What to do and see and what not to do and see in New York.

If you're planning a trip to New York City, the travel savvy and frequent visitors will give you numerous tips on how to avoid the crowded tourist traps, overhyped eateries, and what to skip if your time in town is limited. They’ll also tell you the absolute must-visit sites which are worth queuing and paying for. We’d like to pass on the best of the tips.

Firstly, for the very best fabulous view of the city, you don’t need to spend your hard earned cash and hours queuing to get to the top of the Empire State Building. Spend the $20 on a cocktail or two in the Rainbow Room (30 Rockefeller Plaza, 65th floor) instead. The views are just as good and it’s a much mellower experience! Secondly, although NY’s yellow cabs are famous, take the subway, it’s cheap and quick, or even better, walk! You can stroll from Times Square to Central Park in half-an-hour. And don’t eat in the Times Square chains. Head two blocks west to the arty area of Hell’s Kitchen, where you can have a more authentic experience and find a great variety of food.

On the absolute must-visit list, as touristy as they may be, are the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Statue of Liberty, and Ellis Island. Closed after the 9/11 attacks of 2001, the symbolic Statue of Liberty, with increased security, opened again for visitors in 2009, an important sign of US hope and optimism. Chief engineer Gustave Eiffel and sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi never planned for tourists to go up inside the tower and now only 30 people per hour are allowed to visit the crown in groups of ten. The crown will close this year, so visit this super symbol of freedom now!

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