New York Destination Guide
From the bright neon lights of Times Square to the jaw-dropping skyscrapers of Wall Street, New York is one of the most exciting cities in the world! Boasting world-class museums and art galleries, incredible icons that you will recognise from Hollywood movies, and an array of award-winning restaurants and bars, New York bursts with energy, people and culture.
In the city that never sleeps, everything seems bigger, bolder, faster and noisier – because it is! Attracting more than 50 million visitors a year, the Big Apple is a vibrant and fast-paced metropolis with so much to see and do.
- Country: USA
- Currency: US Dollar (USD)
- Offical Language: English
- Visas: Australians need to apply for an Electronic System Travel Authorisation (ESTA) before departing Australia
- Tipping: Tips of between 15% and 20% are standard for all services
- Electricity: US outlets run on 120V and use Type B plugs
Temperature (max C)
J 5, F 10, M 16, A 16, M 22, J 26, J 29, A 28, S 24, O 18, N 12, D 6
Rainfall (max mm)
J 94, F 97, M 91, A 81, M 81, J 84, J 107, A 109, S 86, O 89, N 76, D 91
The kind of New York you experience is up to you. From high-end shopping to the hipster haunts of Brooklyn, the bright lights of Broadway and the endless opportunities on offer across the crowded isle of Manhattan, one trip is all it takes to get swept up in the excitement of New York.
The island of Manhattan arguably contains the most things to do in New York, starting with Times Square in the heart of the Theatre District, and nearby Midtown. Check out trendy Greenwich Village for quaint bars and atmospheric cafes before heading uptown to the famous Central Park.
Once you've ticked off the Top of the Rock, Empire State and Wall Street, consider broadening your scope towards the boroughs of Queens, Brooklyn or even The Bronx.
Capture these postcard-perfect moments...
- Manhattan skyline from Brooklyn Bridge Park
- Statue of Liberty on the Staten Island Ferry
- Chrysler Building from atop the Empire State
New York restaurants offer some of the world's finest dining as well as a smorgasbord of cheap eats. New York's street food is legendary, from hot dog stands to ubiquitous bagel shops. As one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world, the Big Apple has also perfected a multicultural palate.
The Chinatown district in Manhattan is renowned for its authentic restaurants, as is its neighbour Little Italy – don't leave without trying a classic slice of New York pizza! New York is also famous for its bar scene, from the bohemian vibe of Greenwich Village to exclusive cocktail bars on the Upper East Side. Staying up late is a must in the city that never sleeps – see if you can uncover the city’s hidden speakeasy-style bars.
Don’t leave without tasting...
- Bagels from a Jewish deli
- Magnolia Bakery’s cupcakes
- Gray’s Papaya hotdogs
New York hotels can be expensive, particularly in Manhattan, but the views are worth every penny if you swing an upper-floor stay in Midtown. Each neighbourhood in Manhattan offers something different, so spend some time deciding which is right for you.
Will you choose the grungy vibes of the Lower East Side, or the chic style of Chelsea? Travelling on tight purse strings? A stay across the East River in Long Island City is a great way to boost the shopping funds, as the neighbourhood is conveniently connected to Manhattan by the Queensboro Bridge. Hotels in Brooklyn are slightly harder to come by, though you can still rub shoulders (and compare cardigans) with trendy hipsters and upcoming avant-garde artists in vibrant Williamsburg.
Enjoy some outdoor time in...
- Green and lush Prospect Park
- The Empire State's observation deck
- Rooftop oasis The Elevated Acre
As a global centre of fashion and commerce, it's no surprise New York shopping is some of the best on offer anywhere in the world. Ritzy Madison Avenue on the Upper East Side is famous for its high-end boutiques, and a great place to simply people-watch if you can't bear to look at the price tags. Just as exclusive is Fifth Avenue in Midtown, with its wide range of exclusive designer emporiums.
The city is also famous for the sprawling Bloomingdale's and Macy's department stores that, between them, sell just about everything imaginable. Savvy shoppers will seek out the designer sample sales, while only the brave will attempt the notorious(ly rewarding) Black Friday sales the day after Thanksgiving.
Shop up a storm at...
- Bloomingdale's – a New York favourite
- Famous toy store FAO Schwarz
- Saks Fifth End, for high-end brands
New York Like a Local
With locals as famous as its dazzling cityscape, you should consider some quintessential walking tours once you've booked your New York flights. There are dozens of different guided or independent tours available, many of which are run by locals with intimate knowledge of the city's diverse neighbourhoods.
Specialist tours include visits to some of New York's best known rock music and jazz clubs, guided tours of the city's famous eateries, and tours highlighting famous landmarks showcased in television shows such as Sex And The City and Seinfeld. To truly channel your inner New Yorker, rub shoulders with the locals at a sports game.
Get behind the local sporting legends...
- The Knicks (basketball)
- The Rangers (hockey)
- The Mets / Yankees (baseball)
1. Bargain lunch deals at top restaurants: Eat at some of New York’s most expensive restaurants for a quarter of the price. Manhattan’s best restaurants, including Del Posto, ABC Kitchen and Gotham, offer prix fixe lunch deals Monday to Friday, from as low as US$29 for three courses.
2. Cheap theatre tickets in NYC: Don’t pay full price for Broadway shows such as Phantom of the Opera or Kinky Boots. Instead head to the TKTS ticket booths in Times Square and Brooklyn where tickets are reduced by 25% to 50% on the day of the performance. Arrive early to avoid the lines.
3. Free art & culture: See some of the world’s best art for free at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on 85th Street, near 5th Avenue. You might think that the entry fee is US$25 from the sign at the ticket booth, but if you look at the small print, it is in fact a voluntary donation.
Did you know...? Horse racing writer John J. Fitz Gerald first used the term 'the Big Apple' in a 1921 article for the New York Morning Telegraph. He had heard the term around the stables of New Orleans from jockeys who wanted to race on the big New York City tracks.