Destination of the Week: New York City
Known as the City That Never Sleeps, New York City is a must-see for any world traveller. The most populous city in the United States with over 8 million inhabitants, NYC is one of the world’s most influential and important cities as it is one of the global centres of finance, politics, communications, arts, and culture.
With an international influence such as this, as a traveller you will find that there is an infinite amount of sights to explore, restaurants to try, art galleries to visit, streets to discover… The list is endless, so we’ve put together a short guide to this incredible city below.
What to do
New York City is divided into five boroughs, each with hundreds of distinct neighbourhoods marked by a different history and character.
Manhattan is the most densely populated borough and is home to some of the city’s most iconic landmarks. It is on the island that you will be able to find neighbourhoods such as Wall Street, Madison Avenue, the Upper East Side, Harlem, Greenwich Village, and SoHo, as well as the famous Central Park, Guggenheim Museum, Rockefeller Centre, Times Square, World Trade Centre Site, Broadway and much more.
Brooklyn is where you will find the heart of the city’s cultural, social and ethnic diversity with an independent art scene, distinct neighbourhoods and a unique architectural history. Popular sights and places such as Prospect Park and its entrance via Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn Bridge, the Williamsburg neighbourhood, the beautiful coastline and downtown Brooklyn.
If you are looking to explore the roots of the rap and hip-hop culture, the Bronx is where you need to head to on your next visit to the city. Also home to the Yankee Stadium and The Bronx Zoo (the world’s largest metropolitan zoo), there will be plenty to explore in this urban borough.
Queens is the most ethnically diverse county of the United States and the most ethnically diverse urban area in the world. In Jackson Heights alone, you will be able to find a vast Indian area, a Columbian area and a Mexican area. Each of these areas feature unique shops, restaurants and festivals. Queens is also home two of New York’s busiest airports and the New York Mets Stadium.
Finally, Staten Island is the most suburban out of the all the boroughs so you will find a more quiet atmosphere here. Nonetheless, it is perfect for catching the Staten Island Ferry, a daily commuter ferry and popular attraction to get views of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and Lower Manhattan.
Where to stay
The Big Apple is a vast city, which means when it comes to hotels you will have a huge selection of places to stay. Your hotel choice can depend on your taste and preferred location but we have put together a list of the best three hotels for three types of budgets, each offering different perks and styles.
Hotel on Rivington (£££)
This design hotel offers 4 star accommodation in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Besides its luxurious rooms featuring sleek and minimalist décor and floor-to-ceiling windows offering incredible views, Hotel on Rivington is also excellently located. In just a few minutes’ walk, you will be able to reach iconic neighbourhoods and landmarks such as SoHo, Little Italy, Tribeca, Chinatown, the World Trade Centre and Wall Street.
Hotel Metro (££)
For a more budget-friendly hotel stay, consider Hotel Metro, a stylish 3 star hotel located near Times Square and the Empire State Building. You still get an excellent location and great perks such as a rooftop garden, a restaurant serving tasty American cuisine, and a fully equipped gym to unwind while you’re on holiday.
New York Loft Hostel (£)
If your budget is your main concern when you travel, there are plenty of cheap places around the city that will offer great value-for-money accommodation. New York Loft Hostel is located in arty Bushwick and offers a great accommodation option for budget travellers. With a traditional youth hostel set up and sleek modern design, this hostel offers a truly unique experience to its guests.
Where to eat
As a diverse city, New York City has a number of food specialties that you simply can’t miss. From the traditional New York-style pizza, to delicious bagels, mouth-watering cheesecake and filling deli sandwiches – there is something for every kind of foodie in the City That Never Sleeps. And the best part is you won’t even have to empty out your pockets to get a delicious meal in the city! Here are a few places you simply can’t miss on your next adventure to the Big Apple.
John’s of Bleecker Street
You can’t visit New York without trying some of its delicious pizza! And no one does pizza like this family-run restaurant. Their brick-oven pizza is so tasty, most guests just order slices with nothing on the side. The line might be long, but trust us: it will very much be worth the wait.
A popular tourist destination, this deli is one of New York City’s oldest and best without a doubt. With delicious pastrami and incredibly filling sandwiches, it’s hard to find a place that will leave you filling as satisfied as Katz’s. And, there’s a little bonus: if you order at the counter, your sandwich-maker will offer you a slice off a piece of pastrami to open up your apetite.
For some traditional, all-American food, Shake Shack is the place to go. With multiple locations around the city, this diner is practically an institution in New York City. Order some a burger with a side of fries and a tasty milkshake to enjoy one of the tastiest meals in the city. The restaurant’s original location in Madison Square Park usually has a long line, so be prepared to wait if you want to have your meal there.
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