New York

Top 10 Things to Do in New York


Discover what to do in New York with the most complete expert guide to restaurants, bars, clubs, museums and more.
When it comes to thinking about the best things to do in New York, it's easy to feel overwhelmed. The Big Apple attracts millions of tourists from all over the planet for its renowned art museums, summer music festivals and things to do, not to mention New York's long list of bars and restaurants.

We hit the streets and scoured social media to ask locals what their favorite things are about living in the best city in the world. The result was a mix that would inspire even the most jaded New Yorker. Here are the best things to do in New York: events, free activities and hot spots in the city. Go out and enjoy.

Best things to do in New York

High Line

High Line in NYC

After years of legislation and major landscaping work, the High Line community group managed to transform what used to be an elevated train line into a public space in 2009. Now, people walking the park's gardens or lounging in the coveted seating areas can find peace of mind above the busy Meatpacking District and Chelsea neighborhoods.
“Lie down on the wooden seating areas on the High Line. It's a place to enjoy nature, extremely relaxing and without trash, right on a avenue full of stress and bustle.”

Whitney Museum of American Art

Whitney Museum of American Art

The Whitney Museum of American Art underwent a significant transformation when it moved from the Upper East Side to its expansive Meatpacking District location. This new venue offers 50,000 square feet of indoor galleries featuring works by acclaimed artists such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Richard Avedon, and Alexander Calder. Additionally, the museum includes four outdoor exhibition areas and terraces, enhancing the overall visitor experience.

Culinary delights are available at the museum's ground-floor restaurant and top-floor bar, both operated by renowned restaurateur Danny Meyer. Visitors can traverse the museum's levels using two artist-designed elevators, though these can be slow and crowded. Those who are able are encouraged to use the stairs, which provide continuous views of the Hudson River.

The upper floors and sculpture terraces are linked by a series of exterior staircases, offering spectacular views of the downtown skyline and a unique chance to enjoy art in an outdoor setting.

The Brooklyn Bridge

Fourteen years and 600 workers (including the original designer, who died during construction): that's what it took to build the Brooklyn Bridge, which has been an iconic landmark of the city since 1883. Luckily, the Brooklyn Department of Transportation New York removed hundreds of “love locks” hanging from the bridge last year, protecting its historic status.
“Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge: It's so romantic, it has the power to turn platonic relationships into something more.”

The Wonder Wheel Amusement Park

The Wonder Wheel Amusement Park

The Wonder Wheel, which celebrated its 96th anniversary this summer, is the heart of the famous amusement park located on the Coney Island breakwater. Built in the 1920s by the Eccentric Ferris Wheel Company (yes, the name is real) from steel forged in Bethlehem, this ride is perfect if you want a panoramic view of the park and ocean.
“Ride the Wonder Wheel at Coney Island, because no roller coaster can beat the thrill of not knowing if you'll survive an ancient Ferris wheel.”

American Museum of Natural History

American Museum of Natural History

Although the blue whale is one of the most beloved and well-known exhibits – it is suspended from the ceiling of the ocean hall to remind tourists and locals of the magnificence of the sea – it is only one of the reasons to visit this museum. Two new reasons to go, even if you think you've already seen it all: Dinosaurs among us (did you know that some dinosaurs had feathers similar to modern birds?) and Crocs: Ancient predators in a modern world, open at the end of May and which focuses on four living species of crocodiles, including one that lives in the forest.
“Take tourists to the Museum of Natural History. Seeing the big blue whale from their eyes reminds you how wonderful it really is.”

Strand Book Store

Founded in 1927, Stand is perhaps the city's most beloved indie bookstore, with more than 2.5 million new, used and rare books – or as the sign outside indicates, 18 miles (almost 29 kilometers!) of books – crowded on the shelves. Not only are there many used dollar book options in the store, but there are also many new titles that are sold below their regular price.

Bibliophiles can spend hours reviewing the staff's selection of classic novels, poetry, and nonfiction. We suggest going up to the third floor, where first editions and rare signed copies are for sale.
“Browse the shelves of $1 books at the Strand Book Store. “It's a great way to kill time.”

Yankee Stadium: Home of the Bronx Bombers and Baseball Legends

Yankee Stadium

Spending a spring or summer day cheering at an NYC ballpark is a quintessential activity, and Yankee Stadium in the Bronx is a prime location for this experience. As the home field of New York's 27-time World Champions, the New York Yankees, the stadium is a key destination for sports fans.

Iconic structures of SingaporeIconic structures of Singapore

Accessible from Manhattan, Yankee Stadium is a half-hour subway ride from Penn Station and about 20 minutes from Grand Central Terminal. This modern stadium, which replaced the original 1923 ballpark in 2009, cost $1.5 billion to construct, making it one of the most expensive stadiums in the world. It has a seating capacity of 50,287.

While New York Yankees games are the main attraction, Yankee Stadium also hosts concerts, college football games, and soccer matches, providing a variety of events for attendees to enjoy.

Bronx Zoo: A Wildlife Wonderland in the Heart of New York City

The Bronx Zoo

If you feel the desire to reconnect with wildlife, take a Wednesday off and visit for free! the largest metropolitan zoo in North America. With more than 107 hectares of animals and wildlife, you won't get to see it all in one day, but what you can do is a two-hour tour of the Congo Gorilla Forest, the World of Reptiles or the Himalayan Highlands exhibit. Be sure to pay a visit to the American bison, which was recently declared the national mammal of the United States.
“See animals at the Bronx Zoo – it's free!”

Central Park: New York City’s Urban Oasis

Central Park NYC

Think of geocaching as a technological version of the treasure hunt game: an app gives you coordinates and clues to locate something hidden, boxes marked with logbooks for players to sign. The Geocatching app ($9.99) has several games that take you around the park, including Bridges & Arches of Central Park. It's the best way to make a walk in the park feel like an Indiana Jones adventure (without the punches).

“Play geocaching around Central Park. By playing and following my GPS, I visited all 24 bridges and arches in Central Park. There is a lot of history and beauty there.”

Governors Island

Governors Island

A seven-minute ferry ride takes you to this island that serves as a seasonal sanctuary. It was once a military base, so it was off-limits to the public for 200 years, but it was finally opened to visitors in 2006. You can tour some of the military-era architectural sites that remain there, including Fort Jay , which dates back to 1776, and Castle Williams, which was completed in 1812 and was used as a prison.

The island also provides a peaceful setting for biking (bring one on the ferry or, once there, rent one from City Bike or Bike and Roll), relaxing in Hammock Grove, or going down the slide at Slide Hill. Plus, where else could you have a picnic directly in front of the Statue of Liberty?
“Rent the free Governors Island bikes in the summer – it's a beautiful, peaceful experience that you can always afford.”

Summit One Vanderbilt

Summit One Vanderbilt

New York City offers countless breathtaking views, but Summit One Vanderbilt provides a unique, immersive experience that stands out. Located in Midtown Manhattan, Summit One Vanderbilt invites visitors to spend a few hours exploring its innovative attractions.

The adventure begins with a captivating elevator ride, complete with lights and sounds, whisking visitors up to the 91st floor. Upon arrival, guests are greeted by a vast, mirrored room offering stunning panoramic views of New York City. This space also features rotating art installations by Kenzo Digital, enhancing the visual experience.

Two special attractions at Summit One Vanderbilt are particularly notable. “Levitation” is a glass skybox that gives the sensation of floating 1,000 feet above Madison Avenue. “Ascent,” a separate glass elevator, takes visitors even higher, providing unparalleled views of downtown Manhattan.

Inside, the experience continues in a Nordic-inspired space designed by Snøhetta, where visitors can enjoy food and drinks from Danny Meyer's Union Square Events. The menu includes unique items like pastrami-stuffed pretzels and ricotta toast. Additionally, a wrap-around outdoor terrace offers the ambiance of the city's most thrilling rooftop bar, making Summit One Vanderbilt a must-visit destination for locals and tourists alike.

The New York Public Library, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building

The New York Public Library, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building

A landmark of the Beaux Arts architectural style, with incredibly high ceilings, beautiful chandeliers, and enormous arched windows that flood the hallways with natural light? We accept the invitation. Just try to keep your versions of Ghostbusters at minimum volume: people are trying to read!

Visit Grand Ole OpryVisit Grand Ole Opry

“I waste my time at the New York Public Library headquarters, because it's a beautiful building and just being there makes me feel smarter, for some reason.”

The Staten Island Ferry

The Staten Island Ferry

You heard this woman: it's free and you can drink there! Do we need to say anything else? Okay, okay, how about “amazing views of the Statue of Liberty”? Oh, by the way, the hour-long round trip boasts some of the lowest beer prices in the entire city—cans of Bud are $4 or less—so you can enjoy a moment of Party cruise for less than a $5 bill. How elegant.
“Take the Staten Island ferry. It's free and you can drink on board!”

Broadway: An Unforgettable New York City Experience

Broadway An Unforgettable New York City Experience

For both locals and first-time visitors, attending a Broadway show is a unique and unforgettable experience, exclusive to New York City. While Times Square can often feel overwhelming, the journey to a Midtown Manhattan theater transforms the bright billboards and flashing lights into a dazzling spectacle.

Broadway shows are renowned for their elaborate costumes, intricate sets, captivating songs, and compelling stories, truly bringing the magic of theater to life. Each performance is a testament to the creativity and talent of the cast and crew, offering audiences a chance to escape into a world of imagination and wonder.

This November, Broadway enthusiasts can look forward to eagerly anticipated productions such as “Spamalot”—a hilarious parody of Monty Python and the Holy Grail—and “Harmony”—a poignant performance that tells the true story of the Comedian Harmonists. These shows promise to deliver the high-quality entertainment that Broadway is famous for, making them must-see events for anyone visiting the city.

Chinatown: A Vibrant and Unforgettable Neighborhood in Lower Manhattan

Chinatown is one of the neighborhoods that makes lower Manhattan vibrant and unforgettable. Emerging from the Canal Street subway station onto the bustling sidewalk, you'll find yourself amidst thick crowds, neon-lit shops, and vendors selling imitation designer bags. Wandering through the narrow streets, you'll encounter colorful heaps of produce, tantalizing ducks displayed in windows, and a mix of old and new restaurants.

Chinatown, adjacent to Tribeca, SoHo, Little Italy, and the Lower East Side, boasts a rich history dating back to the 1850s when Chinese immigrants began settling in the area. You can explore Chinatown in whatever way suits you best. Whether you spend a quick hour savoring a box of roast pork or duck from the street-style Wah Fung No. 1, or you dedicate half a day to shopping for fresh produce, dining at various eateries, and visiting the Museum of Chinese in America, a visit to Chinatown is sure to be rewarding for everyone.

Grand Central Terminal: A Historic Window into Old New York

Grand Central Terminal is more than just one of the busiest train stations in the world—it's a window into old New York, harkening back to a time when train travel was both a luxury for the wealthy and a necessity for the working man. If you're not commuting in or out of the city, avoid rush hour and take your time to admire the landmark architecture.

This iconic terminal offers top-notch dining and shopping experiences, making it a destination worth exploring. Whether you're captivated by the celestial ceiling of the Main Concourse or the intricate details of its Beaux-Arts design, Grand Central Terminal provides a fascinating glimpse into New York City's rich history and architectural grandeur.

9/11 Memorial and Museum: A Powerful Tribute to American Resilience

911 Memorial and Museum A Powerful Tribute to American Resilience

Every American should visit the 9/11 Memorial and Museum at least once. Upon entering, visitors descend from street level to the bedrock foundation of the former Twin Towers, prompting reflection on where they were on that tragic day. The museum strikes a masterful balance: it is grand in scale, contemplative in design, and deeply personal in its execution.

This powerful tribute honors the immense loss, both physical and spiritual, experienced on September 11, 2001. Through its thoughtful exhibits and poignant displays, the 9/11 Memorial and Museum pays homage to the victims and heroes, serving as a place for remembrance and education. It stands as a testament to the resilience and strength of the American spirit, making it an essential visit for all.

Rockefeller Center: The Heart of Midtown Manhattan

Rockefeller Center The Heart of Midtown Manhattan

Rockefeller Center sits in the heart of Midtown Manhattan, both in terms of its physical location and its prominent place in the city's folklore and culture. Whether you want to watch a performance on the plaza outside the TODAY show, visit the iconic Christmas tree, or practice your moves on the ice skating rink, you're in for a quintessential, family-friendly New York experience.

60 Amazing things to do in Singapore at least once in a lifetime60 Amazing things to do in Singapore at least once in a lifetime

Purchasing a ticket to the Top of the Rock observation deck offers spectacular views of the city below, providing a unique perspective of Manhattan's skyline. As you explore Rockefeller Center, you'll find yourself constantly pointing and exclaiming, “Hey, look at that!” This vibrant complex, rich in history and tradition, guarantees memorable moments for visitors of all ages.

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