This year’s list of top travel destinations puts some of the world’s most eye-catching spots within reach, and the “Big Apple” isn’t an exception. Enjoy a 15-minute NYC sightseeing helicopter tour coming face-to-face with an exhilarating view as you fly above the around 151ft-tall Statue of Liberty and the 102-story skyscraper Empire State Building. Let yourself surrender to the emotionally intriguing ambiance of the cutting-edge 9/11 Memorial Museum, come to the High Line, where you can swing 30ft above the streets of Manhattan’s West Side on an abandoned freight rail or choose something more mainstream like Brooklyn Bridge Park. Times Square, New York City’s restless neighborhood boasts hyperactive lights and colossal billboards, while legendary Harlem is flooded with raw gospel energy. Admire the grandeur of magnificent works of artists, such as Vincent van Gogh, Paul Cézanne, Pablo Picasso, and Henri Rousseau at the Museum of Modern Art, or just reconcile with the fact that you are a wanna be fashionista at Barneys, and other branches in SoHo, Upper West Side and Brooklyn. Seem like a lot to do in one day? Save some energy for the real tips that follow!
1. Delve Into Greek History
5,000 miles away from Greece but yet close enough to embrace the legacy of our Greek ancestors; the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City is a refreshing stop for those seeking to go back to their Greek roots. With almost 17,000 works spanning almost 5,000 years of history, Greek travelers can cherish pieces of artwork stemming from the Neolithic period to the Roman Empire; and if that doesn’t catch your eye, then keep in mind that this exhibition is one of the most comprehensive exhibitions in North America.
“Greek and Roman Art”
Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Avenue (at 82nd Street), New York, NY
(Tip! Free guided tour with museum admission)
2. Join A Gigantic Greek Party
Dancing to the tunes of the Swedish pop supergroup ABBA with the vast azure Aegean in the background, the blockbuster, Mamma Mia has lured NYC’s visitors with images of the Greek summer. In 2008, the tremendously successful musical comedy was transferred to the big screen starring Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan and Amanda Seyfried. Mamma Mia and the City now dive headfirst into Greek waters through the Broadway scene inviting all spectators to take a trip to the Sporades where the plot’s big party takes place.
Broadhurst Theatre, 235 West 44th Street, New York, NY
(Tip! The show will play its final Broadway performance on September 12, 2015)
3. Sleep in the Ancient Greek Philosophy Room of the The Library Hotel
The Library Hotel concept is inspired by the Dewey Decimal system. Each of the 10 guestroom floors honor one of the 10 categories of the Dewey Decimal System and each of the 60 rooms are uniquely adorned with a collection of books and art exploring a distinctive topic within the category it belongs to. One of the hotel’s room is dedicated to Greek history and philosophy where you ‘ll find more than a dozen books by famous ancient Greek authors such us Plato and Aristotle.
The Library Hotel
299 Madison Avenue, New York City 10017
Phone: +1 212 983 4500
4. Visit The Largest Greek City Outside Greece
This is the city that every Greek should visit once setting foot in the Big Apple. Once the most popular destination of all immigrant Greeks at the beginning of the 20th century, Astoria remains the hub of Hellenism around the New England area with a population, which is said to be well above 20,000. Grab a bite at “Taverna Kyclades” to remember your Yiayia’s traditional Aegean cuisine, and then take a random stroll down its streets.
(Tip! For the romantics… a walk down to the coastal Astoria Park will offer dramatic views of the Hell Gate and Robert F. Kennedy bridges, as they span in front of Manhattan).
5. Feel The Glamour Of A Greek Legend
Situated in the heart of Fifth Avenue and near popular NYC destinations such as Radio City Music Hall and Museum of Modern Art, one can find the Olympic Tower –– the flagship building of the popular Greek billionaire Aristotle Onassis. Currently housing the Onassis Cultural Center and the Parthenon Marble Casts Collection, the Olympic Tower continues the legacy of the renowned Greek tycoon showcasing, among others, ancient Byzantine and modern Hellenistic exhibits with a goal to promote the ancient Greek ideals and philosophy to the contemporary world.
641 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY
(Tip! In the Onassis Cultural Center and the Parthenon Marble Casts collection eager visitors will be exposed to a wide range of cultural exhibits, educational programs and participate in public dialogues involving the ancient and modern Greek civilization).
6. Enjoy A Multi-Sensory Journey To the Aegean
In Manhattan’s Midtown West neighborhood, the Livanos family delivers unique traditional creations using prime meats, fresh herbs and vegetables, day boat fish and tasty Greek olive oil offering, simultaneously, the largest refined and all-Greek wine list in the States. The interior decoration of the Molyvos restaurant reminds the visitors of the colors of the coast lines and the sandy beaches of the beautiful Greek islands.
7. Find The Way To Revive Spontaneous Love
The splendid Central Park in New York City, created by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux in the 1860s and ’70s, is a 843-acre rectangle shelter amidst Manhattan’s insanity. There, you can surrender yourself to the majesty provoked by the unparalleled beauty of the picturesque landscapes that are embellished with magnificent forests, elaborate gardens, charming paths, and cool ponds. Are you falling in love, already? Wait for the next big surprise, because the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, which covers 106 acres holding over 1,000,000,000 US gallons of water, will be your absolute secret destination to love.
(Tip! The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir was originally built in the 1860s as a temporary water supply for NYC).
Where to stay
Park Avenue South is one of New york’s happening places and Hotel Giraffe is one of the best boutique hotels combining a central location and 5-star hotel amenities without the 5-star prices! Inspired by the architecture and design of the Art Modern period that has distinguished this vibrant NoMad neighborhood since the 1920’s and 30’s, Hotel Giraffe embodies the graceful elegance, strength, and beauty as well as the legendary kindness found in one of nature’s most beloved animals. This luxury hotel offers timeless style, spacious guestrooms and suites, and most importantly, gracious service that makes it an ideal New York City getaway for leisure and business travelers alike. One of the many characteristics that set Hotel Giraffe apart from other hotels is the added amenities, which are offered daily and include breakfast, free wifi, Wine & Cheese Reception and passes to New York Sports Club.
365 Park Avenue South at 26th Street, 10016 New York
Phone: +1 212-685-7700