The buzz of the city’s energy hits you as soon as you walk out of the airport, there’s an undeniable energy that fills the air with a sense of excitement. It’s no wonder why New York is one of the most sung about, filmed and written about cities in the world.
Apart form it being a buzzing business hub, it is a city that promises the tourist a tantalising experience to delight all your senses. It’s a mix of the old buildings that give it character and history and the modern day high rises that leave you in awe of their architecture.
Whilst this piece just focuses on Manhattan- because I just didn’t get enough time. There is so much to see and do, if you’ve got the time whatever you do don’t just spend it in Manhattan explore the other boroughs. Take a ride through Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens and take the ferry to Staten Island (the ferry to the Island is free and possibly one of the best views of the Statue of Liberty- two birds one stone!).
If you’re only there for a short time or on a business trip you possibly wont get time to do everything. Trust me there is so much to see that even my five days wasn’t enough.
If you’re only there for a few days then below are my top picks for a short stay (Yes, of course you have to see the Statue of Liberty- it’s a given, so I didn’t include this in my pick of attractions), they are as follow.
Central Park: This park is absolutely huge. So be prepared, if you want to spend a day at the park take your walking shoes. The best way to find out what you want to see and to plan your day is with the Central Park App (the official one) that you can download for free on iTunes. Not only will this app help you plan your day but also help you find your way when you get lost- trust me you will! If you’re getting tired from walking around take a horse and carriage ride around the park, it’s a bit pricey if you’re ridding solo but well worth it. You have a few options on the length of the ride and carriages fit about 4-5 people. To catch a horse and carriage ride you can find them lined up outside the Plaza Hotel on West 59th St.
The Brooklyn Bridge walk: This is a gorgeous walk to do, it’ll take you about 40 minutes each way especially if you are stoping to take in the view. The bridge is beautiful and the views of Manhattan are stunning.
St Patricks Cathedral: Located on 5th Avenue and 51st Street, this neo- gothic Roman Catholic Church is breathtaking. It’s free to enter but they do work on donations. Once inside the architecture is stunning. This is still an operational Cathedral with masses taking place regularly.
9/11 Memorial and surrounds: This is one of the most somber places I have ever been too. You can choose to go to the museum or just walk around the memorial twin reflecting pools. A walk around the site is a spiritual experience no matter how unaffected you may have been at the time of the attacks on September 11, 2001. It allows you to take in the enormity of the events that occurred and their aftermath. The reflecting pools are a beautiful dedication to the thousands of men and women who lost their lives that day and have been placed on the exact location of where the Twin Towers used to stand. The new World Trade Center- One World Trade Center, is also a high light with a viewing deck that will provide you one of the best views of Manhattan and across the rivers.
Broadway: Ok, so you need to take in a show! I think this pick is pretty self explanatory- we’re talking BROADWAY! There are so many shows to choose from so even if you’re not the most avid theatre fan you will definitely find something to watch.
The Empire State Building: Situatted at 350 5th Avenue, the building is an iconic monument and if this is your first trip then this is a must. Whilst not the best view of the city, the views are still simply gorgeous. Get there early in the morning because the queues to get in get lengthy as the day progresses. Or if you want to experience the view in the evening get there late at night to beat the queues. The viewing deck is open till 2am every day (that’s right- 356 days a year!).
Other highlights are the tour of Brooklyn and the night tour of Manhattan that run with nearly all sightseeing bus companies and of course Times Square, Grand Central Station and of course the many museums and art galleries you have to choose from.
Whatever you decide to do you’ll be impressed with this city’s attractions and social scene. Just remember to take your sneakers as most attractions are a short walking distance from each other.