About New York City
New York, the epicenter of incredible art and architecture, trending fashion, crazy nightlife, buzzing culinary, bustling streets, and iconic landmarks, is the trendsetter city of the world. Composed of five boroughs- Brooklyn, The Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island, the visit here can prove overwhelming for even the locals living here. However, we have jotted down a complete New York City travel guide for you. Scroll down to know more about the city before planning a trip.
With a dizzying list of museums devoted to everything from fin de siecle Vienna to Medieval European treasure, with iconic Brooklyn Bridge to its 19,000 restaurants reflecting the culinary tradition of all cultures around the world, visiting NYC could be overwhelming for even a seasoned traveler. You could spend months exploring NYC, yet there will be a lot to explore.
With a population of 8,177,025, New York City is the largest and most highly populated city in the United States. Furthermore, it is the nation’s most densely populated city of all municipalities. The borough of Manhattan itself has a population density of 72,918 inhabitants per square mile, making it the most populated county in the U.S. and higher than the density of any American city.
New York City is the most densely populated city in the US, nestled at the congregation of the Hudson River and the Atlantic Ocean. NYC is bordered by Canada and Lake Ontario in the north, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, the Atlantic Ocean in the south, Lake Erie in the west, and Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Vermont in the east. It is located at an elevation of 300 meters above sea level and covers 141,300 square kilometers.
New York City’s history began around 10,000 BC when the first people arrived. However, the native Americans came to the city about 5,000 years ago and settled their colonies here.
In 1624, the Dutch from the Netherlands settled their colony in New Amsterdam, which is now popularly known as Manhattan Island. NYC was renamed in 1664 when the British took over the area and named the city after the Duke of York and Albany, brother of King Charles II.
Furthermore, it played a pivotal role during the American Revolution in 1776 and became a US state in 1788 and became the capital of the US. One year later, George Washington was sworn in as the first president of the United States in New York.
The majority of New Yorkers are Christian (60%), followed by irreligious (27%), Judaism (7%), Islam (2%), Hinduism, and Buddhism (1%). The largest Christian denomination in NYC is the Roman Catholic Church (31%). Although NYC has been a home to immigrants for ages, Christianity is the major New York religion here.
New York is considered the ‘cultural capital of the world’, thanks to diverse New York culture and multi-ethnic population. The city boasts some of the significant American cultural movements that first took place here. New York is home to many Irish, Italian, Jewish, Asian, and Hispanic Americans who emigrated to this incredible city during the 20th century.
Over 20 million people live in New York, speaking over 800 languages in New York. New York has a rich history of immigration on the country’s coast.
However, English still tops the chart, and the 2019 U.S Census Bureau reported almost 70% of the New York population over the age of 5 speaks English. With 15.9%, Spanish is the second most spoken language in New York.
Furthermore, 1,587,798 residents speak Indo-European languages, and 948,949 residents speak Asian and Pacific islander languages.
The official currency of New York is U.S. Dollar ($, US$, USD).
New York comprises five boroughs- Brooklyn, The Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island. The city is run by The New City Council, which is a unicameral body of 51 members and a Mayor. Each council member is elected from a geographic district for four-year terms.
The mayor is the chief executive officer of the city, who is responsible for setting the agenda for the town and its finances. Along with the mayor, an independently elected Public Advocate represents the consumers of the city service. An independently elected Comptroller is also appointed, who manages the city’s finance.
The New York City climate features a variety of humid subtropical climates, with parts of the city transitioning into humid continental climates. Although NYC experiences cool, wet winters and hot, humid summers, it can be prone to extremes. Being on a coastal location and exposed to the Atlantic, NYC witnesses strong winds and heavy snowfall.
When to Go New York City
The honest answer to ‘When to go’ would be ‘Ánytime’. New York is an all-year-round city, and each season beautifies the city in its way. ‘However, if you want to explore the city in its prime, then plan your trip from April to October, when the weather is pleasant.
If you are visiting New York from another country for 90 days for tourism, business, and medical purposes, an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) is required. You have to apply for ESTA at least 3 days before your scheduled departure.
Due to Covid-19, there are some travel restrictions in New York. Hence, read the updated government guidelines before applying for a visa.
If you belong to one of the 38 countries part of the Visa Waiver Program, you can apply for ESTA. However, the purpose of your visit to NYC should be tourism, business, or medical. For other purposes, the eligibility criteria would be different.
For a trip to New York for 90 days, ESTA is the quickest and easiest way to get travel permission. However, check your ESTA eligibility criteria before applying for a B1 and B2 visa.
B1 Business Visa: If you are going to the US for a business meeting or conference.
B2 Tourist Visa: If you are traveling to the US for tourism.
While applying for a visa, the first step is to complete the DS-160 form. Once you submit it online, schedule an interview at the US embassy or consulate in your country. You will need some documents to present at the interview.
The city offers a good range of hotels to its guests. New York City has over 700 hotels and 138,000 rooms operating in the city. From luxury hotels to affordable B&Bs, New York accommodates all kinds of guests. Find out some of the best hotels to check-in in this city in our New York City Travel Guide.
When in the US, call 911 in case of any emergency. In addition, New York has a good number of public and private hospitals. Below are the emergency contact numbers of services in New York.
New York Presbyterian Hospital
Address: New York Metropolitan Area, New York, United States
NYU Langone Hospital
Address: 550 1st Ave, New York, United States
Contact: +1 646 929 7800
- Dress Code
The best part of traveling to New York is, well, there’s no dress code. You can dress whatever you like, from classic chick to punk or whatever suits you.
However, it is better to check in with the restaurants, clubs, or bars if they have any specific dress code before visiting them.
NYC has some of the best bars, clubs, and breweries globally, where anyone above the age of 21 can go. Maintain your social etiquette and don’t create chaos in public.
Although tipping is your choice, New Yorkers always tip at 15%-20% of your total bill in cash. While ordering a drink, a $1 tip to the bartender would be appreciable.
Public photography is considered legal in NYC. Public Place is where most New York photographers are taking pictures, and it is one of the popular things to do in New York City. Even subways are considered public space. As a photographer, you have the right to take pictures of the subject as long as you are in public space. However, taking photos in a private establishment is strictly prohibited until given permission.
New York City comprises 5 boroughs- Manhattan, Brooklyn, The Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island, each with a large number of neighborhoods lending their own local flavor. Here’s a quick look at the five boroughs of NYC:
If Brooklyn Bridge is the first thing that comes to your mind, you should know this borough of NYC has more to offer. From Brooklyn Heights Promenade, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Brooklyn Museum, and Coney Island, the borough is home to some of the iconic tourist spots of New York.
Manhattan is the most densely populated and the most popular borough of NYC, and it is considered the world’s major financial, commercial, and cultural epicenter. Home to prominent Broadway and Times Square, Manhattan is a promising neighborhood to explore.
- The Bronx
The Bronx is known for Yankee Stadium, the home field of the Yankees baseball team, and it is also known for its hip-hop culture and Bronx Zoo, home to hundreds of animal species. Visit Arthur Avenue, known among the locals as little Italy, to relish authentic Italian delicacies.
Perched on the Long Island across the East River from Manhattan, Queens is known for its diversity, and queens are home to Flushing Meadows Corona Park, which hosts the annual U.S. Open Tennis Tournament.
- Staten Island
Staten Island is the greenest borough of NYC and is connected to lower Manhattan via ferry. The Staten Island Zoo is home to kangaroos, birds of prey, and snakes. It has a fascinating maritime history, and its beaches, parklands, and preserved colonial villages attract a large number of tourists from across the globe.
Exploring New York
Museum and Cultural Tour
The choices are nearly endless when it comes to NYC’s museums, art, and culture. Museum tours are a popular activity in New York. There are over 5000 years of art history with a collection of stone age objects and contemporary art in the Metropolitan Museum.
So, while visiting NYC, consider choosing the cultural and theme tour of the city. From world-class museums spanning from the Upper East Side to the Lower East Side, the boroughs of NYC are dedicated to several museums and art galleries.
Top Museums and Art Galleries
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Rubin Museum of Art
Van Gogh Museum
New York Sightseeing
Statue of Liberty
Empire State Building
New York Food and Wine Tour
High End Dining
The best way to experience New York’s culinary lifestyle is to take a culinary & wine tour of the city. New York offers a host of novel dining options and boasts over 19,000 eateries, and New York is abuzz with some of the finest restaurants serving off-beaten delicacies and wine.
New York gets alive when darkness arrives. Who doesn’t want to experience the city’s pulsing nightlife that never sleeps? Most bars offer Happy Hours from 4 pm to 8 pm, when you can snag one of those cocktails you have always wanted to try.
New York organizes some of the best and most exciting Food fairs and Wine tours, where you can relish the authentic cuisines of the USA and taste the finest wine from California’s Napa Valley. Book one such tour and embark on a culinary voyage.
However, before visiting these public places, check the latest travel restrictions in New York.