Things to do in New York

Top 10 things to do


Top of the Rock

Depending on how old you are, you might know 30 Rockefeller Plaza as the RCA, GE, or Comcast building, but most folks know it as 30 Rock. Commissioned by John D. Rockefeller, aka the richest person in modern history, this Art Deco beauty is 850 ft (260 m) tall and it's located in the very heart of Manhattan. 30 Rock was designed as the centerpiece of the Rockefeller Center, which comprises 19 buildings and what are probably the most famous Christmas trees and ice skating rink in the world. As well as the NBC Studios and the venerable Rainbow Room restaurant, 30 Rock has an excellent observation deck called the Top of the Rock.

4.7 (811 reviews)

New York City Cards

New York, New York – a city so good, they named it twice! But if you want to see the city that never sleeps and save time and money too, it's best to combine your tickets! New York city cards offer steep discounts on both admission fees and transport around the city – the Empire State Building, Times Square, 9/11 Memorial, and Ellis Island are all within reach. Access the Big Apple's top attractions with flexibility and convenience with options good for several days, or pack several sights into a shorter trip.

4.3 (461 reviews)

SUMMIT One Vanderbilt

SUMMIT One Vanderbilt is New York City’s most innovative observation space. Set 1,000 feet above Midtown, this experience will change the way you see the city, the environment, and yourself through a collection of immersive, multi-sensory experiences. Spread across 65,000 square feet (6,000 square meters) and three levels, enjoy unbeatable views of New York and interactive artistic installations that will stay with you long after you've left.

4.8 (2,113 reviews)

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

The MoMA has one of the largest and most influential collections of modern art in the world. Home to famous works like Vincent Van Gogh's Starry Night, Salvador Dali's The Persistence of Memory, and works by Mondrian, Monet, and Picasso, this is a haven for art lovers. Located smack in the center of Midtown Manhattan, MoMA is a must-see destination in New York.

4.7 (2,132 reviews)

Edge at Hudson Yards

Edge at Hudson Yards is a 1,100-foot-high observation deck located in Hudson Yards, New York. The skyscraper boasts the highest outdoor observation deck in the Western Hemisphere, with a modern and unique design. It is roughly a one-minute walk from Vessel.

4.7 (608 reviews)

American Museum of Natural History (AMNH)

One of the largest museums in the world, the American History Museum is located across the street from Central Park. The museum complex consists of 27 interconnected buildings housing 45 permanent exhibition halls, in addition to a planetarium and a library. The museum collections contain over 32 million plant, human, animal, fossil, mineral, rock, and meteorite specimens - as well as human cultural artifacts. The museum has been featured in numerous TV shows and movies - most notably Night at the Museum and Night at the Museum 2.

4.6 (1,014 reviews)

Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island are located in New York Harbor. Both are a ferry ride away, and can be accessed from Battery Park in New York City or Liberty State Park in New Jersey. There are various Statue of Liberty tickets to choose from, including guided tours, harbor cruises, and passes which include access to other popular attractions in NYC.

4.6 (1,854 reviews)

The 9/11 Memorial & Museum

Architects Michael Arad and Peter Walker designed the 9/11 Memorial. Their proposal, called Reflecting Absence, consists of two reflecting pools that sit in the footprints of the South and North Towers. They're fed by waterfalls (the largest manmade waterfalls in the United States) and surrounded by a forest of nearly 400 trees. The accompanying 9/11 Museum has an exhibition divided into three sections, the Day of 9/11, Before 9/11, and After 9/11. It uses artifacts, photos, and an extensively researched and well laid out collection to show how the events of 9/11 changed the world.

4.9 (6,057 reviews)

Empire State Building

The Empire State Building is located in the heart of midtown Manhattan at 5th Avenue and 34th Street. The building was completed on April 11, 1931 and is still the 5th tallest skyscraper in the United States. It is decorated in the Art Deco style — a popular form in the 1930s.

4.8 (2,313 reviews)

One World Observatory

Designed by architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill - who also designed the Burj Khalifa - One World is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere and the sixth tallest building in the world. The One World Observatory - located on the 100th, 101st and 102nd floors - doesn’t stop bringing the 'wow'; from the moment you enter the building, to its elevator rides, all the way up to the top of New York City.

4.8 (3,346 reviews)

Experiences recommended for

Hand-picked combinations

Combine New York favorites. Some things are better together.


SUMMIT One Vanderbilt + MoMA

Book once and enhance your experience with this convenient combination of 2 must sees

4.8 (101)
From $75.73 $71.94

MoMA + Edge Hudson Yards

Book once and enhance your experience with this convenient combination of 2 must sees

4.9 (7)
From $71.37 $64.23

New York Tourist Card

  1. Empire State Building
  2. MoMA
  3. Liberty Cruise

+ 1 other top thing to do

4.6 (10)
From $116.00 $83.00

MoMA + The Guggenheim

Book once and enhance your experience with this convenient combination of 2 must sees

4.4 (27)
From $60.00 $57.00

MoMA + Top of the Rock

Book once and enhance your experience with this convenient combination of 2 must sees

5 (1)
From $73.55 $69.87

New York CityPASS + MoMA

Book once and enhance your experience with this convenient combination of 2 must sees

4.3 (3)
From $168.00 $159.60

Points of interest in New York

New York guides and itineraries

Places to Visit in New York

Get ready to immerse yourself in the vibrant energy of the Big Apple as you explore the countless attractions and experiences that await you in New York City. From iconic landmarks like the Statue of Liberty and Times Square to world-class museums, Broadway shows, and culinary delights, NYC offers an unparalleled range of things to do.

  • Empire State Building: Main Deck
  • Sightseeing cruise to see the Statue of Liberty
  • Visit the Museum of Modern Art
  • Explore New York City

Best Art Museums in NYC

Delve into the best museums in NYC! This simple guide to the best museums in New York for art lovers is a must-read before your trip to NYC.

  • Museum of Modern Art
  • The Guggenheim Museum
  • Whitney Museum of American Art
  • NYC Art Museum Bundle

Frequently asked questions

New York City is famously known as the "city that never sleeps," and for good reason – there is always something happening:

  • See a Broadway musical and get swept away by the storytelling and glitz. Talented actors, singers, and elaborate costumes will captivate you. Be sure to book your tickets in advance

  • If you're an art lover, visit the Guggenheim, Whitney or MET museums to see gorgeous art collections

  • Marvel at the breathtaking panoramic views of New York City from the observation deck on the 86th floor of the Empire State Building. Experience the building's Art Deco architecture and learn about its role as an iconic symbol of American progress and innovation

The Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty symbolizes freedom and democracy and is a must-visit attraction in the city.

Take a ferry to Liberty Island to see the iconic monument up close and learn about its history and significance.

Central Park

Central Park is an oasis in the middle of the city, a massive park perfect for a stroll, a picnic, or a bike ride. You can also visit the zoo and see landmarks such as Bethesda Fountain.

The 9/11 Memorial and Museum

The 9/11 Memorial and Museum is a somber reminder of the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.

The site features two reflecting pools representing the footprints of the former Twin Towers, and the museum offers a comprehensive overview of the events of that fateful day.

The Met Museum

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, or Met, is one of the largest and most comprehensive art museums in the world, featuring works from ancient times to contemporary art. It's a great place to get lost in the world of art and learn something new.

New York City can be expensive, but there are still plenty of free things to do that will allow you to experience the city without breaking the bank. Here are two of the best:

Times Square:

This iconic location is a must-visit for any first-time visitor to New York City. The vibrant and bustling atmosphere features a dazzling display of neon lights, giant digital billboards, and lively street performers.

Stroll through the area, snap some photos, and soak up the energy of this world-famous location. While plenty of shops and restaurants in the area can be expensive, simply walking through Times Square is free.

The High Line:

This public park is built on an elevated former railway track on the west side of Manhattan. The park features landscaped gardens, public art installations, and stunning city views.

It is a popular destination for locals and tourists, providing a unique and scenic escape from the hustle and bustle of the city streets. The park is free to visit and is a great way to experience a different side of New York City.

These two options are just the beginning - there are plenty of other free things to do in New York City, including exploring Central Park and checking out the street art in Bushwick.

With a bit of research and planning, you can experience all this incredible city has to offer without spending a dime.

New York City is home to some of the world's most renowned museums, and picking just a few as the "top" ones is tough. Here's a few that stand out:

The Whitney Museum

The museum's collection includes works by artists such as Andy Warhol, Georgia O'Keefe, and Edward Hopper. With its massive art collection and spacious building, the Whitney is a must-visit for enthusiasts and those seeking to understand American art history.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Also known as The Met, its the largest art museum in the United States. With over two million works of art from different cultures and periods, The Met offers a comprehensive look at human history.

The art collection includes Indigenous, Islamic, and European art and exhibits on arms and armor, photographs, musical instruments, and costumes.

Visiting The Met can be overwhelming, but you can focus on one area that interests you or wander through with a child-like wonder and see what catches your eye!

The Brooklyn Museum

This is another must-visit museum in New York City. The Brooklyn Museum has a broad range of collections spanning ancient Egyptian artifacts to contemporary art.

The museum's expansive collection of African art is particularly noteworthy.

Greenwich Village

Greenwich Village is a must-visit for its bohemian vibe and rich history. This neighborhood was the birthplace of the Beat Generation and home to countless artists and writers.

It's a great place to explore on foot, with tree-lined streets, historic architecture, and cozy cafes and restaurants.


Williamsburg is a trendy neighborhood in Brooklyn, just a short subway ride from Manhattan. It's known for its artisanal shops, vintage boutiques, and hipster bars and restaurants.

The neighborhood also has a thriving street art scene, with colorful murals and graffiti adorning many buildings.


SoHo is another fashionable neighborhood that's a must-visit for its high-end boutiques, art galleries, and upscale restaurants.

It's a great place to shop for designer clothing and accessories or browse contemporary art. You can also grab a bite to eat at one of the many chic restaurants or cafes.


Harlem is a historically significant neighborhood that's rich in culture and tradition. It's known for its vibrant music scene and iconic landmarks like the Apollo Theater. Enjoy live music at one of the neighborhood's many jazz clubs.


Chinatown is a bustling neighborhood worth exploring for its vibrant street markets, delicious food, and unique cultural experiences. You can shop for souvenirs and traditional Chinese goods at one of the many markets or sample authentic cuisine at a restaurant.

Explore the historic South Street Seaport

This waterfront neighborhood offers a glimpse into New York City's maritime past, with restored 19th-century buildings, sailing ships, and museums. It's a great place to stroll, shop, dine, and take in the scenic views of the East River.

One famous landmark is the Brooklyn Bridge. Walking across the bridge provides stunning views of the city skyline and harbor.

Take in the sights

While exploring Lower Manhattan, you'll enjoy the area's old European-style streets and buildings, which provide a charming contrast to the city's modern skyscrapers.

The neighborhood is also home to the ethnic communities of Little Italy and Chinatown.

Visit the National Museum of the American Indian

Located in Battery Park, this museum is dedicated to the history, culture, and traditions of Native Americans. It features exhibitions, artifacts, and interactive displays that offer a unique perspective on the indigenous peoples of the Americas.

The Metro

One of the most popular ways to get around the city is by taking the subway.

The metro system is extensive and relatively affordable. It's also often the fastest way to get around town, especially during rush hour when traffic can be heavy.

However, the subway can be overwhelming for first-time visitors due to the complexity of the system and the crowds during peak hours.

Taxi or Rideshare

Another option for getting around the city is by taxi or rideshare service. You can hail these straight off the street or arrange it through your phone.

Taxis and rideshares offer you convenience, and you avoid busy crowds. However, traffic can be unpredictable, and fares can quickly add up if traveling long distances or during peak hours.


Cycling is a popular option for those who enjoy a more active mode of transportation. New York City has tons of ride-sharing bikes and scooters throughout the city.

You can rent a bike and return it to any station. This is an excellent option for exploring parks and neighborhoods, especially those that may not be as accessible by subway or taxi.


Lastly, walking is another great way to get around the city, especially for shorter distances.

New York is a pedestrian-friendly city with many sidewalks and crosswalks. Walking allows for a more intimate exploration of the city's neighborhoods and sights, and it's free!

Red Hook

Red Hook, Brooklyn, is a hidden gem in NYC due to its unique industrial charm and waterfront views.

The neighborhood has hidden treasures, including artisanal shops and vintage boutiques. Despite its relative seclusion, Red Hook is worth exploring for anyone looking for a quiet, off-the-beaten-path experience in New York.

Coney Island

Coney Island offers a unique blend of nostalgia and modernity. Enjoy classic amusement park rides and boardwalk games while also experiencing contemporary art installations and live performances.

The Cloisters

Located in Upper Manhattan, this museum is dedicated to medieval art and architecture and is housed in a beautiful building with tranquil gardens. You'll feel you've gone back in time.

The Frick Collection

This small museum in the Upper East Side features an impressive collection of European art and decorative objects in a beautifully preserved mansion.

The Elevated Acre

This hidden park in the Financial District offers stunning views of the East River and a peaceful oasis amid the city.

The City Reliquary

This quirky museum in Williamsburg showcases artifacts and memorabilia from New York City's history, including vintage subway tokens and other unusual items.