The Hop-On, Hop-Off Double Decker Bus Tour is a great way to get around, as well as take in the sights. It's like killing two birds with one stone. The bus will take you to all the main tourist spots and most tickets will include a ferry to the Statue of Liberty on Ellis Island. Prices tend to start at US$39 for the day.
The best way to get around is by far the New York City subway, which also includes the buses. Fares cost US$2.25 per round trip (single trip tickets are US$2.50). Express buses run into the city from outer boroughs for US$5.50 each way. Staying longer? A one-week unlimited Metrocard is US$29 or US$104 for a month.
When you've got four people needing to go somewhere, taking a taxi is surprisingly affordable, maybe even more so than the subway. The minimum fare is US$2.50. Additional charges are $0.40 per 1/5 of a mile for every two minutes of time spent stationary or travelling below 6 mph.
Using your own two feet can sometimes be the fastest way to get around New York City. The grid system makes locating places easy and if traffic's bad, you can even beat it on foot. Walking gives you a great opportunity to get a feel of the city and notice new things that might have sprung up since you were last here. Best of all, it's free!
In 2009 the United States (US) implemented a mandatory Electronic System for Travel Authorisation, known as the ESTA, for visitors from countries currently part of the US Visa Waiver Program (VWP). Get yours by making an online ESTA application.
Summers in New York can be hot and humid thanks to all those skyscrapers. Winters can be cold and windy, not to mention the heavy snowfall. The best time of year to visit New York is between April and June when you'll find bright, warm and sunny days, or September through early November for bright autumn days without the chill.
The standard tip in a New York restaurant is 15% to 20%. The best thing to remember is to double the tax on your bill and round upwards as you like, depending on how well you've been treated. In taxis you should also tip 15% to 20% and hotel bellboys will need between US$1 and US$2 per bag.
There's lots of free Wi-Fi in public meeting areas in New York City. Bryant Park is one that's very central and you can enter at West 42nd Street and Sixth Avenue. Other Wi-Fi hot spots are the tip of Battery and also at Lincoln Center Plaza, 62nd Street, 65th Street, Columbus Avenue and Amsterdam Avenue on the Upper West.
Sydney to New York
The most popular airlines flying from Sydney to New York are Qantas Airways, United Flights, V Australia, Jetstar Airways, Delta Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines. The flight will take roughly 20 hours with one stopover.
Melbourne to New York Some of the airlines flying from Melbourne to New York are Delta, United, American Airlines, British Airways, Virgin and Continental. The flight will take roughly 21 hours and 35 minutes.
Brisbane to New York Some of the airlines flying from Brisbane to New York are Delta, United, Qantas, American Airlines, British Airways and Virgin. The flight will take roughly 20 hours and 30 minutes.
Taxis are the best way to get to the city from the airport. From LaGuardia Airport you can catch a yellow cab to Midtown Manhattan for between US$16 to US$26, plus tolls. From JFK it's a US$45 flat fee, plus bridge or tunnel fees. This might seem quite expensive but it's worth it for the comfort and air-con after your flight.
Bus transfer company The Super Shuttle will take you to the airport from your home, office or hotel and collect you when you land. One way is fine, too. In an economical arrangement you share the ride with a few other passengers and also save on parking costs at the airport.
It's best to stay away from the MTA when you're traveling to and from the airport. If you've got many bags or heavy luggage with you, you won't want to be lugging them up and down all those staircases to reach your destination. It's a cheaper option but it's a lot of hassle to take the subway. Best to take a taxi.
The speedy AirTrain Newark, which connects Newark–Liberty International Airport with Manhattan is a great option. Once you've transferred to a NJ Transit Train you'll be at New York Penn Station at 33rd Street and 7th Avenue in less than 30-minutes, where you can get a cab or transfer to the subway or bus. A trip will cost you US$15.
Take to the skies above Manhattan for a bird's eye view of the city that never sleeps. A helicopter ride is a great way to see the city's highlights, like the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Ground Zero and Wall Street. Helicopter tours run every day and are best booked when you get there.
As much a staple of New York as the Empire State Building, MoMA is a must-see in Manhattan. Take in modern and contemporary art and exhibitions in the most influential museum of modern art in the world, featuring a host of mind-boggling work by influential European and American artists.
MoMa's cutting edge kid sister doesn't get nearly enough hype but in truth it's probably even better. Across the East River in a refurbished public school, P.S. 1 proudly displays work from the most provocative artists in the world. The architectural garden changes all the time and on Saturdays head there early for the free evening Warm Up Session dance party.
If you've only got limited time to take in as much of the city as possible, this 75-minute harbor cruise to the Statue of Liberty from Midtown Manhattan will give you some great photo opportunities from the water. You'll see and hear about Ellis Island, the historic immigration centre, the World Financial Centre and the skyscrapers that make up that infamous skyline.
Nestled comfortably in the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge, Grimaldi's is a New York institution. Its coal-fired pizza slices are as fabulous as the views of Manhattan from one of Brooklyn's most picturesque points. Frank Sinatra is begging to be played from the jukebox for a true step back in time. He used to get Grimaldi's pies flown to him when he was in Vegas. Be a part of it.
The seasonal menus at New York's fanciest restaurant are interesting and innovative, not to mention delicious. Try the traditional tea room red borscht and the famous tea blintzes. This is New York dining at its finest, so dress up nice and prepare yourself for world class service, hand-picked wines by a veteran sommelier and more than 40 types of vodka. Don't forget to book in advance.
Having survived three depressions, numerous recessions and two World Wars, Katz's Deli is by far the best deli in New York, made even more famous by that infamous scene from When Harry Met Sally. Since it opened in 1888, Katz's Deli has been putting together the best sandwiches filled to the max with pastrami, turkey or corned beef. A true New York staple and taste sensation.
For fine food and wine without the pretense, this Union Square restaurant offers a host of outstanding wines by the glass, the option of dining at the bar (so you never know who you'll meet) and seasonal ingredients in a happening downtown location. Check out the weekend brunch options before an afternoon of shopping and try the Huckleberry pancakes.
Go treat your ears to some cabaret in one of New York's famous venues. The Duplex in the heart of West Greenwich Village is a fun cabaret and piano bar with an open mic every night of the week, an upstairs bar and an off-Broadway cabaret theatre. Whether you want to bust out a tune or not, you're in for a night of pure entertainment any night of the week.
As America's first modern nightclub, Webster Hall is a landmark in Manhattan that has hosted performances, meetings, parties, rallies, galas and other social events since it opened in 1886. Weekends sees the club come to life with live DJs and dancing, but you'll rarely see the flapper dancing that first brought it fame… unless you do it yourself.
This Mediterranean-styled bar is your one stop shop for the best cocktails in Manhattan, all in soft, sexy lighting with barrel-vaulted ceilings. Try the Razmopolitan (Cointreau, Absolute Citron, raspberry syrup and homemade lemon sour) or the Cuppa Joe (vodka, espresso, Frangelico and lemon zest). A couple of these and you'll be settled for the night.
If hidden or secret bars float your boat, you'll love Bathtub Gin, disguised as a regular tiny coffee shop in Chelsea. You'll find it thanks to the gold bathtub on the sign outside. Inside you'll find staff dressed in vintage flapper wear, fringed lampshades and comfy, elegant armchairs. The cocktails are based on pre-Prohibition recipes and the tasting plates are truly scrumptious. Shhh.
The world's most famous park can take you all day to explore. Take in the lakes, ice-skate, hire a boat and feed the ducks. Just before sunset, head to the Time Warner Centre on Columbus Circle at the southwest corner and enjoy a cocktail with spectacular views of the park from the Stone Rose Lounge, or the classier Mandarin Hotel bar.
The West Village has stayed pretty much the same since the 19th century and its brownstone buildings and cobblestone streets create an amazing maze. Queue for cupcakes at Magnolia Bakery (401 Bleecker Street) then cruise the shops along Bleecker St and Commerce St and walk up to Broadway to take in an evening Broadway show. That theatre seat will feel so good.
Rent two wheels from Bike and Roll at Battery Place and West Street and take yourself for a waterfront spin and one of the best bike rides in New York, on the Esplanade, along Battery Park City along the Hudson River. Relax and then head down to South Street Seaport to see the Brooklyn Bridge and the shops. Have dinner at Harry's Cafe and Steak at 1 Hanover Square.
Jump on the L Train and get off at Bedford Avenue. Take a stroll around the Williamsburg neighbourhood. As hipster central, here's where you can shop for vintage items to your heart's content. Relax in Greenpoint Park and have a go at ten pin bowling complete with craft beer and mid-century kitsch at The Gutter (200 North 14th Street, Brooklyn). For dinner head to Diner (85 Broadway, Williamsburg) for the best grass-fed burger in the world.
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