Things to do

Top 10 Things To Do In New York City

View from within the Flatiron Building looking out onto Union Square. (Photo By: Jason Krieger)
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New York City offers more attractions and options than anywhere else in the world. There are hundreds of activities, seasonal events, concerts, and festivals to attend here.

Whether you are visiting for the first time or are a true New Yorker, there is something on the list for you to do. Be the famous landmarks, statues, buildings, parks, or must-try foods, there is something for everyone.

If you are spending a couple of days or even a whole month, we got you covered. Here is a narrowed-down list and options for your ultimate NYC bucket list.

1. View New York City From One Of The Observation Decks

Observation Decks in New York City are thrilling and a once-in-a-lifetime experience. See the views of the Big Apple from one of the five observation decks in Manhattan.

The Empire State

The iconic and oldest observation deck offers spectacular 360° views of NYC. It has been featured in many famous movies, such as King Kong, Superman II, Sleepless in Seattle, and Independence Day.

Top Of the Rock

The views from the Top of the Rock are not only incredible, but you can also see Central Park and the Empire State Building.

It is one of the cheapest observation deck in the city and far less crowded as well.

One World Observatory

This observation deck is located in One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere.

Why should you visit One World Observatory? It is New York City's highest observation deck, with views of the Statue of Liberty.

The Edge

With both an indoor observation deck and a sky deck, The Edge is an experience on its own. Stand on the glass-paneled floor to see the streets of Manhattan and experience City Climb here.

It is the other cheap option and way less crowded than One World Observatory.

Exterior of The Edge in NYC. (Photo By: Willian Justen de Vasconcellos)
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Summit One Vanderbilt

This one is located on one of the tallest skyscrapers in Manhattan. Summit One Vanderbilt is a multi-sensory, immersive experience with floor-to-ceiling mirrors and amazing art installations.

2. Visit Beautiful Museums And Galleries

NYC bucket list is incomplete without visiting some of the museums and galleries here. Here is a list of the best museums in New York City.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

If there is one museum you should not miss in NYC, it is the MET. The collection here incorporates over 2 million objects, paintings, photography, sculpture, and more.

The Met Cloisters

A sister museum to the MET, The Cloisters is dedicated to the art of the Middle Ages. The collection here contains tapestries, sculptures, stained glass windows, paintings, and metalwork.

9/11 Memorial Museum

A museum dedicated to the victims of the September 11 attack, this place has many exhibits that honor those who lost their lives.

The Museum at FIT

Fashion lovers must visit this robust organization that celebrates everything in fashion. They have multiple exhibitions of historic as well as contemporary garments.

The American Museum of Natural History

An iconic institution on its own, this museum is known for its exhibits on the history of the natural world. It has more than 30 million specimens of animals, minerals, artifacts, fossils, and more.

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

The Guggenheim is filled with classic works that can be categorized as cubism, surrealism, and abstract expressionism. This revered institution is known for its circular, Frank Lloyd Weight-designed structure.

The Frick Collection

A former private home turned art museum; Frick Collection is a gem in the concrete jungle. It is filled with masterpieces and work from the European Renaissance.

The Museum of Modern Art

One of the top art museums in the world, MoMA has a collection of modern as well as contemporary designs and works.

Two people looking at art in The Museum of Modern Art. (Photo By: Johnell Pannell)
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The Museum of the City of New York

Want to know the history of the beloved city? The artifacts here tell the story and everything that is to love about NYC. From mouth-watering food to tales about the residents, this institution has it all.

The Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum

This organization is dedicated to the history and the development of contemporary design. It has over 240 years of invention and advancement in design.

3. Spend A Day Chilling At A Park In NYC

The best parks in NYC include Central Park and Bryant Park. As NYC is filled with buildings and skylines, these parks feel like an oasis in the concrete jungle.

Central Park

The biggest park in New York City, this 840 acres of green space is the go-to place. This man-made park has several iconic spots where you can spend a whole day.

Also, it is one of the most filmed locations in the world.

Washington Square Park

Another iconic park on the list, this space is mostly known for the monolithic grand marble arch. The mood here is always energetic and contagious and is a perfect spot for people-watching.

The High Line

This park was originally an old piece of elevated railway track. Stop by to check the shallow pools, sculptures, amazing views, and food court.

Bryant Park

Although not a huge one, Bryant Park is one of the most joyous and cheerful parks. If visiting during the summer, do not miss the free movies hosted on the lawn.

The beauty of New York in Bryant Park.
Source : instagram

Battery Park

With a great history behind it, this scenic waterfront has views of towering skyscrapers of Wall Street and the Statue of Liberty.

4. Click Pictures With Iconic Monuments

The city has some of the most iconic monuments and statues that are unmissable. Here are a few that are a must-visit.

The Statue of Liberty

This 150+ feet statue with an encapsulating torch is a must-visit for anyone going to New York for the first time. Take a ferry to get there and click some incredible photos.

The Statue of Liberty in New York City. (Photo By: Reno Laithienne)
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The Charging Bull

This sculpture is a masterpiece located in the Financial District. It symbolizes financial determination and the hard work of Wall Street employees.

The Fearless Girl Statue

Fearless Girl Statue, located in the Financial District, is right in the middle of Broad Street. It depicts a young girl standing tall to a charging bull.

Brooklyn Bridge

It is a hybrid cable-stayed bridge that connects Brooklyn and Manhattan. A must-visit, this is one of the most Instagrammable spots in the city.

5. Try some NYC Favorite Food

Food in New York City is heavenly and comforting. Well, it isn't one of the best food cities in the world for nothing.

In a city that doesn't sleep, getting delicious and amazing food is possible at any hour of the day.

Whether you want to dine at world-class Michelin-star restaurants or affordable places, NYC has got it all.

NYC favorite bagels. (Photo By: Tessa Wilson)
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Here is a list of some must-try food in NYC.

  • Bagles
  • Pretzels
  • New York Style Cheesecake
  • New York Style Pizza
  • Hot Dogs
  • Cronuts
  • Breakfast Sandwich
  • Corned Beef and Pastrami Sandwiches
  • Chinese Food

6. Shop Till You Drop In NYC

Shopping in New York City is a dream come true for every shopaholic. Here are some of the New York streets for the best shopping.


This area of town has unique boutiques, big department stores, and high-end luxury designers.

The West Village

A charming neighborhood filled with interesting boutique stores, it is filled with vintage stores, cafes, pop-up stores, and bookshops.

Fifth Avenue

If you want to shop some luxury and if budget isn't a concern, this massive shopping district is the go-to place.

Shopping in the 5th Ave. (Photo By: Esteban Chinchilla)
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The Chelsea Market has amazing stores with smaller local boutiques.

Madison Avenue

With luxury brands competing for the best spot, Madison Avenue is everything posh.


This section of the city has unique stores and great boutiques for trendy shopping.

East Village

Want to shop vintage? This part of the town has a reputation for being a bohemian safe haven.

7. Watch A Broadway Show

Want to experience everything in New York? Watch a Broadway Show at the Theater District that you would prefer.

Whether you are a Broadway fan or not, it is worth going at least once in your life. They can be an inexpensive way of spending an evening or experiencing nightlife in NYC.

As the list of shows is always changing, it is best to pick one of the long-running classics. Some of them include The Lion King, Chicago, Hamilton, Wicked, and Phantom of the Opera.

Going during Broadway Week which is from mid-January to early February means you will get amazing deals with the tickets such as 2 tickets for the price of 1.

8. Watch A Ballet Performance

NYC has some of the best ballet in the entire country. The city is home to very talented dancers and performers.

The stage comes to life with the combination of dance and music, making a wonderfully mesmerizing performance.

New York City Ballet at the stage. (Photo By: Paul Kolnik⁠)
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Here are some of the best places to watch ballet in NYC.

  • New York City Ballet
  • American Ballet Theatre
  • Lincoln Center Out of Doors
  • Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
  • Dance Theatre of Harlem
  • New York City Center
  • Joffrey Ballet School
  • New Chamber Ballet
  • The Joyce Theater

9. Ride The Subway And Yellow Taxi

Did you even see New York if you haven't gone to the subway or gotten a yellow taxi?

The subway here is the easiest and most convenient way to get around the city. Do avoid the rush hour and do not travel with more than what you can carry on your own.

Yellow taxis are very important in NYC. It is a part of everyday life here. Everyone has seen the iconic yellow taxi in movies and television shows, and one should experience getting one.

Other modes of transportation in the city are buses and cycles, both of which are also a must-try.

10. Tour Some Iconic Movie Location

Movie locations in New York City are authentic as movies are mostly filmed right in the middle of the city. So many of your favorite television shows and movies have been filmed here.

Unlike in LA, many of these locations are widely accessible to the public. Here are some of the best ones.

  • Coney Island
  • Ray's Pizza
  • Katz Delicatessen
  • The Unisphere
  • Columbia University
  • The Loeb Boathouse
  • Grand Central Station
  • Washington Square Park
  • New York Public Library
  • Radio City Music Hall
  • The Plaza Hotel
  • The Mall
  • Lotte New York Palace
  • Rockefeller Center
  • McGee's Pub
  • Friend's Building
  • Carrie Bradshaw's Apartment