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New York City, USA: Travel Guide

Top attractions in the Big Apple!
Home to some of the tallest skyscrapers and most iconic landmarks, New York City (NYC) is arguably the world's most vibrant metropolis. The Big Apple is famous for just about everything stylish and glamorous -- shopping, art, dining, nightlife, theater, you name it. Spread across five boroughs (Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens and Staten Island), each with its own distinct flavor, the bustling NYC is quite literally an eclectic fusion of different cultures, making it a one-of-a-kind destination.

Weather/ when to go:

Spring in New York is lovely, with mild temperatures ideal for strolling. Summer can be extremely warm, sometimes uncomfortably so (no thanks to global warming). Expect hot, humid and sticky conditions at this time of year, especially as this is typically the time when many tourists visit NYC. Come fall, things cool off again, and during winter it can get very chilly, so expect to need warmer clothing then. Snow is not uncommon in winter but this can be a lovely time to visit if you don't mind braving the cold.

Do & see:

There's so much to do in New York! Don't miss some of these attractions.

Statue of Liberty

The iconic American symbol was a present from France in celebration of the centenary of US independence. She has dominated NY Harbor since 1886 and has been a National Monument since 1924. Climb to the crown but beware -- it's 354 steps up! Be sure to book in advance if you want to do this. The number of people who can go up the stairs is capped. Want to learn more about the Statue of Liberty while you're there? Check out the Museum.
Address: Liberty Island, 10004 New York Harbor
Website: www.nps.gov/stli


Empire State Building

See stunning views of NYC from the Observatories on the 86th and 102nd floors. On a clear day, you can see as far as New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Delaware. Want to visit at night? It's open until the early hours, with live music from Thursday to Saturday nights. Highlights include the NY Skyride -- a virtual tour simulator on the second floor which is narrated by actor Kevin Bacon.
Address: 350 Fifth Ave at 34th St
Website: www.esbnyc.com


Top of the Rock Observation Deck

This is another opportunity to see panoramic views of NYC, this time at the top of the Rockefeller Center. On the 67th and 69th floors are outdoor terraces with transparent viewing glass. For an open-air viewing experience, you'll need to head for the 70th floor.
Website: www.topoftherocknyc.com/

Rockefeller Center

The Observation Deck is just one highlight of the Rockefeller Center. Go behind-the-scenes at the NBC television studios and the Radio City Music Hall, enjoy the tranquil greenery of the Channel Gardens and in winter, show off your moves at the Ice Skating Rink. There are also some great shopping options here. If you've worked up an appetite after all that, head for one of the many eating and drinking facilities. Visiting around Christmas time? Don't miss the famous Christmas tree!
Address: from Fifth to Seventh Aves & 48th to 51st Sts
Website: www.rockefellercenter.com


Ground Zero Museum

The 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center was hugely significant moment for America. This poignant museum highlights the work done by Ground Zero Recovery workers and honors the lives lost in the attack.
Website: www.groundzeromuseum.com/

Grand Central Terminal

Also known as Grand Central station, countless commuters pass through here every day. This isn't just any train station though -- Grand Central Terminal is one of NYCís famous landmarks thanks to its stunning Beaux-Arts architecture. It's been around since 1871 and has been given several renovations since then including a cleaning of the huge astronomical ceiling mural.
Address: Park Ave at 42nd St B4
Website: www.grandcentralterminal.com


Central Park

Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1963, there's lots to do here. Take a bike tour or carriage ride around Central Park and visit Central Park Zoo.
Address: Manhattan Bounded by 5th Ave & Central Park W
Website: www.centralparknyc.org


Brooklyn Botanical Garden

If you're looking for some calm amid the hustle and bustle of the city, head on down to the Brooklyn Botanical Garden. Itís generally less busy compared to Central Park and has a variety of flora to admire. If you'll be in NYC between late April and early May, don't miss the annual Cherry Blossom festival.
Address: 1000 Washington Ave
Website: www.bbg.org


Museum of Modern Art

Work from van Gogh, Picasso and Warhol are included in the collection and not necessarily just the obvious additions -- in 2011, exhibits included Warhol's motion picture collection and Picasso's guitars.
Address: 11 W 53rd St btwn Fifth & Sixth Aves
Website: www.moma.org


Guggenheim Art Museum

Arts fans will love this world-renowned museum. Permanent exhibitions include the Thannhauser Collection, which features work by classic artists such as Manet, Cezanne, Monet, Picasso, Renoir and van Gogh.
Address: 1071 Fifth Ave at 89th St
Website: www.guggenheim.org


Broadway

NYC is famed for its theatrical shows so don't miss out on seeing a hit Broadway show while you're in town. There is also Off-Broadway for slightly less mainstream offering and even Off-Off-Broadway in some select venues. Although most Broadway theatres are actually in and around Broadway, don't be fooled by theater locations. 'Broadway' officially refers to theaters seating over 500, while 'Off-Broadway' theaters seat between 100 and 499. 'Off-Off-Broadway' is much more intimate with less than 100 seats.

Shopping

NYC has everything from big name department stores to quirky shopping in Greenwich Village and bagging bargains in Chinatown.

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