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Destination guides > North America > USA > Mid-Atlantic > New York> New York City> Sightseeing, museums & tourist attractions

New York City

Sightseeing, museums & tourist attractions

NEW YORK HARBOUR
Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island

New York’s most famous landmark is the massive sculpture by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi that was presented as a gift to the United States by France in 1886. The statue is 46.5m (151") tall statue (93m (305") from the pedestal to the top of the torch) sits on Liberty Island in New York Harbor. Visitors have access to the observation deck on the pedestal, and for an additional $3 charge you can climb the 354 steps to the crown of the statue.


The ferry to Liberty Island includes a free stopover at Ellis Island, where millions of immigrants to the United States were processed between 1897 and 1938. The island is also home to an excellent museum detailing the journeys of immigrants who had passed through Ellis Island.

Liberty Island, New York Harbor
Subway Bowling Green, Whitehall Street, South Ferry, then ferry Liberty Island/Ellis Island Ferry (website www.statuecruises.com)
Tel 212 363 3200; ferry tickets 1 866 STATUE4
Website www.nps.gov/stli/; www.statueofliberty.org
Admission free, but ferry costs $12; access to crown $3 (advance reservation required to visit crown)

FINANCIAL DISTRICT

New York City's Financial District lies at the bottom tip of Downtown Manhattan. This is the first area of New York to be settled and the narrow streets below Wall Street were once known as New Amsterdam. The Financial District is home to a tight cluster of towering skyscrapers and its attractions include the Ne York Stock Exchange, Wall Street, the South Street Seaport and the memorial site at Ground Zero where the twin towers of the World Trade Centre once stood.

BODIES… The Exhibition

Visit this exhibition at the South Street Seaport and you'll be able to say "I see dead people". BODIES… The Exhibition features real dead people that have been that have been dissected and preserved through a plastination process offering a unique look at the human body.


The cadavers are supplied by Dalian Medical University in China, which is supplied by the Chinese Bureau of Police and there has been some controversy regarding the origin of the deceased, which some people believe may be executed prisoners.

11 Fulton Street, New York
Subway Fulton Street (2, 3); Fulton Street (J, M, Z)
Tel 1888 9 BODIES
Website www.bodiesny.com
Admission $28.85-29.94
Open Mon-Thu 10am-7pm (last entry 6pm), Fri-Sat 10am-9pm (last entry 8pm), Sun 10am-7pm (last entry 6pm)

Federal Hall National Memorial

Federal Hall on Wall Street is where George Washington was sworn in as the first US president. It was also the site of the first Congress and Supreme Court and now houses a museum dedicated to George Washington and the early history of the United States.

26 Wall Street, New York
Subway Broad Street (J, M, Z)
Tel 212 825 6990
Website www.nps.gov/feha/
Admission free
Open Jan-Jul Mon-Fri 9am-5pm; Aug 9am-5pm daily; Sep-Dec Mon-Fri 9am-5pm

Museum of American Finance

This museum has displays about entrepreneurship and the US financial markets that include ticker tape from the 1929 stock market crash and videos of the exchange floor plus a $10,000 note and a bearer bond made to George Washington. This museum is the best place to experience Wall Street now that the New York Stock Exchange no longer offers tours.

48 Wall Street, New York
Subway Wall Street (2, 3); Broad Street (J, M, Z); Wall Street (4, 5)
Tel 212 908 4110
Website www.moaf.org
Admission $8, students $5; free Tue-Sat 10am-11am
Open Tue-Sat 10am-4pm

National Museum of the American Indian (George Gustav Heye Center)

The New York branch of the National Museum of the American Indian has a collection of art and artefacts of indigenous peoples of the Americas. It also hosts temporary exhibits and a programme of music and dance performances.

1 Bowling Green, New York
Subway Bowling Green (4, 5)
Tel 212 514 3700
Website www.nmai.si.edu
Admission free
Open Mon-Wed 10am-5pm, Thu 10am-8pm, Fri-Sun 10am-5pm

New York City Police Museum

This museum in the former First Precinct Building has displays chronicling the history of the NYPD with exhibits of notorious criminals plus police vehicles, uniforms and weapons. The museum also serves as a memorial to the events of 11 September 2001 with exhibits on the NYPD's role in responding to the events of the day.

100 Old Slip, New York
Subway Wall Street (2, 3); Whitehall Street-South Ferry (R, W)
Tel 212 480 3100
Website www.nycpolicemuseum.org
Admission $7, students $5
Open Mon-Sat 10am-5pm

New York Stock Exchange

The New York Stock Exchange was founded in 1792 and is the Financial District’s raison d'être. Unfortunately it is no longer open to the public, although many visitors to New York still make the trip to Broad Street (between Exchange Place and Wall Street) to see the neoclassic building with its massive US flag draped across its pillars.

20 Broad Street, New York
Subway Broad Street (J, M, Z), Wall Street (2, 3, 4, 5)

Skyscraper Museum

This tiny museum may be interesting for architecture buffs, but the museum too small and admission fee is a too high if you only have a passing interest in skyscrapers. You're better off wandering around the city and looking at the real buildings.

39 Battery Place, New York
Subway Bowling Green (4, 5)
Tel 212 968 1961
Website www.skyscraper.org
Admission $5
Open Wed-Sun noon-6pm

South Street Seaport & the South Street Seaport Museum

This historic waterfront area near Wall Street features 12 blocks of restored buildings as well as historic sailing ships in an attempt to recreate the port's heyday in the 19th century when New York City was the country's most important port.

 

The museum has exhibits about New York's role as a seaport with maritime-related displays plus a working 19th-century printers and a fleet of historic ships.

12 Fulton Street, New York, NY 10038
Bus M9, M15 Subway Fulton Street (2, 3)
Tel 212 748 8600 (212 SEA PORT)
Website www.southstreetseaportmuseum.org
Museum admission $12, students $10; free 6pm-8.45pm third Fri of each month
Museum open Jan-Mar Mon 10am-5pm (Schermerhorn galleries only), Fri-Sun 10am-5pm; Apr-Dec Tue-Sun 10am-6pm

Trinity Church

This Gothic Revival Episcopal church, also known as Trinity Wall Street, dates from 1846 although a church as stood on this site since 1698. It is one of the most historically-significant churches in the United States and the earlier church (which burnt down in the Great New York City Fire of 1776) played an important role in the American Revolutionary War as the base of British political and military operations in North America. When completed in 1846, the current Trinity Church was the city's tallest building. The Trinity Churchyard is the final resting place of Alexander Hamilton, who graces the US $10 note.

74 Trinity Place, New York
Subway Rector Street (R, W); Rector Street (1); Wall Street (4, 6)
Tel 212 602 0800
Website www.trinitywallstreet.org
Admission free
Open Mon-Fri 7am-6pm, Sat 8am-4pm, Sun 7am-4pm

Trump Building

In 1930 the 70-storey 40 Wall Street, now officially known as the Trump Building, replaced the Woolworth Building as the world’s tallest building at 283m (927ft). The Donald claims to have paid only $1 million for the building in 2003, which is now valued at between $400 and $600 million. Not open to the public.

40 Wall Street, New York
Subway Broad Street (J, M, Z), Wall Street (2, 3)

Woolworth Building

The 57-storey Woolworth Building surpassed the Met Life Tower as the tallest building in the world when completed in 1913. The 241m (792ft) high neo-Gothic building is still one of the 50 tallest buildings in the United States. Not open to the public.

233 Broadway, New York
Subway Park Place (2, 3), City Hall (R, W), World Trade Center (E), Fulton Street (4, 5)

The Woolworth Building in Lower Manhattan

The Woolworth Building in Lower Manhattan

World Trade Center (Ground Zero) & the Tribute WTC Visitor Center

The site where the twin towers of the World Trade Center once stood is commonly known as Ground Zero. It is the future site for a memorial and museum to the events of 11 September 2001 and is also a construction site for a new PATH station plus six new towers (one already complete) that will include the 108-storey (541m) 1 World Trade Center (previously known as the Freedom Tower).


Although a new memorial and visitor centre is under construction, the Tribute WTC Visitor Center adjacent to Ground Zero has galleries about the World Trade Center prior to the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 as well as exhibits on the events of the day, rescue and recovery efforts plus a tribute to the victims.
120 Liberty Street, New York
Subway Cortlandt Street (W), Rector Street (1, R, W), Wall Street (4, 5), PATH World Trade Center
Tel 212 393 9160, ext 138
Website www.tributewtc.org
Visitor centre admission $10
Visitor centre open Mon 10am-6pm, Tue noon-6pm, Wed-Sat 10am-6pm, Sun noon-5pm

LOWER EAST SIDE

This low-rent (by New York standards) area east of Chinatown and Little Italy has traditionally been a working class neighbourhood that was home to recent immigrants who generally would move out when they could afford it to make room for the next wave of immigrants. Although becoming gentrified and no longer New York's most densely populated neighbourhood - as it was when most immigrants arrived via Ellis Island - the area retains some interesting sights.

Lower East Side Tenement Museum

This small museum features restored apartments showing how recent immigrants once lived. Admission is by tour only.

108 Orchard Street, New York, NY 10002
Subway Essex Street-Delancey Street (F, J, M, Z)
Tel 212 431 0233
Website www.tenement.org
Admission $20, students $15
Open 10.30am-5pm daily

GREENWICH VILLAGE & EAST VILLAGE

Greenwich Village is one of Manhattan's trendiest neighbourhoods. The focal point of Greenwich Village is Washington Square, which is typified by the Washington Memorial Arch. New York's gay communiity is clustered around Sheridan Square and Christopher Street in the western end of Greenwich Village, while the East Village is home to those who aspire to live in Greenwich Village but who can't afford the rent.

CHELSEA & THE FLATIRON DISTRICT

This neighbourhood between Greenwich Village and Midtown Manhattan stretches between 14th and 30th Streets. It is a mostly residential area although it has several attractions that are worth a visit if you're in the neighbourhood such as Chelsea Market and the High Line, a park built upon an elevated rail line.


Chelsea’s convenient location, within walking distance to both Greenwich Village and Midtown Manhattan, make is a popular spot for many travellers to stay and the neighbourhood also attracts many actors, musicians and writers. The Hotel Chelsea (222 W 23rd Street, New York; subway 23 Street (C, E)) has been home to Arthur C Clarke, Leonard Cohen, Alice Cooper, Bob Dylan, Jane Fonda, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jack Kerouac, Stanley Kubrick, Joni Mitchell, Jean-Paul Sartre, Dylan Thomas, Uma Thurman, Mark Twain, Sid Vicious and Tennessee Williams among others. The Chelsea Hotel has moved upmarket and no longer accepts long-term guests. Further uptown, Madonna stayed in the building that now houses the Chelsea Star Hotel (300 W 30th Street, New York; subway 34 Street-Penn Station (A, C, E)).

 

East of Chelsea is the Flatiron District, centred on Madison Square Park (not to be confused with the stadium, Madison Square Garden) with its two iconic skyscrapers – the Flatiron Building and the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Tower.

Flatiron Building

This landmark is one of the city’s most photographed buildings. Although only 87m (285ft) high, the 22-storey Flatiron was one of the first high-rise buildings ever built and was one of the city’s tallest buildings when it was completed in 1902. It was one of the very first buildings to be constructed with a steel frame but is noted mostly for its unique triangular design that utilises the unusual shaped city block while appearing almost two-dimensional from certain angles. Not open to the public.

175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010
Subway 23rd Street (R, W), 23rd Street (F, V), 23rd Street (6) PATH 23rd Street

Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Tower

The 50-storey Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Tower (or Met Life Tower - not to be confused with the MetLife Building on Park Avenue) is just across Madison Square Park from the Flatiron Building. The 213m (700ft) high building was the world's tallest building from 1909 until 1913. Not open to the public.

1 Madison Avenue, New York
Subway 23 Street (R, W), 23 Street (6)

Museum of Sex

This museum may seem a bit risqué for America, but New York City is a lot more tolerant than middle America. The Museum of Sex chronicles the evolution of sexuality with a collection of over 15,000 items plus exhibits on various sexual sub-cultures. It's easy to find if you're staying at the Gershwin Hotel, which is right next door.

233 Fifth Avenue, New York
Subway 28 Street (R, W)
Tel 212 689 6337
Website www.museumofsex.com
Admission $15.77
Open Mon-Fri 11am-6.30pm (last entry 5.45pm), Sat 11am-8pm (last entry 7.15pm), Sun 11am-6.30pm (last entry 5.45pm)

MIDTOWN MANHATTAN

New York City's most central and most visited area extends from the Chelsea neighbourhood north of 14th Street in Lower Midtown right up to Central Park around 60th Street. This area includes most of the big shops as well as iconic buildings including the Empire State Building, the Flatiron Building, the Chrysler Building and the Rockefeller Center as well as Times Square and the main transport termini such as Grand Central Terminal, Penn Station and the Port Authority Bus Terminal.

American Folk Art Museum

This museum in Midtown Manhattan has a large collection of American folk art with exhibits that include weathervanes and quilts as well as art produced by Amish, Mennonite and Shakers.

45 West 53rd Street, New York
Subway 5 Avenue-53 Street (E, V)
Tel 212 265 1040
Website www.folkartmuseum.org
Admission $9; students $7; Fri 5.30pm-7.30pm free
Open Tue-Thu 10.30am-5.30pm, Fri 11am-7.30pm, Sat-Sun 10.30am-5.30pm

Bryant Park

Bryant Park is centrally located in the heart of Midtown Manhattan, right next to the main branch of the New York Public Library. Its central location ensures that it is a popular place for city workers to relax on their lunch break making it the world’s most densely occupied park. The park hosts a programme of events including fashion shows, concerts, live screenings of baseball games and an outdoor film festival. During winter the Pond at Bryant Park (subway 42 Street-Bryant Park (B, D, F, V); open 6 Nov-31 Dec & 1-24 Jan; Mon-Thu 8am-10pm, Fri-Sat 8am-midnight, Sun 8am-10pm) is the city’s only free admission ice skating rink, although you’ll need to rent skates for $12 if you don’t have your own pair.

Sixth Avenue (between West 40th Street & West 42nd Street), New York
Subway 42 Street-Bryant Park (B, D, F, V), 5 Avenue (7)
Website www.bryantpark.org

Chrysler Building

This 77-storey (309m) art deco building is considered by many to be New York's most beautiful skyscraper. It was built in 1930 and was New York's tallest building until the Empire State Building opened a year later. Not open to the public.

405 Lexington Avenue, New York
Subway Grand Central (7), Grand Central-42nd Street (4, 5, 6, S) Train Grand Central

Most New Yorkers' favourite building is the 77-storey Chrysler Building

Most New Yorkers' favourite building is the 77-storey Chrysler Building

Discovery Times Square Exposition

This museum-style exhibition space in Times Square hosts a programme of temporary exhibits.


The major exhibition for 2010 is King Tut: Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs. The exhibit features 130 artefacts displayed in 10 galleries. The exhibit opens 23 April.


Last year's exhibits will be running until early 2010 (Titanic: the Artefact Exhibition will close 28 Feb and Leonardo Da Vinci's Workshop will close on 14 Mar).

226 West 44th Street, New York
Subway 42 Street-Port Authority Bus Terminal (A, C, E); Times Square-42 Street (1, 2, 3, 7, 9, N, R, S, W)
Tel 866 987 9692 (866 9TSXNYC)
Website www.discoverytsx.com/nyc/
Admission Titanic exhibition $26.64, Leonardo da Vinci exhibition $21.21
Open Mon-Thu 10am-8pm (last entry 7pm), Fri-Sat 10am-9pm (last entry 8pm), Sun 10am-8pm (last entry 7pm)

Empire State Building

The 443m-high (102-storey) Empire State Building was the tallest building for over 40 years and after the tragic events of 11 September 2001, it is once again the city's tallest building. The view from the observatories at the 86th and 102nd floors is one of the highlights of a visit to New York.

350 Fifth Avenue, New York
Subway 34th Street-Herald Square (B, D, R, V, W), 33rd Street (6) PATH 33rd Street
Tel 212 736 3100
Website www.esbnyc.com
Admission 86th floor $20, 102nd floor $35; Express Pass (gets you to the front of the long queue) 86th floor $45, 102nd floor $60
Open 8am-2am daily, last lift 1.15am

Grand Central Terminal

Arguably the grandest railway station in the United States, New York City’s Grand Central Terminal is the largest station in the world by number of platforms (44), but it only handles suburban traffic to New York’s northern suburbs and Connecticut.

 

The station’s main concourse is the most well-known part of the building consisting of a cavernous space with an enormous American flag and an opulent astronomical ceiling. There are more platforms on the lower dining concourse, which is considered one of the most impressive railway station food courts with many well-known restaurants including the famous Oyster Bar that has been operating at the station since 1913.

105 E 42nd Street, New York, NY 10017
Subway Grand Central-42nd Street (4, 5, 6, 7, S)
Tel (212) 340 2345
Website www.grandcentralterminal.com
Admission free
Open 5.30am-1.30am; free tours Wed 12.30pm, Fri 12.30pm

Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

This Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum is a leading maritime and military history museum located on the World War II aircraft carrier USS Intrepid, which is docked at Pier 86 near the corner of 12th Avenue and W 46th Street.


In addition to the USS Intrepid, the museum also features 30 aircraft including the Concorde and a Lockheed A-12 Blackbird reconnaissance plane plus the submarine USS Growler and a replica of the Aurora 7 capsule used in the United States' first voyages into space.
Pier 86 (near corner of 12th Avenue & W 46th Street), New York
Bus M50 (12 Avenue-W 46 Street)
Tel 212 245 0072
Website www.intrepidmuseum.org
Admission $22; G-Force simulator $10; XD Theater simulator experience $8; Transporter FX siumulator $8; combined pass to all three simulator experiences $21; audio tour $6; all access pass (museum admission, one simulator experience and audio tour) $35
Open Jan-Mar 10am-5pm daily; Apr-Sep Mon-Fri 10am-5pm, Sat-Sun 10am-6pm; Oct-Dec 10am-5pm daily

Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

This world-class art museum focuses mainly on works from the late 19th to the 20th century. It features Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Cans as well as Vincent Van Gogh’s the Starry Night, Salvador Dalí’s the Persistence of Memory and Claude Monet’s Water Lilies.

11 W 53rd Street, New York, NY 10019
Subway 5th Avenue-53rd Street (E, V)
Tel(212) 708 9400
Website www.moma.org
Admission $20, students $12
Open Mon 10.30am-5.30pm, Wed-Thu 10.30am-5.30pm, Fri 10.30am-8pm, Sat-Sun 10.30am-5.30pm

New York Public Library

This massive classical building houses the world's seventh-largest research library and it features an enormous reading room.

498 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10018
Tel (212) 930 0830
Website www.nypl.org
Admission free
Open Mon 11am-6pm, Tue-Wed 11am-7.30pm, Thu-Sat 11am-6pm, Sun 1pm-5pm

NY Skyride

On the second floor of the Empire State Building, NY Skyride is a motion simulator attraction that takes you on a 25-minute simulated aerial tour of New York City. Although a good introduction to the city, it is a lot of money to spend for a half hour experience.

350 Fifth Avenue, New York
Subway 34 Street-Herald Square (B, D, F, B, Q, R, V, W); 33 Street (6); 33 Street (PATH)
Tel 212 279 9777 or 1 888 759 7433
Website www.skyride.com
Admission $29.50-36
Open 8am-10pm daily

Rockefeller Center

This complex of 19 office buildings houses NBC's television studios and Radio City Music Hall. The 70-storey (266m) GE Building at 30 Rockefeller Plaza is the tallest building in the complex.

 

During winter the centre is home to New York's most famous ice skating rink (30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York; tel 212 332 7654; $15-19 per session; skate rental $9; open Mon-Thu 9am-10.30pm, Fri-Sat 8.30am-midnight, Sun 8.30am-10pm).

The Rockefeller Center's famous skating rink

The Rockefeller Center's famous skating rink

 

The NBC Studio Tour (30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York; tel 212 664 3700; admission $19.25; open Mon-Sat 8.30am-5.30pm, Sun 9.30am-4.30pm) lets you see behind the scenes at NBC's Rockefeller Center studios. The tour tells you about the history of the network before letting you see inside the television studios. The tour only takes you into studios that aren't currently being used for filming and the average tour lets you see around three studios.

 

The art deco Radio City Music Hall (1260 Avenue of the Americas, New York; tel 212 465 6100), also in the Rockefeller Center, is home to massive theatres that feature two-tonne chandeliers. With 5,933 seats this was the world's largest cinema when it opened in 1933 but it now plays host mostly to live shows although film premieres are sometimes held here. The awards ceremonies for the Emmy Awards, Grammy Awards, MTV Video Music Awards and Tony Awards have been held here. Tours of the music hall (tours cost $17) depart from the music hall lobby.

 

The Top of the Rock (30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York; tel 212 698 2000; admission $21; open 8am-midnight daily (last entry 11pm)) is a three-level observation deck consisting of the 67th, 69th and 70th floors including an outdoor viewing area. The observation deck offers a brilliant view to the south of both Midtown and Lower Manhattan and the view to the north includes unobstructed views of Central Park with the top 10 blocks of Midtown in the foreground.

Tours of the Rockefeller Center depart from the NBC Experience Store (30 Rockefeller Center, New York).

64 West 50th Street, New York
Subway 47th-50th Streets-Rockefeller Center (B, D, F, V)

Tours cost $12

Tours depart Mon-Sat 11am, noon, 1pm, 3pm, 4pm, 5pm, Sun 11am, noon, 1pm, 3pm, 4pm

Times Square

This big intersection where Broadway and Seventh Avenue intersect (but stretching from West 42nd to West 47th Streets) is world-famous as the centre of New York's Broadway theatre district and for its garish neon advertising.

 

The area went into decline after the Great Depression and was once regarded as a centre for sleaze, but during the 1980s an effort to clean up Times Square resulted in the tourist-friendly area of bright neon and massive TV screens. It is the only part of New York where zoning laws require building owners to display illuminated signs and the intensity of bright lights and neon signs rivals that of Las Vegas.

 

In addition to its bright lights and theatres, it is known as the top place in North America to celebrate New Year's Eve.

Times Square, New York, NY 10036
Subway Times Square-42nd Street (1, 2, 3, 7, N, Q, R, S, W)

United Nations Headquarters

This large office complex in the Turtle Bay neighbourhood of east Midtown serves as the main headquarters of the United Nations. As an international organisation, the land is considered international territory. The best way to see the complex is by 45-minute guided tours that run every weekday, although the complex is sometimes closed to the public during high level meetings of heads of state.

760 United Nations Plaza, New York
Subway M15, M27, M50 (stop: 1 Avenue-E 42nd Street) M Grand Central-42 Street (4, 5, 6, 7, S)
Tel 212 963 4440
Website www.un.org/tours/
Tours run Mon-Fri 9.45am-4.45pm
Tours cost $16, students $11

UPTOWN MANHATTAN & HARLEM

This large area of Manhattan starts at Central Park and continues right up to the tip of Manhattan. The areas either side of Central Park are known as the Upper East Side and the Upper West Side. The areas between 70th Street and 96th Street on the ritzy Upper East Side is home to many of New York City's top museums including the Frick Collection, the Guggenheim and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.


Harlem is the large, mostly African-American, neighbourhood north of Central Park.

American Museum of Natural History

This massive science museum on the Upper West Side features 46 permanent exhibition halls although even this much exhibition space is only enough to display only a handful of the museum’s collection of over 32 million specimens.


The museum’s highlights include a full-size model of a Blue Whale and fossil halls that include an impressive collection of mammal and dinosaur fossils that include an apatosaurus, brontops, mammuthus, stegosaurus, triceratops and tyrannosaurus rex. There is also an excellent display on human evolution that include Lucy, a 3.2-million-year-old Australopithecus afarensis skeleton and the 1.7-million-year-old Turkana Boy.


The museum’s heaviest exhibit is a 31-tonne (34-ton) piece of the Cape York meteorite, known as Ahnighito. It is the heaviest meteorite ever moved by human and is so heavy that its display stand has foundations that reach down to the bedrock beneath the museum. The museum also features the golf ball-sized 563.35 carat Star of India, which is the world's largest star sapphire. The sapphire was stolen in 1964, but later found in a locker in a Miami coach station.


The Hayden Planetarium in the adjoining Rose Center for Earth and Space is regarded as one of the world's leading planetariums with shows that have been narrated by Harrison Ford, Tom Hanks and Robert Redford.

200 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024
Subway 81st Street-Museum of Natural History (B, C) Bus M10, M79
Tel 212 769 5200
Website www.amnh.org
Admission $16, students $12
Open 10am-5.45pm daily

Central Park

The city's most famous park takes up a huge chunk of central Manhattan spanning the expanse between Harlem and Midtown Manhattan. The park features lots of recreation areas including cycling and walking tracks, a swimming pool, two ice-skating rinks, an outdoor theatre and a zoo. It is the most visited city park in the United States and you can easily spend a day in Central Park, although it is best to keep out of the park after dark.


During summer, Central Park's Summer Stage (Rumsey Playfield, Central Park, New York; subway 68 Street (6)) hosts a programme of free concerts including some by major artists.


There are also free Shakespeare plays performed in Central Park. Although Shakespeare in the Park productions are free, you still need to get a ticket from Delacorte Theater in Central Park or the Public Theater (425 Lafayette Street, New York; subway Astor Place (6), 8 Street-NYU (R, W)). The Shakespeare in the Park season runs from June to August.


One of the more romantic ways to see the park is by carriage horse. A 20-minute ride through the southern part of the park costs $40 (including tip), carriage horse rides depart from Central Park South (West 59th Street) near Seventh Avenue.

The Cloisters

This branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art focuses on medieval European art and architecture. The museum's collection includes several well-known tapestries and illuminated manuscripts.

99 Margaret Corbin Drive, Fort Tryon Park, New York, NY 10040
Bus M4 Subway Dyckman Street (A)
Tel 212 923 3700
Website www.metmuseum.org/cloisters/
Admission $20, students $10
Open Jan-Feb Tue-Sun 9.30am-4.45pm; Mar-Oct Tue-Sun 9.30am-5.15pm; Nov-Dec Tue-Sun 9.30am-4.45pm

Frick Collection

This elegant mansion houses an impressive art collection that includes works by El Greco, Rembrandt, Titian and Velázquez. The collection features Jean-Honoré Fragonard’s The Progress of Love, Rembrandt’s the Polish Rider and Johannes Vermeer’s Mistress and Maid.

1 E 70th Street, New York, NY 10021
Subway 68th Street-Hunter College (6) Bus M1, M2, M3, M4, M30, M72
Tel 212 288 0700
Website www.frick.org
Admission $18, students $5
Open Tue-Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 11am-5pm

New-York Historical Society

This Upper West Side museum was founded in 1804 making it the city's oldest museum. It features exhibits on New York's history.

170 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024
Subway 81st Street-Museum of Natural History (B, C) Bus M10
Tel 212 873 3400
Website www.nyhistory.org
Admission $12, students $7, free Fri 6pm-8pm
Open Tue-Thu 10am-6pm, Fri 10am-8pm, Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 11am-5pm

Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Met is the Western Hemisphere's largest art museum with an impressive collection that includes over two million works documenting over 5000 years of art history. It features extensive collection of American and European paintings plus over 75,000 costumes and an excellent Egyptian exhibit that includes a reconstructed temple.


Notable paintings include Duccio di Buoninsegna's Madonna and Child, Emanuel Leutze's Washington Crossing the Delaware and Hokusai's The Great Wave off Kanagawa.

1000 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10028
Bus M1, M2, M3, M4 Subway 77th Street (6)
Tel 212 535 7710
Website www.metmuseum.org
Admission $20, students $10
Open Tue-Thu 9.30am-5.30pm, Fri-Sat 9.30am-9pm, Sun 9.30am-5.30pm

Museum of the City of New York

The fascinating Museum of the City of New York has an interesting collection of exhibits chronicling the city's history and culture.

1220 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10029
Subway 103rd Street (6) Bus M1, M2, M3, M4, M106
Tel 212 534 1672
Website www.mcny.org
Admission $10, students $6
Open Tue-Sun 10am-5pm

Solomon R Guggenheim Museum

The Guggenheim Museum is noted mostly for the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed building and its focus is on contemporary art with abstract, cubist and surrealist art on display.

1071 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10128
Bus M1, M2, M3, M4 Subway 86th Street (4, 5, 6)
Tel 212 423 3500
Website www.guggenheim.org
Admission $25, students $18; Sat 5.45pm-7.45pm pay what you want
Open Mon-Wed 10am-5.45pm, Fri 10am-5.45pm, Sat 10am-7.45pm, Sun 10am-5.45pm

The Guggenheim Museum is a work of art in itself

The Guggenheim Museum is a work of art in itself

Studio Museum in Harlem

This contemporary art museum focuses on artwork produced by African-Americans with a large collection of work from the 19th and 20th centuries.

144 West 125th Street, New York
Subway 125 Street (2, 3)
Tel 212 864 4500
Website www.studiomuseum.org
Admission $7; students $3; Sun noon-6pm
Open Wed-Fri noon-6pm, Sat 10am-6pm, Sun noon-6pm

Whitney Museum of American Art

The Whitney Museum focuses on 20th and 21st century American Art. The museum's collection of over 12,000 works includes art by Andy Warhol, Keith Haring and Jackson Pollock.

945 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10021
Bus M1, M2, M3, M4 Subway 77th Street (6)
Tel 1800 WHITNEY
Website www.whitney.org
Admission $18; ages 19-25 & students $12; Fri 6pm-9pm pay what you want
Open Wed-Thu 11am-6pm, Fri 1pm-9pm, Sat-Sun 11am-6pm

BROOKLYN

Brooklyn is New York City's most populous borough with 2.5 million inhabitants. Although it is an easy walk across the Brooklyn Bridge from Manhattan, Brooklyn has its own cultural identity and a bustling downtown area as well as gentrified neighbourhoods noted for their brownstone terraces.

Brooklyn Botanic Garden

The highlight of this 21 ha (52 acre) park is the Steinhardt Conservatory, which is home to flora from a variety of climatic zones). The Brooklyn Botanic Garden also features over 200 cherry trees, Japanese gardens and the Shakespeare Garden, which is comprised of plants mentioned in William Shakespeare's works.

1000 Washington Avenue, Brooklyn
Subway Prospect Park (B, Q, S); Eastern Parkway-Brooklyn Museum (2, 3)
Tel 718 623 7200
Website www.bbg.org
Admission $8, students $4; free Mon-Fri until 2 Mar 2010
Open Tue-Fri 8am-4.30pm, Sat-Sun 10am-4.30pm

Brooklyn Historical Society

This museum has displays relating to Brooklyn's diverse culture and its 400 year old history.

128 Pierrepont Street, Brooklyn
Subway Court Street-Borough Hall (M, R), Borough Hall (2, 3, 4, 5), Clark Street (2, 3)
Tel 718 222 4111
Website www.brooklynhistory.org
Admission $6, students $4
Open Wed-Fri noon-5pm, Sat 10am-5pm, Sun noon-5pm

Brooklyn Museum

The Brooklyn Museum is the city's second-largest art museum with a permanent collection of over 1.5 million works ranging from ancient Egyptian artefacts to contemporary art.

200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, NY 11238
Subway Eastern Parkway-Brooklyn Museum (2, 3)
Tel 718 638 5000
Website www.brooklynmuseum.org
Admission $10, students $6; first Sat of each month free
Open Wed-Fri 10am-5pm, Sat 11am-6pm, Sun 11am-6pm; first Sat of each month 11am-11pm

New York Aquarium

New York's aqarium at Coney Island is home to penguins, seals, sea lions and walruses plus jellyfish and sharks.

602 Surf Avenue, Coney Island, Brooklyn
Subway W 8 Avenue-NY Aquarium
Tel 718 625 4740
Website www.nyaquarium.com
Admission $13, $17 including Planet Earth 4D Theater
Open 1 Jan-2 Apr 10am-4.30pm daily; 2 Apr-1 Nov Mon-Fri 10am-5pm, Sat-Sun 10am-5.30pm; 2 Nov-31 Dec 10am-4.30pm daily

New York Transit Museum

This museum located in an unused subway station in downtown Brooklyn has exhibits on public transport in New York. The main focus is the subway, but there are also exhibits on Metro North and Long Island Railroad suburban trains as well as tunnels and bridges in the New York area. The museum has a smaller annex inside Grand Central Terminal.

Boerum Place and Schermerhorn Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Subway Borough Hall (2, 3, 4, 5), Jay Street-Borough Hall (A, C, F) Bus B25, B26, B37, B38, B41, B45, B52, B57, B61, B65, B67, B75
Tel 718 694 1600
Website www.mta.info/mta/museum/
Admission $5
Open Tue-Fri 10am-4pm, Sat-Sun noon-5pm

QUEENS

Queens is the largest New York City borough in area and its second-most populous. It is a mostly suburban borough with the exception of the more densely populated north-western part of the borough, which includes the neighbourhoods of Astoria and Long Island City. Queens is home to both JFK and LaGuardia Airports and the US Open is played here.

Museum of the Moving Image

This media museum in Astoria, Queens houses an archive of film and classic television programmes as well a collection of playable video games.

Corner 35th Avenue & 36th Street, Astoria, Queens
Subway 36 Avenue (N, W); 36 Street (R, V); Steinway Street (R, V) bus Q66 (stop: 35th Avenue & 35th Street)
Tel 718 784 0077
Website www.movingimage.us
Admission $7
Open Tue–Fri 10am–3pm

New York Hall of Science

This museum on the site of the 1964 New York World's Fair in Flushing Meadow-Corona Park is an interactive science museum that includes over 450 hands-on exhibits. Originally established as part of the 1964 World's Fair, the New York Hall of Science was one of the very first museums dedicated to science. Like many science museums, it is geared mostly at running educational programmes for school children and its location in Queens means that few visitors to the city make a visit.
47-01 111th Street, Queens
Subway 111 Street (7) bus Q23 (stop: 108th Street & 47th Avenue)
Tel 718 699 0005
Website www.nysci.org
Admission $11, students $8
Open Jan-Mar Tue-Thu 9.30am-2pm, Fri 9.30am-5pm, Sat-Sun 10am-6pm; Apr-Jun Mon-Thu 9.30am-2pm, Fri 9.30am-5pm, Sat-Sun 10am-6pm; Jul-Aug Mon-Fri 9.30am-5pm, Sat-Sun 10am-6pm; Sep-Dec Tue-Thu 9.30am-2pm, Fri 9.30am-5pm

Queens Museum of Art

This important museum on the site of the 1939 and 1964 World’s Fairs in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens features an impressive collection with many items relating to the World’s Fair.


The museum’s highlight is the Panorama of the City of New York, a massive 867.25 m2 (9335 sq ft) architectural model that includes every single building at existed before 1992 in all five New York City boroughs, which totals 895,000 individual models. The model was originally built for the 1964 World’s Fair (taking 100 people three years to complete) and in 1992 over 60,000 buildings were changed to bring the model up-to-date.

New York City Building, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Queens
Subway 111 Street (7); Mets-Willets Point (7) train Mets-Willets Point (LIRR) bus Q23, Q58 (stop: Corona Avenue & 51st Avenue)
Tel 718 592 9700
Website www.queensmuseum.org
Admission $5
Open Jan-Jun Wed-Sun noon-6pm; Jul-Aug Wed-Thu noon-6pm, Fri noon-8pm, Sat-Sun noon-6pm; Sep-Dec Wed-Sun noon-6pm

BRONX

For the most part, the northernmost borough of New York City has one of the worst reputations in New York. The South Bronx is the most densely populated part of the borough and is the home to Yankee Stadium and is noted as the birthplace of break dancing and hip hop music. Despite the Bronx's downmarket image, it is a diverse borough and it even has some upperclass neighbourhoods like Riverdale.

Bronx Zoo

The largest city zoo in the United States is home to over 4000 animals. It is famous for the 6.5 acre Congo Gorilla Forest that is home to more than 300 animals including lowland gorillas. Other highlights of the Bronz Zoo include the Himalayan Highlands habitat with its snow leopards and red pandas and JungleWorld, an indoor Asian rainforest with ebony langurs, white-cheeked gibbons, the Malayan tapir and black leopards.

Fordham Road & Bronx River Parkway, Bronx, NY
Bus BxM11 Subway East Tremont Ave/West Farms Square (2, 5)
Tel (718) 367 1010
Website www.bronxzoo.com
Admission $15; Wed free
Open Jan-Mar 10am-4.30pm daily; Apr-Oct Mon-Fri 10am-5pm, Sat-Sun 10am-5.30pm; Nov-Dec 10am-4.30pm daily

Dec 10am-4.30pm daily

STATEN ISLAND

The free Staten Island Ferry makes a popular low-budget cruise on New York Harbor, but most visitors to the city just take the next ferry back to Manhattan without experiencing the city's least populated borough.

Historic Richmond Town

This open-air history museum consists of 30 historic buildings that include commercial and administrative buildings relocated from elsewhere in Staten Island. Living exhibits include people in period costume recreating life in the 19th century.

441 Clarke Ave, Richmond, Staten Island
Bus S54, S74, S7484 (stop: Arthur Kill Road-Cemetery 1 Gate)
Tel 718 351 1611
Website www.historicrichmondtown.org
Admission $5, students $3.50
Open Wed-Sun 1pm-5pm

 


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