The problem with visiting New York is knowing where to begin, but even if you don't immediately rush off to view the world-famous sights and icons of this most dynamic of cities, just being there is enough. The wonder of New York is in the energy and the diversity that emanates from its densely packed, multi-cultural population. The city vibrates with colliding cultures, languages and nuances; here high-life and low-life rub shoulders, and whoever you are and whatever your taste, there will be something to amuse and stimulate you 24-hours a day.
Whether lolling on a bench in leafy Central Park, watching the world go by from a French bistro in Soho, gazing up at 'Lady Liberty' from the deck of the Staten Island Ferry, most visitors will feel they've done it all before, simply because New York is so familiar to anyone who has ever seen a movie or watched television. There is something special however in actually seeing the familiar landmarks and experiencing the pulse of the clichéd, but true, 'city that never sleeps'. New York City is made up of five boroughs - Staten Island, The Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan, but many visitors never leave Manhattan.
There is a lot packed into this tiny area: the 24-hour pasta restaurants of Little Italy and the bustling sidewalks of Chinatown, the jazz clubs of Greenwich Village and the theatres of Broadway; and of course the iconic sights of the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building and Times Square. New York has been described as the best three-day city in the world, and that's about right.
After a frenzy of museums, galleries, bars and clubs, some visitors are ready for a break. Fortunately there's a lot of choice, from the National Parks of Upstate New York, to the beaches of Long Island or simply the leafy oasis of Central Park. Whatever you're after, New York is ready and waiting to bewitch, bother and bewilder.