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New York City, United States: A 24-hour guide to Lower Manhattan

By Kelly Eng 16 March 2022

Header image courtesy of Luca Bravo (via Unsplash)

New York City, the land of the American dream, is a place full of “wild promise of all the mystery and the beauty in the world,” as per The Great Gatsby. As America’s melting pot, New York City is a must when you plan to tour the United States. Everyone has their own New York story and each traveller comes back with unique impressions and experiences. While there is an overwhelming list of things to see, eat, and do in the city, we have narrowed it down to a 24-hour guide to Lower Manhattan to help you save some time for your next jaunt to NYC.

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10 am: Supermoon Bakehouse

Let’s start the day with some creative pastries at Supermoon Bakehouse! Although there is usually a queue, people will nonetheless wait for the most delicious baked goods in town. Supermoon Bakehouse serves croissants, doughnuts, sourdough, sandwiches, pies, and cruffins. Recently, it has also dropped new products like the Ferrero Rocher cruffin, Snickers doughnuts, and blackberry mint jam and vanilla cruffin

If pastries are too heavy for a morning breakfast, you can dine in with friends and family and pick a piece or two to share. However, keep in mind that the store is open only on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 10 am to 6 pm, so plan your visit accordingly.

Supermoon Bakehouse, 120 Rivington Street, New York, NY 10002, United States

11 am: Brooklyn Bridge

After a filling breakfast, hop on a cab for a 10-minute ride to the famous Brooklyn Bridge, or take the J train a block away from Supermoon Bakehouse (on the corner of Essex Street and Delancey Street) and get off at Chamber Street after four stops. On the way, you will pass by City Hall Park, another tourist attraction, so stick around if you feel like exploring. 

In 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge became the first roadway to connect Manhattan and Brooklyn, crossing the East River. Since then, it has become a prominent landmark of NYC. Usually, one takes around 30 minutes to walk all the way across, but most tourists only stay around the first two segments to enjoy the view. Brooklyn Bridge is a must-go location if it is your first time in the city—you will fall in love with the breathtaking skyline and river view.

Brooklyn Bridge, New York, NY 10038, United States

12 pm: St Paul’s Chapel

Next, go on a short walk to St Paul’s Chapel before lunch. Founded in 1766, the beautiful place of worship is where George Washington prayed after his inauguration. You can do a quick visit and find historic memorials and interesting monuments in the churchyard. 

St Paul’s Chapel is often overlooked but actually holds great significance, since it is not only the oldest surviving church in the city but has even served as a refuge after the September 11 attacks. It is designed with ancient Greek elements, and while the structure is great for pictures, you can also learn more about the building and US history.

St Paul’s Chapel, 209 Broadway, New York, NY 10007, United States

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1 pm: Joe’s Pizza

If you liked Spider-Man, you might remember the scene where Peter Parker is delivering Joe’s Pizza in Spider-Man 2. A trip to the Big Apple is not complete without a slice of New York pizza, so get yourself to Joe’s Pizza for some authentic pie.

Just a two-minute walk from St Paul’s Chapel, Joe’s Pizza sells a huge slice for just US$3. Even if there’s a queue, it does not take long to get to the front, as the staff moves the crowd along quickly and efficiently. Joe’s Pizza offers plain cheese pizza and other toppings like chicken, sausage, pepperoni, mushroom, and more.

Joe’s Pizza, 124 Fulton Street, New York, NY 10038, United States | (+1) 212 267 0860

2 pm: Fulton Centre

On the same street as Joe’s Pizza is the Fulton Centre, a transportation and shopping hub. Known for its stunning architectural design, with a domed interior and transparent ceiling that allows natural sunlight into the building, it highlights the modernity of the city while playing a major role in connecting nine MTA New York City Transit subway lines.

After a quick visit to this centre, we suggest you grab a drink or dessert at a café before sightseeing for the second half of the day. You can chill at Blue Bottle Coffee, which is right by our next destination, for a small waffle or a cup of coffee to re-energise.

Fulton Centre, 158 Fulton Street, New York, NY 10038, United States

3 pm: National September 11 Memorial Museum

In 2001, the original World Trade Centre collapsed due to a terrorist plane crash. At the same time, Pennsylvania and Washington, DC were also under attack, adding up to a total of 3,000 casualties on that day. The National September 11 Memorial Museum aims to honour the victims of this tragic event. You will see authentic artefacts and imagery, read personal stories, and use interactive technology to learn more about the incident. 

It is worth a visit to understand how the attack changed the government, travel, and culture of the United States, as well as paying respect to the ones who passed away. 

National September 11 Memorial Museum, 180 Greenwich Street, New York, NY 10007, United States | (+1) 212 312 8800

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5 pm: One World Trade

Right next to the National September 11 Memorial Museum is One World Trade, also called the Freedom Tower. Exploring museums can be meaningful but also tiring, so going to the tallest building in New York City for 360-degree views will probably help you relax. 

To get to the hundredth floor, you must first check in and go through security checkpoints before entering the elevators, which displays a quick overview of the skyscraper’s history through visuals. We recommend you to come during sunset and remember to pre-book tickets (starting from US$43) from the website before your visit.

One World Trade, 285 Fulton Street, New York, NY 10007, United States | (+1) 844 696 1776

7 pm: Statue of Liberty

Let’s end the sightseeing trip with the most iconic tourist attraction in town: the Statue of Liberty. You can simply take a cab and arrive at The Battery within five minutes, or spend an extra 10 minutes and take the subway from WTC Cortlandt to South Ferry Station

If you are already quite exhausted from a day of touring, take the Staten Island Ferry for a 50-minute round trip, which passes by the Statue of Liberty while you enjoy the stunning skyline at night. If you feel like climbing up the statue for a full experience, then it is best to visit the site another day with the Statue of Liberty Ferry instead.

Statue of Liberty, The Battery, New York, NY 10004, United States

9 pm: Chinatown and Little Italy

We have recommended some relatively heavy meals for breakfast and lunch, so dinner will be light but delicious. Right after you get off the Staten Island Ferry, either take the subway from Bowling Green to Canal Street or take a cab to Happy Veggie

Happy Veggie is located in Chinatown and near Little Italy, so you can walk around before or after dinner if intrigued. It specialises in Chinese vegan cuisine, offering refreshing and completely plant-based takes on fried crispy chicken with rice, stuffed dumplings, barbecue pork, and more. If you are not in the mood for Chinese food, there are many restaurants in Little Italy to consider, too, like Gelso & Grand, Benito One, and Paesano.

Happy Veggie, 76 Mott Street, New York, NY 10013, United States | (+1) 646 838 5118

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Kelly Eng

Writer

From dipping hot Cheetos in birthday cake ice cream to scuba-diving despite being ocean-phobic, Kelly loves exploring new and weird things with her family and friends. While her talents are eating and napping, she enjoys dancing, writing, and socialising as well. As an advocate of pineapple pizzas and durian tofu pudding, Kelly is also a passionate fan of K-pop, romance fiction, and sea otters.

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