It’s the city that never sleeps, so good they named it twice. When it comes to city breaks, plenty of destinations fall in and out of fashion but New York reigns supreme. Relatively easy to get to and with something for absolutely everyone, there’s no wonder that it’s one of the most popular city break destinations on the planet. Fancy taking a bite out of the big apple? Here are our top tips for how to make the most of it.
WHERE TO STAY Accommodation in New York is as varied as it is expensive. Choose wisely! While Midtown Manhattan is one of the most popular spots in the city for tourist accommodation, those looking for something a little bit different would do well to venture further afield. The Meatpacking District is a good choice for independent art galleries and chic boutiques while Williamsburg is the hippest spot in town. The Upper East Side remains the place to go for old-fashion luxury, with prices to match…
CULTURE VULTURE The MoMA, the Met and the American Museum of Natural History are world renowned and are must-sees for first-time visitors to the city. However, New York is also packed full of small galleries and quirky museums so do your research to find one which suits you. The Tenement Museum is home to a derelict building which once housed hundreds of immigrants living together in cramped conditions. A fascinacting glimpse into life in New York in the early 20th century, many of the former inhabitants’ stories are told to visitors.
RETAIL THERAPY If you can afford it, Fifth Avenue is famous for having some of the finest designer shopping in the world. For those on a more realistic budget, take a stroll over the Brooklyn Bridge on a Sunday to the Brooklyn Flea Market or head to the independent shops on Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg.
WHEN TO GO Summer in New York is famously stifling, with many of the residents choosing to clear out of the city for the hotter months. It’s the one time of year that’s best avoided by tourists. Spring and autumn are the best times to visit, with mild temperatures and Central Park looking her very best. Christmas in New York is famously magical too, while the party really gets going on New Year’s Eve.
WHERE TO EAT Perhaps it’s not so much where to eat as what to eat. New York has some of the best restaurants in the world, whether you’re looking for Michelin-starred dining or a slice of pizza on a street corner. In terms of the unmissable classics, however, try Absolute Bagels on Broadway where you can choose from 16 different types of bagel. You’ll find the best pastrami on rye at Katz Delicatessen which has been open since 1888 and had a starring role in When Harry Met Sally.
SEE THE SIGHTS From the Empire State Building to Times Square, there are more sights in New York to pack in than you’ll ever manage in one trip. To get an idea of the origins of the city however, take a boat trip to the Statue of Liberty and the Ellis Island Immigration Museum. Here you’ll get a feel of the thousands of people from all over the world who came to New York in search of the American dream, and made the city what it is today. Head to Battery Park to be picked up.
OFF THE BEATEN TRACK We’ve all heard of the big-ticket sights, but New York is full of slightly quirkier attractions which are well worth a visit. Gulliver’s Gate is a world of 1:87 scale models with replicas of everything from Buenos Aires to the Arc de Triomphe. Visitors can even be scanned and have a scale model of themselves made. The City Reliquary Museum houses all sorts of quirky New York ephemera, while the picturesque Green-Wood Cemetery is the final resting place of half a million New Yorkers, including artist Jean-Michel Basquat and the composer Leonard Bernstein.
TAKE THE KIDS Spyscape is no ordinary museum. It’s a spy training ground which kids of all ages will adore. In addition to finding out about real-life spies, visitors can dodge laser beams and try a lie-detector test. A profiling system developed by a former British Intelligence officer will grade your performance for you.
HOW TO GET THERE Virgin Atlantic, United and Delta fly non-stop from Edinburgh to New York from as little as £350 return.
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