Things to do in New York

When planning things to do in New York, there are some quintessential sights and New York attractions you can’t miss. The shopping and dining is sublime, the arts scene edgy, the parks and gardens stunning. Deciding what to see in New York can feel overwhelming, but with a little bit of planning and a dose of free time to explore, you’re bound to uncover experiences that have you falling in love with the Big Apple.

Statue of Liberty

An icon of New York, the Statue of Liberty is so much more than a monument. After a 15-minute ferry ride, you'll find yourself dwarfed by the statue, a symbol of freedom and friendship. Once there, guided tours are available around Liberty Island, or you can do your own tour and admire the history and views at your own pace. If you plan to visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, we recommend catching the ferry before 1pm to allow yourself enough time on the island.
The Statue of Liberty is New York's world famous icon and a must-see.

Empire State Building

One of the most famous buildings on the New York skyline, the Empire State Building observatory is a popular attraction. Located on the 86th floor, some 1,050 feet above the streets, the building offers impressive views across New York. Drop a few coins in the telescopes and look around the city, or match up the views with the maps.
New York's impressive skyline is a sight you'll never forget.

Rockefeller Center

The Rockefeller Center, named after its developer John D Rockefeller Junior, is made up of 19 buildings in the Midtown area. A mixture of commercial properties, public artworks and art-deco buildings, the Rockefeller Center is well worth your time to visit. Head up to the observation deck, Top of the Rock, or take a tour of NBC Studios. The ice-skating rink and Radio City Music Hall are also popular attractions.
Rockefeller Centre overlooking Central Park in Manhattan, New York.

Times Square

You'll feel the energy and see Times Square well before you get there thanks to the flashing lights and vibrant billboards. Home to New York's Theatre District, it's easy to be swept up in the excitement. Restaurants and bars line the streets here too, so make your way through the crowds to have a drink or a bite to eat and soak in the atmosphere.

Brooklyn Bridge

A walk across the Brooklyn Bridge is an amazing way to experience both New York and Brooklyn. As you cross the East River, you'll see Lady Liberty to one side watching over Manhattan. Whether you leave from the Manhattan or Brooklyn side, you'll be blown away by the views. As you make your way across the bridge, admire the amazing structure and impressive granite towers.
The Brooklyn Bridge and lower Manhattan skyline, New York City.

Grand Central Terminal

Grand Central Terminal, often referred to as Grand Central Station, is a New York attraction that's often underrated. Featuring a vaulted ceiling with the constellations across it as well as bronze and gold statues and accents throughout, Grand Central boasts some seriously stunning architecture. The terminal, one of the busiest in the world, also houses shops and restaurants.
Don't miss the architectural details in Grand Central Station, New York.

Staten Island Ferry

Linking the borough of Staten Island to Manhattan, the Staten Island Ferry is a passenger service that transports more than 21 million passengers every year. Taking 25 minutes, the ferry ride provides amazing views of Lower Manhattan including the Statue of Liberty and the Financial District. Even better, the ferry ride is free.
The Staten Island Ferry passes the Statue of Liberty in New York.

Chrysler Building

Opposite Grand Central Terminal, the Chrysler Building displays some of the most spectacular art-deco designs in the world. While it no longer has an observation deck open to the public, the lobby is open Monday to Friday to see the gorgeous ceiling mural and the styling that's reflective of the jazz era.
New York's art deco masterpiece, the Chrysler Building.

Museum of Modern Art

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMa) features some of the biggest names in the art world. You'll find works here from Picasso, Pollock, Salvador Dali and Matisse, making this one of New York's most prestigious attractions. If you plan to see the entire museum, be sure to stop for something to eat in the onsite cafes.
Broken Eggs' painting, Museum of Modern Art

American Museum of Natural History

The American Museum of Natural History in Central Park West is spread across four floors, giving you an insight into our incredibly diverse world. With exhibitions covering humans, geology, fossils and space, it's easy to spend hours or even a whole day here. The displays here are incredible, including the massive blue whale and some prehistoric skeletons.
The entrance hall, American Museum of Natural History, New York.

The Met

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, known as The Met, can be found on Museum Mile in the Upper East Side. One of the largest galleries in the world, there are some 19 departments here, featuring more than two million pieces of art. There is something to suit all interests, from medieval art to modern art and photography exhibits.
Armoured knight riding a horse while holding a lance, The MET.

The Guggenheim

On the Upper East Side, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, or the Guggenheim as it's more commonly known, is a modern art museum. The architecture of the building itself is a hint to the creativity housed inside. The museum follows a gentle spiral, unlike any other museum, and showcases works from Kandinsky, Manet, and Picasso.
The modernist Guggenheim Museum is like an artwork in itself.

Broadway shows

Surrounding Times Square, there are some 40 different Broadway shows on offer at any time. Some of the longest-running shows can be found here, such as West Side Story. While tickets to most shows aren't cheap, this is an amazing opportunity to see big names on stage. Getting tickets can be somewhat difficult, so be prepared to book early or take what you can get.
Seeing a show on Broadway is a must-do New York City experience.