New York City Travel Guide
New York City Travel Guide
Very few cities can compete with New York's frenetic energy and creativity and the Big Apple remains one of the top urban travel destinations in the world:
To visit New York City is to visit one of the most exciting and diverse man-made environments on earth, and travellers never seem to tire of this ever-changing metropolis. New York really is the city that never sleeps and although some may find it somewhat exhausting, nobody denies that it is endlessly stimulating.
Many arrive on business, but millions more travel on holiday to see the myriad famous sights, trawl the shopping streets, catch a show on Broadway, and soak up the incredible atmosphere. The Statue of Liberty greets travellers just as she once greeted immigrants, and among the towering skyscrapers the oasis of Central Park promises some relief from the rat race. The celebrated nightlife beckons party animals, the restaurant scene delights foodies, and the endless supply of museums and galleries charms culture vultures.
Best time to visit New York City
Although the city is a year-round destination, the best time to travel to New York is in autumn, during September and October, when the days are mild and pleasant, without the high humidity of the spring and summer months, or the snow and freezing temperatures that occur in winter. Read more on New York City's Climate and Weather.
What to see in New York City
-Watch a show on Broadway, a joy for the whole family.
-Marvel at New York's skyline from the observation deck of the mighty Empire State Building.
-Enjoy all the quirky and iconic fare that the Museum of Modern Art has to offer.
-Pay tribute to the many victims of 9/11 at the World Trade Center.
What to do in New York City
-Wander Greenwich Village, a famously artistic New York neighbourhood.
-Explore the Metropolitan Museum of Art, home to one of the greatest art collections in the world.
-Take a ride on the Staten Island Ferry, one of the best ways to see the city.
-Skate on the scenic Trump Rink in Central Park.
Beyond New York City
Popular excursions include the funfairs of Coney Island, the natural splendour of Bear Mountain State Park, the Dia Art Foundation of Beacon, and the spooky literary joys of Tarrytown, all of which await travellers just beyond the city. The Metro-North Railway can be used to access many nearby towns and cities in New York.
John F Kennedy International Airport, one of the world's major air travel hubs, is New York City's main airport, located 12 miles (20km) from downtown Manhattan. New York La Guardia Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport also serve the city. Get more information on Airports in New York City.
Did you know?
-New York City is home to about 4,000 street food vendors.
-More than 250 feature films are shot on location in the city annually.
-The musicians who perform in the NYC Subway system go through a competitive audition process.
Lady Liberty, NYC © D Ramey Logan
The problem with visiting New York City is knowing where to begin, but even if you don't immediately rush off to view the world-famous sights and landmarks of this most dynamic of cities, just being there is enough: the wonder of New York is in the energy and the diversity that emanates from its densely packed, multi-cultural population. The city vibrates with colliding cultures and languages; here high-life and low-life rub shoulders, and whoever you are and whatever your taste, there will be something to amuse and stimulate you 24-hours a day.
Whether lolling on a bench in leafy Central Park, watching the world go by from a French bistro in Soho, or gazing up at 'Lady Liberty' from the deck of the Staten Island Ferry, most visitors will feel they've done it all before, simply because New York is so familiar to anyone who has ever seen a movie or watched television. There is something special, however, in actually seeing the familiar landmarks and experiencing the pulse of the 'city that never sleeps'.
New York City is made up of five boroughs: Staten Island, The Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan, but many visitors never leave Manhattan. There is a lot packed into this tiny area: the 24-hour pasta restaurants of Little Italy and the bustling sidewalks of Chinatown, the jazz clubs of Greenwich Village and the theatres of Broadway; and of course the iconic sights of the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building and Times Square.
New York has been described as the best three-day city in the world, and that's about right. After a frenzy of museums, galleries, bars and clubs, many visitors are ready for a break. Fortunately there's a lot of choice in excursions, from the National Parks of upstate New York, to the beaches of Long Island, or simply the leafy oasis of Central Park. Whatever you're after, New York is ready and waiting to bewitch, bother and bewilder.