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What to Do and What to See in New York

New York City view

Have you ever seen people wearing those “I love NY” t-shirts and turned green with envy? It doesn’t have to be this way! Thanks to affordable flights and cheap hotels in New York, it’s never been easier to jet over to the Big Apple for a weekend break or a long vacation.

New York is one of the most recognisable cities in the world due to its towering skyscrapers, honking traffic and 24-hour atmosphere – no wonder it’s called the city that never sleeps. The sheer immensity of the towers, the hustle and bustle of Broadway and the natural landscape offered in Central Park means it’s one of the number one travel destinations in the world.

The Big Apple, as it is fondly known, is also a shoppers’ paradise. From small boutiques to some of the world’s largest fashion department stores, New York is certainly no slouch when it comes to the latest in fashion. Bloomingdales or Macy’s offer department store shopping at its most exuberant, while Tiffany and Co. and FAO Schwartz offer luxury fashion options.

After exhausting yourself shopping, now would be a great time to sit back and sample some of the great bars and restaurants New York has to offer. With over 18,000 established in the city, there’s something to accommodate every budget, from traditional NY hot dog stands to luxury dining with international celebrities. Jazz clubs, lounges, comedy clubs, Irish pubs and various other venues are easily found up and down the city, so it should be no trouble to find somewhere to your liking.

Furthermore, you don’t have to stay central to enjoy New York. Head across the river to Brooklyn and Prospect Park or visit Coney Island and its wonderful beach. There’s always new memories to be made and experiences to be had regardless of how many times you pop over, so book a trip to New York this summer – you won’t regret it!

new-york

Every year, thousands of visitors flock to New York to soak up the amazing atmosphere that this bustling city has to offer.  But aside from its alluring ambiance,  New York boasts a wealth of fabulous, iconic buildings, as well as some lesser-known but equally enticing gems. Here are some must-see places that New York has to offer.

World Trade Center

Ever present in our minds of the terrible events that occurred in 2001, this was a humbling experience to see “Ground Zero” and the impact it has had on our world today. The construction of one of the towers was underway, with another to shortly follow and the memorial site is worth taking a moment to pause over. Once complete with a museum and an office center, the World Trade Centers will again leave a footprint in our history from once being the tallest buildings in the world, to now being a shiny beacon of hope.

Wall Street

Another must visit is one of the most famous streets in the world, Wall Street. Situated in downtown New York, Wall Street is at the beating heart of the Big Apple and is steeped in American history. From here you can easily visit Ellis Island, Liberty Island and the Statue of Liberty, via the ferry that leaves from Battery Park. Personally, Federal Hall was a visit I will never forget, I felt as though I was walking through history where George Washington was sworn in as President and where the Bill of Rights was written. If you do not fancy strolling around downtown by yourself there are a few companies that offer tours of the area and give a unique perspective on Wall Street, although I have not personally tried one.

Broadway Theater District

The Theater District and Times Square in New York make up an area in Manhattan that is commonly known as “Broadway”,  where tourist and locals alike can be treated to musicals and shows in one of 40 professional theaters. This is a great area to stroll around and explore and may be even stop for a show while taking in the sounds of the Lion King, or Sister Act among others.

Central Park

The next stop must be to the largest urban park in the United States, Central Park and all its lush beauty. After spending a few days being enchanted by the city that never sleeps, a stop in this oasis is a must. Apart from its lakes, ponds and areas of natural woods, the park offers extensive walking routes as well as the opportunity to visit the Central Park Zoo and a wildlife sanctuary. Depending on the time of year you are in New York City, you can either go for a swim in summer or pirouette on your ice skates in winter.

St Patrick’s Cathedral

Located on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, this amazing structure is the largest decorated Neo-Gothic-style Catholic cathedral in North America.  It was built in 1858 and is the seat of the archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York.  The spire rises to 330 feet and the cathedral takes up a whole city block.  This grand building, declared a National Historic Landmark in 1976, has also featured in a number of well-known movies and novels.

Woolworth building

Built during 1911-1913, this classic building is one of the oldest skyscrapers in New York City.  Towering at over 792 feet, it is one of the twenty tallest buildings in the city.  In fact, it was crowned the tallest building in the world for an impressive 17 years.  Declared a National Historic Landmark in 1966, this neo-Gothic style structure once housed a recording studio and has strong links with schools and education.

Flatiron Building

Located on 175 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, this quirky-shaped, triangular building made of a steel frame and a limestone and terracotta facade, claimed to be one of the tallest buildings in New York when it was completed in 1902.  It was one of the first buildings to use a steel skeleton, which meant that it had the capacity to be built up to 87m high.  Today, it is used to house offices, but it’s well worth a trip to view this interesting and unusual feat of architecture.

Grand Central Terminal

Anyone interested in trains, should make their way to 42nd Street in Manhattan to capture the beautiful stone facade building that is the Grand Central Terminal.  It is the largest train station in the world, boasting 44 platforms.  Described as the ‘world’s loveliest station’, this elaborate building has undergone restoration over the years and now houses a number of restaurants and retail outlets.

Brooklyn Bridge

Stretching over 5,989 feet, this world-famous suspension bridge is one of the oldest in the whole of the United States.  It connects Manhattan to Brooklyn, and was deemed to be the first steel-wire bridge.  It was opened for use in 1883.  It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1964.  The bridge has had a varied and interesting history since it opened, including bungee jump attempts, shootings and an attempt to blow it up.

Waldorf-Astoria Hotel

This impressive art deco building on 301 Park Avenue in Manhattan is a top-notch hotel, boasting 47 floors.  Built with a granite face and an upper facade of brick and limestone, this famous building rising in the skyline at 625 feet, was the first hotel to offer room service – paving the way for the future of the hotel industry.  The Waldorf Towers is on the upper floors, and is a boutique hotel within a hotel.

Hearst Tower

This ultra-modern office building can be found at 300 West 57th Street on Eighth Avenue.  Built in 1928, further reconstruction to its current design has kept the original cast stone facade.  The tower is 597 feet tall and contains 46 stories.  As the first ‘green’ high rise office block in the city, it also won an award in 2006 for being the best skyscraper in the world to be completed that year.

Museum of Modern Art

Museum MOMA, New York

With its central location in the heart of Manhattan, just a few blocks away from Central Park in New York, the Museum of Modern Art, or MoMA as it is affectionately known as has been one of the world leaders in modern art museums in the 20th century. Since its inception in 1920, the museum is home to synonymous collections from Van Gogh and Picasso, which have only added to the hype of these two masters, plus other collections from private individuals and investors alike. If you are a fan of Van Gogh and Picasso, then you will like MoMA because the museum has turned them into posters, postcards, paintings for the bathroom, towels, soaps, etc. Besides the cute and cozy shop on top of the museum, the library is unbelievable.

Many of us under estimate the importance of MoMA to the art world, and even today the museum stands above the rest when it comes to its invaluable quality of its collection from works of suprematism, cubism, surrealism and dadaism among many others. Also the works from the late 20th century on impressionism and expressionism is outstanding, and if you are in New York, this is definitely one of the museums you must visit. What is impressive about MoMA is its continual dedication to keeping the museum up-to-date with the best collections, plus if you visit PS-1, which is another museum belonging to MoMA, you can see contemporary art from the 1950s until today.

For those of us that believe in fate, MoMa has withstood the 1929 Wall Street crash, a World War, right up to the economic crisis’s that we all have faced since 2008, but yet this great museum has made every effort to portray the problems with banks and business affairs that have happened to countries like Greece, Portugal and Spain – making it a tour favorite amongst young and old, apart from educating us at the same time.

With the constant changes in human life, museums strive to preserve and showcase paintings, sculptures, videos and exhibitions of the human achievement. They also show how we have evolved and the way we see things, where what one person finds as art, another might find as something less, but one thing remains the same as we continue to grow, museums around the world firmly show where we have come from and where we might go in the future.  If you are a left side of the brain person, the likes of the Guggenheim and MoMA offer countries around the world top tourist attractions that combine economic gain with contemporary art, and MoMA does all of this effortlessly.

Do you need the best and popular places for shopping?

Let us see some places in Manhattan…

  • Chinatown
    Chinatown is a very crowded street. You can see most of the people coming here for quality browsing. The Herbal and fish markets along Mulberry, Mott, Elizabeth and Canal streets are very enjoyable streets for their exotica and bustle. In Canal Street you can find the best collection of watches, sunglasses, exotic souvenirs, leather goods, cheap back packs and so on. Try to bargain before you purchase and don’t try to expect any quality. It is fun to browse.
  • Mott street
    Situated between Chatham Square and Pell street, this will motivate the off- Canal shopping and is a very interesting place in Chinatown. You can find the best quality toys, lanterns and kits under the vintage pressed tin covering. The earlier business in Chinatown is Ting’s Gift shop. This is the most popular shop which is located in corner of Mott Street.
  • Lower East Side
    The district of shopping which originally runs from Houston, Ludlow Street, and Orchard to Canal along Allen. The costs of leather bags, luggage, fabrics, shoes, linens are good. The hard sell on this street is very complicated to take. Orchard Street is the pleasant area to describe a part of New York which is missing. Try to shop in weekdays because many stores will be closed on Friday afternoon. Many trendsetters and artists will turn their neighbourhood into bulwark of hip. In recent years this will be the cutting edge for shopping. The shops which are north of Grand Street and south of Houston are located between Clinton and Allen Streets. These streets are located in east and west which is rich in specializing in edgy clothes and fashions up to the minutes. They have funky retro furniture, offbeat items and Japanese toys. You can shop in Lower East side which is in between Allen and Orchard Streets, which is the famous place for shopping.
  • Soho
    This is the wonderful shopping hood in city and many people love to shop here. It is super fashionable, trendy, and tony. J. crew supplanted lofts of the artists which are used to inhabit historic buildings. Many people are crazy about Soho. The artistic cast iron architecture, cobble stone streets adds beauty to Soho.
  • Nolita
    This is one of the famous shopping strips and is near to Elizabeth Street. Mulberry, Mott, and Elizabeth Streets are pointed with number of shops which are increasing between Bowery and Houston Street. It is very east to walk from Lafayette or Broadway on the F, V lane to neighbourhood. This is similar to Soho. The wall boutiques are hugely the province of highly developer shopkeepers particularize in high quality designs and products. It provides amazing south Asian styles and beautiful designs.

New York Harbour

For those who don’t know, New York City is also an important international harbor where ships and cruises from all around the world make stops here. The New York Harbor is situated in New York Bay, at the Hudson River’s mouth. Numerous cruises depart or pass through New York City. For example, there are the Caribbean Cruises that can take tourists into a trip to the Bahamas or Bermuda. Those looking for some warm weather and sunny days can choose this cruise and then come back to New York for some more fun in the metropolis.

There are also numerous long distance cruises that depart from New York City and head towards Europe or Canada. For a unique experience, people can opt for a cruise to England on the luxurious and beautiful Queen Mary 2. Thus, New York City literally offers cruises to every corner of this world, featuring different budgets and styles.

As exciting as these international cruises are, there are additionally cruises through New York City that allow tourists to see the metropolis from a different angle. A tour that should not be missed is the Twilight Cruise that lasts 90 minutes and offers a beautiful way to admire New York during the night. The cruise begins when the sun sets and will take the passengers through a vibrant and romantic visual display. Tourists will see iconic landmarks and a beautiful skyline. The highlights are Chrysler Building, Empire State Building, Manhattan Bridge, Battery Park, Brooklyn Bridge, Governors Island, Ellis Island, and the Statue of Liberty.

Those who want to visit the Statue of Liberty in particular can take the Statue of Liberty Express. This express cruise lasts 60 minutes and besides the famous statue it includes attractions like the Empire State Building, Ground Zero, and the Brooklyn Bridge. It is a very interesting tour and cruise. Visiting the New York Harbor is quite amazing, so why not visiting it on a boat. The Circle Line Harbor Cruise is a one of a kind tour that takes the tourists around the harbor presenting its history and importance. Throughout 75 minutes, the passengers will admire the stunning skyscrapers, the World Financial Center, the immigration center from the Ellis Island, the island itself and of course, the renowned Statue of Liberty.

Those looking for a high – end cruise will definitely love the World Yacht Dinner Cruise. This is top notch cruise featuring outstanding cuisine, breathtaking views of New York City, dancing, music and attentive services. This cruise is available for private charters, amazing dinners, holiday cruises and Sunday buffet brunches. The tour lasts 3 hours. The passengers are not allowed to wear shorts, sneakers or jeans. The dress code must be respected.

Summer in New York

Summer in New York

New York summers can be hot so it is an ideal time for the outdoors in the City. There are numerous options for the summer and here are just a few bearing in mind there are still the usual landmarks to see and enjoy.

  • Take to the water
    This may be in any form including ones that simply revolve around relaxation like a ferry around Manhattan viewing everything from the Statue of Liberty to the many bridges linking Manhattan to the Boroughs to the East. Alternatively boating and kayaking, the latter perhaps around the waters of Staten Island may be a little more strenuous but there are plenty of watering holes for refreshments. For the more adventurous you can canoe on the Hudson River if you’re so inclined but this will be a far busier waterway.
  • Walking
    The Brooklyn Heights Promenade should be prominent on your list; a leisurely stroll and plenty of places to stop and take in the views. You can walk across Brooklyn Bridge as well if you’re so inclined. It is sometimes underestimated how many parks New York possesses. Staten Island has over 150 alone, and many natural and quiet areas to hike.
  • Cycling
    Bikes are for hire and there are plenty of quiet areas and open spaces in the Boroughs for a cycle. Companies allow a bike to be hired in one location and dropped off in another.
  • Running
    This is perhaps less attractive but not all days are hot and there is in fact an annual event, the Great Urban Race held each June in Brooklyn when teams in fancy dress test their wits against a series of clues. It lasts a few hours and it is all about fun.
  • Open air concerts
    New York is alive with open air entertainment and it is just a matter of doing some research before your trip to see what takes your fancy.  Some are aboard boats on the Hudson River with a view of the Statue of Liberty thrown in. Prospect Park is one of the more popular venues and it is worthwhile checking what might be on to coincide with your visit.
  • Beaches
    There are a few beaches in the Boroughs; Coney Island is one idea which can be combined with a visit to Astroland Amusement Park where children can have a great time. The quietest beach will be Fort Tilden on Queen’s but that is because it is not serviced by public transport and even with a car there is still quite a walk to get there. Jacob Riis Park on Queen’s is an alternative and there are also courts for volleyball or basketball and refreshments available. There is public transport and parking for cars.
  • Swimming
    Even if you do not bother with the beach there are over 50 open air swimming pools in New York where you can cool off so there’s bound to be something near where you are staying.

New York Business Travels

Besides being a famous tourist destination, New York City is also an important business center. Wall Street and Manhattan bring together all kinds of small or big firms and multinational corporations. For this reason, there are numerous businessmen traveling from all around the world to New York. They come here for trainings, seminars or important meetings. No matter the motive, the thing is that business traveling is a significant part of Big Apple’s tourism industry. Even though the persons who travel for business purposes usually don’t have the time to visit museums and any other landmarks, they will be looking for affordable hotels, restaurants and conference rooms.

Generally, business travelers are searching for hotels located near the airport, central stations or the most important conference venues. What travelers must do is to look for a hotel online before they arrive in New York City and book a place in advance because some hotels are quite crowded. One of the best hotels situated near the JFK airport is the Fairfield Suites and Inn Long Island JFK. It’s located very close to the airport and it’s easy to get from there to Long Island, Queens, Manhattan and Brooklyn. The rooms are comfortable and clean and the prices are very affordable. The breakfast is included and one can also benefit from free parking.

The Hilton Garden Inn Queens is a hotel situated close to the JFK airport. This busy location is mostly filled with business travelers from all over the world. It features an airport shuttle service, as well as a 24 – hour business center. It’s only 30 minutes away from all the New York City attractions. Those who are looking for something more luxurious and elegant can choose the Fitzpatrick Grand Central Hotel. This lovely place is situated near the Grand Central Station, on a quiet street and features comfortable rooms and competent service staff.

Business travelers who are looking for something to eat might have a small problem because there are too many restaurants to know what to choose. Visitors can always go for the hotel restaurants, some of them being fairly qualitative. Try some fine dining establishments. Go to the Keens Steakhouse to see how the old New York looked and tasted like. For Japanese food visit Masa, an expensive restaurant in Midtown West, and for contemporary American cuisine opt for Per Se.

Those who travel to New York for business purposes don’t have time to properly visit the metropolis. Still, after a day full of meetings and conferences, they might want to go to a spa or a wellness center to relax. Most hotels have their own indoor pools, saunas and spas. But, if someone wants a real spa experience can visit Beyond Body Mind Spirit, Double Diamond Wellness, The Alignment Center or Tao Wellness Center. So, being a business traveler in New York City is not that difficult. There are countless hotels, conference venues and restaurants to choose from. You just have to make sure to select the ones that best fit your needs.

Neighborhoods of New York City

New York City is known worldwide for its five boroughs. That’s why some people call it simply “the five boroughs”. These are Staten Island, Manhattan, Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn. Each neighborhood has its own charm and attractions, so it’s well worth visiting all of them.

Probably the most known borough of New York City is Manhattan. It’s enough to mention Broadway, 34th Street, Madison Avenue and Wall Street to know how famous Manhattan is. The thing is that not only the neighborhood is well known, but also the streets. Manhattan is actually a thin and long island that features the amazing skyline that we see in all the pictures of New York. This borough has one of the most renowned and brightest theater districts in the world, the Broadway. Moreover, here the visitors can find the World Trade Center site, the Guggenheim Museum, the Rockefeller Center and the amazing Central Park. Tourists should not forget about Greenwich Village, Times Square, Upper East Side and Harlem. Basically, Manhattan represents the entire city of New York, so it’s one place that shouldn’t be missed on a New York tour.

Staten Island is a suburban borough. It’s mainly residential and it features important districts like New Springville, Tottenville, Livingstone and West New Brighton. It has quite a few attractions like Mariner’s Harbor, Port Richmond, Tompkinsville and St. George. The tourists should definitely go to one of the numerous Spanish restaurants and taste the extraordinary Spanish cuisine. Some of the most important landmarks in Staten Island are Willowbrook Park, South Beach, Greenbelt Nature Center, Historic Richmond Town, Alice Austen House and Staten Island Zoo.

Bronx is known worldwide for the hip hop music produced here. Many people also know Bronx because of the New York Yankees, one of the best baseball teams in the country. Unlike the other New York boroughs, Bronx is located on the US mainland. The tourists should go see attractions like Crotona Park, Van Cortlandt Park, the Hall of Fame, the Museum of Bronx History, the Woodlawn Cemetery, the famous Yankee Stadium, the Edgar Allan Poe cottage, the City Island, the Orchard Beach, the Wave Hill and the Bronx Zoo.

People who come to New York by plane will discover the Queens borough as they get off the plane because here is where 2 of the most important airports are located: JFK and La Guardia. Queens is a multi – cultural neighborhood. It features Mexican areas, Colombian areas and Indian areas. Visitors should go see them and experience unique festivals, exquisite cuisine and authentic shopping. Some of the most remarkable landmarks in Queens are the Socrates Sculpture Park, Museum of the Moving Image, Sculpture Center and Fisher Landau Center.

Last but not least, there is the Brooklyn neighborhood. This impressive borough features districts like Williamsburg, Prospect Park and East Brooklyn. If you’re a tourist go see the Coney Island Cyclone, the Grand Army Plaza, the Children’s Museum, the Brooklyn Museum and the renowned Brooklyn Bridge.  The gardens and parks are also impressive. The best are the Marine Park, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and the Prospect Park.

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Categories: Guides.
Localities: New York and North America.
Travel Themes: Art and Culture and Shopping.



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