AN EXCITING destination with high energy and diversity, New York has been on the bucket list for millions of people around the world. Aside from providing perfect backdrops for blockbuster movies, there is something incredible about the city that you can’t find anywhere else, like an invisible magnet which pulls you to explore every district, neighborhood and attraction.
The Big Apple
New York City is literally a concrete jungle full of unlimited skyscrapers, radio towers and multinational office buildings. It has been described as the financial and media capital of the world. It is a global power city that plays a role in shaping America’s international economy.
NYC, a city with an unending list of things to do, see, and eat, with so little time! To avoid the hassle, I recommend getting a New York sightseeing pass as it gives you access to almost all of the attractions the city has to offer. There are many options and themes, so you can tailor an itinerary to your own pace, weave through museums and skip the queues, plus it saves you money and time. Since I had three days, my main goal was to venture beyond the city’s vicinity.
Manhattan is the prominent business district in the county. Most of the tourist spots are saturated at this part of the metropolis. Here you can find massive skyscrapers and plenty of media outlets scattered around the area. On Wall Street, you will immediately spot the mighty charging bull, a huge bronze sculpture which is a symbol of market optimism and prosperity. Located right in front of the New York Stock Exchange, it’s always mobbed by tourists waiting for their turn to rub various parts of the bull for good luck.
Another rising attraction is the billion-dollar train station known as the Oculus. On the outside, this super modern architectural landmark resembles the wings of a bird, inspiring love and hope in the city. It is also a huge shopping complex that houses top luxury brands, so while you wait for your train, you can shop ‘til you drop!
Times Square, nicknamed the crossroads of the world, is the most-visited pedestrian street in the world. It was and still is featured in countless movies as the main scene, whether fictionally attacked, destroyed or where happy endings happen. But in reality, it’s a bustling hub full of gastronomical pleasures and entertainment.
Crossing the busy street to the theater district, I could see familiar scenes once I set foot on the pedestal. I was welcomed by blinding neon signs, towering digital billboards, and glitzy Broadway marquees. It felt like I entered a movie set, the feeling was so surreal! Now I know why this place is always on top of everyone’s bucket list.
One of the most recognizable events held here is the NYC New Year’s Eve ball, where every year, thousands of people gather to watch a six-ton crystal ball light up the sky. When it drops, confetti fills the air, containing wishes and positive messages to ring in the New Year.
Part of the sightseeing pass is free entrance to Coney Island, New York’s legendary amusement park district. Although it is located at the far end of the city, it didn’t disappoint. My pass also included free entrance to Luna Park, home of the iconic cyclone roller coaster and wonder wheel recently featured in a Marvel film. The entire island is an amusement park and everywhere is Instagram-worthy.
For those who want to avoid the unruly crowd, a stroll on the beach boardwalk away from the carnivalesque setting will surely ease the mood. Hungry? Never leave without sampling Nathan’s original hotdog, the most famous in town.
Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island
To get to these places, a ferry boat shuttles from downtown Manhattan to these islands every hour. From Battery Park, the first stop is Liberty Island, the true icon of the city, with Lady Liberty on top, a symbol of freedom and opportunity for millions of overseas immigrants throughout the years. A visit here will set you back the whole morning or afternoon, but it’s one of the most satisfying places to see. On my bucket list was to have a selfie with the lady in green up close.
Ellis Island is home to a museum dedicated to shed light on the history of immigration. It was an interesting subject because it gave me insight on how men and women of the past went through staggering lengths to find better life on American soil. Every traveller must pass immigration to be permitted to stay in the mainland and eventually become a citizen of the United States.
Looking back there is absolutely no limit to how many attractions you can visit, with the NYC pass as your ticket to unlimited free entrances and a means to fast track your way into the busiest attractions.
If you enjoy the fast-paced life and sleepless nights, then welcome to New York, a world-class haven for anyone in their lifetime.