Skyline of the city during sunrise with Empire State Building in focus
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37 Best Things To Do in NYC

Published by Pat Dorri on February 8 2024

New York City - the city that never sleeps - hardly needs an introduction. It's a top destination for millions of domestic and international visitors alike and is home to some of the world's most iconic landmarks. No matter how long you stay in this amazing city, it will always feel like there isn't enough time to see everything.

On our list of 37 best things to do in NYC, you will find something for everyone; from monumenal landmarks, incredible museums and vibrant markets to colorful gardens, parks, quintessential shopping, world-class dining, and plenty of family-friendly fun.

Whether NYC is your destination after a road trip or you're here for a fleeting visit, we've curated an extensive guide to the best things to do in New York during your time in the city.

Below you will find a shortlist of our favorite places to visit in New York City, followed by the full list of 37 things to do!

Best things to do in New York

A selection of the best things to do and see in New York City. Check out our full list of 37 places below.
Place typeSome of our favorite places to visit
Iconic landmarksAdmire panoramic views from Empire State Building; or take a scenic stroll across the Brooklyn Bridge
Famous museumsSpend an afternoon at the Metropolitan Museum of Art; or see some contemporary art at MoMA
Shopping and diningEnjoy some retail therapy at Bloomingdale's; or order a delicious Reuben sandwich at Katz's Deli
Parks, gardens, outdoor spacesHave a picnic at the Central Park; or go ice-skating at Bryant Park in winter
Historical and memorial sitesTake a moment to reflect at 9/11 Memorial & Museum; or visit General Grant National Memorial
Performing arts venuesWatch a ballet performance at the Lincoln Center; or see your favorite musician live at Radio City Music Hall
Family-friendly funSee some fascinating animals at the Bronx Zoo; or visit the symbolic Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island

This is just a snippet of the amazing things you can do in New York City. If you'd like to see more and discover hidden gems, we recommend exploring the city on foot, especially given that parts of it are so easily walkable.

Iconic landmarks in New York City

New York City's skyline is one of the most recognizable in the world, even if you have never been there, due to its legendary landmarks such as the Empire State Building and the Brooklyn Bridge. But that's not all - there is so much more to explore while visiting NYC!

1. Grand Central Terminal

Why you should visit: It is hard to pass by Grand Central Terminal and not be awed by its beautiful architecture. This station is not just a transit hub, but an iconic New York City sight with a storied past.

Grand Central Terminal's Beaux-Arts design, celestial ceiling, and the iconic four-faced clock make it a work of art and a symbol of New York's golden age of rail travel. You will also find restaurants and the famous Grand Central Market housed in this historic building.

Grand Central Terminal and the busy street of Manhattan New  York early morning.
The immediately recognizable Grand Central Terminal is worth visiting just for its beautiful architecture, even if you aren't taking the train from there, which is an experience on its own!
Sean Pavone/Shutterstock.com

How to get there via public transport: Grand Central Terminal is accessible by many subway lines (4, 5, 6, 7, S) and Metro-North Railroad trains, making it easily reachable from various parts of New York City and the surrounding suburbs.

Did you know? Grand Central Terminal, maybe unsurprisingly, has been featured in many movies. Maybe one of the most quirky instances you might have spotted the terminal on the silver screen is when Will Smith and Toomy Lee Jones's characters interrogate tiny aliens living in a locker there in "Men in Black."

Things to note: Grand Central Terminal is free to visit, so you can admire the beautiful architecture outside and inside without having a pay a fee.

Being a major transit hub, Grand Central Terminal is open every day, year-round. The restaurants and shops in the terminal have various opening hours, so it is a good idea to check before you visit. For more information, you can find our detailed guide here:

READ MORE - Our Guide to Grand Central Terminal

2. Empire State Building

Why you should visit: An emblem of New York's skyline, the Empire State Building's Art Deco design, and history as the world's tallest building (for a time) make it the perfect symbol of the city with its ambitious and dynamic spirit.

The observation decks on several floors provide beautiful panoramic views of the city, offering a timeless New York experience whether you visit during the day or later when the sun sets.

View of the skyscraper with the city skyline in the background on a sunny day
It is almost impossible to imagine the NYC skyline without the Empire State Building in it.
mariakray/Shutterstock.com

How to get there via public transport: The Empire State Building is accessible by subway, with the 34th Street-Penn Station (1, 2, 3, A, C, E) and 34th Street-Herald Square (B, D, F, M, N, Q, R, W) being the nearest stations. Several bus routes service the area as well.

Things to note: There is an entrance fee to visit the Empire State Building with various ticket options available. We highly recommend booking your tickets in advance to save some time.

Opening hours to the Empire State Building vary by season. Please see our detailed guide for more information on this iconic landmark:

READ MORE - Our Guide to Empire State Building

3. Times Square

Why you should visit: There are only a few other neighborhoods as easily as recognizable in the country as the neon-lit views of Times Square. There is always something going on at Times Square, which earned the city its popular nickname, "The City That Never Sleeps."

From bright billboards to rows of majestic Broadway theaters and countless restaurants, Times Square is a symbol of the city's entertainment industry and a crossroads of the world, buzzing with energy at all hours.

Lights of Times Square at night with long exposure shot of cars passing by and visitors on the sidewalks
Times Square is the beating heart of New York City, and you are guaranteed to have a great time during your visit with so many restaurants, shops, and even museums to explore.
Sean Pavone/Shutterstock.com

How to get there via public transport: Times Square is accessible by multiple subway lines, including the 1, 2, 3, 7, N, Q, R, W, A, C, E trains to 42nd Street stations, as well as numerous bus routes.

Things to note: As a public area, Times Square is open every day throughout the year. However, certain events might affect accessibility, so check the official website before visiting. You can find our detailed guide on Times Square to help you plan below:

READ MORE - Our Guide to Times Square

4. Rockefeller Center

Why you should visit: Rockefeller Center's beautiful Art Deco buildings will be a familiar sight to anyone who has ever visited New York City. With an observation deck, and a wealth of shopping and dining options, Rockefeller Center is one of the most popular landmarks in NYC.

This center is famously the home of NBC Studios, which hosts an array of popular TV shows such as TODAY Show, Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon, Late Night with Seth Meyers, and Saturday Night Live.

You are in for a treat if you are visiting New York in winter; Rockefeller Center becomes a Winter Wonderland with a seasonal ice skating rink and its world-famous Christmas Tree.

Famous Atlas Statue in front of the center, image taken from ground level, pointing up
Rockefeller Center is home to famous NBC Studios, as well as a fabulous array of shops and eateries. Visit in winter for a magical experience.
stockelements/Shutterstock.com

How to get there via public transport: Rockefeller Center is accessible by the B, D, F, M subway lines to 47-50th Streets - Rockefeller Center station, and several bus routes.

Things to note: Public access to Rockefeller Center is free but certain attractions located in the building complex might require tickets.

Rockefeller Center is open year-round, but it is a good idea to check before you visit in case there is an event or unforeseen circumstance that might affect this. The shops and restaurants in the area also have different opening hours.

You can find our guide on Rockefeller Center below:

READ MORE - Our Guide to Rockefeller Center

5. Top of the Rock

Why you should visit: Located in the Rockefeller Center, Top of the Rock is arguably the best observation deck in New York City, with sweeping 360-degree views of the city.

The unobstructed vistas of Central Park and the Manhattan skyline make it a favorite spot for photographers and visitors alike, providing a breathtaking perspective on the city's architecture and energy.

 View of Manhattan and Central Park on a sunny day from the Top of the Rock, Rockefeller Center
For the best panoramic views of New York City, you cannot find a better viewing platform than the Top of the Rock.
Life In Pixels/Shutterstock.com

How to get there via public transport: Top of the Rock is accessible by the B, D, F, M subway lines to 47-50th Streets - Rockefeller Center station, and several bus routes.

Things to note: There is an admission fee to visit the Top of the Rock. We recommend reserving a timed-entry tickets, especially if you are visiting during sunset or the peak hours.

Top of the Rock is usually open 7 days a week but the opening hours might change during holidays. Here is our guide if you'd like to learn more:

READ MORE - Our Guide to Top of the Rock

6. Flatiron Building

Why you should visit: The Flatiron Building's unique shape and position at a Broadway intersection have made it one of the most photographed buildings in New York, embodying the city's architectural ingenuity and the dynamic nature of its streetscapes.

This iconic triangular building is a masterpiece of early skyscraper design, and is mainly occupied by offices. This might mean that you won't get to see inside unless invited, but the facade of the stunning building alone makes this a must-visit landmark on our list.

A yellow taxi driving on the road with the famous Flatiron Building in the background
You might not be able to visit the interior of the Flatiron Building but the exterior architectural elements make this iconic building a must-visit during your time in NYC.
Barry Neal/Shutterstock.com

How to get there via public transport: Flatiron Building is accessible via the N, R, and W subway lines at the 23rd St station. Several bus lines also serve the area.

Things to note: The Flatiron Building mainly consists of offices and is not open to the general public. However, the exterior of the building is easy to access and admire for its beautiful architecture.

READ MORE - Our Guide to Flatiron Building

7. Chrysler Building

Why you should visit: Reading this far into our list, you might have noticed that New York is dotted with beautiful Art Deco architecture. It is hard to top the Chrysler Building when it comes to design and elegance.

Famous for its distinctive stainless steel spire, the Chrysler Building was built during the 1920s skyscraper race, and its ornate decorations inspired by Chrysler automobiles and the stunning lobby are highlights of New York's architectural heritage.

Beautiful lit-up skyscraper standing out from the rest of the city lights
Chrysler Building is the jewel of the city's skyline, especially when it is lit up at night.
Pigprox/Shutterstock.com

How to get there via public transport: The Chrysler Building is located near Grand Central Terminal, making it easily accessible by multiple subway lines (4, 5, 6, 7, S) and Metro-North Railroad.

Things to note: Viewing the Chrysler Building from the outside is free, there is no public access to upper floors or observation deck.

The Chrysler Building is usually open during working hours on weekdays, but access might be limited at times. Here is our detailed guide on the Chrysler Building if you'd like to learn more:

READ MORE - Our Guide to Chrysler Building

8. Brooklyn Bridge

Why you should visit: Connecting Manhattan and Brooklyn, the Brooklyn Bridge is an immediately recognizable sight. Its Gothic arches and suspension cables offer a picturesque journey across the East River when viewed from the mainland.

However, walking across the bridge is one of the best ways to enjoy both the views and to see the architectural details of the bridge itself. Over 100,000 vehicles cross the bridge every single day alongside 4,000 pedestrians and 2,600 bikes!

Brooklyn Bridge in New York City, USA, during sunset.
For the best way to experience and admire Brooklyn Bridge, take a stroll across it for sweeping city views.
mapman/Shutterstock.com

How to get there via public transport: Brooklyn Bridge is accessible by multiple subway lines to Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall Station in Manhattan or High Street-Brooklyn Bridge Station in Brooklyn.

Did you know? The Brooklyn Bridge features in a huge list of movies and TV shows, including Gangs of New York, Saturday Night Fever, I Am Legend, Marathon Man, and, not surprisingly, Godzilla, to name just a few.

TV shows featuring the Brooklyn Bridge include the iconic comedy series Brooklyn 99, Friends, and How I Met Your Mother.

Things to note: Brooklyn Bridge is free to visit. Visitors on foot and cyclists can safely use the pedestrian walkway.

Brooklyn Bridge is open year-round, although it is good to note that it occasionally closes for official events or maintenance. You can find more information on our detailed guide below:

READ MORE - Our Guide to Brooklyn Bridge

Click here to skip to the top.

Best museums in New York City

New York City is home to some of the most famous museums in the world, where you can take a glimpse into the past, present, and future. Whether you're an art aficionado, a history buff, or simply searching for inspiration, NYC's museums are bustling with stories waiting to be told.

9. The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

Why you should visit: The Guggenheim is as famous for its innovative spiral design by Frank Lloyd Wright as it is for its impressive collection of modern and contemporary art.

The building itself is a masterpiece, offering a unique museum-going experience where visitors follow the gentle slope of the rotunda to view exhibitions. The museum's focus on avant-garde art makes it a central figure in the art world, inviting contemplation and discovery.

The Guggenheim in New York is part of a larger network of Guggenheim museums, such as the famous Guggenheim Bilbao in Spain.

White, circular exterior of the museum during sunset, with long exposure lights of cars in the foreground
Designed by the world-famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum is housed in a stunning building, a work of art on its own.
Sean Pavone/Shutterstock.com

How to get there via public transport: By subway, travel on the 4, 5, 6, or Q subway lines. By bus, take the M1, M2, M3, or M4 bus lines on Madison or Fifth Avenues.

Did you know? The museum was featured in the film "The International" (2009), where a gunfight scene takes place within the Guggenheim between the different floors.

Things to note: There is an entrance fee to visit the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.

The museum is open all year usually except for holidays. To learn more about when you can visit the museum, the opening hours and ticket prices, please see our detailed guide to learn more about the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum:

READ MORE - Our Guide to The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

10. Metropolitan Museum of Art

Why you should visit: The Met is an encyclopedic museum offering a comprehensive look at human creativity from across the globe. Its extensive collection spans ancient artifacts, classical sculptures, Renaissance paintings, and beyond, housed within an iconic Fifth Avenue building and the modern Met Breuer.

The museum's rooftop garden offers stunning views of Central Park and the city skyline, enhancing the cultural experience you visit during the warmer months.

Interior of the museum with a lamp and artwork on display under the skylights
The Met is a massive museum and boasts the largest floor area in the world when it comes to a museum, and you can spend hours (if not days!) exploring its many exhibitions.
Alexander Prokopenko/Shutterstock.com

How to get there via public transport: The closest subway stations are 86th Street and Lexington Avenue on the 4, 5, and 6 lines, or 81st Street and Central Park West on the B and C lines.

The M1, M2, M3, and M4 buses travel on Fifth Avenue (southbound) and Madison Avenue (northbound). The M79 and M86 crosstown buses also stop at 81st Street near the Met.

Did you know? Movies like "When Harry Met Sally" and "The Thomas Crown Affair" have scenes set in the Met, and the TV show "Gossip Girl" also has scenes in the museum.

Things to note: There is an entrance fee to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art. However, there are no additional costs for rotating exhibitions, and your ticket will also allow you same-day entry to The Met Cloisters.

Opening hours of the Met vary throughout the week, and the museum is usually closed on Tuesdays. You will also find the museum closed on all major holidays. Please refer to our up-to-date guide on the Metropolitan Museum of Art for more information:

READ MORE - Our Guide to Metropolitan Museum of Art

11. Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

Why you should visit: MoMA's collection of modern and contemporary art is unmatched, featuring works from van Gogh's "Starry Night" to Warhol's "Campbell's Soup Cans," and of course, masterpieces of Pollock and Picasso.

You will also find temporary exhibitions, where you can enjoy a variety of works depending on when you visit, such as the works from Tim Burton or Joseph Beuys.

The museum's innovative approach to exhibitions and its commitment to the art of our time make it a leader in the art world. The sculpture garden and constantly evolving collection ensure that every visit offers something new.

An art installation hanging from the ceiling in a white exhibition room
MoMA is the place to visit for any fan of contemporary art, where you can see works like Cai Guo-Qiang's monumental "Borrowing Your Enemy's Arrows".
Anton_Ivanov/Shutterstock.com

How to get there via public transport: MoMA is reachable by the E, M subway lines to 5th Avenue/53rd Street station, and various bus lines, making it conveniently accessible.

Things to note: There is an entrance fee to visit the Museum of Modern Art and we recommend reserving a timed ticket to avoid waiting.

MoMA is usually closed on major holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas. Make sure to check the official website before you visit. For other details, you can find our detailed guide here:

READ MORE - Our Guide to MoMA

12. American Museum of Natural History

Why you should visit: This museum brings the wonders of the natural world to life through its vast halls filled with dinosaur skeletons, meteorites, and dioramas depicting ecosystems from around the globe.

The Rose Center for Earth and Space, featuring the Hayden Planetarium, offers a contemporary look at the universe, making science accessible and fascinating for all ages.

T-Rex fossil model on display inside the museum
American Museum of Natural History is famous for its dinosaur skeletons and fossil models - the perfect place to visit for anyone with a curious mind!
REC and ROLL Stock/Shutterstock.com

How to get there via public transport: The American Museum of Natural History is accessible by the B and C subway lines to 81st Street - Museum of Natural History station, and various bus routes, making it easy to visit from any part of New York City.

Things to note: Check if you are eligible to enter the museum for free, this might apply to you if you are a NY, NJ, and CT resident. Otherwise, you will need to buy a ticket. We recommend booking a time-entry slot, especially for special exhibitions.

The American Museum of Natural History is usually closed on major holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. For up-to-date opening hours, please see our guide below:

READ MORE - Our Guide to American Museum of Natural History

13. The Whitney Museum of American Art

Why you should visit: The Whitney Museum is renowned for its focus on 20th-century and contemporary American art. Its collection and exhibitions highlight the innovative and influential work of American artists, offering insights into the country's cultural trends.

The museum's building in the Meatpacking District, designed by Renzo Piano, provides expansive gallery spaces and outdoor terraces that overlook the High Line and the Hudson River.

An art installation outside the museum on a sunny day
You can spend an entire day exploring the impressive works of art that are displayed both inside and outside the Whitney Museum of American Art.
ARTYOORAN/Shutterstock.com

How to get there via public transport: Subway lines A, C, E, and L to 14th Street and 8th Avenue are the closest, and the M14 bus line also stops near the museum.

Did you know? The Whitney Museum has been involved in several historic moments in art, such as hosting its first Biennial in 1932. The Biennial has since become one of the leading shows in the American art world, showcasing the most recent developments in American art.

Things to note: There is an entrance fee to visit the Whitney Museum of American Art, though you might be eligible for discounted tickets under certain conditions.

The opening hours of the museum vary and you will find the museum on all major holidays. For more detailed information on these opening hours, as well as ticket prices, please see our detailed guide to learn more about the Whitney Museum of American Art:

READ MORE - Our Guide to The Whitney Museum of American Art

Click here to skip to the top.

Great shopping and dining in New York City

New York City is a shopper's paradise and a foodie's delight. Whether you're hunting for high-end fashion on Fifth Avenue or savoring the flavors of the world at a bustling market in Queens, the city's shopping and dining scenes promise an adventure for every taste and budget.

14. Bloomingdale's

Why you should visit: Bloomingdale's is more than a department store; it's a New York institution that offers a luxury shopping experience.

With its famous brown bags, the store features designer brands, exclusive merchandise, and personal shopping services, embodying the sophistication and style of New York retail.

Holiday rocket display at the store with a retro sign reading
Bloomingdale's is famous for its holiday displays and is the perfect place to treat yourself to some retail therapy, even if it isn't Christmas just yet.
Victoria Lipov/Shutterstock.com

How to get there via public transport: Bloomingdale's is easily accessible by the 4, 5, 6, N, R, and W subway lines to 59th Street-Lexington Avenue station and various bus routes.

Things to note: Bloomingdale's opening hours might vary depending on the day and during the holiday periods. You can find our guide below if you'd like to learn more:

READ MORE - Our Guide to Bloomingdale's

15. Chelsea Market

Why you should visit: Set in the heart of Chelsea, this market is a food lover's paradise, housed in a converted biscuit factory. It offers a diverse range of gourmet shops, bakeries, and eateries, reflecting New York's multicultural palette.

The market's industrial-chic ambiance adds to the charm, making it a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.

Entrance hall of the food market with restaurants lining the covered alley
Whether you are looking for somewhere to have a meal or just want to treat yourself to delicious snacks, Chelsea Market is the place to go.
rawf8/Shutterstock.com

How to get there via public transport: The A, C, E, and L subway lines at 14th Street and 8th Avenue are the closest. Numerous bus routes also run nearby.

Did you know? Chelsea Market resides in the building that was once the National Biscuit Company (Nabisco) factory, where the Oreo cookie was invented and first produced.

Things to note: Chelsea Market is free to visit. However, keep in mind that the opening hours may vary due to special events and holidays. For more information about when to visit, please see our detailed guide to learn more about the Chelsea Market:

READ MORE - Our Guide to Chelsea Market

16. Katz's Delicatessen

Why you should visit: Katz's Deli is a culinary landmark, and one bite of its famous New York style pastrami sandwich will tell you why it is such a legendary eatery.

With its traditions lasting through decades, you will feel like you have stepped back in time or perhaps into a Hollywood movie scene (notably in "When Harry Met Sally") during your visit here for the perfect meal for anyone craving an authentic taste of New York.

Delicious sandwiches on a counter in the shop with cooks in the background
Katz's Delicatessen is a New York institution, but keep in mind that you might have to wait in line for a bit since it is very popular, and with offerings like these - rightfully so!
Carl.Salisbury/Shutterstock.com

How to get there via public transport: Katz's Delicatessen is accessible by subway, with the F train stopping at 2nd Avenue, one block away. Several bus lines also serve the area.

Did you know? Katz's Delicatessen gained fame in popular culture for its iconic scene in the movie "When Harry Met Sally." There's even a sign hanging in the deli marking the specific table where the scene was filmed.

Things to note: Opening hours of Katz's Delicatessen vary depending on the day and hours may be adjusted due to private events.

Reservations only apply to big groups, and you might need to wait in line during busier hours near mealtimes. To learn more about the best time to visit Katz's Delicatessen along with up-to-date opening hours, please see our detailed guide to learn more:

READ MORE - Our Guide to Katz's Delicatessen

17. Queens Night Market

Why you should visit: This open-air market celebrates the rich cultural diversity of Queens and New York City, featuring food vendors from around the world.

It's a showcase of the city's melting pot, offering a taste of global cuisines and a festive atmosphere with live music and art. The market exemplifies the community spirit and the vibrancy of New York's neighborhoods.

Customers lining up at international food stalls at Queens Night Market
Another market you can visit while in New York City is Queens Night Market, which has a great variety of food stalls.
rblfmr/Shutterstock.com

How to get there via public transport: Queens Night Market is easily accessible by the 7 subway line and various bus routes.

Things to note: Queens Night Market is free to visit. The market is only open on Saturdays and it usually runs from mid-spring to mid-fall. For up-to-date information, you can refer to our guide on Queens Night Market, which you can find below:

READ MORE - Our Guide to Queens Night Market

Click here to skip to the top.

Beautiful parks, gardens and outdoor spaces in New York City

In the concrete jungle of NYC, beautiful parks and manicured gardens offer an escape from the urban rush. From the sprawling greenery of Central Park to the hidden gems of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, the city's outdoor spaces are perfect havens for leisure and exploration.

18. Central Park

Why you should visit: It is impossible to talk (or write) about New York City without mentioning Central Park. From its beautiful emerald-green flora to its famous restaurants, ponds and beautiful bridges, Central Park is an oasis. Its design by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux introduced the concept of landscaped public parks.

Highlights include the Bethesda Terrace, Strawberry Fields, the Central Park Zoo, and the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir. The park's blend of natural landscapes and historic structures provides a picturesque setting for leisure and exploration.

New York, USA with Central Park taken as an aerial view, surrounded by skyscrapers in the background and taken on a sunny day.
Central Park is a fresh breath of air and is the perfect place to spend some time to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Why not bring a picnic if the weather allows?
Ingus Kruklitis/Shutterstock.com

How to get there via public transport: Central Park is easily accessible by multiple subway lines and bus routes, with entrances around its entire perimeter.

Things to note: Central Park is open 7 days a week, but certain areas and facilities within the park, such as playgrounds and sports facilities, have specific hours. You can find more information about the opening hours of Central Park here:

READ MORE - Our Guide to Central Park

19. Bryant Park

Why you should visit: Bryant Park is a beloved green space in midtown Manhattan, known for its seasonal gardens, free activities, and open-air library.

It serves as a community gathering place with a carousel, outdoor reading room, and a winter village featuring a skating rink and holiday shops. The park's programming, from yoga classes to movie nights, makes it a dynamic urban oasis year-round.

People ice skating on the seasonal rink with a Christmas Tree in the background
Nestled among the tall buildings of the city, Byrant Park always has something going on. Make sure to check the schedule to see if you can plan your visit around an open-air concert or ice skating in the winter.
DW labs Incorporated/Shutterstock.com

How to get there via public transport: By subway, take the B, D, F, M, or 7 lines to 42nd Street/Bryant Park station or the 1, 2, 3, N, Q, R, or W lines to Times Square-42nd Street station. There are also numerous bus lines that serve the area.

Did you know? Bryant Park has appeared in numerous films and TV shows, such as "Spider-Man 3," "Sex and the City," and "Project Runway,"

Things to note: There is no entrance fee to visit Brant Park. The park is open 24 hours, year-round. However, certain facilities and activities, like the ice-skating rink and holiday shops, are seasonal. For more information, please see our detailed guide to learn more about Bryant Park:

READ MORE - Our Guide to Bryant Park

20. Prospect Park

Why you should visit: Created by the same designers as Central Park, Prospect Park is Brooklyn's flagship park, featuring the Prospect Park Zoo, the Boathouse, and the only forest in Brooklyn.

The Long Meadow and the Nethermead offer vast open spaces for recreation, while the park's bandshell hosts a variety of live performances. It's a green haven for community engagement and outdoor activities.

A pathway in the park surrounded by tees with a building in the background
If you are looking for a peaceful green space in Brooklyn, we highly recommend visiting Prospect Park.
Vadim 777/Shutterstock.com

How to get there via public transport: Head here via subway with the B, Q, S, 2, and 3 lines stopping at various stations around the park.

There are also numerous bus lines that serve the area.

Did you know? The iconic Prospect Park Carousel was featured in the final episode of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and Boardwalk Empire used the Tennis Club as a stand-in for a Cuban location.

A whole episode of the New York-based comedy series Broad City is set in Prospect Park, and Woody Allen loves to use New York City landmarks as the backdrop for his movies, and Prospect Park was featured in "Bullets over Broadway".

Things to note: Prospect Park is free to visit and is open year-round. However, keep in mind that it might occasionally close for official events.

The opening times of different facilities in the park vary, to find out more, you can visit our detailed guide below:

READ MORE - Our Guide to Prospect Park

21. Washington Square Park

Why you should visit: Famous for its arch dedicated to George Washington and its vibrant street life, Washington Square Park is a cultural and social epicenter in Greenwich Village.

The park's history as a gathering place for artists and activists adds depth to its lively atmosphere, where chess players, musicians, and students from nearby New York University mingle.

Aerial view over busy Washington Square Park in Greenwich village
Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village is especially stunning during fall.
Agnieszka Gaul/Shutterstock.com

How to get there via public transport: Washington Square is accessible by subway with several lines, including A, B, C, D, E, F, M, and 1 trains stopping nearby.

Things to note: Washington Square is a public park with no entry fee. It is open year-round, including holidays, although there are occasional closures for special events or maintenance. You can find up-to-date opening hours in our guide below:

READ MORE - Our Guide to Washington Square Park

22. Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Why you should visit: This 52-acre garden is a celebration of plant life, offering themed gardens such as the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden, the Native Flora Garden, and the Cherry Esplanade.

Seasonal events, like cherry blossom viewing, attract visitors for the spectacular blooms, while educational programs and workshops promote conservation and green living.

Cherry blossoms in Brooklyn Botanic Garden in New York City
Brooklyn Botanic Garden's cherry blossoms are famous, and you will be in for a treat if you are visiting in spring.
NattyC/Shutterstock.com

How to get there via public transport: Brooklyn Botanic Garden is accessible by the 2, 3, 4, 5 subway lines to Franklin Avenue and Eastern Parkway-Brooklyn Museum stations, and various bus routes.

Did you know? Brooklyn Botanic Garden was featured in several popular shows including "Gotham", with the garden used to create a moody and atmospheric setting.

Things to note: Brooklyn Botanic Garden has an entrance fee and you might need to book a timed-entry slot, especially during busy seasons.

The opening hours of Brooklyn Botanic Garden might vary by season, so it is a good idea to check the official website before you visit.

READ MORE - Our Guide to Brooklyn Botanic Garden

23. New York Botanical Garden

Why you should visit: Located in the Bronx, this garden is a leading institution for plant research and conservation, featuring the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory and a 50-acre forest, the largest remaining remnant of the original forest that covered New York City.

Its themed gardens, including the Rose Garden and the Rock Garden, and special exhibits like the annual Orchid Show, make it a place of beauty and learning. Seasonal shows are spectacular, like the Orchid Show and Holiday Train Show.

Conservatory building and lily pond of the botanical garden on a sunny day
New York Botanical Garden's Enid A. Haupt Conservatory is one of the largest of its kind in America.
June Marie Sobrito/Shutterstock.com

How to get there via public transport: New York Botanical Garden is accessible via the Metro-North Railroad Harlem Line to Botanical Garden Station and by subway on the B, D, or 4 lines to Bedford Park Blvd Station.

Did you know? The Garden's Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, a stunning glasshouse, is one of the largest Victorian-era glasshouses in America, and it houses plants from around the world.

Things to note: There is an entrance fee to visit the New York Botanical Garden and advance ticket purchase is recommended, especially during special exhibitions.

The opening hours may vary during holidays and special events. If you'd like to learn more about when to visit New York Botanical Garden, you can find our detailed guide here:

READ MORE - Our Guide to New York Botanical Garden

24. The High Line

Why you should visit: This elevated linear park, built on a historic freight rail line, is an example of innovative urban design blending nature, art, and architecture. It features landscaped gardens, public art installations, and views of the city and the Hudson River.

If you are in the mood for a stroll that brings together beautiful works of art, lush greenery, and the grey cityscape NYC is so famous for, then this is the perfect place to visit.

View of High Line walkway, surrounded by gardens and the office buildings in the background
For a unique park experience, you can enjoy a leisurely walk on the High Line, dotted with art installations, city views and Hudson River in the distance.
Sina Ettmer Photography/Shutterstock.com

How to get there via public transport: The High Line is accessible by several subway lines, including the A, C, E, L at 14th Street and 1, 2, 3 at 14th Street and 7th Avenue. Buses and bike share stations are also nearby.

Did you know? The High Line has been featured in various films and TV series, including "The Devil Wears Prada."

Things to note: The High Line is free to enter, but timed-entry reservations may be required during peak times.

The High Line is open throughout the year, but this might change due to special events and circumstances. You can find our detailed guide below for more information:

READ MORE - Our Guide to The High Line

25. Roosevelt Island Tramway

Why you should visit: The tramway offers a unique aerial commute between Manhattan and Roosevelt Island, providing stunning vistas of the East River, the United Nations Headquarters, and the city's skyline.

Why take the subway when you can see the city from above?

View from the tram above the river, traveling next to the bridge
You can drive or walk across from mainland to Roosevelt Island, but for a different perspective, hop on the Roosevelt Island Tramway!
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How to get there via public transport: Roosevelt Island Tramway is accessible by the subway (N, R, W, 4, 5, 6 to Lexington Ave/59th St station) and various bus routes.

Things to note: You will need to pay a fee to travel on the Roosevelt Island Tramway, but you can use a MetroCard if you have one.

The tram operates 7 days a week and its schedule is pretty reliable; however, the service might be interrupted due to unforeseen circumstances, so please check before you visit. You can learn more about the Roosevelt Island Tramway by clicking the link below:

READ MORE - Our Guide to Roosevelt Island Tramway

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Historical and Memorial Sites in New York City

New York City is steeped in history, from revolutions to renaissances. Visiting the city's historical and memorial sites, like the solemn 9/11 Memorial, offers a poignant journey through time, reflecting on the events and individuals that shaped not only a city but a nation.

26. The 9/11 Memorial & Museum

Why you should visit: The 9/11 Memorial & Museum serves as a poignant tribute to the victims of the September 11 attacks and a testament to the resilience of New Yorkers.

The reflective pools, inscribed with the names of those who lost their lives, and the museum's artifacts and narratives provide a deeply moving and educational experience, honoring the memory of the victims and the heroism of first responders.

The somber memorial pool at the site of the Twin Towers tragedy, surrounded by skyscrapers
A moment for reflection and remembrance, visiting the 9/11 Memorial & Museum will allow you to pay your respects to all the lives lost or affected in this tragedy.
anderm/Shutterstock.com

How to get there via public transport: The site is accessible by multiple subway lines, including the A, C, E, R, W, J, Z, 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 trains, as well as numerous bus routes.

Did you know? The Survivor Tree, a Callery pear tree, is a symbol of resilience at the site. It was recovered from the rubble, nursed back to health, and replanted at the Memorial, where it now stands as a living reminder of survival and rebirth.

Things to note: There is an entrance fee to visit the 9/11 Museum, and these tickets grant timed-entry slots. On the other hand, the Memorial outside is free to visit.

The Memorial is open daily, however the opening times for the Museum vary depending on the day of the week. Keep in mind that the museum might be closed for special observances. For more information, please find our detailed guide on the 9/11 Memorial & Museum below:

READ MORE - Our Guide to The 9/11 Memorial & Museum

27. General Grant National Memorial

Why you should visit: Known as Grant's Tomb, this memorial is the final resting place of Ulysses S. Grant, the 18th President of the United States, and his wife, Julia Dent Grant.

Its majestic domed structure and location overlooking the Hudson River pay homage to Grant's legacy as a Civil War general and president. The site's historical significance and the surrounding Riverside Park offer visitors a moment of reflection on American history and leadership.

The tomb of America's 18th president on a partially cloudy day
Grant's tomb is a must-visit for any history buff, where you can learn more about the nation's 18th president.
Wangkun Jia/Shutterstock.com

How to get there via public transport: General Grant National Memorial is accessible by the 1 subway line to 116th Street - Columbia University Station, and by bus routes M4 and M104.

Things to note: The General Grant National Memorial is free to visit. However, the memorial is usually closed several days per week. For more information about the opening hours, you can find our detailed guide below:

READ MORE - Our Guide to General Grant National Memorial

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Best venues to catch a show in New York City

New York City's vibrant performance scene is famous worldwide. Whether you're in the mood for a groundbreaking musical, a live comedy show, or an avant-garde dance performance, the city's entertainment hubs promise unforgettable nights.

28. Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts

Why you should visit: Lincoln Center stands as a pivotal hub for the performing arts, not just in New York but globally. It houses 11 prestigious organizations, including the Metropolitan Opera, New York Philharmonic, and New York City Ballet.

Its architectural beauty and the famous fountain make this venue also a great spot for photo ops.

Evening view of the entrance to Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center, with lit entrance and stairs
Lincoln Center has an incredible program throughout the year - why not catch a performance of the beloved New York City Ballet during your visit?
Sean Pavone/Shutterstock.com

How to get there via public transport: By subway, take the S or 7 train west to Times Square-42nd Street, then the uptown 1 local train to 66th Street / Lincoln Center Station.

If you are heading by bus take the M5, M7, M10, M11, M66 and M104 as bus lines all stop within one block of Lincoln Center.

Things to note: Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts has free public spaces, but there are fees for performances and events. Please make sure to check the event schedule and book your tickets in advance if you'd like to watch a show or a gig.

Lincoln Center is open 7 days a week but the opening hours may vary during holidays and different performances. For more information, please check our detailed guide out:

READ MORE - Our Guide to Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts

29. Radio City Music Hall

Why you should visit: Iconic for its Art Deco design and the Christmas Spectacular starring the Rockettes, Radio City Music Hall is a symbol of American entertainment.

Its vast auditorium, which once hosted film premieres and is now a venue for concerts and events, offers an unparalleled entertainment experience. The hall's opulent interior, including the grand foyer and the auditorium's proscenium arch, epitomizes the glamour of the golden age of entertainment.

Lit up exterior of the famous venue at night, photo take from across the street
Make sure to check what is on at the Radio City Music Hall months before you travel - the concerts and shows often sell out.
Stuart Monk/Shutterstock.com

How to get there via public transport: Radio City Music Hall is a short walk on 50th Street from the 50th Street-Broadway subway station.

Alternatively, if you're starting from Penn Station, head north for two blocks and then one block east to the 34th Street-Herald Square Station, from where you can catch the B, D, F, or M trains to the 47th-50th Streets-Rockefeller Center stop.

Things to note: Radio City Music Hall tours and events are not free, and prices vary, so please check the official website before visiting for the most up-to-date information.

The box office is usually closed on Sundays and the hours vary depending on performances. For more information, you can find our detailed guide to Radio City Music Hall below:

READ MORE - Our Guide to Radio City Music Hall

30. The Beacon Theatre

Why you should visit: With its beautiful, old-world theater design and excellent acoustics, The Beacon Theatre is revered for creating intimate concert experiences.

Known as the "auditorium by the sea" for its original decorative theme, it provides a warm and inviting atmosphere for performances, making it a favorite venue among both artists and audiences for its character and charm.

 Musicians Daryl Hall on the left and John Oates on the right performing at the concert hall
You might want to plan your trip to NYC to coincide with the performance of your favorite bands at the Beacon Theatre!
Anthony Correia/Shutterstock.com

How to get there via public transport: The Beacon Theatre is accessible by the 1, 2, 3 subway lines, as well as several bus routes, making it convenient for visitors from across the city.

Things to note: You will need to buy tickets for the events at the Beacon Theatre and we highly suggest booking them in advance in case they sell out.

The Beacon Theatre is open throughout the year but the box office is closed on Sundays. Please check our guide below to learn more about the opening hours:

READ MORE - Our Guide to The Beacon Theatre

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Best things to do with children in New York City

NYC is a playground for families on the road. From interactive museums and sprawling parks to zoos and aquariums, the city is packed with destinations where families can create lasting memories together.

31. Staten Island Ferry

Why you should visit: The best way to admire majestic views of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and Lower Manhattan is to hop on a ride on the famous Staten Island Ferry.

This ride is a favorite of tourists and locals alike for the scenic and leisurely ride, offering a moment of tranquility and spectacular photo opportunities against the backdrop of New York Harbor.

Staten Island Ferry with Manhattan skyscrapers in the background
Staten Island Ferry is free to use, and is a great way to admire NYC views from the water.
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How to get there via public transport: Staten Island Ferry is easily accessible by various subway lines (1, N, R, 4, 5) to the Whitehall Terminal and several bus lines at the St. George Terminal.

Things to note: We recommend arriving at least 15 minutes early for your desired departure time, with a travel time of around 25 minutes each way.

Staten Island Ferry is free to use and operates every day, year-round, but the schedule may vary on holidays. To find out more, you can find our detailed guide on the Staten Island Ferry here:

READ MORE - Our Guide to Staten Island Ferry

32. Staten Island Zoo

Why you should visit: This zoo focuses on conservation and education, offering intimate encounters with over 1,100 animals in settings that replicate their natural habitats.

Special attractions include the tropical forest, the African savannah, and a children's center where interactive experiences aim to foster a connection between visitors and wildlife.

Stoic cheetah, sitting on a rock at the zoo, looking into the distance
If you are traveling with family, you should visit the Staten Island Zoo to see and learn about fascinating animals.
MarinaMonroe/Shutterstock.com

How to get there via public transport: Staten Island Zoo is accessible via multiple bus routes, and a short distance from the Staten Island Ferry.

Did you know? Staten Island Zoo is known for its groundhog weather prediction on Groundhog Day, featuring the famous Staten Island Chuck.

Things to note: There is an entrance fee to visit the Staten Island Zoo. It is also good to note that the opening hours vary by day, and these hours might be different during holidays with the zoo being closed on major holidays. For up-to-date opening hours, you can visit our detailed guide below:

READ MORE - Our Guide to Staten Island Zoo

33. Yankee Stadium

Why you should visit: The home of the New York Yankees, this stadium is a modern cathedral of baseball, combining state-of-the-art facilities with the rich history of the team.

Tours of the stadium offer a behind-the-scenes look at the clubhouse, the field, and the Yankees Museum, making it a pilgrimage site for sports fans.

Aerial view of Yankee Stadium, New York
You can catch a game or take a tour of the Yankee Stadium, famously home to the New York Yankees.
Felix Mizioznikov/Shutterstock.com

How to get there via public transport: Yankee Stadium is well-connected by subway (B, D, and 4 lines stop at 161 St-Yankee Stadium) and bus services. The Metro-North Railroad also stops at Yankee Stadium.

Things to note: Yankee Stadium is free to enter on days when there isn't a game on, but you will need to buy a ticket if you'd like a tour.

The stadium is open year-round but the opening hours vary based on game schedules and events, so it is important to check before you visit. For more information, you can find our detailed guide on the Yankee Stadium below:

READ MORE - Our Guide to Yankee Stadium

34. Bronx Zoo

Why you should visit: As one of the largest zoos in the world, the Bronx Zoo offers diverse ecosystems and exhibits, such as the Congo Gorilla Forest, Tiger Mountain, and the Madagascar exhibit.

Its commitment to conservation and immersive exhibits allow visitors to connect with wildlife and learn about the global efforts to preserve natural habitats.

Ebony Langurs sitting on tree branches
Bronx Zoo is one of the largest in the world, and you will get to see some many interesting and rare animals during your visit, and learn more about them.
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How to get there via public transport: Bronx Zoo is accessible via the 2 and 5 subway lines to West Farms Square – East Tremont Ave Station, and by various bus routes.

Did you know? The Bronx Zoo was one of the first zoos in North America to create naturalistic habitats, rather than cages and pens, to house its animals. This approach revolutionized the way zoos were designed worldwide.

Things to note: There is an entrance fee to visit the Bronx Zoo. Advance ticket purchase is recommended, especially during peak seasons.

The opening hours and days might vary due to holidays and special events. For up-to-date information, you can refer to our detailed guide on Bronx Zoo below:

READ MORE - Our Guide to Bronx Zoo

35. Staten Island Children's Museum

Why you should visit: This museum engages children with exhibits that stimulate curiosity and creativity, from exploring the arts and sciences to experiencing different cultures. Interactive displays, like a fire truck and a pirate ship, encourage imaginative play, making learning fun and engaging for young minds.

Beautiful green garden located in Snug Harbor
After your visit to the Staten Island Children's Museum, you can take a stroll in the nearby New York Chinese Scholar's Garden and then grab an ice cream at the nearby parlor with your family.
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How to get there via public transport: Staten Island Children's Museum is accessible via bus and a short walk from the Staten Island Ferry Terminal.

Things to note: There is a fee to enter Staten Island Children's Museum.

Opening hours may vary on holidays and special events, with Staten Island Children's Museum usually closed on major holidays. Please see our detailed guide below for more information:

READ MORE - Our Guide to Staten Island Children's Museum

36. Statue of Liberty

Why you should visit: There are many symbols for the Big Apple, but none quite come close to the Statue of Liberty in fame. Coupled with the neighboring Ellis Island, this world-famous statue symbolizes freedom and hope.

For a deep dive into America's immigrant history, Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration is the perfect place to visit. Here, you will learn what makes America the beautiful, colorful cultural mosaic that it is.

Statue of Liberty standing in front of the New York City skyline
Possibly the most popular attraction in NYC, the Statue of Liberty is a wonderful place to visit with your family. Just don't forget to book your tickets way ahead of time!
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How to get there via public transport: The Statue of Liberty is accessible by subway (1 to South Ferry, 4/5 to Bowling Green, R to Whitehall Street) and several bus lines in New York City, as well as by PATH and light rail in New Jersey.

Things to note: There are fees for the ferry service and to access to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. The Statue of Liberty is a hugely popular attraction and the crown tickets often sell out months in advance, so we recommend booking tickets before you travel.

The Statue of Liberty is usually open every day except Christmas Day. Seasonal opening hours can vary. For up-to-date opening hours, check our detailed guide out below:

READ MORE - Our Guide to Statue of Liberty

37. Children's Museum of Manhattan

Why you should visit: Dedicated to children and their families, this museum provides interactive and educational exhibits on health, creativity, and culture. It's designed to inspire young visitors to learn about themselves and the world in a playful environment, fostering a lifelong love of learning.

Native American performers at the museum, dancing and playing instruments
Children's Museum of Manhattan is a great place where young minds can learn more about different cultures and their traditions.
Ritu Manoj Jethani/Shutterstock.com

How to get there via public transport: Children's Museum of Manhattan is easily accessible by the 1, B, and C subway lines to the 86th Street station, and various bus routes.

Things to note: Children's Museum of Manhattan is not free to enter, and you will need to purchase a ticket.

Children's Museum of Manhattan is usually closed on Mondays, except for certain school holidays and some summer Mondays. For more information, you can find our helpful guide below:

READ MORE - Our Guide to Children's Museum of Manhattan

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