NYC is a wonderful city with a long and fascinating history going back  some 400 years. Over time, the city has transformed in a gradual manner, going from a small bucolic place to a vast metropolitan area filled with skyscrapers and modern-day wonders. Its incredible makeover however is not without its share of tales, anecdotes and tidbits. So, if you plan to visit New York City soon, try grabbing some fun facts to understand its eventful past, its culture and people a bit better.

Here are some fun facts about New York City:

  • New York City was founded in 1625, however the first settlers arrived here a year earlier in 1624
  • Governor’s Island was the place where the first settlers set up their camp before setting out to inhabit lower Manhattan
  • It was originally called New Amsterdam as most of the first settlers were Dutch people
  • In 1664, the English took control of the territory of New Amsterdam and later, King Charles II named the territory ‘New York’ (after his brother the Duke of York)
  • From 1789 to 1790, the city served as the capital of the United States
  • While the population of NYC was over 3 million by the start of the 20th century, it has risen at a brisk pace to go over 12 million as of the 2012 census (of the entire metro area including NYC)
  • The Wyckoff Farmhouse is the oldest existing building in the city (built in 1652)
  • Over 800 languages are spoken here making it perhaps the most linguistically diverse city in the world
  • The city is home to the largest and second largest stock exchanges in the world, the New York Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ
  • The Federal Reserve Bank has the largest gold storage in the world with an estimated $90 billion in gold
  • The New York Public Library has over 50 million books which makes it the third largest library in the world
  • The city’s Federal Hall on Wall Street was the place where George Washington was inaugurated as the first U.S. president on April 30, 1789
  • The city has been home to many inventions and two of the notables include: toilet paper and chewing gum
  • Approximately 52 per cent of NYC residents are female which makes it one of the few metro cities in the world where more women outnumber men
  • Contrary to popular belief, the city is not very big as it spans some 300 square miles in size
  • From its construction in 1931 until 1972, the iconic Empire State Building was the world’s tallest building
  • The pride of New York – the Statue of Liberty – was actually a gift from France to commemorate 100 years of independence
  • The city is set to open the world’s first underground park in 2018
  • And lastly, honking your car horn is actually illegal in NYC but it’s legal for women to roam the street topless!!

Book one of the best New York City Tours to explore the vast charms of this amazing city.