Fifth Avenue ranks up there as one of New York City’s most famous streets, and its combination of unparalleled shopping opportunities and numerous popular attractions make it one of Manhattan’s most essential destinations for visitors. Fifth Avenue’s shopping is iconic for its assortment of high-end department stores, fashionable retail spaces, and brick-and-mortar flagship properties. Near or along Fifth Avenue is also where you’ll find many of New York’s greatest museums, restaurants, observation decks, parks, and more.
Getting to Know the Neighborhood
For many New York visitors—especially those individuals new to the city—thinking of Manhattan means picturing Fifth Avenue in all its bustling glory. That’s an understandable perception, in no small part because of how vital the thoroughfare is to the city. Fifth Avenue as we know it today runs north from Greenwich Village and Washington Square Park, past such landmarks as the Flatiron Building, Madison Square Park, and the Empire State Building, along Central Park and Museum Mile before ending in Harlem at West 143rd Street near the Harlem River. Fifth Avenue is so central to the New York experience, in fact, that many of the city’s traditional celebratory parades run along it each year.
Popular Fifth Avenue Shopping Destinations
When most shoppers think of New York shopping, they think of Fifth Avenue and its luxury goods, high-end designers, and opulent storefronts. That’s because Fifth Avenue is home to some of the world’s most expensive shopping destinations. Here you’ll encounter New York institutions like Bergdorf Goodman, which has stood at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 58th Street for almost a century, and Saks Fifth Avenue, arguably the single brand most associated with the area.
Though Fifth Avenue’s reputation as one of the world’s most expensive shopping districts precedes it, not every store or brand located here is a budget buster. Japanese casual wear company Uniqlo has a 90,000-square-foot space on Fifth Avenue that’s not only their largest store anywhere in the world, it’s just one half-block down West 52nd Street from the ever-fascinating Paley Center for Media.
Across the street from Uniqlo, Nike Store NYC features six floors and nearly 70,000 square feet of retail space devoted to the company’s beloved shoes, apparel, and sporting accessories. If you’re more of an Adidas person, never fear, the German athletic wear giant’s flagship New York City store is just five blocks to the south, near the one-of-a-kind official NBA Store.
The Apple Store on Fifth Avenue is a perennial favorite. Situated in a public plaza at the foot of the 50-story General Motors Building, this unforgettable transparent glass cube has become a landmark of Midtown Manhattan. Fully renovated in the past few years, Apple Fifth Avenue is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
If you’re visiting Manhattan with the little ones, it’s more than likely you’ll want to make some time for the LEGO Store 5th Avenue. It’s full of exclusive LEGO merchandise, unbelievable displays, and frequently hosts special hands-on LEGO-building events perfect for the entire family. It can be found just across Fifth Avenue from historic St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the Gothic Revival masterpiece that has anchored Midtown for approximately 150 years now.
Other Ways to Enjoy Fifth Avenue
Fifth Avenue may be viewed by some as primarily a shopping destination, but its prominence as one of Manhattan’s major thoroughfares means that there’s so much more to see and do all up and down this remarkable street. In particular, an incredible stretch of Fifth Avenue running from 82nd Street to 110th Street is known as Museum Mile on account of the numerous venerable institutions found there.
Attractions that call Museum Mile home include the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Cooper Hewitt (Smithsonian Design Museum), Museum of the City of New York, and El Museo del Barrio, just to name a few. As fantastic as the shopping is along Fifth Avenue, that’s only part of this legendary street’s story, and no trip to Fifth Avenue is complete without checking out a museum or two.
Once you’ve shopped your heart out at Bergdorf Goodman and the Apple Store, you’ll want to walk one block north and start exploring the wonders of Central Park. Some of Central Park’s most popular attractions—the Pond, Central Park Zoo, Wollman Rink, and the Carousel—are located at this southern, Midtown-adjacent edge. They aren’t to be missed, but if you do venture north along Fifth Avenue to Museum Mile, you’ll find yourself near The Ramble, Belvedere Castle, Conservatory Garden, and more.
It’s worth noting, too, that many other popular New York City attractions are located just steps from Fifth Avenue’s shopping destinations. These include Rockefeller Center, Top of the Rock Observation Deck, Radio City Music Hall, the Museum of Modern Art, and Bryant Park.