As your plane descends towards a New York runway, or your car crosses over a bridge you’ve seen a million times in movies, you get an overwhelming feeling that you are entering something special. The city is considered to be the cultural epicentre of the planet, with a compellingly diverse population that embraces every nationality and point of view within it. The culinary capital is constantly evolving new and exciting flavours, while traditional institutions act as nostalgic reminders to the city’s past. The iconic art scene provides endless galleries and exhibition spaces dedicated to everything from postmodern classics to cutting edge works from across the globe. A walk through the charming streets highlights how each neighbourhood offers a unique atmosphere, with different versions of what New York means to them.
The seasons in New York run the same as in the UK, although the summers can be overwhelmingly hot throughout July and August and winters are extremely cold with occasional blizzards. New York in the snow is definitely a bucket list experience though so try not to be put off by the cold! January to early March is also the cheapest time to visit. Shoulder season months are comfortably warm temperatures and therefore the best time to explore, with a multitude of open air markets opening for the warmer months and flowers blooming in Central Park in Spring, or beautiful orange and brown leaves lining the streets in Autumn.
High Season – July to August (Average 30˚C) and December (Average 1˚C)
Shoulder Season – April to June and September to November (Average 22˚C)
Low Season – January to March (Average 2˚C)
The currency in New York is US dollars. You can arrange a currency exchange before you travel, or exchange money once you have arrived. We have included below some average costs to help you budget for your trip.
1 Night in a Budget Room: £40 - £100
1 Night in a Midrange Double Room: £150 - £250
1 Night in a Luxury Double Room - £300 - £700
Slice of pizza or food truck snack: £3 - £5
Restaurant Meal for two with Drinks: £50 - £100
Luxury Restaurant Meal: £150+
Cocktail in rooftop bar: £10 - £20
Bus or subway journey: £2 - £4
Basketball or Baseball Game Tickets : £20 - £50
Broadway Show: £50+
Tipping is customary in the US, and you should only withhold from tipping in the case of terrible service. 15 -20% tips are expected in bars and restaurants if it is not already added to your bill. Taxi drivers should be tipped 10 - 15%
New York is a haven for food-lovers, known as the cultural centre of the world, with such a variety of flavours to explore. Try a New York bagel with “everything”, partake in a local pastime and go out for Ramen, hunt down the most elaborate milkshake you can find, or grab melt-in-your-mouth cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery. We’ve picked some unmissable offerings for your next trip…
Pastrami on Rye – A typical NY lunch consists of thinly sliced pastrami piled high on toasted bread with a side of dill pickles, and Katz Delicatessen on the Lower East Side in Manhattan is considered the greatest place to try it. You will probably recognise it from films such as When Harry Met Sally and Donnie Brasco, or Man V Food.
Cheesecake – The famously simple New York style cheesecake is enjoyed all over the world, so a trip to its birthplace wouldn’t be complete without a taste. Junior’s in Brooklyn opened in 1950 and is now the most well-known, cult place to grab a mouth-watering slice, having used the same recipe for three generations.
“The best pizza in NY” – Now, wandering through New York you will see a lot of places claiming to have the tastiest pizza in the city, but public opinion has somewhat narrowed it down to the following; Beebe's in Queens, Juliana's in Dumbo, Best Pizza in Williamsburg, Totonno's on Coney Island, Di Fara in Midwood, John's of Bleecker Street, and Louie & Ernie's in The Bronx. There are obviously more standout pizzerias, but we can’t include them all! Try each one and decide for yourself.
Smorgasburg – This incredible open-air market is held every Saturday in an empty lot on the East River waterfront in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The variety of food is mesmerising. Sample Italian street food, Indian tacos, vegan Ethiopian treats, delicious doughnuts, truffle oil fries, craft beer and so much more, all in one place! *Only open from April to October but there is another location open in SoHo open til the end of December.
This is probably at the top of most must-do lists, but you seriously cannot go to New York without going to the top of a really tall building to take in the breathtaking views. The Empire State Building’s 86th floor observation deck is the obvious choice, but our favourite is the Top of the Rock at the Rockefeller Centre as you can also gaze at the latter in all its towering glory. Other fantastic vistas can be found at the One World Observatory in the Financial district, the crown of the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge walkway, or one of the many rooftop bars dotted around the city.
Grand Central Terminal
The second most-visited destination in New York is an architectural stunner! Take in the bustling atmosphere of rushing commuters and reunited loved ones, stop in awe to admire the cathedral-like main concourse ceiling with 12 constellations painted in gold leaf and stars illuminated by LEDs, let your jaw drop at the epitome of New York movie scenes – the information booth clock, and visit the whispering gallery where an acoustic phenomenon allows you to talk to your friend from across the room. Once you’re done exploring the history, indulge yourself in one of the many shops, bars or restaurants.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art with its massive collection of art including The Starry Night by Van Gogh and an actual ancient Egyptian temple, and the American Museum of Natural History showcasing a huge woolly mammoth, and the iconic Tyrannosaurus rex and 94ft blue whale, are our unmissable picks, but there are countless galleries and museums to explore across the five boroughs. Do some research based on your interests before you go or discover something new. There’s even a museum located in an elevator shaft dedicated to found objects from around the city, called Mmuseumm.
No matter what time of year it is, this world-famous 843-acre playground delivers a multitude of ways to take a break from city life. Stroll hand in hand through elm tree lined pathways along wild rolling fields, people watch with a picnic on the Great Lawn or Sheep Meadow, rent romantic rowboats on the lake and have lunch at the pretty waterside Boathouse restaurant, then venture to the John Lennon memorial in Strawberry Fields. Time your trip to coincide with a Shakespeare in the Park production at the open-air Delacorte Theatre or one of many other attractions and events taking place within the lush lawns.
1. New York City became the first capital of the United States in 1789. However, this only lasted for little over a year until 1790.
2. More than 800 languages are spoken in New York which makes it the most linguistically diverse city on the planet. Additionally, around half the population speak a language other than English.
3. There are roughly 53 million books (and other items) in the New York Public Library. Only the Library of Congress in Washington has more books in the whole of the US.
4. The huge population of 8.6 million people live on just 302 square miles over the five boroughs; Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island.
Call 0161 440 6735 to explore the Big Apple yourself!
Our team of travel experts are able to guide you through the myriad of destinations and options to find your perfect hidden retreat. Enjoy the experience of creating your dream escape with your dedicated travel agent who will provide recommendations to suit you individually.
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