15 Best Things to Do in Tribeca, NY

Tribeca, NY
andersphoto / Shutterstock.com

Tribeca, New York City, is a small, hip district in downtown Manhattan and is one of the most expensive neighborhoods in the city.

Originally spelled TriBeCa, it is an acronym for Triangle Below Canal (in reference to Canal Street).

This district was originally home to an industrial borough, with numerous warehouses that were then renovated into apartments, residential homes, restaurants, and other accommodations.

Tribeca is best known for its spectacular view of the Hudson River, with commercial buildings and notable restaurants rich with historical backgrounds.

It has now become the land of celebrity-owned lofts and properties where iconic stars retreat when they need a break from the bustling city life of New York.

Tribeca isn’t as popular as the other neighborhoods that attract tourists in Manhattan, but this charming district is filled with several places you can stop by.

Here are a couple of destinations that you can tour while on a relaxing getaway in Lower Manhattan:

Schedule a Private Tour at The Woolworth Building

The Stunning View Woolworth Building During Sunset
Felix Lipov / shutterstock.com

Though closed to the general public, interested visitors can book a private tour inside The Woolworth Building, named after the self-made millionaire who commissioned this building, Frank W. Woolworth.

This neo-Gothic building is located between Park Place and Barclay Street in downtown Manhattan across City Hall Park, where you can learn about the history of how it was built and more.

Grand interior of The Woolworth Building.
Felix Lipov / shutterstock.com

Standing at an impressive 792 feet with 60 stories, it was previously the tallest building upon its completion in 1913.

This structure is also complete with an arcade, barber, coffee shops, and other amenities.

The cathedral-like lobby, medieval inspiration, terracotta façade, and the overall extravagant interior is bound to mesmerize all visitors who wish to book a private tour, as it is one of the city’s most architecturally unique building.

This landmark remains one of the favorite sights on New York City’s skyline that attracts tourists with its universally acclaimed and luxurious exterior design.

View of The Woolworth Building outside.
Wirestock Creators / shutterstock.com

James Cohan Gallery is a contemporary art gallery that showcases various art forms in different styles and mediums.

They also host events, such as talks and lectures, that feature special artists.

Visitors can view the exhibits available inside, such as paintings, sculptures, videos, photography, and many more.

The art gallery is spacious and has a wonderful collection that caters to the unique art styles of the talents behind these artworks.

James Cohan Gallery also has art fairs and viewing rooms that display art from emerging artists that reimagine contemporary human experience by expressing creativity through their art forms.

Take a Walk Down Canal Street

Cana Street at night.
Mihai_Andritoiu / shutterstock.com

Canal Street is one of New York’s major streets that connects Jersey City, New Jersey, and Brooklyn and forms the southern and northern boundaries of SoHo and Tribeca and forms the acronym for the district.

Aside from being a connector, Canal Street is also known for being one of the best bargain shopping destinations where customers can purchase items for good deals.

Vendors will encourage both visitors and locals to stop by their stores by luring you in with the appeal of cheap prices for novelty items.

One of the Buildings at Canal Street
Beyond My Ken, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Canal Street has a festive atmosphere that may be a little too fast-paced for some; however, this street is the gateway to nearby neighborhoods where cultures collide.

This thoroughfare also sells food items on Canal Street Market, where you can find food vendors who sell fruits and vegetables at reasonable prices.

Since Canal Street runs through the neighborhood of Chinatown, Chinese bakeries, restaurants, and shops are open for business, and you can also spot a few structures that honor Chinese heritage.

If you want to keep a reminder of your trip to Canal Street, you can purchase souvenirs at affordable prices, such as T-shirts, jewelry, postcards, and more.

Visit the Ghostbusters Headquarters at Firehouse, Hook & Ladder Company 8

Front view of Firehouse, Hook & Ladder Company 8.
ELEPHOTOS / shutterstock.com

Calling all Ghostbusters fans!

Firehouse, Hook & Ladder Company 8 has famously become the base of the classic American supernatural comedy movie, Ghostbusters, and its sequel, Ghostbusters II.

The exterior of this Beaux-Arts-style firehouse was used as the headquarters where fictional characters Peter, Ray, Egon, and Winston held their ghostbusting operations.

The front of this building is perfect for taking pictures, especially for avid fans of the Ghostbusters franchise who wish to capture this memorable facade.

It’s important to note, however, that this building is a fully-functioning firehouse, so be careful where you saunter!

See the Oldest Church in Tribeca by Visiting St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church

St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church view along the street.
Anakumka / shutterstock.com

This Roman Catholic parish is the first church built in Lower Manhattan, originally in 1785 before being rebuilt in 1836.

It is one of the oldest churches in all of New York City and is a beautiful place of worship with a growing community.

The interior of this magnificent parish contains stained glass windows and admirable statues.

Visitors are also welcome to attend their masses and services.

Front View of St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church
Beyond My Ken, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church has a heartwarming history in relation to the September 11, 2001 attacks, which you can read about in the parish’s recollection and memorial of 9/11.

This Greek-Revival style architecture was designated as a New York City landmark and has become a tourist attraction being part of the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) deemed worthy of preservation for their historical significance.

Eat a Hearty Meal at Tribeca Grill

Front View of Tribeca Grill
Photo by User:Kmf164., CC BY-SA 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons

Tribeca Grill is co-owned by Oscar-winning actor Robert de Niro and many other celebrity investors, such as Sean Penn and Bill Murray, making this restaurant a stunning hotspot for first-time visitors and locals in Tribeca.

This local cuisine is perfect for all occasions, whether it be a family reunion, a business meeting, or even a romantic date!

Tribeca Grill also offers a full bar where you can grab a refreshing drink.

Their menu includes a variety of options, including vegan and vegetarian options and gluten-free meals.

The food and ambiance at this restaurant certainly qualify for a fine dining experience.

Find the Perfect Mystery Book at ​​The Mysterious Bookshop

Front View of The Mysterious Bookshop
Charleswallacep, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This bookshop in the heart of Tribeca is perfect for avid readers and bookworms, especially for those who love the mystery genre!

The Mysterious Bookshop is stocked with floor-to-ceiling shelves containing novels that specialize in mystery and its subgenres.

This shop also carries signed first and limited editions, anthologies, collectibles, and many more, in both paperback and hardcovers.

Visitors can simply browse through the aisles, wander around the bookshop, or purchase a new novel or two.

This bookstore is one of the oldest and greatest in all of New York City!

Lounge at Pier 25 at the Hudson River Park

Children playing at Hudson River Park on a fine afternoon.
Boris-B / shutterstock.com

Pier 25 is located along the Hudson River Park and is complete with a miniature golf course, sand volleyball court, a newly rebuilt children’s playground, snack bars, and even a skate park!

This pier is the longest along the Hudson River, stretching to 985 feet, and attracts visitors no matter what season, since it’s filled with all kinds of activities that can entertain anyone of all ages.

The playground facilities of Pier 25 are a dream come true for energetic and hyperactive children while teenagers and young adults can entertain themselves through the other amenities, like the golf course and volleyball court.

View of the sunset at Hudson River Park.
Mihai_Andritoiu / shutterstock.com

Adults can wind back and relax on the snack bars or lay out a picnic blanket, enjoying the riverside view and cool breeze that the river provides while watching occasional sailboats pass by.

Pier 25 is also a boating hub for those interested in water sports and activities!

Wind Down and Admire Artworks at the New York Art Center

This beautiful art center provides a platform for artists all over the world as a means to showcase their masterpieces.

This three-floor art center brings together passionate and creative artists and gives them the exposure they need in the art industry.

A special feature of this art center is an app in collaboration with Apple that utilizes digital marketing to connect artists with interested buyers so they can purchase art pieces first hand.

This app interplays the physical presence of the art center through a rotating, in-person gallery.

One of the main highlights of the New York Art Center is hosting The Tribeca Art Walk, where artists, aesthetes, and patrons of the arts can come together and connect with fellow collectors and curators to promote their work.

You can even converse with the artists themselves and find out the inspiration behind their work or simply learn more about their art style and background.

Visitors have the freedom to explore this art exhibit and gallery on their own or choose to go on a guided tour.

Have a Photo Op in Front of the Jenga Building

A close up look on the famous Jenga Building.
EQRoy / shutterstock.com

Commonly known as the skyscraper “56 Leonard,” Jenga Building is another name for this striking establishment!

The exterior design of this skyscraper has been likened to the famous board game “Jenga” because it looks like an oversized version of the game.

The haphazardly stacked blocks inspired the nickname for this skyscraper that towers over Lower Manhattan at 821 feet tall with 57 stories.

This high-tech architecture is also a residential building, with apartments owned by celebrities, such as Bella Hadid, Harry Styles, Ryan Reynolds, and more.

Though visitors can’t go inside the building since it’s claimed to be paparazzi-proof, you can take some nice pictures in front of this structure!

Appreciate Literary Poems at Poet’s House

Front View of Poet’s House
Gryffindor; cropped by Beyond My Ken (talk) 21:57, 24 January 2015 (UTC), CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you’re not much of an alcohol drinker, then Poet’s House just might be your cup of tea!

This establishment invites literary enthusiasts and visitors to participate in their activities and programs where they can share their love for literature pieces.

They also offer walking tours of the premises where they feature poets from all over the world.

The exhibits, performances, and presentations are constantly changing to provide diversity and cover a wide range of topics and genres.

Poet’s House is perfect for aspiring writers, specifically poets, as they also host seminars, classes, and workshops where they can develop their skills.

You don’t necessarily have to be a writer to enjoy this literary center; you can simply admire and appreciate the works of other poets from different cultures and backgrounds!

Visitors can join together in analyzing a select poem to offer new, refreshing perspectives, and insights behind these masterpieces.

Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth at Takahachi Bakery

This Japanese bakery carries a variety of selections to cater to your sweet tooth.

Ranging from classic scones to a creative spin on French baguettes, this eatery sells numerous pastries while on your tour in Tribeca.

The indulgent aroma of freshly baked bread and cakes are sure to lure you in!

They’re not just limited to pastries—you can get a cup of coffee or tea for a quick caffeine boost.

If you’re looking for a more filling meal, customers can also order freshly prepared sandwiches and pizza.

Fall in Love with the View of New York City at One World Observatory atop One World Trade Center

View from the One World Observatory .
​​Daniel Dror / shutterstock.com

One World Observatory is found on the highest floor of One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, and is one of the main tourist attractions in all of Tribeca.

Also known as the “Freedom Tower,” this structure was built on the northwest corner of the original World Trade Center.

The observatory, located on the 100th to 102nd floors of the building, offers tourists a complete 360-degree and mind-blowing view of New York City!

Interior View of One World Observatory
Kai Brinker, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You can also ride the Sky Pod elevator, which will give riders an immersive, floor-to-ceiling time-lapse of the evolution of New York City over the past 500 years within 60 seconds.

This observation deck is also complete with restaurants and even a theater that shows a short 3D film about this amazing city.

A trip to this building will leave you a memorable and special experience of your visit to New York.

Wine and Dine at Brandy Library

Interior View of Brandy Library
Jazz Guy from New Jersey, United States, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This cocktail bar and lounge houses hors d'oeuvres along with a wide array of specialty drinks!

Dine at this refined bar and enjoy a refreshing drink from their top-tier selection after a long day of sightseeing and touring!

Staying true to its name, the Brandy Library also contains books on diverse topics which you can read while snacking on their various appetizers.

You can even learn more about Bourbons, Cognacs, and more in the events they host for spirit enthusiasts.

Brandy Library is best known for its rare, high-end collection of whiskeys that appeal to every whiskey drinker.

The space and ambiance inside are also suitable for large groups who wish to have a nightcap in this hidden gem.

This upscale spirit institution is simply the perfect place to end your night!

Honor the Victims of 9/11 at the National September 11 Memorial Museum

Beautiful interior inside the The National September 11 Memorial Museum.
Pit Stock / shutterstock.com

Located next to the One World Trade Center, you can visit the National September 11 Memorial Museum dedicated to the lasting effects of the terrorist attacks that took place on September 11, 2001.

This museum commemorates the 2,977 victims that died during this series of attacks.

A collection of monumental artifacts, narratives, and media coverage are used to tell the story of how this event rocked the world.

Entrance to the The National September 11 Memorial Museum.
Lewis Tse Pui Lung / shutterstock.com

They also provide numerous educational sources to give learning opportunities to the general public regarding the events of 9/11 and its ongoing relevance.

This memorial mission is to deepen the public’s understanding of 9/11’s impact through interactive timelines, performances, and talks on the aftermath of this attack.

Final Thoughts

Though not as famous as the other districts in Manhattan, Tribeca is complete with a variety of things you can do and visit, ranging from art galleries to upscale bars and lounges to museums and memorials that commemorate 9/11.

This charming district is rich with diverse cultures and historical backgrounds that give tourists a glimpse into the lively customs and traditions of New York City.

Tribeca’s transformation from a residential neighborhood to an industrial, commercial hub provides tourists from around the world with a memorable experience.

The amenities you can find in Tribeca are endless, as they offer a balance of education and pleasure.

Book your trip now!