What to do
- Worth the detour
- Must see
New York City, the "Big Apple", needs no introduction. Through movies, music and pop culture, New York City has become part of the popular imagination: even those who have never been there feel they know it. New York City is the most dynamic and exciting city in America, a fast-paced centre of fashion, finance, architecture, publishing, fine dining, performing and visual arts, and more.
Visit its world-class museums, go shopping in its upscale boutiques, explore its unique neighbourhoods, visit its iconic landmarks and tourist attractions, see the famous yellow taxicabs and the bright neon signs in Times Square.
Welcome to the lungs of New York City, located between Upper East Side and Upper West Side. This vast urban oasis more than 4 km long by 1 km wide is a favourite destination for locals and attracts millions of visitors every year.
Attractions include a number of playgrounds for children, a carousel, a zoo, plazas, gardens, rolling meadows, lakes, fountains, terraces, a skating rink, wide promenades, a running track and walking paths, and much more.
UPPER WEST SIDE
American Museum of Natural History
The American Museum of Natural History is one of the largest museums in the world, and is internationally known for its research. The museum collections contain over 32 million specimens of plants, humans, animals, fossils, minerals, rocks, meteorites, and human cultural artifacts. Be sure to visit the exceptional Cultural Halls and Fossil Halls, and the spectacular avant-garde planetarium.
Open Wednesday-Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (closed at Thanksgiving and Christmas Day).
UPPER EAST SIDE
The Upper East Side is one of the most affluent neighborhoods in New York City, where wealthy industrialists such as Andrew Carnegie and many of New York's old upper-class families built stylish mansions and townhouses along 5th Avenue. Fashionable bourgeois ladies followed suit, moving onto the celebrated Park Avenue and other nearby streets. Some of these mansions now house major cultural institutions.
Metropolitain Museum of Art
"The Met" is one of the city's finest attractions. It houses more than two million works of art from classical antiquity and Ancient Egypt, paintings and sculptures from nearly all the European masters, American and modern art, and European Sculpture and Decorative Arts. Its collections span 5,000 years of world culture, divided among 19 departments. Navigating the thousands of works on view can be daunting: we recommend focusing on one exhibition hall or collection.
Open Sunday-Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Closed on Thanksgiving (4th Thursday in November), December 25 and January 1.
5th Avenue (between 34th and 57th)
The iconic 5th Avenue was nicknamed "Millionaire's Row" in the 19th century after the very rich of New York, including Astor and Vanderbilt, began building mansions there. It is now lined with some of the most prestigious buildings in New York City, including the New York Public Library, the Empire State Building and St. Patrick's Cathedral, and flagship stores such as Macy’s and Saks Fifth Avenue. A walk along 5th Avenue is a must!
MoMa (Museum of Modern Art)
The New York Museum of Modern Art is one of the most respected cultural institutions in the world. It houses an impressive collection of photographs, sculptures, drawings, paintings, architectural models and drawings, and design objects. It also boasts the largest international film collection in the United States. A guided tour is an excellent way to discover its treasures.
Open daily from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and until 7 p.m. on Saturdays.
Rockefeller Center, a complex of nineteen skyscrapers and commercial buildings in the centre of Midtown Manhattan, is like a small city. It contains the most famous ice rink in the world (from October to April, 9 a.m. to midnight), a magnificent garden, sculptures and artwork, NBC TV studios, and Radio City Music Hall.
For a 360-degree panoramic view of New York City, make your way up to the 70th floor to the Top of the Rock (daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.), where three floors of indoor and outdoor observation decks offer stunning panoramas of the city!
Times Square is THE place to visit in New York City. This part of the city never sleeps; brightly adorned with animated neon and LED billboards and advertisements, Times Square is at its most spectacular after dark.
About a million revelers gather here every December 31st to ring in the New Year and watch the iconic Times Square Ball drop. With its crowds of people and bustling "bright lights, big city" atmosphere, your visit to Times Square is sure to be memorable!
New York Public Library / STEPHEN A. SCHWARZMAN BUILDING
The New York Public Library is one of the world's great research libraries. The marble building's interior is simply stunning. You can ask about the day's events and visit the DeWitt Wallace Periodical Room, which features magnificent wood paneling and 13 Richard Haas murals. The world-renowned pair of marble lions that proudly flank the steps leading up to the building are called Patience and Fortitude.
Open Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5:45 p.m., Tuesday-Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 7:45 p.m. and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.
Completed in 1930, this 77-storey skyscraper was commissioned by automobile magnate Walter P. Chrysler, who wanted to build the tallest building in the city. It was the world's tallest building for 11 months before it was surpassed by the Empire State Building with its 102 floors. Its Art Deco design, stainless steel structure and slender tower make the Chrysler building one of the city's most recognizable landmarks.
Open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Macy’s flagship store in Herald Square is easily the most impressive store in New York City. It is 10 storeys tall and covers an entire city block! Macy's is noted for its elaborate animated holiday window displays and its famous Thanksgiving Parade (4th Thursday in November) with enormous helium balloons in the shape of pop-culture characters.
Open Friday-Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Sunday and Monday until 9 p.m.) and Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Empire State Building
The Empire State Building is an American cultural icon, the most popular building in New York and its second-tallest building at 443 metres. The 86th-floor observation deck provides unforgettable 360° views of New York City and beyond, up to 130 kilometres on a clear day. Arrive early to avoid long lineups!
Open daily all year round. You can book your tickets online.
One of New York City's most famous landmarks, the Flatiron Building got its name because of its unusual triangular shape.
Completed in 1902, it is situated at the intersection of 5th Avenue and Broadway. The building is 22 stories tall but only 1.8 metres wide on its narrowest side.
The coolest "village" in New York City was once a separate village, hence its name. With the arrival of many artists, painters, writers and poets in the early 1900s, the area acquired a reputation as an enclave of avant-garde and alternative culture and still retains a relaxed, artistic vibe. Bob Dylan was a longtime Village resident, and it was in the Village that Johnny Hallyday met Ralph DiPietro and Joey Gréco, who would play guitar with Joey and the Showmen, in 1964.
Bounded by 14th Street (north), Broadway (east), Houston Street (south) and the Hudson River (west).
In the 1950s, the low-rent East Village became a refuge for writers, poets, artists, and students of the famous "Beat Generation". The living conditions were dismal, which was an added attraction for adherents of this countercultural movement. Nowadays, the neighborhood has become gentrified but still possesses a lively bohemian spirit. The many restaurants, trendy cafes, bars and artsy shops on 2nd Avenue and St. Mark’s Place offer great opportunities to hang out and do some people-watching.
Bounded by 14th Street (north), the East River (east), Houston Street (south) and 3rd Avenue (west).
SoHo was part of a grant of farmland given to freed slaves in 1644, making it the first community of free African Americans on the Island of Manhattan. Today, SoHo is known as a dynamic neighbourhood with many artists' lofts and art galleries, upscale boutiques and discount stores, and has become one of New York City's most popular shopping areas, especially on weekends. The name "SoHo" refers to the area being "South of Houston Street".
Bounded by Houston Street (north), Bowery Street (east), Canal Street (south) and 6th Avenue (west).
Thousands of Italian immigrants settled in this neighbourhood between 1880 and 1920. Its principal thoroughfare, Mulberry Street, is heavily associated with Italian-American culture and history and is lined with Italian restaurants.
Bounded by Kenmare Street (north), Mott Street (east), Canal Street (south) and Lafayette Street (west).
Manhattan's Chinatown is the largest Chinese community in the Western Hemisphere, and the oldest outside of Asia. To walk the streets of Chinatown is a delightful cultural experience, with its exotic food stands, street markets, amazing Chinese and Asian restaurants, Chinese grocers and shops offering all manner of Chinese wares.
Bounded by Canal Street (north) Essex Street (east), Worth Street (south) and Broadway (west).
9/11 Memorial & Museum
The 9/11 Memorial Museum commemorating the September 11th, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center opened its doors on May 21, 2014. The museum tells the story of the events of 9/11 through artifacts that range in scale from the monumental to the intimate, as well as through first-person accounts and multimedia displays. The 9/11 Memorial consists of two enormous reflecting pools set in the footprints of the Twin Towers. Each pool is about an acre in size; 30-foot waterfalls cascade down all sides. Hundreds of white oak trees line the surrounding plaza.
Reservation required for the museum (actually open daily, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.). Access to the memorial is free (daily from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.)
Named for an actual earthen wall built by the Dutch in 1653 to protect their New Amsterdam settlement from Native Americans and English settlers, Wall Street extends about 2 km from Broadway and East River.
Today, Wall Street is a worldwide symbol of high finance and investment. It is home to many financial institutions and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), the largest stock exchange in the world).
Statue of Liberty
One of the most famous American icons and a symbol of New York City, the Statue of Liberty was a gift from the French people to the people of the United States as a symbol of international friendship, in honor of the Centennial of American Independence. Unveiled in 1886, Liberty Enlightening the World was made in Paris by the French sculptor Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi, in collaboration with engineer Alexandre Gustave Eiffel. She stands 46 metres tall and weighs more than 225 tons. Lady Liberty's observation deck offers spectacular views of New York City. It is also possible to climb the stairs to an observation platform in the figure's crown - tickets must be booked in advance.
Open daily except December 25, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Last entrance is at 3:30 p.m.
Note that the ferry for Liberty Island is run by Statue Cruises and leaves from Battery Park. As the same ferry continues on to Ellis Island, it is a good idea to plan to visit both islands on the same day. A New York Water Taxi daytime or night cruise is another great way to enjoy stunning views of the statue and the New York City skyline.
Ellis Island Immigration Museum
As the gateway for more than 12 million immigrants to the United States between 1892 and 1954, Ellis Island is one of the most meaningful historic sites in New York. After crossing the Atlantic, new arrivals were taken to Ellis Island for immigration processing. Following a medical examination and a legal inspection, they were either allowed to enter the country, detained for further review, or sent home. With more than 30 rooms displaying some 5,000 historic artifacts, video clips and recordings, the Ellis Island Immigration Museum tells the fascinating story of American immigration.
Open daily except December 25. Last entrance is at 3:30 p.m.
Helicopter sightseeing tour (Duration: 15 minutes)
The best way to view all of New York City's most captivating sights is from the sky. This popular sightseeing tour provides awe-inspiring views of the Big Apple’s most iconic landmarks. As you soar above the famous Hudson River you will fly right by the magnificent Statue of Liberty in all her glory.
You will also see the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, George Washington Bridge and Central Park. Take the first flight of the day (around 9 a.m.) to avoid long lineups!
Liberty Helicopters, New York
Where to eat
- $ Inexpensive
- $$ Moderate
- $$$ Upscale
- $$$$ Fine dining
Burger Joint ($-$$)
Tucked inside the lobby of the upscale Le Parker Meridien hotel, this hidden gem looks more like a Midwest burger joint than a luxury New York hotel restaurant. The pared-down menu offers only hamburgers, cheeseburgers, fries, pickles and drinks. Be warned: at peak times, the queue is long and so are the wait times.
Open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. No reservation possible.
Le Bernardin ($$$$)
Le Bernardin, situated in Times Square, is one of New York City's most acclaimed restaurants. French chef Eric Ripert is at the helm of this restaurant, which has held the New York Times highest rating of 4 stars for the past 25 years.
Open for lunch and dinner from Monday to Saturday. You can reserve online.
West Village / Greenwich Village
Red Farm ($$-$$$)
This destination from dim sum master chef Joe Ng aims to be one of the most exciting and influential restaurants in the country. Red Farm brings a greenmarket sensibility to modern and inventive Chinese food. Signature items include clever dim sum creations and small plates: Pac Man dumplings; yuzu wasabi shrimp; mushroom spring rolls; and a grilled vegetable salad that mimics a garden plot. Main dishes include a chicken hot pot, remarkably tender marinated rib steak with steamed baby bok choy and spicy steamed sea bass.
Open Tuesday-Friday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Sushi Nakazawa ($$$$)
A meal at the counter of Chef is a guided tour of the potential of simple seafood on rice to amaze. With subtle fine-tunings of temperature and seasoning, each perfectly handcrafted piece of sushi is the kind of sense-filling experience you wish could last and last. The restaurant's decor is not particularly Japanese, but the sublime food and flawless service more than make up for it.
Open daily from 11:45 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Mighty Quinn’s Barbeque ($$)
Mighty Quinn's Barbeque borrows from two great barbecue traditions: Texas and the Carolinas. The process begins with the best, all-natural meats and poultry, seasoned with perfect spice blends and then smoked with wood for many, many hours until the perfect harmony of smoke, flavor and time emerges. The food is steeped in tradition but given new life.
Open Sunday-Thursday from noon a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday-Saturday from noon to 9:30 p.m.
Dominique Ansel Bakery ($$)
Do you know the Cronut pastry? It is the unique creation by French pastry chef Dominique Ansel that many have described to be a croissant-doughnut hybrid. If you visit the Soho district, stop by and try one of these beauties, which can take up to three days to make. There is only one flavour of Cronut every month!
Open Monday-Saturday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Joe’s Shangai ($)
Immediately after the first Joe's Shanghai opened it doors, its two special soup dumplings became a New York favorite. Other special dishes include Spicy Szechuan Style Sliced Beef; Crispy Jumbo Prawns with Lime Sauce; Braised Duck and Braised Pork Shoulders. One of the most popular Chinese restaurants in all of Chinatown!
Open daily from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Food Trucks: Street food is a real New York City institution. Here are 2 food trucks you won't want to miss (note that they change locations every day):
Luke’s Lobster Truck: Seafood and lobster rolls.
Wafels & Dinges: Sweet and savoury waffles
***The schedules may be subject to change.***
Where to sleep ?
When to visit
- Very Favourable
- Very Favourable