Surely there is no other place like New York City in the whole World! Overflowing with countless opportunities, any visitor to this cosmopolitan metropolis has an occasion to experience and infinite number of cutting-edge entertainment spaces, culinary delights, shopping … Perhaps the most inspiring feeling of all, is the belief that for New Yorkers only the sky is the limit, hence the city attracts the mo
st ambitious individuals who desire to make it to the top, knowing what Frank Sinatra proudly sang, “If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere!”
In visiting New York, you too, are opening yourself up to a world of magnificent opportunities. Perhaps the never-ending list of things to do in the city is intimidating, but we’ve selected the top things to do for a pleasant itinerary around the city.
Start your journey with a bird’s eye view of the city, it will greatly help you to understand the layout of the city and is surely more fun if you can skip the lines, which you do by arriving first thing in the morning or buying tickets online.
The Empire State Building is a 102-storey skyscraper located in Midtown Manhattan, located on the site of the original Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. The 381m-high building opened its doors in 1931 after the laying of 10 million bricks, installation of 6400 windows and the setting of 328,000 square feet of marble taking only 410 days. The view from its 86th-floor outdoor deck and 102nd-floor indoor deck are heavenly, offering spectacular views especially during sunset.
This building is easily recognised by the pair of marble lion sculptures, Patience and Fortitude, guarding its gates on Fifth Ave. Step inside to see the grand interior and appreciate the astonishing home of precious manuscripts by many notable authors in the English language, including an authentic Declaration of Independence and a Gutenberg Bible. To be able to explore this majestic collection of books, art and architectural masterpieces properly, join a free guided tour or a free audio guide from the information desk.
Built during the Great Depression, this 22-acre complex was America’s first versatile area that houses a mix of offices, retail stores and entertainment spaces. Sprawling over 19 buildings, the Centre offers plenty to see and do, including taking a tour of the Radio City Music Hall and the NBC Studio Tours.
During the festive season, Rockefeller Plaza hosts New York’s most famous Christmas tree that is traditionally lit just after Thanksgiving. Adjacent is New York’s most famous ice-skating rink which is exceptionally magical, but can also be crowded. Come summer, the rink is transformed into a charming cafe.
Declared a National Landmark in 1987, the Center is also graced with the creations of 30 great artists that embellish the Art Deco Skyscrapers with their exceptional works of art. If you have time, stroll uptown on Fifth Avenue for a first class shopping spree.
Completed in 1913, the Grand Central Terminal (also known as Grand Central Station) is another one of New York’s architectural gems. The impressive façade is clad in granite and limestone portraying ‘The Glory of Commerce’ designed by French sculptor Jules Felix Coutan and featuring Mercury – the Roman god of travel and commerce. The clock under Mercury’s foot has the biggest sample of Tiffany glass in the world.
Before entering the station, take a look towards Lexington Avenue and admire the famous scalloped spire of the Chrysler Building. Once inside the terminal, take the audio tour for insights into the building’s architecture and decor. Decorated with marble floors and ticket counters, the highlight of the internal majestic hall is the vaulted ceiling illustrating the constellations.
Whether you’re traveling somewhere or not, the station is worth visiting for the architecture alone, not to mention its swank cocktail lounge, an incredible seafood restaurant and a market offering delicacies from all over the world.
Avoid long queues by booking your tickets to this famous New York landmark online well in advance. Both the crown and the pedestal offer spectacular views, but in case you don’t manage to get such tickets, all ferry tickets to Liberty Island offer basic access to the grounds, included guided tours or audio tours.
Envisioned in 1865 by French intellectual Edouard Laboulaye, the Statue of Liberty is still recognized as a symbol for the ideals of opportunity and freedom. After French sculptor Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi spent more than 10 years creating the 151 foot tall Liberty sculpture in Paris, the statue was then shipped to New York, erected on a small island and unveiled in 1886. Liberty Island is usually visited in conjunction with nearby Ellis Island, which is known as the portal to the “New World” for millions of immigrants.
The magnificent and immense Central Park is a rectangle of open space in the middle of Manhattan. Occupying 843 acres, the park is a peaceful oasis that shelters New Yorkers from the insanity of city life.
Conceived in the 1860s by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux on the marshy northern fringe of the city, the park was designed as a leisure space for all New Yorkers with lush lawns, serene forests, blossoming gardens, lakes and wooden paths that provide a lovely spell of tranquillity.
Entertainment is not lacking – there is an outdoor theatre, a memorial to John Lennon, a charming restaurant by the lake (the Loeb Boathouse) and a legendary statue of Alice in Wonderland. Today, this park is one of the city’s most popular attractions, gathering crowds with free outdoor concerts and refined theatre held on regularly each summer. Visit the ornate Bethesda Fountain where you can rent rowboats or enjoy lunch, the Shakespeare Garden with its lush greenery and excellent views; and the Ramble, a wood that is popular with bird-watchers.
Lying at the intersection of Broadway and Seventh Avenue, this famous square is a legendary symbol of New York. Characterised by yellow cabs, golden arches, tall skyscrapers, flashy Broadway pavilions and glittering lights, the plaza emits an aura of excitement and thrill. What can be conceived as the most exciting place on the planet, this square is more magical after sunset when the lights are glowing and the crowds pulsating. Get tickets in advance and allow yourself to be mesmerised by one of Broadway’s world class theatrical productions
Covering 17 acres of galleries, The Metropolitan Museum is one of the largest museum in the world. It was founded in 1870 and houses a huge collection of paintings and historical artefacts. Known informally as ‘The Met’, the museum has an incredible collection of ancient Egyptian art, dating back to the Paleolithic era.
On the second floor you can find a stunning collection of European painting and other masterworks from the Middle East, Central Asia as well as South Asia. In the American galleries you can find a wide variety of decorative and fine art covering all periods of US history.
One of the best spots in the entire museum is the roof garden, which features rotating sculpture installations by contemporary artists, and offers spectacular views of the city and Central Park. On the Roof you can also find a coffee bar, which is a perfect spot to enjoy a drink – especially at sunset. The roof garden is open from April to October.
While on the isle of Manhattan, walk uptown to explore the buzzing Financial District of the city (or the world). Once on Wall Street, notice the Federal Hall National Memorial, where George Washington took the oath of office as the first President of the United States. Across the street is the renowned New York Stock Exchange. Behind the conceited Romanesque façade, about a billion shares are traded daily. Unfortunately, due to security concerns, this site is not open for public visits but feel free to admire the building from the outside.
Designed by Willian Van Alen in 1930, the 77-floor Chrysler Building is a fine example of contemporary architecture: a synthesis of modern and Gothic looks, decorated with steel eagles and crowned by a superb spire. The building was built to host the headquarters for Walter P Chrysler and his automobile empire.
Although the building does not offer a restaurant or an observation deck, its lobby is fantastic. Classic dark wood and marbles contrast against the steel of modern America. The lobby’s elevators are particularly pretty, with Egyptian lotus engraved in Oriental woods. Above is the world’s largest mural, Transport and Human Endevour, created by painter Edward Trumbull. At 97ft by 100ft, it depicts the golden American promise of industry and modernity.
Travel to New York from Malta, Tunis or Casablanca. Contact Planit Travel Services for flights and accommodation options.