You’ve heard the nicknames: “The Big Apple” and “The City So Nice They Named It Twice”. It’s pretty clear—NYC is kind of a big deal. And the fruit is large, apparently. What makes NYC so awesome? How about more than 20,000 sit-down restaurants (and so many more sans chairs), an edgy art scene and an epic nightlife? It’s also “The City that Never Sleeps” after all.
NYC neighbourhoods are full of locals, but somehow there’s always room for travellers in New York City accommodation. So if you’ve gotta get away and you’re craving non-stop action and some wickedly delicious bagels, it’s time to book a New York City holiday. Pack fast, because a lot happens in a New York minute. With five busy boroughs, that’s not just a saying.
Things to Do in New York City
Let’s do this. After you’ve stood on the top of some famous old buildings in Midtown, refuel in Lower Manhattan’s Chinatown, where the flavours are as bright as the storefront windows. While you’re in Lower Manhattan, shop till you drop, pick yourself up and shop some more in Tribeca and SoHo.
For an art fix, visit the Museum of Modern Art near the Theatre District, or squeeze into the Mmuseumm, a tiny gallery of artefacts in an elevator in Tribeca. Your closet is small and full of stuff, too; maybe you could start charging admission. If you want a break from the busy streets, find some gosh-darn peace and quiet at the Bronx Zoo, where the animals won’t try to sell you on their one-man off-Broadway show. Then again, seeing The Lion King on Broadway could be even better than the zoo. These animals are guaranteed to perform. Check out places to stay in New York City near Brooklyn or Queens to be in the centre of it all.
Getting To & Around New York City
NYC is serviced by two major airports—John F. Kennedy International (JFK) and LaGuardia International (LGA)—both located in Queens. Both airports connect with public transportation via the free AirTrain shuttle —and you thought NYC would be expensive. With an extensive subway and bus system and taxis galore, you can reach New York City hotels and all the stops you want without turning to one of our our sweet car hire options.
Any time is a good time to head to NYC. Summers can be quite balmy, but that’s when you’ll find rooftop barbecues in the outer boroughs as the evening cools off. That’s also when you’ll get to sample a ridiculous number of events and festivals.
The Come Out & Play Festival in July offers the chance to try your hand (feet, heads, and torsos welcome, too) at street games, field sports and wacky shenanigans. Play “Ultimate Quadball,” “Buzkashi 2.0” and “Sesame Street Box Heads”, just for starters.
If you’re in the city in August and looking for something a little more Zen, check out Peace in the East. Celebrating harmony, wellness and the history of East New York, you can gorge on local food truck fare (some argue it’s the best food in New York City), enjoy live soothing tunes and buy local arts and crafts.
Feeling like an outsider? Not to worry. New York is full of interesting characters—especially during the FringeNYC festival in August. More than 200 artistic companies from around the world join forces to fly their freak flags (or just share their passion) during 16 days of performances.
Where’s the party? A better question might be where isn’t it? The city that never sleeps spends its darkest hours indulging in midnight dinners out, cocktails until two and dancing until dawn. Once you accept that our hotels in New York City are for post-club crashing and not for a full night’s sleep, you can plan your itinerary. Got it? Good.
So whatcha lookin’ for? Head to Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village to hear the smooth sounds of jazz clubs, the Meatpacking District for NYC’s oldest steakhouse (where else would it be?) or Chelsea for rainbows, glitter and a hopping gay scene. After dark is also one of the best times to check the Empire State Building off your list. Crowd levels are low and the city’s lights will stretch out as far as you can see.
In the meantime, Brooklyn is waiting on the other side of the East River to meet all your other nightlife needs—seriously. Head to Bushwick and Williamsburg for bars ranging from low-key dive to high-end glam.
Have just a weekend or one day in New York City? First, make up any excuse you can and stay at least a week. You’ll kick yourself later if you don’t. Not happening? Okay, we tried. How about a helicopter tour of NYC landmarks instead? It’ll seriously cut down on your travel time between some of the city’s most iconic sights, giving you more time to spend clubbing—er, exploring. Plus, you can see the Statue of Liberty, the Manhattan Bridge, the new Freedom Tower and just how huge Central Park is.
Hungry? Take part in a New York Institution: Street food! Burgers, pizza, kebab, wontons, bagels, tacos, dessert…it’s all here, and you don’t even have to go indoors for it. When your cultural appetite warms up, admire some of the finest art in the world at The Met, the Guggenheim or The Whitney Museum of American Art. NYC is also huge on film, so check the American Museum of the Moving Image to learn about film history or just catch a flick at Cinema Village.
From there you’ll be blocks from letting your freak flag fly in major hot spots like Times Square, the Theatre District and Central Park. OK, so maybe tuck your flag in at the park…
You can also tuck that wallet back into your pants, purse or bum bag (to each their own, huh?). Your getaway to NYC doesn’t have to be as expensive as you think. That is, if you know where to find a good bargain (hint hint, that’s right here). Book the best airfare deals and accommodation in New York City with lastminute.com.au to save time and money, because this city never sleeps.
It's natural to feel a little overwhelmed on a first visit to New York. The city can overload the senses: the smell of sizzling gyros from Midtown street vendors' carts, the sound of a subway musician's saxophone during the crush of a rush-hour commute, and the neon lights of Times Square flashing at all times of day and night.
This stimulation from all sides is what makes New York so dynamic. You'll soon realize it's the sheer sense of possibility that has everyone jumping. You can do anything here, whether it's catching a long-running show like Phantom of the Opera on Broadway or crashing a loft party in the newest alternative art space. Shop 'til you drop in SoHo like the 'Sex and the City' cast or hobnob with the literati at West Village wine bars.
You can even enjoy some nature, and not only in Central Park. The East Village has many community gardens and Brooklyn's Prospect Park is a real delight. Head north to the Bronx Botanical Gardens or to Washington Heights' Fort Tryon Park, which towers over the Hudson River with views of the Palisades - you won't believe you're still in the city.
The whole world is here
To get your bearings in such a large city, it's a good idea to start with an overview. A hop-on, hop-off bus tour will help you learn the lay of the land. Or, for a different vantage point, try a helicopter ride over the five boroughs or sail by Manhattan's monuments on an elegant dinner cruise. Sure, it's a bit extravagant and certainly bold, but hey, that's New York.
Really, though, New York is a series of neighborhoods-it's not all that intimidating. From Little Italy to Chinatown, the Lower East Side to Chelsea, New York houses several communities, each with their own distinct flavor. Despite this, there are no artificial boundaries-the daily mix of millions of different people is what makes the city's story so great. Perhaps that's why New Yorkers think they live in the center of the world-it seems the whole world is here. Hide