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Top Things To Do In New York City

From Time Square’s neon billboards to the historic Statue of Liberty, the city that never sleeps brims with fun and ambition. New York City comprises 5 boroughs with personalities all their own. Some of NYC’s iconic sites include skyscrapers such as the Empire State Building, the sprawling Central Park. Broadway, and more. For things to do in NYC, here are some of the city’s most popular attractions and best-kept secrets.

It takes years to see all that New York City has to offer. Start now with the top things to do in NYC and work your way around the boroughs.

The best things to do in NYC include:

  • Visit The Metropolitan Museum of Art, one of the world’s largest and finest art museums
  • Go to a live TV show taping at Rockefeller Center
  • Explore the featured artwork at Museum of Modern Art
  • The 843-acre Central Park always has something new to discover
  • Take a tour of the iconic City Hall

New York City can be reasonably affordable with careful planning. If you have time to kill, there’s plenty of city to explore no matter where you sleep. Fill your NYC stay with free things to do, with a few splurges for nights out.

Cheap or free things to do in NYC include:

  • Bryant Park is worth visiting year-round
  • Soak up the sun on the High Line
  • Harlem Highlights Guided Bike Tour shows all that Harlem has to offer on two wheels
  • Head to Governor’s Island for a nap on a hammock
  • Listen to free music at Madison Square Park

For the uninitiated, New York City has many places to visit during a vacation to the city. Plus, no matter what interests you, the public transportation options enable you to save time and money. Tourists can head to the iconic Grand Central Station and take a train just about anywhere in the city.

Popular tourist attractions in NYC include:

  • Visit world-famous Empire State Building, located in the center of midtown Manhattan
  • Times Square is a major commercial intersection with Broadway show billboards and functions as NYC’s town square
  • Visit the iconic Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor
  • Federal Hall is one of the best surviving examples of neoclassical architecture
  • Have a whiskey on the rocks at NYC’s smallest bar, Copper & Oak

There’s no shortage of things to do in NYC today. You can craft an itinerary starting in just about any neighborhood. Buy a Metrocard and take on everything that New York City has to offer.

Things to do in NYC today include:

  • Available each summer, Shakespeare in the Park offers immortal stories for free
  • Stop and smell the flowers in Bronx’s very own New York Botanical Garden
  • The Battery is a 25-acre public park located in Lower Manhattan
  • Peruse the $1 shelves of Strand Book Store
  • Take the Staten Island Ferry for a free cruise through New York Harbor

New York City is teeming with things to do at all hours of the night. Whether you need a post-work drink or a night that ends at sunrise, the city that never sleeps has something for any occasion.

Things to do in NYC at night include:

  • Theatre District has energetic crowds and pulsing lights
  • For a quiet night, Nitehawk Cinema offers late-night films
  • Hang out at the Cubbyhole, a kitschy bar in the West Village
  • Bossa Nova Civic Club caters to those craving a house or industrial techno fix on Sunday and Monday nights
  • See a show at the Bushwick Starr, a no-frills black box theater

There’s always something new to see in New York City. The weekend is a good time to explore new pockets of the city’s many neighborhoods. Who knows — you may find a new favorite place to visit.

Things to do in NYC this weekend include:

  • Greenwich Village, a home for the city’s bohemian dive bars and restaurants
  • The East Village, a neighborhood with a punk past
  • Nolita and Little Italy, a home for pizza parlors and the world’s biggest cannoli
  • Chinatown, a place that attracts dumplings, tacos, ramen, and more
  • Tribeca, Canal Street’s booming place for restaurants, bars, and boutiques

Kids will remember their first trip to NYC. Make it fun with a trip to the zoo, museum, or Coney Island.

Fun things to do in NYC with kids include:

  • General Ulysses S. Grant National Monument
  • Reconnect with wildlife at Bronx Zoo Wildlife Conservatory – all for the low price of free
  • Visit The Tenement Museum
  • Ride the Wonder Wheel at Coney Island
  • Visit The American Museum of Natural History, which features a much-beloved big blue whale

Trips to NYC are more fun with friends, family, or coworkers. When you’re traveling in packs, make a reservation to cut down on wait times.

Things to do with your friends in NYC include:

  • Enjoy the in-character actors at Gallow Green, a Chelsea rooftop bar
  • Chill out at the Astoria Park Pool
  • Bonnie Vee’s quaint upstairs patio is welcoming to friends looking for a post-work drink
  • See stand-up at the Comedy Cellar
  • Explore vintage comic books at Forbidden Planet, an independent bookstore

With humid summers and frigid winters, New York City has adapted to its wide-ranging temperatures by offering solace indoors. Activities such as museum hopping, arcade bars, and everyday film festivals are just the start of the list of things to do indoors in NYC.

Things to do indoors in NYC include:

  • Explore the miles of bookshelves at New York Public Library
  • Bring the family to Dominick’s, New York’s real Little Italy
  • Geek out at Ace Bar, one of NYC’s many arcade bars
  • Watch foreign films and indie cinema at Film Forum
  • See DJs at Good Room, a Greenpoint club with stellar acoustics

Parks, monuments, and vantage points of the Hudson River define a things to do outdoors. City dwellers can claim a grassy knoll to perhaps explore the city with a jog. For more, try taking a day trip just outside the city.

Things to see in NYC include:

  • Fly a kite at FDR Four Freedoms Park
  • Go bird-watching on the East River Promenade
  • Look at the beautiful (if a bit unusual) tapestries at The Cloisters
  • Hit the Hudson River for some free kayaking
  • Be a beach bum at Jacob Riis Park Beach

Though it’s difficult to truly dodge the crowds, visitors to NYC can still skip the lines and simply travel off the beaten path. Discover the latest under-the-radar restaurants, bars, gigs, after-hours parties, and more.

Must-see places in NYC include:

  • Sneak into Karasu, tucked behind an unmarked door behind Fort Greene’s beloved Walter’s
  • Japan Society offers cultural showcases, Japanese arts, and language lessons
  • Nom Wah Tea Parlor is a vintage dim sum parlor with a drink menu that includes beer, wine, and tea
  • Head to Tribeca and try By Chloe, a beloved vegan restaurant
  • Escape to Randall's Island and enjoy East River views