Readers who are not United States citizens and would like to travel to New York City or New York State should be aware that they will need an ESTA or a visa. Let’s take a closer look at the different categories of visitors.
ESTA and the Visa Waiver Program
The Visa Waiver Program enables citizens of the UK, Australia, and a long list of other countries to visit the United States without a visa for a maximum of 90 days at a time, provided they have a valid passport.
Those who plan to arrive by plane or ship should fill out an online ESTA application form and obtain a valid ESTA authorization before they will be allowed to embark on their journey to the US.
Apart from the UK and Australia, citizens of the countries on the list below also form part of the Visa Waiver Program and can, therefore, apply for an ESTA. We recommend that you submit the online ESTA application form at least 72 hours before the start of your journey (preferably longer) in case there is an unexpected delay with the application.
List of countries that belong to the Visa Waiver Program:
- Czech Republic
- New Zealand
- San Marino
- South Korea
My country is not on the VWP list. Where and when do I apply for a US visa?
If your country does not form part of the Visa Waiver Program, you will have to apply for a visa at your nearest United States consulate or embassy. Please take into account that the approval process for a visa is much more involved than for an ESTA, and you should, therefore, apply much longer before the start of your journey to the United States. Depending on where you are from, it could take weeks, months, or even longer to get a visa application approved.
NEW YORK’S TOP 10 TOURIST ATTRACTIONS
Whatever the purpose of your visit to the US, we hope you will find time to visit a few of this amazing city’s many tourist attractions. The list below is to get you started, and New York has a lot more to see and do.
The Status of Liberty
This towering symbol of freedom and democracy is located on Liberty Island in New York Harbor. The statue was a gift from France to the United States in 1886 to celebrate American independence and to act as a token of friendship between the two countries.
Visitors can take a ferry to Liberty Island to see the statue up close. It’s even possible to climb to the top of the pedestal or crown for stunning city skyline views. The statue has become an enduring icon of American culture and a must-see attraction for anyone visiting New York City.
This oasis lies right in the heart of Manhattan, providing a respite from the hustle and bustle of the city. Central Park is a beautiful and peaceful retreat that offers a chance to connect with nature and escape from the chaos of daily city life. It spans over 800 acres (2.5 miles by 0.5 miles) and features a wide range of activities, from picnicking and sunbathing to jogging and biking along the many trails. Travelers can also visit popular attractions such as the Central Park Zoo, the Bethesda Fountain, the Strawberry Fields, and the Belvedere Castle.
Rockefeller Center is a shopping and entertainment complex in Midtown Manhattan. It was built in the 1930s by the Rockefeller family and, until this day, remains a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. The centerpiece of the complex is the towering Christmas Tree decorated with thousands of lights and ornaments after Thanksgiving. You can also visit the Top of the Rock observation deck for stunning views of the city skyline and explore the many shops and restaurants located throughout the complex.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Also known as the Met, this is one of the world’s largest and most comprehensive art museums. It houses an extensive collection of over two million works of art from around the world, spanning over 5,000 years of human history. Visitors can explore the museum’s diverse collection, which includes everything from ancient Egyptian artifacts to contemporary art and photography. Highlights include the American Wing, the Egyptian Temple of Dendur, and the Costume Institute. The museum also hosts a range of temporary exhibitions throughout the year and special events and programs catering to visitors of all ages.
Broadway and the Theater District
Broadway theater district is right in the heart of Midtown Manhattan. It is a hub of activity throughout the year with many live performances, musicals, and plays. Visitors to Broadway can choose from a variety of shows, including long-running favorites like The Lion King and Wicked, as well as regular new productions and revivals. The district is also home to a variety of restaurants, bars, and shops, making it a vibrant and exciting destination for tourists and locals alike.
Empire State Building
This iconic skyscraper can be found in Midtown Manhattan. Standing at 1,454 feet tall, it was the tallest building in the world when it was completed in 1931, and it remains an iconic symbol of the New York City skyline. If you want a really breathtaking view of New York, take an elevator to the observation deck on the 86th floor. If you have the guts and you want an even higher view, buy tickets to the 102nd-floor observation deck. The Empire State Building is open year-round.
The High Line
This public park was built on an elevated railway track on Manhattan’s West Side. It spans over a mile and offers stunning views of the Hudson River and the city skyline. Visitors can stroll through the gardens and enjoy art installations, performances, and other cultural events throughout the year. The High Line also features several food vendors and outdoor seating areas, making it a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.
The American Museum of Natural History
This museum is located on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. It features a vast collection of more than 33 million specimens and artifacts, including fossils, rocks, minerals, and cultural artifacts from around the world. The exhibits cover a wide range of topics, from the evolution of life on Earth to the cultures of the Pacific Islands. Visitors can also explore the museum’s numerous halls, including the Rose Center for Earth and Space and the Hayden Planetarium. We are not exaggerating when we say that the American Museum of Natural History is a must-see destination for anyone interested in science, history, and culture.
This bustling commercial and entertainment hub is also located in Midtown Manhattan. Sometimes referred to as “The Crossroads of the World,” Times Square is famous for its bright neon lights, billboards, and screens, which create a colorful and electrifying atmosphere that is truly unique. Visitors can stroll through the pedestrian plazas, shop at the many stores and boutiques, or take in a Broadway show. The area is also home to landmarks like the Nasdaq MarketSite and the One Times Square Building (also often referred to as 1475 Broadway), which hosts the annual New Year’s Eve Ball Drop.