Discover New York City

Stroll Central Park, watch Broadway shows, see the finest art in the world and enjoy the neck-cramping skylines of Manhattan.

Air New Zealand will fly three times a week between Auckland and New York from 17 September 2022, subject to government and regulatory requirements. Connections are available from Air New Zealand serviced domestic airports.

New York City has featured in thousands of songs, books and movies. It's also inspired millions of immigrants to move and make a brand new start, full of possibilities and hope. As a result, NYC has more than eight million forward-thinking inhabitants who speak more than 800 languages.

While NYC has a reputation for being expensive, you can get by on a tight budget too. Splurge on a few superb museums, a couple of slap-up meals and a Broadway show, then fill in the rest of your time with free or cheap things to do. And make sure you arrive with sensible shoes - New York is a walkable city where you'll easily reach your 10,000 step target before lunch.

Go to the heart of Manhattan

You'll want to make the most of your time, so wake up early in the city that never sleeps. Times Square is a good place to start - it's bursting with digital billboards, retail temptation, restaurants and characters in costume who'll try to photobomb your selfies.  From there, it's a 10-minute walk to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), a 15-minute subway ride to the American Museum of Natural History (budget hack: you only pay as much as you want to for an entry ticket) or 30 minutes on the subway to the Metropolitan Museum of Art or the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.

After your brain is full, take a break from the noise by grabbing a picnic lunch and finding a quiet spot in Central Park. The heart of Manhattan, it has a zoo and playgrounds for kids, frolicking squirrels, lakes with turtles and a multitude of walking trails.

Get enmeshed in NYC's lifestyle

To see the real NYC, escape from the highly touristed places and hang out with the locals. Head to the lower Manhattan and grab a ride on the free Staten Island Ferry. It takes you close to the Statue of Liberty and then drops you off on Staten Island. The 9/11 Memorial there is peaceful and moving. When you return to Manhattan, stay in the lower Manhattan. Walk across Brooklyn Bridge for outstanding views of the NYC skyline (it's super romantic at night) and have a pastrami sandwich at A Taste of Katz which is an off-shoot of the original Katz's Deli on the Lower East Side (of When Harry Met Sally fame).

In Midtown, you'll find the High Line. It's an old abandoned rail line that's been beautified, packed with street art, green spaces, and places to sit and chill out. It starts in the Meatpacking District, a trendy place for a meal.

If you're into sport, head to Yankee Stadium, eat a hotdog and watch a baseball game. Or if music and theatre are your thing, there are more shows on Broadway than you'll ever have time to see.

Shop like you've never shopped before

For those who love to shop, Manhattan has everything from the quirky offbeat shops of Greenwich Village through to iconic stores like Bloomingdales, Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus.

One of the most elegant (and expensive) streets in the world, Fifth Avenue will introduce you to Saks, Harry Winston, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Tiffany's and De Beers. There are also numerous high street fashion options, including Zara, H&M and Nine West. Even if you only window shop, checking out the high-end retail scene Manhattan is enthralling.

For boho shopping areas, the Meatpacking District and Greenwich Village offer a splendid assortment of independently-owned boutique stores. Make sure you track down Obscura Antiques and Oddities for totally unexpected objects and art.  If you like Sunday flea market bargains, Hell's Kitchen has everything from art to vintage clothing.

 

Eat like a New Yorker

NY is home to more than 1000 different cultures, so every mealtime is an opportunity to explore the world. You could start with true USA fare, like the amazing burgers at Honest Chops, NY pizza at Lombardi's and soul food at Sylvia's in Harlem (chicken and waffles are served). And don't forget the Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant - a NYC institution that has been dedicated to great seafood for more than a century.

Once you've ticked the USA box, discover the neighbourhoods of NYC and their ethnic specialties. The Bronx is the place for Mexican, Puerto Rican and Korean; Belmont is 'Little Italy' with a touch of Albanian; Norwood is for Filipino cuisine; Astoria can help you with Eastern European and Arabic food; Crown Heights can introduce you to Jamaican and West Indian food; Borough Park is the place for kosher eateries; Yonkers is a top spot for Cuban food. And so it goes…all the way to Chinatown (and we don't need to tell you what you can eat there!).

Essential Information

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Best time to fly to New York City

New York is an anytime destination. Think about Central Park, for a moment. In spring it's bursting with flowers and fresh foliage; in summer, there are plenty of shady trees and water features to cool things down; in autumn you get a colour show and comfortable temperatures; and in winter there's ice skating and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade to look forward to.