If you are going to spend your holidays in New York, it is very important to know the basics of the city. Here you will find a basic guide in Spanish in which we talk about their neighborhoods, where to eat and what to do, among other useful tips.
Below you have an index with all the points that we are going to deal with in this article.
New York, also known as NYC (New York City), is a city inhabited by 8,4 million inhabitants that is located in the state of the same name, New York, in the northeast of the United States. Every year it breaks a tourist record, being one of the most visited cities in the world.
In the city you will find four tourist offices in which they have bilingual employees. One of them is located in Times Square, specifically between 43rd and 44th streets.
All visitors to New York must pay two tourist taxes. First, a single rate of $ 14 (€ 11) directed to the United States; and another from the city itself, whose price is $ 3 per night and room. Normally these rates are paid together with the price of the hotel where you stay.
Before traveling to New York it is essential to know the necessary documentation for this, since many countries require a visa. The procedures that you must complete vary depending on whether it is the first time you are traveling there or not. If you have not been before, you must wait in line and follow all the steps that the agents request.
However, if you have entered the United States before with the ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) you will be able to carry out all the procedures faster and in one machine thanks to the Automated Passport Control (APC) system.
If you want to go deeper into this topic, in the following article you have all the information: Requirements to travel to the United States: visa and apply for ESTA.
It is also important to contract travel medical insurance that covers the possible services that we will need, since healthcare in the USA is quite expensive.
Likewise, if you need to take medications to your trip, you must transport them in their original packaging and with a prescription, since the customs agents will request it.
New York is a huge city with a lot of possibilities. Therefore, it is possible to visit it with little money, since there are free museums, cheap accommodation, etc.
The fact of needing a wheelchair to move around is not a problem, since in recent years the city has adapted so that people with reduced mobility can enjoy it without problems.
The most comfortable way to get to New York is By plane. The city has three airports that receive thousands of visitors from around the world every day. The most important is the John F. Kennedy International Airport.
From Spain there are direct flights with Iberia and Air Europa companies. From South America, the most prominent company is American Airways (formerly known as US Airways), Delta and LATAM Airlines.
It is also possible to travel to this city by boat. The shipping company Cunard line offers cruises from Southampton (UK) to New York aboard the ocean liner Queen Mary 2. This is the only cruise option of its kind, so traveling by boat from Spain is a difficult choice.
If you find yourself touring other areas of the United States, arriving in New York by car is a viable proposition. It is also an option for people from South America, but you should know that a tour of such proportions has a very high cost taking into account gasoline, tolls, accommodation, etc.
Regardless of the form of transportation you choose, you must bear in mind that in New York there are important customs controls that you must pass both on the way out and on the way back, knowing the prohibited objects and the limit of tax-free purchases.
Where to stay
In New York there are hotels adjusted to every pocket and for all tastes. One of the most famous luxury hotels in the city are the Ritz-Carlton Central Park y The Plaza Hotel, where the movie "Breakfast at Diamonds" was shot.
Another option that is becoming increasingly fashionable are tourist apartments, which offer greater flexibility and independence. They are usually rented especially for long stays.
With public transportation you can get anywhere in New York. The subway remains open 24 hours a day throughout the year and has no less than 26 different lines. In addition, there are also more than 200 bus routes.
There are also tourist buses, which offer you an explanation of the places you are passing through and make routes through the main points of the city.
A derivative of this service is the tourist bus hop on hop off, which has the same characteristics as the rest, but also makes regular stops, so you can get on and off wherever and whenever you want.
In New York we find five main districts, although within these there are other smaller neighborhoods.
Famous for being the birthplace of hip-hop. It is the most alternative neighborhood in the city, and until a few years ago one of the most conflictive. Its most famous buildings are the Zoo, the Botanical Garden and the Stadium of the New York Yankees.
It is the neighborhood preferred by artists, as well as the most hipster. The Brooklyn Bridge stands out, which is 1.825 meters long and is one of the symbols of New York. It connects the Brooklyn and Manhattan areas.
It is the most populated district of the city, since it has more than 2.600.000 inhabitants. It has quite an international fame, since illustrious characters such as Woody Allen and Barbra Streisand grew up in it.
Formed by an island that is located at the mouth of the Hudson River. Here we find some of the most famous buildings, such as the Empire State Buildingas well as most of the city's attractions.
Among its streets, Broadway stands out, which communicates with Times Square, in which the lights of its large advertisements stand out. It also connects with Seventh Avenue.
Here you will find the MoMA PS1, a part of the most important contemporary art museum in the world. It also stands out for the many restaurants from different countries that are along its streets, where you can try dishes never seen before.
It is a quieter neighborhood, but one that is evolving rapidly, partly due to tourists. Also, here is the United States Tennis Open.
It is the least touristy neighborhood in New York, although it also has important attractions. From it you can take a free ferry with great views of Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty.
However, this area has some attractions, since a good number of buildings from the colonial era are preserved in it. We also find an imposing defensive fort, the Fort Wadsworth.
What to see and do
If you want to see New York with the help of a professional, there are numerous tourist circuits in which a tour guide will explain everything about the city that never sleeps. However, there are several plans that you can do on your own.
New York Pass
If you don't want to miss anything, there is a tourist pass called New York Pass With which, for a single price that varies depending on the days you use it, you can visit more than 80 different attractions.
A widespread practice among tourists is to go shopping. The Fifth Avenue area at the height of Central Park It is where the most luxurious stores are located.
If you are looking for something cheaper, on the outskirts of the city there are several outlets where you can find products at the best price.
There are numerous films that have been shot in this location. However, the most famous is «Breakfast at Tiffany's«, Which stars actress Audrey Hepburn.
Another unique activity that is becoming increasingly popular is touring the New York sky by helicopter. This experience gives you fantastic views of the city and its skyscrapers.
You can find different offers to live this experience, it is even possible to do it at night, when the city shines with the lights of its skyscrapers.
Visit Wall Street
Among the tourist places that you cannot miss is Wall Street, the center of the financial district where the New York Stock Exchange is located. Its most famous monument is the Bull of Wall Street, a bronze sculpture that weighs 3.200 kg.
Also, the most important building is the New York Stock Exchange, which is currently only visible from the outside.
World Trade Center and Zone Zero
Since the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers in 2001, the World Trade Center it became the Zero zone. The 11/XNUMX Memorial is surprising, formed by two large sources in which the names of the victims of this attack are written.
Likewise, since 2014, the Museum of 11/XNUMX has been accessible, in which there are exhibited photographs and elements that recall the tragedy that occurred that day and pay tribute to the victims.
Broadway and the musicals
A mandatory stop for lovers of cultural tourism is Broadway. On this avenue, located in Manhattan, are the theaters in which the most famous musicals in the world are represented.
Although fast food such as hamburger or hot dog is popular in this city, we also find several more elaborate and healthy typical dishes.
One of them are Benedict eggs, which are made with poached eggs, toast, ham or bacon and hollandaise sauce.
The apple pie or Apple Pie, a dessert that can not be missing in any house in the USA, especially in autumn, when the apples are harvested.
Where to eat
As with hotels, in New York there are restaurants for all budgets. One of the most luxurious is the Daniel restaurant, located between Madison Avenue y Central Park.
Another cheaper option and also practiced by New Yorkers is eating from mobile food stands. You will find them throughout the city and there are not only fast food, but also Mediterranean, Mexican, sweets, etc.
As we have said before, New York is the city that never sleeps. The night is the perfect time to visit the rooftops, terraces located on the roof of the buildings where cocktails and other drinks are served.
If you prefer to go clubbing, the minimum age to enter them is 21 years old and you must always show your passport. They usually open at eleven at night and close at four in the morning.
It is advisable to visit the city with comfortable shoes that have already been used before, in order to avoid scratches and injuries. Also, better if it is insulating, especially in the coldest and rainiest months.
The rest of the clothes must also be comfortable and adapted to the season of the year in which we find ourselves. Winters in New York tend to be very cold, and heavy snowfall is never ruled out.
New York with the family
If you plan to travel with children, there are two places in the city that you cannot miss. The first one is Central Park, ideal for a walk. The other is the American Museum of Natural History, star of the film "A night at the museum."
You can also visit the city with a baby without problems. You can do all the activities you want, and it is easy to find food for them. But you must bear in mind that babies can be significantly affected by the time change.
If your children are older, New York is also a good destination to travel with teenagers, as it has a rich cultural, musical and sports offer in which you will find activities for the tastes of the whole family.
If you have little time to visit the city and you are only going to stay 2 or 3 days, these are the essential places you must see:
- Times Square
- Central Park
- The fifth Avenue
- New York Public Library
- St. Patrick's Cathedral
- Rockefeller Center
- Empire State Building
- Flatiron Building
- Brooklyn bridge
- New York City Hall
- Wall Street
- World Trade Center
- Statue of Liberty
You can add the following places to the above places if you are going to stay in the city for 4 or 5 days:
- MoMA Museum
- Belvedere Castle
- American Museum of Natural History
If on the contrary you are going to be a week or more In New York, the ideal is to calmly see the aforementioned, as well as do some of the activities that we have already told you: Go up in a helicopter, go shopping, see a musical on Broadway, etc.
Taking advantage of the fact that you are in the United States, you can organise a travel combined in which you meet the West Coast, Washington or Miami together with New York.
When to go and weather
In spring and autumn the temperatures are moderate, and it is the perfect time to visit Central Park. However, the rains are more frequent. If you are in New York on October 31 you will experience an authentic Halloween.
Although in winter it can be very cold and even snow, the time around the Christmas It is a good time to travel to New York, since you can see everything adorned and live experiences that only happen at this time of year, such as New Year's Eve or Thanksgiving.
In summer there are many more outdoor shows than the rest of the year, so you can take advantage of the trip very well. But bear in mind that temperatures can be very high.
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