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Sunrise Empire State Building
Photograph: Courtesy Empire State Building

10 reasons NYC is the most exciting city in the world

"Everything is pretty much a subway train ride away."

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Written by
Shaye Weaver
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NYC is the city that never sleeps because it's too exciting to miss out on. At least, that's what Time Out readers believe!

Time Out conducted its annual globe-spanning Time Out Index, a survey of over 27,000 people to get their thoughts on what it’s like to live, eat, work, play and generally experience cities and New York York was, of course, in the top five of this year’s list, with poll respondents citing the Big Apple’s resilience, community spirit and diversity as some of the top attributes they associate with the city. But what is it tops at? Being exciting.

Readers said that NYC is the “most exciting” of all the cities included in this year's survey. (It also came in second for “discovering new things.”)

But what exactly makes NYC the most exciting city? 

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1. You get postcard views by just existing here

You could be on a laundry run or in a taxi on your way home from a night out and you'll come across the prettiest sights, from the iconic skyline set to a pink sunset to a historic gem nestled between apartment buildings and bodegas. You don't have to look hard (like going to the top of a skyscraper or up in a plane) to find these moments.

2. You can easily get heart-pounding views of the city from any one of the skyscrapers

That being said, NYC has plenty of exciting opportunities to get up high and see the city laid out before you like a platter. You can eat dinner at Peak and feel like you're in a jet plane or walk out on an observation deck that's over a thousand feet in the air easily at Edge, the Empire State Building, One World Observatory or (after October 21) Summit One Vanderbilt.

3. It's impossible to be bored 

NYC is the capital of culture with its world-renowned museums and theaters, its kick-ass music venues and art galleries and its hopping bars and restaurants — all run by incredibly talented New Yorkers. There's always a new Broadway musical or play to see, there's new restaurant openings on a weekly basis and constant events for every interest under the sun. NYC has it all. If you're bored, you're doing it wrong.

4. You never know what you'll get up to.

You can plan all you want, but it's almost impossible to know exactly what you'll end up doing in NYC. Since there are so many options of places to go and things to do and see, it only takes coming across something novel to change your entire day or night.

5. You can go out almost all night. 

Yes, the city that never sleeps can keep you occupied 24 hours a day. Hungry at 4am? There's a diner for that. Want to party till the sun comes up? Head to House of Yes or 3 Dollar Bill. Want to tour the city? There are so many sights to see you could see them all at any time of day.

6. Everything is pretty much a subway train ride away.

The MTA might be a mess sometimes, but it does get us where we want to go for $2.75. Get on the N at Astoria-Ditmars and you can end up at Coney Island. You can take the 7 train from deep Queens all the way to Hudson Yards. It may take a while, but you can travel from The Bronx to the southernmost point of Manhattan. The subway can take you to the most fun you've ever had.

7. You can bike the city!

There's a lot that still needs to be done, but NYC is becoming a more bicycle-friendly city by adding more protected bike lanes and Citi Bike kiosks across the boroughs. Those new to riding a bike here find themselves in awe of how quickly you can get from point A to point B and find themselves in a new community as soon as they take their first journey on the "Fresh Kermit."

8. You can experience so many cultures without leaving the city.

NYC is easily the most diverse city in the world. It doesn't even take a block to run into someone from a completely different culture than you and ordering a dish hailing from another country is the norm here. Taking the subway just even a few stops away can transport you into a foreign place without ever leaving NYC, like Little Caribbean in Brooklyn or Little Paris in Manhattan. The ability to meet new people and learn from them is exciting and we get to do it every day.

9. Your tiny corner bodega almost always has exactly what you need.

Even if it's a super out-there or hard-to-find item, it's most likely to be found in your bodega at 2am. Bless the bodega workers for knowing just what you want — they keep this city running.

10. You could meet your next best friend at any moment.

Because of the diversity of fun things to do and people to meet here in NYC, it's very likely that your next best friend is out there planning to go to that trivia night you've had your eye on or about to start a job at your company. In any other city, it might've been harder to meet them and chances are, they're really cool because they live here!

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