Midtown Manhattan has endless skyscrapers, full sidewalks, and the streets are filled with honking and bicyclists swerving in and out of traffic. This part of the city attracts countless tourists daily to New York City’s most famous landmarks and unique attractions such as the Empire State Building, SUMMIT One Vanderbilt and the Chrysler Building.
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People are drawn to the bright lights of Times Square and are easily inspired by the energizing aura of the city. Exploring Midtown is on every to-do list for the New York City vacationer. Fifth Avenue is arguably the most popular shopping street which is filled with tourists and locals every day. Don’t be surprised if you run into a celebrity as well.
What you need to do, see and eat in Midtown Manhattan, I’ll tell you in my ultimate Midtown Manhattan Guide!
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 Midtown Manhattan
You won’t be able to explore all of Midtown in one day. There’s simply too much to experience and a lot of it can be time-consuming. Below are the absolute things to do in this part of the city.
- Empire State Building by Night
- Bryant Park
- Shopping at 5th Avenue
- Enjoy breath-taking views from SUMMIT One Vanderbilt
- Visit the bright lights of Times Square
Where is Midtown Manhattan located?
Don’t let the term midtown confuse you! Midtown Manhattan describes on the one hand the whole area from 14th Street to 59th Street (at Central Park) and includes more than 10 neighborhoods like Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen, the Theatre District and the Flatiron District. Below Midtown Manhattan begins Downtown Manhattan, with Uptown Manhattan bordering it to the north.
At the same time, Midtown is also a neighborhood within the Midtown Manhattan area.
Here you find a map of Midtown Manhattan
How to Get To Midtown Manhattan
- Metro: It really depends where in Midtown Manhattan you would like to visit. All of the trains go right into the city. For main locations such as Time Square, take the 7 N Q R W A C E or the 1 2 3. If you want to go to Grand Central, you can take the 7 S, or the 4 5 6. For Bryant Park, you can take the 7 and the B D F M lines.
- Hop on Hop Off Bus: Stop 1 to 4, 14 and 15 of the downtown loop of BIG BUS (“Union Square”) or stop 1 to 5 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!
🥇 Look no further: That‘s the only New York Travel Guide you need 2021/22 (300+ pages and 600+ reviews on Amazon)
This is our COMPLETE GUIDE that includes 25+ neighborhood guides for every part of the city with New York’s newest attractions like SUMMIT One Vanderbilt, Edge Hudson Yards & Little Island, our best-of lists, budget tips and the best things to do and see!
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The 29 Best Things To Do in Midtown Manhattan
There are so many things to do in Midtown Manhattan that it would be impossible for someone to go through all the attractions in just one day. With so many NYC attractions, tours, and sights, it would take multiple days and maybe even multiple visits to the city. With that being said, it’s ok if you don’t get to experience everything.
Enjoy Live-Music at Empire State BuildingBuilding in Midtown ManhattanAdd to myNY added
The Empire State Building is one of New York’s most iconic landmarks. Its construction was completed in 1930 after a close race with the Chrysler Building. The 86th floor of the 102 story building serves as an observation desk that gives you a stunning view of the city.
When? Thursday to Saturday, 9 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Bryant Park: Have a good time in my favorite park in Midtown ManhattanPark in Midtown ManhattanAdd to myNY added
Bryant Park is located right in central Manhattan and is a quiet oasis between 40th and 42nd Street. Bryant Park is right in the cetner of Midtown Manhattan between 40th and 42nd Street, yet it still lends you the peace and quiet you need to get away for a few moments from the bustling city. With many small cafés dotted throughout the park this is the perfect place to unwind or relax when the weather is nice. The large meadow in the middle of the park is often used for sunbathing or reading.
In the winter, Bryant Park ice skating is popular as the green lawn turns into an ice rink and the pathways become the Bryant Park Winter Village. Here, you’ll find many holiday vendors that sell holiday ornaments, souvenirs, and food. And if you’re in New York this summer, don’t miss the free movie screenings in Bryant Park!
Insider Tip: In addition to winter markets, there are certain days of the year that the city closes certain streets to make way for NYC street fairs. You’ll be able to buy food from local vendors and pop-up shops also make an appearance.
New York: Midtown Manhattan Street Food Walking TourWalking Tour in Theatre DistrictAdd to myNY added
Food trucks are very popular with New Yorkers: as a quick snack between meals or as a lunch. The Gourmet Snack Truck Tour takes you either through the Financial District or Midtown. From Korean short ribs to souvlaki, curry, falafel, hot dogs or brownies – you will be surprised!
New York Public LibraryBuilding in Midtown ManhattanAdd to myNY added
You’ve probably seen the iconic library from movies and photos. The beautiful New York Public Library is located right next to Bryant Park. As one of the most popular libraries in the United States, it is not only a destination for students, professors, or bookworms, but many New York visitors come to the public library to see this impressive building. For us, the old building, the smell of the books, and the silence make this place magical.
You will find it at 42nd Street 5th Avenue, right next to Bryant Park. Just like the park, the library is a great way to escape the sounds of the metropolis. In many films, the Public Library has already stood out. Many will recognize it from the hit series and movie Sex and the City.
The NYPL is a popular wedding venue as well. In the summer months, you will most likely see a wedding couple. Incidentally, the library has also secured a place in our top 10 for true New York insiders. At the Public Library, you have free Wi-Fi and also find clean toilets. Trust us. Clean toilets are very difficult to come by in New York City.
Top of the RockBuilding in Midtown ManhattanAdd to myNY added
New York has numerous amounts of observation decks. One of the viewing platforms that is very popular is Top of the Rock and is arguably one of the best out of the five. From the top of the skyscraper, you’ll have the iconic view of the Empire State Building and the One World Observatory in the background. It’s a must-visit in New York.
Experience New York by Night with this awesome bus tour (really!!)Bus Tour in Midtown ManhattanOur HighlightAdd to myNY added
The night tours by bus are quite unique, because you can experience the “city that never sleeps” at night. New York at night is really cool, everything lights up and looks completely different than during the day. This tour is narrated by a guide and takes you to the best sights and attractions of the area. You will pass Times Square and many other iconic places at night.
One Vanderbilt The Summit: the newest attraction in Midtown ManhattanBuilding in Midtown ManhattanAdd to myNY added
The New York City skyline is one of the most famous and recognizable skylines in the world. It’s a city filled with skyscrapers and tall buildings. In most recent years, it has been expanding which made way for new observation decks. The newest observation deck coming to the city will be located at the top of the One Vanderbilt Building. This one will be called “The Summit”. This deck will be the second-highest outdoor deck in NYC which follows the Edge and is about to open on October, 21st!
Explore Midtown Manhattan by boatCruise in Midtown ManhattanOur HighlightAdd to myNY added
This Circle Line cruise will take you past NYC’s most famous attractions and landmarks. You will head past the Statue of Liberty, the One World Trade Center, the Empire State Building, Ellis Island, the Brooklyn Bridge, amd much much more. If you are looking to explore Manhattan from the water and learn some of the history of NYC at the same time, this is definitely the cruise for you. At a lenght of approximately 1.5 hours, this cruise will take you half way around the Island of Manhattan as well as once around the Statue of Liberty for the ultimate photo opportunity.
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)Museum in Midtown ManhattanOur HighlightAdd to myNY added
This museum provides you with 630,000 square feet of art. You could easily spend more than a whole day here and was recently renovated. One of the pieces you’ll find here is the famous Starry Night painting by Van Gogh.
Recommended: The Best Museums in NYC
Enjoy Skyline Views at the Bateaux Dinner CruiseCruise in ChelseaAdd to myNY added
Forget trying to snag a hard-to-get reservation at New York’s hottest restaurants du jour. Instead, indulge in a delicious 3-course dinner during the cruise on an all-glass boat around New York City that offers you an up-close look at the Statue of Liberty and other famed sites. As a live pianist plays relaxing music for you, take in the immense view of one of the world’s great cities, and enjoy a delicious pre-set dinner by the on-board executive chef. Upgrade to enjoy a romantic or first class VIP experience including a private table and French sparkling wine.
Macy's Herald Square: Go Shopping at one of Midtown Manhattan's most famous storesOther Shopping in Midtown ManhattanAdd to myNY added
This is the flagship of Macy’s department stores and it shows! At over 2100ft² this is the biggest department store in the USA! The 10 floors of shopping space have developted into a NYC icon for shopping over the past 150 years and as soon as you set foot through its doors, you will see why.
Get goosebumps on a helicopter ride over Midtown ManhattanHelicopter Tour in Financial DistrictOur HighlightAdd to myNY added
The Manhattan Scenic Helicopter Tour takes you on an areial tour over Manhattan and its many attractions. You wont forget the view of NYC from above or the feeling of flying high above the skyscrapers any time soon. Especially for those of you who like taking photos, this is a guaranteed way to secure some amazing shots of the NYC skyline.
Recommended: The Best Helicopter Tours in NYC
Have a beer in our favorite Irish Pub in NYC: Connolly's in Midtown ManhattanBar in Midtown ManhattanOur HighlightAdd to myNY added
The bar Connolly’s Pub and Restaurant is an Irish pub like it is in the book and is for me one of the best pubs in New York. A huge, rustic bar, lots of colourful taps and tons of good whiskey immediately attract attention. The kitchen is also excellent. The burgers are a blast!
Ride the NYC Ferry from Hell's Kitchen!Cruise in Financial DistrictAdd to myNY added
For the locals, the New York Ferry or NYC Ferry is one of the most important means of transport when it comes to reliability and speed. Unfortunately, the subway is always a problem, which is why you sometimes never know exactly if it is running and if so when. Not so with the NYC Ferry – and the best? For $3 you can take a really great boat tour along the East River!
And since August 2021 there is a brand-new route that connects Hell’s Kitchen with Staten Island! Just head to Pier 79 at W 39th Street and enjoy the 35 minutes ride!
Chrysler BuildingBuilding in Midtown ManhattanAdd to myNY added
The Chrysler Building is one of the many landmarks of the city. The architecture makes it so unique and recognizable. Yet, it was not supposed to look like this at all and was only created because the founder wanted to have the title of the tallest building in the world.
Learn more about the famous Rockefeller CenterWalking Tour in Midtown ManhattanAdd to myNY added
The Rockefeller Center and its observation deck are usually mentioned in the same breath as the Empire State Building. Billionaire John D. Rockefeller Jr. took down 228 properties in the middle of Manhattan to build a city within the city in the 1930s. Fourteen skyscrapers were part of this huge complex, including the General Electric Building, Radio City Music Hall, the Christie Auction House, and the NBC television station.
Rockefeller Center spans three blocks between Fifth Avenue and Avenue of the Americas (Sixth Avenue), West 47th Street and 52nd Street. With a height of 259.1m, the GE Building is the highest of the building complex. During the holiday season when the famous Christmas tree is set up, Rockefeller Center is bombarded with foot traffic. Top of the Rock is well worth the visit.
You can explore the famous Rockefeller Center with this tour! The guided tour includes your own headset through which you will be able to hear your guide tell you everything about the history the work and architecture of the building.
Go (Window) Shopping at 5th AvenueOther Shopping in Midtown ManhattanAdd to myNY added
5th Avenue is one of the most famous shopping streets in the world and a must-see if you want to go shopping in New York! Fifth Avenue starts right at Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village and goes all the way to 143rd Street in Harlem. The length of 5th Avenue is over 11 kilometers – you will need about 2.5 hours on foot.
Visit the Museum of Mathematics (no joke!)Museum in Midtown ManhattanAdd to myNY added
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.
Let you guide you through Midtown Manhattan with this bus tourBus Tour in Midtown ManhattanAdd to myNY added
The tour in an open double-decker is one of the best and most convenient ways to explore New York! As part of the tour, you will see well-known landmarks such as the famous Empire State Building and the new One World Trade Center.
Have Lunch at the United Nations HeadquarterBuilding in Midtown ManhattanAdd to myNY added
The four-building skyscraper complex on the East River, built between 1949 and 1953, is home to the United Nations and also the headquarters for UN agencies such as Unesco and Unicef. In 1946, when the United Nations was looking for a place to build its new headquarters in New York, it was originally planned to be built on the grounds of the 1939 World’s Fair at Flushing Meadow Park in Queens.
But when a project called X-City on the eastern border of Manhattan failed, John D. Rockefeller Jr. bought the seven-acre property and donated it to the United Nations. The entire area has been declared an international territory and is not officially part of the United States. The United Nations Plaza has a public park on the East River and is peppered with works of art donated from various countries. It includes “Swords to Plowshares” by Yevgeny Vuchetich, from the Soviet Union in 1959, and a section of the Berlin Wall.
In front of the UN headquarters, the flags of each member country are lined up on First Avenue – starting with Afghanistan on 48th Street to Zimbabwe on 42nd Street.
Our insider tip: Have lunch in the United Nations Headquarters and have lunch with the UN staff (sneakers are not allowed)!
230 Fifth Avenue Rooftop BarRooftop Bar in Midtown ManhattanAdd to myNY added
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.
St. Patrick’s CathedralBuilding in Midtown ManhattanAdd to myNY added
Midtown Manhattan is also home to famous St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The neo-Gothic church of stone and marble was consecrated in 1879 to the patron saint of the Irish. It can occupy up to 2,500 people to find peace at any time of the day. It is the eleventh largest church in the world and the largest neo-Gothic style cathedral in the United States. The slender towers rise almost majestically to a height of over 100 metres. and offers an impressive retreat in the middle of 5th Avenue.
St. Patrick’s Cathedral New York City is the most breathtaking ecclesiastical building in New York!
FAO Schwarz in New YorkOther Shopping in Midtown Manhattan
Grand Central TerminalOther Attraction in Midtown ManhattanAdd to myNY added
Grand Central Terminal is located close to Fifth Avenue and therefore great for shopping. The largest train station in the world is also the most visited building in New York. It’s walking distance from the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building and Rockefeller Center. Every day, 750,000 people pass New York’s most famous station.
Here is a little tip. Look up at the ceiling while you’re in the terminal. The ceiling has been painted mirror-inverted. The reason: the painter had kept the card upside down! Its official version, of course, was that it was wanted and the view was not painted from below, but from the perspective of God – that is, from above.
M&M's WorldOther Shopping in Midtown ManhattanAdd to myNY added
Beware, danger of addiction! You will find nothing but colourful treats from M&M’s on several floors. Almost every colour is there and you can choose freely from all M&M’s. How? It’s very easy: in huge transparent plexiglass tubes you can see the varieties, which can then be easily filled into bags. The thing you will hear most is something like “Come on, I want to try some of that!”
Apple Store 5th AveElectronic Store in Midtown Manhattan
Refinery RooftopRooftop Bar in Midtown ManhattanOur HighlightAdd to myNY added
A very small rooftop bar very close to Bryant Park with a nice view of the Empire State Building is the Refinery Rooftop from the Refinery Hotel. This two-story rooftop bar in Midtown isn’t particularly large, but it certainly has its appeal due to the combination of location and quality of the cocktails.
Visit the world-famous Theater District in New York and see a Broadway ShowTheatre in Theatre DistrictAdd to myNY added
Broadway is the mecca of this type of entertainment and it’s located here right here in Midtown. New York Broadway shows thrills the masses and it’s considered the birthplace of the late 18th-century musical. Musicals that are shown in New York are long-term box-office hits, such as the Phantom of the Opera, as well as modern pieces, such as Disney’s Aladdin or the Lion King. What’s unique are the many old theaters in which the shows are performed, which gives Broadway a special charm and ambiance.
Every year, Broadway brings in new shows to give it a refresh. It is often decided within a few weeks whether the production will remain on Broadway or will be discontinued. If the numbers do not perform as expected, the shows will be replaced. For example, the musical Rocky, or Spiderman were replaced.
Tickets for one of the musicals are always a great gift idea when you’re on vacation to New York. Every show is always well attended and often sold out. Our personal favorite is the show, Aladdin. People of all ages will enjoy this musical. Also, there’s this thing called Broadway Week where they offer discounted prices for shows!
Recommended: The Best Broadway Shows in NYC
Madison Square Garden - All Access TourWalking Tour in Midtown ManhattanAdd to myNY added
Midtown Manhattan is home to probably the most iconic stadium in the world. Madison Square Garden (MSG), nicknamed “The Garden” bills itself as the “world’s most famous arena” and arguably so. MSG is home to the New York Knicks, the New York Rangers, and was once home to the WNBA team, NY Liberty. Just to give you perspective on how famous this arena is, Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier fought here and was dubbed “The Fight of the Century”.
Aside from sporting events, the arena has hosted some of the biggest shows and celebrities in the world. From Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston to Jay-Z and Drake, every major talent has performed here. Whoever performs here is a bonafide celebrity.
Personally, we have attended several New York Knicks games and the atmosphere in the arena is always great – even for those who are not into basketball, it is always an experience. New York is considered the “Mecca of basketball”. We also experienced several Rangers games and was also very exciting!!
What is Midtown Manhattan known for?
Midtown Manhattan and Lower Manhattan are the main areas of NYC where tourists visit. Everything is there, from attractions, tours all the way to your shopping experience. In Midtown NYC you can find the Empire State Building, Grand Central Station, the world-renown Macy’s department store, and more. Because there are so many things to do in this part of New York City, we wanted to filter out all of the noise so your trip is easier to navigate and you can focus on the best of the best.
Best Attractions in Midtown Manhattan
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. Below are a few more attractions and museums in Midtown Manhattan we recommend.
01 Central Park in Winter
Central Park should not be missing from any Things to Do in New York in winter! The green lung of the city turns into a true winter wonderland during the cold season. It is therefore also a popular destination for New Yorkers. Stroll through the park under snow-covered trees and let yourself be enchanted by the play of lights on the frozen water surfaces in the evening.
Walking through Central Park in the cold is magical! If there’s snow, it’s even more amazing.
If you want to be more adventurous, start in Harlem and walk down Central Park towards Midtown. Too often we catch ourselves starting on Fifth Avenue at the Plaza Hotel in Central Park. There is so much more to explore than just that part of Central Park.
02 Belvedere Castle in Central Park
The Belvedere Castle was built in 1869 and was designed by Calvert Vaux who is best known for also designing NYC’s Central Park. There was no real purpose to the castle other than being a decorative piece within the park, however it is very beautiful definitely worth a visit.
03 Bryant Park
Bryant Park is located right in central Manhattan and is a quiet oasis between 40th and 42nd Street. Bryant Park is right in the cetner of Midtown Manhattan between 40th and 42nd Street, yet it still lends you the peace and quiet you need to get away for a few moments from the bustling city. Withg many small cafés dotted throughout the park this is the perfect place to unwind or relax when the weather is nice.
04 Central Park
Central Park spans from Midtown Manhattan all the way up to Harlem. There are about 340 hectares of land and is a popular meeting place for New Yorkers. With about 35 million visitors per year, the man-made park is an attraction not only for tourists. New Yorkers love Central Park and its tranquility. Many events are held here such as the NYC Marathon. There are also tons of green spaces, walking lanes, and bike lanes. Central Park is home to Sheep’s Meadow, Bow Bridge, Bethesda Terrace, Central Park Zoo, and many other things as well.
05 Chelsea Piers
All sports fans should definitely go to the Chelsea Piers – these include Piers 59, 60 and 61 between 17th and 23rd Street. The complex consists of bowling alleys, climbing walls, fitness studios, basketball courts, an ice skating and skating rink and an indoor swimming pool.
06 Chrysler Building Observation Deck
It was discussed for a long time and now it has finally become reality: The Chrysler Building is to get an observation deck! This is to be built on the 61st floor and transform the current north and south terrace into an observation deck with a view over Midtown, the East River and One Vanderbilt Summit.
07 Empire State Building
The Empire State Building is the most famous attraction in New York City. When most people think of NYC, this landmark is usually the first thing that pops into their head. It’s an iconic skyscraper and has been arguably the face of the city. It should definitely be a part of every trip to the city since it features two observation decks! Here’s a fun fact: The Empire State Building even has its own zip code! (NY 10118)
08 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.
09 Fotografiska New York
Fotografiska New York is a wonderful museum in NYC for all art and especially photo art enthusiasts. Originally founded in Stockholm in 2010, the museum also exists in Tallinn (Estonia) and since 2019 in New York.
It is located in a beautiful building from 1892 and extends over 6 floors. In addition to changing exhibitions, there is a restaurant and cocktail bar to round out your visit.
10 Gramercy Park
This green idyll is a park surrounded by expensive brownstone houses. Access is only granted with a key, which is only given to residents living directly at the park. But it is still worthwhile to look over or through the fence. The park is simply enchanting and beautiful.
11 Grand Central Terminal
Grand Central Station is probably the most famous commuter station in the world. Every single day, thousands of locals and tourists walk through this busy and fast-paced terminal. This New York City commuter rail terminal has been featured in numerous movies and TV shows and is an iconic location within the city. Tourists that visit NYC make sure that Grand Central is part of their itinerary.
12 Holidays Under The Stars
The Shops at Columbus Circle boast the largest specialty crafted display of illuminated color in the world! Twelve 14-foot handcrafted stars will be hanging from the ceiling inside the Time Warner Center. If you show up in the evening hours, know that there is a dazzling light show every half hour from 5 pm till closing. Access to the spectacle is free! The specialty exhibit “Holidays Under the Stars” is a true New York tradition and comes with extended shopping hours. Dine, shop and enjoy the entertainment after you visited Columbus Circle Holiday Market, one of the best Christmas markets in the city.
To pair some of the best Christmas lights in NYC with an even more magical experience, come here on a Monday. That’s when Broadway Under the Stars takes place inside the Shops at Columbus Circle. Who doesn’t like a free light show and Broadway performance?
Almost every attraction and tour in Midtown Manhattan 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?”
Best Guided Tours in Midtown Manhattan
Most tours in NYC start right here in Midtown Manhattan, which makes sense of course since a lot of the attractions are in the vicinity. These range from Hop-on Hop-off bus tours, going up to NYC observation decks to touring buildings such as Radio City Music Hall or Madison Square Garden. You’ll have numerous amounts of options so it really depends on your time and schedule.
Here are our favorite tours below.
01 High Line and Chelsea Small Group Tour
This is the most popular walking tour along the High Line, starting in the Meatpacking District at the Whitney Museum, running through Chelsea and ending at Hudson Yards. The High Line is my personal favorite park in NYC and always worth a visit. I find the High Line and Chelsea Small Group Tour really exciting because you get told the history and significance to New York. Your guide will tell you many secrets that the High Line, the Chelsea Market and the Meatpacking District has to offer.
For me personally, this tour is one of the best walking tours in NYC ever, because you see a lot of the old and the new New York City. That’s what makes this district so interesting for me!
02 High Line Park and Greenwich Village Food Tour
This walking tour through Greenwich Village and Chelsea is one of the best food tours New York City has to offer! Because in this part of the city there are many wonderful little food spots that you must discover.
In addition, you will learn many exciting anecdotes about the High Line, which connects the Hudson Yards with the Meatpacking District. This former elevated railway line was saved from demolition due to an initiative and is now one of the most popular sights in New York. All the more reason to book this awesome walking tour!
03 High Line, Chelsea & Meatpacking Tour
Go on a fun adventure in New York’s only park above street level- the Highline. Experience the Chelsea neighborhood from a whole new vantage point and find out more about the history of the famous Meatpacking District including how it developed into one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the world.
04 Broadway Walking Tour
Learn about Broadway and get an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at New York City’s famous theater district. This two-hour tour lead by a real Broadway performer is the perfect way to get an insight into one of the most famous theatre districts globally.
05 Central Park Conservancy
Free Central Park tours are offered by the Central Park Conservancy. Here you will learn all kinds of interesting facts about the history of Central Park, its highlights and most important corners. The meeting point depends on the tour.
06 Central Park Highlights Walking Tour
The Walking Tour takes you through the most popular park in New York: Central Park. Next to the TV & Movie Sites Central Park Walking Tour, this is one of the most booked tours. A New York guide will show you the most beautiful areas, spots, bridges and lakes in Central Park, from the Bethesda Fountains to the Central Park Zoo. You’ll also learn about the history of the park and where to take the best photos.
07 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.
08 Food on Foot Tours
This is one of the best ways to discover the culinary highlights of NYC! Taking you around the city to explore the best of the best in terms of food, this award winning tour is an excellent way to explore the taste of different areas of NYC.
09 Grand Central Partnership
If you want to know what makes the Grand Central Terminal so special, the 90-minute free walking tour from the Grand Central Partnership is something you should definitely consider. With a historian as your guide, you’ll learn lots of exciting things about the beautiful building every Friday from 12.30 p.m.
10 Inside Broadway Tours
Listen to the personal stories of Broadway actors. The tour is an exciting 2-hour walk through the New York Theater District. You’ll not only explore the history of the Broadway Theatre but also find out more about the exciting backstage stories.
11 Madison Square Garden - All Access Tour
This exclusive tour of Madison Sqauare Garden will give you a unique look at the state of the art arena in a much more detailed way. When you enter through the doors of the arena you can feel the energy in the air and you really start to imagine the many legendary concerts and games that have been held there.
12 New York Christmas Markets and Lights Walking Tour
You will get to know four different Christmas markets on this walking tour. In a small group, you’ll learn all kinds of interesting facts about the buildings and attractions from a guide and walk past many of the decorated shop windows. The starting point is the information desk under the Holiday Under the Stars display in the stores at Columbus Circle.
If guided tours interest you, be sure to check out the Best Walking Tours NYC!
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Best Restaurants in Midtown Manhattan
Midtown restaurants, bars, and cafes can be found on pretty much every corner of the neighborhood. Because so many tourists come here, it would only make sense to have food establishments set up. However, you should be aware that prices for food tend to be on the more expensive side in this part of the city. With that being said we love places like 230 Fifth Rooftop Bar, Ellen’s Stardust Diner for tourists, and if you’re looking for an NYC food hall, check out Urbanspace Vanderbilt.
01 Artichoke Basille's Pizza
Artichoke Basille’s Pizza was founded in 2008 and serves big slices with creamy toppings.
02 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.
03 Benjamin Steakhouse
The stay at Benjamins is always a treat. The steak and wine list is very extensive. So there should be something for everyone.
Here at Benoit you can get the French classics like cassoulet or onion soup. The restaurant is famous for its fantastic fish dishes and steaks. Be sure to order the fries with it – they are second to none. The Benoit is also ideal for a romantic dinner for two, as the selection is large and the wines are sensational. Here the emphasis is on French wines.
05 Black Iron Burger Midtown
Black Iron Burger is a well known burger restaurant that can be found several times in New York.
Looking for more recommendations? We’ve got you covered! Here you find the Best Restaurants in Midtown Manhattan.
Best Bars in Midtown Manhattan
After a long day exploring Midtown Manhattan, one of the best things to do is to grab drinks at one of the many bars in the area. One of the most popular spots in Midtown is 230 Fifth Rooftop Bar. It has outdoor seating and the Empire State Building is literally staring right next to you. It arguably has one of the best views of the city.
01 230 Fifth Rooftop Bar
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.
02 BAR 54 Rooftop
One of the most popular rooftop bars in Times Square is Bar 54, located on the roof of the Hyatt Times Square Hotel New York, on the 54th floor (hence the name), where you can enjoy the hustle and bustle of the city. The Bar 54 is also a lounge, so you can go there even if the weather is not so good.
03 Bathtub Gin
A great bar with a great selection of cocktails and gins. On the menu you will find small dishes like crispy calamari, grilled chicken or burrata.
04 Cantina Rooftop
In the Cantina Rooftop Bar you feel like in the Caribbean, surrounded by tropical plants you eat delicious guacamole and drink very well made cocktails with classical Mexican music. Besides tequila in every variation, there is a large selection of other delicious drinks: Try the Cantina Margarita.
The Cibar close to Union Square is one of those hidden little bars that do not really look like anything from the outside. However, if you are inside and want to have one of their delicious drinks (I’m not a rum lover, but on the bartender’s recommendation I tried the “Hedo Rick“. Crazy!) you know what I mean! The Cibar is really a nice bar in New York!
Best Cafes in Midtown Manhattan
If you’re looking for a quick break then you can always check out some Midtown cafes. There are artisanal tea and coffee shops and bakeries throughout the neighborhood and are great places to relax and recuperate from all the sightseeing.
01 Bibble & Sip
Bibble & Sip is a bakery café located in Midtown Manhattan. It’s a great place to grab a coffee and some of the cutest desserts in the city.
02 Blank Slate NYC Coffee + Kitchen
Coffee Shop with excellent cuisine in Midtown
03 Gotham Coffee Roasters
The coffee is fantastic, the service is great and the location invites you to stay. Be sure to try a croissant with your hot drink. These are particularly delicious.
Junior’s is a chain restaurant and bakery that is famous for its New York-style cheesecake.
05 Starbucks Reserve Roastery
The Starbucks Reserve Roastery in NYC is located in Chelsea and features Starbuck’s rarest coffee beans. The location also serves cocktails and baked goods.
Shopping in Midtown
Shopping in New York can be overwhelming as there are tons of stores in this city. Times Square has some big stores such as H&M, Uniqlo, and Levis. Then you have Herald Square and 34th Street which is home to the most store in the US, Macy’s Department Store. For high-end luxury shopping, then shopping on Fifth Avenue would be your best bet. This street is home to designer stores such as Gucci, Tiffany’s, Coach, and many more. Fifth Avenue is also home to the Apple Store which reopened in 2019 from renovations.
Where to shop in Midtown Manhattan
Macy's Herald SquareOther Shopping in Midtown ManhattanAdd to myNY added
From 34th to 35th Street between Broadway and 7th Avenue is the legendary and huge department store, Macy’s. The building is 11 floors high – including a café, McDonald’s, and Starbucks. Macy’s at Herald Square is one of the most famous department stores in the world and is definitely the biggest. A number of brands such as Michael Kors, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Tommy Hilfiger, Burberry, and many more extend on the seemingly endless sales area.
Macy’s is filled with jewelry, handbags, jeans, dresses, household goods, a large well-stocked cosmetics department, and a complete floor full of shoes. In order to avoid the huge crowd that visits the department stores daily, we recommend you come early and during the week. Be sure to head up the ancient escalator to the 11th floor, which has been in operation since its opening in 1901. Macy’s at Herald Square is an icon you do not want to miss.
Apple Store 5th AveElectronic Store in Midtown ManhattanAdd to myNY added
The Fifth Avenue Apple Store is the most popular Apple Store in the city. You won’t miss the store because the store entrance is this huge and beautifully-made glass cube. It’s also right across from The Plaza Hotel and Central Park. As you enter the store, you’re greeted with a lot of greenery giving the store a clean aesthetic. You’re also greeted with this amazing spiral staircase that takes you down to the store floor.
M&M's WorldOther Shopping in Midtown ManhattanAdd to myNY added
The M & M’s Store in Times Square is a real hot spot that you should definitely check out. Since 2006, tourists have come here to fill their bags with M & M’s. This is a personal paradise for someone that has a sweet tooth. In addition to chocolate, there are also many souvenirs from New York, for example, a Statue of Liberty in M & M’s style. So come by and choose between all the colors and different sorts of treats.
FAO Schwarz in New YorkOther Shopping in Midtown ManhattanAdd to myNY added
You’ll probably recognize their old store location in movies such as “Big”, “Heart & Soul” and “Chopsticks”. FAO Schwarz’s interior was the inspiration for Duncan’s Toy Chest in the movie “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York”. Aside from its film features, this toy store in NYC moved their store location to Rockefeller Center and is perfect for kids. It’s a hot-spot during the holiday season as well.
Nordstrom Flagship Store NYCOther Shopping in Midtown ManhattanAdd to myNY added
The Nordstrom Flagship store in NYC opened in 2019 and is the first Nordstrom for women in the city. It was a big move because the area is already saturated with multiple department stores but it also shows how successful Nordstrom is becoming. Nordstrom Men’s store is located right across the street.
Shopping on Fifth Avenue NYC
Just like we mentioned above, Fifth Avenue in NYC is loaded with designer stores and is one of the best shopping in New York destinations. You have Bergdorf Goodmans which has two separate stores across the street from each other. Each store is individually catered to women and men. Right down the block is Sak’s Fifth Avenue which is another luxury department store. Tiffany’s is also another store on Fifth Avenue. Other stores on this infamous street are the likes of Gucci, Coach, Louis Vuitton, Victoria’s Secret, and many more. For sports, Niketown NYC and Adidas are located here as well. Shopping on Fifth Avenue definitely won’t take a day so it’s best to plan ahead of time.
Best Hotels in Midtown Manhattan
Staying in Midtown has many advantages. For one, you’re right in the middle of the action and everything you’ll ever need will be around you. There are train stations everywhere so getting to locations won’t be a problem at all. Also, if you stay on the higher floors of the hotel, you’ll have a gorgeous view of the Manhattan skyline. Some of the best hotels are Hotel Novotel, The Row NYC, YOTEL Times Square, and many more.
If you decide to stay in the neighborhood please check out these amazing hotels:
01 Ace Hotel New York
4 stars | This charming boutique hotel has two stylish restaurants and a bar. The Herald Square underground station is in the immediate vicinity of the hotel. Each of the spacious rooms is individually designed.
02 Archer Hotel
4 Stars | The Archer Hotel is a boutique hotel right on Bryant Park – the perfect location! The rooms are truly stylish and from some of them you can even see the Empire State Building. What we also liked: the small bar on the roof of the hotel!
03 Arlo NoMad
4 Stars | This beautiful hotel is pretty much right where you want to be during your (first) visit to New York: just around the corner from the Empire State Building! This place isn’t only exceptionally stylish, it also has a rooftop bar and terrace from where you have a sensational view of New York – and the Empire State Building from up close, of course. Hard to beat.
04 Broadway Plaza Hotel
3 Stars | The Broadway Plaza Hotel is located just two blocks from the Flatiron Building and Madison Square Park and is one of the most popular hotels in the area. It’s a really nice boutique hotel in the heart of the city – definitely a recommendation for me!
05 Chelsea Pines Inn
4 Stars | This stylish bed & breakfast is located directly in Chelsea. The interior of the hotel is a real eye-catcher: the walls are decorated with original Hollywood movie posters, among other things.
06 citizenM New York Times Square
4 Stars | The citizenM New York in Times Square is a stylish hotel with a lounge, bar and rooftop bar. It is one of the most popular hotels in the area – and thanks to its location, you can reach all the important sights on foot in no time.
07 Courtyard New York Manhattan
3 Stars | The Courtyard New York Manhattan/Midtown West in New York is located at the Hudson Yards and offers cool design, its own restaurant and bar. The view from the rooms on the higher floors is great – depending on where you stay, you can overlook either the Hudson River or see the Empire State Building.
Recommended article: The 32 Best Hotels in Midtown Manhattan.
Midtown is the epicenter of tourism in NYC. It’s definitely the go-to location when it comes to places to visit in Manhattan. It’s definitely an area that tourists should check out. Once you’re finished with Midtown make sure to swing by the nearby neighborhoods below.
Neighborhoods that are Similar to Midtown Manhattan
If you enjoyed Midtown, 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.
The 29 Best Things to Do in Midtown Manhattan
Theatre District in New York
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Our Perfect Day in Midtown Manhattan
Like we mentioned before, Midtown is huge and can be very overwhelming since there are so many things to do in Midtown. Depending on your length of stay, it can be difficult to figure out where to start first. It’s impossible to see all of Midtown in just one or two days. You’ll most likely need multiple days to experience this very busy area. However, if you follow this recommendation, we can assure you that your visit to the neighborhood will be smooth and fun.
Our recommended itinerary
- Have breakfast at Blank Slate NYC – This small cafe which has a sit-in section and caters to take-out as well is located on the border of Midtown and the Flatiron District. Their items are very good and one thing you’ll notice is that their ingredients are of high-quality and nutritious. (121 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10016)
- Visit an observation deck – Either visit the Empire State Building or Top of the Rock to see great views of Manhattan. That’s the reason you came here right?
- Shop on Fifth Avenue – This street is filled with many high-end stores as well as your favorite mainstream shopping stores. You’ll find jewelry, clothing, and even electronics along this street. (Fifth Avenue – 42nd Street to 59th Street)
- Lunch at Black Tap NYC – Black Tap NYC is an amazing burger spot but is also famous for its crazy milkshakes. One of their key items on the menu is their Bam Bam Milkshake which is loaded with Fruity Pebbles along with your classic strawberry milkshake. You can either go to the one on 35th Street or 55th Street. (45 W 35th St, New York, NY 10001, 136 W 55th St, New York, NY 10019)
- Visit the Museum of Modern Art – The MoMA is one of Manhattan’s most popular museums. It’s also the mecca for art and has been open since the 1920s. (11 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019)
- Coffee and pastries at Bluestone Lane Coffee – A quick coffee break is always needed. It gives you that time to rest and re-energize yourself for whatever it is you need to do. We recommend visiting one of the Bluestone Lane Coffee locations especially next to Bryant Park. (1120 6th Ave, New York, NY 10036)
- Enjoy a cocktail and amazing views at 230 Fifth Rooftop Bar – This is probably the most popular rooftop bar in all of NYC. The views are amazing and the rooftop is big enough to fit a good amount of people. In the winter, the rooftop bar installs heated “igloos” so you can enjoy the outdoors. (230 5th Ave, New York, NY)
FAQ: Midtown Manhattan
What’s considered Midtown Manhattan?
Midtown is the area between 34th Street and 59th Street. You can find The Empire State Building and Macy’s on 34th Street. 59th Street is home to the southern part of Central Park, The Apple Store and The Plaza Hotel (which is famous for the movie Home Alone 2).
Is Midtown Manhattan safe?
Midtown Manhattan in general is safe. It’s perfect for tourists, but it’s also a prime spot for scams. Like in any other big city, make sure to be aware of your surroundings.
Is Midtown Manhattan expensive?
NYC is generally a little bit more expensive compared to other American cities. Living in Midtown can be quite expensive as well. People live in very small spaces but pay a premium price. Also, restaurants are on the pricier side because of rent and the flock of tourists that come to the city. If you’re looking for cheaper, but still great quality food, make sure to check out Queens or Brooklyn.
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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!