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A College Girl’s Guide to New York

New York City is a college kid’s dream city: tasty food, pretty views and fashion inspiration everywhere. This summer, I flew to New York with my high school besties and put together this mini-diary and guide to the city! 


I sort of skimped on the housing for this trip. I wanted to spend most of my money on food and shopping; plus, my friends and I figured it didn’t matter what our place looked like, since we’d only really be sleeping there. So, we found a tiny Airbnb in the basement of someone’s apartment complex for around $50 a night in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn. We got what we paid for, with the slightly damp entrance and minimally furnished room, but it was cheap and only a few blocks from the subway, so I didn’t really mind. 


Metropolitan Museum

The Met is a classic tourist location, known for the Met Gala Costume Institute exhibitions and the lunchtime hangout spot of Gossip Girl’s infamous Blair Waldorf. Last year’s Met Gala theme was Camp: Notes on Fashion, and we obviously had to see what the hype was all about. We snapped the classic Met steps picture and then browsed the various, stunning exhibits for hours and hours. 


If you’re going to New York, I highly recommend seeing a live Broadway show, even if you’re not a musical person. We saw Beetlejuice and it really was incredible! The actors have such a clear love for what they do and their passion is inspiring. Besides, the songs are pretty catchy.

Times Square

We hadn’t really planned on going to Times Square until we realized it was only a few blocks from our theater venue. It was filled with tourists, of course, but it’s hard to go to New York City and not go to Times Square. The bustling crowds and flashing lights are unlike any other city.

Central Park

One of our mornings in New York, we stopped by Central Park to have a little picnic and mini-photoshoot. We did a bit of people-watching by an entrance before we decided to find a more private area. Although it’s a popular spot, it’s so big that it wasn’t hard to find some peace and quiet. 


There’s plenty of places to shop in New York. Since we were staying in Brooklyn, we took a day to head over to the Williamsburg neighborhood and do some vintage shopping around Bedford Avenue. To be honest, our shopping ended up being more like window-shopping, since all of the shops were super curated and out of our budgets. Still, it was fun to look around and try on cool pieces. 


Mister Hotpot

This hotpot restaurant is open pretty late at night, which was perfect for us since we landed after most places had already closed. The service was great – almost too great. The waiters were watching us so closely that they came over as soon as we finished a (delicious) plate of meat.

Levain Bakery

Before we headed to Central Park, we stopped by Levain Bakery for coffee and cookies. I got an iced latte and a chocolate chip walnut cookie. Beware, the cookies are huge and incredibly decadent. I was full after about three-quarters of it, but it was delicious.


We had pasta at Briciola after our day at the Met. It was a little hard to find the entrance, especially since it was raining pretty badly. But the enticing warmth and smell of Italian food was that much more rewarding after getting stuck in the rain. My truffle mac and cheese was mouthwateringly incredible and I savored every bite. 


One night we had planned to go out and explore the New York nightlife. Sadly, the one 18+ club we had found on Yelp happened to be closed that night. Wandering around the area, though, we stumbled upon Veselka, a 24-hour Ukranian restaurant, which I thought was definitely an odd concept. We ordered pierogi, beef stroganoff and a blintz. I was a little wary, as I’d never had Ukranian food before, but it all tasted great and soothed my disappointment at a failed night out. 

I loved my trip to New York and hopefully this guide can help make sure you love your trip to NYC, too!

Rachel is the Co-Campus Correspondent and Editor-in-Chief for Her Campus at UCLA. In her free time, she loves hanging around flea markets and exploring different neighborhoods in LA!
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