Luxurious Destinations
New York City
Destinations Within New York City

New York City Trip Itineraries

NYC Icons

Destination(s): New York City

Immerse yourself in the quintessential New York: spend three days exploring the city's most famous buildings and sights.

Photo: Flatiron Building. By Sarah. read more about NYC Icons

Grand Central Terminal

Grand Central Terminal

  • 82 East 42nd Street
  • 42nd St. at Park Ave
  • tel:+1 212 340 3404
  • Visit website
  • New York, 99723

Often called Grand Central Station, this major transportation hub located on the corner of Park Avenue and 42nd Street serves commuters on the New York City subway as well as the Metro-North Railroad, which travels to Westchester, Putnam, and Dutchess Counties in New York and Fairfield and New Haven counties in Connecticut. Aside from its importance as a transportation center, Grand Central Terminal is also one of New York's most durable landmarks, and a dramatic symbol of the hustle and bustle of the city. The decision to electrify New York's trains around 1900 meant that rail yard operations were moved underground and centered in a new, breathtaking Beaux-Arts terminal building, completed in 1913. Later, Grand Central was almost destroyed (the fate of the original Pennsylvania Station across town), but preservationists including Jacqueline Kennedy had it declared landmark in the mid-1960s.

Those approaching Grand Central Terminal from the south are rewarded with views of the building's impressive fašade, topped by a 13-foot clock. The clock features the world's largest example of Tiffany glass and is surrounded by huge sculptures of the Roman gods Hercules, Minerva, and Mercury. The interior of the terminal's main concourse is 120 feet wide, 375 feet long, and 125 feet high, and is covered with an impressive vaulted ceiling, painted like an evening sky, with gilded stars and constellations (part of a recent four-year-long renovation). Some 125,000 commuters pass through the terminal every day, in addition to some 500,000 visitors. read more about Grand Central Terminal

Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge

  • Off South Street Viaduct
  • Park Row, near Municipal Building
  • tel:212 484 1200 (Tourist information)
  • Visit website
  • New York, 11201

Opened in 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the United States. It stretches 5,989 feet (1825 meters) across the East River and connects the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn. At the time of its construction, it was the largest suspension bridge in the world and the first steel-wire suspension bridge. The bridge was designed by the New Jersey architect John Augustus Roebling, who died before construction began after he contracted tetanus from a wound sustained in a ferry accident during surveys for the bridge project. Built from limestone, granite, and cement, the Brooklyn Bridge is an example of Gothic-style architecture, with its characteristic pointed arches topping twin passageways through huge stone towers. Because Roebling designed a bridge and truss system six times stronger than he thought it needed to be, the Brooklyn Bridge is still standing, while many other bridges built around the same time have had to be replaced.

In the past, the inside lanes of traffic on the bridge carried the elevated trains of the Brooklyn-Manhattan Transport (BMT) Corporation from stations in Brooklyn to a terminal at Manhattan's Park Row. Streetcars shared the other lanes with other traffic until the elevated trains stopped using the bridge in 1944 and the streetcars moved to the center lanes. Six years later, the streetcars also stopped running, and the bridge was rebuilt to its present configuration, with six lanes of automobile traffic. A separate walkway runs along the centerline for pedestrians and bicyclists, and boasts some of the best views of the Manhattan and Brooklyn skylines. read more about Brooklyn Bridge

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

  • 1071 Fifth Avenue at 89th Street
  • At 89th St
  • tel:+1 212 423 3500
  • Visit website
  • New York, 10128

Opened in 1959 to house the impressive collection of mining tycoon Solomon R. Guggenheim, the museum is considered by many to be a work of art in itself. Architect Frank Lloyd Wright worked for 16 years (he died one month before the museum opened) to create not just an art museum but a completely unique space, where the building and the art work together to create "an uninterrupted, beautiful symphony." From the outside, the oddly shaped Guggenheim has drawn comparisons to an upside-down cupcake, a Jello mold, or a pile of twisted ribbon. Inside, a long ramp spirals upward for a quarter of a mile above a large central rotunda, topped by a domed glass ceiling. Wright's love of nature led him to make the building appear on the inside like a giant seashell, with each room opening fluidly into the next.

In 1993, a controversial expansion and renovation added even more exhibition space to the museum, which houses a large permanent collection of Impressionist, post-Impressionist and other modernist work and mounts several large-scale special exhibitions each year. These are usually devoted to the work of a single modern artist or to a topic, such as the Aztec Empire, the Art of the Motorcycle, or Family Pictures. Located at the corner of 89th Street and Fifth Avenue, the Guggenheim is now one of the city's most popular attractions, with more than 900,000 visitors each year. read more about Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

Chrysler Building

Chrysler Building

  • 405 Lexington Ave
  • (at 42nd Street)
  • tel:+1 212 682 3070
  • Visit website
  • New York, 10174

This classic example of Art-Deco architecture stands 77 stories and 1,048 feet (319 meters) high, looming above the busy intersection of Lexington Avenue and 42nd Street. Ground was broken for its construction in 1928, during an intense competition in New York City to build the world's tallest skyscraper. Designed by architect William Van Alen to house the Chrysler Corporation, the steel-framed brick building was briefly the world's tallest, topping one rival skyscraper built at 40 Wall Street, but was swiftly overtaken by the Empire State Building in 1931. After the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, the Chrysler Building is again the second-tallest building in New York City.

When the Chrysler Building first opened, it contained a public viewing gallery on the 71st floor, but this was closed to the public in 1945. The building itself is worth a look, however, for its elegant style and distinctive ornamentation. At its top is a series of gleaming arches that gradually diminish in size and are made of stainless steel. Narrow triangular windows pierce the arches, which end in a slim stainless steel spire reaching some 185 feet into the air. Ornaments used on the building include enormous eagle heads (replicas of the 1929 Chrysler hood ornaments), pineapples, and automobile-themed images. The elegant Art-Deco lobby also merits a visit, with its gleaming expanses of marble, chrome, and painted fresco. read more about Chrysler Building

South Street Seaport

South Street Seaport

  • 12 Fulton St
  • Fulton & South Streets
  • tel:+1 212 732 7678
  • Visit website
  • New York, 10038

This historic trading port, which dates back to the 1600s, is located on the edge of the Financial District, where Fulton Street meets the East River. It was restored and revitalized for tourist use in the late 1960s, and now boasts more than 120 shops, restaurants, and bars, as well as the South Street Seaport Museum, the Pier 17 Pavilion, and the New York City Police Museum. Visitors to the Seaport will also find some of the oldest architecture in downtown Manhattan, including renovated original mercantile buildings from the early 19th century, renovated sailing ships, and the former Fulton Fish Market.

With its cobblestone streets and broad piers, South Street Seaport offers a welcome escape from the congested, skyscraper-lined streets of downtown. There are usually free outdoor performances going on - check out a number of prominent and up-and-coming acts at the outdoor stage set up in the summertime - and the cool breezes, fun people-watching, and beautiful views of the Brooklyn Bridge can all be enjoyed for free. read more about South Street Seaport

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Metropolitan Museum of Art

  • 1000 Fifth Ave
  • Fifth Ave. at 82nd St
  • tel:+1 212 535 7710
  • Visit website
  • New York, 10028-0198

Don't expect to fully take in all that this enormous museum has to offer in one visit. With the finest collection of American art in the world, a collection of more than 3,000 European paintings, an expansive array of art from ancient Egypt, and recently renovated halls of Greek, Roman, Cypriot, and Asian art, there is a reason the Metropolitan Museum is considered the foremost symbol of arts and culture in a city chock-full of arts and culture. Often referred to simply as "The Met", the museum is located on Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street, on the eastern edge of Central Park and at the center of the so-called "Museum Mile".

First opened in 1872, the Met has been significantly expanded over the years, and its permanent collection now contains more than two million works of art, divided into nineteen curatorial departments. In addition to its giant holdings of American, European, Egyptian, African, Asian, Oceanic, Byzantine, and Islamic art, the museum is also home to encyclopedic collections of musical instruments, costumes and accessories, and antique weapons and armor from around the world. A number of notable interiors, ranging from 1st century Rome through modern American design, are permanently installed in the Met's galleries. The Met also organizes and hosts a continually changing series of special exhibitions each year. read more about Metropolitan Museum of Art

Empire State Building

Empire State Building

  • 350 5th Avenue, Suite # 3210
  • between 33rd and 34th Streets
  • tel:+1 212 736 3100
  • Visit website
  • New York, 10118

This 102-story Art Deco skyscraper, located at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and West 34th Street, has been one of New York's most notable landmarks since its completion in 1931. Built as part of an intense competition to build the world's tallest building, the Empire State Building overtook its rivals - 40 Wall Street and the Chrysler Building - to gain the distinction, which it held for four decades, before the World Trade Center towers were completed in 1971. With the destruction of the World Trade Center in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the Empire State Building again became the tallest building in New York City. It was designed by Gregory Johnson and his architectural firm Shreve, Lamb and Harmon.

The building's fašade is classic, with modernistic stainless steel canopies marking the entrances on 33rd and 34th Streets and leading to corridors surrounding a core of 67 elevators. Though the Chrysler Building is undoubtedly the more attractive of New York's two Art Deco towers, the Empire State Building has earned its reputation as a top destination largely due to the popularity of its indoor and outdoor observation decks. The outdoor observatory on the 86th floor, with its sweeping 360-degree views of the city, is one of the most popular in the world, and has been visited by more than 110 million people. The second observation deck, on the 102nd floor, is completely enclosed and much smaller, and it may be closed on days with especially high traffic. In addition to the observation spaces, the building has 85 stories (2,158,000 square feet) of commercial and office space. In 1964, floodlights were added to illuminate the top of the building at night; special colors are chosen to match seasonal and other events, such as Christmas, St. Patrick's Day, or victory by any one of New York's sports teams. read more about Empire State Building

Wall Street & the New York Stock Exchange

Wall Street & the New York Stock Exchange

  • 11 Wall Street
  • tel:+1 212 656 3000
  • Visit website
  • New York, 10271
Jazz at Lincoln Center

Jazz at Lincoln Center

  • Time Warner Center, 11th Floor
  • 33 W 60th Street
  • tel:+1 212 258 9800
  • Visit website
  • New York, 10023
Flatiron Building

Flatiron Building

  • 175 Fifth Ave
  • (at 23rd Street)
  • tel:+1 212 484 1200
  • Visit website
  • New York, 10010
Woolworth Building

Woolworth Building

  • 233 Broadway
  • (between Park Place and Barclay Street)
  • tel:+1 212 397 8200
  • Visit website
  • New York, 10279
Times Square

Times Square

  • 1560 Broadway, Between 46th & 47th streets
  • tel:+1 212 768 1560 (Times Square Alliance)
  • Visit website
  • New York, 10036

Located at the junction of Broadway and Seventh Avenue and stretching from West 42nd to West 47th Street, its glittering lights and neon signs make Times Square one of the most iconic sights of New York City. Formerly the property of fur trading and real estate tycoon John Jacob Astor, the square got its name in the early 1900s when the New York Times moved into a new skyscraper on 42nd Street. After new subways brought thousands of commuters to 42nd Street, the city's theaters moved up from the Bowery and lower Broadway, and the area is now the center of New York's bustling theater district.

In the decades after the Great Depression, Times Square became known as a dangerous neighborhood and a symbol of the city's decline and corruption from the 1960s to the 1990s. After a long-term development plan and a comprehensive crackdown on crime by the city government, the infamous center of pickpockets and porno theaters has been thoroughly reinvented and filled with more upscale and tourist-friendly attractions, hotels, vendors, and street performers. read more about Times Square

Statue of Liberty

Statue of Liberty

  • Liberty Island
  • On Liberty Island in New York Harbor
  • tel:212-363-7620
  • Visit website
  • New York, 10004

This iconic copper statue was presented to the U.S. by France in 1886 as a commemoration of the U.S. centennial and a gesture of friendship between France and the U.S. Since then, it has stood at Liberty Island in New York Harbor as a welcome to all visitors, immigrants, and Americans returning from abroad. Construction of the statue, supervised by sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi and engineer Gustave Eiffel (mastermind of Paris's famous tower), began in France in 1875 and was completed in 1884, after which the statue was dismantled and transported across the Atlantic to be reassembled.

Lady Liberty stands approximately 151 feet tall and weighs 225 tons (450,000 pounds). Visitors used to be able to climb the 354 steps to peer at the view through the windows in her crown, but this option is no longer available. Currently, the museum and ten-story pedestal are open for visitation but are only accessible if visitors have a "Monument Access Pass" which is a reservation that visitors must make at least two days in advance of their visit and pick up before boarding the ferry. There are a maximum of 3000 passes available each day (with a total of 15,000 visitors to the island daily). read more about Statue of Liberty