Home to iconic architecture, world-class museums, high-end fashion, trendy restaurants, and chic bars, and known as the city that never sleeps, New York is packed with a wealth of things to see and do. This high-energy city could keep you occupied for weeks exploring museums and art galleries, visiting historical and cultural icons and sites, dining out at award-winning restaurants and tiny hidden gems, and dancing the night away in one of the many buzzing nightclubs. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.The National 9/11 Memorial & Museum
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The National September 11 Memorial & Museum, also known as the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, is a memorial and museum dedicated to commemorating the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, which took 2,977 lives, and the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, which killed six people. Located at the site of the World Trade Center, where the Twin Towers used to stand before they were destroyed during the September 11 attacks, the museum and memorial were designed by Israeli architect, Michael Arad and is surrounded by beautifully sculpted landscapes designed by landscape-architecture firm Peter Walker. The monument features two square reflecting pools in the center of the site and surrounded by a forest of swamp white oak marking where the Twin Towers once stood.
180 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10007, Phone: 212-312-8800
2.The Metropolitan Museum of Art
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The Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York, also known as ‘the Met,’ is one of the world’s largest art museums with an exceptional collection of more than two million works spanning 17 curatorial departments. Located on Museum Mile on the edge of Central Park, the museum features a main building with one of the biggest gallery spaces in the world, and a second smaller location known as the Met Cloisters at Fort Tyron Park in Upper Manhattan that focuses on art and artifacts from Medieval Europe. The museum also recently opened the Met Breuer on Madison Avenue, which extends the museum's modern and contemporary art program. The Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York’s permanent collection includes painting, drawings, and sculptures by European masters, art from ancient Egypt, an extensive collection of Modern American art, an encyclopedic collection of costumes, and musical instruments, and impressive holdings of Asian, African, Byzantine, Islamic, and Oceanic art.
1000 5th Ave, New York, NY 10028, Phone: 212-535-7710
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Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux in 1857, Central Park is a world-renowned green urban space in the heart of Manhattan and most visited urban park in the United States. Located between the Upper West Side and Upper East Side and roughly bordered by Fifth Avenue, Central Park West (Eighth Avenue), Central Park South (59th Street), and Central Park North (110th Street), Central Park boasts more than 800 acres of rich heritage, beautiful landscapes, and breath-taking scenery. The National Historic Landmark and UNESCO World Heritage Site is also one of the most filmed locations in the world and home to the iconic Tavern on the Green restaurant which is one of the best spots in New York for a lazy brunch.
New York, NY
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4.Empire State Building
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Located in Midtown Manhattan, the Empire State Building stands at 1,454 feet tall with a roof height of 1,250 feet and was named after the nickname for New York, which is ‘the Empire State.’ Designed by Shreve, Lamb & Harmon, and completed in 1931, the 102-story Empire State Building is located on the west side of Fifth Avenue between West 33rd and 34th Streets and was built on a site that was originally part of an early 18th-century farm. Today, the Empire State Building is synonymous with New York City and is one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World, complete with its very own postcode! On a clear day, visitors can marvel at views of up to 80 miles on a clear day, which include Central Park, New Jersey, Manhattan, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts.
20 W 34th St, New York, NY 10001
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5.Statue of Liberty
Depicting the Roman goddess Libertas, the 305-foot Statue of Liberty is once of the world’s most iconic statues and symbols of freedom. Designed and conceived by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi and Gustave Eiffel, the lady of liberty holds a torch aloft in her hand and holds a tablet bearing the date of the Declaration of Independence, July 4th, 1776. This inspiring symbol of freedom would greet immigrants arriving in New York in the late 1800s when they arrived to begin a new life in the ‘Land of the Free.’ The statue stands on Liberty Island, as well as the new Statue of Liberty Museum, and can be visited via a ferry that departs from Battery Park.
New York, NY 10001
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The Brooklyn Bridge is one of New York’s most iconic symbols next to the Statue of Liberty. Built in 1883, the famous landmark connects Brooklyn Heights to lower Manhattan across the East River and was the world’s first steel-wire suspension bridge and the first permanent crossing on the river. The bridge features two 275-foot neo-Gothic towers made from granite and limestone at each end, which anchor the intricate cable system. Extending 1,595 feet across the East River with the New York skyline in the background, the bridge has become one of the world’s most recognized images.
New York, NY 10001
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7.Grand Central Station
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Grand Central Station, also known as Grand Central Terminal, is a huge commuter rail terminal in the heart of Midtown Manhattan that has become a world-renowned symbol of the city for its magnificent Beaux-Arts architecture. Located at 42nd Street and Park Avenue, Grand Central was built in 1913 in the Beaux-Arts style and features awe-inspiring architecture and design with amazing proportions and exquisite detailing. The ceiling of the cavernous Main Concourse features a beautiful mural of night sky constellations created by Paul César Helleu in 1912 and ten magnificent Beaux-Arts chandeliers that hold 110 bulbs. The information booth in the terminal is crowned with a clock with a face made from shimmering opalescent glass. Grand Central Station has 44 platforms, making it the largest terminal in the world.
89 E 42nd St, New York, NY 10017
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8.The High Line
The High Line is a 1.45mile-long linear public park that was built on a historic New York Central Railroad spur above the streets on Manhattan’s West Side and runs from Gansevoort Street to 34th Street on the West Side. Designed through a collaboration between Diller Scofidio + Renfro, James Corner Field Operations, and Piet Oudolf, the High Line was founded by neighborhood residents in 1999 to prevent the elevated rail track from being demolished and was transformed into a contemporary public space where visitors experience an array of nature, art, and design. The High Line is open daily throughout the year, with seasonal hours.
New York, NY 10011
9.One World Observatory
Taking up three floors in the upper levels of One World Trade Center, One World Observatory offers breathtaking 360-degree panoramic views of New York and houses immersive exhibits about the history of the city. Built between 2006 and 2015, One World Trade Center stands at 1776 feet tall, which is the same year in which the Declaration of Independence was signed and makes it the sixth tallest building in the world. One World Observatory is based on floors 100-102 and is accessed by high-speed Sky Pod elevators that ascend to the 102nd floor in 60 seconds. The three floors of the Observatory feature informative exhibits and displays, a Sky Portal that shows high-definition footage of the streets below in real-time, and a casual bar serving light food and drinks against a backdrop of spectacular views.
285 Fulton St, New York, NY 10006, Phone: 844-696-1776
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Broadway is the general term used for New York’s theatre district and has become synonymous with musical theatre in general. The vibrant, brightly-lit district is located on or around Times Square in the heart of Manhattan is home to more than 41 venues showcasing a variety of world-renowned and up-and-coming shows. The pulsating neon lights of Broadway started drawing people in 1910 when theatre owners began using electric lights to advertise shows and have since turned New York into the cultural capital of the West. The three longest-running and most popular shows on Broadway include Phantom of the Opera (1988), Chicago (1996), and the Lion King (1997).
Time Square, New York, NY 10006
11.The Met Cloisters
Spanning four acres in Fort Tryon Park, the Met Cloisters is a branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and is dedicated exclusively to the art and architecture of the Middle Ages. Established in 1938, the museum is housed in a beautifully preserved neo-Romanesque building overlooking the Hudson River that was designed by Charles Collens and built from granite and European limestone. The building features five medieval-inspired cloisters, forming tactile exhibits and a historic, contextualized backdrop for the art within the modern museum structure. The museum houses a collection of more the 5,000 pieces spanning from the Byzantine Empire to the beginning of the Renaissance.
99 Margaret Corbin Dr, New York, NY 10040
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Bryant Park is a 9.6-acre public park extending between Fifth Avenue and Avenue of the Americas in Midtown Manhattan offering a tranquil green space in the heart of the city. Established in 1847, the park features grassy lawns, tall trees and lush greenery, shaded walkways, several cafés and restaurants, and open spaces where a variety of recreational activities are hosted throughout the year. The Main Branch of the New York Public Library occupies the eastern half of the park and in winter the park is transformed into a winter wonderland with an ice rink and other seasonal activities.
New York, NY 10018
13.Radio City Music Hall
Based in the Rockefeller Center on the Avenue of the Americas, Radio City Music Hall is an iconic Art Deco live entertainment venue that hosts a variety of events ranging from awards ceremonies, music performances, and live broadcasts of TV shows. Established in 1932, the venue is nicknamed the ‘Showplace of the Nation,’ and is the headquarters for precision dance company known as the Rockettes. Radio City Music Hall can be explored on guide group tours given by the Madison Square Garden Group.
1260 6th Ave, New York, NY 10020, Phone: 212-465-6741
14.Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum is dedicated to highlighting American military and maritime history through a collection of beautifully preserved museum ships in New York City. Located at Pier 86 at 46th Street in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood on the West Side of Manhattan, the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum features a selection of impressive and fascinating ships and planes, including the behemoth aircraft carrier, the USS Intrepid; the USS Growler, a cruise missile submarine; the supersonic reconnaissance plane, the Lockheed A-12, a Concorde SST, and the Space Shuttle Enterprise. The Museum also features the fully interactive exhibit space known as the Exploreum, where visitors can climb into a real Bell 47 helicopter and land a space shuttle.
Pier 86, W 46th St & 12th Ave, New York, NY 10036, Phone: 212-245-0072
Located in the heart of Midtown Manhattan, the Rockefeller Center is a large complex comprised of beautiful Art Deco buildings, an ice-skating rink, and the sunken Rockefeller Plaza. Commissioned by the Rockefeller family and hailed as one of the greatest projects of the Great Depression era, the complex features 19 buildings of varying design ranging from the original center to later International-style buildings and spans 22 acres facing Fifth Avenue from 48th to 51st streets. The complex boasts several features including the Radio City section, the Music Hall, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, 600 Fifth Avenue, and an ice-skating rink. The Rockefeller Center is also famous for its annual lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, which draws crowds of locals and tourists alike.
45 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10111
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16.New York Public Library
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The New York Public Library is another iconic landmark of the city with several branches dotted about the metropolis. The main branch of the library is based in the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building in the eastern half of Bryant Park and boasts a magnificent marble Beaux-Arts façade with Corinthian columns, intricates friezes and cavernous barrel vaults. Large lions flank the steps of the building and stand as an emblem of the library. The New York Public Library is home to vast collections of materials across numerous genres and visitors can explore the library on free guided tours throughout the week.
New York, NY 10111
17.St. Patrick's Cathedral
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The Cathedral of St. Patrick, also called St. Patrick's Cathedral is a magnificent neo-gothic Catholic cathedral on Fifth Avenue and the largest Gothic Catholic cathedral in the United States. Dedicated in 1879, the cathedral is an architectural gem with towering spires standing 330 feet tall, and a nave and choir spanning over 300 feet. The cathedral’s interior has beautiful altars, opulent statuary such as the enormous Pietà, striking stained glass windows, including a magnificent rose window, cavernous ribbed vaulting, and a massive organ with spectacular wood casing and 7,855 pipes. St. Patrick's Cathedral is the seat of the Archbishop and can seat more than 2,400 people for services and religious gatherings.
5th Ave, New York, NY 10022
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Greenwich Village, also fondly known as ‘the Village’ by residents, is a neighborhood in the lower west side of Manhattan with an artsy, bohemian vibe. The neighborhood is comprised of several districts, including the West Village and the Meatpacking District, each of which has its own character and atmosphere. Greenwich Village gained notoriety in the 1960s when it became the epicenter of the city's counterculture movement when the area’s cafés and bars attracted hippies, beatniks like Jack Kerouac and Dylan Thomas, and the LBGTQ community. The first racially integrated nightclub in the United States, Café Society, was opened here in 1938. Today, soaring property prices have changed the nature of the neighborhood, but the tree-lined streets still have plenty of hip cafés, buzzing bars, and vibrant restaurants.
New York, NY 10022
Times Square is the beating heart of New York City where the bright lights, iconic buildings, and signature attractions draw crowds of tourists all year round. One of the world’s most visited tourist destinations with its colossal billboards, world-class theaters, and variety of entertainment centers, Times Square is sometimes referred to as ‘The Crossroads of the World.’ Formerly known as Longacre Square Time Square, the area was renamed after The New York Times moved into the Times Building in 1904 and is still the site of the famous New Year's Eve ball drop today. Times Square is also the center of the Broadway Theater District and the world's entertainment industry.
Boundaries: Broadway, 7th Avenue, 42nd and 47th Streets, Manhattan, New York
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20.Club A Steakhouse
© Club A Steakhouse
Club A Steakhouse is a traditional steakhouse on East 58th Street that combines old school steakhouse charm with modern sophistication to provide an unforgettable dining experience. The family-owned and operated steakhouse features a warmly decorated dining room with red walls and rich upholstery, dark wood finishes, and soft lighting. Smartly dressed wait staff serve a menu of the highest quality prime steaks, veal chops, fresh seafood, organic salads and vegetables, and decadent desserts, along with a curated selection of fine wines from around the world, classic cocktails made with imported spirits, and craft beers. Club A Steakhouse is open for dinner, nightly.
240 E 58th St, New York, NY 10022, Phone: 212-688-4190
21.Piccola Cucina Osteria
© Piccola Cucina Osteria
Piccola Cucina Osteria brings a taste of Sicily to the tables of New York with a creative menu of award-winning Italian and Mediterranean fare. The charming Italian eatery has several locations around the city, all of which have cozy décor in warm colors reflecting the sun-kissed landscapes of Italy, friendly service, and a buzzing family-friendly atmosphere. The menu features traditional Sicilian dishes made with locally sourced and imported ingredients including fresh seafood, prime meats, organic salads and vegetables, top-quality olive oils, and freshly baked bread. The cuisine is accompanied by an impressive selection of casual Italian and global wines, craft beers, quality spirits, and handcrafted cocktails. Piccola Cucina Osteria for lunch and dinner, daily.
184 Prince St, New York, NY 10012, Phone: 212-625-3200
© Spice Symphony
Spice Symphony brings Indian and Chinese cuisine together to offer a unique dining experience. Located in Midtown East, Spice Symphony boasts contemporary décor with Chinese fusion accents, curved banquette seating, and a large skylight that allows diners to see the starlit sky. The restaurant serves an innovative menu of authentic Indian and Chinese food that blends sophisticated tastes and flavors to provide a unique culinary journey through the East. Multiregional dishes range from coastal Indian curries to Chinese dishes infused with Indian spices, and the cuisine is accompanied by a selection of fine wines from around the world, classic cocktails made with imported spirits, and craft beers. Spice Symphony is open for lunch and dinner, Tuesday through Sunday.
150 East 50th Street between Lexington & 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10022, Phone: 212-300-4869
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Daniel is the flagship restaurant of Michelin-star chef Daniel Boulud's fine-dining restaurant group that serves award-winning French fare and fine international wines. Opened in 1993 in Central Park, the elegant restaurant offers an unforgettable fine-dining experience in a designer setting with striking neoclassical architecture, plush décor and furnishings, rich upholstery, crisply dressed tables, and stylishly dressed wait staff. Seasonally changing menus feature contemporary, seasonal French cuisine made with fresh, locally sourced, and imported ingredients, and a sophisticated bar and lounge cater for pre- or post-dinner drinks. The Skybox is an exclusive dining area for up to four guests that offers bird’s eye views of the kitchen, and the flagship restaurant is open for dinner, nightly.
60 E 65th St, New York, NY 10065, Phone: 212-288-0033
© Loi Estiatorio
Loi Estiatorio is a traditional Greek restaurant on the Upper West Side serving authentic Greek fare in a stylish, contemporary setting with panoramic photographs of the Gulf of Corinth on the walls. Greek celebrity chef Maria Loi creates a seasonally-changing menu of Mediterranean dishes like salmon tartare with dill yogurt, calamari in white wine, parsley-almond basilica, and lamb-bacon–wrapped scallops. Desserts include to-die-for sweet treats like ekmek kadaifi made with Greek honey and toasted nuts. The cuisine is accompanied by a selection of Greek wine that is recommended by sommelier, Taylor Katz, as well as a variety of craft beers, imported spirits, and classic cocktails. Loi Estiatorio is open for lunch and dinner, Monday through Saturday.
132 West 58th Street Btw. 6th &, 7th Ave, New York, NY 10019, Phone: 212-713-0015
24 of the Best Things to Do in New York City
- The National 9/11 Memorial & Museum, Photo: Bill Perry/stock.adobe.com
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photo: Luciano Mortula-LGM/stock.adobe.com
- Central Park, Photo: ingusk/stock.adobe.com
- Empire State Building, Photo: Irina Schmidt/stock.adobe.com
- Statue of Liberty, Photo: Gerd/stock.adobe.com
- Brooklyn Bridge, Photo: TTstudio/stock.adobe.com
- Grand Central Station, Photo: Sebastian D./stock.adobe.com
- The High Line, Photo: jordi2r/stock.adobe.com
- One World Observatory, Photo: aliaumesouchier/stock.adobe.com
- Broadway, Photo: Rawf8/stock.adobe.com
- The Met Cloisters, Photo: demerzel21/stock.adobe.com
- Bryant Park, Photo: Sina Ettmer/stock.adobe.com
- Radio City Music Hall, Photo: f11photo/stock.adobe.com
- Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, Photo: gsmcity/stock.adobe.com
- Rockefeller Center, Photo: Taiga/stock.adobe.com
- New York Public Library, Photo: Spiroview Inc./stock.adobe.com
- St. Patrick's Cathedral, Photo: Byelikova Oksana/stock.adobe.com
- Greenwich Village, Photo: jjfarq/stock.adobe.com
- Times Square, Photo: Maxime/stock.adobe.com
- Club A Steakhouse, Photo: Club A Steakhouse
- Piccola Cucina Osteria, Photo: Piccola Cucina Osteria
- Spice Symphony, Photo: Spice Symphony
- Daniel, Photo: Daniel
- Loi Estiatorio, Photo: Loi Estiatorio
- Cover Photo: kmiragaya/stock.adobe.com
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