Places to See: Liberty Island, Ellis Island, Wall Street, Central Park, Top of the Rock, Brooklyn Bridge, High Line, Museum of Modern Art, American Museum of Natural History
Best time to visit: New York can be very cold during winters and is prone to high snowfall this time. May-September has a very pleasant weather, but might also mean high hotel rates
Things to keep in mind:
- Book your hotels in advance because the prices can get nasty here
- If you are taking a cab, be cognizant of the office rush hour
USA and me had resisted each for a long time, so much so that I was probably the last one in my peer group to set foot on the American soil. I could not comprehend the reason fully, but somehow even the ever-shrinking world had not brought me closer to US, or US to me. Nevertheless, it was a business trip. Tickets were booked, visas were stamped and I set sailing on a 15 hour-long journey to New York, to the other world.
New York can appear cold and rude at the first sight, but there’s more to it than that. To understand New York, one needs to appreciate the history of this truly cosmopolitan city. It was called New Amsterdam in the 17th century by the Dutch, before getting its present name from the Brits. It has been a gateway to America for the people from East. Over the last 5 centuries, millions have traversed the Atlantic by ships and planes and crossed this city to explore this vast country. Of course, some chose to stay.
I have tried below to guide you to plan your stay and sightseeing in New York but the best way to explore the city is to just walk around on the streets and go nowhere. Start walking in a different direction everyday and try to smell and absorb the city.
Statue of Liberty:
It is said that when people travelled through the Atlantic for days in ships to reach the shores of America, the first sight they’d see was the Statue of Liberty. Seeing the statue exhilarated them, because they knew they had made it. The statue is located on the Liberty Island, which is a 20-minute ferry ride from Battery Park.
It is another small island, just minutes away from Liberty Island. It has a museum depicting American history and the great immigrations that have happened in the world. When the immigrants used to reach American shores by ships, they were checked here at the Ellis Island before being allowed on the mainland. Both Ellis and Liberty Island have audio guides available, which you can use while exploring these historical places.
Along with London and Singapore, New York is a major financial centre of the world with. Wall Street is the culmination of the muscle of the financial markets in US and around the world. More often than not, the demands and advice from there is heeded to by the corporates. There is a Charging Bull statue stationed on the street. Popular among the tourists, it is the embodiment of might of the Wall Street in the financial world.
Top of the Rock:
There are 2 ways to see New York from the top. Either you can go to the Empire State Building (which is the 2nd tallest building in New York after One World Trade Centre) or you can go to 30, Rockefeller Plaza, also called Top of the Rock. My colleagues suggested me to visit Top of the Rock because from observation deck here, one can also see Empire State building, which is an iconic building. But you cannot see Empire State from top of Empire State. Nevertheless, it was a great experience and totally worth the time and money.
If you thought New York was a concrete Jungle, Central Park are the lungs of this Jungle. It is a huge park with a pond and lush greenery. One can cycle around the park, or go skating or just walking. While sitting in the park, one can also appreciate the skyline of New York.
It is one of the oldest bridges in United States and connects Brooklyn to Manhattan. The good thing about this bridge is that you can walk on this bridge on a special walkway built between the two lanes.
High Line is an abandoned elevated railway track that has been converted into a monument and a park. One can just walk onto it and experience the uniqueness of this park. There are also some beautiful graffitis on the nearby walls of the high line.
Museums in New York:
If you are interested in arts and history, there are also some big museums in New York. You can try exploring Museum of Modern Art and American Museum of Natural History.