If you want to follow the well-heeled locals in New York, just spend 48 hours on the Upper East Side. The neighborhood’s doors lead to many of the city’s best restaurants and cultural attractions — and chances are at least one will be held by a white-glove doorman. And because it’s located just a hop, skip, and jump from Midtown, it’s easy to spend the weekend on the Upper East Side.
Things to See on the Upper East Side
It’s no wonder the Upper East Side is one of the most coveted neighborhoods in Manhattan. Just walk down Park Avenue to take in the massive apartment houses, which are some of the most expensive in the world. The western side of the neighborhood borders famous Central Park, where you can see attractions such as Conservatory Water — modeled after the boat pond in Paris’ Luxembourg Gardens.
Things to Do on the Upper East Side
The Upper East Side is well known for its Museum Mile, a one-mile-long stretch of Fifth Avenue that’s home to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, The Jewish Museum, the Museum of the City of New York, El Museo del Barrio, and the Museum for African Art. Closer to Midtown, the free Roosevelt Island Tramway offers scenic views of Manhattan.
Food & Drink
Start the day at H&H Bagels, a landmark with a few small tables where you can enjoy classic New York bagels, spreads, and smoked fish. At Sant Ambroeus, on Madison Avenue, you can order Italian dishes, cappuccinos, and desserts served in a refined, Milanese setting. Famed for burgers, the cash-only pub JG Melon is not to be missed, while Neapolitan-style pizza comes straight from a wood-burning oven at San Matteo. Experience the lively nightlife at The Penrose, with its old-fashioned cocktails and whiskey list, or the laid-back social scene at Dorrian’s, an Upper East Side institution.
Madison Avenue may be a one-way street, but the shopping opportunities are endless. Whether you’re looking for a contemporary brand, like Acne Studios, or a classic mainstay, like Agnès B., Madison Avenue has you covered. Here you’ll also find the flagship stores of brands such as Adidas, Burberry, Chanel, Ralph Lauren, and more. Further uptown, on 86th Street, find fast-fashion shops, including Banana Republic, Urban Outfitters, and more.