New York City Attractions
Museums and Galleries
Like most of the great world cities, New York has an abundance of great attractions. From the grand and renowned Empire State Building to the giant and fascinating Central Park area, New York, "The City that Never Sleeps", has plenty to offer.
A number of multi-attraction schemes give reduced prices and line-skipping privileges.
CityPass - Gets you into 6 top New York attractions within 9 days of first use for a much reduced rate. The attractions are American Museum of Natural History, Guggenheim Museum, Museum of Modern Art, Intrepid Sea Air Space Museum, Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises and Empire State Building Observatory. $53 adult, $41 youth aged 6-17 (reduced from combined regular admission of $105.50 and $82.50 respectively)
New York Pass - Admission to over 40 attractions. Passes for 1 day $49 (child 2-12 $39), 2 days $89 (child $59), 3 days $109 (child $84), 7 days $139 (child $99).
Landmarks and Sights
Statue of Liberty. - no trip to the Big Apple is complete without a visit to the Statue of Liberty. Located at New York harbor, the 45 meter tall statue has been symbolically representing the US to people all over the world for almost 120 years. The ferry ($10) leaves every 25 minutes from Battery Park and stops at Liberty Island and Ellis Island. You must (in advance) reserve a time slot to enter the museum at the base of the statue, and then undergo cumbersome security procedures to actually enter the museum in the statue's pedestal (visitors are no longer allowed in the crown, much less the torch). The Immigration Museum at Ellis Island is worth a visit, and it is free. Both Liberty Island and Ellis Island are open every day of the year except December 25 from 9:30am until 5:00pm (with extended hours in the summer).
Brooklyn Bridge - connects Brooklyn and Manhattan, is also the favorite bridge of New Yorkers. Walk across the bridge and take in most of the major attractions of the city, including the Empire State Building, the Hudson River, the Chrysler building and New Jersey. The view is the best in the city. You may walk across this historic bridge in either direction (takes about 30 minutes each way), or bike across it, for no toll. The view is quite nice going into Manhattan. On the Brooklyn side, you can get pizza, or dine by the waterfront in the DUMBO (Down Under Manhattan Bridge) area, which is gentrifying with lofts and cool dining places. You can also take the F train to York St, hang out in the DUMBO area and then walk across the bridge back into Manhattan.
Central Park with its lawns, trees and lakes is popular for recreation and concerts and is home to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Central Park Zoo.
Times Square, centered on 42nd Street and Broadway - a place filled with video screens and LED signs. A world wonder or a tourist nightmare depending on your perspective, the "New" Times Square is a family-friendly theme park of themed restaurants, theaters and hotels, as well as a developing business district. Those looking for the seedy Times Square of old will find it around the Port Authority Bus Terminal, and around Broadway several blocks to the south.
Cathedral St. John The Divine,, Amsterdam Avenue between 110-112th Streets - the world's largest Gothic cathedral...a work in progress for over a century!
Columbia University, Broadway at 116th Street. One of the most selective, rigorous, and prestigious institutions of higher education in the world, Columbia is also worth a visit for architecture fans, who will be impressed by the beautiful McKim, Mead, and White campus. Subway: 1 to 116th Street-Columbia University
Lincoln Center, Broadway at 64th Street. The world's largest cultural complex. See theater, symphonies, ballet, opera, movies, art exhibits or just wander the architecturally beautiful buildings. Subway: 1 to 66th St. or walkable from A, C, and E trains at 59th St. The buildings are modern, and even have modern chandeliers. There are two opera companies, and the famous Julliard School of Music is also here. Across the street are a large Tower Records, a large Barnes and Noble Bookstore and a Loews movie theater.
The Cloisters, Located on four acres overlooking the Hudson River in northern Manhattan's Fort Tryon Park, the building incorporates elements from five medieval French cloisters--quadrangles enclosed by a roofed or vaulted passageway, or arcade--and from other monastic sites in southern France. Its gardens are a great way to spend a nice afternoon. Pay for the Cloisters or the Metropolitan Museum, and see both for one price.
Carnegie Hall, 154 West 57th Street.
Rockefeller Plaza, 630 5th Avenue. The Christmas Tree, the Skating Rink, the shops and hubbub - you can't miss it. The Christmas Tree and the Skating Rink are not year round. You may take skating lessons. There are several dining establishments overlooking this area. The art deco buildings of Rockefeller Center are quite cool. Saks Fifth Avenue is across the street, and there are many other stores throughout the complex. Subway: B, D, F, V to 47-50th Streets-Rockefeller Center.
St. Patrick's Cathedral, Fifth Ave between 50/51st Streets. The largest Catholic cathedral in the United States. A big, grand Episcopal church is in this area as well. These churches are close to the reopened MOMA, now expanded and renovated after several years of being closed.
The United Nations, 1st Avenue at 46th Street offers a park overlooking the East River and tours of the general assembly and secretariat.
SONY Wonder Technology Lab, 550 Madison Avenue (212) 833- 8100. An interactive hands-on experience of cutting edge technology, sponsored by Sony.
Radio City Music Hall, 1260 Avenue of the Americas (212) 632- 3975 See the Rockettes, another show or just tour the famous Art Deco masterpiece.
Empire State Building Fifth Avenue at 34th Street. The Empire State Building in midtown stands almost 1500 feet and is impossible to miss. Just traveling up the 102 floors on its elevators can be an unforgettable experience with a breathtaking view, daytime or night.
Flatiron Building Fifth Avenue at 23rd Street. Reportedly the most photographed building in the world, the Flatiron perches over the intersection of Fifth, Broadway, and 23rd, necessitating its unusual shape. Stop in nearby Madison Square Park for a lovely rest.
Washington Square Park and the famous arch is located in the heart of the Village. Though located in the middle of an affluent neighborhood, the Park attracts a hodgepodge of people.
World Financial Center, Next to the former Twin Towers; Shopping, dining, events and the Winter Garden all open to the public.
World Trade Center Site Trinity Place and Fulton Street. For better or worse, the site of the September 11th terrorist attacks has become popular with visitors. Various plaques are on display documenting the history of the WTC.
Chelsea Market, The original Oreo cookie factory now a block-sized market selling gourmet foods, flowers, knick-knacks and offering restaurants, bars, art space and special shows. Has free wireless Internet access throughout and smells like a slice of heaven.
AOL Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle has the Mandarin Oriental Hotel for dining, drinks, and Chihuly chandeliers. It also has a small, ultra-high end mall with a big Borders Bookstore and Botero sculptures. In the basement is a large Whole Foods Market, and there is seating for eating their salad bar and prepared food items (cheaper than eating in a restaurant). Subway: A, C, 1, B, D trains to Columbus Circle. This is also at one corner of Central Park if you want to explore that.
New York Stock Exchange 20 Broad Street (at Wall Street). The most important stock exchange in the world, the NYSE is the most watched indicator of economic performance in the global economy. The activity on the trading floor is astonishing. Visitors should beware, however, that security is tight, and sudden closures are a possibility. Subway: 4, 5 to Wall Street; J, M, Z to Broad Street (weekdays only)
James Farley Post Office 421 8th Avenue (at 34th Street). This enormous post office is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Designed by McKim, Mead, and White, it is a great example of Beaux Arts architecture.
New York Public Library Corner of Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street. After the Library of Congress, this is the largest non-academic library in the United States. It is housed in a beautiful building by Carrer and Hastings, which is seen as the greatest example of Beaux Arts architecture. The main reading room is magnificent, and the library contains numerous important rare items, like Jefferson's handwritten copy of the Declaration of Independence.
Chrysler Building 405 Lexington Avenue (at 42nd Street). One of the most beautiful and beloved buildings in the world, the Chrysler Building is the epitome of Art Deco architecture. Though you can't go up inside it unless you have business there, you can visit the gorgeous lobby.
Grand Central Terminal 42nd Street and Park Avenue. One of the busiest train stations in the world, Grand Central is also a must for architecture lovers. Its vaulted ceiling, covered with a medieval zodiac design, is staggering.
When in New York dont miss the New York Aquarium - an awesome attraction which some say is even more impressive than the world famous Monterey Aquarium. Youll see plenty of sea monsters such as huge sharks, whales and walruses. Go during feeding time and watch as the entire aquarium enters a new dimension.
If you have kids or enjoy amusement parks, Coney Island in Manhattan is renowned as the poor mans Disney Land. It is rides, sand and surf all in one place. Its also affordable, beautiful, and should not be missed.
Steinway & Sons Pianos 1 Steinway Place, Long Island City, Queens, 11105. Tours only available online (Not open to the public) (718) 721-2600 Actually, they've started to offer free guided tours during Fall and Spring to see the skilled crafts men at work. Phone ahead, a month in advance is recommended, to reserve a place on these popular tours, and to check the days and times. Steinway Hall 109 West 57th Street, Manhattan, 10019. Open to the public every day with no appointment or admission fee. For hours, call (212) 246-1100. This is the showroom of Steinway & Sons, with sprawling showrooms containing new and reconditioned pianos representing designs from all eras of its manufacture history, including "Art Case" pianos, specially-commissioned limited edition pianos designed by world artists. It was built in 1925 and recently added to the Registry of Historic Buildings. It features a magnificent rotunda, hand painted by Paul Arndt, and works of art by Rockwell Kent, N.C. Wyeth and Charles Chambers displayed throughout. Some of the many recitals taking place each evening are open to the public; inquire within or call the number above.
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Museums and Galleries
New York has some of the finest museums in the world. All the public museums (notably including the Metropolitan Museum), which are run by the city, accept donations for an entrance fee, but private museums (especially the Museum of Modern Art) can be very expensive. In addition to the major museums, hundreds of small galleries are spread throughout the city. Many galleries and museums in New York close on Mondays, so be sure to check hours before visiting.
Historic House Trust of New York - a not-for-profit organization founded in 1989 to preserve and promote the historic houses located in New York City parks.
Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street ("Museum Mile") in the Upper East Side of Manhattan. There is also a separate branch, the Cloisters, in Upper Manhattan (take the northbound 4 train up Madison to the last stop or take the A train to 190 St. and walk through Fort Tryon Park). The Metropolitan Museum is a public museum.
Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in the Upper East Side of Manhattan
Guggenheim Museum, 1071 Fifth Avenue at 89th Street ("Museum Mile"), in the Upper East Side of Manhattan
Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53 St (between Fifth and Sixth Avenues. Subway: E or V to Fifth Ave/53 St; B, D, or F to 47-50 Streets/Rockefeller Center), (212) 708-9400 - Sa-M, W-Th 10:30am-5:30pm, F 10:30am-8pm, closed every Tu and Thanksgiving Day and 25 Dec. In Nov 2004 the museum reopened after expansion and renovation. $20 adult, $12 student, free for under 17s; free for all Fr 4-8pm. Quite lengthy queue to get one's baggage checked. Moreover, all expensive items must be carried on person (laptops, phones, cameras) as the staff refuse to check such items. For art lovers, the Museum of Modern Art has a collection of more than 100,000 exhibits. Some of those include works by Monet and Picasso. This is the most comprehensive collection of modern art in the world, and, like the American Museum of Natural History and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, is so large as to require multiple visits to see all of the works on display. If you are in a hurry and want to see only the crowd-pleasers, head to the fifth floor, where you'll find works like Van Gogh's Starry Night and Picasso's Les Demoiselles d'Avignon.
Brooklyn Museum of Art, on Eastern Parkway (Eastern Parkway stop on the 2, 3 or 4 train) is a large museum which contains excellent collections of Egyptian art, Assyrian reliefs, 19th-century American art, and art from Africa and Oceania, among other things. Right past the museum are the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens (separate admission charge), so you can easily visit both in one pleasant afternoon.
Museum of Sex, 233 Fifth Avenue at 27th Street, (212) 689-6337
Museum of Television & Radio, 25 West 52nd Street. Founded in 1976 to preserve and collect television programs as a service to the public. The museum has expanded, and consists of two museum branches in Los Angeles and New York City. The two museums hold over 100,000 television programs that are available to the public. Its programs provide a historical, artistic, and cultural perspective to television and radio. You may use their library here for the price of admission. They have lots of old shows and a database so you can see if they have what you want. (212) 621-6800
Whitney Museum of American Art, 945 Madison Ave. at 75th St. (800) 944-8639. Open Wed & Thur 11am-6pm; Fri 1-9pm; Sat-Sun 11am-6pm A collection of American art that would be the highlight of most cities, the Whitney is often overlooked for its more high-profile neighbors like the Met and the Guggenheim. It's definitely worth a visit, however, especially for fans of Edward Hopper, whose work has its own gallery here. The Whitney is also the home of the prestigious Whitney Biennial.
Nicholas Roerich Museum 319 W. 107th St. (212) 864-7704. Open Tues-Sun 2-5.
Morris-Jumel Mansion 65 Jumel Ter. 212-923-8008. Built in 1765, this is the oldest house on Manhattan Island. It served as George Washington's headquarters in 1776. Currently a museum set on a 1.5-acre park, it features a decorative-arts collection representing the colonial and Revolutionary War periods. Washington's office is among the 12 restored rooms. The mansion is accessible by the C subway line (163rd Street stop) and by the M2, M3, M100, and M101 buses.
PS1 Contemporary Art Center 22-25 Jackson Avenue (Queens). (718) 784-2084. Open noon-6pm Thursday through Monday
The Frick Collection 1 E. 70th Street (at 5th Avenue) Open T-R, Sa 10am-6pm, F 10am-9pm, Su 1pm-6pm. The former home of steel baron Henry Clay Frick, this sprawling mansion is filled with Frick's enormous personal art collection, displayed as he left it. It's worth a visit for the house alone, which is explained nicely in the audio tour. The collection is impressive, including works by Whistler, Corot, El Greco, Turner, Renoir, and Rembrandt.
The Neue Galerie, 1048 Fifth Avenue (at 86th Street) ("Museum Mile"), in the Upper East Side of Manhattan - this recent addition to the Museum Mile houses exclusively German and Austrian art
El Museo del Barrio, 1230 Fifth Avenue (at 104th Street) ("Museum Mile"), in the Upper East Side of Manhattan - the only US museum devoted to Puerto Rican culture
International Center for Photography 1133 Sixth Avenue (at 43rd Street) - devoted solely to photography, this museum a block from Times Square always has interesting exhibits running
The Jewish Museum 1109 Fifth Avenue (at 92nd Street) ("Museum Mile"), in the Upper East Side of Manhattan - the largest collection of Judaica in the United States includes a wide variety of artifacts from all periods of Jewish history
American Museum of Natural History in the Upper West Side of Manhattan . Visits to the museum are by donation, but the Hayden Planetarium, immediately to its north on 81st St., charges a separate admission fee.
Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, Pier 86, 12th Ave & 46th St, (212) 245-0072 - Apr-Sep M-F 10am-5pm, Sa-Su 10am-6pm; Oct-Mar Tu-Su 10am-5pm. $16.50 adult.
Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology (Museum at FIT), 7th Avenue at 27th St, (212) 217-5970 - Open Tu-F noon-8pm; Sa 10am-5pm. Free.
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