Chinatown Manhattan A Must
- One of the oldest Chinatowns in the city
- Interesting architecture and temples
- Lots of eating joints
- Evocative atmosphere
Why its awesome: Manhattans Chinatown provides a glimpse into a different world. The rich history, heritage, culture, and traditions blend to create an enchanting and captivating place. Its a top place to try an assortment of mouth-watering Chinese fare and pick up unusual items such as herbal remedies, amulets, and stress relievers. Museums, temples, and statues add to the areas appeal, and youll find massage parlours, reflexology shops, palmists, tarot card readers, and more.
What to do there: Wander along Chinatowns narrow, busy lanes to see a different side to the Big Apple. Learn more about the Chinese diaspora at the Museum of Chinese in America and absorb the spiritual air in the Mahayana Buddhist Temple. Call into a tea house for a quick pick me up and browse in stores that sell everything from traditional Chinese remedies, lucky amulets, and a wide selection of loose teas to trinkets, cheap electronics, gold, and imported ingredients.
New York For First Time Visitors: Everything You Need To Know For Your Trip
Here youll find everything you need for your New York trip: the most important checklists, travel and visa questions, everything you need to know about the boroughs, airport transfers and our money-saving tips.
Its packed with all the things you need to consider when preparing for your trip. And we provide you several free tools that will make your time in New York unforgettable. Starting with our travel planner myNY, over the Hotel Finder for New York, the Transfer Hero and the New York Pass Advisor, which simply and quickly save your travel money. It is also available here:
Visit A Broadway Show
New York is known for its many musicals and Broadway shows most of which are performed in the Theatre District around Times Square. Here are our tips on the best Broadway Shows in New York. If you already know which Broadway show you want to see, I recommend ordering the tickets in advance . If youre still flexible, you can buy leftover tickets at TKTS in Times Square, for example.
Enjoying The Gastro Scene
Now comes one of my favorite parts of planning our New York trips: the citys many bars, restaurants, rooftop bars, and food markets. In our travel guide and insider guides on the website, we put a lot of emphasis on finding the best gastro spots and rooftop bars. So, feel free to browse through them, and if you like something, just add it to your myNY itinerary. Just click on the heart symbol, and youre done!
Take The First Virtual Reality Journey Through Earth
Learn more about this globe we call home and how our small actions can affect its future in the first multi-sensory and augmented reality journey through Earth.
With AR, VR, project mapping and interactive art installations, Arcadia Earth will take you on a journey to see the world from your own perspective.
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Coney Island: New York Aquarium Luna Park & The Cyclone
Jutting like a Brooklyn thumb out into New York Harbor’s Lower Bay, Coney Island boasts a wide beach, seaside boardwalk and lively amusement park, all easily reachable by subway about an hour from Midtown Manhattan. Popular attractions include the family-friendly New York Aquarium, Nathan’s Famous hot dogs, Denos Wonder Wheel and thrill-filled Luna Park, featuring the wooden Cyclone rollercoaster, a city and national historic landmark. Walk to nearby Brighton Beach for classic Russian/Ukrainian eats.
New York Harbour And Statue Of Liberty Evening Cruise
Downtown New York is stunning from the water by day, but the sight of the harbour and skyline at night is one of those experiences that will stay with you long after youve gone home.
GetYourGuide.com has an hour-long cruise after sunset, with running commentary imparting titbits you might not have known.
The cruise departs from Pier 16 at South Street Seaport, and arcs around Lower Manhattan to take in the Statue of Liberty, the forest of skyscrapers including the likes of One World Trade Center, and then under the Brooklyn Bridge and up as far as the Empire State Building.
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National 9/11 Memorial And Museum
Sombre but necessary, the National 9/11 Memorial and Museum is on the site of the World Trade Centre.
The National September 11 Memorial is a jarring tribute to the 2,977 people killed in the attacks in 2001, as well as the six who died in the 1993 bombing.
There are twin reflecting pools here, an acre in size, marking out the exact footprints of the Twin Towers and walled with the largest man-made waterfalls in North America.
The bronze panels on parapets surrounding these pools are inscribed with the names of every person who died in the two attacks.
The Memorial Museum recalls the events of 9/11, the weeks leading up to the attack, and its aftermath, but also goes into depth on the lives of those who perished.
Among the exhibits are the monumental Last Column, fragments from the aircraft and a damaged fire truck.
Its a sign of New Yorks sheer ambition in the 20s and 30s that nearly 90 years after it was topped off, the timeless Empire State Building is still the 44th tallest skyscraper in the world.
The roof of this Art Deco tower is 380 metres over the Midtown streets, and the highest visitable point in the city from 2001 until the One World Trade Center Observatory opened in 2011. The Main Deck on the 86th floor is open until 02:00 for a late-night perspective of the city that never sleeps, while in clear weather by day the panoramas scroll out for 80 miles, as far as Pennsylvania and Massachusetts.
New York City Itinerary: Day 5
Empire State Building, Chelsea Market, the High Line & Hudson Yards
Walking distance 3 miles
Empire State Building
Start the day with a trip up the Empire State Building. Completed in 1931, this was the tallest building in the world for 40 years until the North Tower of the World Trade Center was completed in 1970. The Empire State Building has been featured in over 250 TV shows and movies and is listed as one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World.
Looking north from the Empire State Building .
Looking south from the Empire State Building.
If you dont mind waking up early, you can watch the sunrise from the top of the Empire State Building. Tickets are limited to 100 visitors and need to be purchased in advance. Its pricey, costing $100 per person, and tickets are only available for Friday and Saturday mornings.
Cost: standard tickets start at $42 for adults and $36 for childrenHours: Daily 8 am 2 amWebsite: Get the full details on packages and VIP experiences on the official Empire State Building website.Get Your Guide: You can also purchase your entrance tickets in advance through GetYourGuide.
From the Empire State Building, visit Chelsea Market for lunch.
Optional: Ground Zero Museum Workshop
This is a kid-friendly museum and if you want your child to learn about 9/11, this museum is the perfect place to take them.
Optional: Greenwich Village
The High Line
It takes about 30 minutes to walk from Chelsea Market to Hudson Yards.
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Greenwich Village Soho And West Village
While youre here, you have to take some time out for local New York.
These three neighborhoods Greenwich Village, SoHo, and West Village are brimming with life and allow you to experience the real city, the way us locals do every day. Its the energy of these neighborhoods that really make New York the amazing city that it is.
While time may be limited, and you may not get a chance to visit all three, definitely make sure to include at least one in your trip. Go shopping in SoHo, catch a comedy show in Greenwich, or grab a bite in the West Village. Each is fun in in its own way, and experiencing local culture is a necessary part of any good vacation.
Where To Stay In New York
Which neighborhood is best for you depends on several things: your interests, how close you want to be to the attractions and what your travel budget is. In the image below, Ive drawn you my favorite neighborhoods of New York including the main attractions nearby.
And, on the subject of safety: In all of Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, and large parts of Queens, you dont have to worry about being out and about in the evening. New York City is one of the safest cities in the world!
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Soho Little Italy Chinatown Walking Tour
Of course, you can stay a lot longer if you want to have lunch or dinner here. Little Italy has seemingly endless options for pasta, pizza, and pastries plus a few annual celebrations that really bring the neighborhood to life.
Coming from the Italian flavors of Mulberry Street, youll cross over Canal Street, the heart of Chinatown. Chinatown is like a city within a city. Chinese food, shopping, medicine, decor youll find it all here.
New York Itinerary Day : Explore Midtown Manhattan
Prepare for a power-packed day in Midtown Manhattan! This stretch between 34th and 50th Streets has some of New York Citys most famous landmarks, from Times Square to the newest attraction, SUMMIT One Vanderbilt. You can easily walk from one spot to another, so put on your most comfortable shoes.
Start at Central Park
Theres no better way to start off your weekend in New York than with an authentic New York bagel from H& H Bagels on the citys Upper West Side. Enjoy your bagel at Central Park, the 840-acre oasis that separates the Upper West and Upper East sides of Manhattan.
Theres a slew of things to do in Central Park, including the Central Park Zoo, the whimsical Belvedere Castle, and the iconic tree-lined promenade, Bethesda Terrace. For the music lovers, dont forget to head to Strawberry Fields, the memorial to world-famous Beatles artist John Lennon.
Explore the American Museum of Natural History
Located on the border of Central Park on Museum Mile, the the American Museum of Natural History is a must-visit especially if youre exploring New York with kids. The iconic museum has been featured in many movies, including A Night at the Museum . There are over 34 million specimens of plants, animals, fossils, minerals, and artifacts, so plan at least 3 hours here. Be sure to book your tickets in advance to avoid waiting in line.
Walk along the 5th Avenue
See the Grand Central Terminal
Have Dinner in Midtown New York
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Admire The Spectacular View On Manhattan Over The Hudson
The observation deck of the One World Observatory offers dramatic city views that turn magical at sundown. The visit to this observation deck offers a unique 360-degree view of the city. One World Observatory is also the tallest of the three most famous observation decks, which includes the Top of the Rock and the Empire State Building.
If you plan to visit multiple attractions in the city, compare New York City passes to find the most convenient solution.
The One World Observatory offers the most impressive technological features for its visitors, with a mix of virtual reality, video guides, and theater shows. Thanks to its location in Lower Manhattan near the 9/11 Memorial, the One World Observatory also offers fantastic views of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and the harbor.
Because the One World Observatory is the newest, crowds can get a bit larger at this location, but the timed tickets ensure that you will probably never experience an unreasonable crowd size
Make The Most Of Your Visit With New York Explorer Pass
Saving the best for the last, this is your number one ticket to the citys top attractions and tours, all for one convenient pre-paid price.
Available 30 days, the New York Explorer Pass is the best way to go for visitors who want to discover the city at their own pace while saving precious money and time along the way.
Choose a 3, 4, 5, 7, or 10-choice pass and enjoy access to a preselected number of top sights, tours, and cruises from over 90 attractions on offer, plus exclusive deals at local shops & restaurants and a free pocket-sized guidebook chock-full of maps and useful info.
As well as saving up to 50% off admission prices, travelers opting to explore the city with the New York Explorer Pass will also be able to skip the line at highly popular attractions such as Empire State Building, Top of the Rock, or the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
In addition to celebrated museums, monuments, and sights, there are also sightseeing cruises, horse carriage rides, and interesting walking & bus tours to choose from. And the best part, you can decide which attractions to visit on the go.
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Uncover New Visual Perspectives Of Nyc In A Futuristic Exhibition
Visit an alternative museum to experience art and technology in a new immersive way. ARTECHOUSE is a futuristic museum with exhibitions covering the relation between art and science and the role of the individual observer.
The ongoing exhibition, Machine Hallucination: NYC, aims to unveil how our perception of this ever-changing iconic city can be altered through new forms of visual representation.
Where To Stay In New York City & How Much Spending Money Youll Need
New York is expensive. If youre not on a tight budget, youre best off staying off in Midtown or the Village if you can afford it since both locations make sightseeing easiest.
However, for those seeking a more alternative experience and/or lower price tag with a short train ride to the sites, stay in Astoria or Long Island City in Queens. In Brooklyn, look in Williamsburg, Dumbo, or Clinton Hill.
You might also find some affordable picks along the Lower East Side. You might also want to look into the Pod hotel chain for affordable rooms in central locations.
For budgeting tips, read my master NYC on a budget post where all of the activities are FREE. Plan on spending at minimum $50+ per person on food, $20 per person on activities minimum, $100+ on the hotel , and extra if you plan on going out . Be sure to master happy hour as it will save you a lot of money. Please be sure to account for tips at restaurants as tipping is standard in New York City.
I did not include this on the list: I highly recommend stopping to see a Broadway show, if thats your thing. Book your tickets early and try first through the theatre itself to get the best prices in advance. In place of going out, see a show. Budget about $70-$300+ per ticket depending on the show and your sets. A friend of mine was able to get tickets to a major Broadway show for just $70 per seat. Off-Broadway is a great option for those on a tighter budget.
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What You Need To Know About New York
New York City has five boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island. I would recommend staying on Manhattan island as thats where most attractions are, but it can be very expensive .
Manhattan is nominally divided into Uptown, Midtown, and Downtown, all of which are subdivided into more than 50 neighborhoods. In this New York itinerary, we will be visiting mainly Manhattan and Brooklyn.
Industry City Brooklyn Navy Yard & Brooklyn Army Terminal
In a city that places a high premium on space, Brooklyn now claims three trendy and exciting rehabilitated industrial areas, commandeered by entrepreneurs, artisanal makers, retailers, artists, start-ups and nonprofits. Industry City occupies six large warehouses on the Sunset Park waterfront.
Further south, 100-plus companies fill the vast and storied Brooklyn Army Terminal. And east of Downtown Brooklyn, the expansive, historical Brooklyn Navy Yard is a modern made-in-Brooklyn manufacturing hub.
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New York City Helicopter Tour
No matter how high the observation deck, you may come away feeling like theres a patch of Manhattan that you wanted to see from above but could not.
There might not be a cityscape more suited to a helicopter tour than New York, so its little wonder that theres an abundance of options with GetYourGuide.com.
To single out one, the New York City Deluxe Helicopter Tour affords the ultimate views of the Hudson River, the Chrysler Building, the Brooklyn Bridge, Ellis Island, The Statue of Liberty, the New York Harbour and USS Intrepid.
Taking off from the heliport at Pier 6, this flight lasts 15-30 minutes but will give you memories to last a lifetime.
What To Do In Nyc
Every passing day there’s more to dosafelyin the city. Stay in the loop with:
- The weeks best activities delivered to your email box with our free newsletter
- , which has real-time tips and advice from New York City experts
- The city’s latest openings and happenings on City Guide’s
- Activities geared to parents and families on our sister site nymetroparents.com
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