12 Things to See and Do in New York City

The Big Apple. The City That Never Sleeps. The Empire City. New Amsterdam. Call it what you want, but you can’t call it dull. You could spend a lifetime in New York City and still not have enough time to explore. Love it or hate it, you won’t be bored. There is plenty to do and something for every taste. Speaking of, the food in this city is absolutely incredible and a definite don’t-miss!

Don’t try to do everything in one trip. New York is too big and there’s too much to do. It’s best to pick an area, see what you can there, and give yourself an excuse to come back. Soak in the energy of the city and enjoy the empire state of mind. But while you’re these, here are our top 12 things to see and do in the city.

12. Visit Central Park

Spanning 843 acres inside the busy borough of Manhattan, is Central Park. Perfect for escaping the concrete jungle for lunch or big enough to spend the whole day exploring, this park sees about 42 million annual visitors.  You can row a boat on the lake, take part in physical activity at one of their sport facilities, catch a concert, or even go to the zoo. Central Park is a must stop if you are visiting New York City.

11. Rooftop View of the Skyline

When you think of New York City, you think of towering skyscrapers in all directions. Unfortunately, you can’t really get a good view of the skyline from the ground level because, well, there are too many skyscrapers in the way. To truly appreciate the scope of this city you’ll need to escalate one of the buildings that make up the picturesque skyline. Buildings that offer views to the public include: Empire State Building, One World Trade Center, and the Rockefeller Center.

10. Grand Central Station

Over a quarter of a million people move through Grand Central each day using the buses, trains, and subways. The architecture of the terminal is something to marvel at on its own. If you want to get a feel for the pace of this city, grab a seat in Grand Central and watch the people stream through the station. There are plenty of dining options here as well. If you are going to use public transit in New York, make a stop at Grand Central.

9. Visit a Broadway Show

There are a lot of things that are uniquely New York, but when you hear the words “Broadway Show”, you immediately drift to thoughts of NYC. There are a plethora of shows that you can attend while in New York and many you can see for a discount price if you’re willing to wait until day-of to see what you can get. Whether you fancy seeing Hamilton, Moulin Rouge, The Lion King, Chicago, or a host of others, head to the theater district in Manhattan to find your favorites.

8. Take a Walk or Shop Down 5th Avenue

Lining the east side of Central Park, is 5th Ave. Follow this street south of the park and you will find yourself in the world-famous shopping district. Prada, Tiffany & Co., Bergdorf Goodman, and Louis Vuitton are just some of the names you’ll see while strolling down this elegant stretch. Even if you don’t plan on buying anything, the window shopping is good enough to warrant a visit.

7. Eat at One of NYC’s 64 Michelin Star Restaurants

If you’re a foodie, you are in for a treat when you come to New York. If you like food and can budget for a top-shelf meal, your tastebuds are going to thank you. Scattered throughout the city you can find 64 different Michelin Star restaurants. Only the highest standard of restaurants worldwide receive Michelin Stars, and New York has one of the highest concentrations of them.

6. Take in a Comedy Show

Comedy thrives in difficult places. It may look like a fantasy world when you visit, but this city can take a toll on you if you stay there long-term. New York is home to one of the best stand up comedy scenes in the world. Heavyweight comics like Jerry Seinfeld, George Carlin, Eddie Murphy, and Adam Sandler all hail from NYC. The list doesn’t stop there. Check out the Comedy Cellar or Gotham Comedy Club to see some of NYC’s funniest in action.

5. Go on a NYC Food Tour

Whether it’s a slice of Brooklyn Pizza, a pastrami sandwich, or a NYC bagel, be sure that you don’t miss out on the staples of New York gastronomy. If you get a chance, go on an authentic NYC food tour. Your tour guides will know the best spots to sample the world of food that New York City is famous for – many of which are only truly known to locals.

4. Statue of Liberty

Would a trip to New York City be complete without getting up close to the Statue of Liberty? We don’t think so. For about $25 you can take a ferry right out to the iconic monument. You can even climb to the top of her crown to get a view of the city. If you don’t want to pay for the ferry, you can take the free Staten Island ferry that gets pretty close to the statue and provides a panoramic view of the city from the sea.

3. Walk the High Line

The High Line is a nearly 1.5-mile-long elevated linear park. An old railway was renovated to turn the out of function transport line into a greenspace and commuter path for New Yorkers. The trail runs from Gansevoort Street to 34th Street. It’s a nice space to walk and see the city while avoiding the hectic traffic below.

2. Pay Tribute at the 9/11 Memorial

The tragic events of September 11, 2001 are burned into our memories. At ground zero, there is a beautiful memorial dedicated to all of those that lost their lives in the horrific attacks. Two square memorial pools occupy the space where the World Trade Centers once stood. A museum dedicated to the events of that day is also located on site.

1. Times Square

Last but not least, one of the most famous squares in the world, Times Square. Some say its hectic and everything around there is overpriced, but its just one of those things that while you’re there you kind of have to see. Go at night to get the best view of the lights and screens that encompass this intersection.


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