New York, New York—the city so nice they named it twice!
New York City, known simply as New York or NYC, is the most populous city in the U.S. and the most popular city to visit in the U.S. More than 20 million people live in the New York metropolitan area and an average of 66.6 million people visit the city each year (source).
New York City covers approximately 468 square miles (1,212 square kilometers) and spans five different boroughs—Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, and Staten Island.
Most of NYC’s main tourist attractions—the Empire State Building, Times Square, Rockefeller Center, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Central Park— are in Manhattan.
Brooklyn, most famously accessed via the iconic Brooklyn Bridge, has museums, galleries, great restaurants, hip neighborhoods, and great views of the Manhattan skyline.
Queens has both of NYC’s airports—JFK and LaGuardia—as well as Flushing Meadows, where the U.S. Open tennis tournament is played, and Citi Field, home of The New York Mets.
The Bronx is best known as the home of Yankee Stadium. It also has a historic Italian-American neighborhood centered around Arthur Avenue.
Staten Island is the most residential of New York City’s boroughs. The best way to get to and from Staten Island is via the Staten Island Ferry, which provides amazing views of the NYC skyline from the water.
When To Visit NYC
New York is a great city to visit year-round because there is never a shortage of things to do or see, day or night.
The best times for sightseeing in NYC are April through June and September through October to early November, because the weather is typically pleasant and mild.
New York is famously gorgeous in the fall when the leaves in Central Park change colors. But really, the city shines in all types of weather.
Another popular time to visit New York is around the holidays when all of the big department stores on 5th Avenue put up their window displays. Christmas displays start going up in November, just after Thanksgiving. People also come to see the giant Christmas tree near the ice skating rink at Rockefeller Center, which doesn’t get lit until the Wednesday following Thanksgiving. December is a cold but very jolly time to be in New York.
Hotels in New York City
If you are looking to save money, January and February are your best months for getting NYC hotel deals. But note that saving money in New York is relative—NYC is one of the most expensive cities in the world. Note that NYC’s hotels get booked months in advance. So reserve your room as early as possible.