Planning a trip to New York? Hoping to take in a few of the sights? Erin Hushon shares her ‘must see’ attractions when visiting The Big Apple…
The holiday season might have drawn to an end in England, however last week, I got the chance to experience a “seasonal” week in New York City as part of my university fashion course. Here’s my top tips of what to get up to in the city that never sleeps!
See A Sporting Fixture
On one of our nights in the city we stumbled upon Madison Square Gardens during the pre match entertainment for the New York Knicks vs Miami Heats basketball game. The tickets were like gold dust so, unfortunately, we couldn’t get hold of any to see the actual game. Still, just being around the place allowed us to soak up the atmosphere and see the dedication of the fans.
Even if your not typically a sports fan, the noise and the experience will be phenomenal. basketball, baseball, ice hockey; you’ll be able to watch sports you’ve probably never seen before.
Go To A Broadway Show
This is a definite if you enjoy the west end in London. The lights on Broadway are bigger and the voices are booming. Luckily, we were able to find some cheap tickets for Mamma Mia, (which I had previously seen on the west end), so I got to compare the two.
The shows might have been similar, but the difference between Broadway and the West End was huge. America seems to have a wider range of performances – from Cinderella for a younger generation, to new musical, Kinky Boots, which features music written by Cindy Lauper.
Make sure you look around for tickets. Tickets in Times Square sometimes have discounted prices, but usually visiting the theatre itself is best.
Shop On 5th Avenue
You can’t go to New York City and not visit the flagship stores on 5th avenue. The road is very long and has multiple shops on the side roads off it – especially 34th street. You should plan which shops you want to go to and which ones are near to each other. That way, you can decide whether you need to get a subway further up or down.
Due to the exchange rate, New York has some great bargains – especially during sale seasons. Many stores have an additional 50% off the already reduced price. Just remember your luggage weight restrictions for the trip home; it can be so easy to over shop.
Go Up The Empire State Building
This is a view that I will never forget. Whether you choose to up during the day, or maybe decide to wait until after dark, the views from the top are truly incredible. In the day you can see all the tall skyscrapers of the city, as well as those on the surrounding islands. At night, you can see the lights that light up the sky line. It takes a while to get up to the 86th floor, but once you are there it is definitely worth the time and the money. It can get pretty cold up there (as we found out on the coldest day in years), however, the thought of weather shouldn’t stop you; you can stay inside if you wish. Meanwhile, for the braver souls, there’s the opportunity to venture closer to the edge for the perfect photography snapshot.
Visit The Tourist Sites
We were lucky enough to be able to pick what we wanted to do on our days. This meant that we could visit all the typical tourist sites you associate with ‘The Big Apple’. Times Square is always spectacular – even more so after the traditional New Year’s party and its spectacular ball drop. The Statue of Liberty can be a cold trip due to the ferry ride it takes to get to there. Still, the view of the statue is better than just seeing it from Manhattan. A third site I would advise is the World Trade Centre memorial. Whilst there you can make a donation towards the charity, plus, you honestly don’t realise the monstrosity of the event until you are there. The empty space around the tall sky scrapers, the survivors tree, the thousands of names with white roses placed on them: it’s a very emotional trip.
So there you have it. All the sites will be enjoyed and remembered for years to come. However, like any trip, remember to plan ahead. You definitely don’t want to miss out on something and regret it later. Oh, and also keep an eye on the weather! As we learnt on our trip, you never know when the cold storm might hit.