There are a ton of fun and interesting things to do and see in New York, and you will definitely want to know what some of the best ones are if you plan on going there.
Even those who actually live in this city don’t know about many of the amazing things there are to do. This list will be sure to keep you busy when you are in the Big Apple.
1. Times Square
You simply cannot visit New York without going to Times Square, perhaps the most popular square in the city. Located in the heart of the city, its bright lights and huge crowds of people can be a bit overwhelming at first for out-of-towners.
You are bound to see some interesting and maybe even odd things when you visit this area. There are lots of live television broadcasts conducted at Times Square.
2. Empire State Building
The Empire State Building is another common New York tourist attraction that you should try to see while you are here. Assuming you don’t have a fear of heights, the observatory deck on the 102nd floor will give you a truly amazing view of the city.
It is quite the impressive site, both from the inside and outside. The building is opened from 8AM to 2AM and the basic admission is $57. For 40 years it was the tallest building in the world, now it is in 28th place, so you’ll hardly miss it.
3. Central Park
There are a lot of parks sprawled across New York, but Central Park is the largest and most spectacular. Here you will find two different museums and even a venue for live music.
This is an extremely popular area for joggers, but it’s also a great place for a relaxing stroll. The Bethesda fountain and conservatory garden are just two of the great attractions in this park.
4. City Hall
The City Hall building has been the headquarters of the local government since the early 1800s, and the architecture is quite impressive. You can take a free guided tour of the building Monday through Thursday, and it’s definitely worth checking out if you want to learn more about the city.
5. New York Public Library
The famous New York Public Library is a landmark building in the city, and the marble lions that guard its doors only add to the visual experience of visiting it. There are numerous exhibits that you should make a point of stopping by, especially the one that houses an original copy of the Declaration of Independence.
6. Statue of Liberty and Staten Island Ferry
The Staten Island ferry offers tours for $18, and you will get to see the Statue of Liberty as well as a number of other interesting sights. This ferry has been making its way around the harbour since the early 1900s, and it has taken millions of people over the water in that time. This is a nice and relaxing way to see New York City.
It’s practically a crime to visit New York City without making the trip out to Liberty Island to see the Statue of Liberty. This majestic landmark is truly iconic. You will also want to visit Ellis Island, where you can learn the fascinating history of immigration into the U.S.
7. Brooklyn Bridge
The Brooklyn Bridge is one of the biggest landmarks in New York, and it’s a bit overwhelming when you actually see it in person. This bridge takes around 40 minutes to completely walk across, which is pretty crazy when you really think about it. You will find lots of people skating, cycling, rollerblading and jogging across this bridge all the time.
8. Brooklyn Botanic Garden
The Botanic Garden in Brooklyn is a beautiful place to walk through on a warm day. There are just over 50 acres of trees and flora, including cherry blossoms trees that were donated by Japan. You should try to visit it either in April or May because that is when the trees have started to blossom. There are numerous trails that you can take to walk through this area.
9. 9/11 Memorial
The 9/11 memorial was completed 10 years to the day after the tragedy, and it features 30’ waterfalls cascading down where the World Trade Center used to be. Each of the pools in this memorial is almost an acre, so it’s quite an impressive spectacle. There is also a wall with all of the names of the victims on it.
10. African Burial Ground
While it may seem a bit morbid, the African Burial Ground National Monument is an interesting place to visit, especially if you are a history buff.
In the early 90s, construction workers discovered hundreds of wooden caskets with the remains of African Americans dating back to the 17th century. This historic site now stands as a memorial to the men and women who were found.
11. Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, which is often referred to by New Yorkers as simply “the Met”, can be found on the upper east side of the city.
This museum gets over six million visitors each year, and it features a variety of fascinating exhibits. There are more than two million art pieces that span five thousand years throughout the past.
12. Brooklyn Brewery Tours
If you are a big fan of beer, you won’t want to miss out on the epic Brooklyn brewery tour. These tours are available from Monday to Thursday, and they will allow you to sample a wide range of beers.
Those who want to save some money should take a tour on the weekend, as they are completely free of charge.
13. Fashion Institute of Technology Museum
The FIT Museum in Midtown has multiple exhibits displaying a variety of colourful textiles and garments of all kinds. There are over 50,000 pieces that go all the way back to the 1700s.
It is a great place to visit for anyone who is interested in fashion and/or history. There are guest speakers frequently who give talks at this museum.
14. Federal Hall
Federal Hall is a wonderful historic site to visit, and it’s where George Washington was inaugurated in 1789 as the first president of the USA. There is a striking statue just outside of the building, and it’s located very close to Wall Street.
Even though the original Federal Hall building was demolished in 1812, the new one known as Federal Hall National Memorial was built here in 1842. If you are interested in the history of this city, this is definitely a must-see attraction.
15. Governor’s Island
Governor’s Island is only a short ferry trip away, and it only costs a couple of dollars. Here you will find a rather large path for biking that spans 2.2 miles total.
There is also miniature golf and a nice little area that is designated for picnics, making it the perfect place for the whole family. You will also find a number of interesting military sites. Also, the views of New York are some of the best from this island!
16. Grand Central Partnership Walking Tours
Take a trip back into time with two extremely knowledgeable historians to learn about some of the most fascinating historic buildings in New York. You will see the Chrysler Building, Grand Central Terminal, and a number of other places.
Tours are 90 minutes long and make for a great way to spend part of the day in this city.
17. Green-Wood Cemetery
At one time Green-Wood Cemetery was the most popular destination for tourists in the entire U.S. It was founded in the mid-1800s, and it has the remains of 600,000 men, women and children.
Head on up to Battle Hill, an important historic site relating to the Revolutionary War, for an amazing view of Brooklyn.
18. Hamilton Grange
Once owned by Alexander Hamilton, this huge country estate is truly an amazing sight to behold. Millions of people visit Hamilton Grange each year, and it’s easy to see why.
This is yet another great historic place to visit, and it will provide you with some epic scenery as you stroll through its sprawling 32 acres.
19. High Line
While High Line may be a public park, it definitely won’t feel like it once you get there. The High Line project isn’t open 24/7, but it’s worth going by to see if you are in New York.
The land that the park now sits on used to be a railroad track. This park’s landscaping is very beautiful, and it makes for the perfect place for a lazy stroll on a nice warm day.
20. Japan Society
If you have an interest in Japanese culture, the Japan Society will provide you with an interesting and educational experience. There are numerous gallery exhibits that showcase many old Japanese art pieces.
It can be found in Midtown East, and it is free from 6 to 9 on Fridays only. There are also films shown as well as the occasional lecture.