With a skyline that is instantly recognisable worldwide, New York is perhaps the most famous city on the planet. Deriving its personality from hundreds of communities that feel like worlds of their own, the city is alive with attractions, nightlife, shopping, dining and quirky characters across all five boroughs.
You could live in the Big Apple for years and still not make it to every neighbourhood, but here's our advice on how visitors can navigate the city like a real New Yorker.
The Bronx is packed with New York City history and culture. It's the birthplace of hip-hop and home to some of the great home-run baseball heroes. Families can greet the animals of the world-famous Bronx Zoo or gaze at the plants of the lush New York Botanical Garden. A stroll on Arthur Avenue - the Bronx’s Little Italy - offers culinary treats galore and a walk through South Bronx serves up some art deco marvels.
The most populous borough has no one defining draw and it's for this reason it entertains everyone from hipsters to history buffs. Head to Williamsburg for craft cocktails and an eclectic array of vintage stores. For the kids, Prospect Park and Park Slope beckon, as does the borough’s restaurant scene which features some of the best New York–style pizza anywhere. End the day with a visit to the iconic Barcade - a bar lined with classic arcade games - and a stroll to take in the views along the scenic Brooklyn Heights Promenade.
When travellers think of New York City, they’ll often envision Manhattan. It holds big-name attractions like Central Park and the Empire State Building, renowned museums like the Met, thousands of restaurants and a creative scene second to none. While the likes of Broadway and the Rockefeller Centre are staples, make sure to find time to visit The Highline, a gorgeous park built upon an abandoned railway high above the busy sidewalks. This hidden gem provides some of the city’s best sightseeing opportunities.
As one of the most linguistically diverse places in the world and with nearly half of its residents being foreign-born, Queens can satisfy nearly every taste. Foodies get their fill from the Greek cuisine of Astoria and the authentic Asian food in Flushing, others admire the inventive art at Socrates Sculpture Park and the stunning flora at the Queens Botanical Garden. In the south, don't miss The Rockaways, where sunbathers and surfers alike will flock to the oceanfront.
Similar to the other boroughs, there’s no shortage of things to do and places to see in Staten Island. It abounds with architectural landmarks, beaches and parkland just asking to be explored. Many reach the borough via the free Staten Island Ferry - an attraction in its own right – or you can drive in over the Verrazano Bridge. Don't miss out on some great shopping at Empire Outlets in St. George and a wander through the gorgeous grounds of Snug Harbour and Historic Richmond Town.
Inspired to book your trip to the Big Apple? Get in touch with your local Travellers Choice agent