About New York City
New York City is a beloved city throughout the world, and more people visit it from the United Kingdom than from any other foreign country. More than a million people travel here from the United Kingdom every year, and they do so to experience all that this great city has to offer. Some will take in a world-class production on Broadway. Others will experience that quintessential American sport baseball with a trip to Yankee Stadium for a New York Yankees game. A number will visit the Statue of Liberty, a beautiful structure that welcomed many immigrating here from the United Kingdom and elsewhere 100 years ago.
Tennis fans who watch Wimbledon will enjoy attending the U.S. Open Tennis Championships held here every September. Marathoners travel here every November to run through all five bureaus in the New York City Marathon. Some of the city's other popular sites include Times Square, Carnegie Hall and the Empire State Building. This very international city – 37 percent of the city’s population is foreign-born – is home to the headquarters of the United Nations. The tremendous variety of international food offerings available here is stunning as well. Central Park, located right in the middle of Manhattan, is the most visited urban park in the United States and serves as a welcome respite from the high-energy atmosphere which envelopes the city.
There is one international airport located within the city limits. John F. Kennedy International Airport is in Queens about 20 miles driving distance from Manhattan. American Airlines, British Airways, Delta Air Lines, Kuwait Airways and Virgin Atlantic Airways operate flights here from London. American Airlines and Pakistan International Airlines fly from Manchester. One way to travel to Manhattan from this airport would be to take AirTrain JFK and then the New York City subway or Long Island Rail Road. Several companies also offer shuttle service, and taxis are always available.
Also, Newark Liberty International Airport, located in New Jersey, is just 15 miles from Manhattan. British Airways flies here from London, and United Airlines operates flights from Birmingham, London and Manchester in England, Edinburgh and Glasgow in Scotland and Belfast in Northern Ireland. AirTrain Newark takes passengers to Newark Liberty International Airport Rail Link Station where they may take Amtrak or New Jersey Transit into the city. There are various shuttle buses and taxis available at this airport as well.
The United Kingdom takes part in the Visa Waiver Program, so residents just need to bring a passport for stays of 90 days or fewer involving tourism or business and ensure they complete an ESTA prior to travel. Passports issued since Oct. 26, 2006, must be biometric with an electronic chip. Those issued prior to that date must be machine readable. Most European countries are included in this program. However, the majority of the rest of the world is not included. Visitors coming to the United States from one of the countries not included will need to apply for a visa, and this process can take a considerable amount of time.
One very important thing that those travelling to New York should keep in mind is that drivers in the US drive on the right side of the road, so those crossing the street should look left first. Also, the legal drinking age in the United States is 21, and bars and restaurants regularly check identification – a passport suffices – even if the person being asked is well past 21 years of age. Alcoholic beverages need to be consumed inside, and smokers will usually need to step outside before lighting up.
The transportation system in New York is excellent, and it runs 24 hours a day. This includes the famous New York City Subway, the largest in the world with 468 stations. The New York City Transit Authority also operates the city’s extensive bus service. Some intracity travel may be done by riding PATH, Long Island Rail Road or Metro-North Railroad trains. Taxis are also readily available, especially in Manhattan.
Time to Visit
Although visitors travel to New York throughout the year, the busiest times are around Thanksgiving, (the fourth Thursday in November), Christmas and New Year’s Day. That is also when the temperatures start getting pretty cold as the average high in January is 4 degrees Celsius, and the average low that month is -3. In comparison, the average high and low temperatures in July are 29 and 21, respectively and the city averages 1,268 millimetres of precipitation a year.
Image attribution: Manhattan, New York City with Brooklyn Bridge by AngMoKio | Time Square by Sracer357