Queens, New York is one of the most diverse places in the whole world and it’s also the biggest borough in the city. There are so many people with different backgrounds that live in this beautiful and unique borough. With so much culture, people will be exposed to different types of traditions and ways of life that it opens the mind.
You may also like:
In turn, because of the diversity in this New York City borough, there are many things to do in Queens NYC. From food, museums to events, we’ll give you the rundown and our recommendations. If you’re looking for the best things to do in New York City, or are curious about the best NYC neighborhoods you need to have Queens on your list.
Getting to Queens NYC
There are numerous ways to get to this huge borough. The N W lines take you to Astoria while the 7 train can take you all the way to Flushing. Additionally, the F M R and A trains run through the borough as well. Certain trains will take to you different parts of NYC neighborhoods. The latter takes you to JFK airport.
What are the top attractions in Queens?
Like we mentioned earlier, Queens is the biggest and most diverse borough in NYC. Here you can find museums and parks, just like Manhattan. Also, we believe the food scene is often overlooked in Queens, but we think it’s the best out of all the boroughs in NYC. For example, the oldest beer garden in New York City is in this borough. Here are our top 5 favorite things to do in Queens.
Top 5 Things to do in Queens New York
Flushing Meadows Corona Park
Take New York City’s fourth largest park, a globe and a good pinch of Queens and you get probably the most beautiful park outside of Central Park. That park is Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Corona, Queens. With about 504 hectares, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park is as huge as Central Park and is also the largest park in the borough. The park is known for the huge globe sculpture and is home to the New York Hall of Science.
One of the most beautiful spots in Astoria, Queens is Astoria Park. This popular park on the East River is a popular retreat for New Yorkers, especially in the summer. On hot summer days, they jump into New York’s oldest public pool to cool off. This is a rare sight, by the way, because you hardly find any outdoor pools in New York. Astoria Park just recently went under renovation as well and has revamped its track and field.
Not only do you have a beautiful view of Manhattan, but you’re also right under the RFK Bridge and have a direct view of Hells Gate Bridge.
New York Hall of Science
The New York Hall of Science (NYSCI) is located in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens. It’s the perfect place for families with kids to visit! There are many interactive multimedia displays and the museum offers many ways to teach kids about biology, chemistry and physics.
The Museum was founded during the 1964-1965 World’s Fair and now serves more than half a million teachers, students and families each year. NYSCI provides the community with a hands-on learning experience through products and services.
The museum was built for the World’s Fair in 1939 and exhibits “The Panaroma” which is a large scale model of New York City and its five neighborhoods. Many of the exhibits are documents related to the World’s Fair. Over the years, Queens Museum has housed some of the most supreme exhibitions in all of New York.
Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden
The Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden has existed since 1910 and is located in Astoria, Queens. Especially in the summer, the spacious beer garden has a wonderful atmosphere. Live bands come out to play and rock the whole neighborhood. The food is cheap and the beer is super good. It’s always a good time especially in the summer.
Map of Queens New York
Queens is located to the east of Manhattan and to the north of Brooklyn. It’s also the biggest borough in all of NYC and connects directly to Long Island. The two major airports are also located in this borough. They are LaGuardia which is closer to Manhattan and JFK which borders Brooklyn and Queens. Below is a general map of Queens, New York just to give you an idea of where it is located.
Where are the best places to shop in Queens?
There are some good options when it comes to shopping in Queens. The borough is so diverse that there are many different shops to check out. From malls to independent boutiques there’s something for everyone. In Queens, you’ll find more independent stores and if you venture out into Flushing, their shopping scene is geared towards the community. We’ll go into more detail with our favorites below. One of my favorite things to do in Astoria is simply strolling around looking for small shops and local stores.
Our Favorite Places to Shop in Queens
Queens Center Mall
Queens Center Mall is located in Elmhurst, Queens. It’s one of the more popular malls in NYC, especially for this borough since it is centrally located and offers many different stores inside. You’ll find many of your popular brands such as Victoria’s Secret, Adidas, H&M and many more. Queens Center is set up more of a traditional mall compared to Manhattan since there’s more space.
HiFi Records and Cafe
If you’re a fan of old music records, then HiFi Records in Astoria, Queens is the place to go. Here you’ll find vintage vinyl records that cover all genres of music from different decades. The shop will also double as a cafe so you can enjoy a cup of coffee while browsing the store. The owner, Javier Velazquez is an avid music lover and has done a wonderful job curating for the store.
Belief NYC in Astoria, Queens is a well-known lifestyle and skateboard brand in the area. Located right next to the Astoria Boulevard train station, Belief NYC offers premium cut garments, accessories, and apparel. There are now two locations with Astoria New York being the founding location. The other spot is located in Brooklyn, New York.
The Astoria Bookshop
New World Mall
New World Mall is one of the malls in New York. It’s located in Flushing, Queens which caters mostly to the Asian demographic in the area. Inside the New World Mall in Flushing, the mall offers a variety of Asian and non-Asian retail stores. It includes apparel, electronics, accessories, and many other things that tie into the culture.
You can also find high-end jewelry, electronics and an amazing food court that offers an array of Asian cuisines.
Are there museums in Queens?
The borough is home to some prominent museums in New York City. The museums in Queens are often overlooked because they aren’t located in Manhattan. However, these museums are still very beneficial and provide great experiences for kids with families. These are just some of the museums we like.
Our Favorite Museums in Queens
New York Hall of Science
Museum of the Moving Image
In Astoria you should definitely check out the Kaufman Astoria Film Studios, which was declared a National Historic Landmark in the late 1970s due to their importance to New York City. This complex also includes the Museum of the Moving Image and the Astor Room restaurant.
The Museum of the Moving Image opened in 1988 and is the only museum in the United States that is dedicated to exploring media art, history and technology. It’s recognized as a major internationally known institution as well.
Tours in Queens
With so many things to do in New York City, it’s pretty easy to get overwhelmed. NYC is really big so there is always something for everyone. The hard part is, choosing what would best suit your visit to the Big Apple. When it comes to Queens, these are our favorite tours that will let you explore the area and culture.
Explore NYC and visit the different boroughs including Queens.
The tour starts off in Manhattan and then it takes you out to the different boroughs including Queens, New York. Whereever you happen to go, you will be tasting four different pizzas and the many different pizzerias in the city.
Save 50% on all attraction tickets with this discount pass for NYC!
Our favorite restaurants in Queens New York
Queens restaurants have some of the most diverse food in the world. Queens itself is a melting pot filled with different cultures which makes the area a hotspot for go-to eats.
- Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao– If you want to experience exceptional Shanghainese breakfast, NXXLB is the place to go. It’s no-frills, but the food here is great. (38-12 Prince St, Flushing, NY 11354)
- Xi’an Famous Foods – This restaurant has become a hit and has numerous locations in New York City. They serve noodles, soups, and sandwiches. (41-10 Main St, Flushing, NY 11355)
- Tortilleria Nixtamal – This Mexican restaurant in Corona makes its own tortillas. Furthermore, the ingredients used at this restaurant are non-GMO. It means there are no preservatives and additives. (Address: 104-05 47th Avenue, Corona I)
- HinoMaru Ramen– Astoria is home to some really great eats as well which includes HinoMaru Ramen. This Michelin Star rated restaurant is a popular choice among the locals. It’s located at the very last stop on the N, W line, Astoria-Ditmars Blvd. (33-18 Ditmars Blvd, Astoria, NY 11105)
- Black Star Bakery – It’s located right next to Gantry Plaza State Park and offers a great selection of pastries and breakfast items. It’s a great place to take a quick break and regroup. (Address: 2-10 50th Ave, Long Island City, NY 11101)
What are the best hotels in Queens?
If you want to be super close to the city, but don’t want to pay Manhattan prices, then your best bet is to try and book a hotel in Queens New York. Long Island City and Astoria are literally about a 20-minute train ride to the city. Flushing and Corona are a little further out, but if you don’t mind the long commute to grab better prices, then it’s definitely an option to explore. Here are our favorite hotels in the borough.
- LIC Hotel (Address: 44-04 21st St, Long Island City, NY 11101)
- Paper Factory Hotel (37-06 36th St, Long Island City, NY 11101)
- The One Boutique Hotel (Address: 137-72 Northern Blvd, Flushing, NY 11354)
- Asiatic Hotel (Address: 135-21 37th Avenue, Flushing, NY 11354)
More Things to do in Queens
Gantry Plaza State Park
It’s arguably the most popular park in Queens. You’ll find great views of the Manhattan skyline and the 59th Street Bridge. There’s a dog park, a green space, cafes that run along the park and different courts for sports.
The Cliffs LIC
For the people that want to do something active, The Cliffs are the place to be. If you’re looking for a place to rock climb in the city, make sure to check this place out. Go and sweat out that jet lag (if applicable).
Take a Walk on the Queensboro Bridge (59th Street Bridge)
A lot of things to do in Long Island City do require money, just like anywhere else in NYC. If you don’t feel like spending any then we suggest taking a walk or bike on the Queensboro Bridge. It’s that beautiful bridge you can see from Gantry Plaza State Park and it’s the one that connects Manhattan to Queens. There’s no better way to burn calories and it’s free!
Located in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Queens Zoo opened in 1968. There are about 75 species of animals from America, such as mountain lions, coyotes, owls, sea lions, alligators and white-tailed eagles. The Queens Zoo is perfect for families with kids and is a nice change of pace from the hectic lifestyle that you experience in Manhattan.
Go on a food adventure in Flushing
As a whole, Flushing is the perfect place to find amazing food. People consider Flushing to be a better Chinatown than the one in Manhattan. In addition to authentic Chinese cuisine, you’ll also find great Korean BBQ spots in Flushing. Also, the prices are friendly to the wallet.
How safe is Queens New York?
Queens, in general, is a safe place. Of course, please use common sense and always be aware of your surroundings and belongings. Just like any other metropolis, there are certain areas where you should be cautious.
More about the NYC boroughs
Things To Do in The Bronx
The Bronx. It's the only borough of New York City, that is physically attached to...
Things to do in Brooklyn
Not until recently, Manhattan was the only place to really visit when checking out New...
Things to Do in Staten Island
Suburban character, lush greenery, beaches and great views of New York Harbor. That's what you...
You may also like:
Being a photographer and creative in general, New York City, I think is the perfect place to be. I moved to NYC from Boston in 2013 and never looked back. Loving New York has given me the opportunity to do what I love and share those images with you all.