Midtown as seen from East River
Midtown Manhattan is the core retail and commercial neighborhood of New York City, containing the highest concentration of business and money this side of, well, the planet. The Empire State Building, the most iconic building (even if no longer the tallest) in the city is here. Shady Bryant Park abuts the imposing New York Public Library main branch at 42nd Street, while to the east is the magnificent Beaux Arts Grand Central Terminal. Le Corbusier's landmark UN Headquarters is located on the East River. The masterpiece art deco towers of Rockefeller Center and adjoining Radio City sit opposite 5th Avenue from St. Patrick's Cathedral, the seat of the city's archdiocese. Fifth Avenue below 59th remains the toniest and most exclusive retail neighborhood in New York City, home to names like Saks, Tiffany, FAO Schwarz and Bendel. Murray Hill north of 34th Street is home to some of the city's nicest brownstones. Much of the real estate in this neighborhood is likewise quite expensive, and the restaurants, bars and other facilities notably cater to a higher-paying clientele.
Midtown, also called Midtown East to distinguish it from the Theater District to the west, is the area between around 34th St and 59th St (beyond which is Central Park), and from the East River through First, Second, Third, Lexington, Park, Madison, and Fifth Avenues, with Sixth Avenue as the western boundary of the district.
There is plenty of subway service to this area. The 4, 5, and 6 lines travel under Park Avenue (south of Grand Central Station) and Lexington Avenue (north of Grand Central), stopping at 42nd St. (Grand Central Station) and 59th St., with the 6 also stopping at 51st St. Running under 6th Avenue are the B, D, F, and M lines, which stop at 34th St. (close to the Empire State Building), 42nd St. (at Bryant Park, near the library) and 47-50 St. station (near Rockefeller Center). The F line continues up 6th Avenue, stopping at 57th St., while the E and M lines head under 53rd Street, stopping at 5th Av. and Lexington Av. (a passageway offers a free transfer to the 6 line). The 7 and S (Grand Central Shuttle) lines run under 42nd St. Both of them stop at Grand Central Station, with the 7 also stopping at 5th Av. (free transfer to the B, D, and F lines). Also serving the neighborhood are the N, Q, and R lines, which stop at 34th St. and 6th Av., close to the Empire State Building.
By MTA bus
Regular MTA buses run along every avenue except for short avenues like Vanderbilt, and there are also crosstown buses on 34th, 42nd, 49th/50th, and 57th Sts. In addition, express buses stop along these avenues, including the X25 to Lower Manhattan. Express buses charge a $5 fare, with free transfers available to other routes, and local buses charge $2.25 and enable free transfers to other local routes and the subway, with some exceptions.
By Metro North commuter train
Metro North commuter trains originate and terminate at Grand Central Terminal on E. 42 St. between Vanderbilt and Lexington Avs. See the By train section on the main New York City page for more info. Note that the train terminal (but not the subway stop serving it) closes from approximately 1AM to 5AM daily.
Bryant Park, with the Public Library in the background
- Bryant Park, Main Library, 42nd St and 6th Ave, ☎ +1 212 768-4242 (email@example.com, fax: +1 212 719-3499), . Located behind the Main Library, this shady park is an excellent spot to relax and get some good views of the surrounding skyscrapers. The park has free wireless internet, a children's carousel, several food and drink kiosks, and seasonal shows such as Fashion Weeks.
- Greenacre Park, 51st St (between 2nd and 3rd Aves). One of New York's many "pocket parks," Greenacre is a small plot of green space and an excellent place to relax, with a nice waterfall in the back, plenty of seats and tables, and lots of shade, plus a small tea shop.
- Paley Park, 53rd St (between Madison and 5th Aves). Another pocket park which is celebrated among landscape architects and urban designers, Paley is a great place to relax, with plenty of chairs below a canopy of trees and a waterfall spanning the entire back wall of the park.
- Chrysler Building, 405 Lexington Ave (at 42nd St). One of the most recognizable and favored structures of New York, the Chrysler was the world's tallest building when completed in 1930, but lost that title to the nearby Empire State Building less than a year later. But what it lost in fame it makes up for in beauty, with its gorgeous, instantly recognizable Art Deco crown.
- Citicorp Center, 153 E 53rd St (between Lexington and 3rd Aves). With its distinctive slanted roof and long, slender base columns, this building is another great skyscraper with a grand atrium.
- Daily News Building, 220 E 42nd St (between 2nd and 3rd Aves). This Art Deco design classic, completed in 1930 to a design by Raymond Hood, was made famous by the Superman films; to be admired are the extreme verticality of the design, the understated setbacks and functional design. The newspaper no longer holds offices here, but the foyer is well worth a visit if passing, if only to see the newspaper's giant globe sculpture and wall weather stations.
- Empire State Building, 350 5th Ave (at 34th St), ☎ +1 212 736-3100, . Daily 8AM-2AM. A legend from the moment it was finished in 1931, the Empire State Building was easily the tallest building not just in New York, but the entire world for many years before being overtaken by another New York landmark - the twin towers of the World Trade Center. With the destruction of those two buildings, the Empire State Building was once again the tallest building in the city, but that lasted less than eleven years. Even as the second-tallest building, though, it remains iconic, and one of the city's biggest tourist attractions. Expect long lines, and a lot of them - you'll have to wait in line to pass through a security checkpoint, wait in line to get tickets, wait in line for the elevators, and then make your way through the crowd on the outdoor observation deck on the 86th floor. One way to deal with the lines is to buy an express line ticket, which will bring you to the front of any line, but it will more than double the cost of your ticket. Another option is to visit very early in the day or late in the evening, when the lines will be considerably shorter. Despite the long lines and inevitable tourist kitsch, the views are excellent and the experience of being outdoors on top of New York City is a great one. Note that hawkers outside the building may try to tell you there is a very long line inside and that they can get you tickets to cut the line for some exorbitant price; before believing them, go inside and check the actual wait time. $27 adults, $24 seniors (62+), $21 children (6-12), free for military in full uniform/children under 5 (tickets to 102nd floor observatory are $17 extra and only sold at ticket office; express line tickets also sold).
- Grand Central Terminal, 42nd St and Park Ave (Subway: 4, 5, 6, 7, and S lines), . 5:30AM-1:30AM. Walk in and see the main concourse, a cavernous room often filled with people and elegantly detailed, with arched windows, a lovely clock, and an astronomical ceiling. Free.
- MetLife Building, 200 Park Ave (between 44th and 45th Sts, next to Grand Central Station). Since it was built it has been probably the most hated building in New York, mostly because it rises up over Grand Central Station, completely blocking the view up Park Avenue, but it is a good example of modern architecture.
- New York Public Library, 455 5th Ave (between 40th and 42nd Sts), ☎ +1 212 340-0833, . M,Th-Sa 11AM-6PM, Tu-W 11AM-7:30PM, closed Su. The main branch of the New York Public Library (officially the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building), this is the grand structure flanked by lions on both sides of the entrance. Inside you'll see impressive architecture, long hallways, and beautifully designed reading rooms. Free.
- Rockefeller Center, . The Christmas Tree, the Skating Rink, NBC studios, the shops and hubbub - you can't miss it. The Christmas Tree and the Skating Rink are naturally not year round, but in the summer, the complex is a hub for touristy operations. Within the striking Art Deco buildings of the complex are several dining establishments overlooking the area and many stores.
- Radio City Music Hall, 1260 6th Ave (between 50th and 51st Sts), ☎ +1 212 307-7171, . Daily 11:30AM–6PM. See the Rockettes, another show, or just tour the famous Art Deco masterpiece.
- Top of the Rock Observation Deck, W 50th St (between 5th and 6th Aves), ☎ +1 212 698-2000 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Daily 8:30AM-midnight, last elevator at 11PM. On the 70th floor of the GE Building (better known by some as "30 Rock") is this narrow observation deck, built to resemble the deck of a cruise ship. The deck affords uninterrupted views over Central Park to the north and across Midtown to the south. $25 adults, $23 seniors, $16 children.
- St. Patrick's Cathedral, 460 Madison Ave (between 50th and 51st Sts), ☎ +1 212 753-2261 (email@example.com, fax: +1 212 755-4128), . A big, grand Catholic church.
- United Nations Headquarters, 1st Ave at 46th St (No parking available; take public transport to Grand Central Station then walk, or take the M15 bus up 1st Ave or down 2nd Ave), . The UN HQ sits on an 18-acre site between 42nd and 48th Streets, and between First Avenue and the East River. It is noted for its gardens and outdoor sculpture. There is a charge for the tours of the General Assembly and Secretariat but you can visit the Visitor's Lobby for free (although you do have to pass through a security checkpoint). There are two levels to the lobby area which includes a gallery, a gift shop, and a bookshop. If just visiting the lobby, don't join any queues once you're in the lobby - just find your way around. There is little in the way of signs to tell you where you can go - this is the UN, well-meaning but not well organized. Free; guided tours $18 adults, $13 seniors, $13 students, $11 children (5-12).
- Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, 301 Park Ave (between 49th and 50th Sts), ☎ +1 212 355-3100, . A famous luxury hotel.
- The Morgan Library, 225 Madison Avenue (at the 36th street intersection; Subway: B/D/F trains to 34th St/6th avenue or 4/5/6 trains to 33rd street/Lexington Avenue), ☎ (212) 685-0008 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: (212) 481-3484), . Tu-Thu 10:30AM-5PM, F:10:30AM-9PM, Sa 10A-6 Su 11-6. Once J. Pierpont Morgan's private library, this building houses his art collection, a Gutenberg Bible, and a first printing of The Star Spangled Banner. The bookshelves lining the walls include books by Dante, Dickens, Einstein, Twain, and several First and Second Folios $18 adults, $12 students/seniors, $12 children under 16, free Friday after 7.
- Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), 11 W 53rd St (between 5th and 6th Aves; Subway: E/M trains to 5th Ave/53rd St or B/D/F trains to 47th-50th Sts-Rockefeller Center), ☎ +1 212 708-9400 (email@example.com), . Sa-M,W-Th 10:30AM-5:30PM, F 10:30AM-8PM, closed Tu (). One of the greatest and most popular collections of modern art, on a par with the Tate Modern in London or Paris's Centre Georges Pompidou. Exceedingly popular so be warned: queues for tickets start early and stretch long. To avoid the crowds, turn up at the door at least a half hour before opening, then take the elevator to the top floor and work your way down. The building is as much a draw as the outstanding collection; possessing arguably the best collection of modern masterpieces world-wide, MoMA houses important art works from Van Gogh, Picasso, Monet, Matisse, Salvador Dalí, Paul Cézanne, Frida Kahlo, Piet Mondrian, and works by leading American artists such as Jackson Pollock, Jasper Johns, Edward Hopper, Andy Warhol, and Chuck Close. MoMA also holds renowned art photography and design collections. $25 adults, $18 seniors, $14 students, free for children under 16. Free admission for all on Fridays 4PM-8PM.
- The Paley Center for Media (formerly the Museum of Television & Radio), 25 W 52nd St (between 5th and 6th Aves; Subway: E/M trains to 5th Ave/53rd St or B/D/F trains to 47th-50th Sts-Rockefeller Center), ☎ +1 212 621-6600, . W,F-Su noon-6PM, Th noon-8PM, closed M-Tu. Dedicated to preserving and collecting television programs as a service to the public, the museum consists of two museum branches in Los Angeles and New York City; combined they hold over 100,000 television programs that are available to the public, providing a historical, artistic and cultural perspective to television and radio. You may use their library here for the price of admission. They have lots of old shows and a database so you can see if they have what you want. $10 adults, $8 students/seniors, $5 children under 14.
- SONY Wonder Technology Lab, 550 Madison Ave, ☎ +1 212 833-5414, . Tu-Sa 10AM-5PM, Closed Sundays, Monday and major holidays. Interactive hands-on exhibits of cutting edge technology, sponsored by Sony. Free. Reservations are highly recommended.
Fifth Ave is a shoppers' paradise from 42nd to 60th Streets, boasting numerous flagships stores of national chains. Perpetually mobbed with shoppers and tourists, Fifth Avenue is a virtual standstill during the Christmas shopping season, when Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue, Cartier, Tiffany's, and Lord and Taylor put out their holiday displays. Other popular stores include Niketown, NBA Store, Versace, Gucci, Armani Exchange.
47th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues is a large wholesale and retail Jewelry District. It is said that nearly every diamond sold in the US passes first through this street. On this street a dealer's reputation among the community of jewelry dealers is all-important, and million-dollar contracts are agreed to with just a handshake because of the reputation of each dealer.
- Bloomingdale's, 1000 3rd Ave (59th St and Lexington Ave), ☎ +1 212 705-2000, . An enormous department store that is frequented by the glamorous and the masses alike. A must-visit for any serious shopper.
- FAO Schwartz, 767 5th Ave (at 58th St), ☎ +1 212 644-9400, Ext. 4242, . One of only two FAO Schwarz stores remaining in the country, this is the Holy Grail of toy stores, with toys and collectibles ranging from the small, cheap, and mainstream to the enormous, expensive, and exotic. Take a walk across the giant piano on the floor to feel like Tom Hanks in 'Big.'
- Morrell Wine, 1 Rockefeller Plaza (49th St between 5th and 6th Aves). M-Sa 10AM-7PM. Perhaps the best wine selection in the city, this is the place to go if you want to find that unusual bottle to take home as a gift. They also ship all over if you want to take home more than you can carry!
- Nintendo World Store (more commonly just referred to as the Nintendo Store), 10 Rockefeller Plaza, ☎ +1 646 459-0800, . A two story specialty store that sells a wide variety of Nintendo merchandise, including videogames, t-shirts, and plushies of your favorite Nintendo characters. The most popular aspect of the store is their Pokecenter which has a wall dedicated to Pokemon videogames, DVDs, action figures and plush dolls. The plush dolls and action figures that are on sale change every week or so, so you need to be quick to find and buy your favorite pokemon’s plush counterpart. The store has a large section devoted to Wiis and 3DS/DS’s that are opened for customers to play and preview videogames before they purchase them. The store also sometimes holds tournaments and video viewings to promote upcoming releases of games.
- Saks Fifth Avenue, 611 5th Ave, ☎ +1 212 753-4000, .
- Tiffany & Co., 5th Ave at 57th St, ☎ +1 212 755-8000, . M-F 10AM-7PM, Sa 10AM-6PM, Su noon-5PM, closed Memorial Day. The famous jewellers, scene of Audrey Hepburn's Breakfast at Tiffany's
- Ai Fiori, on the 2nd floor of the Setai Hotel, 400 5th Av. between 36th and 37th Sts. (By subway: 34th St/Herald Sq stop), ☎ +1 212 613-8660, . Breakfast Daily 7-10:30AM (limited menu in bar/lounge only Sa-Su); Lunch Daily 11:45AM-2:30PM (limited menu in bar/lounge only Sa-Su); Dinner Su-Th 5:30-9:30PM, F-Sa 5-10:30PM; Bar menu Su-Th 5:30-11:30PM, F-Sa 5PM-midnight. This Ligurian restaurant has delicious cocktails (the fiori d'arancia, made with Old Forester bourbon, is absolutely delightful) and equally fine food, made with the freshest, highest-quality ingredients and with some kind of pleasant surprise in every dish. And unlike most other New York restaurants, it has plenty of space between tables. It is expensive but worth the money. Around $125/person for dinner, including drinks, tax, and tip.
- Cho Dang Gol, 55 W 35th St (between 5th and 6th Aves), ☎ +1 212 695-8222 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +1 212 695-3797), . A slightly upscale Korean restaurant that specializes in dishes made with artisanal tofu, several varieties of which are made on premises. Lunch is cheaper (~$20) and more informal. Expect to pay about $30 for dinner.
- Han Bat, 55 W 35th St (Between 5th and 6th Aves), ☎ +1 212 629-5588. Han Bat has the feel of a Korean diner with excellent inexpensive food. Try their Hyaemul Dolsot Bibimbap (rice cooked in a stone pot with mixed seafood, herbs, Korean hot sauce, etc.). Expect to pay around $20 for a hearty meal including 6 banchan (side dishes provided to diners for no additional charge).
- Havana NY, 27 W 38th St (between 5th and 6th Aves), ☎ +1 212 944-0990, . Well-priced Cuban casual restaurant & bar for lunch and dinner. They serve a variety of daily specials, including Plantain Soup and Suckling Roast Pork.
- Joe's Shanghai, 24 W 56th St (between 5th and 6th Aves), ☎ +1 212 333-3868 (fax: +1 212 397-1107), . M-Sa 10AM-11PM, Su 1PM-10:30PM. Try their famous "soup dumplings" -- listed on the menu as "steamed buns", and their other delicious Shanghai specialties. Pricier than the Chinatown location. $10-$20.
- Keens Steakhouse, 72 W 36th St, ☎ +1 212 947-3636 (email@example.com, fax: +1 212 714-1103), . M-F 11:45AM-10:30PM, Sa 5PM-10:30PM, Su 5PM-9PM. A New York chophouse with excellent steaks and great bar for pre & post dinner drinks or just drinks. Fine dining in comfortable surroundings. Founded in 1885, the restaurant has a interesting ceiling covered in 90,000 clay pipes which the customers used to smoke after dinner. Pipes were left at establishments, as they were too brittle to transport!
- Madangsui, 35 W 35th St (between 5th and 6th Aves), ☎ +1 212 564-9333. Serves great Korean barbecue accompanied by a generous (8 dishes) and delectable banchan (complimentary side dishes), plus a bowl of dwenjang jigae (soupy stew made with fermented bean paste).
- Tao, E 58th St (between Park and Madison Aves), . Trendy Asian cuisine; reservations required. Beautiful decor.
- Ginger Man, 11 E 36th St, ☎ +1 212 532-3740 (fax: +1 212 532-3490), . Sister bar to the Volcano (below). Larger bar with a broad selection of drinks that also serves bar food and snacks. Also an after-work crowd, this bar is also popular with your average Joes. Good place for groups.
- mad46, 45 E 46th St, . 5PM-12AM. Amazing happy hour spot in Midtown atop The Roosevelt Hotel with a fantastic view. Not only serving delicious after work cocktails, but also offers a lite fair menu.
- Americana Inn, 69 W 38th St (between 5th and 6th Aves), ☎ +1 212 840-6700 (toll free: +1 888 468-3558, firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +1 212 840-1830), . Single, double, and triple-bed accommodations. $70+.
- Soldiers', Sailors', Marines', Coast Guard and Airmen's Club, 283 Lexington Ave (at 37th St), ☎ +1 212 683-4353, . checkin: 4PM; checkout: 10:30AM. A service member friendly hotel. The hotel is closed to non-military personnel unless accompanied by a service member, veteran, or military retiree. Rates are based on rank; $25+.
- Vanderbilt YMCA, 224 E 47th St (Subway: 4/5/6/7 trains to 42nd St-Grand Central or B/D/F/V trains to 47th–50th Sts-Rockefeller Center), . Walking distance from Grand Central Terminal and near the United Nations. Twin private room: $35.
- Comfort Inn Manhattan, 42 W 35th St (between 5th and 6th Aves), ☎ +1 212 947-0200, . Its main selling point is its location. $250+.
- Hotel 373 Fifth Avenue, 373 5th Ave (at 35th St), ☎ +1 212 695-7200, .
- Roosevelt Hotel, 45 E 45th St (at Madison Ave), ☎ +1 212 661-4475, .
- 70 Park Avenue Hotel, 70 Park Ave (at 38th St), ☎ +1 212 973-2400 (fax: +1 212 973-2401), . Nice boutique hotel with good bar, Silverleaf Tavern, which serves a good G&T. Lovely rooms including LCD TV's etc. Some rooms have a view of the Empire State Building.
- Alex Hotel, 205 East 45th Street (between 2nd and 3rd Avenues), ☎ 212.867.5100, . 203 luxury living spaces—from studios to guest rooms to suites—all designed by residential architect Costas Kondylis, with custom designed furniture by David Rockwell and state-of-the-art amenities.
- Andaz 5th Avenue, 485 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10017, ☎ 212-601-1234, . Enjoy a unique sense of welcome from this modern midtown Manhattan hotel. The hotel offers loft style Manhattan rooms and suites, meeting & event space, dining and free WiFi.
- Bedford Hotel, 118 E 40th St (between Park and Lexington Aves), . A small European style hotel located between the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building.
- Bryant Park Hotel, W 40th St (between 5th and 6th Aves, on Bryant Park), . Distinctive black brick and gold trim building. Amenities include deep soaking tubs, cashmere blankets, Pipino toiletries, Tibetan rugs in rooms. $245+.
- Dylan Hotel, 52 E 41st St (between Madison and Park Aves), .
- Fitzpatrick Grand Central Hotel, 141 East 44th St., ☎ +1 212 351-6800, . Irish boutique hotel with a 155 rooms and suites featuring a traditional Irish pub, outdoor patio for dining, Wi-Fi access, and in-room safe.
- Fitzpatrick Manhattan Hotel, 687 Lexington Ave, ☎ +1 212 355-0100, . Irish boutique hotel with a popular on-site Irish restaurant.
- Four Seasons Hotel, 57 E 57th St (between Madison and Park Aves), ☎ +1 212 758-5700, .
- Grand Hyatt New York, Park Ave at Grand Central Terminal, ☎ +1 212 883-1234 (fax: +1 212 697-3772), . Attached to Grand Central Station.
- Hampton Inn Manhattan 35th Street/Empire State Building, 59 West 35th St, ☎ +1-212-564-3688 (fax: +1-212-564-3799), . A business-style hotel with modern and clean rooms. $200-$350.
- Helmsley Park Lane Hotel, 36 Central Park South (between 5th and 6th Aves), ☎ +1 212 371-4000 (toll free: +1 800 221-4982, email@example.com, fax: +1 212 750-7279), . 46-story hotel offering 583 luxury hotel rooms and suites. The hotel features on-site dining options, event spaces, and a fitness center. $250+.
- Hotel Elysee, 60 E 54th St, ☎ +1 212 753-1066 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +1 212 980-9278), . This country French hotel offers guests free high speed Wi-fi and complimentary refreshments in the Club room 24 hours a day including breakfast in the mornings and wine and cheese receptions on weeknights.
- Hotel Metro, 45 W 35th St, . Newly renovated guestrooms, complimentary continental breakfast or afternoon snack in the Metro Grill restaurant.
- Hyatt 48 Lex, 517 Lexington Ave (corner of 48th Street at Lexington Avenue), ☎ +1 212 838 1234 (email@example.com), . A fresh blend of highly personalized concierge service with high-end contemporary art and design.
- Kimberly Hotel, 145 E 50th St, .
- Kitano, 66 Park Ave, . A luxury four-diamond Japanese style hotel.
- Library Hotel, 299 Madison Ave (at 41st St), ☎ +1 212 983-4500 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +1 212 499-9099), . Free high speed Wi-fi and complimentary refreshments in the Reading Room 24 hours a day including breakfast in the mornings and wine and cheese receptions in the evenings except for Sunday nights.
- Westin Grand Central, 212 E 42nd St, . formerly Helmsley
- New York Palace Hotel, 455 Madison Ave (at 50th St), ☎ +1 212 888-7000, . Luxury accommodations, good views, spacious rooms, spa & fitness center, fine dining at the Gilt Restaurant & Bar, meeting and event rooms.
- Omni Berkshire Place, 21 E 52nd St (at Madison Ave), ☎ +1 212 753-5800, .
- Peninsula Hotel New York, (5th Ave and 55th St), . Has rooftop bar.
- Roger Smith Hotel, 501 Lexington Ave (at 47th St), .
- San Carlos, 150 E 50th St, .
- Sherry Netherland, 781 5th Ave, ☎ +1 877 743-7710, . Full concierge assistance, elevator attendants, beautifully furnished rooms.
- The Setai Fifth Avenue, 400 5th Ave, . Luxury accommodations for short-term and extended stay guests. Has a spa, dining and wedding and meeting space.
- Radisson Lexington Hotel New York, 511 Lexington Ave (at 48th St), . Newly remodeled rooms and other features like two board rooms and one meeting room accommodating up to 50 people.
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