Travel Guides

15 Best Things to Do in New York City

The best guide to the world’s most breathtaking city, showcasing the latest trends in Big Apple food, culture and entertainment.

We are talking about New York, a place where it’s impossible to close your eyes with so much to see and do. It’s important to know what is and isn’t worth seeing in order not to get overwhelmed. So, let’s discover together in this article the best things to do in New York City on your vacation.

Best Things to Do in New York City

1. Experience New York From Above: Premier Helicopter Tours

Helicopter over Central Park, New York.
Aerial view of Central Park, a top sight in New York's adventures.

The finest experience you'll do in New York may be a helicopter visit over the city. You'll see New York like few people do. Seeing New York from a bird's eye view may be an awesome experience you'll try since you are feeling like you have got New York in your hands.

While flying over New York in a helicopter, you'll get mind blowing views of the city's horizon. Most flights are less than 15 minutes and take you on a picturesque outing that combines breathtaking views with the excitement of a helicopter flight over New York City at over 200 km/h.

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2. Catch Live Basketball in New York: Where the World’s Best Play

Interior view of Madison Square Garden in New York City, empty and being prepared for an event, a must-visit for those seeking the pulse of NYC's dynamic event scene, one of the top 15 things to do in the city.
Dive into the Heart of New York City Entertainment at the Famed Madison Square Garden.

You're a ball fan or not, but it is one of the best things to do in New York to appreciate an NBA diversion. You ought to do it individually. The New York Knicks play their domestic diversions at Madison Square Plant, where you'll see NBA geniuses in activity. If you're a ball admirer, you must do this to make your trip more personalized.

Even if you're not an enormous NBA fan. This is must visit place because numerous sports groups have made history here. The stadium is open for visits, concerts and of course the Knicks domestic games.

Even in spite of the fact that Brooklyn Nets Stadium isn't as well known as Madison Square, the Barclays Center is an amazing building. When you are in Brooklyn the arena is worth visiting as it hosts other events such as concerts in addition to NBA games.

3. Best Broadway Shows in NYC: Top New York Theatrical Experiences

Audience members seated in a Broadway theater, eagerly awaiting the start of a live performance, with the stage grandly set for a dazzling show, one of the top 15 things to do in New York City.
Magic of Broadway: A Quintessential New York City Experience.

Entertainment is the main sign of New York. Since Broadway plays and musicals are popular and draw in visitors from all around the world. I suggest you purchase your tickets in advance and include an uncommon touch to your trip to the city that never rests..

The Lion Ruler and Aladdin are unquestionably two of the leading known musicals. So, you completely have to purchase your tickets beforehand. Here's a list of the finest Broadway musicals, in the event that you're still thinking which one to watch.

  • The Musical Cats
  • Moulin Rouge on Broadway
  • Wicked on Broadway
  • Jersey Boys
  • The King Kong Musical
  • Pretty Woman on Broadway
  • Chicago, the musical
  • The Phantom of the Opera
  • Radio City time spectacle
  • Harry Potter
  • The Book of Mormon
  • Hamilton

4. Explore New York's multiculturalism on Popular Tours

Hands of diverse people circling a globe.
Diversity value and multiculturalism in New York

The Tour of Contrasts

Undoubtedly, New York is a city where contrasts are so rapid that it’s difficult to keep up with them. The Tour of Contrasts takes you to four very different boroughs: Queens, Harlem, Bronx and Brooklyn.

You will see the industrial part of the city, the Jewish Quarter, historic streets of Harlem, iconic buildings of the city and in just one day you'll explore the city and experience it like a local.

Evening view of the illuminated Brooklyn Bridge with the New York City skyline in the background, reflecting off the water, a must-see destination among the 15 things to do in New York City.
Stroll Across the Iconic Brooklyn Bridge

The Tour of Upper and Lower Manhattan

The Upper and Lower Manhattan Tour will cover those contrasts and corners of the island of Manhattan that you can't miss, go much deeper.

If the Contrasts Tour is a must do to get to know the different districts of New York and better comprehend how the different cultures fit together, then, this professional guide's explanations will show you many of the must-see locations in the city that you probably haven't seen before, whether you're a frequent visitor or this is your first time in New York.

Treat yourself to a trip to Greenwich Village if you want to be startled by a different Lower Manhattan neighborhood.

Here you will find the best tours of this fantastic neighborhood and breathe the bohemian air of 20th-century bourgeois homes, all under the guidance of guides who will tell you the most interesting stories of the famous people who lived there.

Classic brownstone steps in Greenwich Village, New York City, with ornate black railings and a flower box, embodying the quaint and historic character that makes it a must-visit in any top 15 things to do in New York City.
Discover the Charm of Greenwich Village: An Intimate Slice of the Big Apple.

Other tours

Because millions of tourists visit the city that never sleeps every year. There are many different ways to explore the city (walking, bus, etc.). Often it makes difficult to decide which best suits your goals. This selection of New York excursions is made especially to help YOU choose the best trip for you.

If you're interested to learn more about the inner workings of banking firsthand, you can choose Wall Street's Greatest Tours. It is another best things to do in New York City, given that tourist guides will tell you the most exciting stories about the last financial crisis.

And if you like mysteries, I recommend you to read about the New York Catacombs.

Let’s discover the mysteries of the city.

I advise you to make your own itinerary in order not to miss anything. If you don't like guided tours and prefer to explore the city at your leisure without the explanations of a guide.

Pedestrians walking along a busy street in New York City, flanked by towering buildings and the hustle of city life, a common sight and one of the 15 essential experiences in the Big Apple.
Explore the Bustling Streets of New York City: From Wall Street to Broadway.

5. Explore Harlem: A Top New York Experience with Soulful Gospel Tours

Exploring Harlem with a guide is one of the best experiences you can have in New York, because here you can find everything that many tourists miss by just seeing Manhattan. You can also attend an authentic gospel mass and feel the tremendous spirituality that reigns in the neighborhood’s churches..

I suggest you make a list of Harlem's best attractions on the off chance that you choose to see this neighborhood on your claim so you don’t miss anything.

A street-level view of a sunny day in Harlem, with historic brownstone buildings and local shops lining the streets, capturing the essence of the neighborhood's rich heritage, one of the 15 things to do in New York City.

6. Explore Beyond New York: Must-Do Niagara Falls Excursions

Discovering one of the most beautiful characteristic ponders within the East Coast. Indeed in case it's not something to do in New York, would be an astonishing involvement to include to your trip.

A red aerial tram suspended over the swirling turquoise waters of Niagara Falls, with lush greenery and cliffs in the background, offering a unique perspective and adventure among the top 15 things to do in New York State.
Soar Over the Roaring Waters: The Niagara Falls Aerial Tram Experience.

A visit to Niagara Falls when you're in the city that never rests for some fresh air will be incredible to make your trip more extraordinary. You will see one of the most beautiful national parks of America, (the transportation to and from Manhattan and an expert-guided tour are also offered there).

But, if you're only going to New York for two or three days, it would be better to spend those days in the Big Apple and not leave. But if your trip is for 10 days, 15 days, or more, this option is the greatest ever.

7. Best of NYC: Scenic Walks Through Central Park

People lounging in Central Park with NYC skyline.
Relax in Central Park, a Top New York Attraction.

You must visit Central Park when you are in New York City, but do you know what not to miss there? Explore Belvedere Castle, which could be a little castle at the top of the park with breathtaking views. The Center Gardens; the European-style garden with lovely wellsprings and statues, and Bethesda Patio with its wellspring, an engineering wonder from which you'll respect and take incredible pictures.

The architectural tapestry of New York City's buildings viewed from above a canopy of green trees, under a sky painted with hues of a sunset, capturing the tranquil beauty amidst the city's energetic lifestyle, a breathtaking scene on the list of 15 things to do in New York City.

There are so many ways to explore this park, but one of the most important experiences is to take a horse-drawn carriage ride through Central Park.

In common, I recommend renting a bike, and getting misplaced within the lungs of Manhattan for some hours.

But on the off chance that you're traveling with children, you cannot miss the Central Park Zoo, a place where you'll be able to see the most intriguing species, both creature and wild. Your Central Park Zoo tickets give you access to the main zoo. Another zoo specially designed for children, and the 4D theater.

8. New York's Best Views: Visit the New SUMMIT One Vanderbilt Observatory

Visitors are reflected in the mirrored walls and glass floor of Summit One Vanderbilt's observation deck, gazing out at the New York City skyline bathed in the golden light of sunset, a not-to-be-missed destination among the top 15 things to do in New York City.
Sunset Vistas from Summit One Vanderbilt: New York City Experience.

Yes, you've read correctly. Just a few months after New York opened the Edge glass observation deck, we are again faced with an opening that leaves everyone open-mouthed: SUMMIT is a spectacular observation deck that cannot be missed, both for the views of Manhattan and for the incredible architecture of the building itself.

Here everything is designed for the pleasure of the visitor perspectives. As itìs with mirrors and glass to take the best photos. Glazed observation decks to feel the dizziness first hand, ultra-modern elevators to feel the adrenaline in the body.

9. Discover New York's Charm: Best Picnic Spots in Bryant Park

View over the stone balustrade of Bryant Park, bustling with people lounging on the grass and seated at tables, surrounded by the urban backdrop of New York City's skyscrapers, a peaceful retreat on the list of 15 things to do in New York City.
Relax in the Urban Oasis of Bryant Park: New York City's Beloved Green Space.

You're wrong if you thought Central Park was the only green space in New York. Along the wide avenues and streets are small plazas and parks that New Yorkers frequently use to stroll, exercise, or picnic while taking a break from work. Bryant Park would be our pick for one of New York's prettiest parks (after the essential trip to Central Park, of course).

We recommend getting one of the small tables (they pull them out when the weather is nice) for a picnic with an astonishing view.

10. Explore New York's High Line: Best Urban Park Experience

The Vessel at Hudson Yards, a striking honeycomb-like structure, stands amidst the modern architecture of New York City's skyline, near the High Line park, representing innovative design and public spaces, a highlight in the top 15 things to do in New York City.
Ascend to the High Line: New York City's Elevated Park and Urban Marvel.

Constructed atop repurposed railroad tracks, the High Line is an extraordinary linear park that gracefully winds through the vibrant Chelsea neighborhood. As you stroll along its elevated walkway. You'll find yourself surrounded by enchanting flower displays that add bursts of color and fragrance to the urban landscape. The park's elevated vantage point not only provides unique perspectives of the surrounding buildings but also treats you to panoramic vistas of the majestic Hudson River flowing gracefully to the south. 

Setting out on a relaxed walk along the High Line floating park offers a completely special measurement to your trip to New York City.

11. New York's Icon: Unforgettable Moments in Times Square

Nighttime in Times Square with bright billboards and the blur of city traffic, capturing the essence of New York's iconic energy and vibrant nightlife, a must-see destination among the 15 things to do in New York City.
Times Square After Dark: Where New York City's Pulse is Most Alive.

Times Square needs no introduction as it is among most popular attractions in New York. Neon lights, huge screens, and lots of people. Maybe it’s overwhelming and wonderful at the same time, but you won't be able to take your eyes off it. It’s really very easy to get lost in New York, especially at night when the city is magically illuminated.

Times Square is definitely one of the symbols of the city, as trite as it may seem. Luckily, Manhattan has plenty of other places to delight you (some unexpected and others we've seen countless times in movies).

12. Shop Your Way Through New York: Top Destinations for Retail Therapy

Around SoHo

SoHo ("South of Houston Street") used to be an industrial area filled with factories. Long before gentrification, the neighborhood’s charm attracted the wealthy, who made its buildings and streets the birthplace of "industrial chic." Today it's a neighborhood full of bars, restaurants, and shops on the site of former factories. You would like to visit if you love exposed brick walls, exposed pipes and iron architecture.

Check out the best Soho tours to experience the glamor of this unique neighborhood first-hand.

Along Fifth Avenue

Fifth Avenue is New York's luxury avenue. Here you'll discover the city's most extravagant homes. The central command of a few of the world's most prestigious jewelry and clothing brands, and an extent of galleries counting the Guggenheim and Metropolitan Historical Center of Art.

The Apple Store on Fifth Avenue in New York City, a modern glass cube glowing against the night, with people milling around, a symbol of contemporary design and innovation, and a highlight on the list of 15 things to do in New York City.
Apple Store on Fifth Avenue.

Visit New York's best outlet mall.

Shopping is among of best things to do in New York. If you love shopping but are looking for the best bargains, you're in luck in New York. Because you can visit the Premium Outlets. Where you will find dozens of luxury brand stores at heavily discounted prices. Since the Premium Outlets are a bit far from Manhattan, tours are organized so you can shop there without worrying about how to get there.

What to buy

You probably travel to New York because you want to get a bargain. And you can't go wrong there: American brands (in both clothing and electronics) are without any doubt the most worthwhile ones. In New York you can find certain products at very cheap prices, but you need to know how to look for them.

13. New York popular attractions that many tourists overlook

The New York Botanical Garden

The elegant glass-domed conservatory of the New York Botanical Garden surrounded by lush green lawns and blooming cherry blossom trees, offering a tranquil and picturesque setting, a peaceful contrast to the city's bustle and a top thing to do in New York City.
A Serene Escape within the City: The New York Botanical Garden in Bloom.

More than a million species are cultivated in 50 different rooms and habitats at the lush, 100-acre New York Botanical Garden, it is among the must visit attractions. What will attract you more is the area of old-growth forest that covered New York before it was colonized in the 17th century. Here you can spot excellent specimens of white ash, birch, tulip, cherry and beech. It’s Definitely interesting, especially if you're visiting New York in the springtime.

New York Aquarium

A unique dining setup inside the New York Aquarium with tables set against a large aquarium window, offering guests an immersive view of swimming sharks and marine life, a distinctive addition to the 15 things to do in New York City.
Dine Under the Sea: New York Aquarium.

A visit to the New York Aquarium is among the best family-friendly things to do in New York City. Where more than 500 marine species can be found. Its location on the beaches of Coney Island make it more attractive. The visit is designed in a fun way through exhibitions and games aimed at instilling in children values related to nature.

The Bronx Zoo

A peaceful giant panda lounging on a wooden structure amidst lush greenery at the Bronx Zoo, an enchanting encounter that's part of the 15 things to do in New York City.
Bronx Zoo.

One of New York's great attractions that unfortunately (or luckily for you) goes unnoticed by the millions of tourists who visit the city is the Bronx Zoo. Hundreds of animal species live in semi-freedom in this gigantic zoo, making it a perfect place to visit. A visit to the animals at the Bronx Zoo is particularly worthwhile if you are traveling with children.

14. Chinatown: Experience the Best of New York's Cultural Diversity

Surrounded by TriBeCa, old Little Italy and the Lower East Side, Manhattan's Chinatown has a constant market scene with bustling fishmongers, butchers and greengrocers that give the impression you're on the Asian mainland. If you are around here, Chinatown is worth a visit, even if it's not the prettiest in the country. Nevertheless it's one of the most authentic.

15. Hudson Yards: A Top New York Experience Not to Miss/h3>
Overhead view of The Vessel's intricate honeycomb structure at Hudson Yards in New York City, with visitors ascending and descending the interconnected staircases, a modern landmark and one of the 15 essential things to do in New York City.
Architectural Marvel of The Vessel at Hudson Yards.

It's New York's hottest new neighborhood. In just a few years it has transformed from a completely deserted area into the new golden mile for luxury apartments, ultra-modern skyscrapers and trendy restaurants and shops. It's not only home to The Vessel and The Edge (more on that later, but you can't miss them), but also the famous High Line, the city's new park we told you about earlier.

In this neighborhood you can dine in luxury, admire the new wonders of New York architecture and shop in the new luxury mall.

The bustling metropolis of New York entices with an abundance of extraordinary activities that demand immediate exploration. From flying over New York on a helicopter tour to strolling through Hudson Yards. This captivating city offers a cornucopia of must-see landmarks and cultural gems.

Delay no more, chart your course to this extraordinary destination and seize the opportunity to be swept away by the vibrant pulse, limitless possibilities, and unparalleled experiences that await you.

The call of New York grows louder, and these remarkable adventures yearn to be embraced.

Useful links:

Visit the official webpage of public transportation in New York City.

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