Lower Manhattan and the Financial District in New York
Lower Manhattan and the Financial District in New York are the heart of the city when it comes to finance and law. The World Trade Center’s iconic Twin Towers used to characterise Manhattan’s skyline. Nowadays, after the terrorist attacks on September 11th 2001, the One World Trade Centre, 9/11 Memorial and 9/11 Museum are the biggest draws to this part of the city – if not the whole city. Lower Manhattan is, as the name suggests, located at the most Southern part of the island. You’ll find it in between Chamber Street, the Hudson River with the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, the East River and Battery Park/New York Harbour.
The Financial District
The Financial District consists of many offices and the headquarters of New York’s most important financial companies. Is this corporate environment any interesting for you as a tourist? Well, I would not recommend spending the night here, as a business district like this clears out after office hours. But for only a day? Definitely! There is a lot to see. The 9/11 Museum and Memorial of course, and how about the iconic Wall Street? Instead of taking on this urban jungle adventure all by yourself, you can opt for a guided tour. The guide will tell you all about 9/11, both from a factual as from a personal perspective.
Wall Street symbolises the American financial world and even has its own movie. I can’t guarantee you any Leonardo DiCaprio encounters, but Wall Street is definitely worth a visit in any case. Amongst the many skyscrapers, you’ll find the world-famous stock exchange, the Trinity Church that, back in the 20th century, dominated the skyline with her massive height of 282 feet, and the Federal Hall, where back in 1789 George Washington was inaugurated as the United States’ first-ever president.
The Charging Bull statue
Also not to be missed near Wall Street is the famous Wall Street Bull. This bronze bull statue, officially called the Charging Bull, attracts long lines of tourists. They all want to snap a picture with it, and probably also rub the bull’s nose, horns and ‘private parts’, as this is supposed to give luck.
The Fearless Girl statue
In 2017 another statue was added to the Financial District, named Fearless Girl. This statue of a fierce little girl was first placed across the bull, but after a year she was moved to a different location. This statue, that was created to honour International Women’s Day, can now be seen in front of the New York Stock Exchange.
One World Observatory and The Oculus
The 9/11 Memorial and Museum are two places in Lower Manhattan that commemorate the 9/11 attacks. On the same site, there are a few more buildings that were built in the years after the attacks. One of those is One World Trade Center, where you can visit One World Observatory to have an impressive view over de surrounding area’s. A building that definitely attracts the attention is the Oculus, a white skeleton-like structure designed by world famous architect Calatrava. The Oculus is home to many shops and the World Trade Center subway station.
Once you’ve had enough of all things ‘business’, the solution is close-by. Right behind Wall Street, you’ll find Stone Street; an authentic little street that succeeded to escape from the rigorous renewals that hit this area during the end of the previous century. In the summer you can relax on one of the terraces that fill the street, enjoy a gourmet pizza at Adrienne’s Pizza Bar or an all-you-can-eat buffet at Ulysses.
The Other side of Lower Manhattan
But Lower Manhattan has much more to offer, like the waterfront Battery Park, for example. Or the much smaller, historical Bowling Green. It isn’t much more than a big fountain with a couple of benches, but it is New York’s oldest park. Next to this park you’ll find the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House, which is also worth a visit. The New York department of the National Museum of the American Indian is located inside this building
The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island
Lower Manhattan is the entrance to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. If you are in this part of town, you can seize the opportunity of catching a boat for a beautiful tour to these world-famous hotspots.
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