New York City is composed of five boroughs. While Manhattan and Staten Island are islands, Brooklyn and Queens are geographically part of Long Island, and the Bronx is attached to the US mainland. The islands are linked by bridges, tunnels and ferries. Check here for helpful NYC maps and guides.
Manhattan is 13.4 miles long and 2.3 miles wide at its widest. Except at its northern and southern tips, the borough's avenues run roughly north and south, and streets run east and west. One-way thoroughfares are common, with traffic moving east on even-numbered streets and west on odd-numbered streets. Fifth Avenue divides the island into east and west sides (for example, locations on 57th Street west of Fifth Avenue are designated "W. 57th St.," and east of Fifth Avenue, they're "E. 57th St."). As you move farther east or west from Fifth Avenue, street addresses increase, usually in increments of 100 from one block to the next. For north-south avenues, 20 blocks equals a mile, and the street numbers increase as you go uptown. Blocks can be a useful measure of distance, but keep in mind your direction: walking uptown from 1st Street to 6th Street is about a quarter of a mile, but walking the same number of blocks crosstown, from First Avenue to Sixth Avenue, is approximately a mile.
5 days, 5 boroughs
Manhattan skyline. Photo: Julienne Schaer • Fulton Center, Lower Manhattan. Photo: Julienne Schaer
New York City in three days
Times Square. Photo: Jen Davis
It's your first trip to New York City, and you're only staying for a three-day weekend. While it's impossible to take in all the excitement of the five boroughs in such a short time (lifelong NYC residents discover something new every day), you can still enjoy many of the City's essential attractions. Read on for a plan that will help you make the most of your time—these are the sights and sounds you must experience before you leave. click here for info
NYC dining 101
Nobu. Photo: Marley White
Since dining choices in New York City are almost infinite, deciding where to spend your food dollars can be overwhelming. We've boiled down the undisputed classics for everyone's checklist and identified the restaurateurs who are in perfect rhythm with the City's pulse. We've also pinpointed the most exciting young turks who are cooking their way to the top. No one—New Yorkers and visitors alike—wants to waste time and money on a meal that's not worth talking about or Instagramming (hashtag #omnomnom). Read on to see which ones made the cut. click here for info
oldest stuff in New York City
(From left) C.O. Bigelow, photo by Willie Davis • The Cyclone, photo by Bami Adedoyin
Enthusiastic preservationists will tell you that New York City is always changing. Delis become bank branches. For years now, punk venue CBGB has been a John Varvatos store. A huge basketball arena recently emerged among the brownstones of Prospect Heights. The five boroughs always seem to be looking ahead. As Valerie Paley of The New-York Historical Society puts it, "New York, from a preservationist perspective, has been a victim of its own success." for more info click here
Please visit the NYC Official Tourism Office for more info. Click here
New York City Tour Suggestions
Popular Tour Suggestions and Descriptions
- Top of the Rock: Top of the Rock is the three-tiered observation deck at the top of Rockefeller Center. This is where the most breathtaking 360-degree views of the city can be found. Top of the Rock will provide visitors with an opportunity to appreciate the architecture of Rockefeller Center and its significance to the growth of New York City.
- One World Observatory: Positioned on top of the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, on levels 100, 101, and 102 of the 1,776 foot tall One World Trade Center building, One World Observatory provides unique, panoramic views of New York City, its most iconic sites, and surrounding waters.
- Empire State Building: New York's famous Empire State Building, a New York City Landmark and a National Historic Landmark, soars more than a quarter of a mile into the atmosphere above the heart of Manhattan. Located on the 86th floor, 1,050 feet (320 meters) above the city's bustling streets, the Observatory offers panoramic views from within a glass enclosed pavilion and from the surrounding open-air promenade.
- NBC Studio Tour: Enjoy the behind-the-scenes access to the studios where your favorite shows are made; like Saturday Night Live, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Late Night with Seth Meyers and more. An NBC Page will serve as your host and behind-the-scenes expert, guiding you through the historic halls of 30 Rock.
- Radio City Tour: Recently renovated, Radio City Music Hall is one of the grandest performing centers in the world. On this guided tour, discover art deco masterpieces, learn the secrets of the Great Stage, meet a Rockette, plus much more!
- Ellis Island: Ellis Island, now a 27.5-acre site located just minutes off the southern tip of Manhattan Island, New York, is likely to connect with more of the American population than any other spot in the country. It has been estimated that nearly half of all Americans today can trace their family history to at least one person who passed through the Port of New York at Ellis Island. Enjoy your day exploring the museum and taking in the sights of the Manhattan skyline.
- Liberty Island: On the way to Ellis Island, you can take a pit stop at Liberty Island. The Statue of Liberty is more than a monument. She is a beloved friend, a living symbol of freedom to millions around the world. These exhibits are a tribute to the people who created her, to those who built and paid for her, to the ideals she represents, and to the hopes she inspires.
- 9/11 Memorial and Museum: The historical exhibition has three parts: the Day of 9/11, Before 9/11 and After 9/11. It tells the story of what happened on 9/11, including the events at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and the story of Flight 93. The exhibition explores the background leading up to the events and examines their aftermath and continuing implications.
- Metropolitan Museum of Art: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, colloquially "the Met", located in New York City, is the largest art museum in the United States and among the most visited art museums in the world. Its permanent collection contains over two million works, divided among seventeen curatorial departments. The main building, located on the eastern edge of Central Park, is by area one of the world's largest art galleries, at 2 million square feet.
- Museum of Modern Art: The MoMA has been important in developing and collecting modernist art, and is often identified as the most influential museum of modern art in the world. The museum's collection offers an overview of modern and contemporary art, including works of architecture and design, drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, prints, illustrated books and artist books, film, and electronic media.
- American Museum of Natural History: With a collection of over 32 million specimens and artifacts, the American Museum of Natural History traces the history of our planet from prehistoric life to the existing cultures of the seven continents. The museum's has returned its exhibition halls to their original splendor. The Museum is renowned for its exhibitions and scientific collections, which serve as a field guide to the entire planet and present a panorama of the world's cultures.
- The Guggenheim Museum: An internationally renowned art museum and one of the most significant architectural icons of the 20th century, the Guggenheim Museum is at once a vital cultural center, an educational institution, and the heart of an international network of museums. Visitors can experience special exhibitions of modern and contemporary art, lectures by artists and critics, performances and film screenings, classes for teens and adults, and daily tours of the galleries led by museum educators.
- Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour: Hop on board a New York hop-on, hop-off bus tour and get ready to explore the city that never sleeps! The bus routes cover everything from Uptown to Brooklyn.
- Horse and Carriage Rides: Horse-drawn carriages are a unique and historical way to experience the beauty of Central Park. Get a taste of old-time New York on a horse-drawn carriage ride through the winding trails of Central Park!
- The Bronx Zoo: The Bronx Zoo, or the Wildlife Conservancy, is a unique 252-acre wooded sanctuary inhabited by the most fascinating animals in the world. It features safari trains, aerial tramways and a two-mile monorail. Visitors would have to travel 31,000 miles around the world to experience all of this magnificent wildlife, but your guests can see it all while enjoying a tram ride through the park!
- New York Botanical Gardens: This magnificent spot in the heart of the Bronx is one of the world's premier botanical gardens. The centerpiece is the Italian Renaissance Conservatory. In this "crystal palace," as well as in the 16 other specialty gardens, there are some 12,000 different species of trees, shrubs and flowers, culled from all over the world.
- The Whitney Museum of American Art: As the preeminent institution devoted to the art of the United States, the Whitney Museum of American Art presents the full range of twentieth-century and contemporary American art, with a special focus on works by living artists. The Whitney is dedicated to collecting, preserving, interpreting, and exhibiting American art, and its collection--arguably the finest holding of twentieth-century American art in the world--is the Museum's key resource.