Simply one of the greatest cities on the planet - New York City has got pretty much everything you can think of and then a whole heap more.If you're heading to the Big Apple for the first time here's the key things you need to know.
Busy and brash with iconic landmarks, superb nightlife, a really lovely park and an energy like no other. You need to visit, you really do.
Now. Do it. But if you prefer a little planning, try Thanksgiving (last weekend in November) and the run up to Christmas.These are probably the most iconic times to visit (which makes them pretty busy - but don't let that put you off). You'll be either watching the trees in Central Park changing into their autumn shades, taking a turn round the outdoor ice skating rink or shopping in the famous stores you've seen in the movies on snow-lined streets.
New York can be a city of extremes and the weather fits in perfectly with that. When it's hot, it's sweltering and when it's cold it's freezing.
"How long have you got?" might be a better question.
Good news. There's really good competition among the airlines taking you across the pond.
New York has three major airports.John F. Kennedy International (JFK) is the closest to New York itself and the biggest.If you're shopping around, look at flights to Newark Liberty International. Although it's in New Jersey, it's only a couple of kilometres further out and has decent transport links into New York.There are no direct flights from the UK to La Guardia at present - but it could be an option if you're travelling from another city in the US.
This is a medium-haul trip. Expect an average flight duration of eight hours from London, Manchester or Edinburgh..You could also take a small detour en route. Flights via Iceland and Dublin often offer stopovers at no extra cost.
Be aware that on the way back, international check in times are around three hours - so leave plenty of time to get to the airport.From JFKThe cheapest way is to take the AirTrain (free) which then connects you to public transport. You can reach Manhattan and Brooklyn in 50 minutes for less than ten dollars by subway, or get the train: it's double the price but takes half as long.Taxis will have a flat rate of $56.50 to get to Manhattan at peak times - find fares to different destinations in the city.From NewarkYou can also get the AirTrain here to connect and be in New York in around half an hour for less than $15 - find out more here.From La GuardiaThis is the closest airport to New York - it's only eight miles from Manhattan - here's how to get from here to NYC.
Yes. The UK is five hours ahead of New York - our afternoon is their morning.Some people might experience a little jetlag as you're heading west. If your body clock wakes you up at 5am - maybe think about going out for a walk or run.It's a great time to catch the city when it's quiet, see the sunrise and take some pictures before everyone is out and about. You can always go back bed.
If you're going for a short break, you'll probably want to stay close to the main action in Manhattan.
Staying longer? The other four boroughs (there are five in NY) including Brooklyn could be an option to see more of NYC.
Tipping: this is probably the most important thing to get to grips with - it's a huge part of the New York culture. Here's a brief New York Times guide to who you should tip and why.Culture: New Yorkers are proud of their city, and locals will usually be willing to stop and help if you're lost or have questions. But as with any big city, don't take impatience personally. It's a fast moving city, so if you're dawdling in front of the subway entrance or doors they're going to get miffed.On the move: The fast food is good because a lot of New Yorkers don't have time to sit down for lunch. Join in grabbing some food on the go - the pizza slices are epic.Navigating: New York is built on a grid. Numbered streets run east to west, and avenues run up and down - Fifth Avenue divides the city into east and west.
With so many films and TV shows made about New York - you'll be familiar with many of the major sights, but it's different seeing them for yourself.
Lots of people come to New York purely to hit the major department stores, bargain outlets, electrical superstores and vintage markets.
Time it right and you'll be able to catch one of New York's famous sporting teams in action.
We'd love to hear what your favourite things to do in New York are.Please let us know your best tips for first timers by leaving a comment here below.