New York City, Manhattan, NY, USA.
Hotel and Motel accommodation in New York
Discount hotel rooms and
accommodation in motels in America is easy to find. Many of these chains have hotels and motels in New York's Manhattan area. There are many good quality Motel chains like Accor, Bas Hotels, Baymont Inns, Best Western, Budget Host, Clarion Inn, Comfort Inn, Country Hearth Inn, Courtyard by Marriott, Crown Plaza, Days Inn, Econolodge, Embassy Suites, Fairfield Inn, Four seasons, Hampton Inn, Hilton, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Homewood suites, Howard Johnson, Hyatt, Inter-continental, Key West Inns, La Quinta, Loews Hotel, Marriot, Motel 6, Hikko, Novotel, Quality Inn, Radisson, Ramada, Red Lion, Red roof inn, Sheraton, Staybridge Suites, Super 8, Swissotel, Travelodge, W Hotels,Westin Hotels
Getting to New York from JFK
Take a Yellow CAB. They are on a fixed price of about $50.00. If there are four of you this is very good value. DO NOT get a yellow cab back to the Airport. They are not on a fixed price journey and you are charged what is on the meter. As there are normally long traffic jams this can cost over $100.00. Ask your hotel to order you a limousine to take you back to the airport. They charge a fixed rate of about $50.00. You would think that the subway would be cheaper and quicker but you would be wrong. The Airport train that connects to the Subway costs $5.00. The travel card into Manhattan costs about $10.00. The total is about $15.00 per person. For four people that is $60.00. Four two people that is $30.00. A Yellow cab will take you to the door of your hotel and it is air conditioned. The New York Subway is not suitcase friendly. You will find it very very difficult to get through the barriers. The subway is like a sweatbox. When you get to your destination you will have to drag you bags up the stairs and then walk through the crowded New York streets to your hotel. My advice. Take a yellow cab.
Some of the local Airport Hotels are cheaper than those in Manhattan. They are ideal if you are on a stop over and have an early flight out of New York. Make sure that they offer a free hotel shuttle bus. That makes them even more affordable. If you want to go into Manhattan get a yellow cab to a Subway station. Do not walk as the area around the Airport is not one of the most desirable. If there is a group of you take the hotel’s shuttle bus back to the airport and then take a fixed price Yellow cab into Manhattan. To get back walk into any hotel and order a fixed price Limousine. Wait in their bar.
If you are in a group of four always take a yellow cab. The subway is not pleasant to use but if you are on your own or there are only two of you get an 'unlimited ride' Metrocard called a fun-pass, which is about $7 and is valid for one day. Ask at the station booth for a free MTA subway map. When you get down on a platform in Manhattan one side will be for Express trains and the other for Local trains. A LOCAL train always stop at every station. They are slower. An EXPRESS train is faster since it skips stations. Express trains only stop at stations that are shown as white dots on the MTA Subway maps. The local trains stop at whit dot and black dot stations. To find out which way the subway is going just look for the name last stop. Do not have a loud conversation that will let everyone know you're a tourist, you can get followed, and mugged. Uptown is North Downtown is South. If you get on the wrong platform you have to go back up to street level and cross the road and come down the stairs on the other side.
TIPPING and stuff
Remember that what you see on the price tag will not be what you pay at the cash till as they will add 8.25% sales tax. Tipping give 15 - 20 % A good guide to how much to pay is to double the tax. Look at your bill before paying as some cafes like to try and trick tourists. Wear sunscreen and drink plenty of water. Do not look like a tourist. Keep wallets in FRONT pocket or in zipped bags. Make sure purses and backpacks are closed and if possible hold them in front of you
WALL ST/STATUE OF LIBERTY/ELLIS ISLAND
You MUST get here early. Aim to arrive at the ticket office at 08.00am. If you leave it later the queue goes around the park and can take over two hours. Get off the A train at Broadway and Nassau Street Station. Walk down Nassau Street passing the Federal Reserve bank, Chase Manhatten bank, The Equitable building, walk west down Wall Street (take photos of road sign) and pass the New York Stock Exchange. Wall Street itself took its name from a small wooden defence wall the Dutch built in 1653 to mark the northern limit of New Amsterdam. Turn left at Broadway and head south towards Battery Park.
The 21-acre Battery Park is named for the cannons built to defend residents after the American Revolution. Walk through Battery Park to Castle Clinton national Monument, where you purchase boat tickets. The Castle was built in 1811 to defend Manhattan from the British. Once an island but now part of lower Manhattan due to a landfill. It has been used for many things over the years, including a concert hall, a processing centre for immigrants and an aquarium. It is now where the ticket office for the Statue of Liberty Ferry tours is located. It just looks like a round brick building. Boats start at 8:30am until 5:00pm Costs: Round Trip ferry tickets cost $10.00 for adults. You can save time by booking the tickets on-line. You go to a pre-booked ticket desk inside the fort. Do not wait at the normal ticket booths. There is no admission fee for Liberty and Ellis Island. The Staten Island Ferry leaves from the pier to the left of the park (when you are looking out to sea)
Ellis Island is a symbol of America's immigrant heritage. More than 70% of immigrants landed in New York, the country's largest port. First and second class passengers were processed on board ship, but third or steerage class were ferried to Ellis Island when they underwent medical and legal examinations in the Main Building. The museum contains three floors of self guided exhibits and audio/visual displays detailing the history of immigration processing station between 1892 and 1954. You can tour the Great Hall where immigrant legal and medical inspections took place. Be sure to view the artefacts on display: baggage, immigrant clothing and costumes, passports, steamer and railroad tickets, ship passenger manifests, etc.
- some of the cheapest New York tourist T shirts and sweat shirts can be found on the stalls in Battery Park. They are the same ones you see in the shops but a lot cheaper.
Now walk back through the park to Bowling Green Subway Station. Take the 6 train uptown (signed Pelham Bay Park). Get off at Canal St Station. Walk east down canal street six blocks. Turn right down Mott Street. You are now in China town. Walk for three blocks until you hit Worth Street. Turn right. Take the next right called Mulberry Street and keep walking north. As you pass Canal Street again China Town will start to become Little Italy.
New York City’s Chinatown is very disappointing. It is not as attractive as other American city China Towns. Food tip: Step into one of the many Chinese delis and ask for sticky sweet rice cakes. They are white, cut in squares, soft, and gooey. bargains on clothing and leather are plentiful. The Canal Street (J, M, Z, N, R, 6, Q, W) station will get you to the heart of the action. Go down Canal Street, Mott Street, Bowery Street, Mulberry Street. Make sure you bargain just like you would if you were in a Hong Kong market!
North of Canal Street is Little Italy. There are some good restaurants but the area is very disappointing. To the south is China Town. Mulberry St. is the main strip from Spring Street to Canal Street..
When you hit the junction with Spring Street turn left and walk 5 blocks. Turn right up Greene Street. You are now in
Located right next door to Greenwhich Village SoHo, the Manhattan neighborhood SOuth of HOuston St, has the world's largest collection of cast-iron facades. This construction technique not only reduced cost but allowed for ornate features to be prefabricated in foundries from moulds and used as building facades. Have a look at the shops and you will notice that they are very open plan without columns or walls supporting the roof. This is was one of the first places this construction technique was used. SoHo is on the site of the first free black community on the Island. This area was settled in 1664 by former slaves who were granted land for farms. During the 19th century SoHo became an industrial area with many cast-iron commercial and warehouse buildings. Soho was threatened with demolition in the 1960s until the cast-iron buildings were saved by artist who begun to move into these lofts as the rents were low. In the 60s, painters and sculptors were attracted by the lofts or old warehouses with huge spaces The area became very trendy. Rents went up. Exclusive art galleries opened soon, followed by restaurants and shops. Some of the best cast-iron buildings can be found on Greene Street. Also a famous sight in Soho are the fire stairs outside the houses (although you can find them also in other districts). Many of the old buildings have iron and steel frames which allows them to be built with fewer interior beams. This gives many of the interior spaces a more open and spacious feel. As a result, many artists began to buy them up in the sixties and still today some of the coolest lofts in the city are here. Walk into any of the galleries housed within to see the spacious interior lofts. 420 Broadway was where Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol exhibited they paintings in New York in the 1960’s. Harry Houdini worked as a tile cutter nearby until he became famous. Lots of chic bars stores and restaurants followed the galleries. Fashionable places to eat and drink is what SoHo is about.
In Greene Street at the next junction turn right down Princes Street. Walk 2 blocks and turn left into Broadway. Go down the Broadway Lafayette Street Subway Station. Take the S,V,6, (local, not express) train uptown, Get off at West 4 Street, Washington Square Station
The ‘Village’ is from Broadway west to the Hudson River, bordered by Houston Street to the south and 14th Street to the north. Serpentine Bleecker Street stretches through most of the neighbourhood. Washington Square and its arch is the heart of the Village. As soon as you get out of the subway station you know you have arrived at a different district of New York. The first thing you notice is that the High-rise office tower blocks have disappeared. You will find quaint side streets and stunning historic brownstone. (St Luke's Place and Morton Street are supposed to be very attractive. They have stunning rows of lovely houses from the 1850's - it's a very charming, romantic scene and probably one of the most beautiful blocks you'll find in the city.)
Get off the subway at West 4 Street, Washington Square Station. Walk right and visit the Square. Come back towards the Subway station. Walk west along West 4th Street. Cross the big road called Ave of the Americas. Take the next left called Cornella Street. At the T junction turn left and then first right into Leroy Street. Go straight at the next multiple junction. This leads into is one of the pretty roads called St Luke’s Place. Walk west for two blocks and turn right into Greenwich Street (take Photo) Take the next right an walk back on your self up Morton Street again one of the pretty streets. Walk for two blocks and then turn left for four blocks until you hit a T junction with Christopher Street. Turn right. This is the lively gay area. Keep walking for two blocks. Take the subway uptown at Christopher road - Sheridan Square station to 34th Street Penn Station
Walk north up 7th Avenue one block and go shopping in Maceys The shop takes up a whole block right by the subway station. Then walk east down West 34th Street to the Empire State Building
. This is a very expensive store
This is a hidden gem of New York. It is very European in that a central grass
area is surrounded by tree lined walk ways with continental style cafes and
seating in the shade where you can have a cool drink and watch the world go by,
The Chess masters are normally out in force playing in the street whilst sipping
their coffee or coke-a-cola
EMPIRE STATE BUILDING
Book your tickets on the internet and print them out. It will save you about 20 minutes of queuing time. The Empire State Building rises to a height of 1454 feet. The 86th floor observatory offers incredible views of NYC and the adjacent areas. High speed elevators take you quickly to the top. The night time view is quite spectacular as well, if you get a clear evening. cost of a trip to the 86th floor observatory is $11 for adults. The Empire State Building observatory is open 7 days a week, with some variation around public holidays, from 9:30 am until midnight. The last admission to the observatory occurs at 11:20 pm each evening.
Walk back to 34th Street Herald Square Subway Station and get the yellow line train north to 5th Avenue Subway Station and Central Park
Take a horse-drawn carriage ride through the park and at the end get off at the ZOO. They can be found lined up along a road called Central Park South (59th Street) between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, at the southern end of Central Park across from the Plaza Hotel. (bottom right hand corner) Rides cost $34 for the first 20 minutes and $54 for a 45 to 50 minute tour. Take the big tour. The zoo is in the bottom right hand corner. There is a pub in the park called the Tavern in the Green on the left hand side just below the area known as Strawberry fields near where John Lennon was shot. There is an unattractive memorial called Imagine. Ask the driver to go to an area to see people playing Baseball. The park is huge 843 acres ,too big to walk through and explore thoroughly on a one day trip.
Now that you are back at the 5th Avenue Subway Station walk east down East 59th Street for three blocks. After Madison Ave 5th Ave is New York’s other famous shopping street. It runs south from 5th Ave Subway station for about 10 blocks and includes the likes of Gucci, Cartier, Tiffany etc… Also notice as you cross the first junction, Madison Avenue, all the very expensive designer fashion shops which is New York’s Premier shopping street. At the junction with Lexington Avenue you will find Bloomingdale’s
Go shopping in Bloomingdale’s. It is one of those things you have to do but just like Macy's it is a very expensive store.
Take the 59th Street Subway station downtown. Get off at Grand Central Station. Walk into the railway station and have a look at the architecture that has been subject to many films. Use the 42nd Street main entrance to experience the full impact of the grandeur of the main concourse built between 1903 - 1913. Off the main concourse is Grand Central Market packed with fresh Produce. At the front of the station walk east along West 42nd Street for five blocks.
Walk one block away from Grand Central Station and at the junction with
you will find the
. Built by Walter Chrysler the owner of the motor vehicle company. It was the
worlds tallest building when it was finished in 1929 until the
was opened 1st May 1931 Carry on east until you see the UN Building.
Have a look around the outside. There are tours inside but don’t go just look on the outside.
Walk back to West 42nd Street get a bus going west towards Times Square
It has been cleaned up GREATLY in the past few years and has become a lot more family-oriented, with the largest Toys'R'Us in the country, a Disney Store, and the largest Hershey store outside of Hershey Park. Try to go back in the evening when the neon lights are turned on. Named Times Square after the New York Times building which became the cornerstone of the new district. Prices are VERY expensive in this area.
Walk north up 7th Avenue and then turn right onto West 48th Street. Walk two blocks to the Rockefeller Center
It is home of the famous ice skating rink in the sunken garden in the winter and this is where New York has its large Christmas tree. I the summer this is removed to leave the beautiful Art Deco Buildings to look at. They are connected to each other via an underground concourse called the Catacombs - As you enter the front of the building you will be greeted by some very impressive art deco that graces the entrances. Once inside the lobby you'll be once again impressed with a mural on the back wall of the security and information desk called, " American Progress", by Ralph Waldo Emerson. Here you can get tour information of the Rockerfeller Center or NBC Studios too! Or if choose they have these really neat pamplets that assit you with taking a self tour of the surroundings. The gentlemen at the security desk were really cool. Oh there is a shopping mall downstairs to with shops and restaurants too! nothing special, kind of dark and sterile. There is much more happening above ground! There is a sunken plaza with cafes, plus a really pretty promenade with a fountain. The NBC morning show is filmed in a ground level office each day and there are studio tours.
Walk north up Avenue of Americas 2 blocks and go past Radio City Music hall in Art Deco 1932 style a New York Landmark (look in the grand foyer: sweeping staircases and 24 carat gold leaf ceiling and chandeliers) and then turn right onto 51st Street. Walk two blocks to ST PATRICK’S CATHEDRAL
ST PATRICK’S CATHEDRAL
This pretty Cathedral is surrounded by Sky Scrapers. It is the largest catholic cathedral in the USA. Inspired by Cologne cathedral
On the north side of St Patricks runs West 51st Street. Walk East 3 blocks to 51s Street Station. Take the 6 (possibly 4,5) train down town. Get off at Brooklyn Bridge City hall Station. Walk across Brooklyn Bridge (If there is time walk to pier 17 if not just walk over the bridge)
"On the Brooklyn Bridge, an airplane can fly over a pedestrian who's walking over a car that's driving over a boat that's sailing over a train. There is a pedestrian walkway over the top of the bridge that gives great views of the city. Get a cab to take you to the east end of the bridge. Walk back towards Manhattan over the raised walkway. The view of all the tower blocks on the sky line of Manhattan island is wonderful. It is worthwhile walking over the bridge at night to see all the twinkling lights.
On the other side of Brooklyn Bridge in the Cadman Plaza Park is the High street Brooklyn Bridge Subway station on the A line if you do not want to take a cab
SOUTH STREET SEAPORT (PIER 17)
It is just south of Brooklyn Bridge. There's a museum and some finely preserved and renovated buildings in the area - not just on Fulton but also on Beekman, Dover Street and Peck Slip. As you're walking toward it, don't miss the Titanic Memorial Lighthouse at Fulton and Water St. Along Fulton St you'll find Schemerhorn Row, warehouses built in the early 1800's, which now house various businesses including many shops and restaurants/cafés. Historic ships including the Peking, Wavertree and Ambrose are docked alongside the piers, where you'll also find Pier 17, a building with 3 floors of shops but, more importantly, spectacular views from the Brooklyn Bridge which overlooks the whole area (go to the top floor, then to the back deck of the pavillion). Walking through the narrow, cobblestone streets of this small village is trully a unique experience, allowing you to get a glimpse of what Manhattan once was. (nice pictures ops of old sailing ship fronts with sky scrapers or Brooklyn bridge in background)
FREE FERRY TRIP
For some good views and photo opportunities get on the Staten Island Ferry, at the "South Terminal" on Manhattan Island, and just ride across. The cost of the ferry ride? FREE. NOTHING. NADA. It's a gentle crossing of some 20 minutes, and you'll have a long opportunity to gaze at and photograph the Statue of Liberty from several angles. Be early as there are sometimes incredible queues. Try to get on an older ferry as the newer ones do not have an outside deck. When you get on the other side you can hop back on a Manhattan bound boat.
BUS & BOAT TOURS
Having spoken to other tourists they enjoyed the around Manhattan Island boat
tour which takes about 3 hours. Others enjoyed the sight seeing bus tours
that you could jump on and off.