Blake Walsh

55 Best Things to Do in Manhattan, NYC

  • Published 2023/01/19

When foreigners think of New York City, most of them usually conjure up images of Manhattan.

With a treasure trove of attractions, Manhattan is one of the five boroughs of New York City.

It boasts a unique character and somewhat makes the crux of the New York metropolitan area.

Over the years, the city has served as one of the world’s most powerful commercial, financial, and cultural centers.

Manhattan is second to none with its delightful blocks, jazzy shops, historical museums, delectable restaurants, and cafes.

While you are here, you will most likely be dashed off your feet, exploring all the different areas dotted across the neighborhood.

To help you make the best out of your visit, here’s a list of the best things to do in Manhattan, New York:

Table of ContentsShow

Get a Bird’s-Eye View of the City from the Top of the Rock

Top of The Rock

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Perched atop the famous Rockefeller Center, Top of the Rock is a classic Manhattan attraction.

This viewpoint boasts rousing air and extensive views of New York’s famous attractions, including Central Park and the Empire State Building.

If you want to catch a glimpse of the beautiful Manhattan sunset, make sure to book your ticket early, as they tend to sell out really quickly.

Feel on Top of the World at the Vessel

Exterior of The Vessel

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The Vessel is a punctuating art installation in Hudson Yard.

With its spiral staircase, this state-of-the-art landmark highpoints interactive artworks conceptualized by Thomas Heatherwick and Heatherwick Studio.

Needless to say, this focal point where people come to take in varied perspectives of the city from diverse viewpoints is a sight to behold.

Interior of the Vessel

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The structure has over 154 intricate and interlocking flights of stairs that span over 80 landings.

If you’re up to the challenge of climbing 2,500 individual steps, you can enjoy incredible views of the city and beyond.

Although the entry to this art installation is completely free of cost, it is advisable to call in early and book a timeslot before you visit.

View from inside the Vessel

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Visit the Morgan Library & Museum

Interior of Morgan Library

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Grandiose in its appearance yet warm in scale, the Morgan Library & Museum stands a stone’s throw away from the Empire State Building.

Commonly hailed as a mini Madison Avenue Campus, it was previously the much cherished private library of famed multimillionaire and financier Pierpont Morgan.

After his death, it was opened to the public as per his will.

If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, you will absolutely adore this spot.

Welcome sign of Morgan Library & Museum

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Thanks to substantial gifts and purchases throughout the years, the library has further expanded in manifold ways without losing its distinctly domestic feeling.

Now, the library bears vital materials in addition to music manuscripts and other rare materials from the 20th century.

With about 20 different spaces comprising massive galleries, expansive libraries, and a performance hall, you will certainly enjoy your visit to the Morgan Library & Museum.

If you are planning to visit, there is a relatively small entrance fee, and it will take you around an hour to have a complete look around the building.

Exterior of Morgan Library & Museum

Photograph by Mike Peel (, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Stand in Awe and Admire the Views of Times Square

Daytime view of Times Square

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Almost everyone has their eyes set on the dazzling glamour, lights, and full-of-life oomph of the small stretch of land that spans from Broadway to Seventh Avenue: Times Square.

Eagerness and celebration run high at this emblematic center of New York.

Over the years, Times Square has been able to transcend its label as a mere tourist attraction to a global sentiment.

With its many flashing and bold neon lights and massive billboards, it is not only a crucial commercial juncture but a true likeness of everything big, bright, and unforgettable.

Aerial view of Times Square

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With costumed actors and gifted musicians walking around the plaza, you will find yourself awed by everything there.

If you get to Time Square’s main junction, you will find yourself in discount booths, theaters, and pedestrian-only zones.

A word of caution, though: make sure to walk fast to avoid getting trampled by crowds.

Buildings along Times Square

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Visit the World-Famous Grand Central Station

Interior of Grand Central Station

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There would not be a more iconic and enduring symbol of exquisiteness and legacy than Grand Central Terminal.

One look at it, and you will be marveled at its gorgeous engineering and architecture.

This cathedral-like meeting place of thousands of commuters is often hailed as the unofficial temple of visitors.

The clock in Grand Central Station

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Every day, thousands of people rendezvous at this spot and “meet under the clock.”

Established and opened to the public in February 1913, this historic, world-renowned landmark transcends the label of a mere transportation hub.

It stands in Midtown Manhattan and is a one-stop shopping, dining, and cultural destination.

Exterior of Grand Central Station

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Check Out the Colorful Art at Chelsea Gallery District

Street scene at Chelsea

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Chelsea in Downtown Manhattan is a special place because it is the birthplace of the arts in New York City.

The Chelsea Gallery District is home to more than 200 art galleries, and more than 1,000 artists call Chelsea home.

Exterior of the Chelsea Market

Ajay Suresh from New York, NY, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

For decades, the area has also become a center for LGBTQ culture and activism.

Chelsea in Downtown Manhattan is one of the most vibrant and diverse neighborhoods in New York City.

It is home to high-end fashion boutiques and some of the best restaurants in the city.

Exterior of Chelsea art museum

Beyond My Ken, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Breathe in Fresh Air at Battery Park

Sunset view from Battery Park

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This massive public park is for anyone and everyone who wants to take in the beautiful views of tourist attractions such as the Statue of Liberty.

Battery Park offers convenient access to absolutely breathtaking views of southern Manhattan.

The 25-acre park has great meadows for a convenient and comfortable stroll.

Aerial view of Battery Park

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While you are here, look out for the stone monument that commemorates the Dutch colonization of New Amsterdam: the Netherland Memorial, a gift from the Dutch Government to New York.

There are several other monuments that are worthy of your attention, including the Giovanni da Verrazano Monument and the American Merchant Mariners’ Memorial.

From this point, you can easily get to the Staten Island Ferry and other ferries to enjoy more tourist activities in Manhattan.

Children playing at Battery Park

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Watch a Knicks Game at Madison Square Garden

Exterior of Madison Square Garden

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Madison Square Garden is a well-designed, multi-functional ground in the very spirit and heart of the city.

Opened to the public in 1968, the arena is the oldest sports facility in the NYC metropolis and is one of the most expensive stadium venues ever built.

Aerial view of Madison Square Garden

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This indoor arena is situated in Midtown Manhattan and is used for professional sports such as basketball, wrestling, ice hockey, and other sports and entertainment shows.

It is famously home to the New York Rangers and the New York Knicks.

Occasionally, Madison Square Garden also becomes a venue for many beautiful concerts.

Interior of Madison Square Garden

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Revisit History at the American Museum of Natural History

Exterior of American Museum of Natural History

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Founded in 1869, the American Museum of Natural History has fast become one of the leading museums in the world.

The distinguished museum contains exhibits that celebrate biodiversity, human origin, and the environment.

Entrance to the American Museum of Natural History

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With 45 permanent exhibition halls and many other galleries for temporary exhibitions as well as memorials, you will want to linger here for a long time.

Exhibit in American Museum of Natural History

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Look Back and Reflect at the 9/11 Memorial & Museum

The waters of 9/11 Memorial Site

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The 9/11 Memorial & Museum was erected to pay homage to the lives lost in the tragedy of the 2001 and 1993 attacks on the World Trade Center.

It stands in all its magnitude to remember and honor the victims and survivors.

This principal institution is an extensive complex that has reflecting pools in place of the building that was lost.

Interior of the 9/11 Memorial & Museum

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Take a Stroll around Central Park

Aerial view of Central Park

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An iconic part of the borough, Central Park is perched in midtown Manhattan.

It is often referred to as the lungs of NYC.

It attracts thousands of visitors and is the most visited urban park in the United States.

People at Central Park's open space

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You cannot go wrong with a visit here as there is always something going on during any season.

You can visit the world-renowned American Museum of Natural History or take a stroll around Belvedere Castle.

In the winter, you can go ice skating, while you can go boating in the lake in the summer.

Pathway lined with trees at Central Park

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While you are here, you can also indulge in sunbathing, bicycling, horse-carriage rides, or even have your portrait drawn.

Another exciting slice of Central Park definitely has to be its set of amusement rides, such as the Wollman Rink and Central Park Carousel.

If you are in luck, you can also witness special concerts by talented artists.

See New York City from the Top of the Empire State Building

Night view of the Empire State Building

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The Empire State Building is perhaps one of New York City’s attractions that need not be furnished with introductions.

Standing at a staggering height of 102 stories, it is considered one of the most representative art deco skyscrapers in the world and is pretty hard to miss.

The top half of Empire State Building

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Head to the top of the building and take in some of the most impressive views of the city.

Since the line of visitors waiting to be shuttled to the top tends to be longer during the weekends, plan your trip on a weekday if you can.

Binoculars on top of the Empire State Building

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Shop till You Drop at 5th Avenue

Busy day at 5th Avenue

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Home to runway copycats, bargain hunters, countless upmarket designer shops, and department stores, this well-appointed stretch of retail along 5th Avenue is a true hotspot that has steadily enticed fashion mavens.

Hailed as one of the best places to window shop, 5th Avenue is perhaps the focal artery of New York City’s commercial scene.

Buyers flock to this slice of Midtown to shop at Saks Fifth Avenue, Tiffany, Victoria’s Secret, and H&M.

Street sign of 5th Avenue

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You can also find many multinational retailers like Zara and Uniqlo.

For a more luxurious choice, you have Bergdorf Goodman and myriad others.

Most high-end brands have ornately decorated window displays that beautifully light up in the dark.

That sight itself draws hundreds of visitors to the couture runway on this fashionable avenue.

Shops at 5th Avenue

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Have a Picnic at the South Street Seaport

Boats docked at South Street Seaport

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This designated historic district used to be a trading port for the city.

In order to preserve the historical significance of the region, the South Street Seaport has gone through extensive renovations and is still ongoing refurbishments to bolster its appeal further.

As of the present, you can visit the South Street Seaport to take in beautiful views of the Brooklyn Bridge while indulging in some fine dining and shopping choices.

People along the South Street Seaport

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Visit the Iconic Cultural Epicenter, the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Exterior of Metropolitan Museum of Art

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Colloquially called the Met, the Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of the most visited museums in the world.

The largest art museum in the United States, its permanent collection includes classical antiquity and a wide-ranging assortment of art, architecture, and artifacts.

In addition, there are myriad contemporary paintings, sculptures, and an exhaustive collection of costumes, accessories, and musical instruments.

Interior of Metropolitan Museum of Art

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Offer Your Prayers at St. Patrick’s Cathedral

Exterior of St. Patrick’s Cathedral

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With an impressive and captivating display of architecture, you will definitely enjoy your time at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

It has been deliberated as one of the country’s most discernible symbols of the Catholic Church.

You can join a guided tour of the cathedral to better understand its rich history and dynamics.

Interior of St. Patrick’s Cathedral

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Jam to the Beats at Broadway and 42nd Street

Night scene at Broadway

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If you want to get lost in the electrifying musicals, there is no better place to be than on 42nd Street, particularly at the very essence of Broadway and Times Square.

You will find yourself hemmed by euphonious music at every corner.

Even though you haven’t booked any shows, don’t fret.

There is a good chance of finding discount tickets at TKTS booths.

Be wary of the fluctuating ticket sales; it’s always better if you can arrive early to get the best deals.

Greet Animals at Central Park Zoo

Entrance to the Central Park Zoo

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One of the oldest zoos in the country, Central Park Zoo opened in 1861.

It has set on a mission to feature some of the world’s most unique animals and endeavors to raise awareness of the plight of animals in the wild.

The zoo is open all year round and provides protection to a large number of animals, from snow leopards to grizzly bears.

Animals at Central Park Zoo

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Moreover, they have an amusing range of tropical birds as well.

If you’re visiting with kids, remember to visit the Tisch Children’s Zoo, which is sure to turn into a playful adventure for them.

Clock of Central Park Zoo

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Walk the High Line

High Line

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Constructed on a lofty division of the old New York Central Railroad, this linear park is 1.45 miles long.

The charm of this attraction has certainly got to be its amazing transformation of otherwise fallow land into a stunning respite.

Although it tends to get crowded, it is definitely worth a visit for its naturalized plantings and breathtaking views of the city.

You can also take in the beautiful views of the Hudson River from here.

People at the High Line

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Feel Inspired at One World Trade Center

One World Trade Center Observatory

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Also known as Freedom Tower, One World Trade Center is the main building of the restructured World Trade Center complex.

It is also the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere and stands at a height of 1,776 feet.

Although it is chiefly an office space, the construction of the novel structure is a measure to memorialize the annihilation of the original World Trade Center complex.

Exterior of One World Trade Center

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Spend a Day at Rockefeller Center

Ice skating at The Rockefeller Center

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This large complex consists of spread-out commercial buildings between 48th Street and 51st Street.

Among those, some of the art deco buildings have been commissioned by the Rockefeller family.

The best time to visit here is during winter.

You will have the most iconic views of the plaza, metamorphosing into a slithering rink.

There are many markets, a couple of shops, and cafes.

Statue in front of Rockefeller Center

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Check Out Radio City Music Hall

Exterior of Radio City Music Hall

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Located within Rockefeller Center, this entertainment venue is fondly referred to as the “Showplace of the Nation.”

It was opened to the public in 1932.

Over time, the venue morphed into a theater for movies, concerts, and live shows.

Show in Radio City Music Hall

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Stroll along the United Nations Headquarters

Exterior of United Nations Headquarters

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Completed in 1952, the United Nations Headquarters is an iconic building located in Downtown Manhattan.

The Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer designed the building to house the United Nations.

The U.N. General Assembly convenes in the building’s General Assembly Hall, which has a seating capacity of 1,800.

Sculpture of peace on the grounds of United Nations Headquarters

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The U.N. Headquarters is also home to the Secretariat, which is the executive branch of the United Nations.

The Secretary-General of the United Nations resides in the Secretariat Building.

Additionally, the U.N. Headquarters is the location of several other vital U.N. agencies.

General assembly hall in United Nations Headquarters

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Explore Chelsea Market

Interior of Chelsea Market

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Constructed in the 1890s, Chelsea Market is currently owned by none other than Alphabet, Inc., Google’s parent company.

The market comprises shopping centers, office spaces, and production facilities.

Another trivia about the Chelsea Market is that it was where the first Oreo cookie was created and produced.

Exterior of Chelsea Market

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Remember the Past at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

Exterior of Museum of Modern Art

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The Museum of Modern Art is world-renowned for its contemporary art collections and exhibitions.

The museum is in Midtown Manhattan, New York City.

Colorful art exhibit in Museum of Modern Art

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It was founded in 1929 and is home to over 200,000 works.

Over 3 million people visit the Museum of Modern Art every year.

It has been called “the most influential museum of modern art in the world.”

Music exhibit in Museum of Modern Art

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Catch a Musical at Carnegie Hall

Exterior of Carnegie Hall

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If you want to witness performances by world-renowned orchestras, singers, and musicians, Carnegie Hall is where you should be.

Sitting through a concert here would be truly an enriching part of your experience in New York City.

Entrance to the Carnegie Hall

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Explore the Guggenheim Museum

Unique building of Guggenheim Museum

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The Guggenheim Museum is a world-renowned art museum on Manhattan’s Upper East Side in New York City.

Philanthropist Solomon R. Guggenheim founded it in 1939 as the Museum of Non-Objective Painting.

The museum’s original collection comprised paintings by Wassily Kandinsky, Piet Mondrian, and other European avant-garde artists.

Interior of Guggenheim Museum

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The Guggenheim Museum is famous for its striking architecture, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

The building’s distinctive spiral shape has become a symbol of modern architecture.

The museum is also famous for its extensive modern and contemporary art collection.

Side facade of Guggenheim Museum

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Explore the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts

Exterior of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts

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Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts is a world-renowned performing arts complex in the heart of Manhattan.

The 16-acre complex is home to some of the most prestigious cultural institutions in the world, including the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Philharmonic, and the Juilliard School.

Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts' water fountain

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Lincoln Center is a must-visit for classical music, theater, dance, and opera fans.

The complex is also home to a variety of restaurants and shops.

It’s a great place to spend an afternoon or evening in downtown Manhattan.

A sculpture on the grounds of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts

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Soak in the Chinese Culture in Chinatown

The street of Chinatown

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If you want to witness the Chinese culture up close, head over to Chinatown, a neighborhood in Lower Manhattan.

This vibrant street has the oldest and the largest number of Chinese immigrants in the West.

Shops at Chinatown

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This evocative neighborhood has a plethora of options when it comes to food.

Come here hungry, and you’ll be pleased by the many dim sum dens and noodle joints.

Lanterns along Chinatown

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Spend the Day at SoHo

Buildings along SoHo

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SoHo, Downtown Manhattan, is a neighborhood that has a long and rich history.

Situated between Houston and Canal Streets and bounded by the Hudson and East Rivers, SoHo has become a center for art and culture since the early 1800s.

People eating at a deli at SoHo

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The area was once the Cast Iron District, because of the many cast-iron buildings constructed there in the mid-19th century.

Today, SoHo is a popular tourist destination and a center for arts and culture.

Many of the area’s buildings have become major New York City landmarks, and the neighborhood is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

A cafe at SoHo

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Take a Walk Down Little Italy

People walking around Little Italy

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Little Italy in Downtown Manhattan is a neighborhood known for its Italian-American culture and cuisine.

Houston Street borders the neighborhood to the north, West Street to the west, the Brooklyn Bridge to the east, and Canal Street to the south.

Food vendors along the street of Little Italy

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Little Italy was once a thriving ethnic enclave but has experienced a significant decline in recent years.

The area is now home to only a few hundred residents, most of whom are elderly.

However, the neighborhood remains popular with tourists, who enjoy its restaurants and cultural attractions.

Exterior of a cafe at Little Italy

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Get the Hustle Mindset at the Financial District

Aerial view of Financial District buildings

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The Financial District of Downtown Manhattan is also known as Wall Street.

It has become the center of American finance since the early 17th century.

The district gets its name from the 17th-century wall that Dutch settlers built to defend the town against English colonial attacks.

People walking along Financial District

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Today, the Financial District is bounded by Broadway to the north, Chambers Street to the south, Trinity Place to the east, and Church Street to the west.

It is one of the most essential and iconic commercial districts in the world.

Exterior of the new york stock exchange at Financial District

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Explore the City’s Past at New-York Historical Society

Entrance to New-York Historical Society

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Located on the western border of Central Park, this museum and library provide visitors with a window into the city and the country’s past.

Its current building, one of the last instances of Beaux-Arts architecture in the city and the country, was finished in December 1908.

It is also New York’s first museum.

Building sign of New-York Historical Society

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The museum offers visitors a chance to relive the city’s 400-year history via innovative displays, impressive collections, captivating films, and engaging discussions with prominent personalities from history and politics.

The New-York Historical Society is the perfect place for families and individuals interested in learning more about the history of America’s most dynamic city through hands-on exhibits and events.

Exterior of New-York Historical Society

Ajay Suresh from New York, NY, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Take Photographs with the Icons at Madame Tussauds New York

Exterior of Madame Tussauds New York

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The New York location of Madame Tussauds debuted in 2000 in Times Square and is a staple among tourist attractions in the city.

It gives tourists a taste of Hollywood and provides many photo ops with celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio and Scarlett Johansson, among many others.

Enjoy 200 realistic wax figurines and over 80,000 square feet of entertainment space.

There are exhibits honoring politicians, athletes, and singers from the United States and the wax characters from the movies.

Interior of Madame Tussauds New York

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For the whole Madame Tussauds experience, nothing beats an all-access pass.

Use the traditional, hand-dipped Wax Hand, Digital Photo Pass, and Preservation Kit to capture and preserve priceless moments.

Having something tangible to reflect on and talk about with loved ones is priceless.

Michael Jackson wax figure in Madame Tussauds New York

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Discover Unique Fashion Takes The Museum at FIT

Exterior of The Museum at FIT

Ajay Suresh from New York, NY, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Museum at FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology) is a must-see for anyone interested in fashion.

The museum features six rooms that host changing exhibits that delve into various facets of the city’s fashion history.

Some topics it explores include architecture’s role in shaping fashion or the cultural significance of certain streetwear statements.

The museum also frequently conducts seminars, presentations, and other activities related to the fashion business.

If you’re a budding designer, it’s also one way to expand your knowledge and perspective in your chosen field.

Admire Contemporary Art at the Whitney Museum of American Art

Exterior of Whitney Museum of American Art

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There are more than 25,000 pieces of American art from the 20th and 21st centuries in the Whitney Museum of American Art, so you can spend the whole day there and not get bored.

Keep your eyes peeled for any upcoming exhibits.

Located in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District, the underrated attraction has been open (to varying degrees) for almost a century, housing works by established and up-and-coming American artists like Andy Warhol and providing opportunities for visitors to engage with the art through pop-up installations, workshops, and more.

Facade of Whitney Museum of American Art


This place is ultra-contemporary and stylish, with breathtaking panoramas of the cityscape from its outdoor decks.

The Whitney has everything you need to enjoy a wet day inside, from a fantastic restaurant to two cafés.

Rooftop sculptures at Whitney Museum of American Art


Be Open-minded at the Museum of Sex

Exterior of the Museum of Sex

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The Museum of Sex aims to document and showcase the relevance of human sexuality through time and across cultures.

The Museum of Sex is one of the more obscure museums in New York City.

Still, it’s a must-visit for anyone interested in the more salacious aspects of human sexuality: its history, representation in popular culture (you know what we’re talking about), its legal status, its animal inhabitants, its kinks, and much more.

On October 5, 2002, the Museum of Sex opened on Fifth Avenue in New York City.

Building sign of the Museum of Sex

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It was the first museum of its kind.

The museum assembled an advisory group of renowned academics to help create its groundbreaking award-winning exhibition NYCSEX: How New York Transformed Sex in America.

The museum displays various objects, from toy collections to exhibits on the global diversity of attitudes about sexuality, and even occasionally offers special events.

Sculpture in the Museum of Sex

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Grab a Good Read at The New York Public Library

Exterior of The New York Public Library

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The New York Public Library, constructed in 1911, has since become a beloved icon of the city, drawing in tourists, bookworms, and culture vultures worldwide.

Every year, more than 16 million people visit this magnificent public library, which is home to more than 50 million books, digital media, and other forms of content.

Beaux-Arts detailing is visible on the library’s front, framed by two lions made of marble.

The Rose Reading Room is the size of a football field and is furnished with rich dark wood to create an atmosphere befitting a world-class library.

Interior of The New York Public Library

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Suppose you’re wanting to learn something new or just want to relax with a good book.

In that case, you won’t find a better spot than this massive library, which houses collections on everything, including art, architecture, music, literature, and theater.

The Stephen A. Schwarzman Building is the main branch in Bryant Park, a popular venue for outdoor movie screenings, cultural events, and the city’s annual winter wonderland.

Bible displayed in The New York Public Library

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Discover Japanese Art and Culture at the Japan Society

Facade of the Japan Society

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Japan Society lies in a stunning structure on East 47th Street, not far from the United Nations.

It’s a fascinating look at Japanese visual culture, aesthetics, history, and cinema.

It houses a significant assortment of works from well-known Japanese painters.

Exterior of the Japan Society

Epicgenius, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This includes showings of films you won’t find in your local cinema, such as foreign and arthouse films, and more mainstream fare like opera and ballet.

Classes are available both on-campus and online, and they cater to students of all ages and experience levels interested in learning Japanese.

It’s a great place that the average traveler doesn’t bother to visit (to their detriment).

Garden in the Japan Society

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

Look back to a Tragic Past at The Museum of Jewish Heritage

Aerial view of The Museum of Jewish Heritage

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The Museum of Jewish Heritage is New York’s commitment to the international obligation to remember.

Throughout its history, the museum has taught visitors about Jewish life before, throughout, and post-Holocaust.

The museum draws on extensive collections to provide light on Jewish history and experience, and it gives Holocaust survivors a voice through recorded testimony.

Exterior of The Museum of Jewish Heritage

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It is a public history institution with exhibits, activities, and instructional materials that are academically rigorous and interesting.

The museum preserves artifacts and educates the public about Jewish culture.

It uses history to warn against bigotry and encourages its audience, which includes over 60,000 kids each year, to use the lessons of the past to create a better future.

Interior of The Museum of Jewish Heritage

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See Historical Vessels at Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

Exterior of Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

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The interactive exhibits of the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum are cutting-edge and extensive.

You may find this museum near Hell’s Kitchen’s Pier 86.

It markets itself as an excellent afternoon activity, especially for families, military enthusiasts, and history lovers who may be in the area.

Planes at Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

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One of NASA’s space shuttles (the Enterprise) and many other spectacular vehicles, such as submarines, helicopters, planes, and the Intrepid aircraft carrier, are on display at this museum dedicated to the United States Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and NASA.

Children and their parents may take a tour of the ship and see how all the machinery functions while also viewing various items from the ship’s past.

People at Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

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Admire Manhattan from the Skies with Manhattan Helicopters

View of Manhattan from a Helicopter

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Swinging about Downtown’s skyscrapers in a helicopter is an unforgettable experience that offers unparalleled vistas, thrills, and a touch of luxury whether you’re riding a shotgun or taking a private flying lesson.

Each journey departs from the iconic Downtown Manhattan Heliport at Pier 6 on the East River.

Trips may last anywhere from 15 minutes to two hours, depending on how much you want to spend on premium amenities.

Last but not least, taking a private heli-tour of Manhattan at night is a romantic experience, especially if you’re doing it with someone special.

You and your companion may soar over the city in the evening to take in its glittering lights and skyline.

Take in the City Views from the Edge

Observation deck of the Edge

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New York City’s Hudson Yards is home to some of the city’s most breathtaking architecture, and the Edge, an observation deck in the area, provides stunning views of the area.

Opening in 2020, it has immediately become one of the most popular tourist attractions in New York City.

The glass floor extends from the 100th level, making visitors feel like they are floating in the air.

Scenic views from the Edge

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It’s 80 feet from the edge of the structure and 1,100 feet in the air from where you’re standing.

Edge also hosts other events, such as the City Climb, in which participants climb the side of the building from an altitude of 1,200 feet.

People at the Edge

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Visit the Graves of Prominent New Yorkers with Catacombs by Candlelight Walking Tour

The Catacombs by Candlelight Walking Tour is a 90-minute opportunity to see parts of the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral in Little Italy that are usually off-limits to visitors.

Catacombs beneath the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral have been the last resting place for the devout for over two centuries.

Visit the last resting places of New York’s bishops and other critical Catholics, such as the Delmonico family and the city’s first resident bishop, John Connolly.

Bankers, attorneys, industrialists, merchants, political hopefuls, and even a commander from the Civil War, Thomas Eckert, also have vaults in this complex.

Immerse in African-American Culture with Harlem Gospel Tours

Join a knowledgeable guide on a stroll around Harlem if gospel music, art, and culture are your things.

The Harlem Heritage Tours begin at the Harlem Heritage Tourism and Cultural Center, situated in a section of Harlem home to several churches and religious institutions connected to prominent figures in the global movement for social justice.

You’ll find the rich history and culture of Harlem’s churches and religious institutions fascinating, especially in light of recent global social and political upheavals.

From its founding as a Dutch colony to the Harlem Renaissance, where jazz and soul music was born, it’s all here to explore.

The goal is not merely to listen to music but to learn about the history of Harlem as a whole, focusing on the beneficial influence churches have had on Harlem historically and currently.

Visit Famous Filming Locations with On Location Tours

The New York City TV & Movie Tour by On Location Tours will take you to all the top shooting sites in the Big Apple.

It includes over 60 filming sites from some of your favorite programs in this guided bus tour of New York City.

New York City has had a more significant impact on the film and television industries than any other city since more movies and TV shows have been shot here than in any other city outside of a studio.

Some movies include Ghostbusters, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, The Devil Wears Prada, Home Alone, and Spider-Man, to mention just a few.

Sex & the City, The Sopranos, Gossip Girl, Seinfeld, and Friends are just a few of the hundreds of TV shows set in or filmed in New York.

Take the Roosevelt Island Tramway

Gondola of Roosevelt Island Tramway

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Tourists may see New York City in a new light by taking the tram to Roosevelt Island.

From 59th Street and Second Avenue in Manhattan, you may catch one of the world’s most cutting-edge aerial tramways to Tramway Plaza on Roosevelt Island.

The ride takes between seven and fifteen minutes.

View of Roosevelt Island Tramway

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The tramway will transport you across the East River to Roosevelt Island, where you may visit parks, the ruins of a smallpox hospital, an insane institution, and a lighthouse from the 19th century.

Remember that riders getting off at each stop (whether in Manhattan or on Roosevelt Island) will need to re-board the tram and pay again to get back on.

Look back to the Early U.S. Government at Federal Hall National Memorial

Exterior of Federal Hall National Memorial

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For more American history, check out It honors George Washington and the founding of the United States of America.

The first Congress, Executive Branch, and Supreme Court met in this structure.

It honors George Washington, who took an oath here, and the founding of the United States of America.

Interior of Federal Hall National Memorial

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The actual bible that Washington has sworn in is the centerpiece of the exhibitions detailing the building’s history.

You can either join a guided group or explore at your own pace.

Exhibit in Federal Hall National Memorial

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Take Photos with the Flatiron Building

Exterior of the Flatiron Building

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The Flatiron Building, a 22-story NYC icon and a favorite of architects everywhere, is an excellent subject for your Instagram feed and a must-see on any trip to the Big Apple.

This structure is just underneath Madison Square Park. The renowned Flatiron Building is a triangular-shaped landmark in New York City.

The building received recognition as a New York City landmark in 1966.

Top part of the Flatiron Building

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Then it became a part of the National Register of Historic Places in 1979 and was finally recognized as a National Historic Landmark in 1989.

Hundreds of films include it as a setting.

You really must see this architectural masterpiece!

Stroll around Greenwich Village

Buildings along Greenwich Village

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One of Manhattan’s hippest areas, Greenwich Village is home to some of the city’s most exciting attractions.

Since its heyday in the 1960s, when it was known as the “Bohemian capital of the world,” Greenwich Village has evolved into a hipster haven complete with galleries, vintage boutiques, and jazz clubs.

The Stonewall Inn, a homosexual bar and scene of the 1969 Stonewall riots, is just one of the historical sites you may see while strolling around this area.

Stonewall Inn at Greenwich Village

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In addition, there’s the Hotel Albert, where creative types like Mark Twain, Salvador Dali, Walt Whitman, and Jackson Pollock once stayed.

There are several venues where you may catch a jazz concert or cabaret performance.

Hotel Albert at Greenwich Village

Beyond My Ken, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

See Local Artistry at the Graffiti Hall of Fame

While the Graffiti Hall of Fame isn’t as grand as the previously listed buildings and famous monuments, it is Manhattan’s local treasure.

The original intention of the people who opened this underground museum was to provide a place for budding graffiti artists to practice their craft.

What began as a way for students to express themselves creatively on the bare concrete walls of a school building has expanded into something far more significant.

The murals are an excellent representation of the diversity and vitality of New York City.

In the middle of Manhattan’s modern architecture, the walls preserve the city’s heritage with striking, passionate, and vibrant artwork.

Even though most murals are located on school property and are thus inaccessible to the general public, these walls are nevertheless worth a visit when in Manhattan.

Bring Your Kids to Little Island

Aerial view of Little Island

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Little Island is a great place to visit with kids in Manhattan.

It’s a quaint artificial island at Pier 55, and it’s a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of New York City.

Little Island is a small urban park in the middle of the Hudson River.

Even though it’s only 2.4 acres, it’s a terrific free attraction in Manhattan and a tranquil refuge away from the city.

People at Little Island

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What’s more, if you’re traveling with kids, there are plenty of things to do and see.

The gardens include several different entertainment venues, food vendors, and an arts and crafts section.

One of the finest free things to do in Manhattan is to visit Little Island and stroll around the planted grasses, trees, and plants.

The walkways rise and fall, and there are several vantage places and plazas to sit and take it all in.

Amphitheatre at Little Island

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Pamper Yourself Like a Roman at AIRE Ancient Baths New York

Have you spent a day taking in the sights and sounds of New York City and are now seeking a way to unwind?

That’s why the Aire Ancient Baths are so popular amongst locals.

You may find it inside a 19th-century textile mill on Franklin Street in Tribeca.

The hot-to-cold therapy and design of the baths are reminiscent of traditional Roman baths, yet they have all the conveniences of today.

Traditional massage, body scrubs, and even wine baths (exactly what they sound like) are available here, making this a wonderful place for a romantic getaway.

Experience Concert in a Different Light with Candlelight Concert

Do you need a respite from the chaos of the city streets?

Listening to classical music by candlelight in a medieval cathedral sounds like the answer.

Experience the classical music accentuated by candlelight at one of the city’s most luxurious sites, such as the Church of the Heavenly Rest (near Guggenheim), the open-air terrace at the Mondrian Park Avenue, or St. Ann and the Holy Trinity Church (Brooklyn).

Everyone is welcome to this Fever Originals event, where they may hear excellent performances of classical, jazz, soul, and even modern and pop music.

Candlelight is a 65-minute performance of classical music set to the hypnotic backdrop of thousands of flickering candles strategically placed around various settings.

Depending on the time of year, celebrations may center on seasonal themes like Christmas or Halloween or pay tribute to classical composers like the Beatles or Beethoven.

Catch a Local Production at Minetta Lane Theatre

Check out the Minetta Lane Theatre if you want to take a break from Broadway productions.

The best thing about it is the strictly enforced “No Phones” restriction.

There will never be an embarrassing moment when an insensitive viewer’s phone ruins a dramatic moment because they have everyone check their phones at the door.

During the show’s interval, you could feel antsy about being disconnected from your phone, but by the end of the night, you’ll appreciate the break.

Have a Good Laugh with Blue Man Group

Exterior of Astor Place Theatre

Americasroof, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Blue Man Group is the adversary of boredom, the antidote to monotony, and the catalyst for extreme happiness.

Those who visit the historic Astor Place Theatre in the heart of New York City will have the opportunity to get a front-row seat to the performance at its very beginnings.

Your mind will be blown away by an explosive sensory spectacle that includes humor, music, science experiments, art, and audience involvement.

The performances always have something new to offer in terms of music, narrative, instruments, and visually arresting moments, and they often involve memorable cultural landmarks.

This high-octane act is about making your night out unique, brought to life by three bald blue men in black suits who want nothing more than to make people laugh.

Bring Home a Treat for Your Kids from LEGO Store Fifth Avenue

Lego car in LEGO Store Fifth Avenue

Leonard Zhukovsky /

Anyone young or young at heart should stop at the LEGO Store on Fifth Avenue.

This two-story haven features LEGO creations from every imaginable genre, including originals, Harry Potter, Star Wars, Game of Thrones, and many others.

Discover hundreds of Lego sets, including rare and limited edition pieces, shop for bricks and parts of any size, shape, or color at the Pick a Brick wall, and participate in a fun, interactive, and family-friendly building event.

Interior of LEGO Store Fifth Avenue

Leonard Zhukovsky /

With its hands-on exhibits, miniature LEGO versions of New York City landmarks, and retail space, it is widely regarded as one of the city’s top family attractions.

While exploring Rockefeller Center, this is a fantastic place to stop by.

People in LEGO Store Fifth Avenue

Leonard Zhukovsky /

Other Things to Do Nearby

Walk the Famous Brooklyn Bridge

View within the Brooklyn Bridge

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Although the Brooklyn Bridge isn’t technically in Manhattan, you cannot simply afford to miss a stroll through the bridge.

Completed in 1883, the bridge stands over the East River.

Even if it’s your first time in NYC, a walk through this architecturally stunning bridge will satisfy you like no other.

Evening view of Brooklyn Bridge

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With its gorgeous views of Manhattan and Brooklyn, you cannot go wrong with a stop at this iconic attraction.

A walk across the bridge will take you somewhere between 40 to 50 minutes.

After your stroll, you can drop off at Dumbo in Williamsburg to take phenomenal photos of the city and have a delicious meal.

Cras along Brooklyn Bridge

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Final Thoughts

This is an excellent list of things to do in Manhattan.

Exploring this section of New York City is a moving and informative experience that everyone should have the chance to visit.

More Manhattan

Where to Stay in Manhattan

Things to do in Lower Manhattan

Things to do in Midtown

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