The magical city of New York needs no introduction – this city of eight million inhabitants simply teems with life, energy and vitality and is consistently rated as one of the world’s most visited tourist destinations. Whether you are looking to go wild in shopping paradise on Fifth Avenue, climb the heady heights of the Empire State Building or luxuriate in some of the world’s finest cuisine, this thrilling metropolis has something for every traveler.
The Dutch made the first land claim of the city in the year 1609. The centuries following this were marked by a number of battles between the British and the Thirteen Colonies, culminating in a wave of European migration into the city in the mid-18th century, resulting in the diverse multiculturalism which is a hallmark of the city today.
1898 saw the creation of the five New York boroughs and the twentieth and twenty first centuries oversaw the economic and political dominance of the city as a U.S and global superpower.
COOL THINGS TO DO
Take in the Manhattan views on a boat cruise
New York is such a sprawling metropolis that it can be difficult for a visitor to know where to start when sightseeing and feel a touch overwhelmed. This boat tour which showcases three rivers and all the best sights, is the ideal way of seeing Manhattan from a distance, away from the hustle and bustle of the streets and allows you come away feeling as though you have really got to know the island. Passengers can even enjoy refreshments and live commentary whilst on board.
Get to know Manhattan’s hip little sister, The Bronx
Manhattan island is clearly the most well known neighborhood of New York and houses many of the traditional tourist attractions such as Central Park and Times Square, but the savvy traveler knows that there is many a hidden gem in some of the lesser known areas. The Bronx is well worth a visit – you can make faces at the gorillas at the world-famous Bronx Zoo, check out the Yankee Stadium or wander along Arthur Avenue, with its many Italian restaurants and delicatessens, serving deliciously authentic food.
Ogle at the excess of Times Square
No trip to New York is complete without taking in the awesome spectacle that is Times Square – a massive entertainment and commercial melting pot, located at the junction of Broadway and Seventh Avenue. Be blinded by the multicolored, flashing billboards and soak up the atmosphere of the thousands of people that gather here at all hours of the day and night, paying lip service to the adage of the “city that never sleeps”.
Get some culture at one of New York’s (many) museums
If your trip to the Big Apple needs an injection of culture after all of that shopping, eating and people watching, you won’t be disappointed with the fine choice of museums on offer in the city. From the ubiquitous Museum of Modern Art, housing works by Van Gogh, Picasso and Warhol to name but a few, to the Guggenheim, Museum of Natural History and Ellis Island, there are scores of world-class art galleries and museums in the city, catering for all tastes and ages.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
New York is an unparalleled destination any time of year, with its variable climate offering a very different travel experience depending on the season that you visit. Get into the Christmas spirit with a visit in December where the streets and stores are bright and alive with festivities and you are even likely to see some snow. Or brave the heat and humidity of summer and lounge around in leafy Central Park or in one of the many pavement cafes around the city. Spring and autumn offer more temperate climates, if you want to play it safer.
HOW TO GET THERE
There’s no excuse not to visit New York as the city boasts an impressive three international airports – John F. Kennedy, LaGuardia and Newark – which all serve the city from different international locations and with different airlines.