7 Amazing Attractions in New York City

With a reputation as one of the most exciting and diverse cities in the United States, it should come as no surprise that New York City is an incredibly popular holiday destination. Whether you are interested in historical landmarks, incredible nightlife, vibrant culture or fascinating museums, there is no other city quite like the Big Apple. Here are the seven attractions you won’t want to miss in New York whether you’re travelling solo or with your family. Check out Virgin Holidays for the latest offers and deals.

Statue of Liberty

This iconic structure is located just off the coast of Manhattan and serves as beacon of hope and inspiration for the American people and local residents of the city. Boat tours take you from Manhattan directly to the statue and even allow for tours inside. 

Wall Street

Anyone with an interest in the banking, finance and the economics of the country should visit the infamous Wall Street in Manhattan. Of special note is the New York Stock Exchange, a destination that can be toured with advance booking. 

Brooklyn Bridge

Although most visitors stay in Manhattan when exploring New York City, a short walk or drive over the Brooklyn Bridge allows you to take in some incredible views as well as the opportunity to pass from lower Manhattan straight into the heart of Downtown Brooklyn, an area known for culture, diversity and affordable cuisine.

Fifth Avenue

Where shopping is concerned, there is no question about what location in the city is best. Fifth Avenue is a large street full of shops, bars, restaurants and attractions. Stroll through at night in order to see the neon signs and flashing displays of billboards, television studios and attractions.

Metropolitan Museum of Art

As one of the largest and most famous art museums in the world, it should not be surprising that the Metropolitan Museum of Art, or the Met as it is called by locals, appears on this list. You’ll find the Gothic Revival building located in Central Park. The museum boasts works by world famous artists from Europe, Asia and beyond.

Chinatown

This exciting neighbourhood was founded at the end of the 19th century and has become a bustling place of industry in the city. The best way to see Chinatown is on foot, which will allow visitors to view the small shops located in alleyways, the traditional restaurants and the cultural art for sale.

Empire State Building

New York City is famed for its impressive skyline, and one of the tallest and most accessible skyscrapers is the Empire State Building. Visitors can take an elevator to the top of the building located between 34th Street and Fifth Avenue to see some of the best views in the entire city. The truly adventurous can take the Empire State Challenge of climbing the steps all the way to the observation deck.

Alternative London

London has much more to offer than just Buckingham Palace and the London Eye. Big Ben and double decker buses make for great tourist photos, but there is a vibrant and dynamic side to London beyond the throngs of tourists and expensive shopping malls.

London Eye
[Photo by urban_83_piqs_de]

1: Soho

Soho is a small district right in the centre of London, which encompasses some of it’s most famous landmarks; notably Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square and famed 60s shopping area Carnaby Street. There is still a red light district in the area and the nightlife is always wild and exciting. Soho has a large gay and lesbian community, not to mention the many theatres and bars that cater to a more open minded, less traditional crowd. Clothing shops are here in abundance, not to mention a number of independent record shops, for those that like the feel of vinyl records.

2: Shoreditch

Long considered one of the poorer neighbourhoods in London, Shoreditch has undergone a dramatic regeneration over the last decade, as many thousands of artists and other creative types moved to the area in search of cheap accommodation. With such a dramatic influx of young artists, the area was rapidly transformed into the hip place it is today.  If you’re in need of an outfit to go out in any part of London, erento.co.uk lets you rent classy clothing so that you’ll look the part.

3: Camden

One of the most diverse districts in London, Camden Town offers a large market place and many clothing and record stores. Camden is especially well-known for it’s music scene, and on any given night you’ll be treated to all kinds of music, from Jazz to Rock to Electronic, and anything in between. The market area itself actually consists of six separate markets and focus on everything from food to fashion, arts and crafts and all kinds of bizarre trinkets that you’ll be hard pressed to find anywhere else in the world.

London Parliament
[Photo by Inessa Podushko_pixelio.de]

7 Attractions to Visit while in London

If you happen to be going to London for the Summer Olympics and are looking for flights to London, there are still some flights available, but the seats are going fast. While you are in London, there are many exciting attractions that you should visit to make your trip complete. London is rich in history and culture, offering many architectural marvels as well as museums and scenic tours. While you are visiting the UK, here are seven attractions you should see in the city of London.

1.) Royal Academy of Arts
If you enjoy modern art, visit one of the most popular art centers in London when you step into the Royal Academy of Arts. This privately funded museum was built in 1768 by King George III to showcase the prominent artists of the day. It has continued as a forum to display the works of English artists as well as others.

2.) National Gallery
The National Gallery is the place to go if you want to see works from great artists like Van Gogh, Raphael, Rembrandt, Degas and more. The gallery houses paintings and artwork that date back to the 13th Century, providing a great look into the history of London and the UK.

3.) Hyde Park
As the largest public park in the city of London, Hyde Park covers over 350 acres with nearby Kensington Gardens covering another 270 acres. The park was created in 1637 and was the site of the 1851 Great Exhibition in London. The park also features the Diana, Princess of Wales memorial.

4.) Tower of London
Built by William the Conqueror in 1088, the tower was built as a defense for the city. Over the years it has served as not only a defensive structure, but also a prison, museum, a palace and more. The Tower of London currently houses many of London’s historic artifacts including the crown jewels.

5.) Spencer House
Built in 1756 for the first Earl Spencer, the Spencer House is one of London’s historic structures. The Spencer House is just a few minutes from Buckingham Palace and is the only private palace in the city from the 18th century that still exists intact. The grounds also include a restored 18th century garden that is open to the public.

6.) Big Ben
As one of London’s most well known landmarks, Big Ben was built in 1859 after the original houses of Parliament were destroyed in a fire. The new Parliament building including the tower of Big Ben, when it was suggested that the new structure include a central clock for the town.

7.) Buckingham Palace
As the official residence of the British monarchy, Buckingham Palace is the most well known landmark in England. Built in 1837, the palace is a working building, much like the White House is to the United States. Buckingham Palace has been the scene of many historic events and celebrations with a total of 775 individual rooms. The palace also houses many amazing pieces of art and furnishings.

10 Activities for Families in New York

As one of the largest cities in the world, New York City is teeming with fun and exciting destinations for family holidays. While there are almost too many choices to list, here are ten family-friendly options.

The Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum is a great family destination in New York City. The Intrepid is housed within the historic USS Intrepid, a decommissioned Essex-class aircraft carrier. The museum celebrates aviation and naval technology, and is also the new home of one of the four space shuttles, the Enterprise.

The New York Aquarium will give families a taste of the ocean. Its many exhibits include sea lions, jellyfish, octopuses and more. Children will love touching sea stars and horseshoe crabs in the Explore the Shore exhibit. Parents and children alike will delight as they watch sting rays glide over a stunning coral reef in the Conservation Hall.

All family holidays to New York City should include a trip to the Statue of Liberty. The colossal copper statue, a gift of friendship from France, watches over New York Harbor from Liberty Island. Families can sometimes climb through the statue and see the world through Lady Liberty’s eyes.

No visit to New York City would be complete without seeing a Broadway musical. The many theaters and world-class shows featured on Broadway make New York City the musical theater capital of the world. There are many family-friendly shows performing every night, so there is no excuse not to take in at least one musical while in the city.

Central Park is one of the iconic features of New York City. Central Park covers more than 840 acres in the heart of the city and is one of the world’s greatest urban parks. The park contains four lakes, a museum, a zoo, expansive green spaces, and extensive walking trails.

The American Museum of Natural History, located across the street from Central Park, is one of the premier museums in the world. Children will find many exciting exhibits here, including dinosaur skeletons and meteorites.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, sitting within Central Park, is one of the largest art museums in the world. The Met offers drop-in programs for children and parents, and also suggests exhibits that are popular with children.

Families visiting New York can also watch one of the city’s many professional sports teams. There’s always at least one sport active in New York City. Take in a baseball game at Yankee Stadium, watch a football game at MetLife stadium, or sit courtside for a basketball game at Madison Square Gardens.

The New York Hall of Science is an engaging destination for any family outing in New York City. The Hall offers many hands-on exhibits to teach visitors about science. Children can learn all about science while exploring the more than 450 exhibits.

After a day of sightseeing, children will delight in FAO Schwarz. One of the largest and most famous toy stores in the world, FAO Schwarz features unique toys and life-size stuffed animals and dolls.