Top 10 the Best of New York City for the Beginners - Free Stuff

Tags: #NewYork ,   #CentralPark ,   #TimesSquare ,   #BryantPark

Alex O'Brien

Alex O'Brien

Last updated:  2020-11-23 16:10:29

As once Frank Sinatra sang, "Start spreading the news, I am leaving today, I want to be a part of it New York, New York." It's your first city break in New York, and you have no clue where to go? Undoubtedly, there is a lot to do and see, and the time is limited. Don't worry, as we have a few tips for newcomers to help you spend your time wisely. We're sure that once you step down in Manhattan – the most famous part of New York City, everything will look familiar. This magical city is probably the most picturesque in the world and the location of many series and movies. So let's start with fun for free!

10. Getting Around

Yellow cabs are almost like synonyms of New York City (photo: private)

If you're lucky and have nice weather while visiting NYC, we highly recommend moving on foot. Manhattan is walkable and full of interesting stuff to see, and when you get tired, just take a few minutes and rest in some café or in the park, whatever you prefer.

The second option is public transportation. It's cheaper to ride a metro, but more iconic is taking a yellow taxi. Still, we have to warn you about the traffic in NYC, as jams are quite often. Here's a tip regarding transportation: take a free ride ferry to Staten Island and get a marvelous view of Lower Manhattan, the Statue of Liberty, and Ellis Island, as it passes right by it.

9. Meatpacking District, SoHo & West Village

Charming street of West Village covered with snow (photo: Chanan Greenblatt/unsplash.com)

Meatpacking District previously was a place of main meatpacking plants and slaughterhouses. Today, the Meatpacking District overlooking the Hudson River is home to high-end fashion boutiques, clubs, and trendy restaurants. SoHo (South of Houston Street) is the Meatpacking district's next-door neighbor attracting a fashionable and artistic crowd, as it's full of high-end art galleries and designer shops. The neighborhood is also home to the trendiest nightclubs.

Between SoHo and Meatpacking District is the West Village, also crowded with trendy spots and designer stores. The charm of this part of NYC is in 19th-century cobblestone streets and townhouses.

8. Financial District

Charging Bull is a landmark of Wall Street (photo: Lloyd Blunk/unsplash.com)

The Financial District or Lower Manhattan is the southern tip of Manhattan Island. This is the home to famous institutions such as the New York Stock Exchange and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. You'll find Wall Street and its symbol, Charging Bull, among the skyscrapers.

After working hours, business people move to a Seaport District in some of many fine-dining restaurants. However, FiDi (short for Financial District) attracts first-time visitors to take a picture of the Statue of Liberty and the 9/11 Museum. At the tip of FiDi is Battery Park, a starting point of ferries to Liberty and Ellis Island.

7. Chinatown & Little Italy

Beautiful colors of the Mott Street, Manhattan, NYC (photo: Pascal Bernardon/unsplash.com)

Chinatown neighborhood is vibrant, crowded, and full of souvenir shops. However, tourists visit this part of the city to eat, as it's full of Chinese and Southeast Asian restaurants. Manhattan's Chinatown is densely populated and the biggest in the USA.

Just north of Chinatown is Little Italy, a long time ago populated by Italian immigrants, and today a tourist attraction. Like Chinatown, Little Italy is full of souvenir shops, restaurants, and tourists. This part of the city is famous as a set for many popular crime movies. However, the Godfather novel and the movie about the fictional Corleone crime family stands out.  

6. Chelsea & The High Line

Unique High Line park is a favorite place of many New Yorkers (photo: Simon Bak/unsplash.com)

Chelsea is a part of New York City, most famous for its art galleries. Chelsea's west border is the Hudson River, which offers many sports activities on the piers. Populated mainly by the members of the LGBTQ+ community in the past, modern Chelsea is full of bars, restaurants, and nightclubs.

Among art galleries and eating places most visited is High Line Park. This is the abandoned elevated rail line converted into a park with beautiful views of the city. The High Line starts at the Meatpacking district, goes through Chelsea, and ends on 34th street. Walking along the High Line and its 1.45 miles route, you can see the Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, and the Statue of Liberty.  

5. Bryant Park

Surrounded by the skyscrapers, Bryant Park is a green oasis (photo: Krisztina Papp/unsplash.com)

Known as Manhattan's Town Square, and settled in Midtown between Fifth and Sixth Avenue, Bryant Park is beloved by visitors and New Yorkers. The Park is home to Winter Village with an ice skating rink and many shops during the winter. During the summer days, it's a favorite lunch spot for working people.

Surrounded by skyscrapers and the Public Library, Bryant Park is an oasis of peace and tranquility with beautiful lush gardens. One of the park's main attractions is the Fountain Terrace with the pink granite Josephine Shaw Lowell Memorial Fountain from 1912. Opposite the fountain is the Upper Terrace with William Cullen Bryant Memorial.

4. Grand Central Terminal

The main hallway of Grand Central along with information desk and remarkable opal watch above information booth (photo: Ilse Orsel/unsplash.com)

You might feel like you had visited the Grand Central Station before, as it appeared in so many movies. This beautiful building from the early 1900s represents one of the most visited landmarks globally. The impressive construction has remarkable treasures you might wanna take a closer look at. Firstly, we'll recommend checking the opal clock above the information booth. Incredibly accurate, this clock is worth approximately $20 million.

Secondly, Grand Central has one more famous clock, yet for this one, you'll have to go outside to the main entrance located at 42nd Street and Park Avenue. This clock dedicated to Greek Gods is the largest example of Tiffany glass in the world. Thirdly, visit the whispering gallery, so acoustic that you can talk to someone on the opposite corner. Finally, don't forget to look at the marvelous zodiac ceiling at the main hall painted with golden leaves.

3. Times Square, Broadway District & Hell's Kitchen

Times Square, one of the busiest squares in the world (photo: Andreas Kruck/unsplash.com)

Picturesque Times Square is commonly associated with NYC. This is the busiest pedestrian area in the world, full of lightning billboards. It's also one of the most visited attractions in the city, as 330,000 people cross it daily. Times Square hosts a variety of major events, including the New Year's Eve ball drop.

This is a great starting point for exploring the Theater District, as you can buy tickets for the show there. Moreover, famous Broadway, known for a large number of theaters and cinemas, intersects Times Square. After exploring Broadway and Times Square, people often move to Hell's Kitchen next door, named after its infamous past. Since way back, Hell's Kitchen was known as a place of crime and brutal murders, yet today is full of pubs, bars, and restaurants.

2. Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge is one of the symbols of the city, and walk across is absolutely a must when in NYC (photo: private)

Remarkable Brooklyn Bridge from the 19th Century goes over the East River connecting Manhattan and Brooklyn. This gorgeous cable suspension bridge was the first to use steel for cable wires and the first fixed crossing across the East River. 

Lifted above six lanes of automobile traffic is a pedestrian and cyclists promenade. It takes about half an hour to walk over the 1.1 miles long bridge if you are a tourist because of the pedestrian promenade's beautiful views.  

1. Central Park

If you go to NYC and don't see the famous Central Park, then your trip was almost like a waste of time (photo: personal archive)

Famous Central Park is a green sanctuary to many New Yorkers and is located between the Upper East Side and Upper West Side of Manhattan. Construction of the park began at the end of the XIX century, making it one of the most visited tourist attractions worldwide.

Beautiful Central Park is attractive during the summer as a place of recreation or an area to lay down on the grass and rest. During the winter, take a romantic carriage ride through it. Moreover, you can spend a whole day exploring Central Park and discovering its unique charm.

If you liked this article, you might wanna check out our top 10 list of the museums and astonishing views in New York City you don't wanna miss. As we started with the lyrics, let's end this piece about magical New York with the R.E.M.'s "Leaving New York never easy," as we're sure you'll fully understand the words once you visit it.

Have you ever been to New York City? What were your first impressions? Please write to us in the comment section as we would like to hear your thoughts.


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