Strolling Around the Big Apple - 26 Things to Do in New York

New York is the city of dream and hope. Its charm has attracted millions of visitors, not just from the United States but also from across the globe. Including you, it seems. 

Pierre Blache/ Unsplash

If this is your first time coming to the Big Apple, you are going to need the list below. Let us show you some of the most interesting places to visit and things to do in New York and its surroundings. 

1. Times Square

Famous for its giant billboards, screens, and neon lights, Times Square is arguably one of the most recognized landmarks of New York. This bustling intersection between Broadway and the 7th Avenue is filled with restaurants, bars, and even street performances. 

2. Central Park

Trees, lakes, lawns and swerving pathways. You could say it is a forest in the middle of the city. Covering 341 hectares (843 acres) in an area between the Upper East and Upper West Sides of Manhattan, Central Park is one of the largest and most visited urban parks in the world. 

3. The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Just across the eastern side of Central Park lies The Metropolitan Museum of Art, or simply "The Met". It is by far the largest art museum in the United States with more than 2 million works in 17 curatorial departments, displaying much of the history of human since the dawn of civilization. 

4. American Museum of Natural History

Also next to Central Park, there is another important museum you must visit. It's American Museum of Natural History which comprises of 45 exhibition halls displaying a vast array of natural diversity, such as Hall of Mammals, Hall of Birds, and Hall of Ocean Life. It is also equipped with a library and a planetarium.   

5. The High Line

An elevated rail trail turned into a linear park, The High Line is a master piece of urban landscape. This public space is spanning over 2.3 kilometers (1.4 miles) from Gansevoort Street to 34th Street on the west side of Manhattan. The pathway is filled with greenery, creating urban micro-ecosystem for birds and insects. 

6. Brooklyn Bridge

Completed in 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge is one of the first steel-wire suspension bridge in the world. It stretches from the borough of Manhattan to Brooklyn, crossing the East River with the total length of 1.8 kilometers (1.1 miles). Visitors usually spend around 60 minutes to cross the bridge on foot. 

7. Grand Central Terminal

Located in Midtown Manhattan, this place is more than just a commuter rail station. It is a work of art, constructed using elements of Beaux-Art design. Feel the city's hustle as you walk among the crowds at the main concourse towards the four-faced brass clock like a scene straight out of a movie. 

8. The Oculus

If Grand Central represents New York's romantic past, then the Oculus is the face of the city's future. Some said it looks like baleen whale, giant ribs, or even a bird ready to take a flight. But one thing for sure, this transportation hub inside the World Trade Center complex is truly an artistic landmark.


9. One World Observatory

New York is home to the tallest building on Western Hemisphere: One World Trade Center (formerly known as Freedom Tower). The upper stories of the building is dedicated to a public indoor observatory, located on floor 100 - 102 at the height of 386 meters (1,268 feet). 

10. Edge

If you're more of an outdoor person, you should definitely try this sky deck instead. At the height of 335 meters (1,100 feet), Edge is the highest outdoor viewing point on Western Hemisphere at the top of 30 Hudson Yards (North Tower). It is fitted with glass floor and fence for maximum experience.   

11. Summit One Vanderbilt

The newest observation deck in the city is all about glass. It's called by many as the most immersive observation deck ever, as you will be surrounded by glass installation from every direction. Including the floor! Prepare your camera for the best Instagram moment high above New York. 

12. New York Helicopter Tour

Climbing the highest tower is one way to enjoy the city's skyline. But here in New York, you have another option. It's helicopter ride! The helicopter will take you high and show you the beauty of New York from above. There are plenty of choice for this helicopter ride service. 

13. The Vessel

This open-air structure at Hudson Yards Public Square is a magnet for visitors. Inspired by Indian stepwells, the Vessel comprises of 154 interconnected stairs soaring 16 stories high. The bad news is, the Vessel's stairs have been closed several times due to incidents of suicide.  

14. Chelsea Market

So now you're hungry and you need to fill the belly. Start your culinary journey at Chelsea Market, a popular food hall packed with vendors selling everything from lobster rolls and tacos to fresh salads and falafel. Fun fact: Chelsea Market is the birthplace of Oreo cookie when it was still a biscuit factory.

15. Smorgasburg

Satisfy your palate at this weekly open-air food festival. Smorgasburg offers a wide variety of food with more than 100 vendors and even outdoor bar. You can find it at WTC every Friday, Williamsburg every Saturday, and Prospect Park every Sunday. Suitable for kids as well as adults. 


16. DeKalb Market Hall

With more than 40 food vendors, DeKalb Market Hall becomes the largest food hall in Brooklyn. Discover an incredible selection of food and beverage, from sandwich, sushi, crepes, BBQ, and soup, to wine, beer, cocktail, and desserts.

17. Coney Island

This neighborhood in Brooklyn has become an entertainment district for New Yorkers who love beach and rides. Two amusement parks are located in Coney Island: Luna Park and Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park. The famed Cyclone and Thunderbolt roller coasters can be found here. 

18. Liberty State Park

The park is actually in New Jersey, but this is a really good spot to enjoy the spectacular view of Manhattan skyline and the Statue of Liberty. You can also catch a ferry ride to Ellis Island if you want to see the Statue of Liberty from a closer distance. 

19. Spyscape

Spy movie lovers, this is a perfect destination for you! Spyscape is a private espionage museum in Midtown Manhattan with 7 experience zones where you can pretend to be a spy and try to pass security lasers. There is also a special James Bond exhibition inside the museum.

20. Little Island @Pier55

Little Island at Pier 55 is an artificial Island with amphitheater and green space. This unique urban landscape is officially opened to the public on May 21, 2021 and is part of River Hudson Park in the western side of Manhattan. 

21. Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

Don't miss a chance to visit one of the largest and most influential modern art museums in the world. Located in Midtown Manhattan, their collections include artworks from legendary names such as Vincent van Gogh, Frida Kahlo, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, and also contemporary artists.

22. Brooklyn Heights Promenade

 The 557 m (1,826 foot-long) pedestrian walkway in Brooklyn is one of the best spots to enjoy the view of downtown Manhattan with its skyscrapers and the beautiful Brooklyn Bridge. A perfect place for romantic walk with your loved ones.

23. Washington Square Park

Located in the Greenwich Village neighborhood in Lower Manhattan, Washington Square Park is one of the most iconic parks in New York. Beside its popularity as a meeting place for the locals, this 3.9 hectares (9.75 acre) public park is also frequently used for festivals and cultural events.

24. 9/11 Memorial & Museum

The site is specially designed to commemorate the tragedy of WTC attacks on September 11, 2001. 9/11 Memorial & Museum includes exhibits, list of victims, and a field of trees with two rectangular pools on the location where the WTC Twin Towers once stood.  

25. New York Botanical Garden

Wear your most comfortable shoes as you are expected to spend hours in this massive botanical garden. Located in Bronx, the New York Botanical Garden is filled with over 1 million living plants. If you come on warmer seasons, you will find yourself surrounded by blooming flowers in every corner. 

26. United Nations Headquarters

There are reasons why some people call New York "The World Capital". This is one of them: the city is home to the United Nations Headquarters. Normally, you can join a guided tour and visit some of the most important area such as General Assembly Hall. But it's closed temporarily during the pandemic.


Of course there are still a lot of things to do in New York. If you know other interesting places and activities, please comment below. 

Don't forget to book your favorite hotel in New York. Click here to book.

Hope you enjoy visiting New York! 

Post a Comment