A Free People Girl’s Guide to New York City

There are countless visitor guides out there telling us how we should see New York City. “Check out the museums, catch a Broadway show, eat at a famous restaurant!” they shout. New York City is the city that never sleeps, where there are too many options, and anything you can dream of is at your fingertips. How do you choose what to do? Well, hopefully this will you give you some ideas. This is a different kind of guide — this is a Free People girl’s guide to New York City.

I’m moving back to California at the end of the month, so with just a few days left to experience the city, I’m dubbing this my NYC bucket list. To experience and share in the same thing that is meaningful to another person is, in itself, very special, so I enlisted the help of a few New York-based FP girls, asking them to share their favorite things to do that wouldn’t be found in a typical city guidebook. I also added some of my favorite things to do in New York at the bottom! Check out the guide below:

fp nyc guide

Charlotte, Social Media Specialist at Rockefeller Center: “Walk to the Northside Pier in Williamsburg early in the morning. I grab a coffee on the way and just soak in the tranquility of the city and the sound of the water. It makes for great photos too!”

Madeline, Display Coordinator for NYC: “One of the most amazing things about living in New York is being able to take the train straight to the beach during the summer. There are tons of different beaches to explore — each with their own story and experience. My favorite place to go on the weekends is out to the Rockaways. The A train lets you off just a few blocks from the water, where you can eat some of the freshest food in the city. Rockaway Taco, Rippers and Playland Motel are must-visits every time. The area is still trying to rebuild from Sandy, so every year there is something new to discover.”

fp nyc guide

fp nyc guide

Ali, Senior Store Manager at Rockefeller Center: “While New York is known for some of the most famous large-scale music venues in the world such as Carnegie Hall and Madison Square Garden, we like to think that the real magic exists in the nooks and crannies of this concrete jungle. Smalls Jazz Club is a local underground MUST on any FP music lover’s bucket list. Located in the heart of Greenwich Village this original raw basement space is perfect for an intimate evening of vibrant and energized music created by some of the greatest jazz artists in the world.”

Lulu, Senior Visual Manager for NYC: “The whispering gallery at Grand Central is a special place. I saw a marriage proposal there once.”

fp nyc guide

fp nyc guide

Kelsey, Senior Stylist at Rockefeller Center: “How can you choose just one? Go to Café Mogador in the East Village and order the Moroccan eggs with tea. They serve their tea in the coolest little tea pots! It’s my favorite place to spend a Sunday morning. Or if you want to try a New York bagel, go to Ess-A-Bagel on the Upper East Side. It trumps any other New York bagel you could possibly have. It’s a true NYC gem!”

Brooke, Artist: “I love getting my caffeine fix at Ninth Street Espresso in the East Village. The space is cozy, yet simple — a perfect way to start the day. Great coffee, nice folks, and they always have the best tunes on.”

Kelsey and Ali: “Yoga To The People (or YTTP) is the perfect place to get a yoga session in if you need to take a break from the energetic city. It’s donation based and offers classes for all levels, all over the city.”

fp nyc guide

fp nyc guide

fp nyc guide

And for me, you ask? Well, I generally like the simple and thoughtful things in life, so what I enjoyed doing most in New York ending up being the things that I felt most present in. I love making a music compilation on Spotify, putting my headphones on, and heading out to the bustling streets. As my music plays, I make sure my phone stays in my pocket so my eyes stay exploring the city around me. I love walking up and down the cobblestone streets of SoHo — the architecture, the people, the charm, the fashion. Oh, the fashion! If you need any outfitting ideas, SoHo is the place to be inspired. I also love riding CitiBikes all around New York, weather permitting. You can rent a CitiBike for $10 for the entire day! One of my favorite rides was up and down the path on the East River, all the way down to Wall Street, where you can see the Statue of Liberty in the distance. The East River waterfront is a great spot to take a break, relax, and watch the world around you. Oh, and if you have time, check out a little hidden gem called Rossy’s Bakery. It’s one of my favorites.

fp nyc guide

fp nyc guide

+ I can’t wait to hear some of your favorite NYC spots — please share in the comments. I’m sure there are tons!

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Green-Wood cemetery in Brooklyn. Google its images. Beyond words. Home to Irving Berlin, duke ellington, Elizabeth cady Stanton, Joseph Pulitzer, Herman Melville, basquiat, civil war leaders and soldiers… It was the first green space in NYC. Gothic, historic, & gorgeous.

I feel like the Free People girl is full of wanderlust. More city guides please – love these types of posts!

One day I will go to NYC!! It has been my dream since 10 yrs now. My boyfriend wants to fulfill my wish but due to our circumstances we will probably go by flight and won’t be able to stay for more than a day. We find it almost overwhelming to enjoy NYC in just one day. He loves good food, photogenic environment and he loves taking pictures. I love all things girly and things related creative arts, jewelry, lots of fashion, make up and clean vegan/raw food and of course, shopping!!

Beautiful post. I’ve only been to N.Y.C once and did the touristy things: Empire State Building, Broadway Play, Times Square, Statue of Liberty, and Central Park. The park was one of my favs because i loved the street performers. I would love to go back someday and experience some of the things you mentioned.

Beautiful pictures!! Makes me miss New York so bad. I agree with leaving your phone in your pocket, you can take in so much more just looking around you! I look forward to coming back to New York!


I’m headed to New York in a few weeks and these are such good ideas! I can’t wait!


I love this guide! Riding a bike in a city makes me nervous – but it’s so nice to be out of a car and going at a slower pace. I love this guide- pinning!

Warm Regards,

This is such a great post! I was in NYC for 3 days when I was 16, but would love to go back again soon. I’ve been saving money in a travel jar – maybe I’ll make it down this summer!

julie // northern rustication

This guide is great, loving all the info here!
Haven’t been to New York in ages, but definitely want to head out there sometime soon.

xx Cheyenne

New York is such a magical place. I visited it with my fiance for the first time a few years ago…now I’m curious to go back and take another look….

The Weaver Of Words….weaving fibers & fables….

I’m loving these pictures! I’d love to go to New York one day, it’s literally my wish for life.


Giuseppina’s in Park Slope. Best pizza in NY and this is coming from a native :)!

Wonderful pictures of NY!! Amazing Style! We always draw inspiration from NYC! Love!!

The Savvy Heart

Giuseppina’s in Park Slope. Best pizza in NY. And this is coming from a native :)! Also like the first comment said, Green-Wood Cemetery is a must as well as exploring Spanish Harlem


Oh my. You see, I live fairly close to NYC so it has really been a normal thing to see and visit. I’ve always been curious as to how other people see it around the globe. But, perhaps visiting and doing some of the things you’ve mentioned may shed a new light on that grand city. Thank you.



Also adding that this should be a series! This is so fun, would love to see an Atlanta and San Francisco version of this. The photography is awesome.

I recently visited NYC right before Christmas and found that one of my favourite things to do was just walking through Central Park. There’s the slightest hint of a bustle to remind you that you’re in the city, but enough serenity to take it all in.


I love the whispering hall at Grand Central, that is such a great one! I also love same day TKTS tickets for great Broadway shows, the statues in Central Park, and brunch on the Upper East Side!

xx Kelly
Sparkles and Shoes


I absolutely adore Greenwich! It is far enough away from the more crowded places like Times Square and 5th Avenue that you can still take in the city but it a calmer environment. The atmosphere is amazing and you feel so free and happy walking through the streets there.


My husband and I love NYC, we have been twice in the last three years- flying all the way from the Wet West Coast of Canada. Our go to places are: Birdland, for awesome live music and food in an intimate space, the Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market for what feels like a free trip through a museum, Friend of a Farmer on Irving Place for THE most delicious brunch in the coziest little space, and all over the Village during NYC Fringe Theatre Festival- so many cool shows and performances pieces to see for pennies compared to the big shows.… Read more »

New York is one of my top places to visit and I love reading posts about it. Thanks for inspiring some places to see when I go!


Great! Now I have to go to New York City, too! Like I didn’t have enough places on my list… :D

I love NYC! These are amazing pictures – really capture the essence of the city :)

I NEED TO SEE NEW YORK CITY!!!! it looks so beautiful, I will see it one day!!!

Love these tips! Can’t wait to make it to NYC someday to experience these!

xoxo Alice Rose