The inspiration for countless great works of film, literature and music, the Big Apple can proudly count itself amongst the world’s truly great cities – no wonder some New Yorkers are only half joking when they refer to it as ‘the centre of the universe’.
Home to over 8m people from every background and nationality imaginable, the city itself is divided into five boroughs – Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and The Bronx – each with their own distinctive vibe and cultural flavour. Simply put, New York is a 24-hour city of contrast that prides itself on genuine diversity and having something for everyone.
Perhaps the most famous landmark in the city is the Statue of Liberty that stands tall against the city’s harbour. A beacon of hope for immigrants arriving on American shores to escape famine and poverty in search of a new life, the Statue of Liberty symbolises the great dream of American freedom. As the song says, “If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere”, and the New York of today still attracts people in their thousands willing to roll the dice and chase their dreams in the big city. You need only feel the urgency of Grand Central Station or the neon buzz of night-time Times Square to realise you’re somewhere very special indeed. Then of course there’s the bright lights of Broadway where you can see world famous stage productions, such as The Lion King. Many of New York’s attractions are covered by the New York Pass: a fantastic way of saving money without missing out.
Whilst the more traditional tourist attractions are sure to be must-sees for visitors, the diversity of New York means that it’s also easy to blend in with the crowd and experience the city like a New Yorker. For some this means a trip to Coney Island’s famous amusements, whilst others may prefer the trendy, bohemian feel of Brooklyn. You might even find yourself seeking out the African American music and culture in Harlem! Of course, no trip to New York is complete without a sobering trip to view The National 9/11 Memorial.
Whichever way you choose to enjoy the city, the iconic subway system makes everything easily accessible by simply purchasing a MetroCard and refilling as you go. If you’re new to the city, Midtown East is a great place to start. The location of world famous landmarks such as the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center and Chrysler Building, Midtown East is a good place to get your bearings – and thanks to New York’s grid system, the whole city is extremely easy to navigate. Quite simply, the Big Apple has never been sweeter!