A Taylor Swift-inspired itinerary for a long weekend in NYC that even non-Swifties will enjoy.
New York City is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States, and for understandable reasons. It is one of the oldest and largest cities in the country. NYC is featured in all sorts of entertainment, music, and stories. It is a hub for finance, news, fashion, transportation, you name it, which means that New York is high up on a lot travel bucket lists and that it has a million different travel guides.
This guide to NYC, is less focused on finding the best pizza or the ultimate way to save money while visiting. Instead, it focuses on the places connected to Taylor Swift. This includes world-famous sites like the Empire State Building, the Met Museum, and Central Park as well as places made iconic by Taylor, such as Cornelia Street, the (rumored) dive bar on the East side, and restaurants Blondie visited during the stolen 1989 era. So get ready to dropped your bags on apartment floors, take your broken hearts, put them in a drawer and say welcome to New York.
Table of Contents
Night Cap at Lover's of Today
Day 1: Welcome to New York (A Day inspired by 1989)
Brunch at Bubby's
Start the day off strong by having brunch with your squad in Tribeca. Specifically, visit Bubby's for diner classics with a homemade twist. Try their famous buttermilk pancakes and sip on a mimosa as you people watch the kaleidoscope of loud heartbeats under coats walking by this TS-approved restaurant.
Taylor visiting Bubby's during her 1989 era in December 2014. I visited in November 2021 and can confirm it is delicious. Bubby's is where I had my first celebrity encounter in New York. (I was seated next to Piers Morgan, who I am not a fan of and therefore did not ask for a photo with, but it still counts as a celeb siting).
Shopping in SoHo
Walk over from Bubby's to NYC's Soho neighborhood to enjoy a bit of shopping. The Soho neighborhood is known for having a big variety of stores, from the big chains you love to the smaller stores unique to NYC. You can wonder down the city streets, check out the different window displays, and stop in whichever stores call to you.
When I think of the 1989 era, fashion is a key part of it. In SoHo, you can buy a red lip classic thing that you'll like or a tight little skirt from Free People or Reformation (both brands Taylor has worn in the past). Either way, the possibilities and options will never go out of style.
While you're here, be sure to check out Housing Works Bookstore, where the All Too Well: The Short Film was filmed!
Take Some Polaroids
From the album cover to the vault tracks to the lyrics of Out of the Woods, polaroid pictures are essential to the 1989 era. As such, a 1989-inspired day needs a stop that is just for the photos. Luckily, there are a lot of picture perfect options in the area.
You can check of Color Factory for a museum dedicated to instagram-worthy photos. Each room has a different theme and color scheme so you have the option to be in black in white or in screaming color. If you want somewhere a little more unique than Color Factory, you can visit the museum of ice cream. It's color scheme is a bit more fitting to Lover, with a lot of pinks, yellows, and a rainbow hallway, but still a great place to snap a pic.
After spending the afternoon hunting down styles and polaroids, it is time for a snack and I know places for that. Check out Levain Bakery in NoHo. This bakery is known for their cookies and bread. Alternatively, you can head back to Tribeca for Sarabeth's bakery. This bakery is also known for their desserts, but does offer sandwiches and a more substantial meal if you are hungry.
Both bakeries are places Taylor Swift visited in her stolen 1989 era. I would recommend trying the cookies in whichever bakery you end up in as we know that cookies are Taylor's (and my) love. Tay even instagrammed the cookies from Levain Bakery in a now deleted post, saying that the cookies turned her day around.
Sunset at the Empire State Building
Now our next activity is best during the golden hour and into sunset, which will vary depending on what time of year you are visiting New York. For worse or for better, sunset is most popular time to visit the Empire State Building so be sure to buy your tickets in advance.
If the timing does not work out for sunset, no worries! The views from top are great regardless of the time of day and a night, you can see the lights of the city. Plus, the Empire State Building sells tickets the day of, you will just have to wait for ever and ever (just kidding, it won't take forever but do expect to wait a while in line).
Taylor announced the stolen 1989 album during a livestream from the top of the Empire State Building, making this popular tourist attraction a must-see spot for a Swiftie-themed weekend.
Diner Blue Ribbon Sushi
For dinner, let's let Tay pick the restaurant again. It's time to head over to the Lower East SIde and Blue Ribbon Sushi Izakaya. Taylor was spotted getting lunch at Blue Ribbon Sushi in April 2014.
The menu here at Blue Ribbon has a ton of options making it a great choice for groups. You can order individual rolls or a platter. There are even veggie rolls for those who do not like fish. Trust me, you'll say you're in love, true love!
Night Cap at Lover's of Today
The bar, Lover's of Today, is part of the Reputation ear not 1989, but it is only a 10 minute walk away from dinner. This dive bar on the East side is rumored to be the one mentioned in Delicate, which is one of my favorite songs.
Be sure to take a photo under the neon heart (very 1989) sign out front and enjoy the cozy atmosphere as you end your first day in Taylor's NYC.
Day 2: The Era's Tour (A Day Inspired by Multiple Eras)
Morning in Central Park
Central Park is a great place to start your second day in this iconic city. It is also secretly a Swiftie! Your walk this morning will start around 79th street, wrap around the lake, and then bring you to your second destination for the day. The stroll is about a mile and a half long and will take a couple of hours because there will be stops for photographs (and you may have other spots in the park you would like to see).
Taylor Swift has been spotted in Central Park numerous times (from her a famous date with Harry Styles in 2012 to a highly photographed day walking the city in July 2014). She performed Back to December here in 2013 and a free concert in 2019. It seems like this park is a place close to Taylor's heart.
First stop, Belvedere Castle. Walking around the castle I'm reminded of some castle lyrics (New Romantics, Castles Crumbing, ect) and music videos (Bejeweled and Love Story). From here, walk along the Ramble. This forested area will remind you a bit of the Folklore and Evermore album covers. Next, head over to the Ladies Pavilion. The old-timey charm here reminds me of Last Great American Dynasty and Starlight. Moving on, continue walking around the lake (or should I say "the lakes") to the Wagner Cove Pavilion that reminds me a bit of the Folklore cabin from the Eras Tour. Next stop is the Bethesda Fountain. This famous landmark is featured in almost every movie set in NYC and should not be missed. Its romantic style may bring Love Story back to mind (or any other of TS's other love songs). From here, you can walk over to the Central Park Mall, which I believe is where Taylor Swift and Harry Styles were photographed holding hands. It is also a pretty iconic spot in its own right and definitely worth the extra steps.
The Met Museum
If you are a fan of fashion or the internet, you will have heard of the Met Gala. If you are a fan of Tay Swift, you will have heard of Beachella. Either way, you will want to visit the Met Museum.
The museum contains a number of rotating exhibits as well as permanent displays. Of the permanent exhibits, I would recommend the arms and armor (State Of Grace: You come around and the armor falls, pierce the room like a cannonball and The Story Of Us: That battle’s in your hands now, but I would lay my armor down if you said you’d rather love than fight), the Greek and Roman art (essential to Folklore, Evermore, and the Karma music video) the costume institute (it's giving Bejeweled, Loved Story, and the whole Fearless era).
Afternoon Boat Trip
Get your big sunglasses and polka dots and channel your inner 1989 Taylor on a boat trip around the city! While Blondie has probably never taken a crowded tourist boat around the city, but she is known for loving a boat ride (and for getting her boating license when she was fifteen).
This trip will take you by the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Manhattan skyline. It's another amazing spot for polaroids and champagne. There are a lot of cruise options, so be sure to check online to see which time works best and try to book ahead if possible.
Cornelia Street and Electric Lady Studios
An essential Swiftie stop, a return to where Lover all began, the only street Taylor Swift will never walk again, Cornelia Street. A short walk away is Electric Lady Studios, where Taylor Swift spent a lot of time in 2023.
While passing the studio and walking down Cornelia Street will only take a few minutes, you can spend a lot more time checking out the area. These streets are full of beautiful brownstones and unique shops. Stop into Murry's cheese, Venchi Chocolate, or Rosecrans Florist & Cafe (pictured below) to buy a little afternoon snack. (These are not Taylor approved, but are, in my opinion, great spots).
Sunset on the High Line
The timing of this afternoon will completely depend on when you are visiting NYC. If you're visiting in December, you will need to be quick visiting Cornelia Street. If you are visiting in June, you'll want to grab dinner before heading over to the park. Either way, be sure to check your timing that day to make sure you don't miss the sunset.
The High Line used to be an above ground railway, but was converted into a very thin park for New Yorkers to walk in a green space above the city. It is a great spot to spend your golden hour. Watching the sun set here, you will feel your heart beat on the High Line, once in twenty lifetimes. Depending on the time of year, this could be the perfect place for a cardigan.
Dinner at the Bus Stop Cafe
The one (and only) place for a Swiftie to get dinner in Greenwich Village!
If you like me thought the lyrics in "The One" were about an actual bus stop, then you may be surprised to learn there is a cafe just a few blocks from Taylor's old Cornelia Street home named "the Bus Stop." Given that Blondie is an incredibly rich celebrity and has been for over a decade, it would make a lot more sense for her to be at this cafe than at an actual bus stop. TikTok blew up with this fan theory over the summer of 2023, and in case it is right, you will not want to miss a chance to eat at this restaurant.
Dessert at Milk Bar
For Taylor's twenty-fifth birthday, she had a cake from Milk Bar. This famous bakery is known for their sweet cakes, tasty pies, and cereal milk ice cream. While they now have many locations outside of New York, it originally started in the big apple and is a place that will definitely cure your sugar fix.
Not looking to walk all the way down to Milk Bar (or looking for another great dessert), check out Magnolia Bakery. Located just a couple minutes from The Bus Stop Cafe, this bakery is known for their lighter than air cupcakes and addicting banana pudding.
Night in Greenwich Village
There are a lot of options for every Taylor Swift fan in Greenwich Village and since you're in the city that never sleeps, you can probably check out a few of them.
Stone Wall Inn
To start, one of the biggest landmarks in Greenwich Village, The Stone Wall Inn. This famous gay bar is the site of the riots that launched the gay rights movement in the US. How does this relate to Taylor Swift? Well that depends on who you think she has dated in the past and what you think she was saying in the You Need to Calm Down music video. At the very least, Taylor is an ally of the LGBTQ+ community and performed at The Stone Wall Inn in June of 2019.
White Horse Tavern
Keeping with the historic theme, the next recommendation is White Horse Tavern. This bar is the oldest in the Village and, according to some websites, the second oldest in all of NYC. While Taylor herself is not connected to this place, the name White Horse does fit our theme.
This 1920's bar will make you feel like you stepped into the Great Gatsby. More importantly, it will make you feel like you are living the life from This is Why We Can't Have Nice Things, before Taylor had to take the nice things away. That being said, it is a pricy place so be sure to take a look at the menu before visiting.
The Comedy Cellar
This famous comedy club hosts comedy shows every night, with the most popular acts on Fridays and Saturdays. It's the place to see well known acts and up and coming comedians.
How does this relate to Blondie? First, Taylor is a bit of a comedian herself. If you've seen her perform, you know she can make the audience laugh with her speeches between sets. If you saw her "Midnights Mayhem with Me" announcing a track on Midnights name Karma, you know she's funny, which brings me to our second reason. Swifties are famous for coming up with crazy theories that (sadly) rarely work out, leaving us looking (and feeling) like clowns. Where better to be a clown than a comedy club?
Taylor Swift is famously friends with Selena Gomez, who stared on the Disney Channel show, Wizards of Waverly place. This dinner was the inspiration for the location. The diner is open until midnight and is a great place to stop in for a late night snack.
Day 3: Coney Island and More (A Day Inspired by Folklore and Evermore)
Getting to Coney Island is easy but takes a while. A number of trains run from downtown to Coney Island so you may never need to switch routes, but if you are leaving from Manhattan, the trip will take at least an hour.
Once you make it to Coney Island, you'll want to focus on the three main attractions: rides, Nathan's hotdogs, and sitting on a bench in Cony Island wondering where did you baby go. Just kidding! You will want to wonder the board walk and maybe check out the beach or the New York aquarium.
The most famous spots in Coney Island are Deno's Wonder Wheel (the 150 foot tall ferris wheel that stands tall above the boardwalk) and Luna Park's Coney Island Cyclone (the iconic wooden roller coaster). Keep in mind, that each amusement park is separate so to see both of these rides, you would need to buy tickets to two different parks. Depending on how long you plan on staying at Coney Island, you may want to just pick one.
The Rest of Your Last Day in New York
You did it! You saw so many different places in the big apple. Some where landmarks everyone wants to visit, others were spots only famous to Swifities. Either way, it has (hopefully) been a fun and exciting trip around the city.
With whatever amount of time you have left on your final day in NYC, I would recommend either checking out any of the places you missed in the previous two days (if you missed any) or checking out one of the many NYC must-see attractions that have nothing to do with Taylor Swift. This includes the essentials like Times Square or Rockefeller Center, historic sites like the 9/11 Memorial or Grand Central Terminal, and trendy spots along the rivers like the Hudson Yards or Battery Park. This could be a great time to take a walking tour to check out the neighborhoods not included in this itinerary like Little Italy or China town.
Whatever you choose, dear reader, I hope you have an enchanting weekend in New York! Thank you for reading my guide!