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New York City: Top 5 places not to be missed

When traveling to New York City, there are experiences you must not miss. Eric Lang lives in the city that never sleeps and he gives you his own top-5.
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New York City: Top 5 places not to be missed Text and pictures of Eric Lang.

USA - New York - Skyline - City - Water - Travel

New York City - the city that never sleeps

The city that never sleeps, The Big Apple, the city of dreams. Yes, dear child has many names. New York's many opportunities, vibrant city life and wonderful atmosphere make it easy to understand that it is one of the Danes' favorite places to go on a city break. Do you still have a visit to beautiful New York for good? Then Eric guides off NewYorkCity.dk you here to 5 places you absolutely must not miss on your trip to The Big Apple and USA.

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USA - New York, Top of the Rock, Empire State - travel

Top of the Rock in Rockefeller Center

New York City now has many observation decks: Empire State Building, Top of the Rock, One World Observatory and Edge. In the fall of 2021, even another vantage point is scheduled to open, namely The Summit. The observation decks each offer their own view and experience, and they are definitely worth a visit all together. My personal favorite is Top of the Rock as I think one gets the best views of New York from here. Here you can also enjoy the view of Central Park and the Empire State Building.

However, it's hard to get around a visit to the Empire State Building, as it's probably New York's most iconic building. If you have the time, my recommendation is to visit Top of the Rock in daylight so you can really see Central Park, and to take up the Empire State Building when darkness has fallen and New York's millions of lights adorn byens skyline. That way, you experience the contrast between the two skyscrapers' different views of New York City.

If you want to go even higher up than the 70th floor of Top of The Rocks and the 86th floor of the Empire State Building, you can head up to the One World Observatory or Edge. One World Observatory is located in New York's tallest building, where you can enjoy both a spectacular elevator ride and a view of the city from the 102nd floor.

The newly opened Edge in Hudson Yards is located on the 100th floor of a terrace that juts out from the building. On a small part of the terrace there are glass floors, so here you can truly stand and look 100 floors down if you dare!

Do you also want to enjoy New York from a different angle, or are you not so fond of heights, then a boat trip along Manhattan is highly recommended. It is also a great way to see some of the most important sights - the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty and the One World Observatory. There are various boat trips to choose from, both some short of 1-1,5 hours duration, which takes you past the main sights, and a 2,5-hour trip where you sail all the way around Manhattan.

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USA - New York, Brooklyn Bridge - travel

Brooklyn Bridge - an icon in New York City

No trip to New York is complete without experiencing the impressive Brooklyn Bridge. The beautiful bridge is one of New York's most famous landmarks, and it is best experienced by crossing it on foot. Make sure to set aside plenty of time to cross the bridge, as the walk takes a good 45 minutes at a leisurely pace - and it can easily take even longer if you want to take many pictures along the way.

I always recommend taking the subway over to the Brooklyn side and starting the walk from there. The Brooklyn neighborhood is adjacent to Queens on the island of Long Island. If you take the walk across the bridge from Brooklyn to Manhattan, you can enjoy Manhattan's beautiful skyline all the way, and the bridge also slopes slightly down in that direction. However, do not leave the Brooklyn side too soon. There are in fact many places right by the bridge that are worth a visit.

The cozy Brooklyn Bridge Park is located, as the name strongly suggests, by the Brooklyn Bridge, but it also stretches a good distance further down the water. Here you can take a walk along the paths or relax in the grass and enjoy the good views for a while. In the park you will also find the fine vintage carousel Jane's Carousel, where even adults can grab a ride without being looked at askance.

Not far away are the Empire Stores, which offer great views of the bridge and the Manhattan skyline from the rooftop terrace. Here you can also get a bite to eat at the Time Out Market, which consists of local eateries selected by the magazine's editors. If you're in the mood for a pizza, then Grimaldi's Pizzeria, located just across the bridge, is worth a visit. It is one of the best pizzerias in New York, and therefore there is usually also a long queue in front.

Also, take a stroll past Washington Street, which is also in the area just off the Brooklyn Bridge. It's a bit of a photogenic butter hole where you can take a nice holiday photo with the Empire State Building framed by the Manhattan Bridge.

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USA - Highline Park - travel

High Line - from train track to trendy breathing space

High Line is one of the most unusual parks in New York City. It is built on a disused highway, which was previously used to transport goods through the city. For that reason, the High Line is a rather narrow but elongated park. For well over 30 years, the railway was not in use until the first part of the new park was opened in 2009. The High Line is something quite special with its urban nature, and the special and beautiful view.

As it is elevated above the busy street level and surrounded by glass buildings, it provides a fun contrast between green oasis and buzzing city life. The park is worth a visit in all seasons, but especially in spring and summer, when the plants and trees are in full bloom, it is a great experience.

It does not matter so much whether you walk one way or the other along the High Line. You can start your day by looking around Manhattan's new Hudson Yards neighborhood, which houses the special Vessel building that opened in 2019. It consists of a lot of stairs connected by platforms where you can enjoy a nice view of the surroundings. However, there is also an elevator if you do not have the courage to climb so many stairs. There is free admission to Vessel, but still it is an advantage to book the tickets online in advance, so you do not have to stand in line for a long time.

In the area you will also find the Edge Observation Deck, the city's highest outdoor observation deck, and the new shopping center The Shops & Restaurants at Hudson Yards. Here you can satisfy both the shopping urge and the hunger, for example at the Spanish food market Mercado Little Spain.

However, I can also highly recommend taking the walk on the High Line first and rounding off the trip with a lunch at Chelsea Market, which is down at the other end of the park. Here you can also choose to buy various delicacies for a small picnic in 14th Street Park.

Also nearby is the newly constructed Little Island, which is another special park. It is built on stilts in the Hudson River, next to the Hudson River Greenway. The location next to the water makes it an ideal place to seek out on a hot summer day and enjoy a cooling breeze for a while.

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USA - Grand Central - travel

Grand Central Terminal - the main artery in New York City

The magnificent Grand Central Terminal is the largest train station in the world. A station may not immediately sound like the most interesting tourist attraction, but this is a pretty nice one of a kind with many fascinating details. Probably the station's most famous landmark is the extravagant opal watch, which is estimated to be worth between $ 10 and $ 20 million.

Also, be sure to look up at the ceiling, which is adorned with beautiful constellations. They had otherwise been covered in tar and tobacco smoke, but fortunately managed to get them out again after a thorough restoration. In fact, a small square of dirt is still preserved to remind visitors of how the entire ceiling once looked.

The Grand Central Terminal offers plenty of surprises. Did you know that there is a tennis court at the station? It is located somewhat remote, on top of Grand Central, and therefore it passes most people's noses. There is also a secret platform, lane 61, which leads directly to the neighbor: the Hotel Waldorf Astoria. President Franklin D. Roosevelt used it in his day to avoid journalists.

And finally there is the so-called Whispering Gallery. It consists of ceramic arches built in such a way that it sounds as if you are shouting when you whisper into them! To try it out, you have to be two. You must stand at each end of the arc, facing the corner and whispering to each other.

At Grand Central Station, there is also a small Danish touch in Claus Meyer's bakery, which is simply called Meyer's Bakery. Here you can buy Danish delicacies such as cream buns, seed snappers and cinnamon rolls.

Danish bakeries have generally become popular in New York, and three departments of Lagkagehuset - or Ole & Steen as they are called here - have also been added to the cityscape. One of them is located by the cozy Bryant Park, a short walk from the Grand Central Terminal.

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USA - Central Park - travel

Central Park - the green break in the middle of New York City

We have already been around quite a few parks, but the largest and most famous of its kind in New York is of course Central Park. And you should definitely not miss it either. The green breathing space is the perfect place to take a break from the busy city life.

Central Park is always worth a visit, but it looks especially good in summer and autumn. It is typically in the beginning and middle of November that you really experience the autumn's beautiful color barn in the park.

It is a good idea to set aside time to explore Central Park, as it covers an area of ​​3,4 km² and contains many sights. If you want to see as much as possible, it may be advisable to rent a bike. By bike you can get around the whole park and get all the highlights in a few hours.

Attractions include Central Park Zoo, Belvedere Castle, Bethesda Terrace with its beautiful fountain and lake views, John Lennon Memorial Strawberry Fields, Lake Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir and the romantic Bow Bridge, which has set the stage for many courtships in the time race.

Did you know that you can also meet HC Andersen himself in Central Park? It is true! Hans Christian Andersen Monument was created with support from the Danish American Women's Association and was erected in 1956 on the occasion of the author's 150th birthday.

Along Central Park, on Fifth Avenue, runs the so-called Museum Mile, where the museums lie like pearls on a string. Central Park can therefore be combined with a museum visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art or the Guggenheim Museum. On the other side of the park is also the popular American Museum of Natural History, which exhibits dinosaur skeletons, among other things.

There are plenty of sights to get started on, and now you have at least a good handful to start with.

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Have a good trip to New York City - the city you never really finish with!

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About the travel writer

Eric Lang

Eric Lang lost his heart to New York immediately when he visited the city for the first time. He has taken New York life to heart with all that it entails and, along with his family, has called New York his home for 6 years. On NewYorkCity.dk and in the free app Eric's New York to iOS og Android he shares his great tips and tells everything there is to know about The Big Apple. Eric has made it his full-time job to help people plan the perfect trip to New York, and he can answer almost any question that may arise. Whether you're looking for New York's best burger, museums, rooftop bars, sights to visit with kids or something completely fifth, Eric has the answer!

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