Local Expert Tip
"Advance ticket purchase is necessary. Ticket and merchandise purchases are tax deductible. For immediate family members of 9/11 victims and for active FDNY, PAPD and NYPD with proper I.D., tours are complimentary."
Things to Do In New York
New York Travel Guide
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New York for Kids - Things to do when you travel to New York
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Get Your Bearings in New York
Where to Stay
With a whopping 90,000 hotel rooms, New York City offers a range of lodging choices from simple to swank. Midtown hotels such as the Marriott Marquis put guests within walking distance of Times Square, Radio City Music Hall and Rockefeller Center. For a downtown vibe, choose SoHo, Gramercy Park or Greenwich Village. Many of the city's most iconic—and expensive—hotels are located on Manhattan's residential East Side.
Hot Tips: For budget-friendly options, look to the outer boroughs. Long Island City in Queens features more than 17 hotels and is just one subway stop from Manhattan.
What to Eat
Prepare to be both dazzled and a bit dizzy when visiting the Restaurant Capital of the World. With more than 18,000 eateries, you'll need a strategy for savoring maximum deliciousness. Many of the city's most splurge-worthy spots are in Midtown Manhattan, where reservations are de rigueur. For more casual fare, head downtown, where young chefs are creating inventive cuisine at gentler prices. Adventurous eaters will find spectacular food in all five boroughs, from Shanghai soup dumplings in Queens to barbecue in Brooklyn to classic red-sauce Italian in the Bronx.
Avoid: For a pre- or post-theater bite, avoid the mediocre Times Square tourist traps and explore the multi-ethnic eateries along Ninth Avenue.
Be Sure to Sample: Sidewalk pretzel, pizza slice, pastrami sandwich, bubble tea.
Things to See
Manhattan island packs more famous destinations into its 33 square miles than just about anywhere else in the world. At its southern tip, tour the World Trade Center Site, then hop the Staten Island Ferry to glimpse Lady Liberty. Head northwest to the High Line, an elevated park overlooking the trendy Meatpacking District. Midtown must-sees include the Empire State Building, neon-drenched Times Square and Fifth Avenue icons like the New York Public Library, St. Patrick's Cathedral and Rockefeller Center. Upper Manhattan is nirvana for culture lovers, thanks to Lincoln Center, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and dozens of other world-class institutions.
Hot Tips: To skip the long lines at the Empire State Building, buy printable tickets in advance.
Places to Party
There's a reason why they call it the city that never sleeps: with its sheer abundance of nightlife options like after-dark dance clubs, bars, theaters, live music and comedy performances, there's scant time for shut-eye. Snag a seat for a hit Broadway show, Amateur Night at Harlem's Apollo Theater or a concert at Carnegie Hall, Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola or Brooklyn's new Barclays Center. Have a yen for small-batch bourbon, old-timey burlesque, a game of bocce or a ride on a mechanical bull? The five boroughs feature hundreds of watering holes with unique entertainment on tap.
Hot Tips: Satisfy your late-night munchies like a true New Yorker with a plate of cheese blintzes at Veselka in Manhattan's East Village.
Where to Shop
No matter what it is, if it's buyable, you'll find it in New York. From the haute couture emporiums of Madison Avenue to the discount giants in Union Square, there are finds to score in nearly every neighborhood. Legendary midtown department stores like Macy's, Bloomingdale's and Saks Fifth Avenue offer huge selections of the latest merchandise. Cutting-edge designers and art galleries cluster in Chelsea, also home to Chelsea Market, a gourmet mecca housed in a former Oreo factory. Vintage outlets, bookstores, toy shops and galleries abound on the Upper West Side, SoHo and the East Village.
Avoid: Steer clear of the shoddy merchandise sold at no-name electronics stores in and around Times Square.
Hot Tips: New York Magazine and Time Out New York feature weekly listings of designer sample sales throughout the city.
Best Local Souvenir: Handpainted ceramic tea set from Pearl River Mart in SoHo.
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New York Is Known for...
Five of New York's most unique features and characteristics.Theater & Performing Arts
The 39 venues that make up Broadway are iconic theater destinations but New York's number and variety of theatrical performance venues are for more expansive. Off-Broadway shows usually take place in smaller (less than 500 seats) theaters and are less pricey, while Off-Off-Broadway shows are downright obscure, but most likely to please more avant-garde theater lovers. New York City also boasts some of the most high-profile music and dance venues and companies in the world. Carnegie Hall is the pinnacle of classical music venues, The Beacon Theater offers comedy and music performances, Brooklyn Academy of Music offers cutting-edge, contemporary musical and dance performances, and renowned Radio City Music Hall is equally ideal for catching a concert or seeing the Rockettes.Parks
It may seem surprising that the most populous metropolitan area in the world is known for its parks, but consider that New York City is home to Central Park, the world's most visited green space. Central Park is home to the Reservoir, Belvedere Castle, an ice skating rink, a carosel, public tennis courts, walking and bike paths, and a host of other attractions. Summerstage, which features free live music...
Read the full list of five »