With its metallic and concrete skyline towering over everything in sight, Manhattan is a place built up like no other. Although it is only about 24 square miles (62 square kilometers) in area, many people describe feeling as if they are in the center of the universe when they are here. Go south and you’ll be in the presence of some of the world’s most important financial institutions, in the Financial District. Go north and you’ll stand where jazz was invented, in Harlem.
No matter which direction you go, Manhattan’s attractions will appear as many as they are varied. Walk beneath an enormous configuration of advertisements in Times Square. Watch a live performance of your favorite play on Broadway. See the Knicks, Rangers or Liberty play a basketball game at Madison Square Garden. Retreat into a lush oasis of knolls, ponds and a zoo at Central Park.
Downtown, wander through the fashion seat of the world in SoHo and TriBeCa. Browse over 18 miles (29 kilometers) of books at The Strand bookstore and play a game of chess just up the block at Union Square. Linger among the greatest figures of the contemporary American art world in Chelsea.
Eat at dozens of Michelin-starred restaurants or grab a slice of pizza from a pizzeria. Whether you want stellar Chinese, Indian, French, Italian or Ethiopian food, you can find it all here. If you feel like grabbing a drink, enjoy any of the thousands of bars and clubs that remain open late into the night.
Many who live here boast of how convenient it is to walk from place to place. Yet New York City also has one of the best subway systems in the world, and nearly every line runs through the island.
Manhattan has so much to see and do that you may not be able to fit everything into one trip. This is all the more reason to rise early and stay out late in one of America’s best urban experiences available. Then, plan to return again and again.