New York – The Big Apple

Statue of Liberty, New York

New York – The Big Apple

Welcome to New York

Welcome to the captivating metropolis that never sleeps—New York City! As you step into this bustling concrete jungle, you’ll instantly feel the pulse of energy that courses through its veins. Affectionately known as the Big Apple, this vibrant city is a melting pot of culture, art, and endless possibilities.

Prepare to be enchanted by the iconic landmarks that define the city’s skyline. Marvel at the majestic Statue of Liberty, standing tall as a symbol of freedom and hope. Embark on a journey across the historic Brooklyn Bridge, where you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views of the city’s magnificent skyline. And don’t miss the dazzling lights and electrifying atmosphere of Times Square, where the hustle and bustle will leave you mesmerised.

Amidst the towering skyscrapers, you’ll find an oasis of tranquillity in the heart of Manhattan—Central Park. This sprawling green haven invites you to escape the urban chaos and immerse yourself in nature’s embrace. Stroll along its winding paths, rent a bike to explore its hidden corners, or find a peaceful spot for a picnic amidst the lush greenery. Central Park is a true sanctuary amidst the concrete jungle.

But New York City offers much more than just famous landmarks. Its neighbourhoods are vibrant tapestries woven with diverse cultures, cuisines, and lifestyles. Explore the enchanting streets of Chinatown and Little Italy, where tantalising aromas waft from bustling restaurants and vibrant markets. Lose yourself in the artistic vibes of Greenwich Village, where bohemian charm and creative energy fill the air. And in Brooklyn’s DUMBO neighbourhood, marvel at the iconic Manhattan skyline while savouring delectable treats from trendy cafes and eateries.

As night falls, the city unveils its playful side. New York’s nightlife scene is a playground for those seeking entertainment after dark. Rooftop bars offer dazzling panoramic views as you sip on handcrafted cocktails, while underground jazz clubs transport you back to the golden era of soul-stirring music. Dance the night away in trendy nightclubs, laugh until your sides hurt at a live comedy show, or wander the illuminated streets, soaking in the electric atmosphere that only New York City can offer.

Dreams become a reality in a city that never sleeps, and the possibilities are limitless. So embrace the energy, let your curiosity guide you, and allow New York City to captivate your heart and soul. Get ready for an adventure that will leave you with memories to last a lifetime in the enchanting city that truly never sleeps.

How To Get There

By Air: New York City has three major airports: La Guardia Airport (LGA), John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR). These airports provide domestic and international flights, ensuring convenience for global travellers.

By Train: Amtrak provides train service to New York City, with Penn Station being the central hub. Various routes connect the city to other major cities in the United States, offering a comfortable and scenic journey.

By Bus: Multiple bus companies offer services to New York City from different locations. The Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan serves as the city’s main bus station.

By Car: You can reach New York City via major highways and interstates if you prefer driving. However, remember that traffic and parking can be challenging, especially in Manhattan. Researching parking options or considering public transportation once you arrive is advisable.

By Ferry: You can reach New York City by ferry for a unique approach. Ferries operate between Manhattan and neighbouring areas, such as Staten Island, New Jersey and Brooklyn.

Places Of Interest

Statue of Liberty Ellis Island

Statue of Liberty

Situated on Liberty Island in Upper New York Bay, this colossal statue has come to symbolise freedom, democracy, and the spirit of America. Take a scenic ferry from Battery Park to Liberty Island, explore the statue’s pedestal, or climb to the crown for a breathtaking view. Book tickets here.

Ellis Island

Not far from the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island served as the gateway for millions of immigrants entering the United States between 1892 and 1954. Today, it is a national symbol of hope and a testament to the immigrant experience. Book tours here.

Times Square

In the heart of Manhattan, Times Square is a bustling intersection and a symbol of the city’s energy, entertainment, and dazzling lights. The towering digital billboards, neon lights, and enormous screens create a vibrant and electrifying atmosphere that is truly unique. Times Square is also renowned for its Broadway theatres, teeming with iconic theatres like the Lyceum Theatre, the New Amsterdam Theatre, and the Minskoff TheatreBook tours here.

Central Park

Central Park

Escape the urban jungle and relax in the sprawling oasis of Central Park in the heart of Manhattan. This vast green space offers beautiful landscapes, walking paths, lakes, and zoos. Rent a bike, take a horse-drawn carriage ride, or have a picnic amidst nature’s serenity. Central Park spans over 843 acres, making it one of the largest urban parks in the world. Book tours here.

Empire State Building

Empire State Building

Ascend to the top of the Empire State Building for breathtaking panoramic views of the city’s skyline. This Art Deco masterpiece offers observation decks on the 86th and 102nd floors, providing awe-inspiring vistas day and night. Every detail, from its lobby to its observatories, showcases the elegance and artistry of the Art Deco era. Book tours here.

One World Trade Center

One World Trade Center

One World Trade Center, also known as the Freedom Tower, stands at a height of 1,776 feet (541 meters), the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. Ascend to the observatory on the 100th, 101st, and 102nd floors, known as the One World Observatory, to enjoy panoramic views of New York City’s skyline. Book tours here.

9_11 Memorial and Museum

9/11 Memorial and Museum

A solemn and poignant tribute to the lives lost during the 2001 September 11 terrorist attacks. The memorial features two reflecting pools, known as the North and South Pools, on the footprints of the original Twin Towers. The victims’ names are inscribed along the edges of the pools, creating a sombre and reflective atmosphere. Here you can pay homage to the victims of these tragic attacks. Book tickets here.

Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge

Experience stunning views of the city skyline and the East River by walking or biking across the iconic Brooklyn Bridge, linking Manhattan and Brooklyn. Enjoy the architectural marvel while taking in the picturesque scenery. Book tours here.

Brooklyn's DUMBO

Brooklyn’s DUMBO

Discover the charm of Brooklyn’s Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass (DUMBO) neighbourhood. One of the main attractions here is the Brooklyn Bridge Park. This waterfront park stretches along the East River, offering fantastic views of the Manhattan skyline, the Statue of Liberty, and the Brooklyn Bridge. Book tickets here.

Wall Street

Wall Street

Located in Lower Manhattan, Wall Street represents the world of finance. It serves as the heart of the American financial industry, giving you a glimpse into the world of high finance and the global economy. It is home to the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), one of the world’s largest and most famous stock exchanges, where billions of dollars worth of stocks get traded daily. The iconic bronze Charging Bull statue symbolises strength and optimism in the financial markets, a popular attraction in the area. Book tours here.

Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met)

Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met)

Explore one of the world’s largest and most prestigious art museums. The Met houses a vast collection spanning thousands of years and various cultures, showcasing art masterpieces, ancient artefacts, and rotating exhibitions. Book tours here.

Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

Delve into modern and contemporary art at the MoMA, featuring a vast collection of paintings, sculptures, photography, and more. Marvel at works by renowned artists such as Van Gogh, Picasso, Warhol, and Frida Kahlo. Book tours here.

The Guggenheim Museum

The Guggenheim Museum

Marvel at the unique architecture of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Guggenheim Museum while exploring its impressive collection of modern and contemporary art. Book tours here.

Chinatown and Little Italy

Chinatown and Little Italy

Immerse yourself in the cultural enclaves of Chinatown and Little Italy. Explore bustling streets, savour authentic cuisine, and browse markets with unique treasures. 

Rockefeller Centre

Rockefeller Centre

Midtown Manhattan is famous for its annual lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree and a massive skating rink. Rockefeller Center serves as the cultural and commercial heart of New York City. 

Where To Stay

Luxury Hotels

The Ritz-Carlton New York, NoMad: 

This hotel offers breathtaking views and is conveniently located near famous destinations. This upscale hotel provides an ideal vantage point to explore the vibrant NoMad neighbourhood and is near New York City’s iconic attractions and landmarks.

Mid-Range Hotels

The Ridge: 

This is a mid-range hotel with stunning views. It is located near popular attractions and offers easy access to famous nearby destinations in New York City, making it a convenient choice for travellers seeking a comfortable and well-located accommodation option.

Budget Hotels

Harlem Lodge:  

Harlem Lodge, a budget-friendly option, boasts scenic views. Situated near notable attractions, this lodging provides easy access to famous destinations in Harlem, New York City, making it affordable for travellers seeking a convenient and value-conscious accommodation option.

The Ball Drop in New York City is an iconic event every year on New Year’s Eve in Times Square. It has become a symbol of the city’s celebration and is watched by millions worldwide.

The Ball Drop tradition began in 1907 and has become highly anticipated. On December 31, every year, at the stroke of midnight, a large illuminated ball descends from the top of One Times Square, marking the start of the new year. The ball is adorned with thousands of sparkling lights and weighs approximately 11,875 pounds.

People from all over the world gather in Times Square to witness the Ball Drop firsthand. The streets are filled with revellers, eagerly counting down the seconds until midnight. The atmosphere is electric, with music, confetti, and an overwhelming sense of excitement.

The Ball Drop event in Times Square is not only a symbol of the New Year but also represents unity and hope for the future. It’s a moment when people come together to celebrate, reflect, and make resolutions for the year ahead.

If you’re planning to experience the Ball Drop in person, it’s important to note that the area gets extremely crowded. Arriving early and being prepared for the long wait is essential. Additionally, security measures are in place for the event, so it’s advisable to check the official Times Square website or consult local authorities for the most up-to-date information.

Being in our early fifties, we stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn Hotel to watch the ball drop in comfort, a booking we had to make a year in advance!

For those unable to attend in person, the Ball Drop is televised live and can be watched from the comfort of your home, allowing you to be a part of this iconic New York City tradition no matter where you are in the world.

The Ball Drop in New York City is a spectacle that captures the essence of celebration and signifies the start of a new chapter. It embodies the energy, vibrancy, and spirit of New York City, making it a memorable and cherished event for both locals and visitors alike.

Hilton Garden Inn Hotel

136 West 42nd Street, New York, NY 10036

Where To Eat

New York City is a mecca for food lovers; from savouring the perfect slice of New York-style pizza at a nondescript corner joint to indulging in international cuisines at bustling food markets, my culinary journey was a symphony of flavours. 

Veselka: Located in the East Village, Veselka is a Ukrainian diner that has been serving comfort food since 1954. Enjoy their pierogies, borscht, or hearty Ukrainian platters without breaking the bank.

Katz’s Delicatessen: Situated in the Lower East Side, Katz’s Delicatessen is a renowned Jewish deli known for its generously filled pastrami and corned beef sandwiches. A must-visit for enthusiasts of classic deli cuisine.

Gray’s Papaya: For a quintessential New York experience, visit Gray’s Papaya for their famous hot dogs. Affordable and tasty, these hot dogs are a favourite among locals and visitors alike.

Totto Ramen: Warm up with a bowl of flavorful ramen at Totto Ramen. With multiple locations in the city, they offer various ramen options, including their signature chicken-based broth.

Final Thoughts

New York City is more than just a destination; it’s a love affair waiting to happen. Its streets pulse with the dreams and aspirations of millions who seek to find themselves within its embrace. Whether you’re sipping coffee in a charming café, gazing at the city skyline from a rooftop, or getting lost amidst the crowds of people in Times Square, New York weaves its magic and leaves an indelible mark on your soul. So, surrender yourself to the rhythm of the concrete jungle, let luck guide your steps, and allow New York City to reveal its secrets as you embark on your personal love affair with the Big Apple.

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Some links in this post are affiliate links, which means if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive a commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions are my own.

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