Sights of New York

New York City is recognized to be the largest population center in the United States and one of the largest cities in the world. It has a population of over 8 million. In the metropolitan area more than 20 million live. Most of the population speaks English.

Every year "Big Apple" (New York is called like this from 1920), is visited by more than 50 million tourists. Many of them, especially those who come for a few days, wonder what can be found in New York during this time.

Facts About New York

Country
USA
Currency
United States dollar ($) (USD)
Language
English
Population
19,746,227 (2014)
Timezone
UTC-5 | Summer: UTC-4

Map of New York Attractions

Top 24 Sights in New York

Central Park

Photo: gigi_nyc

Central Park is one of the main attractions of New York. Central Park has a shape of rectangle, its length and width is about 4,000 meter x 1,000 meters. So, area is 3.5 square meters. It may fit 10 soccer fields in.

New Yorkers love Central Park for the opportunity to walk safely along the shady paths, ice skating at Wollman Rink, and arrange a romantic walk on the boat or ride on a horse-drawn carriage on the wedding day.

Lots of TV shows and movies were filmed here, in New York Central Park. Central Park Conservancy is serves the territory of Central Park.

According to official documentation, the park is a private noncommercial organization. A lot of talented people worked hard to build and develop it; nevertheless it looks like a creation of nature. If you feel tired, the best thing you can do is to come to this park and enjoy one of its lakes. Those were also created by people, by the way. Every winter those who like skating enjoy iced lakes. During the Christmas Eve people come to skating-rings to have some fun.

American Museum of Natural History

American Museum of Natural History is one of the largest and the most popular museum complexes not only in New York, but in the entire world.

Today it is located in Manhattan, and at the time of its discovery in 1869 it was situated in the Arsenal building (Central Park). The brainchild of Dr. Albert C. Bickmore has grown from one small structure to the giant size of the museum in four quarters.

It is divided into thematic sections. The first floor is dedicated to the Hall of Human Origins, which houses the "Lucy" - the skeleton of more than 3 million years of age. Among the other interesting Halls there are Hall of minerals and gems, meteorites, fossils, Hall of Ocean Life with a blue whale in full size.

Dioramas are especially popular among the visitors of the museum. They are complex installations, reproducing nature of certain parts of our planet: both the African savannah and Arctic desert.

The planetarium is located in a separate glass building height of six floors. It was opened in 2000 and it is known as the "Space Council" for its unusual roof in the shape of a sphere. Recently, the museum complex has opened ultramodern IMAX cinema. All sessions here are devoted to the scientific topics.

Rockefeller Center

Rockefeller Center is a city within a city: it is a huge complex of 19 buildings, located in downtown Manhattan. First and foremost, it is a business center in New York, which in addition to the thousands of skyscrapers with offices, includes a complete infrastructure for business and leisure: the subway, parking lots, parks, shopping malls, cinemas and theaters, cafes and restaurants.

The construction of the complex began in the 1930s on the initiative of John D. Rockefeller, Jr. The first 14 buildings of the future center cost a crazy at the time amount - $ 125 million! The center acquired its modern look by the end of 1970.

At the heart of Rockefeller Center there is skyscraper towers General Electric Building. It has 70 floors, and it is better known as 30 Rock. On the roof of a skyscraper there is an observation deck, which offers beautiful panoramic views of the city. Downstairs Lower Plaza is located. It is the home for the USA annual Christmas tree.

Rockefeller Center is a luxurious Radio City Music Hall on the six thousand seats, where the loudest ceremonies take place.

The complex has more than one hundred original sculptures, including the most famous of them – a bronze Atlas.

St. Patrick's Cathedral

St. Patrick's Cathedral is the most famous Catholic cathedral of the USA. It is located at the intersection of 50th Street and Fifth Avenue. Surrounded by luxury boutiques and skyscrapers this Cathedral is particularly unexpected and original.

The construction of the Catholic Cathedral began before the Civil War, in 1858, and is considered to be one of the manifestations of a democratic society. The work was done at the expense of the voluntary contributions of both New Yorkers and immigrants. It was completed only in 1879.

The author of the project is James Renwick, Jr., who took as a sample the magnificent Cologne Cathedral. His creation looks tremendously even by modern standards: 100 meters spiers, the total width of 54 meters, and the capacity of 2 200 people. It is built of brick, lined with marble. At that time, there was not more tough material. The construction of the Cathedral was arranged in a classical Gothic style: high arches, needle spiers, marble altar, arched windows with stained-glass windows.

The image of the Virgin of Guadalupe is considered to be the main shrine of the cathedral. Lady Chapel was built for praying. Free organ concerts take place in the Cathedral.

Bryant Park

Bryant Park is a park in the center of New York City, covering an area of 39 square kilometers. It was named in honor of the New York Post editor William C. Bryant, who invested a lot of efforts in greening of the city center.

The park was opened in the mid-19th century. In the 1970s of the 20th century, it acquired not a good reputation because it was a meeting place for drug traffickers. For this it received the title Needle Park. Once it was supposed to be closed for a skyscraper building. Mayor Giuliani saved the park from sad fate by initiating its reconstruction. Now it is one of the coziest places in Manhattan.

The park hosts concerts. There is a great skating-rink and many cozy cafes. It is popular not only among tourists, but also for office clerks. Nearby there is the Tower of Bank of America, the second tallest skyscraper in New York, where Bank of America is based. Cup of coffee, free Wi-Fi, and sense of nature in the heart of the metropolis is a perfect place for the lunch break.

Near Bryant Park there is Public Library, Times Square, 5th Avenue and other attractions of New York. In the evening its alleys are lighted by twinkling lights of skyscrapers, which made tight ring around this oasis of nature.

SoHo

The most bohemian neighborhood of New York is considered to be SoHo. It is located in Manhattan and is bounded by four streets, one of which, Houston Street, gave it a name: «SoHo» -the reduced expression of «South of Houston Street». This translates as “to the south of Houston Street”.

This quarter has an interesting history: since the late 19th century it was the industrial area with textile production. When in 1960 all factories were closed, there settled artists who quickly mastered the warehouses under the exhibition halls. For thirty years, they have transformed the abandoned quarter into the elite creative area with elegant buildings decorated with cast iron decor. For this they were nicknamed the "iron palaces".

In SoHo, there are about 140 showrooms in various formats, from prestigious Leo Castelli Gallery and "New York Louvre" to countless shops, constantly changing address in search of cheap rent (though in SoHo it is almost impossible).

In the area of West Broadway there are many stores of foreign luxury brands, where a selection of French and Italian shoes dresses seduce even the most experienced shopaholic. SoHo is deservedly called "Little Paris".

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Metropolitan Museum of Art is not just one of the largest art museums in the world. This is a city of art, located in the heart of the Big Apple.

The date of establishment of the museum is considered to be in 1870, although it opened to the public two years later. Its founders were members of an elite New York Union League Club.

The initial collection of the Metropolitan Museum totaled 174 paintings from Europe (including the works of Poussin and Van Dyck). It gradually enriched with new donations and acquisitions. In 1907 there appeared the first painting of amazing Renoir, who became the founder of one of the most inspiring collections of impressionists.

The museum`s storage accommodate about three million works of art. They are divided into 12 thematic sections with permanent exhibitions including Medieval Gallery, Department of photography, Robert Lehman Collection. Many temporary exhibitions take place here.

The museum receives financial support from the state, but its main source of income is donations. As an entry fee, all visitors are encouraged to purchase a souvenir badge, the color of which changes daily.

National September 11 Memorial & Museum

The 10th anniversary of the terrorist attack that changed the world, in the USA was marked not only by a moment of silence, but also with the opening of the National September 11 Memorial Complex.

It was erected at the site of the Twin Towers on the tragically famous worldwide construction site with the symbolic name "zero point". Until recently, the building has been carried out behind the fence. 11.09.2011, the only memorial to the victims of one of the worst tragedies in the history of mankind opened. It is a two acre pool area, the contours of which repeat exactly the foundation of the World Trade Center. Here are inscribed the names of all the victims of 2983 those sad events, including not only the employees of buildings, but also the rescuers, random pedestrians and all those who were unlucky enough to be near the Twin Towers.

Along the contour of pools the most impressive man-made waterfalls in America cascade down. There is a picturesque landscaped garden around. Under the swimming pool the Museum of 9/11 is planned to be opened.

The architect of the complex Michael Arad gave his new project a philosophical name – Reflecting Absence. Its construction is not just an attempt to restore the building, it is an opportunity to breathe new life in Manhattan, pay tribute to the past and revive people's faith in the future.

Grand Central Station

Photo: Jim Trodel

Grand Central Station in New York is an active station, which status was elevated to the rank of the city's attractions. It impresses everyone with its respectable age. The station was opened 140 years ago, and the station building has recently celebrated its centenary. By the size the Central Station is worthy of such a metropolis like New York City: 67 railway tracks and 44 platforms take daily 125 thousand passengers.

Modern building of Grand Central, shown in many Hollywood movies, was built in 1913 in Middletown Manhattan at the site of the old station. This luxury building was built in the style of beaux-arts. It is a symbiosis of French Baroque and Italian Renaissance. It has received the official status of the historical monument of national level.

The interior decoration is worthy of the highest praise - arched windows, majestic columns, luxury watches and chandeliers of waiting room make it more like a temple than on the Railway Station.

Fifteen meters sculpture "Transport" attracts all tourists’ attention as well as four-meter Tiffany watches, considered a decoration of Park Avenue.

Empire State Building

Photo: Sigmar

Empire State Building, towering 443 meters over the island of Manhattan, is considered to be a symbol of New York City. This skyscraper has an unusual story: it was twice the highest building. First time – it was the highest in the whole world (until 1972, when the construction of the North Tower was completed). And then in New York in 2001 when the Twin Towers were destroyed. In 1945, the Empire State Building was also attacked by bomber struck through the tower and provoked a terrible fire. But the building survived.

The history of the Empire State Building is quite unusual. This giant complex was built in the times of the Great Depression (1931). This colossal work took only 410 days. The name of a skyscraper, Imperial House provides a direct allusion to the Empire State, the unofficial name of New York.

In the role of the office center the Empire State Building was very unprofitable. For this reason it was not called an Imperial but Empty State Building. Today, things have changed: 85 main floors are occupied by commerce, and the remaining 16 are technical superstructure. On the last floor there are 102 open glazed areas, which offer fantastic views of New York panorama.

Museum of Modern Art

Photo: yuan2003

Nowadays every capital of the world besides the classical museums has a museum of contemporary art. But it was in New York in 1929 where with the support of the Rockefeller family the first museum opened. The purpose of its creation was the development of the creative potential of the new generations of artists and familiarizing the audience to their art.

The Museum of Modern Art originally occupied six halls in the office center. By the mid-20th century a separate building for the museum was built, which was subsequently reconstructed several times to extend the exhibition space. The museum is located in Manhattan and is considered to be one of the most respectable and rich museums in the world.

To watch an exposure, located on the sixth floor, is recommended to conduct a top-down. Therefore, all visitors will disclose to the steps of the evolution of modern art, from the early work of the Impressionists. Nowadays, the museum's collection can boast of such unique items as "Starry Night" by Van Gogh, "The Dance" by Matisse, "The Persistence of Memory" Dali, and various works of Malevich, Kandinsky, Pollock and Gaudi.

The halls of the Museum of Modern Art attract annually more than 2.5 million admirers of modern art.

New York Public Library

Photo: Rob Young

New York Public Library is not a simple book depository. This is a giant network of 87 offices located in Manhattan and Staten Island, the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens. General fund of the library is more than 53 million copies.

The idea to create a network of libraries in New York came from the governor of the city Samuel Tilden, who donated almost 2.5 million dollars to this ambitious project. In 1901 Astor and Lennox Library joined together and allowed the idea of Governor to be realized. Various financial difficulties became the main reason for such a step. It helped to be solved by Tilden`s inheritance and Andrew Carnegie`s support, who became the second sponsor of the project. So far, NY Public Library continues to be a non-profit organization and operates through donations, including the governmental ones.

The main building (Schwartzman Building) of the Public Library of New York from 1911 is located on Fifth Avenue. This magnificent work of art was built of brick and marble with two lions at the entrance, which even have names of Lord Astor and Lady Lennox. Those were the names of the founders of the library.

Times Square

Times Square in the heart of New York City at the intersection of Broadway and Seventh Avenue, is one of the most popular and emblematic places of the city. Its name was borrowed from the area of The New York Times, whose main office is located in this very place. In 1904 the newspaper office was moved to a new building Times Building (known as One Times Square), the area then known as Longacre Square, was decided to be renamed in honor of this newspaper.

In addition to the official name, New Yorkers give Times Square many nicknames: Crossroads of the world or the Great light path. There is an easy access to the most important city attractions. There are many Broadway theaters nearby.

Even advertising, which are full of billboards and signs, is known here as theatrical.  It should be bright and glowing here. Special Times Square Alliance keeps the order in this area and one of the largest in the city police stations.

Times Square is the same place that represents the image of America for the majority of foreigners: the place where the city never sleeps.

Chrysler Building

At the time of the official opening, the Chrysler Building was the tallest in the world, overtaking the Eiffel Tower. By the way, the Chrysler Building was able to keep this honorary title for at least a year.

This magnificent skyscraper of Jazz Age stands at the crossroads of Lexington Avenue and 42nd Street. Its height is 319 meters. It has 77 floors, topped with luxurious stone crown.

The building was commissioned by automobile magnate Chrysler and long served as headquarters of his company. In the lobby there was an exhibition hall, showing the latest automotive brands. Today, the Chrysler Building is owned by foreign companies.

This architectural ensemble was founded in the Art Nouveau style, which tend to use a variety of decorative elements, including the blue marble and onyx. In this case it had and thematic focus: for example, registration of the towers resembles the design of wheel covers cars Chrysler, and downspouts resemble the bonnet, the top looks like a grille.

By the way, in 2007, according to the architectural commission in New York, the Chrysler Building was named the most beautiful skyscraper of the city.

Broadway

Photo: dmytrok

Broadway is not only the widest street in New York (as evidenced by its name: broad way - the wide road), but also the longest one. It stretches for 25 km through the two districts of the city - Manhattan and the Bronx, while radically violating their right plan. Interestingly, that only one-way traffic is allowed here!

First of all, Broadway is the entrepreneurial street with countless offices, businesses and shops. This is especially true concerning Wall Street area.

This street becomes a bohemian one when we move closer to SoHo. There are many galleries and museums here. Broadway is known primarily by its theaters. If you come to New York and do not attend one of Broadway shows, whether you like the classic "Phantom of the Opera" or something modern would be a remiss. A full quarter in Times Square devoted to theatres. It is called "Theatrical". There are over 40 theatres here.

Even if musicals are not included in your plans, just walk along this charming street. Enjoy theatrical posters; have a nice walk to Times Square or Union Square.

Statue of Liberty

Photo: John Drake

People created a lot of stunning constructions. Some of them are symbols of power; some were built to celebrate victories in significant wars.

The Statue of Liberty is a symbol of freedom of speech, faith and expression. It was set to immortalize a victory of democracy. The statue is a woman, holding a huge flame in her right hand and the Declaration of Independence is in her left hand. The statue was set on Bedloe’s Island, which was renamed to Liberty Island in 1956. To reach Liberty Island tourists have to use a Ferry.

The statue’s weight is 120 tons; it was made with iron and copper. Numerous windows of the statue are symbols of well-known treasures on our planet. Seven rays of its crown symbolize seven oceans.

It is 92 meter tall. Tourists have to climb up over 300 stairs to reach the statue’s crown. Those who reach the top of the statue are able to enjoy a stunning view of New York City and the ocean.

Fifth Avenue

Fifth Avenue is the most elegant street in New York, where every step you waiting for luxury boutiques and restaurants magic. It begins with the Washington Square, Midtown, and then crosses, skirting Central Park, rests on the Harlem River.

This avenue that divides Manhattan into two halves, numbers all the other streets of New York, as well as their division into East and West. Unlike other major streets of New York, only buses always cruise here.

On Fifth Avenue there are a lot of amazing architectural structures. This iconic Empire State Building, Grand Public Library, magnificent Rockefeller Center, and gothic St. Patrick's Cathedral.

On this street there is Museum Mile. Is the place all the exhibition halls, including the Museum of Modern Guggenheim and the Metropolitan Museum are located. The same part of Avenue wore a different name of Millionaires Mile, as it is here that wealthy New Yorkers built their luxury villas. It is the place where such expensive brands as Tiffany, Cartier, Louis Vuitton, and Apple opened their shops.

Radio City Music Hall

Radio City Music Hall is representing one of the 12 buildings in the composition of the Rockefeller Center. It was built in 1932, when the US Great Depression raged. The idea of creating entertaining concert hall for six thousand seats was much unexpected for all.

Since the opening day, many concerts, performances and film screenings have been taking place here.

Special attention should be paid to interior decoration design of Radio City. Moreover, during the existence of the concert-hall of its interiors, the authorship of which belongs to Donald Deskey, there was just one reconstruction, a prerequisite of which was to preserve all the details of the original design.

Lifts installed in the building at the time of construction were of such perfect design that became interested to specialists from the US Air Force. They desired to use a similar hydraulic system in its aircraft carriers.

Various awards ceremonies are often held on the stage of Radio City, in particular Video Music.  

The Guggenheim

Guggenheim Museum is unusual in all aspects, but the most interesting is its history.

Reaching a ripe old age, coal magnate Solomon R. Guggenheim decided to go collecting. Because he was not strong in the arts he took German artist Hilla von Ribey as his assistant. The collection assembled by their joint efforts, grew rapidly and required proper clearance. They needed a museum. To create a proper museum a special fund was established.

The construction began in 1943 under the direction of architect Wright, and ended in sixteen years. His project was ambitious and bold. Even today, the Guggenheim Museum causes a mixed reaction. This applies not only in appearance, but also to the internal structure: the exhibition halls are located on top of a downward spiral. All visitors are asked to go in the right direction, so that they do not have to go back through the halls with the already examined exhibits. Some critics dubbed all alien forms the definite war between architecture and painting, in which suffered both of them.

Nowadays, the museum's collections include 6,000 paintings created from the late 19th century by the great masters such as Warhol, Gauguin, Miro, Delaunay, and many others.

Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge is called to be the one of the main attractions of New York City. It was built in 1883. It became not only the longest suspension bridge of the world, but also the first bridge on steel wires, and the first on Long Island.

The bridge connects Brooklyn to Manhattan; from its three parts, two sides with six lanes designed for vehicular traffic and one is made for pedestrians. Its length is less than half a kilometer and all the construction work lasted for thirty years. It cost about 15.5 million dollars and 27 human lives. Moreover, it turned out that it was far from perfect aerodynamics, so in the 1950s the bridge was support system was updated. After this the bridge received the ability to withstand heavy loads. But even today, commercial vehicles and passenger buses are not allowed here.

Brooklyn Bridge is actually a cutting-edge construction of the last century. It remains an important symbol of the greatness of New York. Its three flights connected by towers are featured in the movies and are sung by poets: American citizen Hart Crane and our compatriot Mayakovski dedicated their poems to it.

Ellis Island

Ellis Island is located at the mouth of the Hudson River head-to-head to Liberty Island and its famous statue.

The first mention of this area is dated back to the 1770's. Then it was privately owned by Samuel Ellis, who opened a tavern for fishermen here. In the early 19th century merchant's heirs sold the island to the federal government, saving him the family name Ellis.

Ellis Island for over a hundred years was the gateway to America for an endless stream of newcomers pouring out of Europe. It even received an official collection point for immigrants. According to official data, in 62 years of its existence it received about 12 million people.

All arrivals underwent rigorous interview during which their biographies and reasons that led them to America were carefully studied. All terms of staying here were difficult. Many of them died, not even entering New York.

Today the Immigration Museum is opened on the island. Here preserved intact the rooms where immigrants were kept. There is also a genealogical department, which contains a record of 22 million people. All Americans can find information about their origins here.

Bronx Zoo

Bronx Zoo is the largest and the most visited one in New York. At the time of opening in 1899 there lived over 850 animals. Today there are more than 4 million, including such exotic fauna, as an African crane, Nile crocodile and the Siberian tiger.

The main difference of this zoo from others is the high level of comfort: everything here is left to chance, not only for visitors but also for pets. Instead of the traditional cell there equipped three thematic halo which reproduce the natural habitat of animals. Tropical forests, high plateaus, jungle and all this are located in the heart of the modern metropolis!

A new Madagascar section has been opened recently. It attracts the audience with bright colors and rare representatives of fauna of the island.

Baby animals require special care and attention. Children's Zoo was created for them. Kids love it very much.

There is a monorail and the cable road opened for the convenience of zoo visitors. Thrill seekers can choose to travel on camels.

Apollo Theater

Photo: japp1967

Apollo Theatre is located in the African-American Harlem neighborhood of Manhattan. It's not so much a theater, but rather the concert hall, where Negro music genres such as soul and jazz develop very well.

Initially Apollo Theatre was opened as a hall for ballroom dancing. It subsequently moved to a new building and dramatically changed its focus. The apotheosis of its development occurred in the period of the Harlem Renaissance. The leaders of the new theater felt that hiring black artists was much cheaper. The quality of the show did not suffer. Moreover, it lit such prominent stars as Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Diana Ross and Stevie Wonder.

The work of Apollo Theatre has one peculiarity: they had an executioner. This was a man who, on the basis of the reaction of the audience, drove from the scene those actors who was hated by the audience.

In the 1970s, the theater became a cinema, not popular with viewers. After a complete renovation in 2005, performed by the expense of the State of New York, a theatre received a new life. Today it is visited by over a million viewers per year.

Metropolitan Opera House

Photo: Ben Rimmer

Metropolitan Opera, abbreviated as "Met", is the central musical theater in New York. This is one of the most respected stages of the world, along with Milan's La Scala and the Vienna State Opera.

The opening of the Metropolitan Opera took place in 1883 at the expense of patrons. The old building of the Opera on Broadway was significantly damaged by fire in 1892, but it was quickly restored. Performances continued until 1966, when the building was decided to be demolished. For example, the Metropolitan Opera was in the Upper West Side in Lincoln Center.

Today Opera has a large hall in 3.9 thousand seats. The lobby is decorated with frescoes by marvelous Marc Chagall, sculptures of Maillol and Lehmbruck. There is also an astonishing Portrait Gallery.

Great impresario contributed very much in the theatre development. In every period of its history they made the right choice of the genre. For example, during the German, the Italian opera seasons, they subsequently invited all the leading stars of world music, such popular as Chaliapin, Caruso, Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Anna Netrebko. Maria Callas presented her opera “Norma” at this stage.

About New York

New York City consists of five boroughs, including the famous Manhattan, where most of the local cultural and historical attractions are located. There is also the UN headquarters.

Where to go, what to see in New York?

If you are in NY for the first time, you should definitely look at famous buildings that are located here. For example, the Empire State Building was once one of the tallest skyscrapers in the world (today is the 21st in height). You can admire the panorama of the city from a height of 86-th floor.

Well, each tourist`s trip to New York cannot do without a visit to the Statue of Liberty. It is one of the most important symbols of the American nation. It can be reached by a free ferry, sail past the cruise boat. You can also take pictures of it from Battery Park which is located nearby. Until recently, both the statue itself, and the island on which it is located, were inaccessible to tourists because of the restoration works (the construction suffered in 2012, from Hurricane "Sandy"), but on 4 July 2013 the access to the Statue of Liberty was reopened.

However, the main attractions of New York do not end there. 500-metres long Brooklyn suspension bridge, which once was one of the longest such facilities in the world, is also considered to be a symbol of New York City. It is mentioned in poems and books, as well as filmed in numerous movies.

From what to see in New York tourist who wants to admire not gigantic buildings and natural scenery, Central Park may be advisable. It is planted with hundreds of varieties of trees and shrubs, as well as Bryant Park, one of the most comfortable places in Manhattan. There is a small green area in the East Village - Tompkins Square Park, a popular place among locals and visitors.

For those visitors who need a cultural program, it is necessary to go to Broadway. Here you can see the classic musicals like "Chicago", "The Lion King" and "Phantom of the Opera" and visit the many theaters and museums which are located along this giant (25 km long) street.

If you come with children, you will have a list of what to look necessarily in New York. And be sure to visit a zoo in Central Park (which became known throughout the world thanks to the animated film "Madagascar"), Bronx Zoo, and Children’s Museum and, of course, a huge «FAO Schwarz» toy store.