New York City now receives around 60 million visitors per year. Let that number sink in. It’s like 20% of the total US population, 100% of the UK’s populace, or seven times the number of NYC residents flooding into one spot for vacation. Even spread out across the year, that’s 5 million per month, over a million a week, and some 150,000 visitors per day, on average.
Some have said, “I have to see Paris before I die.” And many share that same sort of sentiment concerning New York. So what’s the attraction? What are the most important reasons why you should visit NYC at least once in your life?
1. To See the Statue of Liberty
You’ve seen it a hundred times before in movies, on TV, in photographs, online, in magazines, or on postcards: now it’s time to see it in the real. How? By getting a ride on a free ferry boat from Battery Park and other harbor departure points. On the ride over, you get incredible views of NY Harbor, passing by the Empire State Building, the World Trade Center, and Brooklyn Bridge, as seen on Liberty Cruise NYC. Ferries depart at 12:30pm, 2pm, and 3:30pm daily, so it’s easy to schedule.
2. To Explore the City by Bus
One of the best ways to quickly hit a large number of NYC’s most important and enduringly popular tourist sites is via a double decker bus tour. You can buy a one-day or multi-day pass and then carve out your own customized route with these “hop on hop off bus tours.” They are cheap, easy to book, safe, fast, and give you a huge bang for your buck.
3. For Breathtaking Views of the City
From a host of skyscrapers and other tall buildings, you can get a panoramic view of parts of New York City. The most renowned views are from the Empire State Building observation deck and from the Chrysler Building. But Freedom Tower and other vantage points also offer you an unforgettable view.
4. The Charm of Central Park
Central Park is one of the largest city parks in the world, and it takes up the bulk of the center of Manhattan, NYC’s most populous borough. At Central Park, you find amazingly lush greenery, diversity of plant and animals species, Central Park Zoo, rocky outcroppings, the famed Strawberry Fields, bike rentals, boat rentals for the park’s fully enclosed ponds, and a number of nearby museums and entertainment stops. A ride on the horse carriages is classic, and you’ll see the police riding by on horseback.
5. Broadway Shows
There are dozens of active theaters operating on Broadway, and you can usually get discounted and affordable tickets to them. The Broadway experience is deeply ingrained into the New York and American psyche, to the extent that even those not generally accustomed to attending sing and dance shows should make an exception and attend. Televised entertainment may be more dominant today, but the classic Broadway tradition lives on!
6. Winter, Christmas, and New Year’s
Ice Skating in Rockefeller Center, seeing the incredible Christmas decorations and lights at Macy’s and elsewhere in the city, and attending the famous New Year’s Eve bash and countdown is reason enough to go to NYC. This aspect depends on the timing, of course, but the sidewalk public swimming pools and Coney Island make summer a blast too.
7. The Food
Last, but certainly not least, go to NYC for the food. New York style pizza, NYC coffee shops, the noodle bars of Little Italy, the famed Magnolia Bakery, and culinary traditions from Mexico, Thailand, India, Vietnam, the Caribbean, and every corner of the globe made New York a foodie’s paradise.