New York

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From JFK International Airport - the AirTrain, which costs around $5, will take you to the city’s subway in under an hour. A further $2.25 fare and you’ve got the key to the city. There are also numerous taxis ($45 approx) and private shuttles ($13-$20 approx) if you don’t fancy taking public transport, and though it’s known as the city that never sleeps, there is an endless array of places to put your head down for the night, from five-star hotels to affordable inns.

From Newark Liberty Airport - whether you take AirTrain, drive yourself, rent a car, or ride with one of the numerous car and van services, Newark Liberty is conveniently located on the New Jersey Turnpike (Interstate 95). AirTrain Newark provides speedy access to New Jersey Transit trains into Newark, New York City and points south via Amtrak’s national rail network.

Manhattan

While all of New York City’s boroughs have a lot to offer, it is Manhattan that continues to draw the lion’s share of travellers… and for good reason. Manhattan is a tourist’s dream – from the neon tinted excitement of Time Square, to the picturesque tranquillity of Central Park, there’s something for everyone. Shoppers can head to Macy’s or Bloomingdales for high quality goods while diners can hit Midtown or the East Village for an incredible assortment of culinary delights.

Shopping & Entertainment 

For cutting edge fashion, the haute strip of Madison Avenue is where it’s at. Bursting with designers like Calvin Klein, Giorgio Armani and Jean-Paul Gaultier, this 15-block runway is every fashionista’s dream. If you like everything in one place, hit Fifth Avenue where you’ll find high-end department stores including Bergdorf’s and Bendel’s.

New York’s skyline is dominated by skyscrapers such as the Rockefeller Centre and the Empire State Building, both of which offer tremendous views of Manhattan, and you can’t go far without running into a top class gallery or museum – the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and the American Museum of Natural History being two of particular note. Of course, no trip to New York is complete without taking in a show on Broadway, although you can expect to pay around $100 for the privilege.

Sport

The Big Apple loves its sport as much as the next US major city. Home to the world-famous New Yankees and the Mets (Baseball), the Giants and the Jets (Football), and the Knicks (Basketball), partisan support at some of the most impressive stadiums in the world will make hairs stand on end. Irish fans will recall fond memories of one of New York’s sporting arenas in particular – Giant’s Stadium was the venue for Ireland’s historic victory over Italy at the 1994 FIFA World Cup. 

Budgeting

If you’re planning on visiting most of New York’s main attractions such as the Empire State Observatory or MoMA, you should consider purchasing a New York CityPASS. At approximately $90, the ticket pays for six key attractions, saving you almost 50% on normal prices as well as allowing you to skip the queues!

For the price conscious, here are our top five free attractions.

Five for free

  • Central Park 

    Situated in the heart of New York, Central Park is the perfect respite from the hustle and bustle of the city. Filled with free events, statues and stunning scenery, the park is also a people-watcher’s dream. The Loeb Boathouse offers the chance to row leisurely across the Park’s 22-acre lake (around $12 per hour) while the Central Park Zoo ($13-$18) gives the little ones a chance to see penguins and polar bears up close and personal.

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  • Staten Island Ferry

    Ferry tours to see the Statue of Liberty start at around $12. But the Staten Island Ferry, originally intended for commuters, offers a good view of Lady Liberty, and is 100% free. After making the journey to Staten, most tourists simply hop back on to get back to Manhattan, but why not check out Staten’s 9/11 memorial or its wonderful Chinese Scholar Gardens while you’re there.

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  • Grand Central Partnership Walking Tours

    Discover the architecture and social history of the Grand Central neighbourhood through the eyes of two urban historians. Participants on the award-winning 90-minute tour will discover the secrets of the Whispering Gallery in Grand Central Terminal, gaze upon the hubcaps of the Chrysler Building and learn why Pershing Square isn’t really square.

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  • Governors Island

    Not only is the ferry to Governors Island free, so is admission to its splendid 172-acre grounds. With a 2.2-mile bike path, mini golf and a picnic area, it’s perfect for a sunny day trip as long as you visit on a weekend from May to September when the park opens its gates to the public. For the history buff, there are military sites such as Admiral’s House, while those who like a fright can get their kicks at a ‘ghost town’ of sorts at Nolan Park

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  • The Brooklyn Bridge

    When it was built in 1883, the 271ft tall bridge connecting Brooklyn and Manhattan became the city’s first, and the world’s largest, suspension bridge. To this day people still flock to take the mile-long stroll across the Great East River, underneath the structure’s imposing gothic arches. Walt Whitman described the walk as “the best, most effective medicine my soul has yet partaken.”

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