The city that never sleeps is surely one of the world’s most iconic metropolises, offering a diverse mix of cultures, attractions and world-famous sights. And it’s true what they say – if you can make it here…
6 hours in… New York
There are of course, a huge number of culturally significant architectural sites in New York, and for the majority of people arriving in the city who have never visited before, the Statue of Liberty is a must. If you’re not content with viewing it from your ship, then the Staten Island ferry will take you there for free. The Empire State Building is another must-see, but the best views of the city are to be had from the Rockefeller Centre’s ‘Top of the World’ observation deck, which as you may have guessed, is pretty high up.
The neon wonderland of Time Square is arguably the city’s most celebrated cultural hub and the stuff of New York big-screen legend, where you’ll find shopping and entertainment options galore, as well as all the latest fashion trends. Fifth Avenue meanwhile, is the place for that upmarket boutique experience and a golden opportunity for people-watching, if the budget won’t stretch to a label-heavy spree. For an altogether more poignant cultural experience, the 9/11 Memorial honours the almost 3,000 people who lost their lives in the 2001 and 1993, where visitors can pause for reflection at the two huge pools which were once the places where the World Trade Centre’s twin towers stood.
Think of greenery in New York and you can’t fail to picture the huge famous rectangle of leafy abundance that is Central Park and it’s the nearest place for fans of the outdoors to escape the hustle-bustle of the city. It is in itself one of the city’s most famous attractions and though it can’t claim to be natural (it is in fact entirely man-made), it’s a master class in landscaping, offering all manner of forests, gardens lakes, lawns and features. Take a stroll, or even a horse cart ride through the park, have a picnic, even feed the ducks! For animal lovers, there is of course Central Park Zoo, home to more than 1,400 species of animals, including a number of rare birds; it’s a real natural oasis in the city and a great way to get closer to nature while still being in the heart of the metropolis.
Can’t keep away?
Broadway, billboards, glitz, glamour, neon lights – New York is the place for dinner and a show, so if you find yourself back in the city that never sleeps with a night or two to enjoy, stay up late and take in one of the many performances on offer in theatre land. There are so many shows to choose from, so no matter what floats your boat theatrically, this is certainly the place to dive in. During their runs, many of these shows are some of the city’s biggest tourist attractions but if your budget can’t stretch to attending a performance, it’s enough just to walk around and soak up the bustling atmosphere, and who knows, you may even catch sight of someone famous and not necessarily a star who’s performing on stage – this is New York after all! As well as the theatres, there’s a huge choice when it comes to dining and most of the restaurants open late to cater for the theatre-going public.
Don’t even bother!
If you can, try to avoid eating at the well-known chain restaurants that you’d find back home. Try something new! You’re in New York for goodness sake and there’s plenty to choose from!
Also, don’t forget that New York is much bigger than just Times Square. There are so many charming districts and vibrant areas to explore – so branch out and discover the hidden gems of this great city.