Where to go in New York
There's so much to see and do in the 'Big Apple'! Source: Luca Bravo/Unsplash

What’s more exhilarating than studying abroad? Studying abroad in New York!

As the state that hosts the second-highest number of international students in the country, you’ll be surrounded by peers from all over the world. With New York City’s status as a cultural and entertainment hub, you’ll have all its world-famous icons and monuments on (or very close to) your doorstep. No place could be more ideal for those who want to truly explore the wide gamut of what the US has to offer.

But as an international student, that can get a little tough. For one, New York is a big state, covering 54,555 square miles (141,300 km2) and NYC holds the title as the country’s biggest metropolis. 

And how do you get beyond the touristy traps in travel guides? Asking locals for recommendations is, theoretically at least, the best way to get really personalised advice on the best things to see and do. But city folks, and what’s more foreign city folks, can be a little intimidating too.

To help you out, Study International has compiled the top must-see, off-the-beaten-path attractions in this world-famous city, ideal for the international student studying here. Here’s our top 5:

1. Staten Island Ferry

where to go in new york

For a leisurely ride to enjoy the view, avoid rush hours on this passenger service ferry! Source: Shutterstock

If you’re on a budget, skip the view from the Empire State Building and instead go on this commuter ferry that runs from Battery Park to Staten Island. The awesome views you stand to see in this 30-minute ride (each way) include the the city skyline, the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and New York Harbour. Best of all, it’s free and open all day!

2. Niagara Falls

where to go in new york

Only 400 miles from NYC. Source: Mike Neifert/Unsplash

Half of one of the world’s most famous natural spectacles, Niagara Falls is located right here in New York. The falls, which bridge between Ontario, Canada, and New York state, is a sight many would fly through several time zones to behold. International students studying in this state have it lucky as it’s only a seven-hour drive from NYC. Or if you’re a student at the State University of New York at Buffalo, only a half-hour drive hour away!

3. Adirondack Park

where to go in new york

Come here for unbeatable views of fall foliage and forested mountains. Source: Shutterstock

If there’s one place that could take your study stress away, it’s Adirondack Park. Created in 1892, the Park is today “the largest publicly protected area in the contiguous US, greater in size than Yellowstone, Everglades, Glacier, and Grand Canyon National Park combined”. Half of its six million acres are constitutionally protected to remain as a “forever wild” forest preserve, while the remaining half of the Park is private land which includes settlements, farms, timber lands, businesses, homes and camps.

4. Bowery Ballroom

where to go in new york

Big names such as Lauryn Hill, Kanye West and Queens of the Stone Age have played here. Source: Shutterstock

This live music venue in Bowery, Manhattan holds something of a cult status among musicians and audiences. Ranked the best club in the US by Rolling Stone, this is where you can catch some good talent for a reasonable price.

5. New York Public Library

where to go in new york

The New York Public Library system has nearly 53 million items and 92 locations. Source: Monika Kozub/Unsplash

Need to study but want to explore New York at the same time? Do both at the many branches of the New York Public Library, scattered all over Manhattan, the Bronx and Staten Island. Unlike in a coffee shop, here, you can sit and work for as long as you choose. There’s a separate system for Brooklyn and Queens, which you can check out here and here.

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