New York is a city every traveller should visit, for its leading metropolises for art, fashion, food and theatre. Whether travellers coming for a day trip or for an extended stay, choosing what to see and do is the toughest part. Here are 15 reasons why visiting New York will be an unforgettable experience
1. Explore the richness of all five boroughs
Visitors who think New York is Manhattan alone miss out on the sights and activities offered by the city’s four other boroughs. Head out to the New York Botanical Garden and the Bronx Zoo in the Bronx. Take your pick from the array of amazing ethnic restaurants in Queens. Explore the burgeoning Brooklyn neighbourhoods of Williamsburg, Greenpoint and Red Hook. And bear in mind that no trip to New York is complete without a ride on the Staten Island Ferry; you can also take the opportunity to visit the Staten Island Museum in Snug Harbor.
2. See some of the world’s best museums and art galleries
NYC’s art scene is unparalleled. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim and other museums present great art from around the world, while galleries in the Lower East Side and Chelsea promote new talent. There’s much more to savour than art, however. See the famous blue whale and animal dioramas at the American Museum of Natural History; learn about America’s most famous jazzman at the Louis Armstrong House Museum, and about the history of Lower East Side immigrants at the Tenement Museum; walk along the deck of a World War II aircraft carrier at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum; and ask everything you ever wanted to know about lovemaking at the Museum of Sex.
3. Giving Regards To Broadway
The world’s most famous street cuts a 13-mile diagonal path from Bowling Green on Manhattan’s southern tip to Inwood, where it crosses into the Bronx. There’s no better way to pick up on NYC’s variable vibe and changing scenery than by walking 50 blocks on a fine day. Broadway is also shorthand for Manhattan’s 41 mainstream theatres that are clustered around Times Square. Take in a show while you’re here.
The High Line is a narrow public park, 1.45 miles long, that sits on the old rail bed of the elevated West Side freight line of the New York Central Railroad. Running from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District to 34th Street. It is a garden, an art space, a destination for dates and a place to sit and dream. Pick a quiet moment to contemplate the wildflowers, the rusted rails in the northern section and the views of the Hudson River, perhaps as the sun goes down.
8. Listen to live music every night of the week
There are music gigs in New York every day of the year, many of them performed by some of the most famous artists from around the world. Sellout acts play the stadiums Madison Square Garden and Brooklyn’s Barclays Center attract big names. Cool acts sometimes play smaller venues like the Bowery Ballroom or Williamsburg’s Baby’s All Right, while dozens of bars host up-and-comers. Birdland, Blue Note, Village Vanguard, Iridium and Cornelia Street Café are among the city’s top jazz clubs.
9. Bask in the glow of Times Square
Times Square is a prime spot in New York city that nobody will ever forget. The unbridled energy, the costumed characters and the incessant flashing of neon lights make for an out-of-body experience a bit like that of being a sardine in a tin can.
10. Be lost in the greenery of Central Park
One of the main tourist attractions in NYC is the city’s Central Park, which is located in the middle of Manhattan. It is one of the city’s most photogenic places. Wander through its vast space to discover a favourite spot – whether Strawberry Fields, where John Lennon is commemorated; the bronze sculpture of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland; or the Bethesda Fountain and Terrace at the heart of the park. Opened in 1858, the park was designed by Frederick Law Omstead and Calvert Vaux. The park has a zoo, lakes, tens of thousands of trees and glorious meadows. You can skate and play hockey at Central Park’s Wollman Rink.
11. Explore the Nightlife
New York City is one of the prime places in the world for its spectacular nightlife. NYC provides an eclectic array of nightclubs and both conventional and alternative cabarets. Dance floor devotees in Manhattan gravitate to Chelsea and the Meatpacking District. Brooklyn is also rife with clubs such as Williamsburg’s Schimanski and Black Flamingo, Bushwick’s House of Yes and Bed-Stuy’s C’mon Everybody. Top comedy clubs include Carolines on Broadway, Comedy Cellar and UCB Theatre.
12. Cross the Brooklyn Bridge
Of NYC’s 789 bridges, the most iconic is the Brooklyn Bridge, completed in 1883. Connecting the East River between Brooklyn and downtown Manhattan, it is a cable-stayed suspension bridge most recognizable by its high limestone and granite Gothic towers. Give yourself 30 minutes to walk its 1.13 miles in the Brooklyn to Manhattan direction, which will give you spectacular views of the Manhattan skyline, especially at sunrise and sunset.
13. Experiencing History Firsthand
NYC played its part in the Revolutionary War and the Civil War and was the birthplace of the Wall Street Crash. Sit on a bench in Washington Square Park, where Mark Twain once chatted with Robert Louis Stevenson, or take a peek at Twain’s old townhouse at 14 West 10th Street. Drop by 17 West 16th Street, where feminist activist Margaret Sanger’s clinic pioneered birth control in the 1930s. Visit President Ulysses S Grant’s massive tomb at Riverside Park, or walk along the Bowery and remember the time when it was Manhattan’s skid row.
14. Mingle with the Newyorker’s
The city is made up of so many different nationalities, ethnicities, religions and classes. Still, an image remains of New Yorkers as abrasive, fast-talking, sharp-minded and always in a hurry- it’s the pace of NYC life. On the whole, you’ll find that New Yorkers welcome you to their town and will happily give you directions or help you if you’re in trouble. It’s true – they’re the salt of the earth.
15. Feel energy like never before
NYC marches to its own propulsive beat. Yellow and green cabs stream down Fifth Avenue, showtime performers pull off astonishing acrobatics on subway car poles, steam pours from gratings in the street, horse-drawn carriages clatter round Central Park and sirens wail every few minutes. Once you’ve experienced NYC’s energy, everywhere else seems slow