Your First Time in New York City



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If you've never been to New York City, chances are you have a good idea of some of the places you want to check off your list. One of the most-photographed and most-filmed cities in the world, New York is home to the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty and Times Square—and these are just three of the many iconic spots that attract close to 50 million tourists every year.

Unlike many top tourist destinations, New York is appealing to visit in the rain, the snow and the heat of summer, though spring and fall are undoubtedly when the city seems to shine the brightest. It's not a cheap vacation destination, though there are bargains to be found, and some of the best dining in the city can be enjoyed for very little money. (There are even some who swear that the "real" New York City dining experience can only be found by sampling the hot dogs, sandwiches, roasted nuts, dumplings and other products sold by street-cart vendors from Central Park to Chinatown.)

Here are the top 10 must-see attractions in New York City, the ones that draw the biggest crowds and the ones your friends will ask you about when you come home. Five can't-miss dining destinations offer some of the best "local" cuisine, including overloaded deli sandwiches at Katz's and authentic brick-oven-style pizza at Lombardi's. After dinner, unwind with a little musical entertainment, a cocktail, or a beer at some of the city's most welcoming culture clubs and watering holes. Finally, go a little bit beyond the usual tourist checklist for a better idea of what makes New York City one of the most vibrant, most historic, and most interesting cities in the world.

Photo: The Empire State Building. By Matti Mattila.

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Author: Sarah


Day 1 - New York, Bronx


There are certain iconic New York City attractions that every first-time visitor must check off their list. By definition, these are the place where most crowds congregate, so be prepared to wait on long lines. As always, weekends are more crowded than mid-week days, and mornings might be a better bet than afternoons. Don't forget your camera!


1

Central Park

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Location:

Central Park Driveway
The Central Park Conservancy
New York, NY 10022

Contact:

tel: +1 212 310 6600
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2

Metropolitan Museum of Art

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Location:

1000 Fifth Ave
Fifth Ave. at 82nd St
New York, NY 10028-0198

Contact:

tel: +1 212 535 7710
fax: +1212 570 3972
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3

Times Square

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Location:

1560 Broadway, Between 46th & 47th streets
New York, NY 10036

Contact:

tel: +1 212 768 1560 (Times Square Alliance)
fax: +1 212 768 0233 (Times Square Alliance)
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4

Statue of Liberty

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Location:

Liberty Island
On Liberty Island in New York Harbor
New York, NY 10004

Contact:

tel: 212-363-7620
fax: +1 212 363 6304
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5

Ellis Island

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Location:

Ellis Island
(in Hudson River)
New York, NY 10004

Contact:

tel: +1 212 561 4588
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6

Empire State Building

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Location:

350 5th Avenue, Suite # 3210
between 33rd and 34th Streets
New York, NY 10118

Contact:

tel: +1 212 736 3100
fax: +1 212 947 1360
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7

Grand Central Terminal

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Location:

87 East 42nd Street
42nd St. at Park Ave
New York, NY 99723

Contact:

tel: +1 212 340 3404
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8

Yankee Stadium

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Location:

161st Street
(at River Avenue)
Bronx, NY 10452

Contact:

tel: +1 718 293 4300
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9

Rockefeller Center

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Location:

47th to 51st streets
Btwn 48th and 50th sts., from Fifth to Sixth aves
New York, NY 10112

Contact:

tel: +1 212 332 6868 / +1 212 632 3975
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10

Tribute WTC Visitor Center

Location:

120 Liberty Street
New York, NY 10006

Contact:

tel: +1 212 393 9160 x138 / +1 866 737 1184
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11

American Museum of Natural History

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Location:

Central Park West
at 79th Street
New York, NY 10024

Contact:

tel: +1 212 769 5100
fax: +1 212 769 5427
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Day 2 - New York


Whether you're looking for a five-star night on the town or a burger in the park, you can find every type of cuisine in New York City, and at any price. Here are five spots that are bound to please your palate (and in most cases, your wallet), and offers some of the best in "local" cuisine. There's a little bit of everything on the list, from pastrami, pizza and hot dogs to fine dining with fresh seasonal ingredients.


1

Lombardi's Pizza Gennaro's Caffe

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Location:

32 Spring Street
New York, NY 10012-4173

Contact:

tel: 1 212 941 7994
fax: 1 212 941 4159
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2

Katz's Delicatessen

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Location:

205 E Houston Street
At Ludlow St
New York, NY 10002

Contact:

tel: 1 212 254 2246
fax: +1 212 674 3270
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3

Gramercy Tavern

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Location:

42 E. 20th St
New York, NY 10003-1300

Contact:

tel: 1 212 477 0777
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4

Corner Bistro

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Location:

331 West 4th Street
(between Jane Street and Eighth Avenue)
New York, NY 10014

Contact:

tel: 1 212 242 9502
fax: 1 212 242 9502
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5

Gray's Papaya

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Location:

2090 Broadway
(at 71st Street)
New York, NY 10025

Contact:

tel: 1 212 799 0243
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Day 3 - New York


This is "the city that never sleeps," after all, and New York offers innumerable options for how to spend your nights. Sometimes you might be looking for classy entertainment or a perfectly mixed cocktail, while other times you may just be in the mood for a couple of pints. Whatever your mood, you'll find it here.


1

Metropolitan Opera House

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Location:

30 Lincoln Center Plaza
Between 62nd and 65th Streets, Lincoln Center
New York, NY 10023

Contact:

tel: 212 362 6000 (Tickets) / 212 799 3100 (Office)
fax: 212 870 7695
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2

The Filmore New York at Irving Plaza

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Location:

17 Irving Place
Between 15th & 16th Street
New York, NY 10003

Contact:

tel: 212 777 6800 / 212 777 1224 (Concert Hotline)
fax: 1 210 828 9022
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3

230 Fifth

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Location:

230 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10001

Contact:

tel: 1 212 725 4300
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4

Pegu Club

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Location:

77 W Houston St
2nd Floor
New York, NY 10012

Contact:

tel: 212 473 7348
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Day 4 - New York


While not as iconic as the Empire State Building or the Met, these five spots are equally good--or even better--places to get a good feel for New York City, its history and the people who live here. Union Square, a bustling shopping and dining hub, is also home to the city's largest greenmarket, perfect for strolling and people-watching. The Museum of the City of New York, Lower East Side Tenement Museum, and the Morgan Library offer their own unique twists on the New York museum experience.
And whether you walk all the way across it or just take in the views (and a few pictures), the Brooklyn Bridge is another can't-miss local spot for visitors and locals alike.


1

Union Square

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Location:

14th to 17th Street
Between Broadway and Park Avenue
New York, NY 10003

Contact:

tel: +1 212 484 1200(Tourist Information)
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2

Museum of the City of New York

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Location:

1220 Fifth Ave
At 103rd St
New York, NY 10029

Contact:

tel: +1 212 534 1672
fax: +1 212 423 0758
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3

Lower East Side Tenement Museum

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Location:

90 Orchard Street
(at Delancey Street)
New York, NY 10002

Contact:

tel: +1 212 431 0233 / +1 212 431 0714
fax: +1 212 431 0402
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4

Morgan Library

Location:

225 Madison Ave
Between 36th and 37th Sts
New York, NY 10178

Contact:

tel: 212/685-0008
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5

Brooklyn Bridge

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Location:

Off South Street Viaduct
Park Row, near Municipal Building
New York, NY 11201

Contact:

tel: 212 484 1200 (Tourist information)
fax: 212 245 5943 (Tourist information)
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