|The city of New York is divided into five boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, and Staten Island, each with its own personality.
The center of New York City is Manhattan, a long, narrow island nestled in a natural habor. Manhattan Island is about 3.2 km. (2 miles) wide, and 19.2 km. (12 miles) long. It contains most of the business, economic, entertainment and cultural sights of the city. The southern part of the island is called "Down-town", and the section directly south of Central Park is called "Mid-town". Everything from the middle of the park to the northern tip of the island is usually called "Up-town". The numbered streets of Manhattan all run east-west beginning with First Street just above Greenwich Village, and extending all the way up to 218th Street at the far northern tip of Up-Town. Avenues run north-south beginning with First Avenue on the East side and extending to Twelfth Avenue along the Hudson River on the West side. These numbered Avenues are interspersed with named Avenues such as Park Avenue, Lexington, Madison and Broadway.
Brooklyn is across the East River on the southwestern tip of Long Island. This borough is nearly four times as large as Manhattan Island and is one of the primary residential communities for New York City. Unlike Manhattan, there are few tall buildings in Brooklyn, and few hotels as well. Queens is north of Brooklyn on the tip of Long Island. It is also a residential area with many high-rise apartment complexes. The Bronx is another mainly residential community almost due north of Manhattan on the mainland. The large and impressive Bronx Zoo is here. Staten Island is due south of Manhattan across the main harbor basin. Staten Island has a small town atmosphere with many single-family homes.
Each year more than 40 million foreign and American tourists visit New York City. Major tourist destinations include the Empire State Building, for 41 years the world's tallest building, The Statue of Liberty, Times Square, centered on 42nd Street and Broadway, Brooklyn Bridge, Rockefeller Center, Central Park, the World Trade Center Site, Greenwich Village, Broadway theater productions and museums such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Other tourist attractions include shopping along Fifth and Madison Avenues or visiting the Bronx Zoo and New York Botanical Garden.
A good way to get a quick over-view of the tourist attractions in New York and their location is to go for a ride on one of the many double decker hop-on hop-off buses or boats with tour guiding.
New York has some of the most expensive hotels in the world. Expect to pay around USD 100-200 for a budget room with shared bath, USD 250-350 for a decent mid-range hotel, and much higher in the many high-end hotels in the city. Be aware that many cheap hotels away from the center (along the West Side Highway, or in the outer reaches of Queens) can be of a very poor quality. If you are planning a trip to New York, it is advisable to book your hotel room well in advance.
There are three major airports near New York City: John F Kennedy (JFK) Airport on Long Island, about 20 km (12 miles) from Manhattan, LaGuardia Airport is in Queens about 10 km (6 miles) from downtown Manhattan and Newark Airport in New Jersey, about 20 km (12 miles) to the southwest of the city.