New York New York, big city of dreams. So you have been planning a trip to New York city but are overwhelmed with the amount of things to do? The city has so much to offer for everyone, whether it be the art enthusiasts, shoppers, or the night-life lovers. If you are wondering what to do in New York city for the first time visit and want to cover as much as possible in a short time, following are my top things to do that must not be missed by any first timers.
1. Times Square
Times Square is known for it’s big annual New Years’ Eve celebrations, and a major commercial intersection. The big, bright billboards and advertisements keep the city from sleeping and the stores are a major tourist attraction. Every year, millions of people visit the Times Square making it the most visited place globally. The M&M’s World store is my favorite spot! There are several other stores, restaurants and hotels in the Square and can be visited during the day or late at night. Times Square is a must see for your New York city first time visit.
2. Central Park
A gorgeous urban park located in Manhattan, New York city, Central Park is where the New Yorkers like to spend some quality time at. It also the most visited urban park in the United States. A great way to enjoy your day at the park is via foot, however, there are other options available too such as bikes which can be rented, and horse and carriage tours. The park covers an area of 843 acres, walking might not be the fastest way to cover it all! You can also enjoy several other events to enjoy such as a walking tour where you can learn about the history of the park, you can also rent a boat and take a relaxing ride on the lake, ice skate during the winter, or enjoy a free Shakespeare in the Park annual events held in the park at the Delacorte Theater. Click here to find out more about all the fun and exciting things to do at Central Park.
3. Statue of Liberty
“The Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World” is a definite must see for any one visiting New York City. This symbolic statue was a gift from the people of France to the people of the United States and is recognized as the universal symbol of freedom and democracy.
The statue is located off an island, and the only way to get to the statue is via ferry. Click here to plan your trip and purchase tickets. There are couple of different ticket options available which are access to the island only called Grounds Only, Pedestal Ticket which gives you access to the top of the pedestal and the museum and the Crown Ticket which gives you access to the crown, pedestal, and the museum. The National Museum of Immigration located on Ellis Island, showcasing the history of the island which was America’s largest and most active immigration station from 1892 to 1924. There are several other companies that offer boat cruises, however, most of them do not stop at the island. You can also read how I got scammed during one of my visit in 2016, click here.
PRO TIP: It gets extremely cold during winter especially by the water while on the ferry, I recommend dressing as if you are heading to the North Pole.
4. 9/11 Memorial
It was a dark day on September 11, 2001, I recall watching all the news channels showing images and videos of the Twin Towers under attack and going down in flames. Years later, the sites have a memorial and museum constructed to remember those who lost their lives also known as Ground Zero. The memorial is open daily and is free to visit, tickets to the museum can be purchased here.
One thing I do request to everyone visiting Ground Zero, please show some respect. It is a memorial build to remember thousands of lives that were lost, not that best spot to take goofy selfies.
5. Brooklyn Bridge
This bridge is one of my favorite things to do in New York. In addition to it being a very instagrammable spot, the bridge is one of the oldest roadway bridges in the United States. Opened in 1883, the bridge sits majestically over the East River and is slightly over 1.1 miles long. Every day, thousands of cars and pedestrians including tourists cross the Brooklyn Bridge. In addition to the walking across the bridge, you can also enjoy dining at one of the many restaurant near the bridge or simply relax at the Brooklyn Bridge Park. The park hosts several events throughout the year such as a waterfront kite festival. Click here to find out more about the park.
6. Rockefeller Center
Rockefeller Center is a large complex consisting of commercial buildings and covers an area of 22 acres! You can also get some breathtaking views of NYC from the 70th floor of the Rock Center Observation Deck, tour the Radio City Music Hall, admire the remarkable collection of art and sculptures or shop at one of the many stores in the area. If you are visiting during winter, the area is beautifully lighted for the holidays with a massive Christmas tree and an ice rink.
7. Comedy Club
Some of the best comedians in the world call New York City home. Whether you are seeing them at a dive bar or Manhattan club, you are going to LOL. The Bell house is a personal favorite, however, you can also check out the Broadway Comedy Club or Carolines on Broadway.
New York City has a lot of internationally recognized museums. According to NY.com, there are 100 museums in New York City. You may not be able to visit every single one during your first visit, however, my favorites are the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the American Museum of Natural History. I definitely recommend checking these two out.
9. Shopping at SoHo
Designer boutiques, fancy chain stores and high-end art galleries make trendy SoHo a top shopping destination, especially for out-of-towners. Known for it’s cobblestone streets, SoHo also offers a large variety of unique cafes and restaurants. Explore SoHo, Chinatown and Little Italy via this guided tour.
NYC has so much to offer to everyone. Also known as the city that never sleeps, you won’t run out of options or dare I say you might too much to do! With a little bit of pre-planning, you can definitely make the best use of your time.
I live in NY and still love to do touristy things! Thanks for the post, I didn’t even know some of this existed!
i can totally see why! There is so much to do and the list is never ending.
I have always wanted to go to NYC. I will have to remember these for when I do finally get to go!
You are going to love New York City!
So cool! I’ve been to NYC for work trips, but i’d love to go with my husband – he’s never been before 🙂
I am sure your husband will love it too!
I have never before visited New York but really wants to. Great tips
Thanks for reading!
I love NYC! I’ve been there twice and had such a good time. I did most things on your list except for a comedy club. We opted for a Broadway show instead. We saw Wicked and I loved it!
I wanted to mention a Broadway show too but didn’t include it since I haven’t been to one either!
I’ve never been to New York but it seems like a city where someone can’t get bored. I hope one day I can go. Big cities are a bit terrifying for me but to know it has so many museums is a good motivation. Great post!
Hopefully the above list helps get rid of your fear. I recommend starting with the major attractions.
I’ve been to NYC twice, once last year, & the other almost 5 years ago. I would love to go back soon & explore for a couple of days! Thanks for sharing these ideas! I would love to explore Central park!
That is wonderful. What was your favorite part of NYC?