New York New York

Richard Harbourne 16 March 2010
It’s so good they named it twice!

Although this was my second visit to New York I had a list of places to see and things to do the length of my arm. As I was travelling with my wife and friends of ours I knew we would be busy so I decided 4 nights would be just perfect. Arriving into Newark Airport instead of JFK Airport can sometimes be quicker to transfer into Manhattan. You can take the airport tram to the airport train station and within 30 minutes you are in downtown Manhattan having missed all the traffic.

If you fly into JFK the subway is the best way to travel as you can miss all the traffic and be at your hotel quicker than you would in a taxi and it is much cheaper at just $10USD approx per person.

One of my big tips when arriving into New York or any other city in the U.S is not go to bed before 2200 local time. Because of the time difference if you go to bed early you will definitely be awake by 3-4 in the morning. So stay up late and you will get over the flight straight by the very next morning.

The hotels I have stayed in are recently the Radisson Lexington Hotel which is centrally located close to Central Park and previous the Paramount hotel located in Times Square. Both hotels were very good but the most important thing was location. It is really important to be central as it will save you loads on travelling costs and also save you time as normally you would only spend a maximum of 4 nights in New York.

When everyone tells you the shopping is great in New York believe them! I was in my element and I'm a man. If you want to go shopping for bargains then take the bus from the Port to the shopping outlet Woodbury Common. There is over 220 designer shops here all at discounted prices. If you are travelling with someone who does not like shopping be sure to leave them behind. And then there is Broadway, you simply cannot go to New York and not see a show, same when visiting London!

Purchasing a 48 hour hop on hop off ticket is worth every penny. These tours will take you all over Manhattan. Uptown, downtown you name it, you’ll see it. Other highlights of my trip were the Empire State building by day (no need to pre book) and Top of the Rock by night, a horse and cart around Central Park will make great memories for you and you may even spot a star. You will also see the John Lennon memorial in Central Park and where they filmed the Ghostbusters and also Home Alone 2.

I also recommend taking a boat trip across to the Statue of Liberty; you will see all of New York City and just how small the Statue of Liberty really is. But believe me it's still worth seeing. If you want to go inside the statue up to the top you need to pre book this in advance as it is very popular. The boat tours are very cheap.

Visiting Ground Zero is a very sad experience and seeing the memorial and reading all the names of people who sadly lost their lives. You just cannot imagine the devastation that was caused and how tall those buildings were unless you have seen them before. Ground Zero is around 20mins by subway from the centre and well worth a visit. Pre booking is now a must.

There are so many restaurants and so many bars in New York so it can be hard to choose but do make sure to take a night out in Greenwich or the Meat Packing District. Both of these areas are now very popular with gorgeous restaurants and bars. Times Square by day and by night will just make you smile. The lights, the crowds, the naked cowboy, the street performers and many other things will complete your trip to New York.

New York is for all ages and it is a city I would return to again and again.