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30 Must-Do Things When Visiting New York City

Updated: Jun 10

The Big Apple is a city that never sleeps and with good reason! There's an endless amount of things to see and do in New York City, from iconic landmarks to world-class museums, delicious food, and vibrant neighborhoods. Whether you're a history buff, a foodie, or a theater lover, New York City has something for
everyone. Here are 30 must-do things to add to your NYC bucket list.

See the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Make sure you don't miss out on visiting the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island when you're in New York City. You can take a ferry to Liberty Island to see the iconic symbol of freedom up close or explore the immigration history at Ellis Island. These landmarks are a must-see for history enthusiasts. The Statue of Liberty is a powerful symbol of freedom and democracy, while Ellis Island served as the entry point for millions of immigrants to the United States.

Explore Central Park. Central Park is a sprawling green oasis in the heart of Manhattan. Rent a bike, take a boat ride on the lake, or simply relax on the Great Lawn. There's always something going on in the park, from free concerts and Shakespeare in the Park to street performers and ice skating in the winter.

Catch a Broadway Show. New York City is home to the world's most famous theater district. No trip to New York City is complete without experiencing the magic of a Broadway show. From timeless classics to the latest hits, there's a show for everyone. Be sure to secure your tickets well in advance, especially for popular shows. From classic musicals to cutting-edge plays, there's always a show to captivate your heart on Broadway.

Visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met). The Metropolitan Museum of Art stands as one of the world's most expansive and distinguished art museums, showcasing a collection that encapsulates centuries and cultures from across the globe. It holds the distinction of being among the largest and most esteemed museums worldwide, boasting a diverse array of art. Immersing oneself in the Met's collection could easily span days, but even a few hours will provide a glimpse of its abundant treasures.

Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. This iconic bridge offers stunning views of the Manhattan skyline. You can walk or bike across the bridge, or take a ferry for a different perspective. It's a great way to get some exercise and take in the city's history.

See a Yankees game at Yankee Stadium. Catch a game at this legendary baseball stadium and experience the passion of New York sports fans. Even if you're not a baseball fan, Yankee Stadium is a historic landmark worth checking out.

Shop on Fifth Avenue. Fifth Avenue is a shopper's paradise, home to luxury designer stores like Gucci, Prada, and Louis Vuitton. Even if you're not planning on buying anything, it's fun to window-shop and see the latest fashions.Fifth Avenue is lined with luxury stores like Gucci, Prada, and Louis Vuitton. Even if you're not planning on doing any shopping, it's still fun to window-shop and take in the glamorous atmosphere.

Explore Times Square. Times Square is the crossroads of the world, a vibrant and bustling intersection known for its bright lights, Broadway theaters, and street performers. It's a great place to people-watch and soak up the energy of the city.
Get a slice of pizza in Times Square. No trip to New York City is complete without trying a slice of its famous pizza. There are countless pizza places to choose from in Times Square, so you're sure to find one that you'll love.

Take a walk through the High Line. The High Line is a stunning elevated public park situated on a historic freight rail line on the vibrant West Side of Manhattan. This unique urban oasis offers visitors a delightful opportunity to leisurely stroll, observe people, and revel in breathtaking views of the cityscape.

Explore the museums in Museum Mile. Fifth Avenue, between 82nd and 105th streets, is known as Museum Mile for good reason. Here you'll find some of New York City's most famous museums, including The Met, the Guggenheim Museum, and the Museum of the City of New York.

Go to a rooftop bar. New York City has a vibrant rooftop bar scene, with bars offering stunning views of the city skyline. It's a great way to relax and enjoy a drink after a day of sightseeing.

Catch a concert at Madison Square Garden. Madison Square Garden is a famous arena that hosts concerts, sporting events, and other events.

See a performance at Radio City Music Hall. This Art Deco landmark is home to the Rockettes and is a popular venue for concerts, stage shows, and other events.
Take a day trip to Brooklyn. Brooklyn is a borough of New York City with its own unique culture and vibe. Explore the neighborhoods of Williamsburg, Greenpoint, and Park Slope, or visit the Brooklyn Botanic Garden or the Brooklyn Museum.

Go to a comedy show. New York City is home to some of the best comedy clubs in the world. Catch a show at The Comedy Cellar, Carolines on Broadway, or the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre.

See the Sights from Top of the Rock or the Empire State Building. Get a bird's-eye view of the city from one of its many observation decks. Top of the Rock offers stunning views of Central Park and the Midtown skyline, while the Empire State Building provides a classic panoramic view.

Explore a Different Neighborhood. New York City is a collection of distinct neighborhoods, each with its unique character. Explore Greenwich Village, a historic neighborhood known for its bohemian atmosphere, or Soho, a trendy neighborhood with art galleries and boutiques.

Catch a Free Concert in Bryant Park. Bryant Park is a beautiful public park in Midtown Manhattan. During the summer, the park hosts a free lunchtime concert series.

Go on a Food Tour. New York City is a melting pot of cultures, and that's reflected in its food scene. You can find everything from Chinese and Italian to Mexican. There's a food tour for every taste, from pizza and bagels to dim sum and halal carts.

See a Film at the IFC Center. The IFC Center, located in New York City, is a renowned cinema known for showcasing a diverse range of independent and foreign films. It offers a unique and enriching movie-watching experience, attracting film enthusiasts who appreciate thought-provoking storytelling and innovative filmmaking from around the world.
Browse the Shops at Chelsea Market. Chelsea Market is a historic food hall with over 100 vendors selling everything from fresh produce to gourmet cheese.

Visit the World Trade Center. You can take in the breathtaking views from the observation deck, reflect on the history of the site, and pay your respects to the 9/11 heroes by visiting the memorial park below.

Ride a Hop on Hop Off bus tour.  This convenient mode of transportation allows you to easily get around the city and visit all the major sites. With the flexibility to hop on and off at various stops, you can explore iconic landmarks such as Times Square, Central Park, the Statue of Liberty, and more at your own pace. It's a fantastic way to experience the city and make the most of your time in New York.
Attend a Classical Concert at Carne
gie Hall. Carnegie Hall is one of the most prestigious concert halls in the world. Catch a performance by the New York Philharmonic or another world-renowned orchestra.

Explore the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). MoMA is a must-see for art lovers, with a collection of modern and contemporary art from Picasso and Van Gogh to Warhol and Pollock.

See a Performance at the Lincoln Center. Lincoln Center is a performing arts complex that houses the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Philharmonic, and the Juilliard School. There's always something going on at Lincoln Center, from opera and ballet to theater and chamber music.

Take a Day Trip to Governors Island. Governors Island is a car-free island in New York Harbor that offers stunning views of the city skyline. There are seasonal events and activities on Governors Island, like art installations, concerts, and outdoor movies.

Have a Picnic in Washington Square Park. Washington Square Park is a popular spot for people-watching and relaxing. Grab some takeout food from a nearby restaurant and enjoy a picnic lunch on the park's grassy expanse.

See a Basketball Game at Madison Square Garden. Madison Square Garden is a famous arena that hosts sporting events, concerts, and other entertainment events. Catch a New York Knicks basketball game or a Rangers hockey game to experience the energy of New York sports.

Ready to experience New York City? Let our Octant Destinations travel concierge be your guide.
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