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The Ultimate Guide of Things to See & Do in New York City | Wanderlist Travel

New York City - Top Attractions, Things to Do and See | The Ultimate Guide of Things to Do in New York City

New York City offers something for everyone from art museums, to historic sites, broadway shows and scenic views. We’ve rounded up the top things to do in New York City for first time visitors and some extra activities if it’s your second (or third or fourth) time visiting or if you just have some time to spare!

Highlights: The First Timer’s NYC Checklist

  • Empire State Building: This 102-story skyscraper is a symbol of New York City and offers one of the most spectacular views of NYC, especially at sunset
  • Times Square: Experience the city that never sleeps by visiting this bustling square at night time
  • Top of the Rock, Rockefeller Center: Go to the Top of the Rock for 360 degree unobstructed views of New York City. In the winter time, skate on the rink at the Rockefeller Center as thousands of lights gleam.
  • Central Park: This vast and majestic open space in the middle of Manhattan was designed as a leisure space for all New Yorkers. Enjoy the free outdoor concerts, open-air theatre shows
    • Tip: Park ave Saturday morning is pedestrian only from brooklyn to central park
  • The Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island: An iconic monument symbolizing freedom to millions around the world. Ellis Island was the largest and most active immigration station, where over 12 million immigrants entered into the United States.
  • 9/11 Memorial & Museum: Tribute to the victims of the 2001 terrorist attack and the 1993 bombing. The museum relays the narrative of the attacks through a series of multimedia displays
  • Grand Central Terminal: One of the country’s great architectural achievements and unofficial meeting point for thousands every day
  • Brooklyn Bridge: Walk across the iconic Brooklyn Bridge for stunning views of Manhattan and Brooklyn
  • Broadway shows: Enjoy some of the best shows and performers in the world. Tickets for the most popular shows can get expensive so try and book in advance!
  • Coney Island: A residential Brooklyn neighborhood turned into an entertainment & amusement destination in the summer. Known for its July 4th hot-dog eating contest.
  • Museums
    • Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met): One of the world’s largest fine arts museums in the world and is known for hosting the Met Gala, ‘fashion’s biggest night out’
    • Museum of Modern Art (MoMA): Features exhibitions and collections of modern and contemporary art
    • The Whitney museum: Presents the full range of twentieth-century and contemporary American art, with a special focus on works by living artists
      • Climb to terrace of nine-story museum for sunset views
    • Guggenheim Museum: Collects, preserves, and interprets modern and contemporary art, and explores ideas across cultures through dynamic curatorial and educational initiatives and collaborations

WITH A LITTLE MORE TIME

  • In Brooklyn
    • Smorgasburg: Every Saturday and Sunday from April through October, Smorgasburg showcases 100 local and regional food vendors to upwards of 10,000 visitors per day
    • DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass): A tiny neighborhood with an industrial feel, featuring great cafes, restaurants and views of Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan. For the infamous DUMBO photo spot, head to the intersection of Water and Washington street.
    • Williamsburg Waterfront Piers: Watch the sunset against a Manhattan backdrop
    • Brooklyn Bridge Park: A waterfront park in Brooklyn with amazing views of Manhattan
    • Bushwick Collective: More than 50 multicoloured murals form this outdoor gallery
  • In Upper East Side
    • The Frick Collection: A museum known for its distinguished Old Master paintings and outstanding examples of European sculpture and decorative arts
  • In Lower East Side
    • 100 Gates Project: Largest public art gallery
  • In Chelsea, Meatpacking District & West Village
    • The High Line: Public park built on a historic freight rail line
    • Chelsea market: An enclosed urban food market, and shopping center
    • Sleep No More: An award-winning immersive theatrical performance

The most Instagrammable places in NYC

  • Stone Street at night
  • New York Public Library
  • DUMBO
  • Brooklyn Bridge
  • Whitney Museum terrace
  • The Highline
  • The Flatiron building
  • Top of the Rock

5 Most Instagrammable Murals in NYC

  • Till Death Do Us Part Mural: St Nicolas and Wykoff
  • "Don't call me baby" mural: 132 Allen St., New York
  • 'Change starts here' mural outside Little Cupcake Bakeshop
  • Love Wall: 192 Mott St., New York, NY 10012
  • Ombre Gate Mural in China Town: 89 Chrystie St., New York

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