Statue of Liberty
Reserve your tickets online well in advance (up to six months ahead) to access Lady Liberty’s crown for breathtaking city and harbour views. If you miss out on crown tickets, you may have better luck with tickets for the pedestal, which also offers commanding views. If you don’t score either, don’t fret: all ferry tickets to Liberty Island offer basic access to the grounds, including guided ranger tours or self-guided audio tours. Book tickets at www.statuecruises.com to avoid long queues.
Love it or hate it, the intersection of Broadway and Seventh Ave (aka Times Square) pumps out the NYC of the global imagination – yellow cabs, golden arches, soaring skyscrapers and razzle-dazzle Broadway marquees. There is nearly 40 shopping malls and theatres located in time square, it is a thriving entertainment area.
One of the world’s most renowned green spaces, Central Park comprises 843 acres of rolling meadows, boulder-studded outcroppings, elm-lined walkways, manicured European-style gardens, a lake and reservoir – not to mention an outdoor theatre, a memorial to John Lennon, an idyllic waterside eatery and a famous statue of Alice in Wonderland. Highlights include the 15-acre Sheep Meadow, where thousands of people lounge and play on warm days; Central Park Zoo; and the forest-like paths of the Ramble.
Empire State Building
This limestone classic was built in just 410 days – using seven million hours of labour during the Great Depression – and the views from its 86th-floor outdoor deck and 102nd-floor indoor deck are heavenly. Alas, the queues to the top are notorious. Getting here very early or very late will help you avoid delays – as will buying your tickets ahead of time online, where the extra $2 convenience fee is well worth the hassle it will save.
Metropolitan Museum of Art
The vast collection of art and antiquities contained within this palatial museum (founded in 1870) is one of the world’s largest and most important, with more than two million individual objects in its permanent collection: paintings, sculptures, textiles and artefacts from around the globe – even an ancient Egyptian temple straight from the banks of the Nile.
A New York icon, the Brooklyn Bridge was the world’s first steel suspension bridge, and, at 1596 ft, the longest when it opened in 1883. Although construction was fraught with disaster, the bridge became a magnificent example of urban design. Its suspended bicycle/pedestrian walkway delivers soul-stirring views of Manhattan, the East River and the Brooklyn waterfront. Though beautiful, the crossing can be challenging – if walking, stay in the pedestrian portion of the lane as cyclists move quickly.
One World Observatory
Spanning levels 100 to 102 of the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, One World Observatory offers dazzling panoramic views from its sky-high perch. On a clear day you will be able to see all five boroughs and some surrounding states, revealed after an introductory video abruptly disappears to allow the dazzling view in through immense picture windows. Not surprisingly, it’s a hugely popular attraction. Purchase tickets online in advance, choosing the date and time of your visit.