Best Things To Do In Nyc On Your First Visit
We created a list of top things to do in NYC that you shouldnt miss while visiting this ever-growing city. Some are super touristy , like the Top of the Rock and the MET, but some are hidden gems, like an amazing Greenwich Village Food Tour and an off-the-beaten path graffiti neighborhood in Brooklyn.
Whether its your first time in New York or you already have your favorite pizza place, this guide is for you!
New York City is full of things to do. You could literally spend a lifetime in this city and do something different each day. With so much to see, it can be overwhelming trying to plan a trip to this beast of a city.
Resist the urge to dive into the depths of the Internet where youll only wind up confused with big bags under your eyes.
We have you covered with everything you need to know to plan the perfect trip to New York City. Grab a cup of coffee, a pen and stay for a while.
If its your first time in NYC weve rounded up a list of the top sights as well as some hidden gems. Were also sharing some cant-miss NYC foods and where to try them, because FOOD = LIFE. Plus, were including the costs of each activity because, well, the Big Apple aint cheap and its nice to know how much money to expect to budget.
Whether youre traveling on a budget or with luxurious taste, this is the ultimate list of things to do in New York City.
Can I Get An Apartment In New York For The Weekend
NYC is one of those places where accommodation is no problem, but its important to try and book in advance because of how popular the city is. From bachelor flats to palatial apartments, you can take your pick for a weekend away. Besides conventional booking sites, theres also Airbnb where you can find some great options that wont break the bank!
Using The New York Citypass
A New York CityPass will give you discounts to a lot of attractions. Most passes also come with access to transportation.
The New York CityPass includes entrance to the Empire State Building, the American Museum of Natural History, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Top of the Rock Observation Deck or Guggenheim Museum the Statue of Liberty or Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises, the 9/11 Memorial & Museum or Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum.
You can get your passhereorhere. Dont forget you need to book each attraction separately.
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Get Dazzled At Times Square
If you didnt visit Times Square, were you even in New York City? Manhattans vibrant square may be full of tourists but that doesnt mean you skip one of the most iconic views in the world. Times Square has a magic to it. Its a perfect reflection of the citys eclectic culture. After all, New York is the city that never sleeps and that can be seen here. Come any day at any time you will never be alone! Seeing Times Square at night is a clear must do in New York City. Thats when the lights will dazzle you.
Watch A Famous Broadway Show
Broadway is the bright beating heart of NYCs performing arts scene. Watching a Broadway show is an experience like no other, fun guaranteed. There is no better place in the world to watch worldwide famous musicals, such as Aladdin, The Phantom of the Opera, The Lion King, Wicked, The Book of Mormon, Jersey Boys, and many more!
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Dance The Night Away At Midtowns New 11000
Nightlife is returning to Midtownin the form of the biggest club opening in NY since the start of the pandemic! You will have to venture to Times Square, but it may be worth it for the new intergalactic venue: Nebula. The brand new, multi-level club at 135 W. 41st St. will officially open Friday, Nov. 5, with a 700-person capacity, including a 5,500-square-foot dance floor, 2,500-square-foot mezzanine level and 3,000-square-foot lower level with three private club rooms dedicated to private groups. Read more here.
The Landmark Cruise: Circle Line Sightseeing
If you’ve only got a short time in NYC, then you’ll probably want to consider a sightseeing cruise. This Landmarks Cruise with Circle Line Sightseeing is a fun, comprehensive option. This tour includes landmarks located around Manhattan’s shores south of Hell’s Kitchen on the Hudson and around Lower Manhattan up to around the 20th Street Level on the East River.
So, some of the places you’ll see include the Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, the High Line, One World Trade Center, the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, DUMBO, the Brooklyn Bridge, and many more.
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Recover A Priceless Painting In 60 Minutes Or Less
Challenge your friends to solve an art heist in this escape room! Located in Manhattan, The Escape Game will immerse you and your friends in a one of a kind adventure. Can you escape in time?
Solve a series of puzzles and riddles using clues, hints, and strategies to complete the objectives at hand. Get out of the room on time and earn your freedom. You have 60 minutes max, so be quick!
Metropolitan Museum Of Art
New York is chock-full of fascinating and historical museums, but the Metropolitan Museum of Art manages to stand out among the others.
Its the largest art museum in the United States and among the top visited museums in the world. The permanent collection alone has over 2 million works. Its halls are filled to the brim with art and culture, so you can spend a day here and not see it all .
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is also conveniently located at Central Park, so its near another must-visit attraction on this list.
Guide tip: The Met entrance fee is pay-what-you-will, so it wont break your budget.
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Check Out A Speak Easy
Stay in NYC long enough and you may start to believe that prohibition is still alive and strong. Why? Because there are speakeasies all around the city which is part of the charm.
There is a myriad of different choices from La Esquina in Soho to Blind Barber in Alphabet City. Check out our list of this years top speak easies.
Best Things To Do In Manhattan New York
New York is one incredible place to visit, especially with all the cool areas of the city to explore. This is no truer than with Manhattan, one of the five boroughs that make up the big apple.
With some of the best things to do in New York, Manhattan has a shed load of things to explore. Now, if its your first time to the city, youll likely be rushed off your feet when going around exploring all the different areas and sites that are dotted all across the neighbourhoods.
That being said, youll probably spend a lot of time in Manhattan, too. After all, its where all the big-hitting and globally famous spots like the Top Of The Rock, Time Square, Central Park and lots of museums are located. Now, one thing to remember, although Manhattan is only one of the five boroughs, it will still take you months to see it all.
This is exactly why I wanted to share some of the best things to do in Manhattan on your next trip to the big smoke. After all, youll want to make the most of your time in New York City and have the best time.
With that in mind, take a look at some of the best things to do in Manhattan on your next trip to New York. Have fun in the Big Apple!
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Be Entertained On The Ride
Climb on board this interactive bus for a show-stopping evening of revelry and entertainment. Combine sightseeing with live shows as you tour the streets, and enjoy front row seats thanks to the panoramic windows.
Sit back and relax as comedians, dancers, and singers all vie for your attention. Want to show off your own talents? Then join in the onboard karaoke for a light-hearted sing-off.
Watch A Broadway Show
Another absolute must-do in New York is watching a show in New Yorks famed theater district. Broadway represents New York like Times Square or the Empire State Building. While some classic shows like Phantom of the Opera, Lion King, Aladdin or Wicked have been performed for several years and even decades, every year NYC welcomes numerous new shows. Some of the best Broadway shows in recent years are Hamilton, Dear Evan Hansen, Frozen, Hadestown and Come From Away. With the abundance of Broadway Shows in New York, there is a show for every taste.
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What Should I Pack For A Weekend In New York
New York follows the seasons like a champ so pack for the weather youre going to get. In winter, youll be needing a super warm coat and shoes, as well as enough clothes to layer for the weekend. In summer, it gets exceedingly warm so dress lightly and have enough clothes to change if you need to, and dont forget to pack your sunglasses! Its also a great idea to bring a blanket or towel with you for any picnics you might have. In general, youll always need a pair of excellent walking shoes and an umbrella on the off chance you get caught in the rain!
Visit The 9/11 Memorial + Museum
Located in a simple, spacious wide-open plaza in Lower Manhattan, this memorial to the lost lives of 9/11 is an essential feature of New York City. The memorial is free to visit.
The National September 11th Museum, which covers the tragic events of 9/11 through artifacts, documents, and films, does have a cost.
TIP: Admission to the 9/11 Museum is included with some 9/11 Memorial tours, and it’s also available with some tourist passes.
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Finger Lakes Wine Country
Wine lovers rejoice well, I was anyway!
With more than a 100 wineries, distilleries, and breweries, around Seneca, Cayuga, and Keuka Lakes, this region is a haven for wine aficionados.
They specialize in Riesling and Gewurztraminer wines. While there are tons of tours to choose from, we recommend the Seneca Lake Wine Trail and a wine cruise along the Cayuga Lake where you can visit a few of the 26 wineries that are on the banks.
Its an amazing experience, just make sure to have a designated driver to hand. No one likes a drunken driver.
Head Up To The One World Observatory
The One World Observatory, also known as the Freedom Tower, sits on the site of the World Trade Center that was destroyed on September 11, 2001.
This massive tower in Lower Manhattan is the tallest building in the U.S. and the Western Hemisphere. The impressive building is home to some of the fastest elevators in the world and there is enough technology to keep everyone in awe.
One of the coolest features is a 14-foot wide glass disc made of HD screens that projects a video of the streets 100 stories below using real-time footage. So you will get the thrill of walking on a skywalk, without actually having to actually walk on one!
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Traveler Resources: Extra Ways To Save Money & Get A Great Deal In New York
- If youre planning on hitting a few of the attractions listed above, the New York Attraction Passes are a great way to save money!
- Grouponhave awesome local deals for New York and is updated all the time from massages and beauty treatments to dining deals and money off things to do. Check out their local deals and see where you can save some cash on things you already planned to do!
- Tour search engine Viatoroffers affordable organized tours to see different parts of New York
- TicketNetwork list the best events going on in New York see if there is anything special on during your trip!
And thats a wrap folks! We hope you have some great ideas for what to do in New York City, along with a few ideas to get off the tourist trail and explore the city like a local. Whatever you do on your visit to NYC, Im sure youll have a great time exploring, New York is an incredible place, and with so much to do there, you know there will always be something new for you to see on every trip!
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Radio City Music Hall
Part of the Rockefeller Center is this iconic Art Deco live entertainment venue that opened in 1932, hosting major concerts, awards ceremonies and live broadcasts of TV shows.
From the outside the Radio City Music Hall is unmistakeable for its long marquee sign on the corner of 6th Avenue and 50th street, and the seven-storey signs on 6th Avenue.
It might be enough to stop by and grab a photo of these signs, but if you want to walk the halls of the Showplace of the Nation the Madison Square Garden Group gives tours, revealing the history of the famed Great Stage, getting you up close to exquisite Art Deco details and maybe giving you a chance to meet a member of the resident dance troupe, the Rockettes.
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Is New York Safe For A Weekend Trip
New York is considered to be one of the safest large metropoles in the USA with crime rates lower than the national average! However, petty theft and pick-pocketing does occur. Keep an eye on your belongings, especially on crowded midtown streets and packed subways. Try not to carry too much cash with you and be aware of your surroundings
And have you thought about getting Travel Insurance for your trip? Weve put together a roundup of Travel Insurance for backpackers check it out here, or if youre low on time, get a quote from World Nomads, our favorite travel insurance provider.
See The New Whitney Museum Of American Art
Set in one of the most exciting new buildings in Manhattan in decades, the Whitney’s Renzo Piano-designed building opened in 2015 to many accolades. The museum’s collect spans six floors and 50,000 square feet of indoor gallery space, all dedicated to American artists across centuries. In addition to the expansive galleries, outdoor space showcases more art as well as offering views of the Hudson River, lower Manhattan, and the surrounding Meatpacking District.
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New York City Helicopter Tours
The cold weather is a great time to take to the Manhattan skies for an exciting New York City Helicopter Tour! Enjoy spectacular aerial views of Manhattan, including the Statue of Liberty, Wall Street, 9-11 Memorial, World Trade Center and Ellis Island. If your tour heads uptown, Central Park and Yankee Stadium are must-sees!
I LOVED my tourcheck out some of my photos and review at New York City Helicopter Tour.
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Eat Like A New Yorker
What else is a must-do in New York City? Eating like a real New Yorker! New York is not only famous for its international cuisine but also for certain foods. NYC prides itself on having the best bagels, pizza, cheesecake, pastrami, Italian ice and well, basically everything. A fun way to explore New Yorks food scene is by taking a food tour. Pizza tours are the most popular ones.
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Meet Your Heroes At Madame Tussauds
Rub shoulders with the Hulk and snap photos with George Washington as you explore this mind-boggling waxwork world. Nowhere else would politicians and popstars stand side by side with Spiderman and the Kardashians.
Stroll down the runway at fashion week and take center stage in a Broadway show just all in a days work at Madame Tussauds.
South Street Ferry Statue Of Liberty Ferry
The Staten Island, or South Street, ferry is a great way to get a sweet look at Downtown Manhattan, and even a nice peak at the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. The ferry takes about 25 minutes each way, and costs you the price of a Metro Card swipe. So, basically, the South Street Ferry is the most budget friendly way to watch great views of southern Manhattan. As such we think its one of the main attractions in New York City for those traveling on a budget.
If you want to do a full on tour of Liberty Island and Ellis Island you will have to commit to taking a much longer trip on the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Ferry. Tickets for this amazing trip costs around $24.50 for adults, and is totally worth it, especially if you have the time and the weather is nice.
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