Even though it’s incredibly thorough, this list of 33 things to see and do in New York only scratches the surface of the city that never sleeps.
They say that New York is the city that never sleeps and that’s because there’s so much to see and do! You can live here a lifetime, yet there would always be something new to experience or explore.
“One belongs to New York instantly, one belongs to it as much in five minutes as in five years,” wrote Tom Wolfe. That might be because there is something for niche, taste and person.
This list of 33 Things to do in New York is just the tip of the iceberg of all the city has to offer.
1. Give your regards to Broadway! There is nothing like a Broadway show; whether it’s a spectacular musical or an intimate introspective play, fitting in a show is a must.
2. It’s not tropical, but Manhattan is an island and one of the best ways to see its breathtaking skyline is on a boat tour, ranging from a one-hour Statue of Liberty cruise to a three-hour dinner cruise in an all-glass vessel is majestic.
3. Some of the most famous concert and sports venues are in New York City, and while you definitely should catch a performance or game. For a more in-depth experience, Yankee Stadium, Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall, Carnegie Hall and the Metropolitan Opera House all offer behind-the-scenes tours.
4. Kiss your sweetheart in front of Robert Indiana’s LOVE sculpture.
5. Walk down the High Line at sunset and end at the Whitney Museum, which is open till 10:00pm on Friday and Saturday. Have a cocktail at Untitled or the rooftop Studio Cafe.
6. New York might be a concrete jungle but you can escape to the Bronx for some flora at the New York Botanical Gardens. Yearly highlights include the Orchid Show and the Holiday Train Show. On Friday and Saturday evenings check out the Bar Car nights with cocktails, wine and special performances.
7. Every New Yorker has their favorite pizza. Take a pizza tour to discover your favorite.
8. Home to 18 miles of books, The Strand is a New York City icon. Stroll through the bookstore to find hidden gems ranging from the discount shelves out front to the Rare Book Room inside.
9. Chelsea Market is the original food hall, filled with food stores, restaurants, bars, and food stands. Make sure to visit Artists and Fleas on your way out for some shopping before you leave.
10. Take a bike ride through Central Park, and head north to the more “undiscovered” section of the park. You might even find some waterfalls.
11. Though small, Bryant Park is full of activity. The summer brings movies, Broadway and yoga among other fun. Around Christmas, it becomes a veritable Winter Wonderland.
12. Walk through the historically Jewish Lower East Side and feast on lox, pastrami, knishes and pickles among other traditional delicacies.
13. The Lower East Side Tenement Museum tells the story of American immigrants through the recreation of the tenement apartments they lived in when first coming to the US. With actors portraying the residents, the Tenement Museum is truly interactive than any other museum, history truly comes alive.
14. Alumnus from the Upright Citizen Brigade Improv Theatre star in some of the biggest comedies, both on the big and small screens. See the next stars before they’re famous for as little as $7 a ticket.
15. If you’re looking for the real little Italy, then visit Belmont in the Bronx. The area around Arthur Avenue is the place for fresh mozzarella at Casa Della Mozzarella, bread at Adeo Bakery, sausage at Teitel Brothers and any other Italian delicacies you can think of at the Arthur Avenue Market. Finish off your food shopping excursion with a traditional meal at Trattoria Tra di Noi, where you’re transported back to Italy.
16. After peaceful reflection at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, skip the wait with a Priority Ticket to One World Observatory where you can “See Forever” and experience the Skypod elevators that climb 102 stories in 47 seconds.
17. Did you know the original Winnie the Pooh lives in NYC? You can find him in the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building at the Main Branch of the New York Public Library, in addition to other exhibits, the Map Division and the gorgeous Rose Main Reading Room.
18. Whether you’re window shopping or indulging in a designer handbag, a stroll down Fifth Avenue and up Madison Avenue is where shopping dreams are made.
19. The line at Levain Bakery.might be long, but it moves swiftly and the wait for one of the most delicious chocolate chip cookies you’ll ever taste is worth it. Buy a box of the softball-sized delights and walk around looking at the idyllic brownstones of the Upper West Side.
20. If you consider yourself outdoorsy, then rent a kayak on the Hudson River for free!
22. Wander the cobblestone streets of Greenwich Village and choose any cafe or restaurant with outdoor seating to sit and watch the world go by.
23. Only two floors beneath Top of the Rock Observatory is Bar SixtyFive an offshoot of the legendary Rainbow Room. Enjoy bespoke cocktails and spectacular views without the crowds of the Observatory.
24. Travel back in time to ancient Egypt at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and don’t forget the other amazing museums along Museum Mile while you’re there: Cooper Hewitt, the Guggenheim, and Jewish Museum and more.
25. Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge and enjoy Brooklyn Bridge Park. Make sure to eat and drink on either end of the bridge where you’ll find some of the city’s best pizza and Chinese food.
26. Everyone can find their inner Broadway diva at Marie’s Crisis. The sing-along piano bar in the West Village is a musical theatre lover’s dream.
27. Some of the most popular talk shows like The Tonight Show and The Daily Show film in NYC. Tickets for audience members are free.
28. You don’t have to be catching a train at Grand Central Terminal to enjoy the building’s majesty. Take some time to stare up at the glorious ceiling in the Main Concourse before heading downstairs for some oysters.
29. An immersive theatrical experience, Sleep No More has “audience” members wandering through empty hotel rooms following mysterious characters in and out of scenes of a retelling of Macbeth at the McKittrick Hotel. The Mckittrick has even more to offer in addition to the show: Gallow Green, a verdant rooftop bar that does an outstanding weekend brunch.
30. Afternoon tea isn’t just for the Brits. New York has some exceptional high teas, ranging from the more casual like Tea & Sympathy to quaint and whimsical at Lady Mendl’s Tea Salon to posh at the Baccarat or Plaza Hotels.
31. Take the ferry to Red Hook, where you can enjoy a tour and taste at Red Hook Winery, feast on seafood and play mini golf at Brooklyn Crab and explore the local shops of the neighborhood.
32. Film buffs will be impressed by the artifacts at the Museum of the Moving Image which celebrates everything in film, television and digital media.
33. Weekend warriors can get their sports fix at Chelsea Piers. Rock climbing, batting cages and a driving
range are just some of the activities you can find there.