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Something different in New York

First, visit New York’s quintessential landmarks. Then, venture deeper into its alternative heart with these lesser-known sights and attractions. Beyond the museums, soak up culture in indie cinemas and hidden live music venues. Skip Fifth Avenue and browse the racks at the city’s best flea markets. And if the weather’s nice, do everything from ambling around the city’s tucked-away parks to enrolling in trapeze school.

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New York flea markets

Ask a New York fashionista where they picked up their killer outfit, and these days they’re as likely to name a flea market as a pricey department store. From Chelsea to Williamsburg there are plenty of places to scoop vintage clothes, leather bags, antique jewellery, and other pre-loved treasures.

A vintage lover's guide to New York flea markets

Arthouse cinemas

Movie lovers are in luck: for every big-box cinema with dozens of screens, New York offers up an indie movie theatre with plenty of history and local charm. From the glitz of the Brooklyn Academy of Music to the downtown cinemas frequented by film students, it’s well worth catching that matinee.

Five of New York's best arthouse cinemas

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New York Architecture

Whether it’s skyscrapers or Brooklyn brownstones, neoclassical government buildings or colossal cathedrals, New York is an architecture wonderland. Few other cities feature such an iconic and eclectic collection of buildings, and no matter if your taste skews Beaux-Arts or Brutalist, turning your eyes to the skies is the best way to begin your tour.

The best architecture in New York

Film Locations in New York

New York is one photogenic place – just ask Hollywood’s top directors. The Big Apple has appeared in more movies than it’s possible to count (which is probably why those skyscraper vistas and yellow taxis looked so familiar when you first arrived). Pay homage to the silver screen and swing by some of the city’s best-known film locations from Greenwich Village (think Inside Llewyn Davis) to The Godfather’s Staten Island stomping grounds.

New York's most famous movie locations

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Open-air adventures

Central Park may be New York’s most famous green space, but don’t forget that there are literally thousands more public parks to choose from. Wend your way up the West Side in Riverside Park, or venture to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, hidden within the expanse of Prospect Park. After something more high octane? Adventurous types can go on helicopter tours of the city, or even sign up for trapeze classes.

Unusual things to do in a spare hour in New York

Summer vibes

With an array of festivals and the famous Macy's 4th of July fireworks display, New York is the place to be in the summer months. Indulge in local food trends at Smorgasburg, see other-wordly delights at the Coney Island Mermaid Parade and colourful celebrations at Pride.

Summer in New York

Image credits: NYC Botanical Garden Lily Pad © Lorraine Boogich