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New York city skyline with Empire State Building

Compare the best New York holidays

A holiday in vibrant New York will treat you to world-famous sights, superb shopping, great nightlife and an abundance of history and culture

Why go?

So, whether you want to cycle around Central Park, pose in a trendy club, or shop in Macy's, New York should be on your must-visit list...

The Big Apple has something for everyone; the biggest trouble most holidaymakers have is fitting everything in! Here are just some of the reasons you should visit...

Having been the setting for many TV shows and films, New York's iconic landmarks will be recognisable to most travellers. The Art Deco Empire State Building towers above the city and visitors can enjoy a panoramic view from the observation deck on the 86th floor. Another popular tourist activity is to take the Staten Island ferry to visit Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty - an added bonus of this trip is the view you can enjoy from the water of the downtown skyline. And, no trip to New York would be complete without going to Central Park where you can relax in the Beatles-inspired Strawberry Fields, rent a row boat or skate on the Wollman Memorial Rink.

Shoppers go on holidays to New York every year to visit stores such as Macy's, Bloomingdales and Saks, or just to browse in the shops on Fifth Avenue. And there are also smaller boutique shops scattered around the city as well as vintage stores and designer outlets. Just remember not to go over your baggage and tax-free allowance when cramming all of your goodies into your suitcase, or all of your work bargain hunting could be wasted. There are over 250 hotels in New York, according to the official tourist board; ranging from budget hotels to the lavish luxury hotels that cost thousands of dollars a night to stay in.

There are plenty of places to eat to keep your energy levels up while shopping and sightseeing, and New York's multi-cultural population means that there's a diverse range of food on offer including options in Little Italy and Chinatown. If you are too busy to stop for a sit-down meal, grab a hotdog, a pretzel or another tempting treat from one of the many street vendors.

Culture lovers will enjoy wandering around the Metropolitan Museum of Art on the edge of Central Park and the Museum of Modern Art. And families and theatre fans will be spoilt for choice by the range of shows on Broadway as well as smaller plays Off Broadway.

While in can be tempting to spend all of your time in Manhattan on a trip to New York City, remember that the city is made up of five boroughs - Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Staten Island. If you have time explore the outer boroughs you could see the seaside resort of Coney Island (Brooklyn), the Yankee Stadium (the Bronx) and The Bronx Zoo.

When to go?

New York is a destination for all seasons, whether you want to plan a sizzling summer in the city or a magical winter wonderland. Find out the best time to go for you...

New York always has something going on - so there is no real season to avoid. However, bear in mind that winter can be extremely cold (sometimes dipping below freezing) and summer can be humid with temperatures peaking at 30°C.

What's on?

The city that never sleeps hosts a number of events throughout the year. Read our suggestions to find out what's on when...

Groundhog Day; February 2; Staten Island Zoo: Watch the groundhog, Staten Island Chuck, predict whether New York will have a short winter or have to wait another six weeks until spring. There is the option to have breakfast at the zoo and to see Chuck throughout the day.

St Patrick's Day Parade; March 17; 5th Avenue: Now the biggest street parade in New York, the annual St Patrick's Day Parade has been taking place in the city since 1762. Watch the traditional marching parade - no floats or motorised vehicles are allowed - then drink a pint of Guinness in the pub to toast the health of the saint.

Shakespeare in the Park; July; Central Park: Free Shakespeare plays are performed in Central Park over summer with tickets given out on a first-come-first-served basis from 1pm on the day of the performance. Arrive early if you have your heart set on a certain performance as some keen theatregoers turn up to queue as early as 6am.

Central Park SummerStage; June - August: This music festival is held in 17 parks in New York's five boroughs. It features numerous shows and performances - and the best bit is, they're all free! Just make sure you get there early as demand is popular and queues start early on.

What to do?

The Big Apple offers a variety of things to do, whatever type of holiday you are looking for...

Relaxing: The High Line will offer you an escape from the chaos of Manhattan. The elevated park built above the streets on a disused railway track is a calm oasis where you can stroll, sit and take in the fantastic views of the city below.

Romance: Stroll hand in hand around beautiful Central Park and hire a boat on the lake for the ultimate romantic afternoon.

Grown up families: Take a trip on the Statten Island Ferry to see the famous Statue of Liberty in all her glory and get some great photo opportunities.

Shopping: New York is famous for its shopping scene and boasts huge department stores such as Macy's and Saks, as well as quirky boutiques and unusual shops.

Nightlife: The city that never sleeps offers world-class restaurants, bars and clubs in every shape and size. Rather than just sticking to central Manhattan, explore further afield and head out to the meatpacking district, Chelsea and Greenwich Village.