Visit The American Museum Of Natural History
TripSavvy /;Brakethrough Media
Among New York’s gargantuan museums, the American Museum of Natural History is one of the best sights in New York. The museum’s 45 exhibition halls span four city blocks and hold more than 30 million artifacts. One of the museum’s best-known treasures is a;94-foot-long, 21,000-pound fiberglass model of a giant blue whale.
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.
Be Wowed By The Vessel
The Vessel at Hudson Yards is a remarkable work of art that gives wannabe photographers their perfect Instagram worthy shot. If you are looking for fun things to do in New York City then make sure to add this to your list.
Surrounded by eye-catching skyscrapers, this art installation takes you up a spiral staircase of 2500 steps for views of the Hudson River and mid-town. This was by far one of the best things to photograph in New York as it is so unique.
- Entrance is free, but you must book a timed slot at the kiosks on sight. We suggest getting there early so you dont have to wait around.
- Cost: Free or you can do as we did and pay $10 to go inside anytime. Purchase tickets at the kiosks beside The Vessel. You can also book up to two weeks advance online at their Website
- Your New York Pass gives you a Free Tours of the Hudson Yards and vessel.
- Google Maps: The Shops at Hudson Yards
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First Street Garden One Of The Most Incredible Free Places To Go To In New York
- No entrance charge
- Striking murals and street art
- Dedicated to influential and inspirational women
- Peaceful and quiet vibe
Why its awesome: First Street Garden is a beautiful and thought-inspiring community garden in New Yorks Lower East Side. Theres no charge to enjoy the garden when its open and, even if the gate is locked, you can still admire the interesting artwork through the railings. Established as a garden in the 1980s, striking murals were painted on the walls. What makes these art pieces different to many other artworks, however, is that they all honour influential women who made a difference in America.
What to do there: If the garden is open you can sit on a bench and enjoy the serene ambience, perhaps losing yourself in a good book for a while and enjoying respite from the chaotic city streets. Take time to appreciate the diverse paintings and pay your respects to the strong ladies from throughout Americas history. Its one of the top places in New York to experience the beat spirit.
Youll see people like Rosa Parks, the famous female activist who contributed to the civil rights movement in the United States of America, Dorothy Day, a social justice fighter and journalist, Shirley Chisholm, the first black lady to be elected into the US Congress, Sojourner Truth, a staunch womens rights advocate and abolitionist, and Susan B. Anthony, a womens rights activist who played a major role in the suffragette movement.
Brooklyn Granges Rooftop Farms
A natural space with a cosmopolitan edge, Brooklyn Granges Rooftop Farms offer visitors the best of two worlds. Operating on two rooftops in Brooklyn and Queens, Brooklyn Grange grows over 50,000 pounds of organic produce each year while also hosting creative cooking workshops, hands-on group dinners, and evening yoga classes.
Various locations +1 347 670-3660
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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.
Greenwich Village One Of The Nicer Places In New York To Sightsee
- A former haven for artists and an area known for its Bohemian vibe
- See the Washington Square Arch and other interesting pieces of architecture
- Vibrant performing arts scene
- Diverse and inclusive neighbourhood
Why its awesome: Greenwich Village is a bustling neighbourhood in Lower Manhattan. In contrast to the rest of the city, you wont find soaring skyscrapers here; instead, youll find leafy residential areas, tree-lined streets, pretty parks, and several olde-worlde buildings. Known as the citys Bohemian heart in times gone by, the area gave birth to several counterculture movements and was also home to the citys gay movement.
In earlier times the area was home to New Yorks first prison. It also boasts the citys longest-running off-Broadway theatre. Each year, Greenwich Village hosts the biggest Halloween Parade in the world. There are many interesting landmarks throughout the area and plenty of establishments where you can eat, drink, shop, and have fun.
What to do there: Walk around Greenwich Village and youll likely notice that, unlike many other parts of the city, streets have names rather than numbers. See major landmarks, such as the Church of St. Luke in the Fields, Isaacs-Hendricks House , the eye-catching Greek revival homes, the Cherry Lane Theatre, the Hotel Albert, the Tenth Street Studio Building, and the old Jefferson Market Courthouse.
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How To Save The Most Money In New York City
We used the New York Pass to see all the top New York City Attractions. A three-day pass cost $199 USD. It pretty much gives you access to all of the top things to do in New York, including tours.
It also includes the hop on hop off bus if you want to get a lay of the land and see the city, plus you can catch it from one area to another at no extra cost. However, we found the subway to be faster.
But if you are not used to using city metros, the tourist bus is the best option.
We liked having the New York Pass because we went into places that we otherwise wouldnt have checked out. And they ended up being great experiences.
- The app helps you:
- offers discounts to shows, tours, and dining experiences
- and is updated daily with new ideas and hot deals
We found it to be worth the money for what we did. But make sure you are actually going to do a lot in New York City because you could buy it and not end up using $199 worth of experiences.
If you are only planning on seeing one or two sites, we suggest purchasing tickets one at a time. Or looking into just a one day pass. Buy Your New York Pass Here
Indulge In Pasta In Little Italy
I dont think there is a cooler Italian area anywhere in the world . This is a part of the city that has somewhat kept its heritage. Buildings are decorated with white and green stripes and even the garland hanging over the streets are in Italys colors of red, white and green.
Some eateries have been around since the 1800s and so far, Little Italy has survived gentrification . So go in for a bite to eat and follow in the footsteps of NYCs most famous Italians.
- The best way to experience this area is through food. Book a food tour to truly immerse in Little Italys culture.
- Directions: A Good Start is on Mulberry Street and Canal Street
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Pay Respects At Ground Zero 9/11 Memorial
Two reflecting ponds now live where each building once stood to commemorate the victims and heros of that day. Instead of using the property to rebuild new tours, the city of New York created a mammoth memorial.
The memorial is free to visit since it is an outdoor memorial open 24/7. That said, there is a museum and souvenir stand which generate revenue to support the memorial.
While you are there, definitely walk through the Oculus at the World Trade Center PATH station which connects 12 subway lines and is honestly one of the most beautiful subway stations on Earth. The station, according to NY Port Authority, serves over a million people every week.
The station even has its own specially built crane named Big Red to reach the taller points of the atrium when construction, or light bulb replacing, needs call for its help!
Take In The Manhattan Skyline From Brooklyn
When you get across the Brooklyn Bridge, spend a morning or afternoon on the waterfront of the East River in Brooklyn.
There are plenty of things to see here, including iconic views across the East River of the Manhattan Skyline from DUMBO and The Brooklyn Bridge Park.
You can wander around the cool neighborhood of Brooklyn Heights, head out to Coney Island, grab a slice of Pizza at the famous Grimaldis pizzeria and stroll along the waterfront admiring the shops, cafés, and Janes carousel.
Brooklyn is really a neighborhood and attraction unto itself that deserves more than a few hours, but if you are visiting New York for the first time, this is a great introduction.
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Free Things To Do In New York City
New York is a city-break dream with its endless supply of neighbourhoods, attractions, museums, shopping districts and more to explore. Sometimes though, visiting New York can be expensive, but if you know where to look, you can find dozens of amazing free things to do and enjoy throughout the city. To help you plan a New York trip on a budget, here are our top 20 free things to do in New York City.
Visit The Empire State Building
Probably one of the most famous skyscrapers in the world, seeing the Empire State Building is pretty hard to miss.;
You see, the Empire State Building actually dominates Midtown and is easy to visit.;
If you fancy, head to the top of the Empire State Building which has some great views across the city. Just like the Top of the Rock, its a perfect place to see the city from above.;
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City Hall Subway Station
The stunning City Hall subway station was the backdrop for the opening of the New York City subway back in 1904. City Hall station was designed as a showpiece by IRT architects like Heins & LaFarge. Besides this, the construction has Spanish details from the architect and builder Rafael Guastavino, with the vaulted tiled ceilings. Theres a bronze plaque that celebrates the first subway ride made by Gutzon Borglum, the sculptor of Mount Rushmore.
The problems arrived when in 1945 the new cars could no longer fit in the curved tracks, so the only solution was to shut down the station. You can visit the abandoned City Hall station through the New York City Transit Museum. Or, you can see a little of it if you stay on the downtown 6 train after it leaves the Brooklyn Bridge station, when it turns around through the City Hall station to head back uptown.
Greenwich Village Soho And West Village
While youre here, you have to take some time out for local New York.
These three neighborhoods Greenwich Village, SoHo, and West Village are brimming with life and allow you to experience the real city, the way us locals do every day. Its the energy of these neighborhoods that really make New York the amazing city that it is.
While time may be limited, and you may not get a chance to visit all three, definitely make sure to include at least one in your trip. Go shopping in SoHo, catch a comedy show in Greenwich, or grab a bite in the West Village. Each is fun in in its own way, and experiencing local culture is a necessary part of any good vacation.
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George Eastman House And The International Museum Of Photography And Film
The 50-room George Eastman mansion was completed in 1905 and originally included a stable, garage, barn, five greenhouses, and many gardens. Located in Rochester, the house has been restored to its appearance in the early 1900s, with photographs made by Eastman, as well as letters and notes that assisted in the restoration.
The outstanding International Museum of Photography and Film is located on the grounds and will be of interest to anyone with a passion for photography. The museum also showcases a number of traveling exhibits and movies on a regular basis. Be sure to check their website to see what’s coming up.
Address: 900 East Avenue, Rochester, New York
Chinatown Manhattan A Must
- One of the oldest Chinatowns in the city
- Interesting architecture and temples
- Lots of eating joints
- Evocative atmosphere
Why its awesome: Manhattans Chinatown provides a glimpse into a different world. The rich history, heritage, culture, and traditions blend to create an enchanting and captivating place.; Its a top place to try an assortment of mouth-watering Chinese fare and pick up unusual items such as herbal remedies, amulets, and stress relievers. Museums, temples, and statues add to the areas appeal, and youll find massage parlours, reflexology shops, palmists, tarot card readers, and more.
What to do there: Wander along Chinatowns narrow, busy lanes to see a different side to the Big Apple. Learn more about the Chinese diaspora at the Museum of Chinese in America and absorb the spiritual air in the Mahayana Buddhist Temple. Call into a tea house for a quick pick me up and browse in stores that sell everything from traditional Chinese remedies, lucky amulets, and a wide selection of loose teas to trinkets, cheap electronics, gold, and imported ingredients.
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Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant
Just think of it: the chutzpah of opening in 1913 as a vast 440-seat seafood restaurant in the belly of New Yorks Grand Central Terminal. Its gorgeous arched-tiled ceiling was done by Rafael Guastavino, who also did Ellis Island, and theres a curving counter and window service for the wonderful oyster roasts.
Since the kitchen has such clout in the seafood market, whatevers best and freshest that morning is added to the menu in season20 varieties of oysters, soft-shell crabs, shad roe, bay scallops, abalonealong with daily specials. The wine list, properly geared to whites, is very carefully chosen to pair with the food here. The waiters can be on the brusque but not rude side of hospitality, but theyll ask the kitchen to make anything you want if they have it.
Theres always a mad rush here, with commuters dashing for trains, hungry business people from the surrounding area, tourists, all converging here before lunch to get a table position. Their orders continue into the evening hours as the noise bounces off the tiles and the trains rumble above and below them.
Getting Around New York City
The best way to get around New York is by using the Subway.
The New York Pass includes the Hop on Hop off Bus, but we find this a waste of time.
Getting on the subway is fast and efficient and its very reasonable. Just get yourself a metro pass card at the machines and fill it up with some cash. Its easy to refill, so you can start out with the $9 that comes preloaded. And then you are free to go around for $2.50 per ride.
One of our favorite things to do in New York is to jump on the subway and get off at a stop we have never been to. Metro rides allow one free transfer within a 2 hour period, so you can pop into Grand Central on your way to anywhere and get back on without wasting a ride!
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Coney Island Easily One Of The Most Fun Places To Check Out In New York
- Family-friendly destination
- Ethnic diversity
- Various rides and attractions
Why its awesome: The seaside Coney Island was once the biggest amusement area in the USA. Interestingly, the area was also responsible for several innovations and technological advances in the past, including baby incubators. Although Coney Island went into decline for a period it is again today a thriving area for fun. There are rollercoasters and other rides, sideshows, carnival-like games, movies, a museum, and more. Coney Island was once the best places to go in New York for young couples and families, it still holds some charm.
What to do there: Wander along Coney Island boardwalk and marvel at the huge array of activities and attractions, with all the sights, sounds, smells, and shrieks of excitement of the fair. Bask in the sunshine on the beach and take a refreshing dip in the sea. Play beach volleyball, build a sandcastle, and feast on tempting street food. The hotdogs are especially popular. If the heat gets too much, how about a spot of ice skating?
Feel a rush of adrenaline on rides like Thunderbolt Roller Coaster and Coney Island Cyclone, enjoy great views atop Denos Wonder Wheel, challenge your friends on the bumper cars, and feel a sense of nostalgia as you sail around on the carousel. Brave the parachute jump, watch movies on the beach, explore the underwater world at the aquarium, and learn more about the area at Coney Island Museum.