Top 10 Things to Do in New York City

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What to do in New York City is a question tourists find themselves asking while visiting this great city. No one can fault them as it is the largest and most populated city in the USA. Often called the “city that never sleeps”, there are so many things to do in New York City. The city is constantly buzzing with activity.

As the nexus of history, art, culture, architecture and entertainment, there are numerous exciting places to visit in New York City. With so many things to do in New York City, it can be overwhelming to a New York sightseeing novice.

10 Things to Do in New York City:

So here is a list that outlines the top New York City tourist attractions that travelers won’t find anywhere else.

10. September 11 Memorial

Things to Do in New York City, September 11 Memorial
September 11 Memorial | image credit – Wikimedia/NormanB

The National September 11 Memorial is one of the top New York City attractions. The memorial was constructed in honor to those who were killed in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The two bronze panels flanking the Memorial pools are engraved with the names of those who died in the attacks. Each nearly an acre in size, the pools marks the footprints of the Twin Towers that once stood on that site. One of the things to do in New York City is to show your respect to the deceased of the attack.

Through multimedia displays, archives, narratives and a collection of artifacts, The National September 11 Memorial Museum educate the public on the implications of the attacks. I will not say it is one of the most amazing things to do in New York City, but the visit will worth your while.

9. High Line

High Line, places to visit in New York City
High Line | image credit – Wikimedia/Mike Peel

One of the best New York sightseeing is the High Line. Built on a famous freight rail line elevated above Manhattan’s West Side, the High Line is a public park and one of the most beautiful places to visit in New York City. Friends of the High Line fought for the conservation and transformation of the rail line into green space and they maintain and operate it now. As one of the top New York City attractions, there are new fun and diverse activities for visitors every month.

Including stargazing, art tours and tree tours, there are season specific events such as the Haunted High Line Halloween in October. It is one of the fun things to do in New York City. There are other New York attractions the park provides that include naturalized plantings, splendid views of the Hudson River and also integrates cultural attractions into its design with architecture and art installations. Visiting the High Line is one of the most enjoyable things to do in New York City.

8. Grand Central Terminal

Grand Central Terminal, New York City attractions
Grand Central Terminal | image credit – Wikimedia/Sracer357

Visiting Grand Central Terminal is one of the best things to do in New York City. Grand Central Terminal is one of the top New York City attractions. It has been dubbed as the “world’s loveliest station” and is one of the extraordinary places to visit in New York City. The remarkable clock made of pearly opal glass is housed in the vast Main Concourse. The elaborate astronomical ceiling decorations originally conceived in 1912 will welcome visitors to the terminal. Visitors will find dining concourse and train tracks in the lower level. Including the Oyster Bar, the lower level offer assorted dining options.

Originally constructed as a waiting room, the Vanderbilt Hall is located just off the main concourse. Now the annual Christmas market and special exhibitions are hosted here. Campbell Apartment was elegantly restored to replicate a 13th century Florentine palace, although it now hosts tourists and commuters in its cocktail lounge. Truly, visiting Grand Central Terminal is one of the most exciting things to do in New York City.

7. Rockefeller Center

Rockefeller Center, New York tourist attractions
Rockefeller Center | image credit – Wikimedia/Jerry Ferguson

Among many things to do in New York City, a tour of Rockefeller Center is a must. It is a complex of 19 buildings built by the Rockefeller family that offers a behind-the-scenes look at some of New York City’s greatest treasures. Including General Electric, many major corporations were housed in these buildings over the years and are home to the NBC studios. An unobstructed 360 degree view of New York City is featured by the Top of the Rock observation deck at 70 stories high. One of the top New York attractions is the NBC Studios tour.

Visitors will get the chance to glimpse the sets of their favorite NBC shows or sit behind a news desk. You will also find the Radio City Music Hall, which was restored to reflect its 1930s glamour, in Rockefeller Center. The striking Christmas tree overlooking the skating rink and Radio City Christmas Spectacular transform Rockefeller Center during the holiday season.

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6. Fifth Avenue

Fifth Avenue, New York sightseeing
Fifth Avenue | image credit – Wikimedia/Gryffindor

One of the things to do in New York City is to go shopping in the Fifth Avenue. Fifth Avenue is ranked as one of the most expensive shopping streets in the world. If you have money and thinking about what to do in New York City, then Fifth Avenue is a prime destination for visitors with a feel for a treat. The section of Fifth that crosses Midtown Manhattan between 49th and 60th Streets is lined with high-end shops including designer showrooms and prestigious department stores.

Between 82nd to 105th streets on the Upper East Side of Fifth Avenue is referred to as the Museum Mile. Including the Guggenheim and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, nine museums are situated along this stretch of Fifth. Whether you go shopping or touring a museum, visiting the Fifth Avenue is one of the most exciting things to do in New York City.

5. Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge, what to do in New York City
Brooklyn Bridge | image credit – Wikimedia/Suiseiseki

Everyone will place the Brooklyn Bridge in their list of things to do in New York City. The Brooklyn Bridge was built between 1869 and 1883. One of the top New York City attractions, the Brooklyn Bridge is one of the oldest and most familiar suspension bridges in the world. Spanning 5,989 feet, the bridge connects Manhattan to Brooklyn across the East River. The bridge is used by more than 120,000 vehicles, 4,000 pedestrians and 2,600 bicyclists every day.

Visitors can walk, bike, or drive across this famous New York City landmark. Visitors can take in views of the harbor and both boroughs from the pedestrian walkway situated above the traffic. One of the best things to do in New York City is strolling through the 2 km (1.3 mile) across the bridge that offers plenty of opportunities for admiring the New York skyline.

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4. Times Square

Times Square, places to visit in New York City
Times Square | image credit – Wikimedia/Francisco Diez

Visiting Time Square is one of the most enthralling things to do in New York City. It is the most visited tourist attraction in the world. Over 39 million people visits Time Square annually. This commercial intersection has been codified as “The Crossroad of the World.”

Times Square is a major center of the world’s entertainment industry nowadays. Began in 1907, the annual New Year’s Eve ball drop has been a staple of the square’s appeal. Numerous activities and options for every type of visitor can be found in the shopping, entertainment and plethora of restaurants. Visiting this area is one of the top things to do in New York City.

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3. Central Park

Central Park, New York City attractions
Central Park | image credit – Flickr/Anthony Quintano

Central Park is one of the most beautiful places to visit in New York City. Central Park is located in the center of Manhattan. The sprawling 840 acres is home to Belvedere Castle, the Central Park Zoo among many other attractions. Relaxing in the Great Lawn or a walk along the extensive paths throughout the park can offer a much needed respite for the naturalists looking to take a break from the big city.

Including catch and release fishing at the Dana Discovery Center and rowboat rentals from the Loeb Boathouse, there are many outdoor activities to entertain visitors. There is also six miles of paved roads in the park open only to joggers, bicyclists as well as skateboarders and inline skaters. With playgrounds and the Tisch Children’s Zoo, Central Park is one of the best places to visit in New York City for families.

2. Empire State Building

Empire State Building, New York tourist attractions
Empire State Building | image credit – Wikimedia/Alex Proimos

Empire State Building soars over a quarter of a mile above Manhattan. This iconic building offers unreserved views to the millions of visitors it attracts every year. Visitors can see New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania on a clear day. There are two observations decks on the 86th floor and 102nd floor in the tower. Both offer remarkable views and fascinating facts about the extensive history and significance of the building.

Named as the “America’s Favorite Architecture”, the Empire State Building has made appearances in over 250 films. The building is open from 9:30am until midnight daily and visitors can purchase tickets at the counter or online. Visiting Empire State Building is one of the prime things to do in New York City.

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1. Statue of Liberty

Statue of Liberty, New York sightseeing
Statue of Liberty | image credit – Pixabay/yugofuchiwaki

The Statue of Liberty is one of the most famous New York tourist attractions. It was a gift from France to the United States. For over a hundred years the Statue of Liberty has welcomed new arrivals to the shores of America. Among numerous places to visit in New York City, you will not forget the majestic of the Lady Liberty. Lady Liberty on her pedestal stands at an impressive 93 meters (305 feet).

Visitors can climb for views of Brooklyn and Gustave Eiffel’s supportive framework. If you choose not to climb the 154 steps to the crown, you can still enjoy panoramic views of the harbor and downtown New York City from the pedestal. Guided tours of Liberty Island are offered throughout the day by Park Rangers and a self-guided audio, offered in nine languages, tour is included with a ferry ticket to the island. Touring the island is one of the most exciting things to do in New York City.

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