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Fifth Ave. (Midtown/Upper East Side)
New York, NY
POPULAR TIMESWeekends; holidays
RESERVE IN ADVANCENo
WAIT TIME WITHOUT RESERVATIONNone
HIGHLIGHTSEmpire State Building; "Museum Mile" including Metropolitan Museum of Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and El Museo del Barrio; Central Park; upscale shopping
SUBWAY5th Ave. (7); 5th Ave.-53rd St. (E, M); 5th Ave.-59th St. (N, Q, R); 77th St. (6); 86th St. (4, 5, 6); 103rd St. (6)
Culture, fashion, history, iconic architecture–let’s just say with a résumé like that, it’s no wonder Fifth Avenue is the city’s most storied boulevard. Its grand history dates back to the 1800s, when Manhattan’s rich and famous built their extravagant mansions along its length. By the 20th century, the society dames had fled uptown, and Fifth Avenue’s new generation of marvels ranged from a cluster of Midtown architectural wonders (including the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, and the Flatiron Building) to a plethora of upscale shops (Saks Fifth Avenue and Cartier among them), the elegant greenery of Central Park, and the cultural gravitas of Museum Mile (including the Met and the Guggenheim). Whether you’re looking for the latest in designer fashions, high tea at the Plaza, edgy modern canvases at MoMA, or a romp through the Central Park Zoo, Fifth Avenue is the place to go.
GO HERE WITH
Shopping companions; architecture enthusiasts; museum addicts; a date; friends; family; kids
WHY WE LIKE IT
It’s a classic NYC experience. We like starting at the Empire State Building and walking northwards for a bit of upscale retail therapy. Once our credit cards are fully maxed out (seriously–Fifth Avenue is often listed as the most expensive shopping destination in the world), we like to take break for people-watching in Central Park or art-spotting on Museum Mile.
WHAT WE WOULD CHANGE
Starting from the southeastern corner of Central Park and heading north, subway access to Fifth Avenue is a little inconvenient because the nearest stops are on Lexington Avenue.
GOOD TO KNOW
Helpful to know as you navigate the city: Fifth Avenue is the zero point of New York addresses, dividing the East Side from the West Side. It starts right above Washington Square Park (just below 8th Street) and goes up to 143rd Street in Harlem. If you’re here for shopping, stick to the section between 48th and 59th Street, because that’s where the most enticing stores are clustered. Something to watch out for: Fifth Avenue is often included on parade routes (like on St. Patrick’s Day), meaning on parade days it’s not only extremely crowded, but also closed to traffic. In December, Fifth Avenue is full of holiday cheer, but the crowds are insane.
All information within this website was checked for accuracy at the time of publication. But since the world moves quickly, things may have changed. Pardon us for any errors as we strive to give you the most up-to-the-minute details!