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New York tourist guide: what to visit and useful tips

If you are going to spend your vacation in New York, it is very important to know the basics of the city. Here you will find a basic guide in Spanish in which we talk about its neighborhoods, where to eat and what to do, among other useful tips.

Below you have an index with all the points that we are going to deal with in this article.

General information

New York, also known as NYC (New York City), is a city inhabited by 8.4 million inhabitants located in the state of the same name, New York, northeast of the United States. Every year it beats record tourists, being one of the most visited cities in the world.

In the city you will find four tourist offices where they have bilingual employees. One of them is located in Times Square, specifically between 43rd and 44th streets.

All visitors to New York must pay two tourist fees. First, a single rate of $ 14 (€ 11) directed to the United States; and another from the city itself, whose price is $ 3 per night and room. Normally these fees are paid together with the price of the hotel you are staying at.

Payment of tourist tax in New York hotels

Before traveling to New York it is essential to know the necessary documentation for this, since many countries need a visa. The procedures you must do vary depending on whether it is the first time you travel there or not. If you have not been before, you must keep a queue and follow all the steps that the agents request.

However, if you have already entered the United States before with the THIS (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) you will be able to carry out all the procedures faster and in one machine thanks to the Automated Passport Control (APC) system.

If you want to go deeper into this topic, in the following article you have all the information: Requirements to travel to the United States: visa and apply for ESTA.

It is also important to hire a travel medical insurance that covers the possible services that we will need, since health in the US is quite expensive.

Also, if you need to take medications on your trip, you must transport them in their original packaging and with a prescription, since customs agents will request it.

Customs control at New York airport

New York is a huge city with a lot of possibilities. Therefore, it is possible to visit it with little money, as there are free museums, cheap accommodation, etc.

The need for a wheelchair to move is not a problem, since in recent years the city has been adapting so that people with reduced mobility can enjoy it without problems.

Travelers in New York and tourist information

How to get

The most comfortable way to get to New York is by plane. The city has three airports that receive thousands of visitors from around the world every day. The most important is the John F. Kennedy International Airport.

From Spain there are direct flights with the companies Iberia and Air Europa. From South America, the most prominent company is American Airways (formerly known as US Airways), Delta and LATAM Airlines.

It is also possible to travel to this city by boat. The shipping company Cunard Line offers cruises from Southampton (United Kingdom) to New York aboard the ocean liner Queen Mary 2. This is the only cruise option of this type, so traveling by boat from Spain is a complicated choice.

Transatlantic Queen Mary 2

If you find yourself touring other areas of the United States, arriving in New York by car is a viable proposal. It is also an option for people in South America, but you should know that a tour of such proportions has a very high cost taking into account gasoline, tolls, accommodation, etc.

Choose the form of transport you choose, you must keep in mind that in New York there are important customs controls that you must pass both on the way out and on the way back, knowing the prohibited objects and the limit of duty-free purchases.

Where to stay

In New York there are hotels tailored to every pocket and for all tastes. Some of the most famous luxury hotels in the city are the Ritz-Carlton Central Park and The Plaza Hotel, where the movie «Breakfast with diamonds» was filmed.

Room of The Plaza Hotel, New York

Another option that is increasingly fashionable are tourist apartments, which offer greater flexibility and independence. They are usually rented especially for long stays.

How to move

With public transportation you can get anywhere in New York. The subway remains open 24 hours a day throughout the year and has no less than 26 different lines. In addition, there are also more than 200 bus routes.

New York subway stop

There are also tourist buses, which offer you an explanation of the places you are going through and make routes through the main points of the city.

A derivative of this service is the tourist bus hop on hop off, which has the same characteristics as the rest, but also makes regular stops, so you can get on and off wherever and whenever you want.

Neighborhoods

In New York we find five main districts, although within these are other smaller neighborhoods.

The Bronx

Famous for being the birthplace of hip-hop. It is the most alternative neighborhood in the city, and until a few years ago one of the most conflictive. Its most famous buildings are the Zoo, the Botanical Garden and the Stadium of the New York Yankees.

Yankee Stadium, in the Bronx, New York

Brookly

It is the neighborhood preferred by artists, as well as the most hipster. The Brooklyn Bridge stands out, which is 1,825 meters long and is one of the symbols of New York. It joins the areas of Brooklyn and Manhattan.

It is the most populous district of the city, since it has more than 2,600,000 inhabitants. He has a lot of international fame, since he grew up illustrious characters like Woody Allen and Barbra Streisand.

Brooklyn residential street, New York

Manhattan

Formed by an island that is situated at the mouth of the Hudson River. Here we find some of the most famous buildings, such as the Empire State Building, as well as most of the city's attractions.

Among its streets, Broadway stands out, which communicates with Times Square, which highlights the lights of its great ads. It also connects with Seventh Avenue.

Brooklyn Bridge in Manhattan

Queens

Here is the MoMA PS1, a part of the most important contemporary art museum in the world. It also stands out for the many restaurants in different countries that are on its streets, where you can try dishes never seen.

It is a quieter neighborhood, but it is evolving rapidly, due in part to tourists. Also, the United States Tennis Open is held here.

Fabulous views from a Queens park

Staten island

It is the least tourist neighborhood in New York, although it also has important attractions. From it you can take a free ferry with great views of Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty.

However, this area has some attractions, since it retains a good number of buildings from the colonial era. We also found an imposing strong defense, the Fort Wadsworth.

Views of the Statue of Liberty from the Staten Island ferry

What to see and do

If you want to see New York from the hand of a professional, there are numerous tourist circuits in which a tour guide will explain everything about the city that never sleeps. However, there are several plans you can make on your own.

New York Pass

If you don't want to miss anything, there is a tourist pass called New York Pass With which, for a single price that varies depending on the days you use it, you can visit more than 80 different attractions.

American Museum of Natural History, New York

Shopping

An extended practice among tourists is to go shopping. The Fifth Avenue area at the height of Central park It is where the most luxurious stores are located.

If you are looking for something cheaper, on the outskirts of the city there are several outlets in which to find products at the best price.

Fifth Avenue: the shopping street in New York

There are numerous films that have been shot at this location. However, the most famous is «Breakfast with diamonds«, Which stars actress Audrey Hepburn.

Helicopter tour

Another unique activity that is becoming increasingly popular is to travel the sky over New York by helicopter. This experience gives you fantastic views of the city and its skyscrapers.

Flying over New York

You can find different offers to live this experience, it is even possible to do it at night, at which time the city shines by the lights of its skyscrapers.

Visit Wall Street

Among the tourist places that you can not miss is Wall Street, the center of the financial district where the New York Stock Exchange is located. Its most famous monument is the Wall Street Bull, a bronze sculpture that weighs 3,200 kg.

Wall Street: the financial district of New York

Also, the most important building is the New York Stock Exchange, which is currently only possible to see from the outside.

World Trade Center and Zero Zone

Since the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers in 2001, the World trade center became the Zero zone. The 9/11 Memorial is surprising, formed by two great sources in which the names of the victims of this attack are written.

Aerial view of Ground Zero, New York

Also, since 2014, the 9/11 Museum can be accessed, in which there are exposed photographs and elements that recall the tragedy that happened that day and pay homage to the victims.

Broadway and the musicals

A mandatory stop for cultural tourism lovers is Broadway. In this avenue, located in Manhattan, are the theaters in which the world's most famous musicals are represented.

Broadway, New York Avenue located in Manhattan

Gastronomy

Although fast food like hamburger or hot dog popular in this city, we also find several more elaborate and healthy typical dishes.

One of them are the Benedict eggs, which are made with poached eggs, toast, ham or bacon and hollandaise sauce.

Apple pie is also very typical or Apple Pie, a dessert that can not be missing in any US house, especially in autumn, at which time apples are harvested.

Typical New York dessert: apple pie

Where to eat

As with hotels, in New York there are restaurants for all budgets. One of the most luxurious is the Daniel restaurant, located between Madison Avenue and Central park.

Another cheaper option and also practiced by New Yorkers is to eat mobile food stands. You will find them throughout the city and there are not only fast food, but also Mediterranean, Mexican, sweet food, etc.

Night life

As we have said before, New York is the city that never sleeps. The night is the perfect time to visit the rooftops, terraces located on the roof of the buildings where cocktails and other drinks are served.

Times Square at night

If you prefer to go to discos, the minimum age to enter them is 21 years and you should always show your passport. They usually open at eleven at night and close at four in the morning.

Appropriate clothing

It is advisable to visit the city with comfortable shoes that have already been used before, to avoid chafing and injury. In addition, better if it is insulating, especially in the months of greatest cold and rain.

The rest of the clothes must also be comfortable and adapted to the season of the year in which we find ourselves. Winters in New York tend to be very cold, and in them the great snowfall is never ruled out.

Suitable clothes for traveling to New York in winter

New York as a family

If you plan to travel with children, there are two places in the city that you cannot miss. The first one is Central park, ideal for a walk. The other is the American Museum of Natural History, protagonist of the movie «A Night at the Museum».

You can also visit the city with a baby without problems. You can do all the activities you want, and it is easy to find food for them. But you should keep in mind that babies can be significantly affected by the time change.

Enjoying New York as a family

If your children are older, New York is also a good destination to travel with teenagers, since it has a rich cultural, musical and sports offer in which you will find activities for the tastes of the whole family.

Itineraries

If you have little time to visit the city and you will only be 2 or 3 days, these are the essential places you should see:

  • Times Square
  • Central park
  • The fifth Avenue
  • New York Public Library
  • St. Patrick's Cathedral
  • Rockefeller Center
The Atlas Statue next to the Rockefeller Center, New York
  • Empire State Building
  • Flatiron building
  • Brooklyn bridge
  • New York City Hall
  • Wall street
  • World trade center
  • Statue of Liberty
  • Broadway

You can add the following sites to the above places if you are going to stay in the city for 4 or 5 days:

  • Chinatown
  • Soho
  • MoMA Museum
  • Belvedere Castle
  • American Museum of Natural History

If on the contrary you will be a week or more In New York, the ideal is to see the aforementioned tranquility, as well as to do some of the activities that we have already told you: Climb by helicopter, go shopping, watch a musical on Broadway, etc.

Taking advantage of the fact that you are in the United States, you can organize a combined trip in which you know the West Coast, Washington or Miami along with New York.

When to go and weather

In spring and autumn temperatures are moderate, and it is the perfect time to visit Central park. However, rains are more frequent. If you are in New York on October 31, you will live an authentic Halloween.

Although in winter it can be very cold and even snowing, the time near the Christmas It is a good time to travel to New York, since you will be able to see everything adorned and live experiences that only happen in this season of the year, such as the New Year's Eve or Thanksgiving.

Winter in Central Park

In summer there are many more outdoor shows than the rest of the year, so you can take advantage of the trip very well. But you have to keep in mind that temperatures can become very high.

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Finally, we have selected the previous and next article of the block "Prepare the trip"so you can continue reading:

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