New York Holidays & City Breaks -

New York Holidays and City Breaks

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New York City, also known as the Big Apple, is one of the top tourist destinations in the world, ranked 7th most visited city in a recent study.

Top New York attractions

There are many reasons why so many people dream of taking a New York holiday, from the iconic landmarks such as The Statue of Liberty and The Empire State Building to the chance to watch a show on Broadway or spend time in Central Park.

The bright lights of Times Square are another reason to spend time in the city known as the concrete jungle. The iconic Brooklyn Bridge is also a popular attraction for tourists in New York, and the Rockefeller Center is another favourite place to visit.

New York architecture

There are some stunning buildings in New York, and people who appreciate architecture will usually be impressed with Grand Central Station, the Chrysler Buildings and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

As well as serving New Yorkers for over 100 years, the New York Public Library is a beautiful building open to the public, including tourists and New Yorkers.

Things to do in Central Park

Central Park is renowned around the world and has appeared in many movies, such as Home Alone 2 and When Harry Met Sally. If you are visiting New York, the Central Park Zoo is a good place to visit, or you can hire a boat on the lake or see all the sites by bike.

Sports events in New York City

Sports fans love a trip to New York too, with the opportunity to watch MLB, NHL, NBA, NFL, soccer, boxing events and much more. Madison Square Gardens is one of the most famous entertainment venues in the world and is based in NYC, with a full calendar of top events, from sports to music artists.

The Empire State Building

The imperious Empire State Building is one of the most iconic buildings in the world. The 102-story Art Deco skyscraper is open during the day and at night, where you can enjoy stunning panoramic views of New York.

The One World Observatory is another great place to visit for views of the iconic New York skyline.

From the Empire State Building, you can walk along Broadway to reach Times Square and Rockefeller Center in around 15 minutes, to give you an idea of how close the New York attractions are to each other.

Shopping on a New York City Break

There are so many different types of activities for people of all ages to enjoy in NYC and many people travel to New York for the wealth of shops that are based in the city, including all of the top designer brands and jewelers.

Fifth Avenue is a shopper’s paradise, with many of the world’s most exclusive designers having stores here. A short distance from Fifth Avenue, Macy’s department store in Central Manhattan is a top choice for buying the latest fashion brands.

The wide choice of shops is one of the reasons that New York is a top choice for city breaks and many people book regular holidays to New York to have a shopping trip.

Museums to visit on your New York holiday

New York is home to many world class museums and art galleries. Modern art lovers often book a New York Trip simply for the wonderful art galleries, as well as the world famous sights.

Food in New York

NYC is also a haven for foodies, with every cuisine from around the world available, from some of the most prestigious high-end restaurants to food markets in different quarters of the city.

Little Italy is one of the best areas for restaurants, provided that you enjoy Italian cuisine. There are lots of great steakhouses to choose from too, but whatever type of food you are looking for, you are likely to find it in New York.

Enjoy a New York cheesecake at one of New York City’s top bakeries for those with a sweet tooth.

New York nightlife

The New York nightlife is also a big attraction, with so much going on that it earned the nickname “the city that never sleeps”. Upper East Side and the Meatpacking District are lively at night, but there are many clubs and bars across New York to suit different preferences.

Best time to visit New York

The weather in NYC changes considerably throughout the different seasons, with April to May and September to October being popular because it is warm but not too hot.

The temperatures during these months usually range from around 15 to 22 °C, which is more comfortable for sightseeing and shopping than in summer, when temperatures generally hit the 30s.

Winter in New York

The wintertime in NYC can be magical, with ice skating in Central Park and the possibility of a white Christmas. There are many festive events around this time of year, too, including the famous Times Square Ball Drop, which is part of the New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Transport in NYC

The transport options in NYC are great, as there are subway stations all over the city, as well as tourist buses, yellow taxi cabs, ferries, trains and cycle routes.

It is possible to rent a vehicle to visit New York, but most tourists opt against hiring a car due to the availability of transport around Manhattan and other districts.

Visiting landmarks in NYC

Due to the proximity of many landmarks and attractions, you can visit them all on the same day by foot, by jumping on the tourist bus or by using the subway to get around Manhattan’s concrete jungle.

It is possible to visit New York for just two or three days and see many of the best parts of the city and top attractions, but there is plenty to do even if you stay for several weeks.

Staten Island ferries

Taking the Staten Island ferry over to Staten Island is a good day trip and you will also get to see Lady Liberty a bit closer up as you sail past Ellis Island and Liberty Island.

It is easy to walk or cycle over Brooklyn Bridge to visit Brooklyn and if you enjoy walking, you can visit many of New York districts such as Greenwich Village or West Village by foot from Midtown Manhattan.

In Brooklyn, one of the popular tourist spots is Coney Island, which has an amusement area with rides and many attractions. Coney Island is not an island but a peninsula in the southwestern area of Brooklyn.

Essential information for New York

The currency in New York is US dollars and the local language is American English. Local laws stipulate that the state’s legal drinking age is 21 and you must be at least 18 to hire a car to drive in New York. You might want to check other local laws depending on your holiday plans.

Hiring cars in New York

Car hire companies have different age requirements and fees for young drivers, so you should compare the details before booking a car rental.

Passport and visa information for the New York holidays

When you travel to the United States, you will require a valid passport, a visa, or an ESTA. All non-US citizens entering the US must have one of these forms of travel authorization or they will be refused entry.

If you are travelling from a country listed in the visa waiver program and visiting the US for less than 90 days, you can apply for an ESTA instead of a visa.

Passport and visa information can change regularly, so you must check the latest FCDO travel advice for entering the US.

How to apply for an ESTA

Applying for an ESTA is much faster and cheaper than applying for a tourist visa, and it can be done online by filling in a short form.

Once you complete the form, providing details such as name, date of birth, and address and answering questions regarding any health conditions or criminal records, you pay the application fee using an electronic card.

Once submitted, the ESTA application will be screened, and a response will be emailed to confirm whether it has been approved. Once approved, the ESTA will be electronically linked to your passport, so the agents at border control will check it is approved when they check your passport.

The ESTA will usually stay valid for two years, so you can enjoy multiple New York holidays with the same ESTA or visit other areas of the US, such as Las Vegas.

Applying for a New York visa

Applying for a visa is more complicated than applying for an ESTA and the application will take longer. If you travel to the US for longer than 90 days, you will require a visa, as an ESTA is only valid for trips up to a maximum of 90 days.

Applying for a visa for New York will involve booking an appointment at the US embassy to process your application and provide the required documents. The US tourist visa application fee is currently $160, and the application form is considerably longer than the application form for ESTA.

Travel advise for New York City holidays

Given the recent travel restrictions due to the health pandemic, it is advised that you check the current travel health news for up to date advice and review the latest FCDO travel advice before booking your New York City break.

The pandemic has increased the importance of taking action to stay healthy abroad, and even where it is not compulsory to wear masks, it is advised to wear them in busy places. Regular hand washing will also help you to stay healthy abroad.

Booking New York holidays

When booking, it is better to use one of the world’s leading travel companies so that you can check under the booking conditions that you are financially protected, should your trip need to be cancelled.

Travel companies have different policies, so check the company’s approach to financial protection before you book your trip. Flight-inclusive holidays are often cheaper than booking your New York City break with separate flights and hotels.

Planning your trip

New York City is a dream holiday but you should spend time planning all the details, such as finding the New York hotels within easy walking distance of the places you want to visit.

There are plenty of hotels close to Grand Central Terminal if you are travelling to the train station from the airport. You can also easily access iconic places such as Times Square, Fifth Avenue and Wall Street.

Written by Abisola Fikayomi

Abisola is an accomplished writer interested in US Travel, immigration, passports and visas. She’s passionate about exploring new places and cultures and willing to share her experiences, expertize and findings with others. That is her primary drive for specialising in this industry.

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