‘There is no place like it, no place with an atom of its glory, pride, and exultancy.’ — Walt Whitman —
NYC, the big apple, the capital of the world, the city that never sleeps—whatever you want to call it, New York has a soul that connects with travellers across the Globe.
There is no end of sights to photograph, stage shows to see and local foods to taste-test. Head out early, be prepared for crowds and enjoy your time in this iconic cosmopolitan city.
There is no end of things to do in New York and you will never visit enough times to keep up with all the gigs, events, shows and underground scene that is bubbling amongst the concrete skyscrapers.
One week will cover the major sights but you could easily fill a month.
If you can only spend a weekend, don’t hesitate, any time in New York is time well spent.
WHERE TO STAY?
Ideally you would want to stay in the very centre of the action in Manhattan but sometimes budget wise this isn’t always an option. The underground train system is extensive and efficient, as long as your hotel/apartment is close enough to a train station you will be whizzed into the city in no time.
Manhattan is the island everyone wants to live and stay on. Search for hotels or Airbnb apartments using Time Square as your focal point and work your way out from there if you want to be amongst it all.
If you are searching by neighbourhood, I suggest Mid Town, Meat packing District, Soho, Chelsea, Upper East Side, Greenwich Village and Midtown South.
Brooklyn is my second choice if Manhattan is proving impossible, there is laid back arty vibe to Brooklyn.
MY TOP FIVE SIGHTS IN NEW YORK
This green space covers 3.5 square miles of prime New York land and welcomes 37.5 million visitors, over 20,000 trees and 135 drinking fountains.
My favourite stop in Central Park is the Bethesda Terrace and Fountain, nearby The Lake, which has been featured in many movies and TV shows.
A major hub of New York that is always brimming with tourists bathed in the glow of television screens and giant billboards. It is the hub of the Broadway Tourist District and the TKTS Ticket Booth is worth lining up at if you are seeking discounted same-day tickets to the Broadway shows.
Stretching 486.3m (1,595.5 feet) across the East River, the iconic Brooklyn Bridge connects the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn originally with horse-drawn traffic and today has six packed lanes.
Opened for use in 1883, this bridge offers incredible views across the river looking back at New York’s skyline and is predicted to provide passageway to 10,000 pedestrians and 3,500 bikes on an average weekday!
If you are crossing in the day from Manhattan, head out early for the morning light on the sweeping skyline and spend the day wandering through Brooklyn. If you are visiting in the evening the best photos are from the shoreline on the Brooklyn shore looking back at Manhattan and the shining bridge.
Soaring to 102 stories, the Empire State Building was the world’s tallest building in the world for 40 years, today it is the second tallest in New York after the One World Trade Centre was built in 2012.
The skyscraper was built and officially opened by President Hoover in 1931 in the Art Deco style coinciding with the Great Depression which left many of the offices empty.
Today the Observation Deck offers 360º views from the 86th floor and the 102nd was reopened in 2005 which is smaller and costs an additional fee.
The iconic Lady of Liberty has welcomed immigrants to the city since 1886.
Tourists often combine the trip to Liberty Island with Ellis Island and the ferry tickets combine a stop at both. There are several ticket options you can buy depending on whether you are wanting to climb the 365 steps to the crown of the statue.
MY BEST ADVICE…
Packed…. Is understating July and August in NYC, be sure to have accommodation lined up early.
Personally I prefer the shoulder months either side of the height of summer, April – early June or September – October.
I have been to NYC several times and only scraped the surface on the things I can see and do there.
Pick your top five sights and stick to doing them properly; be it the gossip girl tour, MOMA, Times Square, Knicks game…
Nothing annoys the local New Yorkers more than tourist standing in the middle of the sidewalk gawking at a map or wandering aimlessly.
It’s not in their DNA to meander and they can get pretty cranky when you cut through their walking direction.
Part of the wonder and magic of New York is in the bizarre encounters you have on the street, there is so much happening and you should drop yourself in the centre of it.
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So who am I…? Hi! My name is India.
I am a nomadic Australian who has wandered the world full time exploring over 60 countries and 5/7 continents.
After ten years on the road, I have launched my own website – Travelling Notebook – to share the knowledge I have gained on the road and the images I have collected over the years with fellow adventurers. Keep reading…
I am a freelance travel writer, photography and videographer, based in London. If you need specific travel advice or would like to collaborate please send an email my way!
Always say yes to adventure!