There’s always plenty to see and do in New York, even after more than 20 visits it definitely doesn’t get boring. There is always so much to discover! In my guide I have listed all the events, attractions, tours and insider spots for you to visit right now.
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Get inspired by cool things to do in NYC, have fun with my fun Things to Do and experience real thrills with the most extraordinary spots I’m going to introduce you to here.
You’ll find the best New York attractions like Summit One Vanderbilt and Little Island, as well as extraordinary spots, really great restaurants in New York, and I’ll tell you my favorite bars from Manhattan to Brooklyn where I would hang out right now.
So if you’re looking for the best things to do in New York right now, you’ll find it here!
These Are My TOP 55 Things to Do in NYC Right Now
How many of my spots have you already seen or have on your itinerary for New York? Feel free to write it in the comments!
Visit SUMMIT One VanderbiltBuilding 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 has been open since October 2021.
Go Shopping at South Street SeaportBuilding in Financial DistrictAdd to myNY added
The South Street Seaport in Lower Manhattan is located where Fulton Street meets the East River. But with the proximity to the Brooklyn Bridge and areas like Wall Street in beautiful Lower Manhattan, it is the charm of the many old commercial buildings from the old days that make the South Street Seaport in New York City so special.
See New York's Newest Park: Little IslandOther Attraction in Meatpacking District
Enjoy the Empire State Building Sunrise ExperienceOther Tours in Midtown ManhattanAdd to myNY added
Experience New York City awakening on top of the Empire State Building. This unforgettable VIP experience at sunrise is an absolute must for every visitor to New York City and one of the newest tours we have tested. As we all know, the morning hour has gold in its mouth, which is why we met at the Empire State Building at 5:30 am to marvel at the magical moment of the sunrise from the 86th floor.
Visit Governors Island Winter Village!Other Attraction in Outside of New York CityAdd to myNY added
When the weather is beautiful in New York City and you want to escape for a moment from the noise, the hustle and bustle, then a trip to Governors Island is something to consider. The Governors Island Ferry will take you across the East River with the Governors Island Ferry until the end of September.
My tip: Our Complete Guide to Governors Island Winter Village
The Dead Rabbit: Have a Drink in one of the best bars in town!Bar in Financial DistrictOur HighlightAdd to myNY added
Have you ever thought about how to take the Irish Pub into the 21st century? Go check out the Dead Rabbit bar and find out. This modern Irish pub and restaurant, which opened in 2013, is one of our favorite bars of all times. As soon as you enter the bar, you are transported into another world. There is nothing ultra-modern here, but everything is stylishly trimmed to old. From the original cash register, old punch glasses for the drinks to the wooden floors covered with sawdust.
My tip: Check out our article about the best bars in Manhattan!
One of the coolest things to do in NYC right now: The Edge City Climb!Building in Hudson YardsOur HighlightAdd to myNY added
The Hudson Yards observation deck called Edge is New York’s newest and highest open observation deck. It opened in March 2020 and we were there – the view from up here is just sensational, and through the glass floor you can see over 100 floors straight down.
And if that thrill isn’t enough for you, now you can do the Edge City Climb in NYC!
Have A Drink In A Rooftop BarBar in Hell's KitchenOur HighlightAdd to myNY added
The bar Dear Irving on Hudson is a real insider tip. Located very close to Times Square, you can look down on Manhattan’s “urban canyons” from here and be relatively undisturbed. The bar is small and cozy and not yet as crowded as many others in the neighborhood. The cocktail menu is not that big, but the cocktails are really good.
My tip: The Dear Irvine on Hudson is part of my list of the best rooftop bars in NYC.
Experience Central Park in the FallPark in Midtown ManhattanOur HighlightAdd to myNY added
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.
Manhattan Holiday Yacht Cruise with Jazz, Cocoa & CarolsCruise in ChelseaOur HighlightAdd to myNY added
Make yourself comfortable on the old yacht from the 1920s and get into the Christmas mood during the Cocoa & Carols Holiday Cruise. This boat tour at Christmas time is one of my absolute favourites. It starts from Pier 62 (Chelsea Piers) on a beautifully decorated yacht. On the way through New York Harbor and the Hudson River, breathtaking views of the New York skyline, the One World Trade Center, Governors Island, the Brooklyn Bridge and of course the Statue of Liberty are guaranteed.
Classic Harbor Line: Architecture Yacht CruiseCruise in ChelseaOur HighlightAdd to myNY added
The architecture boat tour takes you around Manhattan in 2.5 hours. On a 30 meter long wooden ship in the style of the 1920s you can relax and learn a lot of interesting facts about the many small and large buildings of the city. The tour is super-relaxing and the price includes a drink (vino, soft drinks) and small snacks.
Eat Tapas and feel like being in Spain at Tia PolSpanish Restaurant in ChelseaAdd to myNY added
The Tia Pol is totally inconspicuous from the outside, but it has it all! We became aware of it by chance, because we had some time and desire to eat something small before our boat tour. The spot became famous for its sangria from the barrel (!), it is much much better than it sounds! The tapas are fancy, typically Spanish and you are definitely among New Yorkers here. Wonderful!
Visit the Museum of Ice CreamMuseum in SoHoAdd to myNY added
The Museum of Ice Cream is located in SoHo and features 13 all-new interactive art installations across 25,000 square feet over 3 floors. Besides multi-sensory installations, it boasts the biggest sprinkle pool to date. With exhibits like these, the Museum of Ice Cream NYC is not a traditional museum. It’s more of an experience and is great for kids. Photo opportunities are everywhere and each installation is set for the perfect Instagram photo. The Museum of Ice Cream aims to connect, create moments of joy and stimulate your imagination.
Christmas Lights Tour of New York City (starting November 22nd)Other Shopping in Midtown Manhattan
Go ice-skating!Christmas Market in Midtown ManhattanOur HighlightAdd to myNY added
Starting in October (and running through March), it is time once again for the best winter market in New York City to open its doors. The Winter Village in Bryant Park is not only the largest Christmas market in the city but also by far the nicest on account of its adjacent ice rink and places to shop and eat.
Standing here among the skyscrapers and even seeing the Empire State Building is really quite special. Therefore this had to be on my list of the best things to do in nyc right now.
Empire Outlets Staten IslandOutlet in Staten Island
The NutcrackerOther Events in Upper East SideAdd to myNY added
The Nutcracker is one of the world’s most famous ballets and enjoys great popularity among visitors and locals. A true holiday tradition!
Stroll along BroadwayOther Attraction in SoHoAdd to myNY added
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.
Learn more about the secrets of Grand Central TerminalWalking Tour in Midtown ManhattanAdd to myNY added
The Secrets of Grand Central Terminal Walking Tour not only shows you the most important parts of New York’s famous train station, but focuses on the secrets and special features that only a New York guide would know. Did you know that there is a hidden tennis court in Grand Central Terminal? Or that the painting of the ceiling is mirror-inverted? You will learn much more on this exciting walking tour in NYC!
See a Broadway ShowBroadway Show in Theatre DistrictAdd to myNY added
Especially in the off-season you can often get great bargains for one of the Broadway shows in New York. We have already seen many of the really worthwhile musicals and can only recommend the experience. Every dollar is well invested – it is guaranteed to be an unforgettable evening!
So check out our Complete Guide to Broadway Shows in NYC
Enjoy a mule wine at the Union Square Holiday MarketChristmas Market in GramercyAdd to myNY added
Union Square is proud to host over 25 years of holiday markets and this year will be no exception. The market’s layout was initially modeled after European Christmas markets and despite some changes since its original inception, the Union Square Holiday Market still mirrors its cousins across the Atlantic pretty closely. It is one of the largest Christmas markets in New York and a holiday tradition for any visitor.
ENJOY A MULLED WINE HERE – IT’S A GERMAN STAPLE!
There’s no way you will leave this holiday market without a full belly and a happy smile.
My tip: These are the best Christmas markets in NYC.
One of my favourite fun things to do in NYC right now: The Ready RooftopRooftop Bar in East VillageAdd to myNY added
The Ready Rooftop is one of the hottest rooftops in New York for the cold season. The interior will warm your heart with palm trees, bright colors, tacos and an incredibly relaxed atmosphere.
The rooftop bar is located at the Moxy NYC East Village hotel, which for me is one of the most beautiful hotels in Manhattan. The bar has a roof that can be opened in good weather like the Eataly Flatiron rooftop. So it’s a stylish outdoor terrace in the summer and a covered lounge in the cold season (until March) with the theme “Holiday Palms”.
Eat At The Time Out MarketFood Market in DumboAdd to myNY added
If you’re looking for a new place to eat right now in New York, check out The Time Out Market. Here you’ll find a diverse roster of bars and restaurants that are complemented by unique cultural experiences. Visiting this market will allow you to taste all of the classic New York dishes, from tasty pizza to hot pastrami sandwiches and much more. In fact, you’ll even find NYC’s best Thai food here as well.
Shine Bright Only at Hudson YardsOther Events in Hudson YardsAdd to myNY added
Starting at the end of November, you can enjoy a spectacular light show at Hudson Yards titled “Shine Bright Only at Hudson Yards”. It’s one of the newest Christmas light displays in New York City. Shine Bright is an indoor-outdoor light and music installation featuring more than 2 million white lights illuminating The Shops, Public Square & Gardens, The Edge and Vessel. Every day at 5 pm, “the moments” invite spectators to get dazzled by a visual spectacle that is synchronized to festive music.
- When? November 15, 2021
Feel the New York of the 1920s at Brandy LibraryBar in TribecaOur HighlightAdd to myNY added
Even if the name suggests otherwise: the Brandy Library has a huge selection of even very rare whiskeys in its program, which will make the heart of every whiskey fan beat faster. More than 1,000 bottles are used as decoration, especially in the evening it looks like a library of high-proof drinks. What we found very exciting are their events where you can learn more about Bourbons, Cognacs etc. Conclusion: Super-atmospheric and a real highlight!
Explore Hudson Yards ...Mall in Hudson YardsAdd to myNY added
Another great way to spend time in New York is by exploring Hudson Yards. This area is a 28-acre real estate development in the Hudson Yards and Chelsea neighborhoods of Manhattan. This area is home to many high-end condos and world-class shopping, fine dining, and other activities. You’re also close enough to the harbor that you can see the shipping yards and other sights. If you’re up for it, this is also a great location to go on a guided walking tour to learn about the area’s happenings.
... or the nearby High Line with a local guide!Walking Tour in ChelseaOur HighlightAdd to myNY added
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.
A free thing to do in NYC right now: The High Line Winter TourWalking Tour in West VillageAdd to myNY added
The High Line Park takes you along the old tracks of the elevated railway to the Meatpacking District. Thanks to the initiative “Friends of the High Line” the park exists at all, because originally the construction was supposed to be torn down. And the best thing? They offer free tours!
No! We are never too old for Jane's Carousel!Other Attraction in DumboAdd to myNY added
In the middle of the Brooklyn Bridge Park there is a beautiful carousel for young and old all year round. From there you can also enjoy the great view of the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan Bridge.
Enjoy the atmosphere during a NBA game!Sports Tickets in ChelseaOur Highlight
Do this Romantic Cruise Aboard a Classic Motor YachtCruise in ChelseaOur HighlightAdd to myNY added
This Holiday Jazz Cruise aboard a 1920’s style luxury yacht is one of my absolute favorite tours in New York. The ship has a wonderful charm and cannot be compared to the big sightseeing ships. Holiday Jazz Cruise starts at the Chelsea Piers and takes you along the Hudson River to the Statue of Liberty and the harbor of New York. On the way you can enjoy a wonderful view of the New York skyline and smooth jazz at the same time.
Roosevelt Island TramwayOther Tours in Midtown Manhattan
cloudM New York BoweryRooftop Bar in Lower East SideOur HighlightAdd to myNY added
For me, the cloudM Rooftop Bar is one of the most beautiful rooftop bars not only in the Lower East Side, but in all of New York. It is located on the roof of the citizenM New York Bowery Hotel and offers everything that makes a good rooftop bar: a great view, beautiful design and relaxed atmosphere.
Fools Gold NYCBar in Lower East SideOur HighlightAdd to myNY added
One of the best bars in New York, also known for good burgers. The bar is an absolute MUST-SEE! The burgers are really sensational and they offer really good local beers.
Try the pizza from one of our favorite spotsItalian Restaurant in ChelseaAdd to myNY added
Artichoke Basille’s Pizza was founded in 2008 and serves big slices with creamy toppings.
Get back the summer feeling at Brooklyn Crab in Red HookSea Food Restaurant in Red HookOur Highlight
Check out the latest Exhibitions at MoMAMuseum in Midtown ManhattanOur HighlightAdd to myNY added
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) was founded in 1929 and was the first museum that completely focused its collection on modern art. The huge museum went through an impressive renovation and reopened in 2004 by architect, Yoshio Taniguchi. Then in MoMa went through another round of renovations and reopened in October of 2019. It is definitely one of the most impressive museums in NYC. It’s one of the largest and most influential museums with its collection of modern art.
My tip: Here you find the Best Art Exhibitions in New York City.
Buy some local art at Chelsea MarketFood Market in Meatpacking DistrictOur HighlightAdd to myNY added
The first address for the gourmets among you, is the Chelsea Market. The building that was once a biscuit factory and the place where the famous Oreo biscuits were invented. Today you will find bakeries, wine merchants, greengrocers, a fish shop, sushi bars, a butcher’s shop with steak restaurant and much more.
Visit the Statue of Liberty Museum with a guideWalking Tour in The BatteryOur Highlight
Rubin Museum of ArtsMuseum in ChelseaAdd to myNY added
For three decades, New Yorkers Shelley and Donald Rubin have been collecting Buddhist art, mandalas and meditation images here. The exhibitions of contemporary Asian artists are very impressive.
Have a fantastic lunch at 12 Chairs in SohoCafé in SoHoAdd to myNY added
The name of the 12 Chair comes from the beginnings of the once small café, which only had 12 seats. Here you will find delicacies from Israel with a successful mix to the Russian cuisine. Sounds confusing, but it is super delicious. Very popular both for brunch and dinner.
9/11 Memorial and MuseumMuseum in Financial DistrictOur HighlightAdd to myNY added
The 9/11 Memorial Museum is located at the 9/11 National Memorial and is probably one of the most emotional museums in New York. It is mostly located underground and displays debris from the former Twin Towers in addition to many of the personal belongings of those buried. Among them are fire trucks deformed by heat, a part of the antenna of the North Tower, a scorched elevator motor, the saving stone staircase (Survivor’s Staircase) as well as remains of sidewalks, street signs, bicycles and baby carriages that were in front of the World Trade Center.
Fette SauBBQ in WilliamsburgOur HighlightAdd to myNY added
If you are looking for some of the best BBQ in NYC, look no further than Fette Sau in Williamsburg. With a wide array of different meats and cuts you can choose from, as well as delicious sides, this is definitely not a place to miss if you’re a meat-lover. The concept differs from many restaurants. You place an order at the counter and pay according to the weight of your plate. This gives Fette Sau a very relaxed vibe. What’s better than BBQ and a nice tall glass of beer?
Radio City Music Hall Stage Door TourWalking Tour in Midtown ManhattanOur Highlight
Domino ParkPark in WilliamsburgAdd to myNY added
This beautiful park opened up in Williamsburg in 2018. It’s called Domino park because the former Domino Sugar factory was located at that very spot. Now, it’s filled with greenery, food vendors and a playground for kids. It is located directly on the East River and you have a great view of the city from here. The park invites you to play volleyball or have a picnic.
Magnolia BakeryCafé in West VillageAdd to myNY added
The classic! Carrie and her girls have eaten delicious cupcakes here. An absolute must-do for Sex and the City fans and all those who can’t resist the sweet treat.
Still one of the coolest things to do in NYC right now: Speakeasy Bar Attaboy!Bar in Lower East SideAdd to myNY added
One of the bar’s specialties is the bartenders: since there is no cocktail menu, you just say what you feel like and in which direction you want the cocktail to go and your personal cocktail will be mixed. The bar is not cheap, but worth every cent – otherwise it wouldn’t have made it into the TOP 20 of the best bars in the world.
One of my favorite fun things to do in NYC right now: the Comedy CellerOther Art & Culture in Greenwich VillageAdd to myNY added
The Comedy Cellar is a Manhattan comedy club where many of New York’s top comedians perform. It was founded in 1982 by the then stand-up comedian and the current TV writer and producer, Bill Grundfest. A show consists of five to seven comics, each lasting about 20 minutes. The club isn’t just exclusive to two New Yorkers. Notable comedians have also performed here such as Chris Rock, Dave Chapelle, Kevin Hart and Aziz Ansari.
On the weekends, it can get pretty busy. A visit to the Comedy Cellar is an insider tip for anyone who wants to feel like a true New Yorker and is one of the best things to do in Greenwich Village.
Taste the probably best sushi in NYC: Blue Ribbon Sushi IzakayaJapanese Restaurant in Lower East SideOur HighlightAdd to myNY added
Blue Ribbon Sushi Izakaya is a Japanese-style tavern and a traditional sushi bar with a fine dining experience. This spot is all about bonding together at a fun place to drink with delicious food selections. From small plate options to family-style platters, Blue Ribbon has got you covered. The location of this Lower East Side restaurant is also beautiful and convenient if you want to jump right into the East Village.
My tip: These are the best sushi restaurants in NYC.
Start your day at The Mercer Kitchen (and maybe meet Jay-Z?)American Restaurant in SoHoOur HighlightAdd to myNY added
The Mercer Kitchen is a restaurant located in SoHo and can be found right next to The Mercer Hotel. We recommend coming here for breakfast and lunch while you’re visiting SoHo.
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The 50 Absolute Best Things to Do in New York (90+ pages)
We’ve chosen the 50 best spots, events and activities to showcase the full diversity of New York City. Even after more than 20 visits, the city never gets boring for us. And with our recommendations, you’ll have a really good time in New York, too, and you’ll have plenty left for your next visit. If you’re not planning a trip yet, you’re sure to get wanderlust after perusing this list!
The Perfect Itinerary For Your New York Trip
This itinerary contains over 50 spots and highlights of the city, including a map that shows you the best way to travel each day, taking you to or past the many big attractions. In addition, we‘ve added our favorite places, from great breakfast spots to start your day right to small bars and restaurants and hidden insider spots.
What awaits you here now is the perfect New York week, because this is what my itinerary would look like if I were visiting the Big Apple for the first or second time right now!
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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 my blog I show you the best and most beautiful spots of the city, so that you have a really good time! You can also find lots of insider tips in our New York travel guide. Also check out my hotel finder for New York!