Have you ever dreamed of a cultural getaway to ‘the city that never sleeps’? Because if you have, then this article is for you: We are not only going to describe places and museums that are not to be missed, but will also tell you what you need to put in place before you go. So, by the time you have finished reading this article, you’ll be ready for a fun and hassle-free break in the Big Apple!
So, first things first, formalities: that’s right, as an Irish citizen you’ll have to make sure you have the right paperwork in place before you go. Whilst this isn’t too taxing it does take a bit of time, so you’ll need to head over to the ESTA[i] (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) website and fill out an application well in advance. If you get stuck, there’s a comprehensive help section on the ESTA website[ii]which can be found in the useful links section at the end of this article.
Now that that’s out of the way, the fun can really start! If you’re looking to get the most out of New York City’s vibrant cultural scene then I recommend starting at the American Museum of Natural History[iii]as it really has something for everyone and caters for a variety of different ages and interests. Tickets for general admission are priced at $22 per adult and $12.50 per child [between the ages of 2 and 12] this includes access to all 45 halls and the Rose Centre for Earth and Space. Tickets can either be purchased in advance online on the website[iv], or at a discounted price by going to the admissions centre on the day of your visit.
If natural history and space science isn’t your thing then fear not! New York City still has plenty to offer, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is a sure bet for connoisseurs of contemporary art. Standard admission is priced at $25 per ticket: whilst not exactly inexpensive, this price does include admissions to all exhibitions and special screenings as standard so you are guaranteed to get your money’s worth! That said, if you prefer classical art to contemporary, then be sure to check out the Metropolitan Museum of Art which regularly exposes a wide range of both well-known and more obscure artists from Vincent Van Gogh to Paul Cézanne. You are guaranteed to find something that’ll take your fancy! Standard admission is $25 dollars, but if you have children under twelve, they can enter for free: so a trip to the Met can make for a relatively inexpensive family day out; find out more on their website[v].
After a busy day touring the museums why not drink in some authentic Slavic culture at The Russian Tea Room in the centre of Downtown Manhattan, right next to Carnegie Hall? They offer a diverse menu that comprises of both American classics and traditional Russian dishes; the caviar tasting, whilst expensive, is certainly not to be missed! More information can be found on their website[vi].
The Terra Blues Bar
That said, if you prefer to dive headlong into some good old Americana then why not try the Terra Blues Bar on the famous Bleecker Street that was immortalised in song by the world famous New York folk duo Simon and Garfunkel; as their website says: “Chicago may be the capital of the blues, but it doesn’t have the Terra Blues Bar”. Up and coming blues musicians grace the stage most days and the house band the T Blues Band, made up of a rotating group of musicians, are a force to be reckoned with! Add to this a fantastic selection of American whiskies and you are guaranteed a great night: their website can be found in the links section.[vii]
Alternatively, you could simply soak up the bright lights of Time Square and allow yourself to marinade in the singularity of downtown NYC: there really is no other place in the world like it.
Though this article is designed to give you a snapshot of what NYC has to offer, it’s impossible to capture the unique spirit of this city in just a few hundred words. Though all of the places that I have suggested are definitely worth your time (and money) the possibilities really are endless and it’s sure that you won’t be stuck for things to do! Nevertheless, it’s always a good idea to stop by the tourists’ office (The official information centre)[viii] where one of the friendly and well-informed guides can help you get the most out of your visit.
So, now that you’ve finished reading, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and take a bite out of the Big Apple!
[i] https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/application.html?execution=e2s1 (ESTA homepage)