The Big Apple promises a holiday to remember, whether you’re doing a short city break or enjoying an extended stay. New York holidays are the perfect opportunity to enjoy the hustle and bustle of one of the world’s most iconic cities. You’ll be spoilt for choice on the sightseeing front, with historic and cultural landmarks including Grand Central Station, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Statue of Liberty.
World famous buildings dot the city’s skyline, from the Empire State Building to the Chrysler Building. And this is one of the world’s great entertainment capitals. Take in the busy Times Square, catch a Broadway Show or enjoy the countless bars and restaurants.
Shopaholics are spoilt for choice here. Known for its shopping, you can indulge in retail therapy at one of several areas, including Madison Avenue, Fifth Avenue, Times Square and the Lower East Side. Let’s not forget that New York is also home to the famous Bloomingdale’s (in Manhattan’s Upper East Side) and Macy’s, which spans a full city block and has 11 shopping floors.
There’s no bad time to visit New York. A holiday in summer means you can enjoy the hot weather, while the snowy winters often appeal to those seeking an almost festive feeling winter break.
There’s something going on in New York all the time. Here’s just a sample:
Then there is of course Christmas in December. Christmas is an amazing time to visit New York, for the atmosphere, decorations and shopping. If you are in New York for Christmas, stay for New Years Eve where you can bring in the New Year in style.
No matter what time you decide to visit, New York is packed full of places to go and things to do. Central Park is fantastic all year round. The 843 acres of land are filled with nature, views, and activities. You can wander through the grounds, see the Conservatory Garden, have a paddle in the lake, go to the zoo, or even cross the infamous Bow Bridge.
Shopping in New York needs to be experienced at least once in a lifetime. You could either go during fashion week, or keep it indie and visit some of the eclectic boutiques in SoHo. You can end the day with a Broadway show. There are some fantastic musicals and plays on where you can see Hollywood stars flexing their acting muscles on the stage. There are lots of free activities too take advantage of too, such as being an audience member during the taping of a live television show.
There are hotels to suit every taste and budget in New York, from luxury hotels with spas, long-stay hotels, to hostels. For more information about the hotels available from Travelbag, click here.
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Few destinations can surely capture the imagination like New York does. A city so brimming with iconic landmarks, round-the-clock activity and unmistakable character that no-one comes away without a story to tell and a renewed twinkle in their eye.
Where to start? Come to New York and you’ll crane your neck at supersized skyscrapers, dodge yellow cabs in Times Square, go for a run in Central Park, tap your feet to a Broadway musical, gaze across a mesmerising cityscape from the Empire State, eat like a local in a lively Manhattan deli, burn the credit card on Fifth Avenue, party till the sun comes up in Hell’s Kitchen...
There is a reason why there is such a thing as the ‘New York Minute’... With so much to do and so much to see, time really does appear to move faster.
Key Highlights of New York
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An iconic city with an awe-inspiring skyline, a plethora of landmarks and the world famous Broadway, New York City is a popular destination complete with character and buzz. The powerful city is the largest in the United States of America and has an impact on much of the world. The urban jungle is so impressive that people flock there whether it is the cold winter months or in the heat of summer. But, when descending on the city, what do you need to pack?
Start with a couple of pairs of comfortable shoes. Keep in mind the weather when you are going to see if you need boots or whether trainers are appropriate. Jeans should be added, and if it is spring through autumn then look to take light layers to add or remove over the course of a day.
While you don’t need to be overly smart, keep casual garments to a minimum as they aren’t particularly versatile; a couple of pairs of shorts and t-shirts is plenty. In the evening, a shirt, trousers and jacket are more than enough for most restaurants and remember to pack something smart if you are heading to Broadway in the evening.
In the winter, be sure to carry things like hat, gloves, scarf, warm coat and an umbrella (the latter whatever the season) and as the seasons change you can tone down as the weather improves before dropping again in late October.
The Big Apple sees a significant fluctuation between temperatures over the course of a year. January and February kick it off with near freezing conditions; it will be cold and wet, with highs of 1 or 2ºC and dropping as low as -5ºC before wind chill. This can be cheapest time to travel.
It begins to warm up in March when you can see highs of 6ºC and that continues into April (which can sometimes enjoy a ‘heatwave’). The spring of May and June is probably the ideal time to visit New York City before it gets hot and humid in July and August. This lasts until the temperature drops in October ahead of the festive period.
by Lauren Dall
New York City is one of those rare destinations that you can never get sick of. From the shopping to the museums and galleries, there is always something new to see, and somewhere new to explore. If you’re visiting the city during the winter, prepare for low temperatures and dramatic weather, but despite the chill, New York looks magical. From the awe-inspiring window displays at Bergdorfs and Saks to the tree at Rocafeller centre, the city is no doubt one of the best places to visit during the festive season.
Since I tend to stay uptown when I visit, my favourite place to start mornings in New York are nestled in the window seats of Sant Ambroeus. It’s an Upper East Side stalwart which offers some of the city’s best espresso alongside some great people watching opportunities. As you enjoy one of their breakfast offerings (my choice tends to be the Salmone Affumicato) you can plan your day as well as enjoy the glamour of the old-school restaurant.
Shopping in the city is something of a no brainer. No matter what you’re after, there are so many incredible department and independent stores which will cater to your every whim. If I’m looking for some incredible skincare, I head to CAP Beauty at 238 W 10th St which stocks the most incredible selection of natural beauty offerings; if I’m looking to treat myself though, I always head to New York Vintage at 117 W 25th St. The store is like something out of your dreams, and has even dressed Michelle Obama from its range which includes vintage gems from names like Chanel and Gucci. If you’re after something slightly more affordable, or need to stock up on Christmas cards, or even next year’s calendar, a trip to Mrs. John L. Strong’s stationery atelier is a must. Zip up the to the fifth floor of 699 Madison Avenue, and you can peruse the showroom which has catered to the needs of everyone from Wallis Simpson to Marilyn Monroe.
If a trip to a gallery is what you’re after, winter is the best time to visit. The Neue Galerie at 1048 5th Avenue is an often overlooked stop, but is an absolute sanctuary from both the weather and the crowds. Head upstairs to marvel at Gustav Klimt’s masterpiece Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer (it is the centrepiece of recent Helen Mirren film Lady in Gold) and the sheer spectacle of the work is really something to behold. The gallery itself is devoted to early twentieth-century German and Austrian art and design, and holds a collection which is unrivalled. Downstairs you can also find the cosiest of Austrian tearooms. Bedecked in wood panelling and illuminated with copious chandeliers, it’s the perfect place to refuel with a hot chocolate before venturing back out into the city.
Just a few blocks down from the Neue Galerie is New York icon the Metropolitan Museum of Art. For me, it’s not a real trip without spending at least an hour or two exploring the galleries and learning about everything from the Impressionists to Ancient Egypt! The sheer scale of the building means that tackling it in a single visit is nigh on impossible, but you really must see the Temple of Dendur as well as the Christmas Tree in the Medieval Sculpture Hall. If you're visit falls on the 19th or 20th of December, you’re in luck, as the Met has a special screening of Charlie Brown’s Christmas accompanied by the Rob Schwimmer Trio. Tickets are priced from $45 and include museum entry.
If all of the culture has worn you out, New York is home to some serious world class salons, which are just perfect for taking a couple of hours to yourself and escaping from the crowds. One of my favourites has to be tenoverten in Tribeca a nail salon which feels like a members’ only club. Hidden on the second floor of 112 Reade Street, you’re led up by a neon sign which brings you to a complete haven of earth tones, a rainbow of polishes and chilled music. If you want your hair done though, you can’t get better than Oscar Blandi at 545 Madison Avenue. A huge, light, bright and airy salon with views to kill for, everything from highlights to blow outs are expertly catered for by Oscar’s expert staff.
Choosing where to head for dinner can feel a like a real task, but New York’s temperatures call for something seriously comforting. Uptown, my pick is Serafina on 1022 Madison Avenue. Head upstairs where the pizza oven is blazing and order the Tartufo Nero pizza. It’s the best cheese pizza you’ll ever taste - robiola and fontina cheese are bubbling and golden, and the pizza is topped with truffle oil and black truffle. It’s a wonderfully decadent treat which has to be tasted to be believed! Downtown, you must head into The Meatball Shop at 64 Greenwich Avenue. A tiny gem of a restaurant, where you can squeeze into one of the few tables cluttering the centre and enjoy the buzzing atmosphere and generous portions. Whether you fancy yours with spaghetti or on a roll, just tick off your choice on the menu using one of their dry erase markers, and enjoy the ultimate meatballs washed down with one of their classic cocktails. After all, it is Christmas!
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