New York (Taylor's Version): This NYC Walking Tour Is A Must For Any Swiftie

Welcome to New York, it's been waiting for you, Swifties. Dubbed one of the best U.S. destinations for music lovers, New York is a must-visit locale for anyone who loves to groove. Home to Radio City Music Hall, Madison Square Garden, and plenty of small concert venues, the Big Apple is a haven for music heavyweights like Jay Z, Beyoncé, and, of course, Taylor Swift. No wonder this heady city is included on our ultimate Taylor Swift road trip. Taylor Swift says her move to the Big Apple in 2014 inspired "1989," her first pop album. Since then, the megastar has made NYC into one of her home bases (actually, she owns four homes here), and we've got the perfect New York (Taylor's Version) walking tour to help you follow in her glitter boot footsteps. 

Want to have the "Best Day?" Embark on our guided excursion to some of Taylor's favorite haunts — restaurants, bars, and hotels included. From her former Cornelia Street apartment to the leafy High Line to the Housing Works Bookstore, these places are prime spots to visit for Swifties. If some of them seem familiar, it's probably because they are. Many of these destinations have been either incessantly photographed by paparazzi trailing the Eras Tour singer or filmed in one of her music videos. This New York City walking tour is a must for any Swiftie. 

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Famed home of the fascinating Met Gala, The Metropolitan Museum of Art is purportedly where Taylor Swift met her former lover, Joe Alwyn. The main clue is found in the lyrics, "Flashback when you met me, your buzzed cut and my hair bleached," in the song "Dress." In May 2016, Swift attended the Gala with a much-talked-about bleached blond bob while Joe Alwyn sported a buzz cut. While you won't likely receive an invite to the big fundraising costume event, The MET, as it's referred to locally, is a New York museum you'll want to visit, Swiftie or not. 

Inside this New York landmark, you'll find everything from a remarkable 10th-century B.C. Egyptian Temple (the Temple of Dendur) to Van Gogh's captivating "Self-Portrait With a Straw Hat."  It's closed on Wednesdays, so time your visit right. Also, tickets aren't cheap (they cost $30 for an adult), so plan to stay a while to make the most of your trip.  Feel free to nip into Central Park when you've finished exploring the museum. In true Taylor Swift style, its stone bridges and sparkling lake are about as romantic as you can get. Plus, this was the site of Swift's impromptu concert in 2010. Backed by an orchestra, the singer played a grand piano in the middle of the park to promote her new (at the time) album, "Speak Now."

Radio City Music Hall

Radio City Music Hall is one of the most iconic attractions in New York City, and it's located a 40-minute walk southwest of the Met. You could take the M3 bus from East 80th Street to 50th Street to save some steps. This museum is also the site of the infamous moment when Kanye West crashed the stage, interrupting Taylor's acceptance speech for winning "Best Female Video" at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards. Despite the moment's horror, Taylor went on (at the age of only 19) to perform her winning song, "You Belong With Me," in unconventional venues. According to MTV News, Swift said, "I think it could be really cool if it was unlike anything I've ever done at an awards show," when describing her plans for the performance. She sang the song while busking at the 42nd Street Bryant Park subway station, dancing on the F Train, and screaming "I love New York" atop a yellow cab in front of Radio City Music Hall. 

While you probably won't see Taylor Swift perform here, that doesn't mean you won't be entertained. Visit during the holiday season to see the Christmas Spectacular starring the Radio City Rockettes or catch a concert in the spring and summer. If you have time to spare, book a 60-minute guided tour. Tickets cost $33 per adult and include a glimpse at the famous auditorium and a peek into the Roxy Suite, a secret apartment inside the venue.

The Empire State Building

It's hard to find a more iconic view than the one from atop the Empire State Building, which you can reach in 21 minutes by heading southwest from Radio City Music Hall. Ever seen "Sleepless in Seattle?" How about "King Kong" or "Elf?" These are just a few of the noteworthy films that feature this landmark and its stunning vistas. The fourth tallest and most photographed of New York's skyscrapers, this is also one of the city's most popular tourist attractions. Swifties, hold on to your friendship bracelets because this breezy spot was also the location of Taylor's premier performance of "Shake it Off." She announced the release of her "1989" album right here and posed for photos on the building's VIP, 103rd Floor Observatory. The main, open-air observation deck is located on the 86th floor and costs $44 for an adult to visit. Tack on a visit to the 102nd-floor deck for $79.

On September 27, 2023, the Empire State Building's official X account posted an image of the attraction's top floors lighted in red and white to pay homage to Taylor Swift's romance with American football star Travis Kelce. It also alluded to a now-famous term coined by the @tswifterastour X account, describing the singer's snack at a Chief's game, "Ketchup and seemingly ranch." 

The High Line

Walking the High Line is one of the most refreshing and interesting things to do in New York City, and it's easy to reach by heading northwest for about 25 minutes on West 33rd and 30th Streets. An elevated park developed on a former railway track, this NYC landmark runs 1.45 miles from near "the Vessel" in Hudson Yards south to Gansevoort Street in the trendy Meatpacking District. According to her "Cardigan" lyrics, "I knew you, your heartbeat on the High line, Once in twenty lifetimes," Taylor Swift has likely been among the many romantics strolling the garden-lined walkway with their loves. 

Known for its unique city views of the Hudson River, neighboring buildings, and colorful murals, the High Line is an amorous place to visit in New York. Plus, it's free, which makes this a much more budget-friendly way to see New York's best views than a trip up the Empire State Building or to the Top of The Rock (a.k.a. Rockefeller Center). Our favorite thing to do when wandering this open-air museum is grab an ice cream or other sweet treat from a local vendor, ogle the frequently changing art installations, and stop to watch pedestrians while sitting in the "amphitheater" at the 10th Avenue Square & Overlook. If you're lucky, you may even catch a live public performance. It may not be an Era Tour concert venue, but we promise you won't forget your experience here.

Bus Stop Cafe

Swifties have long believed that the Bus Stop Cafe is the "bus stop" referred to in the lyrics of Taylor Swift's "The 1." In case you don't remember them, here's a refresher — "I thought I saw you at the bus stop, I didn't though." While Taylor herself has never confirmed this, you can't go wrong with enjoying a meal, especially brunch, at this adorable restaurant located at the corner of Hudson and Bethune Streets in the West Village. To get here, follow Horatio Street and Hudson Street for about four minutes.

A quick, 10-minute walk from Swift's former Cornelia Street home and close to the former home of her good friend Karlie Kloss, this family-run restaurant has been operating here since 1995. During Prohibition, the building was run as a speakeasy. Today, guests can munch on fried calamari or a house-made oatmeal banana flaxseed sandwich on focaccia bread. They also serve great cocktails like a refreshing pomegranate mimosa and mango chili margarita.

The Waverly Inn and Garden

According to PageSix, Taylor Swift is a frequent diner at The Waverly Inn and Garden, another iconic West Village eatery, which can be reached in five minutes by walking west along Bank Street. One of her most widely photographed dates at this tasty spot involved a certain Kansas City Chiefs tight end. Many photos of the two emerging from this swanky, celeb-infused hot spot were splashed on magazine and web pages across the globe. While opened as a somewhat private dinner club by former Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter in 2006, New York Magazine claims the restaurant has become more of a "reliable neighborhood joint" — if you consider a $54 iron skillet of sea scallops "neighborhoody," that is. 

Don't let the price tag throw you off; this restaurant's dishes are moreish, and the ambiance is elegant and cozy, not to mention very romantic. Plus, you might spot an A-lister or two if you're lucky. With such a charming locale (the restaurant is housed in two brownstones), it is easy to see why Taylor and her friends (she's been spotted here with Cara Delevingne, Dakota Johnson, Lorde, and Jack Antonoff) enjoy eating here. If you're hoping to grab a bite at this beloved spot, be sure to book dinner reservations well in advance (we're talking months), as it's a sought-after eatery with very little seating.

Via Carota

If you couldn't get into The Waverly Inn and Garden or balked at the exorbitant price tag, head to one of Taylor's other favorite restaurants, nearby Via Carota. Located seven minutes southwest at 51 Grove Street, this Italian trattoria is a four-minute walk from Taylor's former Cornelia Street pad. Be warned, it's so popular there's often a line around the block. While delicious food is the major pull (reviewers rave about the tonnarelli cacio pepe), it's the restaurant's fame as a celebrity haven and its authentic Italian ambiance that entice people to wait it out until they get a table. Entreés will still run you around $28, but considering this is New York, that's not such a bad price, especially with the high quality of food on offer. 

Yelp users suggest heading to the restaurant at 5 p.m. and putting your name on the waitlist, which could take anywhere from half an hour to three hours. Don't worry; you can head to a nearby bar to while away the time. The restaurant will send a text when your table is ready. Try visiting for a weekday lunch if you're not up to lining up for what could be hours and hours. We're guessing Taylor and her friends don't have to wait for their spot.

Cornelia Street

Walk about four minutes southwest on Grove Street until you hit Cornelia Street. Taylor Swift rented a 5,500-square-foot townhouse at number 23 while her Tribeca apartment was renovated in 2016. According to a New York Vulture interview with the home's owner, David Aldea, Swift loved his "crafty" style and asked if he could leave pretty much everything for her to use while she was there — like towels, furniture, dishes, etc. 

The unique building is fronted by large, wooden arched doorways, and though you won't see this on your visit, the inside is home to a swimming pool that is situated in the living room. The "roof" Swift sings about in "Cornelia Street" is also hidden from view and likely refers to a private outdoor area off the main bedroom that boasts a fireplace and artificial grass.

Today, the house (well, the outside of it, anyway) is frequented by Swifties taking selfies and singing verses of "Cornelia Street," Swift's song on the album "Lover." Swift sings about renting "a place on Cornelia Street" and that if her lover ever left her, she wouldn't be able to walk the street again. Speaking of streets, this Greenwich Village neighborhood is hard to beat — great restaurants, cute cafés, and eclectic shops abound.

155 Franklin Street

It will take about 25 minutes to walk southwest to another of Taylor's NYC residences. She bought two neighboring penthouse apartments at 155 Franklin Street for almost $20 million in 2014 and had them renovated to create an enormous space featuring 10 bathrooms, 10 bedrooms, and a billiards room, moving into the Cornelia Street house while the work was completed. In 2018, the New York Post reported that Swift purchased another apartment on the same block, this time a second-floor, 3,540-square-foot space for $9.75 million. 

Swift also owns the three-story townhouse next door at 153 Franklin Street. She purchased this for $18 million, bringing her property spend on this block up to almost $50 million. According to the same New York Post article, it comes with a "paparazzi-proof garage." While the block itself is pretty unassuming — it's devoid of flashy stores, doorman-clad buildings, and popular restaurants, its location is perfect for someone who doesn't want to be in the limelight every second of the day. It's also super close to plenty of crave-worthy restaurants like Bubby's, which sits around the corner on Hudson Street and has been frequented by Taylor and Lena Dunham. Sarabeth's is another nearby eatery favored by Taylor. She's been spotted there with Karlie Kloss.

Housing Works Bookstore

The next stop on this New York (Taylor's Version) walking tour is a must for any Swiftie. A 22-minute walk east on Franklin Street and north on Broadway, Housing Works Bookstore is both unique and gorgeous. You might recognize this charming shop from the final scene in Taylor Swift's 10-minute, Grammy-winning music video for "All Too Well." It's here, surrounded by bookshelves and intrigued-looking women, that Swift reads her "novel" in the video's conclusion. Not a big reader? This eclectic store is also filled with music and movies, most of which have been donated, and 100% of their profits are gifted to help those affected by and living with HIV/AIDS. There's also a café, making this a perfect spot to enjoy a quiet respite.

According to Homes and Gardens magazine, Swift shot other parts of the popular "All Too Well" video in the Pound Ridge home of her friends Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds. A bit far for a walking tour, this adorable New York State town lies almost 50 miles north of Cornelia Street, near the Connecticut border. You can hop on a train or rent a car to visit. 

The Bowery Hotel

Taylor Swift's former long-time love, Joe Alwyn, was part of the creative process on her "Folklore," "Evermore," and "Midnight" albums — he even co-wrote some of the songs. On the credits, Joe used a pseudonym — William Bowery. According to Teen Vogue, many fans believe he chose this last name to honor the site of one of their first dates, the luxe (and super pricey) The Bowery Hotel. But in an interview on The Kelly Clarkson Show in May 2022, Alwyn claimed he picked the name William for his great-grandfather and Bowery to represent the area he spent a lot of time in when he first moved to New York. Regardless of whether the pseudonym was tied to Taylor, it's known that the two enjoyed tasty food and drinks in this swanky locale, which lies a mere five-minute walk northeast of the Housing Works Bookstore.

While rooms cost anywhere from $655 to over $1,200 per night, guests can visit the hotel's fab Italian restaurant, Gemma, for a fraction of the price. Homemade Honeynut Ravioli will run you about $25, and a NY Strip Steak is $52. Reviewers on Yelp love the Torta di Cioccolato for dessert. Not cheap, but again, this is New York! And the elegant, rustic atmosphere is hard to beat.

Lovers of Today Bar

Swifties have taken to Reddit to discuss their thoughts on the lyrics to "Delicate," and their arguments are quite convincing. According to these mega fans, the "dive bar on the East Side" mentioned in this "Reputation" song is the Lovers of Today Cocktail Bar at 132 1/2 East 7th Street. Open from 5 p.m. to 4 a.m. daily, cocktails cost $16, which is pretty reasonable for this part of the city. And they come with super fun names like Hong Kong Garden, Another Girl Another Planet, Satellite of Love, and Fan Mail. 

Small and intimate, Yelp reviewers recommend this cozy spot for a date night. Looking to save a few bucks? Visit during Happy Hour, which takes place from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. Specialty Cocktails cost $9 during this time. While you won't likely rub elbows with Taylor while waiting for an Astral Plane, she and Joe Alwyn have been seen here in the past. To get here from The Bowery Hotel, it will take 13 minutes of walking northeast along East 3rd Street and 1st Avenue.

Coney Island

While not technically in New York, it's easy to reach Brooklyn's Coney Island by train from the city, which is why this has been deemed a summer playground for New Yorkers for years. In her song "Coney Island," Taylor and The National sing about "the fast times, the bright lights, the merry-go." This pretty much sums up Coney Island and its Luna Park amusement park. A song about a doomed relationship and the regrets that follow its breakup, this track captures some of the feels of this super buzzy, always interesting, and sometimes seedy beach town.

Here, you'll find rollercoasters, hang gliders, and the B&B Carousell that dates to 1906. Coney Island also boasts close to 3 miles of beaches, so you should pack a towel if you plan to visit in summer, which is the busiest and most ideal time to schedule a trip to this fun seaside spot. Don't miss a walk along the historic boardwalk, which opened in 1923. It stretches for just under 3 miles, running from W 37th Street to Corbin Place. Plus, you'll find benches like the one referred to in Swift's song lyrics, "And I'm sitting on a bench in Coney Island, Wondering, where did my baby go?"