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City Breaks New York

With four distinct seasons and many parades and festivals throughout the year, New York City offers a holiday as diverse as its residents. In ‘the city that never sleeps’, tourists can have the best in food and entertainment at their fingertips. The largest city in the U.S. is also one of the world’s most energetic. From a night in a museum to a street-food festival, this metropolis has it all

31 °C

Best time to visit: Spring and Autumn

7 hours 40 minutes

John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) is located in Queens, 26km southeast of central Manhattan. Newark International Airport (EWR), in New Jersey, is also 26km from midtown Manhattan.

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The famous skyline isn’t just for residents: tourists can gaze at the concrete jungle from many different observation decks. Down on the ground, hunt for bargains in Midtown or see Impressionist artworks at the Guggenheim. In the evening, dine in Chinatown or enjoy a Broadway musical.

On Museum Mile, eight museums line the east side of Central Park, including the iconic Guggenheim. The Metropolitan Museum of Art is by far the largest here, with nearly 2 million works spanning 5,000 years, making it one of the most popular places to visit in New York City.

The 'City That Never Sleeps’ has something for everyone once the sun sets. On a city break in New York, fans of musical theatre and drama can buy half-price Broadway tickets in Times Square. Visit Greenwich Village and the East Village for dive bars, upscale cocktail lounges and small live-music venues, and the Meatpacking District for dance clubs.

The best places in New York City for epic views of the iconic skyline include the Empire State Building, Top of the Rock, the Brooklyn Bridge and even the crown of the Statue of Liberty. The city’s youngest and tallest skyscraper is One World Trade Center, which has an observation deck on the 102nd floor.

Manhattan is a shopper’s paradise, with massive department stores like Macy’s and the upscale Barneys and Bloomingdale’s for everything on your list. Luxury stores line Madison and Fifth avenues. In December, grand window displays entice Christmas shoppers, and town squares have festive market stalls.

Thanks to the city’s diversity, visitors can find whatever they crave on a city break in New York City. There are all-American diners for traditional burgers and buttermilk pancakes, and ice cream and cupcake shops to satisfy your sweet tooth. Manhattan has Chinatown, Little Italy and Korea Town districts, as well as numerous steakhouses.

Head to this restored elevated railway and discover the hidden charm and beauty of Manhattan’s West Side. The High Line stretches over 2 kilometres, running from Gansevoort Street to West 34th Street in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighbourhood. This beautiful public space features unique artworks, community programming and enchanting horticulture. Enjoy stunning views of the New York City skyline and the Hudson River before filling your stomach at the nearby seasonal food vendors and gourmet market stalls. You can also slip into the famous Chelsea Market for a bit of shopping, which is right next to the High Line. 

The Elevated Acre is a beautifully designed garden that’ll make you feel like you’ve stumbled into a magical realm. Hidden above the bustle of the city, this secret urban oasis overlooks the East River and the Brooklyn Bridge. As you’re roaming around the Financial District in Lower Manhattan, take an escalator at 55 Water Street and let it lift you above the busy city streets until it opens to reveal the wonders of the Elevated Acre. Not many people know about this little slice of heaven, which means you’ll find peaceful solitude away from the chaos of everyday life. Explore the one acre and follow its Brazilian hardwood paths to find a quiet spot in the summer beer garden, where you can relax uninterrupted for hours.

Hop on a peaceful ferry ride to Staten Island and explore one of the most suburban boroughs of New York City. Head to the New York Chinese Scholar’s Garden and follow the bamboo forest path that’ll take you past glistening waterfalls, Ghongshi scholar’s rocks, koi-filled ponds and beautiful Chinese calligraphy. Based on the original Ming Dynasty Gardens that date back to 1368, the New York Scholar’s garden is a definite must-see if you want to soak up some authentic Chinese culture. Spend the rest of your day exploring the fascinating Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art and step back in time with a tour of the Historic Richmond Town that brings colonial New York back to life.

New York is best for

Shoppers: Buy your Christmas gifts along Fifth Avenue.

Art enthusiasts: Marvel at the Metropolitan Museum’s Roman antiquities and Egyptian mummies.

Theatre fans: Catch a Hollywood celebrity in a Broadway musical.


Fast facts

Language: The language spoken in New York City is English

Currency: The currency used in New York City is the US Dollar ($)

Local time: New York City is 5 hours behind GMT/UK time

Fly: John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) is located in Queens, 26km southeast of central Manhattan. Newark International Airport (EWR), in New Jersey, is also 26km from midtown Manhattan.

Flight time: 7 hours 40 minutes

Tourist information: Further New York City tourist information can be found at www.nycgo.com

Visa & Health: Before your holiday to New York City, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/usa for recommendations and advice on visas and health.


Weather and climate

Temperature: Average highs of 29-31 (°C) in summer, 4-6 (°C) in winter

Best time to visit: spring and autumn

NYC has four distinct seasons, so summers are hot and humid whilst winters will have snow. Spring and autumn are more comfortable, but summer has many free activities and December is full of festive cheer.


Getting around

By foot: The attractions, restaurants and shops of Midtown and Lower Manhattan are best reached on foot.

By tourist bus: Open-top, hop-on/hop-off buses are a great way for visitors to see the sights.

By bus and metro: Metrocards for busses and Subway can be purchased for pay-per-ride or unlimited travel. All journeys are the same price no matter how far you travel. Buses require exact change or a Metrocard.

By bicycle: A bicycle-sharing scheme (Citibike) offers thousands of bicycles at hundreds of docking stations in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

By taxi: You can hail a taxi from the street. Cab drivers accept cash or credit cards, and 10-15% tip is expected.


Events

Independence Day: Several fireworks extravaganzas take place on July Fourth. Crowds line the riverbanks for the largest show, which includes fireworks launched from barges in the Hudson and East rivers.
 
New Year’s Eve Ball Drop: Be prepared for below-freezing temperatures, huge crowds and hours of standing in one place. But it’s worth it for the live entertainment and festive atmosphere of Times Square on New Year’s Eve.
 
Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade: On the fourth Thursday of November, New Yorkers begin Thanksgiving Day celebrations with a parade of marching bands and huge hot-air balloons that ends at Macy’s department store.


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