City trip New York: The Ultimate Guide
New York is one of the most special cities in the world and is a popular destination for a city trip. The most famous part of the city is Manhattan with endless skyscrapers and a lively atmosphere. The other parts of the city are Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx and Staten Island.
New York is rich in iconic sights, such as the famous Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, the brand new One WTC, the Guggenheim and the great art museum the MET. In addition, the city lends itself perfectly to shopping, delicious food & drinks and nightlife. Relax in the large city park Central Park, taste the carnival atmosphere on Coney Island, visit the largest city zoo in the world, be surprised by the cool illuminated advertisements on Times Square, visit a Broadway musical. New York has a lot to offer!
- 1. City trip New York: characteristics of the city
- 2. The icon of New York: The Statue of Liberty
- 3. Visit the most beautiful museums of New York
- 4. The famous buildings of New York: Empire State, WTC, Rockefeller Center
- 5. Across the Brooklyn Bridge: Coney Island & Botanic Gardens
- 6. New York: Staten Island
- 7. Central Park & Washington Square Park
- 8. Popular places in New York: Times Square & Broadway
- 9. Special places of interest in Manhattan
- 10. Bronx Zoo New York
- 11. Shopping, eating & going out during your city trip to New York
- 12. Accommodation in New York: from B&B to luxury hotel
- 13. Transport to and in New York
- 14. City trip New York: our tips
- 15. Book a city break to New York: compare travel providers and accommodations
1. City trip New York: characteristics of the city
Are you going on a city break to New York for a weekend or week? Or maybe you'd like to spend a day or weekend in New York on your way to another destination in America? The characteristics of this American metropolis can be found in the table below. What is there to do in New York? In this article we have listed the most popular sights of New York for you.
City trip New YorkCharacteristics
|Land||United States of America|
|Native New York population||8.6 million|
|Number of international tourists per year||13.7 million|
|Flight travel time (direct flight)||8 hours and 15 minutes|
|Time difference with the Netherlands||In New York it's 6 o'clock earlier|
|Distance from Utrecht||5,900 kilometres|
|Best travel period||Lente, autumn|
|Activities||City, culture, art, history, shopping, beach|
2. The icon of New York: The Statue of Liberty
The symbol of New York and also of the United States is of course the Statue of Liberty. The copper ´Lady Liberty´ is 46 meters high and is located on a small island in the Upper Bay. The statue was a gift from the French people to the Americans and was placed in 1886. The seven points on the crown represent the seven continents and oceans.
You'll reach Liberty Island by boat. You can then walk across the island and the statue is also accessible. Climb up to the observation platform and enjoy the view over the water and Manhattan. You can also see the inner structure of the Statue of Liberty through the glass ceiling. At the bottom of the statue there is an exhibition about Lady Liberty.
You can perfectly combine a visit to Liberty Island with a visit to the nearby Ellis Island. Immigrants used to be received on this island. They then had to undergo a medical examination and answer a list of questions. Nowadays the island is a museum, where you can learn everything about this special piece of history.
Statue of Liberty
3. Visit the most beautiful museums of New York
New York has a large number of museums that are well worth a visit. The Metropolitan Museum of Art (The MET) is the largest and most important art museum in the world and can be found in Central Park. The museum opened in 1872. You'll find paintings, sculptures, musical instruments, armour and weapons, photographs and other works of art and artefacts from all over the world in The MET. In addition to the permanent collections, there are also changing exhibitions.
3.1. American Museum of Natural History
Another recommendation is the American Museum of Natural History. One of the most beautiful and largest natural history museums in the world. You'll find stuffed animals, huge skeletons of dinosaurs, gems and historical objects. There are all kinds of exhibitions, for example about the development of mankind. There is also a special space centre in the American Museum of Natural History: Rose Centre for Earth & Space. The museum is fun for young and old alike!
3.2. Guggenheim Museum
If you're going on a city break to New York, don't miss the Guggenheim Museum. The building is now listed as one of the finest examples of modern architecture. This was not always the case. After its opening in 1959, Frank Lloyd Wright's design was given nicknames such as 'corkscrew' and 'mega mushroom'. The interior of the Guggenheim consists of a spiral-shaped walkway. The route takes you past works of art by Kandinsky, Picasso and van Gogh, among others. There are also regular temporary exhibitions. Once a month a DJ spins in the central hall.
4. The famous buildings of New York: Empire State, WTC, Rockefeller Center
Empire State Building you can climb the 1860 steps or take one of the 73 lifts. On the 86th floor you'll find a large viewing platform. The view over New York is magnificent. When the weather is clear you can look as far as 70 kilometers. The Empire State Building is a regular feature in American films, such as King Kong and Sleepless in Seattle.
4.1. One World Trade Centre
The One World Trade Centre (or Freedom Tower) is the tallest skyscraper in New York and on the American continent. It is the fifth tallest building in the world. The top is at 546 meters. The name refers to the north tower of the former WTC building. Near One WTC you will also find the 9-11 Memorial. This memorial is located at Ground Zero. This is the place where the two destroyed towers of the WTC stood. The two WTC towers were destroyed on September 11, 2001 during a terrorist attack.
The names of the nearly 3,000 people who died during the attack are engraved on the monument. There are two water basins: one at the site of the former northern and one at the site of the former southern tower.
4.2. Rockefeller Centre
Another famous building in New York is Rockefeller Centre with a height of 259 meters. An elevator takes you from downstairs to the viewing platform. On the top two floors you can also stand outside. From the top you have a beautiful view over Manhattan and the Empire State Building.
Rockefeller Centre is on the Rockefeller Plaza. On this square you will find several restaurants with terraces and places to go out. In December, the terrace is a large ice rink and there is a large Christmas tree. In the Rockefeller Centre the traditional Radio City Christmas Spectacular Show takes place.
5. Across the Brooklyn Bridge: Coney Island & Botanic Gardens
The Brooklyn Bridge is the most famous bridge in New York. It connects Manhattan with Brooklyn. The bridge has a separate road surface for pedestrians and cyclists. So you can walk across the bridge and have a look at this special construction. From the Brooklyn Bridge you also have a magnificent view over the water and the city.
5.1. Coney Island
On arriving in Brooklyn you can continue your route to popular Coney Island. This peninsula has a wide beach with promenade and a cozy atmosphere. The perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of Manhattan. There is also a fine beach adjacent to the island: Brighton Beach.
On Coney Island you'll find a number of iconic attractions, such as the 46-metre Ferris wheel Wonder Wheel and the wooden roller coaster Cyclone. There is also a fairground atmosphere. The boulevard is full of small shops and food and drink stalls. There is also an amusement park: Luna Park, an aquarium and a partly covered amphitheatre.
5.2. Brooklyn Botanical Gardens
In the district of Brooklyn you will also find the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. This garden was created around 1900 to address the lack of green space in New York. Here you can enjoy the most beautiful plants, shrubs, trees and flowers in peace and quiet. There are also several ponds with water plants and romantic sitting areas.
6. New York: Staten Island
- A living colonial village
- Military forts
- Chinese sculpture garden
- Monument to the victims of 9-11
During a boat trip to the island, you also have stunning views of New York's Financial District and the Statue of Liberty.
States Island Ferry
7. Central Park & Washington Square Park
In the middle of Manhattan lies a green park of almost 3.5 km2: Central Park. It is a popular place to relax for locals and tourists alike. Formerly known for its crime, today it is one of the safest urban parks in the world. The park is ideal for recreation. Picnicking, hiking, running, cycling, rowing on the lake, horseback riding, skating, tennis, ice skating in winter, it's all possible. There is also a visitor centre (The Dairy), a zoo, an open-air theatre and a footpath with famous statues (The Mall).
Tip: Take a horse-drawn carriage ride to see Central Park at your leisure.
7.1. Washington Square Park
NYU guarantees a nice atmosphere and cozy crowds. Around Washington Square Park you will find various shops, restaurants, cafes and clubs. There are also many street artists performing.
8. Popular places in New York: Times Square & Broadway
It is perhaps the most famous place in the world: Times Square. Don't miss it if you're on a city break in New York. Times Square is located at the intersection of Broadway and Seventh Avenue. It's a traffic junction with large eye-catching illuminated signs. On New Year's Eve it's a big party here.
Times square is located in the heart of Theatre District, better known as Broadway. There are over 40 major theatres where you can visit a show. It is a true paradise for music lovers. The many lights make Broadway a beautiful place at night. You can go to a TKTS booth to buy last minute tickets. Do you want to be sure of a good spot? Then it is better to reserve tickets online before you go on a city trip to New York.
Broadway is one of the most important nightlife areas of New York. There are also several shops and restaurants on this famous street.
9. Special places of interest in Manhattan
There are several special attractions to be found in Ney York.
9.1. Grand Central Terminal
Grand Central Terminal, New York Station, is an important transport hub. It is the largest railway station in the world with 44 platforms and no less than 67 tracks. The station hall is particularly impressive. There are also numerous shops, eateries and regular events.
Grand Central Terminal
9.2. New York Public Library
Also a visit to the New York Public Library is worthwhile. This more than 100 year old public library is the second largest library in the United States. The NYPL is located in several locations. The building near Bryant Park is the most impressive with high ceilings, large staircases and two stone lions at the entrance.
9.3. St. Patrick's Cathedral
Another tip is St. Patrick's Cathedral, opposite Rockefeller Centre. The gigantic cathedral from the 19th century is the largest neo-Gothic cathedral in North America. Both the exterior and interior are very impressive. Think of high ceilings, large columns, magnificent stained-glass windows and various works of art.
St. Paul's Cathedral
10. Bronx Zoo New York
The largest city zoo in the world can be found in New York. The Bronx Zoo visits during your city trip to New York are highly recommended. There are over 4,000 animals to admire and around 600 species. Don't skip the special Children's Zoo with children. This playground / children's farm is a real adventure for the little ones.
11. Shopping, eating & going out during your city trip to New York
If you're going on a city trip to New York, it's great for a day of shopping. In the city you will find shops of all shapes and sizes. From huge department stores to small boutiques. From expensive luxury stores to cheap outlets. Fifth Avenue is the most luxurious shopping street. Most design shops can be found between 49th and 59th Street.
11.1 Restaurants New York
New York is thousands of restaurants rich. Especially the big fast food chains are well represented in the city. There are also excellent pizzerias, burger restaurants, meat restaurants, breakfast and lunches. There are also several food stalls in the street. For real luxury restaurants you often have to search.
11.2. Nightlife New York
In a metropolis like New York, it's lively day and night. The nightlife of New York is unforgettable. Go to a show on Broadway, dive into a bar or club, enjoy live music and dance in the entertainment district East Village. SoHo is going out on z'n hippest. Not for nothing we have the nickname 'Capital of Cool'.
12. Accommodation in New York: from B&B to luxury hotel
New York is also called the 'city that never sleeps'. Still, it is nice to get some hours of sleep in a hotel in New York during a city trip. There is an abundance of hotels in all price ranges. From a simple hotel in a suburb of New York to a luxury hotel within walking distance of Times Square.
There are certain periods of the year when the city is very busy. Around 4 July, for example, during the New York Marathon in autumn and during Christmas and New Year's Eve. Would you like to go on a city trip to New York? Then book on time. A famous hotel in New York is for example the Plaza, near Central Park.
You don't necessarily have to stay in a hotel when you're in New York. You can also choose a charming bed and breakfast, such as Ivy Terrace. Camping in New York is not an option. Compare different travel providers and accommodations at the bottom of this page.
13. Transport to and in New York
For a city trip to New York the airplane is the preferred means of transport. From several Dutch airports you fly directly to the capital of America in about 8 hours. Of course, you can also take a day or weekend trip to New York if you are on your way to another destination in America.
There are three major airports near New York. John F. Kennedy Airport is the largest at a distance of 25 kilometers from the heart of Manhattan. Liberty International Airport is about the same distance from Manhattan. Various train and metro connections take you from both airports to the city centre. You can also take a taxi or bus.
La Guardia Airport is about 13 kilometers from the center. This airport is mainly used for domestic flights. From here it takes about 20 minutes to get to the center by taxi.
The public transport in New York is excellent. And that is to be expected for such a metropolis. You can travel by metro, with the famous 'yellow cab' (taxi), by bus, ferry or on foot. Be aware that it is often very busy on the road. By bus or taxi you are often stuck in traffic. Tip: take the yellow water taxi!
14. City trip New York: our tips
Below are some tips if you're going on a city trip to New York.
- Sturdy shoes: Wear sturdy and comfortable shoes during the city trip. During a day or weekend and certainly during a week in New York you will usually walk a lot.
- New York Sightseeing Pass: Do you want to visit several places of interest in New York? Then you can choose for the New York Sightseeing Pass. With this pass you get a discount at several places of interest in New York. You can also skip the queue at the busiest sights. You can also use the hop-on-hop-off bus for free and you will get an extensive guide with all information about the sights in the city.
- Best travel period: You can plan a city trip to New York during all seasons. Spring, summer and autumn are the most pleasant weather. In spring and autumn it is usually around 20 degrees and in summer the temperature fluctuates around 25-30 degrees. In winter the temperature is around freezing point. Pretty cold, but you can then enjoy the special and exuberant Christmas atmosphere in the city.
New York Christmas
15. Book a city break to New York: compare travel providers and accommodations
New York is one of the most impressive cities in the world with many iconic sights. Visit the famous Statue of Liberty, take the lift to the top of the Empire State Building, walk across the Brooklyn Bridge or visit the world's largest art museum.
Walk among the skyscrapers, shop till you drop, visit a Broadway musical, discover the nightlife of SoHo, enjoy a burger in an American diner. The possibilities in New York are endless! Everybody just needs to take a city trip to New York!