In New York there is nothing that does not exist. But what the vast majority of first-time visitors do is visit the attractions that bear such evocative names as the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island or the Empire State Building. Although you know them from countless pictures, it is something different when you see them with your own eyes. No picture can capture the view from the Empire State Building in such a way that a visit there would not be totally fascinating. New York is unique, great, crazy, flashy and also dreamy. The inconsistency of this mighty metropolis with people from all over the world exerts an insane attraction. We have listed the most important sights here – and collected a few facts that you may not yet know.
Statue of Liberty
As a gift from the French people to the Americans, the 46 m high Statue of Liberty was dedicated on October 28, 1886. The statue – whose real name means “Liberty Enlightening the World” – was designed by the French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi. In fact, the statue was a Danaer gift, for the French had made it a condition that the New Yorkers create a worthy pedestal for the lady. The problem was that the pedestal cost at least as much as the statue itself, and New Yorkers just didn’t have the enthusiasm to raise the money. Newspaper editor Joseph Pulitzer came up with the idea of naming everyone who wanted to donate in his publication The World. So the missing sum of 100,000 dollars finally came together.
The base of the statue, the Statue of Liberty Museum and the Observation Deck have reopened. From here you have a beautiful all-round view. Unfortunately, the interior of the statue can only be viewed to a limited extent and separated by a glass wall. The museum contains the original torch and an exhibition on the construction and history of the statue. A new type of ticket system avoids long queues in summer.
According to topschoolsintheusa.com, more than 22 million immigrants passed through New York Harbor and Ellis Island between 1892 and 1954. Most immigrants arrived here during the two world wars: looking for a new beginning, for religious, freedom of speech and opinion or for financial reasons. Today, the Ellis Island Immigration Museum gives an insight into the immigration procedures of the past.
If the city planners of the early 19th century had had their way, Manhattan would probably only have been a desert of stone and concrete. But New Yorkers – especially artists, intellectuals and landscape architects – managed to get an area of almost 350 hectares removed from the development plans and dedicated as a park. In 1853 the city acquired this tract between 8th and 5th Avenues and 59th and 110th Streets. That was the birth of Central Park.
If you walk along the paths in the park that lead around trees, meadows, lakes and rocks, or watch the birds that live here in the middle of the metropolis, it is difficult to imagine that there was nothing else here in the middle of the 19th century as swamps, scrub and boulders. Today, the park is an oasis for everyone: from movie stars jogging here with bodyguards, to youngsters skating, professional dog walkers walking dogs, to families picnicking here. The best day to experience the park is Sunday – commuters stay in their suburbs and Manhattan belongs to the Manhattans.
Manhattan’s green oasis has the reputation of being the city’s most famous park. Idyllic park landscapes are laid out on 4.3 km² and there is probably no sport that cannot be pursued here. In the north, the park looks more natural, while in the south there is more hustle and bustle. The skyscraper backdrop with skyscrapers on all sides is also impressive. During the summer months there are open air concerts in the park. Culinary highlights await you in the elegant restaurant “Tavern on the Green”.
There is also a zoo with animals from different climate zones, a carousel, a theater, three lakes, Belvedere Castle, gardens, sculptures and fountains. In honor of John Lennon (he lived in the Dakota Building at 1 West 72nd Street – directly across from Central Park – and was murdered in front of this building on December 8, 1980), Strawberry Fields were laid out, where fans from still laying flowers all over the world.
The city’s most expensive designer shops are located on Fifth Avenue. Famous names like Cartier, Tiffany, Versace and Saks Fifth Avenue are synonymous with luxury. In the pompous Trump Tower, the interior design is particularly worth seeing: pink marble, gold, mirrors and waterfalls on six floors. Many important museums are located in the so-called Museum Mile on Fifth Avenue.
When you hear the catchy name ‘Broadway’, you associate it with theatre, musicals and entertainment. In fact, only the section between 40th and 53rd Street is the one that brought the 33 km long street this world fame. The Metropolitan Opera moved here in 1893 as the first major stage. After the First World War – in the 1920s – many theatres, variety shows and dance halls were built. A number of cinemas were added in the 1930s. There were over 80 theaters here in the most glamorous period. By the way, the first address was W. 42th. Str. She became synonymous with success. With the invention of television, however, the cinema industry began to decline.
Since the late 1980s, there has been a lot of investment, especially by Disney. Historic theaters have been lovingly restored and old buildings demolished. Today, the Theater District shines in new splendor. The neighborhood has become clean and safe again, attracting tourists and locals alike. There are special themed restaurants, world famous musicals and souvenir shops.
The name says a lot about how classy this place once was. It is named after the famous daily newspaper “New York Times”, which moved into its publishing house here in 1904. In later years, the area degenerated into a red light district. Thanks to the efforts of ex-Mayor Giuliani, the plaza regained its bright image as the center of the Theater District. Today you will not only find a traffic-calmed pedestrian zone here, but also top-class entertainment: Broadway theatres, cinemas, restaurants, hotels and shops. The famous neon signs flicker day and night, and a large screen shows sporting events, concerts and breaking news. Every year on New Year’s Eve there is a big celebration with fireworks. More than half a million spectators gather here,
Actually, in 1928, John D. Rockefeller wanted to build a new opera house. However, because of the economic crisis that followed, he decided to build a complex for the new radio and television industry. The massive Rockefeller Center became a city within a city, stretching from Fifth beyond Sixth Avenue and from 48th to north of 51st St. You’ll find everything here: offices, restaurants, shops, theaters, cinemas, parks, waterfalls and of course the 6,000-seat Radio City Music Hall. The entrance area alone with a water basin, nymphs and fauns on horseback, bushes and flowers is worth seeing. The symbol is the golden Prometheus.
The fact that the Rockefellers are awash with money was a recurring theme in many songs from Tin Pan Alley (this is the name of 28th Street between Fifth Avenue and Sixth Avenue, between which Broadway runs). Between 1900 and around 1930, most of them were here US music publishers based). The construction of Rockefeller Center is due to only one member of this family: John D. Rockefeller Jr. raised the $130 million for construction at a time when America was in the deepest depression in its history. The first 14 Art Deco buildings were built between 1931 and 1940. Thousands of people who would otherwise have been unemployed found employment here.
By the way, the viewing platform of the General Electric Building – the headquarters of the broadcaster NBC – is also worth a visit. On the 65th floor you have a great view of the city from the famous “Rainbow Room” – or from the “Top Of The Rock” on the 69th floor.
During the Christmas season, Rockefeller Center has a beautifully decorated Christmas tree. In front of it is the famous ice skating rink.
Empire State Building
After the 9/11 disaster, the Empire State Building became what it had been for decades: the tallest skyscraper in the city. When it was built in 1931, it was considered the eighth wonder of the world – not least because the 381 meter high building was erected in just nine months. Until 1972, the Empire State Building was also the tallest structure in the world. It doesn’t matter that the new One World Trade Center has once again wrested the Art Deco building’s rank in the City: the spectacular interior and exterior of the Empire State with its 360-degree observation deck in the heart of Manhattan is almost a must-see every New York visitor.
A free app allows visitors to follow a multimedia exhibition about the construction of the spectacular building. Also of interest is the story of how it became one of the most energy efficient structures in the world. The Empire State Building and the souvenir shop are open from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. The State Grill restaurant is located directly in the building. Located in the heart of New York City, it is close to Times and Madison Square and Macy’s is right down the street. 350 5th Ave, New York, NY 10118
There was actually a barricade built here by the Dutch in 1653 to protect against the Indians. Hence the name ‘Wall Street’. The bronze bull is the symbol for rising prices on the stock exchange. Historical securities and financial documents can be viewed at the Museum of American Financial History. Those who want to learn more about the US Constitution can find out more in the Federal Hall.
The largest gold reserves of different nations are locked in the Federal Reserve Bank. Banknotes are also circulated here. Notes issued by the Reserve Bank of New York have the “B” as the second letter in the serial number. (The second letter indicates which bank issued the note. There are central banks in twelve US locations, each with a different letter).
George Washington used to say goodbye to his officers after defeating the British in Fraunces Tavern (museum and restaurant). At the end of Wall Street is Trinity Church. Until 1860 it was the tallest building in New York City, today it looks rather tiny next to the skyscrapers.
Lower Manhattan has experienced a major upheaval in recent decades: the expansion of the harbor district, improved ferry connections and a tripling of the number of hotels. A centerpiece of the neighborhood is the 9/11 Memorial, which opened on September 12, 2011, one day after the 10-year anniversary of the attacks. The memorial consists of two 0.4 hectare pools with waterfalls, which are located directly on the spots where the two twin towers stood. The memorial is a freely accessible space and is open to visitors daily from 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. free of charge. The underground 9/11 Memorial Museum opened in spring 2014. It is entered through the glass structure next to the pools.
Just south of Madison Square Park is a famous neo-Renaissance triangular palazzo, the Flatiron Building. Opened in 1902, the 22-storey building is considered an architectural masterpiece because it is only two meters wide on its narrow side. The unusual shape was a technical challenge at the time. The building, clad in terracotta, is the world’s first steel-frame high-rise. The Beaux-Arts architecture gives the district its historical charm, and numerous new shops, restaurants and nightclubs have sprung up in the area.
Flatiron Building: 175 5th Ave between 22nd and 23rd St, Manhattan, NY
One World Trade Center and National September 11 Memorial & Museum
On September 11, 2001, the twin towers of the World Trade Center collapsed as a result of a terrorist attack. About 450 companies with 50,000 employees were based in both towers. Numerous other buildings in Lower Manhattan were also damaged by the collapse of the former landmark.
One World Observatory
The upper part of One World Observatory is officially open to visitors. The new One World Trade Center measures 546 meters including the antenna, making it the tallest building in North America and the fourth tallest in the world. The ‘Sky Pods’ elevator ride takes visitors up 102 floors in just 47 seconds. The walls are made up of screens that tell the story of the New York skyline like a time-lapse journey. Once at the top, the high-tech wonders continue: Images from the street below are transmitted to the “Sky Portal”. With the interactive “City Pulse” the sights of New York are at your feet. The most breathtaking, however, is the 360-degree panoramic view of the Big Apple.
One World Observatory: One World Trade Center, 285 Fulton St. (West St/Vesey St), Manhattan, NY 10007; Phone: 844-696-1776
New York’s museums are rightly considered an absolute highlight. There are more than 150 museums in the Big Apple. Art lovers can also look forward to New York, with over 400 art galleries open to them.
Around five million guests visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art, or “MET” for short, every year . With more than three million works of art from all regions of the world and epochs, it is one of the most renowned art museums in the world. Just under a quarter of the entire collection is on display. A visit to the Roof Garden with its wonderful view of Central Park is recommended.
Modern art lovers should pay a visit to the Museum of Modern Art ( MoMA) . The house is a center for graphics, photography and design. Monet and Van Gogh are also among the 150,000 paintings. In addition, it includes a collection of 22,000 films and more than 200,000 books.
The Museum of the City of New York deals exclusively with New York and its history . Whether photographs, rare books or theater props – among the 1.5 million objects there are some that are at least as colorful as the city itself.
The Neue Galerie New York opened its doors in 2001 . The museum is dedicated to German and Austrian art of the 20th century. Works by Egon Schiele, Gustav Klimt, Oskar Kokoschka, Alfred Kubin and Paul Klee can be seen here. The six-story building was inspired by the Neue Galerie in Vienna.
With 1.75 million people, New York is home to the largest Jewish community outside of Israel. The Jewish Museum was built to preserve the cultural heritage. The museum has the largest collection of Jewish paintings, photographs, manuscripts and antiquities.
Unusual sightseeing tours
If you want to learn more about the notorious street gangs and organized crime in the Big Apple, book the NYC Gangster Tour. Meet at the corner of Mulberry Street and Worth Street. A two-hour walk from Chinatown leads to Little Italy, where most of New York’s notorious gangsters lived.
Bike tour in New York – Discover the city in a relaxed way!
Would you like to see the sights of the Big Apple from a different perspective? Take a bike ride! Riding a bike is very trendy in New York City. In recent years, NYC has expanded its bike path network by 322 kilometers in all five boroughs. By 2030, the entire network should cover 2,900 kilometers. Cycling in the American metropolis is not only safe, but also a pleasant experience. You can travel faster by bike than on foot, but still slowly enough to be able to enjoy the highlights. What’s more, you can drive down streets that a sightseeing bus can’t get into, and you’re also kind to the environment.
Bike Tour New York: Baja Bikes offers a variety of tours in the Big Apple that are a fantastic way to explore the city.
Excursions and Tours
Coney Island – New York’s most traditional entertainment district. Coney Island has been a popular destination for New Yorkers and tourists since the 19th century. According to legend, the hot dog was invented here.
NYC Beach Vacation – Queens has the longest (10 miles) city beach at Rockaway Beach in Jacob Riis Park.