Things to do in

New York City

Eat, shop, and fall in love with world-class museums, historical landmarks, and skyscrapers galore.

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Our most recommended New York City Top 10

  • NYC: Empire State Building General & Skip-the-Line Tickets

    1. NYC: Empire State Building General & Skip-the-Line Tickets

    Choose between a General Admission ticket and the Express Ticket option. General Admission allows you to skip the ticket purchase line, whilst the Express Ticket option gives you an upgraded VIP experience. With an Express Ticket you'll be able to skip all lines, including the ticket purchase line, security line and the elevator lines that take you up and down. The New Empire State Building Experience not only gives you access to the legendary New York City landmark, allowing you to soar 1,054 foot (320 meters) high and enjoy magnificent 360-degree open-air views of New York City and beyond. You'll also see Grand Staircase with a two-story architectural model of the building and newly renovated interactive galleries that take you on an incredible journey from the building’s construction to its current place in pop culture. Explore the site in the 1920s, Construction, Opening Day, Moder...

    Live in CNY. Been to the city plenty of times but never have been here. Why did our family wait so long??? This was a great experience and rich in history. The views, AMAZING! Love the Big !

  • NYC: Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) Timed-Entry Ticket

    2. NYC: Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) Timed-Entry Ticket

    Pre-book your timed admission and skip the ticket lines to New York City's Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), one of the world's most celebrated art museums. The Museum of Modern Art is a place that fuels creativity, challenges minds, and provides inspiration. With extraordinary exhibitions and the world's finest collection of modern and contemporary art, MoMA is dedicated to the conversation between the past and the present, the established and the experimental. MoMA offers a panoramic overview of modern and contemporary art, from the innovative European painting and sculpture of the 1880s to today's film, design, and performance art. Six floors of art galleries in midtown Manhattan include highlights such as Monet's Water Lilies, van Gogh's The Starry Night, Picasso's Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, Matisse's Dance (I), and Warhol's Campbell's Soup Cans

    No problems getting in. Had plenty of time to look around although MoMA deserves several days to be honest.

  • New York One World Observatory: Skip-the-Line Ticket Options

    3. New York One World Observatory: Skip-the-Line Ticket Options

    There are a million things to experience in New York City, but only one way to truly see them all. Start by skipping just the ticket line or opt to also skip the elevator line. Ascend via SkyPod to the top of the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere in less than 47 seconds. With speed topping 28 mph, these are the fastest elevators in the Western Hemisphere. While ascending, SkyPod provides a virtual time-lapse visual experience showing how the view of New York City has changed from the 1500s to today.  Once up at the Observatory, take in the iconic sights, surrounding waters, and panoramas of the Manhattan skyline and beyond. Then look toward the horizon and feel the city’s invincible spirit while taking in the stunning views.  Engage with City Pulse and One World Observatory's global ambassadors as they share stories of this amazing city. Step onto the expansive Sky Portal and ...

    I would highly recommend it. I enjoyed the views tremendously. And the elevator ride up was quick. And I ate lunch at the restaurant there. And saw the presentation. I enjoyed it.

  • NYC: 9/11 Memorial & Museum Timed-Entry Ticket

    4. NYC: 9/11 Memorial & Museum Timed-Entry Ticket

    Benefit from contactless entry to the National September 11 Memorial Museum with your pre-purchased timed-entry ticket. Enjoy complimentary access to the 9/11 Memorial, the Survival Tree, and the Memorial Glades The 9/11 Museum The museum displays over 10,000 monumental artifacts linked to the events of 9/11 and is made up of three permanent exhibition sections: • The Historical Exhibition has three parts: the Day of 9/11, Before 9/11 and After 9/11. It tells the story of what happened on 9/11, including the events at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and the story of Flight 93.  • The Memorial Exhibition "In Memoriam", commemorates the lives of those who perished on September 11, 2001 and February 26, 1993 and provides visitors with the opportunity to learn about the men, women and children who died. • The Foundation Hall is a room of massive scale, which houses...

    Very well done, solemn and emotional tribute to the victims and the horrors/ heroes of that day

  • New York City: Manhattan Island Helicopter Tour

    5. New York City: Manhattan Island Helicopter Tour

    Experience the best views in New York City from inside a helicopter, complete with large floor-to-ceiling convex windows for your viewing pleasure. On your flight you will see the beautiful Central Park, Hudson River, and New York Harbor, including the Intrepid Sea Air Space Museum.

    You’ll also cruise past the Rockefeller Center, Empire State Building, the World Financial Center, and the Chrysler Building from up high, as well as the iconic Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Greenwich Village, South Street Seaport, and the Brooklyn Bridge, which dates all the way back to 1883.

    With tour narration and all heliport fees included, there is no better way to enjoy the dramatic and ever-evolving New York City skyline.

    Fantastic experience. It helped that we had a gorgeous day! Beautiful way to see the city. Our helicopter sat 5 people, 1 up front and 4 in the back in. 2-2 configuration so everything had a great window view.

  • New York: Big Bus Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Tour

    6. New York: Big Bus Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Tour

    Explore New York City and see the sights from the top deck of an open top bus. Admire iconic landmarks and monuments, from the Empire State Building to Times Square and the world-famous Brooklyn Bridge. Discover the unique neighborhoods of Chinatown, Little Italy, and the Upper East Side. The hop-on hop-off route covers iconic sights throughout New York City. Experience the diverse culture, beautiful parks, stunning architecture, and picturesque views both from the top of an open-air sightseeing bus, and on foot when you choose to hop-off to further explore. Hop-off and back on at your leisure to create your own customized itinerary around the city. Benefit from live bus tracking so that you will always know exactly when the next bus will arrive. Enjoy new, state-of-the-art audio commentary that is highly entertaining and engaging for adults and children alike. Choose from 3 ticket op...

    The downtown bus was great but the uptown bus wasn’t on cue when we passed specific sites. It would talk about them too early and when we reached them they were already talking about something else.

  • New York: Go City Explorer Pass with 95+ Tours & Attractions

    7. New York: Go City Explorer Pass with 95+ Tours & Attractions

    Go City offers you a selection of over 95 must-see NYC attractions, museums, and tours for one low pre-paid price. Save up to 45% compared to buying separate attraction tickets, and see New York's most popular attractions with one easy-to-use digital pass.

    Choices include the Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island Ferry, 9/11 Museum and Memorial, Empire State Building, NY Waterways Tours, MoMA, and many more! There's no need to decide in advance, and you can take up to 60 days after using the pass to make your first visit.

    Your Explorer Pass also features special perks including gift shop discounts or a free audio guide at selected attractions, helping you make the most of your New York trip and save even more along the way.

    The New York attractions you can select include: 

    MUSEUMS AND GALLERIES

    • American Museum of Natural History

    • The Museum ...

    With the New York Explorer pass, we selected the 7 most important sights. Then I started planning the days. I got to know the subway and bus transportation in New York and planned where and how to go. Now I’m nearing the end and enjoying it more and more. I’ve been to the U.S. several times, but I’ve avoided big cities by far so far. However, I was in almost every National Park. I think we will enjoy that too.

Frequently asked questions about New York City

Planning Your Visit

  • How many days to spend in New York?

    Spend at least five days in order to see New York like a local. Manhattan is the ultimate walking city, densely packed and not very long or wide. You won't have to go very far and you'll find Broadway plays to see, districts and restaurants to explore, drinks to be had, bookstores and botanical gardens to browse. And don’t miss a walk on the Highline or the Brooklyn Bridge!

  • Where to shop?

    From Bergdorf Goodman to local Soho boutiques, there’s something for everyone. Our tip? Be sure to check out the Brooklyn Flea: tons of local designers will give you a unique take-home souvenir.

  • Where to eat?

    Interested in finding the best eats in New York? Here are our favorites. Pizza: Check out Roberta’s, a legendary Brooklyn institution. Classic bagels and lox: Head to Russ & Daughters on the Lower East Side. Authentic diner experience: Empire Diner and Tom’s Restaurant are two of the best. Fun brunch spot: Try Prune in the East Village, or Marlow & Sons or Cafe Colette (both in Williamsburg).

Good to know

  • Language
    English
  • Currency
    USD ($)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (-05:00)
  • Country Code
    +1
  • Best time to visit
    There's truly no best or worst time to visit New York, because this city is alive 24/7/365. That being said, those on a budget should look to plan a trip between January and April, when prices will be (at least a little) cheaper. Also, summer travelers should plan 6 months ahead.

Insider tips: Planning a trip to New York City

Looking to take a bite out of the Big Apple? We've enlisted the help of New York City expert, Steffen, from Loving New York to help you make the most of your next trip. Read our tips below for your next visit to New York City.

What should I do on my first trip to New York City?

If it's your first time in New York, you should definitely visit one of the big observation platforms! You have several to choose from, but I recommend the Edge observation deck at the Hudson Yards and the One World Observatory. Also, take a boat tour to see New York from the water.

What are some hidden gems to see in New York City?

I'll tell you two of my favorite spots in New York: the Grand Banks at Pier 25 on the Hudson River and Domino Park in Williamsburg. Both places grant you sensational views of the city.

How much time should I spend in New York City?

To explore New York – and not feel stressed out – you want to stay at least 5 to 7 days. That way, you can visit the most important spots and still have time to let the city work its magic on you – but without the time pressure

What food is New York City known for?

I'm a total foodie – so New York is obviously paradise to me! Start with the typical Cream Cheese Bagels (for example at Russ & Daughters in the Lower East Side), try the Pastrami Sandwiches (at Katz' Delicatessen or the Pastrami Queen), and eat a typical New York Pizza Slice. And if you have a sweet tooth: Juniors has the best cheesecake in the city, hands down!

What neighborhood should I stay in when I visit New York City?

First-time visitors should always book their hotel in Manhattan – this way the distances are short and you can easily reach all the sights on foot. I like Soho, Tribeca, Lower Manhattan, and Murray Hill in particular.

What is the best way to get around New York City?

In New York, the best way to get around is on foot – or you can jump on a 'Citi Bike', which is super cheap to rent. We also like to use the NYC Ferries, which can shuttle you between Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens on the East River for the price of a one-way subway ride.

What are the best months to visit New York City?

It's worth visiting New York at any time of the year. But if I had to settle on individual months, I recommend May/June and September/October.

What are the best neighborhoods for food?

There are so many different gastro spots in Williamsburg, the East Village, and West Village.

What are the best neighborhoods for shopping?

New York and shopping simply go hand in hand, Great areas are SoHo, 5th Avenue, and the lower part of Broadway. Be sure to avoid the Times Square area for shopping at all costs – most stores are overpriced and true tourist traps!

What is the best family-friendly thing to do in New York City?

Exploring New York with the family is huge fun - I myself have been to our favorite city with my kids numerous times. Among my personal highlights is a trip to the Statue of Liberty, the visit to the One World Observatory, and Central Park with its lakes and playgrounds. Also really exciting is the Museum of Natural History, which will be familiar to many from the movie "Night at the Museum".

What is the best thing to do in New York City for solo travelers?

Make sure to take a sailing tour on the Hudson River. Many tours, one with on-board wine tasting, for example, start at Pier 62. This is a really relaxed way to travel and a fun way to meet new people.

What is the best thing to do in New York City for couples?

New York can also be quite romantic. A visit to the Empire State Building in the evening from 10 pm (from Thursday to Saturday) is a real highlight, not just for couples. During this time, a saxophonist plays on the observation deck. Also very enjoyable are the dinner cruises and a flight in a helicopter over New York.

What are the best annual events in New York City?

Among the most important events in New York are St. Patrick's Day in March, Gay Pride in June, of course, the 4th of July, and also the Macy's Parade – which is an absolute must-see.

Other Sightseeing Options in New York City

Want to discover all there is to do in New York City? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about New York City

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 57,484 reviews

Live in CNY. Been to the city plenty of times but never have been here. Why did our family wait so long??? This was a great experience and rich in history. The views, AMAZING! Love the Big !

The tour was nice! The guide, Brian was funny and knowledgeable about all the sites. I would recommend this tour to others. Thanks!

Great trip! I was scouting spots to propose so the guided tour helped!

Totally loved it. It was our first concert and it sure was memorable.

Easy booking and quick efficient entry into the building.