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Presenting New York City!

Times Square, New York City's hyperactive heart.
Image courtesy: Nitin Gairola

‘As for New York City, it is a place apart. There is not its match in any other country in the world.’ Pearl S Buck

From the bright neon lights of Times Square to iconic buildings that touch the sky, New York City is anything but ordinary. This global melting pot is home to many iconic monuments, buildings, parks and a week is the minimum time you need here to do full justice to this swanky city.

Getting there from India

Visa: The American tourist visa is usually valid for 10 years. Start the visa process at least 45 days prior to travel. It costs Rs 9,000 per person.

Airfare: Both Delhi and Mumbai have a number of direct and connecting flights to NYC with return economy fares inclusive of taxes starting from around Rs. 65,000 – 75,000. Direct flights start from around Rs 85,000 onwards provided by carriers such as Air India, United, American Airlines, Delta and many more.

Hotels: It is best to book your hotel in advance since NYC is expensive. While it’s an absolute must to stay in the city center, preferably Times Square if you can afford it. The price for 4-star hotels is more than Rs. 15,000 per night and for 2 or 3 star hotels it is usually Rs 10,000. You can also look at somewhere near Central Park where the room tariffs will be slightly less while you won’t be far from the action.

In a city full of American icons, the Statue of Liberty is perhaps the most famous.
Image courtesy: Nitin Gairola

Absolute Must-Sees

  • Statue of Liberty: This American icon sees many tourists through the year. The crown is again open to the public – numbers are limited, however, so reservations are required. The trip to its island is via ferries that leave from Battery Park.
  • Empire State Building: This is one of the most iconic buildings in the New York skyline. The 86th floor offers the best views of the city. Go towards evening to get a bird’s-eye-view of NYC at sunset.
  • Times Square: The intersection of Broadway and Seventh Avenue is probably the liveliest, the brightest place on Earth. Think neon and glittering lights and over-the-top billboards.
A poignant memorial to those who perished in the September 11th, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center.
Image courtesy: Nitin Gairola
  • National September 11 Memorial & Museum: Titled Reflecting Absence, the memorial’s two massive reflecting pools are as much a symbol of hope and renewal as they are a tribute to the thousands who lost their lives to terrorism. Beside them stands the Memorial Museum, a solemn space documenting the events and consequences of that fateful day in 2001.
  • Grand Central Terminal: Completed in 1913, Grand Central Terminal is another of New York’s stunning Beaux Arts buildings, boasting 75ft-high, glass-encased catwalks and a vaulted ceiling bearing a mural of the constellations streaming across it – backwards.
Cherry Blossom trees at Central Park.
Image courtesy: Nitin Gairola
  • Central Park: The vast Central Park is an 843-acre rectangle of open space in the middle of Manhattan replete with lush lawns, forests, flowering gardens, glassy bodies of water and meandering, wooded paths.
  • Museum of Modern Art: This is one of the city’s most popular museums, home to more than 100,000 pieces of modern artwork by legends like Van Gogh, Matisse, Picasso, Warhol, Lichtenstein, Rothko, Pollock, Bourgeois and many others.

AUTHOR'S BIO: Nitin Gairola is a globe-trotting photographer, a back-packing trekker, a poet and a keen student of earth science, history & world cultures besides having a proclivity towards philanthropy & human rights issues. He has travelled to many parts of the world in his quest for knowing more about the planet & its inhabitants. Besides Lonely Planet, his works have been released in Economic Times and BBC Wildlife amongst others.More on: