New York City

Beginner’s Bliss: Discovering New York City’s Highlights (2024)

Are you embarking on your first journey to New York City? Discover the top attractions and must-do experiences for newcomers in the Big Apple. From iconic landmarks like Times Square and the Statue of Liberty to hidden gems in Central Park and trendy neighborhoods, find the ultimate guide to making the most of your inaugural visit to NYC. Plan your adventure with expert tips and recommendations for an unforgettable exploration of this vibrant metropolis.

New York City (NYC) dazzles with its radiant city lights and bustling streets, boasting breathtaking skylines that capture the essence of urban beauty. It’s a captivating city that inspired songs dedicated to its splendor.

My admiration for NYC runs deep. Since childhood, I’ve harbored dreams of immersing myself in the vibrant tapestry of this metropolis, eager to explore its myriad offerings. During a 10-day journey along the US and Canada East Coast, I finally had the chance to visit NYC, which exceeded every expectation.

PIN for later reference – Things To Do Your First Time in New York City

PIN for later reference - Things To Do Your First Time in New York City
PIN for later reference – Things To Do Your First Time in New York City

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  • The prices mentioned in the post are valid only at the time of publication. Ensure that you check the booking websites for up-to-date information and prices.
  • My opinions and views are unbiased. If the post is a collaboration, then they are specifically mentioned.
  • Ensure that you check the relevant websites for up-to-date information on COVID protocols.
  • For any adventurous activities, please note that there is a risk that can be dangerous. Ensure you read the terms and conditions recommended by individual agencies and do them at your own risk.
  • For visas, it is best to see the embassy website for changing rules.
  • While using the recommended guides, auto-drivers or taxi drivers, do your due diligence and trust your judgement.

About New York City

New York City is the most populous city in the United States of America (USA) and the largest metropolitan area in the world. The city has been described as the world’s cultural, financial, and media capital. It has five boroughs: Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, the Bronx, and Staten Island.

The initial settlement was named New Amsterdam in 1626. It was later renamed New York in 1664, after the Duke of York by the English. After the Dutch regained the city in 1673, the city was renamed New Orange. But since 1674, the city has been named as New York. New York City was the capital of the USA between 1785 and 1790, and the capital status was later moved to Washington D.C.

Often called the Big Apple, the city is famous for its skyscrapers, landscapes, and branded shops. It is also renowned for its flashy Broadway performances. Here are some tips for purchasing Broadway tickets.

The best time to visit New York City is during the spring (April to June) and autumn/ fall (September to November) seasons. However, the offseason is between January and March, as it is winter and the weather is cold. January is the coldest month of the year. You need at least four days to explore the city. But if you are visiting like me for one day, here is the perfect one-day itinerary for New York City.

On the East Coast of the U.S.A., there are many exciting road trips from New York. One of the road trips to do is to Florida, and the road trip from New York to Florida is beautiful and has plenty of things to see and do.

By the way, it is not just the East Coast of the U.S.A. that has exciting cities and places; even the West Coast of the U.S.A. has some amazingly charming cities.

How to Get to New York City?

By Air

New York City has three primary airports: John F. Kenedy International Airport, LaGuardia Airport, and Newark International Airport. More than 70 airline providers operate from the JFK airport. I landed at JFK when I visited the city.

  • The security screening is intense, so arrive at the airport well in advance.

By Train

New York City has two main train stations, Grand Central Terminal and Penn Station. Operated by the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA), some trains from various cities and towns stop at these stations.

By Bus

New York City is also accessible by buses from various cities and towns across the United States and Canada. Greyhound, Megabus, and Flixbus operate these buses.

Public Transportation within New York City

New York City has an excellent public transport system, so getting around New York City is very simple. There are subways, trains, and buses operated by the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) that can be used for travel between places in New York City, and buying the tickets is also very easy—getting one of the transportation cards called Metro Card or OMNY to travel hassle-free.

10 Things To Do in New York City

New York City offers plenty of things for its visitors. The city never sleeps and is one of the most happening cities in the world. With iconic landmarks, skyscrapers, and Instagrammable places in New York City, the place must be on every traveler’s list. The city also has some fantastic restaurants and bars, including vegan and vegetarian restaurants.

If you are on the U.S.A.’s West Coast, visit Los Angeles, especially Griffith Observatory and Universal Studios Hollywood.

Trivia: Did you know New York City is the world’s most diverse city, with more than 500 spoken languages? Read many such interesting facts about New York City.


The Statue of Liberty

The first thing to do in New York City is see the Statue of Liberty. The Statue of Liberty is a UNESCO world heritage monument. Dedicated in 1886, it was a gift from the people of France to the United States of America (USA) to commemorate the friendship between the two countries.

  • The statue can be visited between 8:30 AM and 4:30 PM.
  • There is no entrance fee to visit the monument, but a ticket needs to be purchased for the ferry ride and museum.
View from the ferry - Statue of Liberty
View from the ferry – Statue of Liberty

Financial District

Home to Wall Street, the Financial District is New York City’s financial heart and historically rich neighborhood. The district has plenty of skyscrapers, restaurants, and bars.

It is an absolute delight to people watch on these busy streets of the district.

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Charging bull

Referred to as the Bull of Wall Street or Bowling Green Bull, the Charging Bull is an iconic place in the Financial District. Weighing about 3200 kilograms, the statue was created by an Italian artist, Arturo Di Modica, in the wake of the 1987 Black Monday stock market crash.

The bronze statue depicts a bull symbolizing aggressive financial optimism and prosperity.

Charging bull, New York City
Charging bull

Empire State Building

Built from 1930 to 1931, the Empire State Building is a 102-story skyscraper in Manhattan. The building was designed by Shreve, Lamb, and Harmon in the Art Deco style. It has been named one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World.

  • The Empire State Building is open between 9 AM and 12 AM daily.
  • There is an entrance fee to enter the building; purchasing the tickets well in advance is best.
New York City
View from the Empire State Building

Fifth Avenue

Also called Millionaire’s Row, the street of Fifth Avenue passes from north to south. Fifth Avenue is one of the most expensive shopping streets in the world.

It is famous for designer bags, shoes, clothes, and beauty products.

Times Square

Sometimes called the Crossroads of the World or the Centre of the Universe, Times Square is a major commercial intersection and neighborhood in Manhattan.

It is also the hub of the Broadway Theatre District. The street is specifically famous because of the New Year’s Eve ball drop that started on 31 December 1907.

Times Square, New York City
Times Square at night

The National 9/11 Memorial and Museum

Commemorating the 11 September 2001 attack and its victims, the National 9/11 Memorial and Museum document the impacts and honors those killed in the attack.

  • Visitors can visit the museum between 10 AM and 5 PM.
  • The memorial has no entrance fee, but tickets need to be purchased for the museum.
  • NYC has many such museums. Here is a detailed list of outstanding museums in NYC.

Central Park

Located between the Upper East and Upper West sides of New York City, Central Park is an urban park covering 843 acres.

  • The park is open between 6 AM and 1 AM every day.

In the Upper East Side of New York City, there are plenty of Vegan and Vegetarian restaurants that you would want to try.

Carriage ride at Central Park, New York City
Carriage ride at Central Park

Woodbury Premium Outlet

The Woodbury Premium Outlet is a shopping center with around 240 stores and the most sought-after high-end fashion and retail brands. Opened in 1985, the outlet is located in Central Valley.

  • The outlet is open between 11 AM and 8 PM daily except on Friday and Saturday, and is available between 10 AM and 9 PM.

West Point Academy

Just around 80 kilometers from New York City is the United States Military Academy (USMA), also known as West Point Academy. Founded in 1802, the West Point Academy is the oldest of the five American service academies. It educates cadets for commissioning into the United States Army.

  • Visitors can take West Point tours to see and hear the history and information about the academy.

Is New York City Safe for Solo Female Travelers?

I have a bittersweet memory of New York City. Even though I walked around New York City alone and had the best time, I still had to be a bit more cautious of my surroundings most of the time. I did not have any significant issues as such, but there were a few times when I experienced people teasing me.

Closing Notes

I was in New York City for a short period. But I do hope to return and stay there for an extended period. If you love a busy city that never sleeps, then New York City must surely be on your list of places to visit in the United States.

Have you been to New York City? What are your recommendations? Let me know by writing to me at

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Beginner's Bliss: Discovering New York City's Highlights (2024)
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    PIN for later reference – Things To Do Your First Time in New York City

    PIN for later reference - 10 things to do in New York city
    PIN for later reference – Things To Do Your First Time in New York City