Are you planning a trip to New York City but not sure about the places you want to visit or when you should be planning your trip to make the most of the attractions? Don’t worry, this blog will help you plan your next trip during the weather you prefer the most!
Best Time to Visit New York
If you like shopping and don’t mind the cold, January is a great time for bargain hunters as the holiday season crowds would have left New York, leaving great hotel savings and shopping bargains for January visitors. Though milder, the weather in February can still be snowy and cold so don’t forget to carry warm clothes and jackets. Despite March’s rainy reputation New York City celebrates St. Patrick’s Day with great vigor, making it one of the most fun holidays to experience.
Although early April can still be chilly, spring is in full fling in New York City. But don’t forget to pack some warm clothes and an umbrella. From May to October is the best time to visit New York for amazing weather. If you’re planning to visit New York city with sunny skies, heat, and humidity then you can plan your trip around September, when the city has pleasant weather. The most popular time to visit New York City is the holiday season of December. Throughout December the city experiences festive events and sights. If you’re planning to celebrate New Year’s Eve in New York City, there’s nowhere like Times Square.
Best Places To Visit In New York
Statue of Liberty
#1 in Best Places to Visit in New York
The Statue of Liberty was gifted to America by France in 1886. Standing at just under 152 feet tall from the base to the torch and weighing approximately 450,000 pounds. The Statue of Liberty is one of the world’s largest statues and also a symbol of freedom and democracy around the world. The best thing to do to truly appreciate the Statue of Liberty is to see it up close by taking a short boat trip to Liberty Island. Tourists are allowed to walk around the base, enter the pedestal, or, even go right up to the crown with advance reservations.
The statue has a copper exterior and an iron infrastructure, which has turned green over time due to oxidation. To visit here, you can book a ferry that meets passengers at Battery Park and runs continuous loops throughout the day. The Statue of Liberty is one of the most popular places to visit in New York and is also a symbol of hope to millions of immigrants on their way to Ellis Island.
#2 in Best Places to Visit in New York
The Brooklyn Bridge is one of the oldest and most recognizable suspension bridges in the world. Built between 1869 and 1883, it connects Brooklyn and Manhattan across the East River. This may be one of the most visited places in New York as more than 120,000 vehicles, 2,600 bicyclists, and 4,000 pedestrians cross the bridge every day. The Bridge is approximately 5,989 feet long and offers plenty of opportunities for admiring the New York skyline.
The pedestrians and cyclists have a separate wood plank walkway which runs above the lanes of traffic. If the bridge is too long for you to walk, you should at least try going as far as the first pillar, where there is a viewing platform for you to see one of the granite towers up close. The Brooklyn Bridge, with its suspension cables and Gothic-shaped arches, is a top tourist attraction in New York and has inspired generations of poets, painters, artists, and songwriters.
#3 in Best Places to Visit in New York
Times Square is one of the most popular tourist attractions in New York City. There are weeks’ worth of attractions and things to do in and around Times Square. Tourists can watch award-winning plays and musicals, shop in countless stores, and enjoy delicious food from famous restaurants. If you want to be mesmerized by the massive screens that announce everything from the newest films and shows to special presentations then you must visit the junction of Broadway and 7th Ave which is the heart of Times Square.
The pedestrian areas are full of tourists, artists, and performers taking in the cacophony of the city along with the enticing smells wafting from the food trucks in the streets. A visit here is not complete without a show in the world-famous Theater District and dinner at Sardi’s Restaurant. With so many things happening at Times Square, it must be on every tourist’s list of places to visit in New York
Rockefeller Center and Observation Deck
#4 in Best Places to Visit in New York
Built by the Rockefeller family, the Rockefeller Center is a complex of 19 buildings that offers a behind-the-scenes look at some of New York City’s greatest treasures. The Rockefeller Center has housed many major corporations like the NBC studios and General Electric. Here you can go shopping, view the giant Swarovski crystal star at the top of the Christmas tree, visit The LEGO Store and also go ice-skating in the city’s most famous ice rink.
You can also step into a glass ceiling sky shuttle and ride up to the 70th floor, the Top of the Rock observation deck gives visitors an unobstructed 360-degree view of New York City. This is one of the best places in New York for tourists to feel the energy, wonder, and beauty of New York City during both day and night from 70 stories up.
#5 in Best Places to Visit in New York
A carriage ride, peddle, or walk through the crisscrossing pathways of Central Park is a must-do for tourists visiting New York. The park is a half-mile wide and 2.5 miles long and is ideal for dog walking and morning jogs. Central Park has many attractions besides just being a great place to experience a little nature and the best part is that most of them are free! Making it one of the cheapest places to visit in New York.
Some of the most popular places to visit include the Central Park Zoo, the Belvedere Castle, the Lake, and the Strawberry Fields. If you’re visiting Central Park for the first time or on your own, it’s better to start by picking up a map at one of the visitor centers. The park also has expansive green lawns and several ponds which can be toured by a horse-drawn carriage for an ultimate romantic sightseeing experience
9/11 Memorial Museum
#6 in Best Places to Visit in New York
The 9/11 Memorial Museum is located in an amazing curved glass building between two pools. The Memorial is a tribute of remembrance and honor for the 3,000 people who were killed in the terror attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. The memorial features the largest manmade waterfalls in North America containing two enormous waterfalls and reflecting pools, which are about an acre size each and set within the footprints of the original Twin Towers. The museum commemorates the lives of those who were killed on September 11, 2001, tourist can pay respects to the victims and also examine the history and impact of the events. The Memorial’s pools have the names of every person who died in the attacks inscribed. This museum should definitely be on your must-see places to visit in New York
The Empire State Building
#7 in Best Places to Visit in New York
One of New York’s top tourist attractions and most famous landmark buildings is The Empire State Building. Standing at 381-meter-tall with 102-storeys, The Empire State Building was the tallest in the world until it was overtaken by the World Trade Center tower 41 years later. The building has two observatories at the top, both offering astounding views of neighboring states of Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Connecticut on clear days.
The Observatory on the 86th Floor is the city’s highest open-air observation deck, it can be reached by taking the high-speed, automatic elevators with a glass-enclosed area which is cooled in summer and heated in winter. As The Empire State Building is one of the top tourist attractions in New York, the line to go up can be really long and frustrating during peak times. However, the optional “Skip the Line Ticket” lets you bypass the lines and is flexible to use for a year, just in case you visit the building during bad weather just save the ticket for another day.
Metropolitan Museum of Art
#8 in Best Places to Visit in New York
For Art lovers from around the world, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, or the Met, as it is commonly known tops the list of places to visit in New York. The museum has the largest collection of art in the world. Located on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, the museum was founded and designed by architect Richard Morris Hunt and was opened to the public in late 1902.
Tourists can attend museum events, take a guided tour, visit its various libraries, view iconic and famous paintings! But don’t forget to explore other top attractions like the Temple of Dendur in the Egyptian Galleries, the Chinese Buddhist Sculpture in the Asian Art Galleries, and the Medieval Sculpture Hall. You can consider a VIP: Empty Met Tour, if you are serious about your visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Grand Central Terminal
#9 in Best Places to Visit in New York
Grand Central Terminal, often called Grand Central Station was first opened in 1891. Grand Central Terminal is one of the top places to visit in New York City for tourists and has also been dubbed the “world’s loveliest station”. The main concourse has an impressive clock made of pearly opal glass, not only this, the Beaux-Arts building features a ceiling that depicts the zodiac signs, including some 2,500 stars.
The lower level has the dining concourse and train tracks, offering many options for dining, including the Oyster bar. Just off the main concourse, Vanderbilt Hall hosts special exhibitions and the annual Christmas market. Originally meant to replicate a 13th-century Florentine palace, Campbell Apartment is elegantly restored and now hosts commuters and tourists in its cocktail lounge.
Broadway & Theater District
#10 in Best Places to Visit in New York
Considered the peak of American theater, attending a Broadway show is one of the most entertaining things to do in New York City. The Theater District is surrounded by and consists of a large number of theater venues, this is the place where tourists can enjoy some long-running classics along with the latest shows. If you’re planning to watch a popular movie try buying tickets in advance as they run out of tickets pretty quickly.
Visitors can enjoy iconic shows like “The Lion King”, “Phantom of the Opera”, “Hamilton”, “Wicked” and many more here. In the Theater District, there is a popular pedestrian-only alley called Shubert Alley which is home to two well-known playhouses the Booth at 22 West 45th Street and the Shubert on 221 West 44th Street. This place is famous as many aspiring actors in search of opportunities to perform in a play would frequently visit Shubert Alley to meet theater baron, Sam S. Shubert. Broadway & Theater District should definitely be on every movie buffs list of places to visit in New York.
#11 in Best Places to Visit in New York
The High Line is a very exciting and unique park. Built on a former rail line that has been reconstructed into an urban walking trail offers stunning views of Manhattan. There are a variety of plants and trees planted at the public park, most of which are native species. The park gives a more natural feel as in most areas it is lined with glass railings that offer an unobstructed and outstanding view of the city. The park is operated and maintained by the people who fought for the transformation and preservation of the rail line, also referred to as Friends of the High Line.
Along the High Line, you’ll find benches, art installations, and a sitting area near the south end which has a glass wall looking out onto the city with bleacher-style seating. New diverse and fun activities are planned for visitors every month which include stargazing, art tours, and tree tours. They also host season-specific events like the Haunted High Line Halloween in October. Just off the High Line, you can find other interesting places like the Meatpacking District, Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Chelsea market. With so much to offer for the visitors, High Line is definitely among the top places to visit in New York City.
New York Public Library
#12 in Best Places to Visit in New York
Carrere & Hastings were the two architects who designed the main branch of the New York Public Library in the Beaux-Arts style. The library has been featured in many TV shows and movies over the years as it is a prominent attraction in the city. The main attraction here is the majestic Rose Main Reading Room. Located on the third floor, the room boasts of a 52-foot-tall (16-meter) ceiling. Between 1998-99 and 2014-16, the Rose Main Reading Room has undergone renovations and facelifts making it more appealing to the visitors.
Another exciting thing to do here is that visitors can sit in the same room as countless Pulitzer Prize winners, Nobel laureates, scholars, and historians and request reading materials from the library’s Milstein Stacks collection. If you’re into literature and would love to read books in an amazing ambiance, then the New York Public Library should definitely be among your favorite places to visit in New York City.
St. Patrick’s Cathedral
#13 in Best Places to Visit in New York
With massive bronze doors, the Great Organ, 330-foot spires, white marble façade, rose window, bronze baldachin, and the the statue of Pieta at the side of the Lady Chapel all together make for New York’s finest example of Gothic Revival, the St. Patrick’s Cathedral. It has become a major destination for tourists as well as other believers, with millions visiting the cathedral annually.
After being under construction for 21 years, the church was finally opened to the public in 1878. Although visitors are encouraged to donate, there is no fee charged for the public. People from across the globe come here to listen to the choir, view the church’s incredible architecture or even pray in one of its pews. If you’re interested in learning more about the church, you can take walk-in tours that begin promptly at 10 am.
#14 in Best Places to Visit in New York
Running between Broadway and the East River for lesser than a mile, Wall Street gets its name from the wooden wall along its path which was built by the Dutch in 1653. The wall was built with the purpose of marking the northern border and protecting the inhabitants from Indian attacks. The British dismantled the fence in 1699 and started building streets that were lined up with administrative homes and buildings. In today’s times what you see in Wall Street depends on what time of day you visit.
During weekdays, from open 9:30 am to 4 pm you’ll find traders, office workers, and bankers going about their business. Since 9/11 the security has been increased so don’t be surprised if you’re denied access during business hours, but if you manage to get in you’ll be stepping inside the lobbies of some of the most impressive buildings you may have ever seen! During weekends and holidays, the Street is filled with tourists. Because of its iconic image, The Wall Street is definitely among the top places to visit in New York City.
Radio City Music Hall
#15 in Best Places to Visit in New York
Established in 1932, Radio City Music Hall is a designated city landmark and also a popular entertainment venue in New York City. This Art Deco Theater offers spectacular music and films and is also home to the famous dance company, The Rockettes. The Radio City Music Hall was the largest indoor theater in the world during the 1930s. Since then the theater has had more than 300 million visitors who’ve come either to enjoy a concert, movie, or stage show.
The venue also hosts major events like the Tony Awards and Grammy Awards. This landmark is easy to spot as it curves around the building and stretches down the block. The major event here that draws millions of people through its doors every year is the annual Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular. If you’re looking for places to visit in New York City where you can spend some quality family time without moving around much, then Radio City Music Hall is the place to go.
#16 in Best Places to Visit in New York
If you’re looking for places to visit in New York City which are amazing destinations year-round, then Bryant Park is the place to go. The park has beautiful lush seasonal gardens, al fresco dining, free activities, and world-class restrooms and is also famously known as Manhattan’s Town Square. All year-round, the park is a popular destination for small carousel, open lawns, ping pong tables, seasonal plantings, food kiosks, and a graceful fountain.
But one attraction that stands out here is the outdoor movies! Ever since HBO began showing films in Bryant Park, the park has become a favorite summer pastime for the people of the city. During summer, if you fancy watching an outdoor movie and take in classics, recent blockbusters, or indie films all summer long then you have spots all over the city like Prospect Park, Pier 63, Hotel Hugo, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Coney Island, or of course, Bryant Park
#17 in Best Places to Visit in New York
Madame Tussauds is one of New York’s most unique tourist attractions. It invites movie buffs from around the world and allows them to have their limelight moment with their favorite A-list stars, world leaders, musicians, sports legends, superheroes, and the list goes on.
The wax figures here are so well done, they almost look real! Madame Tussauds has been entertaining visitors for over 250 years now with wax figures of famous people from around the globe. To celebrate the return of the Ghostbusters movie, Madame Tussauds introduced a 7D multi-sensory interactive gaming experience that was inspired by the movie. Marvel Super Heroes 4D and Zombie Apocalypse are famous attractions here and draw a lot of crowds.
#18 in Best Places to Visit in New York
The Bronx Zoo is located within Bronx Park and is one of the largest zoos in the country. It takes up an area of 265 acres. The zoo is filled with tourists throughout the year and reportedly gets around 2 million visitors each year. The Bronx Zoo was opened to the public in 1899, it is home to over 4,000 animals representing over 650 species. The zoo became famous in 1960 for becoming the first in the world to keep James’s flamingo, a specie that until late 1957 was believed to be extinct.
The Bronx Zoo is managed by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and is an integrated system of four zoos and one aquarium. Another reason for adding the Bronx Zoo to your list of places to visit in New York City is the Bronx Zoo Treetop Adventure! Here the visitors can leave the concrete jungle behind and immerse themselves in treetop activities like zip-lining over the Bronx River or swinging, climbing, or crawling the adventure ropes
One World Observatory
#19 in Best Places to Visit in New York
A newly constructed observation deck called One World Observatory sits at the top of the One World Trade Center building. It offers spectacular views from floors100, 101, and 102 which are easily 1,776 feet above the city! Not just the destination, but even the journey to the top is fascinating, surrounded by panels showing New York’s transformation over the years, from a rural setting to the city we know today. This structure on the Manhattan skyline can be seen from all around the city and has a very distinct appearance.
Some of the major attractions here are the See Forever Theater where you can immerse yourself in the bustling crossroads of the world, and the sky portal allows the tourist to take a walk high above the streets of New York. There are several dining options also available like the Café, One Mix Bar, or One Dine Restaurant. Don’t forget to check out the Digital Skyline Guide which is a virtual helicopter tour of New York’s most iconic sites. With so much going on in one building it’s definitely one of New York’s top tourist attractions
#20 in Best Places to Visit in New York
Coney Island is the perfect getaway for crowds who want to escape the hectic city life. The island actually got famous after the arrival of the Luna Park amusement park, which pulls hundreds of thousands of people every year and is a top tourist attraction in New York City. The island’s sunny skies, rolling waves, and sandy beaches make it a perfect spot for rejuvenation. Coney Island also offers many other activities like movie nights, concerts, wild Mermaid Parade, catching some rays, basketball, beach volleyball as well as amusement rides all of which can provide hours of entertainment.
While the boardwalk and beach remain open year-round, don’t forget to check before you make plans to Luna Park. Before going to Coney Island make sure to keep a lookout year-round for events especially the AVP professional volleyball tournament in the summer. Coney Island is the perfect place to visit for a summer holiday in New York.
NYC Food Tours
#21 in Best Places to Visit in New York
Brooklyn is New York’s new “it” spot for musicians, foodies, artists, and trendsetters. With a lot of hip new restaurants offering a wide range of cultural cuisine, it is the best place to visit in New York if you’re a foodie! The 4.5-hour-long Food and Culture Tour explores neighborhoods like Brooklyn, Williamsburg, and a few more.
Tourists can stop by for some pizza and cannolis at an Italian trattoria, or kielbasa and pierogis at a Polish restaurant, or for some bonbons at the Jacques Torres chocolate factory. The guided tours are amazing because they give so much in-depth history about all the spots and the tours finally conclude near to the Brooklyn Bridge.
Let us know in the comments if this blog helped you plan a better vacation to New York! Don’t forget to check out California and Mexico which are other very famous tourist attractions in North America.