- Manhattan (New York county), the heart of the city, an island;
- The Bronx (Bronx county), on the mainland, NE of Manhattan;
- Queens (Queens county), on Long Island, East of Manhattan;
- Brooklyn (Kings county), also on Long Island, on the East River adjoining Queens and on New York Bay; and
- Staten Island (Richmond county), on Staten Island, SW of Manhattan and separated from it by the Upper Bay.
There are plenty of places that the city has to offer, getting a glimpse of this entire city can’t be done in a single visit. I would recommend 4-5 days, where you’ll feel both wanting to return and excited to be escaping from the craziness.
A few things to know before you go:
- Buy a New York CityPASS – saves money and time.
- Purchase tickets(“Front of line” if possible ) in advance to save time in line, if you don’t get New York CityPASS.
- Don’t book a car, driving and parking in Manhattan are a nightmare.
- Get Metro card. The fare for a subway or local bus ride is $2.75*. If you’re staying for a week, try getting weekly unlimited passes. Download Subway Map too.
- Do dress stylishly comfortable and pack according to the weather.
Getting from three major airports to Manhattan:
- JFK is located in Queens roughly takes 45 minutes, the cheapest way to get into Manhattan is using the subway.
- La Guardia is where we landed, it’s only 20 minutes away and less crowded. Take a Taxi from this airport.
- Newark is located in New Jersey and is about 30 minutes when taking the New Jersey Transit.
Places you can visit for free:
- Times Square – Times Square is located in Midtown Manhattan. The epicenter of NYC. Enjoy walking around Times Square at night.
- The New York Public Library – It’s full of beautiful paintings and architecture more like a museum. The rose reading room is worth a visit.
- Grand Central Station – Look for constellations on the domed green ceiling in the main concourse!
- St Patrick’s Cathedral – The iconic cathedral is a must-see for first time NYC visitors.
- Stroll along the Highline at Central Park: This elevated urban park is truly unique to NYC. Enjoy river views, street art and the former elevated railway tracks. Check free guided walking tours provided to learn about the park’s history, design and landscaping.
- Brooklyn Bridge and park – The Brooklyn Bridge is a oldest hybrid cable-stayed bridge connecting Manhattan and Brooklyn. The view from waterfront Brooklyn bridge park is scintillating.
- Chelsea Market – No travel is complete without experiencing the local markets. Chelsea Market seems to be the rustic but it’s a foodie’s paradise.
- Staten Island ferry – Ride a loop on the Staten Island Ferry. The views of Manhattan from the water are stunning! FYI: This is not a leisurely ride since they are used by New Yorkers for their daily travel.
- Wall street – Meander through the wall street and take a photo with charging bull or wall street bull. The myth people say is rubbing the bulls appendage, will theoretically bring you good luck and fortune.
- There are several museums that always have free admissions or pay-what-you-wish” and here is the Site.
- Definitely check out the shopping scene at the Macy’s or Bloomingdales.
New York City hotels are famous for a range of tempting amenities and appealing rooftops. You can ride the elevator straight to refreshing cocktails, live entertainment and enjoy amazing views of the city. Here are few:
- Bar 54 at the Hyatt – (135 W 45th St: Times Square) On the 54th floor of the Hyatt Hotel with amazing views of Times Square.
- St Cloud – (6 Times Square: Times Square) Upscale bar at the Knickerbocker Hotel Rooftop.
- The Empire Rooftop – (44 W 63rd St: Upper West Side) Located at the Empire Hotel this is a great happy hour spot and they play live music.
Birds-eye view of New York City, can be seen at the Empire State Building ,the Top of the Rock, and/or One World trade Center.
Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center:
The Top of the Rock’s observation deck is on the 70th floor, but you’ll also get to see and photograph the skyline with the Empire State Building in it.
One World Trade Center:
One World Trade Center is rebuilt after the destruction of World Trade Center complex. After visiting the 9/11 Memorial Museum, consider visiting One World Observatory and admire stunning panoramas atop the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere.
Statue of Liberty:
Statue of Liberty can be experienced by taking Cruise from Battery Park (Manhattan side), Liberty State Park (Jersey City side) or Staten Island Ferry.
Get up early and take a cruise (8:30 A.M.) to Liberty Island from Battery park to make the acquaintance of Lady Liberty herself. To visit the crown, you need special ‘Crown Access’ tickets. It’s impossible to buy these at the desk, so book in advance (4 month earlier).
Highlight of the cruise is Ellis Island where you will come to know about immigrant experience. Ellis Island has a 45-minute audio tour, available in nine languages, invites visitors to relive the immigrant experience. At the end of the 19th – beginning of the 20th century, all candidate-immigrants had to pass through Ellis Island. They arrived here carrying all their belongings in search of a new life in the United States.
Liberty State Park:
Liberty State Park is located in Jersey City, opposite to Liberty Island and Ellis Island. If you want to sneak the historical beauty of NYC from New Jersey, then take the rides from this park.
Staten Island Ferry:
This is not a leisurely ride since they are used by New Yorkers for their daily travel. Since it is free ride and gives stunning views of the Lady Liberty and Manhattan from the water , take this cruise if you have time.
New York is full of great art, fun and memorial museums such as Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), Metropolitan Museum of Art, American Museum of Natural History, 9/11 Memorial Museum. I recommend picking just one or two if you’re a true art lover.
9/11 Memorial Museum reflects lives lost during the terrorist attacks and honor the lost lives. A must-see in lower Manhattan. Visit early, since it’s crowded.
Being in New York City, the theater capital. Broadway show is must. A TKTS Booth sells discounted tickets for performances on the same day. The TKTS app let you know where and what they offer too!
There are other places of having entertainment like madame tussauds, Ripley’s Believe it or Not! and soon. Fun never ends in this city!
This city is grandiose, extensive and have numerous things to see and to do. The above list just the scratches the surface. Hope you will have a great trip.