New York City is a big place and can be a little overwhelming deciding what to do!
Here’s a list of the 15 best things to do in New York City.
1. Times Square
The first stop for anyone who hasn’t been to New York before. Tick it off the list straight away by heading there first. Fill your lungs with the smell of hot dogs (and pollution), and your ears with the sound of hundreds of yellow cabs beeping their horns.
2. Central Park
Spend the afternoon taking in the beautiful Central Park. Spend an hour on the rowing boats (open in the summer months) and then reward yourself with a cocktail at The Boathouse.
Broadway is covered in neon signs and flashing lights, but is also a great spot for restaurants! Make sure you stop off at Ellen’s Stardust Diner for true Broadway dining.
4. Bryant Park
A lot more intimate than Central Park, Bryant Park is the size of a football pitch with a handful of restaurants and cafes thrown in. Make sure to check the park’s itinerary before your visit as an Ice Rink in winter and outdoor movie screenings in summer are not to be missed!
5. The High Line
The High Line offers a unique perspective of New York and is miles away from the hustle and bustle of Times Square. Spend an afternoon walking along the old railway tracks for a more relaxed version of the city.
6. Empire State / Rockefeller
I would actually recommend making time for both of these classic New York landmarks. The Empire State has a a great view of Central Park and has metal railings so can get pretty breezy – I’d recommend heading there in the daytime. Rockefeller’s observation deck is enclosed by glass which blocks out the wind, leaving you to enjoy the views of the city at night.
7. Statue of Liberty
Hop on the Staten Island ferry (free), for a trip across the river that sails right past the statue of liberty. You can also purchase tickets for a boat trip that includes stopping off at the island and going inside the statue.
The Metropolitan, Natural History Museum, The Guggenheim – take your pick.
9. Brooklyn Bridge
Walk, hire a bike and cycle, or sail under the Brooklyn Bridge!
We were gifted tickets for a sunset sail around New York which I would definitely recommend.
10. Grand Central Station
Spend an hour in the famous train station. Make sure to check out the whispering gallery where you can whisper to your friend on the other side of the station with the help of the acoustics, and save some room for the delicious foods you can find in the food hall.
11. Support your team
Go and see a sporting event while you’re in New York. Basketball, baseball, ice hockey – it’s all about the experience. You may need to plan ahead for this one, so check what sports are in season before you get there.
12. Rooftop bars
Which one to pick…
My personal favourite is 230 fifth because of the view, but there are lots of rooftop bars. Make sure you have your ID with you as they are super strict on this.
13. See a show on Broadway
It’s a huge thing to tick off the bucket list!
If you have the budget, head to Times Square in the morning to book some last-minute tickets to see a show. Jersey Boys and Mamma Mia are personal favourites
14. Shop ’til you drop
Fifth avenue, Macy’s, Bloomingdales – the list is endless. Make sure you squeeze in some time for the supersized M&M store just off Times Square.
15. Eat your heart out
Grab a slice of pizza bigger than your head for $1.
If you haven’t eaten at Olive Garden then you need to pay a visit in New York. It’s right in the middle of Times Square and has an upstairs with an unbelievable view where pretty much everything is unlimited (warm, garlic, doughy ‘breadsticks’, soup or salad with any main, AND soft drinks) – and the food is delicious.
Ellen’s Stardust Diner – wannabe Broadway stars sing while they serve! I’d recommend heading here for breakfast/brunch as it gets really busy later on with people queuing out the door!