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Image of kayaking under the Brooklyn Bridge with city skyline view Relax and enjoy summer in NYC (Photo courtesy Brooklyn Bridge Park Boathouse facebook page)

Everyone knows NYC is the city that never sleeps, and once you visit in the summer you’ll understand why! With all the beautiful parks, outdoor events and sidewalk eateries, it’s no wonder New Yorkers stay up long after the sun goes down! Read on and discover our favorite ways to enjoy an endless summer in NYC…

The Essentials

Image of the Brooklyn Bridge and city skyline from Brooklyn Brooklyn Bridge Park is full of summer activities and a great view too!

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Image of Eiffel Tower with sun setting behind it The Eiffel Tower is an iconic sight in Paris

The sun is shining, flowers blooming, birds chirping, and all of Paris is headed outdoors to revel in the lovely weather! Spring has sprung, and there isn’t a more perfect time to plan a trip to Paris. After all, we all love Paris in the springtime! Can’t you just picture yourself joining the local Parisians as they head outdoors to bask in spring’s warm weather? The outdoor cafes are bustling with friends meeting for a drink or the stereotypical writer, lost in thought, lingering over a cup of coffee, observing Parisian life. The jardins around Paris are in bloom and become the “it” spot for an impromptu picnic on the grass with a bottle of wine, a baguette, and some local delicacies.

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Image of a group of tourists looking at Tower Bridge Don’t miss the beautiful aspects of London that isn’t too well known!

London’s international allure reaches far beyond the handful of landmarks you see on postcards – ask anyone who has lived there for a while, or any traveler who didn’t think one visit did London justice (or two visits, or four). Buckingham Palace is fancy, Westminster Abbey magnificent, and Big Ben’s dial has really long hands, but those who’ve developed a true affection for the world’s first global city tend to take their visiting friends to other attractions. We Anglophiles of New York Habitat hereby present seven of our personal favorites among London’s less established sites.

1- Redefine high tea in a double-Decker: the Afternoon Tea Bus Tour

Image of the interior of a red London bus converted into a small restaurant Tour London while enjoying afternoon tea

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Image of buildings near Columbia University with flowers in the foreground Spring is graduation season at NYC’s colleges and universities!

Springtime in New York City is a time of renewal, of springing forth from the stagnation of the cold winter months to the rebirth of gardens and parks, warm weather and outdoor activities. New Yorkers love getting out and about, whether it’s a stroll through Central Park, taking in an outdoor concert, browsing the offerings at a street fair, or dining al fresco with friends. And the month of May adds graduation festivities to the mix! New York City’s prestigious colleges and universities span all five boroughs, from technical schools and those specialized in specific trades to Ivy League universities, those known for their sports teams and everything in between. It’s here you’ll find FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology), Cooper Union, NYU, Fordham University in Manhattan and the Bronx, St. John’s University in Queens, Brooklyn Law School and the College of Staten Island. As you can imagine, graduation time is a busy time in NYC! If you are a friend or family of a graduate you’re probably planning your trip to NYC for graduation ceremonies but also want to make the most of your time here and fit in some sight seeing while you’re in town. New York Habitat’s agents can help you find a furnished rental apartment that is the perfect combination of proximity to a NYC college or university and convenience to some of the best spring activities and attractions to take in while you’re in town!

Furnished Apartments are a Great Family Option

Image of NY-17172 on the Upper West Side with Central Park views from the living room Rent this apartment with Central Park views in spring

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Image of London skyline with Big Ben, the London Eye and River Thames Don’t miss London’s sights and sounds in springtime

Springtime in London

As the weather warms from the chill of winter months, London awakens from its slumber with flowers blooming in the local squares, temperatures rising to that perfect balance of warm yet breezy and everyone heads outdoors to enjoy all that this stunning city has to offer — without all the summer crowds. It’s precisely why we think spring is the perfect time of year to visit London! We’ve got apartments near breathtaking gardens and apartments with breathtaking gardens. Because everyone marches to their own drum and has their own reason for visiting London, from the royal watcher to the English history buff, the fashionista to the British music fan, so shouldn’t where you stay be just as personalized? With options ranging from basic for those on a budget, to luxurious bucket list favorites for a special occasion, and everything in between, find the apartment that fits you perfectly!

Experience London Like the Locals

If you really want to get to know a place, position yourself among the locals, not in a pseudo-London created just for tourists. Sure, we all want to see all the iconic London sights, but who says you need to stay in a sterile feeling hotel surrounded by shops and restaurants marked up double price just for tourists? Instead, why not rent a one-of-a-kind apartment all your friends will be jealous of, wake up to your own schedule not housekeeping’s, socialize with the locals, and shop and dine where the insiders do. Tourists’ traps are rarely worth it, and the locals always know all the best spots!

Image of bedroom of LN-1725 in Primrose Hill with French doors opening to a terrace Rent an apartment with a terrace and really enjoy the spring weather in London

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view of the Financial District, with Brooklyn Bridge in the foreground Lower Manhattan's rapidly changing skyline reflects New York's dynamism

New Yorkers range from cosmopolitan style connoisseurs to the kind of irresistible eccentrics you can’t really find in any other city. This incredible diversity is evident among the hosts we work with — and the apartments they list with us. Are you curious about some of our favorites? Or could you use some apartment hunting inspiration for your next trip? Check out our selection of 7 apartments that encapsulate the vibrancy of New York City, and see which one best suits your personality!

Find Refuge in the Theater District

image of lounge area and spiral staircase in NY-16334, with a round mirror in the background Convenience meets style in this serene duplex overlooking Hell's Kitchen

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Image of person biking in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris The Eiffel Tower is the most famous landmark in Paris

Are you planning a trip to Paris but craving something more than the same old cliché Paris attractions? The Eiffel Tower, Louvre, and the Champs-Élysées are all beautiful sights to see but we know what you really want is a more authentic experience, a chance to really get to know the place. There’s no better way to do that than to rent a real Parisian apartment, live among the locals and get out and explore some not so common areas and attractions. So we’ve made our own little travel guide to give you some ideas of off the beaten path things to do, plus some truly unique apartments to match, so you can experience the City of Lights in a whole new light.

Neighborhood Markets are Full of Local Flavor

Image of a man in a market filled with antiques and household items You never know what gem you’ll find in the local flea markets

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Image of Union Jack flags strung between buildings So many unique neighborhoods make up the city of London, how many are you familiar with?

An Area Steeped in Literary History & Academic Achievement

Bloomsbury, London’s most vibrant and historic district, is situated in the southernmost part of the Borough of Camden and is recognized as the intellectual and literary capital of London. This lively and remarkable area was made most famous by a group of turn-of-the-century writers that included Virginia Woolf and Charles Darwin. The arts and education have a long history here, so it’s not surprising some of the most prestigious, oldest and most important schools and colleges in London and all of the UK are found in this neighborhood. The University of London has made Bloomsbury the base for a number of its colleges, including the famous London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. On any given day a lively rush of students and professionals keep the area buzzing.

What could be a better location to rent an apartment if you’re coming to London for academics or professional pursuits? You’ll find likeminded colleagues and intellectuals studying over a cup of tea at one of the neighborhood literary cafes or bookshops or winding down their day with a pint and some stimulating conversation in one of the local pubs.

Image of the facade of the former Hotel Russell with double decker bus in front The former Hotel Russell is still an impressive landmark of the area

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Image of Gantry Plaza State Park in Long Island City, Queens with water and NYC skyline view Get a spectacular view of NYC from Gantry Plaza State Park in Long Island City, Queens

If this isn’t your first trip to New York City then you’ve already seen most of the usual famous sites and you’re looking to discover more of the lesser known, non-touristy things to see and do. Getting to truly know a place is less about the gimmicky tourist traps and the places everyone has seen and more about spending time exploring and getting to know the real heartbeat of the place and its people. For some ideas on alternative attractions for your next visit to NYC, read on and find out some of our insider tips…

View Manhattan from a Different Angle

Everyone has heard that Dumbo is a great spot for capturing the Manhattan skyline, but as an alternative that is perhaps even more breathtaking, Gantry Plaza State Park in Long Island City is the top of our list. The park’s gantries are its centerpiece, harking back to the area’s past, where barges would unload at the docks. Today, this waterside location has been reinvented as a 12 acre waterfront park where you can enjoy stunning views that include the Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, and the United Nations, not to mention the famous Pepsi Cola sign (a relic of the Pepsi bottling plant that once operated in this formerly industrial area) that recently gained NYC landmark status. Stroll through the planted walkways or stop for a game at the basketball or handball courts. There’s also a fishing pier and a stage that hosts summer concerts with the added perk of an iconic backdrop. Grab a bite from one of the nearby restaurants or food trucks or bring your own picnic and stay for a spectacular sunset while relaxing on one of the wave-like lounge chairs set up right by the water for a relaxing end of day.

Stay Like a Local in a Not-So-Touristy Area

Image of the living room area of apartment NY-15441 in Long Island City, Queens For an alternative apartment option, try this alcove studio located in a former firehouse in Long Island City, Queens

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Image of multiple red London telephone booths lining a street Discover London while staying at a unique property. Photo credit: Mike Dixon

We all love London for its hip energy, its forward-thinking music and fashion, and its wealth of history and culture. It’s no wonder this city is always bustling with arrivals from all over the world! If you’re considering heading to London for business, academics or leisure you’ll want to find the perfect home base to settle into. We’ve selected some of our favorite London properties that showcase the diversity of style and local tastes that make this city so unique — from classic, historical charm to peaceful outdoor oases and mod apartments with skyline views. So let’s jump right in and pop by the first of our most desirable properties in London…

Modern & Trendy with Skyline Views of London in Southwark

Image of black leather couches looking out over London’s skyline through a wall of windows See London from above in this modern apartment in the sky

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