Thanks to my very hospitable relatives in America, I was able to spend a little over three weeks in New York this summer and I got to see and do a lot that the city has to offer. Impressed by the variety of tourist attractions, there’s something for everyone, with every kind of budget in mind. Here are my top 5 tourist attractions, but the beauty of visiting New York City is in making it a trip to suit you.
5: Central Park: Possibly the most famous city park in the world, Central Park will not disappoint. You can lose yourself in this vast area of greenery in the middle of an urban metropolis, but don’t consider this a bad thing. Belvedere Castle, The Boathouse, the statue of Alice in Wonderland; Central Park is a collection of landmarks that will give your mind and soul room to breathe. Entry is free. Allow 2-5 hours.
4: The Empire State Building: The view from the top of this skyscraper is unforgettable. No matter how tight your schedule is, you can’t leave NYC without visiting this monster of a building. You can walk in the front door when it was sunny, and get to the top when it was cloudy, raining, and freezing. Still, the experience of looking down at the Lego-like buildings and streets is priceless. Entry is €25. Allow 1-2 hours.
3: Times Square: If you’re a country bumpkin, you’ll more than likely be overwhelmed by the amount of people walking in all different directions in Times Square, ‘The Crossroads of the World’. The amount of neon ads and signs are very impressive, and they absorb every ounce of the onlooker’s attention. You cannot leave without trying the pancakes and coffee in any of Times Square’s chic cafes. You won’t be bored here; just looking out onto the thousands of shoppers and tourists will keep you occupied. Entry is free. Allow 1-2 hours.
2: Broadway: You should be warned not to leave New York without going to a Broadway show, so put the money aside in preparation for what would be one of your NYC highlights. Visit the ‘tkts’ booth in Times Square to buy discounted tickets, boasting reductions often as impressive as 70% off. We decided to see ‘Phantom of the Opera’ on a whim, and it was spectacular. The acting is fantastic, the music causing shivers and the atmosphere of a Broadway theatre will ensure you never forget your visit to NYC. Price depends on the seat/show, varies from €50-€120. Allow 2.5 hours.
1: The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island: Another must-see, you will absolutely regret leaving America without visiting the biggest babe NYC has to offer: Lady Liberty. The ferry will firstly bring you round the Hudson and drop you off at Liberty Island, where you will receive an audio tour. Then you will get the chance to visit Ellis Island, which is home to a fantastic museum, once the building which millions of hopeful immigrants passed through before entering the USA. The centre ceased its operations in the 1920s but the spirit of the newly arriving immigrants lives on in this not-to-be-missed NYC attraction. Entry is €20. Allow 3 hours.