New York City is one such city where there are umpteen things to do depending on every individual’s likes and dislikes. However, there is a set of must do things in NYC which truly showcases the specialty of New York City.
So grab a pen and paper, or bookmark this post, and get ready for a list of the 12 places you must see in New York City. Do not miss visiting these places at any cost when you’re in New York!
Here are my TOP 12 MUST VISIT PLACES in NYC!
1. Brooklyn Bridge
The Brooklyn Bridge is one of the most iconic bridges in the United States. It is the world’s first major steel-wire suspension bridge connecting Manhattan and Brooklyn. Spanning across the East river, this bridge is supported by four main cables, which descend from the tops of the suspension towers and help support the deck.
Taking a stroll on this bridge in the evening is one of the best ways to experience NYC at night. The bridge will be lit up with colorful lights and the skyscrapers around East River give you a magnificent view!
Tip: There are two lanes on the Brooklyn Bridge – one for cyclists and the other for pedestrians. Make sure you DON’T step over to the cyclist lane or you might get run over!
2. Wall Street
The Wall Street is one of the major highlights of New York City. The tall beige-colored skyscrapers are bound to blow your mind away. Taking a stroll through these buildings reminds you of NYC’s grandeur that has existed for so long. Wall Street forms a part of the Financial District in Lower Manhattan. So feel free to explore the other streets as well.
Stop by to take a picture with the Charging Bull and don’t forget to visit the New York Stock Exchange Building!
PS: I am a movie buff and I always fantasized visiting Wall Street and not to forget, the NYPD. So when I found an NYPD van in the area, I stopped by and requested for a photo with the cop! Hehe. These silly fantasies I tell you!
3. Grand Central Terminal
The Grand Central Terminal is one of the oldest and the most famous transportation hubs in New York City. Located on 42nd Street and Park Avenue in Midtown Manhattan, this terminal connects the MTA to the northern parts of New York and you can find many people transiting through it.
The architecture of the Grand Central Terminal is quite spellbinding. The four-faced opal clock which sits in the center of the Main Concourse above the Information Booth, is one of the top attractions of the terminal, and also a meeting place for visitors and locals alike.
4. Times Square
Any trip to New York City would be incomplete if you don’t visit the Times Square.
I mean, if you haven’t visited the Times Square, you haven’t visited NYC at all!
The Times Square is one of the most vibrant, energetic and bustling squares in New York City. It is the hot spot for entertainment, shopping, and food. There are so many things you can do here:
- You can watch a Broadway Show
- You can visit the Madame Tussauds Museum
- You can infinitely gape at the colorful billboards
- You can watch a show at the Radio City Music Hall
- You can shop, shop, shop, till you drop!
No matter what you plan to do at the Times Square, just taking a stroll through the streets is enough to get your spirits soaring high!
5. Bryant Park
Bryant Park is one of the most happening public parks in New York City. Located between the fifth and sixth avenues of NYC, this park is famous for its lush gardens and tons of free activities. During Christmas, an ice rink is set up in the park and visitors can skate for free!
There are several other free activities that are hosted in Bryant Park throughout the year. A few of them include the Winter Village during Christmas, the French Market from April to September, Summer Movies from mid-June through August and other holiday markets! Visit their website to know more.
Tip: Spend some time walking around Fifth Avenue. It is one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in Manhattan.
6. Top of the Rock Observatory
The Top of the Rock Observatory in Rockefeller Center offers spectacular 360-degree views of the New York City skyline, the Empire State Building, and other iconic buildings. It is one of the most popular landmarks for viewing the New York City skyline. There are three indoor and outdoor viewing decks, and one gets to view the city from the 70th floor!
Tip: Visit the Top of the Rock during daytime or just before sunset.
7. Empire State Building
Often seen as a competitor to the Top of the Rock Observatory, the Empire State Building is another iconic landmark that offers stunning views of the New York City skyline. In addition to this, the Empire State Building has an elevator which operates at a speed of 1,200 feet per minute and can take you to the 80th floor within one minute!
Both the Top of the Rock Observatory and the Empire State Building offer amazing views of New York City. The only key difference is that the Top of the Rock Observatory includes the view of the Empire State Building as well (because it is located behind it) whereas the Empire State Building offers cluster views of the financial district in lower Manhattan (because it is located further south).
Either ways, make sure you visit both the buildings because each view brings out a different perspective to New York City.
Tip: If you visit the Top of the Rock Observatory during daytime, visit the Empire State Building at night. That way, you can experience the views during daytime as well as night.
8. 9/11 Memorial & Museum and the World Trade Center
The 9/11 Memorial & Museum was built to honor those who were killed in the September 11, 2001 attacks by the Islamic terrorist group known as al-Qaeda. It tells the story of the 9/11 incident, the reason behind it, the plan and execution, and the personal stories of loss, recovery, and hope.
The museum takes you down the memory lane and makes you teary-eyed at every step. With voicemails of frightened passengers playing in loop, and the display of monumental artifacts from the remains of the collapsed twin towers, a walk inside this museum is bound to get you emotional.
The memorial on the other hand, is designed with an inward waterfall flowing towards the cavern of the twin towers and has names of all the perished people carved on the edges of the wall.
You can even spot the new World Trade Center standing tall and mighty right behind the memorial.
9. Central Park
Central Park is the fifth largest park in New York City and is one of the most beloved destinations of tourists and locals. Spanning across an area of 843 acres, this park is the ultimate destination for those who want spend some time away from the city’s hustle-bustle and focus on nature instead. It is the perfect place to draw some inspiration and get rejuvenated after a hectic day at work!
The park also has several attractions within. Some of the popular ones include Belvedere Castle, Strawberry Fields, Bethesda Fountain and Terrace, Conservatory Garden, and The Lake. Spend some time in this lovely park and experience the beauty of nature amidst the man-made wonders of New York City.
Tip: Visit the Trump Tower on your exit from the southern side.
10. American Museum of Natural History
The American Museum of Natural History is one of the largest natural history museums of the world. It has a collection of over 34 million specimens of plants, animals, fossils, minerals, rocks, meteorites, human remains, and human cultural artifacts. You can find the skull of the real T-Rex (or tyrannosaurus) at the museum and it is absolutely thrilling! There are also several fossils of other dinosaurs such as the Apatosaurus, Allosaurus, Stegosaurus, and Edmontosaurus!
The museum spans across 4 floors and has several halls. There are halls for mammals, birds, ocean life, forests, world cultures, and earth & space. You will need an entire day to explore the museum and sometimes, even that wouldn’t be enough.
Interesting Fact: Several films have been shot at this museum, a famous one being Ben Stiller’s – Night at the Museum. Remember the T-Rex chase?
11. The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is the largest art museum in the United States and one of the finest art museums in the world. It has a collection of more than two million works of art spanning 5,000 years of culture from around the world. Some of its collections include Modern and Contemporary Art, Greek and Roman Art, Medieval Art, Egyptian Art, Asian Art, and Art of the Arab lands.
Again, one day is not sufficient to explore everything at the museum but it is enough to get a taste of the world’s finest art from every culture.
Interesting Fact: The infamous Met Gala is actually an annual fundraising gala for the benefit of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute in New York City.
12. Statue of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty is one of the most iconic landmarks of New York City and a symbol of what the United States stands for – hope, freedom, and democracy. Located on the Liberty Island, Lady Liberty is actually modeled after the Roman goddess of freedom, Libertas and was a gift of friendship from the people of France to the United States.
Visiting the statue of Liberty invokes the spirit of what humanity stands for, and is a must visit place in New York City.
Tip: You can also visit the National Museum of Immigration on Ellis Island on your way back to the city.
So these are the must visit places in New York City. Whether you’re a first time visitor to the city, or a returning tourist, I can assure you that these places are worth visiting again and again! They give you a piece of everything that New York City has to offer in terms of its innovation, culture, history, art and nature.