New York City, half-jokingly referred to as the center of the universe, rumbles with energy, ambition and gusto.
Experience the neon at night in Times Square, the bustle of Grand Central Terminal, or some freewheeling fun at Coney Island’s amusement park. New York also has its serious side in Brooklyn’s hip, artistic neighborhood or the sobering 9/11 Memorial at World Trade Center Ground Zero. Out on the harbor, the Statue of Liberty — a beacon of hope for millions of immigrants fleeing war and famine in the late-19th century — still symbolizes freedom and New York’s reputation as a make-or-break city, attracts millions of dreamers, who come to try their luck in The Big Apple.
Divided into five boroughs — Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, and the Bronx — New York is home to more than eight million people and a diverse multi-cultural mix. You'll find authentic ethnic eateries throughout multi-cultural hubs like Chinatown and Little Italy. Diversity in New York is embraced and celebrated, from African American music and culture in Harlem to Judaism in Brooklyn’s Borough Park, which has one of the largest Orthodox Jewish communities outside of Israel.
The iconic subway system forms an intricate labyrinth above and below the ground. It’s the easiest public transportation option for visitors; purchase your MetroCard and refill on a pay-as-you-go basis. Walking is the best way to soak up the city’s sights and explore Manhattan’s eclectic neighborhoods, from the wealthy Upper West Side to the lively East Village.
Midtown East, where you’ll find the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, Chrysler Building, Grand Central Terminal and the New York Public Library, is an ideal stop for those new to the city. First-timers needn’t feel anxious about finding their way. The city’s grid system is simple to navigate and New Yorkers are quick to offer assistance should you lose your way.
New York caters to culture buffs, with galleries like the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Opera to Broadway’s cozy theaters and the Upper West Side’s Lincoln Center. Those in search of proof that the city never sleeps won’t be disappointed, with countless shops, bars and clubs open until late hours of the night.