New York Travel Guide – prepare your trip to New York with our practical guide: where to go, what to do, food, rooftops, how to get around, safety and more.
New York City, also known as the Big Apple, is one of the most iconic cities in the world. With its towering skyscrapers, diverse neighborhoods, and endless activities, it’s a destination that offers something for everyone. From the bright lights of Times Square to the serene greenery of Central Park, New York is a city that never sleeps.
If you’re a foodie, you’re in luck because New York is a culinary melting pot. With a rich mix of cultures, you can find any type of cuisine you’re craving. Whether it’s a classic New York slice of pizza or a fancy Michelin-starred restaurant, you’ll be spoiled for choice. Don’t forget to check out the food trucks, where you can grab a quick bite on the go.
New York is also known for its world-renowned museums, theaters, and art galleries. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the American Museum of Natural History, and the Museum of Modern Art are just a few of the many institutions that call New York home. Catch a Broadway show or visit one of the many independent theaters for a unique cultural experience. With so much to see and do, it’s no wonder that New York is one of the top tourist destinations in the world.
Table of Contents
Travel to New York
Best time to go to New York – the 4 seasons in New York
New York experiences four distinct seasons, with each season offering different weather conditions, events, and activities.
Spring (March to May) and fall (September to November) are considered the best times to visit New York, as the weather is mild and pleasant. The springtime offers blooming cherry blossoms in Central Park and a variety of outdoor festivals, while the fall brings beautiful foliage and cultural events like the New York Film Festival.
Summer (June to August) is a popular time for tourists to visit, but it can be hot and humid, with occasional thunderstorms. However, the city comes alive during the summer with many outdoor events, including concerts and street fairs.
Winter (December to February) is cold and snowy, but it’s also the holiday season, which brings festive decorations, ice-skating rinks, and markets. If you don’t mind the cold, winter is a great time to experience the magic of New York during the holidays.
If you are an American citizen, you do not need a visa to travel to New York as it is part of the United States. You only need to present a valid government-issued ID, such as a driver’s license or passport.
If you are a citizen of a European Union country, you can travel to New York as a tourist or business visitor for up to 90 days without a visa under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). However, you will need to apply for an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) online before you travel to the United States.
If you are a citizen of another nationality, you may need to apply for a tourist or business visa to enter the United States. You can check the requirements and apply for a visa through the U.S. Department of State website or contact the U.S. embassy or consulate in your country for more information. It’s essential to check the visa requirements well in advance of your planned travel to ensure you have all the necessary documentation in place.
From NY airports to the city centre
New York City has three major airports: John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), LaGuardia Airport (LGA), and Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR). The transportation options and costs for each airport vary, but here are some general options for getting from any of the airports to the city center:
Taxi: Taxis are available at all three airports and can take you directly to your destination in the city. The cost varies depending on the airport and the distance traveled, but expect to pay between $50-$80 from JFK or Newark, and $30-$50 from LaGuardia.
Ride-share Services: Uber and Lyft are also available at all three airports and can be a convenient and affordable option. The cost varies depending on the airport and the distance traveled, but expect to pay between $30-$60 from JFK or Newark, and $20-$40 from LaGuardia.
Public Transportation: The most affordable option is to take public transportation, which includes subways, buses, and trains. The cost of a one-way subway or bus ride is $2.75, while the AirTrain from JFK and Newark costs between $5.50-$7.75 depending on the destination. LaGuardia does not have a direct subway connection, but you can take a bus for $2.75.
Best ways to get around New York
New York City is a large and bustling metropolis with plenty of options for transportation. Here are some of the best ways to get around:
Subway: The subway system is the most convenient and affordable way to get around the city. With over 470 stations and 27 subway lines, it covers most areas of the city. A single ride costs $2.75, but you can save money by purchasing a MetroCard with unlimited rides for a week or a month.
Bus: Buses are a good option if you want to explore neighborhoods that are not covered by the subway. They operate 24/7 and cost $2.75 per ride. You can also use your MetroCard to transfer between buses and subways.
Taxi/Ride-Share: Taxis and ride-share services such as Uber and Lyft are plentiful in the city and offer a convenient option, especially if you have luggage or are traveling in a group. Taxis charge a base fare of $2.50 plus a per-mile fee, while ride-share services offer a similar price range with surge pricing during peak times.
Walking: Walking is a great way to explore the city, and many of its most iconic landmarks are within walking distance of each other. Plus, it’s free! Just make sure to wear comfortable shoes and be aware of your surroundings.
Bike: You can also rent a bike from various bike-sharing companies such as Citi Bike or Jump. This is a fun and eco-friendly way to explore the city, and bike lanes are plentiful. The cost is around $3 for a single ride or $15 for a day pass.
Explore New York’s neighbourhoods
Manhattan is the heart of New York City, and there is no shortage of things to see and do in this vibrant borough. Here’s a breakdown of some of the top neighborhoods in Manhattan and the points of interest they offer:
Lower Manhattan: This neighborhood is the financial hub of the city and home to many iconic landmarks. The most famous of these is the Statue of Liberty, which can be visited via ferry from Battery Park. Other highlights include One World Trade Center, the 9/11 Memorial, and Wall Street.
Greenwich Village: This charming neighborhood is known for its tree-lined streets, historic townhouses, and thriving arts scene. It’s home to Washington Square Park, the Stonewall Inn, and the Comedy Cellar, as well as many cafes, bars, and restaurants.
Chelsea: This trendy neighborhood is known for its art galleries, museums, and upscale boutiques. Highlights include the High Line, an elevated park built on a former railroad line, the Chelsea Market, and the Whitney Museum of American Art.
Midtown: This bustling neighborhood is home to many of the city’s iconic landmarks, including the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, and Times Square. It’s also a shopping and dining hub, with Fifth Avenue and Broadway offering endless options for retail therapy and dining experiences.
Upper East Side: This posh neighborhood is known for its luxurious townhouses, designer boutiques, and world-class museums. Highlights include the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim Museum, and the Frick Collection, as well as Central Park and the Reservoir.
Upper West Side: This residential neighborhood is known for its tree-lined streets, historic brownstones, and cultural institutions. Highlights include the American Museum of Natural History, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, and the Beacon Theatre. It’s also home to many dining options and specialty shops.
Harlem: This historic neighborhood has a rich cultural heritage and is known for its vibrant arts scene and soul food restaurants. Highlights include the Apollo Theater, the Studio Museum in Harlem, and the National Jazz Museum in Harlem.
Brooklyn is the most populous borough of New York City, and it offers a wide range of experiences for visitors. Here’s a breakdown of some of the top neighborhoods in Brooklyn and the points of interest they offer:
Williamsburg: This trendy neighborhood is known for its hipster vibe, street art, and vintage boutiques. It’s a popular spot for nightlife, with many bars, music venues, and restaurants. Highlights include the Brooklyn Brewery, the Music Hall of Williamsburg, and McCarren Park.
Brooklyn Heights: This historic neighborhood is known for its brownstone homes, tree-lined streets, and panoramic views of Manhattan. It’s home to the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, which offers stunning views of the skyline, as well as the Brooklyn Historical Society and the New York Transit Museum.
Park Slope: This residential neighborhood is known for its family-friendly atmosphere, tree-lined streets, and beautiful parks. Highlights include Prospect Park, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
DUMBO: This trendy neighborhood is located between the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges, and it offers stunning views of the Manhattan skyline. It’s home to many art galleries, shops, and restaurants, as well as Brooklyn Bridge Park and the Jane’s Carousel.
Greenpoint: This neighborhood is known for its Polish heritage, with many shops and restaurants specializing in Polish cuisine. It’s also home to McCarren Park, the Greenpoint Fish & Lobster Co., and the Brooklyn Bazaar, which hosts concerts, events, and flea markets.
Coney Island: This iconic neighborhood is known for its boardwalk, amusement park rides, and hot dog stands. Highlights include the Coney Island Cyclone, the Wonder Wheel, and the New York Aquarium.
Queens is the largest borough of New York City and offers a diverse range of neighborhoods and attractions. Here’s a breakdown of some of the top neighborhoods in Queens and the points of interest they offer:
Long Island City: This up-and-coming neighborhood is known for its contemporary art galleries, trendy restaurants, and stunning views of the Manhattan skyline. Highlights include the MoMA PS1, the Noguchi Museum, and Gantry Plaza State Park.
Astoria: This diverse neighborhood is known for its Greek heritage, with many shops and restaurants specializing in Greek cuisine. It’s also home to the Museum of the Moving Image, the Astoria Park, and the Kaufman Astoria Studios, where many films and TV shows are produced.
Flushing: This bustling neighborhood is known for its Chinese and Korean communities, with many shops and restaurants specializing in Asian cuisine. It’s also home to the Queens Botanical Garden, the Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, and the US Open Tennis Center.
Jamaica: This neighborhood is a transportation hub, with many subway and commuter train lines passing through. It’s home to the Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning, the King Manor Museum, and the Rufus King Park.
Forest Hills: This residential neighborhood is known for its quiet, tree-lined streets and beautiful parks. Highlights include the Forest Hills Stadium, which hosts concerts and events, the Forest Park, and the Queens Museum.
Rockaway Beach: This neighborhood is located on the peninsula in southern Queens and offers miles of beaches and boardwalks. Highlights include the Rockaway Beach Surf Club, the Rockaway Beach Bakery, and the Jacob Riis Park, which offers outdoor activities like camping and hiking.
Staten Island is the southernmost borough of New York City and offers a range of neighborhoods and attractions. Here’s a breakdown of some of the top neighborhoods in Staten Island and the points of interest they offer:
St. George: This neighborhood is home to the Staten Island Ferry Terminal, which offers stunning views of the Manhattan skyline. Other highlights include the St. George Theatre, the Staten Island Museum, and the Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden.
Tompkinsville: This neighborhood is known for its historic homes, with many dating back to the 19th century. Highlights include the Tompkinsville Park, the Bayonne Bridge, and the Alice Austen House, which is a historic home and museum dedicated to the life and work of Alice Austen, a pioneering female photographer.
Stapleton: This neighborhood is undergoing a revitalization, with new restaurants and bars opening up. Highlights include the Stapleton Waterfront Park, the National Lighthouse Museum, and the Staten Island Arts Culture Lounge.
Tottenville: This historic neighborhood is located on the southern tip of Staten Island and is known for its Victorian homes and quaint downtown area. Highlights include the Conference House, which is a historic home and museum where the Staten Island Peace Conference was held during the American Revolution, and the Tottenville Historical Society.
Great Kills: This residential neighborhood is known for its parks and beaches, with Great Kills Park and Gateway National Recreation Area offering opportunities for outdoor activities like hiking, fishing, and boating. Other highlights include the Great Kills Marina and the Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art.
The Bronx is the northernmost borough of New York City and offers a range of neighborhoods and attractions. Here’s a breakdown of some of the top neighborhoods in The Bronx and the points of interest they offer:
Fordham: This neighborhood is home to Fordham University and the Bronx Zoo, which is the largest metropolitan zoo in the United States. Other highlights include the New York Botanical Garden, the Edgar Allan Poe Cottage, and the Arthur Avenue Retail Market, which is known for its Italian delis, bakeries, and restaurants.
City Island: This small, maritime community is located on a small island in Long Island Sound and offers a quaint, New England-style atmosphere. Highlights include the City Island Nautical Museum, the City Island Historical Society, and the seafood restaurants along City Island Avenue.
Pelham Bay: This neighborhood is located on the eastern edge of The Bronx and offers access to Pelham Bay Park, which is the largest park in New York City. Other highlights include the Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum, the Bronx Equestrian Center, and the Orchard Beach, which is a popular beach destination during the summer.
Riverdale: This residential neighborhood is located on a hill overlooking the Hudson River and offers a suburban atmosphere within the city. Highlights include Wave Hill, which is a public garden and cultural center, the Van Cortlandt Park Golf Course, and the historic Wave Hill House.
South Bronx: This neighborhood is undergoing a revitalization, with new developments and attractions opening up. Highlights include the Bronx Terminal Market, which is a shopping and dining destination, the Bronx Museum of the Arts, and the Yankee Stadium, which is home to the New York Yankees baseball team.
Attractions and things to do
Top attractions in New York
Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island: A visit to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island is a must-do when visiting New York City. The cost of a round-trip ferry ticket is $18.50 for adults and $14 for children.
Empire State Building: This iconic building offers stunning views of the city from its observation deck. Tickets cost $42 for adults and $38 for children.
Central Park: This 843-acre park is a must-visit in New York City and is free to enter. However, some activities like bike rentals and ice-skating require an additional fee.
Broadway Shows: New York City is home to some of the best theater productions in the world, with Broadway shows ranging in price from $50 to $200 or more depending on the production.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art: The Met is one of the world’s largest and most prestigious museums, and admission is pay-what-you-wish for visitors.
9/11 Memorial and Museum: This museum honors the victims of the September 11th attacks and is located at the site of the former World Trade Center. Tickets cost $28 for adults and $15 for children.
High Line: This elevated park is built on a former railroad line and offers stunning views of the city. Admission is free.
Times Square: This bustling area is known for its bright lights, billboards, and lively atmosphere. It’s free to visit and explore.
Brooklyn Bridge: This iconic bridge offers stunning views of the city and is free to walk across.
The Edge: The Edge is a popular tourist attraction located in the Hudson Yards. Opened in March 2020, it has quickly become a must-visit destination for both tourists and locals alike. The Edge boasts the title of the highest outdoor sky deck in the Western Hemisphere and the fifth highest in the world.
The Whitney Museum of American Art: This museum showcases American art from the 20th and 21st centuries, and admission is $25 for adults and free for visitors under 18.
Coney Island: This iconic neighborhood is known for its boardwalk, amusement park rides, and hot dog stands. Admission to the boardwalk is free, while tickets for rides and attractions vary in price.
Grand Central Terminal: This historic train station is a must-visit in New York City and is free to explore.
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA): This museum is one of the world’s most influential collections of modern and contemporary art, and admission is $25 for adults and free for visitors under 18.
The New York Botanical Garden: This garden is home to a diverse collection of plants and flowers, and admission is $28 for adults and $12 for children.
The Bronx Zoo: The largest metropolitan zoo in the United States is located in the Bronx, and admission is $39.95 for adults and $29.95 for children.
The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum: This museum is located on the USS Intrepid, a World War II aircraft carrier, and admission is $33 for adults and $24 for children.
The American Museum of Natural History: This museum is home to a vast collection of specimens and exhibits, and admission is pay-what-you-wish for visitors.
The One World Observatory: This observation deck offers stunning views of the city from the top of One World Trade Center. Tickets cost $41 for adults and $35 for children.
The New York Transit Museum: This museum showcases the history of public transportation in New York City and is located in a former subway station. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children.
The Museum of the Moving Image: This museum is dedicated to the art, history, and technology of film, television, and digital media. Admission is $15 for adults and $7 for children
Top experiences to live in New York
Take in the view from the Top of the Rock: This observation deck at Rockefeller Center offers stunning views of the city skyline.
Go on a food tour: New York City is known for its diverse culinary scene, and a food tour is a great way to sample a variety of dishes.
Stroll through Times Square: Times Square, often referred to as “The Crossroads of the World,” is a dazzling, iconic destination in the heart of New York City, featuring larger-than-life billboards, bright neon lights, and a lively atmosphere. A stroll through Times Square allows you to experience the energy of the city, and it is home to numerous theaters, shops, restaurants, and street performers, making it a must-see attraction for any visitor.
Walk the Brooklyn Bridge: This iconic bridge offers stunning views of the city and is a must-do when visiting New York.
Explore Central Park: This 843-acre park is a must-visit in New York City and offers a range of activities, from boating on the lake to picnicking on the grass.
Attend a Broadway show: New York City is home to some of the world’s best theater productions, and a Broadway show is a must-see experience.
Shop ’til you drop along Fifth Avenue: Fifth Avenue is a world-renowned shopping destination in New York City, boasting a range of luxury retailers, high-end boutiques, and iconic department stores. Shopping along Fifth Avenue provides a quintessential New York experience, allowing visitors to indulge in retail therapy while admiring the avenue’s historic architecture and proximity to famous landmarks.
Visit the 9/11 Memorial and Museum: This museum honors the victims of the September 11th attacks and is a moving and educational experience.
Take a bike tour: A bike tour is a great way to see the city’s landmarks and neighborhoods, with options ranging from guided tours to self-guided rentals.
Explore Chinatown: Chinatown offers an immersive cultural experience, where visitors can explore authentic Chinese cuisine, shops, and art in a bustling and vibrant atmosphere. As one of the largest and oldest Chinatowns in the United States, it provides a unique opportunity to experience a rich cultural heritage and history within the city.
Take a helicopter tour: For a unique perspective on the city, a helicopter tour offers stunning aerial views of the skyline and landmarks.
See a game at the Madison Square Garden: Madison Square Garden, often referred to as “The World’s Most Famous Arena,” is a legendary sports and entertainment venue located in the heart of Manhattan. Attending a game or event at MSG, whether it’s a New York Knicks basketball game, New York Rangers hockey match, or a thrilling concert, provides an unforgettable experience steeped in history and the electric energy of New York City.
Explore the museums: New York City is home to some of the world’s best museums, from the Metropolitan Museum of Art to the Museum of Modern Art.
Relax in Washington Square Park: Washington Square Park, located in the heart of Greenwich Village, offers a picturesque and relaxing oasis amidst the bustling streets of New York City. With its iconic arch, lush green spaces, and diverse array of street performers and artists, the park is a perfect spot to unwind, people-watch, and soak in the local atmosphere.
Go on a night tour: New York City is beautiful at night, and a night tour offers a different perspective on the city’s landmarks and neighborhoods.
Visit Chelsea Market: Chelsea Market is a popular indoor food hall, shopping center, and office complex located in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. Housed in a former Nabisco factory, it features a diverse array of gourmet eateries, boutique shops, and local artisan vendors, making it a vibrant destination for both foodies and shoppers alike.
Check out Grand Central Terminal: Grand Central Terminal is a historic and architecturally stunning transportation hub in Midtown Manhattan, known for its beautiful Beaux-Arts design, iconic celestial ceiling, and the famous four-faced clock. As a bustling epicenter of New York City, it offers unique shopping, dining experiences, and serves as a gateway to explore other attractions in the city.
Fun things to do with kids and teens in New York
Fun things to do with kids:
Visit the Bronx Zoo: The Bronx Zoo is the largest metropolitan zoo in the United States and offers a range of exhibits and activities for kids.
Explore Central Park: Central Park is a great place to bring kids, with plenty of playgrounds, open spaces, and activities like boating on the lake.
Visit the American Museum of Natural History: This museum has a vast collection of exhibits, from dinosaurs to space exploration, that kids will love.
Take a ride on the Staten Island Ferry: The Staten Island Ferry is a free way to see the city skyline and Statue of Liberty, and kids will love the boat ride.
Visit the Children’s Museum of Manhattan: This museum has interactive exhibits and activities designed for kids of all ages.
Fun things to do with teens:
Explore the High Line: The High Line is an elevated park that offers great views of the city and plenty of spots for Instagram-worthy photos.
Visit the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA): The MoMA has a collection of modern and contemporary art that will appeal to teens with an interest in art and design.
Go on a food tour: New York City’s diverse culinary scene is a great way to explore different neighborhoods and cuisines.
Attend a concert or show: New York City has a vibrant music and theater scene, and there are plenty of venues and performances that will appeal to teens.
Take a graffiti tour: Graffiti is a big part of New York City’s cultural history, and a tour of the city’s street art is a great way to explore its neighborhoods and artistic expression.
Experience New York like a local
Here are some ways to experience New York City like a local:
Explore the city’s neighborhoods: New York City is made up of diverse neighborhoods, each with its own character and attractions. Locals often spend time exploring different neighborhoods, from the trendy cafes of Williamsburg in Brooklyn to the historic streets of the West Village in Manhattan.
Visit local markets and shops: New York City has a range of local markets and independent shops that offer unique products and experiences. Some popular options include the Chelsea Market, the Union Square Greenmarket, and the Strand Bookstore.
Attend a street fair or festival: New York City is known for its lively street fairs and festivals, which offer a range of food, music, and entertainment. Some popular options include the Feast of San Gennaro in Little Italy and the Brooklyn Flea market.
Explore the city’s parks and green spaces: New York City has a range of parks and green spaces, from Central Park to smaller local parks. Locals often spend time picnicking, playing sports, or simply enjoying the outdoors in these spaces.
Visit local bars and restaurants: New York City is home to a diverse range of bars and restaurants, with new places opening up all the time. Locals often enjoy trying out new places and revisiting old favorites, whether it’s a local dive bar or a trendy restaurant.
Attend a live performance or show: New York City has a vibrant performing arts scene, with options ranging from off-Broadway shows to experimental theater productions. Locals often attend performances at small theaters or music venues.
Take a walking tour: New York City is a great city for walking, and locals often take walking tours of different neighborhoods or historical landmarks.
New York City is a city that offers something for everyone, and experiencing it like a local means exploring its unique neighborhoods, cultural attractions, and hidden gems. By immersing yourself in the city’s culture and community, you can gain a deeper appreciation for everything it has to offer.
Where to stay in New York – some of the best hotels in New York
The Plaza Hotel: Located in Midtown Manhattan, The Plaza Hotel is an iconic hotel that has been featured in many movies and TV shows. It features luxurious accommodations, high-end restaurants and bars, a spa, and a fitness center.
The St. Regis New York: This historic hotel is located in Midtown Manhattan and features elegant rooms and suites, a fine-dining restaurant, a spa, and a fitness center.
The Greenwich Hotel: This boutique hotel is located in the trendy neighborhood of Tribeca and features unique rooms and suites with eclectic decor, a spa, a fitness center, and a restaurant.
The Mandarin Oriental, New York: This hotel is located in Columbus Circle and features stunning views of Central Park and the city skyline. It also has a spa, a fitness center, and a fine-dining restaurant.
The Four Seasons Hotel New York: Located in Midtown Manhattan, this hotel features luxurious rooms and suites, a spa, a fitness center, and a fine-dining restaurant.
The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park: This hotel is located right next to Central Park and features luxurious rooms and suites, a spa, a fitness center, and a fine-dining restaurant.
The Langham, New York, Fifth Avenue: This hotel is located in Midtown Manhattan and features stylish rooms and suites, a spa, a fitness center, and a fine-dining restaurant.
The Baccarat Hotel New York: This luxury hotel is located in Midtown Manhattan and features opulent rooms and suites with crystal chandeliers, a spa, a fitness center, and a French restaurant.
The NoMad Hotel: This boutique hotel is located in the NoMad neighborhood and features stylish rooms and suites with unique decor, a rooftop bar, and a restaurant.
The Ace Hotel New York: This trendy hotel is located in the Flatiron District and features quirky rooms and suites with vintage-inspired decor, a rooftop bar, and a coffee shop.
Food and drinks
Traditional dishes of New York to try
Pizza: New York-style pizza is a classic dish, characterized by its thin, crispy crust and generous toppings. Some popular places to get pizza include Lombardi’s in Little Italy, Di Fara Pizza in Midwood, and Joe’s Pizza in Greenwich Village.
Bagels: New York-style bagels are known for their chewy texture and are often served with cream cheese or lox. Some popular places to get bagels include Ess-a-Bagel in Midtown East, Russ & Daughters in the Lower East Side, and H&H Bagels in the Upper West Side.
Pastrami on rye: This classic sandwich is made with thinly sliced pastrami, mustard, and pickles on rye bread. Some popular places to get pastrami on rye include Katz’s Delicatessen on the Lower East Side, Carnegie Deli in Midtown, and 2nd Ave Deli in Midtown East.
Hot dogs: New York-style hot dogs are served on a bun with toppings like sauerkraut, onions, and mustard. Some popular places to get hot dogs include Nathan’s Famous in Coney Island, Gray’s Papaya in the Upper West Side, and Crif Dogs in the East Village.
Cheesecake: New York-style cheesecake is rich and creamy, often made with a graham cracker crust. Some popular places to get cheesecake include Junior’s in Times Square, Eileen’s Special Cheesecake in SoHo, and Two Little Red Hens in the Upper East Side.
Black and white cookies: These large, flat cookies are half vanilla and half chocolate and are a classic New York City treat. Some popular places to get black and white cookies include William Greenberg Desserts on the Upper East Side, Russ & Daughters in the Lower East Side, and Glaser’s Bake Shop in Yorkville.
Falafel: New York City has a large Middle Eastern population, and falafel is a popular street food. Some popular places to get falafel include Mamouns in Greenwich Village, Taïm in the West Village, and Rainbow Falafel in Midtown East.
New York’s iconic restaurants
Katz’s Delicatessen: This classic deli on the Lower East Side has been around since 1888 and is famous for its pastrami sandwiches and hot dogs.
Russ & Daughters: This Lower East Side institution has been serving up smoked fish, bagels, and other Jewish specialties since 1914.
Peter Luger Steak House: This Brooklyn restaurant has been serving up juicy steaks since 1887 and is consistently ranked as one of the best steak houses in the city.
The Oyster Bar at Grand Central Terminal: This historic restaurant has been serving up fresh seafood in the bustling Grand Central Terminal since 1913.
Keens Steakhouse: This Midtown Manhattan steakhouse has been around since 1885 and is known for its mutton chops and extensive collection of pipes and tobacco.
Lombardi’s Pizza: This Little Italy pizzeria claims to be the first pizzeria in the United States and has been serving up classic New York-style pizza since 1905.
The Rainbow Room: This iconic restaurant and event space on the top floor of Rockefeller Center offers stunning views of the city skyline and has been a New York City institution since 1934.
The 21 Club: This Midtown Manhattan restaurant and bar has been a favorite of celebrities and politicians since it opened in 1930 and is known for its speakeasy past and extensive wine collection.
Joe’s Pizza: This Greenwich Village pizzeria has been serving up classic New York-style pizza since 1975 and is a favorite of locals and tourists alike.
Shake Shack: This fast-casual burger chain started as a hot dog cart in Madison Square Park and has since expanded to multiple locations throughout the city, serving up juicy burgers, crinkle-cut fries, and creamy shakes.
Best rooftops in New York
New York City is known for its stunning skyline, and one of the best ways to take it in is from a rooftop bar or restaurant. Here are some of the best rooftop spots in the city:
Westlight: Located in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood, Westlight offers stunning views of the Manhattan skyline and the East River. The rooftop bar features craft cocktails and small plates.
The Press Lounge: This rooftop bar on the top floor of the Ink48 Hotel in Hell’s Kitchen offers panoramic views of the city skyline and the Hudson River. The cocktail menu features creative and seasonal drinks.
The Ides at the Wythe Hotel: This rooftop bar in Williamsburg features a retractable roof and views of the Manhattan skyline. The menu features small plates and classic cocktails.
Mr. Purple: Located on the rooftop of the Hotel Indigo on the Lower East Side, Mr. Purple offers 360-degree views of the city and a menu of craft cocktails and American bites.
The Roof at Public Hotel: This rooftop bar in the Lower East Side offers stunning views of the city skyline and the East River. The menu features craft cocktails and light bites.
230 Fifth: This rooftop bar in the Flatiron District offers panoramic views of the city skyline, including the Empire State Building. The menu features cocktails and small bites.
Refinery Rooftop: Located in the Refinery Hotel in Midtown, this rooftop bar offers views of the Empire State Building and the city skyline. The menu features craft cocktails and American cuisine.
The Skylark: This rooftop bar in Midtown West offers stunning views of the city skyline and Times Square. The menu features cocktails and light bites.
Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge: Located in the Moxy Times Square Hotel, this rooftop bar features a carnival-themed atmosphere with stunning views of the city skyline. The menu features cocktails and American bites.
Upstairs at The Kimberly: This rooftop bar in Midtown East offers views of the Chrysler Building and the city skyline. The menu features cocktails and small plates.
Cool bars in New York
Death & Co: Located in the East Village, this speakeasy-style bar features a dark and moody atmosphere and a menu of expertly crafted cocktails.
The Dead Rabbit: This two-story bar in the Financial District is modeled after a 19th-century Irish pub and features a menu of Irish whiskey, beer, and cocktails.
Attaboy: This speakeasy-style bar in the Lower East Side features a laid-back atmosphere and a menu of custom cocktails tailored to your tastes.
The Raines Law Room: Located in Chelsea and the West Village, this speakeasy-style bar features an intimate atmosphere and a menu of classic cocktails.
Please Don’t Tell: This speakeasy-style bar in the East Village is hidden behind a phone booth in a hot dog restaurant and features a menu of expertly crafted cocktails.
Employees Only: This West Village bar features a speakeasy-style atmosphere and a menu of classic cocktails and small plates.
The Tippler: Located in Chelsea Market, this bar features a speakeasy-style atmosphere and a menu of craft cocktails and bites.
The Aviary NYC: Located in the Mandarin Oriental hotel, this bar features a futuristic atmosphere and a menu of innovative cocktails and bites.
The Nomad Bar: Located in the Nomad hotel, this bar features a vintage-inspired atmosphere and a menu of classic and original cocktails and bites.
The Folly: This bar in the Financial District features a whimsical atmosphere and a menu of classic and seasonal cocktails and bites.
What not to do in New York, things to avoid
Here are some things to avoid in New York City:
Don’t walk too slowly: New Yorkers are known for their fast-paced lifestyle and walking too slowly can be frustrating for locals trying to get around. Stay to the right on sidewalks and move with purpose.
Don’t take unlicensed cabs: Only take taxis that are clearly marked with a medallion number and a yellow color. Avoid unlicensed cabs as they can be unsafe and may overcharge you.
Don’t block the subway doors: When riding the subway, be sure to move all the way into the train and don’t stand in front of the doors. This will help keep things moving smoothly.
Don’t stand in the bike lane: Many New Yorkers commute by bike, and standing in the bike lane can be dangerous for both cyclists and pedestrians.
Don’t leave valuables unattended: New York City is a safe city overall, but it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on your belongings and not leave them unattended in public places.
Don’t ignore crosswalks: Always use crosswalks and wait for the walk signal before crossing the street. Jaywalking can be dangerous and can result in a ticket.
Don’t be rude to service staff: New Yorkers value efficiency and may come across as abrupt, but it’s important to be polite to service staff and show appreciation for their work.
Don’t litter: Keep the city clean by throwing away trash in designated bins. Littering can result in a fine.
Don’t forget to tip: Tipping is customary in New York City for services such as restaurants, taxis, and hairdressers. Be sure to tip appropriately based on the quality of service.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help: New Yorkers may seem busy and focused, but they are also friendly and helpful. If you need directions or help with something, don’t hesitate to ask.
Shopping, taxes and tipping in New York
When shopping in New York City, you will need to pay sales tax on your purchases. The sales tax rate in New York City is currently 8.875%, but this may vary slightly depending on the location and type of goods you are purchasing. Keep in mind that this tax is not typically included in the displayed price of an item, so you will need to factor it in when making your purchase.
When dining out in New York City, it is customary to leave a gratuity or tip for your server. The standard amount is generally 15-20% of the total bill, but you may choose to leave more or less depending on the quality of service you received. Some restaurants may automatically include a gratuity for large groups or on certain holidays, so be sure to check your bill to avoid double-tipping.
In addition to the gratuity, some restaurants in New York City may also charge a service fee or surcharge for items such as delivery, takeout, or large parties. These fees are typically included in the total bill and are not optional.
It’s also important to note that some stores and restaurants may not accept cash and only accept credit or debit cards. In these cases, you may also be subject to a processing fee for using a card. Make sure to read any signage or ask the staff about their payment policies before making a purchase.
Safety and security in New York
New York City is generally a safe place to visit, but like any large city, there are certain precautions you should take to ensure your safety and security. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
Be aware of your surroundings: Always pay attention to what’s going on around you and be aware of any suspicious activity.
Use common sense: Trust your instincts and avoid situations that seem unsafe or uncomfortable.
Stay in well-lit and populated areas: Stick to well-traveled streets and areas with lots of people around.
Keep your valuables safe: Keep your wallet, phone, and other valuables in a secure place and be aware of pickpockets in crowded areas.
Use official transportation: Only use licensed taxis or ride-sharing services, and avoid unlicensed cabs or hitchhiking.
Be cautious with strangers: Don’t give out personal information to strangers and be wary of anyone who tries to lure you into an isolated area.
Secure your accommodation: Always lock your doors and windows when you’re not in your accommodation and use the safe for your valuables.
Follow local laws and customs: Be aware of local laws and customs, including traffic laws, alcohol consumption, and dress codes.
Have emergency contact information: Keep a list of emergency contact information, including the nearest hospital and police station.
If you see something, say something: If you see any suspicious activity, report it to the police or local authorities.
Final advice for travellers
Electricity: The voltage in the United States is 120V, and the plugs are Type A and Type B, so you may need a converter and/or adapter to charge your electronics.
Currency: The currency used in the United States is the US Dollar (USD). You can easily exchange currency at banks and exchange bureaus, and ATMs are widely available throughout the city.
Payment: Credit and debit cards are widely accepted in New York City, but some small businesses may only accept cash. It’s always a good idea to carry some cash with you just in case.
Public transportation: New York City has an extensive public transportation system, including subways, buses, and trains. You can buy a MetroCard at subway stations and load it with cash value or a weekly/monthly pass.
Tipping: Tipping is customary in New York City for services such as restaurants, taxis, and hairdressers. The standard amount is generally 15-20% of the total bill.
Language: English is the primary language spoken in New York City, but you will hear many other languages spoken due to the diverse population.
Weather: New York City experiences four seasons, with hot summers and cold winters. Be sure to check the weather forecast before your trip and pack accordingly.
Safety: New York City is generally safe, but it’s always a good idea to be aware of your surroundings and take precautions to ensure your safety.
Wi-Fi: Wi-Fi is widely available throughout the city, including in cafes, restaurants, and public spaces.
Time zone: New York City is in the Eastern Time Zone (ET), which is 5 hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC-5).
New York in movies
New York City has been the setting for countless movies over the years, from classic Hollywood films to modern blockbusters. Here are some of the most iconic movies filmed in New York, along with their plot and notable actors:
“Breakfast at Tiffany’s” (1961): Audrey Hepburn stars in this romantic comedy about a New York socialite who falls for a struggling writer. The movie features several iconic scenes shot in and around Tiffany & Co. on Fifth Avenue.
“The Godfather” (1972): Directed by Francis Ford Coppola, this crime drama follows the Corleone family as they navigate the underworld of New York City. The movie was filmed in various locations throughout the city, including the Lower East Side and the Bronx.
“Manhattan” (1979): Woody Allen directed and starred in this romantic comedy about a writer and his complicated love life in New York City. The movie features stunning black-and-white shots of Manhattan, including iconic scenes shot in Central Park.
“Ghostbusters” (1984): This sci-fi comedy follows a team of scientists who become ghost hunters in New York City. The movie was filmed in various locations throughout the city, including the New York Public Library and the firehouse in Tribeca that serves as the Ghostbusters’ headquarters.
“When Harry Met Sally” (1989): This romantic comedy stars Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal as two friends who fall in love over the course of a decade in New York City. The movie features several iconic New York locations, including Katz’s Delicatessen and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
“Home Alone 2: Lost in New York” (1992): This family-friendly movie follows Kevin McCallister as he gets separated from his family and ends up in New York City. The movie features several iconic locations, including the Plaza Hotel and Central Park.
“Spider-Man” (2002): This superhero movie follows Peter Parker as he becomes Spider-Man and fights crime in New York City. The movie features several iconic New York locations, including the Brooklyn Bridge and Times Square.
“The Devil Wears Prada” (2006): This fashion-forward movie follows a young journalist who becomes the assistant to a powerful fashion magazine editor in New York City. The movie features several iconic New York locations, including the Runway magazine offices and the St. Regis hotel.
New York in books
New York City has inspired countless books over the years, from memoirs to novels to non-fiction works. Here are some notable books that take place in New York:
“The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald: This classic novel follows the lavish lifestyle of millionaire Jay Gatsby in 1920s New York City. The book features scenes set in Manhattan, Long Island, and other locations throughout the city.
“The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger: This coming-of-age novel follows teenager Holden Caulfield as he wanders around New York City after being expelled from school. The book features scenes set in various locations throughout the city, including Central Park and Times Square.
“A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” by Betty Smith: This novel follows the struggles of a young girl growing up in poverty in Brooklyn in the early 20th century. The book features scenes set in various neighborhoods throughout Brooklyn.
“The Bonfire of the Vanities” by Tom Wolfe: This satirical novel follows a bond trader’s downfall in 1980s New York City. The book features scenes set in various neighborhoods throughout the city, including the Bronx and Upper East Side.
“Just Kids” by Patti Smith: This memoir by musician Patti Smith recounts her experiences living in New York City in the 1960s and 70s with her friend and lover, photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. The book features scenes set in various neighborhoods throughout the city, including the East Village and Chelsea.
“The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay” by Michael Chabon: This novel follows two comic book creators as they navigate the world of comics in New York City during World War II. The book features scenes set in various neighborhoods throughout the city, including the Lower East Side and Brooklyn.
“Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898” by Edwin G. Burrows and Mike Wallace: This non-fiction book provides a comprehensive history of New York City from its founding to the turn of the 20th century. The book includes information on the city’s various neighborhoods, cultural institutions, and historical events.