New York

New York – when you hear that name, the glittering metropolis on the Hudson River immediately comes to mind. But there is also a state called New York in the USA. And it's not exactly small and has much more to offer than just the "city that never sleeps."

New York State facts

Capital Albany
Area about 143,000 km²
Population about 20 million
Location in the northeast of the USA
Nickname The Empire State
State animal Beaver
Time zone UTC -4 /-5 Stunden (AST / EST)

New York: location & population

The state of New York is one of the Mid-Atlantic states situated in the northeast of the country. With almost 20 million inhabitants, it is the third most populous state in the USA after California and Texas.

To the south, New York State shares a border with Pennsylvania and New Jersey. To the east are Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Vermont. It is separated from Rhode Island by a maritime border. Furthermore, there are borders with the Canadian provinces of Québec and Ontario to the north and northwest.

In general, the state is divided into the New York City Metropolitan Area, or Downstate New York, and the more rural Upstate New York.

The New York City Metropolitan Area, which covers about 10,000 km², includes the city itself, Long Island, Westchester County, and Rockland County. About 14 million of the nearly 20 million inhabitants of New York State are concentrated in this area.

Upstate New York, on the other hand, has a population of only about 6 million people living in an area of about 131,000 km².

The largest cities in New York State

A giant among dwarfs: while the global metropolis of New York City has by far the largest number of inhabitants and the highest population density, the second-largest city of Buffalo follows with just over 260,000 inhabitants.

In terms of population, the largest cities in New York State are:

City Population
New York City 8,175,000
Buffalo 261,000
Rochester 211,000
Yonkers 196,000
Syracuse 145,000

What about the state capital Albany? It only follows in 6th place with 98,000 inhabitants.

Climate and nature

The entire state of New York is characterized by a moderate climate comparable to that of Central Europe. While the average temperature in winter is around 0 °C, the thermometer can rise to an average of 25-30 °C during the summer months. So, if you appreciate the climatic variety of four seasons, New York is the right place for you!

New York State has a few kilometers of coastline on the Atlantic Ocean, mainly occupied by New York City and Long Island. The mighty Hudson River, which stretches 493 km into New York State, flows into the ocean there.

Upstate New York's landscapes are shaped by mountain ranges such as the Adirondack Mountains or Catskills, the hilly Allegheny Plateau, and a multitude of lakes, such as the Finger Lakes or Oneida Lake.

In the north, Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, and the St. Lawrence River form the border with the neighboring country of Canada. The world-famous Niagara Falls plunge into the depths between the two great lakes at the national border.

New York: best time to travel

City break fans will fall in love with New York City all year round. But the idyllic landscapes in Upstate New York also have plenty of appeal, no matter if the temperatures are warm or cold.

New York in summer

It doesn't always have to be New York City: Upstate New York is covered with scenic hiking and recreation areas, such as the Finger Lakes, Thousand Islands, or the Adirondack Mountains.

Whether you prefer to be active by hiking, climbing, mountain biking, canoeing, and swimming, or to just relax and have a picnic – you can enjoy the most magnificent colors of the "Indian Summer" in any of the many nature parks in the state of New York!

New York in winter

Shopping at Rockefeller Center, ice skating in Central Park, and admiring lavish Christmas decorations in the streets of Brooklyn – when Christmas is just around the corner, New York City is a very special highlight that you should definitely experience!

Wintersports lovers will certainly be in their element in Lake Placid. The site of the 1980 Olympic Games offers numerous opportunities for extended winter hikes as well as downhill and cross-country skiing.

Traveling to New York

Non-stop flights to New York are available, for example, from Frankfurt am Main or Munich with Lufthansa and United Airlines. With American Airlines or Delta, you can fly directly from London to New York. And Air France and Delta will take you directly from Paris to New York.

Airports in New York

When you fly from Europe to New York, you will probably arrive at one of the major international airports of the metropolis on the East Coast. But other cities in New York State, such as Buffalo or Albany, also have international airports.

Furthermore, there are several airports in New York State where only domestic connections take off and land, e.g., New York LaGuardia or Long Island MacArthur.

The five largest airports in New York State based on passenger volume are:

  • John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
  • LaGuardia Airport (LGA)
  • Buffalo Niagara International Airport (BUF)
  • Albany International Airport (ALB)
  • Greater Rochester International Airport (ROC)

And what about New York Newark Airport? Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), where many New York vacationers arrive, is only 17 km from New York City, but it is located on the territory of the neighboring state of New Jersey.

Flight prices for New York

Flights from Europe to New York and back are available from around €400. If you make a stopover, for example, in Lisbon on a flight operated by TAP Portugal, you can save around 50 euros.

Travel authorization New York

You can get to New York State conveniently and rather cheaply with an ESTA travel authorization if you come from a country that is part of the Visa Waiver Program. Citizens from Canada, Australia, Japan, and most European countries, for example, usually do not need to apply for a visa to enter the USA.

ESTA – visa-free to the USA

With an ESTA, you can stay 90 days visa-free in the USA. Apply online now!

Transfer from New York John F. Kennedy Airport

Many international flights land at one of the six terminals of New York's largest airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK). After arriving there, you have the following options to get to the city center of New York:

Taxi

You shouldn’t have any trouble finding one of the city's iconic yellow cabs at a New York airport. However, the most convenient way to get downtown is also the most expensive one: you'll pay about $75 to get from JFK Airport to Manhattan. Depending on the traffic situation, the trip takes about 60 to 90 minutes.

Bus

In about 90 minutes, you can get to the city by shuttle bus. Buses leave from every terminal at JFK and cost $19 per ticket.

AirTrain & LIRR

A combination of the JFK AirTrain and the Long Island Railroad (LIRR) will get you into the city center very quickly. First, the JFK AirTrain drops you off at Jamaica Station, where you can transfer to the LIRR's Main Line. The 25-minute ride costs between $15.50 and $18.50 (LIRR prices vary by time of day).

AirTrain & Usubway

With a ticket price of $10.50, the cheapest way from JFK Airport to Manhattan is a mix of JFK AirTrain and subway. The AirTrain brings you to Jamaica Station or Howard Beach. Depending on which corner of Manhattan you want to get to, you can change to the E, J, and Z subway lines at Jamaica Station or take the A-line at Howard Beach station.

Transfer from New York Newark Airport

Newark International Airport is not located in New York State, but it is very well connected to New York City. To get to the city center, you can choose from these transportation options:/p>

Taxi

The transfer from the New York Newark Airport to New York by cab is individual and flexible, but it costs around $75 a ride.

Bus

The shuttle buses of Newark Airport Express are much cheaper. They leave the airport every 20 to 30 minutes (except between 1 am and 4:15 am) and take you to Manhattan for about $17. There, it stops at the stations Port Authority Bus Terminal, Bryant Park, and Grand Central Terminal.

AirTrain & NJ Transit

The cheapest connection from Newark Airport to New York City costs $14.75 and consists of AirTrain and NJ Transit train. The AirTrain connects to all three terminals in Newark and takes you to Newark Liberty Airport Station. You can then transfer to the NJ Transit Train and ride through to New York Penn Station in the middle of Manhattan.

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State Parks in New York

Although there is no national park in New York State, there are a lot of state parks that are always worth a trip. Below, we present our top 5 in short.

Niagara Falls State Park

Far in the north of New York State, the world-famous Niagara Falls tumble down at the Canadian border. Although many claim that the Canadian side provides a better view of the falls, the US side has popular attractions such as the Niagara Gorge Discovery Center, the Aquarium of Niagara, and the Cave of the Winds. If you're adventurous enough, you can get up close to the cascading waters on a boat tour.

Watkins Glen State Park

Watkins Glen Park, located south of Seneca Lake, covers an area of 3.15 km² and is most known for the Glen Creek Gorge, which cuts 120 m deep into the rocky landscape. From mid-May to early November, you can set out on a hiking adventure along three trails that take you past waterfalls, rapids, and stone bridges.

Letchworth State Park

Relax and recharge your batteries – a trip to Letchworth Park is perfect for that! Also known as the "Grand Canyon of the East," this state park is celebrated for its natural beauty. Over 600-foot cliffs, breathtaking waterfalls, and the Genesee River Gorge will take your breath away. Tip: Due to snowmelt, the Upper, Middle, and Lower Falls are at their finest in early spring!

Robert H. Treman State Park

Located in the heart of the Finger Lakes region, scenic Robert H. Treman State Park is a popular recreation area for residents and students of the nearby college town of Ithaca. The 4.5 km² park features a swimming lake at the base of a waterfall, picnic tables, playgrounds, and numerous hiking and camping opportunities.

Bear Mountain State Park

Only about 80 km away from New York City, Bear Mountain State Park covers an area of 21 km² on the west bank of the Hudson River. In summer, it offers city residents in search of recreation fantastic opportunities for hiking, boating, biking, picnicking, and swimming. When temperatures drop below the freezing point, the region is ideal for cross-country skiing, sledding, and ice skating.

Top 10 sightseeing highlights New York

It’s all about New York City! As beautiful as the natural parks and recreational areas in New York State may be, the most popular sightseeing highlights are concentrated in the New York City metropolitan area. If you're heading to Big Apple, don't forget to include the following special places on your bucket list:

  • Central Park
  • Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island
  • Empire State Building
  • Times Square
  • Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Brooklyn Bridge
  • One World Trade Center
  • Rockefeller Center
  • High Line

Would you like to know what skyscraper offers the best view of New York City? Or why the High Line, built on disused railroad tracks, is a unique New York highlight? Check out our article about the top sights in New York City. There, you will find detailed answers and much more!

New York State city trips

City feeling in New York City, history at your fingertips in Albany, delicious cuisine in Buffalo, or creative student life in Ithaca – the city highlights in New York State couldn't be more diverse!

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City highlights New York

The vibrant metropolis of New York City is by far the most popular city break destination in New York State. Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, Empire State Building, MOMA, and so much more – you can find exciting sights in Big Apple at almost every corner.

Don’t miss these places in New York City:

  • Fifth Avenue
  • Broadway
  • Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
  • Grand Central Terminal
  • National September 11th Museum and Memorial

City highlights Buffalo

Buffalo, once an industrial center, is the second-largest city in New York State. It is located directly on Lake Erie, about 30 km from Niagara Falls. The city is the birthplace of the Buffalo Wings and is characterized by a creative restaurant scene.

In addition to the Art Déco-style City Hall, Buffalo features the following highlights:

  • Albright-Knox Art Gallery
  • Buffalo Zoo
  • Canalside
  • Buffalo Museum of Science
  • Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens

City highlights Albany

Although the capital of New York State has fewer than 100,000 inhabitants, it has many cultural and historical highlights to offer.

After all, the city of Albany, which was founded in 1614, was one of the first settlements on the North American continent.

Check out these highlights in Albany:

  • New York State Museum
  • New York State Capitol
  • Albany Institute of History & Art
  • Washington Park
  • USS Slater

City highlights Ithaca

This charming college town is home to Cornell University and Ithaca College. Ithaca offers everything that can be expected in a city with such a young demographic: trendy cafes, cool restaurants, arthouse movie theaters, and more. Also, the surrounding Finger Lakes region provides plenty of getaway opportunities.

These are the highlights you should see in Ithaca:

  • Buttermilk Falls State Park
  • Cornell Botanic Gardens
  • Ithaca Falls
  • Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art
  • Stewart Park

Instagram hotspots in New York

How do you prove to your friends that the "city that never sleeps" really never sleeps? That's right: you post your most beautiful moments on Instagram! We've tracked down the five most spectacular places for you to do just that.

Our top 5 Instagram hotspots in New York State:

  • Top of the Rock (take a picture with the Empire State Building in the background!)
  • Brooklyn Bridge
  • Central Park
  • Meatpacking District
  • Niagara Falls

New York cuisine highlights

New York City, as well as the city of Buffalo, is known for street food and a lively restaurant and bar scene. So, when you're traveling in New York State, the following local specialties are a must on your menu.

Pizza New York Style

Thick and crispy on the edges, but thin and flexible enough under the toppings to fold in half when eating - that's how the signature New York-style pizza must be baked.

The typical New York street food originated in the early 1900s based on Neapolitan pizza and is traditionally topped with tomato sauce, shredded mozzarella cheese, and other toppings.

Manhattan Cocktail

If you're hitting the nightlife in New York, don't miss the drink named after the district of Manhattan. Legend has it that the cocktail was created in the 1870s by Dr. Ian Marshall at the New York Manhattan Club.

If whiskey and angostura are too strong for you, go for a refreshing Cosmopolitan. It may have been invented in Miami, but it's been an established tradition in New York ever since the "Sex and the City" series.

Buffalo Wings

Buffalo wings are not baked but deep-fried and then dipped in a vinegar-based cayenne pepper sauce and melted butter. Traditionally, the spicy snacks are served hot, accompanied by celery, carrot sticks, and blue cheese dip. It is believed that Buffalo Wings were first prepared in the 1960s at the Anchor Bar in the City of Buffalo by Teressa Bellissimo.

Fun Facts New York

Do you want to finish with some fun facts about New York? We have found a few, of course:

  • New York City originally got the well-known nickname "Big Apple" from a local newspaper's horse racing column in the 1920s. The term described a big money prize at important horse races held in the city.
  • In 1907, the first cab company was founded in New York City. It initially used red and green cars. Yellow cabs were not seen on the streets of New York City until 1912.
  • Getting to every single stop on the New York City subway system (without leaving the system) takes at least 21 hours and 49 minutes.
  • The first American pizzeria opened in New York City in 1905. Nowadays, there are around 1,600 pizza restaurants in the city.
  • The world-famous Woodstock Festival took place from August 15th until August 18th, 1969, near the small town of Bethel in the US state of New York.

Immigrate to New York

New York City is one of the top destinations for immigrants to the USA and those who want to become one. If you are thinking about moving to New York City or New York State, the following information will be helpful for you.

Working in New York

„If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere!” From part-time jobs to show business to top management: the labor market in the metropolis of New York opens up countless job and career opportunities for you.

Furthermore, New York City is the heart of the American financial and business world. Since many international companies are also based here, they might provide you with a starting point for a life in the USA.

Living in New York

Housing in New York City is scarce. Accordingly, you have to dig deep into your pockets to rent an apartment.

According to the Cost of Living Index, living in New York City is about 87% more expensive than on average in the United States. This makes New York City the most expensive city in the USA.

You can live more cheaply in the cities of Albany or Buffalo, whose Cost of Living Index lies 5% respectively 20% belo

New York with a Green Card

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