Updated in November 21, 2018
Probably the best in this area is to enjoy the Manhattan skyline from different locations: the ferry to the Statue of Liberty, Governors Island, the ferry to Staten Island and, in my opinion the best of all, from Brooklyn Heights.
The day could start in the Statue of Liberty. The truth is that there is a tendency to prejudge it, most of the people think that is probably highly publicized and is not that much, but a visit to the Statue is a very pleasant and interesting experience because of view over the city, the Statue itself and the chance to visit the Museum of Immigration at Ellis Island. Admission $18’5, what you pay for is the return ferry.
To climb to the crown, you must first book on advance online in their official website. To climb the pedestal, you can book online or be one of the first visitors to arrive in the morning, as access without reservation is only allowed in case there are leftover tickets for the day. Usually, before the first ferry is sailing in the morning, the spare tickets will be over.
To take the ferry to the Statue, Staten Island or Governors Island, visitors will have to go through this small park that always seems to be under construction.
From Battery Park you’ll arrive immediately at Wall Street, where the stars are the Stock Exchange Building and the Charging Bull sculpture.
9/11 MEMORIAL AND MUSEUM
The memorial is a free public area consisting of two fountains set in the place where the Twin Towers used to be. There is a post about museums in Manhattan.
ONE WORLD OBSERVATORY
In the new World Trade Center. Recently opened, so unfortunately I have not gone yet. Open daily, adult tickets cost $34.
This new construction is, like almost all of the famous architect Santiago Calatrava, white, impressive, surreal, futuristic, dysfunctional and destined to become one of the iconic buildings of the city. What pretended to resemble “a bird being freed from the hands of a child” has come to be known vulgarly as “the stegosaurus”. There are many criticisms for being design that prevails over functionality in a train and metro station (it is part of the new World Trade Center Station), but it is out of the question that its aesthetic is surprising and that like all works of this team, will not leave anyone indifferent.
If the visitor has time for shopping, this mall is the most visited by tourists. You can buy all kinds of items, but the most sought are top brand clothes and accessories. Everything is messy here; most of the items you will not find all sizes and shop assistants usually have no interest in assisting you, but if you have time and patience, will probably find the best discounts on clothes and accesories in town. For Europeans, credit card purchases can be paid in euros, but it’s not recommended.
Slightly northeast is the area, along with the Central Police Headquarters. There is a small park as well, and some of the most interesting buildings in the Downtown in terms of its architecture.
From here the next attraction is the famous Brooklyn Bridge. At the entrance from Manhattan, there are stalls with the cheapest keychains in the city, all $1. It takes at least 20 minutes to walk the length of the bridge, so if you do not want to go and return, it is preferable to take the subway to Brooklyn and walk it towards Manhattan.
Let’s be honest, it is just a bridge, but its reputation is well deserved. Walk, run or bike it, is a great experience because of the bridge itself and the views of the city. In the Brooklyn end there are three main attractions.
- Brooklyn Bridge Park: runs along the west bank of the East river, to the south for a mile (1.5 km).
- Brooklyn Heights Promenade. It is a elevated pedestrian area parallel to the park. In my opinion, it’s the best view of the Manhattan skyline.
- And the pizza at the base of the bridge. The queues for dinner at Juliana’s and Grimaldi’s may seem ridiculously long, but the truth is that they are two of the best pizzas I’ve had in this city where no there’s no shortage of pizzerias.
If the visitor still have time, or rather it has required you two days to see this area, yet there are two other points of interest in terms of its views over the city:
STATEN ISLAND FERRY
It is free. Good view of the city and the Statue of Liberty. It takes 30 minutes to get to Staten Island and sails off a minute later back to Manhattan, you have to get off the ferry and hurry up to get into it again.
The ferry is free, it’s only available for the general public by the end of May till the end of September. This area is in constant renewal; it is being prepared as recreational area, the crowds still have not found it.