New York is a cosmopolitan buzzing city with a population of approximately 8.5 million. The metropolis has so much to offer including numerous restaurants catering to all tastes and budgets. With a panoply of entertainment options including varied Broadway shows, musicals, bars and cafes, museums, shopping venues and so much more, one could visit NYC regularly and never get bored. It had more than 60 million visitors in 2016.
Modern glass towers rise up next to old historical buildings decorated with intricate designs. Luxurious shops and restaurants exist next to decrepit graffiti covered places. In Manhattan, the rich and the poor share a limited space with a population of 1.63 million people (3.9 million on weekdays with those that commute) in an area of just 23 square miles. On one hand New Yorkers go about their business in an individualist way and let others be but at the same time they are welcoming.
Walking along Broadway and taking in the sights, reveling in the overload of lights and advertising around Times Square and roaming around the Rockefeller Center should be on every traveler’s itinerary when in New York City.
Located at the junction of Broadway, 7th Ave and 42nd St in the Theatre District, Times Square is probably one of the most famous crossroads in the world. It doesn’t sleep; the glitter of lights and endless rows of billboards with larger than life advertisements is almost overwhelming. People flock to the area, and revel in its frenzy and cacophony. Many theatres present new and well-established productions. You are sure to find something you like.
Tip: Half price tickets are regularly available at the TXTS box office.
The Rockefeller Center is another busy hub located in the heart of Manhattan. The Art Deco center is an open-air museum with sculptures, elegant gardens and fountains. In the winter months, the Sunken Garden is transformed into an ice rink.
Art galleries, chic boutiques, restaurants blend-in amid a myriad of office buildings. Radio City music Hall, NBC Studios and the Today Show Studio are all located in this area.
Tip: Plan ahead and attend to the recording of a TV show.
Another important landmark located near the Rockefeller Center is the St Patrick’s Cathedral. This Neo-Gothic church dates back to 1878 and can accommodate 3000 worshippers; services are held regularly. The white exterior stands out and reflects off the glass high rises next to it. The arch vaulted ceiling is most impressive as are the two spires that rise up 330 feet (100 m) to the sky.
New York’s main garden, Central Park, expands over 340 hectares and was designed by Frederick Law Olmstead and Calvert Vaux in 1858. It’s dubbed the “Lungs of the City” and locals and visitors alike go there to relax, play or just get out of the hustle and bustle of the city. Some highlights include: the Great Lawn, the Belvedere Castle, the lake and so much more. There is even a Zoo…
The iconic Empire State Building opened to the public on May 1st 1931 and people go for the chance to get a bird’s eye view of the city from the observatory on the 86th floor (34$) or from the 102nd (54$) floor platform. People say that this is one of the most romantic places in NYC. Every evening the spire lights up like a beacon reaching out to the stars.
Tip: The best time to go is at dusk when the sun sets on the city lights… although the views are pretty incredible at any time of the day or night!
The Art Deco Grand Central Terminal, which dates back to 1871, is impressive. The building is a work of art; the ceiling is decorated with stars and a huge painting of the 12 astrological signs.
Tip: Shops and a food court are available.
The New York Public Library is exquisite and worth a visit. It was founded in 1895 and paid for with private funds. The idea was to give all New Yorkers access to free information. The collection of books, some ancient, is exceptional. Visiting this place will bring you back to another era.
Art lovers should not miss a visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and those interested in civilization should visit the American Museum of Natural History.
The Statue of Liberty, symbol of freedom for millions of immigrants in search of a better life, as well as Ellis Island where 12 millions migrants were processed make for an interesting visit. Although, be prepared for a long wait to take the ferry to get there.
For suggestions on where to eat:
More places to see in the United-States