If you’re planning a trip to New York, there are so many things to do that it can be hard to know where to start. Luckily, we’ve rounded up the top 8 best places to visit in New York so you can make the most of your trip.
One of the best ways to experience true New York life is by visiting some of its most famous neighborhoods, like Greenwich Village and SoHo. They’re full of fun shops, restaurants, and other attractions that will give you a real feel for the city.
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A vast green space littered with formal gardens, lush woodland, rocky outcrops and cool lakes, Central Park is the beating heart of New York. It’s a tranquil garden for millions of New Yorkers, and an oasis for tourists seeking some time away from the city.
The park has a variety of attractions, from gardens and unique bridges to music and performance centers, educational facilities and classical architecture. It’s also a haven for wildlife, including countless birds and mammals, which you can watch as they go about their daily lives in this iconic space.
Another must-visit attraction is the Victorian Bow Bridge, which spans Central Park Lake and connects Cherry Hill and the Ramble. Ornate Bethesda Fountain edges the lake, and its Loeb Boathouse is a beloved attraction where you can rent rowboats or enjoy lunch.
For a quieter Central Park experience, make your way to Shakespeare Garden, which is designed to represent the English countryside. This peaceful corner of the park is the perfect place to take in the beauty of nature and get lost in thought.
2.The National 9/11 Memorial & Museum.
The National 9/11 Memorial & Museum is the country’s primary institution to remember and explore the impact of the September 11, 2001, and February 26, 1993, attacks. Located at the site where the Twin Towers once stood, it features a dynamic blend of architecture, archaeology and history that creates an unforgettable encounter with the story of the attacks.
The memorial includes two reflecting pools that cascade from the footprints of the Twin Towers, a sculpture of a resurrected Sphere and a Survivor Tree that’s planted in memory of the thousands who were affected by the attack. In addition, it has an extensive collection of artifacts and a museum space that displays the story of the World Trade Center through images and interactive exhibits.
The names of victims of the attacks are etched on bronze parapets. However, they’re not listed in alphabetical order; instead, they’re placed based on meaningful adjacencies such as relatives, friends and colleagues. This creates a sense of remembrance and comfort. The memorial also has a unique seedling program that donates seeds from the Survivor Tree to other cities in need of growth and hope.
3.The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The Met is one of the most impressive art museums in the world, with a vast collection that spans thousands of years and continents. With two locations in the city and millions of visitors each year, it’s easy to see why the Met is a must-see for any visitor to New York.
The museum first opened in 1872, housed in a townhouse on Fifth Avenue. Its initial holdings, primarily a Roman stone sarcophagus and 174 European paintings, quickly outgrew their small space.
Today, the main Met building encompasses more than 2 million square feet and incorporating successive generations of expansions, it houses a comprehensive set of collections that rank among the finest in the world. Its diverse curatorial departments are responsible for acquiring, preserving, studying, and exhibiting works of art in their fields.
The Museum also hosts a number of special exhibitions throughout the year, as well as a wide variety of educational activities and programs for children and adults. From viewing questions to story-writing activities, there’s something for everyone here.
4.Empire State Building.
The Empire State Building is one of the most famous and iconic landmarks in New York. It is a 102-story Art Deco skyscraper that was designed by Shreve, Lamb & Harmon and first opened in 1931.
It is a must-see for any visitor to New York City. With amazing views over the city and surrounding areas, it is an architectural wonder that should not be missed.
However, due to its popularity it can become very busy and often attracts long queues during peak hours. It is recommended to visit the Empire State Building early in the day, preferably on a weekday.
There are two observatories at the Empire State Building, which offer fantastic views of the city. The 86th floor is open air and offers an alfresco experience, while the 102nd floor is enclosed and has telescopes for close-up views.
There is also a museum on the second floor called the Story of an Icon that is completely revamped in 2019. This includes multimedia exhibits highlighting the Empire State Building’s history, engineering, and construction. It also includes original documents and photographs of the construction process.
5.Top of the Rock.
With three floors of indoor and outdoor observation decks, Top of the Rock offers stunning 360-degree views across New York City. It’s the highest observation deck in NYC, and offers a truly unique perspective of the iconic skyline.
It’s a great place to take in the city’s panoramic sights, and it’s worth a visit even if you’re not planning to climb to the top. You’ll find a fascinating 2nd-floor exhibition, express elevators whooshing you up to the open-air observation deck, and a raised plinth where you can admire the NYC skyline without having to get too close.
Another great feature of Top of the Rock is that you can take photos over the edge of the tower (with camera-sized gaps to avoid damaging your snaps). There are also a few art exhibits, including the latest – New Frontiers, which celebrates the up-and-coming artists in the city.
One of the best times to visit Top of the Rock is at sunset, when the crowds are least dense. During these hours you’ll have an incredible view of the sunset and can easily capture beautiful photos of the city’s lights lit up in the distance.
6.The High Line.
Stretching for 1.45 miles along the western outskirts of Manhattan, The High Line is one of the city’s latest and most innovative green spaces. It’s a public park built on a now-defunct elevated railway and offers stunning views over the city.
Walking the trail, you’ll see areas of planting, art and even water features dotted around you. You’ll also pass by upper-level windows of buildings and hotels.
During the different seasons, you’ll be amazed at how the landscape of the High Line changes. At times, it’s wide open and you can take in the city’s skyline; at other times, a lawn is looming over the track and it’s a bit more park-like.
There are some commissioned sculptures and art installations along the way, as well as plenty of seating to enjoy the view. Aside from this, you’ll find a variety of restaurants and shops, including the Chelsea Market beneath the park.
7.Statue of Liberty.
The Statue of Liberty is one of New York’s most well-known landmarks. It sits on Liberty Island, a 12-acre island in the center of the harbor, and has welcomed millions of immigrants to the United States since its dedication in 1886.
The statue is an iconic symbol of freedom and democracy. Her crown and rays represent the seven continents, and her torch symbolizes light, as well as freedom from tyranny and oppression.
It is a hollow colossus made of thinly pounded copper sheets and supports a massive steel framework designed by renowned engineer Gustave Eiffel. It was a gift from France to the United States on the centenary of the nation’s independence.
In order to build the statue, French and American workers had to overcome a series of technical challenges. Fundraising for the project was difficult. The French used boxing matches, plays and art exhibitions to raise money; and Americans lobbied, held fundraising events, and used lottery tickets to raise funds.
Whether you’re looking for the most breathtaking skyline view in New York City, or simply want to admire the world-famous buildings from a different perspective, there are plenty of opportunities to take in the beauty. You can get a bird’s eye view by visiting one or more of New York’s observation decks, or by getting out on the water for an unforgettable experience.
The Manhattan skyline is an unparalleled display of urban achievement and it’s a sight that’s a must-see for anyone visiting the Big Apple. Imposing skyscrapers like the Empire State Building and Chrysler building adorn the skyline along with a host of other modern icons.
You can get the best views of NYC by taking a ferry over to Liberty Island, or walking along the East River. Both offer stunning vantage points of the skyline and New York Harbor.