New York City is the largest and most populated city in the USA and one of the most beautiful, exciting, captivating, and truly amazing cities in the world. Known as “The Big Apple” it is a major world capital and a world leader in finance, arts, culture, architecture, communications and entertainment. It is the center of advertising, fashion, publishing, and radio broadcasting and has so many fabulous attractions that simply cannot be missed. WOW Travel picks the Top 25 Things To Do In New York City.
“New York is the meeting place of the peoples, the only city where you can hardly find a typical American.”― Djuna Barnes
Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met)
A must visit for all the artsy folk is the Metropolitan Museum of Art (the MET), one of the top-visited art museums in the world and one of the world’s largest and finest art museums. With over 185,000 square meters (2 million sq ft) of exhibition space, it contains works from all over the world and all throughout history. The Greek and Roman sculptures, African and Oceania exhibits, European masters of painting and the famous Asian Wing. Before leaving go up to the rooftop and enjoy the breathtaking views of the Central Park and Manhattan skyline.
Opened in 1857, Central Park is the biggest urban park in the central part of Manhattan. Stunning Central Park is an oasis among the skyscrapers, sprawling 843 acres and home to Belvedere Castle with the best and highest views of the Park and its cityscape, dozens of sculptures, the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre that has long been known for its whimsical productions of classics like Peter Pan and Cinderella and, and finally the Central Park Zoo with amazing sea lions and penguins. Central Park is alive all year round with so many activities, like the Summer Stage, an outdoor venue running during the summer months, offers approximately 30 free-of-charge performing events such as the New York Philharmonic annual concert, Shakespeare in the Park and the Metropolitan Opera Summer Recital. It is easy to get lost in Central Park but having lunch with the view of the lake at the Boathouse Café is a must.
New York City is home to a wide variety of theater options and no visit to New York is complete without attending a to one of the Musicals in Broadway. Our favorites would be: The Lion King one of the most awe-inspiring productions ever brought to life on stage, The Phantom Of The Opera Broadway’s longest running musical, Wicked a winner of over 50 major awards including the Grammy Award, or Les Misérables an epic and uplifting story about the survival of the human spirit with classic songs. TKTS Discount Booths are the perfect way to experience the arts in New York City at affordable prices.
Grand Central Terminal
Built in 1913, Grand Central Terminal is one of New York City’s most historic landmarks and the busiest train station in the USA with Its 70-acre compound, 46 tracks, 30 passenger platforms and 500,000 commuters a day. The building’s facade on 42nd street has a true Beaux-Arts design, large arches flanked by Corinthian columns which are topped by a large sculpture group designed by Jules-Alexis Coutan. Visit around midday, as light streams in from the cathedral-like windows, a magnificent example of art meeting functionality. Grand Central has enticed visitors and locals alike, with quick bites and delicacies located in the Grand Central Market.
Shopping on Fifth Avenue is a must during your stay in the Big Apple, whether you are searching for the latest fashions, NY souvenirs, housewares or outlets. NY shopping is an entirely different experience than shopping in another city, especially along this historical road. Located in the center of Manhattan, the best Fifth Avenue shopping takes place between 39th and 60th Street at NYC flagship stores. At the corner of 58th Street and Fifth Avenue, where a Vanderbilt mansion once stood, is the famous department store – Bergdorf Goodman, the city’s temple to high fashion and conspicuous consumption. Founded in 1899 by Herman Bergdorf, the department store is known for identifying and selling the best from upstart designers from around the world.
In the heart of the Meatpacking District, a block long and a block wide, you will find the Chelsea Market, a neighborhood market with a global perspective. It has become in just 15 years one of the greatest indoor food halls of the world, with more than thirty-five vendors purveying everything from soup to nuts, wine to coffee, cheese to cheesecake. Attracting 6 million national and international visitors annually, it is one of the most trafficked, and written-about, destinations of any kind in New York City. The long history—and the stripped-down brick architecture of the building—gives the Market a unique character. For foodies and even casual tourists, it is possible to enter the Market at one end in the morning and not exit the other until lunchtime, without ever growing bored—and certainly without ever going hungry.
Opened in 1883, Brooklyn Bridge is one of the oldest hybrid cable-stayed/suspension bridges in the USA and the most magnificent of the bridges across New York’s East River, linking Manhattan and Brooklyn. The best way to experience the bridge is to take the 40-minute walk and admire the overwhelming skyline views unfolding in front of you. At the Brooklyn end go to the Brooklyn Bridge Park, the whole area has been recently redeveloped with parks, piers and a carousel.
Rockefeller Center is a national historic landmark in the heart of Midtown Manhattan and one of the world’s great crossroads, filled with boutiques, fine dining, and home to the most famous ice rink and Christmas tree on earth. Architecturally profound, culturally diverse, and commercially vital, Rockefeller Center is the true plaza of the people.
September 11 Memorial
The 9/11 Memorial & Museum honors those who died in the attacks while preserving the history of the events. Cascading reflecting pools etched with the names of those who died stand where the 110-story buildings once did, with more than 15 million people have come here from all over the world since it opened in 2011. The museum, located 7 stories underground at the base of the original Twin Towers, curates a powerful and extensive exhibit that includes crushed fire trucks and salvaged steel tridents that once held up the towers.
The High Line
The High Line is an elevated 2.33 km (1.45-mile) linear public park that runs along the Lower West Side in New York City. The park was built on a historic elevated abandoned railway track that used to carry goods from factories in the 1940s. In 2005, a non-profit organization named “Friends of The High Line” stepped in and saved this beautiful relic, transforming it into a gorgeous urban public space with stunning maze of gardens and pathways scattered with unique food and drink vendors, the High Line will give you an unforgettable experience and it is definitely worth a wander.
With over 39 million visitors annually, Times Square is a major commercial intersection in the heart of Manhattan at the junction of Broadway and Seventh Avenue. Also known as ‘The Crossroad of the World’ it is considered the world’s most visited tourist attraction with more than a million visitors every 3 days. The time Square glows day and night with neon advertisements and signs, giving the streets a carnival atmosphere.
“There is something in the the New York air that makes sleep useless.” ― Simone de Beauvior
Empire State Building
The Empire State Building is an iconic skyscraper located in Midtown Manhattan, offers the highest open-air observatory in New York, provides the most spectacular views of the city and beyond. Central Park comes into full view, the grid of streets reveals its brilliant design, and on a clear day, you can see beyond the skyscrapers up to 130 km (80 miles) away with breathtaking views of New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts and even Pennsylvania.
Statue of Liberty
Also known as Lady Liberty, this colossal sculpture historically is located in New York Harbor. It was a gift from France to the United States in 1886, and it is probably one of the best-known statues in the world. The Statue of Liberty stands as a reminder of its role as the first face to greet immigrants coming to America to seek a better life.
Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Founded in 1910 and located in the Prospect Park neighborhood, with 52-acres of greenery it features a Japanese pond garden, an herb garden and a native flora garden.
A small island in the heart of New York Harbor and only 700 meters (2,300 ft) from Lower Manhattan. For almost two centuries, Governors Island was a military base – home to the US Army and later the Coast Guard, and closed to the public. Nowadays, the island has been redeveloped as a great sprawling public space with educational, not-for-profit, and commercial facilities. The island is open to the public from May to September.
New York Public Library
Founded in 1895, The New York Public Library has been an essential provider of free books, information, ideas, and education for all New Yorkers for more than 100 years. NYPL is the nation’s largest public library system, serving more than 17 million patrons a year, the Library holds more than 53 million items. Housed in the iconic 42nd street library, NYPL’s bringing together an extraordinary richness of resources and opportunities available to all.
Carnegie Hall is one of the world’s finest venues for music. Throughout it’s history, the hall has presented exalted artists including Tchaikovsky, Caruso, Toscanini, Mahler, Richard Strauss, Duke Ellington, Leonard Bernstein, Frank Sinatra, Maria Callas, Judy Garland, and the Beatles to name a few. With its elegant design, near-perfect acoustics, and performances by the world’s greatest musical artists, Carnegie Hall is an essential destination for lovers of music.
One half gourmet market and the other Italian food court, Eataly is the brainchild of celebrity chef Mario Batali, and it has an awesome selection of any Italian foodstuffs you could ever want: handmade pasta, seasonal fish, prosciutto and fresh mozzarella.
“The true New Yorker secretly believes that people living anywhere else have to be, in some sense, kidding.” ― John Updike
Completed in 1959, the Guggenheim’s Frank Lloyd Wright–designed museum is among the 20th century’s most important architectural landmarks. The museum’s great rotunda has been the site of many celebrated special exhibitions, while its smaller galleries are devoted to the Guggenheim’s renowned collection, which ranges from Impressionism through contemporary art. Don’t miss walking the grand ramp to the dome. You’ll see masterpieces by noted artists such as Chagall, Kandinsky, Picasso and van Gogh.
A contender for the most glamorous neighborhood in Manhattan, the Meatpacking District is known for its go-go nightlife and exclusive door policies, where sun-scorched insomniacs party in hot tubs while sipping fruity cocktails. The neighborhood, which runs from Gansevoort Street to West 14th Street and from the Hudson River to Hudson Street, has also plenty of cultural, outdoor and culinary pleasures, charming townhouses, eclectic boutiques, cafes and bars.
SoHo is the most diverse neighborhood in lower Manhattan and the heart and soul of New York City. Artists such as Phillip Glass, Twyla Tharp, Nam June Paik,Meredith Monk, Chuck Close, Frank Stella, plus many others helped create the ideal situation to make SoHo the Nexus of creative activity for a very magical time in the 1960’s. SoHo came to represent the hip, avant-garde scene. Today, SoHo is synonymous with trendy shopping and world class art galleries. It is also the backdrop for movie locations, fashion shoots, and one of the best places in the city to catch a glimpse of famous stars of many genres, many of whom live in SoHo.
Staten Island Ferry
The Staten Island Ferry is free and carries over 70,000 passengers a day on a 8.3 km (5.2-mile) between Staten Island and Lower Manhattan. The free boat ride offers a unique perspective of the New York Harbor, Downtown Manhattan skyline, and Statue of Liberty.
The site of winter ice skating at The Pond, free summer movies on the lawn, and endless meals and meetings at its tables, Bryant Park serves its role well as a centrally located Manhattan park. The park is an ideal resting spot for the thousands of tourists and residents who pass by its boundaries each day.
Founded in 1929, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) features 125,000 square feet in gallery space that holds extraordinary exhibitions and the world’s finest collection of modern and contemporary art. This six-story midtown gallery building, designed by Yoshio Taniguchi, is a place that fuels creativity, ignites minds, and provides inspiration.
Just So You Know…
- The green or red globes at many subway entrances actually mean something. As a general rule, entrances with red globes are closed at night, while those with green globes are open 24-7.
- The Jewish population in NYC is the largest in the world outside of Israel.
- Madison Square Park, Washington Square Park, Union Square Park, and Bryant Park used to be cemeteries.
- New York City’s Chinatown is the largest Chinese enclave in the Western Hemisphere.
- The Brooklyn Children’s Museum was the world’s first museum exclusively for kids.
- Central Park was the first public landscaped park in all of the United States, and it is larger than the principality of Monaco.
- Go to a Yankee football game and make sure you stay till the end to hear Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York”.
- Watch a movie at Film Forum – the best independent movie theater in New York.
- Shop in one of the most department stores in the world, Macy’s on 34th street.
- Take the tram to Roosevelt Island and take a walk along the promenade.
- NYC is also known for its spa treatments. Consider staying at one of the best spa hotels in New York City! But for those seeking a more lovey-dovey vacation, pick one of the11 Most Romantic Hotels in NYC instead.
Grab A Bite:
- Marlow & Sons with delicious oysters and duck pâté. Maialino one of the best italian restaurants in the city. Black Seed for Bagels lovers. Emily with addictive pizzas in brookyln. Fungtu serving updated Chinese-American fare, plus beer, wine & classic cocktails with a twist. Ai Fiori gourmet fare from the Italian & French Riviera plus regional wines in an elegant hotel setting. Peasant wood-fired Italian dishes & wines are served in a rustic, sophisticated space. PioPio with the best Peruvian food in the city. Burger Joint a cool spot to with famous burger. Shake Shack became a mini empire with the most delicious hamburger in New York City. Marea for seafood lovers.
- Go to eat in Koreatown – It’ s really like taking a trip to Korea, If you stare down the block you can transport yourself to an exotic location. If you have never tried a good old Korean barbecue this is the place to do it.
- Get a traditional pastrami sandwich at: Carnegie Deli, 2nd Avenue Deli and Katz’s Delicatessen.
- Eat in Harlem’s Restaurant Row – Over the past few years, a culinary surge has taken place on lower Frederick Douglas Blvd in Harlem. From W 110th St to W 120th St. Try: Vinateria with tapas-style Italian and a nice wine selection. Bier International with German sausages, pretzels and pilsner. Melba’s with American BBQ comfort food. Zoma with savory African/Moroccan. Lido with modern Italian food.
- Eat Nathan’s Hot Dog in Coney Island – For a quick bite, head to the original Nathan’s Hot Dog, the same spot where the famous annual Hot Dog Eat Contest takes place.
- Check out Russ & Daughters Cafe a family-owned shop of high-end smoked fish and caviar since 1914.
- Take a brewery tour in Brooklyn – Brooklyn Brewery, located in the rejuvenated Northside area, runs free tours every weekend.