Trends may come and go, but New York City consistently ranks near the top of most people’s travel wish list. Whether it’s your first time in New York City, it’s your favorite destination in the world, or you proudly consider yourself a local, there’s a dizzying array of things to see and do here. Take an informative guided tour, explore a world-class museum, snap the perfect selfie from a skyscraper observation deck—or do all of the above and more. No matter what you want to get out of your travel plans, you’ll find it in New York City.
Regardless if you’re visiting New York with a friend, loved one, or finally treating yourself to that dream getaway, you’ll be spoiled for choices of things to do. Attend a Broadway show, make that high-end dinner reservation, or indulge in a shopping spree. Go for a bike ride through Central Park, take that cruise along the East River, or explore one of New York’s unique neighborhoods. Get lost in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Modern Museum of Art, or the Guggenheim. Better yet, be daring and try to do a little bit of everything! You won’t regret it.
New York has so much to offer families, too. Its parks, zoos, and botanical gardens are perfect places for combining hands-on learning with a relaxing afternoon of fresh air. The American Museum of Natural History is a classic destination the kids will go wild for, and everybody has to see the Statue of Liberty up close and personal at least once. What better place to take an unforgettable family portrait than from the heights of one of New York City’s spectacular observation decks? New York truly has something for everyone.
Top things to do in New York City.
- Big Bus Tours NYC - The largest open-top bus tour company in the world, Big Bus Tours runs a series of sightseeing tours that escort guests along an unforgettable New York City experience. Choose from their Uptown City Tour, Downtown City Tour, or do both with the popular Classic Ticket.
- One World Observatory - Located in One World Trade Center, New York’s tallest building, One World Observatory is an enclosed viewing platform providing spectacular, 360-degree views from a 102nd floor vantage point. It also features informative exhibits, a restaurant, and a gift shop.
- Rockefeller Center - Rockefeller Center has been an iconic New York City destination for nearly a century. 30 Rockefeller Plaza is the centerpiece building of this midtown Manhattan landmark, but other Rockefeller Center highlights include Top of the Rock Observation Deck, Radio City Music Hall, and The Rink.
- Radio City Music Hall - A crown jewel of the Rockefeller Center complex, Radio City Music Hall is one of the most famous live entertainment venues in the world. Renowned for its Christmas Spectacular starring the Rockettes, Radio City Music Hall has hosted the Grammys, Emmys, the NFL Draft, and more.
- St. Patrick’s Cathedral - This historic Catholic cathedral is a major landmark of Midtown Manhattan, having stood on 5th Avenue, between 50th and 51st Streets, since 1878. The architect James Renwick Jr. designed St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and it’s considered a masterwork of the Gothic Revival style.
- Bronx Zoo - This 265-acre zoo located within Bronx Park has been in operation for over 100 years and is home today to approximately 700 animal species. Its popular attractions include JungleWorld and Congo Gorilla Forest, and guests may partake in experiences like animal feedings and an aerial ropes course.
- Empire State Building - The Empire State Building is among the most famous buildings in the world. Completed in 1931, at nearly 1,500 feet it stood as the tallest building on the planet for about 40 years. Today it remains an architectural wonder of the world, welcoming millions of visitors each year to its two observation decks.
- American Museum of Natural History - The largest natural history museum in the world, the American Museum of Natural History was founded in 1869 and is home today to over 35 million unique artifacts. Particular favorite features here include an elaborate dinosaur hall and lifelike Alaskan brown bear exhibit.
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art - The Metropolitan Museum of Art is home to a stunning permanent collection comprised of everything from musical instruments to jewelry to priceless works of art. Highlights include its 26,000-item Ancient Egyptian collection and paintings by artists like Caravaggio, Goya, Rembrandt, and so many more icons.
- Top of the Rock Observation Deck - Top of the Rock Observation Deck is a midtown Manhattan institution. Located on the 70th floor of the sprawling Rockefeller Center complex, it’s a beloved destination for visitors who want to experience the wonders of New York City from a majestic vantage point.
- Guggenheim Museum - Designed by the great Frank Lloyd Wright, the Guggenheim Museum is not only a stellar museum but also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It houses masterpieces by influential modern artists like Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky, Marc Chagall, and Paul Cézanne—to name but a few.
- Statue of Liberty - The Statue of Liberty is arguably the most famous landmark in the United States. This 300-foot tribute to freedom has stood watch over New York City for over 130 years, welcoming immigrants, refugees, and visitors alike to American shores. It’s an essential stop for tourists to New York.
- Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises - Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises operates several popular guided boat tours, including the New York City Landmarks Cruise and the Best of NYC Cruise—the only sightseeing cruise with a route that takes visitors all the way around the entire island of Manhattan.
- 9/11 Memorial & Museum - The former site of the World Trade Center is now home to a memorial and museum dedicated to preserving the memory of the victims, honoring the efforts of rescue workers, and aiding the healing process for all those individuals whose lives were forever altered by the events of 9/11.
- Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum - Located at Pier 86 along the Hudson River, this museum of American military and maritime history is home to a remarkable selection of planes, ships, and NASA’s Space Shuttle Enterprise. Highlights include the Intrepid aircraft carrier, British Airways Concorde, and the cruise missile submarine USS Growler.
- The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) - Located just a couple blocks from Central Park and the Rockefeller Center, the Museum of Modern Art houses some of modern art’s most significant treasures. You’ll find on its walls such masterpieces as van Gogh’s The Starry Night, Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, and Dalí’s The Persistence of Memory.
- Hownblower City Cruises - Hornblower City Cruises operates dozens of distinctive cruises catering to any number of interests at several different price points. Their most popular cruises include the Alive After Five cruise and the classic Hop-On, Hop-Off Sightseeing Cruise.
- Edge at Hudson Yards - New York’s hottest new observation deck is Edge, located at the heart of the bustling Hudson Yards megadevelopment. The highlight of Edge at Hudson Yards is its 7,500-square-foot Outdoor Sky Deck, where visitors can snap photographs of breathtaking scenery in 360 degrees.