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Runner travels the reservoir loop in Manhattan’s Central Park

New York

Essential New York City: Exploring the Boroughs and Neighborhoods

By: Idoia Gkikas

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Sunbathing at South Beach on Staten Island

New York

Essential New York City: Exploring the Boroughs and Neighborhoods

By: Idoia Gkikas

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Visiting the polar bear exhibit at the Bronx Zoo

New York

Essential New York City: Exploring the Boroughs and Neighborhoods

By: Idoia Gkikas

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Ice skating beneath the iconic Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center

New York

Essential New York City: Exploring the Boroughs and Neighborhoods

By: Idoia Gkikas

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Night views of the city from the Brooklyn Bridge Park

New York

Essential New York City: Exploring the Boroughs and Neighborhoods

By: Idoia Gkikas

5 of 5
  • States:
    New York

New York City hardly needs an introduction, but the city’s five boroughs might.

Brooklyn, The Bronx, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island may all represent one city, but they each have their own personalities and must-see attractions. Get to know the colorful attributes that make each New York City borough unique.

The Bronx: Historic and Culturally Diverse

The Bronx is a part of the city that is always reinventing itself. Today, this borough is known for its urban green spaces, such as the Bronx Zoo, Van Cortlandt Park and the New York Botanical Garden; fantastic international food, including an authentic Little Italy; and the famous Yankee Stadium, which you can tour even if there isn’t a Yankees baseball game happening when you visit.

An aerial view of The Bronx, home to Yankee Stadium

An aerial view of The Bronx, home to Yankee Stadium
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Brooklyn: Trendy, Youthful and Eclectic

Brooklyn is a meeting point of old and new. The borough has evolved into a cultural hub, particularly in the Williamsburg neighborhood – think artisanal shops, vintage clothing and trendy nightlife. Still, Brooklyn claims timeless icons such as the Brooklyn Bridge (have your camera handy for a selfie), nostalgic Coney Island (try a Coney dog at Nathan’s Famous) and the Brooklyn Museum, one of the country’s oldest and largest museums housing nearly 1.5 million works.

The Brooklyn Museum, which has a collection of over 1.5 million works of art

The Brooklyn Museum, which has a collection of over 1.5 million works of art
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Manhattan: Iconic, World-Class Attractions

Manhattan is (literally) an island unto itself and is recognized for its world-famous landmarks. On your list of must-dos: people-watching and exploring the urban outdoors attractions in Central Park, seeing a Broadway show and, of course, getting caught up in the wave of excitement that is Times Square. Manhattan is also home to cultural institutions, including museums, symphonies, ballets and theater troupes.

New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square

New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square
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Queens: Artsy with an International Influence

Named the top destination for U.S. travel by Lonely Planet in 2015, Queens is notable for its artsy offerings, distinctive neighborhoods and extraordinary cultural diversity. Explore the Greek tavernas, restaurants and bakeries in Astoria, or the thriving Chinatown in Flushing. Check out the changing art galleries at MoMA PS1, specializing in avant-garde work from ultra-modern artists. Both of New York City’s primary airports, John F. Kennedy and La Guardia, are also located in Queens.

Visitors exploring Flushing Meadows Corona Park

Visitors exploring Flushing Meadows Corona Park
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Staten Island: History Alive, Outdoors Aplenty

The Staten Island Ferry runs for free, 24 hours a day and seven days a week, to this beachy borough. The ferry stops in the historic St. George neighborhood: home to 19th century architecture, the 1920s St. George Theatre, the National Lighthouse Museum and the Staten Island Museum. Green spaces are plentiful in this borough. Explore the trails and parks of Staten Island’s Greenbelt, which is three times larger than Central Park. In the summertime, enjoy kayaking and sunbathing at Staten Island’s family-friendly beaches.  

Historic home in the St. George neighborhood

Historic home in the St. George neighborhood
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Getting There

To reach New York City from international destinations, fly into John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in Queens or Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) in nearby Newark, New Jersey.