There’s no shortage of things to do in New York City. The “City that Never Sleeps” is a world-class destination for anyone who loves art, theater, music, fine dining, charming neighborhoods, shopping and historic sights – essentially everyone.
Here is our curated guide with the best attractions that you shouldn’t miss on your first trip to the “Big Apple.”
1. Central Park
This 840-acre park offers city-dwellers and visitors alike a respite from the chaos of the concrete jungle. Go for a walk around the approximate 6-mile loop, rent a rowboat or grab a drink at Tavern on the Green.
2. The High Line
The High Line is an old elevated railroad track located on the west side of Manhattan. With gardens and art installations along the path, it offers an excellent alternative to walking down noisy city streets.
3. Broadway & Times Square
While most New Yorkers only visit Broadway and Times Square to see a show, it is a must-see for any first-time visitors to New York City. Be prepared for diverse crowds, 24-hour lights, and energy unlike anywhere else.
4. National September 11 Memorial & Museum
You can pay your respects to those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001, at this peaceful memorial. In addition to visiting the reflection pools, which are located where the Twin Towers once stood, save time to visit the moving museum.
5. One World Observatory
The Observatory is located on top of “One World Trade Center,” the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, which assures that you will get incredible views of New York City and the surrounding waters. The ride to the top of the 102 floors only takes 47 seconds.
6. Food Scene
There are countless restaurants of all types of cuisine and price points to keep you full during your visit. Beyond the pizza, bagels, cupcakes, and donuts that make NYC famous, save room for Chelsea Market and Smorgasburg in Brooklyn.
7. The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art (Met) is located on the Upper East Side near Central Park. More than two million pieces of fine artwork are on display spanning 5,000 years.
This borough probably deserves its own post. To experience Brooklyn’s diverse neighborhoods plan on making stops at Williamsburg, Brooklyn Heights, Prospect Park, and Coney Island.
9. Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island
From the bottom tip of Manhattan, you can embark on a trip to see these historic landmarks. If you want to visit Lady Liberty’s crown, you’ll have to get tickets weeks or months in advance.
10. Empire State Building
For a breathtaking view of the “Big Apple,” you can travel the 102 floors to the top of the Empire State Building. Buying tickets online ahead of time can help save you some time.
11. Brooklyn Bridge
Strolling over this iconic 1.1-mile long bridge is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon. Be sure to follow the signs painted on the path indicating where the walkers should stay, so you don’t get hit by a bike.
12. Museum of Modern Art
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is centrally located in Midtown and offers a unique collection of permanent and rotating modern art exhibits. Admission is free on Friday nights from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm.