Most New York visits focus on Manhattan, home to many of the city's top attractions. But NYC is a city of five distinct boroughs, each with its own personality and charm and all well worth a visit. Here's your guide to exploring all five.
The island of Manhattan is what most New York visitors picture when they think of the Big Apple. Home to famous areas including Harlem, Chinatown, Times Square, Little Italy, and Greenwich Village, Manhattan also houses many of the city's top museums, such as The Met, the American Museum of Natural History, and the Museum of Modern Art. Manhattan is also known for its towering Midtown skyscrapers and its crown jewel: Central Park.
With a population large enough to be named the third-largest city in America, Brooklyn is New York City's biggest borough. The area is known for its extremely hip neighborhoods, including Williamsburg, Greenpoint, and Dumbo, each home to a number of eateries and shops. But beyond the hip 'hoods, Brooklyn offers a wealth of history and culture. Prospect Park, the area's answer to Central Park, is a great place for a stroll or bike ride, as is the famous Brooklyn Bridge. Many travelers head to the Navy Yard, a former naval base and shipbuilding site dating back to the Revolutionary War, to learn about the borough's industrial past.
Just north of Brooklyn and across the river from Manhattan is Queens. Queens is a melting pot of languages and culture, with nearly half of its residents having been foreign born. A food tour exploring areas like Flushing's Chinatown or the Indian American community of Jackson Heights is a great way to learn more about the borough's cultures, while sports fans should make the trip out to Citi Field, home of the MLB's Mets, or check out the National Tennis Center, which hosts the annual US Open Tournament.
The Bronx may not receive the same attention as hot spots like Manhattan or Brooklyn, but visitors who make the trip know it's a borough with plenty to offer. Home to the famous Yankee Stadium, the borough is a well-known a mecca for baseball fans. Meanwhile, anyone looking to enjoy nature in the city should head to the Bronx's New York Botanical Garden or the Bronx Zoo. Those hungry for culture can take a hip hop tour to learn about the Bronx's role in the origins of the music genre, or visit the Italian eateries along Arthur Avenue.
For one of New York's best free sightseeing experiences, hop on the Staten Island Ferry to this lesser-known borough, which punches well above its weight in cultural attractions and history. Staten Island's Historic Richmond Town offers unique insight into American colonial life, while the St. George neighborhood is home to range of arts and culture institutions including the Staten Island Institute of Arts and Sciences and the National Lighthouse Museum.