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From designer shopping and breathtaking sights to a rich cultural and artistic heritage, fashion, nightlife, world-class restaurants – plus more skyscrapers than you can shake a stick at – the city that never sleeps truly has it all.
For a city break with a difference, the Big Apple may just hit the spot. Read our handy hints and top tips for getting the best out of your experience in
Unless you've been to Milton Keynes, regimented roads may be a revelation. But once you get your bearings, the New York City roads are simple to navigate, which saves a lot of stress.
Actually Manhattan isn't that big, and if you stay midtown (around Macy's, the Rockefeller Center or Times Square) or upper-west or east (sandwiching Central Park) then most things are within walking distance. But if you want to head down to board the Staten Island ferry to see the Statue of Liberty, then you might want to hail a cab or head for the subway.
The mean streets are not for the fainthearted. Traffic is intense and often gridlocked, with taxis swarming the roads like yellow locusts. As a result, the horn is a permanent sound feature no matter what time of day.
Alternatively there's the subway (the New York version of the London Underground), which can get equally busy. A Metrocard (like London's Oyster card) can be topped up allowing money to be deducted every time you swipe in. You can check which ticket suits you best online.
From Carnegie Hall to Radio City Music Hall, New York has more world-class music venues than you can shake a stick at. Famous artists can be found performing virtually any given night of the week, so take time out to see who’s in town – you might be pleasantly surprised. Music lovers can also find solace in virtually any of the jazz, blues and world music venues tucked away off the beaten track.
If you're after cheap tickets of the Broadway variety for your New York short break and you haven't booked a theatre trip in advance, you can queue for same-day tickets. There's a booth on Broadway in the heart of Times Square. It opens at 3pm for evening performances, but be warned, it's popular and the queues start from about 2pm.
Talking of Times Square, from Thanksgiving through to the New Year especially, this iconic site hosts a plethora of planned events.
When visiting during winter, if you're a fan of sub-zero pastimes, slide on down to the Rockefeller Center, or Central Park for ice skating. But you'll need to book tickets ahead.
Of course, if you get time to explore more, there's always Brooklyn, Bronx and Queens…
New York’s restaurant scene is world-famous. Virtually every culture on earth is represented to some degree, making the city a culinary mecca. Check out the official NYC guide for top tips on where to eat out.
Make sure you pack one of our New York travel guides.
Members save 10% on most purchases from the AA Shop, as well as 10% on Hertz car hire and up to 20% on airport parking. Members also enjoy discounts in the USA and Europe with the ARC 'Show Your Card' scheme.
Check out the full range of member discounts.
The city that never sleeps
(24 October 2013)