Times Square is a must, even if you don’t stay long because of the crowds. Plenty of boat, bus and helicopter tours abound, but some of the best sights are free to see from wandering the streets, such as the Manhattan skyline from Brooklyn Bridge. The Metropolitan Museum of Art is an impressively comprehensive and varied art gallery, with over two million works of art spanning five thousand years.
Coney Island is a must for those intrigued by a bit of downmarket seediness. Children and adults can enjoy the funfair rides, as well as endless varieties of sweet and savoury snacks like ‘Sausage Heros’, sold from traditional stalls. Adults can enjoy a tipple from similar stalls with endless deals on alcoholic beverages or stroll along the beach and promenade. Coney Island also has its very own aquarium, and although it includes a ‘4D’ cinema screen, it is probably more of an educational than entertaining visit.
World-renowned Broadway shows are themselves the subject of many songs and films. Broadway itself diagonally crosses Manhattan, and the stretch containing the many of its most famous theatres is close to Times Square. Musical adaptations of books, films and plays are frequently shown, so it’s more than likely you will recognise a few of the shows. At any one time there are upwards of thirty different musicals showing on Broadway, allowing for plenty of well-known classics such as 'The Lion King' and 'The Phantom of the Opera' to sit alongside newer adaptations and original shows, so you can judge for yourself whether something is going to be the next big hit or a total flop.
Travel on a Screentour, which takes you around the locations of shows such as 'Friends', 'Seinfeld' and 'Spiderman'. 'Resting' actors and actresses act as guides. They even offer tips on how to get tickets for the audience of popular TV shows. Other places great for celebrity spotting include sushi restaurant Nobu. Frequented by the likes of Madonna, Jon Bon Jovi and Naomi Campbell, and late night celeb hang outs include the overly glamorous GoldBar, where P Diddy has been known to hold parties, and The Boom Boom Room on Washington Street, with a glass-floored outdoor terrace and hot tub in the middle of the bar.
Central Park is the most well-known romantic spot in New York. Try a cruise along New York City’s waterways for something more unusual, or visit the promenade in Brooklyn Heights. Ice skating at the Rockefeller Center is recommended; visit the medieval romantic setting of the Cloisters, or a good ‘cheap date’ idea is to take the Staten Island Ferry for free from Battery Park City, enjoying the view of the harbour and the Statue of Liberty. Speaking of which, how about the Statue of Liberty itself for a breath-taxingly romantic landmark to visit with a loved one.
Perched on top of a hotel is the almost unbelievable rotating restaurant, the view, which actually rotates 360° shows diners the entire New York skyline as they eat. Boasting an array of fine dining dishes such as open faced foie gras and Roasted Beet Carpaccio with walnut dressing and goat’s cheese, the food is as spectacular as the view. Conveniently located on Broadway near Times Square. Equally romantic is The Oyster Bar at Grand Central, with vaulted ceilings and plenty of the well-documented aphrodisiac qualities of oysters.
Things to See
Take a carriage ride through Central Park for the ultimate old fashioned romantic experience, also a good chance to sit back and relax. Visit the River Café located at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge for the most romantic view of the East River in town, and watch the lights from the skyscrapers shimmer on the water as the sun goes down.
Family friendly hotels
It’s no secret that a New York getaway can be a little on the daunting side, especially if you’re holidaying with young kids. However, by booking a break to the Surrey Hotel, you can enjoy the best of both worlds – great prices combined with an excellent location so that you needn’t travel far to reach all of New York’s most famous spots. Right in the Upper East Side, you’re not far from fabulous boutiques, Fifth Avenue museums and of course, Central Park. With a warm welcome at the ready, make the most out of a family trip on holiday to New York.
A romantic break to New York is like no other. As the setting for some of the world’s favourite romantic films, TV shows and music, it provides a captivating atmosphere that you’ll be hard pushed to find elsewhere. For a luxurious hotel perfect for a romantic getaway, book a stay at the Andaz Fifth Avenue. Found just opposite the New York Public Library and the stunning Bryant Park, it boasts a fantastic location near to some of New York’s most iconic landmarks, including Times Square and Broadway. Offering a combination of elegance and convenience, it provides a charming base for your holiday in New York.
For a little bit of luxury on your Big Apple getaway, stay at the Helmsley Park Lane Hotel. With spectacular views over Central Park and the astounding New York skyline, your holiday to this iconic city will be doused in style. Be served mouth-watering cuisine in its on-site restaurant, which boasts menus created by chef Antony Marra. Elegant and stylish rooms await you after long days spent shopping down the nearby Fifth Avenue or, for those who like a relaxing tipple, head to the hotel’s bar, Harry’s New York Bar, and sip a well-deserved cocktail.
With so much to see and do in this exciting city, finding the ideal location can be key. For those who want to witness the wonders of New York’s Broadway, look no further than the Belvedere Hotel in Manhattan. Ideally located in the heart of New York’s theatre district, it sits only two blocks from Times Square and within walking distance of many other famous attractions. For a stay located on none other than Madison Avenue, book the NH Jolly Madison today. Situated on one of New York’s most famous streets, you’ll be perfectly located to enjoy Madison Square Garden, Grand Central Station and the Empire State building.
The legendary Tiffany’s is unmissable for the lover of fine jewellery and other luxury items. Even if your budget doesn’t quite stretch to their prices, there are less expensive souvenir items and even window shopping is a joy here. Saks Fifth Avenue is filled with plenty of major labels, both American and European, and has an enormous swimwear department. There are also plenty of extra-large or more specialised versions of chains and labels you will recognise, such as H&M and Adidas Originals.
Christmas in New York
There really is nothing quite like the magic of a Christmas in New York. Fifth Avenue changes its name to Holiday Walk as lights and nativity displays adorn the shop windows. On Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving (always celebrated the fourth Thursday in November), shops cut prices by up to fifty per cent. Away from the crowds and department stores, Il Papiro on Lexington Avenue sells beautifully presented stationary, great for gifts, and Bond No.9 on Park Avenue is one of the chicest perfumeries.
New York Fashion
Clothes shops often feature live DJs so feel free to combine shopping and partying at the same time. The legendary Bloomingdale’s opened in 1927 and takes up an entire block on the Upper East Side, and offers chic designer clothes for all ages, as well as toys and homewares, for the ultimate department store experience. Barney’s of Madison Avenue offers edgy designer fashion with its lower floor dedicated to a more sophisticated style and its upper floor for designer casuals.