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    New York Brooklyn Bridge

    Brooklyn Bridge, New York City.

    Connecting Brooklyn and Manhattan, the Brooklyn Bridge is one of the most-photographed spots in New York City and a must-see for all tourists.

    New York Central Park

    New York City's Central Park.

    One of the most famous parks in the world, Central Park is a year-round natural oasis for locals and visitors alike.

    New York City skyline at night

    The City that Never Sleeps.

    New York City at night is just amazing. Enjoy one of the most impressive skylines in the world.

    Flights to New York City

    New York is an attractive and surprising city, a cultural melting pot with hundreds of theatres, a large number of diners and Wall Street, the financial centre of the USA. From a tourist mecca with world famous landmarks like the Statue of Liberty and Central Park, to a cultural haven with museums like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Big Apple has something for everyone.

    So don’t wait a moment longer, and book your ticket for New York now!


    What to do in New York?

    The list of things to do and see in New York is never-ending. Here is our little (non-exhaustive) guide.

    1. Climb to one of the observation decks on top of famous skyscrapers. You can climb to the 86th floor of the Empire State Building, the 71st floor of the Chrysler Building, the 70th floor of the Rockefeller Center (Top of the Rock) or the 102nd floor of the World Trade Center. They all offer great views over the Manhattan skyline and an unforgettable experience.
    2. New York Observation DeckThere are many iconic buildings in New York, but the Statue of the Liberty is undoubtedly one of the most famous. If you don’t feel like visiting the museum, then the Staten Island Ferry is a good option, and furthermore it’s free! During this 20-minutes cruise you will get great views of the Statue, the harbour and lower Manhattan.
    3. A trip across Brooklyn Bridge is certainly an attraction. This bridge was the first steel suspension bridge ever built. At the time of its opening in 1883, it was also the longest bridge in the world, with a length of 470 metres. When crossing the bridge, don’t forget to snap a picture of Brooklyn’s most popular Instagram spot: in Washington Street, you’ll get a perfect view of Brooklyn’s typical buildings framing the Manhattan Bridge and, if the weather permits, even the Empire State Building.
    4. Relax in Central Park, which is the most famous park in New York City and the entire world. It covers an area of 430 hectares in the middle of Manhattan. There is also much to discover in Central Park, such as the Belvedere Castle, the iconic Bethesda Fountain and the Strawberry Fields mosaic in honour of John Lennon.
    5. Fan of American shows? Take part in a guided tour and walk in the footsteps of your favourite heroes! See New York through the eyes of Superman, Batman and Spider-Man or find references at every corner of your favourite TV show like Friends, Mad Men, Sex & city, The Sopranos, Gossip Girls…
    6. If you’re a music fan, you know that New York is the capital of jazz. Visit the bars where jazz musicians wrote musical history and dive into the contemporary jazz scene. Be sure to stop by the Blue Note Jazz Club (131 West 3rd Street), where the city’s best musicians will make your New York evening one to remember.
    7. Shopping in New York
    8. One of the best ways to discover the Big Apple is by hopping on a bike and touring the city’s historic neighbourhoods. Although traffic can discourage you from going for a ride, there are protected bike paths for a care-free route. New York’s bike-sharing system makes it easy to just grab a bike and go. The Citi Bike system has daily, weekly and annual passes available. Grab a free show at Central Park, attend a gospel celebration in Harlem or head to Long Island City for a rooftop party at MoMa PS1.
    9. Go shopping! In New York you can shop practically anywhere, anytime. Macy's and Bloomingdale's are examples of gigantic stores where you can truly find anything. If you're looking for affordable designer goods Century 21 and Loehmann's are two malls where you will find high fashion brands at serious discount prices. Mainly designer stores are located on the impressive Fifth Avenue, while Williamsburg is the place to be when you're looking for vintage. New York is also the 'Accessories Paradise' in any category. Whether you're looking for shoes, bags, electronics or lingerie, the city only offers you the best. Henri Bendel (712 Fifth Avenue) has everything you need but is in a higher price range, while Aldo is more affordable and has several venues throughout the city. Sporty chicks will lose themselves in NY: the Nike's flagship store (East, 6 57th St) is 5 floors high!
    10. It is an absolute joy to explore NY's bookstores, just shuffling those book's papers. In Manhattan these three absolutely deserve a visit: McNally Jackson Books (52 Prince St), Strand Book Store (828 Broadway) and 192 Books (192 Tenth Ave). Barnes & Noble on the other hand, is a "bookchain" with several stores in NY. In the café you can enjoy the perfect combination of a book accompanied by a cup of coffee.
    11. No city does brunch quite like New York, and there are so many amazing spots all around town for a great Sunday brunch. Here are five favourites to put on your must do list!
    12. Times Square is a must. Busy, crowded, overwhelming... so New York! To have an idea of how it looks like, have a look at our 360° video.

    Practical information for your trip to New York

    • Brussels Airlines flights arrive and depart from John Fitzgerald Kennedy Airport (JFK) located in Eastern Long Island. There are several ways to reach Manhattan from JFK airport:
      • by bus: 90 minutes – 18$ per person
      • by train & metro: 1 hours (depending on the connections) - 7.75$ per person
      • by taxi: between 40 and 90 minutes to Midtown (depending on the traffic) – around 60$
      • by Uber: between 40 and 90 minutes to Midtown (depending on the traffic) – between 50$ and more than 100$ depending on the vehicle chosen
    • Time zone: The time zone in New York is EST (Eastern Standard Time) UTC/GMT -5 hours (in Summer GMT -4).
    • Currency: The official currency of the United States is the U.S. dollar or American dollar ($, USD, US$). You won’t have any trouble finding banks and cash machines in New York. Credit cards are accepted everywhere in New York. You can also withdraw dollars directly from cash points. If you prefer to exchange dollars from your local currency, you can do this in banks or in any bureau de change.
    • Telephone calls and Wi-Fi: The dialling code for New York City is +1 845. You will have no trouble finding free Wi-Fi hotspots in many restaurants, bars, cafés, metro stations and public parks.
    • Electric sockets: The power sockets in the US are type A and B (flat pins), also known as the standard US plug. The standard voltage is 120 V and the standard frequency is 60 Hz. European and British travellers should pack an adapter with voltage converter and be extra careful when using their electrical items in the US due to the frequency difference.
    • Travel information: If you are a citizen of a country that is part of the Visa Waiver Programme, you are able to travel to the US without a visa provided you hold a valid ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization). Check your eligibility and apply for your ESTA here.
      In addition, you also need a valid e-Passport. You can identify an e-Passport by the 'chip' symbol on its front cover. These rules also apply for travellers who are planning to transit in the USA or intend to stopover on the way to their destination. Please note that if you transit through or stopover in Canada to travel to the US (or viceversa), you will need both an eTA and an ESTA. For all information on visas and travel documents, visit the website www.iatatravelcentre.com.
    • Vaccination: When travelling to New York, there are no mandatory vaccinations for European travellers. For more health information, visit the website www.iatatravelcentre.com. It’s also important to know that the health care system in the U.S. works very differently to other medical systems. We recommend checking whether you would need a health insurance before traveling to the States.

    Travel tips for New York tourists

    • New York metro (New York Subway) is the most popular means of transport in New York City and the least expensive. The New York City Subway System is the largest subway system in the world. No surprise then, that the locals also get on the wrong train from time to time! Here are some useful tips:
      • Get yourself a subway map. You can download the official NYC Subway Map here or ask for the old, but always useful paper map. On the map you’ll see that the different lines are marked by colours (blue, red, yellow, orange and purple) and letters (A,C,E…). If you plan to stay in Manhattan, the blue and red line should be able to cover all your needs.
      • To find your way around, you should look at the origin points of each line because even if the network is dense, most lines have a specific coverage. Depending on the neighbourhoods you want to reach, you will always find one or two lines to take you there.
      • Fly to New York
      • Plan your trip with Trip Planner. Add your current location and your destination. The tool will do the work for you by giving you 3 possible itineraries.
      • New York Metro works 24/7, though be aware that certain lines will run on a limited frequency at night. The New York City Subway is relatively safe, but if you ride late at night or very early in the morning, stay alert.
      • To use the subway system, you need a MetroCard. You can buy this at the vending machine in the station and pay with credit or debit card. The MetroCard can be used in the subway, but also on busses.
      • The basic price of a metro ticket is around 3$. However, if you plan to use the metro often, it’s recommended to choose the Pay-Per-Ride formula or the unlimited formula (7 days or 30 days). If your stay is shorter than 7 days, then the Pay-Per-Ride formula should suit your needs. Furthermore, up to 4 people can share the same pay-per-ride card.
    • Pass or no pass? Attractions in New York are not cheap. Buying a pass can reduce the costs. Please note that even if a pass is friendlier for your budget, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you can skip the queues with it. Even if you have a pass, you still need to get an entry ticket. Some passes will give you access to a VIP queue, but security checks are the same for everyone. Here are the 4 major pass options available. In any case, we recommend buying your pass on the official website and never on the streets.
      • New York Sightseeing Pass: Visit up to 10 attractions. If you visit all of them, you'll definitely save a lot of money even though the pass does cost $200 per person. Attention: The Empire State Building is no longer included in their offer. But you'll benefit from a $40 discount on many attractions that are not included in the pass.
      • New York City Pass: Visit up to 6 attractions for around $100 per person. If you’re visiting New York for the first time and you’re going to stay 3 to 4 days, this is the ideal pass for you. With this pass you can even visit the Empire State Building twice on the same day: once during the day and once at night. Therefore, it's perfect if you want to see New York's skyline at dawn and dusk, or if you want the see the city lights at night.
      • New York Pass: Choose from 90 attractions and tours. This offer might seem enormous, but consider that you'll never have enough time to visit them all, especially if you choose the one-day pass (around $124). To take full advantage of the pass, you would need to stay at least 7 days - but a seven-day pass would cost you around $250. To see if this is the right pass for you, we recommend to plan your itinerary in advance, this way you'll see how many attractions you'll be be able to cover during your stay.
      • New York Explorer Pass: Choose between 3 and 10 attractions from a total offer of 60 attractions. If this isn't your first time in New York and you're interested in the lesser-known attractions, this pass is perfect for you.

    When to go to New York?

    The best time to visit New York is anytime! Early fall temperatures can still be pleasant, in November temperatures ushers lower, but at least you’ll enjoy Thanksgiving. There’s nothing like Christmas in New York. Temperatures can be freezing in winter, but ice-skating at the Rockfeller Center is a unique experience! In spring temperatures can be warmer, but be sure you pack rain boots and an umbrella. Summertime is the hottest season in New York, but so it is in lots of places! Enjoy!

    New York Pancakes

    What to eat in New York?

    When it comes to food, you can quite literally try any cuisine in New York. You can have Turkish for breakfast, Thai for lunch, Mexican for dinner and end your day in a Japanese sake bar. But of course, New York has its own specialties too! Bagels, thin crust pizza and pastrami on rye are some of New York’s must-try dishes.

    Remember that in NYC, tipping is essential. This is because waiters get paid very little and rely almost entirely on tips to afford living in this expensive city. You should never tip less than 15%, unless the service or meal was absolutely terrible. In general, New Yorkers tip 15 - 20%. Usually, sales taxes are not included on restaurant menus and prices in shops. So don’t forget that you have to include a tax rate of 8.875% to your purchase. Pro-tip for restaurant tipping: don’t want to calculate a 15-20% tip? Simply double the tax amount (this amount is noted separately on your ticket), which should be the equivalent of a 17.75% tip!

    Tips from the staff: how to spend 5 days in New York City with your children

    Story and pictures from Ada, a colleague from the webteam and a trying-to-do-her-best mum 

    Little Italy New York City

    Finally the day has come and you are making your dream come true: you are going to NYC! You are already packing different outfits, one for a night out in one of the hottest clubs of the city, one for going to a Broadway show, one for dinner in this gorgeous rooftop restaurant, when you feel a little presence behind you and suddenly realize: I have a child and he is coming to New York with me! So what? No clubbing, no concerts, no Broadway shows? Don’t panic: New York is a great venue for families with children. There are so many things to do that you won’t regret (or maybe just a little) having come with your little ones. And don’t forget that New Yorkers have kids as well! So, don’t hesitate to take your children to restaurants, shows and museums!

    Some tips before you get started:

    • Pack comfortable shoes: you are going to be walking and walking, so spend a minute thinking what you and your kids will be wearing all day.
    • Check the weather forecasts for New York during your holiday and pack clothes accordingly. But remember: best time to visit New York is anytime!
    • Think about bringing a travel health kit for your children, but also consider that the city is packed with pharmacies where you will find everything you might need.
    • Don’t underestimate jetlag. Travelling to a different time zone can be challenging for both adults and children and if you are staying in New York for a limited time, you need to enjoy every moment. Here are a couple of tips: 
      • If you take the morning flight, you will have a full day ahead you when you arrive. Try to sleep during the flight to save energy. And try to stay awake until bedtime.
      • As soon as you arrive, put your watch forward, but keep the original time on your phone (or vice versa). This way you can keep track of your child’s regular eating and sleeping patterns.
      • Daylight regulates the body clock. So even if you feel exhausted, take your kids out for a walk or let them play outside in a playground.
      • Make sure your kids eat before going to bed. Often it’s hunger that wakes you up when you change time zone because your body thinks it’s time for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
      • Try to get your kids back to sleep if they wake up too early. If this is not an option, let them play or watch TV and then get up. New York at dawn is awesome and waking up early can have its advantages: no queues at any attraction and no crowd at popular places!
      • Be careful with naps: you just want to lay down a minute and you end up sleeping for hours. This is definitely not helping your biorhythm.
    • Prepare you kids: explain to them that you will be going to a very big city and that they would need to stay close to you all the time. If they are not used to public transport, consider taking local public transport with them once or twice.

    Day 1 - Let your holiday in New York begin

    Even if you can’t wait and want to see everything from the moment you land at New York JFK airport, don’t overdo the first day. You and your kids will be tired from the flight. Take it easy, explore the neighborhood of your hotel or your apartment, maybe find a playground and try out public transport. If you really can’t wait, consider getting on board one of the hop-on hop-off buses (multi-days tickets are available) to get first impressions of the city.

    Staten Island Ferry, New York City, Manhattan view

    Day 2 - Staten Island and the Statue of Liberty

    There are many iconic buildings in New York, but the Statue of the Liberty is undoubtedly one of the most famous. If you don’t feel like visiting the museum, then the Staten Island Ferry is a good option, and furthermore it’s free! During this 20-minutes cruise you will get great views of the Statue, the harbour and lower Manhattan. After that, you’ll feel ready to conquer New York! 

    Since you will be in lower Manhattan, you will be able to walk through the Financial District, Wall Street (yes, many kids will be keeping an eye open for Spider Man) and Trinity Church. If you wish to tell your kids about September 11, then you can head to Ground Zero nearby.

    Afterwards rest in the nice garden around the City Hall. Your kids will probably have their first encounter with the popular New York squirrels! Feeling hungry? Then it’s time to head to neighbouring Little Italy and Chinatown. 

    After some nice spring rolls or a pizza and gelato, you will feel ready for the last sprint of the day: fancy Soho and eclectic Tribeca.

    Day 3 - Manhattan and Central Park

    Today, it’s time to head to the heart of Manhattan and finally see Times Square. Usually very crowded, if jetlag happens to take you there early in the morning, you will discover another face of this iconic place and have the opportunity to take selfies and pictures undisturbed. 

    A visit to New York is not complete without climbing to one of the observation decks on top of famous skyscrapers. You can climb to the 86th floor of the Empire State Building (watch out for King Kong, though!), the 71st floor of the Chrysler Building, the 70th floor of the Rockefeller Center (Top of the Rock) or the 102nd floor of the World Trade Center. They all offer great views over the Manhattan skyline and an unforgettable experience. Whether you want to climb only one or the four of them, we advise you to book your tickets online in advance. Just in front of the Rockefeller Center you will find the famous ice-skating rink (from October to April), surrounded by about 200 flags (revise your geography if you do not want your kids to make a fool of you!). 

    And now, you are ready for another iconic landmark: Central Park. Enter from the Children’s Gate and enjoy the famous zoo (don’t miss the famous Madagascar Penguins), ride one of the horses at the ancient carrousel or take a boat ride. Parents could look for Strawberry fields (dedicated to John Lennon) and try to recognize all possible movie locations!

    Central Park New York City

    Day 4 - Things to do with your kids in New York

    Ok kids, let’s do a museum today! Which one? Here comes the difficult part: New York is home to hundreds of museums and most of them have things for kids. Just to mention a few: The American Museum of Natural History (don’t miss the dinosaur gallery), The New Public Library (check out the Winnie-the-Pooh area), The Metropolitan Museum of Art (offering workshops for kids), The Museum of Modern Art - MoMa (offering family day and family activities), The Guggenheim Museum (although children will love this funny circular building, explain to them it’s not a huge slide), The Children’s Museum of Manhattan (with a special “Dora the Explorer” play area), The Brooklyn’s Children Museum (discover world cultures and nature at the world’s first museum for children), The New York Hall of Science (in summer you’ll find an outdoor science playground and a mini-golf), Discover Times Square (exhibition center offering limited-run exhibitions –Star Wars exhibition is over, sorry!), The Museum of the Moving Image (including several playable video games), Madame Tussauds New York (world-famous wax museum). 

    We visited 2 of the above-listed museums, guess which ones?

    Day 5 - Coney Island

    It’s your last day in New York. You are all a little bit tired of so much walking, sightseeing and a lot of dos (stay close, give me your hand, stay seated…) and don’ts (don’t run, don’t climb there, don’t spill your $6 apple juice over this $3000 suit…). Do you want to see the smile back on your children faces? Then bring them to Coney Island and they’ll have the best time of their lives! 

    The amusement park includes more than 50 attractions, among them the Cyclone, a historic roller coaster opened in 1927. If you are on for a walk, you can take the Riegelman wooden walk, the longest in the world, breathing fresh sea air and maybe listening to Lou Reed’s album “Coney Island Baby” or just quickly to Tom Waits’ song with the same title if your children are too demanding. 

    Alternatively, you can visit the famous New York Aquarium and enjoy the sea-lion show and see a lot of sharks. If you are into animals, the Bronx Zoo is also an option: it’s simply the biggest zoo in the world! If only nature works for you, then head either to the New York Botanical Garden or the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

    That’s all folks! It’s time to head to the airport and fly back home. Have a good flight back and start thinking about your next family trip with Brussels Airlines. It was fun, wasn’t it?

    New York City Videos

    Videos from Laurent, a colleague from the webteam passionate about travel video and photography.

    • Times Square 360° video

      Times Square 360° video
    • Time Lapse Times Square

      Time Lapse Times Square
    • New York Circle Line Time Lapse

      New York Circle Line Time Lapse

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