New York

Even its critics will agree that New York isn’t just a great city, but one of the most exciting places on earth. It is the business capital of the United States and home to thousands of deals each day with vast sums of money changing hands. New York is a concrete jungle where life is fast paced with everyone doing their best to maximize their share of the big apple – but it is also an art capital, which has probably influenced the course of contemporary art, music and cinema more than other place. Corporate and money matters aside; the city also has quite a number of exciting attractions that bring in tens of millions of tourists every day and don’t need to cost the earth. Here are five of them.

Madison Square

Situated in Flatiron district, the Madison square holds a lot of historical importance. There are numerous landmarks of historic significance in the vicinity with the most popular one being the Flatiron building. There are also quite a number of amenities in this part of town including hotels, retail outlets, theatres, just to mention a few. In particular, shopping is a favourite activity due to the existence of a wide variety of consumer products in the various retail outlets. The Flatiron building was built in 1902; it is triangular in shape and rises to a height of 21 stories – an impressive sight even for the frequent traveller.

Another popular building is the MetLife Tower which was built in 1909. Standing at 51 stories high, it was the world’s tallest building at the time of its completion; it maintained this title for four years after which the Woolworth Building took over. The famous Madison Square Garden is also located here as well as the Madison Square Park with the latter being a very pleasant place of relaxation. More information on the place is available on the official guide for New York on the Internet.

Central Park

Central Park This may well be one of the most famous parks in the world. When, in 1987, German electronic band Tangerine Dream released their album „Le Parc“, containing nine acoustic portraits of parks, Central Park was naturally included. It’s easy to see why: The Central Park presents an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, which is all the more important in New York, a city which never sleeps. It is a place where everyone can relax under the shade of thousands of trees planted years ago and which also purify the surrounding air. The Park is very big in size covering an area of 843 acres and it is situated right at the heart of Manhattan. There are numerous recreational facilities in Central Park, including lakes, playgrounds, sports fields, just to mention a few. In addition, the Central Park Zoo completes the nature experience courtesy of the various animals found there.

Museum of the City of New York

Located in Fifth Avenue, this is where the present, past and future aspects of New York converge. The building housing the Museum is itself an architectural marvel. There are more than one and a half million pieces in this museum all of which have a relation to New York including sculptures, images, artwork among other things. All manner of topics are covered with regard to the objects found here for example trade, architecture and many more. If you’re one of those Europeans who, just like me, thought that America and its big cities were a country without any history to speak of, this incredible museum will prove you wrong. At $10 per adult visitor, the entrance fee isn’t particularly cheap – but more than fair, considering the size of the collection and the free wifi-access throughout the entire building.

Statue of Liberty

Statue Of LibertyThis is another New York Landmark that is very well known the world over. Despite its humongous size, the Statue of Liberty was not actually constructed in New York; every piece of it was made in the French capital of Paris by Gustave Eiffel who also happens to be the man behind the Eiffel tower. Understandably, it was also Eiffel’s most demanding and ambitious project: Constructing this masterpiece took almost a whole decade and when completed, it was shipped to the USA as a present for its 100 years of independence. The Island on which the statue sits is known as Liberty Island and millions of tourists make their way here every year to explore it. From the top, the statue offers a great view of the city – the best, in fact, as some will claim.

Carl Schurz Park

According to highly recommended website A view on cities , Carl Schurz Park is not as big as Central Park. But it is quite a fascinating place to visit nonetheless. It covers an area of 15 acres and has been redesigned and re-landscaped a number of times since its inception in 1876. It is a great place for taking strolls, walking the dog among other pleasant activities. Located here is The Gracie Mansion which was constructed more than 200 years ago; it happens to be the Mayor’s official residence. Peter Pan’s statue is also found here in addition to hockey facilities which are at times used for concerts and movies.

As you may have gathered, many of the locations mentioned in this article are either inexpensive or entirely free. And yet, even by selecting cheap destinations, you will nonetheless need to spend some money eventually. To reduce your costs and improve your currency safety, you should consider getting yourself a currency card – which is essentially a prepaid card, which fixes the foreign exchange rate. This way, you can prevent nasty surprises – and turn your attention entirely on what may well be the most exciting city on the planet.

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Gavin Whittaker is an independent journalist specialising in the field of international finance. Respected and appreciated for his consumer-friendly attitude and accessible writing style, he has contributed to a many different online magazines and finance blogs.