Wed, January 6th, 2010 - By

Spotlight on New York

If you want to be spoilt for choice when it comes to things to do on a city break, then New York is the right choice for you. With almost 20,000 eateries, numerous bars, world-class museums and more than 10,000 shops, the city really does offer something for everyone.

Places of interest

With a city so full of attractions and landmarks it’s hard to know where to start and what to see, here are five of the most popular attractions to get you started with planning your trip to the Big Apple.

The Statue of Liberty - New York's historic symbol of freedom

The Statue of Liberty - New York

  1. Empire State Building – Offering panoramic views, the observatory is situated on the 86th floor, 1050 feet (320 metres) above the city. Random fact – the lights at the top of the Empire state Building change colour for special holidays and remembrance dates.
  2. Statue of Liberty – New York’s historic symbol of freedom, following 9-11 the Crown has only recently been reopened and only reachable by climbing 354 steps. It is advised to pre-book this as the spaces are limited for a walk to the top. Ellis Island Immigration Museum – Offers a fascinating look into the immigrant experience, with interactive exhibits, walking tours and movies.
  3. Grand Central Terminal – Built in 1913, not only is it a major transportation hub, but it’s also full of history and an attraction itself. Guided tours are available or take a self guided tour, before you travel visit the official website to print out a handy itinerary.
  4. Rockefeller Centre – Situated in midtown Manhattan, it’s best known for its Christmas tree, ice skating, Top of the Rock Observation Deck, NBC Studios and Radio City Music Hall. A random fact – the elevator taking you to the observation deck at the Top of The Rock takes approx 40 seconds to reach the top!
  5. Central Park is a great open space and also offers plenty to do. Depending on the season the park offers an open air swimming pool in the summer which turns into an ice-skating rink in the winter. The Central Park Zoo is open all year round and why not try a carriage ride, how romantic!

Getting around

With the traffic and crowds, combined with the fear of getting lost around New York City, getting out and about can seem like a daunting task. Here are some tips on travel in and around The Big Apple:

Hop on/hop off bus tours – A great way to visit as many of the city’s places of interest as possible or just enjoy a guided tour, if you want to explore further, the tour bus has stops offering convenient access to most of the must see attractions.

Taxis – A convenient way to get from place to place in the city and with nearly 12000 of them roaming the streets, hailing a cab is as simple as stepping off the curb and holding out your arm (just look for the light on the roof).

With nearly 12000 yellow cabs in the city spotting one shouldn't be too hard

nearly 12000 yellow cabs in New York city

Subway – A fast and affordable way to get around New York, the subway runs 24-hours-a-day, serving 468 stations on 24 routes. Routes are identified by letters and numbers as well as being colour-coded, with maps available at any subway station booth.

Walking – As the city roads always seem to be jam-packed with traffic, taking to the sidewalk is often the quickest way to get around, remember to take some comfortable shoes. The grid system of uptown/downtown streets intersected with crosstown streets means it’s quite difficult to lose your way.


Home to many of the well known department stores such as Bloomingdales, Macy’s and Saks Fifth Avenue as well as numerous designer boutiques and high street stores, New York is a shopper’s paradise.

Get ready to shop shop shop!

Get ready to shop shop shop!

For some designer bargains visit the Century 21 Department Store it has 15 departments with quality and designer merchandise at 40-70% off retail prices. Alternatively take a trip to the popular Woodbury Common Premium Outlet, it has around 220 designer and brand-name outlet stores less than one hour’s bus drive from Manhattan.

Going out

Theatre – Seeing a show on Broadway is one of the most popular events for New York City tourists, if you’re not to picky about what you see – purchase your ticket on the day of the show  from one of the many booths and enjoy savings of up to 50%.

Eating out

There are thousands of places to eat, from burger joints to bistros and seafood bars to Michelin-star restaurants, with every other eatery dishing out authentic ethnic treats from all around the world. New York is home to over 4000 street vendors selling hot dogs, pretzels and much more.

Off the beaten track

If you aren’t on an amazing shopping trip, or even if you are, and you fancy something less well known to visit why not take a peek at the huge Toys’R’us store in Times Square. The shop is built over 3 floors and offers a huge Ferris Wheel to keep the kids entertained. Another toy store to visit is FAO Schwarz. The store is home to a giant ‘dance on’ floor piano that was shown in the film Big. Playing the piano has never been more fun!

A little further downtown and you can find a few small museums, the Police Museum and the Fire Museum. Both of which give an interesting history of years gone by.

Are you a Sex in the City fan? New York offers a Sex in the City bus tour, eat, drink, gossip and shop where they have and take in the sights at the same time.

Take a trip to Wall Street and have a picture taken with the Charging Bull. The Bull is an iconic bronze statue standing 11 feet tall and has thousands of visitors each day.

There is also some fantastic shopping and eateries at the South street Seaport. Amazing outlets and some great bargains.

And finally we have the Staten Island Ferry. It’s totally free to ride the ferry and gives some really great views of the Statue of Liberty and New York Harbour, a round trip takes about an hour and some have even called this ferry ride a romantic way to see Manhattan.

Where to stay

The choice is yours! Every budget is catered for, whether you are looking for a budget no frills accommodation, a rental apartment, chic boutique or a 5 star luxury stay, New York offers something for every one. Check out our New York Hotels.

Posted : Wednesday, January 6th, 2010 at 09:03
Category : Spotlight
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One Response to “Spotlight on New York”

  1. […] year, Sue took us on a great overview of New York City, but did you know that New York City is made up of five large districts, called boroughs? Manhattan […]

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