New York City never fails to amaze and delight visitors of all ages, often known as the Big Apple. Many people’s fantasies about seeing the city of skyscrapers were stoked by its appearance in films and books. Visiting New York City is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so why wait?
It has only been in the last few years that New York has become the most important economic and cultural center on the globe. You can only truly appreciate the city’s ambiance and way of life by going and experiencing it for yourself.
A Broadway show, a night out in Times Square, a stroll across the Brooklyn Bridge, Fifth Avenue shopping, or pretending to be a Wall Street broker are just a few unique experiences available only in New York City.
The number of people who visit New York City has climbed significantly during the previous several years. New York has benefited considerably from the low cost of flights and the high dollar value as a tourist destination. If you’re thinking about visiting the Big Apple in the near future, check out our list of our best places to visit in New York.
1. Statue of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty is among New York’s most famous icons because it symbolizes not only the USA but also the journey millions of immigrants took to come to our country in quest of a better life.
This 300-foot-tall copper statue, which France gave to the United States in 1886, has long been synonymous with freedom and democracy. It serves as a greeting sight for visitors to the city, as well as an informative and attractive one.
Battery Park offers daily ferries to Liberty and Ellis Islands, the latter of which has a beautiful museum tracing the history of American immigration and the more than 12 million individuals that arrived in the United States via this little station.
Consider taking the free Staten Island Ferry round trip for a quick look at the UNESCO World Heritage Site and Lady Liberty in the Harbor.
2. Brooklyn Bridge
One of New York City’s most iconic landmarks, the Brooklyn Bridge, has long been a popular location for tourists and locals to snap a few photos.
Since its construction in 1883, the Brooklyn–Lower Manhattan Suspension Bridge has been a popular tourist attraction and mode of transit for New Yorkers and visitors alike.
It’s a great place to see the Lower Manhattan skyline, but you can also get to Brooklyn’s DUMBO area, which has some of the most fantastic food and drink in the city, by strolling or cycling along this structure.
3. Rockefeller Center
Rockefeller Center is a must-see New York City landmark, despite the hordes of tourists.
Radio City Music Hall, the GE Building, art galleries, high-end shopping in the Concourse, and some of the fantastic restaurants in New York City are all located in this Midtown complex.
NBC Studios offers fascinating studio tours and accessible audience seats for tapings of popular television shows like Saturday Night Live!
During the winter months, the Center transforms into a winter wonderland, complete with its iconic ice skating rink and the Center’s bedazzled annual Christmas tree.
A visit to the Big Apple is not complete without it, including at least one Broadway musical, regardless of the length of your stay there. All New York’s most well-known and critically acclaimed musicals can be found clustered around this famous diagonal street in the heart of Midtown Manhattan. These musicals include the groundbreaking Hamilton, the side-splitting Book of Mormon, and long-running favorites such as Chicago, Phantom of the Opera, and Wicked.
Include Jersey Boys, Aladdin, Kinky Boots, Avenue Q, and the ever-current and satirical Newsical the Music, to name a tiny sliver of the available options, and you’ve got quite the collection to pick from!
5. Brookfield Place
Please make your way to Brookfield Place, an exclusive shopping and dining destination hidden away in Battery Park and overlooks the Hudson River and the cityscape of New Jersey beyond it.
After a long day, those who are looking for a place to grab a bite to eat can visit one of the many restaurants here, such as Le District, which is a food hall with a French-inspired theme, or Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill. Examples of luxury brands that can be found here include Gucci, Burberry, and Salvatore Ferragamo.
As it is only a short distance away from both the World Trade Center Memorial and Museum as well as Wall Street, it is a convenient stop that can be added to any itinerary for a day spent seeing Lower Manhattan.
6. 9-11 Memorial & Museum
The September 11 Memorial & Museum is one of New York’s must-see educational, historical, and architectural attractions because of its traumatic content but also because of its sheer strength, design, and execution.
Two waterfalls have been built at the site of a former Twin Tower in memory of those who perished on September 11, 2001.
There is an inside museum that sits just beyond the memorial. It is an astonishingly well-researched and heartbreaking collection that traces the events of September 11th through artifacts and displays from before, during, and after the terrorist attacks. It’s a harrowing experience that everyone should experience at least once in their lives.
7. Empire State Building
Empire State Building was the tallest building in the world when it was built before. Even now, at a mere 102 stories and 1,454 feet tall, it remains one of the top sites to visit in New York City for romantics, architecture enthusiasts, and history fanatics alike.
Aside from the fact that it’s a beautiful piece of art in and of itself, the view point offer spectacular views. On either the 86th or the 102nd level of the observation deck, you can see all five New York City boroughs (and Jersey, too) from various perspectives.
Even if you’re there for a short of time, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time in the bustling Midtown neighborhood of New York City.
8. Washington Square Park
People-watching, casual picnics, and a good old-fashioned game of chess are some popular activities at Washington Square Park, which is often bustling with NYU students, street performers, first daters, and tourists snapping photos of the famous Arc-de-Triomphe lookalike.
Even though the arch constructed in George Washington’s honor is undoubtedly the primary draw of the park, it also plays host to recurring events, such as Tai Chi in the Park. It is a popular stopping point for history-themed walking tours that pass through Greenwich, Noho, and Soho.
9. Manhattan Bridge
Even though it is overshadowed by its more well-known neighbor, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Manhattan Bridge continues to be a significant attraction; if for no other reason, it is notable because it offers a perspective of the Brooklyn Bridge.
This steel suspension bridge was first opened for traffic in 1909, and it now serves as a connection between Lower Manhattan and DUMBO in Brooklyn. Its total length is close to 7000 feet.
Don’t forget your camera when you take a walk or ride your bike down the pedestrian route for some of the most beautiful views of downtown New York City and the East River.
10. Times Square
Times Square, nicknamed the Intersection of the Universe, is one of the world’s most famous and busiest sites. From billboards to costumed characters, you’re in NYC.
First-timers may find it intimidating, but it’s also electric. This is the place to see a show or enjoy the sights and sounds.
TKTS has discounted last-minute Broadway tickets. Ripley’s Believe it, Madame Tussauds and M&Ms World, are among family-friendly attractions.
Jazz clubs (The Rum House is legendary) and underground theatre offer toe-tapping music and improv comedy.
The New Year’s Eve ball-drop, however tumultuous, is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Where delicious restaurants, fascinating museums, and modest boutiques meet, Chinatown is a bustling destination for both locals who need a filling lunch and tourists seeking a taste of another culture.
There are various things to see and do here that it’s a must-see for first-time visitors to New York City — especially those on a tight budget!
Walking (or riding) around the area’s old buildings, you’ll see signs and billboards in Mandarin, making it feel more like you’re in China than New York City. This is best appreciated by taking a local-led tour.
In addition, you can walk 10 minutes to Little Italy on Manhattan’s Lower East Side and be there in a flash.
12. Luna Park in Coney Island
New Yorkers had visited Coney Island since the late 1800s when the area was a revolving door of attractions, rides, and amusements.
Luna Park, New York City’s most famous amusement park, is situated at its heart.
In addition to more than 30 attractions, including a couple of heart-stopping roller coasters, this amusement park also features old-school arcades and typical carnie food selections.
You can ride the Cyclone, Zenobio, or Soarin’ Eagle roller coasters, or you can relax on the carousel and play a few midway games for a more laid-back experience.
The best part is that the park is entirely free to enter; you only have to pay for the rides and snacks you want to enjoy.
13. New York Aquarium
In 1896, the New York Aquarium on Coney Island’s famed boardwalk opened its doors to the public and had been delighting visitors of all ages ever since.
There are many marine creatures, fish, plants, and sea-themed displays to see as you travel along its various pathways. It’s all part of the thrill to touch tanks, walk through ocean tunnels, and see live feedings!
You may watch penguin shows, see the aquarium’s remarkable shark collection, learn about ocean conservation and the environment at Conservation Hall, or visit Ocean Wonders: Sharks! to see the aquarium’s various collection of different species of sharks and rays.
14. Central Park
More than a half-mile wide and 800 acres long, Central Park in New York City is the world’s most famous park, surrounded by skyscrapers on all sides (yep, even in winter, this natural oasis is stunning).
There are many options to choose (like the Central Park Zoo and Turtle Lake), but a simple walk or bike ride around the park’s pathways will allow you to see the city’s skyline in all its glory. Belvedere Castle, which houses the Metropolitan Museum of Art, is also worth a mention, as is the Central Park Zoo.
Do you have little children with you? If you’ve kids, take them to one of Central Park’s 21 playgrounds, filled with Alice in Wonderland statues and giant chess sets.
15. Brooklyn Botanic Garden
The Brooklyn Botanic Garden is a 52-acre sanctuary that can be found tucked away in the beautiful neighborhood of Brooklyn Heights. It is home to over 12,000 different species of plants that range in size, shape, and color. These plants come from diverse regions and temperatures world-wide.
Highlights include a Japanese garden, herb garden, Shakespeare garden, Cranford Rose Garden, and interactive children’s garden with exhibits.
There are frequent events held there (that teach you things like how to keep that pesky houseplant alive), a Cherry Esplanade that looks like it belongs on a postcard, and pay-what-you-wish winter Tuesdays, making it a noteworthy addition to any New York City bucket list.
16. New York Hall Of Science
The New York Hall of Scientific, a huge science museum in Queens that welcomes people of all ages and is known for its high level of interactivity, is a draw for curious visitors.
Every age group and interest group will find something of interest in this museum’s more than 450 exhibits, which cover everything from human biology to outer space.
At the most extensive outdoor science playground in America, visitors may engage in various hands-on activities while learning about motion, equilibrium, sound, and vision in this interactive display that is both hands-on and immersive.
With its position in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Flushing Meadows Zoo, and New York Mets Stadium are quite close to the New York Science Center.
17. Union Square
Union Square, one of New York City’s most prominent public squares, is always alive with activity. An ever-changing roster of street performers and a beautiful park make this downtown gathering point an exciting place to hang out. It’s also close to some of the most excellent eateries in town.
Spend some time away from the crowds by relaxing on a park seat. As you have your picnic, see the George Washington Statue, or peruse the shops that line each side of the Square. Be sure to stop by the Union Square Greenmarket, a beloved institution in the neighborhood. The market is open year-round on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. It features over 140 local farmers, fishers, and bakers who sell farm-fresh fruit, artisanal cheeses, handcrafted jams, and freshly baked bread.
18. Metropolitan Opera
The Metropolitan Opera House, in Manhattan’s Upper West Side’s historic Lincoln Center, is a music lover’s dream come true.
Featuring some of opera’s most renowned singers (like Luciano Pavarotti, Andrea Bocelli, or Anna Netrebko), the Met Opera has over 3,800 seats in its theatre and offers an extensive repertoire of over 200 performances each year from September to May. In addition to operas and ballets, the Met also provides concerts and lectures.
Even if you don’t feel like dressing up for an evening at the opera, the magnificent lobby, and balcony, complete with towering staircases and sparkling chandeliers, are still open to anyone looking for a stunning Manhattan souvenir photo.
19. Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is considered among the world’s largest and most recognized art institutions, and it is arguably New York’s premier museum.
There’s something for everyone at this institution, no matter your age or creative preference, with huge collections world wide.
In addition, the Upper East Side’s proximity to Central Park, as well as the ease with which it can be reached via train, make a trip there a no-brainer.
It’s well worth the extra money to prevent getting lost in this mammoth museum’s two million+ objects, so consider taking a guided tour to make the most of your time there.
20. Madison Square Garden
Madison Square Garden has been New York City’s most popular sports and entertainment facility for decades, attracting enormous crowds for sporting events and concerts.
This arena is a must-see for any live entertainment fan, with various events such as UFC, wrestling and boxing and ticket options to suit all budgets.
You can taste delicious food at its many restaurants, join a guided tour of the locker rooms and press areas or take in the atmosphere and energy of this legendary venue.
21. The Met Cloisters
The second museum in Fort Tryon Park, The Cloisters, focuses solely on the art and architecture of the European Middle Ages, and it is the only one in the United States that does so!
With a wide variety of artwork, including medieval sculpture and painting, the museum is a must-see for anybody with a passion for either history or the visual arts (or both!).
The museum’s location is what sets it apart from the rest: it’s located in four different monasteries and abbeys that were brought over from Europe in the early 1900s, making it unique. What a great example of preserving the past!
22. Yankee Stadium
In USA, one of the most popular sports is baseball. And Yankee Stadium, a national treasure, is also a must-see. The Bronx’s most recognizable stadium is the longtime New York Yankees home. When its 50,000+ seats are filled, it provides an intense gameday experience, On the other hand, it provides a nostalgic experience for fans thanks to its beloved museum and numerous backstage tours.
The museum at Monument Park is the best venue to learn about the history of baseball in the United States, which is dotted with statues honoring the greats like Mickey Mantle and Joe DiMaggio, as well as Babe Ruth’s 1927 World Series Ring. Tours of the stadium, which include the locker rooms and dugout, are also available.