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Off the beaten path in

New York City

New York, New York... the city that is never boring, even if you’ve been there five times before. That’s because there’s always so much more to see and do. We’ve put together a list of unique places that you won’t find in travel guides; from a pub in an old bank vault to an underground market.

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Trinity Place

Cocktails in an old vault

Deep in the heart of the financial district under the mile-high skyscrapers is a bar hidden in an old bank vault. The vault dates back to 1904 and is located in the basement of the Trinity Place bar. It was originally built for the New York Realty Bank and was so big and heavy that it had to be transported over the Hudson by boat and then further transported to 115 Broadway from Battery Park by way of a specially built railway track. The vault contents have, unfortunately, been removed, but the bar that has replaced them is worth its weight in gold.

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United Palace

Cinema with royal decor

Going to the cinema at the United Palace is a unique experience. It is one of the five ‘Wonder Theatres’ opened by Loews Theatres in the 1920s and 1930s throughout New York City.

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Buyenlarge / Contributor / Getty Images

The lavish and luxurious decor of these movie theatres made going to the cinema an extravagant night out. During the Great Depression and World War II, they offered the possibility to escape reality for the glamour of Hollywood for a few hours. In the 60s and 70s, the theatres went out of fashion and stopped showing movies. But the United Palace was purchased in 1969 by a spiritual organization and now serves as a spiritual center, concert hall, and movie theatre, where such big names as Adele, Bob Dylan and Iggy Pop have all performed.

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Turnstyle Underground Market

The market that never sleeps

Under the always crowded Columbus Circle on the southwestern corner of Central Park, you’ll find the Turnstyle Underground Market. It covers an entire block - underground - and has seven (!) entrances. The idea behind it? To turn a subway station into a destination where people can eat, drink coffee and shops. Enjoy everything from Russian dumplings to Bolivian empanadas and Chinese bubble tea.

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Richard Levine / Alamy Stock Photo
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Richard Levine / Alamy Stock Photo
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Patti McConville / Alamy Stock Photo

SeaGlass Carousel

Riding on glass fish

Battery Park is home to a different kind of carousel, one where you can ride on moving glass fish in a huge shell - of which there are no fewer than thirty. Since each of the fish has its own motor, they spin and swim around each other as if they were in the ocean. The changing coloured LED lighting creates a unique atmosphere.

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    White Horse Tavern

    A pub with a literary history

    There are no shortage of trendy pubs in Manhattan. But you’ll have to stand in line, dress impeccably and be willing to pay 30 dollars for a cocktail. A much more authentic experience can be found at the White Horse Tavern, the second oldest pub in New York City.

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    Science History Images / Alamy Stock Photo

    This establishment in the West Village opened in 1880 and, in the 1950s, was a literary beacon where writers went to see and be seen. Performers like Bob Dylan, Jim Morrisson and The Clancy Brothers were also frequent guests. The menu includes simple cheeseburgers, steaks and good beer. What more could you want?

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    Columbia University

    Experience American campus life

    Always wanted to see a genuine American university campus? Manhattan is the place to be. The Columbia University campus is located in the heart of the city, and it’s not just any university, but a real Ivy League university, making it one of the best in the world. The campus is open to everyone, so you can wander around at your leisure, but if you’d like to learn more about its history and the buildings, you can go on a one-hour guided tour.

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