This list of things to do in NYC is geared towards everyone, whether it’s the first-timer to the local NYC dweller. All are welcome! After living here for more than 3 years, it’s about time I put together a list of things to help guide fellow comers of NYC. For each, I gave my take on why these are things you must do in NYC to give you more insight into the places themselves. So, here are my list of 10 things to do in NYC:
1.Go on a Self-Create Food Tour
This weekend, Alex and I have decided to create our own pizza food tour through NYC. There are so many amazing pizza spots in NYC and we are making it our goal to get to all of them. Luckily, we have an unlimited metro card so we can get from place to place inexpensively. You can easily get a 3-day unlimited metro card – with all the touring you’re going to do, it’ll pay off!
Our pick was pizza since it’s easy and there are endless options. The plan was to go to each place, get a slice, share it, rate it and then move on. But you can do it with anything here in the city. Ideas include halal food, bagels, cookie places, coffee shops (don’t blame me if you get caffeinated!), dessert spots, bars – the list is endless! If you have trouble picking spots, just go on yelp and search for a specific category. Alex had told me that you are able to create private lists/categories within Yelp where you can save restaurants into it. So create one and then start saving!
2. The MET
An iconic site in NYC and a must go. If you’ve been before, then go again – there are always new exhibits to see and floors to get lost in. I’ve been a few times and each time I stumble upon something different or new…I may have also gotten lost a couple of times…oops! It’s a donation-based entrance fee so it’s relatively cheaper than other museums in the city. You can spend your days here looking through all the artwork, sit on the steps and people watch, or go into the drawing room to see all the amazing artists in work.
3. Take a Stroll Through Central Park
Central Park spans over 50 streets! So you bet there are tons of things to do within. Get away from the bustling city and enter a realm of peacefulness and nature. I love taking walks through the trails and just enjoying being in the moment – you never know where you end up if you let the path just lead you. I always start on the south end of the park, but will end up in random parts.
If it’s in the colder months, go ice-skating. The rink looks sooo fun at night time with the music blaring and everyone having fun. If it’s during the warmer months, go on a kayaking ride, it is so serene out there and you still get the amazing city view emerging over the trees. You can plop a seat on any of the benches and rocks to people watch, from tourists to regulars. There are always artisans putting on shows from making giant bubbles in the summer to musicians showing off their skills.
4. Walk the Entire the High Line
I know most people come to NYC and walk the High Line near the Chelsea area. But did you know the High Line spans for more than 20 streets! I would recommend starting in the Chelsea area so you can also get a glimpse of the Whitney Museum, grab some food and trinkets at the Chelsea market, stroll the cobblestone streets and then venture upwards onto the High Line. Then just continue walking North – you will see how the city starts to change from the low buildings in Chelsea to the common skyscrapers. For 20+ streets, you can see how the West side of NYC transforms. You will end up somewhere around 34th street, where you can then walk East and grab some food in Korea Town or venture into Herald Square to shop!
5. See a Broadway Show
A classic for a reason – the skills here are endless and each show holds its own magical powers over you. Prices can vary drastically based on which play you go to from $40 to over $300 per seat. But each show has its own specialty and I’ve never heard of anyone going to a show and not liking it. You will be blown away from all the talent!
And if you don’t have a strict schedule or set plan, you can enter daily broadway show ticket lotteries. You can just google these and they will pop up. Essentially you get entered into daily lotteries to get tickets to shows for cheaper. Some shows that have popped up on these lotteries are Aladdin, Wicked, The Lion King, etc.
6. 9/11 Memorial
This place is a must go at least once if you are in NYC. The area is beautiful and you get a sense of serenity while here. While still a busy part of town, it is quiet and people are just admiring the beauty. You can get tickets online to actually go up in the tower to get the amazing view, but the area itself is also great to walk through. It’s also next to other things to do in NYC such as the shopping center, Oculus, which also is connected to the World Trade Center. You can also continue walking and head to Battery park which is a huge underrated park that is so beautiful – you are able to see different views of the city through these sports.
7. Grand Central Terminal
This place is breathtaking – inside and out. When I had to commute through there every day two years ago, I definitely did not appreciate its beauty. It’s a constant bubble of energy and the architecture is beyond amazing. The juxtaposition of all the new pop-ups stores against the interiors always makes me feel as I am time-traveling. Downstairs, you can enjoy delicious eats from Magnolia Bakery to the infamous Grand Central Oyster Bar. Even outside, the constant buzz of everyone getting to and from work is enough to show you what NYC is all about.
8. Rockefeller Center
This place is one of my favorites to go to! No matter what time of the year you go at, there is always something to see. During the Christmas season, you get to see the gigantic tree plus you get a front row seat of the Saks light show. During the winter months, the ice rink is open for all. And then during the summer, the lower levels are transformed into amazing outdoor seating for you to grab a drink and bite. My favorite has to be the center-pieces right in the middle walk-way of Rockefeller center. The displays are constantly being switched up based on the season and also any holidays. The center is also surrounded by all the shops you can think of, granted it is right at 5th Ave. And if you are willing to pay for the ticket, go up on the Rockefeller building to catch an amazing glimpse of the entire city from a bird’s eye view. I would recommend going up on the Rockefeller building over the Empire so you can get your photos with the iconic Empire building in it!
9. Walk the Brooklyn Bridge from Dumbo
This has to be one of my favorite things to do in NYC. Take the train to Dumbo, Brooklyn to enjoy the waterfront, grab some lunch and idle at the rocks. Then advance onwards onto the Brooklyn Bridge to walk towards Manhattan. Through the walk, you will see the transition between Brooklyn and Manhattan and if you go towards either sunrise or sundown, the view is EXTRA beautiful. Take some classic photos along the bridge! And after you get off near Chinatown, Manhattan, go grab some bites within Chinatown!
10. Bushwick Collective
An amazing place that you need to venture to – I wrote an entire blog post about this place, which you can read HERE. The ever-changing wall art present are an homage to the reason this place is no longer one of the more dangerous neighborhoods and to the founder’s mission statement. The street walls are lined with graffiti art created by famous wall art artists around the world. You never know which artwork is going to appear next or which ones will disappear.
IF YOU ENJOYED THIS POST, YOU’LL ALSO ENJOY:
THINGS TO DO IN NYC : COLUMBUS CIRCLE
MOST INSTAGRAMMABLE PLACES IN NYC : LINCOLN CENTER
THINGS TO DO IN NYC : FLATIRON DISTRICT
MOST INSTAGRAMMABLE PLACES IN NYC : FLATIRON
A million and one thanks for reading – until my next lil’ thought then!
I’ve visited many of these and they’re great recs! Do you have any recs for Brooklyn? I’m making a trip over next weekend with friends 😀 -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s
OOO that sounds so exciting!! Make sure you go to the Bushwick Collective, obviously the Brooklyn Bridge and also DUMBO!