Even if you’re not mesmerized by the city’s soaring skyscrapers and monuments, you’ll be blown away by its flourishing arts, food, fashion and nightlife scenes.
As one of the world’s leading metropolises for art, fashion, food and theatre, New York is a city every traveller should visit to have a wonderful and unforgettable experience.
Here are some reasons why visiting New York will be an unforgettable experience:
- Stand in awe of the skyscrapersFew experiences are as humbling as walking down a Manhattan street with skyscrapers towering over you. From 1930s monuments like the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building to the One World Trade Center (aka the Freedom Tower), completed in 2013, these gigantic beauties have to be seen to be believed. The views from the Empire State Building are not only awe-inspiring, by day and by night; they also communicate a sense of the city’s vastness within the context of the surrounding land; on a clear day, five states are visible from the observation deck.
- See some of the world’s best museums and art galleriesNYC’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 and Air & Space Museum
- The glow of the Times SquareThough most locals abhor Times Square, nobody will ever forget their first time walking through the hectic plaza. 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.
- Get your fill of international and experimental foodNew York is a foodie’s heaven. An estimated 60 international cuisines are served in the city’s 23,000 restaurants. And the chefs are always innovating, whether combining old-school recipes with new ideas for main courses or creating new desserts that people will line up for hours to try. Stop in for a Cronut at Dominique Ansel in SoHo; try Frankel’s Delicatessen in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, which is making Jewish food cool with its takes on pastrami, egg and cheese sandwiches; or visit the world-famous Katz’s Delicatessen on the Lower East Side if you want something more traditional.
- Listen to live music every nightThere 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. Sell-out acts play the stadiums Madison Square Garden and Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, though venues like Radio City Music Hall, the Beacon Theatre, Irving Plaza, the Hammerstein Ballroom, Webster Hall, Williamsburg’s Brooklyn Steel and Kings Theatre in Flatbush also 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 (and has-beens). Birdland, Blue Note, Village Vanguard, Iridium and Cornelia Street Café are among the city’s top jazz clubs.
- Shopping in New York CityYou can find just about anything in NYC, including discount designer clothes, items from all over the world and much more. New York City is a shopper’s paradise.
- Cross the Brooklyn BridgeOf all the NYC’s 789 bridges, the most iconic is the Brooklyn Bridge, completed in 1883. Spanning 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 (1.82 kilometres) in the Brooklyn to Manhattan direction, which will give you spectacular views of the Manhattan skyline, especially at sunrise and sunset.
- Go green in Central Park and Prospect ParkCentral Park, smack dab in the middle of Manhattan, 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, who followed it with Brooklyn’s Prospect Park in 1867. Both parks have zoos, lakes, tens of thousands of trees and glorious meadows. You can skate and play hockey at Central Park’s Wollman Rink and Lasker Rink (a swimming pool in summer) and at Prospect Park’s LeFrak Center.
- Experience history first-handNYC played its part in the Revolutionary War and the Civil War, it was the birthplace of the Wall Street Crash. The 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center elicited the extraordinary bravery of first responders and the resilience, generosity and unity of New York’s citizens. But it’s not just big events that make up a city’s history. 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.
- Mingle with New YorkersYou can’t generalize about the people of a city that 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 not rudeness – 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.
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