The 100 Best Things To Do In NYC: The Ultimate NYC Bucket List

New York City is called “The City that never sleeps” for a reason! There are always plenty of things to do in New York City, in any season, in any month, at any hour. From popular events, festivals, attractions, tours, and entertainment to fun things to do with kids and free activities – New York City has a lot to offer.

In this article, we show you the 100 absolute best things to do in NYC all over the neighborhoods so that you can create your very own NYC bucket list and make sure you have the best possible time in the Big Apple.

These Are The 100 BEST Things To Do In NYC

To give you a better overview, I have divided the different Things to do in NYC into separate categories.

    Soak in the Skyline: What to Do in NYC for stunning Views

  1. 01

    See the city from the tallest building in the United States

    Building in Financial District
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    The One World Trade Center is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere meaning that is the ultimate place for an observation deck. The One World Observatory offers amazing views over the whole of Manhattan, the Hudson and East Rivers, and of course the Statue of Liberty. As one of NYC’s newest attractions the modern building and its observation deck have many amazing features that make this well worth the visit!

    When? All year round

    Where? Downtown Manhattan

    My tip: Since this observation deck is inside the building this is a perfect thing to do in NYC when it’s cold outside.

    Did you know? One World Trade Center is 1,776 feet tall. This height was deliberately chosen to honor the year 1776, which was the year of American independence.

  2. 02

    Probably the most famous building in NYC: The Empire State Building

    Building in Midtown Manhattan
    Empire State Building
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    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)

    When? All year round

    Where? Midtown Manhattan

    My tip: If you come early between 8:00 AM and 10:00 AM there will most likely be less people and you can enjoy a more private moment.

    Did you know? The Empire State Building has its very own zip code! The iconic skyscraper’s address, 350 Fifth Avenue, is so well-known that it was granted its own unique zip code, 10118.

  3. 03

    A Must Do in NYC: Visit the Top of the Rock Observation Deck

    Building in Midtown Manhattan
    Top of the Rock
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    The observation deck on top of the Rockefeller Center (Top of the Rock) is one of the most popular attractions in NYC. With amazing views of Manhattan in both directions, it is one of the most iconic spots to take pictures of NYC from. This is the perfect place in NYC to watch a sunset! With amazing views of both the Empire State Building standing tall among Midtown Manhattan and Central Park in the other direction, this is one of our favorite observation decks and things to do in NYC!

    When? All year round

    Where? Midtown Manhattan

    My tip: The Top of the Rock is the best spot to take the perfect picture of the Empire State Building and Downtown Manhattan.

    Did you know? Other than many people might think, the Rockefeller Center is not just one building, but an entire building complex. It consists of a total of 20 buildings and stretches over three blocks along 5th and 6th Avenue. The buildings in the complex are connected by underground passages, where you will find not only stores, but also cafés and restaurants.

  4. 04

    Do you dare to step on the glass floor on The Edge?

    Building in Hudson Yards
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    The Hudson Yards observation deck called The Edge is New York’s highest open observation deck. It opened in March 2020 and we were there – the view from up here is simply sensational, and through the glass floor you can see over 100 floors straight down!

    When? All year round

    Where? Hudson Yards

    My tips:

    1. Come here right before sunset for an amazing view over Manhattan and the Hudson River.
    2. To avoid long waiting times you should book your desired time slot in advance.

    Did you know? Located on the 100th floor of 30 Hudson Yards, the Edge NYC is the highest outdoor observation deck in the Western Hemisphere. It only takes 52 seconds to reach the platform with the elevator. Less than a minute!

  5. 05

    The Summit is a Must See in New York City!

    Building in Midtown Manhattan
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    Summit One Vanderbilt Observation Deck
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    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 is located at the top of the One Vanderbilt Building and is called The Summit. This deck is the second-highest outdoor deck in NYC which follows the Edge and has been open since October 2021.

    When? All year round

    Where? Midtown Manhattan

    My tip: You should definitely visit the Summit on a sunny day. The incoming rays of the sun bathe the mirrored rooms in a totally amazing light!

    Did you know? Three high-speed elevators, named ‘Rise,’ transport visitors from street level to the 91st floor at approximately 335 meters in less than 50 seconds.

  6. Swana

    Budget tip

    If you want to visit several observations decks, attractions and tours in New York, check out the New York sightseeing passes. You can save up to 60% on the ticket price!

    To find out which New York Pass is the best for you, check out my New York Pass Comparison.

  7. 06

    Fun Things to do up in the Air: Helicopter Flights

    Helicopter Tour in Financial District
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    A helicopter flight in NYC offers an unparalleled perspective of the city that never sleeps. Soaring above the iconic skyline, you’ll witness world-famous landmarks like the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, and the Empire State Building from a breathtaking vantage point. Whether it’s capturing stunning aerial photos, celebrating a special occasion, or simply indulging in an adrenaline-pumping adventure, a helicopter flight in New York City promises memories that will last a lifetime. It’s undeniably one of the best things to do in NYC.

    When? All year round


    • Downtown Manhattan
    • New Jersey

    My tip: The helicopter flights are always booked up quickly, so I recommend you to book the flight well in advance. Since the flights strongly depend on the weather, you should also always keep an eye on the weather forecast.

    Find our favorite helicopter flights in NYC in this article.

    Did you know? Very popular with tourists: depending on the weather, several dozen helicopter flights take off from New York City every day.


  8. 07

    Have a drink in a rooftop bar

    Rooftop Bar in Midtown Manhattan
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    Visiting a rooftop bar in NYC is undoubtedly one of the best activities in NYC, especially if you’re seeking breathtaking views of the city’s skyline. Perched high above the bustling streets, these elevated oases provide a unique and captivating perspective of New York City.

    As you sip on cocktails and enjoy delectable bites, you’ll be great views of iconic landmarks like the Empire State Building, One World Trade Center, and the glittering lights of Manhattan. Whether you’re watching a sunset or witnessing the city come alive at night, rooftop bars offer a one-of-a-kind experience that combines relaxation with unparalleled scenery, making it a must-do activity for any NYC visit.

    When? All year round (yes, even in winter!)


    • 230 Fifth Rooftop Bar – 230 5th Avenue in Midtown Manhattan
    • Harriet’s Rooftop Bar – 60 Furman Street, Brooklyn
    • cloudM New York Bowery – 189 Bowery, Lower East Side, Manhattan
    • Dear Irving on Hudson – 310 West 40th Street, Hell’s Kitchen, Manhattan
    • Haven Rooftop – 132 West 47th Street, Theater District, Manhattan

    For more amazing spots check out our article about the best rooftop bars in NYC.

    My tip: Don’t forget to bring your ID since you have to be 21+ for most of these bars. However, some of them allow children during day time.

  9. 08

    Enjoy a great dinner with a view in a rooftop restaurant

    American Restaurant in Hudson Yards
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    Exploring a rooftop restaurant in New York is undeniably one of the best things to do in the city. These elevated dining establishments provide a unique blend of culinary delights and breathtaking views that set the stage for an unforgettable experience.

    Whether you’re savoring gourmet cuisine during the day or indulging in a romantic dinner at night, the backdrop of New York City’s skyline, with its iconic skyscrapers and twinkling lights, adds an extra layer of magic to your meal. Dining at a rooftop restaurant not only tantalizes your taste buds but also allows you to immerse yourself in the city’s charm from a lofty perspective, making it one of the best experiences in NYC.

    When? All year round

    Where? For example: Peak at Hudson Yards – 30 Hudson Yards, Manhattan

    My tip: I definitely recommend you to book a table in advance. This is the only way to make sure you get a table. The rooftop restaurants in NYC are very popular and hence often completely booked.

    Did you know? The highest rooftop restaurant in New York City is the “One Dine”, located in the One World Trade Center. It is located around 380 meters above the city and offers spectacular panoramic views of NYC.

  10. 09

    Marvel at the east side of Manhattan's Skyline

    Other Tours in Midtown Manhattan
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    For those seeking spectacular views, a visit to Roosevelt Island is definitely one of the best things to do in NYC. As you glide above the East River with the Roosevelt Island Tramway, you’re treated to breathtaking panoramic views of the city’s skyline, including iconic landmarks like the Empire State Building and the United Nations Headquarters.

    Once you reach the island, you can explore its serene surroundings, lush parks, and scenic promenades, all while relishing the unique vantage points of Manhattan and beyond. Roosevelt Island offers a tranquil escape with unbeatable views, making it a must-visit destination for anyone looking to capture the essence of New York City from a different perspective.

    When? All year round

    Where? Roosevelt Island

    My tip: The ride on the tramway is part of the OMNY-System in NYC. If you have an unlimited Metrocard this activity is basically for free! (Otherwise, a one-way ticket costs $2.90 per person.)

    Did you know? Opened in 1976 to serve residential developments, the Roosevelt Island Tramway was the first commuter aerial tramway in the United States.

  11. 10

    New Jersey also offers spectacular views of the Manhattan Skyline

    Park in Outside of New York City
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    Besides all the urban vibes in Jersey City, there is a huge green space that most New York City visitors don’t know about. Liberty State Park offers by far the most stunning views of the Lower Manhattan skyline and Lady Liberty. The Statue of Liberty is only 2,000 feet away. It sounds like a perfect shot, doesn’t it? To get there take the Light Rail, or a city bike, since walking might be a little bit too far.

    When? All year round

    Where? Liberty State Park, New Jersey

    My tip: If you’re interested in science you should visit the Liberty Science Center which is definitely fun for the whole family!

    Did you know? Liberty State Park has been featured in several films, including the 1997 film Men in Black, which features a scene in which Agent J delivers a newborn alien squid on Morris Pesin Drive in Liberty State Park.


  12. 11

    Gantry Plaza State Park

    Park in Long Island City
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    Gantry Plaza State Park is a beautiful escape right on the East River in Long Island City. The park is very beautifully laid out, with many wooden benches (also with ergonomic design) and dunes with sand and a small green space. There are apartments and small restaurants and cafes lined up on the back of the park.

    The piers also add a nice touch to the park as well. It’s the perfect place to take a stroll while enjoying the Manhattan skyline across the river. Also in sight is the beautiful Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge that connects Manhattan and Queens.

    When? All year round

    Where? Long Island City

    My tip: To get back to Manhattan you should take the NYC Ferry for some extra fun!

    Did you know? Gantry State Plaza Park is home to the famous Pepsi Cola sign.

  13. 12

    Marvel at the skyline and the Hudson River from the Pier 57 Rooftop

    Pier in Chelsea
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    Right next to the beautiful Little Island is the Pier 57 Rooftop NYC. As the name suggests, you can go up to the roof of this huge pier and enjoy a sensational view of the city skyline.

    When? All year round

    Where? Pier 57, Hudson River Park

    My tip: The view of the Downtown skyline is amazing but if you come here before sunset the view is even more spectacular!

    Did you know? Pier 57 in New York City was originally built as a terminal for shipping and receiving goods via the Hudson River. Over the years, it has undergone various transformations, including serving as a bus terminal for Greyhound Lines. Today, it houses a unique and innovative retail and dining complex that offers visitors a blend of food, shopping, and entertainment experiences, making it a notable destination along the waterfront.

  14. 13

    Go on a Dinner Cruise!

    Cruise in Chelsea
    bateaux dinner cruise
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    Dinner cruises are undeniably one of our favorite things to do in NYC, especially because of the unforgettable views. These cruises combine delicious cuisine with mesmerizing sights, offering a unique way to experience the city.

    As you savor a delectable meal, you’re treated to panoramic views of the iconic skyline, Statue of Liberty, and other landmarks illuminated against the night sky, making dinner cruises a top choice for anyone seeking fun and romantic activities in NYC. Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or simply looking for cool things to do in the city, a dinner cruise promises an unforgettable evening on the waters of the Big Apple.

    When? All year round

    Where? Chelsea Piers

    My tip: You can also go on a dinner cruise on special holidays like 4th of JulyChristmas or New Year’s Eve. Believe me, this is one of the best things to do in NYC to celebrate special occasions!

    Did you know? In January 1890, Manhattan’s waterways were opened to shipping and the opening of the Harlem Ship Canal made it possible to circumnavigate Manhattan by boat for the first time. The very first Manhattan sightseeing cruise then took place in January 1908 on a steamboat called “The Tourist”.

  15. Discover Fun Outdoor Activities in NYC

  16. 14

    Spend some time in the city's green lung

    Park in Midtown Manhattan
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    Central Park spans from Midtown Manhattan all the way up to Harlem. There are about 340 hectares of land and it’s 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.

    When? All year round

    Where? Upper Manhattan

    My tip: The Central Park is beautiful in every season of the year but my favorite is definitely the fall! If you come in late October/early November you will be able to witness the beautiful fall foliage of New York BUT you should try to avoid the Central park at night!

    Did you know? Central Park is not the biggest park in NYC! The biggest park with 2,772 acre is Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx. With its 843 acres, Central Park is only about 1/3 the size.

  17. 15

    Prospect Park

    Park in Park Slope
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    The park is the counterpart of Central Park. Both parks were designed by the same architect. The 2.4 km² large park has a lot to offer. Just like Central Park, Prospect Park has numerous green spaces, a lake, the Litchfield Villa, a zoo, courts for sports, entertainment possibilities and even a botanical garden. Prospect Park is a great alternative if you would like to escape the busy lifestyle in Manhattan.

    Note: The Prospect Park Zoo is temporarily closed.

    When? All year round

    Where? Brooklyn, between Park Slope and Flatbush

    My tip: Plan some extra time for Prospect Park. On the one hand the park itself is very large and on the other hand the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and the Brooklyn Museum are right next door.

    Did you know? In 1776, almost 100 years before the park was built, the Battle of Long Island in the American War of Independence took place on its current site.

  18. 16

    Watch the people at Washington Square Park

    Park in Greenwich Village
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    Washington Square Park, centrally located in the Village, extends over almost 4 hectares. Close to New York University with its distinctive Washington Square Arch, a triumphal arch inaugurated in 1895, the park is a popular place to be when the weather is fine. Through the Arch you have a wonderful view along 5th Avenue to the top of the Empire State Building.

    When? All year round

    Where? Manhattan, between West Village and East Village

    My tip: If you are lucky, you can even enjoy a free jazz concert from the many jazz artists of the Village. Here, friends and family meet to relax, play chess, or just in general have a good time.

    Did you know? One lesser-known fact about Washington Square Park in NYC is that it was once used as a potter’s field, a burial ground for unclaimed bodies and the poor. Before its transformation into a public park in the 19th century, the land served as a cemetery for marginalized communities.

  19. 17

    Take pictures of the Unisphere in Queens

    Park in Flushing
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    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 which you may know from the theme song from King of Queens.

    When? All year round

    Where? Queens

    My tip: Visit the New York Hall of Science or the Queens Zoo when you’re here!

    Did you know? Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in NYC hosted two World’s Fairs: one in 1939-1940 and another in 1964-1965. These events showcased futuristic designs, technological innovations, and cultural exhibits from around the world. The park’s iconic Unisphere was constructed for the 1964-1965 World’s Fair and remains a symbol of Queens and the enduring legacy of the fairs.

  20. 18

    Have a picnic in one of the parks

    Other Events in Upper West Side
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    Picnics in New York City’s beautiful parks are definitely among the best outdoor activities you can enjoy. The parks offer a perfect blend of relaxation and recreation, making them ideal for those seeking fun things to do in the city. Whether you’re in Central Park, Prospect Park, or one of the many other green spaces, you can savor delicious food amidst stunning natural surroundings.

    It’s a great way to escape the urban hustle and bustle while relishing the fresh air and beautiful landscapes. From sunbathing to tossing a frisbee, picnics invite you to engage in various outdoor pursuits. So, grab your picnic basket, a cozy blanket, and some friends, and indulge in the cool and laid-back charm of NYC’s park picnics.

    When? From spring to early fall, especially in summer

    Where? All over the city

    My tip: Please remember to dispose of your trash after the picnic.

    Did you know? There are more than 1,700 parks, playgrounds, and recreation facilities across the five boroughs in New York City.

  21. 19

    Spend some time at Governors Island

    Other Attraction in Outside of New York City
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    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 for $4.

    When? All year round

    Where? New York Harbor

    My tip: Rent a bike to discover Governors Island and enjoy the amazing views of the Manhattan skyline and Statue of Liberty.

    Did you know? During World War II, Governors Island served as the headquarters for the U.S. First Army, which had been originally established in Europe in 1919. It was on Governors Island that the First Army undertook crucial planning for the D-Day invasion, a pivotal operation that resulted in the American landing in Normandy and the subsequent liberation of Europe.

  22. 20

    Take the Staten Island Ferry

    Cruise in Staten Island
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    One of New York’s most popular tourist attractions is the Staten Island Ferry, which commutes between the southern tip of Manhattan and Staten Island. The crossing is free of charge! The 5-mile journey takes about 20-25 minutes and offers a breathtaking panoramic view of the skyscrapers and the Statue of Liberty.

    After arriving on Staten Island, you can explore the island and take a walk along the waterfront, for example. The view of the Manhattan skyline is really great! There is also the National Lighthouse Museum on Staten Island.
    If you don’t feel like taking a walk, you can take the next ferry back to Manhattan.

    When? All year round (ferry is running 24 hrs)

    Where? Whitehall Terminal Manhattan/ St. George Terminal, Staten Island

    My tip: Try to get one of the outdoor seats on the ferry ride so you can take great photos.

    Did you know? Staten Island was once home to the world’s largest landfill. The Fresh Kills Landfill, located on the western side of the island, was once the final destination for New York City’s waste. At its peak, it covered around 2,200 acres and was visible from space. In 2001, the landfill was closed and transformed into a park.

  23. 21

    Visit Little Island

    Other Attraction in Meatpacking District
    Little Island New York
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    Not far from the Meatpacking District and the High Line, Little Island is one of the newest attractions in New York and is something very special: a park on 132 beautiful tulip-shaped concrete stilts in the Hudson River!

    When? All year round

    Where? Pier 54, Hudson River

    My tip: In the summer, there are often free events on Little Island. Check the official website for updates.

    Did you know? Prior to the construction of Little Island, Pier 54 served as the terminal for the British Cunard-White Star line, facilitating trans-Atlantic ocean liner journeys with departures and arrivals. In the historical context of 1912, Pier 54 played a pivotal role as it served as the safe haven where survivors of the renowned Titanic tragedy disembarked from the RMS Carpathia rescue liner.

  24. 22

    Go to the Tudor City Bridge to take a nice picture of 42nd Street

    Other Attraction in Murray Hill
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    The Tudor City Bridge is a small bridge over 42nd Street and it is just a short walk away from Grand Central Terminal. The bridge itself is not that exciting, but the view over 42nd Street to the west including the Chrysler Building is even more beautiful. A great photo opportunity – and completely free.

    When? All year round

    Where? Tudor City/Midtown Manhattan

    My tip: This is the perfect spot for Manhattanhenge! You can take amazing pictures of 42nd Street and the Chrysler Building with the sun going down over the Hudson River.

    Did you know? There are more than 2,000 bridges in New York City. In addition to the famous bridges such as the Brooklyn Bridge or the Manhattan Bridge, there are many smaller bridges. They range from highway bridges to pedestrian bridges.

  25. 23

    One of the best things to do in winter in NYC: Ice Skating

    Other Attraction in Midtown Manhattan
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    The Rockefeller Rink, just below the Rockefeller Center’s Christmas Tree, is considered one of the classics. It’s open from October to April. Come here during the night and experience greatness. The Rink at Rockefeller Center is one of the most popular destinations to go ice skating in New York, which is why you are likely to wait in line to skate here. If this rink is on your bucket list, know that there are a few tickets you can purchase in advance to avoid standing in line for too long.

    When? Winter; usually end of October – beginning of March

    Where? All over NYC, for example:

    • Rockefeller Rink, Rockefeller Center
    • Wollman Rink, Central Park
    • Winter Village, Bryant Park
    • Glide, Brooklyn Bridge Park

    These are our favorite ice rinks in NYC.

    My tip: Check in advance if you can book a timeslot, so you don’t have long waiting times on site. And remember to wear warm clothes!

    Did you know? The inaugural ice skating facility in New York City was housed in the New York City Building, situated in Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens. This building, originally constructed for the 1939-40 World’s Fair, featured an ice rink that was utilized for ice shows during the Fair. Subsequently, it was transformed into a venue for both ice and roller skating, remaining operational from 1941 to 1946.

  26. 24

    Fun thing to do in NYC: Rent a bike to explore the city

    Bike Tour in Midtown Manhattan
    Bike Tours
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    Renting a bike in NYC is undeniably one of the best outdoor activities to enjoy in the city. It offers a unique and exhilarating way to explore the bustling streets, iconic landmarks, and scenic parks of New York City. Whether you’re cruising through Central Park, biking across the Brooklyn Bridge, or exploring the Hudson River Park, cycling provides a sense of freedom and adventure. It’s an accessible and eco-friendly option for travelers and locals alike. So, grab a bike, soak in the city’s energy, and pedal your way to unforgettable experiences – it’s a fun and cool way to immerse yourself in the heart of NYC.

    When? All year round, preferably spring – fall

    Where? All over the city, for example, Citi Bike, 12 Ave & W 40th St

    My tip: Some of the sightseeing passes include bike rentals. To find the best New York Attraction Pass for you, check out my pass calculator.

    Did you know? According to, there are more than 610,000 cycling trips made on a typical day in NYC!

  27. 25

    Discover the neighborhoods of SoHo, Little Italy & Chinatown

    Walking Tour in Hudson Square
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    Exploring the neighborhoods of SoHo, Little Italy, and Chinatown is an outdoor adventure that truly encapsulates the essence of New York City. Wandering through these vibrant streets is like stepping into a cultural mosaic, where you can soak in the artistic vibes of SoHo’s galleries, savor delectable Italian cuisine in Little Italy, and dive into the bustling streets of Chinatown.

    It’s a delightful journey filled with historic charm, diverse communities, and an abundance of local flavors. Stroll along cobblestone streets, sample authentic street food, and admire the architectural diversity of these neighborhoods. This outdoor exploration is undoubtedly one of the most enjoyable things to do in the heart of NYC.

    When? All year round

    Where? SoHo, Little Italy & Chinatown

    My tip: Take a look at the remarkable cast-iron buildings – SoHo boasts a renowned collection of cast-iron architecture, which can be found throughout the neighborhood, with Broadway and Prince Street being particularly prominent examples.

    Did you know? The actor Heath Ledger had a loft on Broome Street in SoHo, where he lived until his tragic death in 2008.

  28. 26

    Visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island

    Cruise in The Battery
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    Statue of Liberty Cruise
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    Go and see one of NYC’s most famous attractions: the Statue of Liberty. Don’t miss out on seeing this iconic attraction up close! You will also get to visit the Ellis Island Immigration Museum which is a great educational experience for adults as well as kids.

    When? All year round

    Where? Liberty Island & Ellis Island

    My tip: There are many operators for boat tours that go past the Statue of Liberty, but only one operator (Statue Cruises) will actually take you to Liberty Island. So don’t let anyone sell you a fake ticket in front of the ferry terminal.

    Did you know? The statue is made of copper and originally had the typical shiny brown color of copper. Over time, however, the copper has oxidized, resulting in the green color we all know today.

  29. 27

    Visit the iconic Times Square

    Other Attraction in Theatre District
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    Times Square is one of the most famous attractions in New York City. Just like The Statue of Liberty or The Empire State Building, Times Square is an iconic location. When people say “the city that never sleeps”, they’re most likely talking about Times Square because of the numerous lights and action going on 24/7. Standing in the middle of the many bright, flashing billboards ist not comparable to anything else in the city. Times Square is the heart of NYC and is the true embodiment of The Big Apple. Come here after sunset so that all the colorful lights and billboards really shine out.

    When? All year round

    Where? In the heart of Manhattan

    My tip: Don’t let strangers sell you anything. Supposed musicians may try to sell you a CD or monks may try to give you a “free” bracelet. Don’t fall for it!

    Did you know? You can see Times Square from outer space! The many lights illuminate Times Square so brightly that astronauts can easily see the neighborhood from the International Space Station.

  30. 28

    Marvel at the beautiful Art Deco architecture in the city

    Building in Midtown Manhattan
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    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.

    Check out more beautiful Art Deco buildings in NYC here.

    When? All year round

    Where? All over the city

    Did you know? Until 1945, the Chrysler Building had an observation deck on the 71st floor. For just 50 cents admission, visitors had a great view of the city and on a clear day could see up to 100 miles away.

  31. 29

    Discover some of the Beaux Art buildings in NYC

    Building in Greenwich Village
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    One of the many structures created by one of NYC’s best-known Beaux Arts architectural firms, McKim, Mead & White, is the Washington Square Arch in the West Village. This was designed in 1891 to honor the 100th anniversary of George Washington’s inauguration and forms the southern end of 5th Avenue. George Washington is immortalized on it with two sculptures at once: one showing him at peace, one during war.

    Many details will remind you of Roman triumphal arches, this was also the inspiration of the architect Stanford White. The very high-quality Tuckahoe marble, which comes from the town of the same name in New York State, served as the building material.

    For more buildings check out my article about the most beautiful Beaux Art buildings in NYC.

    When? All year round

    Where? All over the city

    Did you know? Hidden Sculptural Details: Beaux-Arts buildings often incorporate intricate sculptures and allegorical figures in their designs. Look closely at the facades of these buildings to discover hidden stories and symbolism.

  32. 30

    One of our favorite outdoor activities in NYC: Stroll down the High Line

    Park in Meatpacking District
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    There are few parks as unique as the High Line. The elevated freight rail line was repurposed as a public green space that opened in 2009 and now offers amazing views of the city, as well as a place to relax and unwind. Its plant life is based directly off what was growing there while it was abandoned, giving this park a unique and interesting atmosphere! The High Line stretches from The Meatpacking District all the way to Hudson Yards-34th Street.

    When? All year round

    Where? From Hudson Yards to Meatpacking District

    My tip: In winter, the Friends of the High Line offer free tours. These take place on Wednesdays at 10:00 am and Saturdays at 12:00 pm and they start at the Gansevoort Street entrance.

    Did you know? The initial construction of the High Line, an elevated railway, was prompted by a grim safety issue – a significant number of accidents occurred on 10th Avenue, earning it the notorious nickname “Death Avenue.” These incidents predominantly involved people being struck by the trains that traversed the tracks along 10th Avenue.

  33. Walk the three famous Bridges

  34. 31

    Walk down the Brooklyn Bridge from Manhattan to Brooklyn...

    Building in Dumbo
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    The Brooklyn Bridge is used by over 120,000 vehicles across its 6 lanes, 4000 pedestrians, and 3000 bikes, per day. The views of NYC from the Brooklyn Bridge are spectacular and it is an absolute necessity that you walk across the bridge during your trip to NYC. Especially at sunrise and sunset this is one of NYC’s most photogenic spots. Just be prepared to be surrounded by a bunch of people.

    When? All year round

    Where? Between Manhattan & Brooklyn

    My tip: If you come here very early in the morning, there are significantly fewer people. With a little luck, you’ll have the bridge almost to yourself.

    Did you know? Well-frequented: around 120,000 vehicles, 4,000 pedestrians, and 3,100 cyclists cross the bridge every day.

  35. 32 cross the Manhattan Bridge back to Manhattan for incredible skyline views!

    Building in Dumbo
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    The Manhattan Bridge is the second world-famous bridge in Dumbo. Those who like can also cross it walking while enjoying a great view over the skyline and the Brooklyn Bridge. The bridge runs over the East River and connects Manhattan from Canal Street in Chinatown with Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn. In addition, this is the bridge that gives its name to the famous area of Brooklyn known as DUMBO, short for “Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass”.

    When? All year round

    Where? Between Manhattan & Brooklyn

    My tip: Cross the Manhattan Bridge from Brooklyn to Manhattan and you’ll get incredible views of the Manhattan skyline!

    Did you know? The Manhattan Bridge, completed after the Brooklyn and Williamsburg Bridges, was originally designated as “Bridge No. 3” in early plans but was officially named the Manhattan Bridge in 1902.


  36. 33

    Williamsburg Bridge

    Other Attraction in Williamsburg
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    The Williamsburg Bridge spans from the Lower East Side in Manhattan to Williamsburg in Brooklyn. Perfect for pedestrians and cyclists, crossing the bridge gives you enjoyable views of Manhattan, the Brooklyn Bridge as well as Domino Park in Williamsburg.

    Everybody always wants to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, but why not walk across the Williamsburg Bridge to see the skyline from a different angle?

    When? All year round

    Where? Between Lower Manhattan & Williamsburg

    My tip: Take a walk from Manhattan across the Williamsburg Bridge and then spend the day in Williamsburg. There is plenty to see and do outside of Manhattan as well.

    Did you know? A fire damaged the bridge during its construction in 1902. However, the bridge opened in December 1903.


  37. Escape the Concrete Jungle and spend a day at the beach

  38. 34

    Manhattan's New Beach at Hudson River Park

    Pier in Meatpacking District
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    Gansevoort Peninsula, part of Hudson River Park in New York City, offers diverse spaces for recreation. Unlike traditional piers, it’s built on solid ground, providing access to the Hudson River with scenic views, including the “Day’s End” sculpture. Visitors can lounge on a sandy beach, enjoy a picnic area, and explore a salt marsh, a first for Manhattan’s side of the Hudson River, with native plantings and oyster habitats. This enhances habitat diversity in Hudson River Park’s Estuarine Sanctuary.

    When? All year round

    Where? Hudson River/Gansevoort St

    My tip: Swimming isn’t allowed at this beach.

    Did you know? The beach at Gansevoort Peninsula cost 70 million dollars!

  39. 35

    Brighton Beach

    Other Attraction in Coney Island & Brighton Beach
    Aerial view on Brighton Beach and Brooklyn with New York
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    Brighton Beach is an excellent spot for those looking to get away from the central area of Coney Island while still being close to all the fun it offers. With its calm waters and wide, sandy beaches, it’s the perfect place to relax and soak up the summer sun.

    When? All year round, especially in summer

    Where? South Brooklyn, next to Coney Island

    My tip: Combine your beach trip with some fun at Coney Island.

    Did you know? The famous singer and songwriter Neil Diamond (“Sweet Caroline”) is originally from Brighton Beach. He was born in 1941 in this area of Brooklyn.

  40. 36

    Manhattan Beach

    Other Attraction in Coney Island & Brighton Beach
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    Other than what the name suggests, this beach is not located in Manhattan, but in the very south of Brooklyn, right next to Brighton Beach and it is one of the most popular beaches in the city. Its expansive shoreline is perfect for swimming, sunbathing, or simply taking a stroll along the beach. Plus, you’ll be able to use their handball, volleyball, tennis, and basketball courts which are all located nearby.

    When? All year round, especially in summer

    Where? South Brooklyn, next to Brighton Beach and Coney Island

    My tip: Combine your beach trip with some fun at Coney Island.

    Did you know? Manhattan Beach is not only the beach itself but also a neighborhood. The streets in Manhattan Beach are arranged in alphabetical order from Amherst to Pembroke and named after places in England.

  41. 37

    South Beach Staten Island

    Park in Staten Island
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    South Beach Staten Island is a gorgeous beach that invites you to relax and take a walk. Why fly all the way to Miami when you can find a South Beach on Staten Island? The wooden beach promenade is about 1.5 miles long and is the fourth longest in the world. From here, there is a beautiful view of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. On the boardwalk, there are bocce and picnic areas, as well as other sports facilities. The beach area is really beautiful and absolutely worthwhile.

    When? All year round, especially in summer

    Where? On the east side of Staten Island

    My tip: From this beach you have a great view of the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge.


  42. 38

    Enjoy open air movies all over the city

    Other Events in Brooklyn Heights
    Our Highlight
    Movies With A View in Brooklyn Bridge Park
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    New York City offers a wide range of outdoor movies, especially during the summer months, but some of them also run until the end of October. You can watch movies under the stars at various locations throughout the city – completely free of charge! Some events provide chairs, others allow you to bring your own seating.

    When? All year round

    Where? These are some of the Free Summer Movies:

    My tip: The outdoor movies in NYC are very popular among tourists and locals and often it’s first come, first serve – so you should get there early if you want a good seat.

    Did you know? Since its launch in the year 2000, Movies with a View in Brooklyn Bridge Park alone has entertained more than 675,000 movie enthusiasts!

  43. 39

    Take a Walking Tour

    Walking Tour in Midtown Manhattan
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    Central Park TV & Movie Sites
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    On the Central Park Movie Sites Walking Tour, you pass countless locations of TV series and movies. Feed the pigeons like Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone 2 or take pictures in front of the Wollman Rink, as seen in Serendipity. Also on this tour are locations from comedy movies such as Date Night – Gangster for a Night, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Gossip Girl, Ghostbusters, and more.

    New York City is a huge city and offers countless walking tours. There are food tours and street art tours, for example, but of course you can also explore the Big Apple on your own walking tour. To give you an overview, we have created an article with the best walking tours in NYC.

    When? All year round

    Where? All over the city, for example in Central Park

    My tip: Make sure to wear comfortable shoes!

    Did you know? Taking a single step engages around 200 muscles in your body, making walking a comprehensive full-body exercise. So stay healthy and go on a walking tour!

  44. Rain or Shine: Exciting Indoor Things to Do in NYC

    Broadway and Off-Broadway-Shows

    Broadway tickets can sometimes be very expensive, depending on where you want to sit. But I wouldn’t recommend these shows if they weren’t really good! A quick tip: twice a year there is Broadway Week or Off-Broadway Week in NYC, where you can buy tickets at 2-for-1 prices!

  45. 40

    The Lion King

    Broadway Show in Midtown Manhattan
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    This touching musical tells the story of Simba, who has a difficult path to the throne ahead of him and must assert himself against his evil uncle Scar. It is about fear, courage, the meaning of life, and that you must never give up. Based on the Disney film, this musical developed into a Broadway hit and impresses hundreds of visitors every day. When it comes to musicals, The Lion King is as good as it gets!

    When? All year round

    Where? Minskoff Theatre, Broadway

    My tip: The Lion King is the perfect musical for all Disney fans and definitely suitable for the whole family.

    Did you know? The creation of the 200 animal puppets featured in the show required a total of 17,000 hours of work by the sculptors and puppeteers.

  46. 41

    Wicked The Musical

    Broadway Show in Theatre District
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    If you are on vacation in New York, you should see one of the many great musicals. One of them is Wicked, a prequel to The Wizard of Oz. For 10 years this famous musical has been on Broadway. It tells the so-far mysterious story of the Witches of Oz around the green-skinned witch Elphaba and her special friendship with the witch Glinda.

    When? All year round

    Where? Gershwin Theatre

    My tip: It is not essential to know the Wizard of Oz to understand and like the musical.

    Did you know? The daily performance requires a substantial amount of electricity, equivalent to what would power 12 houses. Additionally, 250 pounds of dry ice are used every day to create the fog effects.

  47. 42


    Broadway Show in Theatre District
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    The Broadway musical tells the story of Alexander Hamilton, the “10 dollar founding father without a father”, who came to the United States as an orphan after a hurricane had destroyed the small Caribbean island he called his home. In the time span of almost 30 years (1773-1804) he moved to the United States, overcame poverty, fought in the American War of independence and played a major role in the United States’ first government while facing struggles and rivalry.

    That, however, is only one side of the story. In the musical, you will also learn about his personal life, including friendships, love, family and the country’s first affair. Even after Hamilton “throws away his shot” in the duel of 1804, his legacy lives on.

    When? All year round

    Where? Richard Rodgers Theatre

    My tip: Hamilton is one of the most popular musicals on Broadway and tickets are often sold out. So make sure you buy your tickets in advance.

  48. 43

    Off-Broadway: Little Shop of Horrors

    Off-Broadway Show in Theatre District
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    Little Shop of Horrors is based on Roger Corman’s 1960 movie Little Shop. The story follows a timid plant store employee named Seymour, his crush and co-worker Audrey, her psycho boyfriend, and of course, the man-eating plant we all know and love. Little Shop of Horrors enjoyed a sold-out run in 2020 and was named Best Musical Revival by Outer Critics Circle.

    The production stars Emmy Award-winning actress Tammy Blanchard, Tony Award-nominated Rob McClure, and two-time Tony Award winner Christian Borle. Together this talented group brings the show to life, so don’t miss your chance to see Little Shop of Horrors on Broadway now. The show is 2 hours and 15 minutes with a short intermission. The show is appropriate for everyone ages 5 and up.

    When? All year round

    Where? Westside Theatre Upstairs

    My tip: Just because this is an Off-Broadway show doesn’t mean its less fun than the big Broadway shows!

    Did you know? The basis for this Off-Broadway musical was the movie “The Little Shop of Horrors” which was released in 1960. This movie was one of the first to star the famous actor Jack Nicholson.

  49. What to Do in NYC’s World of Art: Museums

    There are countless museums in New York City. Take a look at our list of the best museums in NYC, I’m sure there’s something for you!

  50. 44

    Metropolitan Museum of Art (The MET)

    Museum in Upper East Side
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    Metropolitan Museum of Art
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    A visit to the Metropolitan Museum in New York (The MET) is more than just an ordinary visit to an art museum. With more than 2 million artworks that span from more than 5,000 years, visitors will soon realize this institution is very special. Exhibits are spread out over 2,000,000 square feet of floor space. That makes it the largest art museum in the United States. The museum is a must-visit and is perfect for families with kids. The Metropolitan Museum of Art presents the best of art history from around the world.

    When? All year round

    Where? 5th Ave/Upper East Side at Central Park

    My tip: Read the museum’s map beforehand and decide which exhibitions you want to see. This museum is huge and it’s nearly impossible to see everything in one day.

    Did you know? The Met in NYC consists of a total of three locations. In addition to the main building at Central Park, there is also the Met Breuer on Madison Avenue and The Cloisters in Washington Heights.

  51. 45

    Guggenheim Museum

    Museum in Upper East Side
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    Guggenheim Museum
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    First off, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum is an architectural masterpiece. Second, but most importantly, it is the permanent home of a large collection of art named after its founder. Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright the bizarrely shaped building is one of the most famous in NYC. Not only is the outside spectacular, but it is constantly expanding its permanent collection. Also, many special exhibitions are showcased here throughout the years. It is definitely worth a visit!

    When? All year round

    Where? 5th Ave/Upper East Side at Central Park

    My tip: On Saturdays from 5-8 p.m. the museum offers a Pay-What-You-Wish-Admission where you can decide how much you want to pay for the general admission.

    Did you know? The Guggenheim’s spiral ramp is quite the workout, stretching over 1,400 feet at an 18-degree angle.

  52. 46

    American Museum of Natural History

    Museum in Upper West Side
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    The American Museum of Natural History is one of the more popular museums in NYC. If the name sounds recognizable it’s because the museum was the center of attention in the movie, Night at the Museum featuring Ben Stiller. Regardless of it’s Hollywood fame, the Natural History Museum is a huge institution that features numerous exhibits. This is a great place for families with kids so they can learn about the world’s geography, plants, different animal species and many other things.

    The American Museum of Natural History is located in the Upper West Side in Manhattan and is the largest natural history museum in the world.

    When? All year round

    Where? Upper West Side/ Central Park West

    My tip: If you really want to see all of the museum’s exhibitions, you should plan enough time. The museum is so big that you can easily spend a whole day here.

    Did you know? In addition to the famous dinosaur skeletons and other historical objects, you can also see the Hope Diamond at the AMNH. At 44.5 carats, this is one of the largest deep-blue diamonds in the world.

  53. 47

    Commemorate the victims of the attacks at the 9/11 Museum

    Museum in Financial District
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    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.

    When? All year round

    Where? Downtown Manhattan/ Ground Zero

    My tip: In our opinion, this museum is less suitable for children. It is about a very sad part of American history and children should rather do fun things on vacation. Nevertheless, this museum is definitely worth a visit.

    Did you know? Before the 9/11 attacks, the WTC Twin Towers accommodated up to 50,000 employees, with an additional 40,000 individuals passing through the complex on an average workday.

  54. 48

    Fotografiska New York

    Museum in Gramercy
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    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.

    When? All year round

    Where? Flatiron District

    My tip: You want to save money? This museum offers special early bird prices Monday through Friday 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. General admission is only $20 instead of $31 – so it’s worth getting up early in the morning.

    Did you know? The first digital camera ever was already invented in 1975!

  55. 49

    Museum of Ice Cream

    Museum in SoHo
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    The Museum of Ice Cream in NYC is the first flagship store of the popular installation. It is anything but an ordinary museum. Here you can enjoy a Sprinkle Pool and other interactive ice installations.

    When? All year round

    Where? SoHo

    My tip: This museum is located in SoHo. After your visit, you should definitely explore the SoHo neighborhood. It’s one of my favorite neighborhoods in NYC!

    Did you know? Although ice cream might have gained popularity in Europe as far back as the 1300s, it didn’t make its way to America until the 1700s.

  56. 50

    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.

    When? All year round

    Where? Midtown Manhattan, near Madison Square Park

    My tip: This museum is for adults only. You have to be 18 years or older – so bring your ID!

    Did you know? During the planning stages of the museum, the New York State Board of Regents denied the application for non-profit status due to concerns that a “sex museum” would undermine the integrity of museums. Consequently, and in an effort to avoid financial support from the adult entertainment industry, they had to set an admission fee.

  57. 51

    The House of Cannabis

    Museum in SoHo
    The House of Cannabis NYC
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    There’s a new museum in New York City: The House of Cannabis (THC NYC)! Spread over three floors, there are a total of ten different immersive exhibits that guide visitors through the many dimensions of cannabis. On this multi-sensory journey, you’ll learn about cannabis’ influence on music, fashion, and art, as well as the history of cannabis culture.

    The ground floor features a store and cafe, as well as a meet-up space for social events. Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

    When? All year round

    Where? SoHo

    My tip: Anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult & smoking, selling or consuming of cannabis products is NOT ALLOWED on the premises!

    Did you know? It is said that Morocco is the country that produces the most cannabis worldwide.

  58. 52

    Museum of Illusions

    Museum in West Village
    Museum of Illusions
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    This is one of the most fun museums in NYC for kids right now. It’s an interactive museum that will make you question your sense of reality with optical illusions. The museum guarantees a great time, lots of laughter, and the funniest photos.

    When? All year round

    Where? Meatpacking District/ West Village

    My tip: Take your time to explore every single exhibit and take some nice pictures. My favorite exhibit was the Infinity Room which is full of mirrors!

    Did you know? Optical illusions have a history dating back to ancient Greece, where they were employed in Greek architecture and artistic creations.


  59. 53

    Visit art galleries and exhibitions like the bitforms gallery

    Gallery in Lower East Side
    NoHo gallery NYC
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    NYC boasts a vibrant and diverse art scene that offers a rich tapestry of artistic expressions, from classic to contemporary. Exploring renowned institutions that provide a unique opportunity to witness masterpieces from world-famous artists, fosters a deep appreciation for art’s evolution through time.

    Moreover, these galleries and exhibitions often serve as a window into the city’s cultural diversity, showcasing works from a multitude of backgrounds and perspectives. It’s a chance to engage with thought-provoking art that can spark conversations and broaden horizons. Whether you’re an art enthusiast or simply looking to immerse yourself in the city’s creative spirit, exploring NYC’s art scene offers an enriching and visually captivating experience that should not be missed.

    The bitforms gallery is a contemporary art gallery that features mid-career artists utilizing the latest technologies in New York City. It was founded in 2001 with the idea that A world-renowned contemporary visual art gallery, bitforms is home to established artists and those on the rise.

    If you’re interested in art and want to explore NYC’s art scene, I recommend you to read our articles about the best art exhibitions in NYC and the best art galleries in NYC.

    When? All year round

    Where? Lower East Side, Manhattan

    My tip: The bitforms gallery is free and open to the public.

    Did you know? The oldest continuously operating public art museum in the United States is the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, Connecticut. It opened its doors to the public in 1844.

  60. 54

    Take pictures with famous people at Madame Tussauds

    Museum in Midtown Manhattan
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    One of NYC’s most popular attractions is the Madame Tussauds Wax Museum right by Times Square. Great for kids and adults alike you will see countless celebrities recreated with amazing details as wax figurines. If you have always been hoping for a perfect selfie with one of your favorite celebrities then this is just the spot for you!

    When? All year round

    Where? Times Square, Manhattan

    My tip: Madame Tussauds is included in some of the New York attraction passes. If you want to save money and see which NYC pass is the best for you, check out our New York pass calculator.

    Did you know? The history of wax museums can be traced back to at least the early 18th century.

  61. 55

    The FRIENDS™ Experience New York

    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!

    When? All year round

    Where? Flatiron District, near Madison Square Park

    My tip: The Friends Experience often encourages visitors to actively participate in some scenes or activities. Be ready to join in and have fun, whether it’s Central Perk karaoke or playing the famous “pivot” scene.

    Did you know? There were originally only supposed to be four Friends and Phoebe and Chandler were only meant to play supporting roles. Can you imagine that?

  62. 56

    New York Public Library

    Building in Midtown Manhattan
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    The New York Public Library is one of the most famous buildings in NYC. Having featured in countless films and photographs, this is one of the best public libraries in the United Sates. The New York Public Library is not only a place for students, professors, and bookworms but also a must visit for toruists of the Big Apple.

    When? All year round

    Where? Main building is next to Bryant Park

    My tip: Remember to stay quiet in the library.

    Did you know? When it was inaugurated in 1911, the Library stood as the largest marble structure ever constructed in the United States.

  63. 57

    Join a Gospel Tour in Harlem

    Walking Tour in Harlem & Washington Heights
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    Harlem still proudly displays its African-American roots and vibrant culture, of which gospel is a large part. For a total of four hours, this Harlem Gospel Tour will take you into the world of Gospel in Harlem. There will be a lot of history about the district of Harlem, a soul food lunch, and of course a classic church service. The departure point is near Times Square on Eighth Avenue.

    When?  Sundays

    Where? Harlem

    My tip: As these are religious events, you should behave respectfully and with restraint if you wish to take part in the services.

    Did you know? Harlem was established by Dutch colonists in 1658 under the name “Haarlem,” named after a city in the Netherlands. However, when the British assumed control in 1664, they dropped one of the “A”s, simplifying it to “Harlem.”

  64. Always a Fun Thing to Do in NYC: Watching Parades

  65. 58

    St. Patrick’s Day Parade

    Parade in Midtown Manhattan
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    The famous St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which is one of the oldest, attracts around 700,000 people annually who want to be part of the spectacle. The parade takes place either directly on March 17th or – if it is a weekday – on the following weekend. The destination of the parade is the St. Patrick Cathedral. At 11 a.m. on the dot, the parade starts moving north at 44th Street/corner of 5th Avenue.

    When? March 17th or the following weekend

    Where? 44th Street/ 5th Avenue moving north

    My tip: Come early for a good spot and wear something green to get you in the party spirit.

    Did you know? The first St. Patrick’s Day Parade in NYC took place on March 17, 1762, a full fourteen years before the Declaration of Independence was signed.

  66. 59

    Village Halloween Parade

    Parade in West Village
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    You are in the mood for a Halloween party, but don’t want to pay admission? Then dress up and join the Village Halloween Parade. This is really typical American: Halloween is celebrated on October 31st and of course, a parade is a must! The Village Halloween Parade starts in SoHo West (Spring Street, 6th Avenue) just in time for darkness (7 p.m.) and ends at 11 p.m.

    When? October 31st

    Where? Start: Spring St/ 6th Ave

    My tip: You don’t have to join the parade, you can also just come to watch it. However, there’s nothing wrong with wearing a spooky costume.

    Did you know? Following Christmas, Halloween ranks as the second most commercially celebrated holiday in the United States. Americans spend the most money on sweets, costumes, and parties.

  67. 60

    Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

    Parade in Upper West Side
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    The Thanksgiving Day Parade is probably the most famous parade in the world and looks back on a long tradition: It has been around since 1924 and every year more than 3.5 million people come to see it. The route begins west of Central Park at 77th Street and passes Columbus Circle, where you have a great view of the parade. If the parade turns onto 6th Avenue, the best view is from 59th to 38th Street.

    When? Fourth Thursday in November

    Where? Start: West 77th Street & Central Park West

    My tip: Wear comfortable shoes as well as warm clothes and bring yourself some snacks.

    Did you know? In 1924, Macy’s employees organized a Christmas parade that included floats, bands, zoo animals, and 10,000 onlookers, starting at 145th Street and concluding with Santa Claus and the unveiling of Macy’s Christmas windows. Three years later, it was renamed the Thanksgiving Day Parade.

  68. 61

    Labor Day Parade (first Monday in September)

    Parade in Crown Heights
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    The Labor Day Parade (also known as West Indian Day Parade and Caribbean American Parade) is the most colorful event in NYC. Every year, between 2 and 3 million people are expected to celebrate Caribbean culture.

    At the same time, the West Indian Day Parade has a long history: in fact, in 2023 it was held for the 53rd time. The parade starts in Crown Heights in Brooklyn, not far from Park Slope. Get ready for a lot of happy and colorfully decorated people – good mood is guaranteed!

    When? First Monday in September

    Where? Manhattan & Brooklyn

    My tip: Many people wear festive outfits in the colors red, white and blue to express their patriotic mood. You can dress accordingly to fit in with the festivities.

    Did you know? In 1887, Oregon became the first state to pass a law officially recognizing Labor Day as a holiday, with New York introducing the first bill. In that same year, four additional states – Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York – also enacted laws establishing Labor Day as a holiday.

    There are more parades in NYC:

    • Easter Parade: Easter Sunday
    • Memorial Day Parade: last Monday in May
    • Gay Pride Parade: End of June (pride month)
    • German American Steuben Parade: Mid-September
    • Veteran’s Day Parade: November 11
  69. Family Fun: Kid-Friendly Things to Do in NYC

    There are plenty of fun things to do in NYC with kids, such as visiting iconic attractions or exploring interactive museums. We show you some really cool things to do in NYC with children.

  70. 62

    Visit the Brooklyn Children's Museum

    Museum in Dumbo
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    The Brooklyn Children’s Museum was founded in 1899 and was the first museum developed only for kids. With many permanent exhibitions and attractions, there is always something to see or do here. Overall, it’s a great place for family outings with the young ones.

    Children are encouraged to play and experience numerous activities and exhibitions.

    When? All year round

    Where? Crown Heights, Brooklyn

    My tip: There is a playground for children in nearby Brower Park. You could have a nice picnic here after visiting the museum.

  71. 63

    Children’s Museum of Manhattan

    Museum in Upper West Side
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    The Children’s Museum of Manhattan (CMOM) is a popular destination for children and their families in New York City. There are many exhibits and programs designed to stimulate children’s imaginations, curiosity and intellect. Along with the Children’s Museum in Brooklyn, I consider it one of the finest museums for children in NYC (more than 350,000 people visit CMOM on the Upper West Side each year).

    When? All year round

    Where? Upper West Side, Manhattan

    My tip: Two blocks west is Riverside Park, where you’ll find a playground and some nice picnic spots. Three blocks east of the museum is Central Park.

  72. 64

    Let the kids have fun on one of the playgrounds

    Other Attraction in Upper East Side
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    A nice playground in Central Park is the Ancient Playground. Located directly on 5th Avenue at 85th Street, your offspring can really let off steam. And that in the middle of the green! Simply great, especially because it was recently renovated!

    The city has many nice playgrounds to offer. In addition to some playgrounds in Central Park, there is also one in Madison Square Park or at Pier 51 in Hudson River Park. Here is our list of the best playgrounds in NYC.

    When? All year round

    Where? All over the city

    My tip: Help keep the playground clean by disposing of trash properly and encouraging your children to do the same.

    Did you know? Across the five boroughs, New York City boasts an impressive array of over 1,700 parks, playgrounds, and recreational facilities.

  73. 65

    SeaGlass Carousel

    Other Attraction in The Battery
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    The SeaGlass Carousel is a true highlight for children. It was built as a tribute to the New York Aquarium, which operated in nearby Clinton Castle from 1896 to 1941.

    During the summer months only, you can visit the SeaGlass Carousel and feel like a fish in water (or rather, like a fish in an aquarium) as you make your rounds in this glass pavilion. It is accompanied by music specially designed for the SeaGlass Carousel and many fluorescent colors, which show all the diversity of the marine world with the help of LED lights.

    When? Summer months

    Where? Battery Park, Manhattan

    My tip: Battery Park is located right next to the Staten Island Ferry. After riding the carousel, you could take the free Staten Island Ferry and enjoy the view.

    Did you know? The oldest operating carousel in the world is the Vermolenmolen, located in the Efteling theme park in the Netherlands. Dating back to 1865, this carousel, originally operated by horses, is now powered by an electric motor.

  74. 66

    Visit Jane's Carousel

    Other Attraction in Dumbo
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    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.

    When? All year round (closed 1-3 days a week)

    Where? Brooklyn Bridge Park

    My tip: While you’re here, take the opportunity to stroll along the waterside. The view of the Manhattan skyline is stunning!

    Did you know? The carousel had operated in Ohio for many years. It was located at Idora Park until a fire made the owners put it up for sale. 1984 it was sold to David and Jane Walentas. After 22 years of restoration, it was finally named “Jane’s Carousel” in 2006.

  75. 67

    Snug Harbor

    Park in Staten Island
    Staten Island, New York: Pond in the New York Chinese Scholars Garden, a walled garden built in 1998 at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden.
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    Set sail for a tranquil retreat at Staten Island’s hidden gem, Snug Harbor—a former residence for retired sailors just a ferry ride away from Manhattan’s hustle and bustle. Spread across 83 picturesque acres, Snug Harbor features a vast botanical garden and cultural center nestled among charming cobblestone streets and quaint Victorian and Tudor homes.

    A must-visit attraction is the mesmerizing Chinese Scholar’s Garden, complete with awe-inspiring rock formations resembling mountains, a serene bamboo forest path, and a Koi-filled pond. Let your senses be captivated by the peaceful beauty of this idyllic haven.

    When? Usually all year round (check website for specific hours)

    Where? Staten Island

    My tip: The Snug Harbor Cultural Center is surrounded by several great things to do with children, so plan enough time to explore everything.

  76. 68

    Take your children to the zoo

    Other Attraction in Bronx
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    Do you want to experience the largest metropolitan zoo in the US? Then go check out the Bronx Zoo. It’s perfect for families with kids. At the Bronx Zoo you can experience your wild side and explore a national treasure in the Bronx. The Bronx Zoo is known as one of the best in the country and offers many different species from all over the world. It’s one of my absolute highlights in the area and something you shouldn’t miss.

    When? All year round

    Where? Bronx

    Other zoos in NYC: 

    • Central Park Zoo
    • Staten Island Zoo
    • Queens Zoo

    My tip: The Bronx Zoo offers special events and attractions for Halloween and winter time.

    Did you know? The Bronx Zoo is home to more than 11,000 animals!

  77. 69

    Go on a roller coaster ride at Luna Park

    Other Attraction in Coney Island & Brighton Beach
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    The theme park in Coney Island is a must for young and old. Opening hours vary depending on the weather. Inform yourself before you plan a trip there. Characteristic for Coney Island is the nostalgic charm of the amusement park, which attracts thousands of people – especially New Yorkers – when the weather is good.

    When? Usually all year round but depending on the day and the weather, park hours vary.

    Where? South Brooklyn

    My tip: Between spring and fall you can ride Deno’s Wonder Wheel, a very special ferris wheel. This is fun for the whole family.

    Did you know? In August 1944 a fire destroyed much of Luna Park.

  78. 70

    A must do for Potterheads: Visit the Harry Potter Store

    Other Shopping in Flatiron District
    Our Highlight
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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!

    When? All year round

    Where? Flatiron District, Manhattan

    My tip: In the Butterbeer Bar, you can taste the famous Butterbeer or Butterbeer ice cream. At the end you can keep the glasses from your Butterbeer, there is a special area for rinsing and drying.

  79. 71

    Go shopping at the Disney Store

    Other Shopping in Theatre District
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    The Disney Store in Times Square is a paradise for children – you can find everything your heart desires here! All the important movie characters are represented on 2 floors and are just waiting to be taken home as a souvenir. Not only children’s eyes will shine here!

    When? All year round

    Where? Times Square, Manhattan

    My tip: The Disney Store is not only a paradise for children, but also for adults. We grew up with Disney movies and think this store is great!

  80. 72

    Discover the city with a Hop-on-hop-off-Bus

    Bus Tour in Midtown Manhattan
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    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.

    When? All year round

    Where? Primarily in Manhattan

    My tip: Regular tickets are valid for one day. To get the most out of your ticket, you should start your tour in the morning. The Hop-on-hop-off-busses are the perfect way to get a first overview of the city, especially for first-time visitors.

  81. Best Things to do in New York City for Sports Enthusiasts

    My tips for all sporting events in NYC: Buy your tickets early and plan your journey to the stadium. Keep in mind that there will be a lot of people there and take public transportation rather than a car. Food and drinks are often very expensive in the stadiums. If you want to save money, it’s better to eat something beforehand.

    Football season is from September to January

  82. 73

    New York Jets

    Sports Tickets in Outside of New York City
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    The New York Jets are one of the two major American football teams that New York has to offer. The atmosphere at New York Jets games is sensational – and going to a game should be on the sports to-do list of every fan of American football.

    When? September to January

    Where? Met Life Stadium, New Jersey

  83. 74

    New York Giants

    Sports Tickets in Outside of New York City
    NY Giants Game
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    Compared to the Jets, the NY Giants enjoy the more dominant fanbase in New York. If you ask us, it’s absolutely worth it to go watch a game of either team just to feel the incredible atmosphere and energy in the stadium. Here’s everything you need to know before heading to a Giants game, including schedule, best seats, and cheap tickets!

    When? September to January

    Where? Met Life Stadium, New Jersey

  84. Baseball season is from April to October

  85. 75

    New York Yankees

    Sport Events in Concourse
    Yankee Stadium New York
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    If you want to see baseball in New York, you have to go to the New York Yankees! There is hardly anything more American than to join tens of thousands of other sports enthusiasts in the excitement of the NY Yankees. During our visit in 2016, we made sure to not miss the local derby of the New York Yankees against the New York Mets – it was once again sensational!

    When? April to October

    Where? Yankee Stadium, Bronx

  86. 76

    New York Mets

    Sports Tickets in Flushing
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    The New York Mets play as often as 5x a week, so the chances that you will be in town for a home game are pretty good. If that is not the case, see if the New York Yankees have a home game during your visit. Generally, speaking, baseball season runs from April through September. What you’ll notice is that the NY Mets or the NY Yankees typically play 2 or 3 days in a row. It’s not a mistake in the schedule!

    When? April to October

    Where? Citi Field, Queens

  87. Basketball season is from October to April

  88. 77

    New York Knicks

    Sports Tickets in Midtown Manhattan
    Our Highlight
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    The Knicks are one of the most famous basketball teams in the NBA. Therefore, you should definitely watch a game of the New York Knicks. Basketball is one of the four big and important sports in the USA and is an integral part of the sports DNA. You will find many enthusiastic Knicks supporters and understand at the latest after the game, why basketball has such an attraction!

    When? October – April

    Where? Madison Square Garden, Manhattan

  89. 78

    Brooklyn Nets

    Sports Tickets in Park Slope
    Brooklyn Nets at the Barclays Center
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    The Brooklyn Nets are a Brooklyn-based basketball team. If you are looking for a professional, fast-paced basketball game to watch definitely check out a Brooklyn Nets game. You will no doubt have an amazing time and get swept up in all the excitement.

    When? October – April

    Where? Barclays Center, Brooklyn

  90. Ice Hockey season is from October to April

  91. 79

    New York Rangers

    Sport Events in Midtown Manhattan
    Our Highlight
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    The atmosphere at a Rangers game is unparalleled and home games are played in the heart of Manhattan, at the most prestigious arena, Madison Square Garden. Ice hockey has some of the most loyal fans of all the sports categories, and you will notice that right away at a Rangers game. It’s intense and it’s a spectacle that is not to be missed!

    There are two more ice hockey teams in the NYC area: the New York Islanders and the New Jersey Devils.

    When? October – April

    Where? Madison Square Garden, Manhattan

  92. A Must-Do in NYC for Shopaholics: Shopping

    Shopping in NYC is one of the best things to do, as it offers a diverse and world-class retail experience that caters to every taste, from luxury boutiques on Fifth Avenue to eclectic thrift stores in Brooklyn, making it an essential part of the array of NYC activities to explore.

  93. 80

    Must do in NYC for shopping fans: Stroll down the 5th Avenue

    Other Shopping in Midtown Manhattan
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    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.

    When? All year round

    Where? Manhattan, especially between 49th Street and 60th Street

    My tip: 5th Avenue is known for being one of the most expensive shopping streets in the world so don’t forget your credit card.

  94. 81

    Treat yourself to some great items at Macy's

    Other Shopping in Midtown Manhattan
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    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 developed 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.

    When? All year round

    Where? Midtown Manhattan

    My tip: If you come here during Christmas time make sure to bring a camera because you might want to take some pictures of their beautiful Christmas decorations!

  95. 82

    How about a shopping tour in one of the outlets in NYC?

    Day Trip in Outside of New York City
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    Visit the Woodbury Common Premium Outlets. There you can get well-known brands and labels at discounted prices. 220 stores make this outlet paradise the ideal place to go for your New York bargain hunting.

    You don’t want to leave the city for shopping? No problem, there are more outlets in NYC!

    When? All year round

    Where? Upstate NY; Staten Island; Long Island and New Jersey

    My tip: If you’re wondering about how to get to the Woodbury Outlets, I have good news: There are several shuttle buses between Manhattan and the outlet every day!

  96. 83

    Go shopping in one of the big malls

    Outlet in Outside of New York City
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    Attention shoppers: the Greater New York City area is now home to one of the largest malls in the nation – the American Dream mall. After many years of waiting and constant delays, the massive shopping and entertainment complex are already open.

    The American Dream complex in New Jersey is much more than just a mall. Besides hundreds of shops, you will also find an unbelievable number of entertainment facilities here. As a matter of fact, the complex is almost split evenly amongst shopping and entertainment.

    This mall is just one of the best malls in New York City.

    When? All year round

    Where? New Jersey & all over the city

    My tip: When you visit the American Dream Mall make sure to take a ride with the Dream Wheel! This ferris wheel offers amazing views of the NYC skyline and New Jersey!

  97. 84

    Check out the numerous thrift stores in the city

    Second Hand Store in Flatiron District
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    Shopping at thrift stores in NYC is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in the city. With plenty of unique and eclectic shops scattered throughout the boroughs, it offers an unparalleled experience for both locals and visitors looking for exciting NYC activities. These thrift stores are treasure troves waiting to be explored, where you can uncover vintage fashion gems, one-of-a-kind pieces, and unexpected finds, all while being kind to your wallet and the environment.

    Whether you’re scouring the racks at iconic stores like Beacon’s Closet in Brooklyn, exploring hidden gems in the East Village, or wandering through Manhattan’s upscale consignment shops, thrift shopping in NYC promises endless surprises and a chance to leave with a piece of the city’s vibrant and ever-evolving style. Here are the best thrift stores in NYC.

    When? All year round

    Where? All over the city

    My tip: Thrift store shopping can be a bit like treasure hunting, and you may not always find what you’re looking for right away. However, if you approach it with a sense of adventure and a willingness to explore, you’re more likely to discover unique and unexpected items that you’ll love.

  98. 85

    Discover bargains at the various flea markets

    Second Hand Store in Dumbo
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    For almost 10 years, tourists and locals alike have been making the pilgrimage to Brooklyn to visit one of the most famous flea markets in New York. Antique household goods, vintage furniture and clothing, jewelry and all sorts of other knick-knacks are sold by the 60 vendors of the Brooklyn Flea market. Of course, Brooklyn Flea also has food! From Hong Kong Pork Buns to waffles, you’ll find everything here.

    For more flea markets in the city check out our article about the best flea markets in NYC. Bargain hunters and Vintage fans will get their money’s worth!

    When? Saturdays and Sundays (Chelsea Flea is open year round on the weekends)

    Where? Dumbo, Brooklyn and Chelsea

    My tip: Take a few minutes and just chat with the sellers. They often tell their own personal stories, how they put their ideas into practice or why they love New York.

    Did you know? It is believed that the very first flea market in the United States opened in 1873 somewhere in Texas.

  99. Culinary Adventures: Foodie Things to Do in NYC

  100. 86

    Enjoy a fancy Rainbow Bagel

    Other Restaurants in Midtown Manhattan
    Rainbow Bagel
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    Liberty Bagels, known for authentic, high-quality hand-rolled New York bagels, has quickly become a trusted name. Their diverse selection of bagel styles and toppings, from classic to unique creations, as well as a wide range of cream cheese varieties, including tofu, make them a popular stop for bagel lovers.

    The store has played an important role in the local community, winning awards as the best bagel store in Manhattan and being trusted by its customers. Offering a touch of tradition and true bagel culture, Liberty Bagels is a must-visit destination for those seeking an authentic New York experience.

    When? All year round

    Where? Midtown Manhattan

    My tip: Try the rainbow bagel with cream cheese and salmon. It’s delicious!

    Did you know? January 15 is National Bagel Day.

  101. 87

    Treat Yourself with delicious Pizza

    Pizza Spot in West Village
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    Joe’s Pizza is another one of the OG’s when it comes to pizza on Bleecker Street. This spot has been around since 1975, created initially by Pino Pozzuoli, who immigrated from Naples, Italy. Joe’s Pizza is known for having some of the best traditional New York pizza slices in town.

    But it’s not the only place in NYC that serves delicious pizza! Check out our article about the best pizza in NYC!

    When? All year round

    Where? All over the city, for example on Bleecker Street

    My tip: Try a classic pizza with pepperoni!

    Did you know? The biggest day of the year for pizza delivery is the Super Bowl Sunday!

  102. 88

    Go to Shake Shack for one of my favorite cheeseburgers in town!

    Burger Spot in Battery Park City
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    Shake Shack is a burger chain with more than 20 stores in New York alone. We got this spot recommended by a New Yorker as the “best burger in town” with the warning that you have to wait an hour for your burger – but it was worth the wait! From the outside, the burger shop may seem quite inconspicuous, but the burgers are certainly among the best in New York.

    When? All year round

    Where? Several locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn

    My tip: The cheeseburgers at Shake Shack are definitely some of our favorite “fast food” cheeseburgers but the ‘Shroom Burger is also really good! Instead of a meat patty it comes with a crisp-fried portobello mushroom filled with cheese.

    Did you know? Shake Shack started off as a hot dog cart in Madison Square Park. It was so successful that they decided to establish the restaurant in the park. There are now about 400 locations worldwide.

  103. 89

    Try the famous Pastrami Sandwich at Katz's Deli

    American Restaurant in Lower East Side
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    An absolute institution in New York is Katz’s Delicatessen Restaurant in Manhattan, founded in 1888. Cineastes will immediately think of the film scene with Sally’s fake orgasm during “Harry and Sally”. And what should we say? Those were really the best sandwiches (we tested corned beef and pastrami) we ever had.

    When? All year round

    Where? Lower East Side, Manhattan

    My tip: The pastrami sandwich is really incredibly tasty, but there is a lot of meat on the bread. It’s a sandwich that’s great for sharing!

    Did you know? Katz’s Delicatessen serves around 1000 to 2000 customers every day. Each week, they sell around 900 kg of salami, 3600 kg of corned beef, and almost 6800 kg of pastrami!

  104. 90

    Steak fans get their money's worth in NYC

    Steak Restaurant in Theatre District
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    Bacall’s Family Steakhouse is one of the most highly regarded restaurants in NYC, known for its delicious steaks and romantic ambiance. Located in the heart of Manhattan, Bacall’s is the perfect spot for a special dinner with your loved one.

    The restaurant offers a wide selection of succulent steaks, including filet mignon, ribeye, and New York strip, all cooked to perfection and served with your choice of sides. In addition to the steaks, Bacall’s also has a selection of seafood dishes, including lobster tail and pan-seared salmon, as well as vegetarian options.

    Another really good place for meat lovers is Cote, a Korean steakhouse near the Flatiron Building!

    When? All year round

    Where? Near Times Square

    My tip: Bacall’s offers a three-course pre-theatre dinner with choices for $45 p.p. This is perfect if you plan a dinner before going to a Broadway show.

    Did you know? The oldest steak house in NYC is the Old Homestead in the Meatpacking District. Steaks have been served here since 1868!

  105. 91

    Satisfy your sweet tooth with a cronut

    Café in SoHo
    Dominique Ansel Bakery
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    You’ve probably heard of the infamous cronut. That originally started at Dominique Ansel Bakery. When they first came out, it was almost impossible to get one because it would sell out right away. Today the hustle and bustle has calmed down a bit, but we can still recommend a visit.

    When? All year round

    Where? SoHo

    My tip: Be sure to also try the strawberry lychee tartlet or the croissants with coconut and chocolate as well as the Blossoming Hot Chocolate with a sweet marshmallow flower on top!

    Did you know? Dominique Ansel introduced the Cronut in 2013, which quickly led to a limited production and exclusivity. This created a black market in New York City, with traders purchasing Cronuts for $5 and reselling them for as much as $100 each.

  106. 92

    Indulge in a tasty slice of cheesecake

    American Restaurant in Theatre District
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    Junior’s is an American restaurant chain and famous for the best cheesecakes! The best cheesecakes in New York or even in the world? It doesn’t matter – they taste really delicious and are a true classic in New York.

    When? All year round

    Where? 1x Brooklyn and 2x Manhattan near Times Square

    My tip: Junior’s is famous for its cheesecakes, but you can also have a wonderful breakfast, lunch, or dinner here!

    Did you know? Although Junior’s is selling its cheesecakes worldwide by now, all of their cakes are made in New York and they only use Philadelphia cream cheese.

  107. Food Markets & Food Festivals

  108. 93

    Smorgasburg Food Market

    Food Market in Williamsburg
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    Smorgasburg Food Market is one of the hottest open-air food markets in New York City. People come here to meet, eat, drink and enjoy the view of the Manhattan skyline on the East River Waterfront during the warmer months. Smorgasburg means “a mixture of food” and offers a huge selection of small stalls. The main spot for Smorgasburg is in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and is very popular among the locals. It’s more of an experience and it’s always a great time with friends.

    When? Usually April – October

    Where? The Oculus, Manhattan (Fridays); Williamsburg, Brooklyn (Saturdays); Prospect Park, Brooklyn (Sundays)

    My tip: My favorite Smorgasburg is the one in Williamsburg because the location offers amazing views of the Manhattan skyline.

    Did you know? Smorgasburg, often referred to as “the Woodstock of Eating,” is the biggest weekly outdoor food market in the United States, drawing over 2 million attendees annually across its locations in New York, Los Angeles, and Miami.

  109. 94

    Time Out Market

    Food Market in Dumbo
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    The “Food Market” concept proved to be a great success in New York City. In May 2019, the Time Out Market opened in Dumbo: and offers around 20 different vendors, 2 bars, and a rooftop with an additional 4 restaurants. The food market in Dumbo on 55 Water Street is expected to be just as successful as its other chains such as the one in Lisbon.

    When? All year round

    Where? Dumbo, Brooklyn

    My tip: The absolute best thing about the location is the view from the balcony. It provides unobstructed views of the Manhattan skyline as well as the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridge.

    Of course, there are plenty of other food markets in the Big Apple. We have summarized the best food markets in NYC for you.

    Did you know? Time Out Market is not only in NYC! You can find Time Out Markets in Boston, Chicago, Montréal, Dubai, Cape Town, Porto and Lisboa!

  110. 95

    New York City Wine & Food Festival (NYCWFF)

    Other Events in Gramercy
    New York Food and Wine Festival
    NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 14: Tyler Blevins, David Burtka, Neil Patrick Harris, and C.J. Mosley attend the Blue Moon Burger Bash presented by Pat LaFrieda Meats hosted by Rachael Ray during the Food Network & Cooking Channel New York City Wine & Food Festival presented by Capital One at Pier 86 on October 14, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for NYCWFF)
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    This is for all of the foodies and wine connoisseurs.  The New York City Wine and Food Festival offers more than 80 events over 4 days. There’s everything from tastings of America’s favorite foods to intimate dinners with world-renowned chefs, cooking classes, nutrition seminars, wine tasting, and parties. Prepared and served by America’s favorite food stars, this event is a real highlight for New Yorkers and tourists from around the world.

    When? Usually in October

    Where? Over 80 different events throughout New York City

    My tip: Although there are some family-friendly events, most of the NYCWFF events require that guests are 21 or older. So if you want to bring your children make sure to check if they’re allowed.

    You love food and want to know more about the food scene in NYC? Then check out our article about the best food festivals in New York City. 

    Did you know? One of the biggest food festivals in the United States is the Tastes of Chicago Festival in (surprise!) Chicago!

  111. 96

    Queens Night Market

    Food Market in Flushing
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    The Queens Night Market is a family-friendly open-air market in Queens that offers art, food, merchandise, and cultural performances to celebrate the heritage and diversity of Queens and New York City. Queens Night Market takes place every Saturday between April – August and September – October.

    When? April – August & September – October

    Where? Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens

    My tip: Take the opportunity to explore the Queens neighborhood before you visit the Night Market.

    Did you know? Queens ranks as the second most densely populated county in New York state. To put it into perspective, if Queens were an independent city, it would claim the fourth position in the list of the most populous cities in the United States, trailing only behind New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago.

  112. Things to Do for Explorers: Day Trips and Guided Tours

  113. 97

    Visit Niagara Falls on a day trip

    Day Trip in Outside of New York City
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    During your visit to New York, don’t miss the allure of one of the most amazing natural wonders of the world – Niagara Falls! The day trip includes tickets to the Maid of the Mist boat cruise and entry to the observation tower. Although this is a really long trip, we think it’s worth going to Niagara Falls. It’s an impressive work of nature that you should see if you have the chance.

    When? All year round, in the winter months only on selected days

    Where? Start & end in Manhattan: Times Square or Upper West Side

    My tips:

    1. The Maid of the Mist boat cruise only operates from May to October.
    2. You should definitely go up the observation tower at Terrapin Point, because the view of the waterfalls from above is really impressive!

    Did you know? Powerful: The hydroelectric power generated at Niagara Falls by power stations supplies electricity to meet the demands of Southern Ontario and Western New York.

  114. 98

    Make a Day Trip to beautiful Boston

    Day Trip in Outside of New York City
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    This day trip to Boston takes you through one of America’s most interesting historical cities. Everything from architecture to monuments and historically significant spots make this tour a great choice for all history lovers. Boston is a beautiful city and a nice contrast to NYC, making it the perfect getaway for a day! The bus will leave from the Gray Line Visitors Center and take approximately 4 hours.

    When? All year round (Sunday, Tuesday, Friday)

    Where? Start: Port Authority Bus Terminal building on 42nd Street

    My tip: Try some of the local delicacies at the Quincy Market for lunch!

    Did you know? The Tremont Street subway, part of Boston’s MBTA subway system, holds the distinction of being the oldest subway tunnel in North America and the third oldest globally to exclusively employ electric traction. It commenced operations on September 1, 1897.

  115. 99

    Marvel at the magical Christmas lights in Dyker Heights

    Bus Tour in Dyker Heights
    Our Highlight
    One of the Best Dyker Heights Christmas Lights Tours : The 4-Hour Dyker Heights Holiday Lights Bus Tour
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    This tour through the Christmas Dyker Heights and Bay Ridge in Brooklyn is one of the most popular and most booked tours at Christmas time in New York. In front of the Row NYC Hotel (45th Street and 8th Avenue) you will be picked up by a bus and drive over one of New York’s bridges to Brooklyn – you will have a wonderful view of the New York skyline. Once in Dyker Heights, you will be guided by a guide through the main streets with the most beautiful Christmas lights. The next stop is the Brooklyn Bridge in DUMBO (about 25 minutes) – the tour ends at Bryant Park Winter Village with the famous ice skating rink. The Dyker Heights tour is guaranteed to get you in the Christmas spirit!

    When? Usually in December

    Where? Brooklyn (start and end in Manhattan)

    My tip: Of course, you can also drive to Dyker Heights on your own. If you want to take the subway, you should definitely plan on having to walk for a while. The guided tour is much more comfortable and you don’t have to worry about anything.

    Did You know? Some of the Dyker Heights residents do not decorate their houses themselves but have it done by a company. Sometimes the price can be $1000 or even more!

  116. 100

    Join a guided Craft Brewery Tour

    Walking Tour in Downtown Brooklyn
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    An equally exceptional and wonderful activity for January is this guided tour of not one but three breweries in New York. New York is known for its many small breweries that exist in every borough – on this tour, you’ll start at Circa Brewing at 141 Lawrence St in Brooklyn. As you make your way through some of the city’s hottest neighborhoods, you’ll visit 3 world-class breweries. Led by your expert beer guide, you’ll gain VIP access and learn more about the unique brewing process while sampling their delicious craft beer.

    Drinks are also accompanied by a complimentary beer snack as you indulge your taste buds on an unforgettable 3.5-hour beer tour.

    When? Thursday through Sunday

    Where? Brooklyn

    My tip: Make sure to bring your ID since you have to be 21+ for this activity!

    Did you know? People worldwide drink 50 billion gallons of beer annually.

Profilbild Swana
About the author

I'm in love with New York City since I was a child but when I finally had the chance to visit this place back in 2019 I lost my heart. This city makes me happy in a way I didn't know before. Now I hope that I can give you some inspiration for your New York City trip, so that you can understand my love for this city and have the best possible time in the Big Apple.

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