New York City has been alluded to in popular culture more number of times than one can count. While Frank Sinatra yearned to ‘wake up in a city, that doesn’t sleep’ in his 1977 song, titled New York, New York; Jay-Z and Alicia Keys referred to the city’s ability to fulfil dreams in their 2009 collaboration called ‘Empire State of Mind’, through which they made audiences believe that “There’s nothin’ you can’t do, Now you’re in New York.” F. Scott Fitzgerald rightfully taps the impression the city has on first-time visitors, when he writes in the Great Gatsby “The city seen from the Queensboro Bridge is always the city seen for the first time, in its first wild promise of all the mystery and the beauty in the world.”
No matter the numerous references and parallels, nothing can prepare you for your first bite of ‘the Big Apple’, more so if you have only 24 hours in the city that is constituted by a million stories and countless attractions. Trying to sort out the confusion for you, we bring you top places that you must consider visiting if you have only 24 hours in the city:
Statue of Liberty and the Ellis Island
Start by visiting the iconic Statue of Liberty, an impressive sight for the first time visitors no matter how many times you’ve seen it on the TV. After catching a glimpse of the Lady Liberty, you must learn about the history and experiences of the immigrants in the USA at the Ellis Island. The ferries to the Liberty Island start at 9am and run till 3.30pm. You must book your tickets in advance for a smooth experience.
The Bronx Zoo
Grab the chance to get out of Manhattan and visit the Bronx Zoo, a hit amongst families travelling with children. Popular for its award-winning exhibitions and a large variety of animals that have been brought here from different parts of the world, the zoo attracts as many as 2.15 million visitors each year. The zoo remains open from 10am-5pm from Monday-Friday and from 10am-5.30pm on Saturdays and Sundays. If you don’t mind crowds, you can visit the zoo for free on Wednesdays.
9/11 Memorial & Museum
A dedication to those who lost their lives in the horrific attack of 2001, the 9/11 Memorial & Museum aims to educate people about the event and the rescue effort that ensued. Situated next to a memorial park, two giant square-shaped waterfalls now stand where the old towers once stood. The memorial is free to visit whereas you will have to pay to enter the museum. The memorial remains open from 7.30am-9pm whereas the museum timings are 9am-8pm.
‘Have you even been to New York, if you haven’t been to the Times Square?’ will ask your friends if you miss this iconic area, one of the best known attractions not just in the city but the whole country. Marked by shiny billboards and giant shopping malls, the Times Square is where you will see the visuals of the USA you saw on the TV come alive. No matter what time of the year you are visiting, there will always be an interesting show to catch and an act to watch at the Times Square.
If you love hot dogs, then you must visit Coney Island, the birthplace of the hot dog. Even if you are not very fond of the great American street food, you must pay Coney Island a visit for its boardwalk, one of the oldest in the world. The New York Aquarium is worthy of a visit as is the beach that remains thronged by visitors, especially in summer months. One can find rides, street vendors, games and more for the entertainment of the entire family.