New York is a city at the top of many peopleʼs bucket lists, and with good reason. The Big Apple has it all: tall skyscrapers, a spectacular skyline, world-famous museums, iconic buildings and parks that you instantly recognise from films. Before packing your bags and purchasing a flight ticket, remember to first apply for an ESTA or a visa.
Skyscrapers and iconic buildings
The absolute symbol of New York and perhaps the USA as a whole is the Statue of Liberty. The statue, which was donated to the United States by France in 1886, symbolises freedom, one of the core values of American society. The statue stands on Liberty Island and can be reached by ferry from Manhattan. Another characteristic New York structure is the Brooklyn Bridge, which connects Manhattan with Long Island.
New York is also known for its many skyscrapers, of which the Empire State Building is the best known. The 381-metre-high building can be visited by tourists. However, the Empire State Building is not the tallest building in New York; the One World Trade Center holds that title at a staggering 541 metres. A must for architecture lovers is the Flatiron Building, which owes its name to its triangular shape reminiscent of an iron. Another iconic building is the Chrysler Building, built entirely in Art Deco style.
Famous streets, squares and parks
Times Square is without doubt the most famous square in New York. The square owes its name to the former head office of The New York Times. Walking amongst the enormous electronic billboards, you immediately feel as if you are in a Hollywood film. The square is adjacent to Broadway, one of the longest streets and also the heart of the cityʼs theatre scene. Another famous street in the southern part of Manhattan is Wall Street, the financial centre of America.
A trip to New York is never complete without a visit to Central Park, the largest and best-known park in the city (and perhaps the country), covering a total area of no less than 341 hectares. In addition to walking trails, ponds and vast lawns, the park also contains a zoo, two skating rinks, a castle and Strawberry Fields, a section of the park dedicated to John Lennon. A must for sports fans is to attend a basketball, baseball or American Football game of, for example, the Yankees, the Giants or the Knicks.
World-famous museums and monuments
Some of the worldʼs most famous museums can be found in New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, also called The Met, is one of the largest art museums in the world, along with the Louvre in Paris and the Hermitage in St. Petersburg. The museum has a varied collection of artworks from all over the world, from classical to contemporary art. Modern art lovers should also visit the Museum of Modern Art (MoMa) and the Guggenheim Museum. The American Museum of Natural History is a must for those interested in the evolution of life on earth. You will find life-size skeletons of dinosaurs, mammoths and enormous mammals.
A must during a visit to New York is Ground Zero, the location where the Twin Towers once stood. Today, the space is filled by a grand monument that commemorates the victims of the attacks on 11 September 2001, as well as the dead from an earlier attack on the World Trade Center. The impressive monument consists of two water tanks, on the sides of which the names of all the victims can be read.
Apply for an ESTA
For a visit to New York an ESTA or a visa is required. This sounds more difficult than it is. The ESTA can be applied for quickly and easily online. British and Irish tourists are eligible for an ESTA and do not need a visa. If they meet the requirements for the ESTA, they do not have to visit the American consulate or embassy. ESTAs are normally granted within three days of submitting an application. A confirmation of the approval of the application will be sent by email. This approval does not need to be printed.
Travellers who have forgotten to apply for an ESTA on time can submit an urgent application. This will usually result in an approved travel authorisation within one hour. This makes it so you can even apply for an ESTA at the airport of departure.