There’s no city quite like the Big Apple – the cultural, financial and media capital of the world is a travel bucket list destination that is just waiting to be ticked off. Thanks to a great selection of flights to New York from many London airports, there’s never been a better time to book, so what are you waiting for?
With so much to see and do, the city can feel overwhelming for first timers who are trying to cram in as many iconic sights as possible in one trip. You could spend weeks or months even, trying to explore every corner of New York, and you still wouldn’t scratch the surface.
The first tip is to take a moment to enjoy the city, people watch and soak up the atmosphere instead of rushing from one attraction to the next, after all, there’s always time to go back.
If you’re not sure quite where to start and you’re looking for some pointers we’ve selected our top picks for your first trip to New York City.
The Statue of Liberty
You can’t head to New York without going to see the iconic Statue of Liberty. There are many tours that depart daily, heading over to Liberty Island, alternatively, you can hop on a free Staten Island Ferry, which leave every 30 minutes and do not require any pre-booking.
There’s no excuse not to see the landmark up close and, while you’re there be sure to make a visit to the Statue of Liberty Museum and combine it with a stop at Ellis Island too.
The Empire State Building
The Empire State Building soars some 1,454 feet above ground level with 102 floors in total. If you’re afraid of heights then this might not be the best attraction for you, but it is a must-see when in the city.
Offering spectacular views and immersive experiences, you can visit the highest open-air observatory in New York and take in the impressive sight. The only thing missing from the view is The Empire State building itself, but we have a solution for that below.
The American Museum of Natural History
Located in Manhattan’s Upper West Side is the American Museum of Natural History. With over 33 million specimens, there’s plenty to see being the largest natural history museum in the world.
From a great blue whale to dinosaur skeletons and the beautiful Dzanga-Sangha Rainforest exhibit, you’ll feel like you’ve walked onto the set of Night at the Museum.
Top of the Rock Observation Deck
The best way to see the city is from above. For the best views of NYC, you will want to either head to one of the many rooftop bars, or to the Top of the Rock at the Rockefeller Center.
This is a great option thanks to the prime location and a view that includes the magnificent Empire State Building. Get your best selfie smile at the ready for the perfect Instagram shot.
9/11 Memorial & Museum
The 9/11 Memorial and Museum is an incredibly powerful and moving experience. It does get busy very quickly though, so if you want to soak up the museum without the bustling crowds then your best bet is to get there early.
There is an optional audio guide that we would recommend, where you can listen to a narration from Robert De Niro who shares the accounts of first responders, recovery workers and family members of those killed.