There is little doubt that one of the most preferred destinations for many people from around the world is New York. From the skyscrapers dotting the city skyline to the glitter of Times Square, the city pulsates with an incredible energy of its own. Having said that, it is important to know and prepare accordingly for your trip beforehand, as the subtler jewels of this remarkable city are best explored through these valuable insider travel tips.
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Eating out in New York
There is little doubt that the food scene occupies the centrestage in New York. Almost every borough offers its own temptations, with something for everyone from taste to budget. With a vast population of expats residing in New York, it is no wonder that the culinary delights can be equally bewildering. The chefs in the city are very innovative, so there are plenty of classics like the oysters at Grand Central Oyster Bar, or the porterhouse steaks at Peter Luger in Brooklyn. For the Broadway show visitor the eatery at Sardi’s is going great guns since 1927.
Hotels in New York
New York is a year round destination, primarily because of the safety it offers and warmth of the locals. The visitors here, are equally attracted to the many hotel options ranging from the imperious to the more sublime. Occupying the pride of place is the towering Four Seasons and the French hotel Baccarat Hotel and Residences.
City attractions in the Big Apple
New York has all the big names as far as art galleries and architectural landmarks are concerned. Add to it the Empire State building and the Statue of Liberty, the numerous parks and rivers you will find little time to spend in your room. The Circle Line tour will take you across seven bridges over three rivers over west Manhattan, with an informative narration enroute. It is cheaper to book tickets online and avoid the crowds as well.
ESTA for New York
The Electronic System for Travel Authorisation or ESTA is a form which is available online and is an essential document for international visitors, travelling under Visa Waiver Program (VWP) for their New York trip. This system automatically determines the eligibility of the visitor to travel to any destination in the United States, though the final decision rests with the US customs and Border Protection Officers upon the traveler’s arrival. It is important to remember here, that even though one may not require a visa, it is a must to apply for an ESTA at least 72 hours prior to departure, preferably much earlier. Once applied for online after paying the requisite fee, approval is normally granted in a very short time. In case travel is not authorised, one then needs to contact the embassy or consulate. Just make sure that every person travelling with you, even babies, regardless of age will need their own ESTA form.
Free things on offer
There are plenty of free things to do and places to visit in New York, which include attractions for children as well. The iconic Metropolitan Museum of Art is best visited early morning or late afternoon. The roof garden here affords stunning views of the city skyline. The list American Museum of Natural History is located to the west of the Central Park and gives an incredible insight on the wonders of the natural world. No visit to the city is complete without a trip to New Times Square, said to be the most visited place in the world. Built out of limestone and granite, the more Brooklyn Bridge is another iconic symbol of the city. The Brighton Beach and the Grand Central Terminal is very popular with the kids because of the train models in the museum.
New York remains the most exciting city in the world, with more sights to offer than virtually any other place on earth. The logistics are so well laid out that you are always aware of your location everywhere. The people too are surprisingly friendly and will welcome you to the Big Apple. So if you haven’t yet visited this bustling metropolis, put this on your bucket list – like I have!