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Discovering the Best Foodie Spots in New York City: A Gourmet Tourist’s Guide
New York City is a top destination for foodies who love to explore different cuisines and indulge in culinary delights. With so many options to choose from, it can be overwhelming to decide where to eat first. Here are some of the best foodie spots in New York City that you don’t want to miss.
If you’re looking for classic New York dishes, head over to Katz’s Delicatessen where you can enjoy their famous pastrami sandwich or corned beef on rye. Another classic spot is Joe’s Pizza where you can get a delicious slice of thin-crust pizza that has been satisfying locals and tourists alike since 1975.
For those with a sweet tooth, Serendipity 3 is a must-visit spot. Famous for their frozen hot chocolate, this whimsical restaurant has been featured in numerous movies and TV shows.
New York City is a melting pot of cultures, and with that comes an incredible array of ethnic cuisine options. One of the best places to try authentic Chinese food is at Xi’an Famous Foods where you can enjoy hand-pulled noodles and spicy lamb burgers.
For those looking for Middle Eastern cuisine, Mamouns Falafel has been serving up delicious falafel sandwiches since 1971. And if you’re craving some Indian flavors, head over to Jackson Heights in Queens where you’ll find a variety of authentic Indian restaurants such as Dosa Delight and Jackson Diner.
If you’re looking for something Instagram-worthy or just want to try the latest food trend, there are plenty of trendy spots in New York City. Dominique Ansel Bakery is famous for inventing the cronut (a croissant-doughnut hybrid) and their pastry creations are a must-try.
For a unique dining experience, head over to The Aviary where you can enjoy innovative cocktails and small plates with unexpected flavor combinations. And if you’re a fan of ramen, Ippudo is a trendy spot that has been serving up delicious bowls of noodles since 2008.
New York City is full of hidden gems that only locals know about. One of these spots is Di Fara Pizza in Brooklyn where the owner, Domenico De Marco, has been making pizzas for over 50 years. Another hidden gem is Xi’an Famous Foods’ basement location in Flushing where you can try their famous lamb face salad.
If you’re looking for a cozy spot to enjoy some wine and cheese, head over to Murray’s Cheese Bar in Greenwich Village. And for those who want to indulge in some Italian gelato, L’Arte del Gelato has several locations throughout the city and serves up some of the best gelato outside of Italy.
In conclusion, New York City is a foodie’s paradise with endless options to explore. Whether you’re looking for classic dishes or trendy spots, ethnic cuisine or hidden gems, there’s something for everyone in this culinary mecca. So come hungry and be prepared to discover some of the best foodie spots that New York City has to offer.
This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.
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Tips for Navigating New York as a Tourist
Whether you’re looking for a Broadway show, discovering the Statue of Liberty or wandering the shops in Greenwich Village, navigating New York City takes practice. Check out these top tips to look like a local while you’re navigating New York as a tourist.
Much of New York City is perfect for wandering on foot. Whether you’re a veteran walker or simply trying to save a few bucks for shopping in Chelsea, a map of New York makes travel a breeze. Download a detailed street map for each area of Manhattan from NYCGo.com online, and carry your location right on your phone. Check out subway transit maps, New York parks maps and maps for biking the city to capture those incredible views. Guides are also available on lots of websites that offer overviews of each New York borough along with “must-see” places that you’ll want to add to your agenda. Remember that numbered streets always run east and west in NYC, while the numbered avenues run north and south. Walking maps make it easy to explore a single area of the city without spending tons of money on bus passes, taxis or the subway.
Stick to the Subway for Following Fun Itineraries
The New York subway is a wonderful way to explore the streets without spending a fortune. A map of metro New York is located in each subway station, making it simple to set up trips to your favorite locations. Unlimited Metro Cards are available for prices that vary from about $30 to just over $120 depending on the duration of the trip. Tourists may also purchase “pay-per-ride” cards or single ride cards that must be used within a specific time limit on either a subway car or bus within the city. The subways run throughout the day and night, cover hundreds of miles, offer tons of destination stops and haul over a billion travelers each year.
Grab the Bus to Your Favorite Location
Metro Cards are perfect purchases for anyone with a Google map and time to kill in New York. The New York City public transit system is pretty easy to maneuver by bus with stops that include all of the best tourist locations. Take a bus to the ferry stop for the Statue of Liberty tour, and explore Central Park from the M10, M20 or any of tons of other buses heading in that direction. Buses are often one of the least expensive ways to travel New York, but keep in mind that buses run on a schedule that might not fit your travel time.
Grab a Cab, Uber or a Car Service
Cabs and Uber services are available throughout New York. Catch a map of Manhattan New York and wave down a cab, and you’re on your way. Although cabs and Ubers are extremely convenient, they’re also tough to get during the holidays or during shift changes. This means that struggling to find a ride is a real issue in NYC during some parts of the day. Book a car service for convenient travel at your own pace.
Take a Tour Like a Tourist
New York City is so filled with incredible sights to see and things to do, that skipping an actual tour might mean missing a favorite location. Grab a horse-drawn carriage near Central Park to explore the history of the city. Take a bus tour of the best restaurants, bike to the shops or take a guided pub-crawl with tons of places to sample delicious brews. Navigating New York as a tourist is a breeze once you’ve chosen your favorite travel style.
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New York City Travel Guide
Meena Thiruvengadam is a lifelong traveler and veteran journalist who has visited more than 50 countries across six continents. Her writing has appeared in The Wall Street Journal , Departures , TripSavvy , and other publications.
Whatever it is you're into, you'll find there's more to do in New York than you'll have time.
Check out the views from the top of the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, or One World Observatory. Take yourself on a museum crawl, starting at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on the northeastern edge of Central Park. Then, make your way north several blocks to the Guggenheim Museum and eventually to the Museum of the City of New York, one of the best places to learn about the Big Apple's history.
Go to Chinatown for dim sum and to Little Italy for cannoli. Head to a jazz club in Harlem, check out the independent artist galleries that dot Chelsea, shop along Fifth Avenue, and pay a visit to the Statue of Liberty.
You could spend an entire day in Central Park alone, checking out its zoo, carousel, lakes, and ice rink. A number of gardens and meadows make for excellent people-watching and host impromptu musical performances on nice days. Traveling in the summer? Make sure to check the schedule for Shakespeare in the Park.
Prefer sports, movies, and live music? See the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium, the New York Mets at Citi Field, or the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. Track down sites from your favorite movies and TV shows. Seinfeld , Sex and the City , "When Harry Met Sally," "Sleepless in Seattle," "Serendipity," and "Home Alone 2" are just a small fraction of what's been filmed here.
New York is a city filled with attractions, but some of its most interesting experiences are sure to be the ones you accidentally stumble upon on the way to somewhere else. Whatever it is you're looking for, you can find it in New York. Just don't try to do everything in one trip.
Eastern Standard Time
Best Time to Go
New York is a city that's always celebrating something, and summer is one of the best times to visit. Outdoor concert season is in full swing. Free movies and theatrical performances fill the city's parks, street vendors are everywhere, and street fairs abound. But subway platforms can get steamy, lines can get long, and temperatures can soar among the city's high-rises. If this sounds like misery, visit between Thanksgiving and the New Year, when temperatures are cooler and department store windows are decked out for the holidays. During this time, Manhattan's three major outdoor ice rinks are open, a giant Christmas tree marks Rockefeller Center, and holiday light shows are more elaborate than anything you could ever imagine.
Things to Know
New York is a city made up of five boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island. Most tourist attractions are in Manhattan, with a few scattered across Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx.
Driving in Manhattan is unnecessary. The city has an extensive public transit system, making it easy to get just about anywhere by subway, bus, cab, and foot. Uber and Lyft are plentiful, while parking can be both a miserable and expensive experience. Meanwhile, the subway is open 24/7.
New York is a city that moves fast. Step aside to look at your phone, and remember to stand on the right side of the escalator so hurried commuters can walk on the left.
Times Square characters can be pushy. Tipping is at your discretion.
How to Get Around
Trains: The New York City subway is one of the most extensive public transit systems in the world. It connects Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx, and runs on Staten Island. Each ride costs $2.75. A seven-day pass is available for $33 and covers both trains and buses.
Buses: A network of buses offers easy access to the rare spots not served by nearby train stations and to New York's LaGuardia Airport. Individual bus rides cost $2.75. Seven-day transit passes cost $33 and cover trains and buses. While buses can be convenient, traffic can sometimes make them easy to outwalk.
Ferries: One of the best ways to hop among New York's boroughs in good weather is a ferry. Ferries connect Queens, the western coast of Brooklyn, the eastern side of Manhattan, and Staten Island. Rides are $2.75 each. Subway and bus passes aren't accepted on New York ferries. The Staten Island Ferry is free.
Taxis: Cabs are all over Manhattan, but a little harder to find in parts of Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx. Green cabs offer service in northern Manhattan and the outer boroughs. To hail a cab, look for one that has its light on and raise your arm. All New York cabs are metered and required to accept credit cards.
Rideshare: Uber and Lyft are all over New York and offer similar pricing. Rideshare can be the best way to travel in parts of Brooklyn and Queens.
Address: 768 5th Ave., New York, NY 10019
Phone: (212) 759-3000
If money is no object and you've always dreamed of sleeping in a castle, this is the hotel for you. It was built to resemble a French château and sits across the street from the southern edge of Central Park. A favorite of filmmakers, The Plaza is where Robert Redford and Barbra Streisand filmed "The Way We Were" and where Macaulay Culkin spent Christmas in "Home Alone 2." The Plaza underwent a $450 million restoration in 2008 and is known for its afternoon tea service.
The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park
Address: 50 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019
Phone: (212) 308-9100
The Ritz-Carlton is one of Central Park's most luxurious hotels. The high-end property is located steps from some of the best shopping in the world and the southern edge of Central Park. Rooms are plush and personal touches abound. This is a place to be pampered. Come for a spa day, stay for afternoon tea, and while away the hours in between at Bergdorf Goodman a few blocks away.
The Peninsula New York
Address: 700 5th Ave., New York, NY, 10019
Phone: (212) 956-2888
After being closed for 14 months during the COVID-19 pandemic, The Peninsula New York reopened in summer 2021 and welcomed guests back to this iconic address on Fifth Avenue, near high-end stores and popular attractions such as Rockefeller Center and Radio City Music Hall. The hotel's spa is one of the largest in the city, spanning three floors, and the top-floor indoor pool offers sweeping views of the skyline.
CitizenM New York Times Square Hotel
Address: 218 W. 50th St., New York, NY 10019
Phone: (212) 461-3638
Located on the northern edge of Times Square in the heart of the Theater District, this hotel feels like an urban art gallery. Rooms are compact yet modern, functional, and clean. Plus, the hotel bar is as affordable as they come in NYC, and there's a rooftop that's perfect for sipping cocktails.
Pendry Manhattan West
Address: 438 W. 33rd St., New York, NY, 10001
Phone: (212) 933-7000
Located in one of the city's newest developments, Pendry Manhattan West brings a sense of modern California luxury to Hudson Yards. Pendry's first hotel in New York City, Manhattan West opened in September 2021 and sits among some of the area's premium dining and shopping options. The hotel decor has a refined 1960s retro inspiration, merging the brand's serene West Coast style with the energy of New York City's west side. Take a stroll outside on the nearby High Line, or simply head to the hotel's Peloton-outfitted fitness center.
Soho Grand Hotel
Address: 310 W. Broadway, New York, NY, 10013
Phone: (212) 965-3000
The luxury Soho Grand Hotel takes the guest experience to another level. It has rooms that are small yet luxurious and functional, even for business travelers. Common areas are nothing short of opulent. This is a perfect home base for exploring Lower Manhattan and escaping the hustle and bustle of the city overnight.
The Empire Hotel
Address: 44 W. 63rd St., New York, NY 10023
Phone: (212) 265-7400
This trendy boutique hotel is known for its rooftop bar whose red neon sign looms large over the Upper West Side. Rooms are small yet functional, comfortable, and well-equipped for business travelers. Besides, the rooftop is where you'll want to spend all of your free time.
Address: Multiple Locations
This trendy hotel has outposts in SoHo, NoMad, and Midtown. The Hudson Street location is perfect for travelers looking for a party in the Meatpacking District, while the NoMad spot offers excellent proximity to shopping and rooftop bars, including the hotel's own. The Arlo NoMad rooftop is a great place to gawk at the Empire State Building, cocktail in hand.
30 W. 39th St., New York, NY 10018
Phone: (212) 229-4729
The Grayson Hotel combines luxurious style with industrial-chic design and stunning skyline views for an authentic Manhattan experience. Minutes from Bryant Park, Herald Square, and a short walk to the Times Square theater district, its convenient midtown location is a plus. Enjoy wine and tapas at Bar Harta or mezcal at Cima, set above the city on the 28th floor.
The James New York NoMad
22 E. 29th Street, New York, NY 10016
Phone: (212) 532-4100
Book Now Stay at this stylish Beaux Arts boutique hotel for a welcome refuge from the bustle of the city or take inspiration from its modern, upbeat atmosphere. The James Club lobby features a nightly happy hour with live music and morning coffee to start your day. Don’t miss the Seville, its speakeasy-style cocktail lounge or Scarpetta for gourmet Italian cuisine.
Address: 85 W. Broadway, New York, NY 10007
Phone: (917) 997-2700
Set downtown in Tribeca, the Smyth offers 100 spacious, stylishly furnished guest rooms and suites. The Smyth is conveniently located near the Chambers Street metro station, and it's just a short walk to the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, shopping at the Oculus and Brookfield Place, and a variety of bars and restaurants. This moderately priced hotel features soundproof floor-to-ceiling windows, continental breakfast, and thoughtful details that make it a comfortable home away from home.
Address: John F. Kennedy International Airport, JFK Access Road, One Idlewild Dr., 11430
Phone: (212) 806-9000
Designed by the architect behind St. Louis' Gateway Arch and completed in 1962, TWA Hotel is a vintage aviation geek's dream come true. Formerly an airline terminal, it has since been converted into a 512-room hotel. It's also a convenient choice if you're working a New York stop into a long layover. The hotel offers four- to six-hour bookings, as well as overnight stays, and the rooftop infinity pool is the perfect place to watch planes take off.
Sofitel New York
Address: 45 W. 44th St., New York, NY, 10036
Phone: (212) 354-8844
The Sofitel New York brings a bit of French Art Deco elegance to New York City, with interior decor inspiration that will transport you back to 1930s Paris. But head to one of the top-floor suites and you'll instantly know which city you're in, as all four Terrace Suites offer up-close views of either the Chrysler or Empire State buildings from private outdoor terraces. Whether entertaining a crowd or celebrating an intimate occasion, the Sofitel offers a fashionable escape from the hustle and bustle of nearby Grand Central Station.
Park Lane Hotel New York
Address: 36 Central Park South, New York, NY, 10019
Phone: (212) 371-4000
Recently renovated Park Lane Hotel has spun up a welcoming atmosphere with artful touches steps from Central Park. Whimsical murals from New York City-based artists decorate guests rooms and public space in the hotel — which is also pet-friendly, near every city dog's dream spot for a long walk. Make sure to head upstairs to Darling, Central Park South's only rooftop lounge, where guests can take in the sprawling views of the park and skyline from the 47th floor.
The Langham, New York, Fifth Avenue
Address: 400 5th Ave., New York, NY 10018
Phone: (212) 695-4005
With the Theater District just a 12-minute walk, Bryant Park six minutes away, and the Empire State Building around the corner, you can't ask for a better-located hotel in New York City. But this luxurious five-star spot is hard to leave, thanks to its Michelin-starred restaurant Ai Fiori, well-appointed suites (some with full kitchens), spacious gym and spa, and fabulous 60-story views of Manhattan.
Kimpton Hotel Eventi
851 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10001
Phone: (212) 564-4567
Friendly, casual, and comfortable, Eventi’s warm atmosphere is evident in its living room–style lobby and adjacent coffee bar, cocktail lounge, and restaurant. Set in the Chelsea neighborhood steps from Penn Station, Madison Square Garden, and the Empire State Building, the hotel offers magnificent city views along with its convenient location.
Address: 205 E. Houston St., New York, NY 10002
Phone: (212) 254-2246
Founded in 1888, this kosher-style deli sits underneath an iconic old-school sign. The casual, bustling space is known for its pastrami on rye — considered to be one of the city's best — as well as for its corned beef. It's likely to look familiar — Katz's was the backdrop for Meg Ryan's fake orgasm scene in "When Harry Met Sally."
Eleven Madison Park
Address: 11 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10010
Phone: (212) 889-0905
Regularly on lists of the world's top fine-dining establishments, Eleven Madison Park is best known for its multi-course tasting menu. The Michelin three-starred restaurant also serves up beautiful views, given its location overlooking Madison Square Park.
Address: 138 Lafayette St., New York, NY, 10013
Phone: (212) 271-4252
Le Coucou was the first U.S. establishment for head chef Daniel Rose, who hails from two successful restaurants in France. Reopened in November 2021 after more than a year closed, the Michelin-starred French restaurant still offers an a la carte menu, as well as a new four-course tasting menu priced at $185 per person. While jackets are not required, the dress code is still listed as "elegant."
Address: 72 W. 36th St., New York, NY 10018
Phone: (212) 947-3636
Keens is the rare restaurant that has survived more than a century in the Herald Square section of Midtown Manhattan. It opened in 1885 and was a favorite among stage actors in the early days. Now, it's a carnivore's paradise known around the world for its whiskey and gigantic mutton chop. The restaurant previously allowed patrons to store their clay pipes, allowing it to build a collection from legends such as Babe Ruth, Theodore Roosevelt, J.P. Morgan, and Albert Einstein.
Gage & Tollner
Address: 372 Fulton St., Brooklyn, NY, 11201
Phone: (347) 689-3677
Originally open for 125 years from 1879 to 2004, Gage & Tollner reopened in April 2021 as a modern oyster and chop house. Now, once again, the cornerstone of Downtown Brooklyn's restaurant scene, Gage & Tollner gives plenty of nods to its history, through both the food and largely Gilded Age-inspired design . Looking to stray from the classic '40s martini-and-steak vibes? There's a tiki bar called Sunken Harbour Club upstairs.
Address: 46 Bowery, New York, NY 10013
Phone: (212) 233-8888
The original Joe's Shanghai opened in Flushing, Queens, paving the way for future locations in Chinatown and Midtown Manhattan. The restaurant is known for its authentic Shanghainese food, specifically its pork and crab xiao long bao. This variety of Chinese steamed bun is cooked with soup inside the dumpling, creating a simple culinary experience like none other.
Ramen is everywhere these days and Totto Ramen doles out some of the best in New York City. Its restaurants are small, lines can be long, and reservations aren't an option. But don't worry — this ramen is worth the wait. Totto is known for using a rich, chicken-based broth instead of a more traditional pork-based version, and for serving up some of the best noodles in Manhattan. There are now three Totto Ramen locations in Midtown Manhattan. The 52nd Street location is the original.
Address: 240 Central Park S., New York, NY 10019
Phone: (212) 582-5100
Marea is one of the city's top seafood restaurants. This high-end spot at the edge of Central Park has earned two Michelin stars and the 2010 James Beard Award for best new restaurant. Chef Michael White gets his inspiration from coastal Italy — don't miss the branzino, Adriatic seafood soup, or the stuffed calamari. Can't decide? Opt for a multi-course prix-fixe menu or a chef's tasting menu.
Address: 385 9th Ave., New York, NY, 10001
Phone: (212) 219-6559
The newest restaurant from famed New York City restaurateur Danny Meyer, Ci Siamo, which translates to "here we are" or "we've finally arrived," brings a bit of Italian flair to Hudson Yards on the west side. With plush leather and velvet seating, plus subtle midcentury modern decor touches, the interior of the restaurant is meant to evoke the comfortable feeling of dining in someone's home. Chef Hillary Sterling even has a custom-built grill to accommodate various temperatures at once, as she cooks up selections like wood-fired whole trout.
You can't visit New York without eating an iconic NYC bagel. But why not eat that bagel where Seinfeld 's Kramer used to work? H&H was once the largest bagel maker in New York and one of the largest bagel manufacturers in the world, making an estimated 80,000 rounds per day. Nowadays, its two locations feed New Yorkers on the Upper East and Upper West Sides of Manhattan.
Address: 398 Manhattan Ave., Brooklyn, NY, 11211
Phone: (914) 875-3709
Named after chef Calvin Eng's mom, Bonnie's, in Brooklyn, is self-described as Cantonese American cuisine, with a varied menu that includes nods to some of Eng's favorite food memories, including glazed pork served on a sesame milk bun, mimicking a high-end McRib sandwich. The popular Williamsburg restaurant is closed on Mondays and offers reservations from Tuesday to Sunday, though they leave a few tables and seats at the bar open for walk-ins.
Address: 189 Spring St., New York, NY 10012
Phone: (212) 219-2773
This Soho bakery is perhaps best known for creating the cronut, a magical blend of croissant and donut in new flavors revealed each month. But Dominique Ansel offers so much more. Among the treats not to miss: torched-to-order frozen s'mores with a vanilla ice cream center covered in chocolate wafer crisps and honey marshmallows.
Address: 35 E. 76th St., New York, NY, 10021
Phone: (212) 744-1600
This new, fine art-covered restaurant located within The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel is under the guidance of executive chef Sylvain Delpique — previously of 21 Club — with a menu nearly as timeless as New York itself. The throwback favorites, including wedge salad, shrimp cocktail, and steak, are sure to be crowd favorites, though there are distinctly modern sections of the menu, too. Jackets are recommended for dinner service, though if you prefer to dine sans sport coat, Dowling's does an impressive lunch service complete with mini-martinis .
Address: 70 Pine St., New York, NY, 10005
Phone: (212) 339-3963
Perched atop the 63rd floor of a landmark Art Deco tower, SAGA offers a modern European tasting menu from acclaimed duo James Kent and Jeff Katz, known for building their careers at top New York City institutions like Eleven Madison Park and Del Posto. At this modern fine-dining spot, reservations are hard to grab; lucky diners who do snag one will need to prepay the full nonrefundable menu price of $245 each, with a minimum reservation for two.
Address: 225 E 60th St., New York, NY 10022
Phone: (212) 838-3531
This is a place guaranteed to satisfy your sweet tooth. The legendary sweet shop and general store opened in 1954 and has since become a go-to for celebrities like Marilyn Monroe, Andy Warhol, Grace Kelly, Cary Grant, Cher, and Beyonce. It's known for its Frozen Hot Chocolate, creative savory dishes such as shrimp-stuffed avocado, and for creating both the world's most expensive dessert and most expensive burger. The restaurant has made appearances in the movies "Serendipity," "One Fine Day," and "Trust the Man."
Xi'an Famous Foods
With several locations across New York, this chain of family-run restaurants specializes in authentic western Chinese food. The company's CEO was born in Xi'an, one of China's oldest cities. Fun fact: Its dishes were a favorite of Anthony Bourdain's.
Address: 204 W. 55th St., New York, NY 10019
Phone: (646) 590-2034
Located just south of Central Park, Tanner Smith's is the perfect place to go for a classy tea that doubles as a tipsy brunch. It's part speakeasy, part cocktail bar, part restaurant, and 100% authentic New York. This is a place whose roots stretch back to the 1800s and whose Tipsy Tea Brunch will make you feel as if you've stepped back in time.
Laser Wolf Brooklyn
Address: 97 Wythe Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11249
Phone: (718) 215-7150
Located on the roof of The Hoxton, Williamsburg , Laser Wolf Brooklyn offers Manhattan skyline views almost as delightful as its Israeli cuisine. Cooked over live coals, the food at this "shipudiya" (or skewer house) from legendary chef Michael Solomonov offers the luxury of simplicity: simply choose from three main dish categories (meat, fish, or veggies) and then prepare to be whisked away on a culinary journey. The wide selection of salatim (Israeli side dishes) and the brown-sugar soft serve for dessert are included in the price.
Things to Do
Times Square is the pulsing heart of the city that never sleeps, but it isn't actually a square. In fact, it looks more like a bow tie and covers an area from West 42nd to West 47th Streets along Broadway and Seventh Avenues. This commercial intersection is where the city's world-famous New Year's Eve celebration is held. Hundreds of thousands of people pass through it even on a slow day, and visitors should not be surprised to catch impromptu concerts, yoga classes, and street performances here.
New York's Theater District is home to Broadway, the collection of Midtown Manhattan theaters that comprise one of the world's top live performance hubs. This area between West 40th and West 54th Streets, and between Sixth and Eighth Avenues, is where most of the city's Broadway theaters are located. Some offer discount tickets through lotteries, and even walking through the area provides ample opportunity to spot celebrities. Performers often take the time to sign autographs and snap photos with audiences outside of stage doors after shows. For discounted same- and next-day tickets, check out the TKTS booth in Times Square.
Central Park is an 840-acre urban oasis separating the Upper East and Upper West Sides of Manhattan. The park draws more than 35 million visitors a year and is one of the most filmed locations in the world. It is home to the Central Park Zoo, the expansive Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, the John Lenon tribute Strawberry Fields, and Delacorte Theater, home of Shakespeare in the Park. Spend some time soaking in the sun at Sheep Meadow and wandering through the Conservatory Garden, and be sure to check the schedule for special events.
Empire State Building
Address: 20 W, 34th St., New York, NY 10001
Phone: (212) 736-3100
This 102-story Art Deco skyscraper is a cultural icon in Midtown Manhattan that's appeared in more than 250 movies and TV shows. The Empire State Building is the second-tallest building in New York City and the 45th tallest building in the world. It's an office building with public observation decks offering some of the best views in Manhattan. Tip: Splurge for the skip-the-line tickets, especially during the spring and summer.
Top of the Rock
Address: 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10112
Phone: (212) 698-2000
Sitting at the top of Rockefeller Center, Top of the Rock is home to three of the best observation decks in the city, which offer unobstructed views of Central Park and the towering skyscrapers of Midtown Manhattan. Observation decks are located on the 67th, 69th, and 70th floors of the building, which also happens to be the iconic 30 Rock.
One World Observatory
Address: One World Trade Center, 117 West St., New York, NY 10006
Phone: (844) 696-1776
One World Trade Center's elevators whisk visitors up 102 stories in just 47 seconds, delivering them to an expansive observation deck that offers a bird's-eye view of Lower Manhattan, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Statue of Liberty. This observatory is located farther south than the Empire State Building and Top of the Rock, making for a completely different way of experiencing New York City from above.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Address: 1000 5th Ave., New York, NY 10028
Phone: (212) 535-7710
The Met, as it's known to most, is the largest art museum in the U.S. and was the third most-visited art museum in the world in 2018. The Met's collection includes more than two million pieces spread across three Manhattan venues, the largest of which sits on Fifth Avenue and overlooks Central Park. Don't miss the Temple of Dendur, an ancient Egyptian temple that dates back to the first century B.C. or the rooftop.
American Museum of Natural History
Address: 200 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024
Phone: (212) 769-5100
The American Museum of Natural History is the largest natural history museum in the world. The Upper West Side space has 28 interconnected buildings and 45 permanent exhibition halls, as well as a planetarium, library, and the largest collection of dinosaur fossils in the world. If dinosaurs are your thing, plan to spend most of your time in Dinosaur Hall, home to a massive T-Rex made almost entirely of real fossil bones from the museum's collection.
Address: 1 E 161 St., Bronx, NY 10451
Yankee Stadium is the home to the world-famous New York Yankees. The stadium is located in the Bronx and easily accessible by the New York subway. This is an iconic place to catch a baseball game while on vacation. Not traveling in season? Try a tour. Yankee Stadium tours include stops at the on-site New York Yankees Museum and in the 27-time World Series champions' locker room. Some pregame tours during baseball season include opportunities to sit in on batting practice.
This iconic neo-Gothic bridge connects Manhattan to Brooklyn and offers visitors the chance to walk between boroughs on a piece of literal history. The Brooklyn Bridge was the world's first-ever steel-wire suspension bridge. It once carried horse-drawn carriages, but now serves as a way for cars, pedestrians, and bikes to cross the East River between Manhattan and Brooklyn. The bridge is also known for its pointed arches and stone towers, and offers excellent views of the Financial District skyline and Brooklyn.
Washington Square Park
Address: Washington Square
This nearly 10-acre park in Greenwich Village is a hotbed of cultural activity. The park has a gateway reminiscent of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris and has long served as a place to celebrate nonconformity. Expect to find artists, musicians, and other types of performers here every day, and spend some time people-watching around the park's iconic fountain.
Statue of Liberty
Phone: (212) 363-3200
Lady Liberty is an icon of freedom that sits in the harbor just off the coast of Manhattan. Visitors can either schedule a visit to the statue and Ellis Island from Battery Park City in Manhattan, or hop on the free Staten Island Ferry to see the Statue of Liberty from the water. Visits to the Statue of Liberty's pedestal and the top of her crown require visitors to pass through airport-like security. Tickets to the crown should be booked months in advance.
9/11 Memorial and Museum
Address: 180 Greenwich St., New York, NY 10007
Phone: (212) 312-8800
The World Trade Center museum and memorial site honor the victims of the September 11, 2001, attack on New York City. Two memorial pools stand where the World Trade Center's iconic towers once did, inscribed with the names of those killed. Museum tickets can be purchased up to six months in advance.
Saks fifth avenue.
Address: 611 Fifth Ave., New York, NY, 10022
Phone: (212) 753-4000
Saks Fifth Avenue is a luxury department store that anchors New York's Fifth Avenue shopping strip, an area known for its designer names and sky high prices. The shopping experience at Saks is like none other, especially during the holidays, when the building's facade becomes part of one of the best holiday light shows in the world.
Macy's Herald Square
Address: 151 W 34th St., New York, NY 10001
Phone: (212) 695-4400
Anchoring the Herald Square section of Manhattan, this flagship Macy's store is among the largest in the world. It covers nine levels and has been in operation since 1902. It's also known for its animated holiday window displays and for hosting the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. But tucked into its sixth floor is Stella, a peaceful oasis of Italian food in a neighborhood where quiet restaurants are few and far between.
Address: 754 5th Ave., New York, NY 10019
Phone: (212) 753-7300
This is the kind of New York department store high-dollar dreams are made of. Bergdorf isn't just a place to shop for designer bags, clothes, and beauty products — it's also a great place for tea. Make time for tea at Bergdorf Goodman's BG restaurant on the top floor, and watch the movie "Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf's" before you go. It'll give you an idea of how this department store became the retail icon it is today.
Sabyasachi New York
Address: 160 Christopher St., New York, NY 10014
Phone: (646) 799-9400
Kolkata-based couturier Shabyasachi Mukherjee's first U.S. store in the West Village is arguably one of the shopping wonders of the world. This 5,800-square-foot ode to maximalism is decked out in priceless kilims, art, and crystal chandeliers, these a backdrop to the mega-luxe fashions for men and women, jewelry, and collectibles. The designer, known abroad for his elaborate bridal wear, dressed Priyanka Chopra for one of her ceremonies to Nick Jonas honoring her Indian roots. While many of his clients prefer wearing head-to-toe ensembles from the brand, Mukherjee expects visitors to this store to take a more high-low approach, perhaps pairing one of his opulent creations with jeans and a t-shirt.
Olde Good Things
Olde Good Things is an architectural salvage shop that offers visitors the opportunity to quite literally take home a piece of old New York. Much of this store's inventory won't fit into an overhead compartment, but there is no more interesting place to browse for one-of-a-kind New York souvenirs. Olde Good Things sources from pre-Depression and late 19th-century buildings, including some with very famous names. Want to take home a piece of the Waldorf Astoria hotel or the J.P. Morgan empire? Olde Good Things has you covered with furniture, accessories, and more.
Take the N, R subway to Prince or Canal Street stations
This is where to find designer boutiques, sample sales, and the occasional bargain. This area in Lower Manhattan is also home to retail chains such as AllSaints, Madewell, Nike, and REI; resale shops; and a number of unique boutiques. While you're here, take a stroll through Chinatown for affordable souvenirs and accessories.
Address: 245 Malcolm X Blvd., New York, NY 10027
Phone: (646) 707-0070
This Harlem boutique has been dressing American hip-hop royalty for years. It has outfitted celebrities like Will Smith, LeBron James, Kanye West, and Pharrell Williams, and is said to be a favorite of Jay Z's. The store carries both men and women's clothing, as well as household items.
Artists & Fleas
Artists & Fleas operates a collection of sprawling indoor markets across New York City. New merchants selling arts, crafts, clothing, and more cycle out every couple of weeks, making each a spot to consistently find new things.
Neighborhoods to Know
Financial District : This is where you'll find the New York Stock Exchange and the iconic Charging Bull statue that's become a symbol of Wall Street. Visitors can no longer enter the stock exchange, but they can take photos outside with the Fearless Girl, a controversial New York statue that once stared down the Charging Bull. Cruises to the Statue of Liberty leave from Battery Park City in this area.
Midtown : This is the heart of Manhattan. It's where you'll find Times Square, Broadway, Bryant Park, and the gargantuan Macy's store in Herald Square. It's also home to Radio City Music Hall, St. Patrick's Cathedral, and the Museum of Modern Art. If you're looking to shop, head to Fifth Avenue, where you'll find Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman, and Bloomingdale's.
Chinatown : This neighborhood of narrow streets not far from City Hall is where you'll find some of the city's best Chinese restaurants and bargain prices on accessories, souvenirs, and more.
Little Italy : Little Italy sits in Lower Manhattan near Chinatown. It was once known for its large Italian-American population, but these days, it houses a small collection of Italian stores and restaurants. Don't miss Ferrara, a bakery that traces its New York City roots to 1892, or The Feast of San Gennaro, a one-of-a-kind food festival that takes place each September.
Williamsburg : Known for its independent shops, cute cafes, and abundant street art, this hipster paradise is especially popular among European tourists. Visit the Brooklyn Bowl, Brooklyn Brewery, and East River State Park, which offers some of the best Manhattan skyline views and an international food market on Saturdays.
Astoria : This former Greek enclave was America's original motion picture capital, and it still houses several film and TV production studios. It's home to the Museum of the Moving Image, Kaufman Astoria Studios, and some excellent views of the Manhattan skyline. Several scenes from Orange Is the New Black were filmed in this neighborhood.
Greenwich Village : This is where you'll find New York University, Washington Square Park, and some of the city's top comedy and jazz clubs. It's known for its intimate restaurants, hole-in-the-wall bars, and one-of-a-kind boutiques. It's also home to the historic Stonewall Inn.
Harlem : Harlem sits in northern Manhattan above Central Park. It was a hub for jazz musicians in the 1920s and the birthplace of the Harlem Renaissance, an outpouring of artistic work that stretched into the 1930s. Nowadays, it's a great place to catch a jazz show or have a decadent Southern meal. Harlem is also home to the iconic Apollo Theater.
Upper West Side : This largely residential area is home to the American Museum of Natural History and to Strawberry Fields, a tribute to former resident John Lennon. This neighborhood is also a great place to gawk at gorgeous townhouses and spot celebs.
Upper East Side : This posh residential area is home to a number of the city's top museums, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Jewish Museum, and the Museum of the City of New York. It's bordered by Central Park to the west and home to a number of foreign embassies.
Summer days are long and can be either beautiful or sticky and sweaty. Winters are relatively mild, with January and February offering the coldest temperatures.
The following are average Fahrenheit lows and highs by month.
January: 26°F to 39°F February: 29°F to 42°F March: 35°F to 50°F April: 44°F to 60°F May: 55°F to 71°F June: 64°F to 79°F July: 70°F to 85°F August: 69°F to 83°F September: 61°F to 76°F October: 50°F to 65°F November: 41°F to 54°F December: 32°F to 44°F
Apps to Download
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For the best hotels, restaurants, shops, and more in Brooklyn, visit our full Brooklyn travel guide .
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Hip-Hop in NYC
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Get to Know Broadway's Scariest Urban Legends
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What’s Good in NYC
What’s good in New York City? Everything. From delicious eats and iconic sights to our diverse neighborhoods and easily accessible transportation, there’s no better adventure than exploring the five boroughs. Plan your visit now to experience all the thrills of the world’s most welcoming city.
ABOUT THE FIVE BOROUGHS
So what’s a “borough,” anyway? It’s like a smaller city within our massive metropolis. New York City has five of them.
New York City’s southernmost borough is filled with historic attractions, beach views and global dining options—all just a ferry ride away.
The Bronx is packed with New York City history and culture. It’s where Babe Ruth became a baseball legend, where the sounds and styles of hip-hop were born and where you can feast on old-world classics in its own Little Italy.
Between its world-class nightlife and boundary-pushing cuisine, Brooklyn has earned an enviable reputation, but make no mistake—there's fun to be had for all ages.
From the bright lights of Broadway to the soaring elms of Central Park and beyond, Manhattan is an American icon. With the most recognizable skyline in the world, NYC’s most visited borough is full of excitement for every kind of adventurer.
Queens can satisfy nearly every taste and thrill. From an endless selection of old-world cuisines to the scenic surf, it’s easy to explore the entire world in one trip around this borough.
THINGS TO DO
No matter what you’re into, you’ll find the best of it in New York City. See upcoming events and other Citywide highlights below.
Broadway & Performing Arts
Museums & Galleries
Tours & Attractions
Events & Festivals
The Most Magical Moments of Harry Potter: The Exhibition
Immerse yourself in the world of Harry Potter at this new exhibition.
GUIDES & EXPERIENCES
NYC is one of the world's most diverse destinations. Explore the City's many cultural enclaves and see the five boroughs from every angle.
Pride Diary: Robert Andy Coombs
“New York will always have an amazing spot in my heart.”
Whether you’re looking for neighborhood eateries, global flavors or immersive cuisine, finding a delicious experience in any part of the City is almost effortless.
Where to Explore Indonesian Food in NYC
Visit these restaurants and vendors to find examples of the island-nation’s culture in the boroughs.
WHERE TO STAY
NYC offers accommodations to fit every taste. Whether you’re looking to visit nearby attractions or be in the center of it all, these hotels will make the City your home away from home.
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Head to one of these 10 NYC hotels on November 23 for prime parade viewing.
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New York City Travel Guide
Why Go To New York City
Cool, cosmopolitan, crowded, constantly evolving … the Big Apple blends big city splendor with small-town charm. Amid New York's iconic landmarks and towering skyscrapers, you'll experience a vibrant culture permeating each of the city's distinctive neighborhoods and boroughs. Follow trendsetters to the East Village and Brooklyn to check out indie boutiques, iconic bakeries and trendy coffee shops. Afterward, peruse the racks of the sleek shops lining Fifth Avenue , admire the cutting-edge art collections at the MoMA and the Met , catch a memorable show on Broadway or sit down for a meal at the latest "it" restaurant.
As the most populous city in the U.S. – set at the forefront of food, fashion and the arts – NYC requires stamina. But don't let the Big Apple's frenetic sights and sounds intimidate you from soaking up its grandeur. Enlist the help of a local to help you navigate it all. Wander through the concrete jungle and you'll discover roaring taxis zipping down bustling blocks, fast-paced pedestrians strolling past on their way to marquee galleries and trendy cocktail bars, and Times Square 's neon lights flickering at all hours. And yet, the city's twinkling lights and chaotic corners also invite you to embrace every New York minute, explore every enclave and create your own urban adventure. There are endless ways to spend your time in the city that never sleeps, but before you leave, stop and look around – what's here today will be transformed into something bigger and better tomorrow.
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- # 1 in Best East Coast Vacation Spots
- # 1 in Best U.S. Cities to Visit
- # 2 in Best Food Cities in the U.S.
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Best of New York City
Best hotels in new york city.
- # 1 in The Mark
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Best Things to Do in New York City
- # 1 in Central Park
- # 2 in National September 11 Memorial & Museum
- # 3 in Empire State Building
New York in One Day Guided Sightseeing Tour
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New York City Travel Tips
Best months to visit.
The best time to visit New York is anytime . Each season in Gotham offers visitors plenty of reasons to visit. Early fall offers crisp breezes, bright sun and comfortable temperatures while late fall and winter make merry with the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and holiday decorations. Deep winter – January and February – is cold, but that also means cheaper hotel rates . Spring is glorious and New Yorkers celebrate the thaw by taking to the streets, shopping at outdoor markets, frolicking in Central Park and dining outside. Summer is hot, but hey, so are lots of places, and at least this is New York. No matter when you decide to visit New York City, consider travel protection – such as a travel insurance policy or a cancel for any reason plan – in the event you encounter weather issues or trip delays.
Weather in New York City
Data sourced from the National Climatic Data Center
What You Need to Know
Exercise shopping smarts If you're a high roller with a thick wallet, Fifth and Madison avenues are your shopping strips. Bargain-hunters should stick to SoHo and Chinatown.
Enter the subway with caution Many subway stations have different platforms for trains going uptown and downtown. Make sure you enter the correct platform before swiping your ticket through the turnstiles.
Skip the train If you live in a major East Coast city, chances are you'll be able to reach New York City for a relatively affordable price by hopping on the BoltBus or Megabus , two companies that transfer visitors to NYC for cheap.
Take a tour Seeing all of the Big Apple's top sights can be a challenge, which is why signing up for a guided tour may be a smart idea. Whether you're looking for a walking tour , a food tour , a boat tour , a helicopter tour or a bus tour , you'll find a variety of experiences to choose from.
How to Save Money in New York City
Say no to cabs A cab here, a cab there … pretty soon, you'll find that cabs have eaten up all your spending cash. Yes, they're convenient but cost-efficient they are not. Learn the subway system instead, or try Uber or Lyft.
Say yes to street vendors Eat some cheap meals on the street at vendors, especially the ones with "Vendy Awards" posted, and you can put the money you would've spent on an expensive lunch toward your MoMA admission.
Say maybe to the TKTS booth If you're willing to spend an hour of your New York City vacation waiting in the half-price ticket booth in Times Square , you could save some serious money on a Broadway show.
Culture & Customs
New York City is one of the most densely populated cities in the world. So it should come as no surprise that it's also one of the most diverse. The city is known for its ethnic neighborhoods, as well as its status as the country's trendsetter, making it difficult to define one specific "culture" of the Big Apple. As home to the most vibrant theater and fashions scenes in the country and a large contingent of schools and Wall Street on top of that, NYC also shelters a large gay community as well as many students, artists, fashionistas, writers, businessmen and so on.
Stereotypically, New Yorkers are portrayed as brash and rude. But as TripAdvisor explains, "New Yorkers are unfailingly proud of their great city, and this pride can, at times, come off as arrogance." Contrary to popular belief, most New Yorkers are happy to help you explore their home.
What to Eat
It's fitting that New York's most popular nickname includes a reference to food. Experts say that the city is jam-packed with delicious places to eat, from the high-end celebrity chef hot spots to cozy eateries. When you're in this cosmopolitan city, you'll have to sample some of its specialties. Most people associate NYC with pizza: New York-style pizza consists of hand-tossed thin crust, a light layer of tomato sauce, plenty of mozzarella cheese and an assortment of toppings. There are dozens of pizzerias dishing out traditional pies across the city, but locals say Joe's Pizza and Grimaldi's Pizzeria are two of the top spots to grab a slice of pizza . Another New York staple? Bagels. The large, soft, doughy bagels can be topped with thick cream cheese (often you can choose from various schmear flavors), lox or your favorite breakfast sandwich accoutrements. Experts say you can't go wrong with a bagel from Ess-a-Bagel , Bagel Bob's or Tompkins Square Bagels .
In addition to its casual eateries, New York City has a vibrant food market (visit Chelsea Market and Gotham West Market ) and farmers market scene. And of course, the Big Apple is home to numerous upscale restaurants highlighting cuisine from around the world. The list of must-try restaurants is constantly changing, but those looking to enjoy an exquisite multicourse meal should make reservations (well in advance) at Eleven Madison Park , Le Bernadin or Daniel . If you'd like to explore fine dining restaurants with more reasonable price tags, Butter , Scarpetta and Marc Forgione are a few celebrity chef-helmed eateries that won't completely bust your budget. The wealth of food options in the city is also part of why New York City consistently lands on the U.S. News ranking of the Best Foodie Cities in the USA . For a comprehensive understanding of the city's dining scene, take one of the Big Apple's top food tours .
What's more, New York City isn't only home to fantastic restaurants, but also to several stand-out bars and breweries . When the weather warms up, locals and travelers alike love heading to the top rooftop bars around the city to soak up the skyline views.
In the past, New York City has owned a reputation for being a rough and dangerous city, but now it's one of the safest large cities in the country. As a tourist, you're not likely to encounter any serious crimes, but you should still use common sense when exploring the city. In the evenings, stick to well-lit areas with other people and keep a close eye on valuables. To discourage pickpockets, keep your wallet in your front pocket and your purses zipped closed.
Like other large cities, New York City is filled with its own group of eclectic personalities. Should someone out of the ordinary approach you, follow many New Yorkers' leads and simply walk away. Be particularly wary in places like Manhattan's Lower East Side and parts of boroughs Queens, Brooklyn and especially the Bronx. Central Park can also get seedy at night.
Despite what people may think, the subway in New York City is safer now than it has ever been. That said, you should be particularly watchful of your belongings while riding, especially when the trains are packed and crowded. Stay near the ticket booths and get into cars with more people or with the conductor, who will normally stick his head out when the train stops. Consider taking a cab at night if you are alone.
Getting Around New York City
The best way to get around New York City is on foot as traffic is fairly heavy around-the-clock. That said, the subway system is a convenient option, too, and it extends throughout Manhattan and into the other New York boroughs. Buses are another affordable way to get around, but keep in mind they traverse streets clogged with weaving cars and cabs. Picking up a car isn't the best mode of transportation, as traffic is heavy. To get from the two main airports – LaGuardia (LGA) and John F. Kennedy International (JFK) – into the city, you'll likely want to take a taxi or ride-hailing service like Lyft or Uber. If you'd like to mix in a little sightseeing with your transportation, consider a bus tour or a boat tour .
Many East Coast travelers tend to arrive in New York City on one of the bus services like FlixBus or Megabus . Amtrak is another popular way of getting into the city and trains roll into Penn Station daily.
Central Park occupies more than 800 acres in the heart of Manhattan and is the largest urban park in the United States.
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New York City
Epicenter of the arts. Architectural darling. Dining and shopping capital. Trendsetter. New York City wears many crowns, and spreads an irresistible feast for all.
Best Time to Visit
Best things to do, your next trip starts here.
Go from dreaming to planning with trip planning options made to help you craft your ideal itinerary.
Must-see attractions for your itinerary.
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Upper East Side
What started with a handful of paintings brought over from Europe or donated by a coterie of philanthropically minded robber barons in the 19th century…
Upper West Side & Central Park
One of the world’s most renowned green spaces, Central Park comprises 843 acres of rolling meadows, boulder-studded outcroppings, elm-lined walkways,…
Financial District & Lower Manhattan
Located in New York Harbor, Ellis Island is the US's most famous and historically important gateway and is home to one of the country’s most moving…
Empire State Building
The Chrysler Building may be prettier, and One World Trade Center taller, but the queen bee of the New York skyline remains the Empire State Building. NYC…
One World Observatory
Spanning three levels at the top of the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, One World Observatory offers dazzling panoramic views over Manhattan's…
A New York icon, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, more commonly known as the Guggenheim, is an internationally-renowned art museum and one of the most…
Statue of Liberty
It’s been over a century since Lady Liberty made her debut appearance on the New York skyline, but this iconic statue is still one of the city’s most…
National September 11 Memorial Museum
When the twin towers of the World Trade Center toppled during the awful events of 11 September 2001, it led to years of soul-searching about what would be…
Top picks from our travel experts
15 of the best things to do in new york city.
Designed by William Van Alen and completed in 1930, the 77-floor Chrysler Building is the pinup for New York's purest art deco architecture, guarded by…
Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Opened in 1911 and now one of Brooklyn's most picturesque sights, this 52-acre garden is home to thousands of plants and trees and a Japanese garden where…
This 265-acre zoo is the country’s biggest and oldest, with over 6000 animals and re-created habitats from around the world, from African plains to Asian…
West Village, Chelsea & Meatpacking District
It’s hard to believe that the 1½-mile-long High Line – a shining example of brilliant urban renewal – was once a dingy freight line that anchored a rather…
Museum of Modern Art
Superstar of the modern-art scene, MoMA's galleries are a Who’s Who of artistic heavyweights: Van Gogh, Matisse, Picasso, Warhol, Lichtenstein, Rothko,…
This encyclopedic museum, imagined as the centerpiece of the 19th-century Brooklyn Institute, occupies a five-story, 560,000-sq-ft beaux-arts building…
Top of the Rock
When it comes to views in New York City, you’ll be spoiled for choice. The One World Observatory may have the edge for height, and the Empire State…
The original Luna Park, the most famous of Coney Island's competing amusement parks, opened in 1903 and reigned for decades until destroyed by fire in the…
About an hour by subway from Midtown, this popular seaside neighborhood makes for a great day trip. The wide sandy beach has retained its nostalgic,…
New York Botanical Garden
Founded back in 1891, this welcome expanse of green takes in 50 acres of old-growth forest, alongside lush gardens, ornate greenhouses and water features …
Love it or hate it, the intersection of Broadway and Seventh Ave (aka Times Square) pumps out the NYC of the global imagination – yellow cabs, golden…
The hot dog was invented in Coney Island in 1867, which means that eating a frankfurter is practically obligatory here. The top choice: Nathan’s Famous,…
These six towering warehouses by the Brooklyn waterfront have been repurposed as a 35-acre hub for shops, design studios, start-ups and nonprofits. The…
The Boston Red Sox like to talk about their record of nine World Series championships in the last 90 years…well, the Yankees have won a mere 27 in that…
Grand Central Terminal
Completed in 1913, Grand Central Terminal – commonly, if incorrectly, called Grand Central Station – is one of New York’s most venerated beaux-arts…
American Museum of Natural History
Founded back in 1869, this venerable museum contains a veritable wonderland of more than 34 million objects, specimens and artifacts – including armies of…
Harlem & Upper Manhattan
On a hilltop overlooking the Hudson River, the Cloisters is a curious architectural jigsaw, its many parts made up of various European monasteries and…
Radio City Music Hall
This spectacular moderne movie palace was the brainchild of vaudeville producer Samuel Lionel 'Roxy' Rothafel. Never one for understatement, Roxy launched…
Madison Square Garden
NYC's major performance venue – part of the massive complex housing Penn Station – hosts big-arena performers, from Kanye West to Madonna. It’s also a…
The home of the New York Mets, the city's underdog baseball team, Citi Field opened in 2009, replacing the earlier Mets HQ, Shea Stadium. In contrast to…
This 22-acre 'city within a city' debuted at the height of the Great Depression, with developer John D Rockefeller Jr footing the $100-million price tag…
21 best free things to do in New York City
If you want to enjoy a slice of scenic Brooklyn in total peace and quiet, make for Green-Wood Cemetery. This historic burial ground set on the borough’s…
New York Public Library
Loyally guarded by 'Patience' and 'Fortitude' (the marble lions overlooking Fifth Ave), this beaux-arts show-off is one of NYC's best free attractions…
Museum at FIT
Fashionistas won't want to miss a visit to the fabulous sartorial exhibits at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), which holds one of the world's…
David Zwirner operates several galleries around Chelsea, including this five-story, sustainability-certified building with 30,000 sq ft of exhibition…
With the likes of Sarah Vaughan, Lionel Hampton and Dizzy Gillespie gracing its stage since it opened in 1981, Blue Note is one of NYC's premier jazz…
After six years of construction and $25 billion of investment, the first phase of Manhattan's new megadevelopment 'neighborhood' on the Hudson finally…
National Museum of the American Indian
An affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, this elegant tribute to Native American culture occupies Cass Gilbert's spectacular 1907 Custom House, one of…
Every summer the Public Theater heads here to present its fabulous free productions of Shakespeare in the Park, which founder Joseph Papp began back in…
SoHo & Chinatown
This legendary theater was founded as the Shakespeare Workshop back in 1954 and has launched some of New York's big hits, including Hamilton in 2015…
Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay & Lesbian Art
The world's first museum dedicated to LGBTIQ+ themes stages six to eight annual exhibitions of both homegrown and international art. Offerings have…
Standing inside the park across from the famous Dakota Building, where John Lennon was fatally shot in 1980, is this poignant, tear-shaped garden – a…
New York Earth Room
Since 1980 the oddity of the New York Earth Room, the work of artist Walter De Maria, has been wooing the curious with something not easily found in the…
Socrates Sculpture Park
First carved out of an abandoned dump by sculptor Mark di Suvero, Socrates is now a city park on the river's edge with beautiful views and a rotating…
Brooklyn is blessed with a number of historic, view-laden and well used green spaces, but its emerald is Prospect Park. The designers of the 585-acre park…
With seven galleries across the world – including this eight-story Chelsea flagship – and decades of experience showing the work of such artists as Willem…
American Folk Art Museum
This small institution offers rotating exhibitions in three small galleries. Past exhibits have included quilts made by 19th-century soldiers and…
General Ulysses S Grant National Memorial
Popularly known as Grant’s Tomb (‘Who’s buried in Grant’s Tomb?’ ‘Who?’ ‘Grant, stupid!’ goes a classic joke), this landmark holds the remains of Civil…
This compact bar and performance space, named after a neighborhood in Paris with a strong North African flavor, is owned by French musicians (and longtime…
Possibly NYC's most prestigious jazz club, the Vanguard has hosted literally every major star of the past 50 years. Starting in 1935 as a venue for beat…
African Burial Ground National Monument
In 1991, construction workers here uncovered more than 400 stacked wooden caskets, just 16ft to 28ft below street level. The boxes contained the remains…
Culture vultures will enjoy the Bronx Museum for its its well-executed exhibitions of contemporary and 20th-century art. The Bronx Museum has a strong…
Expert guidance to help you plan your trip.
Things to Know
A perfect balance of urban landscape and green space, New York lends itself to one of the healthiest, most enjoyable outdoor pursuits – cycling.
New York City is so eclectic that you could visit a neighborhood a day and barely scratch the surface. These eight are a great place to start.
From sleepy towns to vibrant beaches on the Jersey Shore, here are the top day trips from New York City, all within a two-hour journey.
Money and Costs
New York City has never been cheap. Yet, as any New Yorker knows, low-cost pleasures abound around town – if you know where to look.
Walking is one of the best ways to explore NYC, but there are taxis, buses, trains, boats and the subway to fall back on. Here's our guide to getting around.
Free Things to Do
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Traveling with Kids
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Why you’ll love it
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Bristling with global icons — from Times Square and Central Park to the Statue of Liberty and Empire State Building — New York is an urban colossus: a city of cities packed with colour, energy and possibility. A kaleidoscope of neighbourhoods and cultures, this massive metropolis can be overwhelming in its magnitude — but that intensity is all part of its prodigious appeal.
The city is split into five boroughs: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Staten Island, Queens and Manhattan, and the latter tends to be the primary focal point for foreign visitors. Here, on the world’s most famous urban island, you’ll find everything you need for an epic city break and more, from world-class restaurants and cocktail bars to heavyweight museums and art galleries, as well as shopping and entertainment options to rival anything else on the planet. Constantly reinventing itself, NYC is not a city you only visit once, it’s a destination you dive back into whenever you can, allowing yourself to be carried along once more by its irrepressible flow.
Main photo: Manhattan from Brooklyn Bridge (Getty Images)
NYC is not a city you only visit once, it’s a destination you dive back into whenever you can
There is, frankly, a little too much choice when it comes to things to do in New York , but a good start is always to lace up your most comfortable shoes and pound some pavement. It may seem strange considering its epic size, but New York in general (and Manhattan in particular) is a walking city. Simply strolling the streets here affords an excellent sense of the city’s character, from the ancient Jewish delis of the Upper West Side to the meandering cobblestone lanes of Greenwich Village and the hilly streets of Brooklyn, just across the majestic Brooklyn Bridge from Lower Manhattan. Don’t forget the graceful paths and trails of Central Park, the great green lungs of the city, either.
In recent years the High Line — the city’s popular elevated park, built along a disused railway line — has made Manhattan even more of a joy for pedestrians, with the final section linking to the shops and restaurants of the exciting new Hudson Yards development. After shopping and eating to your heart’s content here, you’re well positioned for another classic New York treat: catching a star-studded Broadway show, just a quick yellow cab ride away in Midtown West.
- How to do New York on a budget
Keeping an ever-watchful eye over proceedings, the Statue of Liberty* remains a must-see, with regular ferry rides to Liberty Island stopping at Ellis Island en route, where you can explore the captivating National Museum of Immigration. It’s just one of a magnificent assortment of world-class museums in the city, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the American Museum of Natural History* , the Guggenheim* , MoMA ( Museum of Modern Art* ) and the Whitney Museum of American Art.
New York might be the city that never sleeps, but you still have to – whether it be a superlative luxury hotel or a smart penthouse rental. Again, Manhattan is your best option, with Midtown a particularly good bet in terms of location and hotel options. Here you’ll find timeless classics such as the Ritz-Carlton* , the St Regis* , the Park Hyatt* and the Peninsula* , alongside boutique favourites including the Knickerbocker* , the Time* and 1 Hotel Central Park* . The last also has a spectacular sister property across the river — 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge* — which has become a flagbearer for fashionable luxury in Brooklyn, alongside other hipster-friendly boutique properties such as the Tillary and the Wythe (which just so happens to be home to one of New York’s most stellar rooftop bars).
If you want to extricate yourself from the madding crowd a little, head for Manhattan’s Upper East Side for some peace and quiet, where you’ll find well-heeled calm at permanent fixtures — I love the Mark, the Surrey and the Carlyle.
- Best hotels in New York
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They say that you could eat at a different restaurant every night of your life in New York City and not exhaust the possibilities. Considering there are an estimated 25,000 restaurants across the five boroughs, with dozens of new establishments opening every month, that’s likely to be an understatement. The Big Apple is — and always has been — a world capital for food and drink, and your options here are near-limitless.
If you find the sheer amount of choice intimidating, head for the West Village — a quaint downtown neighbourhood where the twisting streets and well-preserved townhouses contain some of the city’s most intimate bistros, taverns and trattorias. Meanwhile, Little Italy in Lower Manhattan is, as you might expect, awash with incredible family-run Italian restaurants, while over in Brooklyn, Greenpoint (an old Polish neighbourhood with an ever-growing hipster population) has become the latest foodie hotspot.
If you want to go full kitsch, Coney Island, Brooklyn’s popular old beach neighbourhood where the hot dog was invented in 1867, is just a 50-minute subway ride from Midtown. Today the best hot dogs are served at Nathan’s Famous; the perfect fuel for an afternoon spent riding the rollercoasters and strolling the famous boardwalk.
You could eat at a different restaurant every night of your life in New York City and not exhaust the possibilities
The Empire State Building* is the obvious spot to head to for spectacular Manhattan views, but the better bet is the Top of the Rock, the 70th floor observation deck at the top of the Rockefeller Center in Midtown. Not only is it always less crowded, but it has wider observation decks (indoor and outdoor), offering striking views of the Empire State Building itself.
New York has so many museums that several excellent institutions inevitably don’t get the attention they deserve in mainstream travel guides, including the Skyscraper Museum, the Merchant’s House Museum and the National Museum of the American Indian, which are all well worth exploring.
Equally worthy of an entire morning or afternoon, Essex Market — a mainstay of the Lower East Side, selling some of the freshest ingredients and most imaginative street food in the city — recently moved into a sleek new space on Houston Street. Meanwhile, in Midtown West, Chelsea Market has transformed a crumbling former factory into another vibrant foodie hotspot. Just ensure you have some dollars in your pocket when you visit either market; some vendors won’t take credit cards.
Know before you go
It’s easy to forget that New York City swings between extreme temperatures. The height of summer can be unbearably hot, while the depths of winter can be bitterly cold. The best time to visit is in the spring and early summer — or alternatively, the autumn months between early September and Thanksgiving (late November). If you happen to find yourself in Manhattan during winter, don’t miss the outdoor ice skating in Central Park.
The subway itself can be daunting, but it’s straightforward enough if you take some time to understand the coloured number system beforehand. The most common mistake is taking an “express” train when you want a “local” one, so always double-check before boarding. Be particularly careful at weekends, when the rules often switch and some lines combine with each other.
Like most cities in the US , New York is sports mad. If you fancy a piece of the action, the easiest and most affordable way to do so is to aim for a baseball game, if either the Mets or Yankees are playing at home (the baseball season runs from April to October).
If you’re travelling with young children, it’s useful to note that there are two excellent zoos in New York City — one in Central Park and one in the Bronx; the latter is the larger, with more than 6,000 animal species spread across 265 acres of parkland.
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Inspired to visit New York City but yet to book your trip? Here are the best packages from Tui* and British Airways* . These are the best tours of New York City from our trusted partners* .
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What is the best way to get there?
Three major airports serve New York City: Newark, LaGuardia, and JFK.
For travelers who want to take the train, Amtrak offers service into Penn Station.
Additionally bus service is widely available.
If you’re flying, here’s some advice on getting from the three major airports into Manhattan.
If you’re driving into New York, plan ahead for how and where you’ll park.
Do I need a visa?
If you’re visiting New York from overseas, use the government’s Visa Wizard to see if you need a visa.
When is the best time to visit?
Spring (April / May) and Fall (September / October) generally offer travelers the mildest weather with temperatures between 50°F and 60°F (10-15°C). If you come at the height of summer (July and August) be prepared for steamy weather with highs around 80°F (26°C) and up. Winters (December, January, and February) are chilly with temps averaging between 30°F (-1°C) and 40°F (4.4°C).
Check out this comprehensive month-by-month tip sheet with what to expect, how to dress, and what to do.
The least expensive and one of the most common ways to navigate NYC is on foot. When on foot, a map is handy south of 14th Street in Manhattan. North of 14th Street the city is laid out on an easily navigable grid.
If a location is too far to walk, the NYC subway is the best way to get around. Less expensive than a taxi, the subway allows you to easily bypass city traffic and efficiently make it from uptown to downtown and vice versa. The Metropolitan Transit Authority administers New York’s subway and buses, and their website has all the maps you could need to plan your trip.
New York’s iconic yellow taxis are widely available for street hail, and an Uber or Lyft is always just a tap away on your phone. If you’re open to riding with other passengers Via is a great, affordable ride-sharing option.
Driving into the city, or renting a car? An app like Parkwhiz or Spothero is a lifesaver that will get you in a garage near your destination instead of circling the block looking for a spot.
Check out more tips on getting around NYC here .
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Are there local customs I should know?
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New York Itinerary: What to Do and See in 5 Days in NYC
First settled by the Dutch as “New Amsterdam” in 1624, the city came under English control in 1664. It was a major trading center thanks to its location at the mouth of the Hudson River. After the American Revolution, New York became the seat of America’s power and government, officially becoming the nation’s capital in 1789 when George Washington was sworn in.
While it’s no longer the nation’s capital (it moved to Philadelphia the following year and then to Washington, DC in 1800), NYC is still the beating heart of the country.
Home to around 10 million people, NYC has tons of things to see and do. You can barely scratch the surface on a typical four- or five-day visit. (But, then again, I don’t think even a four-month trip would be enough to see NYC! The city is constantly changing too much.)
In short, New York is impossible to “see” in one visit. This city is home to thousands of restaurants, hundreds of museums, attractions, plays, and quirky things to do. You just have to resign yourself to that fact, unless you move here (and maybe not even then), you’re only going to see a fraction of what you hope to see. It takes a while to get around town.
So, as a traveler, how do you visit NYC? What are the best things to see and do here? What is the best itinerary for NYC? How do you make the most of your time here?
There are ways to make the most of the limited time travelers have in New York. You need at least three days to really see the main highlights (though a “quick hits” tour could be done in a two-day NYC itinerary). However, I suggest 4-5 days to see the main sights without rushing too much.
Since I’ve written a guidebook to this city , lived there for over five years, have run tours there, and explored as much as I could in pursuit of knowing the best things to do in NYC, I want to share the best itinerary for New York City. This suggested itinerary can help you organize your trip and ensure you make the most of your visit — all while saving you money in the process.
NOTE: If you do everything on this itinerary, you’re going to be very, very busy. Don’t view this itinerary as a manual but more like a list of suggestions. If you want to pack it in, you can do it. However, don’t rush. Meander. The itinerary here just groups things together to give you a sense of how days can be optimized, but go at your own pace.
So, without further ado, here is my suggested New York itinerary:
Day 1 : Statue of Liberty, Trinity Church, World Trade Center, & more!
Day 2 : Brooklyn Bridge, Rockefeller Center, Time Square, & more!
Day 3 : Central Park, Museum of Natural History, Broadway Show, & more!
Day 4 : MoMA, Cloisters, Guggenheim, & more!
Day 5 : High Line, Empire State Building, Tenement Museum, & more!
New York City Itinerary: Day 1
Some of my favorite walking tours and walking tour companies include:
- Free Tours by Foot
- Bowery Boys Walks
- Speakeasy Drinks and Prohibition History Tour
- Gangsters and Ghosts Walking Tour
- Graffiti and Street Art Walking Tour
And for more suggestions, check out this list of my favorite NYC walking tours .
Here’s a review of my experience taking a tour of the Statue and Ellis Island .
Tip: If the line’s too long and you don’t want to wait, take the free Staten Island ferry for photos of the statue and harbor instead. You won’t get up close but it’s faster and cheaper.
Battery Park, +1 212 363-3200, nps.gov/stli/index.htm. Open daily 9am-5pm. There is no admission fee for the island but the ferry ticket costs $24 USD .
Explore Battery Park Located on the southern tip of Manhattan, this park is where the Dutch built Fort Amsterdam in 1625 to defend their settlement. The British took the area over in 1664 and eventually renamed it Fort George. While the fort was mostly destroyed during the American Revolution (1775-1783), the battery was expanded after the war’s end. You can wander around the fort and then stroll through the surrounding park to take in the beautiful waterfront views of the harbor, the Statue of Liberty, and Ellis Island.
There are also over 20 monuments and plaques in the park, covering everything from the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 to immigration and much more.
If you want to learn about historic market crashes and take a deep dive into what makes a financial crisis occur, check out the Financial Crisis Tour . Recommended by the BBC and the New York Times, it’s led by Wall Street insiders and will give you first-hand knowledge of what it’s like working on Wall Street.
See Federal Hall One of the most overlooked museums in the city sits across the street from the NY Stock Exchange (NYSE). Federal Hall, built in 1700, is where George Washington took his oath of office (you can see the Bible he was sworn in on). It was the site of the US Customs House in the late 1700s and the first capitol building of the US.
Though the original façade was rebuilt, it’s one of my favorite attractions in the area. I especially love the old vaults. I highly recommend you visit!
26 Wall Street, Financial District, Lower Manhattan, +1 212 825 6990, nps.gov/feha. Admission is free. Open Monday-Friday, 10am-5pm.
Financial District, Lower Manhattan, +1 212 908 4110, moaf.org. Currently closed for relocation.
The original church was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1776, a massive blaze that wiped out upwards of 25% of the city (the Americans blamed the British for starting the fire, while the British blamed the revolutionaries). The new building, facing Wall Street, was consecrated in 1790.
After the Revolutionary War, George Washington and Alexander Hamilton regularly worshiped here. The graveyard dates back to the 1700s and has many famous Americans there, including Hamilton and his wife Elizabeth, Francis Lewis (signatory on the Declaration of Independence), John Alsop (Continental Congress delegate), Albert Gallatin (founder of NYU), and Horatio Gates (Continental Army general). The church was expanded in 1839 into its current form.
74 Trinity Place, Financial District, Lower Manhattan, +1 212 602 0800, trinitywallstreet.org. Open daily from 8:30am–6pm.
To get a deeper understanding of 9/11 and the events that unfolded, visit the museum. It’s home to moving exhibits that illuminate the scope and significance of the tragedy.
180 Greenwich Street, Financial District, Lower Manhattan, +1 212 266 5211, 911memorial.org. Memorial open daily from 8am-8pm. The museum is open Wednesday-Monday, 9am-7pm. The memorial is free to visit; skip-the-line museum entry is $19.40 USD . Free entry Mondays from 3:30pm-5pm (tickets must be booked online).
DINNER OPTION: Eat at Ellen’s Stardust Diner Since 1987, this diner is home to an incredible waitstaff of singers and dancers. Between tours and musical performances, actors and actresses wait tables at Ellen’s, where they belt out songs as they serve you slightly pricey, very American diner food (think shakes, burgers, and lasagna) in uniforms from the 1950s. It’s incredibly cheesy, which makes it incredibly fun!
1650 Broadway, Times Square, +1 212 956 5151, ellensstardustdiner.com. Open daily, 7am-midnight. There’s usually a line so be sure to plan ahead!
New York City Itinerary: Day 2
City Hall Park. nyc.gov/site/designcommission/public-programs/tours/city-hall.page. Pre-reserved tours are typically offered for groups (10–20 people) on Tuesdays at 10:30am and for individuals on Thursdays at 10am. There are also first-come, first-served tours on Wednesdays at 12pm and Thursdays at 10am.
I enjoy doing this walk at night when downtown Manhattan is all lit up. Otherwise, come early to beat the crowds.
While you’re here, don’t miss the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens (especially known for its magnificent cherry blossoms in the spring) and the Brooklyn Museum. Spend the afternoon discovering its vast collection of both historical and contemporary art and artifacts (there are over 1.5 million items in its collection). It has art exhibitions highlighting ancient Egypt, medieval Europe, colonial USA, and more.
200 Eastern Pkwy, +1 718 638 5000, brooklynmuseum.org. Open Wednesday-Sunday, 11am-6pm. Tickets are $16 USD.
Wander Rockefeller Center This area is always filled with hustle and bustle. Wander around Rockefeller Center to see where they film The Today Show , shop, snack, and take the elevator to the Top of the Rock for another bird’s-eye view of the city, which I personally think is better than the Empire State Building, since from the top of here you can get that building in your picture too.
30 Rockefeller Plaza, +1 212 698 2000, topoftherocknyc.com. Open daily from 9am-11pm. Admission is $40 USD to visit the Top of the Rock observation deck.
1260 6th Avenue, +1 212 465 6080, msg.com/venue-tours/radio-city-music-hall. Open and giving one-hour tours daily from 10:30am-2pm. Admission is $33 USD.
New York City Itinerary: Day 3
During the summer months, there are often free concerts and theater productions (line up early for tickets to Shakespeare in the Park). From the late spring to the early fall, there are free guided walks run by the parks service on Saturdays at 11am. I’m a big fan of laying out in Sheep’s Meadow on a hot, sunny day with a book, some food, and a bottle of wine.
Several excellent museums can be found in or on the edges of Central Park too (see below).
If you’re short on time, Take Walks offers a Met Express Tour where an expert guide will take you to the absolute highlights and give you deeper insights into the pieces you’re seeing so you can make the most of your experience. It’s just two-hours long too.
1000 5th Avenue, Central Park, Upper East Side, +1 212 535 7710, metmuseum.org. Open Sunday–Tuesday from 10am–5pm, Fridays and Saturdays from 10am-9pm. Admission is $30 USD (includes same-day entrance to the Cloisters).
Central Park W. at 79th Street, Upper West Side, +1 212 769 5100, amnh.org. Open daily from 10am-5:30pm. Admission is $28 USD (special exhibitions not included).
Take in the Museum of the City of New York This museum can tell you everything you ever wanted to know about New York City. Architecture, parks, streets, as well as its people, and culture — it’s all covered! There are multiple rooms that highlight various time periods in NYC history featuring interviews, maps, interactive exhibits, profiles of historical figures, and various artifacts. It’s the best history museum in the city. There’s a cool exhibit here where you can create the future NYC, Sim City style. It’s great for kids!
1220 Fifth Avenue at 103rd St., +1 212-534-1672, mcny.org. Open Thursdays from 10am-9pm and Friday-Monday from 10am-5pm. Admission is $20 USD.
- The Lion King
Ticket prices vary greatly by show. However, you can find discounted tickets at the TKTS offices around the city (Times Square, South Street Seaport, and downtown Brooklyn) for shows that day. They also have an app where you can see what they offer too.
New York City Itinerary: Day 4
The building and its stunning cloistered garden are very, very peaceful and beautiful. It’s one of the best things to do in the city. There are free tours each day that explain the history of the museum and the paintings and exhibits.
99 Margaret Corbin Drive, Fort Tryon Park, +1 212 923 3700, metmuseum.org/visit/visit-the-cloisters. Open Thursday-Tuesday from 10am-5pm. Closed Wednesday. Admission is $30 USD and includes same-day entry to The Met.
Visit the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) Head over to the MoMA for lots of beautiful (and weird) modern art and some vivid impressionist art. Personally, I don’t “get” modern art. I mean, how is a shovel on a wall art?
While I’m not a fan, this museum does have Van Gogh’s Starry Night as well as other post-impressionist art so I can’t hate it completely. If you love modern and contemporary art, this (I’m told) is one of the best in the world.
18 W. 54th Street, Midtown, +1 212 708 9400, moma.org. Open daily from 10:30am-5:30pm (7pm on Saturdays). Admission including skip-the-line access is $25 USD . The MoMA’s Sculpture Garden is free of charge to the public daily from 9:30am–10:15am.
1071 5th Avenue, Upper East Side, +1 212 423 3500, guggenheim.org. Open Sunday-Monday, Wednesday-Friday from 11am-6pm (Saturdays until 8pm). Admission is $25 USD. Pay what-you-wish is available on Saturdays from 6pm-8pm.
See the Frick Collection This collection features paintings by major European artists (lots of Dutch masters here) as well as 18th-century French furniture and Oriental rugs. You have to really love Dutch artists to want to spend time here (I do) but be sure to visit their website in advance because they host a lot of wonderful temporary exhibits featuring famous works of art.
1 East 70th Street, +1 212-288-0700, frick.org. Open Thursday-Sunday from 10am-6pm. Admission is $22 USD. Thursdays from 4pm-6pm is pay-what-you-wish admission.
New York City Itinerary: Day 5
Next to it, in the Meatpacking District, there’s the new building for the Whitney Museum of American Art (a museum that collaborates with the Met). Even if you don’t go inside, the building is worth seeing, as it is a work of art in itself. But I would recommend going inside as there is a wonderful exhibit of American art.
99 Gansevoort Street, Chelsea, +1 212 570 3600, whitney.org. Open Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 10:30am-6pm, Fridays from 10:30am-10pm, Saturdays and Sundays from 11am-6pm. Admission is $25 USD and pay-what-you-can on Fridays from 7pm-10pm ( advance tickets strongly recommended ). Enjoy the view from the Empire State Building After you finish up with lower Manhattan, jet up to this historic landmark. Standing 1,453-feet (443 meters) tall and completed in 1931, the 1930s art deco interior of this building is absolutely beautiful and the view from the top is breathtaking. It’s one of the most iconic buildings in the city and you can get a real feel for how densely populated New York is as you take in the view. Get here early or during lunchtime to avoid the lines and tour groups.
350 5th Avenue, Midtown, +1 212 736 3100, esbnyc.com. The observation deck hours vary greatly by season (with week-to-week differences). Check the website for updated hours. Admission is $44 USD to the 86th-floor observatory and $79 to the 102nd & 86th-floor observation decks. Get your skip-the-line tickets here.
89 E. 42nd Street, Midtown, grandcentralterminal.com. Open daily from 5:30am–2am. Book the only official Grand Central Terminal Tour with Walks here ($30 USD).
See the Lower East Side Tenement Museum This museum highlights how immigrants from around the world lived during the late 1800s and early 1900s as they tried to make it in America. It’s a good follow-up to what you see on Ellis Island. You can only visit this museum via guided tours, and they need to be booked in advance. I like that live actors are used to portray and share the stories of newly arrived immigrants as it makes the experience much more memorable.
103 Orchard Street, Lower East Side, +1 877 975 3786, tenement.org. Open daily from 10am-6pm. Admission is $30 USD.
Other Options for Your Itinerary!
1. See a TV Show – NYC is home to tons of TV shows that film here regularly. TV shows like Saturday Night Live, The View, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, The Daily Show, Last Week Tonight, Late Night with Seth Meyers, and The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon all offer free tickets to their tapings. Tickets need to be reserved long in advance so you’ll need to plan ahead.
2. Explore the Bronx Zoo – Opened in 1899, the zoo spans almost 300 acres and sees over 2 million visitors each year. Home to over 650 different species, it’s a great place to visit with kids. Gorillas, birds of prey, bison — there is a huge assortment of animals here and you’ll definitely learn a lot during your visit!
3. See a Yankees/Mets/Rangers/Knicks Game – Like sports? NYC has some world-class sports teams. I’m not a big sports fan (the Yankees play soccer, right?), but games are fun when you have friends to share the experience with. If you have a chance and the desire, don’t miss a sporting event, because New Yorkers are serious about their local teams!
4. Take a Food Tour – NYC is a foodie city and there are tons of amazing tours that can introduce you to the best food the city has to offer. Devour Food Tours is my go-to choice as their tours are amazing and their guides are super knowledgable.
A few tours worth checking out if you want to eat your way around the Big Apple are:
- Scott’s Pizza Tours
- Foods of NY
- Famous Fat Dave’s Five Borough Eating Tour
- Secret Food Tours
- Beyond the Plate
5. See Live Stand-Up at Comedy Cellar – Some of the biggest names in comedy either started here or have done gigs here, including greats like Jon Stewart, Robin Williams, Kevin Hart, and Chris Rock. They have different shows depending on the day of the week although the weekend shows fill up so reserve in advance online. Some shows have up to 5 or 6 different comedians.
Tickets range between $14-25 USD but they often have a two-item minimum per person (food or drinks). For NYC, it’s a very reasonable super fun night out.
New York City is a big place with a lot to do and this list barely scratches the surface. Five days is barely enough to squeeze these activities in, let alone find time to visit boroughs like Queens and Brooklyn.
Get the In-Depth Budget Guide to New York City!
For more in-depth tips on NYC, check out my 100+ page guidebook written for budget travelers like you! It cuts out the fluff found in other guides and gets straight to the practical information you need to travel in the city that never sleeps. You’ll find suggested itineraries, budgets, ways to save money, on- and off-the-beaten-path things to see and do, non-touristy restaurants, markets, bars, safety tips, and much more! Click here to learn more and get your copy today.
Book Your Trip to New York City: Logistical Tips and Tricks
Book Your Flight Use Skyscanner to find a cheap flight. They are my favorite search engine because they search websites and airlines around the globe so you always know no stone is left unturned!
Book Your Accommodation You can book your hostel with Hostelworld as they have the biggest inventory and best deals. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, use Booking.com as they consistently return the cheapest rates for guesthouses and cheap hotels. My favorite places to stay in the city are:
- HI NYC Hostel
- Jazz on Columbus Circle
- Pod Times Square
If you’re looking for more places to stay, here my complete list of favorite hostels the city. Additionally, if you’re wondering what part of town to stay in, here’s my neighborhood guide to NYC!
Don’t Forget Travel Insurance Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:
- Safety Wing (for everyone below 70)
- Insure My Trip (for those over 70)
- Medjet (for additional evacuation coverage)
Looking for the Best Companies to Save Money With? Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel. I list all the ones I use to save money when I’m on the road. They will save you money when you travel too.
Need a Guide? New York has some really interesting tours. My favorite company is Take Walks . They have expert guides and can get you behind the scenes at the city’s best attractions. They’re my go-to walking tour company!
Want More Information on NYC? Be sure to visit our robust destination guide on New York City for even more planning tips!
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