Top NYC Things to Do

…the best things to see and do in NYC

New York City Tourist Attractions include the typical Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, Museums of Modern Art and Natural History, Central Park and so much more. Some of our newer attractions include Edge, The Vessel, One World Observatory, 9-11 Museum, Madame Tussauds Wax Museum and Times Square. But, do you know you can have a martini and listen to classical music at a Museum? Or eat Chinese food while looking at the Statue of Liberty? Come enjoy NYC like a local…

Classic New York City Tourist Attractions

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Best Discount Card for NYC Attractions

 

Sightseeing Pass
NYC Sightseeing Pass

New York Pass
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Go New York Explorer
New York City Explorer Pass

CityPASS
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Central Park

✔ Bike Tour
✔ Walking Tours
✔ Zoo

✔ Bike Tour
✔ Victorian Gardens (summer)
✔ Walking Tours
✔ Bike Tour
✔ Victorian Gardens (summer)
✔ Walking Tour
 
Empire State BuildingX $40 Credit to Use✔ 86th Floor✔ 86th Floor✔ 86th Floor
✔ Same Night Re-entry
Madame Tussauds✔ Included✔ Included✔Included 
One World Observatory✔ Included✔ Included✔ Included 
Rockefeller Center✔TOTR✔Rock Center Tour
✔TOTR
✔ Rock Center Tour
✔ TOTR
✔TOTR or Guggenheim
Liberty/ Ellis✔ Cruise
✔ Grounds
✔ Ellis Island/Immigration
✔ Secret Tour
✔ Cruise
✔ Grounds
✔ Ellis Island/Immigration
✔ Cruise
✔ Grounds
✔ Ellis Island/Immigration
✔ Secret Tour
✔Ferry/Grounds/Ellis or Circle Line

Save on NYC Tourist Attractions

If a lot of New York City attractions and sightseeing are on your agenda, then find out if New York City Pass Discounts are best for you.

New York City Passes all include admission, but you still may have to wait on the ticket line to get your “voucher,” and they do not get you priority at the elevator line.

Top New York City Attractions for Kids

One of the best parts of NYC is that what is fun for kids is usually just as much fun for adults.

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Sightsee from the Sky

Top of the Rock, Empire State Building, One World Observatory or Edge? Which is best and, if we have to choose, which should we visit? There is no easy answer, but here are some facts to help guide your choice.

New York City Tourist Attractions

  • Empire State Building - (86 and 102 floors) Best for patient movie and history buffs who need to check it off their bucket list. Recently redone indoor 102nd Floor Observatory
  • Top of the Rock - (67-70 floors) Best for sweeping 360° vista views, including of the Empire State Building and Central Park. Shorter lines and cheaper than the ESB.
  • One World Observatory - (100-102 floors) Best for homage to the Twin Towers. Modern and high tech, with phenomenal views
  • Edge - (100-101 floors) opening March 2020, highest outdoor observation deck, glass bottom floor, deck extends 80 feet away from building (photo)

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Newest in New York City

One World Observatory NYC

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New York City Museums

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Tour Arts, Culture & Music

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More Ways to Explore NYC

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New York City’s Top 15 Attractions

From Visually.

New York City Tourist Attractions by NYC Area

These New York City tourist attractions have been divided into eight unofficial areas of the City, with the official Manhattan neighborhoods in the middle. The attractions include all major sightseeing attractions, museums and other famous New York City landmarks. If seeing many New York City tourist attractions is a priority, look into an Attractions Discount Pass.

New York City Tourist Attractions

…the NON Tourist Way. Experience NYC like a local

There are so many amazing New York City tourist attractions and over time, I do recommend you see them all. Those of us who live here, have seen them over decades, while also living our every day lives in Manhattan.

Many of these tourist attractions are time consuming, expensive or both. And if you have children, are on a short trip or just plain old don’t like to do “touristy” things, long lines and waits are never a good thing!

These recommendations are alternatives to traditional ways of seeing New York City attractions. Some will save you time, some will save you money and some both. Many of them are free!

Find your personal balance – pick the things you and your family really must see and do, but use the tips below to blend in some authentic New York City – the same way as real New Yorkers.

There are so many amazing New York City attractions and over time, I do recommend you see them all. Those of us who live here, have seen them over decades, while also living our every day lives in Manhattan. Here are just some of the ways we blend all things famous in NYC with our every day lives.

Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

new-york-city-tourist-attractions-museum-of-modern-art

The Modern – Dining Room or Bar
With all the New York City attractions to see, time may become a concern. Maybe you can squeeze in lunch and a visit to the MOMA, by eating at their restaurant, The Modern. This is not a typical museum cafe. Everything from the food to the atmosphere and scenery is exquisite.

The Modern is part of Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group, which also owns Union Square Cafe, Gramercy Tavern, Eleven Madison Park, Tabla and many other of NYC’s top rated restaurants. The dining room overlooks a wonderful sculpture garden in the middle of the museum and food itself is practically art.
See more Insider Tips on NYC Museums.

Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met)

Metropolitan Museum of Art (Met) Roof

Every Friday and Saturday night, from 6-8 pm, The Met hosts a classical string quartet above the Great Hall. The atmosphere is magical and it doesn’t get more quintessential New York.

You can purchase cocktails and appetizers at the Balcony Bar, and if you get there early enough, grab one of the little tables with candles. A lovely way to see some beautiful art and no ticket purchase is necessary.

During the summer, be sure to check out the Martini Bar on the Roof Garden Café, an informal, outdoor setting with breathtaking panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline. More Info: Metropolitan Museum of Art NYC

Statue of Liberty

Many people are surprised to learn the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island are two different islands.

The guides recommend you take 2.5-3 hours to see one island or 5-6 hours to see both. Reservations to see the inside of the Statue of Liberty need to be scheduled months (up to a year) in advance.

This is the most popular New York City attraction. For those of you who would still love to see this amazing world wonder, but are looking for alternatives:

Statue of Liberty Ferry
Statue of Liberty from Staten Island Ferry

Staten Island Ferry is a great choice for those with less patience for lines and Museums. Kids love the SI Ferry. It’s free, passes very close to Lady Liberty, runs every 30 minutes and takes approximately 25 minutes each way. Schedule about 45 minutes total.

NYC Restaurants with Statue of Liberty View

NYC Restaurants with Statue of Liberty View

Ningbo Café (formerly Liberty View Restaurant)
21 South End Ave (West Thames St), Battery Park City

Chinese food with a view! Very good food (for the location) and a perfect ground floor view of the Statue of Liberty with lovely indoor and outdoor seating. Is it the best Chinese in NYC? No, but it's really good and certainly the Chinese restaurant with the best NYC views.

Also check out Miramar Mediteranean & Seafood, right next door, upscale food and the same spectacular view of Lady Liberty.

Grand Central Terminal

E 42nd Street (Park and Lexington)
www.grandcentralterminal.com

Completely restored back to it’s 1913 splendor, Grand Central is a midtown destination for five restaurants and cocktail lounges, 20 casual international eateries, gourmet foods from the Grand Central Market and the 50 unique specialty shops throughout the concourses. Not only is there no admission cost, but you can take a free tour, a New York Tourism luxury.

Best For: People watching, daily commuters from Connecticut and Westchester, and astrological ceiling mural, painted in gold leaf 125 feet overheard.

NYC Insider Way: actually commuting through GCT every day. Good news for you; be thrilled you’re on vacation while you’re watching others go to work!

Save Big on NYC Attractions

NY Sightseeing Pass
NYC Sightseeing Pass

The New York Pass
New York City Pass Discounts

  • Includes 100 tours and attractions
  • Choose 1, 2, 3, 5, 7 or 10 Days
  • Digital or Physical Pass
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NY Explorer Pass
New York City Explorer Pass

Most Popular Ticketed Tourist Attractions

Sightsee from the Sky

Top of the Rock, Empire State Building, One World Observatory or Edge? Which is best and, if we have to choose, which should we visit? There is no easy answer, but here are some facts to help guide your choice.

New York City Tourist Attractions

  • Empire State Building - (86 and 102 floors) Best for patient movie and history buffs who need to check it off their bucket list. Recently redone indoor 102nd Floor Observatory
  • Top of the Rock - (67-70 floors) Best for sweeping 360° vista views, including of the Empire State Building and Central Park. Shorter lines and cheaper than the ESB.
  • One World Observatory - (100-102 floors) Best for homage to the Twin Towers. Modern and high tech, with phenomenal views
  • Edge - (100-101 floors) opening March 2020, highest outdoor observation deck, glass bottom floor, deck extends 80 feet away from building (photo)

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