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Last updated: 30 May, 2023

Tourists call it the Big Apple, New Yorkers call it the Capital of the World and that audacity, energy, wealth, power, humour and cosmopolitan pizzazz makes the ‘city that never sleeps’ one of the most exciting destinations on Earth. Few places rival its skyline views, culture and dynamism.

Relieved of much of its previous street crime, New York now inspires city-loving travellers of all ages and tastes, who thrill to its sights, sounds, museums, arts scene, and shopping. It’s unique in the sheer density of skyscrapers crammed into Manhattan and its heritage as a magnet for ambitious immigrants.

Orientation

Manhattan is the heart of New York and where most visitors spend all their time. It supports spectacular skyscrapers where geologically feasible and distinctive, often-beautiful lower-rise buildings elsewhere.

The city centre is on a grid system with numbered streets running East-West, avenues North-South, making navigation easy. The three main sections are uptown, midtown and downtown, encompassing contrasting ‘neighbourhoods’ linked by the ubiquitous Subway system. The West Village and Lower Manhattan evolved as labyrinths before the grid.

Tours, tickets & transfers

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Our selection of the best Viator tours of this destination, plus helpful tickets and transfers

New York in One Day Guided Sightseeing Tour

New York City

New York in One Day Guided Sightseeing Tour
Experience the best of New York City with a knowledgeable, licensed tour guide by your side. Our guides will make your journey unforgettable as they hop off the bus at each stop, giving you an exclusive and personalized sightseeing experience. Relax in the comfort of our climate-controlled tour buses, ensuring a cozy and enjoyable ride while staying protected from the unpredictable weather. Choose between our glass-top or closed-top bus options for your preferred experience. Explore NYC's most iconic locations with our 15 to 20-minute guided walking tours. Immerse yourself in the beauty of Central Park, the vibrancy of Rockefeller Center, and the solemnity of the 9/11 Memorial, among other fascinating spots. For a truly unique perspective, don't miss the ferry ride, offering breathtaking views of the NYC skyline from the water. It's a must-see experience that will leave you with unforgettable memories!

Price: $99

Min age: 0

Rating 4.76 / 5 [8879 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Full-Day New York "Must See" Small-Group Tour plus One World Observatory Ticket

New York City

Full-Day New York "Must See" Small-Group Tour plus One World Observatory Ticket
ExperienceFirst welcomes you to an immersive journey through New York City, led by a local guide. Celebrated as a top-rated tour, it captures the city's iconic highlights. Designed to let you embrace the essence of the city by walking, using the subway, and taking the Staten Island ferry, this experience takes you from vibrant Times Square to the historic Brooklyn Bridge and the Statue of Liberty. Additionally, the tour provides exclusive access to the One World Observatory for a breathtaking perspective. With a small group setting, you'll enjoy a more intimate experience and personalized attention from your guide.

Price: $129

Min age: 4

Rating 4.88 / 5 [1326 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Sex and the City Hotspots Bus Tour

New York City

Sex and the City Hotspots Bus Tour
Follow in the fancy footsteps of Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda on a 'Sex and the City' private tour! You'll conquer New York City and drink where the girls drink, shop where they shop, and gossip where they gossip. Depending on the size of your group, your tour might be in a coach bus, mini bus, Sedan, SUV, or sprinter.

Price: $66

Min age: 0

Rating 4.53 / 5 [1121 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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New York City at Night Bus Tour

New York City

New York City at Night Bus Tour
See New York City sparkle, on an evening panoramic tour of the city! Experience awesome New York City sites at night, as you hop aboard our comfortable tour bus for a comprehensive, fully-guided bus tour of NYC at night. Your tour guide will accompany you and will get off with you at each stop, helping you see a different side of New York City! (optional) add Top of The Rock Observation Deck tickets and experience magnificent 360° views of New York City!

Price: $59

Min age: 0

Rating 4.60 / 5 [589 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Superheroes in New York Walking Tour

New York City

Superheroes in New York Walking Tour
Calling all true believers!  Take an in-depth look into the superhero and comic world in a way that only New York City can deliver. Check out iconic superhero movie sites, see where the writers  and artists created your favorite characters, stroll down publishers row and see some of the most recognizable sites in New York City. Learn the answer to the age old question: Is New York Gotham or Metropolis? Excelsior!

Price: $39

Min age: 0

Rating 4.85 / 5 [489 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Travel advice

When to go

Most of New York’s draws – world-class theatre, food, nightlife, and museums – are available all year around of course (and are mainly based inside), but New York has extreme weather that it will still have an impact on your stay and experience.

January and February’s winter weather is brutal, with freezing winds blowing up New York’s avenues, while July and August are unbearably hot and crowded. Come in winter or summer and you’ll spend your entire visit indoors.

May, September and October are glorious times to visit; pleasant sunshine, fewer crowds – it’s when New York’s rooftop bars and sidewalk tables come alive.

Getting there and away

New York has three primary airports: John F Kennedy and Newark for international arrivals, LaGuardia for domestic. Fixed taxi fare from JFK to anywhere in Manhattan is about $50, with a tip of 15% and up expected. Other fares not fixed, expect about $70 from Newark, $30 from LaGuardia plus extras. From JFK it’s easy to take the Air Train monorail, linking up with the subway into Manhattan – more walking, takes longer but about $10.

Getting around

Manhattan is surprisingly easy to navigate, being laid out on a grid system. ‘Avenues’ run north to south, starting with 1st Avenue on the eastern edge, to 10th Avenue on the western edge. 5th Avenue runs down the centre. ‘Streets’ run east to west, starting with 10th Street on the southern, up to 218th street in the far northern tip of the island.

Walking the quickest way to get around – and to discover its many secrets. The subway is cheap, safe and efficient if you don’t want to walk, while the ubiquitous famous yellow taxis are fast, easy to flag (except sometimes rush hour/rain/wee hours), although more expensive.

The subway is efficient and fairly easy to understand too. The hardest part is exiting. It’s often hard to tell, which direction is east, west, uptown or downtown amid the skyscrapers. New Yorkers love giving directions – do ask.

Where to stay

Where you should stay in NYC depends on the experiences you are seeking. For hip and cool restaurants, nightlife and shopping, head to Soho or Meatpacking, both of which are central to most of the best attractions. For an edgier, alternative scene, plum for the East Village. For Central Park and 5th Avenue shopping, the Upper West side, home to the city’s young professionals, or Midtown East are your best bets.

Avoid anywhere near Times Square, and even better centrally between 26th and 46th streets. These are horrid parts: dark, dirty, noisy and crammed with bad restaurants and cramped hotels.