Spend a day in New York and you’ll finally understand why more songs have been written about this city, than any other in the world. Blimey, spend five minutes in this insanely dynamic city, and you too will be singing its praises at the top of your lungs. From the maddening mayhem of the underground at peak hour, to the glitz and glamour of a Broadway show and the serenity of Central Park at sunrise; every single moment spent here is as iconic as it can possibly get.
The city that never sleeps won’t give you a chance to rest any of your senses for the whole duration of your stay; there’s amazing shopping to be done, gastronomic delights to devour, towers to climb, museums to visit and shows to be dazzled by. And that’s just on the first day.
In New York, you’ll rub shoulders with a gazillion people, from famous designers, painters and singers to talented street buskers, struggling artists, industrious immigrants and tourists from every corner of the globe. It seems that everyone wants a bite out of this Apple! The city certainly offers enough picture-perfect moments which will make you want to stay just a wee bit longer. Take the passenger ferry from Staten Island to Manhattan at sunset, and you’ll be privy to one of the most hypnotizing views in the world. When the New York City skyline glows crimson red it really seems like the whole world has come to a complete standstill.
New York Guide – The ins and outs of NYC
The first thing which strikes visitors, upon arrival, is just how incredibly humongous the city actually is. Home to almost 9 million souls (and, it seems, an equivalent number of cats), NYC is made up of five boroughs, each boasting its own history, culture, attractions and creative flair.
Manhattan, the most central and famous of hoods, is like a mini-cosmos, where you get the best of the city’s main highlights. Book your New York hotel here if you want to be near Times Square, the Empire State Building, Broadway, Central Park and Greenwich Village, to name just a few. Manhattan is the absolute beating pulse of New York and a fantastic place to get lost in, particularly in the eerie first hours of daylight, while the city still slumbers.
Across Manhattan, over the East River, is where you’ll find Brooklyn, an absolute hub of active frenzy. Over the last decade or so, Brooklyn has enjoyed the most exciting of refurbishments, and is emerging as one of the most enticing nooks of the city. Merely a century ago, this was the poor-migrant area and one of the least desirable suburbs in NY but oh my, look how far it’s come. The recent mega-galactic face-lift granted to Coney Island has undoubtedly made Brooklyn the most sought after Sunday afternoon retreat for local New Yorkers.
Just to the east of Brooklyn stands Queens, a suburb which has enjoyed a similar history, although it always boasted a slightly more affluent crowd. The most multi-cultural of all American districts is indeed a tantalizing suburb to get lost in. Fresh off the boat Puerto Ricans, third generation Italians and everything in-between Asians all live here in seemingly perfect harmony. Along with an eclectic mix of people and shops, comes an assortment of eating establishments, so head here if you’re in the mood for a varied gastronomic indulgence.
The Bronx has suffered some bad rap over the years, and even though it has cleaned up its act (long ago we might add), it still can’t shake off its bad-ass image for some reason. However, the Bronx is no more or less sketchy than any metropolitan suburb, and the fact that this is the greenest corner of the bustling city makes it an area that’s well worth checking out. The Bronx is home to the city’s zoo, Botanical Gardens and an astonishing 75 parks and gardens; so if it’s a little green you crave whilst holidaying in New York, this is where you’ll need to be.
Of all the boroughs, Staten Island is considered the most subdued, and contains the least amount of tourist attractions, yet sometimes we think the most unassuming parts deliver the most authentic experiences. Besides, having to catch that ferry into town every day is a splendid bonus of picking a Staten Island Hotel.
As can be expected, the city of New York is immaculately serviced by two major international airports (Newark and JFK), and one ever-so-busy domestic hub (La Guardia). The John F. Kennedy Airport is almost as big as the city itself, and may require hours of navigations; there are several terminals here, all quite distant from each other. A swift air-train connects people from the arrivals terminals to all the train and bus stations scattered about. Make sure you have your plan of action well sorted before arriving, or your tourist visa may well expire by the time you manage to organize your way into town. Likewise, arriving via Newark can be quite the mission, but most people think it’s a great chaotic introduction to the city!
Of course you can also reach New York by train and coach from other states; visit the Amtrak site to pre-purchase your tickets.
Oh, and in case you’re planning to reach NYC by private yacht, there’s even a berth on the port outside the Financial Center just waiting for you to arrive.
Getting into any corner of NY from either airport is easy as can be. There are new bus lines, private vans available and limousines, as well as the epitome NYC icon: the yellow cab!
Getting out & about
Once you’ve settled into your hotel, we recommend you get out pronto!
There is an almost infinite list of transport options within the city itself. You can get around by bicycle, subway, ferry, bus, taxi, tram, water taxi and even private helicopter (the latter may only be an option if you’ve arrived here with a private yacht).
The city’s extensive public transport system makes it ever so easy to reach every corner of every borough, any time day or night. Check out the MTA website to better plan your days’ explorations. We recommend you purchase a one-week unlimited Metro Card for $29, this is by far the most convenient of all, considering a single ride costs $2.50!
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