Perhaps the world’s most recognisable city, ‘The Big Apple’ is a top bucket-list destination for its dining, shopping and sightseeing, and you just can’t beat that undeniable New York feeling. Famous songs have been written and countless movies and TV series have been made about the city, making New York feel like a familiar place from the moment you arrive.
From its iconic yellow taxi cabs to its lofty skyscrapers, the people-packed streets to leafy Central Park, New York’s energy makes a wonderful addition to USA multi-centre holidays, blending perfectly with the sunshine of Orlando and the Caribbean or the pleasure-seeking thrills of Las Vegas!
New York Highlights
New York is a must-visit destination on everyone’s list. A towering cityscape full of iconic buildings that is infused with beautiful green spaces and awash with people, history, colour and some of the best food you’ll ever eat. It’s difficult to overstate how magical ‘The City that Never Sleeps’ really is, but once you’re here, she’s yours to discover.
The City of Landmarks
New York City is home to striking and often revolutionary architecture in the form of glossy skyscrapers such as the Empire State Building, the Art Deco style of the Chrysler Building and the quirkiness of the Flatiron Building. Its famous landmarks also include contemporary museums, expansive parks and historic monuments, all waiting to be explored.
New York City is renowned worldwide for its iconic shopping opportunities, from the legendary elegance of Fifth Avenue and Macy’s - an 11-story department store in Herald Square - to the scores of retro clothing shops and bustling neighbourhood flea markets. So, in our opinion, you may need another suitcase!
There is a melting pot of different cultures, flavours and styles in New York, which is reflected in its ever-revolving cornucopia of restaurants, bars and cafés in all corners of the city. There are long-standing establishments serving up classic dishes within a familial, community atmosphere, as well as Michelin-starred fine dining spots and pop-up food stands - both packing a punch with equally delicious fare.
New York is abundant with once-in-a-lifetime experiences, whether it’s catching a Broadway show, taking flight in a helicopter ride over the Statue of Liberty or riding a horse and carriage through Central Park. Yet, excitement can be found even in the seemingly routine; hail down a famous yellow taxi, navigate the frenetic subway system or gaze through the shop window at Tiffany & Co. for a truly unforgettable experience.
New York Multi Centre Combinations
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Our New York Favourites
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Set on the Upper East Side, the Metropolitan Museum of Art or ‘The Met’ as it’s lovingly referred to, is one of the city’s prime hotspots, and not just for tourists. There are more than 2 million works of art in the museum’s 17 acres of exhibit space showcasing the old and the modern from all around the world, meaning you could easily spend a whole day here, or more.
The museum features more than 26,000 objects and ancient artefacts from Egypt, Islamic cultures, and the Middle East, plus Asian pieces thought to be more than 5000 years old! There’s also modern works from Europe and The Americas from the 13th to 20th centuries.
Statue of Liberty
A gift from France to symbolise the countries’ friendship, the inimitable 305-foot Statue of Liberty towers over Liberty Islands and is iconic the world over. Freedom and justice are personified in the form of a woman holding a torch in one hand and a tablet bearing the Declaration of Independence date in the other – a true sight to behold.
If you want to get up close and go inside the statue you can visit Ellis Island via ferry boat either from Battery Park or Jersey City. Or to get some good photo ops from a distance, take the free Staten Island Ferry, which runs every 20-30 minutes and serves as a commuter option between Manhattan and Staten Island.
New York multi-centre holidays wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Rockefeller Center. It may not be the most remarkable building in the New York skyline, but its central location and famous ‘Top of the Rock’ experience offers unrivalled 360-degree views from the 3-floor observation deck across the city, which includes a close-up look at The Empire State Building.
There are numerous public art exhibitions at the Rockefeller Center and loads of great restaurants to dine in. From mid-October onwards, Rockefeller Plaza (at the base of the building) is transformed into a magical wonderland, with ice skating at The Rink before Christmas being one of New York’s quintessential winter activities!
Grand Central Terminal
One of New York’s most iconic historical landmarks is the Grand Central Terminal in Midtown Manhattan. Grand in every sense of the word, this beautiful legacy opened to the public in 1913 and over 100 years on, it is more than just a train station: it’s a dining, shopping and cultural hub all rolled into one.
From the famous opal-faced Information Booth Clock and the cosmic ceiling of the Main Concourse to the spectacular exposed-bulb chandeliers and the excellent European-style Grand Central Market, there’s so much to take in at this fascinating destination.
One World Trade Center & the 9/11 Memorial
The place where the iconic Twin Towers once stood is now one of memorial and quiet reflection. At Ground Zero, the new One World Trade Center soars high and proud with the One World Observatory now a significant landmark for New Yorkers and a worthwhile attraction for visitors. Its SkyPod lifts whoosh you 102 storeys up to the top in 47 seconds on a fantastic and unexpected ride, offering striking panoramic views of the city at its highest point.
The 9/11 Memorial features two calming pools – a combined acre in size and the largest manmade waterfalls in the US – located exactly where the original towers rose, with inscriptions of the names of people who lost their lives in the attacks. The accompanying museum has exhibitions and a moving collection of historical records and evidence recovered from the aftermath.
Times Square & Broadway
Though not technically a square, Times Square is the pulsating heart of New York City and the home of the famous Broadway theatre district, plus loads of restaurants, shops and attractions. Set in Midtown Manhattan, this vibrant area boasts more than 40 theatres, showcasing some of the world’s most extravagant shows and it’s THE place to come if you’re a fan of musical theatre.
Times Square has also become synonymous with New Year’s Eve and for more than a century the famous glass disco ball is lowered at midnight to ring in the new year, followed by a huge party and celebration that can’t be missed if you’re lucky enough to be in the city on 31st December!
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Whether you’re an art aficionado or simply an avid sightseer, the MoMA will be an enlightening and fascinating experience. This Midtown hotspot takes visitors on a journey through the works of some of the titans of the art world, including Pollock, Picasso, Lichtenstein and Matisse, and understandably gets rather busy so try to get there early.
Van Gogh’s The Starry Night is a much-loved, world-renowned piece in the vast collection whose allure is worth the visit here alone. While Andy Warhol’s instantly recognisable Gold Marilyn Monroe and Campbell’s Soup Pop Art icons add a little extra excitement to art buffs and novices alike.
This small yet trendy neighbourhood is sandwiched between Chelsea and the West Village, right next to the urban oasis of the High Line Park. Once a former industrial area, the Meatpacking District is now home to lots of boutique stores as well as excellent bars, hip restaurants and popular nightclubs.
After perusing the shops, head for the bustling Chelsea Market and grab a bite to eat before making a stop at the lovely Whitney Museum, which exhibits contemporary artworks by the likes of Andy Warhol and Edward Hopper. As evening draws in, pop to the Plunge Rooftop Bar & Lounge for a cheeky cocktail accompanied by incredible 360-degree views.
Unquestionably the most famous shopping street in New York – and perhaps the world – Fifth Avenue runs from Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village to 143rd Street in Harlem, stretching for almost 7 miles north to south through Manhattan. But its most popular section is between 49th Street and 60th Street, which is where the profusion of luxury retail stores lies - if you’re in the market for high-end fashion like Tiffany & Co., Gucci and Chanel, this will be your mecca.
Fifth Avenue is known for its boutique retail stores as well as its luxury real estate and iconic landmarks, also playing host to illustrious processions throughout the year to celebrate St Patrick’s Day, Easter, Gay Pride, and let’s not forget the famous giant inflatables of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade!
If shopping is your main goal when on New York twin-centre holidays, then Herald Square is a must-visit tourist hotspot, but it’s not for the faint-hearted as it gets very crowded here. The flagship Macy’s department store is colossal, boasting 2.5 million sq ft of retail space over 11 floors and covering an entire block. The store sits on the corner of the square on a major commercial intersection, just a 3-minute walk from Penn Station.
Other huge flagship stores are located here like H&M and Levi’s, as well as smaller, non-UK shops to visit such as Forever 21, Sephora and Target. And when you’re all shopped out, grab a coffee and do some people-watching!
New York is a veritable treasure trove when it comes to vintage shopping and there are countless retro clothing stores dotted around the city for you to explore. The Break in Brooklyn features a well-curated haul for decent prices; think cute 70s blouses, faux-fur coats and oversized dad-style blazers from the 80s. While Metropolis Vintage is adored by celebrities for its wide collection of vintage t-shirts and leather jackets.
Hamlet’s Vintage is in the West Village, close to Washington Square Park, and has fast become one of the most beloved second-hand clothing stores in the city. Its authentic range comprises items from the 40s to the 90s with gorgeous dresses, jewellery and men’s clothing in its small but well-formed store.
It may be sprawling concrete jungle, but New York City has several pockets of nature to escape to during busy multi-centre holidays. The vast, rectangular-shaped Central Park is the most famous green space in the city – yet only its fifth largest – and set right in the middle of Manhattan. You could effortlessly spend a whole day here and explore its 843 leafy acres on a horse and carriage ride, on a guided bicycle tour, or simply walking or jogging along at your own pace.
Top must-see attractions within the park include striking Alice in Wonderland bronze sculpture, the Bethesda Fountain, the 60-foot-long Bow Bridge and the Central Park Zoo. Bird watching is also popular as well as boating on the lake, and during the warmer months there are free outdoor concerts and live performances to see.
Brooklyn Bridge Park
With majestic, waterfront views over the eponymous Brooklyn Bridge and a breathtaking backdrop of the New York City skyline, this 85-acre park curves round the bend of the East River, connecting a series of neglected piers and transforming them into beautiful, landscaped parkland.
There’s so much to see and do in this little pocket of the city, from kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding by the beach at Pier 4 to the kids’ playgrounds and water features at Pier 6. Its verdant gardens and picnic lawns make for a relaxing afternoon out, while the basketball courts and outdoor ping pong tables offer plenty of opportunity to let off some steam under that New York sunshine.
A small but perfectly formed pocket of respite from the Midtown maelstrom is found in Bryant Park. Surrounded by the aquamarine glass of lofty skyscrapers, this leafy haven is one of the world’s busiest public spaces and sees 12 million people a year spend time in its gardens.
Catch a breath from exploring the city and sit down to play boardgames with your family or take on a stranger in a strategic game of chess under the trees. Summertime brings movie nights in the park, live musical performances, loads of keep-fit activities and even Bingo, while the winter programme features cosy igloos and an iconic ice-skating rink for festive, pre-Christmas fun.
If there’s one food you need to try in New York City it’s pizza, and there’s no place better than Lombardi’s, the first pizzeria to open in America and the place credited with inventing the classic New York-style pizza we see today.
Located in Little Italy area of Manhattan, this iconic restaurant has been a firm fixture since 1905 and continues to create tasty pizzas using a zingy tomato sauce, fresh whole-milk mozzarella and fragrant basil, all baked to perfection in their smoky ovens for a crusty slice of heaven. Go classic with the Original Margarita or dare to be different and try a ‘white pie’ on a ricotta base topped with spinach, garlic and Italian ham.
Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant
Delve down into the depths of the Grand Central Station in Midtown East for a sampling of seafood that cannot be overlooked on New York multi-centre holidays. The Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant is as much a landmark as the station itself and features vaulted ceilings, U-shaped counters and beautifully lit alcoves.
Open only on weekdays, this beloved hotspot has been serving commuters and tourists since 1913 and continues to deliver gorgeous seafood dishes in a welcoming and vibrant atmosphere. Its extensive menu features more than 25 varieties of fish, oysters and shellfish in creations such as the refreshing squid salad, a warming clam chowder and grilled-to-perfection tuna.
The High Line
Situated in Greenwich Village, this marvel of urban planning was created in 2009 after locals fought to save it from demolition, turning a disused freight railway line into an elevated garden walkway for neighbourhood residents to experience art, design and nature in one beautiful, unique space.
Spanning 1.5 miles across, The High Line features fabulous views over the Hudson River and the city skyline on Manhattan’s West Side. With art installations, lush gardens and water features, and excellent community programmes on offer, this is a wonderful place for a leisurely walk above the frenzied streets below and a calming change of pace on multi-centre holidays in New York.
Tavern on the Green
Nestled amid the serene backdrop of Central Park, Tavern on the Green is a former sheep shed that housed the animals that grazed on the park’s meadows in the late nineteenth century. Restored to a fine restaurant as part of a wider park renovation, it has been proudly serving locals and tourists quality cuisine in its unique, rustic-style setting since 1934.
Now with a dance floor and open-air seating alongside a sumptuous seasonal menu, Tavern on the Green is popular with actors, artists and public figures looking to drink, dine and dance in the heart of New York.
Famous for that scene in When Harry Met Sally, Katz’s Delicatessen is a cultural landmark in the city’s Lower East Side, serving classic Jewish deli food that is unmatched. Established in 1888, Katz’s became a Friday night hangout for local immigrant families in the area who would gather to eat, drink and socialise, and this same community vibe lives on today.
The restaurant delivers a menu of wonderful cured-meat sandwiches and delicious Jewish staples like potato latkes, matzoh ball soup and babka bread. While its classic all-beef Frankfurter hotdogs are among the best in New York and are under five dollars!
Junior’s Restaurant & Bakery
Another unmissable New York food is the humble cheesecake, and Junior’s Restaurant & Bakery on Broadway and 45th Street – the Crossroads of the World – offers the perfect after-show treat when on multi-centre holidays in the USA. Serving a hearty menu of breakfasts, burgers and succulent deli-style sandwiches, its cheesecake is what people flock here to eat.
Available to dine in or takeaway, Junior’s is a chain with 4 restaurant locations dotted around the city; its original spot in Brooklyn boasts the ‘Best Cheesecake in New York’. From seasonal pumpkin pie cheesecake to delicious flavour combinations like pineapple, strawberry swirl and peanut butter and chocolate banana, there’s a mouthwatering dessert here for everyone.
New York FAQs
New York FAQs
New York FAQs
New York City is 5 hours behind the UK and direct flights from London usually take around 8 hours on average. Flights often depart from the UK in the mornings and arrive in New York late afternoon or early evening, while the return leg is overnight, and you’ll arrive back to the UK the following morning.
New York has 3 major airports: John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) and LaGuardia (LGA). Each offers frequent and often direct routes to and from the UK and domestic US destinations. LaGuardia is the closest to New York City – just 8 miles away – and is worth considering if you’re keen to get the holiday started as soon as possible!
New York City is a popular option to combine with many other North American holiday destinations, particularly Orlando and the Caribbean Islands, as well as other major cities like Boston, Las Vegas and Washington D.C.
Internal flights from New York to Orlando are around 3 hours, making it easy to plan a few days of iconic city sightseeing with Florida’s rollercoaster thrills. Boston is only an hour northeast by plane, but if you plan to hire a car, the drive is around 4 hours and a much more scenic option. Similarly, Washington D.C is about 90 minutes by air and driving is approximately 4 hours. Also, consider train travel as another great option for exploring America’s east coast cities!
New York enjoys distinct seasons, which makes it a year-round destination that offers something different every few months. Spring and early autumn have the best and mildest temperatures, so for walking around and being outside, May, June, September and October are ideal times to visit.
The summer season can get hot, humid and sometimes uncomfortable, particularly on the subway and amid the concrete cityscape, yet being there for the spectacular 4th July fireworks is worth the effort. Winter can get extraordinarily cold, with lots of snow and strong winds, but this adds to the cosy, Christmassy feel of New York that is unparalleled.