Lower Manhattan and Financial District: what to see in Downtown New York

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Joel Fulleda
@joelfulleda
SOURCES CONSULTED:

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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Lower Manhattan (or Downtown), the area where the tallest and most impressive skyscrapers in New York are located, is an area full of attractions that extends from XNUMXth Street to the end of the island.

Lower Manhattan includes various neighborhoods such as Greenwich Village, East Village, Tribeca, Chinatown and Little Italy. In this article, however, as a matter of convenience and to allow you to create an itinerary, we will only consider the area that goes from Wall Street down.



You have to dedicate at least a day to see it all since only a visit to the Statue of Liberty can take up a lot of time. So organize your itinerary with these tips and discover some of the most famous New York places in the world such as Wall Street and Ground Zero.

Index

  • How to reach us
  • To see
    • Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island
    • Brooklyn Bridge
    • Ground Zero
    • Wall Street e Trinity Church
    • Battery Park
    • Woolworth Building
    • Staten island ferry
    • Museum of Jewish Heritage
  • Where to eat
  • Accomodation

How to reach us

Begin your Lower Manhattan tour in the morning from the Statue of Liberty. The easiest way to get to Battery Park, the point from which the ferries depart, is to get off at one of the following stops:

  • Bowling Green (trains 4 and 5)
  • Whitehall Street (train N, R e W)
  • South Ferry (treno 1)

For travel tips you can read our guide to the New York subway.

To see

Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island

Photo from the ferry to Liberty Island

The Statue of Liberty, along with Ellis Island, is definitely Lower Manhattan's most popular attraction and needs no introduction.



The Statue of Liberty, almost 100 meters high, is visited every year by about 3 million people from all over the world. Some decide to see it from afar, from Battery Park, others (most) take the boat tour stopping at Ellis Island. Here, from 1892 to 1954, millions of immigrants passed through in search of fortune in America. Today it is possible to visit the museum and search for one's ancestors in the archives.

Plan your visit to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island in the morning to take your time. The tour requires a little planning as the lines can be very long. For this I refer you to our article on like visiting the Statue of Liberty.

Brooklyn Bridge

Unmissable, iconic and walkable. Although the latter is not an adjective, I believe it is of interest to many. The most famous bridge in New York it is in fact open to pedestrians and bicycles in the central part, above the car area, and is usually crowded (and windy). Not only is it possible to enjoy a view of the Lower Manhattan skyline, but it is also fascinating to observe its timber and steel structure up close.

Brooklyn Bridge was completed in 1869 over a period of 14 years and is still an engineering jewel today. It can be reached in 20 minutes on foot from Battery Park, or by subway getting off at Brooklyn Bridge City Hall, Park Place or City Hall. Obviously, walking this point also gives you the precious opportunity to visit Brooklyn proper.


For more details, I refer you to our article on how to get there and visit the Brooklyn Bridge.

Ground Zero

Ground Zero is, as many will know, an area completely dedicated to the commemoration of the victims of the 11/9 attacks. A day that changed history, the way of flying and traveling and, physically, even a part of New York. In fact, where the Twin Towers once stood, the 11/9 Museum and the 11/XNUMX Memorial are now housed. The latter consists of two chasms left by the towers in which large waterfalls flow; the first is instead a museum that collects testimonies, videos and photos of the accidents.


The visit will take away more time if you decide to visit the museum as well, otherwise it will not take more than half an hour. However, times will get longer if you decide to visit what is in effect one of the most representative attractions of Downtown, the Freedom Tower, the tallest skyscraper in New York, which offers an unforgettable view of the city.

For detailed information read our guide on how to reach and visit Ground Zero and the World Trade Center.

PS: in front do not miss theOculus, New York's futuristic train and subway hub.

Wall Street e Trinity Church

Like the Statue of Liberty, Wall Street also enjoys a considerable reputation. It is one of the most popular areas in New York and a must in Lower Manhattan.


Wall Street is located in the financial district or Financial District, which includes numerous "engines" of the American and world economy such as the New York Stock Exchange and the Federal Reserve. Aside from the various buildings belonging to financial institutions, the most seen attraction in the area is undoubtedly the Charging Bull (they say that touching its jewels brings good luck!).

For all the attractions of this important street read our article on Wall Street.

In the middle of the Wall Street skyscrapers it also rises Trinity Church, a neo-gothic style church that you will have no difficulty in finding. It was built in the early eighteenth century and had to face various renovations due to the fire of 1776 which occurred during the American Revolution. It is located at 75 on Broadway. St Paul's Chapel is also a few minutes' walk away, between Fulton and Broadway.

For timetables and details to organize the visit, take a look at our article on how to visit Trinity Church.


Consiglio: go down further south (500 meters from the New York Stock Exchange) to the so-called Stone Street. It is a very beautiful and photogenic cobbled street, a sort of period remnant of the city that was originally called New Amsterdam.

Battery Park

The Battery Park, is a green area today simply called with the original name The Battery, from which ferries leave for Liberty Island and Ellis Island. Among its points of interest:

  • Hope Garden
    It is a small plot with flowers and a sculpture dedicated to AIDS victims.
  • East Coast Memorial
    The East Coast Memorial instead commemorates the victims of the Second World War who fell during the Battle of the Atlantic (1939-1945). More than 4000 names are engraved on the granite pillars and in the center is the statue of an eagle flying in the direction of the Statue of Liberty.
  • American Merchant’s Marine Memorial
    The 1991 sculpture, on the side of the park overlooking the Hudson River, portrays three merchants on a boat about to sink after a submarine attack and one in the sea trying to ascend.

Take a walk and, if you are hungry, stop for meat and fish specialties at the Pier A Harbor House.

For all the attractions in the park, read our guide to Battery Park.

Woolworth Building

At 233 Broadway is the Woolworth Building, a building built between 1910 and 1912 that still remains one of the 100 tallest skyscrapers in the United States and among the 30 tallest in New York.

To enter and see the interiors (there are very beautiful mosaics) you need to take a private tour by purchasing the relevant tickets. Find all the information to enjoy this fine example of early twentieth century architecture in our guide to Woolworth Building.

Staten island ferry

The Staten Island Ferry is a ferry that connects Manhattan to New York's less populated borough, State Island, departs from the Whitehall Terminal in Downtown. It takes around 25 minutes and runs 24/24.

The routes are frequent, one every 15-20 minutes and it is free: it could be a valid option to see the New York skyline and the Statue of Liberty if you do not intend to take tours or cruises.

Museum of Jewish Heritage

The Museum of Jewish Heritage is located between Robert F Wagner Park Jr and South Cove Park, next to Battery Park.

It is a museum dedicated to the victims of the Holocaust and is easily recognizable due to its pyramid structure. Spread over six buildings symbolizing the points of the Star of David, more than 25.000 objects from the Holocaust and modern Jewish history relating to the twentieth and twenty-first centuries are exhibited. The Museum of Jewish Heritage è suddiviso in tre piani in ordine cronologico: Jewish Life a Century Ago, The War Against the Jewish e The Jewish Renewal.

Recommended for all history buffs who also want to learn more about Jewish culture in a non-European context, museum tickets cost $ 12 for adults, $ 7 for children (13-17) and admission it's free for under 12s.

Where to eat

Here are 3 interesting places, each an expression of a particular type of culinary experience.

  • Pier A Harbor House
    A classy solution for those looking for a dinner or lunch overlooking the Hudson River. The location is huge (enough to make us weddings), chic and elegant. Also perfect for a cocktail in one of the four bars.
    22 Battery Pl.
  • The Bailey Bar & Brasserie
    Great meat, classic burgers and sandwiches. It is open for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner and after dinner.
    52 William St.
  • Schilling
    Want less American dishes? Or a schnitzel? Schilling brings Austria to New York with mega-cutlets and an industrial style with a long communal table in the center.
    109 Washington St.

Accomodation

From the extensive list of attractions you find in this article (and not all of them! 🙂) you can easily understand how this area represents an excellent solution for accommodation. If you want to stay overnight in this area I suggest you read our tips on how to stay in Lower Manhattan, if you prefer an overview with all the best neighborhoods in New York and some tips to save, click on the button below:

Our tips for sleeping in New York

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