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New York

New York is known as the city that never sleeps and little wonder, with so much to see and do in this glittering metropolis. The Big Apple is instantly recognisable from its appearances in countless movies, and you will feel like a film star on a New York holiday.

Marvel at the city’s towering skyscrapers. Browse its famous museums then take in a Broadway show. Shop ‘til you drop on Fifth Avenue then sip cosmopolitans in a trendy Manhattan bar. Whether on a city break or longer holiday, we guarantee that you will want to be a part of New York.

New York
Group party.

Festivals in NYC

New York is the most culturally diverse city on the planet, so you would expect some fantastic festivals on offer. And you will not be disappointed. Celebrating the best of the Big Apple’s multiculturalism – The Afropunk Festival brings alternative black music to Brooklyn’s streets on 22 and 23 August. The line-up is still to be announced but expect some amazing acts. From 4 to 6 September (Labor Day weekend in the USA) fans of electronic music will be heading to Randall’s Island Park for the Electric Zoo Festival – where Chemical Brothers and Alesso are headlining.

Look for cheap flights to New York

Find out what's on in New York this July

With summer in full swing, New York is a melting pot of festivals, concerts and shows that will heat things up even further. Starting with Independence Day, the Big Apple in July has something for everyone. Here is a quick glance about what’s on this month.

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nathans hot dog contest.

1-7 July

July starts with the biggest American holiday of the year – Independence Day. And the Fourth of July celebrations are legendary in New York. During the daytime, take a trip to Coney Island for the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest and be amazed by the sheer volume of hot dogs these frankfurter fanatics can put away.

Then, the best place to go for the evening festivities is down by the Brooklyn Bridge, where Macy’s 4th of July Firework display will be lighting up the Manhattan skyline for the 39th year running. 40,000 fireworks are truly a wonderful sight on a warm summer night.

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NYC brooklyn hiphop festival.

8-14 July

Following the Independence Day extravaganza, the following weeks should be quieter, but they aren’t. The Brooklyn Hiphop Festival takes place 8 to 11 July at 50 Kent, over in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. For the last ten years, the festival has been wowing visitors with its cultural prowess in New York, and it seems more like a family party than a festival.

Now in its 27th year, Midsummer Night’s Swing is a great thing to do on a beautiful summer’s night. Starting in June and ending 12 July, this is perfect for kids and adults alike. Head over to the Damrosch Park in Manhattan for dance lessons, live big band music and infectious rhythms.

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Summer Screen Zoolander.

15-21 July

For locations of free entry outdoor cinemas, you don’t get much cooler than Williamsburg in Brooklyn. On the 16 July at the SummerScreen in McCarran Park, they are showing cult fashionista comedy Zoolander. Expect lots of posing, smiling crowds and summertime fun in the warm twilight. So grab a beer, a blanket and sit down to an evening of laughs.

Fans of baseball will be pleased to hear that the New York Yankees are playing at the Yankee Stadium in the Bronx against local rivals Baltimore Orioles, 21 to 23 July. If you are looking for a great day out, drinking beer, eating hot dogs and supporting the most famous baseball team in the world, then this is for you.

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NYC poetry festival.

22-31 July

The New York Poetry Festival opens its doors on the 25 July, located on the Governor’s Island in the heart of the harbour. There will be 250 poets and their publishers reciting works and meeting with fans. As well as a children’s festival, great bands and even better food.

Known as one of the best composers that ever lived, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart deserves his own festival. The Lincoln Center in midtown Manhattan has since 1966, offered just that. The Mostly Mozart Festival brings his work to life from 25 July to 22 August, offering sublime music from a world-class orchestra.

Find out what's on in New York this August

The summer season never fails to sizzle in the Big Apple and true to form – this month’s line-up of events is a scorcher. From blues music festivals and jazz lawn parties, to championship tennis and movies in Central Park – it’s all happening in August.

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1-7 August

Join in the family-friendly fun when the Jamaica Arts & Music Summer (JAMS) Festival comes to Jamaica Avenue, Queens on Sunday 2 August. This all-day event showcases the multicultural cuisines, crafts and musical talents of the Queens population.

Then from 7 to 16 August, the Harbor Lights Theater Company brings a Broadway classic to Staten Island, with its staging of Stephen Sondheim’s Gypsy at St George Theatre. Sing along with unforgettable numbers including Everything’s Coming Up Roses, in this celebrated musical based on the life of Gypsy Rose Lee.

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8-14 August

Watch the thrilling race action as over 170 teams from around the world compete at The Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival, at Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens. This fantastic free event, on 8 and 9 August, also sees an entertainment extravaganza of live music, dance, martial arts and more.

Then, calling all theatre lovers… Don’t miss North America’s largest multi-arts event – the New York International Fringe Festival, from 14 to 30 August. More than 200 international companies will perform at multiple venues across the city as part of this superb showcase for both new and established artists.

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15-21 August

Journey back to the Roaring Twenties at the Jazz Age Lawn Party,  from 15 to 16 August on Governors Island. Dress as a fop or flapper, learn to dance the Charleston, browse the vintage items for sale and sip cocktails on the lawn.

Then soak up the vibrant sights and spirit of the India Day Parade on Sunday 16 August. Watch nearly 40 floats and over 20 marching groups and bands make their way along Madison Avenue, as part of this annual event celebrating America’s Asian-Indian community.

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22-28 August

Spend a day lazing in the sunshine and enjoying the sounds of the USA’s greatest blues and roots musicians, at the Hudson River Park’s Blues BBQ Festival on Saturday 22 August. Combined with tasty fare from New York’s best barbecue restaurants, this is the perfect complement to a summer’s day.

Or settle down with your picnic and watch a movie under the stars (free of charge) from 25 to 29 August, as part of the famous Central Park Film Festival. Film details to be confirmed.

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29-31 August

Discover New York in a completely different way, by competing in the XPLORE New York City – Urban Adventure Race on 29 August. Race to various city locations, solving a series of clues to win a cash prize in this exhilarating, super-size scavenger hunt.

Then grab tickets to see Novak Djokovic, Serena Williams and many more top tennis names vie for the winning title in the 2015 US Open, at Arthur Ashe Stadium from 31 August to 13 September.

Find out what's on in New York this September

Daytime temperatures are balmy, carnivals are in full swing and the mood is upbeat and positively resilient as New York welcomes September. From fashion to film, food to festivals, this city is a hive of activity – beginning with the festivities of the Labor Day weekend.

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Electric zoo.

1-6 September

Book tickets for Electric Zoo, which takes place from 4 to 6 September. This electronic dance-music festival brings top acts and 150,000 fans to Randall’s Island Park each Labor Day weekend.

Experience a different side of New York at Summer on the Hudson, an annual outdoor arts and culture festival. Take the family along to Riverside Park on 6 September from 1 to 6pm for an eclectic mix of entertainment – from music concerts to dance performances and movies under the stars. The kids will love the carnival rides and the impressive aerialists, while live bands and market stalls vie for your attention.

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West Indian-American Day Carnival.

7-13 September

Soak up the sights of the annual West Indian-American Day Carnival on 7 September. This seven-hour Brooklyn carnival invites you to celebrate the sounds and style of the Caribbean, through colourful costumes, reggae and calypso music and traditional cuisine.

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week takes place from 10 to 17 September at the Lincoln Center. You may not fulfil the guest list credentials, however you can still join the style-conscious and fashion forward, by picking up the latest trends as they emerge on Fifth Avenue.

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Filim festivals poster.

14 -20 September

The Coney Island Film Festival screens nearly 100 innovative short films from 18 to 20 September. Soak up the friendly atmosphere in the heart of the boardwalk, at 1208 Surf Avenue, Brooklyn. Book early to avoid disappointment as many nights sell out.

See German-American marching bands, floats, dancers and walkers in traditional costumes in the Steuben Parade on Fifth Avenue on 19 September. Then enjoy German beer, food and live music at the Rumsey Playfield in Central Park for the Steuben Parade Oktoberfest.

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Museum Day Live.

21 -27 September

It’s worth planning ahead if you’re looking for things to do in Manhattan on 26 September – from 1 August download and print a free ticket for two people to visit any of 93 museums in New York state free of charge, courtesy of Museum Day Live.

Come rain or shine, one of the city’s biggest and best street fairs – the 41st Annual Atlantic Antic takes over Brooklyn on 27 September. From 12 to 6pm, Atlantic Avenue fills with multiple stages playing host to jazz, rock, R&B and more. Let storytelling and pony rides occupy the kids and delicious cuisine from every corner of the globe satisfy your taste buds.

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Ben Howard.

28 - 30 September

Book tickets to see folk favourite Ben Howard at Radio City Music Hall on 28 September. This Mercury Prize-nominated guitarist is famous for his understated emotional live performances – having enjoyed huge success in both the UK and US with his debut album Every Kingdom.

Or lose yourself in the smooth sounds and crooning vocals of Irish singer-songwriter Hozier on 29 September. You’ll be wowed by the simplicity and intimacy of Hozier’s shows, as his soul-infused-rock sounds captivate audiences. Hit song “Take Me to Church” received a nomination for Song of the Year at the 57th annual Grammy Awards, and was performed by Hozier and Annie Lennox during the show.

New York neighbourhoods

Aerial view of Downtown New York.

Downtown Manhattan

Cool, quirky and wonderfully diverse, Downtown Manhattan is a multicultural melting pot and the epitome of cutting-edge style. Soho’s high-end boutiques are a must for shopping on luxury holidays, or head to Chinatown for imitation-designer labels and kitsch souvenirs. While you’re there, sample delicious dumpling soup at Joe’s Shanghai restaurant or tuck into tasty traditional pizza at Little Italy. Stay at the elegant Ritz-Carlton New York hotel and benefit from enviable views across the harbour to the Statue of Liberty.

Midtown Manhattan

Midtown Manhattan

On New York breaks, head to the Big Apple’s core of Midtown Manhattan for the essential city experience. Here you will find the iconic Empire State Building, majestic Grand Central Station and the sparkling Chrysler Building. Stay at the InterContinental New York hotel for excellent proximity to the bright lights and buzz of Times Square. Be sure to visit world-famous department stores Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s for some serious shopping. Dine at Marriott’s The View restaurant for stunning 360-degree city vistas.

Flats in Soho, New York

Soho & Tribeca

For fine art, antiques and luxury purchases, head to trendy Tribeca and neighbouring Soho. A centre for style populated by wealthy fashionistas, it offers excellent shopping and dining options. The area segues between the Financial District and the laidback bohemia of the West Village, with an array of boutiques catering to retro-industrial chic. The luxurious Trump Soho hotel is a perfect base for exploring stylish Soho. Tribeca feels more residential but still attracts the ‘in crowd’ and the odd celebrity.

Aerial view of the Meatpacking Disctrict

Meatpacking District

Colourful and eclectic, the Meatpacking District is an epicentre of New York activity. On the West Side of Manhattan, the district is a hub of fashion, design, food and culture. Creative sophisticates live and work alongside meatpacking businesses in this buzzing community. Visitors come for the lively atmosphere and wide variety of quality bars and restaurants. Stay at the deluxe Hotel Gansevoort in the heart of the District and watch the sunset while sipping cocktails in its stylish rooftop bar.

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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