The top non-tourist traveller attractions in New York

  High Street Subway Station in New York, the stop you’ll want to take to get to Brooklyn Bridge.

High Street Subway Station in New York, the stop you’ll want to take to get to Brooklyn Bridge.

New York's enduring popularity can be largely attributed to how the city has been depicted countless times in pop culture. It’s one of the most popular tourists destinations in the world, and I have covered some of the most famous places in New York. But there are still plenty of things you can do that won’t have you rubbing elbows with hoards of travellers.

Check out Sunset Park

  A view of downtown Manhattan from Brooklyn’s Sunset Park. Image credit:    A. Kirkwood Spence   /   Creative Commons

A view of downtown Manhattan from Brooklyn’s Sunset Park. Image credit: A. Kirkwood Spence/Creative Commons

What most people don’t realise about the famed Manhattan skyline is that it’s best appreciated from outside the city. The view from South Brooklyn’s Sunset Park is a testament to this fact. As you can imagine, a place like Sunset Park also looks best during the golden hours for which it’s named, and Time Out Magazine claims that even New Jersey looks good from this viewpoint. It’s quite a distance from the city centre, but if you arrive at sunset the trip will be well worth your efforts.

Explore abandoned NYC Subway tunnels

  City Hall Subway station in New York. Image credit:    Meredith P.   /   Creative Commons

City Hall Subway station in New York. Image credit: Meredith P./Creative Commons

Rapid development in the last century has left New York with an intricate subway system, complete with the occasional gorgeous subway stations that look frozen in time. One such location is the City Hall Station which loops around and under New York City Hall. It was ultimately abandoned due to its semi-circular loop, which was the same reason why it was initially revered. The looping architecture provided the foundation for its one-of-a-kind gilded, Art Deco interiors, complete with skylights. But it also proved to be impractical as Subway cars began to get bigger, faster and, eventually, unable to make the loop safely. Be that as it may, it remains open to a limited number of visitors via small tours and is good way to discover some of New York’s hidden secrets.

Figure Out the location of a New York speakeasy

  Please Don’t Tell, a speakeasy bar, is one of the city’s hidden gems. Image credit:    Lara Farhadi   /   Creative Commons

Please Don’t Tell, a speakeasy bar, is one of the city’s hidden gems. Image credit: Lara Farhadi/Creative Commons

The rehashing of the speakeasy trend, which harks back to the era of prohibition, has swept through New York. Many speakeasy-themed bars, pubs, and cocktail lounges can now be found across the city. One such establishment is known as PDT, or Please Don’t Tell, and is situated in the East Village. While most so-called speakeasies today barely retain rules that establish the theme, PDT goes the extra mile by requiring a little something extra out of prospective visitors. After going through a gourmet hotdog joint called Crif Dogs, you will have to enter a phone booth and dial 1 on a rotary phone (which might pose a serious challenge for younger NYC visitors). The voice on the other end then tells you how long you’ll have to wait to enter or if there’s room to enter in the first place. Other speakeasies like the Little Branch, Manhattan Cricket Club, and Cervantes’ Oyster Shack all offer their own unique takes on the popular theme.

Splurge in the Soho district

  The beautiful façades of the Soho district. Image credit:    Allie_Caulfield   /   Creative Commons

The beautiful façades of the Soho district. Image credit: Allie_Caulfield/Creative Commons

New York’s Soho district is a known for its shopping, high-end boutiques and creative popup stores, and if those are a little too rich for you, the Soho street vendors selling clothes and accessories are sure to strike your fancy. Aside from being the Manhattan shopping enclave, Soho is also home to plenty of notable art galleries, despite the fact that most of the galleries founded here in the 1970s and ‘80s have since moved to nearby neighbourhoods for cheaper rent. Who can blame them, though – visiting and even spending your money here is nice, but don’t expect to be able to afford to live here. The Soho district is one of the most expensive areas to live in New York. In fact, Yoreevo explains that every year over $23 billion (£17 billion) is spent on real estate in New York. As you travel around the city and dream of finding an apartment to live in, it will soon dawn on you that it take a lot of work to afford due to sky-high prices.

New York is a gigantic melting pot of cultures from all over the world, making it one of the most interesting places to visit for travellers. So, go ahead and get lost in the hustle and bustle of America’s biggest city. You never know what you’ll find around the corner.