Do you remember when I was describing Washington – the museums, the order, the peace and ease? Well, this time it will be different. Now we are going to the biggest city of the USA, to New York, which is conveniently located in the state of New York (but not the state capital – that's Albany). New York has almost eight and a half million people, it’s about as much as the second, third and fourth largest cities in US combined (Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston). Just in the last decade of the 20th century the population of NYC grew for 700k people, which is more than the whole population of Washington D.C. No wonder both cities are so very different and have almost nothing in common. The neat, quiet and half empty streets are thus replaced by a charming chaos, which makes New York so special.
New York, NY
So let’ conclude the trip with a visit to New York. I went there with a morning bus and returned with a night coach that connects the cities between 1am and 6am. I do not recommend you should have only a one day visit to New York – as the city is huge! I suggest you book a hostel in New York
as soon as possible, as it is very busy all year round, due to its favourable location. It’s located only 150m away from the famous Broadway avenue and 600m away from the Central Park (the same as from the Hudson River, which is the border between New York and New Jersey).
New York is so big it deserves an article on its own in the online magazine www.globetrotter.si
, so I hope somebody will be impressed enough to write it, but until then you will have to do with my description of a one day field trip to the metropolis.
The first thing you need to feel is the crowd of the city and walk along the streets. The most busy part is around the Times square, which continues along Broadway to the Madison square, Little Italy, China Town and all the way to the Brooklyn Bridge and next to the biggest stalk market in the world – the Wall Street, concluding with the 9/11 memorial where the World Trade Twin Tower stood. You can then continue down to the port, where you can catch a boat to the Statue of Liberty and the Elis Island with the museum of immigration. I guess I don’t have to convince you much, as it’s one of those things that you’re sure to know about and would go an see even if it’s not advertised. Youc an read more about it here: www.statuecruises.com
But if you turn north from the Time square you’ll get to the lungs of New York, the Central Park; with its 3,4 km2 it represents the biggest recreational facility in the city.
As for Washington, so for New York – you will need at least three to four days, but an extra day is always welcome.
You can also see New York from the bird’s eye view in two ways – you can climb one of the skyscrapers with an overview platform, or rent a helicopter (which is more expensive). But do not think the skyscrapers are cheap! And the experience can be diminished as it depends on the weather, which can spoil it all.
And the last (or the first thing) you must not skip while in NYC is the street hot-dog. You’ll see vendors offering them on each corner and depending on location they can cost from 1 to 5 dollars.
An important tip for you would also be, to book the bus ticket from Washington to New York in advance and online, as then it can cost as little as 20 euros.
As I’ve already mentioned the prices (from gasoline, street hot-dog and bus), let me also tell you about the prices of the multi-bedded room in the hostel. In Washington it will be around 30 euros and in New York around 40 euros (depending on the season). But if you decide to sleep over in Baltimore or Philadelphia the price is only a half of that. Comparing with hotel prices (even in the outskirts of cities) you will see the hostels are much more price friendly.
A few more tips for traveling to the states:
Before you buy the airplane ticket and book a youth hostel I suggest you get an ESTA form filled
out (you can find it at https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/
). I must warn you also, that this is the only official online site to get the ESTA (electronic system for travel authorisation). There are other sites which offer the ESTA, but are either fraud or at the very least a scam, charging you over 50$ for the 14$ (which is how much the ESTA costs). ESTA was established a few years ago and was for free, but ist o be paid now. ESTA is enough for most European pass port holders, including Slovenia.
After settling the ESTA form you should go and look for the airplane ticket. The article “The art of cheap airplane ticket finding”
will be most helpful to you. If you follow some of the tips, finding a ticket can be cheap and friendly – or it can be complicated and expensive. The prices can differ a lot and a single day can change the price from 30 to 50 or even more percent.
And how to book a hostel – simple, at www.hihostels.com
, apart from Washington and New York
they also offer Baltimore and Philadelphia and offer high quality hostels (by alphabet):
Bon Voyage and many adventures on the way.