Popular Travel Cities: "Never a dull Moment" New York City

 

Why New York City?
 
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New York City is where it's at. Center of the world. The place to be. There is no superlative that wouldn't fit for this exceptional city.

New York City offers diversions for everyone: walking tours for the budget-minded. Exclusive clubs for night owls. Broadway shows, comedy clubs.  Bargain markets and luxuries stores. There are enough points of interest to cover several trips, making New York a popular return destination.

New York is full of surprises. Ride the subway and you may run into a great band playing just for your pleasure. Hang out at Times Square at any time of day or night and you can see a cross section of the country's weirdoes and curmudgeons. Be on the lookout for street closures and AV Equipment trucks – this often means a movie or a show is being filmed! Check entertainment listings and you may catch your favorite performer. If you like to travel, at least one of your trips should be to New York.




 

The Vibe
 
NY_timessquare_enNew York is fast, hectic, and in-your-face. The taxi ride from the airport into the city is a first introduction into the controlled recklessness that characterizes this city that is always a step ahead: New York taxis drive to their own archaic code but have TV screens advertising the latest shows. New York has incredible energy that is contagious. Many visitors report returning home on a "New York high" - ecstatic, active, and re-energized. This busy city does not stop for tourists: what you see in New York is daily life, often with world politics in the making. Watch brokers rushing through wall street, attorneys at the steps of the court building, or diplomats driving up to the United Nations complex. Even so, tourists will feel welcome. Despite its population, New York is remarkably well organized, with numerous venues for visitors: city tours in several languages, information booths, brochures. In general, the people are friendly and welcoming. Yes, there is always an exception and you may experience the snootiness New Yorkers are famous for. Look at it as part of the adventure. Oh, and don't stand in the way of the crowds that rush through the city.

 

The Night Vibe
 
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New York, the city that never sleeps. And no, it doesn't - hang out at Times Square at 2 in the morning and you know what they are saying.

New York must be one of the brightest night cities on the planet. Downtown is alive with fabulous entertainment. There are theaters, clubs, restaurants, private parties... all of it brightly lit.

When in New York City, you MUST take in at least one performance at a theater or other local venue. There is no other way to take in the incredible atmosphere of expectation and excitement. If you score tickets to Madison Square garden, your perfect evening is almost guaranteed.

Or, if you don't want to spend the money, walk along broadway in the evening: street performers, limousines, and interesting characters provide their own kind of entertainment only found in New York - completely free of charge.

Note: If you are a stranger in New York, don't take chances in dark alleys or other no-go zones at night. The entertainment featured there may not be to your liking.

Photo: Unexpected entertainment in the subway


 

 

Where to hang out and/or book Accommodation
 
NY_TopView_enNew York has a huge selection of hotels to choose from. Since most attractions are centered in and around Manhattan, with excellent transportation, any location will be good: ·         Times Square with its electronic billboards and crowds is the very essence of New York. Many attractions are in walking distance, and city tours start in the vicinity. ·         Chinatown combines an exotic experience with a modern city. It's a bargain hunter's paradise. Great place to purchase ‘knock-off’ products such as designer watches, purses and sunglasses. ·         New Jersey is an attractive alternative to Manhattan if you want to save on hotel costs. TIP: no sales tax on clothing and shoes on the Jersey side.  Check out the shopping outlets! ·         Brooklyn and Queens: cheaper alternative for accommodation. With their numerous ethnic neighborhoods and architectural styles, these boroughs are worth a visit on their own. ·         Staten Island – inexpensive but charming accommodation can be found here, including Bed and Breakfast’s. 

 

New York City in a day or longer
 
NY_guggenheim_enDay visit: - If you have just one day, an organized city tour is the best way to see the most important sights. You can view available tours on line and book in advance (recommended). 3 to 4 days (long weekend, for example):

Based on the number of days you have in NYC, decide what attractions are must-sees for you (i.e.: Central Park, Ground Zero, shopping in SoHo, 5th Ave, etc, museums such as MOMA or the Guggenheim, etc.). 

Once you decide what those are, simply arrange your sightseeing in the general area of the attraction.  For example, want to see Strawberry Fields?  Then why not plan on spending half a day touring Central park, and possibly a few hours at The Met (although one can spend DAYS in this museum and still not see everything!) or the Guggenheim. 

Divide your days in sections (i.e.: morning, afternoon, evening) and spend each part of the day exploring one area.  Maps of Manhattan as well as updated subway maps are absolutely essential.  Subway maps are available at most subway stops.

Photo: Guggenheim Museum



 

Recommended travel guides
 
Arm yourself with a good quality guide. Highly recommended is Michelin Green Guide.



 

The Underbelly
 
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New York City is generally safe for visitors
. Take the usual precautions you would in any strange city. Don't venture into neighborhoods and don't visit places that are declared off-limits by travel-guides and hotel concierges.

Ticket scalpers: These are prevalent in the theater district and other venues such as Madison Square Garden. They are seldom aggressive or dangerous; a simple No suffices if you are approached.

Before deciding to buy tickets from a stranger on the street, make sure you know the prices especially for discounted tickets.

Being approached to exchange money, buy cheap cigarettes etc.: not recommended. Some people who thought they got a better exchange rate ended up with counterfeit notes.

Every large city has its dark corners, dangerous areas, no-go zones. Don't take chances in New York City.

 



 

Special tips
 
NY_performers_en- To avoid line-ups, order tickets for popular attractions such as Madame Tussaud's wax museum or Ripley's before your trip online.  This is also a good idea for very popular Broadway shows. - Check out the playlists at Madison Square Garden or Radio City Hall - you may find a surprise performance by a famous artist. - New York is full of surprises - take your camera everywhere.  You never know when you will bump into a celebrity or history in the making. - Can’t afford first run Broadway shows?  Then check out the many wonderful offerings Off Broadway!  Simply check the New York times (paper or online version) on what’s currently playing at which Off Broadway theater. - If you are spending at least 3 days in NYC, purchase a multi-day subway pass.  These are sold in all the major subway stops.  It’s nice not having to scrounge for change every day, and these cards give you unlimited access. - For great cheap dining, head to Chinatown or the neighboring Little Italy.  Most restaurants post their menus outside so you can quickly decide if a particular restaurant suits your tastes and/or budget.

- If you’re travelling with kids, consider spending a day at the Bronx Zoo.  This world famous zoo will entertain both young and old for hours!  The Zoo is accessible via subway.


Photo: Some of the unique characters found in this city
(All photos by TravelAdmin)



 

 

 

New York City hotels - Quicklist
 

TravelAdmin's note about Hotel Quicklists:
At present, only a small selection of hotels is featured here - we are working on a system where hotels will be listed in columns you can sort by name, star rating, and location. Coming later this year!

Marriott Marquis Hotel, 1535 Broadway

Upscale hotel right on Times Square that is not unaffordable. Has most services that are expected from a hotel of this class. Highly recommended. Even if not staying here, make sure to have a drink in its lounge on the 8th floor that overlooks Times Square! Pros/Cons:
Especially during popular times, it can be hard to get a room at this hotel. Also, not all rooms look out directly at Times Square.

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Paramount hotel, West 46th street

Quirky boutique hotel just around the corner from Times Square. Has an inviting lobby, a restaurant for breakfast and a pleasant bar. The information desk is helpful and friendly.

Pros/Cons:
Rooms are extremely small and may not be suitable for longer stays. However, they are clean and have adequate bathrooms.

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Harbour House Bed and Breakfast, Staten Island

Harbor House Bed & Breakfast at New York Harbor is a well-priced alternative and a quick 8-minute bus ride/25-minute ferry ride from Manhattan.

Pros/Cons:
This is a lovely old house with charming rooms and gracious hosts, but you do need to plan your days carefully since the hotel is approx 1/2 hour from Manhattan.

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Hilton Garden Inn, Secaucus, New Jersey

Charming hotel in New Jersey, 3 miles from Manhattan and easily accessible by a 15-minute ride on a New Jersey Transit Bus to the Port Authority Terminal (Times Square) with connections to the subway.

Pros/Cons:
Expected Hilton quality at very affordable rates and free parking, but be sure to specifically ask for non-smoking rooms if you do not smoke.

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Pan American Hotel, Queens

First class hotel centrally located on Queens Boulevard with free transfers from JFK and LaGuardia Airports. Easy access to all sections of New York City by public bus and subway transport (10 to 15 minutes from Manhattan).

Pros/Cons:
A reasonably priced full-service family hotel located in a very safe neighborhood, and a great alternative to pricey Manhattan hotels.