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The Manhattan Skyline at night

The Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges

The Staten Island Ferry and Downtown Manhattan

The lake in Central Park

New York shopping


Tourists and taxis meet in traffic

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Why New York?




  • Historic landmarks
  • Business capital
  • Cultural attractions
  • Shopping
  • Five boroughs
  • Great restaurants
  • Subway system
  • Being a New Yorker

The numbers keep getting better for New York as the city ranks number 3 overall in visitor count, following Paris and London, with a total of 9.7 million tourists in 2010.

Why New York? To many people outside the United States, New York is America—the place where dreams come true, a city of architectural splendor, cultural importance, historic events, and commerce leadership. It’s the global headquarters of finance, media, fashion, retail and trade. It’s the city you’ve seen in hundreds of movies, countless TV shows, and in the headlines of your daily newspaper. It’s the home of the Empire State Building, the New York Yankees, Wall Street, Macy’s and Coney Island. (For many Americans outside New York, the perception is very different; they see themselves as America and New York City as an entity unto itself with strange people, customs, and ways of life. But inevitably they come here too for the same reason as international travelers—because it’s New York City.)

What many people think of as New York City is actually the island of Manhattan. That’s just one of five boroughs the city is divided into, the one with all the skyscrapers and theaters and museums and taxi cabs. So don’t feel bad if you made that mistake—even residents of the other boroughs generally refer to Manhattan as “the city.” But for a full New York experience, visitors should be sure to venture off the island for a historic tour of Brooklyn, a day at the Bronx Zoo, or the ethnic cuisine of Queens. And a free trip on the Staten Island Ferry should be part of every itinerary!

 By the numbers


Tourism is New York City's fifth-largest industry—it contributed about $31 billion in direct spending to the economy in 2010, when a record 48.7 million people visited. New York saw a 7 percent increase in visitors over 2009, when there were 45.6 million. Officials said 39 million visitors were from the U.S. and 9.7 million were from abroad; both numbers are records.

New York may be the only city where the world comes to experience life as a resident. The thrill of New York is in being a New Yorker, even for a short time. Tourists ride subways alongside commuters, discover great restaurants purely by chance, bargain at outdoor markets, wait on the TKTS line for same-day theater tickets and learn in a hurry how to navigate the sidewalks so as not to slow down that famous New York fast pace. One trip to New York and you’ll be amazed that for the rest of your life, you will be saying things like, “You know, when I was in New York...” or “Do you know how they do that in New York?” One visit stays with you for a lifetime. This website is designed to help make your visit the trip of a lifetime.