Destination Deep-Dive 8 MINS READ

51 Fun Facts About New York That Will Surprise You

51 Fun Facts About New York That Will Surprise You

Destination Deep-Dive 8 MINS READ
New York's Central Park seen from above.

New York is famous worldwide for its vibrant atmosphere, massive skyscrapers, and an enviable list of tourist attractions. But there’s so much more to discover about this thrilling city!

New York has a long and interesting past– so the city is associated with an array of picturesque and wonderful tales.

Did you know that New York’s initial name was New Amsterdam? And that New Yorkers are the top consumers of hot dogs across the country. Yes!

There’s a whole heap of mind-blowing and cool New York facts that’ll absolutely love to discover. So keep on reading the post for the entire list of the 50 + most fascinating facts about New York City.

What Is New York City Known For

New York's Central Park seen from above.

Vibrant and exciting, New York City is known for being a cosmopolitan destination filled with towering skyscrapers, award-winning restaurants, and world-famous attractions like the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, and the Empire State Building.

Thanks to its glorious array of tourist attractions and fabulous sights, it’s no surprise that New York City is the most visited place in the United States, attracting around 10 million visitors every year.

NYC also spoils travelers with a generous collection of accommodations options that suit any style or preference — from 5-star hotels pampered with stellar amenities to family-friendly vacation rentals.

Whether your focus is sightseeing as much as possible or indulging in some time to yourself, you’re sure to find the perfect place to stay in New York City.

Here’s a finely curated list of the 5 best New York City hotels that excel in aesthetics, service, location, and value for money. The best park? You can book them all at the best prices through CuddlyNest.

NYC Fact Sheet

Population8.468 million (2021)
LocationSoutheastern New York state, in the northeastern section of the USA.
Area300.46 square miles
Nicknames“Big Apple”, “The City”, “The City That Never Sleeps”

51 Interesting Facts About New York

Facts About New York History

Two young woman seeing Manhattan from the other side of New York.

Fact 1: New York was once called “New Amsterdam”. Around 1626, Dutch residents who were living in what is currently New York City referred to the region as New Amsterdam.

Fact 2: The city was named New York after King Charles II conquered the area, and gifted the city to his brother the Duke of York, who renamed it “New York.”

Fact 3: New York’s famous nickname “Big Apple” originated in the 1920s. At that time, sports journalist John J. Fitz Gerald wrote a column for the New York Morning Telegraph about the many popular horse races that happened in and around New York. He referred to the substantial prizes to be won as “the big apple,” symbolizing the biggest and best one can achieve.

Fact 4: The Bronx borough of NYC was named after the first person who ever settled there: the Swedish Jonas Bronck. His farmlands were called “Bronck’s Land,” and people eventually started calling it the Bronx, for short.

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Facts About New York Population

People crossing New York's Seventh Avenue.

Fact 5: New York City is the most populous city in the United States, with around 8.5 million residents

Fact 6: More than 800 languages are spoken in New York City, making it the most linguistically diverse city in the world!

Fact 7: In total, about 2,702,957 New York residents speak Spanish, making it the second most spoken language in NYC after English.

Fact 8: NYC is home to the highest Jewish population outside of Israel, the highest Hispanic population of any US city, the highest Chinese population outside of Asia, and the highest Puerto Rican population in the world.

Fact 9: New York City is home to more billionaires than anywhere else in the world. Forbes listed New York City with the most billionaires at 107 people, followed by Beijing with 83 billionaires.

Facts About New York Geography & Physical Features

The island of Manhattan, in New York.

Fact 10: New York is the only state that borders both the Atlantic Ocean and the Great Lakes.

Fact 11: New York City is divided into five boroughs Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, the Bronx, and the best-known of all, Manhattan.

Fact 12: Manhattan is the best-known borough in New York. This is where you will find most of the city’s top attractions, such as the Empire State Building, Central Park, Times Square, the Chrysler Building, and more.

Fact 13: If Brooklyn was its own city, instead of a borough of New York City, it would be the fourth largest city in the United States.

Fact 14: The Lowline, located on Manhattan’s West Side, is the world’s first underground park.

Fact 15: New York City has more coastline than Miami, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Boston combined

Fact 16: The narrowest house in NYC is in the West Village. The house is located at 75 1/2 Bedford Street and is just over 9 feet wide.

Fact 17: In 1780, winter was so intense in New York City that New York harbor froze over. As a result, people could walk from Manhattan to Staten Island on ice.

Fact 18: The New York City Subway opened in 1904 and is considered the eighth oldest subway in the world. The NYC subway system is also the world’s most extensive metro system with 424 stations.

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Facts About New York Attractions

The Statue of Liberty with the New York City skyline on the background.

Fact 19: New York is a paradise for birdwatching — 275 of the 800 North American bird species that are known have been sighted at Central Park

Fact 20: Designed in 1853, Central Park was the first landscaped park in the United States.

Fact 21: The Central Park Mall is a scenic walkway that runs right in the middle of the park. It’s also the only straight path in the entire park leading up to Bethesda Terrace.

Fact 22: Credited in 532 movies, Central Park is the most filmed location in the world.

Fact 23: The New York Public Library (NYPL) is the second-largest library system in the US and the third-largest library in the world.

Fact 24: NYPL is home to more than 56 million items, including books and unusual objects, including a lock of Walt Whitman’s hair, Charlotte Bronte’s writing desk, and a P.L. Travers umbrella.

Fact 25: At the time it was completed, in 1883, the 3,460-foot Brooklyn Bridge was the longest suspension bridge in the world.

Fact 26: NYC’s iconic Brooklyn Bridge was also the first steel-wire suspension bridge in the world.

Fact 27: Brooklyn Bridge is 11 years older than London’s Tower Bridge.

Fact 28: During construction, the bridge was known as the Great East River Bridge or Great East River Suspension Bridge.

Fact 29: Standing at 1,250 feet tall, the Empire State Building is currently the 4th tallest building in New York City, the 6th tallest in the United States, and the 43rd tallest tower in the world.

Fact 30: The Empire State Building was actually constructed during a race to create the world’s tallest building.

Fact 31: The Statue of Liberty was given as a birthday gift from France to the United States on July 4, 1884.

Fact 32: The Statue of Liberty was designed by French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, and its metal framework was built by Gustave Eiffel, the French civil engineer who designed the Eiffel Tower.

Fact 33: The statue’s seven rays in the crown represent the Earth’s seven seas.

Fact 34: The Grand Central Information Booth Clock at Grand Central Station is estimated to be worth as much as $20 million.

Fact 35: The phrase “meet me at the clock” refers to Grand Central Station’s Booth Clock only and is understood by every New Yorker.

Fact 36: There is a “whispering gallery” in the dining area of the Grand Central Terminal. In this gallery, people can stand on the opposite corners of the tiled wall and whisper their messages to each other.

Fact 37:The iconic Empire State Building has its own zip code: 10118.

Fact 38: The Metropolitan Museum of Art is the largest art museum in the United States and also one of the most visited art museums in the world.

Facts About New York Culture & Lifestyle

Inside of a sculpture gallerie in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in New York City.

Fact 39: The Met (Metropolitan Museum of Art) is home to the world’s oldest surviving piano.

Fact 40: The New York Stock Exchange, located on Wall Street, is the largest stock exchange in the world.

Fact 41: The United Nations headquarters was established in New York City in 1952 after World War II.

Fact 42: According to an NYC law, farting at church can be seen as a disturbance or a disruption: “when he or she makes unreasonable noise or disturbance while at a lawfully assembled religious service, funeral, burial or memorial service, or within one hundred feet thereof, with intent to cause annoyance or alarm or recklessly creating a risk thereof.”

Fact 43: Somewhere in New York City is a safe box deposit containing Albert Einstein’s brain and eyeballs. Thomas Harvey, a doctor at Princeton Hospital, performed an illegal autopsy on Einstein and kept the physicist’s brain and eyeballs.

Fact 44: New York City’s Federal Reserve Bank has the largest gold storage in the world. The vault is 80 feet below street level and contains 7,000 tons of gold bars worth $90 billion.

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Facts About New York Food & Restaurants

A male hand holding a slice of New York style pizza.

Fact 45: According to the Michelin Guide (2008) there are about 23,000 restaurants in New York City, with a total of 54 Michelin stars.

Fact 46: According to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, New Yorkers are the top consumers of hot dogs across the country.

Fact 47: In fact, there are hot dog stands in almost every corner of NYC. However, owning a hot dog stand in the city is extremely expensive, and permit to do so for a year can cost you anywhere from $700 to over $200,000 depending on where you choose to set up shop.

Fact 48: Fraunces Tavern, dating back to 1762, is considered to be the oldest restaurant in New York City.

Fact 49: Eggs Benedict, a famous American breakfast or brunch dish, was invented in NYC.

Fact 50: In the early 19th century, Oysters were so popular in New York that the shells were used to pave Pearl Street.

Fact 51: Located in the Little Italy section of Manhattan and inaugurated in 1905, Lombardi’s is said to be the first pizzeria in the United States.

Fact 52: New Yorkers have noted that when the price of a subway ride goes up, pizza does too. They call it “the pizza principle.”


What is New York famous for?

New York is known for being one of the most visited destinations in the world. This iconic city draws around 10 million visitors annually thanks to its famous landmarks, tempting shops, and international restaurants.

Why did NYC become so popular?

New York became popular after it established itself as an economic powerhouse and became the financial epicenter of the world.

What city never sleeps?

New York City is known as “The City That Never Sleeps”, thanks to its energetic atmosphere and action-packed entertainment attractions.

What was NYC originally called?

In the 17th century, when New York was still a Dutch settlement established, the city was called “New Amsterdam”.

How old is New York City?

New York is about 399 years old.

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