A Perfect Day in Manhattan with Travel Expert Mark Ellwood

Manhattan Bridge.  Photo by Bradley Weber .

Manhattan Bridge. Photo by Bradley Weber.

As an undergraduate at Cambridge, London-born Mark Ellwood scored the student job of a lifetime: take tourists around Europe while earning good money and sleeping in 5-star hotels. His favorite part? “I loved all the Americans I worked with,” Mark says. “I've always been a very chipper person. I am a very enthusiastic human being and I learned when I first encountered all these Americans on these tours that there was this magical country where that was OK.”


Mark moved to the States as soon as he could, and has been based in New York City for 20 years. He lives half his life out of a suitcase, however, as a professional travel writer for Conde Nast Traveler, Bloomberg Luxury, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times. and other publications. He’s a regular on the TODAY show and also co-hosts the podcast Travel Genius.

On the ‘Perfect Day in Manhattan’ episode of the Postcard Academy, Mark and I talk about expat life; whether expat is a dirty word; which is better — hotels or Airbnbs — and more. Of course, Mark shares his favorite New York City travel recommendations.

Listen to the Postcard Academy to hear the whole story. Here are links to the best places in Manhattan according to Mark. (subscribe for free).

While Mark often writes about luxury, his most recent book,   Bargain Fever  , explores our culture’s  obsession with deals and discounts.

While Mark often writes about luxury, his most recent book, Bargain Fever, explores our culture’s obsession with deals and discounts.

Best bookstores in Manhattan

McNally Jackson and The Strand

Best breakfast places

Café Gitane and Café Habana

Best coffee shop in Manhattan

Gasoline Alley

Best lunch spot in Manhattan


Best dinner spot in Manhattan

Aria Terra

Best cocktail bar in Manhattan

Café Dante

Best rooftop bar in Manhattan

Grand Banks (it’s sister restaurant Island Oyster is on Governors Island)

Best bar for views not on a rooftop in Manhattan


Best museum in Manhattan

The Frick

Best farmer’s market in Manhattan

Union Square Greenmarket

Best park in Manhattan

Central Park

Best street to take gorgeous photos for Instagram in Manhattan

Elizabeth Street in Nolita

Best contemplative art in Manhattan

The Broken Kilometer

Best manicure in Manhattan


Sarah Mikutel in Dubrovnik

If you found this article useful, please share it, and subscribe to the Postcard Academy podcast. Each week, expats and adventurers share their insider travel tips on the best food, nightlife, and cultural experiences in the most interesting places around the globe. I’m your host, Sarah Mikutel, an American who's spent the last 8 years living in, and traveling around, Europe.