Things happen fast in New York City, but even your easy-going holiday self will find some time to get lazy while relaxing Washington Square Park or sitting back for a hot new Off-Broadway show. You might even see a future Tony Award-winner before she’s famous. Kickstart a culture fix with world-class art galleries throughout the five boroughs, sample fare from any corner of the globe in Brooklyn and shop ‘til you just can’t anymore in Lower Manhattan.
NYC is densely populated, but there’s always room for travellers in New York City accommodation. If you want easy access to the entire city, then book accommodation near Central Park. If you stay south of the Park, you’ll be mere blocks from Grand Central Station and major attractions, like Times Square, the Theatre District and Rockefeller Center.
Things to Do in New York City
What can’t you do in “The City That Never Sleeps”, besides sleep? The answer is nothing, that’s what. You’ll still want to reserve a hotel in New York City, though, for wardrobe changes. Speaking of wardrobes, shop off the beaten rack in vintage stores and boutiques in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Fashion isn’t NYC’s only photo-ready feature. The best cityscape views can be found from the lush High Line Park, a repurposed portion of elevated rail line tracks in Lower Manhattan. While you’re in Lower Manhattan, pause at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum or catch the ferry to Staten Island to greet Lady Liberty. Back in Manhattan (aka “The City”), load up on street food (bagels, anyone?) or fine dining on every corner. Museum-hoppers can go a little bonkers in NYC, too, from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Central Park to the tiny Mmuseumm, a gallery of artefacts in an old elevator in Tribeca. And let’s not forget our four-legged and feathered friends at The Bronx Zoo. If you’re feeling knackered near the northern borough, you can always relax in accommodation in New York City’s Hudson Heights neighbourhood, with views of an idyllic monastery on the Hudson River.
Getting To & Around New York City
NYC is serviced by two major airports—John F. Kennedy International (JFK) and LaGuardia International (LGA)—both located in Queens. You can also fly in to Newark International Airport (EWR) in New Jersey. All three airports connect with public transportation via the free AirTrain shuttle —and you thought NYC would be expensive. With an extensive subway and bus system and taxis galore, you can reach your New York City hotel and all the stops on your itinerary without your own set of wheels, though you may want to look into one of Wotif’s car hire options.
Best Time to Visit New York City
Any time is a good time to take a New York City holiday. Summers can be quite balmy, but that’s a good excuse to stay out late in quirky St. Marks Place after the day’s cooled off. Spring and autumn are weather perfection and winter is filled with festive decorations. Winter is also a magical time to travel if you’ve never experienced a white Christmas! A lot happens in a New York minute, so book flights to New York City with Wotif. We’ve found the deals, so you just need to find your suitcase.
It's natural to feel a little overwhelmed on a first visit to New York. The city can overload the senses: the smell of sizzling gyros from Midtown street vendors' carts, the sound of a subway musician's saxophone during the crush of a rush-hour commute, and the neon lights of Times Square flashing at all times of day and night.
This stimulation from all sides is what makes New York so dynamic. You'll soon realize it's the sheer sense of possibility that has everyone jumping. You can do anything here, whether it's catching a long-running show like Phantom of the Opera on Broadway or crashing a loft party in the newest alternative art space. Shop 'til you drop in SoHo like the 'Sex and the City' cast or hobnob with the literati at West Village wine bars.
You can even enjoy some nature, and not only in Central Park. The East Village has many community gardens and Brooklyn's Prospect Park is a real delight. Head north to the Bronx Botanical Gardens or to Washington Heights' Fort Tryon Park, which towers over the Hudson River with views of the Palisades - you won't believe you're still in the city.
The whole world is here
To get your bearings in such a large city, it's a good idea to start with an overview. A hop-on, hop-off bus tour will help you learn the lay of the land. Or, for a different vantage point, try a helicopter ride over the five boroughs or sail by Manhattan's monuments on an elegant dinner cruise. Sure, it's a bit extravagant and certainly bold, but hey, that's New York.
Really, though, New York is a series of neighborhoods-it's not all that intimidating. From Little Italy to Chinatown, the Lower East Side to Chelsea, New York houses several communities, each with their own distinct flavor. Despite this, there are no artificial boundaries-the daily mix of millions of different people is what makes the city's story so great. Perhaps that's why New Yorkers think they live in the center of the world-it seems the whole world is here. Hide