5 Must-visit Landmarks in New York
Undoubtedly one of the world’s most exciting and iconic cities, New York should be near the top of everyone’s travel bucket list. We recommend setting aside plenty of time to enjoy your New York holidays so that you can explore this incredible destination at your own pace and give yourself the chance to take in all of its many unique highlights.
As well as great food, a vibrant nightlife and an eclectic range of events taking place throughout the year, something else NYC is famed for is its world-beating array of both historic and modern landmarks. Below, we will discuss the five famous places we think you should be sure to include on your New York itinerary if you are keen to discover more about the city’s extraordinary heritage.
Statue of Liberty
Where else could we start our round-up of New York’s finest landmarks than at the Statue of Liberty? Almost everyone is already familiar with the statue’s appearance and how it was gifted to the U.S. by France in the 19th century but visiting in person is an experience that cannot be passed up.
The statue can only be reached via ferry, but this does help to regulate the number of people who can be on Liberty Island at any one time, ensuring that visitors who want to take a tour of the monument won’t have to wait too long to do so.
Unless the thought of ascending 363 steps fills you with dread, we would strongly recommend purchasing tickets to make the journey up to the statue’s crown during your trip (note: this must be done in advance). The views of New York that this vantage point offers are simply unbeatable.
Top tip: Take a picnic with you! If the weather’s good, you can chill out and enjoy your lunch in the pristine surroundings of the parkland that makes up the majority of Liberty Island whilst looking out across the stunning New York skyline.
Empire State Building
Promoting itself as the ‘World’s Most Famous Building’, the Empire State Building on Fifth Avenue, Manhattan, is a fitting inclusion on our list of NYC must-visits. Although – just like at the Statue of Liberty – there are some amazing views of the city available from its two Observatories on the 86th and 102nd floors, there is so much more to this landmark than you may have thought.
Whilst you’re there, be sure to spend some time exploring the 80th floor’s engrossing ‘Dare to Dream’ exhibit, which chronicles the vision, ambition and painstaking labour that went into turning the dream of this building into a wonderful reality. And, if you’ve worked up an appetite, have a seat at one of the Empire State’s excellent restaurants for lunch or dinner (such as the renowned STATE Grill and Bar).
Top tip: Why not beat the crowds and visit the Empire State Building late at night? NYC is, of course, known as the ‘city that never sleeps’, and this landmark is a great example of that – the last lift going up to the Observatories leaves at 1:15 AM!
Perhaps best-known as the world’s number one destination for seeing in the New Year, Times Square in Manhattan is incredibly busy but should still be included in the holiday plans of anyone who truly wants to immerse themselves in the heart and soul of bustling New York, New York!
It is estimated that around 50 million visitors make their way to Times Square every single year, and with good reason – as well as endless opportunities for shopping and dining, you can also catch a show on Broadway, pose for a selfie with your favourite cartoon character, or even listen to the infamous country busker known as the Naked Cowboy!
Top tip: If you’re up late enough, make a note to get yourself to Times Square just before midnight. For three minutes every night, starting at 11:57 PM, the iconic electronic billboards that usually flood the area with advertisements and news updates instead display high-quality, innovative works of digital art.
Since its opening in 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge has been hailed as one of the world’s most impressive feats of engineering. To this day, it also remains a vital link for people travelling between the New York boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn; upwards of 125,000 motor vehicles, 4,000 pedestrians and 2,500 cyclists cross the bridge every working day.
A convenient walkway means that this landmark is easy (and free) to explore on foot, and you can spend as much time as you like admiring the bridge’s imposing neo-Gothic architecture as you make your way across. There are also plenty of guided walking tours you can book that will help you learn about the fascinating history of Brooklyn Bridge and the neighbourhoods it connects.
Top tip: The Brooklyn Bridge walkway is over a mile long so, if you are tired or making the journey with young children, you might consider taking the ferry back to Manhattan (it only costs $2.75).
9/11 Memorial & Museum
The 9/11 Memorial & Museum was built in the spot where the Twin Towers stood until September 11, 2001, when they were destroyed in the world’s worst terrorist atrocity. Whilst visiting the site could never be described as ‘enjoyable’, this moving and educational landmark should nevertheless be considered an essential part of any NYC trip for those who wish to find out more about the most tragic day in the history of this amazing city.
Through its in-depth exhibitions and poignant yet beautiful outdoor memorial area, this fitting tribute to the victims of the 9/11 disaster is sure to leave you with a greater understanding of the scale of the attacks and a deeper appreciation of the resilience New Yorkers had to show in the months and years that followed the event.
Top tip: Be careful not to make or receive any phone calls whilst you are in the museum, as this is strictly forbidden. Parents are also advised to exercise discretion when taking children under the age of 10 into the historical exhibition, as some may find it upsetting.