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New York

A city of firsts, a place where things begin and thrive, and then become fashionable everywhere. From arts and fashion to music and food, the world relies on New York for inspiration. NYC is made up of many equally fascinating areas, so start exploring.

For first timers, Manhattan will seem like the busiest and brightest place in the world, packed with things to do and places to see. But once you’ve seen the iconic sights and ticked off Times Square and Central Park, perhaps venture out into Manhattan’s less iconic areas. Explore the distinct neighbourhoods of Greenwich Village or Tribeca. Browse boutiques in the Meatpacking District or rummage through flea markets in Chelsea. Then visit Harlem, home to great jazz clubs and soul food. Escape Manhattan and you’ll find other areas similarly teeming with artists, musicians and foodies. Brooklyn has many exciting restaurants and bars, especially Williamsburg’s hip pop-up bars. Coney Island’s fun fair and boardwalk cafés excite the child in all of us. And Yankee Stadium and the Bronx Zoo bring millions of visitors each month. Don’t be afraid to indulge your curiosity and head off the tourist trail, as you are sure to find something new and exciting.

New York

Find out what's on in New York this October

October sees the Autumnal season begin, and with it a mesmerising change in New York’s foliage. Take a walk through Central Park to see the wonderful colours of fall. The Big Apple is still very busy in October, with plenty of festivals, art shows and new plays at the theatres happening all over the city.

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New York filim festival.

1-7 October

The New York Film Festival has, since 1963, brought new and inventive cinema to the Lincoln Center. This year is no different, so between 25 September and 11 October, the festival includes panel discussions, filmmaker chats, and of course screenings of Avant-Garde films from around the world.

With a cinematic start to the week, the BBC’s Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular comes to Brooklyn’s Barclays Center on 7 October. Star of the show Michelle Gomez, who plays villainous timelord Missy, hosts these performances. Expect mesmerising music alongside the Doctor’s most feared rivals, such as Daleks and Cybermen. Not to be missed.

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Comic con.

8-14 October

Now a feature in every major city, New York’s Comic Con is the biggest on the East Coast. Taking place at the Javits Center, in the heart of Midtown, on 8 to 11 October. This fun weekend of comics, cosplay and meeting of celebs will entertain the whole family.

Celebrating Italian-American culture and of course, the ‘discovery’ of America, the annual Columbus Day Parade held on Fifth Avenue plays host to 35,000 marchers. Add to this the crowd of one million and you have got a big party on 12 October. Expect music, dancing and singing in traditional Italian-style.

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15-21 October

Thanks to the late great chef Josh Ozersky, you can find all the meat you can eat at this great festival – Meatopia. Hosted by his friend and fellow carnivore Michael Symon, this wonderful day of bbq, braising and burgers will have your mouth watering. Taking place at Pier 91 on 18 October, this is a meat-lover’s paradise.

Taking place 13 to 17 October all over Manhattan and drawing over 120,000 people to its 35th year. CMJ Music Marathon is a force to be reckoned with in New York’s music scene. Not just a music festival, but a series of seminars and panel discussions on the future of the industry in over 70 different venues.

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22-28 October

On 28 October, the Statue of Liberty celebrates her 129th birthday – she was given to the United States of America in June 1885 and dedicated in October 1886. If you want to celebrate with this huge lady, then head over to Liberty Island, and bring a lot of cake.

New York’s most famous film fan and influential auteur Martin Scorsese has lent his name to a great collection of film art at the MoMA, to keep cinema culture alive for generations to come. These 34 works from the Scorsese Collects exhibition can be seen until 25 October, from European art house to film noir classics.

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Art garden life.

29-31 October

It’s your last chance to see Frida Kahlo: Art. Garden. Life at the New York Botanical Gardens, which finishes 1 November. The exhibition is the first to explore Frida Kahlo’s appreciation of the natural world. A rare display of more than a dozen original paintings awaits, all featuring plants and animals of Frida’s famed garden at her home in Casa Azul.

And last but not least, the infamous Village Halloween Parade takes place on Saturday 31 October starting at 6th Avenue and Canal Street in Greenwich Village. This is one of the most creative and spooky public events in the world, with over 53 bands, hundreds of puppets and dancers all dressed up in their finest Halloween costumes.

Find out what's on in New York this November

As ever, the events happening in the Big Apple this November are- well, big. The famous Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the New York City Marathon, festivals a-plenty and a large helping of festive cheer complete New York’s packed November diary.

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New York cmarathon TCS.

1-6 November

Be a part of the incredible atmosphere when the New York City Marathon sees the streets of the Big Apple teeming with runners, on 1 November. Join the hordes of cheering spectators lining the race route from Staten Island to Central Park.

Then indie film fans won’t want to miss The Big Apple Film Festival (BAFF). Coming to Village East Cinemas from 4 to 7 November, this event showcases outstanding new movies from New York City’s independent filmmakers. Cuba Gooding Jr., Jesse Eisenberg and Alan Cumming are among the previous honoured guests.

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Latin American cultural week.

7-13 November

Peruse an awe-inspiring array of historical and contemporary art during The Salon Art + Design exhibition, from 12 to 16 November. Over 50 galleries from around the world will display works ranging from 18th-century cabinets to cutting-edge pieces from up-and-coming designers, at the Park Avenue Armory.

Or immerse yourself in a feast of music, dance, theatre and more, during Latin American Cultural Week from 12 to 22 November. This vibrant arts festival at various Manhattan venues celebrates, and aims to promote awareness of, the rich diversity of Latin America’s cultures.

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Union square holiday market.

14-20 November

Eminent dancer and choreographer Twyla Tharp celebrates her phenomenally successful five decade-career with a double-bill of new work at The Joyce Theater. Tharp brings her visionary choreography to the J S Bach-scored PRELUDES AND FUGUES, and the humorous YOWZIE. From 17 to 22 November.

Then from 19 November to 24 December, soak up the festive atmosphere while wandering the holly-adorned aisles of the Union Square Holiday Market Sip hot chocolate and browse for Christmas gifts, from stalls that offer everything from handmade jewellery to gourmet foods.

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New york macys day.

21-27 November

Calling all wine buffs… Sample over 175 fine wines at the NYC Autumn Wine Festival on 21 November. In the beautiful setting of the Broad Street Ballroom, opposite the New York Stock Exchange, taste expertly selected wines while enjoying hors d’oeuvres and live jazz music.

Then get ready for one of the biggest events in the capital city’s calendar... Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, on 26 November. Televised across the nation, this iconic event sees a three-hour procession of giant inflatables, colourful floats and marching bands make its way through the streets of New York City.

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Red hot hockey.

28-30 November

The perennially popular clash between long-time hockey rivals Boston University and Cornell, returns to Madison Square Garden on 28 November. The college hockey giants’ biennial showdown, ‘Red Hot Hockey’ has consistently been a sell-out event, so snap up your tickets while you can.

Then kick-start the Christmas season with an evening of festive cheer, at the Annual Winter’s Eve at Lincoln Square on 30 November. Sample culinary delights from Lincoln Square’s finest eateries while enjoying an array of live entertainment, at New York City’s largest Christmas festival.

Find out what's on in New York this December

New York sparkles in December as Christmas trees, festive window displays and holiday lights transform the city into a whimsical winter wonderland. The festivities are already in full swing as December begins and conclude with larger than life New Year’s Eve celebrations – New York style.

collapsedshow1–7 December

1–7 December

Gather with the masses as the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree is illuminated in all its glory on 2 December – complete with twinkling lights in their tens of thousands and a 9.5-foot-diameter Swarovski-crystal star. Proceedings begin at 7pm and include celebrity performances and live entertainment. If you don’t fancy battling the crowds, the tree stays lit until 6 January.

You know Christmas is on its way when the famous Rockettes arrive at the Radio City Music Hall. You can enjoy 90-minutes of festive fun at the annual Radio City Christmas Spectacular throughout December, with the last show on 3 January. This seasonal favourite is very popular, so grab tickets before they sell out.

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The Rink at Rockefeller.

8-14 December

Book tickets for Elf the Musical, a charming musical interpretation of the 2003 Will Ferrell film, Elf. Showing at the Theater at Madison Square Garden from 9 to 27 December, this heart-warming tale, about a man who grew up in the North Pole, is the ideal show for the festive season.

Sing along to your favourite Christmas carols at The Rink at Rockefeller Center’s Tuba concert on 13 December. Join hundreds of tenor and bass tuba players at 3:30pm.

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Make Music Winter.

15–21 December

Make Music Winter is a free, outdoor musical event that takes place on 21 December. To mark the first day of winter, over a thousand free concerts are held in public spaces throughout the five boroughs of New York City. From morning until night, musicians of all ages embrace music that spans the genres for this unique event.

Absorb the twinkling glow of the Haupt Conservatory, as model trains run around a miniature New York, at The New York Botanic Garden’s Holiday Train Show - which runs throughout December. A must-see Christmas attraction, the whole family will be entranced by this display of 150 landmarks, which include the Brooklyn Bridge, Statue of Liberty and Rockefeller Center.

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22–28 December

Book tickets for A Christmas Carol, the Charles Dickens’ classic about Ebenezer Scrooge, Tiny Tim, and the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future. It will be showing at the Players Theatre in Greenwich Village until 30 December – so don’t miss out.

Or see one of the world’s best-loved musicals, Annie, which is showing at King’s Theatre Brooklyn from 15 to 27 December. Enjoy this brand new incarnation of the iconic original, which includes a Tony Award®-winning book and score, and sing along to much-loved classics, such as “It’s the Hard Knock Life” and “Tomorrow”.

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Times Square.

29–31 December

The New Year’s Eve party spirit is infectious in Times Square as crowds gather to see the famous ball drop at midnight. Arrive early and absorb the electric atmosphere. Enjoy views of Central Park and live jazz at Ring in The Swing: A New Year’s Eve Dance Party at the Lincoln Centre.

Or combine music and dancing with a four-mile Midnight Run – a truly unique way to bring in the new year. The pre-race celebration atmosphere starts with a dance party. Then at the stroke of midnight, thousands of runners embark on their first run of the year…to the backdrop of a spectacular firework display.

New York neighbourhoods

Choose a New York area to explore

Midtown Manhattan.

Midtown Manhattan

If New York is the Big Apple, then its core has to be Midtown, where you will find the essential city experience. Home to the iconic Empire State Building, grandiose Chrysler Building and Grand Central Station’s majestic architecture, this is Manhattan as you imagine it. Stay at the luxury InterContinental New York, with panoramic views of the bright lights of bustling Times Square. Shopping options are in great supply with Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s on the doorstep, and you can find some great bargains at Century 21. Don’t miss out on MoMA, where you can also eat fantastic gourmet cuisine at The Modern.


Downtown Manhattan.

Downtown Manhattan

Downtown AKA Lower Manhattan is a melting pot of culture, cutting-edge style and multicultural indulgences. Visit the East Village, where student-friendly cafés and elegant cocktail lounges co-exist peacefully. West Village is a great area for bars, as it surrounds the NYU campus – have a beer in a dive bar along McDougal Street. Go further west to Greenwich Village where cool bookshops and laidback restaurants await the more relaxed crowd. Or enjoy the urgent vibrancy and fantastic food of Chinatown, and browse the imitation-designer goods on sale. Eat traditional pizza or meatballs in Little Italy, before going south toward the Financial District’s flashy bars.

Lower East Side, Financial District and Seaport.

Lower East Side, Financial District and Seaport

Whilst technically Lower Manhattan, these areas are at the bottom of the island and deserve more explanation. The Lower East Side is a chic and fashionable area with a long history. You can find the legendary Katz’s Delicatessen here, a classic Jewish deli offering towering pastrami sandwiches. A welcome newcomer to the neighbourhood is The Ludlow, a charmingly original boutique hotel. Then, head east toward the recently-developed cultural hub of the Seaport District, where red brick warehouses house enlightening museums and historic artefacts. Once in the Financial District, make time to gaze in awe at the One World Trade Centre. It is a fitting tribute to the pride and resilience of New York.

Soho & Tribeca.

Soho & Tribeca

The perfect spot for a luxury break in NYC. Known from the 60s to the 80s as artistic havens, Soho and Tribeca are now stylish, up-market districts showcasing haute couture brands such as Chanel and Prada. Soho’s cast iron industrial façades have become iconic, with many bars and chic restaurants taking the place of artist galleries long since moved to Chelsea. Tribeca is currently home to New York’s rich and famous, such as Robert De Niro – who also founded the area’s eponymous film festival. The luxurious Trump Soho is ideally placed for exploring the area, with a chance for some celeb spotting too.

Meatpacking District.

Meatpacking District

Cobblestone streets, converted brick warehouses and a colourful, eclectic atmosphere is what to expect in the Meatpacking District – a centre of New York nightlife. On the west side of Manhattan, the district has been a hub of fashion and culture since the deluxe Gansevoort Hotel took root in 2004. More recently, creative trendsetters live and work alongside the admittedly diminished market businesses, creating a buzzing, friendly community. Visitors to the area will enjoy the wide variety of quality bars and cafés, and the High Line Park (formally an elevated train line) is a definite must-see.

Uptown Manhattan.

Uptown Manhattan

Uptown Manhattan consists of the beautiful Central Park, Upper East Side and Upper West Side, with stark contrasts between the two sides. Central Park may be the most celebrated park in the world, with iconic ice skating in the winter months. The Upper East Side is full of great museums and galleries, like the Guggenheim, and of course Fifth Avenue. But for a quintessential Manhattan experience, head over to the Upper West Side. The Natural History Museum, the Theater District, and iconic brownstone architecture can be found here. For a cheaper option, Days Inn Hotel, on Broadway, is only a few minutes’ walk away from Central Park.



Harlem begins with the student area of Columbia University, where Ivy leaguers while away their time in the cool bars and cafés. Then onto Harlem proper, whose streets were made famous by the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s. Slowly becoming gentrified, the bars, restaurants and shops are definitely changing with the times. For example, the Red Rooster Harlem is a perennially packed soul food joint, where chef Marcus Samuelsson focusses on contemporary comfort food. And don’t miss out on a trip to the Apollo Theater. This 80-year old concert hall has roots deep in jazz and soul music, and where Ella Fitzgerald serenaded crowds in the 30s.



Brooklyn is the new fashionable place to go out and be seen, but be aware it is a very large borough, city-size in itself. Hang out with the hipsters in Williamsburg and Prospect Park, or go to Coney Island to try out the gritty funfair. Marvel at the Brooklyn Bridge and the alluring Manhattan skyline in Downtown, or be amongst the art crowd in Red Hook. For a great night out, head to Radegast Hall & Biergarten in Williamsburg, an Austrian-inspired raucous venue with plenty of beer and cool people. Afterwards, saunter back to Downtown’s stylish boutique Aloft Brooklyn to sleep it off.

The Bronx

The Bronx.

The sprawling, suburban area north of Harlem known as The Bronx is the only borough of New York on the US mainland. The Grand Concourse in the South Bronx is home to Yankee Stadium and is where hip hop music was born. In season, take in a game of baseball and afterwards relax in a homey restaurant, which sells delicious soul food. North of Grand Concourse in Fordham, you can find the world-famous Bronx Zoo, which is a great trip for all the family, and over the road, the New York Botanical Gardens. The Bronx is a great place to visit in the autumn, with the leafy parks undergoing a colourful foliage change.

New York weather

Prepare for the weather before your holiday

Average seasonal temperatures°C/°F
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • 14°Apr
  • 20°May
  • 25°Jun
  • 28°Jul
  • 27°Aug
  • 26°Sep
  • 21°Oct
  • 11°Nov
  • Dec
Average monthly rainfall (mm)
  • 94
  • 97
  • 91
  • 82
  • 81
  • 84
  • 107
  • 109
  • 86
  • 89
  • 76
  • 91
Average daily sunshine (hours)
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 7
  • 8
  • 10
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5

Six useful apps for visiting New York


High Life Magazine

From tracking down sample sales to suggestions for activities based on the weather, make the most of your time in NYC with these must-have apps.

Read the full article here

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