New York Hotels and City Guide,Travel Information and Attractions.

’New York, New York, a helluva town’, so said Comden and Green in the famous Bernstein song of 1945. If it was a helluva town then, the sentiment has certainly grown through the latter half of the last century, making today’s New York one of the best-loved and most exciting cities in the world. Synonymous with American dreaming, simply running through a list of names conjures romantic images on a par with the stories, music and movies that gave them to the world. Manhattan, the Catskills, the Bronx, Time Square, Madison Square Garden, Empire State Building, Coney Island, Broadway, Central Park, even the decidedly plainly named Upper East Side has a ring of adventure about it. Visitors rarely manage to satisfy their curiosity in one trip. It is a city to be visited time and again, constantly growing and changing and keeping itself at the pinnacle of the world.

New York Attractions

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

1000 Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street, New York City, NY 10028
Tel: +1 212 535 7710

New York’s most popular tourist attraction contains approximately three million exhibits, making planning a necessary part of any visit. Superb floor plans and descriptions of installations and exhibits are available in the Great Hall.

Guggenheim Museum
1071 Fifth Avenue at 89th Street, New York City, NY 10128
Tel: +1 212 423 3500

This beautifully constructed building is a work of art in itself. Visitors start at the top and spiral down and around the building, viewing artefacts on the way. The recent addition of a ten-storey wing makes the Guggenheim’s collection one of the largest in New York. Closed Thursdays.

The Museum of Modern Art
11 West 53rd Street, New York City, NY 10019
Tel: +1 212 708 9400

’MoMA’ is one of the most popular galleries in the United States, loved for its simplistic layout, superb collections, people-friendly atmosphere and annual retrospectives. Some of the world’s finest art is on display here including Van Gogh’s Starry Night and Monet’s panelled Water Lilies. Closed Tuesdays.

The Cloisters
Fort Tryon Park, New York City, NY 10040
Tel: +1 212 923 3700

Medieval art and architecture. Part of The Metropolitan Museum. Open Tuesday to Sunday from 09:30 to 17:30. Closes at 17:00 November to February.

Empire State Building
350 Fifth Avenue at 34th Street, New York City, NY 10118
Tel: +1 212 736 3100

Built in 1931 as an office complex, it was said to help pull New York out of the depression. King Kong climbed it in 1933, and it is still open today for vertigo-free visitors. Go early in the morning or late in the day to avoid queuing. Open daily.

Statue of Liberty
Liberty Island, New York City, NY 10004
Tel: +1 212 363 3200

New York’s gift from the French in 1886, the Statue of Liberty stands 151 feet high. Lifts and steps take visitors to the top but queues can be extremely long. Go in the morning and be prepared to spend most of the day waiting, particularly during the summer.

New York Shopping

For many, New York’s shops and stores are the city’s main attraction. Shopping in New York is theatre, architecture and unparalleled people-watching all rolled into one. As well as the world-famous department stores, there is an overwhelming array of unique, one-of-a-kind shops that share street space with every chain that anyone could ever mention.

Stores are generally open Monday to Saturday from 10:00 to 17:30, but neighbourhood variations do exist. In midtown and lower Manhattan, shops are often closed for the entire weekend. Most stores on the Lower East Side and in the 47th Street diamond district close on Friday afternoons and Saturdays for the Jewish Sabbath but open on Sunday. Sunday hours are rare on the Upper East Side, although common on the West Side and districts such as SoHo and the Village. New York shops are collected in neighbourhoods rather than malls, and when the weather is fine, shop-crawling is a popular pastime with both locals and visitors.

New York Shopping Neighbourhoods

The shops at South Street Seaport are located on the cobbled, traffic-free extension to Fulton Street (the Fulton Street Market is the original location of the city’s fish market) and the three levels of Pier 17. The neighbourhood features some of the country’s upmarket retailers, and business is always brisk, especially on hot summer days and weekends.

Once the home of millions of Jewish immigrants from Russia and eastern Europe, the Lower East Side is New York’s best bet for bargain shopping. At the centre of the neighbourhood is the narrow but colourful Orchard Street, which is crammed with tiny, no-nonsense clothing and shoe stores from right across the range. Sunday is the busiest and best day of the week when the immense crowds can make the busy shop assistants a tad sharp.

Major art galleries keep company with the vast array of chic clothing stores in SoHo. The neighbourhood is mainly occupied by West Broadway but also takes in Broadway and Wooster, Greene, Mercer, Prince, Spring, Broome and Grand streets.

The Lower Fifth Avenue neighbourhood is considered to be the area of Fifth Avenue south of 20th Street and the streets that fan east and west. This area is home to some of New York’s hippest shops and attracts a lively and trendy downtown crowd. Emporio Armani, Paul Smith and Matsuda are all based here, and book-lovers flock to the enormous Barnes & Noble on the south-east and south-west corners of 18th Street.

Herald Square is found at the intersection of 34th Street and Avenue of the Americas (Sixth Avenue). The linchpin of the area has traditionally been the huge Macy’s department store but it is also the home of other vast stores like Manhattan’s first Toys ’R’ Us. The concentration of shops in a small area makes it a reasonable choice in bad weather.

Midtown, near Grand Central, is home to the best men’s tailors and clothiers. Women seeking business suits and formal wear are also well catered for. The area here stretches to the area of Madison Avenue, known as Trad Avenue.

Fifth Avenue, from Central Park South to Rockefeller, is one of New York’s most famous and best-loved districts. The boulevard that was once home to some of the biggest names in New York retailing has lost some ground in recent years to Madison Avenue north of 57th Street but still remains an important stop for the shopper. Major Fifth Avenue players include FAO Schwarz and Bergdorf Goodman (at 58th Street), Tiffany and Bvlgari jewellers (at 57th Street), Cartier (at 52nd Street) and Saks Fifth Avenue (at 50th Street). In addition, the Rockefeller Center itself also features a plethora of shops.

57th Street, the thoroughfare of Carnegie Hall, the Russian Tea Room and the Hard Rock Cafe, is home to stores that sell everything from discount books to diamond bracelets worth six figures. Another popular and famous stop of the shopping trip to New York, 57th Street also provides an address to top art galleries such as Pace and Andre Emmerich.

Columbus Avenue, between 66th and 86th streets, is a former tenement district that is now home to the city’s glitziest stores. Contemporary in design, the stores offer upmarket but not top-of-the-line styles.

The Upper East Side, roughly between 57th and 79th streets on Madison and Lexington avenues, is home to the New York branches of world-renowned designer emporiums. In addition, smaller independent retailers fill their stores with the unique and stylish. Domestic and imported items for the home, fine antiques and high-quality clothing dominate the Upper East Side, and in spite of this, the prices are not as unaffordable as one might expect.

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