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New York City, NY: What Not to Miss

New York City, NY: songs have been written about it; movies have been made about it; and millions of people have visited it. It’s one of my favorite cities in the world and I’ve spent some time writing down what I think are ten things that you really shouldn’t miss when visiting New York City.

Ten Things Not to Miss in New York City, NY

10. Rockefeller Center

Rockefeller Center is one of New York City’s many icons. The best time of year to visit it is around Christmas time, when the huge Christmas tree is lit and people are skating on the rink.

Christmas at Rockefeller Center, New York City, NY

You can get tickets to the Top of the Rock here.

9. Cocktails in a Rooftop Bar

Forget going up the Empire State Building or Rockefeller Center. Drinking cocktails in a rooftop bar is what you really want to do. The views are pretty much the same and usually there is a spectacular view of those two famous skyscrapers.

Cocktails in New York City, NY

8. 9/11 Memorial

The National September 11 Memorial is located at the site where the Twin Towers once stood. Now it’s a park with about 250 trees and two large square pools that lie at the very location of the towers.

One World Trade Center in New York City, NY

You can get tickets to a tour of the 9/11 Memorial Museum with priority access here.

Further reading: Is One World Trade Center Worth Visiting?

7. Play on Broadway

There’s no activity more ‘New York’ than attending a play on Broadway. Make sure to go check the ticket offices at Times Square, as they always have discount tickets on offer.

Limousine in New York City, NY

You can purchase tickets to a variety of Broadway plays here.

6. American Museum of Natural History

Home to 32 million (!) artifacts, this museum is impossible to see in a day. Honestly, I think it’s even impossible to see it all in a whole week. It consists of 45 exhibition halls and therefore it’s best to focus on a few halls and subjects, rather than rushing to see everything.

American Museum of Natural History, New York City

5. Staten Island Ferry

A totally free activity, the Staten Island Ferry runs between Lower Manhattan and Staten Island and passes by the Statue of Liberty, offering exceptional views of the Manhattan skyline on the way. I say: don’t waste your money on ferry tickets to Liberty Island, but hitch a free ride on this one!

View of the Manhattan skyline, New York City, NY

4. Metropolitan Museum of Art

The more than impressive Met is gigantic and filled to the brim with masterpieces from all across the globe, spanning a period of about 5,000 years. Its vast collections include paintings by European masters, sculptures from Ancient Greece, and modern art.

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, NY

Further reading: New Year’s Eve in New York City

3. Stroll through Central Park

Central Park features a zoo, theater, playgrounds, restaurants, bars, huge grassy lawns, ponds, lakes, etcetera. Absolutely make sure to go for walk through Central Park when staying in New York City.

Ice skating rink in Central Park, Manhattan, New York City, NY

2. Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge

Another free activity, the Brooklyn Bridge connects the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn. From Manhattan you can take the subway to Brooklyn and walk back across the bridge. The views of the skyline are phenomenal.

The Brooklyn Bridge, New York City, NY

A fun way to visit the Brooklyn Bridge is a guided bike tour of Brooklyn.

1. Times Square

Times Square is probably my favorite place in the entire city. I’m fascinated by the flashing neon lights, the bright advertisements, the hustle and bustle, and the amount of activity that is going on all day every day. Located in the middle of Manhattan, this is also a great area to stay.

New York City, NY, taxis at Times Square

If you would like to visit more than one of the attractions above, consider getting yourself a New York City Attractions Pass.

I wrote this post in collaboration with Hipmunk, a great online source of hotels in New York City.

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5 thoughts on “New York City, NY: What Not to Miss

  • What no shopping???

    I have been to NYC a few times and done all of the above except 9.
    So that is going to be the first thing on my list the next time around

    A great list for first timers to the big apple

    • I’m a guy, so no, no shopping 😀 When you go to a rooftop bar, make sure to go early in the evening when there’s no cover charge. The cocktails are fairly pricey, but hey, it’s NYC. It’s totally worth it!

  • Sorry, this is not “New York City,” these are all the super-touristy places that are on every tourism site. Did you actually leave Midtown Manhattan?

    • Of course these are the touristy places. That’s exactly what this post is about – I never claimed otherwise. These ten things are, in my opinion, what first-time visitors to New York City should see or do. And yes, I did leave Midtown Manhattan; I went to Brooklyn and I have family in Queens. The Staten Island Ferry, 9/11 Memorial and Brooklyn Bridge are not located in Midtown Manhattan either, by the way, so I don’t know why you asked that question.

  • Hey Bram! thanks a lot for all the suggested places on this post. I’m going to New York City for the first time in August. I hope I’m going to have good time over there. And by the way, I just start my own blog recently 🙂 I really would like to hear from you if there is any suggestion for me to improve it, here’s the link Thanks again 🙂

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