Take a Bite out of the Big Apple!
New York City comprises 5 boroughs sitting where the Hudson River meets the Atlantic Ocean. At its core is Manhattan, a densely populated borough that’s among the world’s major commercial, financial and cultural centers. Its iconic sites include skyscrapers such as the Empire State Building and sprawling Central Park. Broadway theater is staged in neon-lit Times Square.
The amazing New York City is full of iconic architectural landmarks, cultural venues and stunning views. Whether you want to see chic Manhattan, culturally diverse Brooklyn or the birthplace of hip hop in the Bronx. New York’s busy Times Square is the world’s most visited tourist attraction and never fails to mesmerize with its impressive neon lights. Nearby Central Park attracts joggers, walkers and picnickers all year around who want a little break from NYC’s frenetic pace. The restaurants here are among the best in the world but be sure you try city’s famous hot dogs too. The Fifth Avenue and its luxury shopping is the place to be for all the Carrie Bradshaws and other fashionistas of the world.
Travel to New York’s John F. Kennedy and LaGuardia airports with “Let’s hope that the rest of your trip lives up to the flight there. Fly Virgin Atlantic Airways – Book Now! ” and make travelling to downtown easy and taking a train into Grand Central Station is yet another sight to see. From budget hostels, to trendy apartments, to top-notch luxury hotels, Booking.com offers a variety of accommodations so you will always find the best solution for your New York trip on Booking.com
New York City is a diverse and complex place, so Enjoy NYC at your own pace, use NYC Double Decker All City Pass 3 Days to explore all the famous attractions! Their extensive routes deliver a taste of everything New York City has to offer. In addition to Uptown and Downtown Manhattan, visit different boroughs like the Bronx and Brooklyn, or distinct cultural enclaves like Chinatown and Little Italy. Their destinations include the most essential sites for entertainment, shopping, culture, and history. Their unique Night Tour adds an exciting twist on the City That Never Sleeps. Go sightseeing or plan an adventure, because in New York City there’s always something waiting to be experienced!
If you’re headed to the Big Apple, it’s natural that you’ll want to do all the classic things, like visiting the Statue of Liberty, going up the Empire State Building and taking a stroll through Central Park. Check out Save up to 50% on combined prices for admission to must-see attractions! Shop Now at CityPASS.com! that will save you some money doing all that, but what do you do once you’ve seen all the big sights?
13 Unusual things to do in New York City.
1. Go on a Prohibition Tour
During the 20’s and early 30’s, prohibition took place in the United States, meaning it was illegal to sell alcohol. However, in New York, people went on selling and buying alcohol, albeit in secret. Concealed bars became a thing of the norm, providing people with a safe place to enjoy a gin and tonic on the sly!
Today, prohibition-style bars are extremely popular, with bars hidden in inconspicuous buildings, and even bars concealed behind revolving doors! Get a feel for how people lived during prohibition whilst enjoying a cocktail or three. Check out www.viator.com/tours/New-York-City/New-York-City-Speakeasy-Tour/d687-6390PROHIBITION
2. Sip on cocktails in a bank vault
Buried deep underground in the heart of New York City’s financial district is a hidden old bank vault built in 1904. Yet, it is no ordinary bank vault. Ingeniously transformed into a Swiss bar and restaurant, Trinity Place Vault Bar is both rustic and elegant. It is, quite literally, a hidden gem!
Originally built by Mosler Safe Company for the New York Realty Bank, the vault was so large and heavy that it had to be sailed down the Hudson River and then transported on special railway tracks from Battery Park to where it currently sits.
Apart from its unusual size, another peculiarity is the vault’s dual entrances at either end, each leading to the bar and restaurant respectively. In addition, each steel door weighs a whooping 35 tons and is five-inch thick! One definitely cannot find a more secure place to have a drink.
Address: 115 Broadway, New York, NY 10006 (Entrance on Cedar Street)
Opening Hours: 11.30am – 3pm & 5pm – 11pm (Monday to Friday)
3. 5th Avenue Shopping
For several years starting in the mid 1990s, the shopping district between 49th and 60th Streets was ranked as having the world’s most expensive retail spaces on a cost per square foot basis. In 2008, Forbes magazine ranked Fifth Avenue as being the most expensive street in the world. The American Planning Association (APA) compiled a list of “2012 Great Places in America” and declared Fifth Avenue to be one of the greatest streets to visit in America. This historic street has many world-renowned museums, businesses and stores, parks, luxury apartments, and historical landmarks that are reminiscent of its history and vision for the future. Some of the stores located along Fifth Avenue include: Lord & Taylor, Armani, Bergdorf Goodman, Henri Bendel, Cartier, Ferragamo, Gucci and the ever-popular American Girl Place.
4. Catch movies with a view
Want to catch a Hollywood movie while in New York? What better way to do it than in the outdoors with the gorgeous Brooklyn Bridge and Hudson River as your backdrops! One of the locals’ favourite past-time, outdoor movies are a popular alternative to your conventional theatres. Not only can one enjoy the breathtaking night view, the flexibility to lounge around in any position is also an added advantage!
There are several locations where outdoor movies can be caught. Every Thursday during summer, Movies with a View at Brooklyn Bridge Park attracts over 7,000 moviegoers to enjoy popular screenings and a breathtaking Manhattan skyline in the background. This summer, the movie lineup includes The Lego Movie and 42!
Hudson Riverflicks takes place every Wednesday at Hudson River Park. Energising its summer crowd with a bunch of big hits, this year’s movies include La La Land, Logan and Hidden Figures. Did we mention that there is also FREE popcorn provided? Woohoo!
Address: Brooklyn Bridge Park & Hudson River Park
Opening Hours: 8.30pm, Wednesday (Hudson River Park) & 6pm, Thursday (Brooklyn Bridge Park)
5. Restaurant Row the Highlights
Restaurant Row is an authentic Times Square and New York City institution. On two city blocks (46th Street between Broadway and 9th Avenue), you can enjoy cuisine from all over the world, sample the styles of celebrity chefs, and join Broadway stars at some of their favorite haunts. Here you will find the city’s best restaurants, a worldwide dining opportunity offering extensive international cuisine and wines from over eleven countries, to satisfy the most demanding palate. There are more than 20 options available on this two-block stretch, where you can experience the diversity, history and innovation of New York’s dining scene in the heart of the city, Times Square. Take in a French feast at Le Rivage, a beer at House of Brews, or Spanish favorites at Mason Sevilla. The designation Restaurant Row was made official in 1973 and at the dedication, then Mayor John Lindsay declared “Where else in the world, except possibly Paris, could you get 16 of the best restaurants collected in such a short strip of land?”
6. Experience New York City life at the turn of the century.
New York City has a lot of cool museums, but the Lower East Side Tenement Museum is one that actually brings history to life. Lower East Side Tenement Museum is filled with artifacts representing some of the most influential cultural groups to land in New York City (Italians, Irish, Jewish, etc.), and there are even actors there to make it feel like you’ve stepped back in time.
The Tenement Museum is comprised of two historic tenement buildings, 97 and 103 Orchard Street. Where 97 Orchard Street served as home to immigrant families between 1863 and 1935
The Tenement Museum preserves and interprets the history of immigration through the personal experiences of the generations of newcomers who settled in and built lives on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, America’s iconic immigrant neighborhood; forges emotional connections between visitors and immigrants past and present; and enhances appreciation for the profound role immigration has played and continues to play in shaping America’s evolving national identity.
Address: 103 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002, USA
7. Navigate your way through indoor markets.
When it rains outside, head indoors and stroll the many market stalls around New York City. Chelsea Market is the biggest and the best, and soon there will be an international food hall specializing in street food from around the world, owned by Anthony Bourdain. If you’re in Brooklyn, hit the Dekalb Market Hall in downtown Brooklyn.
8. The Museum at Eldridge Street.
The Museum at Eldridge Street is housed in the Eldridge Street Synagogue, a magnificent National Historic Landmark that has been meticulously restored. Opened in 1887, the synagogue is the first great house of worship built in America by Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe. Today, it is the only remaining marker of the great wave of Jewish migration to the Lower East Side that is open to a broad public who wish to visit Jewish New York. Exhibits, tours, cultural events and educational programs tell the story of Jewish immigrant life, explore architecture and historic preservation, inspire reflection on cultural continuity, and foster collaboration and exchange between people of all faiths, heritages and interests.
Address : 12 Eldridge Street, New York, NY 10002
Sunday – Thursday: 10 am to 5 pm
Friday: 10 am to 3 pm
8. Dream House
La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela’s “Dream House” will immerse you in an ever changing world of sound and light.
When walking down Church Street in Tribeca, keep an eye out for a black door with a cryptic white sign that reads THE DREAM HOUSE. Although this is not your typical dream house with a 4-door garage, it guarantees to be a one-of-a-kind experience, with its completely absorbing, constantly fluctuating sound waves accompanied by neon pink reflections of light.
Created in 1993 by modern composer La Monte Young and visual artist Marian Zazeela (who are married to one another), this is the culmination of 40 years of their work. Zazeela explains that “together, the sound and light can be experienced as a new form or new media: the sound and light environment. The experience of the two mediums together as one requires a new, or at least different, mode of attention.” For example, unless you are completely still, be prepared to encounter a new collection of pitches with every move you make, as you encounter the various resonating sound fields created by Young.
Address: 275 Church St, New York, 10013
Open: Wednesday through Saturday from 2PM-Midnight.
9. Waldorf Astoria Archives
Long-forgotten artifacts give incredible insight into New York’s most glamorous hotel. AS ONE OF THE WORLD’S greatest and most renowned luxury hotels, New York’s Waldorf Astoria has been a byword in glamor, opulence, and sophistication since it opened its original doors in the 1890’s. It’s been host to royalty, the Hollywood elite, and every US President since Herbert Hoover; its chambers, ballrooms, and bars are as storied as they come. But a recent discovery sheds an intriguing light on the history of the grand hotel.
On the Lexington Avenue side of the building is the exclusive private Marco Polo club lounge. Next to it is the soon-to-be-closed, Kenneth’s hair parlor, the salon where Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis had her famous bob cut. During renovations to the hotel in the 1990’s, something extraordinary was found hidden in the walls between the club and the salon. No one knows exactly who put it there or why, but buried away was a secret treasure trove: the forgotten archives of the Waldorf Astoria.
Comprising vintage postcards, menus, cocktail lists, ledgers, photographs, and bellhop uniforms, the archive gives remarkable insight into this most glittering of institutions. For anyone interested in the forgotten glamor of old New York, it’s an incredible find.
10. Outdoors Theatre
New York Classical Theatre’s all-free productions pop up in nontraditional, public venues throughout the five boroughs. Our productions are dynamic and interactive, inviting the audience to engage with the story at hand.
Our hallmark is Panoramic Theatre, a style created by Founder & Artistic Director, Stephen Burdman, to build a unique relationship between the actor, audience, and venue. Scripts are adapted to fully embrace each performance space and, with the influence of 19th century staging and single camera cinema techniques, the audience is placed at the center of the action of the play, giving them access to a deeply immersive theatrical experience.
Every summer since 2000, New York Classical Theatre has popped up in city parks including Central Park, The Battery (Battery Park), Prospect Park, Brooklyn Bridge Park, and Governors Island.
Our outdoor productions in expansive public locations push Panoramic Theatre even further. At each performance, the audience follows the actors from place to place as the plot unfolds from scene to scene, following the journey of the characters. Using different areas to stage specific scenes opens up endless creative possibilities for performers and our audience. By utilizing large physical environments as our playing arenas, audiences literally inhabit the world of the play and become active participants in the drama unfolding around them.
Attendance to open rehearsals and all performances is free to the public. There are no tickets. Please see http://www.newyorkclassical.org/visit/ for tips on attending an outdoor roving production.
11. Roosevelt Island’s Small Pox Hospital & Cat Sanctuary
In the middle of the East River between Manhattan and Queens sits Roosevelt Island, known for its tram that takes you between the island and Manhattan. However, the land, formerly known as Blackwell’s Island, has a bit of a spooky history. As a way to quarantine people with smallpox from the rest of the city, a hospital was built in 1856 on the island to treat them.
Designed by James Renwick Jr., known for designing St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Madison Avenue, the hospital featured a Gothic Revival style. From 1856 to 1875, the Renwick Hospital treated roughly 7,000 patients per year. In 1875, the building was turned into a nurses’ dormitory and the smallpox hospital was moved to North Brothers Island. The hospital left behind quickly became useless and was abandoned by the city in the 1950’s. In 1975, the Landmarks Preservation Commission declared it a city landmark and reinforced the walls. While there are rumors of ghosts evading the ruins, the only creatures taking over include a group of stray cats. Indeed, the site has become something of a feline sanctuary.
12. The New York Federal Reserve’s Gold Vault
Found nearly 80 feet beneath the New York Federal Reserve Bank in the Financial District is the largest concentration of gold in human history. It contains a Fed-operated vault that is built in bedrock and includes deposits from central banks from around the world. The vault is a double-story cylindrical space which rotates. Inside, there are 122 separate mini vaults, in addition to smaller vaults for account holders. In total, there are about 7,000 tons of gold bars, five percent of all of the gold ever mined. Surprisingly, anyone can tour the vault with the Federal Reserve Bank. But for security purposes, visitors must register 30 days before the day of the tour. Make a reservation at www.newyorkfed.org/aboutthefed/visiting.
13. The Houdini Museum
Did you know that over 1,500 rare belongings of Harry Houdini can be found just around the corner from Penn Station? However, most travelers passing by the Houdini Museum walk right by it. Visitors must walk through a nondescript lobby on 7th Avenue and take the elevator to the third floor to find the museum, which first opened in 2012 and sits within the Fantasma Magic shop. Objects displayed include rare publicity posters, unthinkable handcuffs, large escape restraints, Houdini’s secret escape tools and other memorabilia. The most magical part of this hidden destination? It’s free.
Address : FANTASMA MAGIC, 213 West 35th St, Suite 401 (Fourth Floor), New York, NY 10001
Open : (Mon – Sat) 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, (Sun) 10:00 am to 5:00 pm