9 of the best ways to see New York City

9 of the best ways to see New York City

The Big Apple is a huge city with an endless number of attractions worth exploring. Here are 9 of the best ways to see New York.

It is easy to see why they call New York “the city that never sleeps,” it seems as if there are an unlimited number of things to do at any given time. The largest metropolitan area in the world is divided into five boroughs, each one different than the other. These culturally diverse neighborhoods all have something worth checking out, so it can be hard deciding where to begin your New York adventure.

One might say it’s impossible, but you can capture the main highlights and attractions in one visit if you plan it right. For beginners, it might be overwhelming trying to think of how to navigate through the city.

Here are nine of the best ways to see New York City, whether it is from up above, on the water, or eating your way through the city.

1. Hop-on Hop-Off Bus

One of the easiest and most practical ways to explore any city is by jumping on a hop-on hop-off bus. That also remains true for New York. First-time visitors who are unsure of how much time is needed to see certain attractions have the flexibility to move around at their own pace. You can hop on and hop off whenever you want instead of being stuck somewhere not of your interest. From Uptown to Downtown, take in the views with the aid of an English-speaking tour guide. These open-top buses will bring you to the top sites in the Big Apple such as the Met, Times Square, the 9-11 Memorial and Museum, and more.

2. By Boat

Whether it be on a dinner cruise, a water taxi, or the ferry that brings you to the Statue of Liberty, seeing Manhattan from the water is amazing. It offers a completely different aspect to what you might be used to. Riding down the Hudson while watching the sun set behind the skyscrapers is truly breathtaking. Circle Line Sightseeing has a variety of cruises, themed excursions, and a speed boat that will take you past New York’s most famed landmarks. A simple ride on the ferry from Brooklyn to Manhattan will give you just enough to experience the views and only costs $2.75.

3. From Up Above

Exploring New York City from up above is a one-of-a-kind experience. The visuals from one of the city’s famous observation decks go unmatched. Whether you visit the Empire State Building or Top of the Rock in Midtown, the One World Observatory in downtown or the Edge’s 100th floor observation deck in Hudson Yards, you can take in these incredible views from any part of the city. If you’re looking for a less touristy way to see the same breathtaking panoramic views, head to one of the city’s rooftop bars and enjoy a cocktail.

4. Walking

The cheapest and possibly most authentic way to see NYC is by foot. You will get to experience firsthand the hustle and bustle from up close, interact with the locals, and admire the skyscrapers that surround you. It might take longer to get from point A to point B but grouping the attractions you want to see by neighborhood will save you time in the long run. If you rather learn from a professional, there are plenty of walking tours to partake in. Head down Wall Street, pass by famous film sets, walk the Brooklyn Bridge, or even through Chelsea. A perfect opportunity to admire New York’s open-air art.


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5. Helicopter Tours

Take your New York visit to a whole different level. Riding in a helicopter over Manhattan is one of the best activities to do in The Empire State. Your adrenaline will be pumping, heart racing, but the experience will definitely be worth doing. Seeing the skyline from the outside looking in at these heights is sure to leave you impressed. Tours will usually last 15 to 30 minutes and are run during the day and at night. Take a night tour if you want to see the city lit up, the perfect romantic date. Cruise around the city in style and have your cameras ready for the photo ops. It is a memory sure to last a lifetime.

6. By Bike

One way to get a good exercise while sightseeing. There are a countless number of bike tours and plenty of bike-sharing apps to help you get around the city. Bikers can feel safe riding through the city thanks to its designated bike lanes and routes. Pedal through Harlem, head across to Brooklyn’s vibrant neighborhood, or ride along the bike loop in Central Park. A great way to see New York City is on two wheels.


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7. Riding the Subway

Taking the subway in New York can seem confusing to tourists, but there are plenty of apps that can help bring you around. New York City is designed like a grid, the avenues run north to south, while the street numbers run east to west. Even though it might seem best to walk or bike from place to place to take in all the sights, if you need to travel to the opposite side of the city then there is no better option than taking the subway. You will cover long distances quickly and the extensive subway system will bring you close to your desired destination. Single rides cost $2,75, so buying the 7-day pass for $33 could save you money if you plan to use it often.

8. City Pass

The golden ticket. The buy one, see many attractions pass. For those who plan on visiting many attractions, the CityPass is the best way to see New York City. Instead of paying the fee to every attraction, this pass gives you entrance to the top attractions at a fixed cost. Whether it’s seeing the best paintings at the Met, visiting the American Museum of Natural History, the CityPASS is the most economical way to see all of your favorite attractions. Can’t see everything in one day, don’t worry. This pass is valid for 9 consecutive days so you can pick up right where you left off if you happen to get exhausted on day 1.

9. Food Tours

One might say it’s best to just eat your way through New York. As a melting pot of cultures with many food choices from around the world, you can let your tastebuds guide you through the different neighborhoods. From a delicious slice of pizza on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx to a street dog on just about any corner, dumplings in Chinatown or one of the city’s romantic restaurants, it is best to visit New York with an appetite. For those who have a sweet tooth, don’t forget to stop in one of the bakeries to get your fix with a doughnut or cupcake, you won’t regret it!


  1. Amy Saunders says:

    Ooh la la! I absolutely love it when you mentioned that there are many easy methods to help us take the New York subway seamlessly. My kids are planning to visit New York on their own next month. I’ll certainly ask them to look further into this information when they make a reservation later.

  2. sailawaynyc says:

    Thanks for sharing this post i saw this post really wonderful post thanks for sharing 

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