City guide: New York City | Private jet charter
The city that never sleeps needs no introduction. New York City is a one-off – an international smorgasbord of people, cultures, food, entertainment, restaurants and luxury hotels. It’s a living, breathing movie set with iconic backdrops like the Empire State Building, Times Square, Central Park, Brooklyn Bridge and the West Village.
The city’s five other boroughs (Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx) also command attention with their eclectic restaurant, culture and nightlife scenes.
Top five must-see sights and attractions
Statue of Liberty
Standing sentinel on Liberty Island at the entrance to New York Harbour, the Statue of Liberty has welcomed millions of immigrants and tourists to the shores of Manhattan. A gift from the French Government to the US, the 152-foot statue was built in 1886 and weighs over 2 tonnes.
An enduring symbol of freedom, she can be seen from Downtown’s Battery Park on the southern tip of Manhattan, but the best views are from the water. Options include a free ferry ride to Staten Island, a cruise on a schooner, or joining a four-hour cruise that stops at Ellis Island along the way.
The Immigration Museum here was the first port of call for millions of immigrants seeking their fortune in the Americas. Search the database for your ancestors, before heading for the Statue of Liberty. You can walk around the base here – and if you have the right ticket (book online in advance) – even climb up to the crown. Boats regularly depart from Battery Park.
Explore Central Park
No visit to Manhattan is complete without a hike, stroll or cycle around Central Park. New York’s ever-green playground, the 2.5-mile long park provides welcome respite from the hectic city in all seasons. Hire a bike and peddle around the 843 acres that stretch from 59th Street in the south all the way north to 110th Street.
In winter, the Wollman ice rink is a popular destination for all ages, while spring and summer are perfect for a paddle around the lake and taking in the beautiful blossoms. The green meadows are ideal for picnics and ballgames, while Strawberry Fields, near Central Park West between 71st and 74th Streets, is a moving homage to late Beatle John Lennon. Visit the Angel Fountain, the Belvedere and enjoy summer Shakespeare in the Park performances at the Delacorte Theatre.
Shopping in New York
Shop till you drop at New York’s malls, markets, designer outlets, boutique chains and vintage emporiums. Midtown Macy’s, Bloomingdales and Barneys Madison Avenue are just some of the iconic stores selling big-name brands, luxury labels, tech and more.
Soho’s wrought iron and brickwork lofts are now a mecca for the well-heeled with sophisticated retail to match, alongside funky art galleries and boutiques. New York’s answer to Hamleys in London is the famous FAO Schwarz on 5th Avenue. Tiffany & Co are on the same street, while Saks and Bergdorf Goodman offer shoppers high end designer clothes with panache.
Street markets abound in NYC. Head for the Greenmarket at Union Square for flowers and fresh produce from local farmers and even upstate Vermont, while Chelsea Market is the areas go-to store for produce and pastries.
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Affectionately known as the Met, the world-renowned Metropolitan Museum of Art is located on 5th Avenue by 81st Street. The largest of the Met’s three sites, this vast building on 5th Avenue is the museum’s centrepiece and home to an art selection that spans more than 5,000 years.
The complete collection contains some 2 million pieces of art from Egyptian pieces to decorative arts, ancient sculptures, photos and musical instruments. Current exhibitions include the Play It Loud: Instruments of Rock & Roll – a joint production with the famous Rock & Roll Hall of Fame – open till 1 October, and Dutch Masterpieces.
Join a guided tour, attend an evening concert or relax over a bite to eat at the Balcony Bar or the Dining Room and imbibe the cultural vibe.
The Empire State Building
Surely the most iconic of all NYC attractions, on a clear day you’ll have superb vistas across all five boroughs and even neighbouring states from the (enclosed) 102nd floor Top Deck of the Empire State Building. If you prefer the wind in your hair, take the speedy lift to the 86th-floor observatory – the highest open-air observation deck in NYC.
The official yellow taxis are the best way to travel around Manhattan or the Boroughs. They can be hailed on the street and are cheaper than many other international cities.
Alternatively, hang like a real New Yorker and take the subway. New York’s metro operates 24/7 every day of the week. Purchase a MetroCard at a subway station. You can also use the card on the MTA’s buses and the Roosevelt Island Tram.
Best time to visit
Any season is a great time to visit New York City. A visit in spring will be rewarded with the fabulous blossom in Central Park, while temperatures begin to rise again after the cold winter months. Summers in New York are hot, and often humid, but NYC is well prepared with air conditioning. By autumn the golden colours of Central Park make for a perfect photo shot. While winter, although cold and usually snowy, braving the wintery conditions will provide many magical memories of this wonderful city.
With museums and galleries, iconic architecture, Central Park, some of the best cuisine options in the entire USA, an efficient taxi and public transport system and not to mention its 24/7 buzz, NYC tops most other city breaks!
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