Information & Facts
New York has a humid continental climate, with cold winters and
hot, moist summers. The city's coastal location ensures that
winters are not as cold as inland cities on the same latitude, and
daytime temperatures generally stay above freezing point. Snow is
common in winter, but the amount varies, and winter rain is common.
Spring in New York is pleasantly warm, and the weather heats up to
temperatures of around 80°F to 90°F (25-30°C) by mid-May. Summers
are generally swelteringly hot and humid. The best time to travel
to New York is in autumn, when temperatures are mild, days are
sunny and humidity not too high.
New York City is famous for its roadside vendors selling all
American wholesome goodness such as hotdogs, corndogs, bagels and
donuts, but it is an international affair when dining out. Every
kind of cuisine is on offer and it would take a lifetime to sample
them all. With more than eight thousand restaurants to choose from,
it is difficult to know where to begin.
Head on down to Chinatown for a myriad of options including
restaurants serving Cantonese, Sichuan, and Shanghai cuisine. There
are also a few Chinese restaurants where dim sum is available
throughout the day. Times Square is a popular destination, but the
area is plagued with mediocre chain restaurants. There are however
wonderful eateries to be found beyond the tourist traps. New York's
steakhouses offer a variety of delicious steak options from
porterhouse steak to New York strip steak.
Everything is big in the United States and the pizzas and pizza
pies are no different. With plenty of fantastic pizza and Italian
restaurants around the city, it's a pizza lover's paradise. Many
small pizzerias sell the iconic New York-style pizza at only $1 for
a gigantic slice. Ukrainian, Indian and Japanese cuisine can be
found in the East Village, while Harlem is synonymous with African
and Soul food. Queens offers the most variety with Greek, Irish,
Latin American, Russian, Indian and Kosher fare to tantalise the
New York's public transport system is relatively good and cheap,
including buses and the subway. There are also the ever-present,
although more expensive, yellow cabs. Unlicensed gypsy cabs should
be avoided. It is possible to get around the city using a
combination of these, or simply on foot.
Walking is often the best way to experience the city, and during
rush hours, when buses and taxis are caught up in the gridlock and
the subway is overcrowded or delayed, it can also be the fastest
way to get around. Generally though, the most efficient way to get
around is the 24-hour underground system with most of Manhattan's
sights near subway stations, although it can be confusing at
Much simpler but slower, is the bus system, which is a good
option for shorter distances or for travelling across town. The
subway and bus fare are standard ($2); note that buses require the
exact change in coins, not dollar bills. MetroCards allow free
transfer between buses and the subway within two hours.
Driving in New York is not recommended as traffic is heavy,
drivers aggressive and parking exorbitant.
The bustling city of New York is a great place for children on
vacation. Boasting some of the world's most well-known and
recognisable attractions, the kids will be well entertained. Take
the kids out to Ellis Island to see the Statue of Liberty, or take
them up to the Empire State Building's observation deck where they
can marvel at the panoramic views of this metropolis.
For active children, a stroll through Central Park will give
them plenty of space to stretch their legs and in winter months
don't miss ice skating at the Trump Wollman Rink or Rockefeller
On rainy days why not take the kids to some of the amazing shops
around New York City, such as Toys 'R Us in Times Square, NIKETOWN,
or the wonderfully decadent Dylan's Candy Bar where kids will go
wild at the amount of sugary candies and chocolates available. The
Brooklyn Children's Museum is also worth a visit, as are the New
York Aquarium and Central Park Zoo, both of which are perfect to
visit on rainy days. For warm summer nights, nothing beats a
baseball game at Yankee Stadium, complete with hot dogs and
With so much to see and more, children visiting New York City
will be sure to have a memorable and unforgettable experience and
hopefully, for parents, get tired out from all the sightseeing in
this 'city that never sleeps'.
English is the most common language but Spanish is often
spoken in south-western states.
The US Dollar (USD) is the unit of currency and is divided into
100 cents. Only major banks exchange foreign currency. ATMs are
widespread and credit cards and travellers cheques are widely
accepted. Travellers cheques should be taken in US Dollars to avoid
hassles. Banking hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 3pm.
The nightlife in New York City is second to none. Encompassing
jazz bars, nightclubs, lounges, comedy clubs and live shows,
there's literally something happening around every corner. The
Village, Broadway, Bowery and Madison Square Garden are just a few
of the best destinations for evening entertainment in New York.
As the hub of the jazz world, New York is home to venues such as
55 Bar and Arthur's Tavern. Jazz tours from the Village to Harlem
are also an option, with a stop at the legendary Apollo Theatre. As
the launching pad of comedians such as Jerry Seinfeld, New York has
many comedy shows; catch these at the New York Comedy Club or the
Upright Citizens Brigade Theater. There are always Broadway shows
to be seen, try the Palace or O'Neill theatres for the latest.
Broadways shows are expensive - up to $150 per ticket for
blockbusters. Hence the popularity of the TKTS discount ticket
booth at Times Square. It opens every day at 11am, but the queue
forms well before this. You can pick up last minute tickets for
under 50% of the regular price, depending on what's available. For
the super-flexible theatre goer, visit the booth around 5pm when
there is seldom a queue and last minute prices have dropped even
Nightclubs come and go quickly in New York City, as the fickle
population becomes enamoured with the newest venue, but you can
always be assured that whatever you want, New York will have plenty
of it. 13 Bar/Lounge is a lounge and nightclub offering live music
and poetry readings, Aria dance club features Latin, rock and hip
hop, and the Bowery Ballroom is an Art Deco-style venue with
alternative and indie rock. The Oak Room offers superb cabaret and
the People's Voice Café features live folk music. World-class
performance venues are a dime a dozen in a city that boasts Madison
Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall, Lincoln Centre and Carnegie
Hall, and you can take your pick of ballet, opera, symphony
orchestras, or chamber music.
For up-to-date events information for New York City, pick up a
copy of the Village Voice or Time Out New York.
Visitors to the Big Apple will be blown away by the amount and
calibre of stores in this city. Offering some of the best and most
expensive shopping in the world, 5th Avenue is synonymous with
classy high-end department stores such as Bergdorf's and Saks.
Madison Avenue is known as 'the trendy road' and this haute strip
boasts 15 blocks of celebrity designer shops such as Chanel, Jimmy
Choo and Prada, to name a few. Soho is one of New York's poshest
outdoor malls where cobblestone streets and loft-like spaces make
the Soho a prettier location for a spot of shopping than the
As cosmopolitan as New York may be, visitors on a tighter budget
can still find plenty of bargains at the city's flea markets, which
offer some top quality goods with stores touting designer
knockoffs, antiques, jewellery, curios, thrift wear, home
furnishings and cosmetics. Farmer's Markets are a must for foodies
where they can sample vegetables, meat, dairy, poultry and fish as
well as baked goods, honey, maple syrup, jam and wine.
Chinatown is a shopper's paradise with cheap knockoffs on offer,
and where haggling is common practice. Century 21 is considered
'New York's best kept secret' with over 15 departments of quality
and designer merchandise at 25 to 75 percent off retail prices.
Whether shopping in upscale Madison Avenue or the bargain-friendly
Lower East Side, New York has something to offer everyone.
Popular New York City souvenirs run to tacky tourist
merchendise, you'll be inundated with miniature Statues of Liberty
and the ubiquitous 'I (Heart) NY' gear. Other popular buys include
New York Yankees merchendise and theatrical posters from
With New York's countless attractions, it would take days to see
and do everything this vibrant city has to offer. From iconic
structures such as the Statue of Liberty and Rockefeller Center,
New York is brimming with sights to see. The question is: where to
Anyone who has ever watched a movie set in New York will feel at
home with the recognisable sights, whether looking out over the New
York skyline from the Empire State Building, reading billboards in
Times Square, or strolling through Central Park. Visit the
boroughs, watch a show on Broadway, admire the animals in the
Central Park Zoo, look out for celebrities waving from the windows
of TRL in Times Square, or simply watch the city go by on the
Staten Island Ferry. There is no end of things to see and do in New
For culture-vultures there are wonderful museums to explore,
such as the American Museum of Natural History or the Metropolitan
Museum of Art. Visitors to Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum can make a
video of themselves as Superman flying through New York City and
keep the CD as a souvenir. An easy way to see the sights is to take
a ride on one of New York's topless tour buses. It may not be as
exciting as exploring the city on foot, but it's a great way to
learn and see a lot quickly.