Skyscrapers dwarf the avenues below, and the sidewalks thrum with life day and night.
The clichés about New York are true – but that's just the surface. Alongside the iconic buildings, the city’s neighbourhoods are home to people and influences from around the globe; it's the diversity in everything that makes the Big Apple so uniquely exciting.
Arriving at John F. Kennedy International Airport
John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) is New York’s largest international airport and the main entry point to the city. Public transport options are plentiful, and you can reach the heart of Manhattan just a couple of hours after your plane touches down.
The 24-hour AirTrain JFK links to the subway system and has stations in all six of the airport’s terminals. Once you change onto the subway it’s a 35-minute ride into Penn Station in Manhattan. Alternatively, express buses, which also stop at all of JFK’s terminals, run every 20 to 30 minutes and stop at Grand Central Station and Penn Station. The journey takes around an hour and a quarter.
New York taxis are also available from outside the airport, and, unlike cabs hailed from the street, are not metered. There's a set fare, which can include a rush-hour surcharge. The journey duration varies depending on the time of the day, and can be as short as 40 minutes or up to 90 minutes.
Festivals and events
Whatever the season, you’ll find New York’s events calendar bursting at the seams. Here are just a few of the most unmissable celebrations and festivals to look out for.
Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
Parades float down New York’s streets regularly, but none are as famous as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. In 2024 it will celebrate its centenary of entertaining the city with its live performances and ever-more daring and impressive floats.
New Year’s Eve in Times Square
It's a time-honoured tradition in NYC that on 31 December the crystal ball drops from the One Times Square tower to ring in the New Year. Over a million people flock to the heart of Manhattan to count it in.
Tribeca Film Festival
This lively film festival was founded by Robert De Niro, along with producer Jane Rosenthal and her husband Craig Ratkoff, and is held each year in Manhattan. It's been running since 2002 and has featured over 1,400 films from around the world, with screenings in cinemas around the TriBeCa neighbourhood.
Central Park SummerStage
This summer-long, city-wide arts festival sees public parks filled with music, dance, theatrical performances and family-friendly concerts.
In August and September NYC plays host to the country’s largest international tennis tournament. Top players from across the globe convene in the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center to play for the top prizes.
Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting
The city's magnificent tree, which overlooks the famous ice rink, is illuminated with some 25,000 fairy lights in early December. Whatever your age, it's a must at Christmastime in NYC.