Though many visitors stick around the bright lights of Midtown, don’t miss the chance to explore Lower Manhattan. Long synonymous with the banking industry, the area has plenty to offer even after the closing bell has rung out across Wall Street. Beyond the Stock Exchange and Charging Bull, you’ll find historic sites and great shopping.The Basics
If you’re a history buff, check out the African Burial Ground, North America’s largest known excavated burial ground for free and enslaved Africans. Or just offshore, visit Ellis Island, through which 12 million immigrants passed between 1892 and 1924. And the National September 11 Memorial & Museum commemorates more recent history. Alternatively, soak up the sun in Battery Park, cruise along the Hudson River on the free Staten Island Ferry, score bargains at Century 21, or browse the boutiques of the South Street Seaport. At dinnertime, take your pick from Tribeca’s hip restaurants.
Many walking tours of Lower Manhattan stop by the most important sites, ensuring you don’t miss a thing. Fans of the hit musical Hamilton can even opt for a specialized walking tour of places associated with the Founding Father.
Things to Know Before You Go
How to Get There
- Lower Manhattan is a must for travelers interested in New York City history or architecture.
- The 9/11 Memorial is free to visit, but there’s a fee to enter the museum.
- Many restaurants around Wall Street are closed on weekends.
You can easily access Lower Manhattan via subway stations such as Wall Street, Rector Street, Fulton Street, Chambers Street Whitehall, and Broad Street.
When to Get There
For a glimpse of the global financial trade in action, head to Wall Street on a weekday morning to watch traders going about their business. Conversely, weekends, when the banks are closed, can be eerily quiet. Any day of the week, however, is a good time for shopping or checking out the cluster of bars that have recently sprung up, such as the Dead Rabbit and Weather Up.Lower Manhattan Architecture
While in the neighborhood, you’ll see the grand New York Stock Exchange and the 18th-century Federal Hall—commemorating the site where the first United States Congress convened and George Washington was sworn in as president. Lower Manhattan is also home to Santiago Calatrava’s ultramodern World Trade Center Oculus and One World Trade Center—the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere, offering 360-degree views of New York City and beyond.