Manhattan, often known as “the City” to New Yorkers, is a borough that welcomes an astounding 65 million visitors a year. It's home to some of the most popular tourist attractions in the USA. These spots include the One World Trade Center, Times Square in Midtown, and the 843-acre Central Park. From visiting museums to enjoying Broadway shows, Manhattan has endless things to keep you busy all day long.

To end your evening on a high note, you may want to visit the Empire State Building after sunset. This allows you to look at Manhattan from open-air observatories and marvel as the skies light up from the lights of the buildings and streets around it.

Manhattan in New York - one of the highlights of 10 Great Destinations for Canadian Travel Buddies and 10 Best Street Food Cities in the USA (Read all about New York here)

What are the highlights of Manhattan?

Aside from its towering skyscrapers, Manhattan is popular for its never-ending sights and sounds. One such attraction is the iconic Statue of Liberty. If you're keen to capture the best of this American landmark without having to set foot on Liberty Island, we'd recommend stopping by Battery Park City. This is a public park where you can enjoy a picnic out on the waterfront and take in the beauty of Manhattan all without having to leave New York.

Fans of the long-time TV series Friends would want to visit Bedford Street in Greenwich City. This is where you’ll get to see the exterior of the apartment where the characters supposedly live in. While the actual units of the show were created offsite, the exterior shots of this popular sitcom are of this apartment. There is a cafe below the apartment that serves great coffee and cakes, making it the real-life Central Perk coffee shop albeit of a different name.

Where to shop in Manhattan?

No trip to Manhattan would ever be complete without a walk down the best shopping streets in the city. To experience shopping like the rich and famous, you’ll want to walk down the streets of Fifth Avenue, the SoHo areas, or Madison Avenue of the Upper East Side. This is where you’ll find the top designer labels like Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Tiffany & Co. just to name a few. Manhattan is also home to the Macy’s flagship store, located at Herald Square.

For a more relaxed atmosphere, you may want to visit Canal Street where you can snap up a bargain. If you're in the city in summer, do look out for any of the open-air markets that pop up around the area. A popular option is the Brooklyn Flea Market, where you’ll find a variety of preloved goods and handmade accessories for sale.

Good to know about Manhattan

There are plenty of free things to do around Manhattan, making it a great place to visit even if you’re on travelling on a budget. Some of the favourites among locals and travellers alike include a walk in the urban Central Park, visiting Rockefeller Center and heading to the Top of the Rock Observation Deck, or reliving history at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum.

If you’re making your way to Manhattan by train, then be sure to stop and admire the architecture of the Grand Central Terminal from inside and out. Opened in 1913, this iconic station welcomes over 60 million passengers a year, making it the 3rd busiest train station in North America. Several subway lines and intercity trains often make a stop here, with plans for additional services for the Long Island Rail Road.

Manhattan in New York

Elie Lam | Escritor