When to visit
- Very Favourable
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... A visit to New York City is an experience you won't forget!
WHAT TO DO
* = Interesting ** = worth a detour *** = worth a trip
CENTRAL PARK***Between Upper East Side and Upper West Side. Welcome to the lungs of New York City, a vast urban oasis more than 4 km long by 1 km wide. 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. Central Park is a favourite destination for locals and attracts millions of visitors every year.
UPPER WEST SIDE**
Central Park West at 79th Street, New York 202-769-5100
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.
1000, 5th Avenue, New York 212-535-7710
11 West 53 Street, New York 212-708-9400
For a 360-degree panoramic view of New York City, make your way up to the 70th floor to the "Top of the Rock", where three floors of indoor and outdoor observation decks offer stunning panoramas of the city’s energy, wonder, and beauty.
45, Rockefeller Plaza, New York
Corner of Broadway and 7th Avenue
5th Avenue & 42nd Street, New York 917-275-6975
405, Lexington Avenue, New York
151, West 34th Street, New York 121-695-4400
350, Fifth Avenue, New York 212-736-3100
175, 5th Avenue, New York
GREENWICH VILLAGE**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)
EAST VILLAGE*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**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).
LITTLE ITALY*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)
CHINATOWN**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)
200, Liberty Street, New York 212-312-8800
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.
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.
Liberty Island / www.nps.gov/stli/index.htm
Statue Cruises / 1-877-523-9849 / www.statuecruises.com
New York Water Taxi / 212-742-1969 / www.nywatertaxi.com
Liberty Helicopters - 1-800-542-9933
Where to eat
- $ Inexpensive
- $$ Moderate
- $$$ Upscale
- $$$$ Fine dining
WHERE TO EATIn a city that boasts some 20,000 restaurants, it would be a daunting task to produce a list of the best restaurants in every neighbourhood of the city. Nevertheless, here are some suggestions for a few of the top neighbourhoods for tourists.
Tucked inside the lobby of the upscale “Le Parker Meridien” hotel, this hidden gem looks more like a Midwest burger joint than a luxury New York hotel restaurant. The pared-down menu offers only hamburgers, cheeseburgers, fries, pickles and drinks. Be warned: at peak times, the queue is long and so are the wait times.
119 West 56th Street, New York 212-708-7414
Chef Marc Murphy's menu includes oysters, hamburgers, pasta, soups, salads, sandwiches, steak, roasted chicken and small tapas plates for sharing. There is something to suit every taste, but you can't go wrong with the gourmet sandwiches.
124 West 57th Street, New York 212-707-8000
Le Bernardin ($$$$)
Le Bernardin, situated in Times Square, is one of New York City's most acclaimed restaurants, known for its fine fresh seafood, prepared and executed to perfection. French chef Eric Ripert is at the helm of this restaurant, which has held the New York Times highest rating of 4 stars for the past 20 years.
155 West 51st Street, New York 212-554-1515
Welcome to Tertulia, Chef Seamus Mullen’s award-winning Spanish restaurant, which celebrates Spain’s exquisite products and flavors. After exploring the region of Asturias in northern Spain, Chef Mullen discovered the singular charm of the sidreria, or the local cider house. Tertulia seeks to recreate the distinct energy of the sidrerias and to honour Spain with a variety of tostas, sartenes (small, grilled sharing dishes), tapas and larger platos familiares (family plates).
359 6th Avenue, New York 646-559-9909
Red Farm ($$$)
This destination from dim sum master chef Joe Ng aims to be one of the most exciting and influential restaurants in the country. RedFarm 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 includes a chicken hot pot, remarkably tender marinated rib steak with steamed baby bok choy and spicy steamed sea bass.
529 Hudson Street, New York 212-792-9700
Sushi Nakazawa ($$$$)
A meal at the counter of Chef Nakazawa 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.
23 Commerce Street, New York 212-924-2212
Street food is a real New York City institution. Here are 3 food trucks you won't want to miss (note that they change locations every day):
Nauti: Seafood and lobster rolls / www.nautimobile.com
Taïm Mobile: Falafels, salads and smoothies / www.taimmobile.com
Wafels & Dinges: Sweet and savoury waffles / www.wafelsanddinges.com
Mighty QuinnÊ¼s 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.
103 2nd Avenue, New York 212-677-3733
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 the Cronut every month!
189 Spring Street, New York 212-219-2773
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!
9 Pell Street, New York 212-233-8888
- Very Favourable