The Big Apple, America’s second capital, the place where dreamers go to live, New York is a city worth visiting and here is a list of the top free and ticketed attractions and sights to visit!
Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island
The iconic Statue of Liberty pretty much encapsulates the perceptions and ideals of America: Freedom and Democracy. Gifted by the French and facing that country in an ironic positioning considering that France was being oppressed at the time, this impressive figure is worth a visit not least because then you can say you’ve been!
Ellis Island appeared in the film Hitch which highlighted the huge mass of immigrants that passed through it on their way to the Land of Opportunity between 1892-1954. This is a fascinating insight into the history of the American peoples and to the multi-cultural and pro-tolerance society that America has built.
Combine the two and you can smash out a couple of the main New York attractions in one go.
Times: Ferry’s run every 15-20 minutes from Battery Park between 9am-3:30pm
Prices: £41.38 pp (as of April 2016) includes full 4.5 hour guided tour
Location: Battery Park, New York, NY
Free Tip: If you’re on a budget, you can get great views of the city and the Statue of Liberty by taking the ferry to Staten Island and back which is free and usually has no queues
Central Park – FREE
This one’s a free one and, for any Friends enthusiasts, an essential one. You don’t have to run like Phoebe through the park but it may help you get to the end of the 3.42km stretch of lakes, trees and grass in the heart of New York City. There’s always a few runners about but if you don’t fancy joining them have a stroll or even better hitch a carriage ride!
You can head to the Kerbs Boathouse Café in the middle of the park for refreshment, visit the Central Park Zoo in the South End, or catch a ride on the popular 57 horse Carousel!
Location: Central Park, Central Manhattan, New York, NY
Central Park Website
9/11 Ground Zero Memorial – FREE
A tragedy that has shaped the US and many lives connected with it, you can pay homage to the lost at this beautiful yet haunting memorial. A tribute to the near 3,000 people that were lost, the memorial has twin reflecting pools nearly an acre in size sitting within the footprints of where the two towers stood.
The names of all victims from the 11th September 2001 terror attack and the 1993 bombing attacks are inscribed in bronze around the pools. The terror attacks saw the largest loss of life from a foreign attack on American soil and the single greatest loss of rescue personnel in American history.
Opening times: 7:30am-9pm
Address: 180 Greenwich Street, New York, NY 10007
9/11 Memorial Website
Grand Central Station – FREE
Grand Central Terminal, Grand Central Station or simply Grand Central as it’s commonly known, has appeared in countless movies and is one of the most well-known New York landmarks. Seen in films such as North by North West, Carlito’s Way, The Avengers and the animated movie Madagascar, you can venture into this iconic building for shopping, restaurants and the inevitable selfie!
Stop for a morning coffee, browse the 68 shops, get some lunch or dinner at the Oyster Bar & Restaurant and then get your anti-prohibition on at the historic Campbell Apartment. This apartment was the former office and salon of the roaring 1920’s businessman John W. Campbell and you can enjoy Great Gatsby glamour with cocktails on a night out here. Dress code: Proper Attire.
Opening times: 5:30am-2am
Address: 89 East 42nd Street, New York, NY 10017
Grand Central Website
Empire State Building
If you do one thing in New York it has to be ascending the famous Empire State Building. Climb up to the 86th or 102nd floor – you’re ears are going to pop on the way up so be prepared – and get a great panoramic view of the city that never sleeps.
Opening times: 8am-2am
Quietest times: 8am-11am
Address: 350 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10118
Be aware: street ticket sales agents are not employed by the Empire State Building (their guys are sporting a snazzy red uniform as of May 2016), so don’t get sweet-talked into paying more than you should!
Prices:Main deck 86th floor only: $32 |Main deck 86th floor and top deck 102nd floor: $52
Tiffanys & Co. – FREE
Tiffany’s flagship store on Fifth Avenue and the breakfasting haunt of a rivetingly stunning 1960s Audrey Hepburn is well worth a visit just so you can say you’ve been there.
You might not be buying from the gorgeous collection of branded Tiffany bracelets or diamond rings (although let’s hope your other half is if you’re on a couple’s getaway!) but heading into the very classically laid out jewellery store, even for 5 minutes, is worth it.
Opening times: 10am-7pm Mon-Sat, 12pm-6pm Sundays
Address: Fifth Avenue and 57th Street, New York, NY 10022
Times Square – FREE
Free and totally awesome and iconic, every visitor to New York needs to head to Times Square to look at all the huge billboard screens, feel the buzz of the crowds thronging the place, catch sight of a NYPD cop and maybe, if you’re lucky, be serenaded by the naked cowboy that hangs out in the vicinity!
Smack bang in the middle of the theatre district, you can always catch a Broadway show while you’re there!
Tip: Head to the light-up stairs to sit down and absorb the atmosphere and sights
Opening times: All the time but seeing it in the night all lit up is pretty cool
Times Square Website