestic routes. It’s an older airport but its size makes it easier to get through. It’s also the closest (by distance) to Manhattan; only $35 in an Uber.
  • Newark (EWR) is actually located in the neighboring state of New Jersey. However, despite being out-of-state, transportation from EWR to Manhattan is a breeze on NJ Transit. The NJ rail express line picks up from the airport and spits you out at NYC’s Penn Station. EWR is the hub for United Airlines (Star Alliance) so if you collect Air New Zealand air points, EWR is a good choice.

EXPLORE OTHER US CITIES