‘The Big Apple.’ ‘The City of Dreams.’ ‘The City That Never Sleeps.’ There is no denying that New York City is one of the most iconic and must visit, ‘bucket-list’ destinations for so many travel lovers. With world-famous buildings and attractions on every block and so much to see and do, there is a reason NYC remains one of the most visited cities in the world, with a whopping 61 million tourists expected to visit in 2023.
We recently spent ten jam-packed days exploring this amazing city so here are our recommendations for some of the best things to see and do when visiting The Big Apple!
Go To A Yankees Game ⚾️
One of the world’s most iconic sports franchises, and there’s nothing quite like experiencing the real thing live. Yankee Stadium is located in the Bronx and is easily accessed via the subway and other public transport routes.
The Major League Baseball (MLB) regular season lasts roughly six months, from late March/early April to early October – not including Spring Training Games from early March – and is then followed by the postseason and World Series. The regular season schedule consists of 162 games per team, split between home and away, and including multi-day series, so there are plenty of opportunities to see the Yankees play at Yankee Stadium.
There’s a really warm family atmosphere in the stadium and a great mix of Yankees fans young and old! Food and drink options are numerous all around the stadium – with vendors walking around the stands during the game – and there are various gift shops and merchandise stands to pick up those essential souvenirs!
Yankee Stadium also offers a variety of stadium tours and experience so why not take the Yankee Stadium Tour when you visit and truly immerse yourself in the rich history of the 27-time World Series Champions.
For more information, and to view the Yankees season schedule, please CLICK HERE.
See the Sunrise from the Empire State Building 🌅
Stepping into the famous elevators and making your way to the 86th floor of the Empire State Building always feels special, but particularly so as part of the Starbucks Reserve® Sunrise Experience.
Running from 5am to 7:30am only on Saturdays, and only during the spring and summer months, the Starbucks Reserve® Sunrise Experience offers an extremely limited number of guests the chance to observe the sunrise over this most celebrated of skyline views.
It may seem quite expensive for what it is but, while the breakfast element is sadly very limited, the chance to experience sunrise from the observation deck of probably the most famous building on the planet is an unforgettable experience. What’s more, most people tend to leave fairly soon after so you may have the chance to enjoy the view all to yourself!
The Starbucks Reserve® Sunrise Experience also includes access to the amazing interactive museum and exhibits before it opens to the public. The experience then takes you out through the main Starbucks Reserve® cafe/shop down on the ground floor of the Empire State Building should you want to pick up some branded souvenirs or enjoy another speciality coffee and pastry!
See A Show On Broadway 🎭
With more than 12 million people flocking to the bright lights of Broadway during the 2022-23 season, the glittering ‘Great White Way’ remains one of the biggest draws for tourists visiting New York City.
New York City’s iconic Theatre District is home to 41 Broadway theatres (capacity of 500 seats or more) and more than 60 Off-Broadway theatres (capacity of between 100 and 499 seats) scattered across Manhattan, so there really is something for everyone to enjoy.
New highlights for the 2023-24 Broadway season include: Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street; Some Like It Hot; Shucked; Kimberly Akimbo; Camelot; Back to the Future: The Musical; and Parade.
Visit the 9/11 Memorial & Museum
Undoubtedly the most moving and poignant experience in New York City, the 9/11 Memorial & Museum is a deeply affecting examination of the World Trade Center attacks in both 2001 and 1993, documenting their impact and continued significance, and standing as a tribute of remembrance to honour the victims of the attacks.
Located at Ground Zero, on the former site of the Twin Towers, within a plaza featuring a Memorial Glade of more than 400 oak trees, the memorial features twin waterfall pools surrounded by bronze parapets listing the names of the victims of the 9/11 attacks and the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, with the museum located largely underground in the foundations of the original Towers.
The plaza itself feels very eerie with the sound of running water cutting through the silence, but it offers a place of remembrance, reflection and deep contemplation within the hustle and bustle of the city. The 9/11 Museum is a staggering achievement detailing the story of the attacks through media, narratives, and a collection of monumental and authentic artefacts.
Explore Central Park 🌳
Containing 843 acres and spanning roughly 3m/5km end to end, Central Park is big – really big, in fact – with plenty to see and do as you make your way around and meander the various paths and tracks, though amazingly, it is only the fifth largest park in New York City!
While Central Park may not be the largest it’s certainly the most famous, attracting more than 42 million visitors each year and making it the most visited urban park in the United States.
With various tours, events and activities running throughout the year, there is no shortage of things to do in Central Park, and every day and every season offers something a little different.
Whether for a romantic picnic by the lake, an open-air yoga class on the grass, a spot of sunbathing, a leisurely stroll through the trees or a spot of wildlife photography or birdwatching, a trip to Central Park is absolutely essential when visiting NYC!
Take the Ferry to the Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island 🗽
Statue City Cruises offers ferry rides to and from Liberty Island and Ellis Island, including audio guides and admission to the Statue of Liberty Museum and Ellis Island Immigration Museum, departing from the ferry port at Battery Park on the southern tip of Manhattan.
One of the most celebrated and recognisable landmarks in the world, the Statue of Liberty is New York’s iconic emblem of freedom, inspiration and hope, proudly situated on Liberty Island just a short 15-minute ferry ride out in New York Harbour.
Spend some time exploring the grounds of Liberty Island and the beautiful park areas, taking in the view of Liberty from all the different angles and the stunning panoramic view of the city from across the harbour, before heading inside to explore the dynamic and interactive Statue of Liberty Museum.
From Liberty Island, simply hop back on the ferry and head to Ellis Island, one of the most important destinations in American history and formerly the busiest immigrant inspection and processing station in the United States.
Between the years of 1892 and 1954, nearly 12 million immigrants arrived at the Port of New York and New Jersey and were processed there under federal law.
Beautifully restored, Ellis Island is an immersive and interactive museum chronicling the history of immigration in America from the 1500s to present day. Voyages are brought fully to life through a series of fascinating artefacts and exhibits.
Visit the American Family Immigration History Centre to discover your connections to Ellis Island and explore The American Immigrant Wall of Honour, celebrating immigrants of all eras. The south side of the island houses the Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital – which operated from 1902 to 1951 – and is open to the public only through guided tours.
Explore the American Museum of Natural History & Hayden Planetarium 🪐
One of the world’s top museums – and the setting for the Night at the Museum film series! – the American Museum of Natural History is a staggering collection of buildings and exhibition halls housing more than 35 million specimens of plants, animals, fungi, fossils, minerals, rocks, meteorites, human remains, and human cultural artifacts.
Visitors can make their way through vast halls of jaw-dropping, life-sized dioramas, a life-size blue whale model, thrilling dinosaur fossils, and global cultural artefacts from throughout history.
The newly opened Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation features bold, architectural designs and immersive experiences that reveal nature’s hidden realms, including the Davis Family Butterfly Vivarium featuring over 1,000 free-flying butterflies.
The Rose Center for Earth and Space, located on the north side of the museum, includes the incredible Hayden Planetarium, housed within an 87-foot-diameter sphere that appears to float inside a glass cube.
Inside, the 429-seat Space Theater, featuring a custom-made Zeiss Mark IX Star Projector and a Digital Dome Projection System, displays a fully-immersive, hyperrealistic view of the planets, star clusters and galaxies and uses a scientifically-accurate, 3D map of the observable universe based on millions of astronomical observations, making it the world’s most advanced planetarium projection system.
The current film, Worlds Beyond Earth, narrated by Lupita Nyong’o, tells the story of the dynamic worlds that share our solar system and the unique conditions that make life on Earth possible. The film features immersive visualisations of distant worlds, ground-breaking space missions, and breathtaking scenes depicting the evolution of our solar system.
The Space Theater is a truly staggering achievement and an absolute must-do experience if visiting the American Museum of Natural History !
See the View from the Top of the Rock 🏙
The Empire State Building may be the more famous building, however, if you’re wanting to take in and photograph that iconic skyline view of New York City, complete with the Empire State Building, then you need to head to the Top of the Rock!
Set 70 floors above Rockefeller Center at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, Top of the Rock offers unparalleled and unforgettable 360-degree views of the city, making it the ultimate observation deck in NYC, boasting three levels of indoor and outdoor observation decks and unobstructed terraces facing north, east, south and west.
Take a Walk Along the High Line 🌲
On a beautiful, sunny New York City day, there can be few things as relaxing and therapeutic as a gentle stroll along the beautiful High Line.
Opened in 2009, the High Line is a 1.45-mile-long elevated city park and public walkway converted from a viaduct section of an historic rail line on the West Side of Manhattan.
A hybrid public space where visitors experience nature, art and design, the High Line combines beautiful gardens and green spaces with sculptures, installations and pop-up food trucks, making it perfect for a calming break away from the busy chaos of the city!
The High Line is currently open daily from 7am to 10pm, with various access points and elevators located along the walkway.
‘Meet at the Clock’ at Grand Central Station 🚉
Designated as a National Historic Landmark, the stunning, cathedral-like Grand Central Station (or Grand Central Terminal), with its distinctive, Beaux-Arts Main Concourse, is yet another historic, world-famous icon of Midtown Manhattan.
Celebrated as a shopping, dining and cultural destination as much as a train and transportation station, Grand Central Station first opened to the public in February 1913 and remains one of the City’s great architectural achievements.
The Station is also world-renowned as New York City’s unofficial meeting place with countless New Yorkers choosing to meet at the famous Information Booth Clock within the beautiful Main Concourse.
Forget catching a train! Go and grab a spot of lunch, do some shopping, ‘Meet at the Clock,’ or simply sit on a bench and watch as the busy crowds hurry about their day-to-day activities.
Visit the Museum of Broadway 🎶
Filled with hundreds of dazzling costumes, props and rare stage artifacts, the recently opened The Museum of Broadway is a true theatre lovers dream, taking visitors on a fully-immersive, walkthrough journey through the decades, highlighting many of the most groundbreaking and iconic moments in Broadway’s history.
Lovingly put together by a team of internationally renowned artists, designers, and theatre historians, this painstakingly-curated treasure trove is a real celebration of all aspects of the Broadway stage – both on and off – allowing fans to experience and celebrate Broadway’s rich history like never before!
Travel through the timeline of Broadway from its birth to present day, go behind the curtain into the making of a Broadway show, experience the history of New York City’s theatres through immersive video projections, take pictures in immersive sets and exhibits, and see the genuine costumes and props from many of your favourite musicals.
If you love theatre then The Museum of Broadway is an absolute must visit experience!
Relax at Little Island Park 🍦
Opened in May 2021, Little Island is one of NYC’s newest public parks, located on the water’s edge in Hudson River Park in the historic Meatpacking District of Manhattan.
Free to enter, Little Island is a beautiful new floating space combining nature, art and outdoor performances. Take a stroll through the lush gardens and pathways, grab a bite to eat or a snack at the food kiosks in ‘The Play Ground,’ or simply take time to pause and look out over the Hudson.
A real haven for New Yorkers post-pandemic, this superbly designed, two-acre urban oasis also features an amphitheatre space which hosts open air events and performances throughout the year, including live music and DJ sets and stand-up comedy.
The FRIENDS™ Experience: The One in New York City ☕️
If you love all things Friends, then The FRIENDS™ Experience: The One in New York City is an absolute must visit when in NYC!
The FRIENDS™ Experience now has a couple of different locations around the world and will soon be opening further locations in Detroit, Long Beach and Birmingham (UK), but the New York branch is the original flagship experience!
Located at 130 E 23rd St, The FRIENDS™ Experience: The One in New York City is spread out across two expansive floors and allows fans to fully immerse themselves in the world of Friends with amazing interactive experiences, set recreations and must-do photo opportunities.
Pose on the iconic orange couch, explore original props and costumes from the show, ‘Pivot!’ on the stairs, chill out in Monica and Rachel’s apartment, and relax on Chandler and Joey’s La-Z-Boy recliners!
Guests are given a photo pass when they arrive which can be scanned at each photo op for professional photos, which are then saved to the card for printing at the end of the experience, however the staff are more than happy to take free photos on your own cameras and phones!
The FRIENDS™ Experience: The One in New York City also has a fully functioning Central Perk cafe – for both visitors and passers by off the street – offering a seasonal menu of hot and cold beverages and fresh pastries.
Take in Some Modern Art at MoMA 🖼
Modern art is always something of a controversial topic. Like marmite, you either love it or you hate it. However you feel about the topic, modern art continues to spark discussion and debate, and can serve as an entry point into the contemporary art world.
Located in Midtown Manhattan, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is one of the biggest and most influential modern art museums in the world, home to an evolving collection of nearly 200,000 works of modern and contemporary art spanning the last 150 years.
One of the most visited art museums in the world, MoMA‘s collection comprises painting, sculpture, printmaking, drawing, photography, architecture, design, film, electronic media and performance art.
Notable works in the MoMA collection include: Starry Night, Van Gogh; Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, Pablo Picasso; The Persistence of Memory, Salvador Dalí; Campbell’s Soup Can, Andy Warhol; Water Lilies Triptych, Claude Monet; The City Rises, Umberto Boccioni; Flag, Jasper Johns; One: Number 31, 1950, Jackson Pollock; Christina’s World, Andrew Wyeth.
Just Explore the City 🌃
There is nothing better to do in New York City than to simply wander about and explore. Virtually every street, every avenue has an iconic building or attraction to look at.
Explore Greenwich Village, head down to Soho, get the subway up to Harlem. Look up in awe at the towering glass skyscrapers. Read a book in Madison Square Park or grab a picnic blanket and have a snooze in Central Park!
Whatever you do, wherever you go, you are sure to find more than enough to see and enjoy in this truly fabulous city.
New York CityPASS®
Looking for the most cost-effective way to see some of the top attractions in New York? Look no further than New York CityPASS®. Save 40% at 5 top New York City attractions and manage your bookings in a simple and convenient manner.
INCLUDES ADMISSION TO 5 ATTRACTIONS:
- Empire State Building
- American Museum of Natural History
- Top of the Rock Observation Deck
- Ferry Access to Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island
- 9/11 Memorial & Museum
- Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises
- Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
- Guggenheim Museum
Once you purchase your tickets, be sure to use our My CityPASS™ app to make reservations and plan your attraction visits.
For more information, visit: citypass.com/new-york