Truth be told, New York’s not for everyone – if your ideal city break doesn’t involve an organized mess and a non-stop variation of extremes, then it ain’t for you. Yet, it’s not considered one of the greatest cities in the world for nothing. If you haven’t been, indulge and be inspired by my ‘why not’ tourist list and start planning your trip to the ‘Big Apple’.
1. Statue of Liberty
Undoubtedly, Lady Liberty is the face of USA’s most populous city. The towering statue is best seen up close by taking a ferry ride from Battery Park to Liberty Island. Hear the rich and historic story by taking a free audio guide, strolling around the island’s pathway and checking out the new interactive museum by the main entrance.
2. World Trade Memorial and The Oculus
The remnants of the 9/11 tragedy is now a serene and modern space. In addition to the two memorial shrines and the museum, it is fascinating to see the new World Trade Center tower in its full glory and a new modern building called The Oculus which houses retail spaces and connects subway stations.
3. New York Public Library and The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Two of the stunning buildings in Manhattan that embody that ‘authentically old feel’ architectural façade. Both over a century old, they boast of permanent and seasonal well-curated pieces that can feed everyone’s desire for a culture fix.
4. Times Square & Broadway
The busiest stretch of midtown Manhattan, West 42nd to West 47th streets are where you’d find the iconic Times Square. The energetic vibe of the area that beats with the rhythm of its digital billboards and eclectic street artists is an experience of its own. I’d highly recommend watching a Broadway show too to appreciate the city’s real talent and love for musical theatre.
5. Rockefeller Center & Top of the Rock or Empire State Building
There’s no ice rink during summer, yet the area’s still a nice spot to explore as it’s filled with cafes and pop up shops. If you’d wish to also see the city’s skyline, Top of the Rock and Empire State Building viewing decks are your best bet.
6. Saint Patrick and Saint Thomas Cathedrals
A few blocks away from each other, By Joseph Alcantara these two churches are sights to behold inside and out – whether a Christian or not, they’re worth a visit. Not a typical scene in the US, it’s lovely to see an old church in the midst of office and commercial buildings. Saint Thomas is smaller and more serene Gothic style church where you can kneel down and pray. Saint Patrick is fairly crowded and touristy though.
7. Central Park
A trip to New York will not be complete without strolling around Central Park. Not only does this offer a green space to jog around or relax under its trees, but also a spot to simply sit still and watch the world go by. There are also tons of activities to do – ride the horse carriage or gondola, watch buskers, buy affordable art, etc.
8. Meatpacking District and The High
Line Transforming an industrial area to a contemporary, artsy and stylish neighborhood is such a cool urban development story which is Meatpacking district. Enjoy walking through its cobblestone streets until you reach the High Line which is also a unique attraction – a railway turned to a narrow yet farreaching park.
9. The Vessel at Hudson Yards
The Vessel is a honeycomb-shaped structure composed of 2,500 steps equivalent to 16 building floors. Don’t be intimidated by its height, you need to take only a few steps to reach the top which has a breathtaking 360-view of the city and the bay.
10. Brooklyn Bridge
Crossing Manhattan and Brooklyn is best experienced by walking or cycling through the Brooklyn Bridge. When you reach the other side, go to Lombardi’s Pizza and experience the birthplace of the now famous New York pizza.