New York — Overview
Gritty, glamorous, multi-ethnic, extravagant and totally unique, New York City, or the Big Apple, is a one-of-a-kind destination. It’s a city of contrasts, with its breathtaking skyline and canyon-like streets, Central Park, ethnic enclaves and arty districts. The palpable sense of energy and urgency in the air reminds visitors of the meteoric rise of the USA from its humble beginnings just a few centuries ago.
Exploring New York and its myriad of attractions, museums, landmarks, districts, cultural sights and entertainment is an exciting and overwhelming prospect. Manhattan Island is the happening place for everything from iconic sightseeing stops to nightlife, with the Empire State Building, Times Square, Chinatown, Little Italy, Central Park, Greenwich Village, Staten and Ellis islands, the Statue of Liberty and the fabulous Metropolitan Museum all on the list of must-sees.
With the exception of some of the world’s must luxurious hotels, accommodation in New York is surprisingly affordable, and the choice is huge. Foodies will find everything from the world’s most exclusive restaurants to endless ethnic eateries, diners, delis, street food and fast food, and the "city that never sleeps'" bars and clubs are packed with locals and visitors year-round. The residents are truly one of a kind with an ethnic mix and unique New York ethos spicing up every encounter.
New York is the perfect starting point for daytrips to the Long Island beaches, the Hamptons, the wine country, and for visits to New Jersey, Boston, Philadelphia and even magnificent Niagara Falls to the north. Shopaholics on a bargain-hunting spree should head to Orange County’s Woodbury Commons, a massive factory outlet with over 200 stores. The alternative districts like Brooklyn's hippy Williamsburg are great for a day’s exploration. There’s so much to see and do in the Big Apple that many visitors return year after year.
Travel in and around New York is economical and a dream, with the subway covering all central districts and suburbs, extensive overland rail services to points of interest outside the city, New York’s famous yellow cabs, and a comprehensive bus network. Taxis can be hailed on the street, although you might end up in a fight to get one. Metrocards are needed for the subway system and can be obtained from vending machines at the station, newsstands and grocery stores, and can be used on buses, as well.
- The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island for their symbolism and history of immigration
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art, one of the world’s greatest museums
- Brooklyn Bridge for its fantastic views of the skyline
- The World Trade Center memorial site
- Central Park for its oasis of greenery and people-watching
- The Empire State Building for its 360-degree vistas
- Broadway Theater District and Times Square, the heart of the city
- SoHo for its street artist shows and bohemian atmosphere