Updated November 21, 2018
The recommended route goes to many places so you’ll better spend at least a day an half. For those who have less time, the main attractions are in capital letters.
We start the itinerary in the south, in Union Square. This place is always crowded. In the mornings there is a ecological street market. In the afternoon there are often street performers and people protesting about all sort of things. On the south side is the DSW store, probably the best prices in shoes in Manhattan.
Taking Broadway to the north, in few minutes you’ll be in the Flatiron Building, once the tallest building in the world. Nowadays, does not look like much compared to the other skyscrapers of New York, but its architectural beauty is undeniable. Is in one of the corners of Madison Square Park, a beautiful little park that stands out because of the architecture of the surrounding buildings, one of which mimics the Campanile in Venice.
Probably the most famous building in the world. It is seen from almost anywhere in the city. Although completed in 1931, the skyscraper still looks somehow modern and imposing. In my opinion, it’s worthy to go up to the top and enjoy the view of the Downtown, although the view from its rival Top of the Rock is probably better, just because you see the Empire State Building.
Open daily until 2 am, admission $38 to the 86th floor, although it is easy to get discount if you buy combined tickets to the street vendors who swarm the building entrance. If you want to climb up to the 102nd floor, you will be paying $58. If you want to enjoy the view day and night, ideally go up at dusk and wait for nightfall, though is not always easy to calculate how long you will wait in the line.
KOREA TOWN AND HERALD SQUARE
The 33th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues is known as Korea Town, for lovers of Korean food. In the 6th Avenue, a little further north, you will reach Herald Square, where the main entrance to the world’s largest store and one of the best places for shopping in New York is, Macy’s building. It provides free tax for foreigners.
Further north. In winter it becomes a free ice rink (bring your own skates). This is one of the most beautiful parks in Manhattan, because it is set in a privileged spot. It is worthy stopping to rest and relax with the view of the Empire State and other adjacent buildings. One of them is the Central Library; I think only the main reading room it’s nice to visit.
GRAND CENTRAL AND CHRYSLER BUILDING
From here, may the traveler decide to go east on 42nd Street, two blocks away you will find Grand Central Station; in my opinion, only its main hall is remarkable. Just one block farther east, the famous and original Chrysler Building. We will never understand why it cannot be visited.
But if the traveler decides to go northwest from Bryant Park, four blocks ahead he will be in another of the great attractions, world famous TIMES SQUARE. We do not know if there is another place with more ads, screens and neon lights on the planet, but while there it becomes clear that this is the most impressive one. The lights seem endless and induce in the viewer a kind of euphoric comfort feeling.
From Times Square to the northeast, 15 minutes walk will lead you to The Rockefeller Center. Here you can do almost everything. In the basement there are dozens of restaurants of all kinds. Plenty of shops, from brand new boutiques (Cole Haan, Michael Kors…) to the Lego or NBC Stores. There are three interesting areas here:
- TOP OF THE ROCK. In our opinion, the best view of the city. Admission $36. You can buy the Sun and Stars ticket ($54) to go up twice, day and night, in the same day. Same as in the Empire State Building, this is not necessary, ideally go up in the afternoon before the sunset and wait until dark. The view is same impressive day and night.
- The Rink. In this area the ice rink is placed at the end of October. Although is very famous, is tiny and expensive ($25 per hour, the closer to Christmas holidays and New Year’s, the more expensive). In summer it becomes a beer garden.
- Radio City Music Hall. One of the most famous concert halls in New York.
Immediately east, St. Patrick’s Cathedral is located. It is recently renovated. Even Europeans used to this kind of architecture will be surprised, this cathedral is second to none in beauty compared to many other renowned ones in the old continent. Free admission.
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