New York is one of the most popular city break destinations in the world, drawing millions of visitors every year from around the globe. A mecca of shopping, famous landmarks and fine dining, the city has served as the backdrop for many successful television series and films, including Friends, Sex and the City, Ghostbusters and Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
Truly deserving of the nickname ‘The City That Never Sleeps’, New York is constantly on the go. During the day, visitors taking in the sights mix with locals on their morning commute, and at night these same crowds can be found filling the city’s bars and restaurants, taking their seats in the theatres and attending parties that go on well into the early hours. With events and festivals taking place all year round and a social scene that changes by the week, New York is a city that refuses to stand still.
Things to Do
New York is full of iconic landmarks recognised across the world! Your first port of call has to be the Statue of Liberty, which you can see up close on Liberty Island or from a distance by taking the Staten Island ferry across the bay. Follow this up with a walking tour through the forest of skyscrapers, stopping at the Empire State Building, the Rockefeller Centre and the Chrysler Building. Times Square is also a must, but save this until the evening so you can see the famous billboards in all their illuminated glory.
If the fast pace of the city starts to overwhelm you, there are several options for a few hours of down time. The city has many fantastic museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Natural History Museum and the Guggenheim, or in summer you can head to Central Park to lie in the sun and enjoy some peace and quiet.
Shopaholics are best off bringing an empty suitcase! Fifth Avenue has to be your first port of call, home to countless high-end designers as well as a range of high street stores including Abercrombie & Fitch, Gap and H&M. The names Bloomingdales, Macy’s and Barney’s are synonymous with New York, and the previously arty district of SoHo is now one of the most fashionable shopping areas in the city.
New York has a completely different atmosphere after dark, so pack your best clothes for a night on the town! Broadway is one of the world’s most famous theatre districts, and a trip to one of the award-winning shows is an essential part of your New York holiday. Tickets can be pricey but you can find discounted tickets if you shop around, and many restaurants offer pre-theatre dinner specials.
Don’t forget that there’s more to New York than just Manhattan! Venture on foot across the Brooklyn Bridge for an unbeatable view of the New York skyline, then continue into Brooklyn for quirky bars, live music and a ride on the ferris wheel at Coney Island fairground. Queens is home to Silver Cup Studios, filming location of 30 Rock, The Sopranos and Sex and the City, and sports fans should head to the Bronx to watch world-class baseball at the Yankee Stadium.
Food and Drink
With such a wide variety of food options available in New York, it’s difficult to know where to start! Breakfast is a New York institution that at the weekends morphs into brunch, a mouth-watering experience combining the best of breakfast and lunch. Pancakes are a popular choice, as are salmon and cream cheese bagels and eggs benedict. Brunch is one of the rare occasions where drinking before noon is encouraged, so order a Bloody Mary or a Mimosa alongside your coffee.
The hot dogs sold by street vendors are an icon of New York, but for a high quality dog you should avoid these and head to Gray’s Papaya or Papaya King. Sandwiches are also a great option for a quick but filing lunch; tourists and New Yorkers alike flock to the no-frills Katz’s Deli on the Lower East Side, famous for its pastrami and corned beef sandwiches.
There are countless options for your evening meal, from casual diners to luxury Michelin star restaurants. Pizza is always a great budget option, as are dumpling restaurants in Chinatown, while Ellen’s Stardust Diner is famous for its singing waiters who provide entertainment while you eat. At the other end of the spectrum, the Four Seasons Restaurant and Eleven Madison Park serve high end American dishes to those looking to splash out in spectacular fashion.
Each district has its own bars to be proud of, so wherever you choose to spend your big night out you won’t be disappointed! If the huge amount of choice is leaving you feeling lost, join a New York bar crawl and sample the best the city has to offer.