The USA – grand, confident, competitive, diverse, and beautiful. You know that this great country is home to 50 states and a district. If you are a frequent traveler, you might be intimidated about visiting the United States because of how enormous the country is, geographically, and the huge amount of money you need to save up when you want to see the USA.
But, we’re here to guide you every step of the way should you be planning to explore and discover the United States. There are so many places in this country that are worth visiting, and one of those that should never be out of your bucket list is New York City.
Nicknamed “The Big Apple,” New York City is regarded as the epicenter of the arts. It is a dining and shopping hub. It is a marvelous place to see magnificent architecture. It’s a trendsetter city for every jetsetter. If you are a foodie, you will love this place. If you love the arts, NYC is the place to be. New York City wears many crowns, yet it is an irresistible destination for every traveler.
In this guide, you will not only be learning about the best things to do in NYC, but also, you’ll be guided about everything you need to know before you book that ticket to this amazing world city. Without further ado, let’s get started!
The Best Things To Do In NYC
Travelers, especially the budgetarians, would often just tour and explore a certain city in the world in, what, like five days and four nights? But take New York City differently. It is a huge city in terms of its land area, and in terms of the sights to visit. We advise that you take it slow and easy, and see NYC in more than five days, perhaps a week or two, or maybe even for a month.
From immersing into the lushness of Central Park to watching an award-winning theater show on Broadway, there are a lot of things to enjoy.
1. Relax And Stroll Around Central Park
You haven’t been to New York City if you haven’t been to Central Park. Featured in countless blockbuster movies like “When Harry Met Sally,” “Serendipity,” “Ghostbusters” and more, Central Park is a favorite place for both first-time travelers in NYC and for the New Yorkers.
Plus, if you are a health-conscious person, you’ll love this because it is all about taking a walking tour. Strolling, sightseeing and reveling at the views, and repeat.
At Central Park, you’ll be treated to – nature lovers, get this – 693 acres of man-made gardens, forests, meadows, and hillsides. But it’s also no monotony as you will pass by bridges, sculptures, arches, playgrounds, a zoo, and an ice skating rink.
2. Admire The Breathtaking NYC Skyline From The Top Of Empire State Building
Built during the 1930s (history buffs, you will love this), the Empire State Building is a 102-story skyscraper located in Midtown Manhattan designed with the Art Deco style, an artistic movement characterized by rich colors, bold geometry, and decadent detail work. The building’s name is derived from “Empire State,” which is the nickname of the New York state.
Like many of the world’s most famous and tallest skyscrapers where you can see the city’s skyline from atop, the Empire State Building in New York City also offers this experience. But prepare to shell out some bucks as there are tickets you need to purchase before this encounter. But you wouldn’t regret it. It will be all worth it. Seeing New York City from this perspective is the perfect Instagram photo.
3. Watch A Sports Match At The Yankee Stadium
Many sports reporter wannabes dream of reporting right from the dugout of the Yankee Stadium. Because why not? It’s one of the star locations if you are looking for things to do in NYC.
Yankee Stadium is the home field of the state’s 27-time World Champions. And, if you are saving money and not taking an Uber around New York City or not hiring your private driver, this place is very accessible. It’s just a half-hour subway ride from Penn Station and around a 20-minute subway ride from Grand Central station – easily accessible from Manhattan.
Yankee Stadium can seat over 50,000 fans, and is a place where not just football matches happen, but also concerts and other big shows.
4. Be A Live Audience Of The ‘Today’ Morning Show At Rockefeller Center
Who says that New York City’s Rockefeller Center is only for the Christmas season? While it draws the biggest crowds during the winter holidays, there are plenty of things to do here year-round.
Rockefeller Center has tons of experiences to offer. You get beautiful sculptures to take a look at, an ice skating rink if you feel like beating the heat with skates, a fishbowl view of NBC Studios (NBC is one of the biggest TV networks in the United States), and a plethora of restaurants and stores.
Every Christmas, it houses a sizable Christmas tree and becomes the perfect place for skaters gliding across the ice skating rink. Beyond Christmas, you can watch the “Today” show in the morning since Rockefeller Center is usually where it does its performances – as its home network, NBC, is located a short walk away. In the afternoon, you can admire a good look of the city from the Top of the Rock Observation Deck, or you can watch a performance at Radio City Music Hall in the evening.
5. See The Iconic Statue Of Liberty
Of course, of course. If you are traveling to NYC, you should not forget visiting the Statue of Liberty. This gift from the French people to America is accessible via a ferry that you can usually take from Battery Park in Lower Manhattan, to bring you to the statue on Liberty Island and make a stop at Ellis Island for more sightseeing before returning to the mainland.
Yes, the crowds are everywhere, so you can follow these tips from New York City travelers. First, it is recommended that you get in line earlier so you can get on one of the first boats. Or, you can instead buy a ticket and get a ferry at Liberty State Park – wait up, remember this is in nearby New Jersey, at Jersey City – and there are shorter queues here.
It is also a must-do that you buy a ticket to the pedestal (this is reserved in advance as tickets are limited), but once you have your ticket here, you can stand at about half the height of the statue, seeing panoramic views not just of New York City, but also New Jersey, the New York Harbor, and Ellis Island.
6. Take A Photo With Times Square, Then Share It On Social Media!
Call it showoff, but one of the luxuries that traveling can give you is sharing your experience with your friends on social media, right? You’ve seen those who have been to New York City share their selfies and fashion posts at Times Square. As you can see, Times Square is a must-visit location in NYC.
Things to do in NYC’s Times Square include taking a picture with your favorite cartoon characters like Captain America and The Hulk, stepping into a chocolate oasis at M&M’s World New York (located around the area), and reeling in the foodie in you in the best restaurants and bars also found around.
7. Shop ‘Til You Drop At Fifth Avenue
It is a fact that there are travelers out there who visit a certain city in the world just to shop. And if you are part of this group, you should keep on reading. New York City is home to many shopping destinations that have been featured in many bestselling books and popular films. One of them is Fifth Avenue.
But hold on. There are two kinds of shoppers. Shoppers who are for bargain shopping, and those who are willing to go all-out. If you belong to the latter, Fifth Avenue is a must-visit. It is not only the most popular shopping destination in NYC, but also one of the most famous worldwide.
The best and the most sophisticated brands are here – Armani, Cartier, Ferragamo, Gucci, and so much more. This is the place for the high-class, the high society, for the riskiest and boldest of shoppers.
8. Watch A Broadway Play Or Musical
You know New York City is where you can find visual arts museums such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and more. However, for lovers of performing arts, they head over to Broadway.
Broadway is actually a road in the city that runs 53 kilometers. It is home to Broadway theatre, where you can watch theatrical performances presented in its 41 professional theatres located along the road’s Theater District and the Lincoln Center in Midtown Manhattan. If London is to the West End, New York City is to Broadway.
Some of the biggest plays that have been shown here are “The Lion King,” “Hamilton,” “Wicked,” “Sweeney Todd,” and so much more.
There you have it. The best things to do in NYC. Sure, there are absolutely more places here, such as the Brooklyn Bridge, the Grand Central Terminal, the Radio City Music Hall, the food tours, and so much more. But what we’ve presented are some of the must-see places, especially for those visiting New York City for the first time.
But wait, we’ve got some bonus content and guides for you. If you are traveling and strolling around New York City, a big city obviously, there is no way you should leave your stomachs hungry. And, you need a place to take a nightful rest after a day filled with activities. So, we list down the best restaurants and hotels in NYC. Plus more.
Best Restaurants To Dine In NYC
Some of the best restaurants in New York City are:
- Crown Shy
- Gage & Tollner
- Gramercy Tavern
- Sushi Nakazawa
- And more!
Best Hotels To Stay At In NYC
Some of the best hotels to stay at in New York City are:
- The Ned NoMad
- The Langham, New York, Fifth Avenue
- Soho House New York
- The Carlyle
- The Ritz-Carlton New York, NoMad
- The Greenwich
- The William Vale
- Mandarin Oriental, New York
Getting Around New York City
Getting around as you enjoy the best things to do in NYC is very easy, you won’t get stressed out. Many tourists take Metropolitan Transportation Authority or MTA New York City Transit (which comprises subways and buses), or the subways and buses that ply around the area.
Or, if you feel like hopping on tradition, you can ride the Roosevelt Island Tram. There are also taxis and Uber cars, if you are not bringing your car, which most of the time, you won’t. Or, you can even explore NYC via bikes and ferries.
Discover New York City Today
New York City is ranked high on the list of the best cities across the globe. It is also one of the best cities to live. But New York City is not for the faint of heart. If you are traveling from outside the United States, you’ve got to work hard to save up enough money for this trip, like seriously! But when you finally get the chance to travel to the Big Apple, it is an experience that you will never forget.
Sure, there are a lot of information and tips you can find around, especially online, from travel-related companies and fellow tourists alike. It can be easy to get swept away. So, if you need a proper guide when you need to know the best things to do in NYC, you can refer to this piece.
New York City is fast. It’s always moving, it’s always changing. Are you ready for the best tours of your life?
Tours we recommend: