Last updated on May 29, 2024

Welcome to New York City, the city that never sleeps! Bursting with history, culture, and countless secrets, there’s always something new and fascinating to discover. New York is renowned around the world as a cultural, financial, and entertainment hub, with landmarks like Times Square, Central Park, the UN Headquarters, and Wall Street. The state is home to Niagara Falls, one of the seven wonders of the world, and the vast and picturesque Adirondack Mountains. Its nickname, the “Empire State”, represents its impressive wealth and variety of resources. New York City is also a powerhouse of international finance, boasting the two biggest stock exchanges in the world. It’s also the most influential American metropolis and serves as a global hub for diplomacy, making it a hugely important city in the world.

Sunset view of New York City skyline fro above

So, are you ready to dive deeper into the Big Apple and uncover 25 amazing fun facts about New York? Let’s go!

Stay tuned for our quiz on New York City! In the meantime, read on and study up!

Fast Facts About New York

As of 2022, the population of New York City was approximately 8.3 million people.

There are over 800 languages spoken in New York City, no wonder it’s considered a culturally diverse mecca!

New York City is approximately 305 square miles in size and the city is divided in five boroughs – Manhattan, Brooklyn Queens, Bronx, and Staten Island.

Fisheye view of Times Square in New York City

The Hudson River and East River also meet in New York City and empty into the Atlantic Ocean.

New York is the 11th state to join the Union, having ratified the U.S. Constitution on July 26, 1788! How exciting!

Fun Facts About New York

The Tale of Two Colors: NYC’s Original Taxi Hues

Taxis in New York City were not always the iconic yellow color we associate them with today. In fact, they were originally painted red and green before the yellow color was adopted in 1912.

downtown view of the bustle of New York City and a yellow taxi cab

The bustling streets of NYC would certainly look different without the vibrant yellow cabs, wouldn’t they?

The Whispering Corners of Grand Central Terminal

Grand Central Terminal is not only a major transportation hub but also home to an incredible secret: the Whispering Gallery! This architectural marvel allows people to hear whispered messages from opposite diagonal corners of the gallery, thanks to its concave surface.

Grand Central Station interior in New York City

If you happen to be at Grand Central Terminal, consider testing out the Whispering Gallery and share a secret with a friend.

The Linguistic Melting Pot

With over 800 languages spoken, New York City is the most linguistically diverse city in the world. Some of the languages spoken in the city include:

  • Spanish
  • Chinese
  • Russian
  • Italian

The Big Apple is a true melting pot of cultures and languages. This linguistic diversity contributes significantly to the vibrancy and excitement that characterizes NYC.

The Green Oasis: Central Park’s Unique Pathway

Central Park is the heart of New York City, but did you know that there’s a unique pathway called Central Park Mall? This is the only straight path in the entire park, and it was designed as a catwalk for wealthy New Yorkers to showcase their fancy attire.

A view of the benches in Central Park of new York City

The Mall continues to be a favorite destination for both locals and tourists, providing a tranquil retreat within the busy city.

The Empire’s Electric Attraction

Standing tall at 1,250 feet, the iconic Empire State Building is a symbol of New York City. But did you know that this iconic skyscraper gets struck by lightning at least 23 times a year?

lightning striking buildings in new york city

Fear not, as the building is equipped with lightning rods to safely channel the electricity to the ground, protecting the structure from damage. Quite an electrifying attraction, wouldn’t you agree?

A Library of Towering Proportions

The New York Public Library (NYPL) is a treasure trove of knowledge, housing over 50 million books, magazines and literary artifacts. It was founded in 1895, and it is the largest public library system in the United States. There are 92 locations across the five boroughs and there are approximately 6 million circulating books at the NYPL. It’s the second-largest library system in the USA, this magnificent institution offers an unparalleled collection for book lovers and researchers alike.

Facade of the New York Public library

The Bridge That Preceded London’s Icon

The Brooklyn Bridge, an iconic symbol of New York City, is older than London’s Tower Bridge by 11 years. As the first steel-wire suspension bridge in the world, the Brooklyn Bridge was a marvel of engineering at the time of its completion.

view standing on the iconic Brooklyn bridge looking at New York City

It stands today as an enduring symbol of the city’s innovation and architectural brilliance.

From Amsterdam to Manhattan

Did you know that New York City was originally called New Amsterdam? Before being renamed by the Duke of York in 1664, the city was a Dutch settlement. From its beginnings as a small trading post, New York has grown into the bustling metropolis we know and love today. In this article, we will explore some interesting York City facts that shed light on the city’s rich history.

View of fire escapes and windows on the side of a downtown New York City building

The transformation of the city from a small settlement to a bustling metropolis, now the fourth largest city, is truly remarkable, don’t you think?

The Pizza Principle in Action

New Yorkers sure love their pizza, but did you know that there’s a curious correlation between pizza prices and subway fares in the city? The Pizza Principle, as it’s called, has held true since the 1960s.

New York City pizza in a box

Whether it’s a coincidence or an economic indicator, it’s a fun fact that adds to the unique character of the Big Apple.

The Gold Vault Beneath the Streets

Deep beneath the streets of New York City lies a hidden treasure: the world’s largest gold storage at the New York City Federal Reserve Bank. Holding an astonishing 7,000 tons of gold bars worth an unbelievable $90 billion, this secret vault is truly a testament to the city’s financial prowess and influence.

When the Big Apple Froze Over

In 1780, New York Harbor froze over so completely that people were able to walk from Manhattan to Staten Island on the ice. Can you imagine trekking across the frozen harbor today?

New York City Central Park bridge covered in snow in winter

This event underscores the formidable power of nature, even within the modern, bustling confines of New York.

The Hot Dog Stand Fortune

Hot dog stands are a staple of New York City’s street food scene, but did you know that the permits for these stands in Central Park can cost over $289,000 for one year?

view of an iconic hot dog stand downtown New York City

While the price may seem steep, many view it as a worthwhile investment for the chance to offer a classic NYC delicacy.

Skyscrapers Without Windows?

New York City is known for its towering skyscrapers, including the iconic New York Stock Exchange, but one building stands out from the rest: 33 Thomas Street, a windowless skyscraper designed by John Carl Warnecke. This unique building, with its Brutalist architecture, houses a telephone exchange business and serves as a testament to the city’s architectural diversity, not far from the bustling York Stock Exchange.

Secret Tracks Under the Waldorf Astoria Hotel

Beneath the luxurious Waldorf Astoria Hotel lies a secret train platform used by VIPs like Franklin D. Roosevelt to enter the hotel discreetly. This hidden gem is just one of the many fascinating secrets waiting to be discovered beneath the bustling streets of New York City.

The World Trade Center’s Sky-High Title

One World Trade Center, standing proudly as North America’s tallest building and the seventh-tallest in the world, is a symbol of resilience and rebirth for New Yorkers.

looking up at the new World Trade Centre building

With its impressive 541-meter height, it’s a stunning testament to the city’s ability to rise above adversity and reach new heights.

The Most Filmed Location in the World

Central Park, the green heart of New York City, holds the title of the most filmed location in the world. With over 530 movie credits to its name, the park has been the backdrop for countless iconic scenes in films like Spider-Man 3, Ghostbusters, and Home Alone 2.

Filming location in New York City

Given its scenic beauty, it’s hardly surprising that filmmakers frequently choose this urban oasis as their backdrop.

The Sunken Treasure of New York Harbor

In the depths of New York Harbor lies a sunken treasure from a British ship that sank during the Revolutionary War. Although the existence of the treasure is disputed, the story of the HMS Hussar and its lost riches adds a layer of mystery and intrigue to the city’s already fascinating history.

The Ice Cream Cone’s Sweet Beginnings

The ice cream cone, a sweet treat enjoyed by millions around the world, was invented right here in New York City by Italo Marchiony, who patented his creation in 1903.

Hand holding an ice cream cone

The fact that this globally enjoyed dessert originated in the bustling streets of the Big Apple is quite intriguing, isn’t it?

Lady Liberty’s Journey in Pieces

The iconic Statue of Liberty, a symbol of freedom and democracy, arrived in New York in 350 pieces and took four months to assemble.

close up view of the statue of liberty in new york city

This magnificent gift from France continues to stand tall in New York Harbor, welcoming visitors from around the world to the city that never sleeps.

The Underground Enigma: NYC’s Incomplete Park

The world’s first underground park, the Lowline, is located on Manhattan’s West Side but remains incomplete and closed to the public due to a lack of funds. This ambitious project, once realized, could revolutionize the way we think about urban green spaces and provide a unique oasis beneath the bustling streets of New York City.

The Big Apple’s Bird Haven

Central Park is not only a popular destination for New Yorkers and tourists alike but also a haven for over 230 bird species. Some of the bird species you might encounter on a stroll through the park include:

  • Hawks
  • Cardinals
  • Woodpeckers
  • Red-eyed vireos
Bright red cardinal perched on light top

You never know what feathered friends you might come across in Central Park.

The Subterranean Life of the NYC Subway

The NYC subway system, a lifeline for millions of New Yorkers, is home to various forms of life, from rodents and insects to bacteria.

entrance of a New York City subway station

This vibrant underground ecosystem exemplifies how life can adapt and thrive, even in the most unexpected environments.

New York’s Coastline: More Than Meets the Eye

With a coastline of 520 miles, New York City’s waterfront stretches longer than Miami, San Francisco, Boston, and Los Angeles combined.

waterfront view of new york city

This impressive coastline offers a wealth of recreational opportunities, scenic vistas, and a vital connection to the world beyond the city’s borders.

Pearl Street’s Oyster Origins

Once upon a time, Pearl Street in NYC was paved with oyster shells, a popular food in the 19th century. Today, the street serves as a reminder of the city’s culinary history and the ever-changing tastes of its inhabitants.


This post was compiled by the Travel Trivia Challenge (TTC) team. TTC was founded by Dalene and Pete Heck who traveled the world non-stop for almost 8 years.

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