TOP 10 attractions in New York

By Steffen, 13. March 2017
92 ratings

New York City is one of the top sightseeing destinations around the world. No matter in which area of the city you find yourself, you can find fascinating and unique things everywhere. With countless attractions and spots to see it is hard to pick the top ones, nonetheless after much deliberation we have made a list of our favourite 10 spots that we think you have to see. 

One World Trade Center, Brooklyn Bridge, and gleaming Times Square: there are so many great attractions and sights to cover! ¬†I am sure that the mention of New York City immediately brings to mind a famous building or part of the city for¬†just about everyone. Between the famous Empire State Building, beautiful Central Park, or the Rockefeller Center its hard to choose which one you need to see if you have to choose ‚Äď thats why the following list is in no particular order. You will also find valuable insider tips to all of the listed attractions here!

Our Tip: New York City offers sightseeing passes (New York Pass, CityPASS, and the Explorer Pass), that give you a discount of up to 70% compared to regular ticket prices on many sights, tours, and attractions. We have compared the three New York passes for you here so you can find out with which one you can save the most money!

1. Empire State Building: the most renowned skyscraper

The view from the observation platform of the Empire State Buildings¬†will take your breath away and is a sight that you won’t soon forget. An absolute must-see during a visit to New York!¬†We have compiled everything you need to know about the Empire State Building, including our insider tips, in this extensive Empire State Building guide. There, you will discover tips & tricks, important info regarding ticket options, and whether going to the 102nd floor is really worth it.

Our tip: Either go really early or very late!

That’s when queues are not as long. Even better – get a New York Pass and skip the waiting line altogether!¬†Tickets with Fast Lane access are available here¬†– or get one of the New York discount passes that includes tickets to the Empire State Building!


2. Brooklyn Bridge: The most famous bridge in New York City

An official city landmark: the Brooklyn Bridge. Be sure to walk across the bridge on foot to enjoy the fabulous views from Brooklyn across the East River. New tours are available that take you across the bridge into Brooklyn and these are quite popular. You can find the most popular tours on this page. We also recommend you check out the beautiful Brooklyn Bridge Park and Brooklyn Heights.


3. Top of the Rock: the observation platform on top of Rockefeller Center

You will also have fantastic views of New York from the observation platform “Top of the Rock” (here you will find all pertinent info). The Top of the Rock observation platform is where most iconic pictures of the Empire State Building are shot from, meaning that if you want a typical picture of NYC you shouldn’t miss this one. This is also one of our best tips as it is far less crowded than the empire state building as well having timed tickets. This means you will receive a time to come back when you buy your ticket meaning rather than waiting in line you can walk around and enjoy the city some more before you ascend to the observation platform.¬†Tickets for the observation platform are available here¬†– or get one of the New York discount passes that includes a ticket to the Top of the Rock!

Our tip: Go in the late afternoon!


4. One World Trade Center with the 9/11 Memorial

One World Trade Center now stands tall at Ground Zero in remembrance of the Twin towers that once stood close by. With a height of 1,776 feet (541 meters) it is New York’s tallest building in NYC and in the western hemisphere. (its hight, 1776, is a nod to the year the United States declared independence). The 9/11 Tribute Center is also a very popular attraction that we also highly recommend.¬†You can order tickets in advance online¬†– they are also included in the New York Pass¬†as well as the New York Explorer Pass!

Our tip: Go late in the afternoon or in the evening!


5. One World Observatory –¬†New York’s highest observation platform

Tickets for the observation platform at One World Trade Center have been available since May 2015, and New York has gained another significant attraction. The opening of this new highlight was much anticipated by locals and visitors alike. It is definitely on our must-see list. The link below will take you to interesting information about the new building.


6. High Line Park: rails to trails in the Meatpacking District

The High Line Park is one of the most popular attractions in New York. The park, which was built on a former elevated freight train track, did not open until 2009. It runs between Gansevoort Street and 34th Street.


7. Times Square: the heart of Manhattan

Of course you cannot miss Times Square! There is always something going on, and even during the day it’s exciting to watch all the people and cars go by. But in our opinion, Times Square really shows what it is all about in the evening and at night. That’s when the LED screens light up the whole square as if it was daylight! There is also a pedestrian zone where you can sit down and relax¬†or several rooftop-bars right around the corner that offer sensational views!

8. Wall Street & Charging Bull: The Financial Center of the US

Manhattan’s Wall Street is home to the New York Stock Exchange and the headquarters of numerous banks. One icon of Wall Street is the Charging Bull statue, which is located near the Stock Exchange. It is at its current location in the plaza at Bowling Green in¬†an act of “guerrilla art”. Guided tours through the Financial District as well as the Wall Street Insider Tour are hugely popular.


9. Staten Island Ferry: a free experience

A ride on the Staten Island Ferry is not to be missed. The free crossing of the southern tip of Manhattan affords sensational views of the skyscrapers.

The best thing yet: the ride is free!

Read our post detailing our experience on the Staten Island Ferry.

10. Central Park: New York’s largest park

Central Park is a green oasis in the midst of the city that stretches from 59th Street to 110th Street and 5th Avenue to 8th Avenue. It was established by the city planners and remains a popular destination for New Yorkers to this day. The long jogging route that takes you once aground the park (approx. 10 km) is a lot of fun. If you are looking for something a little more relaxed, you can rent a rowboat and cruise around on the various lakes in the summer months.

Look at our TOP 5 for Central Park now!

Incidentally: The fact that the Statue of Liberty is missing from this list is not an accident. It is always too crowded and too busy. We recommend you take a boat tour around Manhattan that makes a brief loop around the Statue of Liberty giving you a good photo opportunity!

Empire State Building
Top of The Rock
Central Park
Wall Street
Staten Island Ferry
One World Trade Center
High Line NYC
Times Square
Brooklyn Bridge
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