Travel Guide | New York City

12 Hour Guide: New York City

Making the most of 12 hours in Soho, Chinatown, Little Italy, and Roosevelt Island

New York is one of the greatest cities in the world. Only in New York can you see so much yet so little in 12 hours. Soho is home to so much art and so many different kinds of people soaking up the atmosphere, Chinatown and Little Italy both hold many cultural aspects, and Roosevelt Island is one of the well kept secrets of Manhattan.

11AM Arrive in Roosevelt Island. It’s considered a part of Manhattan and brings a little bit of suburbia to the city. Though it may take a bit longer and can sometimes be crowded, I recommend at least one ride on the cable car that goes over the water as a mean of transportation. Not only is it different from any other kind of transportation around the city, but it provides some breathtaking views of Manhattan, so have your cameras ready!

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12-2PM Shopping in Soho. One of the best parts of Soho is getting to shop for hours. There are so many great stores like Brandy Melville, Topshop, and Alex and Ani. Even though some stores can be expensive, I know I managed to not leave empty handed even with a college kid budget.

3PM Lunch. We were just about starving by the time we stumbled across Cafe el Portal. It is a small Mexican restaurant that can be so easily missed. The food was some of the best Mexican food I’ve ever had and it was so much better than just stopping at a chain restaurant somewhere. However, I don’t recommend going with a huge group as the inside is very small and if you’re paying with a card the total has to be over $20.

5PM Photo op. Soho is great to take lots of pictures to document your adventures. I loved the street art so much I couldn’t help but take pictures with a few of the beautiful pieces we happened to stumble upon.

6PM Walk through Little Italy. The atmosphere was great and it always reminds me of being around my family. We spend most of the time walking around the crowded streets and walking into bakeries looking at all the delicious Italian sweets. Ferrara Bakery is absolutely incredible if you’re ever looking for some good expresso and a cannoli!

7-9PM We spent this time in Chinatown. The streets were so busy and there were tons of street vendors selling anything and everything you could possibly imagine. We spent some of this time at The Capitale in Chinatown to support a friend at his competition.(he won!)

10PM Dinner in Little Italy. We went to a restaurant in the middle of Little Italy which was absolutely amazing in every aspect. Any restaurant around the area has a great atmosphere and delicious food. Just make sure you check the prices because most Italian restaurants can take their toll on any college kids budget.

I had such a great time in the short amount of time I spent in these areas. We didn’t do the typical NYC tourist activities but it was still an adventure. Soho, Chinatown, and Little Italy all provided such a different experience than anywhere else in Manhattan. It’s great for anyone looking for cultural hubs, great artwork, and tons of fun activities to experience with friends, family, or anyone else looking to have a fun filled day in one of the greatest cities in the world.

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Gabrielle Murphy

Hofstra University | 7 stories

Gabrielle is a sophomore currently studying marketing at Hofstra University. She is a born and raised New Yorker who can’t leave her house without a good book and her journal. Her first experience abroad included performing in Germany, the Czech Republic, and Austria. She is currently planning to study abroad in Europe and she looks forward to learning and experiencing all that the world has to offer.


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