10 Must-Do Experiences In New York City

Travel1 year ago
Picture of the New York skyline

New York City is on travel bucket lists for millions of people around the world for a reason. No matter who you are and where you are coming from, there are bound to be a multitude of experiences in NYC that you'll enjoy. From art, history, fashion, and music to nightlife, theatre, and live entertainment, there are hundreds of ways you can fill your days while visiting the city.

But with so much on offer and a limited number of days to your trip and vacation, how can you pick the best experiences in New York City for you? To help you on your way we have selected our top 10 picks for what to do in New York City today and for the rest of your trip.

From enjoying the stunning scenes from Summit One Vanderbilt to heading on a ferry to Ellis and Liberty Islands, we'll tell you all the must places you need to visit during your stay. So, let's get started!

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What to Do in New York City Today - Top 10 Experiences in NYC

Visit Central Park

This picturesque, world-famous, and mammoth park is free to visit and the perfect way to escape the hubbub of city life for a couple of hours. You can plan a picnic, go for a horse carriage ride, head to the zoo, or head there each morning for a scenic jog before you start your day.

And with 843 acres to explore, you'll never run out of hidden treasures to discover! There are more than 30 bridges, 20 playgrounds, and over forty different monuments, foundations, and sculptures to enjoy as you make your way around the mammoth open space.


Summit One Vanderbilt

Head to the Vanderbilt Observation Deck in Manhattan for the best view of the city. Perfect for when you first arrive in town, the Summit One Vanderbilt will give you a panoramic view of the Big Apple from 1,401 feet above the ground! You'll get a great view, spot some of the locations you are planning to head to during your trip and experience the exhilaration of being above all the millions of New Yorkers going about their day below.

Vanderbilt One goes one step further than other observation decks by enhancing the experience with art installations, cocktails, and even glass floor ledges and elevators! Enjoy the view before heading to the cocktail bar Après for some delicious food and beverages to enhance your experience.


The Statue of Liberty

This iconic statue is recognizable around the globe as a symbol of American ideals and freedom and provides one of the best experiences in New York City for tourists and natives alike. Book a pedestal ticket ahead of your visit and you will be able to head up to the observation deck which sits halfway up the statue and gives you a breath-taking view of the city, harbor, and neighboring Ellis Island.

You can book a ferry ride from Battery Park in Manhattan to head to the Statue of Liberty Island and also make a stop off at the historic Ellis Island before making your way back to the mainland.


Picture of hte Statue of Liberty


Rockefeller Center

The famous Rockefeller Plaza is another must-see when you visit New York City featuring a stunning ice skating rink, iconic stores and restaurants, and also a view of NBC studios. If you visit during the winter, the huge Christmas trees and ice skaters will put you in the perfect Christmas mood, but this stunning spot is a great venue to experience New York City any time of the year.

If you arrive early enough, you'll be able to watch the "Today" show taping, then head to the observation deck for an unbeatable view of Manhattan. You can also make your way to the plaza in the evening time to enjoy a performance at the legendary Radio City Music Hall.


The Empire State Building

No experience in New York City is complete without a trip to this iconic landmark. Located in midtown Manhattan, the Empire State Building is the perfect way to get a panoramic view of the city and spot other places of interest over a thousand feet below you!

A visit to this world-famous skyscraper can be the perfect way to begin your trip, or else you can plan a visit when it gets a little darker to experience the beautiful colors and lighting provided by over 16 million lighting combinations and effects.

You can choose between two observation decks (on the 86th or 102nd floor) and learn all about the art deco building's fascinating history through the exhibits and displays across the over 100 floors.


Grand Central Station

This beautiful architectural wonder is undeniably one of the most stunning train stations in the world and the perfect way to experience New York City's diverse and busy daily life. Even if you aren't planning to hop on a train, a visit to this beautiful station is the perfect venue to people-watch, dine, and shop.

The elegant neo-classical architecture houses marble floors, chandeliers, and an iconic sky-themed ceiling. This station is home to a gourmet food haven - the Grand Central market as well as upscale dining options such as the Oyster Bar & Restaurant and Cipriani Dolce. You can also visit a few of the many interesting New York-themed stores to pick up a few souvenirs to take home!


Radio City Music Hall

Radio City Music Hall offers the best entertainment experiences in New York City and has attracted the most famous entertainers to its stage for decades. From Frank Sinatra and the Rolling Stones to Lady Gaga and Little Nas X, shows at the music hall have attracted millions of tourists and New Yorkers to the famous stage.

Once you have booked your trip why not head over to the website to see whether you can snag some seats for a show or concert which is on while you're in town? If you are planning to visit between November and January you should take the opportunity to experience the legendary Christmas Spectacular show which has been running for more than 90 years!


The National September 11 Memorial Museum

While you are in the city, you should block out two to three hours to spend at the September 11 Memorial and Museum. This sober and solemn monument pays tribute to the thousands of lives lost during the 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center's twin towers.

Two reflecting pools and waterfalls mark the points where the two buildings once stood and the accompanying bronze panels display the name of every victim who lost their life due to the attack. The museum uses interactive displays, artifacts, and recordings to provide a narrative of the events of the day. This is one of the most powerful experiences in NYC for tourists to visit during their trips.


Museum of Modern Art

The Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art houses thousands of masterpieces from all around the globe and is an essential location to experience in New York City. Whether you are interested in modern art or classical antiquities, you will find plenty of fascinating pieces to enjoy.

The permanent collections which house huge Roman, Greek, and Egyptian antiquities floor to ceiling are incredibly popular with tourists, but there is still plenty on offer throughout the rest of the mammoth museum space. Depending on your interests, you could happily spend anyway from two hours to two days experiencing everything this fascinating museum has to offer.


A Walking Tour of Greenwich Village

If you have had your fill of indoor spaces, museums, and galleries and are wondering "what to do in New York City today?", then going on a walking tour of one of the city's historic neighborhoods may be the perfect option.

Greenwich Village has long been a mecca for artists, bohemians, and writers and retains its character and charm to this day. Explore the small, independent stores, head to a cafe, or spend some time people-watching in Washington Square Park. If you are looking for one of the best experiences in New York City to give you a sense of local life, then this area should be high on your list of places to visit.

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