New York City, the most populous and biggest city in the United States, is known as the “city that never sleeps” due to the nonstop action and entertainment that can be found there. It’s no exaggeration to say that New York is a magical place, considering the variety of arts and culture it offers, its seemingly infinite supply of eateries, and its starless night sky filled with marvelous skyscrapers.
Manhattan, in particular, is a high-energy, high-noise environment. What happens here doesn’t just happen; it goes off with a desire for revenge. NYC is still one of the most visited cities in the world. There are many must-visit sites in the state spanning from amazing architectural marvels to the biggest urban zoo in the United States.
A first-time visitor to New York may feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of attractions and activities available. Visitors to New York City will not find a more thorough guide to the city’s big attractions anywhere else than this one. We have every major landmark in New York City, from Broadway to the WTC.
Tips for a successful visit to New York’s top 23 attractions
Here’s a pocket list of New York’s best attractions. Have fun!
- Statue of Liberty
- Empire State Building
- Central Park
- Times Square
- Rockefeller Center
- Brooklyn Bridge
- Metropolitan Museum of Art
- 9/11 Memorial and Museum
- American Museum of Natural History
- Fifth Avenue
- Grand Central Terminal
- High Line
- One World Observatory
- The Frick Collection
- New York Public Library
- Wall Street
- St. Patrick’s Cathedral
- Bryant Park
- Staten Island Ferry
- Chrysler Building
- Ellis Island
- Greenwich Village
Statue of Liberty
Given to America by the French, the Statue of Liberty has served as a symbol to those setting foot on American soil for more than a century now. This amazing structure is not only one of the best attractions in NYC but also one of America’s top attractions and icons.
Visitors can ascend Lady Liberty’s pedestal, which rises at an amazing 93 meters (305 feet), to get a bird’s-eye view of Brooklyn and the structural framework designed by Gustave Eiffel.
Visitors who don’t want to ascend the 154 stairs to the top can still enjoy breathtaking views of the bay and the heart of New York City from the platform. Tours of Liberty Island are given by Park Rangers at various times of the day, and visitors who take the boat to the island also receive an audio lecture that is available in nine different languages.
- Address: New York, NY 10004.
- Timings: every day from 9 AM to 5 PM.
Empire State Building
The Empire State Building is a well-known icon of New York City and a popular destination for visitors. After its completion in 1973, the 102-story building would stand at 381 meters, making it the world’s highest structure until the 1 World Trade Center skyscraper was completed 41 years later.
The Empire State Building, which opened to the public in 1931 and featured a mounting tower for airships, quickly became one of New York city’s top attractions. The Empire State Building has not one but two towers, and both of them provide breathtaking panoramas. During a clear day, you can see as far as 80 miles into New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and even Massachusetts.
Most visitors to the Empire State Building anticipate discovering the city’s tallest open-air viewing platform, the 86th-Floor Observatory, which stands at 1,050 feet. This location has been featured in so many films and TV programs that it’s no wonder you recognize it.
- Address: 20 W 34th St., New York, NYC 10001.
- Timings: every day from 10 AM to 10 PM.
There are some places that will immediately come to everyone’s mind when talking about New York’s top attractions, and Central Park is one of them.
Belvedere Castle, the Central Park Zoo, and many other Manhattan landmarks can be found in Central Park, which spans an enormous 840 acres in the city’s middle. The Great Lawn and the park’s many pathways provide welcome relief from the bustle of the city for travelers.
Outdoor pursuits abound, from canoe rentals at the Loeb Boathouse to catch-and-release angling at the Dana Discovery Center. Six miles of paved roadways are exclusively reserved for skateboarders, inline skaters, and walkers in this area. Playgrounds and the Tisch Children’s Zoo make Central Park an excellent destination for New York City’s growing family community.
- Timings: every day from 6 AM to 1 AM.
Discover some of New York City’s hidden gems on a walk of Rockefeller Center, a collection of 19 structures commissioned by the Rockefeller family, which is now considered one of New York city’s top attractions. Both General Electric and NBC currently have their headquarters in this complex of structures.
The top of the Rock viewing platform is 70 stories high and offers breathtaking, panoramic views of New York City. Visitors to the NBC Studios can see the sets of their beloved programs and even try out a news anchor’s chair.
Radio City Music Hall, another landmark of Rockefeller Center, was recently renovated to evoke the splendor of the 1930s. During the winter holidays, Rockefeller Center is transformed by the magnificent Christmas tree that stands above the ice pond and the Radio City Christmas Spectacular.
- Address: 45 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NYC 10111.
Times Square, New York, is the spot to go at night due to its abundance of brightly illuminated billboards and screens, but it is thrilling at any time of day. There are millions of individuals in Times Square and the surrounding streets every New Year’s Eve to watch the renowned “Ball Drop” at midnight and celebrate the start of the new year. Times Square is one of the most famous landmarks in the world and one of New York’s best attractions.
Times Square may be chaotic and overcrowded all the time, but its energy and character are what make it so interesting. There are bleachers put up at one end where people can sit and take it all in.
Before the New York Times skyscraper was built in 1904, the area was known as Longacre Square. In 1928, the publication was the first in the world to use a moving sign to display titles.
- Address: Manhattan, NY 10036.
The Brooklyn Bridge is one of the world’s earliest and most well-known suspension bridges and one of the top attractions in New York. Its construction lasted from 1869 to 1883. It stretches across the East River from Manhattan to Brooklyn and has a total length of 5,930 feet. Approximately 120,000 cars, 4,000 pedestrians, and 2,600 bicycles use the overpass daily.
Crossing this iconic New York City structure is a breeze for pedestrians, drivers, and cyclists. Views of the bay and both districts can be enjoyed from a pedestrian path that is elevated above the traffic below. The 2-kilometer (1.3 miles) walk across the bridge provides numerous chances to take in the cityscape of New York.
- Address: New York, NY 10038.
Broadway’s cultural significance has led to the international recognition of the street. Seeing a live performance on Broadway is a must if you’re visiting New York City, as it is one of New York’s top attractions. Indeed, it is still considered a mandatory step for any newcomer to NYC. There are 41 theaters on Broadway, and each one has more than 500 chairs.
Hamilton and The Book of Mormon are just two of the newer shows to capture Broadway by force. Classic shows like The Phantom of the Opera have been performing on the renowned theater strip since 1988.
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Since its opening in 1870, the Metropolitan Museum of Art has become one of the world’s most visited cultural attractions and one of New York’s top attractions as well. More than two million pieces of art covering five thousand years are housed in The Met’s permanent collection.
The Met Fifth Avenue stands out among the museum’s other two locations. American ornamental arts, weapons and armor, costumes, Egyptian art, musical instruments, photos, and much more are among the highlights of the collection. Some of the most renowned pieces in the world are displayed at exhibitions.
- Address: 1000 5th Ave, New York, NYC 10028.
- Sunday to Tuesday plus Thursdays from 10 AM to 5 PM.
- Fridays and Saturdays from 10 AM to 9 PM.
- Closed on Wednesdays.
9/11 Memorial and Museum
The two 110-story towers of the World Trade Center once occupied the skyline of Manhattan, but they were tragically obliterated by jetliners flown by Islamic terrorists on September 11, 2001. Two square reflecting pools, each an acre in area, now occupy the sites of the World Trade Center’s twin buildings that are one of New York’s top attractions.
Known as the National 9/11 Memorial, the area is a touching memorial to the almost 3,000 people killed as a result of assaults on September 11 in 2001, and also the six people murdered in the previous World Trade Center bombing in February 1993.
The pools are hidden from view by foliage and vegetation, with water spilling over the edges and into an endless rectangle below. These are the biggest artificial waterfalls in North America. There are bronze plaques with the names of those who perished in the assaults placed around the ponds.
Between the two ponds is a magnificent glass structure that houses the 9/11 Memorial Museum. It tells the tale of 9/11
- Address: 180 Greenwich St, New York, NYC 10007, United States.
- Thursday to Monday from 10 AM to 5 PM.
- Closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
American Museum of Natural History
The American Museum of Natural History is one of the top attractions in New York City for a day trip with the kids. There are eight permanent display rooms that cover everything from science and the environment to creatures and relics that make up the fascinating natural ecosystem of our world.
Temporary displays are also on display at the museum. One of the current displays that don’t need to be missed is the shark exhibit, which features touchable replicas of these incredible animals. The uncommon Okavango Blue Diamond, weighing in at 22 carats, is also on exhibit.
Taking a walk through the Butterfly Garden is an unforgettable experience. You and five hundred fluttering insects will be sharing this toasty, humid structure.
- Address: 200 Central Park West, New York, NYC 10024, United States.
- Timings: every day from 10 AM to 5:30 PM.
Fifth Avenue, one of the most well-known retail streets in the United States, serves as the centerpiece of New York City’s purchasing scene. Luxury retailers such as Cartier, Tiffany, Bergdorf Goodman, the world-famous Apple Store Fifth Avenue, and of course, Saks Fifth Avenue fill this prestigious street.
Those who don’t like shopping can still appreciate a stroll down Fifth Avenue, as it is one of New York’s best attractions. The finest location is roughly between 60th Street and 40th Street, from the southern tip of Central Park to New York City’s Public Library.
Grand Central Terminal
The “world’s finest terminal,” Grand Central Terminal, is a must-see for any visitor to New York as it is one of its greatest attractions. The enormous timepiece made of iridescent opal glass is the centerpiece of the Main Concourse.
The ornate celestial ceiling ornaments were designed in 1912 and are now on display for visitors. There is a wide variety of restaurants, including an oyster bar, on the lowest floor, which also houses the railway tracks.
Vanderbilt Hall, which was initially built as a waiting area, is located just off the main concourse and is now where the yearly Christmas market and special exhibitions are held. The Campbell Apartment, which has been tastefully renovated to resemble a Florentine mansion from the 13th century, is now a popular cocktail bar for locals, visitors, and overnight guests.
- Address: 89 E 42nd St, New York, NYC 10017, United States.
Overlooking the West Side of Manhattan, the High Line is a park constructed on top of an abandoned freight train route. Friends of the High Line, the group responsible for saving and repurposing the train route into a park, is in charge of the park’s upkeep and operations.
Fun and varied events await guests every single month. Seasonal activities, such as the Haunted High Line Halloween in October, join regulars like stargazing, tree walks, and art visits.
Views of the Hudson River and the park’s native vegetation are two of the park’s main draws. The High Line also incorporates architectural and artistic features for its visitors to enjoy. Make sure you visit this magnificent park on your trip to the city, as it is one of New York’s best attractions.
- Address: New York, NY 10011, United States.
- Timings: every day from 7 AM to 7 PM.
St. Patrick’s Cathedral
St. Patrick’s Church is an architectural marvel with its stunning neo-Gothic style. The landmark structure, which opened in 1878 and took up a full Manhattan block, is the oldest surviving building in the city and one of New York’s best attractions. Recent $177 million in repairs have brought the church back to its previous glory.
The interior of the church is just as breathtaking as the exterior, and it costs nothing to visit. Take a stroll and take in the two main shrines and the many smaller side churches. Tiffany & Co. created the shrine in St. Louis. However, the Gallery Organ, the rose window, and the Pieta, all installed in 1930, remain the cathedral’s most recognizable features.
- Address: 5th Ave, New York, NY 10022, United States.
- Timings: every day from 6:30 AM to 8:45 PM.
One World Observatory
One World Trade Center replaced the north tower of the Twin Towers, and its height of 1776 feet (541 meters) is symbolic of the year the United States of America was founded. It took nearly ten years to finish the building, but when it finally did, it was the highest structure in the western hemisphere and the sixth biggest in the world.
In addition to taking in its massive stature from afar, visiting the One World Observatory is a must. You can see all of Manhattan and Lady Liberty from the viewing deck. The magnificent view makes it one of New York’s best attractions.
- Address: 117 West St, New York, NYC 10006, United States.
- Timings: every day from 10 AM to 9 PM.
The Frick Collection
When it comes to New York City institutions, the Frick Collection has the best atmosphere. Henry Clay Frick, who had a mansion constructed specifically to house his art collection, donated both the structure and the initial collection, which is now housed there and is one of New York’s top attractions.
The artworks, porcelain, and furnishings are elegantly arranged across 16 display rooms. Among the many well-known painters whose works are featured here are Monet, Rembrandt, Bellini, El Greco, and many more.
The collections are not organized by time, era, artist, or nation but rather in a more haphazard way that is meant to be entertaining. The rooms are arranged around a gorgeous covered Garden Court with exotic vegetation and a central pond.
- Address: 1 E 70th St, New York, NYC 10021, United States.
New York Public Library
The primary section of the New York Public Library was built in the Beaux Arts style by the architectural firm of Carrere & Hastings. The library is a well-known landmark in the city, and its impressive chambers have been featured in numerous films and television programs over the years.
The New York City Library is one of the city’s most iconic attractions, even among those that everyone knows. This facility is a component of the world’s third-largest network of public libraries, providing patrons with unrivaled access to materials in the fields of literature, science, the humanities, and the arts.
Although the library’s interior is lovely, it is the building’s exterior that is most likely to capture your photographic attention. The New York Public Library is an architectural masterwork, complete with a marble exterior and two massive Corinthian pillars.
- Address: 476 5th Ave, New York, NYC 10018, United States.
- Monday to Saturday from 10 AM to 6 PM.
- Sundays from 1 PM to 5 PM.
Known throughout the world, Wall Street stretches for eight streets from Broadway to South Street. The New York Stock Exchange, the National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc. (NASDAQ) and the New York Commodity Exchange (NYMEX) are all located on or near this street. Wall Street is one of the instantly recognizable streets in NYC as it is one of its top attractions.
Trinity Church and Federal Hall, two famous local landmarks, are also easily accessible. You can find a metal monument of Charging Bull on Broadway at Bowling Green. This is a must-see for tourists to the Finance District and a fantastic backdrop for pictures.
Summertime in New York City isn’t complete without a lazy afternoon at Bryant Park, as it is one of New York’s top attractions. The grounds include the famous carousel “Le Carrousel,” as well as statues and parks. You can play chess, checkers, and backgammon in a games section, all for a small charge.
Before it was recovered by the city in 1989 and transformed into a gorgeous urban oasis, Bryant Park was an area known for crime and a refuge for the undesirables. This park has been adopted by the community, and it is now a delight to stroll through. Spectating a game is entertaining even if you don’t want to take part in it.
In the winter, when the snow begins to fall, and the weather lowers, Bryant Park transforms into an outdoor skating area. In contrast to the expensive Central Park ice, this little one is open to the public at no cost.
- Address: New York, NY 10018, United States.
- Timing: every day from 7 AM to 10 PM.
Staten Island Ferry
Crossing the port and the Hudson River was made easier before the building of the Brooklyn Bridge and other bridges in New York City by means of ferries. A trip on the ferry to Staten Island is one of the last truly inexpensive activities to do in New York and one of the city’s best attractions. Working around the clock, every day of the week.
Despite your lack of enthusiasm for seeing Staten Island, you should still go there. As you leave Manhattan, you’ll get a complimentary, unparalleled perspective of the skyline and the Statue of Liberty. The ride itself is one of New York’s best attractions.
The Chrysler Building has been an iconic landmark and top attraction in New York City’s cityscape since it first opened in 1930. Even in a metropolis full of magnificent buildings, its eye-catching art deco style stands out. The Chrysler Building, with its stepped domes and steel cap, held the title of the world’s highest structure for nearly a year. Not until the United States of America became involved.
There are many great vantage points in the city from which to see the Chrysler Building; one of the best is in nearby Gramercy Park. However, the highlight of the hotel is undoubtedly the foyer, which features exquisite decor culled from all corners of the globe.
- Address: 405 Lexington Ave, New York, NYC 10174, United States.
- Monday to Friday from 8 AM to 6 PM.
- Closed on Saturdays and Sundays.
More than 10 million people entered the United States through Ellis Island between 1890 and 2010, more than six decades after the facility first opened. Half of the present population of the United States has some ancestry from this ancient island, demonstrating the significance of this movement in real-time.
The Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration is the place to go here. Listen to the audio journey, which includes hours of interesting data, to find out more about the background of immigration to the United States. This museum is surely one of New York’s top attractions.
Greenwich is a wonderful place to visit, and it is still known as a haven for authors like James Baldwin, Jack Kerouac, and William S. Burroughs. Despite the ever-increasing renting prices, this still applies.
The charming brownstones that dot the tree-lined avenues were built in the nineteenth century and are the true draw. It’s easy to get lost as you wander aimlessly through this lovely neighborhood which is one of New York’s top attractions.
The many cafés and bars in Greenwich Village, which once welcomed our beloved writers and even Bob Dylan, are still warm and welcoming. Café Society, the first bar in the United States to welcome people of all backgrounds, may no longer be open, but Greenwich Village is still home to some of the city’s liveliest clubs.