tips-and-inspiration New York: What to Do and Where to Go

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New York: What to Do and Where to Go

New York City is lively, exciting, and, like many big cities, hectic. That's why we're giving you 12 recommendations and adding some practical tips

Traveling to New York City for a weekend but don’t know how to maximize your time? We’ve listed the best places to visit, the must-do, for newbies and for those who already explored everything. At the bottom of this list, we’ve gathered a few tips for your trip, including the visa requirements. Ready to start? New York – ניו יורק – Here we go!

1. Central Park & Free Events

One of the most fun activities in New York – ניו יורק, especially in summer, is strolling around the most famous urban green space. Don’t miss the Annual Summerstage, held at Rumsey Playfield. The festival features music, dance, and theater. Most of these events are entirely free and spread over most of the summer months. There are always exciting events in the green oasis throughout the year, many of them are also free. Some of the top attractions located within Central Park include the Strawberry Fields mosaic, the Central Park Zoo, the Carousel, and many others. 

2. Walk the High Line New York  – ניו יורק

Already know Central Park by heart, but don’t want to miss out on the park feeling? Take a breeze on the New York High Line in western Manhattan. This former elevated railroad track, 9 meters high, offers a great view of Chelsea and the Meatpacking District. Stroll from Gansevoort Street to 20th Street in Lower Manhattan and discover New York City’s greenery next to skyscrapers and graffiti-sprayed walls.

3. Rockefeller Center

Rockefeller Center in New York - ניו יורק
Rockefeller Center in New York – ניו יורק

The famous Rockefeller Center is undoubtedly one of the Big Apple’s most famous attractions. While it can be awe-inspiring all year round, it’s twice as great around Christmas. Then the square in front of it is decorated with thousands of lights, among which Santa is busy at the skating rink. The legendary Rockefeller Center Christmas tree can also be viewed there and is reason enough to stop by. If you have a few bucks, you should definitely indulge in one or more rounds on the ice. If you are not traveling to Manhattan during summer, climb to the Rock Observatory to get a stunning birds-eye view of New York – ניו יורק.

4. Art on the rooftops of New York – ניו יורק

Let’s stay a little longer on the roofs of New York, but this time with some arts! Even real New Yorkers get into a euphoric mood at the thought of surveying Manhattan from a bird’s eye view. So when the first rays of the sunshine show, just follow the locals to the sky-high gardens, bars, and restaurants. Art lovers will love the Cantor Roof Garden at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Every summer, the installations and sculptures of another great artist are displayed here.

5. 9/11 Memorial & Museum

If you haven’t been there yet, make sure to stop by the 9/11 (September 11) Memorial. It’s an emotional experience, and visitors find this spot very touching and essential to know the real New York post the horrific terror attack. At the museum, there are three areas to explore. The first focuses on the events leading up to the attack, through the day itself, to the tragic aftermath. The second honors those who lost their lives, and the third features relics and pieces recovered from the wreckage. 

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6. Walkthrough the Socrates Sculpture Park

There’s no lack of art in New York – ניו יורק. But at the Socrates Sculpture Park in Queens, you can combine culture with a picnic in the sun! It’ll allow you to experience art a little differently. This unique exhibition features interesting sculptures and multi-media installations, all of which are free to admire. Get some sandwiches, a Frisby and a comfortable picnic blanket and enjoy an afternoon of costless fun.

7. The Guggenheim Museum

The stunning Guggenheim Museum in New York - ניו יורק
The stunning Guggenheim Museum in New York – ניו יורק

Even if you’ve been to The Guggenheim Museum before, you should visit here again after its renovation. The featured artists on display include some of your classic and modern favorites. For example, Kandinsky, Picasso, Van Gogh, and many more. Also, some of the exhibitions are temporary in New York  – ניו יורק and may move to another city. You can even spare some time for a drink at the gallery’s cafe where you can enjoy stunning views of Central Park. 

Tip: Chelsea is home to some of the freshest art galleries in the Big Apple, and many of them are free of charge. Take a look at this map to find out what is there to see. Chelsea is also the ideal place to get into New York nightlife, so treat yourself to one of the delicious cocktails in the many in-bars of the neighborhood. You can find most of them between the 27th and 29th streets.

8. Staten Island Ferry

So we’ve already recommended you to see New York – ניו יורק from bird’s view. Now, how about going to the ocean and take a sightseeing tour on the Staten Island Ferry? This historic ferry ride is actually designed to bring visitors from Lower Manhattan to Staten Island for free. However, it’s almost a tradition to spend a fun afternoon sightseeing in New York Harbor for fun, with no money to spend on a cruise. Just take our advise and wear warm! The wind on the open water can blow quite cold.

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9. Go to the Beach on Coney Island

New York ניו יורק is not just a city of skyscrapers and suspension bridges. The ever-expanding urban area is home to a surprising number of beaches. The Coney Island peninsula in Brooklyn boasts its large amusement parks at the top tier. If you go further exploring Brooklyn, you will soon come across Brighton Beach with its great Russian and Ukrainian eateries, Manhattan Beach with its sports and children’s playgrounds, and Rockaway Beach and its many surfers.

10. Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

If you are fans of military history – you must visit the Intrepid Sea Air & Space Museum! This beautiful museum, located on a historic aircraft carrier, showcases some fascinating exhibits. It included permanent and temporary displays from which you can learn about the history of naval ships and aircraft. Make sure that your tickets include the Space Shuttle Pavilion, especially if you eager to expand your knowledge about space. 

Tip: On select Fridays, the museum offers free entrance between 17:00-21:00!

11. Shopping at the Markets

Many people dream of shopping on 5th Avenue, but there is nothing better than a stroll through New York’s art markets. In the midst of a variety of goods, the unique local artists can get carried away by the neighborly ambiance. The Hester Street Fair on the Lower East Side opens every Saturday next to Seward Park. In addition to culinary delights, there are great vintage jewelry and cool accessories of the new NYC designer generation.

12. Open House New York 

Open House New York ניו יורק, or simply OHNY, is a unique opportunity to visit parts of the city that most people never get to see. On the so-called “Open House” weekend (19-20 October in 2019), over 250 buildings that are typically inaccessible to the public can be visited in New York’s five boroughs. It includes the Art Deco Woolworth Building in Tribeca, New York’s Grand Masonic Lodge, a Brooklyn sculptor’s studio, and an underground power plant in Midtown. And best of all, the entrance is free!

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Essential Tips for First-Time Travelers to New York – ניו יורק

(and for those who need to refresh their memory too!)

  • Pay attention to the visa requirements! A visitor’s visa is for individuals who wish to visit the United States for a limited period, for traveling or business purposes. You will have to fill out the DS-160 application form, pay the fee, choose the location of your application (Tel Aviv or Jerusalem) and set an interview time for a visitor visa. This procedure may take a few weeks, so we advise that you’ll take care of that before booking your flights to New York ניו יורק. Click here for more information from the US embassy in Israel. If you have a European passport as well, you may be exempt from this process. Some nationalities only need an ESTA application (Electronic System for Travel Authorization). You can fill it out online and then have it available digitally within 72 hours. It’s best to go to the official site of US Customs and Border Protection. The application costs $14 and is valid for 24 months along with your passport. In either case, the passport must be valid for at least 6 months. 

Tip: Answer all questions from the request truthfully. It has already happened that people were refused of entry because they allowed themselves a joke.

  • The tipping system: At a restaurant visit or in a taxi it’s common to add a 15%-20% tip. If you have booked a guided tour, the tip is around $10. 
  • Added taxes: The law in Israel requires to present the customers the final cost, all taxes and fees included. In the United States, it’s different. Only the net price is stated. It means that the sales tax is only added at the cash register. In New York, these are usually 8.875% added to the price. 4.5% goes to New York City, 4% to the state of New York, and there’s the Metropolitan Commuter Transportation surcharge of 0.375%. It means that if you see the $0.99 menu at McDonald’s, you’ll actually pay $1.08.

Important Info about New York – ניו יורק

Country 🇺🇸New York State, the United States of America
Currency 💵US Dollar – $
Currency exchange 💱1 USD ~ 3.50 ILS
Flight time from TLV Airport ✈️11:35 hours
Average temperatures in July-August 🌞28-29
Average temperatures in December-February ⛄(-3)-12