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New York City facts

New York - Facts before you leave

Here you will get some facts about New York. Good to know before you leave.


Approx 8 millions

Visitors per year
Approx 40 millions

Dollar (see exchange rate at Forex -

The official language is English but here is also a big mixture of different nationalities and these languages are for example: Spanish, Italian, Greek etc.

When should you travel?

You can visit New York when ever during the whole year. You only have to know by yourself which weather you like the best. During the summer (Jul-Aug) it can get really hot and winter/spring can be really cold. Even if you are looking at the temperature in winter there are not many degrees below zero - but the wind between the high skyscrapers will make the temperature significant colder.

Beside you have an approx scale over the temperatures in NYC per month.

Month Avarage temp.
January 26-38F -03-03C
February 27-40F -03-04C
March 34-49F 01-09C
April 44-61F 07-16C
May 53-72F 12-22C
June 63-80F 17-27C
July 68-85F 20-29C
August 67-84F 19-29C
September 60-77F 16-25C
October 50-66F 10-19C
November 41-54F 05-12C
December 31-42F -01-06C

Public Holidays
During public holidays most banks, offices, some shops and a few museums are closed.

Presidents' Day - Washington´s Birthday (Feb 20 -Third Monday in February). Honor the President Washington, but the day has been expanded to honor all presidents.

Memorial Day (May 29, 2017 - last Monday in May). To remember all those who died while serving in the country's armed forces.

Independence Day (July 4 )The day is celebrated in memory of the 13 North American colonies July 4, 1776 declared itself independent from Britain as the US Declaration of Independence ratified by the Continental Congress. The document is now on display in the National Archives in Washington, D.C.

The day is celebrated with a huge fireworks display that Macy stands for. The fireworks are launched from barges located on the East River and can be seen from any unobstructed views of the East River in Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn. The event is of course free. You can stand at 42 nd Street, 23 rd Street, above the Williamsburg Bridge and down at the Brooklyn Bridge (Pearl Street, Frank Front Street) South Street Seaport and of course on the Brooklyn side.

Labor Day (Sept 4, 2017 - first Monday in September), unions that organize demonstrations. The day is followed by a Labour Day parade on upcoming Saturday.

Columbus Day (Oct 9, 2017 - second Monday in October)Celebrating the anniversary of Christopher Columbus' arrival and the discovery of America, which took place October 12, 1492.

Veterans Day (Nov 11) honoring military personnel who have served the US army

Thanksgiving (Nov 23, 2017 - fourth Thursday in november). A day to give thanks for the blessing of the harvest and the previous year.
Celebrated with among others Macy's Thanksgiving Parade. It was President Abraham Lincoln who decided in 1863 that this day would be a day of celebration and gratitude.

Christmas Day (25 dec) The celebration of the birthday of Jesus Christ.

Other important and less important days
Other days that are celebrated in the United States are good historical days, days in honor of people or a special person or days with thoughts of given religion. Some days have come to by various reasons.

Easter (March 25 (Good Friday) 2016, March 27 (Easter Sunday) March 28, (Easter Monday) celebrated sometime in March or April. It's no big celebration in the United States and all rolls on as usual. Stock exchange is closed on Good Friday (Good Friday). Easter Parade celebrated on 5th Avenue on Easter Sunday (Easter Sunday)
and Macy always perform a simply spectacular flower show in its department stores. To eat brunch is usually a social event about Easter.

Tartan Day (Saturday April 8, 2017 - celebrated some time early, mid April).Celebrating the Scottish Declaration of Independence in 1320 and the legacy of Scots to the Americans. Tartan Day is also celebrated at Ellis Island on April 9.


NY Pillow Fight Day (April 1, 2017) Here are pillows thrown at each other in Washington Square Park. NYC offers locals a nice opportunity
to bombard a stranger or a friend with pillows. Participants in the International Pillow Fight Day New York asked to wear a funny outfit and bring garbage bags and brushes to clean up after the fight ends.

Fleet Week (May 24-30, 2017 - one week.) Fleet Week is the US Marine Corps and US Coast Guard tradition where active military ships
deployed in overseas operations dock in port for a week. In NY, the public can take a guided tour of the ships, etc. It will air shows across the city and much more.

NY Gay Parade / New York Gay Pride / NYC Pride
(June 25, 2017) Gay Pride Parade begins at 36th Street and Fifth Avenue and ends in the West Village. HBTQ`s culture, community, the focus on this day.

Halloween (Oct 31, trick or treat)
Halloween came to United States during the 1800s and were later merged with several other countries' traditions to be a day of joy instead of a dark day. New York's Village Halloween Parade in Greenwich Village is celebrated this day.

9/11 (honor the memory of those who died in the terrorist attack). Tribute in Light lights up next to where World Trade Center stood. There are two powerful headlights that shine straight up in the air.

Black Friday (Nov 24, 2017 - Friday after Thanksgiving in November). The big shopping day with huge sales in many stores.

Nyårsafton (31 Dec) The day when the old year ends and the new year begins. Big celebration with fireworks at Times Square etc.

Nyårsdagen (Jan 1) Most are free this day. Only this day a ballet is played inspired by Vienna's world-famous New Year's concert,
Salute to Vienna / Salute to Vienna with music by Johann Strauss Jr. in Lincoln Center.

ESTA - apply before you travel to the US.!

ESTA - Ansök om inresetillstånd till USA!Entry Visa - The Visa Waiver Program
To enter the US, you need to pay a fee for admission. (Swedish citizens do not need visas to visit the United States if not exceeding 90 days). You apply and pay online before you travel. Upon entering the us your your passport is checked on your application number. Your application will usually be finished within 5 minutes. Children without parent or guardian shall also apply. Apply no later than 72 hours before departure.

You pay with your credit card. You fill in your passport details, flight details and other issues, etc ... You will not get any confirmation via email or any documents to save for your application. On the screen pops up your application number, write down your number or take a "print screen".
Read more here and see how your application number looks like »
Apply here »

In order to use the Visa Waiver Program must all travellers from
April 1, 2016 have an e-passport. Here you can see which countries are included in the Visa Waiver Program.

Are you traveling to the US without an e-passport, you pay a fine in accordance with Article 272, Section B number "Immigration and
Nationality Act."

E-pass SwedenE-passport is issued with a special symbol that looks like an old picture of a camera.

In a Swedish passport the symbol is located on the front page and also on the page where your persnoal data is located (top right corner).

An e-passport with an electronic chip contains the following: all data contained in the machine-readable zone on the bottom of the passport page on which all personal data are, fingerprint, signature and a digital photograph. Children must also have its own e-passports.

Your application number is valid for 2 years from the application date
Save your number, you might use the same number again!

On the following page you can search for your application number

Search for your application number igen »


Time difference
Six hours after Sweden

JFK - John F Kennedy International Airport (Queens)
LaGuardia Airport - (Queens)
Newark Liberty International Airport - (New Jersey)

GO Airlink NYC
Book your airport transfer to/from your New York hotel here »

Bus / Train
Port Authority Bus Terminal - 625 8th Avenue, New York
Penn Station - Amtrak - 8th Ave 31st Street, New York
Metropolitan Transportation Authority

To get to the Police, Fire department and Ambulance, call 911.

Sveriges Generalkonsulat i New YorkConsulate General of Sweden
445 Park Avenue mellan 56th Street and 57th Street.
(tel ++1 212 888 3000 )


(OBS!  Om du behöver omedelbar hjälp i en nödsituation i New York-området efter generalkonsulatets normala öppettider, ring 646-591-5606.)
Mer information hittar du här

Svenska kyrkan i New YorkSwedish Church
5 East 48th Street, 10017 NY New York (tel +1 212 832 8443)

Visitor Information Center
As all cities New York offers Visitor Information Centers where you can get free brochures, discount coupons to attractions and theaters, maps and ask questions. See addresses below:

Times Square: Times Square Information Center - Seventh Avenue (between 46th and 47th Streets). A really good place to start your visit in New York and collect information about what´s going on in town.
Website: Times Square Information Center

Official NYC Information Center or kiosk
810 Seventh Avenue (between 52nd & 53rd Streets)
Downtown: Kiosk -City Hall Park (Broadway at Park Row)
Chinatown: Kiosk - in the street crossing Canal, Walker och Baxter Streets.
Times Square: Seventh Avenue (between W. 46th and W. 47th Sts.)
Harlem: The Studio Museum in Harlem, 144 W. 125th St. (between Adam Clayton Powell Jr. and Malcolm X Blvds.)
Central Park: Tavern on the Green Visitor Center & Gift Shop (67th St. and Central Park West )
Website: NYC & Company -

Is expected everywhere were it isn´t included as for example, restaurants and taxi, approx 15-20 % of the bill. Always have a few extra dollars on hand at your taxi visits, transport by taxi, at the bar, help with
luggage at the hotel, etc. This help is between 1-5 dollars in tip. Other assistance little more.

110V AC - electrical outlet (with two flat straight outlets). Bring with you an electrical adapter.

Lots of hotels, cafes, libraries, restaurants, parks, subway stations and shops around town are WiFi enabled. Around Times Square there are connections that include easyInternetcafe (7th Avenue),Even ordinary cafes offer wireless Internet access for your laptop. The coffee chain Starbucks provides of course free wifi.

Several subway stations are connected to WiFi. The city is working on that all stations should be connected by the year 2017.
More information about free internet in subways in New York.

You can of August 2006 surf wirelessly in some parks and then at selected locations in each park. Parks included are Washington Square Park, Central Park, Riverside Park and Prospect Park (Brooklyn), Battery Park. This is absolutely free. More parks will be added.
More information: wifi in parks in new york

Free internet/WiFi/Link-NYC

New York has begun to establish Wifi stations in the old phone booths. This allows users to download what they need, look up reviews for a nearby cafe or just check their e-mail. These stations will be called Link. Each link has a range of about 245 feet and can accommodate 500 users. LINK NYC kiosks also provide free phone within the US and USB ports to charge your smartphone. Each phone booth in New York (about 10 000st) shall be rebuilt and ready 2028.

The goal is that all of Manhattan should get access to connection 2028.
Many inhabitants today in Manhattan can not afford the internet - this service allows many more will receive free access to the Internet.

In addition to privacy LinkNYC will also be among the most secure Wi-Fi network available. It will be one of the first public encrypted networks - unencrypted wireless traffic will disappear.

In the summer of 2016, the first Link Station 500 users to be ready. This means that goals for the city to every resident and business to have access to affordable, reliable, high-speed broadband
service by 2028.

Free Wi-Fi at Manhattan:
Downtown: #DwtwnAllianceFreeWiFi
Union Square: #unionsquarewifi
Tunnelbanor: #FreeWifibyHTCONE

Map over free Wi-Fi in New York

Tips if you are several people at the same time in New York: Do you have phones that are not locked to a specific operator get an a temporary SIM card/prepaid card in New York. You get a new phone number that can be used only in the United States.

Good thing is that you can call and send text messages to each other for a fixed cost. Remember: you will not be reached on your ordinary Swedish mobile number.

It's great with American prepaid card in New York if you make or receive a call from phones in New York. Keep in mind that there will be significant costs if you receive or make calls to Sweden. The sum on the card runs out fast! use it only in New York.

Age limit to buy and drink alcohol is 21 year. Beer can be bought in food shops but alcohol can only be bought in special shops.

Public bathroom
There are not so many public bathroom in the city. The best thing is to visit some cafe or restaurant. MC Donalds and Starbucks can also be found at several places. Can be good to also buy something as a thanks for the visit.

Smoking is forbidden at most public places and buses, in the subway, in a taxi, office buildnings, shops, restaurants and bars. Check how it is were you are located.

Some interesting information

Why is New York called "The Big Apple"?
The Big AppleThe first time you could see the word in printing was during 1930´s and then it was written by John Fitzgerald in the newspaper the Morning Telegraph. He was a sports journalist and had heard some stable workers talk about different horse track in New York as "the Big Apple" - they liked to come to New York and they saw the city as a place for a lot of money and loaded with opportunities - the Big Apple. The biggest apple on the tree of fortunes. Later on the jazzmusicians used the name.

The district Bronx - how Swedish is it ?
The history says that Bronx have got it´s name from a Swedish sailor and settler Jonas Bronck that arrived here around year 1639. People are speculating if this is true or not, sometimes they are saying that Jonas is Danish and sometimes Dutch. If you search on his name on google you will get a lot of different theories.  

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