29 Matters to See and Do in New York Metropolis

A aerial shot of Manhattan overlooking Central Park
Posted: 11/21/2019 | November 21st, 2019

New York Metropolis. It’s one in every of my favourite cities on the earth and probably the most standard locations within the US. Sprawling, busy, thrilling — there’s a purpose individuals name it town that by no means sleeps!

It has one thing for everybody — together with a lot of budget-friendly actions for vacationers trying to stretch their pocketbook. I lived within the metropolis for years and nonetheless return usually. Whether or not you’re searching for historical past, nightlife, meals, or artwork, this metropolis received’t disappoint.

That can assist you plan your journey, listed here are the very best matters to see and do in NYC — irrespective of your finances!
 

1. Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island

The Statue of Liberty on Ellis Island in New York City
At 151 ft tall, the Statue of Liberty is spectacular to see up shut. However the actual spotlight of this duo is Ellis Island. Right here you’ll be taught concerning the immigrant expertise and get a way of the individuals who helped construct town. There’s such an excellent sense of historical past there which you can’t assist however be impressed.
 

2. Central Park

The lush green trees and flowers of Central Park in New York City
The proper solution to loosen up within the metropolis and go away the crowds behind is to spend the day in Central Park. It’s free, there are many paths to stroll (or run), bike lanes, lakes to row in, and a zoo. The park spans over 150 sq. blocks (840 acres) it’s simple to spend hours wandering round. In the course of the summer time months, there are sometimes free live shows and theater productions (line up early for tickets to Shakespeare within the Park).

From the late spring to the early fall, there are free guided walks run by the parks service on Saturdays at 11am. I’m a giant fan of laying out in Sheep’s Meadow on a sizzling, sunny day with a ebook, some meals, and a bottle of wine.
 

3. World Commerce Heart & 9/11 Memorial and Museum

The somber 9/11 Memorial at ground zero in New York City
Wander the somber memorial after which take within the view from the brand new “Freedom Tower.” On the elevator up, you may see photos of the historic growth of town and the way it’s modified over time. To get a deeper understanding of 9/11 and the occasions that unfolded, go to the museum. It’s house to some transferring reveals that illuminate the importance of the tragedy and its affect.

180 Greenwich Road, Monetary District, Decrease Manhattan, +1 212 266 5211, 911memorial.org. Day by day memorial hours are from 7:30am–9pm. Day by day museum hours are from 9am–8pm (closes one hour in a while Fri–Sat). The memorial is free to go to and entry to the museum is $24. Free admission on Tuesdays after 5pm (on a first-come, first-served foundation).
 

4. Wall Road

The Charging Bull statue in New York City on Wall Street
Take a photograph with the well-known Charging Bull statue (which was commissioned in 1989 and is product of bronze) after which stroll to Wall Road and see the place all these bankers destroyed the economic system. Whereas there isn’t a lot to see right here (the Museum of American Finance is briefly closed) it’s nonetheless an iconic a part of town and value seeing with your individual eyes, if solely briefly.
 

5. Battery Park

Named Battery Park for the outdated batteries (cannons) that defended town, you may cease right here for music and avenue performers in the summertime, people-watching, enjoyable, and a few lounging within the solar with a superb ebook. You can too discover the ruins of the outdated fort that stored watch over New York Metropolis. The Park is giant and may get a bit of hectic however there are some great views of the harbor that make it worthwhile.
 

6. Stroll the Brooklyn Bridge

A shot of Manhattan from the Brooklyn Bridge during sunset in the summer
The Brooklyn Bridge provides a simple 25-minute stroll into Brooklyn and the waterfront park on the opposite facet of the bridge. Stopping to take images and meandering alongside the best way will make the stroll about 40 minutes — which is unquestionably value it! You get loads of great views of Manhattan as you make your means throughout. I get pleasure from doing this stroll at night time when downtown is all lit up (and there are fewer crowds).
 

7. Grand Central Terminal

Grand Central Terminal is town’s historic prepare station. It was going to be torn down in 1975 however was saved by Jacqueline Kennedy, who raised cash for its preservation. There are free historic excursions on Wednesdays. I really like coming to the primary concourse and looking out up on the “stars” within the ceiling and people-watching as everybody races backward and forward.

Additionally, there’s a tremendous eatery within the basement known as the Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant. And for fancy (and costly) cocktails, go to the Campbell Flats and step again into the 1920s (costume code enforced). The area was as soon as the workplace of John W. Campbell, a member of the New York Central Railroad’s board of administrators and finance tycoon from the 1920s.

89 E. 42nd Road, Midtown, grandcentralterminal.com. Opening each day from 5:30am–2am. Excursions are held each day at 12:30pm for $30 per individual with reductions out there. Buy at mas.org/excursions or on the ticket home windows.
 

8. Trinity Church

Trinity Church is likely one of the oldest church buildings in America. The unique constructing burned down in 1776, however the present church remains to be lovely and probably the most iconic sights within the metropolis. It has an ornate Gothic-style construction and is known for its colonial graveyard, the place you’ll discover many well-known People (together with Alexander Hamilton, one in every of America’s founding fathers).

74 Trinity Place, Monetary District, Decrease Manhattan, +1 212 602 0800, trinitywallstreet.org. Opening each day from 7am–6pm.
 

9. The Guggenheim Museum

The exterior of the Guggenheim museum in New York City
This museum is house to a famend assortment of impressionist, post-impressionist, early fashionable, and modern artwork. The cylindrical museum (designed by Frank Lloyd Wright) is taken into account one of many 20th century’s most vital architectural designs. It’s one in every of my favourite buildings (and museums) within the metropolis.

1071 fifth Avenue, Higher East Aspect, +1 212 423 3500, guggenheim.org/new-york. Opening Sunday–Wednesday and Fridays from 10am–5:45pm, Saturdays from 10am–7:45 (closed Thursdays). Admission is $25 with reductions for college kids and seniors. On Saturday nights from 5:45-7:45pm, admission is by donation.
 

10. Metropolis Corridor

New York’s Metropolis Corridor is a superb piece of historic structure. It additionally has an attractive little park close by that’s crammed with workplace staff throughout lunch (in the summertime anyway). To be taught concerning the constructing’s historical past, artwork, and structure, take one of many guided excursions. On a tour, you’ll have the ability to see the rotunda, town council chamber, Governor’s Room, and the Metropolis Corridor Portrait Assortment. It’s an excellent place to be taught concerning the metropolis and the way it capabilities.

Metropolis Corridor Park. Pre-reserved excursions are usually provided for teams (10–20 individuals) on Mondays and Tuesdays at 10:30am and for people on Thursdays at 10am. There are additionally first-come, first-served excursions on Wednesdays at 12pm.
 

11. Rockefeller Heart

The view from the Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center in New York City at night
Wander round Rockefeller Heart to see the place they movie The Right now Present, store, snack, and take the elevator to the “Prime of the Rock” for one more chook’s-eye view of town (which I personally suppose it higher than the Empire State Constructing, since this view consists of the Empire State Constructing within the image). It will likely be busy at sundown and on the weekends, so come through the week to beat the crowds.

30 Rockefeller Plaza, +1 212 698 2000, topoftherocknyc.com. Open each day from 8am–12am (final elevator up at 11pm). Admission is $36 to go to the statement deck as soon as, $50 to mix that with a tour of Rockefeller Heart, and $54 to go to the statement deck twice in 24 hours.
 

12. Instances Sq.

Times Square in NYC lit up at night and bustling with people
Irrespective of if you go to Instances Sq., it will likely be full of individuals (often different vacationers). There are just a few pedestrian areas the place you may sit and take within the metropolis however if you happen to aren’t purchasing or consuming or planning to see a present then there isn’t a lot to do within the space.

Whereas no New Yorkers hang around right here, it’s nonetheless a wonderful place to people-watch for a couple of minutes from the highest of the crimson steps of the TKTS kiosk. You may actually get a really feel for the way busy town is from right here.
 

13. The Metropolitan Museum of Artwork

An ancient Sphynx statue in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City
The Met is likely one of the largest museums on the earth, and if you happen to solely see one museum in New York, that is the one I’d advocate. It has an enormous assortment of artwork, historic artifacts, images, and different reveals. There’s even an actual Egyptian tomb in right here! Personally, I get pleasure from its expansive impressionist and Greek reveals. The museum can get a bit of chaotic and often crammed with individuals (particularly on weekends) however since it’s so large you may usually discover some quiet spots away from the crowds. You may simply spend hours right here so finances loads of time if you happen to’re a historical past buff like me!

1000 fifth Avenue, Central Park, Higher East Aspect, +1 212 535 7710, metmuseum.org. Opening Sunday–Thursday from 10am–5:30pm, Friday–Saturday from10am–9pm. Admission is $25 (consists of entrance to the Cloisters and Met Breuer for 3 consecutive days). Free for youths 12 and underneath.
 

14. American Museum of Pure Historical past

Made much more well-known by the Evening on the Museum films, that is one other museum that requires loads of time. The reveals on nature, human historical past, and marine life are complete and academic so I wouldn’t attempt to rush your go to. Additionally, don’t skip the part on area on the Hayden Planetarium, which is run by science guru Neil Degrasse Tyson. They’ve actually detailed exhibitions on the origin of the universe!

Central Park W. at 79th Road, Higher West Aspect, +1 212 769 5100, amnh.org. Opening each day from 10am–5:45pm. Urged donation of $23 ($13 for kids ages 2–12). Notice: Though this museum solely technically asks for a prompt donation, be ready to pay to enter any particular exhibitions and/or films.
 

15. The Frick Assortment

The calm and serene interior of The Frick Collection in New York City
This assortment options work by well-known European artists in addition to 18th-century French furnishings and complex rugs from Asia. To be trustworthy, you need to actually love Dutch artists to need to spend time right here (which I do). Happily, in addition they host loads of great short-term reveals so there may be usually loads of different artwork to see along with their important assortment.

1 East 70th Road, +1 212-288-0700, frick.org. Opening from Tuesday-Saturday from 10am-6pm and Sundays from 11am-5pm (closed on Mondays). Admission is $22 USD, with reductions out there to college students and seniors. Go to Wednesdays between 2pm-6pm and the doorway payment is “pay what you would like.”
 

16. The Museum of the Metropolis of New York

This museum will inform you every part you ever wished to find out about New York Metropolis. Structure, parks, streets, tradition, well-known sights — you identify it! There are a number of rooms that illuminate town all through the ages through interviews, maps, interactive reveals, profiles of historic figures, and numerous artifacts. It’s the very best historical past museum within the metropolis. Additionally, there’s a enjoyable exhibit right here the place you may create the longer term NYC (a la Sim Metropolis model). It’s nice for youths!

1220 Fifth Avenue at 103rd St., +1 212-534-1672, mcny.org. Opening each day from 10am-6pm. Admission is $18, with discounted charges for college kids and seniors.
 

17. Empire State Constructing

The busy skyline of Manhattan
This is likely one of the most historic landmarks in all of New York Metropolis. In-built 1931, the artwork deco inside is gorgeous and the view from the highest is breathtaking. You may get an actual really feel for the way densely populated New York is as you stare out on the metropolis. Get right here early or throughout lunchtime to keep away from the strains and tour teams. And don’t overlook to carry your digicam!

350 fifth Avenue, Midtown, +1 212 736 3100, esbnyc.com. Value: $36 to go to the statement deck as soon as, $50 to mix that with a tour of Rockefeller Heart, $54 to go to the statement deck twice in 24 hours. Reductions out there for kids and seniors.
 

18. Broadway Present

You may’t go to New York Metropolis, the theater capital of the world, with out seeing a present. Present highlights and my favorites embrace:

  • The Lion King
  • The Phantom of the Opera
  • Depraved
  • Expensive Evan Hansen
  • Aladdin
  • Chicago
  • College of Rock
  • Come From Away
  • Hamilton
  • The E book of Mormon

You’ll find discounted theater tickets on the TKTS workplaces across the metropolis (Instances Sq., South Road Seaport, and downtown Brooklyn) for exhibits that day. Additionally they have an app the place you may see what they provide too! Count on to spend no less than $100.
 

19. The Cloisters

The Cloisters museum in New York City
Few individuals make it as much as the Cloisters (it’s all the best way up close to 204th Road), which is a department of the Met dedicated to medieval Europe. Even after I lived right here, it took me years to lastly see it — and I kicked myself for ready so lengthy! Constructed with Rockefeller cash, the Cloisters was produced from elements of 5 European abbeys between 1934-1939. The constructing and its beautiful cloistered backyard are serene and exquisite and a pleasant break for the hustle and bustle of town. There are free excursions every day that specify the historical past of the museum and the work and reveals.

99 Margaret Corbin Drive, Fort Tryon Park, +1 212 923 3700, metmuseum.org/go to/visit-the-cloisters. Opening each day from 10am–5:15pm (closes early within the winter). Admission is $25 (consists of entrance to the Met and Met Breuer for 3 consecutive days) and free for youths 12 and underneath.
 

20. The Excessive Line & Whitney Museum

The High Line Park in the Meatpacking District in NYC
The Excessive Line is a former prepare observe that has been transformed into an city strolling park. It stretches nearly 1.5 miles from 34th Road to the Meatpacking District. Lined with overlooks, gardens, public artwork, meals stalls, and greenery, this stroll is likely one of the finest matters to do within the metropolis — particularly on a pleasant summer time day. Go for a stroll, sit with a ebook, people-watch — the Excessive Line is a must-see and a real favourite amongst locals.
 

21. Decrease East Aspect Tenement Museum

The brick exterior of the Tenement Museum in New York City
It is a fascinating museum that gives guests an opportunity to go to former tenement residences on the Decrease East Aspect. You’ll find out how immigrants from all over the world lived through the late 1800s and early 1900s as they tried to make it in America. It’s an insightful museum and a superb follow-up to what you see on Ellis Island. You may solely go to this museum through guided excursions they usually have to be booked prematurely. Personally, I just like the “Meet the Residents” tour, the place dwell actors painting and share the story of newly arrived immigrants.

103 Orchard Road, Decrease East Aspect, +1 877 975 3786, tenement.org. Open from Friday–Wednesday from 10am–6:30pm and Thursdays from 10am–8:30pm. Admission is $25 with reductions for college kids and seniors.
 

22. Take a strolling tour

NYC is house to dozens of strolling tour corporations — and lots of of them are free! Make sure to take one of many many, many strolling excursions town has to supply to get a novel and cultural take a look at town that by no means sleeps from a neighborhood information. There are all kinds of targeted excursions on avenue artwork, historical past, meals, and way more! I at all times take my pals on no less than one once they go to. Just a few strolling tour corporations value testing are:

For extra ideas, take a look at my favourite NYC strolling excursions.
 

23. Museum of Fashionable Artwork (MoMA)

the sleek design in the Museum of Modern Art in New York City
Wish to see a lot of lovely (and peculiar) fashionable artwork? You’ve come to the suitable place! Personally, I hate fashionable artwork. I simply don’t “get” it. However, whereas I dislike fashionable artwork, the MoMA does have Van Gogh’s Starry Evening in addition to different post-impressionist artwork which makes it value visiting. Should you love fashionable and modern artwork, this (I’m informed) is likely one of the finest on the earth.

18 W. 54th Road, Midtown, +1 212 708 9400, moma.org. Open Saturday–Thursday from 10:30am–5:30pm and Fridays from 10:30am–8pm. Admission is $25 with reductions for college kids and seniors. The MoMA’s Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Backyard is freed from cost to the general public each day (9:30am–10:15am). On Fridays after 4pm, the museum is free
 

24. Prospect Park

Spend a while outdoors of Manhattan and go discover Brooklyn’s model of Central Park (the Brooklyn Museum is correct subsequent down and it’s value a go to too). Opened in 1867, the park covers over 500 acres and is a superb place to have a picnic, learn a ebook, individuals watch, or lounge within the solar.
 

25. Bronx Zoo

A small monkey looking at the camera at the Bronx Zoo in New York City
Head north for a take a look at one of many oldest and largest zoos in the USA. Opened in 1899, the zoo spans nearly 300 acres and sees over 2 million guests every yr. House to over 650 totally different species, it’s an excellent place to go to with children. Gorillas, birds of prey, bison — there’s a enormous assortment of animals right here and also you’ll positively be taught so much throughout your go to!

2300 Southern Boulevard, Bronx, +1 718 220 5100, bronxzoo.com. Open Monday–Friday from 10am–5pm and Saturday–Sunday from 10am–5:30pm (restricted hours from November-April). Tickets are $22.95, however it’s pay-what-you-want on Wednesdays.
 

26. See a Yankees/Mets/Rangers/Knicks Recreation

The New York Yankees playing baseball at Yankee Stadium in New York City
Like sports activities? Then you definately in all probability already know that NYC has some world-class sports activities groups. I’m not a lot of a sports activities fan however video games are enjoyable when you might have pals to share the expertise with. If in case you have an opportunity and the need, seize some tickets to a sport!
 

27. See a TV Present!

TV exhibits like Saturday Evening Stay, The View, Late Evening with Stephen Colbert, The Day by day Present, Final Week Tonight, and Late Evening with Jimmy Fallon supply free tickets to their tapings (though they should be reserved effectively prematurely). It may be very troublesome to get tickets so attempt to get tickets for a number of exhibits to extend your odds. For extra particulars, see the web site of every present for particulars and to make reservations.
 

28. Batsu!

Stroll by way of the slender aisle of the Je Bon Sushi restaurant within the East Village, and head down the tiny stairway to seek out this hidden dinner theater. This four-person improv comedy competitors takes place throughout the construction of a high-energy Japanese sport present, with slapstick theatrical performances. Go along with pals to get pleasure from some sushi, sake photographs, and an evening of ridiculous enjoyable.

15 St. Mark’s Place, East Village, +1 347 985 0368, batsulive.com/new-york. Tickets from $30.50.
 

29. Ellen’s Stardust Diner

Since 1987, this diner is house to an unbelievable waitstaff of singers and dancers. Between excursions and musical performances, actors and actresses wait tables at Ellen’s, the place they belt out songs as they serve you barely expensive, very American diner meals (suppose shakes, burgers, and lasagna) in uniforms from the 1950s. It’s extremely tacky however good enjoyable — particularly if you happen to’re a theatre fan!

1650 Broadway, Instances Sq., +1 212 956 5151. There’s often a line so remember to plan forward!

***
Irrespective of how lengthy you’re right here for — and it doesn’t matter what you’re fascinated by — New York Metropolis could have one thing for you. Whereas it’s not probably the most budget-friendly metropolis within the nation, there are many free actions and many low cost matters to see and do to maintain you busy and entertained.

And if you wish to splurge? Nicely, you’ve come to the suitable place!

With so many matters to see and do it’s no shock that vacationers like to re-visit this numerous, beautiful, and eclectic metropolis. However don’t take my phrase for it — put this listing to the check and let me know what you suppose!

Get the In-Depth Price range Information to New York Metropolis!

NYC travel guideFor extra in-depth data and tips about NYC, take a look at my 100+ web page guidebook written for finances vacationers like your self! It cuts out the fluff present in different guides and will get straight to the sensible data it is advisable journey and get monetary savings town that by no means sleeps. You’ll discover prompt itineraries, budgets, methods to economize, on and off the crushed path matters to see and do, non-touristy eating places, markets, and bars, and way more!! Click on right here to be taught extra and get began.

E book Your Journey to New York Metropolis: Logistical Ideas and Tips

Get Your Information
Take a look at my detailed information to planning a go to to NYC with prompt itineraries, locations to remain, matters to do, the place to eat, and methods to get round. Simply click on right here to get the information and proceed planning in the present day!

E book Your Flight
Discover a low cost flight by utilizing Skyscanner or Momondo. They’re my two favourite serps as a result of they search web sites and airways across the globe so that you at all times know no stone is left unturned.

E book Your Lodging
You may ebook your hostel with Hostelworld. If you wish to keep elsewhere, use Reserving.com as they persistently return the most affordable charges for guesthouses and low cost motels. I take advantage of them on a regular basis. My favourite locations to remain in New York Metropolis are:

  • HI NYC Hostel – One of many largest and hottest hostels within the metropolis with a ton of area, an outside patio, free Wi-Fi, occasions, actions, and an enormous kitchen.
  • Jazz on Columbus Circle – My favourite hostel in NYC, with comfortable dorms and a pleasant atmosphere.
  • Pod Instances Sq. – Extremely tiny non-public rooms, however with a wonderful quiet location close to Instances Sq..

Don’t Overlook Journey Insurance coverage
Journey insurance coverage will shield you in opposition to sickness, harm, theft, and cancellations. It’s complete safety in case something goes unsuitable. I by no means go on a visit with out it as I’ve had to make use of it many instances previously. I’ve been utilizing World Nomads for ten years. My favourite corporations that provide the very best service and worth are:

In search of the very best corporations to economize with?
Take a look at my useful resource web page for the very best corporations to make use of if you journey! I listing all those I take advantage of to economize after I journey – and I believe will enable you to too!

Photograph credit score: 11 – Joyofmuseums, 16 – Jay

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