Top 12 Things To Do In New York

New York, New York – the most exciting place on the planet and the city that never sleeps! There are so many hundreds of incredible experiences to be had in the Big Apple, it was a struggle to even know where to begin when compiling our favourites. From seeing that famous city skyline as you cross the Hudson River to getting lost in the hustle and bustle of midtown NYC, if you’re planning a trip to New York, you’re in for the time of your life. Without further ado, let’s dive in and journey through some of the best things to do in New York City…

1. Experience The Buzz Of Times Square

Bright lights, street performers, whizzing yellow cabs, supersized shops and an atmosphere that’s simply electric – Times Square has all this and so much more. It’s one of the most popular tourist spots in the city and is famous for hosting the annual New Year’s Eve ball drop celebration. With it being central to many other New York attractions, you’re likely to pass by Times Square even if you’re not looking for it. With neon lights that are said to be visible from outer space, you’re certainly not going to miss this dazzling hub of entertainment on your city break!

2. See The City From Above

One of the best ways to see New York in all its glory is from high up in the sky. There’s so much to see, from the endless iconic landmarks to the twinkling rivers that surround Manhattan. Our three favourite observation points in the city are the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center and the One World Observatory.

The first on our list (the Empire State Building) is arguably the most iconic building in the whole of America, let alone New York! You get breathtaking views of the Empire State Building rising above the city from the top of Rockefeller Center, and the One World Observatory is a whole different experience. It’s at the other end of the city, has a huge indoor observation deck and it’s actually the tallest building in the western hemisphere! As you can imagine, there are extraordinary views from each of these towering skyscrapers.

3. Walk Over Brooklyn Bridge

Another iconic landmark in New York is the brilliant Brooklyn Bridge, stretching from downtown Manhattan over to the Dumbo area of Brooklyn. You’ll be treated to incredible views of the city’s silhouette on your stroll, and there are pretty parks to explore on either side of the bridge. Top tip – once you’ve walked from Manhattan to Brooklyn, there’s a fantastic photo opportunity in front of the Manhattan Bridge on Washington Street in Dumbo. It’s a short walk from the overpass and makes for a really impressive holiday snap!

4. Explore Central Park

Central Park is a must-visit for all tourists in New York. It’s one of the largest inner city parks in the world, sprawling over a whopping 843 acres and being home to everything from a castle to a zoo. If you visit New York in summer, you can take a picnic and enjoy the chilled-out vibes and beautiful scenery of the park, and if you visit in winter you can take a few laps of the famous Central Park ice rink. We’d also recommend you stop by the John Lennon memorial, Strawberry Fields, where people often gather and sing songs in his memory.

5. See A Broadway Show & Visit Ellen’s Stardust Diner

Even if you’re not particularly a lover of theatre, seeing a show on Broadway will blow you away. You could opt for a long-running classic like Chicago or The Phantom Of The Opera, or you could see something a little newer such as Hamilton or Harry Potter And The Cursed Child. When you pass by Broadway, you’ll come across comedies, dramas, musicals – there’s truly something for everyone!

Want to extend the entertainment into your breakfast, lunch or evening meal? Head to Ellen’s Stardust Diner, where the staff are all aspiring Broadway stars and will serenade you as you tuck into a classic diner feast. It’s a totally unique experience and you’ll see some unbelievable talent. The waiting staff might be singing by your table or dancing their way around the restaurant! There’s often a queue for Ellen’s Stardust and they don’t take reservations, so we would recommend getting there with plenty of time. It’s worth the wait!

6. See The Statue of Liberty

You can’t visit the Big Apple without stopping by to see Lady Liberty herself. The Statue of Liberty is probably the most famous New York attraction, and there are various ways to see it on your trip. You could catch an organised boat ride out to Liberty Island and go inside the statue itself if you want to have the full experience, or if you’d prefer a less costly option you could jump on the free Staten Island Ferry, which passes by the statue and runs approximately every 20 minutes for 24 hours a day. Whichever you choose, it’ll be worth it to see this world-famous icon with your own eyes!

7. Visit The 9/11 Memorial & Museum

This next one is a harrowing experience to say the least, but it’s certainly worth visiting to pay your respects to the many people who were tragically lost in and affected by the 9/11 attacks. Two huge memorial water features engraved with the names of those lost sit where the Twin Towers once stood, and that in itself is heartbreaking to see. The nearby museum takes a closer look at the events, and is a truly stunning tribute albeit devastating to experience.

8. Go To The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Especially if you’re into fashion and art, the Met is one of the many things to do in New York that needs to be right at the top of your list. This vibrant and iconic museum covers over 5,000 years of culture and is the largest museum in America, so you can imagine how fascinating it is to explore. You could spend hours upon hours here, so be sure to set aside a substantial amount of time if you want to really soak it all in. Finally, don’t forget to visit the Met’s rooftop garden for some gorgeous views over the city!

9. Walk The High Line

The perfect place to spend a sunny afternoon in New York is at the High Line, a linear park that snakes through the west side of Manhattan on an elevated track. This walking trail used to be a rail track, but it’s not been used since 1980 and is now a popular place for tourists to visit. It takes around half an hour to walk from one end to the other, but we’d factor in some time to check out the cool artwork you’ll pass by on your way. You could also stop and see the Vessel in Hudson Yards, a striking and artistic structure consisting of a tessellating network of flights of stairs. It’s another great spot for a photo opp!

10. Shop Til You Drop

Everyone knows that New York is a great place to shop. Whether you love high-end fashion and swanky designer stores or you like rummaging in charity shops and market stalls to find hidden gems to remind you of your trip, you’ll fall in love with shopping in New York. Personally, we’d do a bit of both – we would spend an afternoon getting lost in endless treasures and delicious food at Chelsea Market, and then we’d have a few laps of iconic stores like Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s. And that’s just scratching the surface on what NYC has to offer when it comes to shopping!

11. Step Back In Time At The American Museum of Natural History

The famous American Museum of Natural History is absolutely huge. You could spend hours on end learning about different time periods and viewing scientific collections. There are over 40 permanent exhibitions, as well as features such as a planetarium and a private research library. Whether you’re interested in prehistoric creatures or the wonders of the solar system, you’ll be completely taken in by what’s on offer at this place. There’s even an app you can download to help you navigate the space and get the most from your visit. With so much on offer, there’s no wonder it’s one of the most visited New York attractions!

12. Spend The Day At Coney Island

We’re ending our collection of things to do in New York with one of the funnest days out there is – a trip to Coney Island. This beachside amusement park is at the southernmost point of Brooklyn, and while it’s a little further away from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan, it’s one of the best places to visit in New York in summer. Plenty of easy public transport links will take you to Coney Island, and once you’re there you can spend your day riding roller coasters, watching live entertainment, indulging in hearty food and wandering the lively boardwalk. You’ll feel like a kid again after soaking up the magical fairground atmosphere!

Ready To Hit NYC?

The concrete jungle where dreams are made is calling your name! Fancy treating yourself to the ultimate city break? Check out our deals to New York and let your stateside adventure begin – you won’t regret it.