Places to Visit in New York City
- Brooklyn Bridge
- Staten Island Ferry
- Central Park
- Times Square
- Grand Central Station
- Fifth Avenue
Unique Things to See and Do In New York City
New York Attractions
New York City is the largest city in the United States with over 8.4 million people, creating a whirlwind exploration for the average traveller! Where do you start? Many people try to take in the sights within a few days, simply because the city can be expensive to stay in, so depending on your passions you’ll want to incorporate as much as possible into everyday. The first thing to note is that you could live in New York for years without seeing everything, which is the beauty of it, so be prepared to feel like you’ll need to come back. If your time in NY City is really short, we recommend a walking tour. Remember NY is big and you’ll want to wear comfortable shoes, because you are going to get a workout!
We have itemized out some of the major sights up above, but a great way to start is at The Empire State Building, where you can get a sense of the overview of the city. It’s a fantastic way to get your bearings. Next on the list is Grand Central Terminal, which you can either bus or walk to from The Empire States building. Central Station is so beautiful; you’ll forget that it is a station. After that, if you decide to head over to Central Park be sure to queue up for lunch at the Shake Shack for a great burger. The line up is long but worth the wait and this location in particular is known as the best. Head over to Times Square in the evening when all the neon lights are in full luminance. This spot is the ultimate spot for people watching.
The main neighbourhoods for sightseeing are Greenwich Village, Chinatown, the Upper East Side, Harlem, and Brighton Beach and Coney Island. Greenwich Village is great for the brownstone homes, smaller restaurants, and historic building. This is also a great place for bars! Chinatown is one of the oldest Chinese communities in NYC. The Upper East Side is home to the wealthy who live in Mansions on Fifth and Park Avenue. One of the main attractions in Harlem to check out is The Apollo theatre. Brighton Beach and Coney Island are the amusement park area. There are over 45 rides, tons of artists and performers, and plenty people watching!
Getting To New York
If you are travelling from another part of the states, the Amtrak is nice option for arriving in New York City. You’ll need to book well in advance if you are looking for cheaper rates, especially on weekends. The Penn Station is where you will be dropped off, which is just below Midtown. You can either taxi, walk, or bus to most popular hotel districts, such as Soho.
Bus service is a much more cost effective way to get into NY City. Many of the newer buses now offer wifi services and with their growing popularity are much safer than they have been in the past. There are a variety of bus companies to choose from. Chinatown buses are the cheapest options but a little less comfortable, whereas companies like Megabus offer newer, more comfortable rides. FYI: Independent bus companies offer pick-up and drop-off from different city streets rather than at bus stations.
Renting a Car
If you are renting a car to travel upstate or within the state, then expect to park the car in New York City and leave it there. New York driving is a zoo and not worth the headache, especially if you have limited time. And expect to pay additional parking fees at hotels starting at $30 a day. Another note is that several of the major routes in and out of the city have toll booths.
Best time of year to travel to New York
Any time of year is a good time for New York City. It’s the city that doesn’t sleep! The summers are hot and humid, while the winters are cold and snowy, but both of these seasons offer a lot to be explored. For most travellers not accustom to the extreme temperatures both spring and autumn are best times to visit. Dressing for the weather can be a bit challenging, especially if you are walking throughout the day, so the best option is to layer up.
For the theatre buffs, January and February are great months to get Broadway show tickets. Most productions are in full swing at this time and the number of tourists looking for tickets is lower, so getting that perfect seat is possible. There are a ton of shows to be seen too, if you are travelling in the high season you can always opt for an Off-Broadway show too, although it would be even better to do both!
Hotel prices can really vary depending the time of year you go. The Christmas months are the highest priced, and in New York City that’s not cheap. Right after the holidays the prices can drop significantly as hoteliers are trying to fill up the rooms post Christmas spending. Depending on the hotel, some rates can drop down to $180 or less. Most hotels in the popular tourist areas start at $300 and go up from there- and quite significantly too!
Weather in New York City
The best time to travel to New York City for most travellers is the spring and autumn months, when the temperatures are moderate, with sunny days. Summers in New York City are definitely hot and humid and can be a “sticky” affair. The summers also host plenty of outdoor concerts, festivals, and cool refreshing treats too! The winter months are cold and snowy, so bring appropriate clothing and lots of layers. During the Christmas week there are often delays with flights due to snowy and icy conditions, so bear that mind if you’re on a tight schedule.
Spring: March to May: 2C to 21C
Summer: June to September: 17C to 30C, but can get up to 38C
Autumn: late Sept to Oct: 10C to 20C
Winter: November to February: -3C to 8C
Ready to plan your visit to New York City? Check out these popular guides and trips.