As New York City residents will affirm, America’s biggest, most vibrant and energetic city is much more than the catch phrase “The Big Apple” implies. There are miles of new bike paths added yearly, as well as new, tourist-friendly accommodations like hotels and bars. There are now fewer autos, and more tables and seats in Times Square. From the array of fine dining restaurants, to Broadway, the Manhattan Skyline, Central Park, or the Statue of Liberty — it’s impossible to be bored on the lively streets of
New York City
When To Go:
It may sound unusual, but a New York City holiday may be best taken during the autumn season. Fall really is the city’s top season. The tree leaves turn to alluring bright yellow and orange colors, and the climate stays at a comfortable temperature. There’s something nostalgic about this time in New York and all hotels are aware of this, which is the reason you should probably expect to pay the highest accommodation costs throughout the fall. That said, the best time to see New York City during the fall season is in the month of October—particularly if the Yankees are having a great year.
Christmas and New Year’s Eve are immense holidays in New York as are the weeks prior to those occasions; you should expect flight delays at the airports and heavy traffic in the city up to at least the 2nd or 3rd of January.
Here are some top things to do in New York City:
Among the most iconic views of New York is the Manhattan Skyline — a vast canvas of skyscrapers that demonstrate all their glory and power from many different vantage points.
The Skyline is a huge panorama, breathtaking to see any time of the day or night. The constantly varying highlights as the sun changes over the course of a day are a photographer’s delight!
Statue of Liberty
The established symbol of America – the Statue of Liberty, is certainly worth a ride on the iconic orange ferry to Staten Island and back. It is also lovely to see it from the Hudson or from the Islands of Liberty and Ellis — or even while riding a nice taxi boat that starts near the Intruder aircraft carrier on the Hudson and arrives at the Brooklyn Bridge. Great views can still be had even from the Brooklyn Bridge.
If you want to visit the Statue of Liberty with a climb up to the crown, you need to book it in advance on their website. The cost is $28 per person and includes the ferry trip from Battery Park to Liberty Island (where the statue stands); it also covers the entrance inside the statue and the boat ride fee for Ellis Island (the island quarantine of immigrants). The 400-step climb up to get inside the statue is worth it. On the island you will also find the usual souvenir shops and fine dining places.
The Rockefeller Center is a large complex of 19 private buildings, overlooking Fifth Avenue at Rockefeller Plaza. It is composed of studios, offices, shops, and the Radio City Music Hall. The buildings facing on Fifth Avenue are decorated with symbols and writings of various nations of the world.
Rockefeller Center is the city’s main tourist destination, and it is probably safe to call it the main center of New York, as it is here where they put the city’s giant, majestic Christmas tree every year. The center of the complex is the 70-story skyscraper that overlooks the square, whose summit is accessible to the public with a panoramic view over the city. [See below, Top of the Rock.]
On the ground you can see the Ring, the famous skating rink that is located exactly in front of the skyscraper and dominated by the magnificent tree.
The rink is small but the atmosphere is unique. You can skate for as long as you want — although every now and then half of the track gets closed for about thirty minutes for maintenance crew to clean the ice.
There are lots of beautiful shops that surround the complex. Do not forget to take a trip to the Lego store!
Top Of The Rock Observation Deck
The Rockefeller Center observation deck offers an unforgettable view. The line is not usually very long, it will be about a twenty minute wait to enter. Do not forget to take a good camera and warm clothes up to the observation deck, as it gets very windy. You can take pictures of the sunset or wait until the evening when the whole center is illuminated.
While it is possible to take pictures on three different levels, the view is especially spectacular from the Top of the Rock.
Go up to the 70th floor and enjoy the exceptional 360° view of the city, You will see all of Manhattan from Central Park to the Statue of Liberty. Whether it is admired from a boat, from the Liberty Island, or anywhere else, this statue is always a beautiful and inspiring sight. You will also want to admire the famous buildings that stand out on all sides, forming what is the most prestigious neighborhood in New York City.
The Top of the Rock Observation Deck is just as good as the famous Empire State Building Observatory. It has a much larger balcony and is not protected by screens, but by a large window that makes for great pictures. There is also free Wi-Fi and you can Skype someone back home to chat about the breathtaking views of the Big Apple! NYC should be seen from the top, no doubt, and this is a great opportunity to see it ALL.
The view is the best, at least until the next observatory, which surely will be opened on the Freedom Tower, the newest among the skyscrapers of NYC, which fills in the hole left by the Twin Towers.
To better understand the aura of this city take a walk all around the Central Park on Sunday; you can enjoy the activities of the New Yorkers’ Sunday routine: walking, jogging, cycling; in short, sport and relaxation. Do not miss the musical events and street entertainment. There is much to do in this park; even feeding the squirrels is not trivial.
It is a beautiful green breath of fresh air in Manhattan that lies opposite the exit from the Metropolitan Museum. A few steps away, there are usually food stalls that prepare delicious pancakes with different fillings. You can enter the park right next to the subway station.
The best plan: after spending a few hours in the museum, grab a pancake (and in addition a latte from the nearest coffee shop) and walk around the park. Even better, rent a bike at Columbus Circle and ride around the park. There are many interesting places, including an outdoor swimming pool in the northwestern part of the park.
It is located right in the heart of Manhattan and occupies a vast territory. You will be impressed with the endlessly winding paths, where people ride bicycles and roller skate or just run around. There are a great many different animals to be seen, and so many baseball fields that are almost never empty.
Empire State Building
is a must-see for those who visit New York. The building is a piece of American history. For nearly 40 years it was the tallest skyscraper in the world, but even now when it has lost its primacy, it remains as the most famous skyscraper. A visit to the rooftop can made while stopping by at various floors to capture mesmerizing views of the city. You have to pay a fee of $29 to go up to the 86th floor, and to go up to the 102nd floor the fee is about $50. A large area of the Hudson River and almost the entire Manhattan skyline can be captured from the building’s viewpoints. The views are simply amazing . . .
At the 80th floor (first stop) there is a beautiful museum with an audio guide made available in all languages. This site is included in the New York City Pass and is one of the tours included in the package. Visit this building at night and in good weather, when you can admire the play of lights that illuminate New York. Cons: not suitable for those suffering from dizziness and ear problems. The elevators that go up to the top floors cover distances in a short time and the pressure difference is clearly perceptible.
The melancholy assails you from the moment of entry, and the absolute silence here is striking. People have been bringing flowers and mourning at a distance for more than 13 years, reading the names of their family members and friends — all marked on the side of a giant square that redraws the base perimeter of the twin towers. The sadness grows and tears begin to flow as you realize that the cascade of water before you is pouring into another square in the center. Of all this destruction there remains a single survivor, fenced and guarded: it is a tree that was completely unharmed at the time of the explosion and subsequent collapse, although it was only a few yards away.
The visit is a must, and to prepare for facing the full awareness of that fateful day, it is best to equip oneself with a supply of tissues. The 9/11 Memorial is a place where one of the great tragedies of mankind occurred and it still leaves anyone speechless. An attraction like this is not a fun place but it is an important and indescribably memorable one. It is a museum, a work of art that has been recreated as a park, and home to two large pools — the twin towers are represented by the water. The atmosphere is surreal and the solitary sound is of the water flowing.
The Metropolitan Museum Of Art
is immense, and full of creative works from many periods. Each single department is as big as any average museum. There is so much variety of styles that you can always find a new one to which you want to devote your attention — partly because the whole thing is impossible to see even in a whole day.
The museum is located near the Guggenheim and adjacent to Central Park. The exhibits range from ancient Egypt up to the age of the Impressionists. Most of the art collections are more than 5000 years old. This museum also has a collection of works from American artists. If you love art, this is the perfect place to spend a day.
The Metropolitan Opera
One of the top things to do when in New York is to attend a musical performance at the Metropolitan Opera.
Go and see “La Bohème” which is very interesting and stunningly performed. The theater needs no introduction as it is one of the top 3 opera houses of the world. The acoustics and interiors are all awesome; the performers are world-class talents.
The opera will be sung in its original language, but each viewer has a translator that provides the English words of the libretto. A strict dress code for men is enforced and ladies with evening dresses and furs are encouraged.
“The Great White Way” is how Broadway is more popularly known because it covers the entire theater district and looks brilliant in the evening once the marquees advertising all the productions are lighted.
The streets are lined with outstanding theaters such as The Winter Garden, Imperial, Shubert, Palace, Ambassador, and The Belasco. The musical “Cats” was shown for 18 consecutive years at The Winter Garden.
A visit to Broadway is mandatory for any tourist and a source of pride for every New Yorker. It crosses many of New York’s most elegant avenues. There are lots of interesting buildings, a sea of electronic billboard advertising, and a huge mass of people from different nations. Take a stroll down Broadway, buy a ticket for the musical, try out an ethnic cuisine from the street vendors, and immerse your palate and senses in the sights, sounds and tastes of New York City. Make sure to set aside a few minutes to see this remarkable thoroughfare, which goes through the whole island of Manhattan.
New York City captivates everyone with its grandeur: the Statue of Liberty, Times Square, Central Park, Lower Manhattan, Verrazano – Narrows Bridge, and other attractions. New York always leaves vivid impressions and strong emotions that are worth exploring further. It is difficult to leave New York without already planning one’s next visit!