A Guide to New York City


A Guide to New York City, Brooklyn Bridge
New York City hosts the nation's iconic sights, from the Brooklyn Bridge, Central Park, and Statue of Liberty to the Empire State Building and Times Square. Experience the true culture of the Big Apple by shopping on 5th Avenue, taking in the fascinating museums, and viewing an entertaining Broadway show. New York City has it all, with stunning sights and mouth-watering cuisine, and shopping in the fashion capital of the U.S.
The best time to visit this impressive city is during the Christmas season when it's wrapped in Christmas Lights and dazzling holiday decor. Christmas in New York is like no other. Attend Radio City Music Hall's Christmas Spectacular show to see the Rockettes and stroll along the dazzling streets for the perfect Winter Wonderland. NYC lives up to its reputation with more things to see and do than any other city in the United States!

TOP ATTRACTIONS IN NEW YORK CITY


Brooklyn Bridge

One of many signature landmarks of New York City, the Brooklyn Bridge is also one of the oldest suspension bridges in the country. I recommend walking the bridge (Walking/Biking lanes are separated from traffic). It takes about 30 minutes to walk from one side to the other (1.1 miles long). Best photo opportunities are when walking from the Brooklyn side back to NYC... best New York skyline photos!


Empire State Building

Located in the center of Midtown Manhattan, this world-renowned building allows you to take a ride up to the 86th and 102nd observatory floors to provide unforgettable 360° views of New York City and beyond.


Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty was a joint effort between France and the United States, intended to commemorate the lasting friendship between the peoples of the two nations. The French sculptor Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi created the statue itself out of sheets of hammered copper, while Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel, the man behind the famed Eiffel Tower, designed the statue’s steel framework. The Statue of Liberty was then given to the United States and erected atop an American-designed pedestal on a small island in Upper New York Bay, now known as Liberty Island, and dedicated by President Grover Cleveland in 1886. Over the years, the statue stood tall as millions of immigrants arrived in America via nearby Ellis Island; in 1986, it underwent an extensive renovation in honor of the centennial of its dedication. Today, the Statue of Liberty remains an enduring symbol of freedom and democracy, as well as one of the world’s most recognizable landmarks.


Central Park

Central Park is full of attractions, from green meadows to sprawling waters, gardens and unique bridges, music and performance centers, educational facilities, classical architecture and more. Its picturesque beauty boasts natural green landscapes and vistas as far as the eye can see. With 843 acres of beauty, you could spend a day strolling around this iconic park.

Tip: Top sights to see are the Bow Bridge, Bethesda Terrace, and Bethesda Fountain.


Broadway Show

Seeing a Broadway show is a must for anyone visiting New York City. But with 41 theatres showing various plays and musicals, not including off-Broadway shows, where do you start?

A Broadway show is a play or musical presented in one of 41 theatres with more than 500 seats along Broadway in Midtown Manhattan. An off-Broadway show is a play or musical presented in a Manhattan theater with between 100 and 499 seats. An off-off-Broadway venue has fewer than 100 seats.


How to get cheap Broadway tickets?

Broadway tickets can be expensive. However, there are lots of ways to get cheap or discounted Broadway tickets. From the Broadway lottery, rush tickets, ticket apps, and booths, this is how to save money on Broadway tickets:

  • Today Tix app- A free app for purchasing discounted theater tickets. However, to save even more money on Broadway tickets, make the most of Today Tix’s rush tickets and ticket lottery options.

  • How to get rush tickets? Rush tickets are released in the morning for a show that day and are sold on a first-come, first-served basis. So you have to be quick! They are often cheaper, as the theaters are selling off any unsold tickets for that day’s performance. You can’t always choose where you sit, but if you’re looking for a great discount, rush tickets are a great option. You can also get rush tickets from the theater itself, but this often means getting there really early and lining up for hours, which will eat into your vacation time. We recommend utilizing the rush tickets option on the Today Tix app.

  • How to win the ticket lottery? A ticket lottery is a cheap option, but entering doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get a ticket – you may need a backup plan if you don’t win. However, ticket lotteries are worth entering, as you could win tickets to Broadway shows like Harry Potter and the Cursed Child for as little as $40 on the Today Tix app. Or, head to the theater directly for the chance to win a ticket to Hamilton for as little as $10.

  • TKTS Booth- Visit a TKTS booth at Times Square, South Street Seaport or the Lincoln Center for same-day tickets discounted up to 50%. Head here as early as you can as the lines can get long. If you want to see a play instead of a musical, join the ‘play express’ line which is often quicker than the general line. Bear in mind that every ticket is subject to a $6 fee, but the discount should be great enough that you will still make a saving.

  • Visit New York during Broadway Week- If you plan your trip to New York for Broadway week, you can save tons of money on Broadway tickets. For a short time in January and September, you can get 2-for-1 Broadway tickets for popular plays and musicals. The next Broadway Week is September 3-16, 2019. Check the Broadway Week website from mid-August to get your tickets.

  • Don’t buy from street vendors- There are some people selling tickets on the street, especially in popular tourist areas like Times Square. Be wary of street vendors as the tickets may be fake or fraudulent. If the price sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Don’t risk wasting your money and only buy tickets from reputable sources.

  • What are the most popular Broadway musicals? If you can’t decide which show to see, consider choosing from this top five list. They’re popular for a reason! The highest-grossing Broadway musicals currently running are: The Lion King, Wicked, The Phantom of the Opera, Chicago, The Book of Mormon


Times Square

One could spend hours in Times Square shopping, people watching and being amazed by the billboards.

The ”crossroads of the world” as it is known, is jam-packed with free entertainers as well. Click HERE to view the tops things to do in Times Square and create your own self-guided tour of this area.


Metropolitan Museum of Art

Not only is the institution impossibly large, it has one of the most well-curated collections of art and artifacts anywhere in the world—spanning 5,000 years of history—including paintings, sculptures, architecture, armor, instruments, and costumes. With five stories and more than 2 million works in its permanent collection, it’s hard to see everything in a few hours, let alone a few days.


Must-See Galleries

  • The Temple of Dendur: Wind through sphinxes, coffins, and hieroglyphics in the museum’s extensive Egyptian Art collection to the Temple of Dendur in the Sackler Wing. The airy room features slanted floor-to-ceiling windows that offer stunning views of Central Park. The restored temple from Nubia (originally built about 15 BC) is in the center of the room, set on a platform surrounded by still water.

  • Medieval Sculpture Hall: The European Sculpture and Decorative Arts section includes approximately 50,000 works of art, ranging from the 15th century to the early 20th century. Among the most impressive displays are the Medieval Sculpture Hall, with a tall Spanish choir screen, tapestries, and religious sculptures.

  • European Sculpture, 1700–1900: This narrow hall, filled with natural light, contains large marble and bronze sculptures by the likes of Rodin and Canova. Bonus: you can see the red brick facade of the museum’s original building on the northern wall.

  • Period rooms: Visit 18th-century European rooms like the Varengeville Room or the Bedroom from the Sagredo Palace in the European Sculpture and Decorative Arts section. Also, don’t miss the Frank Lloyd Wright Room, reconstructed from an early-20th-century Minnesota home, in the American Wing, or the 16th-century patio from the Spanish castle of Vélez Blanco.

  • American Wing: Be sure to see Tiffany Studios’ Autumn Landscape stained-glass window, the neoclassical sculptures and the facade of the Branch Bank of the United States, with 19th-century American period rooms inside.

  • The Astor Chinese Garden Court: Take a breather in this peaceful respite in the middle of the Asian Art wing. The indoor courtyard was modeled after a well-known 17th-century garden in Suzhou, China, and was built using traditional tools by locals from the city.

  • Art of Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia and Later South Asia: The galleries in this section debuted to accolades in 2011. The revised focus on Islam showcases the full course of its civilization and influence in the form of tiles, religious objects, jewelry, arms, carpets and more carpets. Don’t miss the bright blue Mihrab (Gallery 455) and the Damascus Room (Gallery 461) reconstructed from an 18th-century Syrian home.

  • European Paintings: This large wing, among the museum’s most-visited sections, contains art from the 13th through 19th centuries with works from artists like Botticelli, Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Fragonard, Manet, Monet, Degas, and Cézanne. No biggie.

  • The Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden (mid-April–October): Visit the roof on the fifth floor to see the annual site-specific installation with a Central Park skyline view and a full bar. Past exhibits have included works by Cornelia Parker, Pierre Huyghe, and Dan Graham.

  • Washington Crossing the Delaware, by Emanuel Leutze (Gallery 760)

  • Panoramic View of the Palace and Gardens of Versailles, by John Vanderlyn (Gallery 735)

  • The Little Fourteen-Year-Old Dancer, by Edgar Degas (Gallery 815)

  • Wheat Fields with Cypresses, by Vincent van Gogh (Gallery 822)

  • Manuel Osorio Manrique de Zuñiga, by Goya (Gallery 612)

  • Madame X, by John Singer Sargent (Gallery 771)

  • Young Woman with a Water Pitcher, by Johannes Vermeer (Gallery 632)

  • Madonna and Child, by Duccio di Buoninsegna (Gallery 625)

Museum info provided by NYC The Official Guide


St Patrick’s Cathedral 

St. Patrick's Cathedral is the Mother Church of the Archdiocese of New York and the seat of the Archbishop. Located on Fifth Avenue, across from Rockefeller Center, the sanctuary is the largest Gothic Catholic cathedral in the US. This international landmark, dedicated in 1879, welcomes more than five million visitors each year. With its 330-foot spires, it is one of the City's most spectacular architectural sights.

Inside, it boasts a seating capacity of 2,400, numerous altars and stained glass windows, and a giant organ with 7,855 pipes. Services are held daily and all are welcome, visitors and worshipers alike.


National September 11 Memorial & Museum

Located at the World Trade Center in New York City, the 9/11 Memorial Museum tells the story of 9/11 through media, narratives, and a collection of monumental and authentic artifacts, presenting visitors with personal stories of loss, recovery, and hope.

TIP: The 9/11 Memorial and Museum is free after 5 pm on Tuesdays,


Grand Central Terminal

Be transported by the iconic beauty and lasting legacy of Grand Central Terminal. This historic world-famous landmark in Midtown Manhattan is not simply a transportation hub—it’s also a shopping, dining, and cultural destination with 60 shops, 35 places to eat, and a full calendar of events all under one magnificent roof.


Radio City Music Hall

A historic venue of unmatched elegance, there's no place like the Great Stage to see a show. More than 300 million people have come to the Music Hall to enjoy stage shows, movies, concerts, and special events.

Radio City Music Hall is the largest indoor theatre in the world. Its marquee is a full city-block long. Check out their current shows HERE.


New York Public Library

Loyally guarded by 'Patience' and 'Fortitude' (the marble lions overlooking Fifth Ave), this beaux-arts show-off is one of NYC's best free attractions.

When dedicated in 1911, New York’s flagship library ranked as the largest marble structure ever built in the US, and to this day its recently restored Rose Main Reading Room steals the breath away with its lavish coffered ceiling.


Fifth Avenue

One of the most luxurious stretches of retail in the country, Fifth Avenue is the main artery of New York City's shopping scene, having welcomed a steady stream of fashion mavens for over 100 years.


Museum of Modern Art

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is not only devoted to presenting the best in contemporary art, but also to promoting the understanding of modern art and expanding the definition of what is considered art in the first place. Whether it's showing you something you've never seen before, or showing you how to see something familiar in a new way, MoMA is always an eye- and mind-opening experience.


Frick Collection

Tucked inside an 18th-century New York mansion that once belonged to steel tycoon Henry Clay Frick, this robust art collection features works that span from the Renaissance to the end of the 19th century. While here, you can admire the works of renowned artists like Manet, Vermeer, Rembrandt, Goya, Degas, and Turner, among other masters.


Coney Island

Known as the "The People's Playground," this is a famous amusement area in Brooklyn


The Guggenheim

One of the most well-known art museums in the country, it's just as renowned for its cutting-edge design as it is for its pieces. Inside, the halls are full of some of Norman Rockwell's, Pablo Picasso's and Wassily Kandinsky's best works.


Ellis Island

For 62 years, this was the United States' main immigration entry point and many U.S. citizens have at least one ancestor who passed through here. You can get a glimpse of Ellis Island (north of Liberty Island and the Statue of Liberty) when you stand on the shores of Battery Park in Lower Manhattan.


Apollo Theater 

One of the most famous music halls in the United States, "the Apollo" started as a burlesque theater in 1914. By the 1930s, it transformed into a concert hall that helped launch the career of several musicians, including Ella Fitzgerald, Michael Jackson (with the Jackson 5) and Stevie Wonder, who all performed on the Apollo stage during an Amateur Night competition.


Metropolitan Opera House

Stroll through the courtyard of the Metropolitan Opera House even if you're not going inside for a performance. Every element of this opulent building – from the limestone architecture to the lobby's glittering chandelier, to the acoustics in the concert hall – is gorgeous.


The Back Room

Step back in time to experience this authentic prohibition bar from the 1920s. The decor, atmosphere, music, and people dancing will transport you back to the Gatsby era!



Christmas in New York City

Does any city celebrate Christmas better than New York City? With epic holiday attractions that transform skyscrapers and city sights into a magical, twinkling landscape, it’s hard to argue with its legendary status as the place to ring in the holiday season.


Rockefeller Plaza

Rockefeller Plaza is the capital of Christmas in NYC. A larger-than-life Christmas tree adorns the plaza. Right in front of it all is The Rink, the most iconic place to skate during Christmas in NYC. It’s also the busiest. They only let 150 people on the rink at a time. As a result, the rink isn’t crowded. However, the lines are long. Bring your Christmas cheer and embrace the experience.

Tip: The Starlight Skate lets you reserve the last skate of the night, beginning at 10:30 pm.



Radio City Christmas Spectacular

The Radio City Rockettes are an undeniable part of any celebration during Christmas in NYC. The high-kicking chorus line combines with classic numbers like the “Parade of Wooden Soldiers” for a sensational 90-minute show. This iconic Christmas show sells out fast.  Get your tickets for the as soon as possible to secure your seat.

Tip: There’s no intermission at this show, so if you’re bringing the kids, remember to plan accordingly.


5th Avenue Window Displays

Take a stroll 5th avenue, from 34th street to 58th street, to view storefronts festooned with holiday décor. Retailers such as Macy’s and Barney’s are known for their legendary displays. This route can also take upwards of two hours. As a result, it’s also wise to dress warmly and comfortably. Grab a cup of coffee or hot chocolate to keep you warm and awake for this festive window tour.

The impressive window dressings are unveiled around Thanksgiving each year.

Tip: They’re best seen at night, so make this an after-dark activity.


Top holiday window displays to see:

  • Saks Fifth Avenue

  • Lord & Taylor

  • Macy's

  • Bloomingdale's

  • Henri Bendel

  • Bergdorf Goodman

  • Barneys

  • Hermes


The Nutcracker

The New York City Ballet’s The Nutcracker is simply enchanting. Featuring some of the most elite dancers anywhere along with marching toy soldiers and a one-ton Christmas tree, this show is the highlight of the holiday season. Accordingly, tickets do sell out so reserve yours now! Performances available November 29 through January 5, 2020.

Tip: Get the orchestra middle seating for unobstructed views.


Bank of America Winter Village

This Winter Village in Bryant Park is a one-stop holiday haven. Opening noon on Thursday, October 31, you don’t want to miss it. You can ice skate around the rink, with the New York Public Library in the background. Then, do some holiday shopping at nearby markets. Before you go, warm up with a cup of hot chocolate and seasonal treats from food vendors. As a bonus, it’s free to enter Winter Village and the rink is free. However, it is $20 to rent skates (or bring your own).

Tip: Dine at Public Fare, a pop-up cafe that compliments Winter Village, for seasonal food and cocktails.


New York Botanical Gardens Holiday Train Show

The Holiday Train Show is a Christmas tradition in NYC. More than 20 miniature model trains wind through 150 iconic New York City landmarks, creating an outstanding replica of the five boroughs. The display is open November 23, 2019, through January 26, 2020.

TipAdvance tickets are highly recommended.


Giant Christmas Ornaments

Across the city, you can also find Giant Christmas Ornaments decorating city blocks. Standouts include giant red ornament balls on 6th Avenue near Radio City Music Hall, as well as large vintage-style Christmas light bulbs in front of the McGraw-Hill building at 1221 6th Avenue.


Dyker Heights Neighborhood

Travel to Brooklyn to see a state-of-the-art neighborhood light show unlike any other. Now in its 10th year, the Dyker Heights tour has become somewhat of a legend. Likewise, it’s getting bigger and better every year. 30-foot toy soldiers, illuminated nativity scenes, Santa in his sleigh. The residents of this neighborhood never fail to impress. Through the end of December, you can see the sights on foot or go on a guided bus tour.

Tip: The best light displays are on 80th to 86th streets, between 10th and 13th avenues.


Rolfs

The holiday season in New York City isn’t complete without a visit to Rolf’s, Gramercy’s Christmas paradise. The German restaurant has become known for its over-the-top decorations, rife with thousands of ornaments and twinkling lights, and the overflowing lines of people waiting to get in to take pictures with them.

Tip: Go for the Christmas atmosphere and enjoy a cup of eggnog. Locals say their food is underwhelming.


Santaland at Macy’s

Macy’s holiday window displays aren’t the only thing to see at this department store. Come inside to visit Santaland, a magnificent showcase of all things Christmas. Holiday trees, elves, toy trains, snow and even Santa himself make an appearance. At this winter wonderland, it’s hard not to feel like a kid again.

Tip: As far as crowds go, it’s best to avoid the weekends.


Ice Skating in Central Park

Skating at Wollman Rink in Central Park is a beloved tradition of New York locals. Likewise, it’s a must-do for any out-of-towner. The public rink, with a location on 62nd and 63rd Streets, is framed by the twinkling New York City Skyline. This alone makes it a romantic place to lace up and hit the ice.

Tip: Enter at Central Park South, 59th Street, and 6th Avenue. From here, Wollman Rink access is a two-minute walk.


Union Square Holiday Market

Internationally renowned, the Union Square Holiday Market is an excellent place to do your holiday shopping. A vast selection of craftsmen and artists create a unique assortment of gifts sure to catch your eye. Moreover, the items are of high quality and affordable. Keep in mind, the market opens on November 21 and closes on December 24, 2019.

Tip: Bring cash for vendor purchases. Not all are credit card friendly.



BEST PLACES TO EAT IN NEW YORK CITY


Clinton St. Baking Company

American Classics made with the highest quality ingredients, locally sourced. Voted “Best pancakes & waffles” in NYC. Serves pancakes all day!


Katz Deli

Established in 1888, This legendary deli serves delectable sandwiches, platters, and meats. They only select the best cuts of beef for our corned beef, pastrami, brisket, and other fine foods. Their corned beef and pastrami are cured using a slower method, which best flavors the meat, without injecting chemicals, water, or other additives to speed the process.

Our finished product can take up to a full 30 days to cure, while commercially prepared corned beef is often pressure-injected (or "pumped") to cure in 36 hours.

Tip: Anthony Bourdain recommends the Pastrami sandwich here.


Daily Provisions

Neighborhood coffee shop, bakery, and sandwich shop. Highly recommend the Egg, Sausage, Gouda Sammy, and for a sweet treat: a Crueller-Best Donut!



Best Bagel and Coffee

Specializes in offering hand-rolled bagels baked daily on the premises with all-natural flavors. Featuring only the freshest and high-quality ingredients available, also providing fresh salads, iced drinks, soups, sandwiches, and fresh pastries.


Juliana's Pizza

Rated #1 Pizza in Brooklyn! Deliciously thin crusts hosting only the finest housemade, locally and internationally-sourced toppings, expertly turned inside the original hand-built coal-fired oven. The owners previously started the hottest pizza joint, Grimaldi's and now opened Juliana's.


P.J. Clarke's

Established in 1884, it's the perfect location when attending a show at the Lincoln Center.

The cheeseburger is said to be the “Cadillac of burgers” by Nat King Cole in the 1950s. Recommend ordering the Fish tacos for appetizer and their famous cheeseburger.


Giano

This Michelin starred Italian restaurant spans from Italy to New York. Within the first 6 months of opening in NYC, this restaurant earned 2 Michelin stars and has been voted the Best Italian food in NYC! The owner is from Milan and offers hospitality and passion with his creations on the menu. Make sure to save room for dessert! His Tiramisu is rated #1 in the US. Reserve a table here.


Up Thai

Savory Thai classics and surprising signature dishes.

Feed your soul. Calm your senses. Refresh your palette.

Upscale Thai street food on the Upper East Side.


Ippudo New York

With thousands of possible flavors and varieties, ramen is unique in that each dish is born from a chef’s individual and free, unconstrained idea and concept. Known as the Japanese “soul food,” a bowl of ramen contains that special something—the trifecta of soup, noodles, and toppings—that brings forth the cosmos and transcends all culinary ethnicities and nationalities.

The basic ramen broth is derived from the essence of pork, chicken, beef or seafood, and is seasoned with soy sauce, salt, miso, and other various ingredients, depending on the chef’s personal preference. The noodles are made with flour, eggs, kansui (alkaline water that provides a chewy texture), among other ingredients, and can vary greatly in thickness, length, form, and texture. Toppings such as chashu (simmered pork) and tamago (flavored boiled egg) are also commonly used, as well as several vegetables like sweet corn, bean sprouts or dried seaweed. This authentic Japanese restaurant has 40+ locations in Japan and serves delicious ramen!


NAYA

A modern Lebanese-Mediterranean Mezze and Grill serving traditional Lebanese fare in a contemporary setting. NAYA is a combination of old and new; pure tradition mixed with innovation.

Building upon the original techniques and recipes of older generations of Lebanese women, NAYA offers the same respected delicacies from mezze to salads to perfectly char-grilled and seasoned barbecue meats, creating a taste that is exclusively NAYA.


Eileen's Special Cheesecake

From locals to visitors from around the world, Eileen’s Special Cheesecake is a fan favorite, with a constant line out the door of eager cheesecake lovers ready to savor their favorite flavor.

Each cheesecake is handmade at the original downtown bakery, with quality ingredients. Light and creamy texture with the perfect balance of sweet and tangy, hand-pressed graham cracker crusts, flavorful fruit compotes, and top-notch ingredients make Eileen’s cheesecakes special and a premium product. Eileen’s Cheesecakes are the quintessential NYC dessert. Every Eileen’s Cheesecake is made with love and captures the heart and soul of this family’s passion for cheesecake in every bite.