In the center of Manhattan is the over 800 acres of land known as Central Park. As you can imagine, a space that big has a lot of different spots worth visiting. So, what to see and how to find it?
For those who want a free-style approach to exploring the park, a great option is to rent a bike at Unlimited Biking on 111 West 110TH Street just across from the north edge of the park.
The shop’s location is perfect for just hopping on and biking the length of the park, stopping wherever a path leads. From cafes to castles, meadows to memorials, and more, a few hours biking around the park is memorable and affordable, with prices starting from $15 per hour.
If the thought of just going with the flow is anxiety-inducing then, Unlimited Biking also offers highly rated 2-hour tours of the park suitable for bikers of any level. Each tour is led by an experienced guide who takes bikers to notable sights and shares their backstories. At $45 for adults and $40 for children, including bike, helmet, and basket – for your camera, of course – this is an easy and enjoyable way to see Central Park.
Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET)
Visiting Met isn’t just another place to visit in New York. It is the most exceptional museum in the world. At the south edge of Central Park, on 5th Avenue is the massive structure which is the world-famous Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art, otherwise known as the Met.
Having opened its doors in 1870, the museum has had almost 150 years to amass a vast collection of art, including 26,000 ancient Egyptian objects and 2,500 European paintings. It also holds expertly curated exhibitions, such as the drawings of Leonardo da Vinci and the art of New York schoolchildren.
The Met’s celebration of diversity and creativity, both historical and modern, makes it a necessary stop on a trip to NYC. Open every day of the week from 10:00 am to 5:30 pm. Until 9:00 pm on Fridays and Saturdays, admission is $25 for Adults, $17 for Seniors over 65, $12 for students, and free for children under 12.
Deals on admission can be had through a few different companies such as CityPass. This pass offers a pretty good deal by bundling up 6 of the top New York attractions for a 44% savings on the combined ticket prices.
It’s hard to imagine Times Square as we know it now, from movies, TV shows, and the annual Countdown, when the ball drops to signal a New Year, has only been in place for the last 20 years. A significant redevelopment undertaken by the City of New York with private business developers gave us the Times Square we all know and want to visit today.
To see its flashing lights, countless shops, restaurants, and painstakingly restored theatres, head to the junction of Broadway and Seventh Avenue, taking a walk from 47th to 4rd Street until you reach Broadway!
Wandering around is free, and there are many free attractions, such as a visit to nearby Bryant Park. Still, many of the attractions, such as National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey and Top of the Rock, have admission prices.
To get a little more bang for your buck, check out Sightseeing Pass which bundles 10 top NYC attractions together for a total saving of $245.54 off the combined ticket prices.
The blanket term Broadway refers to the Broadway shows seen in almost 50 theatres in Manhattan. Still, it’s also the name for the bright lights of 42nd Street with a history ranging from the speakeasy to the burlesque.
Wander along the street and soak up the magical vibes, but don’t miss seeing one of the professional shows on offer. Musicals with huge casts, contemporary plays with often famous stars, Disney inspired spectacles, and more are all on this theater district.
A night out doesn’t need to be expensive either if you want to have a great time in NYC. Visit the area early enough, and you can join the queue of people waiting for cut-price tickets. Although economical, these box offices can’t guarantee which seats will be available until you get to the front.
If you want to see a specific show, there are some excellent online resources offering deals, such as showtickets.com. The company’s promise is “Cheapest price, Easy & Secured Booking, Quality for Customers.” That’s obvious by the plethora of their 4.9-star reviews that they keep their promise.
Top of the Rock
From food markets to sing-a-longs, art exhibits to a museum of perpetual motion Rockefeller Centre has a lot to draw tourists to New York City. The schedule of events changes regularly, but chances are you will find something of interest to you.
Perhaps the most interesting is the famous Top of the Rock Observation Deck, which treats visitors to a view of NYC from 850 feet above street level. A 3-tiered observation deck gives visitors extraordinary views of the city. With the 70th-floor observatory offering a panoramic 360-degree, open view best seen at night. Here are a few need-to-knows for your visit to this fantastic attraction:
Empire State Building
Almost 4 million tourists a year visit the Empire State Building in NYC. Back in its day, it was a symbol of American grandiosity and innovative engineering. Still, more recently, our conception of it has been molded by countless movies and TV shows. An Affair to Remember, Sleepless in Seattle, King Kong, and others, all cast the Empire State Building as a singular character.
To say the build has a character as much as it is a character would undoubtedly be true, and perhaps that’s down to the history behind it. You can read about in our blog post, A Building of Dreams.
Now that you know all about how the building came into being, you can plan your visit to experience it firsthand.
To make sense of them and perhaps find events for more extended tours that include other NYC landmarks, check out Isango. It presents different options in one place as well as providing deals for travelers.
The 9/11 Memorial is located on the site of the former Twin Towers that saw one the most horrific act of terrorism ever. Two man-made waterfalls, the largest in North America, and their reflecting pools now take the place of the Twin Towers. They are surrounded by a grove of trees, including the “Survivor Tree found in the rubble of the fallen buildings and restored back to health.
Also on the site is the 9/11 Museum telling the moving, real-life stories of each person affected by the terrorists’ actions on 9/11 in New York, near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, at the Pentagon, and in the World Trade Center bombing in February 1993. The exhibition space is a combination of multimedia displays, archives, narratives, as well as monumental and authentic artifacts.
In the north-west corner of the site is the One World Trade Center. The most giant skyscraper in the USA and seventh-largest in the world was rebuilt after the tragedy. Visitors can travel the 1,250 feet upwards in “Skypod” elevators to the observation deck to take in the panoramic views of NYC and a far off Philadelphia.
While you are visiting the site and for a better view of the One World Trade Centre and this resilient city consider a helicopter ride with Adrenaline. Their 15 minutes New York City Helicopter ride departs Manhattan Heliport, located between Ground Zero and the Brooklyn Bridge. It takes in all of the iconic NYC landmarks via a bird’s eye view that you can’t get anyway else.
Statue of Liberty
Perhaps the attraction most associated with New York is the famed Statue of Liberty, which rests on Liberty Island. It was one of the first things new Americans arriving at Ellis Island would have seen. Due to this and its origin as a gift of friendship from France to the United States, it became a symbol of hope, democracy, and freedom.
Since 1933 the National Park Service has been tasked with maintaining the statue and facilitating visits from millions of tourists all year round. Tickets are purchased from the Service website and are specific to the access you desire.
The Statue of Liberty is open every day except on Thanksgiving and Christmas Days, although bad weather can affect the ferry timetable. The only way to get to Liberty Island is on a Statue Cruises Ferry that departs from Battery Park or Liberty State Park.
Plan to visit there early so that you have enough time to explore both sites and their museums. The Park Service recommends setting off no later than 1:00 pm.With a main “Grounds Only” ticket, you receive full ferry service, access to both islands, and entry to the Statue of Liberty Museum and Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration. For the pedestal or crown of the Statue of Liberty, further reservations must be made to access. Due to demand in popular months, you have to book well in advance, often up to 6 months.
If you plan to be in New York sooner rather than later, then consider visiting the venue with a tour company such as New York Tour 1. Their Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Tour Includes everything:
All you get with the “Grounds Only” ticket.
Access to the Pedestal at Liberty Island.
And an expert Tour Guide!
The Staten Island Ferry is a free service provided by the City of New York. Don’t confuse it with the Ellis or Liberty island where the statue rests.
The High Line
The High Line is an elevated railway 1.45-miles long running from Gansevoort Street to West 34th Street, between 10th and 12th Avenues on Manhattan’s West Side.
The disused railway line, once under threat of demolition, was saved by a group of individuals called Friends of the High Line. They transformed it into an exciting public space featuring over 500 species of plants and trees. A place of hosting artists, performers, and food vendors, along with various community programs.
No matter what is happening when you visit The High Line, simply walking above NYC is thrilling. Taking in the city from that vantage point is a truly unique experience not found elsewhere.
The High Line’s hours vary: December to March from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm; April to May from 7:00 am to 10:00 pm; June to September from 7:00 am to 11:00 pm, and October to November from 7:00 am to 10:00 pm. During the warmer months, it is a good idea to wake up early to avoid the crowds and take in the sunset from where you can almost touch it!
Additionally, if you make it a morning excursion, by the afternoon, you can be biking along the Hudson River, forming a great day out in NYC.
Admission to The High Line is free.
Extra Tip: If the road takes you to the tree-lined streets of Greenwich Village, which are now a hub of popular cafes, bars, and restaurants, you’ll find more treasures. Jazz clubs and Off-Broadway Theaters are waiting for you there.
In 2018, an average of 26,800 people crossed the Brooklyn Bridge going to or from Manhattan. Some were New Yorkers making their way to work, while others were tourists visiting the iconic bridge. Some were on foot, some were on the fly (see Adrenaline Tours for a bird’s eye view of the Brooklyn Bridge and other iconic New York landmarks), some were on 4 wheels while others were on two. (Check out Unlimited Biking Brooklyn in Manhattan for reasonable bike rentals a mere 4-minute bike ride from the start of the Promenade.)
Whether walking or biking, this is a street that sees some traffic. Why visit the bridge? Well because for a bridge, it has a lot going for it.
Firstly, people. The bridge is a perfect place to people watch, there are tons of them walking fast, stopping for a selfie, biking leisurely, and on and on. It is a people watchers paradise.
Secondly, the bridge is an impressive piece of engineering. Upon its completion in 1883, it was the world’s first steel-wire suspension bridge with a main span of 1,595.5 feet (486.3 meters) and a height of 133 ft (40.5 meters) above Mean High Water. It looks good too. The architecture of the bridge, with its enormous stone towers, makes it quite attractive.
Thirdly, if the view of the bridge is impressive, then the one from it is perhaps more so. The skyline of Manhattan, the deck, affords is second to none. It puts the immensity and grandeur of NYC into an incredible panoramic perspective.
The Brooklyn Bridge is never closed and never charged. It is a beautiful free attraction that sees millions of visitors every day of every year.
At the other end of the bridge, Brooklyn Heights awaits you, but that’s where our guided tours end. You want more fun things to do in NYC? Check out this list.
Just so you know, this post contains affiliate links. If you click on one of these links and make a purchase, we receive a commission. The cost of the service is the same if you use our link or a search engine link. We only recommend services we have researched and believe will deliver value to our readers. Lastly, we use these links to support this service and we always appreciate your support. Here’s our Affiliate Disclaimer.