New York - Sightseeing
New York is a well know hub of culture, filled with amazing sights and a variety of different experiences. But where do you start? What do you do? What do you see first?
With such variety it’s always helpful to have a helping hand in knowing what’s around. Get advanced tickets for attractions from our Attraction World
New York City has a whole host of sites scattered throughout the five boroughs. With the majority clustered around the island of Manhattan, there are a few interesting diversions in Brooklyn, some on the islands around the harbour and some rather intriguing spots on Staten Island.
As New York is such a big place with so much to offer, it’s important not to overbook yourself when it comes to seeing the attractions. Remember if you’re rushing from place to place, it doesn’t give you enough time to truly experience the city. The best thing to do is, make yourself a list of ‘must see’ places and don’t opt to see more than four in a day. This way you’ll be able to enjoy the sights and view more of New York on the way.
By doing this it opens up the opportunity to wander aimlessly around the city whilst you make your way to your next ‘must see’. This is one of the best ways to experience the vibrant city as you check out unpredictable streets, unique market stalls, fashionably trendy boutiques and quaint cafes. It’ll feel like a whole new world. For a more comprehensive look into New York culture, venture through the eclectic and colourful neighbourhoods, such as the East Village, The Meatpacking District and Greenwich Village. This is the real way to experience the city.
If you aren’t quite sure what you want to experience or which way to wander for the perfect NYC adventure, then there’s plenty of information centres scattered throughout the city. And most hotel concierges have a vast knowledge of the best things to see and do.
For easy reference, we’ve listed some of the city’s best-loved sights, but part of the fun of the city is discovering your own New York. So don’t forget, save time for simply strolling and soaking it all in.
Head towards the conveniently titled ‘Museum Mile’ in mid-town, and enjoy the glorious museums and galleries of Manhattan.
The iconic Guggenheim’s curved Frank Lloyd Wright building, sitting prominently on Fifth Avenue, is home to some of the most desirable and magnificent pieces of art of the last 100 years. Further along you’ll find the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which houses art from all corners of the globe, some dating to the 5th century BC. However be prepared to spend the majority of your day here as you explore the vast and intriguing collection, shedding light on some of arts greatest history. Alternatively, catch one of the Museum Highlights Tours at various times throughout the day.
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMa) can be found on 11 West 53rd Street between 5th and 6th Avenue. This gallery specialises in 20th and 21st century art. It exhibits art in various forms from architecture, design and drawing to painting, sculpture, photography, film and electronic media. The gallery has even courted highly publicised controversy over its long standing history, most notably during the 1960s and 70s.
American Museum of Natural History
If you’re looking for a museum that showcases a vast and expansive history, across a variety of well stocked floors, then head to The American Museum of Natural History. Located at Central Park West at 79th Street. This centre of history contains four bustling floors and 42 permanent exhibits covering the history of the United States through the prisms of biology, ecology, zoology, geology, astronomy, and anthropology. The museum’s Rose Centre for Earth and Space also contains a planetarium and history of the Universe.
When heading to New York, taking in the amazing cityscape is something you simply have to do, but before you flock to the Empire State Building’s observation deck, try something else instead. Take our advice and head to The Top of The Rock, the observation platform at the top of The GE Building, which forms the centrepiece at the Rockefeller Center. Whereas the Empire State Building is often cited as having the best view around, this purpose built observation platform has the best panoramic view of the city. And alongside this, New York’s 9th tallest building also provides an excellent view of the Empire State Building itself.
The Rockefeller Center
The Rockefeller Center is an iconic building in itself that you have to explore. Aside from access to The Top of the Rock, the building contains a 24 acre underground shopping mall, 35 restaurants, Pleausreland gardens and a golden statue of Prometheus guarding the mid-winter ice-rink.
When you think of train stations, you probably have a pre-set notion of run down, grey, dreary platforms; however The Grand Central Railway Terminal is nothing like this. Walking into this station is like walking into a whole new world, as it’s filled with plenty of shopping, refuelling and photo opportunities. Making it one of the most iconic stations in the world.
New York Stock Exchange
Another landmark to check out is the New York Stock Exchange. As the world’s largest securities marketplace, it vies with London for the title of Financial Capital of the World. You can take a tour of this fascinating place, which is charged with adrenalin, and view the proceedings from the gallery. But be quick as daily tickets sell out fast.
One of New York’s most famous sights, Times Square, has been used in many Hollywood pictures and is a definite must see. As the heart of the theatre world, you could catch a show on Broadway, or check out big attractions like Madame Tussaud's New York wax museum and Ripley's Believe it or Not. Either way Times Square is an excellent place to explore, even if you just marvel at the millions of lights.
Venture over to Ellis Island and take a look around the amazing Museum of Immigration, or explore Liberty Island and experience all 225 tons and 152 feet of Lady Liberty herself. For the best photo opportunities of the Statue of Liberty, catch a ferry to Staten Island and look behind you for amazing cityscape photo opportunities.
Make sure you spend some time in one of the simplest and most iconic areas of New York; Central Park. Amid the sunny lawns, winding paths and sports courts, many New Yorkers come to relax and spend their days. Make yourself a picnic and enjoy what the New Yorkers enjoy, or check out the Bandstands, coffee shops and taverns scattered throughout. Or even better, just wander and lose yourself.