NEW YORK CITY is made up of five boroughs linked by bridges, tunnels and ferries: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island. Though the City’s center is in Manhattan, each borough is distinct and offers a different twist on what makes visiting New York City the experience of a lifetime.
• Twenty north-south blocks equal 1 mile (1.6 km)
• Manhattan is an island 13.4 miles (21.5 km) long and 2.3 miles (3.7 km) wide
• When it rains, taxis are in short supply
• When in the boroughs outside Manhattan, licensed taxis are green and yellow
• Several NYC sightseeing passes enable you to enjoy local tours and attractions at discounted rates. New York CityPASS, for instance, offers discounted admission to six of the city’s most iconic attractions, plus you can skip the lines
• New York City is an international hub served by three main airports: LaGuardia Airport John F. Kennedy International Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport
THE FIVE BOROUGHS OF NEW YORK CITY
1) Manhattan, the city’s densest and best-known borough, is made up of many different neighborhoods, each with its own personality:
MIDTOWN is in the center of Manhattan, and it has some of New York City’s most iconic buildings, busiest sidewalks, biggest attractions, finest restaurants, largest stores and most renowned cultural institutions. Times Square, the Theatre District, Hell’s Kitchen, Rockefeller Center and Herald Square are among the marquee names that make up one of the most visited—and beloved—places in the world.
LOWER MANHATTAN is now a global financial hub. There are plenty of historical markers here, dating from New York’s beginnings all the way up to the present day, as well as cultural attractions, a thriving restaurant scene and bustling shops. Highlights of lower Manhattan include the Chinatown, Greenwich Village, Soho, Battery Park, South Street Seaport, One World Trade Center & Observatory and 9/11 Memorial & Museum.
2) The Bronx is the City’s northernmost borough as well as its greenest. It’s home to hip-hop and Yankee Stadium, the Bronx Zoo and the historic Grand Concourse. With bountiful open space, a world-class museum and a new crop of adventurous architecture, the neighborhoods of the Bronx offer the kind of diversity that you’ll only find in New York.
3) Brooklyn has become widely acknowledged as one of the most exciting places in the City. But New Yorkers have known it all along; with a limitless supply of food, culture, parks, and history, New York’s most populous borough has a style all its own. And while Brooklyn has firmly established itself as a destination in its own right, easy access to and from Manhattan and Queens doesn’t hurt either. Highlights include the Brooklyn Bridge, Prospect Park & Zoo, Barclay Center, Brooklyn Botanical Gardens and Coney Island. Now one of America’s most famous beachfronts, Coney Island became a draw in 1829, as its hotels began to welcome wealthy New Yorkers for seaside vacations. The neighborhood still offer visitors a unique experience, complete with expansive beaches, amusement parks, minor-league baseball games and classic boardwalk fare. It’s a one-hour subway ride from the bustle of Midtown Manhattan to Coney Island’s family-friendly beaches, eateries and attractions.
4) Queens is not only the largest and most culturally diverse of the five boroughs; it’s one of the most diverse places anywhere in the world. Around half of Queens residents were born outside of the US. The borough also plays host to world-class arts and sports such as MoMA PS1 Art Institute & the New York Mets. With waterfront parks, a thriving art scene & breathtaking views of the Manhattan skyline visiting Queens is worth the 5 minute subway ride from Midtown Manhattan.
5) Staten Island isn’t always the first stop on a tourist’s itinerary, but with stunning green spaces, historic districts, beaches and diverse cultural offerings, the borough has more than its share of worthy attractions. Must see spots include Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanic Garden: originally retirement homes for sailors, this collection of classic 19th-century Greek Revival architecture now hosts the Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art, the Noble Maritime Collection, Staten Island Children’s Museum, and the Art Lab school.
Bridges connect Staten Island to Brooklyn and New Jersey, but the easiest way to get there from Manhattan is on the famed Staten Island Ferry. It’s also one of the most scenic journeys in the City, with gorgeous views of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and the Manhattan skyline—and best of all, it’s free!
Need help planning your next New York City getaway? Contact me & I can help with all the details: Sylvia Moran, Transat Travel