New York City. Travel & Tourism Info

City of New York

The City that Never Sleeps. New York City (NYC) is the most populous city in the United States. *New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass. The five boroughs – *Brooklyn, *Queens, *Manhattan, the *Bronx, and Staten Island – were consolidated into a single city in 1898. New York City was the capital of the United States from 1785 until 1790.

The Statue of Liberty (map) greeted millions of immigrants as they came to the U.S. by ship in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and is a symbol of the U.S. and its ideals of liberty and peace. As many as 800 languages are spoken in New York, making it the most linguistically diverse city in the world.

NY (iloveny.com) is both a logo and a song that are the basis of an advertising campaign and have been used since 1977 to promote tourism in New York City.

OFFICIAL TOURISM WEBSITE

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New York City traces its origins to a trading post founded by colonists from the Dutch Republic in 1624 on Lower Manhattan; the post was named New Amsterdam in 1626. The city and its surroundings came under English control in 1664 and were renamed New York.

New York City has more than 2,000 arts and cultural organizations and more than 500 art galleries. Museum Mile (map) is the name for a section of Fifth Avenue running from 82nd to 105th streets on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. The Mile, which contains one of the densest displays of culture in the world, is actually three blocks longer than one mile (1.6 km). Ten museums occupy the length of this section of Fifth Avenue. >> *List of museums in New York City

Manhattan (map) is sometimes locally known as The City, the geographically smallest and most densely populated borough, is home to Central Park (map, + New York City Department of Parks & Recreation). Manhattan’s skyline, with its many skyscrapers, is universally recognized, and the city has been home to several of the tallest buildings in the world.

Times Square (map) is the brightly illuminated hub of the Broadway Theater District (broadway.org), one of the world’s busiest pedestrian intersections, and a major center of the world’s entertainment industry.

The Queens Night Market (map) in Flushing Meadows–Corona Park attracts more than ten thousand people nightly to sample food from more than 85 countries.

The George Washington Bridge (map) is the world’s busiest motor vehicle bridge. The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge (map) is the longest suspension bridge in the Americas and one of the world’s longest. The *Brooklyn Bridge (map) is an icon of the city itself.

A general word of advice on sightseeing in New York.

Tourists often spend their entire vacation in New York standing in line (or as New Yorkers say, “on line”). This is often unnecessary; there are usually alternatives.

For example, one can choose to avoid the Empire State Building during the day (it is open, and much quieter, late, until 2AM), skip the Statue of Liberty in favor of the Staten Island Ferry, and stay away from the Guggenheim on Monday (it is one of the only museums open that day).

Also, there is no reason to stand in line for a Broadway show if you already have a ticket with an assigned seat. If you prefer, get a drink nearby and come back closer to curtain time, when you can walk right in.

The lines for bus tours can be absurd because tourists all seem to have exactly the same itinerary – which is get on a bus in the morning in Times Square, get off for the Statue of Liberty, and finish on the East Side in the afternoon.

Why not go downtown in the morning, and save Midtown for the afternoon? You will thank yourself for avoiding the crowds.

Also, understand that buses are the slowest way to go crosstown in Midtown Manhattan during peak hours, and taxis are not much better. You are often better off on foot. Additionally, New York rush hour (especially in Manhattan) puts much of the city in gridlock – all subway lines and roads will be much busier from 4:30pm to 6:30pm.

Public transport

MTA.INFO / + MTA’s Trip Planner

Despite a reputation for being dirty, the subway, which operates 24 hours a day, is the fastest and best way to travel around four boroughs of the city; it hasn’t reached Staten Island, which is served by a separate railway.

Amtrak / Pennsylvania Station

John F. Kennedy International Airport / LaGuardia Airport

NYC Ferry (wiki) / NY Waterway (wiki) / Staten Island Ferry (wiki)

***A word of advice about driving in New York City: don’t. (No one in New York drove; there was too much traffic. – Philip J. Fry, Futurama)

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