The soaring city of steel and glass is a world city, up there with London and Sydney. Its five boroughs contain a world of entertainment, shopping, dining and cultural options. Its brashness, brilliance and bustle enthralls; no wonder 46 million visitors arrive on cheap flights to New York each year.
The landmarks - the Empire State Building, Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, Broadway are legendary, but there are more. Each borough - The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island - has its own histories, ethnicities and traditions, all waiting to be explored.
From the street food - hot dogs, grilled kebabs, knishes, Middle Eastern wraps, pretzels, and roasted chestnuts - to high-end dining, New York is a gourmet paradise. The food of each community that has made its way to New York can be found here. It's like eating your way around the world in one city.
The shopping is legendary too, from top-of-the-line Fifth Avenue, home to Tiffany & Co, Cartier and Chanel, to the more price-conscious Lower East Side. You may need to pack an extra bag for your flights home.
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New York climate
New York's climate is best described as humid and continental. Summers are hot and famously humid with temperatures hitting the 32 degree Celsius mark (90 degrees Fahrenheit). Winters are cold and snowy. Most rainfall occurs in April, May and November.
When to fly to New York
Fall (October-December) marks the start of the cultural season. Ballet, theatre, and opera are in full swing. Finding cheap flights to New York during these months might be tricky, but the atmosphere is electric.
April to September is shoulder season. Temperatures are decent and there are several free outdoor entertainment opportunities.
The weeks following Christmas and New Years and up to March (excluding Valentine's Day in February) are low season.
Getting around New York
It’s easy to get around New York City. The subway is simple and you’ll always be able to find a bus or taxi. Cabs can be called or hailed anywhere. Subways run 24 hours a day and are easy to figure out. Some hotels offer shuttle service from the airport, so be sure to check when your booking your New York flight and hotel.
New York insider information
- Choose a window seat on your cheap flights to New York and you’ll be able to see the magnificent views of the New York skyline or the Statue of Liberty from 30,000 feet.
- Along with the must-see landmarks, carve out some time to visit the smaller ones. The Metropolitan Museum of Art should be a stop on every traveller's itinerary. It houses more than two million art works in 19 curatorial departments from ancient Egyptian artifacts to modern art. Don't forget the Frick Collection housed in the former home of Henry Clay Frick, a steel magnate. It has a wonderful collection of old master paintings. The Neue Galerie is also on Museum Mile. It houses early 20th century German and Austrian art.
- The Staten Island Ferry carries plies the waters between Staten Island and Manhattan more than 100 times a day. The 25-minute ride offers great views of New York Harbor with the Statue of Liberty and, best of all, it's free. Pick it up, on the Manhattan side, at Whitehall Terminal (South Ferry).
- For bargain Broadway shows, line up at one of the TKTS booths. Tickets for same-day shows are available at discounts of 25-50 per cent. There's also BroadwayBox.com. Before you leave Canada, visit the Web site, enter your dates and see what's available while you'll be in New York.
- The six-level observatory at the top of the Rockefeller Center, 260 metres above street level, offers panoramic views of the city. Central Park, the Brooklyn Bridge, Times Square, the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building are all before you. The timed-ticket system means wait times are short.