14 Things To Do in New York
The Big Apple! With the fast pace of people walking and businesses growing in size and in number, New York is no doubt the city that never sleeps. This is one of the reasons why New York is one of the most visited places in the world. It offers so much that sometimes it’s overwhelming. It takes years to fully explore this concrete jungle and even then there is still so much to see.
If you are one for the adventure, take a look at these recommendations you could do in New York so you could scratch this from your bucket list leaving your wanderlust fully satisfied.
Take The Subway
NYC Subway Station (Shutterstock)
As we all know, New York’s subway can be confusing and therefore, daunting to take. However, if you want to experience New York like a local, I recommend you take a Metro Card, load it, think of where you’re going and take the subway!
The subway, as a matter of fact, is the fastest mode of transportation to get around. New York is as jammed in traffic as you could imagine.
The things that may be of help to you are to download a map of New York’s subway stations and route (in PDF or as an image) and purchase the Metro Card (make sure not to get the single-use card. You will save money with this). Brave the train!
Eat Some Pizza
Classic New-York-style pizza slice (Shutterstock)
Besides Italy, New York is one of the places where you can find a wide selection of pizza. New York-style pizza is one of the many things that they are known for. To get the best New York-style pizza you can get, head on to one or all of these places:
Joe’s Pizza in Gramercy specifically located at 14th street serves that quintessential New York pizza.
Pizza at Prince St is the best when it comes to square pizzas.
Keste in West Village is where you can find Neopolitan pizza.
The thin crust Vodka Pizza is amazing at Rubirosa in Nolita.
In Patrizia’s Kips Bay located on 2nd Avenue, a combination of calzone and pizza in one plate is heaven! They also serve other crazy shapes for a pizza like the one with the sun shape.
Watch a Broadway Show
Broadway in NYC is a must-see (Shutterstock)
You cannot miss the chance to watch a Broadway show when you’re in New York. It may be pricey for a single night but definitely worth it. To get discounts or cheaper tickets, TKTS by TDS is the place to buy your tickets. These ticket booths are located at the center of Times Square near the red steps, at David Rubenstein Atrium Atrium in Center and at downtown Brooklyn corner of Jay St. and Myrtle Ave. Get your tickets on the day of the show to get the best deals for your seats.
Go To International Neighborhood Food Markets
Chinese New Year celebration in NYC (Shutterstock)
New York is filled with international influences concentrated in their own part of town. You don’t just get the American culture here, countries like China, Korea, Italy, and India contribute to the liveliness of the city.
There are three Chinatowns in New York, namely, in 8th Ave. in Brooklyn, one in East Broadway in Manhattan and one in Flushing, Queens, the best one is in Flushing, Queens. You’ll find a lot of choices and places to go like restaurants, markets and the community that is very diversified.
Koreatown is located on 32nd street between 5th and 6th ave. You should try the Michelin star steakhouse called Cote.
Try authentic Italian pizza, pasta, gelato at Little Italy located in Mulberry street. Most restaurants have their raw materials shipped from Italy.
Most Indians are concentrated in the Murray Hill part of town near Madison Park. There is also one in Jackson Heights, Queens, and one in East Village.
View From Observation Decks
Bird’s eye view of Manhattan skyline (Shutterstock)
The skyline of New York is a sight for sore eyes both during the day and night. To get the best views, here are some recommendations:
Top of The Rock
Located at the Rockefeller Center, this observation deck was reopened in 2005 for tourists to experience a 360-degree view of the city including the Empire State Building, Chrysler Building and Central Park from above. To get a good deal, purchase your ticket online in advance.
One World Observatory
One World Observatory in One World Trade Center offers a great view of the city whilst you dine.
Empire State Building
Being in the tallest height to view New York, Empire State does not disappoint with the view.
Staten Island Ferry
If you’re up to a view on deck, ride the free Staten Island Feery for the view of the Manhattan skyline and the Statue of Liberty.
Go To Brooklyn Bridge
One of the top places for tourists (and locals) to visit is the iconic Brooklyn Bridge. Being there just completes the New York experience. To have a more enjoyable trip there, come on weekdays and not on the rush hours like in the morning and evening when most people commute to and from work. Also, the Brooklyn Bridge is beside the Manhattan bridge and if you’re not a local (or even if you are) and you are going there via the subway, you may get confused on which way to go, so make sure you bring a map with you.
If you want the best backdrop for your pictures, walk the bridge from the Brooklyn side going to the Manhattan side. The walk may take up to 30 minutes one way and consider that you’re stopping for pictures so plan this trip for up to 1 hour of your day. It is also helpful to note that there are no bathrooms and street vendors on the bridge, so when you walk the bridge, make sure to commit your 30 minutes to an hour to that and bring your own water and snacks and empty your bladder before walking.
Chill at Parks
20% of New York is composed of parks so finding a park to chill at is not a hurdle. You already know which park is the most famous of them all so let’s start with that.
The most famous park in New York is in every tourist’s itinerary. The park is located in Manhattan stretching from 59th street all the way to 110th with an approximately 8 kilometers worth of walking along its path. Central Park offers a stunning view of midtown Manhattan. It would take you around 1 or 2 hours to walk around the entirety of the park.
Bryant Park is located in the heart of Manhattan one block east of the southern end of Times Square. Because of its proximity to the Empire State Building and the Rockefeller Center, you’ll find that most of the population here are 9 to 5 employees having their lunch. You’ll find a lot of street performers especially musicians here.
This park may not be as manicured as the other parks but this may actually be a familiar sight to you as this park has been featured in a lot of movies especially the Shake Shack stall. This branch of the fast-food chain is actually the very first branch and it is still running successfully.
Located in the most southern tip of Manhattan, Battery Park is the place to be when you want to book a ticket to see the Statue of Liberty.
Watch The Sunrise/Sunset
View of Brooklyn Bridge during sunset in the background (Shutterstock)
The best places to go for a view of the sunrise or sunset is at the Top of The Rock Observatory Deck where you see the skyline of the city including the Empire State building. The Brooklyn Bridge also offers a great view of the sunrise or sunset even without being at a very elevated spot.
Visit Islands Or Go To Other Boroughs
The city of New York is composed of people of different national origins. This can be reflected by the different parts of the city. New York is composed of five different counties that are called its boroughs- Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan, the Bronx, and Staten Island. Each borough offers different vibes, sights, and culture. Manhattan may be the heart and center of NYC, however, the Big Apple is not only about the hustle and bustle and skyscrapers. Try to visit at least one of these boroughs and you’ll be surprised how different but familiar each of them can be from another.
Make it your goal to be as fabulous as midtown Manhattan is. You don’t have to spend a ton of money. New York is full of designer brands on big sales and discounts and of course, the eclectic vintage finds. Century 21, for example, sells designer goods with almost 80% off the price. Thrift shops like City Opera also offer good quality shoes, bags, clothing, and other art pieces for a cheaper price. Goldwater Thriftique, L Train, and Tokio 7 in East Village are recommended stores to visit, too.
Dine While Watching A Movie
Ever experienced some mild hunger during watching a film at the cinema and popcorn is just not enough to satisfy you? Well, at Nitehawk Cinema, you have the option to order a full course meal while watching a movie theatre-style. Nitehawk Cinema located in 136 Metropolitan Ave. (Berry Street) in Williamsburg are a theatre and a restaurant at the same time. They feature mostly independent and old films and the food are sometimes tailored to the film you are watching. It’s a full movie and gastro experience.
Museum of Modern Art, NYC (Shutterstock)
NYC is home to over 100 different kinds of museums. Some of the most iconic ones are The Met, MoMA, and the American Museum of Natural History.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is located along 5th Avenue between 80th Street and 84th street. It stretches up to 300 meters or equivalent to 4 blocks of works of art including classical sculptures, Egyptian exhibits, Medieval and contemporary collections.
MoMA stands for the Museum of Modern Art located at 53rd street. It is America’s premier exhibition space for modern and contemporary art including the famous Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh. It is filled by some of the best modern and Western masterpieces in the world.
Museum of National History
The American Museum of National History is one of the massive museums in NYC and what made this much more known and drawn to tourists is it being the film location of the movie Night At The Museum.
There are also other kinds of museums to find in New York. Some of the local’s favorites are:
The Color Factory
Opened just recently in October of 2018, this New York branch of the museum offers interactive art exhibit all around the concept of color. The bright rooms filled with different shapes and colors to play with are not just fun to take pictures with but also fun to interact with so you would imagine how much fun a kid would have here (and also the young at heart).
Fraunces Tavern Museum
The oldest bar in NYC is the Dingle Whiskey Bar operating since 1762 wherein George Washington famously frequented to. Upstairs the bar is the Fraunces Tavern Museum where Washington gave his farewell speech to the continental army in 1983. The museum showcases the history of NYC.
New York Historical Society
Neighboring the Museum of Natural History, NY Historical Society is the first-ever museum built in New York founded in 1804. Aside from the exhibit of American history, it also showcases one of the world’s largest Tiffany lamp collections.
New York Transit Museum
Lastly, an easy favorite to the locals is the NYTM. Its concept is the old subway system of New York. It is, of course, found underground with displays of old notices, ads, and seats found in the years 1917-1963 that the subway has operated.
Take Instagram-Worthy Photos
“Grammable view of NYC’s Brooklyn Bridge (Shutterstock)
The city offers a bunch of photo opportunities ranging from your iconic Brooklyn Bridge, Times Square, Flat Iron building, to the skylines with the view of the Empire State and Chrysler buildings. As a tourist, you may wonder where else should you get Insta pics like a New Yorker so here are some tips on where to do just that.
New York Transit Museum
New York is known for its intricate subway system so what’s more New York-ish than to take a subway photo.
Not just a shopping hub but the streets of SoHo offers several locations to take your photos.
The neighborhood of Greenwich village consists of vintage apartment fronts that are great for your Instagram feed
Party At Rooftop Bars
Hold a glass of wine while staring at the beautiful Manhattan skyline (Shutterstock)
New York’s skyline at night is just stunning. It’s like staring at scattered diamonds across Manhattan. Don’t miss scenic views like this especially if paired with a glass of drink with your friends. Some of the most recommended spots for drinks and a scenic New York is the Skylark Rooftop Bar located at 200 W 39th St. 30th Floor, the Azul Bar at 525 Greenwich St., and the Refiner Rooftop Bar at 63 W 38th St.
There you have it! Pick some of these awesome recommendations to enjoy New York or do all of them if you’re really feeling frisky.