New York – ‘The City That Never Sleeps’ is one of the first cities I always wanted to visit in the US as many of my childhood favourite movies were filmed here. The city totally lived up to my very high expectation and I love every bit of what this lively city had to offer. This city has SOOO much to offer for anyone – from photographers, artists, businessmen, dancers, musicians, art lovers, dream chasers and literally everyone!
Getting around New York is super easy, the metro lines here are super crazy (in a good way!), they connect almost every parts of the cities. It’s also worth looking at a day-pass ticket if you plan to go to visit few places in one day.
For those who don’t know, New York is made out of five boroughs, Manhattan, The Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island but most top attractions are in Manhattan and Brooklyn. The two main airports, LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy (JFK) airports are both located in Queens which is about 40-70 minutes away from the centre of Manhattan (depends on the traffic). For me personally, I chose to use the metro as it’s the cheapest, fastest and the most convenient way to commute around New York City.
Here are some of my favourites – note that this is only a very quick rough list of highlights there are still so many more things that are not on this list. Just for your record you need at least 2-4 days to complete or see most of the things on this list. Also, each places on this list is located nearby to one another so you can basically enjoy and see briefly what New York City has to offer and plan your own trip according to this list easily.
1. STREETS OF NEW YORK
Streets of New York alone makes New York attractive since almost every streets here in New York is divided in square blocks and is in the order of 2th, 3rd, 4th and 5th Avenue etc. The good thing about this is that if you stand in the middle of street you literally cannot see the end of the road as it runs as far as your eyes can see.
2. BROADWAY & NEW YORK TIMES SQUARE
New York Times Square is named one of the World’s most famous squares. It is great to for shopping and evening chill. It is best to come during the night as streets become more alive thanks to the countless lighting around the town. Broadway in this case refers to the over 40 broadway theatres around this area showcasing world class musical shows such as The Wicked, Lion King, The Book of Mormon, Matilda and much more! (this is the equivalent to West End of London!)
3. EMPIRE STATE BUILDING
Empire State Building is arguably one of the most popular skyscrapers in New York. It has an observatory deck on the top of the building for those who want a better view of the city!
4. MADISON SQUARE GARDEN
Many memorable moments and histories were made here, countless music legends, famous basketball matches have all landed their successes here. From outside it looks like a small building but it has a huge indoor-arena in which you can take a small tour to go around and see the most magical moments that have happened in this very own arena.
Macy’s Herald Square claims to be the World’s largest store covering the entire block, it is massive. This mid-range to luxury high-end department store will guarantee you to the ultimate shopping experience. It is still worth coming to pay the visit if you are not planning to purchase anything to see what the world’s largest store looks like!
6. STATUE OF LIBERTY
One of the top landmarks of New York City, received as a gift from France over a hundred years ago The Statue of Liberty is absolutely stunning as its claim. This symbol of peace and freedom is located a separate small island and you have to take a small ferry trip here – I recommend the Statue Cruises Tour as it’s the most popular one.
7. SOHO (CHINATOWN)
SoHo (Chinatown) is a another district of Manhattan that absolutely can’t be missed! It is one of the most popular Chinatown’s in the world. Come and embrace the Chinese culture, have some good Chinese dumplings or dim sum and I can guarantee you won’t regret it. The architecture design in this area is also very unique special. It is very different from the rest of Manhattan so definitely worth the visit anyhow!
8. MANHATTAN BRIDGE & BROOKLYN BRIDGE
Only few minutes walk from SoHo you can see the sights of the Manhattan Bridge and Brooklyn Bridge. On a nice sunny day, don’t forget to talk a riverside walk along the bridge. If you have less time then I suggest you to at least go on the top of Brooklyn Bridge (there is a pedestrian walkway) which gives you a really nice view of the city and the bridge itself is also absolutely breathtaking.
9. GRAND CENTRAL TERMINAL
Grand Central Terminal Railway Station is a place you also want to visit, it is basically a massive railway station where you can connect trains to other cities and states. It is a great space and is quite amusing just to come here, watch the liveliness and absorb the atmosphere in this area itself!
10. FIFTH AVENUE
5th Avenue is the most famous shopping district in New York. It has a countless number of mid-range brands to luxury high-end brands. It is also home to the iconic LOVE sign and Apple Flagship store.
11. MOMA (MUSEUM OF MODERN ART)
As the name suggested, the Museum of Modern Art exhibits stunning collections of modern art with some special exhibitions and events of famous artworks.
12. CENTRAL PARK
Definitely one of the must-do in New York! Entering Central Park is like entering into a completely separate different world. It is a great escape from the hectic lives of the big city. The park covers a vast space of Manhattan, you can literally walk all day long here without getting bored. From ponds, pavilions, ice rinks and lots and lots of open spaces this park has it all.
13. AMERICAN MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY
What’s better than a free museum! (although at least a bit of donations suggested). This is where parts of the movie “Night At The Museum” were filmed, the museum has so much to see, from astronomical and space section to dinosaur fossils to history of mankind. If you love science and natural history in general this is a perfect place for you – and make sure to give up at least half day or whole day for this museum but it’s totally worth the visit!
14. ROCKEFELLER CENTER AND TOP OF THE ROCK
The Rockefeller Centre is no doubt one of the main highlights of New York City. The observatory deck Top Of The Rock on the rooftop is one of the most gorgeous sightseeing spots in New York City I definitely recommended. You can basically see the entire Manhattan having the Empire State Building on one side and the Central Park on the other which are quite impressive!
15. THE HIGH LINE
The High Line is more of a recent attraction it is an elevated park in the west Manhattan. What makes this park special is that it is renovated and made out of the used-to-be active railway station.
16. ONE WORLD TRADE CENTER AND 9/11 MEMORIAL
One World Trade Center and 9/11 Memorial need no introduction. It is one of the saddest place to visit in New York. On this southwest Manhattan, you can find countless flowers and roses lying to commemorate the unfortunates in one of the World’s most shocking events in the history.
I hope you enjoy and learn more about what New York has to offer, be inspired and go out and explore on your own.
Live, Love, Laugh, Lots.
Kasidit Vongvatanapuntu (Kay)