Looking for things to do in NYC? Below are the best places to eat, shop, and visit while you’re visiting the Big Apple. From famous destinations like the Statue of Liberty and Central Park, to getting around the city. Our travel guide will help you plan every moment of your next trip in the city!
Things to Do in NYC – The City that Never Sleeps
In this article:
- What time is it in NYC?
- Free Things to Do in NYC
- Things to Eat in NYC
- Best Restaurants in NYC
- Popular Places to Shop in NYC
- Most Popular Destinations in NYC
- Check Out Art and History in NYC
- How to Get Around in NYC
- Travel Tips for NYC
What time is it in NYC?
NYC is on – 5:00 Eastern Standard Time. Further, NYC practices daylight saving time or DST, so be sure to keep that in mind on your trip. Also, New York City DST started March 11, 2018, and will end on November 4, 2018.
Free Things to Do in NYC
Probably one of the most iconic places in New York is Grand Central Station. Considering it’s really just a place where you buy train tickets, its main room is breathtaking. Finally if you’re starving, the station also has a food court at the bottom level, offering wide selection of good options.
Not far from Grand Central Terminal is the New York Public Library. Whether you like books or just want to marvel at the architecture, this place has a gorgeous reading room just for you. Another iconic place in NYC is the Brooklyn Bridge. Here, you get to enjoy amazing panoramas of the city for free. If you’re in NYC the Brooklyn Bridge is a must do. Where else can you get a great view of lower Manhattan and even the Statue of Liberty?
In addition, a trip to New York City is never complete without visiting Times Square and Central Park. Times Square is well known to be one of the busiest and most photographic places in the US. Furthermore, it’s also where the annual NYE ball drop happens!
Far from the hustle and bustle of Times Square is Central Park. If you are into people watching, reading books at a park or just want to go for a quick jog, Central Park is the place to be! If you are a WCS member, admission is free for four New York Zoos and the Aquarium.
In the mood for some island hopping in the city? Hop on to the Staten Island Ferry to explore the island. It’s free for everyone. However, you cannot stay on the Ferry for a round-trip. You will have to debark and then wait for another Ferry to re-board from the waiting room.
Things to Eat in NYC
Seems like New York has always been famous for its pizza. And one Brooklyn gem is Di Fara Pizza, named the best Pizza in 2011 after receiving rave reviews from the New York Times. The owner has been making pizzas by hand since the restaurant first opened in 1964.
Another New York classic on the lower east side is Kossar’s Bakery. They’ve served a hearty dose of tradition since 1936 and have followed the same recipe throughout all their many years in business.
Best Restaurants in NYC
Steakhouses are also abundant in New York, and Peter Luger has long held the top spot as the best in the city. But if you’re instead hungry for fine dining at its truly finest, Daniel is a food lover’s paradise. So it’s a one-of-a-kind New York experience in culinary perfection.
Popular Places to Shop in NYC
From the latest in fashion to beautiful home items, Bloomingdales at 59th street is your shopping destination in NYC. It’s America’s only nationwide full-line upscale department store. Also, if you have time to spare, visit Century 21 in lower Manhattan. It’s a great place to score 65% off top designer wear.
Most Popular Destinations in NYC
First of all, you can’t go to New York City and not drop by the Statue of Liberty. Climb 154 steps to the crown and experience panoramic views of the harbor and downtown NYC.
Every day, lots of people flock to the Empire State Building for its observation deck. As a result, waiting for hours in line can be expected during peak season. So it is important to plan your trip to avoid long lines. There are two viewing platforms to marvel at the skyscrapers of New York City: the 86th floor is the most popular and also, cheaper. The other one is on the 102nd floor but you will have to pay an additional $20. The Empire State Building is open from 8 am to 2 am.
Also, you can take the trip to the September 11 Memorial at the World Trade Center Site. Here, you can explore archives, multimedia displays, and artifacts from the devastating September 11 terrorist attack, and learn more about how this wonderful city healed and helped each other through this crisis.
During winter, you can go ice skating at Rockefeller Center, but it will cost you a total of $44 during peak season. So as a cheaper alternative, you can try it at Bryant Park where it will only cost you $20.
Finally, if you’re looking to pass the time while having fun, there’s Coney Island. They have attractions including Luna Park where you can experience various rides, New York Aquarium, and Coney Island Museum. The Ford Amphitheater also hosts several live musicals and events. But my favorite is chilling at the beach and getting a nice tan.
Check Out Art and History in NYC
New York City is home to hundreds of cultural institutions, historic sites, and even the arts. Whether you are into exploring NYC’s history, arts, and the performing arts, it is all here for you to enjoy.
Love and appreciation for art is something NYC has. Hence, a lot of art galleries and museums in the city. Some of the most famous art museums include:
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan, New York’s biggest museum
- Guggenheim New York Museum where you can find works of Manet, Picasso, and Bourgeois
- Brooklyn Museum where you can find pieces by Monet and Degas
- Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) where you can find works by Picasso and Rodin
- New Museum of Contemporary Art in NYC
- Bronx Museum of the Arts
- International Center of Photography Museum
- Museum of Arts & Design
Learn more about the history of New York City even as far as World War II by visiting some of the most famous historical museums which include:
- American Museum of Natural History
- Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
- Children’s Museum of Manhattan
- The Jewish Museum
- New-York Historical Society
- The City Reliquary Museum and Civic Organization
- South Street Seaport Museum
- Museum of the City of New York
- New York Transit Museum
- Museum of American Finance
How to Get Around in NYC
It’s important to know that all roads lead to Manhattan in New York City. Railroads in Long Island, Metro-North, and Amtrak all lead to Grand Central and Penn station terminals. Subways, buses, and taxis move people within the city. In general, the traffic is carried over by the Brooklyn, Queensboro, Tri-Borough, and George Washington bridges.
Travel Tips for NYC
Most people would suggest autumn as the best season to visit New York City. During this time, you get to experience the real city, when summer vacations and summer trips are over. The fall is the perfect time to witness how the city functions on a normal day to day basis. Check this out for more fun things to do in New York City!
Watch this New York City travel guide by Expedia to learn more:
In conclusion, there’s so much to see and do in the most populated city in the USA. So New York City is constantly buzzing with activity, especially in Time Square. Therefore, it’s famously known as the city that never sleeps. Travelers eager to join the rush will enjoy a blend of history, culture, art, architecture, and entertainment in this Metropolis. Interestingly, NYC is also one of the most visited destinations in the world. So why not see and experience the Big Apple yourself? Book your tickets today!
What do you think about these things to do in NYC? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
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Editor’s Note – This post was originally published on October 27, 2017, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.