There are several things to do in New York, like taking in the breathtaking skyline from Rockefeller Center, making it the most influential city in the world without a doubt.
You may indulge in unique cuisine in Chinatown or Little Italy after seeing the magnificent artwork at the Met, the Guggenheim, or the Frick Collection. After seeing a critically renowned Broadway musical, you can head to one of the district’s low-key rooftop pubs or jazz clubs to continue the evening in style.
Alternatively, visit New York’s countless restaurants, shopping malls, and other attractions. New York City has many things to do, from discovering its landmarks to learning about its history at museums and taking in the ever-changing skyline. Also, a trip to New York is only complete with seeing the Statue of Liberty, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Of course, the largest city in the country is much more than that. A trip to NYC would only be complete with a boat to a national icon like Ellis Island or the Statue of Liberty. Ice skating at the kid-friendly Rockefeller Center, strolls in Central Park, and treks along the High Line to glimpse the city from above are more must-do activities. There are several parks where you can escape the urban jungle.
You may also take a free trip on the Staten Island Ferry to see the port and city skyline. Here is our list of exciting things to do in New York City.
Things to do in New York
1. Central Park
This park, museum, and music hall engulfs the heart of downtown Manhattan and is near to or contains some of the city’s most famous attractions. Tourists warn against ignoring Central Park as a mere passing attraction. Instead, this park is popular among New Yorkers and tourists for its many amenities.
1. Alice in Wonderland
The 11-foot-tall Alice in Wonderland monument is on a magic mushroom in the park’s lower east section—many children clustered around her, including the Mad Hatter and the Cheshire Cat.
2. Conservatory Garden
The Conservatory Garden, the only formal garden in Central Park, is a peaceful place to unwind and take in the scenery. It comprises 6 acres of seasonal greenery and flowers set out in three different designs: English, French, and Italian. The significant entrances are situated at Fifth Avenue and 105th Street.
3. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir
Autumn is particularly picturesque when the surrounding trees are alive with changing hues. During the summer, you may hire a boat, a bike, or a gondola from the Loeb Boathouse, a restaurant, and boathouse built in the Victorian style next to the Bethesda Fountain on East Park Drive.
4. Bethesda Fountain
The Bethesda Fountain is a charming fountain that takes its name from a healing pool in Jerusalem. While there, take pictures of the Angel of the Waters sculpture, which crowns this mid-park attraction.
2. Empire State Building
This building in Manhattan’s midtown is a must-see. Although the entrance fees are steep, there are many people, and the lines can be long, recent visitors say that you will be fine going. A trip to the observation deck at the top of the Empire State Building, where you can see the city’s major attractions on a clear day, is a fantastic way to begin or end a trip to New York City.
The art deco tower looks impressive from the ground, especially when lit at night.
If you’re looking for the Empire State Building, New York City’s fourth-tallest building, look toward the center of Manhattan, around Fifth Avenue. You may get a great view of New York City from the air on one of the best excursions.
3. Brooklyn Bridge
The Brooklyn Bridge, one of many iconic sights in New York City, is also one of the nation’s oldest suspension bridges and a National Historic Landmark. It’s a six-lane span that connects Manhattan and Brooklyn across the East River. Crossing the bridge is still a popular activity for visitors.
Still, if you are on a tight budget, this is undoubtedly one of the best ways to see the city and get a unique view of either borough without spending any money. There is no shade along the bridge; thus, according to some reviews, it may become pretty hot there during the summer. Several cautioned that it might become rather crowded and suggested going early in the day, before 9 a.m., to avoid dealing with crowds.
You may ride the train to Brooklyn’s High Street stop, then walk across the bridge to return to midtown Manhattan. It costs nothing to visit and takes around 30 minutes to walk from one side to the other. The bridge is a stop on a number of the most incredible walking tours in New York City. Consider taking a trip by boat, many of which pass beneath the bridge, or by helicopter for a different angle on the structure.
4. Rockefeller Center
On the Avenues of midtown Manhattan is where you will find Rockefeller Center. This well-known plaza has several notable features, including eye-catching sculptures, a sizeable winter ice skating rink, a view of the NBC Studios, and outstanding retail and dining establishments. This experience ought to be enjoyed at least once, although many people will be present. Therefore, you should not be concerned if your trip to New York does not take place during the winter. Instead, view the city during the day from the Top of the Rock Observation Deck and then spend the evening at Radio City Music Hall.
5. Radio City Music Hall
It’s where the Rolling Stones searched for fulfillment; Lady Gaga experienced a “Bad Romance,” and Ella Fitzgerald pined for her beloved. There is no competition for Radio City Music Hall in New York when attracting talented artists. Its marquee, which spans a whole city block, makes it the largest indoor theater in the world. The theater has been around since 1932, making it a historic landmark in the Big Apple. Performers like Chris Rock and musicians like Lil Nas X and Ben Platt have performed at the theater.
Radio City Music Hall is in midtown Manhattan. Since showtimes and ticket prices change frequently, checking the venue’s website for the most up-to-date information is best.
6. Staten Island Ferry
The Staten Island Ferry connects the Whitehall Ferry Terminal in lower Manhattan with the St. George Ferry Terminal in Staten Island daily, making it arguably the most well-known ferry service in the country.
Staten Island Ferry attracts hundreds of thousands of out-of-towners annually, who take advantage of the ferry’s free harbor crossing. The Staten Island Ferry is more than a convenient way to get about; it’s also a popular tourist destination. During the return voyage to midtown Manhattan, passengers must depart and board again. Visitors remark on the views of Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty, the midtown Manhattan skyscrapers, and the lower Manhattan bridges.
7. New York Public Library
This main branch of the New York public library is formally known as the Stephen A. Most visitors stop by the iconic Bryant Park landmark to greet Patience and Fortitude, the marble lions guarding the gate, and take in the exquisite beaux-arts architecture.
New York public library includes English Romanticism, rare books, and specialized English and American literature collections. Also, there are several lecture events, exhibitions, and displays held at this library branch, for some insight into the history and design of the library, as well as to visit its spectacular Rose Main Reading Room.
Start your day off well by visiting the TKTS booth in Times Square or the spot at Lincoln Center to score cheap same-day tickets for various Broadway and off-Broadway performances.
Many come from far away and plan their entire trip to see a Broadway show. If you want to experience the best of American theater, then you must visit the Great White Way. Since nearby Times Square is a bewildering maze of sights and noises with no clear starting point, some tourists argue that you can see every detail you need simply by trundling back and forth between acts in that area.
In a section of midtown Manhattan on the west side, close to Times Square’s constant neon, one of the Broadway theatres, consider going to an off-Broadway play if you want to see a show but want to save money to see one on Broadway. Off-Broadway theatres are dispersed across the city and provide presentations for a fraction of the price of a Broadway production.
9. Ellis Island
Ellis Island served as the primary entrance point for immigrants to the United States for 62 years, and many Americans have at least one ancestor who came through here. When standing on the beaches of Battery Park in lower Manhattan, you can make out Ellis Island, located north of Liberty Island, and the Statue of Liberty.
You may see some of the family antiques and mementos that immigrants brought here in the exhibitions, along with old pictures. The Family History Center also offers you the opportunity to conduct some research on your family tree. The experience of immigration before and after Ellis Island is covered in other displays.
Recent travelers said they had a great time, but they warn that getting there is a chore and takes up most of the day. The boat ride from Battery Park to the Statue of Liberty, including a stop at Ellis Island, will likely take at least 90 minutes. On one of the top helicopter tours in New York City, many of which fly over the island, you can also take in the scenery from above.
10. Times Square
People have the misconception that this section of midtown Manhattan is devoid of art, that it is expensive, and that it is crowded. You should, at the very least, take a peek at the neon lights that it has.
The majority of travelers recommend heading there after dusk so they can watch the headlining acts. Many people believe that going to Times Square before or after seeing a show on Broadway is the ideal time to go to the famous tourist destination.
Dropping the ball on New Year’s Eve at Times Square is the most popular thing to see there. Large partygoers are drawn to the famed Waterford crystal ball displayed in New York City.
The ball is dropped from a pole atop the One Times Square skyscraper and falls 77 feet. You can see the ball dropping at Times Square in New York City for free if you have the guts to do so.
However, remember that the area is extremely crowded, even by New York City standards; therefore, you should arrive early in the morning and stay for the entirety of the day.
Because of the constant bustle there, it is not difficult to find Times Square. The city’s most magnificent bus and walking tours all stop at Times Square at some point throughout their journey. The well-known five-block stretch is also included in the itineraries of some of the most spectacular helicopter tours that New York City has to offer.
Check out the official website for more information on things to do and see in the surrounding area. Remember that the billboards in Time Square are always lit up, even though the surrounding restaurants and stores close at specific times.
11. Little Italy
Little Italy, formerly a bustling community of Italian immigrants, is today a well-liked tourist destination, but eateries still serve traditional Italian fare on red-and-white striped tablecloths. The San Gennaro’s annual feast, which honors the patron saint of Naples with cuisine, a parade, and other festivities, is another event that has made Little Italy famous.
Little Italy is one of the city’s oldest street fairs. The St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral Basilica, constructed on Mulberry Street, is another important attraction.
This area in little Italy of lower Manhattan may be found along Mulberry Street for three blocks between Canal Street and Broome.
12. Fifth Avenue
The location of St. Patrick’s Cathedral next to Bergdorf Goodman, Tiffany & Co., and Van Cleef & Arpels is appropriate. Finding the holy grail between the 34th and 59th streets is a religious experience for many individuals who buy there.
Even if you don’t intend to use your credit card at upscale retailers, Fifth Avenue is a must-see, according to tourists. Local experts rank it as one of the best locations in the city to shop. Also, the Boulevard is decked out in beautiful decorations throughout the winter holidays. Fifth Avenue’s shops are relatively mainstream; visit SoHo if you like funkier fashion.
9/11 Museum and Monument
The former World Trade Center Twin Towers site is now home to the National 9/11 Monument. There are a lot of emotional memorials to the people who died in the 9/of terrorist attacks. Two underground pools with water that flow into the footprints of the destroyed towers are among them. A rocking museum with artifacts and reflections of that dreadful day is next to the memorial.
Frequently Answered Questions (FAQs)
1. What location in New York receives the most visitors?
The most frequented location in New York City is Times Square. The city’s most stunning billboards may be seen at this Midtown landmark, where New Year’s Eve celebrations are hosted annually. Many hotels, restaurants, pubs, and Broadway theatres are also located in this region.
2. Is New York a secure place?
Yeah, New York City is safe. If you go to New York, you’ll discover well-lit streets and residents happy to give you instructions. Use caution when keeping cash and wallets zipped away, as in any metropolis. In New York, there is always safety in numbers on the subway and streets.
3. What about New York—shouldn’t you miss it?
Explore New York beyond the tourist attractions. See the Statue of Liberty from the top of the Empire State Building, yes, but also get lost in the West Village’s little alleys, linger over Greek food in Astoria, explore the city’s many parks, and mingle with New Yorkers in restaurants, bars, galleries, and shops.
4. What do residents of NYC do for fun?
In NYC, there is no shortage of entertainment options for locals. Fresh and intriguing restaurants and bars always appear because of New Yorkers like eating and drinking. Locals attend galleries, museums, and farmers’ markets, spend time in green places like Central Park, ride bikes, and generally bring a feeling of discovery to their always-changing city.
5. Is Manhattan the same as New York City?
No, and yes. New York City comprises the island of Manhattan with Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, and the Bronx. Nonetheless, as these names are frequently used interchangeably, you are correct to claim that you are in Manhattan when you are actually in New York City.
6. What area in New York is the most beautiful?
The response may vary depending on the New Yorker. Nonetheless, Central Park, the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, the quaint alleyways of the West Village, the piers and walks of Riverside Park, and the New York Botanical Garden are some of the city’s most attractive spots.
7. Which kinds of activities are available in New York?
In New York, the options are essentially limitless. Ride bicycles in Central Park, have a drink at a rooftop bar, view dinosaur fossils at the Museum of Natural History, sail on the Hudson River, go to the Union Square Farmer’s Market, attend a Broadway show, people watch on the subway, check out different eateries, and much more.
New York City is one of the unusual locations where each season has its charms. Things to do in New York include the warm summer months providing the ideal time to stroll over the Brooklyn Bridge. The Hudson Valley is best experienced by hiring a car to go “leaf peeping” upstate during the chilly fall months. Holiday-themed winter activities are popular, with the renowned Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree among visitors’ choices.