Museums, large skyscrapers, shops, restaurants. With a little planning it’s possible to explore all that this fascinating city has to offer in just a few days.
New York gives for much. One can travel to the Big Apple a thousand times and still have to return another thousand to discover all of its secrets, to see all its museums, to be enchanted by all its attractions. The main tourist attractions are concentrated in the southern half of the island of Manhattan. Let’s recap our journey through the city that never sleeps.
FIRST DAY MIDTOWN
10.00AM: New York Grand Central Terminal (Address: Vanderbilt Avenue, 15, Subway: 42nd St, Lines 4, 5, 6, 7 and S)
The impressive Grand Central Terminal is not a bad way to start exploring the city. This was the main entry point to the big apple for decades and one of the greatest modern icons of the city. It was built at the end of the 19th century to cover the railway lines that reached the city from all corners of the country. Today, its function as main gate New York has been left behind, but remains a symbol of the strength of the city. The main hall, with its more than 1,100 square meters, is a marvel of industrial brick architecture. The mythical Oyster Bar & Restaurant, which is on the lower level of the station. You’ll also find the Gallery of Sighs, a curious chamber of arches with unique acoustic properties. Many New Yorkers use this place to propose marriage to their partners.
11.30 A short walk north
In the immediate vicinity of Grand Central Terminal, a large number of places are worthy of a visit. At the corner of 42nd and Lexington, just one block from the station, is the spectacular Chrysler Building (Address: Lexington Ave, 405; Tel: (+1) 212 682 3070; Hours: LD 8.00-18.00) an authentic Marvel of Art Deco built in 1930 and considered by many to be the most beautiful skyscraper in the whole city.
For some months it was the highest building in the world, a mark that lost that title with the culmination of the neighboring Empire State Building. A good way to continue the walk is through Park Avenue. In a few minutes, we pass next to the Waldorf Astoria Hotel (Address: Park Ave, 301), a symbol of luxury. We are in the true golden mile of the city, where most exclusive shops are located such as Tiffany & Co (Address: 5th Ave, 727, Tel: (+1) 212 755 8000, Hours: LD 10.00-19.00), perhaps the most famous store in the world.
1:00 San Patricio and surroundings.
Fifth Avenue is one of the most famous arteries of the city and also one of its major tourist attractions. Back to the South from Tiffany we came across St. Patrick’s Cathedral (Address: 5th Ave (between 50 and 51); Tel: (+1) Hours: LD 7.00-20.30), the largest neo-gothic style building in North America and symbol of the American Catholics. Two steps away from the cathedral, which despite its height, is overshadowed by the surrounding skyscrapers, is the Rockefeller Center (Address: Rockefeller Plaza, 45; Tel: (+1) 212 332 6868; Hours: LV 7.00-0.00 ). A set of 19 buildings that combine important artistic collections, shops of the best brands and important office complexes where some of the most important companies in the world are located.
From the viewpoint of the General Electric Tower (one of the best examples of Art Deco in the city) you have magnificent views of the Empire State and Central Park. Just over 300 meters from here is the Museum of Modern Art, the famous MoMA (Address: West 53, 11; Tel: (+1) 212 708 9400; Hours: L, X, J, SyD 10.30 – 17.30; V 10.30am – 8pm) which has the largest collection of contemporary art in the world featuring artists such as Dalí, Picasso, Van Gogh, Miró, Pollock …
5:00 Broadway to Times Square and from there to the sky
Spending the afternoon wandering between the billboards of the famous Broadway theater is not a bad idea to clear your head after a couple of hours at the MoMA. Just walk two blocks west and cross 7th Avenue. Just 600 meters separates the intersection of Broadway and 53rd Street from the heart of Midtown and one of the recurring images of Midtown Times Square (Lines 1, 2, 3, 7, N, Q, R and W). Huge luminous screens cause a true overdose of information that has advertising its raison d’être. In a few places like this, you get the sense that we are at the center of universal capitalism.
In Bryant Park (42nd and Avenue of the Americas) is the beautiful New York Public Library, and seven blocks south, the mythical Empire State Building (Address: 5th Ave, 350; Hours: 8.00-02.00), an ideal location to enjoy the last hours of the afternoon and the first of the night. You can enjoy the best views of Manhattan from the viewpoint of this icon of American culture.
9:00AM morning in Central Park.
Early morning. A breakfast worthy of kings at Café Sabarsky (Address: 5th Ave, 1000, Tel: (+1) 212 288 0665, Subway 86 st, Lines: 4,5 and 6). New York is an ideal city to indulge in whims and this is one of them. For many, it’s one of the best European-style cafes in the area and has the advantage of being just a couple of steps from the Metropolitan Museum and Central Park. Early in the morning (open at 9.00) it’s easy to find a table. The café shares space with the Neue Galerie (5th Ave, 1048), one of the most prestigious art galleries in the world.
The Metropolitan Museum (Address: 5th Ave, 1000, Tel: (+1) 212 535 7710; Schedule: LJ V, SyD 10.00 – 21.00) The breadth of the collections is enormous and the truth is that pretending to see everything is not only impossible but overwhelming. The collection covers a huge range from the oldest cultures to modernity; Ritual objects from the dawn of Humanity to Balenciaga dresses.
Behind the Metropolitan is the entire universe of Central Park (Time: LD 06.00 – 01.00), one of the largest urban parks in the world. Just behind the Metropolitan is the Obelisk of Cleopatra, a huge stone monolith of the Ptolemaic era that Egypt gave to the United States for its contribution to the construction of the Suez Canal.
We use the 79th transverse (one of the streets that cross in park from east to west) and come upon two of the most important landmarks of the park: the Belvedere Castle and the Shakespeare Garden. Central Park is a world in itself. The entire park is impressive, but most of its icons are on or south of 79th street (such as Bethesda Terrace, Alice in Wonderland, Lake, New York Zoo or Monument In memory of John Lenon). On the west side of Central Park is also the spectacular Natural History Museum (Address: Central Park West & 79th St; Tel: (+1) 212 769 5100; Hours: LD 10.00 – 17.45).
3pm: Hell’s Kitchen Road, the Hudson River and the stylish Chelsea.
10th Avenue runs from north to south though the heart of the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood. What once was one of the most depressed and poor neighborhoods of the city has become one of the hot spots where you can find some of the best cultural centers and restaurants. From here, you can access the Hudson River in a short (5 min) walk.
For lovers of aeronautics, the Intrepid Air and Space Museum (Address: Pier 86 (extension of 46th St), Tel: (+1) 212 245 0072; Hours: LD 10.00 – 17.00), former aircraft carrier of the US Navy Converted into a museum on the history of aviation with a more than acceptable collection of devices ranging from World War II, to the first ships of the conquest of space. From the docks, you can see fantastic views over the west bank of the Hudson River (New Jersey). If you visit the neighborhood on weekends, it’s not a bad idea to visit the Flea Market (Address: 39th St between 9th and 9th avenues), a curious antique flea market that also has a branch in the neighboring and stately Chelsea (Address: 25th between Broadway and Sixth Avenue).
Way south, at the confluence of 8th Avenue and 33rd st stands the legendary Madison Square Garden (Address: Pensylvania Plaza, 4), scene of multitude of sports events and fief of the New York Knicks, one of the classic franchises Of the NBA. To the south lies the stunning Chelsea neighborhood, one of the oldest and most stately in the city.
A great way to get closer to the neighborhood is the High Line, a landscaped and elevated walk of just over two kilometers built on the old train tracks (between Gansevoort Street and 34th Street) that, beyond offering good views of the neighborhood and the Hudson River, also hosts cultural activities. At ground level, Chelsea is one of the oldest areas of the city and boasts very good examples of Victorian architecture that remind us of London (especially in Greenwich Village).
8.30AM Wall Street, and the Statue of Liberty.
The Wall Street subway stop (Subway: Lines 4 and 5) is located in the heart of the financial district. Within a radius of only two hundred meters are the New York Stock Exchange, the Federal Reserve, and the headquarters of the world’s leading banks.
We pose next to the famous Wall Street Bull (Address: Bowling Green Park), a bronze of more than three tons of weight work of the artist Arturo Di Modica that represents the aggressiveness and strength of the financial sector and has become everything A symbol of world capitalism.The other advantage of starting with an early morning visit is to save us from the long lines for the ferries that travel to Liberty Island and Ellis Island from the Battery Park docks (starting at 8.30). Past 10.00, there’s usually an hour long wait.
The Statue of Liberty (Hours: LD 8.30-16.00) is another symbol of the city and country. If you want to go up to the viewpoint, you must buy the tickets several weeks in advance. Ellis Island (Hours: 8:30 am – 5:00 pm) is also available with Statue Cruises, a symbol of the country’s history as a point of entry for millions of immigrants arriving from Europe. The Immigration Museum is one of the best visits of the city. Also, the views over the city are breathtaking form the island.
2pm: New York City Hall
The seat of government of the city. Mott Street and Canal Street are the most important arteries of this neighborhood that was formed from the massive arrival of immigrants from Guangdong and Hong Kong. Authentic Chinese restaurants and shops offering fakes of well-known fashion brands coexist with Eastern-run businesses and businesses that have created a kind of small parallel country.
Canal Street is the border between China Town and Little Italy, former feud of Italian immigrants. Today, the Italians’ presence in the neighborhood is limited to Mulberry Street, where the best restaurants and cafes in the neighborhood are located. Before returning to the north, you must go down to the East River for a stroll along the famous Brooklyn Bridge.
5:00pm Sunset in Soho.
South of Houston Street (So-Ho) was, for a long time, a place of factories and workshops dedicated to the work of iron and steel. In the 1960s and 1970s, a large number of artists came to the scene attracted by the low prices of old warehouses and factories, which suddenly became design residences, trendy bars, and alternative shops. In the 1980s, yuppies arrived and Soho became one of the city’s most thriving places where art galleries and shops abound for all tastes.
Phew, we did it. 72 hours in New York City and a lifetime of memories.