New York City (NYC), commonly known as the Big Apple, is a must-see when visiting North America—the largest city in the country with a population of over 8 million epitomizes the United States and offers a fascinating glimpse into the many American ways of life.

First-time tourists are in for a real treat, with sights such as Times Square, 5th Avenue, Central Park, the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty awaiting them.

Here’s what an adventure in New York City looks like.

Times Square

Times Square is one of the city’s most popular tourist spots with world-famous giant billboards and flagship stores. Some 365,000 people pass through every day—in other words, it’s always very crowded.

Early birds should go early in the morning to enjoy the rare opportunity to see it quiet and empty.
Times Square is full of stores where you can buy souvenirs and jeans, and fast-food joints or diners where you can grab a bite to eat. The billboards typically promote the latest “all-American” blockbusters and musicals all competing for attention. In short, Times Square is huge, flashy and crowded—welcome to New York!

View from Rockefeller Center

If you want to admire the Empire State Building from above, you’ll have to go to Rockefeller Center. Indeed, this building is considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers. Pro-tip, schedule your visit in the late afternoon to enjoy the view with some daylight, at dusk and at night.

You can also go to the Empire State Building for a bird’s-eye view of New York City. However, the queue is usually shorter at the Rockefeller Center and you will be able to see the Empire State Building in the skyline.

At Christmas time, a huge Christmas tree stands next to an ice rink at the bottom of the Rockefeller Center, creating a very pleasant atmosphere for those who love this magical time of the year.

Statue of Liberty

A must-see when visiting New York, the Statue of Liberty has become one of the symbols of the United States. However, did you know it is actually French? It was donated by France to commemorate the friendship between the two nations during the American Revolution. It was shipped across the ocean for the centennial of the American Declaration of Independence.

If you’re short on time, on a budget or simply not a huge fan of museums, you can see the Statue of Liberty from afar by taking the ferry to Staten Island. The trip is free. But if you want to see the Statue up close, or even climb the stairs inside it, you’ll have to go to Liberty Island.

Ellis Island

A visit to Ellis Island is highly recommended if you’re interested in history. Thanks to the audio tour available in several languages, you will enjoy a comprehensive visit to the then-busiest immigrant processing station in the United States, the first stop for the 12 million immigrants looking for the American Dream between 1892 and 1954.

The tour takes you through the process they followed on their arrival in the US. It’s very interesting!

Central Park

Need some peace and quiet in this bustling city? Just go to Central Park, a huge green space covering 341 hectares (3.41 km²) right in the heart of Manhattan.

The contrast between the urban jungle and this peaceful oasis is quite impressive.

New York City in a few photos

Rather than write long paragraphs about my New York City experience, I’d rather share the few photos I took with you. Hopefully, it will encourage you to plan a trip and live your own NYC experience!

Which season is best to explore New York City?

All the seasons are interesting in New York, especially in summer when you can take a leisurely stroll without freezing. But even during winter, especially at Christmas time, the city has a very special atmosphere, and it’s well worth it.

I was in New York City in both seasons, and I still think I prefer summer, although I have to admit that the city’s atmosphere during the holidays is really nice! But keep in mind that it does get cold in New York City and it’s much easier to walk around in the summer.


I am the co-founder of pvtistes and I went on a Working Holiday Visa to Canada in Toronto from September 2005 to June 2022 (17 years).
If you are interested in my journey, you can check out my interview :

Je suis le cofondateur de pvtistes et je suis parti en PVT au Canada à Toronto de septembre 2005 à juin 2022 (17 ans).
Si mon parcours t'intéresse, tu peux consulter mon interview :

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