New York - a city like no other. A city where history is made on every street, a city that pulsates 24/7 and is full of magic, inspiring and eccentric people, positive hustle and bustle, anonymity, coolness, shopping excesses, culinary borderline experiences and spectacular cultural events. Nowhere else in the world can you find so many world-famous sights in such a small area, enjoy live jazz and musicals, and experience such culinary diversity. Immerse yourself in the city that never sleeps!
Except maybe on a Sunday morning. At least that's how I experienced New York. Hardly any traffic, fresh air to breathe, no hustle and bustle. Hop on a hop on/hop off bus in the morning and take in New York. Attend a gospel service with a stunning choir in Harlem. Or treat yourself to a ferry ride to Lady Liberty. Now a national monument, it was a gift from the French people, dedicated in 1886, and offers a fantastic panoramic view of New York, New Jersey, New York Harbor and nearby Ellis Island. The pedestal houses an exhibit that teaches visitors about the history of the Statue of Liberty through scale replicas, photos, explanations and videos. 100 years ago, the torch-wielding iconic figure greeted immigrants after a long journey across the world's oceans. Today, the Lady watches over the modern conception of freedom.
That freedom was torpedoed in 2001 - the world stood still for a moment. We all remember the terrible images of September 11. Standing at the National September 11 Memorial, erected to commemorate the victims of the terrorist attacks, one is overcome with sadness and unease. Two sunken basins recall the two twin towers that once stood here. The names of all the victims are engraved around the bronze edges of the water basins. The associated museum houses two main exhibitions. One is dedicated to the period before the attack, the attack itself and the period after. In the other, a 270-degree media installation illustrates the creation of the Memorial.
On the way to the Brooklyn Bridge, we pass Wall Street. During the week, of course, there is more going on here than on a Sunday. Then the street is full of stressed stockbrokers in suits and jogging shoes smoking in front of the buildings or trying to catch some sun rays between the skyscrapers during their lunch break. Speaking of lunch breaks, treat yourself to a hot dog at one of the mobile stands, supposedly the best in all of Manhattan are here on Wall Street.
After another kilometer, you can already see the silhouette of the Brooklyn Bridge, in my opinion one of the most elegant suspension bridges ever. It connects Manhattan with - the name suggests - the borough of Brooklyn. Besides a six-lane highway bridge, there's a separate bridge just for pedestrians and cyclists. This gives you the opportunity to reach one of the most beautiful vantage points on Manhattan free of charge and stress. The steel struts coming off the two neo-Gothic granite towers give the bridge not only its stability, but also its characteristic, unique silhouette. The way back to Manhattan repeatedly opens up grandiose views of the city skyline and provides opportunities for great souvenir photos.
In the mood for ice cream? The Museum of Ice Cream, or MOIC for short, combines contemporary art with treats. Dedicated to the world's love of ice cream, MOIC is a true paradise for ice cream lovers. Ice cream becomes art and vice versa, plus you'll learn about the history of ice cream and of course... you can sample glacé!
New York trends evolve faster than a Twitter feed. With its finger firmly on the pulse, the city is one of the most innovative spots on the planet. In this world of verticals, you can get everything at any given time, from the latest couture from the Paris runways to ergonomic lazy chairs from Tokyo design studios. The clocks tick faster here than elsewhere - everything is constantly in flux, and New Yorkers are always on the hunt for the latest and hottest, only to exchange ideas about the next big hit the following week. An architectural example of this can be found in the Chelsea neighborhood. The High Line is a freight train track that is a good 2 kilometers long and 7.5 meters above the ground, no longer used as such, which was converted into a park, the High Line Park, after a construction phase from 2006 to 2019. There are flowers everywhere, lots of places to sit, and not only tourists, but also New Yorkers themselves have discovered this new attraction.
New York without shopping. You can't! Walk along 5th Avenue towards Central Park. The stores here offer a perfect overview of the most famous global brands: Apple, Chanel, Dior, Gucci, Nike, Prada, Rolex... But the most famous store on 5th is Tiffany & Co. Feel free to drop in, even if you don't want to buy jewels. There is no obligation to buy and the salespeople are friendly - as long as you don't bring your breakfast in allusion to the old movie classic with Audrey Hepburn. By the way: From the 4th floor of the luxury department store "Bergdorf Godman" you can enjoy a wonderful view of Central Park.
After just under 2 kilometers, the shopping mile flows into Central Park. The green lung of the city is always worth a visit, if only to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and breathe some fresh air. The park, with its huge green spaces, more than 20 playgrounds, man-made lakes and ponds, and numerous walking paths, is probably the largest green space in all of New York. Especially in spring and summer, various events, exhibitions and concerts are regularly held here. The park is known for its many family-friendly attractions, such as the Central Park Carousel, the Central Park Zoo and the Belvedere Castle.
The last stop before sunset is at the world-famous Empire State Building. The skyscraper has two observation decks, both of which offer a fantastic panoramic view of the city and beyond. On the 86th floor, you'll be standing in the open air on the platform you're sure to recognize from various movie scenes. The second observation deck is even higher, on the 102nd floor, and consequently offers an even better view of the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, the Brooklyn Bridge or Times Square. Alternatives to experience New York from a bird's eye view are the new dizzying platform The Edge or Top of the Rock. It's also free: Various hotels have beautiful viewing platforms and some New York restaurants can also score with great views. The restaurant 230 Fifth is one such address. Here you can get lobster rolls, hand-cut fries and delicious burgers. Sip a pineapple coconut martini and enjoy the setting sun. Tired? Not possible in NYC!
If you want to go out in the evening, you are spoiled for choice and have to decide between numerous Broadway shows, street performers and underground clubs where people party until late at night to a wide variety of music genres. Especially around Times Square there is a lot on offer. Here life rages at any time of day: shrill, colorful, hectic and loud. Broadway shows, restaurants, stores, yellow cabs and fast food outlets compete for the crowds in a very confined space. Times Square is most famous for its ubiquitous colorful neon signs and video walls. The square got its name from the Times Building, where the New York Times used to have its offices. Do it New York style and sit on the steps in front of the large video wall with delicious pizza from Joe's Pizza and a Coke and soak up the life of Times Square. Nowhere else in the city does the saying of the "city that never sleeps" fit better than here. In addition, this important hub is also home to special attractions such as the Madame Tussauds wax museum, Ripley's Believe It or Not! and Radio City Music Hall. If you love jazz, head to Harlem in the evenings. The countless jazz clubs play swing, Latin jazz, bebop and cool jazz year-round. Among the most popular clubs are Bill's Place, Minton's Playhouse and the Showman's Jazz Club.
Whether it's a late night show, musical or jazz concert, before heading back to the hotel, make one last stop at a restaurant or bar and order a drink of whiskey and vermouth, garnished with a cocktail cherry: there's no better way to end the day in NYC than with a classic Manhattan cocktail in Manhattan.
How you get there:
non-stop with SWISS
How to get around:
metro or hop on/off bus
How long should I go:
depending on time budget: 1 - 100 days ;-)
Best travel time:
all year round
Skyline, Lady Liberty, Time Square, Central Park, Empire State Building
Apéro tip with a great view: