New York City is the epicentre of many things. Be it art, culture or cuisine that you’re interested in, New York City has it. Art buffs will be delighted by the Met, MoMA or the Guggenheim, just to name a few art-world icons that you can find in NYC. Urban wanderers will get a chance to completely lose themselves in the crowds of Chinatown or to admire the traditional atmosphere of the Upper West Side. Those who crave wild entertainment will get their share of thrills once the sun sets – illuminated by skyscrapers, New York City offers all kinds of culture, high and low. From rock shows in Williamsburg to ballet, indie cinema, poetry, burlesque and improv comedy, the Big Apple never fails to deliver. The diversity doesn’t end there – New York City lets you try every cuisine in the world, and no dish is too rare for it. Be it locally sourced or foreign, from Wagyu beef to “dollar-slice pizza,” New York City has it all. Hungry for more? Hit some of the most famous sights in the world – stand atop the Empire State Building, admire the Statue of Liberty from a ferry or go jogging in the Central Park!
Top 10 Things to See and Do in New York
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
A visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art is a necessity for any tourist – the museum is so massive that you want to make sure to cover the whole thing, so you do not miss any of the beautiful paintings, sculptures, and seasonal displays.
Top of the Rock Observation Deck
A gorgeous spot for anyone to see New York City in all of its majesty, with high elevation revealing the whole landscape. Pay a visit to the Top of the Rock Observation Deck, which provides a great view of the NYC skyline with as much as three floors of viewing decks.
Big Bus New York Hop-On-Hop-Off Tour
Many visiting tourists prefer a professional tour guide than wandering around on their own, and this is exactly where the big buses of New York City come into play with their fixed-rate passes and more than thirty stops to admire the city.
The National 9/11 Memorial & Museum
The visit in the 9/11 Memorial and Museum might be a little weighty and sorrowful, but is in an important part of the American history and is a worthwhile stop on your journey which retells the tragic story in detail.
Staten Island Ferry
A tranquil and relaxing ferry trip, which is sure to provide a quiet retreat for any tired individual. The ferry cruises between the St George Ferry Terminal on Staten Island and the similar terminal in Lower Manhattan, providing 25 minutes of calm sightseeing.
Statue of Liberty
Visiting New York City cannot go without visiting its biggest attraction – the Statue of Liberty. The statue is not only an important symbol of freedom and democracy but also a great vantage point on the city.
In the heart of Midtown Manhattan lies this gorgeous beauty – the home of both the Radio City Music Hall and NBC Studios, which provides affordable tours of TV and movie locations that you’ll never forget.
The Museum of Modern Art
The Museum of Modern Art stores some of the greatest works of modern and contemporary art in the world, displaying the masterpieces of renowned artists such as Vincent van Gogh, Andy Warhol, and Jackson Pollock.
The lifelike interactive wax figures of Madame Tussauds are well-known across the world and provide a wonderful experience, which is fully worth the steep admission fee. The newest Marvel section is a must-see for comic enthusiasts!
Admire the architectural beauty of Taj Mahal, Times Square, Buckingham Palace, the Eiffel Tower and many more wonders amongst the detailed miniature exhibits of the Gulliver’s Gate, where you can even place a 3D printed model of yourself on the displays!
Other Things to See and Do
The African Burial Ground
The quite fresh project of African Burial Ground was begun when over four hundred caskets were discovered outside of Charleston, South Carolina. Outside you can admire the buildings which envelop the site, and the visitor centre provides a re-telling of the African-American history in the area of the city.
The Brooklyn Brewery tours
If you’re a beer enthusiast you might be interested in the free tours of the famous Brooklyn Brewery, which take place every Saturday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., where you can fully admire the tradition started in 1988 by Steve Hindy and Tom Potter, who brought their techniques back from the Middle East.
Like most parks in the United States, Central Park is also free to visit whenever you wish, yet it still excels in its category. This park is often filled with free to attend events, marvellous statues, displays of arts, street artists and, of course, the beautiful nature that surrounds the park and “the Pond,” located at the south-eastern corner.
The City Hall of New York is the home of its government since 1812, making it the oldest one in the United States to still hold its function. Tours of the City Hall are generally free, and you can see for yourself the famous governor’s rooms or even the spot where in 1865 the coffin of Abraham Lincoln lied.
New York Public Library
The New York Public Library, one of the most renown and well-known libraries in the United States of America, is placed in the eastern part of Times Square, presenting its gorgeous marble lions. The library is an obligatory sight to see, even if you’re not a fan of reading books, you will want to see its architecture for yourself.
New York Earth Room
Now this one is a unique sight which is bound to leave a long-lasting impression on anyone – this room is a famous installation of Walter De Maria, created in 1977, which features a single room filled with over two hundred and fifty thousand pounds of dirt.
National Museum of the American Indian
Pay respects to the native inhabitants of North America and learn the history while at it. The National Museum of the American Indian, located in the midst of the former U.S. Customs House, is one of the finest collections of Native American art in the country.
The Japan Society of New York City presents a wide arrangement of pay-to-view films and lecture which usually require tickets, but the gallery located on the site is a fine array of Japanese art and is free to attend every Friday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
While it might seem to be just an ordinary public park, the High Line project has expanded to the point of being an impactful tourist attraction with its own opening hours. The park often presents public installations of art and various events, so keep a watchful eye on it.
The Hamilton Grange is a quiet retreat if you're looking to spend some time in peaceful tranquillity. The spot is also a museum and preservation of the relocated home of one of the U.S. Founding Fathers, Alexander Hamilton, and holds a free interactive exhibit.
Green Wood Cemetery
This attraction was once the most visited tourist attraction in the United States outside of Niagara Falls. The cemetery was founded in 1838 and holds more than six hundred thousand graves, all the while providing a pleasurable sight to the eye with its leafy and lush greenery.
While the ferry to get onto the Governor's Island costs around $2, which in itself is a rather insubstantial expense, the access to the whole island is free. The island is open for tourists from May through September and features a long bike path, a mini-golf course, a picnic area and a few military sites.
The place of the oath-taking of the first president of United States – George Washington. The Hall itself features a large statue in front of it and a small museum inside, which tells the history of the post-colonial heritage of New York City.
Fashion Institute of Technology
While the institute itself may not appear to be the most appealing tourist attraction, every week there are numerous rotating exhibits made by the students, which feature a surprisingly vast amount of interesting and detailed pieces ranging from the 18th century to the present times.
Old Stone House
This beauty, located in Brooklyn on the Fifth Avenue, is a legacy reminder of the Brooklyn’s Dutch origins, and one of the few architectural pieces that survived the Battle of Brooklyn. The house features an interesting exhibit, which provides information on the battle, and the entry fee is only a “suggested donation.”
Rockefeller Center Public Art
While the Rockefeller Center has a wide array of expensive guides and tours, the public art area is free to admire for everyone. Make sure to come by and look at the arrangement of art which includes a statue of Prometheus overlooking the skating rink placed in front of the Center.
Socrates Sculpture Park
Near the Roosevelt Island lies a cosy little park, which formerly was a dump site, and now has an intriguing art installation. The Socrates Sculpture Park is also a place of light shows and movie shows on every Wednesday in summer, making it a place worth visiting.
American Museum of Natural History
The suggested admission price is $22 for adults and $12.5 for children, but you can pay as little as $1 and still gain entrance to all the 45 halls of the museum, which display impressive fossils, gems, artefacts of culture and more.
Brooklyn Botanic Garden
The Brooklyn Botanic Garden spans over fifty-two acres and provides a stunning display in the heart of Brooklyn. It was founded in 1910 and includes a variety of gardens within a garden, presenting plant collections from all over the world.
If you’d rather save the money and not go to the expensive Central Park Zoo, try the Bronx Zoo every Wednesday, as then you can pay what you wish to enter. While the Bronx Zoo is not as renowned, it still comprises 265 acres and scores over two million visitors each year.