Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Jersey City, NJ

  • Published 2022/03/13

Many tourists use Jersey City as a gateway to the glorious Statue of Liberty.

But did you know there’s so much more to see?

Less than a kilometer away from New York, Jersey City offers endless amounts of culture and entertainment.

To help plan your upcoming trip, we have compiled a list of the best things to do in Jersey City, New Jersey:

Take a Trip Back in Time Through the Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal

Exterior view of Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal

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The Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal played an essential role in the history of immigration within Jersey City.

Far exterior view of Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal suring sunrise

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The terminal serves as a gateway to two of the most popular tourist attractions: the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

Ferries are only available from the terminal.

Side view of Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal

Linda Harms /

Go on a Cruise Along the Hudson River

Cruise Ship in Jersey City

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Jersey City is one of the best places to take a cruise.

Situated close to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, the Hudson River and its gentle waters make an excellent cruising destination.

Many sailing companies organize these cruises and present various choices for which sights to see.

Foam left behind by a cruise ship at Hudson River

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One of the most popular cruises is the one that includes the Statue of Liberty and the Ellis Island Immigration Museum.

Many of the cruises run for 90 minutes, providing tourists with enough time to see these unmissable sights while also giving them the opportunity to spend the day exploring.

We recommend taking a cruise where you can catch the sunset on the river horizon; it makes for the most stunning photos.

Learn More About the Past at Ellis Island Immigration Museum

Majestic red building of Ellis Island Immigration Museum

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Immigrants played an important role in shaping Jersey City’s history.

From the 1800s to the 1900s, there was an influx of people coming to the city from many different locations around the globe.

Sign board of Ellis Island Immigration Museum

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The Ellis Island Immigration Museum was built to allow others to learn about the history of immigrants within America.

People strolling around Ellis Island Immigration Museum

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Visit the Van Vorst Park

Fountain at Van Vorst Park

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Van Vorst Park is one of the premier historic tourist locations in the city.

It’s located in the downtown part of the city where there are plenty of other destinations relevant to history.

Benches surrounded by green plants at Van Vorst Park

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While you are exploring and hunting for food in the crowded downtown location, do drop in for a visit to Van Vorst Park.

The area was named after the park planners, Cornelius Van Vorst and Peter Henderson.

Colorful flowers at Van Vorst Park

James Andrews1 /

The park is vast, extending over 1.8 acres of land, and has been around almost 200 years.

Many come here for a relaxing stroll and admire the architecture, which dates back to the 19th century.

Go on a Food Tour and Sample Jersey City’s Local Cuisine

Jersey City is all about delicious cuisine.

Every neighborhood within the area has a different local favorite.

Due to this, Jersey City invites tourists to try at least one of their many available food tours.

You can learn about the city’s local culture and many delicacies on these tours.

With the opportunity to visit six of the best restaurants in town, the tour covers all areas, from formal dining to street food.

From sandwiches and burgers to craft beers, the tours give travelers an unmissable culinary experience.

These tours are perfect for those who love Italian food as they often take you to experience some of the most luxurious Italian restaurants within the city.

Take Photos With the Famous Colgate Clock

Far view of the huge Colgate Clock with hudson river in the forefront

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The Colgate Clock, first constructed in 1924, has been around for almost a century.

Since then, the clock has become a tourist attraction, and many know it as the Big Ben of Jersey City.

Closeup of Colgate Clock

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With a height of 50 feet, the clock overlooks the waters of Jersey City, and many tourists come to take pictures.

Colgate Clock during sunset with Hudson river in the forefront

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Shop for Vintage Goods at Another Man’s Treasure Vintage Store

Another Man’s Treasure Vintage Store has been home to clothing and accessories boasting the original Jersey style for the longest time.

The store has been around for decades and has invited countless customers to come and browse amongst their unique pieces.

With pieces dating as far back as the 1920s, they offer some of the rarest fashion accessories, including dresses and jewelry.

Snap Some Pictures of the Apple Tree House

Brick building of Apple Tree House

King of Hearts, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Jersey City has its fair share of historic old houses.

Many come to admire the designs and structures of such authentic properties.

Additionally, history lovers come to find out about the intriguing history and character the houses offer.

The Apple Tree House, previously known as the Wagenen House, has an interesting tale.

Figures such as George Washington and Marquis de Lafayette planned different strategies on the grounds of their property.

Check Out the Newkirk House

Street view of Newkirk House

Hudconja, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

There is no shortage of historical houses in Jersey City.

If you’re on the lookout for architectural gems, you’ll find a lot of them in this city—take the Newkirk House, for example.

Boasting Dutch-style architecture, the Newkirk House that dates back to 1690 still stands proudly.

Side exterior of Newkirk House

Hudconja, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

With its rich history, it has become a tourist attraction where many come to take pictures.

There once was a restaurant situated inside the house; however, nowadays, people admire the exterior.

Get Your Spirits High at Corgi Spirits

For vodka and gin lovers, this place is a must-visit.

Corgi Spirits serves a variety of homemade specialty gin and vodka, which are famous throughout the city.

This is the perfect place to come to unwind with friends.

One of its most popular menu items is the Earl Grey Gin.

For those who prefer cocktails, Corgi Spirits offers a range of cocktails for prices that go as low as $8 during happy hour.

Take a Walk Around Lincoln Park

Gazebo at Lincoln Park

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Want to see one of the city’s original parks?

Come and take a walk around Lincoln Park, which is perfect for up the sun and enjoying the peaceful ambiance.

Located in the heart of the city, the park is around 250 acres and has many historical tales related to it.

Water fountain at Lincoln Park

Jim.henderson, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Hackensack River is also nearby, meaning visitors get to see beautiful views from the park.

There are many hiking trails inside the park for those who love long walks or hikes.

Get Lost in History at the Historic Jersey City and Harsimus Cemetery

Headstones at Harsimus Cemetery

Jim.henderson, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Historic Jersey City witnessed the Revolutionary War and served as an important aspect in the war of 1812.

The Harismus Cemetery was established in 1829 and is the resting place of many of the city’s first mayors, veterans, and ancestors.

It’s also well known in its own right, being one of the filming locations of the TV show The Sopranos.

If you choose to visit, it is recommended you come during Veteran’s Day as many events take place.

Try Gourmet Ice Cream at Milk Sugar Love

Milk Sugar Love is one of the most popular ice cream parlors in the area, offering customers a variety of gourmet flavors suitable for all dietary requirements.

All ingredients used are of the highest quality and are prepared with local organic milk.

Milk Sugar Love’s available menu items are constantly rotating, meaning new flavors are always added to their extensive menu.

Whether you crave classic vanilla or fancy trying something different, like matcha, they’re guaranteed to have something for you.

Stroll around Liberty State Park

Riverfront pavement at Liberty State Park

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Located in the heart of New York City, Liberty State Park has more than 1,200 acres.

With water on three sides, it is one of the city’s most popular attractions.

Strolling around the spectacular and breathtakingly beautiful Liberty State Park is one of the best free things to do in Jersey City.

It has a beautiful waterfront view, several seats, a playground for children, boat launches, picnic spots, and many more places of interest.

Picturesque view of the picnic area at Liberty State Park and the beautiful skyline of the city

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This picture-perfect park is a great place to spend time with loved ones and have a good time.

Take a walk, relax on a seat and take in the sights, pack a picnic, or whatever else your heart desires—all for free.

You may also go boating, fishing, on a cruise, visit a scientific museum, and so much more for a relatively low fee.

Honor War Veterans at Empty Sky Memorial

Lit up Empty Sky Memorial during night

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To honor the 749 New Jerseyans who were killed during the September 11 attacks, the Empty Sky Memorial was dedicated in September 2011.

Visit the Empty Sky Memorial while in Jersey City as one of the city’s major tourist attractions.

Closeup view of Empty Sky Memorial

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Stunning stainless steel twin walls etched with the 749 names of the dead flank this impressive memorial’s rich vegetation.

Pay honor and respect to the innocent victims of the World Trade Center bombings on September 11, 2001.

Beautiful architecture of Empty Sky Memorial

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As you go between the two massive walls and read the names of those who perished on September 11, observe a moment of silence.

Have a Retail Therapy at Newport Centre

Aerial view of the Newport Centre with people strolling around it

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Located in Newport, Rhode Island, Newport Mall is one of the city’s most popular retail destinations.

This three-story mall features more than 167 retail establishments, as well as a variety of additional amenities.

A spectacular shopping binge is definitely in order if you ask me.

Macy's at Newport Centre

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This mall is a must-see if you’re ever in the area!

Nearby Sears, JCPenney, and Macy’s are only the beginning of what you’ll find at this massive retail area.

The Newport Centre is the perfect place to go shopping with your pals.

Shops at Newport Centre

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Choose from hundreds of retailers, like Adidas, Sephora, Forever 21, Coach, and many more.

A movie or a meal awaits you after shopping.

Bring Your Kids to Liberty Science Center

Enormous building of the Liberty Science Center

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Since its inception in 1993, Liberty Scientific Center has been a pioneer in science education in Jersey City.

The planetarium, the state’s most technologically sophisticated and most prominent, is the principal attraction here.

Liberty Science Center in Jersey City

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This incredible science museum is a must-see in Jersey City if you want to have a memorable outing that is instructive and entertaining for the whole family.

It has an excellent planetarium, a café, a gift shop, educational programs, exciting events, and a lot more to keep you entertained.

You will even get a chance to see beekeepers extracting honey in one of the natural exhibits.

Far exterior view of Liberty Science Center

Bokic Bojan /

Other Things to Do Nearby

See the World-Famous Statue of Liberty

Statue of Liberty with a crusie ship in the background


The Statue of Liberty is one of the most visited tourist spots in the world.

It would be an absolute shame if you came to the city next door and didn’t take a chance to visit this infamous tourist attraction.

Statue of Liberty during sunrise

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Ferries and cruises are two of the best options to see the statue.

Additionally, different types of ticket packages are available for the Statue of Liberty.

Statue of Liberty with fireworks in the background

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Some offer photo opportunities, while others offer more in-depth tours that let visitors explore the inside of the monument and the museum.

Final Thoughts

Jersey City is so much more than just one of New York’s neighboring cities.

It has its own charm and brims with historical suites, mouth-watering cuisine, and photo op-worthy attractions.

Hopefully, this list of the best things to do in Jersey City helps narrow down some of the best places to visit on your trip!

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