With TripAdvisor’s ‘Things to do’ list at a cool 1,200 and the average NYC break lasting around three to four days, that’s a heck of a lot of cramming for even the savviest of travellers!
That’s why we’ve pulled together ten of the best New York attractions into one unmissable list. Here goes…
- Central Park
- Statue of Liberty
- Empire State Building
- 9/11 Memorial & Museum
- Metropolitan Museum of Art
- Brooklyn Bridge
- Times Square
- The High Line
- Grand Central Terminal
1. Central Park
There are parks and then there’s Central Park. Spanning a staggering 843 acres between 59th and 110th street, this picturesque plot is six times bigger than Monaco! (mind blown).
A natural wonderland awaits where you can wander between the 25,000 trees, 29 sculptures and lovely landscaped lawns. Need a sit down? Not to worry, there are 9,000 benches to choose from! Oh and look out for the fluffy, feathered and frolicsome that call this place home - we’re talking raccoons, chipmunks and woodpeckers to name but a few!
During the winter season Central Park is the place to go to for the ultimate festive experience. Don your skates and whizz along the glistening Wolman ice rink or if it’s snowing go sledging down Cedar Hill.
2. Statue of Liberty
It’s one thing seeing it on the big screen, but when the world’s most iconic statue appears before your very eyes, it’s an indescribable experience. Despite standing at an impressive 93m tall, you’ll be surprised how much smaller this spectacular sculpture seems when you’re sailing past by boat – and that really is the best way to see the Statue of Liberty!
Jump aboard the free ferry bound for Staten Island and have your camera at the ready for some amazing photo opportunities. Some of the boats even play a NYC themed soundtrack as you sail on by (think Alica Keys, ‘Empire State of Mind’) – it doesn’t get much more New York than this.
3. Empire State Building
One of New York’s most famous attractions, the Empire State Building is an incredible 381m and is 102 floors tall. It’s open 365 days of the year and can be visited both day and night. Top tip - buy your tickets before you go to avoid the queues.
This is one of the most photographed building on the planet, so be sure to pay it a visit and snap some of your own mantelpiece pics! On both the 86th and 102nd floor you’ll find observatories, where it’s said you can see up to 80 miles on a clear day!
4. 9/11 Memorial & Museum
Pay your respects to those who lost their lives in the 2001 terrorist attacks at the former World Trade Center site. The 9/11 Memorial & Museum tells the harrowing story of the day that changed New York, in a space that covers 110,000 square feet.
There are exhibitions, archives and artefacts as well as recognition of the bravery of all who survived. Outside the museum, you’ll find the memorial itself, which is inscribed with the names of the 2,977 people who died in the September 11 attacks and the six people killed in the February 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
5. Metropolitan Museum of Art
Ever-changing exhibitions mean the USA’s biggest art museum is always top of tourists’ to-see lists. In fact, around seven million people a year step through the grand façade of the Metropolitan Museum of Art to admire its two million pieces of work!
It was founded back in 1870 and features exhibits spanning more than 5,000 years from world-famous artists including Van Gogh, Monet and Matisse. As far as New York sightseeing goes, this is pretty high up there! Whether you’re jetting away as a couple, with family or friends, this is one of those attractions that’s just not to be missed.
6. Brooklyn Bridge
When researching New York sightseeing inspiration, Brooklyn Bridge is guaranteed to make an appearance – and quite rightly so! Connecting bustling Brooklyn and magnificent Manhattan, this incredible structure studs the city’s skyline and has done for more than 100 years.
Take the two-kilometre stroll along the pedestrian walkway and you’ll be wowed by the views, especially if you time it right with the sun setting! The best tip we can give you? Have your camera to hand!
7. Times Square
As full-of-life in person as it is on the big screen, Times Square is all you could wish for and more. Bright lights, beeping horns, yellow cabs zipping by - this city centre hub is a carnival of colour every day of the year.
However during December it really comes into its own. The streets are transformed with magical window displays and twinkling fairy lights – it’s a sight to behold. If you’re around for New Year, head here to see the famous Ball Drop. More than a million people are thought to flock here to ring in January in style!
8. The High Line
Perched in the most peculiar of places, the High Line is a 1.45-mile-long park, elevated 30 feet in the air on a former freight railway track. You’ll find this wonderful walkway hovering above Manhattan’s must-visit Chelsea Market.
Visitors swoop by for a glimpse of all-things green in an otherwise bustling neighbourhood. It’s a nature lover’s dream, with flora and fauna galore and some seriously stunning views of the city. Not to mention the colour-popping graffiti art and spectacular sculptures you’ll spot along the way.
New York’s answer to London’s West End and multiplied by 100? Ah, you must have arrived at Broadway. Theatre fans searching for things to do in New York need look no further - you’ve arrived in musical heaven.
With all the big names, including Kinky Boots, The Lion King, Chicago and Phantom of the Opera, there’s no place better on earth to see a stage show – fact. Tickets can sell out quickly, so book as far in advance as possible. Look out for some famous faces on stage too! The theatre district’s perfectly positioned in the heart of Times Square, where bright lights await!
10. Grand Central Terminal
Witness heart-warming ‘hellos’ and fond ‘farewells’ at the glitzy Grand Central Terminal. It may well be the last on our list of top ten things to do in New York, but it’s by no means the least impressive.
If you thought it was just a glorified train station, then you were mistaken - it’s home to 65 shops, a bounty of restaurants and boasts an events calendar that’s fit to burst. Not to mention its truly captivating history!
Feeling inspired to plan a city break to New York?
Posted: 5th Dec 2018.