One of the most exciting cities in the world, New York is constantly bustling with activity. There are famous sites wherever you look, and there is never enough time to visit them all. Many tourists simply come to view the sights, such as the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Brooklyn Bridge, Central Park, historic districts, and various renowned museums. Some people travel expressly to take in the Broadway performances, while others come specifically to shop and eat.
This city is a treat for visiting because so many of the top attractions are close to one another or only a short ride away.
Like the High Line and One World Observatory, several of the more recent tourist attractions that have emerged in New York provide distinctive vistas of the city. There are countless things to see and do in New York at any time of the year and day or night.
You should still visit even though the city may not have its customary vibrant atmosphere this year. With fewer visitors, the city has changed, becoming more accessible, less expensive to explore, and with shorter lines at popular attractions. You might want to seize this chance to explore the city alone. Use our list of the greatest New York attractions to help you plan your vacation.
one) The Statue of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty, the most recognisable landmark in America, is at the top of every first-time visitor’s list of things to do in New York. It was a gift from France to America. One of America’s greatest tourist destinations, it was constructed in 1886 and continues to serve as a global symbol of freedom.
With a height of just under 152 feet from the base to the torch and a weight of roughly 450,000 pounds, it is one of the tallest statues in the entire world.
The statue is visible from the ground, with views from Battery Park at the southernmost tip of Manhattan being particularly good. The best thing to do, though, is to take a little boat ride to Liberty Island and visit the Statue of Liberty up close in order to appreciate it fully. Enjoy a leisurely tour around the base before entering the pedestal, if you choose. At the time of writing, the crown is still shut.
You can choose to visit Ellis Island and view the Immigration Museum as part of a tour to the Statue of Liberty. The ancient immigration station complex, where many immigrants were processed before entering the US, is home to this wonderful museum.
The method, the events, and the experiences of the individuals who passed through here on their way to the United States are highlighted in the exhibits. You can even look up a list of immigrants who passed through here by using the on-site computer database.
The statue’s admission tickets are in high demand. Pre-purchasing tickets is a requirement at the busiest times of the year and a smart move all year round. You can visit both the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island on the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Tour. This tour gives you priority boarding of the ferry and admission to the Ellis Island Museum.
It should be noted that purchasing tickets at the ferry might be challenging because touts posing as “official agents” may try to upsell you on more expensive tickets before you even reach the ticket desk.
www.nps.gov/stli/index.htm is the official website.
Central Park, 2.
Anyone visiting New York City should take a stroll around Central Park’s winding paths, pedal a bicycle through them, or ride in a carriage through them. You can even put on your skates in the winter and skate over Wollman Rink. One of the things that makes New York such a lovely and pleasant city is this enormous park in the middle of the city, which is a half-mile broad and 2.5 miles long.
The majority of the attractions in Central Park are free, making it one of the few inexpensive things to do in NYC in addition to being a terrific spot to enjoy some nature. The Lake, Strawberry Fields, the Central Park Zoo, and Belvedere Castle are a few of the most well-liked tourist destinations. Pick up a map at one of the visitor centres and plan your route if you are visiting the park on your own.
Our top picks for Manhattan’s budget hotels are: You can’t top The Pearl Hotel for quality, value, comfort, and a great location that puts Times Square, Central Park, and Rockefeller Center within easy walking distance. Room Mate Grace is a boutique hotel with a pool, gym, and sauna that is a little closer to Times Square and the Theatre District and frequently offers very reasonable rates.
Read more: Top Attractions in New York’s Central Park
3. Top of the Rock Observation Deck and Rockefeller Center
Rockefeller Center is a popular sight in New York that practically all visitors include on their travel plans. NBC-TV and other media outlets are housed in this sizable entertainment and retail complex in the middle of Manhattan, but the 70-story 30 Rockefeller Plaza, an Art Deco skyscraper that offers breathtaking views of Manhattan from its renowned Top of the Rock Observation Deck, is the complex’s focal point.
The three floors that make up the so-called “deck” are situated on the 67th, 69th, and 70th floors. Spectacular views are available in both indoor and outdoor viewing areas, day or night. A Top of the Rock Observation Deck Ticket can be purchased in advance. If your plans change or the weather isn’t cooperative, you may change the date with these tickets thanks to their flexible voucher redemption policy.
One of the most well-liked winter activities in New York City is ice skating on the outdoor rink at the base of the tower. This is a wonderful activity for families and couples. Normally, the skating rink is open from October to April.
A huge Christmas tree is set up in front of the ice rink after Thanksgiving, illuminating the facility throughout the holiday season. In December, a lot of people come to New York solely to see this place.
The well-known Atlas bronze sculpture in front of the International Building is another attraction in this region. The subject is well-liked among photographers.
Website of the Rockefeller Center
Fourth, Metropolitan Museum of Art
One of the most well-known museums in the United States is the Metropolitan Museum of Art, or the Met as it is more frequently known. It was established in 1870. There are more than two million works of art in The Met’s permanent collection, which spans a time period of 5,000 years.
The Met Fifth Avenue serves as the museum’s focal point despite having three locations. The collection’s highlights include American ornamental arts, weapons and armour, costumes, Egyptian art, musical instruments, and a wide range of other items.
The public can view some of the most well-known pieces in exhibitions. Consider taking a VIP: Empty Met Tour at the Metropolitan Museum of Art if you’re serious about going there. You’ll get to tour this amazing museum with just 25 other people before it opens to the public in the morning.
Another incredibly well-liked New York attraction is the Met Cloisters, which is situated in Fort Tryon Park in northern Manhattan. This division of the Metropolitan Museum of Art is dedicated to European mediaeval art and architecture, and it is situated in a magnificent building designed to resemble mediaeval cloisters, chapels, and halls.
New York, New York, 1000 5th Avenue
Website of the museum: www.metmuseum.org
5. The Theater District and Broadway
One of the most popular things to do in New York City is to see a Broadway performance. This theatre, which is regarded as the best in the country, features both the most recent productions and time-honored classics.
The term “Broadway” is typically used to refer to only “Broadway theatre,” which includes a sizable number of theatres in the Theater District and on Broadway itself. Tickets for the most well-liked performances should be ordered well in advance.
The Shubert at 221 West 44th Street and the Booth at 22 West 45th Street are two renowned playhouses that can only be entered by pedestrians in the Theater District’s Shubert Alley. In the past, aspiring performers would frequently visit Shubert Alley in search of chances to appear in a production supported by theatrical magnate Sam S. Shubert.
A Chorus Line gave a record-breaking 6,137 performances at The Shubert. The St. James Playhouse, which is nearby, hosted the world premiere of the musical Oklahoma in 1941. Several great actors are said to have met at Sardi’s restaurant, and Irving Berlin performed The Music Box Revue at the Music Box Theater in 1921.
www.broadway.com is the official website.
Empire State Building, no. 6
One of New York’s most recognisable iconic structures and a popular destination for tourists is the Empire State Building. The 102-story, 381-meter-tall building held the record for world height until the 1 World Trade Center tower surpassed it 41 years later. When the Empire State Building opened in 1931, it was topped with an airship mooring mast and instantly became a landmark and a representation of New York City.
The Empire State Building has two observatories, but both have breathtaking views. Looking into the neighbouring states of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Massachusetts, you may see up to 80 miles away on clear days.
The city’s tallest open-air viewing deck, the 86th Floor Observatory (1,050 feet), is what most visitors anticipate seeing as they climb the Empire State Building. It may seem recognisable because it has appeared in so many films and television programmes.
It contains both a glass enclosed section that is heated in winter and cooled in summer, as well as roomy outdoor promenades on all four sides of the structure, all of which are accessible by high-speed, automatic elevators. The views are amazing. The 102nd Floor’s Top Deck is 1,250 feet above the busy streets below. The viewing area is contained, despite the fact that you are 16 stories higher.
The wait to climb the Empire State Building is often long, goes slowly, and can get out of hand during busy periods, which adds unnecessary frustration to the process. Be advised that visiting this one attraction alone might easily consume half of your day of sightseeing.
The Empire State Building Ticket – Observatory and Optional Skip the Line Ticket that allows you to skip the lines are both highly recommended. If the weather is bad, you can save the ticket and use it another day because it is flexible and valid for up to a year.
www.esbnyc.com is the official website.
7. 9/11 Museum and Memorial
The World Trade Center’s twin 110-story buildings previously dominated the Manhattan skyline but were tragically demolished on September 11, 2001, by jetliners being flown by suicide passengers. Two square reflecting ponds, each measuring an acre, now lie where the World Trade Center’s two towers once did.
The National September 11 Memorial is a sombre memorial to the six victims of the earlier World Trade Center explosion in February 1993 as well as the almost 3,000 victims of the attacks on September 11, 2001.
The pools are sunken and surrounded by grass and trees. Water cascades over the walls and flows into a square that appears to have no bottom. The largest artificial waterfalls in North America are located here. The names of everyone murdered in the attacks are listed on bronze panels that surround the pools.
The 9/11 Memorial Museum is housed in a magnificent glass edifice with a curved shape that is situated between the two pools. It has exhibits that tell the story of 9/11, as well as its aftermath and effects, using artefacts, images, and videos.
The amazing new museum building is built around the World Trade Center’s ruins and includes the historic buildings.
On the south side of One World Trade Center, on Greenwich Street, are the memorial and the museum.
On the other side of Greenwich Street, the striking Westfield World Trade Center, which houses Oculus Plaza, is another noteworthy structure in this neighbourhood. This structure, with its white fins and spaceship-like appearance, is impossible to overlook. It is worth stopping by for a quick glance at the architecture even if this is a public structure with shops and high-end retailers.
Tickets for the 9/11 Museum must be bought in advance online or at the ticket desk. One of the most popular activities in New York, making reservations in advance is crucial to avoid disappointment. Make sure you reserve the discounted family rate for up to five people if you are travelling as a family.
You can choose a time to visit when you buy your tickets, but you must stick to that time window. On Mondays, admission to the museum is free from 3:30 to 5 p.m., but reservations are still required beginning at 7 a.m. and there is a cap of four tickets per person.
Website of official interest: www.911memorial.org
Eight. High Line
The High Line, a fascinating and recently extended attraction in New York City, was once a train line but has been converted into a city walking trail above the streets. Many of the trees and plants that have been planted in this distinctive linear public park are native species. Many of these bloom in the spring. The park offers amazing views of the city and is mostly surrounded by glass fences, giving it a natural appearance.
This green space on the west side of Manhattan stretches from Gansevoort Street, just south of West 13th Street, to West 34th Street, just north of it. For the most part, it runs parallel to 10th Avenue. Several locations along the road provide access to it; some just provide stair access, while others include elevator access.
The views of the city’s architecture and the lookouts over the streets offer a whole different viewpoint, even though the High Line is only two to three storeys above street level. Art pieces and seats can be found throughout the path, and near the southern end there is a dining area with bleacher-style seating and a glass wall looking out onto the city. The route receives a lot of traffic and may get very busy on the weekends, but it’s still a pleasant getaway when there’s no nearby activity.
The Hudson Yards overlook known as The Vessel, which is located close to 34th Street, is one of the High Line’s attractions. This multilevel building is beautiful.
Just off the High Line, there are additional worthwhile destinations to explore. The Meatpacking District, which has many fashionable eateries and excellent dining options, is located in the south. The Whitney Museum of American Art is close to the southernmost entrance point and is a worthwhile stop. It takes only a few minutes to walk to the well-known Chelsea Market, which is housed in a former Nabisco plant and has a variety of eateries and boutique stores, if you exit the High Line at the 16th Street entry (elevator access).
www.thehighline.org is the official website.
American Museum of Natural History 9.
The American Museum of Natural History is one of New York City’s top museums for family outings since it offers something for everyone to enjoy. All the fascinating aspects of our planet’s natural environment are displayed in eight permanent exhibit rooms, including science, the environment, animals, and fossils.
The museum additionally hosts temporary special exhibitions. A shark display showcasing models of these incredible creatures that you can actually touch is among the current exhibits that are highly recommended. The rare 22-carat Okavango Blue Diamond is another eye-catching showcase.
A walk to the Butterfly Conservatory is a must-do experience no matter where you go. 500 fluttering butterflies will share the space with you inside this warm, humid, climate-controlled building.
Postal Code: 200 Central Park West, New York, N.Y.
Site of origin: https://www.amnh.org
Time Square 10.
The place to be in New York at night, Times Square is lined with enormous, brilliantly lighted billboards and screens, but it’s fascinating any time of day. The renowned “ball drop” at midnight takes place here as part of New Year’s Eve festivities in New York, and the square and nearby streets are crowded with revellers.
Times Square is constantly busy and packed, but it has a special charm all its own. A fantastic area to pause and take in the panorama are the bleachers that are built up at one end.
Times Square, formerly known as Longacre Square, was renamed in 1904 in honour of the New York Times tower. The newspaper was the first of its kind in the world to display the most recent headlines along a moving sign in 1928.
Visit the Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum if you’re searching for something entertaining to do as a group or as a pair after you’ve got your fill of sitting on the bleachers. The uncannily accurate wax sculptures depict New York City icons like Jimmy Fallon and The Tonight Show set, Broadway performers, and events where you can dress up and take part. A glass dome on the structure extends over Times Square, providing stunning vistas.
Location: 7th Avenue and Broadway, New York, New York
Visit the official website at timessquarenyc.org.
Brooklyn Bridge 11.
The Brooklyn Bridge, one of the city’s most famous sights with its Gothic-shaped arches and suspension cables, has served as an inspiration to countless poets, musicians, and artists throughout the years. The first steel suspension bridge ever built, this historic bridge spans the East River from Manhattan to Brooklyn. It was finished in 1883.
The Brooklyn Bridge is visible from several boats and the east side of Manhattan, but walking across it for an hour is the greatest way to appreciate this landmark. Only walkers and bicycles have access to the wood-plank walkway that runs above the lanes of traffic. If you don’t feel like trekking all the way, at least make it to the first pillar, where there is a viewing platform from which you may get a close-up look of one of the granite towers.
Beautiful views of Manhattan, the East River, and the Statue of Liberty may be seen from the bridge. Another option is to bike over the bridge, but on busy days cycling might be slow and difficult due to the strong pedestrian traffic. Be advised that the bridge’s entrance is located quite a distance from the water.
Read more: Brooklyn’s Top Attractions for Visitors & Things to Do
12. Fifth Street
Fifth Avenue is New York’s finest shopping district and one of the most well-known shopping avenues in the country. Here, many renowned designers have their flagship businesses. This upscale route is lined with luxury stores including Cartier, Tiffany, Bergdorf-Goodman, the renowned Apple Store Fifth Avenue, Saks Fifth Avenue, and many more.
Even people who don’t shop can enjoy a stroll down Fifth Avenue. The ideal region is between 60th Street and 40th Street, or roughly from the south end of Central Park to the New York Public Library.
Grand Central Station
Grand Central Terminal, also known as Grand Central Station, is a magnificent Beaux Arts structure that is absolutely worth visiting to see this well-known monument. As a hub for railroad and subway stations, the structure debuted in 1913.
Some of the primary characteristics on the outside include the statuary on top and the 42nd Street colonnaded faces. You can pause on the Grand Staircase inside to take in the view of the concourse. Here, a celestial scene is depicted on the wonderfully repaired ceiling. Inside, there is a wide variety of dining options and shopping stores.
Grand Central Terminal’s website is the official one.
Lincoln Center, 14.
It’s likely that your plans will include spending the evening at the Lincoln Center if you intend to attend a performance of a performing art, such ballet, the symphony, or opera. Dreams of appearing on one of the 30 indoor and outdoor stages scattered throughout the centre are held by musicians, dancers, and artists of all kinds.
Since the New York City Ballet, New York Philharmonic, Metropolitan Opera, Juilliard School of Music, Lincoln Center Theater, and Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra are all housed at the Lincoln Center, it’s practically a guarantee that an event will be happening while you’re in town.
Every day, Film at Lincoln Center presents cutting-edge films in addition to live acts.
In New York, New York, at 70 Lincoln Center Plaza
Lincoln Center at Home’s official website is at https://www.lincolncenter.org/.
One World Observatory 15.
One World Observatory is an observation deck located on floors 100, 101, and 102 of the brand-new One World Trade Center building. It offers breathtaking views of the city from these 1,776-foot-high vantage points. One of the attractions is the elevator to the top. The surrounding panels portray New York’s evolution over time, from a rural setting to the modern metropolis, as you ascend.
This glass building is a distinctive structure on the Manhattan skyline with angles that give it a highly distinctive appearance. It is visible from all over the city. The tower appears pyramidal when viewed straight up from a position near the base.
A NYC One World Observatory Skip-the-Line Ticket can help you save time if you want to go up and take in the view, but you will still need to go through security.
Address: 285 Fulton Street, One World Trade Center, New York, NY
Authentic website: oneworldobservatory.com
The Frick Collection, 16.
When it comes to New York City museums, the Frick Collection comes out on top in terms of ambiance. Henry Clay Frick, who had the home constructed to house his art collection in the early 1900s, gave both the building and the original collection.
The artwork is tastefully arranged in sixteen galleries and consists of a variety of paintings, china, and furniture. There are pieces by Monet, Rembrandt, Bellini, El Greco, and numerous other well-known artists on display.
The collections are organised more randomly for entertainment purposes rather than according to time era, artist, or country. A lovely covered Garden Court with tropical plants and a central pond is surrounded by rooms.
Place of business: 1 East 70th Street, New York, N.Y.
frick.org is the official website.
New York Public Library 17.
The main branch of the New York Public Library was created in the Beaux Arts style by architects Carrere & Hastings. The library is a well-known local landmark with stunning interiors that has been in several films and television programmes throughout the years.
Although it is sometimes referred to as the main branch, the Stephen A. Schwarzman building is its official name. It was well received when it debuted in 1911. A massive library with two city blocks of the Main Reading Room and 10,000 current magazines in the Periodicals Room. To put it mildly, the collection here is enormous.
Location: in New York, New York, at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street
www.nypl.org/locations/schwarzman is the official website.
Wall Street 18.
The well-known Wall Street stretches eight city blocks from Broadway to South Street. Some of the most significant exchanges in the world are located on this street and in the neighbourhood, including the New York Stock Exchange, the NASDAQ, and the New York Mercantile Exchange.
The majestic Federal Hall and Trinity Church are both close. On Broadway, look for the Charging Bull statue, which is made of bronze. One of the most well-liked tourist destinations in the Financial District, it makes for a great photo opportunity.
Radio City Music Hall 19.
Radio City Music Hall, a well-known entertainment venue and recognised city landmark, is located beneath Rockefeller Center. The Rockettes’ home theatre, an Art Deco structure built in 1932, shows movies and musical extravaganzas.
The Rockefellers constructed and funded the structure in the 1930s, and it at the time housed the biggest indoor theatre in the entire globe. Today, significant events like the Grammy Awards and the Tony Awards are routinely held at the arena. Its large marquee is unmistakable since it wraps around the structure and extends down the street.
Place of business: 1260 6th Avenue, New York, N.Y.
www.msg.com/radio-city-music-hall is the official website.
St. Patrick’s Cathedral, number 20
With its enormous bronze doors, white marble exterior, 330-foot spires, the Great Organ, rose window, bronze baldachin, 2,400 seating capacity, and the Pieta statue by the Lady Chapel, St. Patrick’s Cathedral is one of New York’s best examples of Gothic Revival architecture. The cathedral draws millions of visitors every year from both tourists and believers.
The structure was constructed in 1879 and has undergone rigorous preservation and upkeep ever since, including a $200 million makeover that was finished in 2016.
Location: in New York, New York, on 5th Avenue between 50th and 51st Streets
Visit the official website at saintpatrickscathedral.org.