The Empire State Building. The Guggenheim. The Statue of Liberty. These are merely a sampling of the many New York City attractions that scores of people travel to experience. Yes, there are many things to do in NYC, and if you’re planning a vacation, you’ll probably want to visit a selection of these iconic places. Here’s an overview of the top New York City attractions. Choose a few, but don’t try and see them all on a single trip!
The must-visit New York City attractions
The Empire State Building, 350 5th Ave
Experience 360-degree views when you ascend to the 86th floor of one of the most celebrated buildings in the world. I recommend visiting early in the morning or late at night, and trying to avoid weekends when when crowds peak. Regardless, the long line is worth it for the views from this legendary skyscraper.
Top of the Rock Observation Deck, 30 Rockefeller Plaza
Rockefeller Center remains a cornerstone of Manhattan, as well as a hub for shopping and dining. See the city that never sleeps from the 70th floor of this famed Art Deco landmark, also one of the top New York City attractions to visit and setting of the award-winning television show, 30 Rock.
American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West and 79th St
Meet the world-famous Titanosaur, tour the stunning Rose Center for Earth and Space and the Hayden Planetarium when you tour one of the most fantastic history museums in the world – the AMNH on the Upper West Side.
9/11 Memorial & Museum, 180 Greenwich St
Honor the victims of 9-11 when you visit this memorial and museum at the site of the 2001 attacks in Lower Manhattan.
Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island, New York Harbor
Explore Lady Liberty and the rich history of immigration in the United States at nearby Ellis Island. Even today, the Statue of Liberty continues to be a welcoming symbol to people from all around the world.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Immerse yourself in over 5,000 years of international art. A ticket includes same-day admission to The Met Museum and The Met Cloisters.
Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises, Pier 83, 42nd St and 12th Ave
Witness the magnificent views of the New York Harbor, with perfect views of the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, One World Trade and Lower Manhattan. Choose from a variety of Circle Line Cruises.
Guggenheim Museum, 1071 5th Ave
One of Frank Lloyd Wright’s most famous creations, this Upper East Side museum is home to renowned 20th-century art including pieces by Picasso and Kandinsky. The Guggenheim is a must-see for modern art lovers. Entrance includes special exhibits as well as the permanent collection.
Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, Pier 86 W 46th and 12th Ave
Explore the Intrepid – an aircraft carrier that fought in World War II, the Cold War, and the Vietnam War – the Space Shuttle Pavilion, the submarine Growler, and watch the Story of Intrepid film.
Pretend that you’re in a movie when you stroll across one of the most beloved New York City attractions. Walk from Manhattan into Brooklyn like most tourists, or do the local thing and walk from Brooklyn into the city. Either way, the views are captivating so don’t forget your camera.
I recommend calling or checking websites for the most up-to-date hours and Covid-19 protocols.
Which of these New York City attractions have you visited? What are your favorite things to do in NYC? Tell us in the comments.
Also, tips for your first trip to NYC, and how to experience New York like a local. And consider taking a tour if you have limited time in NYC. Plus, here’s a guide to walking across the Brooklyn Bridge.