New York City is one of the largest cities with a population of more than 8 million. There are 5 boroughs. The Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island. In these boroughs, there are many places to visit whether you are just visiting for the day, staying for the weekend, or staying for a week or longer. As you’ll see below, there are also many theaters, places to shop, things to eat, villages to visit, and numerous transportation options. New York City has its charm, but you need to pick which landmarks you’ll visit during your trip in the city that never sleeps. Note: each tourism attraction below has a picture above it.
Grand Central Station
Grand central station is the first stop for any tourist who takes the train into the city. Grand central station isn't just your ordinary train station, it offers a lot more, including shops and restaurants. While you're waiting for your train to arrive you can have a meal in a café then browse the many gift shops that Grand central Station has to offer. The main landmark in Grand Central Station is the main concourse/lobby area with the big clock in it. This is the area where most people wait for their train or for people to meet them. The grand central station is very busy all day and connects to the New York City subway system in addition to the train lines that leave the city.
Every visitor who comes to New York City has to experience a ride on the subway at least once. Not all cities have subway lines, but it's a convenient way to quickly get around the city without getting stuck in traffic. The subway is the way to go since there's usually a station within a few streets away and all 5 boroughs have subway lines underground. it’s fun to ride because of the fast speed it travels at. If you plan on staying awhile and traveling a lot, then an unlimited rides metro card is recommended to save on costs. Buses are also another option that the MTA (Metro Transit Authority) offers.
The subway rates are as followed:
Staten Island Ferry
The Staten Island ferry transports people between Staten Island and Manhattan for free. The ferry ride gives people nice views of the Manhattan skyline and the water. This is a good cost-effective option if you want to visit Staten Island during your trip, are coming from New Jersey, or Staten Island and need a ride to Manhattan. 20 million people per year (60,000 per day) use the Staten Island ferry making it a popular transportation option.
JFK/La Guardia Airport
Some people would rather fly into the city instead of taking the train to save time especially if you are traveling from across the country than nearby. New York City has two main Airports, La Guardia and JFK Airport. JFK Airport is located in Southern Queens and La Guardia Airport is located in upper Brooklyn.
Take A Taxi Ride
Taking a taxi is another fun way of getting around the city that everyone should do at least once during their visit. Taxis can get really expensive if you are traveling a long distance. To save money, share the ride with someone.
The New York City taxis charge $2.50 upon entry+$0.50 per 1/5 mile (over 6 MPH) or 60 seconds (under 6 MPH)+fees & tolls. During peak times taxis might charge more. Peak times include nights, weekends, and rush hour.
Central Park is New York City's largest park. It takes around an hour to walk from one end to the other. While walking through the park there are many sights and things to see. Central Park is the beautiful section of the city in Central Manhattan. Many different tours are available around Central Park. These include biking and walking tours.
The Bronx Zoo
The Bronx Zoo is a widely known Zoo in the city. Located in the Bronx, there are many animals including polar bears, grizzly bears, birds, reptiles, fish, giraffes, elephants, and lions. When traveling to the Bronx Zoo be sure to plan enough time to see the whole zoo. A few hours minimum is recommended but half a day or more is ideal. The zoo is huge, with multiple entrances, and over 600 animal specifies.
Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is the most common museum in New York City. There are 3 floors of exhibits plus a bottom floor with a library in it, for a total of 4 floors. The exhibits have many themes from around the world. World themes include Asian, European, American, Greek, Roman, Medieval, etc. There are over 400 total exhibits in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In addition, there are special exhibits, restaurants, cafés, and gift shops in the museum. Even though some people find museums boring, it is definitely worth a visit at least once because everyone will find at least one exhibit that they like.
Chinatown is one of the older areas of Manhattan where Chinese immigrants first settled. Today you can visit Chinatown and get a taste of Chinese culture. Chinatown consists of only a few streets today but has a lot to offer including a bunch of Chinese restaurants, Chinese gift shops, Chinese grocery stores, and places to see and learn some Chinese culture. Street fairs are also commonly found in Chinatown. Common chinese foods such as egg rolls, fortune cookies, rice, and noodles can be eaten here. If you come here during the Chinese new year, there is a big festival in the streets of Chinatown. Spending an afternoon or evening in Chinatown is enough to experience Chinese culture and get a feel for what Chinatown has to offer.
Little Italy is another area of Manhattan where Italians first settled. Unfortunately, Little Italy has become smaller over the years and only consists of one main street today, Mulberry Street. Don't let this stop you from visiting though because Little Italy has many Italian restaurants, bakeries, and shops. Spaghetti, meatballs, bread, lasagna, and the famous Italian canneollis as well as other Italian pastries and baked goods can be eaten here. Little Italy should only take an afternoon or evening just like Chinatown. While you're at it, why don't you visit both Chinatown and Little Italy at once since they're next to each other.
Soho is a little area in Manhattan that offers shopping, beautiful architectural lofts and buildings. Many artists live here,which gives the place even more charm. In SoHo, vendors and crowded streets are common as well as boutiques and other little shops. An afternoon or evening is enough time to plan for visiting SoHo.
The Garment District
The Garment District is the fashion district of Manhattan. The Garment District runs from W 34th street to W 42nd street. Here you'll find many clothing, shoes, and accessory shops. The Manhattan Mall with a multi level JC Penney's and the World's Largest Macy's can also be found here. The world’s largest macy’s is so large that it offers 10 floors of goods, a McDonald's, Starbucks, Post Office and its famous wooden escalators. If you are looking to buy the latest fashion in New York City, then this is the place to be.
Wall street is the main area in the financial district. This is the area where many traders and investors work. Wall street is busiest between 8 AM and 4 PM from Monday to Friday when the stock market is open. Other things in the financial district include real estate businesses, banks, and financial offices.
9/11 Memorial/World Trade Center
The 9/11 memorial has two pools. A north pool and a south pool. Each pool has everyone's name who died on 9/11 carved in the side of the pool. Today, the World Trade center is reopening for the first time since 2001 and it is bigger than before. In fact, it is now the tallest building in North America. It is definitely to go to the 9/11 memorial and take a few minutes to remember those who've lost their life on that tragic day.
Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island
If you've always wanted to see the Statue of Liberty or Ellis island than you can take a ferry to both islands for one low price. You'll need to plan a half day for this. First you'll need to buy your tickets and go through security which can take time because you might have to wait in long lines. Then you board the first ferry to the Statue of Liberty. When you arrive to the island of the Statue of Liberty, you are free to spend as much time on it as you'll need, at least until the last ferry leaves. You can walk around, admire the views, and visit the gift shop and restaurant. If you want to actually go in the Statue of Liberty you'll need to book your reservations a week ahead of time. Be sure to remember this! You can only go inside if you have reservations!
Once you're done with the Statue of Liberty, you'll need to catch the next ferry to Ellis island. Once you've arrived at Ellis Island you'll be able to visit a large museum. This is where immigrants used to go through customs when arriving in the united States to start a new life. At Ellis island you can look up information about immigrants to see if anyone you know immigrated to America and passed through Ellis Island. Ellis Island has many rooms with three floors. You can also listen to an audio recording by putting an headphones at the exhibits. There is also a cute gift shop and café if you need to wait for the next ferry back to Manhattan.
Empire State Building
The Empire State Building is a unique building that should be visited by everyone who wants to see a great view. Those who are afraid of heights should avoid a trip to the Empire State Building. With the purchase of a ticket, you get to take an elevator up to the top floor of the Empire State Building. The Empire state building observatories are on the 86th and 102nd floor so you get to see breathtaking views from nearly a quarter-mile up in the sky!
South Street Seaport
South Street Seaport is a shopping area in lower Manhattan. There are many fashionable shops, restaurants, and more in South street Seaport. South Street Seaport borders the water, hence its name. It is also very close to battery park and not too far from the financial district. If you want to go shopping in New York city than South Street Seaport is a good popular option.
Battery park is a very unique park. Battery park borders the water so it offers a great views. Battery Park has a lot of great landscaping and unique things in it. The most unique thing about the park is its location. Besides being on the water on the tip of southern Manhattan, it has the subway and tunnels for cars running underneath it. These tunnels and subways run under the park to Staten Island from Manhattan.
New York City is home of the New York Yankees. You can see a Yankee's game at the Yankee Stadium. It might be expensive but if you are a big Yankee's fan and a baseball fan then it will be well worth the price of a ticket. The Yankee Stadium was updated a few years ago so it is almost brand new. The only bad thing is that the new stadium is smaller so tickets will sell out fast. Be sure to buy your tickets well in advanced.
Many people think of New Year's Eve and the big ball that drops when Time Square is mentioned. The truth is that Time Square has more to offer than just one night of partying on new year's eve. Time Square is full of large businesses and shops, some which are headquarters or large stores such as Toys R Us. Time Square also has lots of giant electric billboards all over, making it an effective place to advertise.
Broadway is also part of Time Square. Here you can see a show at one of the many theaters in this district. In fact, Time Square is in the heart of the theater district.It's a great downtown place to hangout, shop, see a show, and dine at.
The Brooklyn Bridge is the most popular bridge in New York City. Whether you drive over it, take a taxi over it, walk on it, ride a bike on it, or just view it from below, the Brooklyn Bridge is a fun bridge to see. How many bridges let you walk over them?
The Brooklyn Bridge is also free. Most bridges and tunnels in New York City can cost $5-10 to cross so this is as good as it can get.
Greenwich Village is a nice little village for those who want the cozy, home feeling with lots of charm and character. Greenwich village is a big residential neighborhood with some local cafés and coffee shops. If you want a hot cup of coffee while reading a book or you want to meet friends or whole new people then this is the part of New York City for you. Besides the food and neighborhood, Washington park is one nice park to visit while you're in Greenwich Village.
Rockefeller Center offers many landmarks. The GE building, Rockefeller Center observatory on the 70th floor and the Radio City Music Hall (RCA building) are popular landmarks. In addition there is a skating rink with an underground concourse shopping center near the skating rink. Each year, during the holiday season, many people come to see the Radio city Christmas Spectacular. During the Christmas season, a big Christmas tree is also put up and the area is decorated.
Fifth avenue is a big shopping street. It is also ranked as the world's most expensive street due to the high prices. If you do decide to shop here then be wary of the high prices. Many large big box stores can be found here. These include Nike, Gap, Best Buy, The Apple Store, and the world's largest build-a-bear workshop. The popular toy store, FAO Schwartz is also found here which sells a wide selection of toys and has a two-story Ferris wheel inside the store.
Columbus Avenue is a unique street that offers many points of interest. A few churches, theaters, The American Museum of Natural History, and The Lincoln center all lie on Columbus Avenue. In addition, the popular TV show Hell's Kitchen takes place on this street.
Harlem is a popular village in the northern part of Manhattan. The main street of Harlem is the 125th street so if you only have enough time to visit one part of Harlem then it's recommended to visit 125th street to take advantage of the shopping, cafés, restaurants, churches, music, and architecture. Harlem's architecture gives the entire village that old feeling and charm.
While you're in Queens, you'll want to visit Belmont Park. Belmont park is a horse betting race track where you bet on horses and watch horses race. Belmont park is one of the farther attractions located at the edge of Queens but it is still worth a visit.
New York Aquarium
The New York Aquarium is an aquarium in Southern Brooklyn. Located on the Coney Island boardwalk, it is one of the more popular attractions in Brooklyn. Unfortunately, the New York Aquarium has been temporarily closed due to significant damage from hurricane Sandy. Don't worry though, once the aquarium gets repaired and renovated it will be open for business again.
Coney island is a peninsula in Southern Brooklyn. Some people live here but it's mostly a tourist spot. Coney Island offers the New York Aquarium (as mentioned above), the beach, amusement parks with rides, and the board walk with lots of food to sample, shops, arcades, and games where you can win prizes. It's like a fair but on the beach in New York City with more to do. Rides include roller coasters, ferris wheels, a cyclone, a carousel, and bumper cars.
Staten Island Ferris Wheel
The Staten Island ferris wheel is a future attraction which is expected to open in 2015. It will be 625 feet tall and give great views of the area. Tourists will be able to see Staten Island, New Jersey, Manhattan, the Statue of Liberty, and Ellis Island.
Madison Square Garden
Basketball, boxing, ice hockey, ice shows, concerts, and circuses are some of the entertainment that can be seen here. Although its name might be interpreted as a square garden, it is still a nice place to see if you have the opportunity to attend an event.
Carnegie hall is another theater to see plays in. If you are looking to see some music then this is another great place to be. Carnegie hall consists of three different performing spaces. It can seat over 2,800 people on 5 different floors, making it a large building with lots of architectural character.
Lincoln Center is a site in New York City with many performing arts buildings. Once again, as another theater it won’t disappoint those who go to see a show. There is also a nice square center that stands outside, in the middle of the Lincoln Center. There is a large fountain in the center to add to Lincoln Center’s charm.
United nations is a well-known landmark in New York City. Their primary job is to make sure national security and peace is kept among every country. As a tourist, you can get a guided tour of United Nations with the purchase of a ticket. It’s a good idea to come in and see what the UN is like if you have the time.