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Take your pick – Times Square, the Statue of Liberty, The Brooklyn Bridge, The Empire State Building, world-class museums, Central Park, and so much more – one trip to New York is never enough to cover all the sites that the City that Never Sleeps has to offer.
Each of the city’s five boroughs – Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, The Bronx and Staten Island has its own tourist attractions, so it’s worth planning your time carefully so you can see as much as possible. The main icon, of course, remains “Lady Liberty” herself – the Statue of Liberty. She features heavily on any tour of the city.
A good way to save money on visits to multiple attractions is to buy an Explorer Pass. This allows you to visit up to seven attractions over a 30-day period, including the Museum of Modern Art and the Rockefeller Center. Your pass will also cover you on several tours, including that all-important trip to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Tours also encompass air and sea, such as helicopter tours of Brooklyn Bay and several cruises.
Whatever you want to do, be prepared to keep up with the frantic pace of the city when you travel to New York. The city if known to be intense and fast-paced, which is why most New Yorkers head out of the city at the weekend. However, if you need to catch your breath, you can find a respite from the urban buzz in Central Park, the city’s only green space.
If culture and the arts are what you’re after, then you have plenty to choose from. New York is packed with world-famous museums and galleries. The highlights are the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim and the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA). It’s also well worth taking a trip to The Cloisters, in Fort Tryon Park in Upper Manhattan. Part of the ‘Met’, this tucked-away gem is home to a magnificent collection of medieval art.
Broadway is the heart of theatreland. Everything from smaller, off-Broadway productions to headline shows are within easy reach. For classical music with internationally renowned performers, head to Carnegie Hall, and for outstanding opera, a visit to the Metropolitan Opera House in Lincoln Center is a must.
The New York City area also enjoys a strong sporting tradition, and several of the best-known teams and stadiums sit within its five boroughs. Located in midtown Manhattan, Madison Square Garden is home to both the New York Rangers of the National Hockey League and the New York Knicks of the NBA. During the summer, head to Queens to watch the New York Mets or to the Bronx to see the New York Yankees. Tennis fans can also visit the US Open Tennis Championships in August and September, also located in Queens. American football fans can watch both the New York Giants and New York Jets at nearby Metlife Stadium in New Jersey, just a short train ride away from downtown New York City.
From street vendors selling pretzels and Halal cuisine, to internationally recognised restaurants, food is a New York obsession. A trip to New York has to include New York-style pizza, a slice of New York cheesecake, and some of the best falafels outside of the Middle East. From the middle of July to mid-August is New York Restaurant Week, which is actually considerably longer than a week. During the “week” visitors can try some of the best restaurants in the city for a greatly reduced price.
No matter what your preference – from African to Vietnamese – there’s at least one restaurant in New York serving your favourite food. Vegetarians are well catered for, and there are also opportunities to experience the American twist on fine dining, particularly in the more up-market restaurants on and around 42nd Street.
From credit-busting luxury to thrift stores and markets, anyone travelling to New York to hit the shops is not going to be disappointed. First stop, the department stores on 59th Street, where you’ll find home-grown American produce alongside top designer brands, and the prices aren’t as eye-wateringly expensive as you may think. For top of the line designer fashion head to Fifth Avenue or Madison Avenue, and for the trendy and avant-garde shopper it has to be the cobbled streets of Soho.
Essential facts about New York
Enjoy a hassle-free journey with all the information you need to know before your trip