The Top 3841 Things To Do In Nyc
So I didnt have enough time to include everything on this list. A lineup of 12 attractions is manageable as a place to start. But this is New York City, and theres a lot more to take in here another 3,829 amazing experiences beyond the dozen listed here.
From Hudson Yards to Saint Patricks Cathedral, wed love to show you around our city. We can share some of these top attractions plus unique insights from a locals perspective. Just because youre in the big city doesnt mean you shouldnt get an insiders view of these iconic sights. See you in NYC!
Awesome Things To Do In Lower Manhattan
Visiting all 18 places on this list is going to be time consuming! To hit all of the Lower Manhattan highlights, we recommend planning for 2 full days of exploring.
The best part of discovering Lower Manhattan? Many of the best things to do are free!
The Statue of Liberty, 9/11 memorial and Brooklyn Bridge are our three unmissable highlights if you have less time on your New York City itinerary.
Here we go
Best Food In New York City
New York City is a mecca for food, and you can find just about anything imaginable in this metropolis. From food truck eats to fine dining, there are excellent options for every budget.
With so many fantastic options in New York City it would be a shame to wind up eating a meal thats just meh So were here to help you navigate the New York City food scene.
Were explaining where to find some of NYCs staple eats, like bagels and pizza, as well as some super fun foodie experiences in the Big Apple.
Good to know: If you are celiac, weve got good news: New York City has tons of options for you. Check out this Gluten-Free guide to NYC.
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Visit St Patricks Cathedral
St. Pats, as it is commonly referred to by locals, is the largest Catholic cathedral in America.
Its neo-gothic style is stunning and it is free to enter and admire. You can also attend services there.
Our post on visiting St. Patrick’s Cathedral explains how to visit for free and also how you can take an official guided tour.
Best Things To Do In New York City
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New York is so big and so diverse a place that you could live here four lifetimes and not experience all the amazing things the city has to offer. Even figuring out where to start your NYC trip is a daunting task. But we want to help you cut down the impossibly long list of ways to spend your day. Whether you’re a local realizing you’ve yet to fully explore the city’s parks and history, or an out-of-towner who doesn’t know the Met from the MoMA, these quintessential stops will help you catch a glimpse of the city’s beating heart.
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See Shakespeare In The Park
You dont have to fork over a ton of money to see a great theater performance. Each year, the Public Theater hosts Shakespeare in the Park, a summer series at the open-air Delacorte Theater in Central Park. The series draws celebrity names, and offers the chance to score free tickets for each days performance through a lottery system.
Ride The Staten Island Ferry
The Staten Island Ferry is a great way to get close to the Statue of Liberty without the pricey ticket, making it one of the best free things to do in NYC. Grab a good viewing spot and take in the skyline from the water as the boat heads away from Battery Park. Once in Staten Island, check out the Empire Outlets, which opened earlier this year.
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Get Stuck Into A Book At The New York Public Library
Since its completion in 1911, the New York Public Library has become one of Manhattans most revered landmarks and is a popular tourist attraction for visitors, literary enthusiasts, bookworms, and locals to this day.
There are few places better equipped than this vast library covering everything from art and architecture to music, literature, and theater if youre looking to expand your mind or just get lost in a good book.
Youll find the main branch, the Stephen A. Schwarzman, in Bryant Park a hotspot for cultural events, outdoor cinema screenings, and annual winter wonderland.
Madame Tussauds New York
Located in the heart of Times Square and established in 2000, Madame Tussauds New York is the only place where you can get up close and personal to your favorite stars, or better to say, their wax figures. You can pose for photos with the worlds most famous musicians, movie stars, world leaders, sports legends, and other famous personalities. The museum occupies five stories with more than 85,000 square feet of space with interactive exhibits that include the Ghostbusters: Dimension hyper-reality experience and the Marvel Super Hero 4D Experience. The original Madame Tussauds wax exhibition was established in 1884 in London, and there are now Madame Tussauds museums in over 20 countries.
234 W 42nd St, New York, NY 10036, Phone: 212-512-9600
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The Top 18 Free And Totally Awesome Things To Do In Nyc From A Local
As a college kid in NYC, it was my goal to do as much as I could for free. Over 12 years later I can still say many of these free NYC attractions are my favorite places to visit! In this New York guide, I am covering 18 totally awesome and free things to do NYC, especially for New York first-timers!
First time in NYC? Check out these Travel Tips to Know Before Visiting NYC
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links where at NO additional charge to you I may receive a small commission.
Snap Your New Profile Pic At Top Of The Rock
While Freedom Tower and the Empire State Building certainly have their own claims to fame, millions of in-the-know locals would attest that if youre on the hunt for the best views in NYC, then look no further than Top of the Rock. Why? Because from there, your photos will INCLUDE the Empire State Building in the background, with unbelievable Central Park views in the other directions.
Located on top of Rockefeller Center , it is one of the essential things to do in Manhattan, offering some serious competition to its neighbors of The Rainbow Room and NBC Studios in terms of attracting tourists.
Read more about Top of the Rock tickets price.
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What Is The Best Family
Exploring New York with the family is huge fun – I myself have been to our favorite city with my kids numerous times. Among my personal highlights is a trip to the Statue of Liberty, the visit to the One World Observatory, and Central Park with its lakes and playgrounds. Also really exciting is the Museum of Natural History, which will be familiar to many from the movie “Night at the Museum”.
Go On A Hornblower Sightseeing Cruise Or Booze Cruise
Take a one hour See NYC sightseeing cruise to see the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge and many of New Yorks famous landmarks from the water.
The cruise offers a different perspective over Lower Manhattans skyline and includes live onboard narration.
If youre looking for a party, you can choose the New York Alive After Five cruise or even New York Rock the Yacht cruise. Watch Manhattan light up from a boozy boat out in the bay!
- Hornblower Cruises operate out of Pier 15.
- Find more information about tickets here.
Top-tip: Hornblower See NYC and Alive After Five cruises are included with the awesome New York CityPASS. Take a look at the CityPASS website to see if you can save on NYCs best attractions.
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Option #: Explore Lower Manhattan
Where the whole city began, Lower Manhattan boasts tons of history and a thriving entertainment scene. You should definitely take a visit to the Brooklyn Bridge, one of the oldest bridges in the United States. If you want to explore the different neighborhoods NYC has to offer, check out trendy areas of SoHo, Greenwich Village, and East Village.
Want to rest your feet for a bit? Head to Greenwich Village and relax in Washington Square Park. Theres always something happening here, so even if youre sitting youll still be entertained by musicians, street performers, and a host of other interesting characters. Such a beautiful and diverse area, its a wonderful place to grab a drink, shop, and explore.
Immerse Yourself In The Chaos Of Times Square
An overwhelming sensory experience of bright lights, billboards, and blocks of Broadway theaters, Times Square is a quintessential Manhattan landmark that acts as the epicenter to a long list of entertainment options.
The Hard Rock Cafe is always a great time M& M World will satisfy any sweet tooth, likewise Hersheys World across the road Shake Shack offers a quick milkshake and burger the multitude of souvenir shops will ensure you dont leave town empty-handed and, while cheesy and pestering for a tip, the costumed actors make for a funny memento.
If thats not enough, theres still the National Geographic Ocean Odyssey, Carolines on Broadway , and Ripleys.
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Watch The Commuter Rush At Grand Central Station
TripSavvy / Kelsea Watkins
The world’s largest railway station serves nearly a million commuter daily. And while it’s utilitarian in purpose, it’s also among the city’s most beautiful public spaces. The 12-story main concourse is modeled after a Roman public bath, albeit with shimmering chandeliers and a map of constellations painted on the ceiling. Befitting of such a grand station, Grand Central is home to many shops and dining options, too.
Turn A Few Pages At The Morgan Library & Museum
Found at Madison Avenue and 36th Street, one of the most famous private libraries in the world, The Morgan Library & Museum is home to an impressive collection of historic documents and manuscripts all under one roof.
Located on Madison Avenue with Grand Central Station, Times Square, and Central Park all within walking distance, its an easy addition to any day of exploring Midtown Manhattan.
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Things To Do With Kids
NYC is a city made for children, believe it or not! With so many kids living in NYC, there are loads of activities to enjoy for locals and visitors alike.
In the other sections of this post above, you’ll find other kid-friendly activities like bowling, going to an observation deck, and visiting the United Nations.
Below are activities that a kid-focused, but also fun for everyone in the family.
B Classic: Tour The Statue Of Liberty
If you want to get up close and personal with Lady Liberty, you might want to do the tour. You can combine this with Ellis Island too if you wish.
If you choose this option, you definitely want to get the New York CityPASS, as it is one of the included experiences. Avoid the touts, and head to the Statue Cruises terminal .
Cost: $18.50 per adult or free with the NYC CityPASS
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American Museum Of Natural History
Address: Central Park West & 79th St, New York, NY 10024
The American Museum of Natural History was founded in 1869 and has become one of the preeminent museums of natural history in the world. Museum exhibits include the famous fossils and dinosaur halls, earth and planetary, birds and reptiles, biodiversity and the environment and human origin and cultural halls.
The museum is open Wednesday to Sunday, 10am-5:30pm. Tickets must be purchased online in advance, so plan ahead. > > Book your tickets here
Soak Up Unique Architecture Inside And Outside Oculus
Oculus is a unique, fascinating and beautiful structure 12 years and US$ 4 billion in the making. Manhattan is filled with impressive buildings and towering skyscrapers, but nothing in the city looks like Oculus.
On the outside, it the structure resembles a brilliant white dove soaring through the sky. Inside, a surprisingly cavernous oval shaped hall opens up to reveal a bright and very white symmetrical interior.
Oculus is on our list of favorite NYC photography locations.
The building was designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava to allow as much natural light as possible inside in order to highlight the purity of white color.
Architecture aside, Oculus is in fact a major transport hub and sprawling underground shopping center. It joins with Westfield World Trade Center, which is home to the downtown location of Eataly a famous restaurant and market.
Oculus is free to enter and shops are open 11am-7pm.
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National Museum Of Mathematics
11 E 26th StNew York, NY 10010 542-0566
If you find Math to be scary or nerdy, this will give you a new perspective. This is one of those underrated places that has a great variety of kids stuff, waiting to be explored. It has a lot of exhibits demonstrating the value of math, science and technology in our everyday lives.
Theres also little wonders like square-wheeled tricycles and a range of quizzes and puzzles that will blow your mind. Theres also the option of painting on a digital canvas. So if youre not math-y but artsy, you will still enjoy this museum.
We couldnt skip this one and neither should you. It sounds a bit of an obvious choice but it really is among the fun things to do in NYC with kids. The observatory on the 102nd floor, for example, is an iconic piece of art in itself.
You get to go over 1,200 feet above New York and enjoy a panoramic view of the city. The whole family can get a good look at the Manhattan skyline without having to go there.
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Things To Do In Nyc In December
New York City is one of the most beautifully and skillfully decorated cities around Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Spending some time in December in New York is a great way to get into the holiday mood. Discover the Top Things To Do in NYC in December!
Things to do in NYC in December
New York City is one of the most fun cities in the world during the holiday season. The activities abound, the whole city gets decorated with holiday lights, Christmas decorations, and intricate window displays.
Spending holidays in NYC can get expensive, but there are SO MANY fun free things to do in New York City in December. And, that’s what this post is all about. Here is my list of Top 10 Things To Do in NYC during the winter holiday season:
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Russian And Turkish Baths
One of the most unusual suggestions I had was from travel writer Joshua Berman who recommended the Russian and Turkish Baths which has been making New Yorkers sweat together since 1892 its a full-on experience, well worth the $36 or so daily fee, and theres food, a bar, and a tiny rooftop when you need a breather.
Get Cultured At The Museum Of Modern Art
Regularly overflowing with quirky art, world-famous pieces, and impressive and thought-provoking rotating exhibitions, The Museum of Modern Art should sit high atop the NYC bucket list for anyone with an art fancy.
Impressively, the ever-growing collection now consists of almost 200,000 artworks, including film, paintings, sculpture, and more.
Hot tip: if pinching pennies, Friday Nights are free!
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Walk Across The Brooklyn Bridge
TripSavvy / Winifred Lao
A leading NYC landmark and the city’s most celebrated bridge, traversing the neo-Gothic span of the Brooklyn Bridge on foot has marked a New York rite of passage since it first debuted in 1883. Architecturally elegant, with twin arched towers and an artful web of suspension cables, the bridge not only proposes a practical means of connecting pedestrian traffic between Downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn, but it also presents exhilarating panoramas over both borough’s skylines, as well as out over New York Harbor and onto the East River.
One World Trade Center Observatory
Address: 285 Fulton St, New York, NY 10007
The tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, One World Trade Center is a symbolic 1,776 feet tall and is now a New York landmark in the heart of downtown. While it is primarily an office building, it also houses the One World Observatory.
When you visit One World Observatory, you start with an elevator ride that climbs 102 stories in 47 seconds. At the top, theres a magnificent view, multimedia and audiovisual presentations, the sky portal, which is a 14-foot wide circular glass disc that allows you to see 100-stories below. And theres a bar so you can cheers to the experience.
Tickets are $43 for adult standard admission, but there are many different packages to consider, some with VIP entry.
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