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Things to do in New York City

Things to do in  New York City

Welcome to New York City

New York City is one of the most visited places in the world—and for good reason. The city’s diverse population makes it a cultural capital for art, music, food, and much, much more.

When to visit

New York City is one of those rare cities where every season has unique attractions:

Summer weather means the perfect time to walk the Brooklyn Bridge, or even take a visit to the iconic Coney Island.

Chilly fall temps bring the changing foliage; renting a car for “leaf peeping” upstate is a great way to experience the Hudson Valley.

Winter activities center around the holiday season, with the legendary Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree and skating rink topping travelers’ lists.

Spring thaw is an ideal time to experience the blooming trees of Central Park or even the Highline, if you can catch a break between rain showers.

Getting around

Walking: New York is a great walking city and relatively straightforward, given each borough’s numbered streets and grid layouts. Exploring by foot is ideal in the bustling neighborhoods with great shops, restaurants, and cafes tucked away in the city’s many corners.

Subway: New York is big, which means walking to and from destinations may not always be feasible. That’s where the city’s subway comes in. Single-fare tickets on the many different subway lines can bring you to virtually any part or borough and runs around the clock.

Taxi: New York is known for its famous yellow taxis. They are easy to flag down by waving your hand (look for taxis with the roof light on for vacancy). Uber and Lyft have large networks in New York, so if you are looking for a guaranteed ride, then apps are a safe bet.

Traveler tips

New York City is known for its wealth of fun dive bars and legendary pizza slice shops. No matter which attraction or neighborhood you end up visiting, there’s a good chance you are within walking distance to a notorious NYC establishment. If you’re walking the Williamsburg Bridge, or exploring Chinatown, you can’t miss 169 Bar—a local favorite adorned with leopard prints, color lights, palm trees, and a hits-only jukebox.

A trip to Times Square isn’t complete without stopping by Joe’s Pizza on Broadway. Originally a Greenwich Village shop, Joe’s went on to expand to multiple locations throughout the city—and for good reason. The owner has been at it since 1975, slowly perfecting the art of the slice, landing Joe’s on numerous Top 10 lists in a competitive pizza city.

Top 10 attractions in New York City

#1
Statue of Liberty

Statue of Liberty

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Guarding the entrance to New York Harbor on Liberty Island, the 305-foot (93-meter) Statue of Liberty came to the United States as a gift from France to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Lady Liberty has been a symbol of democracy and hope for NYC and the US since 1886. Together with neighboring Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty National Monument is administered by the National Park Service.More
#2
Ellis Island

Ellis Island

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New York City’s Ellis Island was America’s busiest immigrant inspection station for more than 60 years, from 1892 to 1954. As the gateway for over 12 million immigrants to the United States, it processed more than 50 percent of the nation’s current ancestors. Today the island’s restored main building houses the Ellis Island Immigration Museum, part of the adjacent Statue of Liberty National Monument. The museum honors the US’s immigrant heritage, chronicles the island’s role in immigration history, and gives voice to the immigrants themselves.More
#3
Empire State Building

Empire State Building

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The world's tallest building from 1931 to 1977, the Empire State Building is topped with a stepped Art Deco pinnacle that's floodlit at night and boasts holiday and commemorative colors throughout the year. After admiring the mosaics in the Art Deco lobby, take an elevator ride to the 86th or 102nd floor and get ready to drink in astounding 360-degree views from this iconic skyscraper observatory.More
#4
National September 11 Memorial & Museum

National September 11 Memorial & Museum

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The National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York City stands as a place of remembrance and a somber tribute to those killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Reopened 10 years after the 2001 attacks, the eight-acre (3.2-hectare) plaza—built on the World Trade Center site—features two massive square reflecting pools whose waterfalls cascade down into the footprints of the former Twin Towers. The surrounding plaza is a peaceful and moving green space, while the museum, located beneath the plaza, lends a deeper understanding to the impact of that day. You’ll undoubtedly leave with a heavy heart.More
#5
Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge

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Extending for 1.3 miles (2 kilometers) across New York City’s East River, this 19th-century bridge sees constant foot, bike, and car traffic thanks to commuters and sightseers alike. After a construction beset by tragedies—at least 20 people died during the building process—this steel-wire suspension bridge, then the world’s largest, finally opened to the public in 1883. Today crossing the Brooklyn Bridge is an essential New York experience. Visitors come in droves to admire the bridge’s dramatic neo-Gothic towers and the stellar views of Lower Manhattan and the Brooklyn waterfront.More
#6
SoHo

SoHo

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New York City’s hyperhip neighborhood of SoHo is renowned for its stylish shops, art galleries, and trendy restaurants. Though it’s more relaxed than bustling Times Square, SoHo can get mobbed with shoppers and tourists. Stroll down the cobblestone streets, browse stores—from big-name brands to posh boutiques—or peek inside its many galleries.More
#7
Central Park

Central Park

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The heart and soul of Manhattan, Central Park is 843 acres (341 hectares) of green space featuring running paths, a boating lake, ponds, a zoo, fountains, statues, gardens, and a skating rink. New Yorkers and visitors alike have gathered at this National Historic Landmark year-round since 1857 to enjoy a respite from Manhattan’s concrete jungle.More
#8
Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met)

Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met)

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New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of the world’s most prestigious art collections and cultural hubs. Five million annual visitors stroll the Met’s 17 acres (6.9 hectares) of gallery space, gazing upon pieces representing 5,000 years of art and human history. From Egyptian tombs to American abstract expressionist paintings, the museum’s permanent collection has more than 2 million objects, so expect to stay awhile.More
#9
Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls

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One of North America’s most majestic natural wonders, Niagara Falls is made up of three waterfalls—American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and Horseshoe Falls—which plunge dramatically over the Niagara River. The falls straddle the border between Canada and the US with viewpoints and falls-themed attractions on both sides.More
#10
One World Observatory

One World Observatory

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Travelers looking to experience life—or, at least, New York City—on the top of the world need look no further than the One World Observatory. One World Trade Center features a high-speed elevator that shoots visitors straight to the 100th-floor observatory in just 47 seconds. On the ride up, impressive time-lapse technology showcases the city’s transformation from the 1500s to the present in immersive floor-to-ceiling screens. At the top, spectacular 360-degree views of New York City’s waterways, iconic skyline, and renowned landmarks stretch for miles.More

Trip ideas

Ways to Beat the Crowds in New York City

Ways to Beat the Crowds in New York City

Free Museum Days in NYC You Need to Visit

Free Museum Days in NYC You Need to Visit

Top Parks and Gardens in New York City

Top Parks and Gardens in New York City

Don’t-Miss Dishes in New York City

Don’t-Miss Dishes in New York City

Recent reviews from experiences in New York City

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Tour
cynthiaalday, Jan. 2020
Washington DC Day Tour from New York City
Travel tour to Washington DC was a good experience and we were able to visit most of the federal historic govt buildings.
star-5
Holiday pics in NYC
juliesmallpage55, Dec. 2019
Private New York Walking Tour with a Personal Photographer
Having a professional walking photographer at the beginning of our week in New York City was amazing to see so much and do so much in two hours was appreciated
star-5
Compact Tour
G M, Oct. 2019
New York in One Day Guided Sightseeing Tour
Best way to see New York City if constrained by time.
star-5
A fun group activity
lucievictoria3, Oct. 2019
New York City Ghost Tour of Greenwich Village
Everyone said it was a fun, interesting way to see the city that we all have lived in for years.
star-4
Summer in the city
Robert D, Aug. 2019
Private TCM Classic Film Tour
I would highly recommend both Jason and this tour- a great summer day out
star-5
A Very Pleasant Evening
DGarison, Aug. 2019
New York City Harbor Lights Cruise
The city skylight and Statue of Liberty were beautiful to see as the sun was setting.
star-5
Do this first!
g4272019, Jul. 2019
New York in One Day Guided Sightseeing Tour
The tips you will receive from our excellent guide include where to visit, to what to eat and even how to buy stuff ...
star-5
9/11 Memorial tour.
GrandTour21703565443, Jun. 2019
9/11 Memorial & Ground Zero Tour with Optional Skip-the-Line 9/11 Museum Ticket
My wife and I decided to go to New York city to view the Freedom tower and 9/11 memorial, to make it easier to see everything we decided to buy a tour guided package.
star-5
Great Tour
jennifernA1927EH, Jun. 2019
Private Super Tour of NYC: Heroes, Comics and More!
We got to see many NYC sites and the information about how they were related to the superhero movies was really interesting.
star-5
Jeffrey is a fabulous tour guide
albertlc, Jun. 2019
NYC Tour with Statue of Liberty Pedestal Access
This tour is the best way to see NYC quickly and well!
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Great Detailed Tour
Freedom01778713821, May 2019
Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island with One World Observatory
Our tour guide Rob was extremely knowledgeable about the city and its attractions.
star-5
Excellent Tour!
cjleonards, Sep. 2018
NYC Tour with Statue of Liberty Pedestal Access
Got to see some of the highlights of New York City.
star-5
What a Wonderful View!
Lecinda B, Aug. 2018
New York Helicopter Flight: Grand Island
We flew all around New York City and got to see things we'd never before seen.
star-4
A perfect way for preteens, not...
Greg K, Jul. 2009
Circle Line: Beast Speedboat Ride
A perfect way for preteens, not interested in sightseeing, to see the Statue of Liberty and the New York City skyline.
star-5
Our guide Alice was the best! She...
ROZALIA L, Aug. 2017
OPEN: Skip-Line Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island Tour + Pedestal Ticket Upgrade
Gave us great tips on attractions and navigating New York City.
star-5
Really interesting trip around...
Janelle M, Dec. 2017
Harlem Gospel Sunday Tour
It was great to see other parts of New York City.
star-4
We had Kernan, he was really funny...
Sokphear Y, Sep. 2017
OPEN: Skip-Line Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island Tour + Pedestal Ticket Upgrade
The tour is tiring because it's about 4 hours long but I think it's definitely worth it if you're in New York City to see the statue and also learn a little history.
star-5
A great way to see New York City and...
LLOYD C, Dec. 2017
Big Bus New York Hop-On Hop-Off Open Top Tour
A great way to see New York City and learn some facts that you would not have learned on your own.
star-5
Breath taking night scenic view of...
hariharan B, Nov. 2017
New York Double-Decker Bus Night Tour
Have it in your things to do list when you are going to NY.
star-5
Serge and Robert, the driver, gave...
John H, Jun. 2016
New York City Guided Sightseeing Tour by Double Decker Bus
There was actually too much to see in even an 8-hour tour but that's New York.

Questions & Answers