Lady Liberty, NYC
Lady Liberty, NYC © D Ramey Logan

The problem with visiting New York is knowing where to begin. But even if you don't immediately rush off to view the world-famous sights and landmarks of this most dynamic of cities, sometimes just being there is enough.The wonder of New York is in the energy and diversity that emanates from its densely packed, multicultural population. It vibrates with colliding cultures and languages, as highlife and lowlife rub together to produce a unique atmosphere, 24-hours a day.

Whether lolling on a bench in leafy Central Park, watching the world go by from a French bistro in Soho, or gazing up at Lady Liberty from the deck of the Staten Island Ferry, most visitors will feel they've done it all before. This is because New York is so familiar to anyone who has ever seen a movie or watched television. There is something special, however, in actually seeing the familiar landmarks and experiencing the pulse of The City That Never Sleeps.

Five boroughs make up New York City: Staten Island, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan. But many visitors never leave Manhattan, with loads of things to do and see packed into this small area relative to the other boroughs. This includes the 24-hour pasta restaurants of Little Italy, and the bustling sidewalks of Chinatown, the jazz clubs of Greenwich Village, and the theatres of Broadway. Of course, iconic sights include the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, and Times Square.

New York has been described as the best three-day city in the world, and that's about right. After a frenzy of museums, galleries, bars, and clubs, many visitors are ready for a break. Fortunately, there's a lot of choice in excursions. Outdoor attractions include the National Parks of upstate New York, to the beaches of Long Island, or simply the leafy oasis of Central Park. Whatever you're after, New York is ready and waiting to bewitch, enchant, and bewilder.