The city lights and the busy streets is what you get in New York City (NYC). It is one of those cities that are absolutely stunning and have breath taking skylines. In fact, the city is so beautiful that there is a song made on it.
I am in love with NYC. From my childhood, I have dreamt of living in this beautiful city and experience what it has to offer. When I was on a 10 days East Coast US and Canada trip, I visited NYC and it surely did not disappoint me in any way.
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About New York City
The most populous city in the United States of America (USA) and largest metropolitan area in the world is New York city. The city has been described as the cultural, financial and media capital of the world. It consists of five boroughs, Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, the Bronx and Staten Island.
The initial settlement was named New Amsterdam in 1626. It was later then renamed as New York in 1664, named after Duke of York by the English. After the Dutch regained the city in 1673, the city was renamed to New Orange. But since 1674, the city has been named as New York. New York City was the capital of USA between 1785 and 1790 and the capital status was later moved to Washington D.C.
Often referred as the Big Apple, the city is famous for its sky scrappers, landscapes, and branded shops. It is also famous for its flashy Broadway performances. 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 the weather is cold. January is the coldest month of the year. One needs at least 4 days to explore the city.
How to get to New York City?
New York City has three main 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 ensure to arrive at the airport well in advance.
New York city has two main train stations, Grand Central Terminal and Penn Station. Operated by Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA), there are trains that stop at these stations from various cities and towns.
Public transportation within New York City
New York city has a very good public transport system and hence getting around New York city is very simple. There are subways, trains and buses, operated by Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA), that can be used for travel between places in New York city and buying the tickets are also very easy. It is best to get one of the transportation cards called Metro Card or OMNY to travel hassle free.
10 things to do in New York City
The Statue of Liberty
Number one thing to do in New York city is to go see the Statue of Liberty. The Statue of Liberty is a UNESCO world heritage monument. Dedicated in 1886, it was a gift from people of France to 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.
Home to Wall street, the Financial district is New York city’s financial heart and historically rich neighbourhood. The district has plenty of skyscrapers, restaurants and bars. It is an absolute delight to people watch on these busy streets of the district.
Referred to as 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 statue is made of bronze and depicts a bull, the symbol of aggressive financial optimism and prosperty.
Empire State Building
Built from 1930 to 1931, the Empire State building is a 102 storey skyscraper in Manhattan. The building was designed by Shreve, Lamb and Harmon in the Art Deco style. It has been named as one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern world.
- The Empire State building is open between 9 AM and 12 AM everyday.
- There is an entrance fee to enter the building and it is best to purchased the tickets well in advance.
Also called as 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.
Sometimes referred to as the Crossroads of the world or the Centre of the universe, the Times Square is a major commercial intersection and neighbourhood in Manhattan. It is also the hub of Broadway Theatre District. The street is specifically famous because of the New Year’s eve ball drop that started on 31 December 1907.
The National 9/11 Memorial
Commemorating the 11 September 2001 attack and its victims, the National 9/11 memorial and museum documents the impacts and honors those killed in the attack.
- Visitors can visit the museum between 10 AM and 5 PM.
- There is no entrance fee for memorial but tickets need to be purchased for the museum.
Located between Upper East and Upper West sides of New York city, the Central park is an urban park covering 843 acres.
- The park is open between 6 AM and 1 AM every day.
Woodbury Premium Outlet
The Woodbury Premium Outlet is a shopping centre that has around 240 stores with most sought out and 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 every day except on Friday and Saturday where it is open between 10 AM and 9 PM.
West Point Academy
Just around 80 kilometres from New York City is the United States Military Academy (USMA) which is 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.
Safety for solo female travelers
I have a bitter sweet 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 times. I did not have any major issues as such but there were a few times where I experienced people teasing.
I was in New York city for a short period of time. But I do hope to go back and stay there for a longer period of time. If you love a busy city that never sleeps then New York city must surely be on your list of places to visit when you are in the United States.
Have you been to New York city? What are your recommendations? Let me know in the comments below.
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