The 12 Best Things To Do in the Flatiron District NYC

Located to the east of Chelsea, the Flatiron District in New York has some of the most recognizable architecture in this enormous city. The most significant one of them is the triangular Flatiron Building, which gave the Flatiron District its name. 

The neighborhood owes its name to the famous Flatiron Building. One of the city’s most photographed buildings is the district’s trademark and one of the city’s oldest skyscrapers. Flatiron District in New York was once the home of toy factories and countless photo studios. It is now a popular residential and entertainment district. The name changed in 1980 from “Photo District”, or “Toy District” to its current name. As the commercial character had subsided, the area now needed a name that sold well in the real estate industry. Also, one of our favorite public parks is part of the exciting district: the Madison Square Park!

There are a lot of things to do in Flatiron: Here in this guide, we will give you our recommendations on what to do in this neighborhood.

By the way: you’ll find many more New York City spots in our Loving New York travel guides!

My TOP 5 Things To Do in Flatiron District NYC

TOP 5 Things To Do in the Flatiron District NYC

  • Flatiron Building – It’s arguably the most recognizable building in the city. You can’t miss it because of its triangular shape. The building was meant to attract artists and was built in 1902.
  • Madison Square Park– Not to be confused with Madison Square Garden, the park is located right next to the Flatiron Building. It’s a nice little sanctuary and even has a Shake Shack in the park.
  • Eataly – Located right next to the Flatiron Building and Madison Square Park, Eataly has become pretty popular. Eataly is an Italian hotspot that has provided New Yorkers with cafe’s, restaurants and even cooking classes.
  • Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace: On 28 E 20th Street is the birthplace of former United States President Theodore Roosevelt. He was born in this house in 1858 and lived there until he was fourteen years old.
  • Explore the FRIENDS Experience

Where is the Flatiron District in NYC located?

The Flatiron District is located in the heart of Midtown Manhattan and is bounded by Chelsea to the west (6th Avenue), Midtown to the north (starting from 26th Street) and Gramercy to the south. The eastern boundary is Lexington Avenue.

Here you find a map of Flatiron District NYC

Flatiron District NYC Things to Do on a Map

How to Get To the Flatiron District in New York

  • Metro: Getting to these two neighborhoods is pretty easy. There are a bunch of trains in the area which makes it accessible to commuters. Here, you’ll find the subways W R at 23rd Street and 5th Ave. On 23rd Street and 6th Ave, you can access the F M and the Path Train.
  • By Foot: If you’re already in Midtown, you may as well walk to the Flatiron District.
  • Hop on Hop Off Bus: The closest stop is Stop 5 of the downtown loop of BIG BUS (“Union Square”) or stop 6 of the downtown loop of Gray Line Sightseeing (“Union Square”). Here you find more about Hop on Hop off in NYC.

    My tip:
    the tickets for the buses are included in many of the New York City passes – which one is the best for you, you can see in my Pass Comparison for New York!

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The 12 Best Things To Do in the Flatiron District

When you walk through this neighborhood, make sure to check out The Flatiron Building first. It’s arguably the most recognizable building in all of Manhattan!

Wondering what to do in the Flatiron District NYC? Here’s my list of things I personally recommend you do!

  1. 01

    Take photos of the famous Flatiron Building

    Building in Flatiron District
    Bild1
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    The Flatiron Building is one of the most popular, beautiful and iconic buildings in NYC. The triangle shaped building likens the shape of a iron, hence the name. As one of the most photogenic spots in NYC this is definitely worth the visit for every tourist.

  2. 02

    Learn more about this area on this FREE Flatiron Food, Architecture and History Tour

    Walking Tour in Flatiron District
    Best_Walking_Tour_NYC_Flatiron_Food__Architecture__and_History_Tour
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    The Flatiron Building is one of the most photographed buildings in the city. But there is much more to discover in the direct neighbourhood. Thanks to the organization “Flatiron 23rd Street Partnership” you will be guided through the district every Sunday by a free guide. Meeting point is the southwest corner of Madison Square Park.

  3. 03

    Visit Theodore Roosevelt's Birthplace

    Museum in Flatiron District
    Roosevelt_Birthplace_1600x800
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    Gramercy Park is famous for its special, ancient Brownstone Houses. But one thing stands out: the birthplace of the former President of the United States: Theodore Roosevelt. He was born in this house in 1858 and lived there until the age of fourteen. Today it is a museum that offers guided tours.

    Get a thrilling behind the scenes look of a real New York Brownstone home that dates back to Roosevelt’s childhood, including original furniture and personal belongings from the former US president.

  4. 04

    Relax and watch the bustle and bustle at Madison Square Park

    Park in Flatiron District
    Our Highlight
    180108084630001_Madison_Square_Park
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    Located right next to the Flatiron Building, Madison Square Park (opened in 1847) is a popular green oasis in the Flatiron District. The park extends along 5th Avenue and Madison Avenue from 23rd Street and 26th Street. Especially during lunchtime, many New Yorkers use the park for their lunch break.

  5. 05

    Explore the FRIENDS Experience

    Other Attraction in Flatiron District
    The FRIENDS™ Experience New York
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    If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of the show Friends, and if you’re a fan like me, then this Friends experience is most likely for you. 

    After a Friends pop-up store successfully ran in Soho in 2019 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the series, they decided to make it permanent. Now you can find “The FRIENDS™ Experience New York” in the Flatiron District.

    On two floors you can take your picture in front of the famous Central Perk café or the orange couch, see many original props worth seeing and store to your heart’s content in the FRIENDS store. It’s a great place to bring your family, kids and/or friends!

  6. 06

    Have an espresso (or wine) at Eataly Flatiron - an Italian Food Market

    Other Restaurants in Gramercy
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    In 2010, Eataly was opened in New York by master chef Mario Batali. The pizza is very remeniscent of pizza and the wine selection is huge. You will also find a large selection of ecellent pasta, salads, and sandwiches. In terms of price, it has to be said in advance that a pizza starts at $15 and can cost $25.

  7. 07

    Watch a show at the Gramercy Theatre

    Other Art & Culture in Flatiron District
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    The Gramercy Theatre is located right on the border of the Flatiron District and the namesake Gramercy. It opened in 1937 and was a movie theater for more than 60 years until 1998, when it was converted as a venue for off-Broadway shows.

    In 2004 it closed and then two years later was converted into a small and intimate concert venue. To this day, it hosts concerts that are especially popular for New Yorkers.

  8. 08

    Museum of Mathematics

    Museum in Midtown Manhattan
    190930080813001_Museum_of_Mathematics_Gramercy_Flatiron
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    In New York, a museum has been set up for every area and every topic – so there is also one about our “favourite school subject”. The Museum of Mathematics (MoMAth) deals with mathematics (obviously) and shows its visitors that math is very much all around us. And it shows its visitors that mathematics can also be fun (really!). From algebra to geometry, everything is covered.

  9. 09

    Visit the Museum of Sex

    Museum in Midtown Manhattan
    Museum of Sex
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    The Museum of Sex is filled with pieces describing the history, culture and acceptance of sex. With a large shop downstairs this museum is a fun and different way to spend an afternoon in NYC.

  10. 10

    Enjoy Empire State Building Views from 230 Fifth Rooftop Bar

    Rooftop Bar in Midtown Manhattan
    230Fifth
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    230 Fifth is arguably the most famous rooftop bar in New York City. It is well known for its stunning views of the Empire State Building great cocktails and large outside seating area. Whether in summer or winter, the 230 Fifth is always a good idea. The sunset is always enchanting and in the winter cuddled under blankets and heated mushrooms has also something to sit.

    Recommended: The 43 Best Rooftop Bars NYC

  11. 11

    Save Hogwarts on a virtual tour of the Harry Potter Store

    Other Shopping in Flatiron District
    Our Highlight
    210831102632001_Harry_Potter
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    Harry Potter fans listen up! The opening of the Harry Potter store in New York’s Flatiron District was celebrated with a huge media hype. Taste the famous butter beer, fly through London with Hagrid, or solve the mystery of how to reach Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry after all (these are virtual reality tours).

    The Harry Potter Store has been designed with a lot of attention to detail and should therefore definitely be on your itinerary if you are as fascinated by the stories of Harry Potter, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley as I am! 

  12. 12

    Walk Along Broadway

    Other Attraction in SoHo
    210215170348001
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    Broadway is probably the most famous street in New York City and SoHo’s main shopping street. It is not only the longest shopping street, but also a commercial heart of the city.

Best Attractions in the Flatiron District

Many of New York’s major New York attractions are located in this part of Manhattan so make sure to add them to you travel itinerary:

  1. 180108084630001_Madison_Square_Park

    01 Madison Square Park

    Located right next to the Flatiron Building, Madison Square Park (opened in 1847) is a popular green oasis in the Flatiron District. The park extends along 5th Avenue and Madison Avenue from 23rd Street and 26th Street. Especially during lunchtime, many New Yorkers use the park for their lunch break.

  2. Bild1

    02 Flatiron Building

    The Flatiron Building is one of the most popular, beautiful and iconic buildings in NYC. The triangle shaped building likens the shape of a iron, hence the name. As one of the most photogenic spots in NYC this is definitely worth the visit for every tourist.

  3. 03 Gramercy Theatre

    The Gramercy Theatre is located right on the border of the Flatiron District and the namesake Gramercy. It opened in 1937 and was a movie theater for more than 60 years until 1998, when it was converted as a venue for off-Broadway shows.

    In 2004 it closed and then two years later was converted into a small and intimate concert venue. To this day, it hosts concerts that are especially popular for New Yorkers.

  4. The FRIENDS™ Experience New York

    04 The FRIENDS™ Experience New York

    If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of the show Friends, and if you’re a fan like me, then this Friends experience is most likely for you. 

    After a Friends pop-up store successfully ran in Soho in 2019 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the series, they decided to make it permanent. Now you can find “The FRIENDS™ Experience New York” in the Flatiron District.

    On two floors you can take your picture in front of the famous Central Perk café or the orange couch, see many original props worth seeing and store to your heart’s content in the FRIENDS store. It’s a great place to bring your family, kids and/or friends!

  5. Roosevelt_Birthplace_1600x800

    05 Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace

    Gramercy Park is famous for its special, ancient Brownstone Houses. But one thing stands out: the birthplace of the former President of the United States: Theodore Roosevelt. He was born in this house in 1858 and lived there until the age of fourteen. Today it is a museum that offers guided tours.

    Get a thrilling behind the scenes look of a real New York Brownstone home that dates back to Roosevelt’s childhood, including original furniture and personal belongings from the former US president.

Save big on New York attractions and tours

Budget Tip

    Go New York Explorer Pass 

Many of the attractions and tours in the Flatiron District and the surrounding neighborhoods are included in one of the New York City passes. So you can easily and quickly save up to 70% – how does it work?

You can see that in my ultimate 👉  New York Pass comparison, here you can see my personal 👉  New York Pass Reviews after more than 20 visits to New York and our free New York Pass Advisor answers the question: “Which New York Pass is the best?

Compare New York Passes

Best Guided Tours in the Flatiron District of New York City

There are a lot of very popular tours where New York guides show you the best parts and the history of this neighborhood:

  1. Best_Walking_Tour_NYC_Flatiron_Food__Architecture__and_History_Tour

    01 Flatiron Food, Architecture, and History Tour

    The Flatiron Building is one of the most photographed buildings in the city. But there is much more to discover in the direct neighbourhood. Thanks to the organization “Flatiron 23rd Street Partnership” you will be guided through the district every Sunday by a free guide. Meeting point is the southwest corner of Madison Square Park.

If guided tours interest you, be sure to check out the Best Walking Tours NYC!

Best Restaurants in the Flatiron District NYC

Eating definitely belongs in the best things to do in the Flatiron District NYC, because this district has a lot to offer. Check out our favorite places:

  1. 190124094655001_La_Pecora_Bianca

    01 La Pecora Bianca

    La Pecora Bianca, which translates to “The White Sheep” in Italian is a restaurant that focuses on farm-to-table dishes. Their ingredients are locally sourced letting them “shine”.

  2. IMG_3163

    02 ABC Kitchen

    The ABC Kitchen serves Slow Food – the opposite of fast food and a declaration of love for our planet. Only the freshest ingredients, supplied by local farmers, are put on the plate. The dishes change seasonally and are free of pesticides, antibiotics, hormones and genetic engineering. The prices are more than reasonable for the quality of the ingredients and the service.

  3. Basta_Pasta_200228145741001
    Spaghetti pasta inside a cheese wheel. Close-up.

    03 Basta Pasta

    The restaurant is clean and elegant in style, has an open kitchen and offers a relaxed atmosphere. As the name suggests, they serve great pasta dishes – excitingly combined with Japanese cuisine (for example, pasta with shitake mushrooms) and with great sauces. All organic and homemade, of course.

  4. EATALY_Downtown_New_York0

    04 Eataly Flatiron

    In 2010, Eataly was opened in New York by master chef Mario Batali. The pizza is very remeniscent of pizza and the wine selection is huge. You will also find a large selection of ecellent pasta, salads, and sandwiches. In terms of price, it has to be said in advance that a pizza starts at $15 and can cost $25.

  5. Restaurant_170423115755029-1

    05 Eleven Madison Park

    The creations of Daniel Humm are known all over town. The kitchen describes itself as creatively American. If you want to treat yourself to something special, you’ve come to the right place. Attention: It is a little bit difficult to get a table.

Best Bars in the Flatiron District NYC

The Flatiron District especially is well known for its nightlife with tons of great bars, rooftop bars and clubs. Here are some of our recommendations in terms of restaurants, clubs and bars.

  1. DI

    01 Dear Irving

    Dear Irving on Hudson is an absolute secret in the city located on the 40th & 41st floor inside the Aliz Hotel.  In the middle of Times Square, this bar pairs the glimpse of the city lights and skyline views with the best cocktails in town.

  2. serra_rooftopbar_nyc_190919184750006

    02 SERRA by Birreria

    On the roof of the EATALY you can not only drink home-brewed beer, but also eat wonderfully. It is – not surprisingly – typically Italian and on a high level: there are sandwiches with Portobello mushrooms and Taleggio cheese, antipasti and many other delicious things.

Looking for more recommendations? We’ve got you covered! Here you find the Best Bars in the Flatiron District NYC.

Shopping in the Flatiron District NYC

In these neighborhoods you’ll find a bunch of stores. On 5th Ave, you’ll find stores like H&M, Banana Republic, J. Crew, Nike and a women’s fitness store called Bandier. There’s also a lot of cafe’s and restaurants that are lined up here as well.

If you walk south towards Union Square (part of Gramercy), you’ll find a Whole Foods and even a Nordstrom Rack. Since it’s in the city and pretty close to Midtown, a lot of mainstream stores have built there stores here.

Best Flatiron District Hotels in NYC

Staying in the Flatiron District has many advantages. You’ll always be surrounded by some of the best atmosphere, bars, restaurants, attractions, and shops in NYC. But: Hotels in this area can get pretty pricey since you’re in one of the top locations in NYC.

If you decide to stay in the neighborhood please check out these amazing hotels:

  1. Heritage_Hotel_New_York_City_Hotel_Flatiron_District_booking

    01 Heritage Hotel New York City

    3 Stars | The Heritage Hotel New York City is a budget insider tip in the Flatiron District. The rooms are clean (though small) – but you’re right in the middle of the action. It’s perfect for anyone looking for an affordable hotel in a good location. If you are just looking for a room to sleep, so to speak, this is the one for you. 

  2. New_York_EDITION_Best_Hotel_Flatiron_District_NYC

    02 New York EDITION

    5 stars | Hotel New York EDITION is located directly at Madison Square Park at the Flatiron Building and therefore perfect for all who are looking for a really nice hotel for their New York trip!

    It is one of the best hotels in the Flatiron District of NYC: the rooms are large even by New York standards, it has huge windows from which you have a fantastic view of the city and has its own Michelin-starred restaurant.

    Another highlight is the bar: super-stylish, the atmosphere is great, and the cocktails are top-notch. My conclusion: the Hotel New York EDITION is just awesome!

  3. The_Marcel_at_Gramercy_Best_Hotel_Gramercy_Park_NYC

    03 The Marcel at Gramercy

    4 stars | The Marcel is one of the best and most popular hotels in Gramercy Park of New York. The rooms are super-beautiful and stylishly decorated and it almost feels like a boutique hotel. A special highlight is the small but nice roof terrace, from which you can even see the Empire State Building.

    The location in Gramercy NYC is ideal for those who are looking for a central but quiet hotel. Important attractions are within walking distance, Union Square and Madison Square Park with the Flatiron Building are just 3 blocks away. 

  4. W_Hotel_Union_Square_New_York_by_Booking

    04 W New York - Union Square

    5 Stars | For me, the W Hotel on Union Square is one of the best hotels in the city, because it combines a relaxed atmosphere, cool design and a sensational location. You really can’t go wrong with this one! 

Recommended article: The Best Hotels in the Flatiron District NYC.

Neighborhoods Nearby

The Flatiron District is an amazing place to visit and is one of the best places to visit in Manhattan. It’s definitely an area that tourists should check out. Once you’re finished with it make sure to swing by the nearby neighborhoods below.

Neighborhoods that are Similar to the Flatiron District

If you enjoyed Flatiron District, below are similar neighborhoods that we think you’ll enjoy:

There are a lot of neighborhoods in Manhattan worth visiting. We highly recommend Midtown and SoHo. There’s a lot of things to do in New York City and those surrounding areas have a similar vibe to the Flatiron District.

About the author
Steffen

I'm a true New York fan! Not only have I visited the city over 20 times but also have I spent several months here at a time. On this blog, I want to share everything I have learned and discovered, so you can have the best time in the greatest city in the world. By the way: Did you like my article? Then think about becoming a supporter of us on Patreon!

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