New York Travel Guide

Explorer New York

New York, New York. There has to be a reason why the Empire State has inspired so many songs and films. The megapolis is the epicenter of arts, musicals, culinary culture, shopping and so much more.

The city is almost like different countries and cultures all rolled into one. In this vibrant metropolis that never sleeps, there’s fun to be had around the clock from late-night shopping to 24-hour burger joints.

Whether high culture or low, New York embraces it all: flamboyant drag shows, loud rock concerts, lavish opera productions at the Lincoln Centre, and everything in between.

Top Things to Do

Statue of Liberty

Easily the most famous sculpture in the world, the Statue of Liberty stands proudly on Liberty Island in New York Harbour. The colossal copper statue depicts the Roman goddess, Libertas, bearing a torch and a tablet upon which is inscribed the date of the American Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776. Built by the famous Gustave Eiffel (the engineer behind the Eiffel Tower), the statue was a gift to the United States from the people of France.

Empire State Building

A symbol of New York City, this 443m-tall skyscraper has made an appearance on almost every postcard of the city. It stood as the world’s tallest building for nearly 40 years, but now ranks number 29 in the world. Designed in the distinctive Art Deco style, it was named one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers. The observation decks on the 86th and 102nd floors are opened to the public, but book your tickets online or get there early to avoid long lines.

Central Park

The green lungs of the city is a beautiful urban park that sprawls across 315 hectares of land in middle-upper Manhattan. Since 1858, the park has been the meeting place for many New Yorkers looking to spend some time outdoors. Central Park was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1962 and it continues to be an important part of New York City.

Metropolitan Museum of Art

This is the largest art museum in the United States, containing over two million works in its permanent collection. It is perched on the eastern edge of Central Park along Manhattan’s Museum Mile. Here you’ll find works of art from classical antiquity and ancient Egypt, paintings and sculptures from nearly all the European masters, and an extensive collection of American and modern art.

Islamic Cultural Center of New York

Located in Manhattan, this mosque and Islamic cultural centre was the first mosque built in New York City in 1991. More than 46 Muslim countries made contributions toward the $17 million construction cost of the mosque. Today, it’s the Islamic heart of the city, with the biggest prayer hall in town.

Where to Eat and Drink

If the United States had a culinary capital, New York City would be it. You can choose to hit the gourmet food-truck scene or dine more traditionally at one of NYC’s 20,000-plus sit-down restaurants. The city has also become a hotbed of locally sourced cuisine with restaurants growing vegetables on roof gardens, sourcing meats and seafood from sustainable outfits nearby, and embracing artisanal everything.


Eleven Madison Park

Arguably the finest restaurant in NYC, this plush dining destination puts an innovative spin on local produce and takes prides in a gourmet menu that few restaurants in the world can rival. Located above the Madison Square Park, the restaurant is tastefully designed and feature tall ceilings that go well with its exclusive reputation. A word of warning: you’ll need reservations far in advance.

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JG Melon

For a good old American dining experience, you can’t go wrong at this old-school joint. A local neighbourhood favourite since 1972, JG Melon specialises in burgers that are simple, fresh and oh-so-good. Ask any New Yorker for their favourite burger place and they’ll point you to JG Melon.

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The Halal Guys

Serving fast, inexpensive Middle Eastern food out of food trucks, this brand has become the household name of New York. Its signature cart chicken and rice draw in long lines daily. Besides having several food trucks throughout the city, they have also launched franchises in other parts of the U.S.

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Recommended Places to Stay

New York edition

Located in the heart of midtown Flatiron District, steps from Madison Square Park, the luxury hotel seamlessly blends the integrity and character of a prestigious landmark building with a simple, sensible design.


Andaz Wall Street

Perfect for business travellers, this stylish high-end hotel stands in the heart of the Financial District, close to top corporate centers and some of New York City’s most celebrated sights.


The MAve Hotel

Located on Madison Park, within walking distance from Empire State Building, this fashion-forward boutique hotel is centrally located and affordable. Its funky red-and-white rooms offer comfortable Sealy Monogram mattresses.


Herald Square Hotel

A standout among boutique hotels in midtown Manhattan, this family-run hotel offers excellent value with a central location and affordable price tag.


Best Time to Go

As a surprise to many, New York is great to visit all year round. Each season offers a different experience to visitors: whether it’s the crisp breezes and pleasant temperatures in spring (from March to May), the festive atmosphere in winter (from November to February), the beautiful autumn foliage in fall (from September to October) or bright sunshine and sizzling temperatures in summer (from June to August).

It really depends on what type of experience you’re looking for to decide when the best time to visit New York is for you. The busiest tourist season for New York is during Thanksgiving in November, Christmas and New Year’s Eve in December. Prices are also higher during this time, but the atmosphere and energy in the city are unbeatable. There isn’t really a low season, but hotel prices are slightly lower in spring and autumn.

Getting There

Many airlines fly from Saudi Arabia to New York City, including Emirates, Etihad Airways, and Saudia. There are several direct flights, though most flights have one or two stops. Riyadh offers the most flights, with a minimum journey time of 12 hours.

Getting from Airport to City
  • By Train

    New York’s largest airport John F. Kennedy International (JFK) is connected to the subway system by Airtrain. A single fare costs $5 and the journey takes 50 minutes to Lex Av Station and 1 hour 5 minutes to Fulton Street Station.

  • By Shuttle Bus

    The Airport Express bus service connects JFK with several locations in New York for $13 to $16 each way. It is a shared van service, so the shuttle takes you to your hotel but it may stop at several locations and thus takes longer. The NYC Airporter also provides shuttle service from JFK to Manhattan for about $13.00 one-way.

  • By Taxi

    Official yellow taxis can be hailed outside the terminals at JFK and a taxi ride should cost around $10 to $15 to get to Manhattan.

Extra tips
  • The official language of the United States, including New York City, is English.

  • The currency in the United States is the US dollar (USD). The current exchange rate is 1 SAR to 0.27 USD.

  • The United States uses 110-120 volts

  • The plugs in the United States have two flat blades. Some plugs also have a third rounded grounding pin.