Unsurprisingly, there are numerous songs dedicated to this fast-paced city, as it has so much to offer. Situated on the east coast of America, New York has the perfect seasons from beautiful scorching summers to snowy, crisp winters.

Experience their favourite holiday this November with a trip to the States, which you can reach in just over eight hours with a direct flight from Madrid. Alternatively, fly from Gibraltar to London, with a connecting flight of approximately the same time. Be sure to apply for your visa waiver on the ESTA website before booking everything to guarantee entry to the country on arrival. The process is simple and will incur a small fee. With friendly people and lots going on, who wouldn’t want to experience New York at the greatest time of the year?

With almost eight and a half million residents, New York is also home to many celebrities, including Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez and America’s very own President, Donald Trump. Ironically, I bumped into two of the most English of celebrities on my last trip, David Walliams and Matt Lucas, so expect diversity and plenty of exciting people. The inhabitants alone make the place, with most being hospitable and warm. This is not a city in which to be afraid to ask for directions, as you will more than likely end up making friends. Customer service is also impeccable here, given that people rely on their manners to obtain a justified salary, so be sure to tip well when visiting bars and restaurants.

Thanksgiving is a magical time of year to visit the Big Apple, with the day falling on November 28 this year. This holiday has been celebrated since 1621, when the pilgrims feasted and gave thanks for their first harvest. Extravagant turkey roast meals are prepared with all the trimmings, to be followed by delicious pumpkin pie. LA Goulue on 29 East 61st Street is a great place to book to enjoy your Thanksgiving meal, just be sure to reserve in advance for this popular location. Here you can expect to find your standard turkey dinner served on a superior level; the bird’s organic for a start, and is accompanied by several other delicious courses. Last year’s menu boasted foie gras agnoletti in sage butter, pear and gorgonzola salad, as well as some tasty pecan mascarpone napoleon and pumpkin cinnamon layer cake. With so much choice, you will get to sample some truly delicious French/American cuisine in a delightful bistro setting.

Later in the evening, and be sure to wrap up as while blisteringly chilly, there is nothing more spectacular than experiencing a night on the ice at the Rockefeller Centre. While here, you can admire the big Christmas tree which is beautifully decorated every year. Sessions are 90 minutes each, with the last one starting from 10:30pm and finishing at midnight. This will ensure geting you into the festive mood, with the ice rink and twinkly lights, making for a truly magical evening. If you are a fan of ice-skating, you should also visit the Wollman Rink in Central Park. Arrange a tour of the park itself during the day to see Belvedere Castle, Strawberry Fields and the Bethesda Fountain. This luscious paradise of green right in the centre of the city cannot be missed.

Sites to See

Stay after Thanksgiving to enjoy what else this wonderful city has to offer. A trip to the top of the Empire State Building is a must, where you can see New York’s breathtaking skyline, while admiring other monumental structures, such as the Chrysler building and the Bank of America Tower. Move on to the Statue of Liberty Tour, which can be enjoyed by air or sea. For those ‘frioleras’ among us, head up to the sky, where you can give the crisp sea air a miss! Whichever way you decide, you can enjoy America’s iconic landmark in all its glory above the Ocean. This copper statue, designed by French sculptor Frédéric Bartholdi, was actually a gift from the people of France which was dedicated to The United States back in 1886. The statue represents freedom for America, with the shackle and chain at Lady Liberty’s feet symbolising the recent abolition of slavery at the time.

Pay tribute to those who lost their lives at the famous Ground Zero site following the September 11 attacks. The memorial site displays the names of all men, women and children who died as a result, surrounding two waterfalls which cascade down into two sunken pools. The trickling of the water results in a peaceful, yet moving site, where many come to pay their respects every year. Nearby stands the Freedom Tower, also known as the One World Trade Centre. This structure was built to replace those that were destroyed during the terrorist attack in 2001, and remains the tallest building in the United States since its completion in 2013. Construction costs were just under $4 billion, with the impressive structure taking seven years to complete.

Retail Therapy

Once all the sightseeing has been completed, be sure to do what New Yorkers do best… shopping! This is the ideal time of the year for this, given the Black Friday sales will be on November 29, the day after Thanksgiving. The notion of Black Friday stems back to 1869, when two Wall Street financiers got together and bought a significant amount of gold. They did so in the hope that the price of the commodity would soar, so they would be able to make great profits from the arrangement. This ended badly for the pair as the gold market crashed, leaving Wall Street barons in crisis. Nowadays however, the term refers to the time of the year when shops start to make a profit, thereby going from red to black.

Explore the amazing deals that will be on offer, where you can pick up all your Christmas presents at a fraction of the price, with the added bonus of being a little different to anything you would find back at home. Those shopaholics among us should most definitely consider taking an empty suitcase to ensure maximising on retail therapy! Given the great deals, you won’t have to feel guilty about that heavy bag you check onto the plane on your way home.

One of the best places to shop has to be Macy’s, New York’s favourite department store, and renowned for being one of the world’s largest emporiums, where you are guaranteed to find everything you are looking for. With ten floors of pure retail therapy, Macy’s caters for all needs and budgets. Macy’s flagship store is also responsible for the big Thanksgiving celebration parade, which is a must see once in town. This tradition has been enjoyed by New Yorkers since 1924. The first event was filled with everything a child could possibly want, with Macy’s employees dressed in vibrant costumes, balloons and floats and most importantly, Santa, who is welcomed into the store on 34th Street at the end of the parade. Live animals were even borrowed from the zoo to surprise the children. With the first parade being such a success, they vowed to do it every year.  Saks on Fifth Avenue is also an esteemed shopping centre, located on one of the most exclusive streets in the city. Known also as ‘Millionaire’s Row’, this is a must visit when looking for luxury goods.

After all that shopping, you are bound to be feeling peckish, so head to the nearby Magnolia Bakery on 401 Bleecker Street, where you can pick up a delicious cupcake to accompany a cup of coffee. This place was made famous by its short cameo in Sex and the City, where Carrie and Miranda are filmed digging into the tasty treats. Carrie’s apartment is also a short two minute walk away on 66 Perry Street, so fans can enjoy the whole experience by getting a photo at both locations. Be aware however, that the current owners have erected a chain and sign at the bottom of the stairs requesting you do not cross, due to the excessive number of tourists causing disturbances. The nearby Greenwich Village is also worth a visit, where you can ckeck out a comedy club before enjoying a delicious dinner in one of the many restaurants. Be sure to pop by the fountain afterwards, which is the main hub of the area and is a great location to sit and people watch.

Stay Local

New York is home to some of the best hotels in the world, so enjoy the impeccable hospitality that each offers. The Four Seasons provides a home from home with classic, modern elegance. Based in midtown NYC on 57th Street, this luxurious hotel provides a fancy on-site restaurant and a swanky bar to enjoy a drink in before heading out. There is also a well-equipped spa where you can unwind after a long day of site-seeing. Make the most of the stunning views of Manhattan at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel with one of their city-view rooms. Find some rare calm and quiet in the hotel’s luxurious spa, where fitness and wellness is a priority. Slip into a lovely zen environment while enjoying a treatment that is tailored just for you before heading up to bed to rest and relax for the busy day that awaits you ahead.

Chow Down

Find great Chinese cuisine at Mr Chow on 57th Street. Aptly described by Givenchy as a ‘precious jewel box’, this little gem of a place serves delicious satay chicken and noodles. Do not miss their specialty, Beijing style duck. Food is served with impeccable service in an intimate ambience, which is why it is the prime location for parties hosted by some of the biggest artists and fashion houses.

If it’s Michelin star food you are in the mood for, be sure to visit The River Cafe located under the Brooklyn Bridge. This romantic setting is characterised by a live pianist and exquisite flower arrangements that the restaurant prides itself in. Be sure to abide by its strict dress code. Jackets are required for men, and ties are preferred, as well as smart footwear at all times, so ensure your outfit is in no way casual. Expect to find many impressive dishes on the menu, including lobster, truffles and caviar. An extensive selection of steak, lamb, fish as well as vegetarian options ensure that there is something on the menu for all types of palate. The menus change with the seasons so you can guarantee the freshest ingredients resulting in the most delicious dining experience with beautiful views of the famous New York skyline.

The Big City Highlights

Hail a yellow cab to Broadway to take in one of of the many fantastic shows that are available to see. If it’s comedy you are looking for, book tickets for The Book of Mormon, whereas The Lion King and Aladdin provide more family fun if you have the kids in tow. Classics such as The Phantom of the Opera and To Kill A Mockingbird are also available to watch. Expect big lights and lots of culture lovers around this part of town!

This area is close to Times Square, so head on over after the show to see the ball that famously drops at the turning of the New Year. This tradition has been ongoing since December 31, 1907, and is the most popular place to see in the New Year when in the Big Apple. The ball is displayed on top of the One Time building all year round. You won’t be at a loss for what to do at this major entertainment centre which is sometimes referred to as ‘the centre of the universe’, given its busy pedestrian traffic. Here you will find plenty of shops, restaurants and entertainment to explore and fritter the evening away.

While in the city be sure to check out a sports-game to enjoy something a little different from back home. During this time of year, you can experience hockey, American football or basketball. The ambience is the highlight of the experience, where you will feel like a true New Yorker! Come hungry as there is plenty on offer to consume throughout the game, including giant drinks, hot dogs and kettel corn.

With so many special events on during the Thanksgiving season you may be tempted to stay on and see what the New York Christmas has to offer!