A few little facts
You can get a breath-taking view of Manhattan from the famous Empire State Building. It is one of THE landmarks of New York. Standing 443 metres high, it is one of the tallest buildings in the world! 70 lifts are in daily operation to bring people to the 102 floors in total. You can either go up to the 86th or 102nd floor and enjoy the incredible view from the viewing platforms or run up to the top via the approx. 1,800 steps. Note: If you book your ticket online, you do not need to queue up at the ticket counter, which saves a lot of time.
Do you like stand-up comedy? If so, then New York is the ideal place to go to see a performance. New York is well-known for its comedians, who recite funny stories on small stages. At www.villagevoice.com you can find numerous comedy clubs. However, you must be able to speak good English to understand the comedians' jokes.
Leisure activities are very important to New Yorkers. For them a good "workout" is the perfect balance to stressful city life. Sport fans find a lot to do at Chelsea Piers, for example.
The huge sports complex on the Hudson River offers climbing walls, basketball, football, ice-skating, a swimming pool and many other sporting opportunities. Pier 62 on West 22nd Street is particularly popular: Here, anyone who likes skateboarding, in-line or roller skates can have fun. Central Park is also a good option; here you can rent bikes, play basketball or baseball or even hire a rowing boat.
Art & culture
The Museum of Modern Art is the perfect place for lovers of art to admire the masters of the 20th Century. Matisse, van Gogh and Picasso as well as Monet, Kandinsky, Klee and Miró are just some of the great artists, who make the MoMA one of the best museums in the world. The foyer alone is as big as a whole city block!
It is exciting at the Natural History Museum. It is one of the largest in the world and explains the history of mankind – from the Stone Age to the Space Age. Ancient dinosaur skeletons, a skeleton of a blue whale over 30m in length and a huge meteorite are among the highlights.
Another thing you shouldn't miss is the computer-controlled spacecraft flight through space in the Rose Center for Earth and Space. Actor Tom Hanks commentates the 23-minute journey through the Milky Way into a Black Hole and Harrison Ford tells about the search for extra-terrestrials.
If you are a theatre fan, you should not miss "Shakespeare in the Park". Plays of Shakespeare and other famous authors are performed in the middle of Central Park in the open air from June to August - and they are free!
Many people fly to New York just to go shopping, because there really is everything here: from the giant Music Store and mobile phone shops, to "Nike Town" and chains such as Hollister or Abercrombie & Fitch.
In the huge Outlet Century 21 on Cortlandt Street in Downtown New York, you'll find trendy designer brands such as Calvin Klein, Marc Jacobs, Kenneth Cole, Michael Kors and many more at prices up to 65% cheaper. There is also free WiFi here, in case you quickly want to check your emails.
You also can find a large selection of cool shops around St. Mark’s Place in the East Village. There are many students here, because the university is located in the immediate vicinity.
In New York, there are endless numbers of restaurants serving food from around the world. Sandwich and pizza chains or New York delis are very popular and they are found on every corner. For those who love Chinese food, China Town is the place to visit. The strange odours often seem weird, but if you dare, you may discover your future favourite food here.
Typically American is of course the good old burger. You can get these for example at Ellen’s Stardust Diner on Times Square, where the waiters also sometimes sing and dance on the bar.
In New York, you can also combine sightseeing with culinary delights. Scott’s Pizza Tours offer several guided tours through the Big Apple and in different districts. On the "Crosstown Pizza Walk" tour, you can learn all about the history of the pizza. Starting at America's oldest pizzeria you can walk for two to three hours through Little Italy and Greenwich Village. The tour includes three pieces of pizza, your own Pizza Journal and a goody bag. The various tours start mostly at 11:30 a.m. and at 4:30 p.m.
Good to know
In Bryant Park, not far from Grand Central Station, New Yorkers meet up in the summer every Monday at dusk to watch old movies on a giant screen. The same event takes place on Thursdays in Brooklyn Bridge Park with a view over the Manhattan skyline.
The ferry ride to Staten Island and back, which passes by the Statue of Liberty, is also free of charge and offers a view over the Manhattan skyline. Staten Island is a borough of New York with many parks that lies on an island.