New York Travel Guide

New York

The energy of this city penetrates your heart & soul, making New York one of most famous and exciting shopping, business and entertainment capitals of the world.

The New York City Break: This dynamic city has an energy all of its own, with its never ending cacophony of street noise, combined with Manhattan's chaotic but organised 24 hour adrenaline rush, makes NYC a holiday destination that never fails to impress. The variety of things to do and places to see is awesome, so plan your up-coming New York adventures and sightseeing carefully.

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New York Hotels & Short Stays:
New York is a very accommodating city!

Whether you're planning a trip for business or for fun, traveling with kids or looking for a romantic getaway, you'll find a remarkable range of short breaks and hotel options all within reach of the sights you most want to see, and places you want to visit.

Start searching now for New York city break deals, cheap flight seats and reduced hotel room rates, and you'll soon be enjoying one of the world's most exciting shopping and entertainment capitals.

Introduction: Start by choosing the best season for your city break adventure. Spring is a great time of year to visit New York, the air is clear and fresh with temperatures peaking around 18c. The summer can be overwhelmingly hot with temperatures in the mid 30's. If you can catch New York at Christmas time with clear skies and snow on the ground you may feel that real magical holiday experience NYC is famed for.

The first impression of Manhattan is its sheer size with skyscrapers appearing around every corner. The best way to get your NYC bearings is to start high above Manhattan at one of the city's many sky decks or observation platforms, such as the One World Observatory (located in the main building of the rebuilt World Trade Center complex), or the One Vanderbilt Building, the Edge Observation Deck or the 86th floor of the impressive Empire State Building.

With famous New York landmarks like the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center and Grand Central Terminal around every corner, it can sometimes prove challenging choosing which attractions to visit, so to help plan your sightseeing itinerary we've listed a few of our favorite places we think you must see.

(1). The Empire State Building: The Empire State ia an architectural delight standing bold and tall at 1,454 feet above central New York, the building is affectionately known as the jewel in Manhattan's skyline crown. The 102-story Art Deco skyscraper is located in Midtown Manhattan, and held the title of tallest building in New York for several decades following its 1931 construction. It's not surprising that the Empire State Building has become an American cultural icon and a much loved symbol of the city, its also been named as one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers.

New York City Times Sq

Four million people visit the Empire State Building every year, mostly to admire New York's stunning skyline from its three observation decks. Two outside observation decks are located on floors 86 & 102, with an additional (recently redesigned) indoor observatory accessed via the 80th floor.

Top Tips: keep an eye out for the impressive and lovingly restored art deco detailing which can be found throughout the buildings lobby areas. The views from the two main decks are stunning especially at sunset. If you find yourself queuing for the observation decks at peak times, don't worry, the wait is well worth it.

(2). The Edge Observation Deck: The Edge is New York's most exciting new attraction, a truly breathtaking experience unlike any other. The Edge is the highest outdoor sky deck in the Western Hemisphere and is located in Midtown West Manhattan. The thrilling glass floored deck is perched 1,100 feet above the city and spans 80 feet straight out into thin air. Top Tip: head for the Eastern Point of the deck, walk onto the glass floor area, then look straight down for a thrilling view past 100 stories to the city streets directly below your feet.

Suspended in mid-air the glass deck gives the feeling of floating in the sky, with its spectacular 360-degree views of the city observed through cleverly designed frameless angled glass walls. The Edge is located on level 100 at 30 Hudson Yards and is accessed via high speed elevators that take you up to the deck, restaurant and bar areas in just 52 seconds. Hudson Yards is Manhattan’s newest neighborhood development and is home to over 100 new and diverse shops, art galleries and restaurants.

(3). The Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island: The statues full title is "Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World". The 151 feet tall statue represents the Roman goddess of freedom (Libertas) holding a torch and tablet which is inscribed with the date of the declaration of Independence, July 4 1776. The seven spiked crown represents the seven continents and the universal notion of liberty. The statue was a gift of friendship from the French in 1886.

The statue is a symbol of freedom and democracy that welcomed over 10 million immigrants sailing past it to Ellis Island during the turn of the 20th century. You can visit the Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island and climb the stairs to statue’s crown, you can also visit the the Immigration Museum on Ellis Island all of which are both wonderful experiences, however full tours can take the best part of a day to complete. Top Tip: Instead of joining an official Liberty and Ellis Island tour, simply take a boat tour around Manhattan that makes a loop around the Statue for photo opportunities or simply take a ride on the Staten Island Ferry, just for fun!. The Staten Island ferry is a 50 minute round-trip ride that passes many of New York's important and interesting waterfront sights.

(4). The Museum of Modern Art: The Museum of Modern Art is yet another New York icon, the museum houses one of America's largest and most significant collections of modern art, including works by Monet, Picasso, Van Gogh, Matisse, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol and Jackson Pollock. MoMA is located in the heart of Midtown Manhattan, it was founded in 1929 and rapidly became one of the most important and most visited modern art museums in the world, welcoming over 2 million visitors each year.

As well as having a reputation for displaying the world’s finest collection of modern and contemporary art, the MoMA also has an art-house cinema and a relaxing sculpture garden. The garden is a welcoming and relaxing midtown oasis that manages to merge art and nature, with featured works by Matisse, Picasso and Aristide Maillol. The MoMA is also home to a very popular Michelin-starred contemporary American restaurant.

With its rotating permanent exhibitions, visiting collections and world class masterpieces, the Museum of Modern Art is a 'must see attraction' for both art lovers and city break visitors.

Top Tips: The museum is a great place to visit whatever the season, however New York's dark, cold wintry afternoon's provide the perfect opportunity to recharge and experience the museum's unique and creative atmosphere. The museums location, architectural design and priceless collections combine to make New York's MoMA a truly iconic experience. The MoMA is open daily from 10:30am - 5:30 pm (later on Sundays). For current ticket information including prices Click Here.

New York City Times Sq

(5). Times Square & Theatre District: New York's busy Times Square became permanently pedestrianized in 2010 and is located in the heart of Midtown Manhattan at the junction of Broadway and Seventh Avenue. More than 50 Million people visit Times Square every year, attracted by its 24hr glittering light show, souvenir shops, skyscrapers decorated in glamorous advertisements, plus the many brightly lit digital billboards promoting the latest Broadway shows and Hollywood blockbusters.

The world’s busiest pedestrian intersection is also the hub for the Broadway Theater District, making Times Square a major center for some of the world's greatest entertainment. Over 40 Broadway theaters are located on the square or within a few blocks, they offer a wide variety of Broadway and Off Broadway musicals, plays and dance productions. A trip to New York isn't complete without experiencing live theatre, so head to the TKTS Discount Booths in the middle of Times Square for discounted theatre tickets for same day performances, with up to 50% off regular ticket prices.

Top Tips: Get ready for chocolate heaven, visit M&M's World at 1600 Broadway for three floors of chocolate bliss, candy, toys & related merchandise - open daily from 9 AM till midnight. Take time out to relax and bask in the neon lights, the best place to absorb the Times Square atmosphere is on the steps surrounding the TKTS Booth, it's a perfect place to take a breather and watch the neon world speed by.

(6). Rockefeller Center & The Rock Observation Deck: A visit to New York wouldn't be complete without a trip to Rockefeller Plaza. The Rockefeller Centre is located in Midtown Manhattan and is famous for its mix of hi-end shops and restaurants (including the famous Rainbow Room restaurant), plus the iconic seasonal skating rink and Christmas Tree. The outdoor skating rink dates back to 1936 and is open to the public from late November until early January.

New York City Rockefeller Center

The Rockefeller Centre also houses the famed NBC Studios with shows like The Tonight Show and Saturday Night Live. The centre's main attraction is the 'Top Of The Rock' located at the top of Rockefeller Plaza. The Rock consists of three observation decks, one on the 67th and 69th floors and an open-air roof deck on the 70th floor providing spectacular 360-degree views of New York's skyline.

Top Of The Rock. Enter the building on 50th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, then board the Sky Shuttle elevator for a 60 second ride you’ll never forget. At 850 feet (260 meters) you enter the atrium lobby with its sparkling and very striking 14,000 crystal chandelier by Swarovski. Leading from the the atrium lobby you'll find three levels of indoor and outdoor observation decks providing spectacular, unobstructed views of the city skyline.

Many visitors say the skyline views from the Rock are the best in all Manhattan particularly striking is the South facing terrace, with its incredible views of the Empire State Building and NYC’s midtown and downtown skyscrapers and farther on to the Brooklyn Bridge.

Top Tip: Time your visit an hour before sunset as the city turns from day into night and you’ll get to watch one of the best light shows in the world. If you have any spare time visit nearby St. Patrick's Cathedral and/or The LEGO Store on Fifth Avenue. Top of the Rock is open daily from 10am–12am, 365 days a year.

(7). The 9/11 Memorial and Museum: The 9/11 Memorial and Museum are located in lower Manhattan, the museum is located below the 9/11 Memorial. The focal points of the Memorial are two reflecting pools that contain the largest manmade waterfalls in North America. The pools sit in the footprints of the former North and South Towers, with the names of the 2,983 people who were killed in the terrorist attacks inscribed on bronze edging surrounding the pools.

The Memorial Museum tells the story of 9/11 through multimedia displays, narratives and a collection of monumental and authentic artifacts. The moving experience explains the lead-up to the attack and its global impact and continuing significance. The Memorial Museum also presents visitors with personal stories of loss, sadness, compassion, recovery and hope.

(8). The Oculus and Westfield World Trade Center: The Oculus is probably the world’s most expensive train station (with a beautiful shopping mall inside) it's also an architectural marvel with a build cost of over $3.8bn.

New York The Oculus

Designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, the building carries a unique appearance resembling a dove taking flight, and from the inside the skeleton of a whale. The design incorporates a mixture of curved white steel ribs and glass that reach up and out into Lower Manhattan's busy skyline. The bustling transportation hub serves the new World Trade Center with 12 subway lines and the Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH) rapid transit system.

The Mall is the largest shopping complex in Manhattan, a complete retail destination containing over 125 units. The Mall opened in 2016 and replaces the original Mall under the World Trade Center that was destroyed on September 11, 2001. The new Mall is known as Westfield World Trade Center and showcases leading fashion, lifestyle, beauty and technology brands all under one cleverly designed roof structure.

An interesting feature of the buildings design is its structure transparency which allows daylight to serenely flood through onto the marble floors below. The complex also provides fine dining, art and cultural events, social activities and headline entertainment.

New York Shopping Tips: Shop till you drop at some of the world's most famous stores. Macy's is a must (at Herald Square on 34th & Broadway) or Bloomingdales (on 59th & Lexington). Greenwich Village is great for arty souvenirs and quaint boutiques, visit the Lower East Side for discount stores and The Mills at Jersey Gardens for outlet stores. Discover the trendy shops of the TriBeCa district and the boutiques and galleries of Soho.

Extracts from the Flight4.com Travel Blog.

New York - Public Transport: The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is responsible for public transportation in the New York City metropolitan area. Public transport in New York mainly consists of a substantial subway system, buses and the famous yellow cabs, however walking is often the best way to experience and soak-up the atmosphere of the city.

Although quite daunting at first, the most efficient way to move around New York is to use the 24-hour underground system as most of Manhattan's sights and attractions are near a subway station. The City's rail and bus system is run by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA).

New York Subway: The New York subway is one of the oldest and largest public transportation systems in the world. Each separate subway line has a different colour, with each line operating local or express train services. Local trains stop at every station while Express trains only stop at certain stations indicated.

To use the Subway system you will need to buy a ticket and pay a fare, there are two types of electronic tickets you can purchase:
1. The swipable MetroCard or
2. The OMNY (One Metro New York) a new contactless ticket/fare payment system.

OMNY Payment System: There are three ways to pay using OMNY, you can use your digital wallet, a contactless bank card, or you can buy a physical (credit card sized) OMNY card that you can top-up with money/credit. Currently OMNY only uses the regular single-ride fare structure. All three OMNY payment methods generally work the same way, you hold the payment method up to the OMNY reader at the turnstile to unlock the gate and pass through to the station. You can top-up your OMNY online at omny.info

The MetroCard: There are two types of MetroCard, 1. The Regular MetroCard (pay-per-ride) or 2. The Unlimited Ride MetroCard. Both cards can be used on New York's Subway and Bus networks.

The Regular (pay-per-ride) MetroCard. The pay-per-ride MetroCard has a $ value loaded onto it, which reduces each time it's used. You can top-up the card's value when the balance runs low. With this type of card each subway journey completed costs $2.75 per ride (regardless of destination or journey length), the card is also transferable, meaning it can be used multiple times for multiple passengers in your group.

The Unlimited Ride. The Unlimited Ride MetroCard provides unlimited journey's on both the subway and bus networks, you can travel as often as you like within the validity of the card. There are two types of card available, with either a 7-day or 30-day validity duration. The card's validity starts at first activation when used at a turnstile to enter the Subway or Bus. If you plan on using the metro & bus network regularly (say more than 12 times within a few days) then the 7 day Unlimited Ride option is the way to go.

Please note! The unlimited Ride MetroCard is non transferable, meaning it can only be used by the owner of the card, there is also an 18-minute delay between each swipe, this is to prevent multiple use of the card by more than one person. MetroCard's can be purchased at any subway station. The MetroCard system is expected to remain fully operational until summer 2023.

Up to three children under 44 inches tall can ride for free when they’re travelling with a fare-paying adult. Please check with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) for up to date information on tickets, payment methods & fares.

New York Bus Transport: Travelling by Bus in New York can be slow due to traffic congestion, however it's a good way to travel between attractions, especially if you're not in a rush and fancy seeing the sights whilst on the move. Fares for local bus service are $2.75 and Express buses (limited stops) cost $6.75. You can pay with a MetroCard or use OMNY the contactless payment system. Top Tip: if you find yourself on the wrong bus or get lost during the day, don’t worry just ask someone for advise, most New Yorkers are very helpful and willing to point you in the right direction.

New York City Taxi

New York Taxis: At some point during your NYC visit you'll probably need to use the 'ever-present' Yellow Taxi Cab. You can hail a cab on the street or your hotel reception can arrange one for you. If hailing a cab make sure the TAXI roof light is on, if the roof light is off it means the taxi is already in use. Taxi fares can be on the costly side compared to using the subway, however taxis are convenient and often fun to use. Top Tips: Yes, you will most likely end up stuck in traffic, but that's to be expected, just enjoy the ride. You can pay taxi fares using cash or card but always carry enough cash in case the card reader isn't working. Tipping the driver is expected and is usually between 15%–20% of the fare.

New York Nightlife & Dining: In the "the city that never sleeps" you'll find literally thousands of restaurants and bars from which to choose, and the diversity of cultures offers something to suite every palate. If you're yearning for good live music you'll find lot's of famous venues and clubs from Jazz & Blues to pop & EDM. Don't miss exciting Broadway, Lincoln Centre or Carnegie Hall for world class concerts and shows. With some of the best shows on earth returning to the Manhattan stage a visit to NYC wouldn't be complete without taking-in a world famous Broadway show.

Top Tips: Try something different! - (1) Experience the many flavors of New York by taking a subway ride to Queens, Brooklyn or Staten Island and check out the myriad of local restaurant options, styles and tastes, they're also much cheaper compared to city prices. (2) Don't always rely on search engines for recommendations, instead just ask a New Yorker. If you're after a local cozy & authentic restaurant ask around for recommendations, you'll find plenty of locals willing to help. You can ask the concierge, taxi driver, shop assistant or anyone you have a conversation with during the day, just slip in a request for a particular recommendation, it usually pays off.

Extracts from the Flight4.com Travel Blog

New York JFK International Airport (JFK). JFK airport is located 15 miles (24km) southeast of central Manhattan.

Airport Transport and Shuttle Services:
From JFK to down town New York. The AirTrain links JFK Airport to either the Howard Beach or Jamaica subway stations, you then transfer to the A or E subway or local bus services to Manhattan. Travel time using the subway is around 1.5 hours and is not recommended if you're travelling with large or heavy luggage.

Bus Transfers: NYC Express Bus provides shuttle services from JFK Airport to Manhattan. Bus services operate approximately every 30 minutes from 11am to 7pm stopping at Grand Central and Times Square.

Private Transfers: Private chauffeur-driven airport services are available directly to your hotel. There are many private transfer companies operating official airport transfer services, they must be pre-booked and paid for in advance.

JFK Airport Taxi: Taxis are readily available from all terminals. Taxi journey times to Manhattan can vary depending on the time of the day, expect a journey time of upto 1 hour. A cab from JFK into Manhattan should cost around $65.00 (plus tolls, New York State congestion surcharge, a peak surcharge for rides between 4-6pm). Only use official yellow taxi cabs lined up at official ranks (there's usually plenty of them). Top Tip: Always go to the Taxi Rank, do not accept a taxi service from someone who approaches you inside the terminal building. It's very much expected to agree a total price for the journey with the driver prior to entering the taxi cab. Tips of around 15% of the fare are customary.

Car Hire: All major car rental companies are represented at JFK airport, including Avis, Budget, Hertz and Sixt.

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