A Guide to New York’s Financial District
The Financial District in lower Manhattan encapsulates the full range of American history.
Largely defined by the intensive industry after which it is named, The Financial District (or FiDi) accommodates white-collar workers with high-end restaurants and bars around Wall Street, which you’ll find jam-packed at happy hour. But an undeniable element of the Financial District, which starts at Chambers Street to the north and continues to the tip of Manhattan, is the density of destinations perfect for first-time visitors.
Dedicated in 1886, the Statue of Liberty remains a universal symbol of freedom, democracy, and mercy. The Ellis Island National Immigration Museum features thousands of square feet of exhibition space, movie theaters, a book shop, and restaurant.
Book your trip to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island with Statue Cruises, the only ferry providing on-site access to both iconic locations in New York Harbor.
To understand how the Financial District ticks, Wall Street Walks takes visitors through the historic capital of world finance and home of the New York Stock Exchange, comprising more than 200 years of history.
Trinity Church is Manhattan’s oldest parish, first established in 1697. Free tours of the church take place 7 days a week at 2pm.
St. Paul’s Chapel, an Episcopal church and Manhattan’s oldest public building in continuous religious use (1766), saw worshippers like George Washington, whose pew has been preserved inside the sanctuary. St. Paul’s was also home to an extraordinary eight-month volunteer relief effort after the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001.
On the East River, the South Street Seaport district dates back to the 1600s as one of the world’s preeminent ports (although the cobblestoned streets only date to the 1960s).
Now it’s a commercial center with the wonderful South Street Seaport Museum, a state-of-the-art movie theater, and many shops and restaurants boasting waterfront views of the Brooklyn skyline.
Other historical sites include Wall Street’s Federal Hall National Memorial, housing artifacts like the Bible used during George Washington’s Presidential inauguration and the statue of Washington out front.
The Museum of Jewish Heritage—A Living Memorial to the Holocaust depicts Jewish culture in the early 1900s and the horrors of the Holocaust, including survivor testimonies and art reflecting the richness of Jewish life worldwide. Offering free admission 7 days a week, the National Museum of the American Indian is located inside the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House. Together with its location in Washington D.C., it is home to the largest, most extensive collection of Native arts and artifacts in the world.
If discount shopping is on your agenda, get designer threads at a fraction of the price at Century 21 Department Store. They have over 15 departments of quality designer merchandise at 40-70% off retail, including European and American designer fashions for men, women, and kids.
There’s something for everyone, including handbags, cosmetics, outerwear, European and domestic sportswear, lingerie and sleepwear, and a gigantic shoe department.