What to Do and See in NYC | Must-See Attractions and Hidden Gems

What to do and see in nyc

Exploring the Best of the Big Apple: What to Do and See in NYC

What to Do and See in NYC: Discover the enchanting blend of history, culture, and modernity that defines the essence of New York City – a place where every street corner has a story to tell, and every skyline view leaves you in awe.

New York City, often referred to as the “Big Apple,” is a vibrant, dynamic metropolis that beckons travelers from around the globe. From iconic landmarks to world-class museums, diverse neighborhoods, and a culinary scene that caters to every palate, NYC is a city of endless possibilities. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, in this guide, we’ll take you on a journey through the vibrant neighborhoods, renowned landmarks, and hidden gems that define the essence of New York City. From world-famous museums to delightful culinary adventures, from Broadway shows to serene parks, this city has something for everyone.

1. Visit Central Park

Central Park is a sprawling oasis in the heart of Manhattan. Take a leisurely stroll, rent a rowboat, or have a picnic while enjoying the park’s natural beauty. Don’t miss attractions like Bethesda Terrace, Central Park Zoo, and Strawberry Fields, a tribute to John Lennon.

One of the simplest yet most enjoyable ways to experience Central Park is by taking a leisurely stroll along its winding paths. You’ll be surrounded by lush greenery, beautifully landscaped gardens, and serene bodies of water like the iconic Central Park Lake. The park’s vastness allows you to explore different sections, each with its own unique charm.

Lake in Central Park, NYC - IMG 5732
The Lake in Central Park, with Bow Bridge, New York City, New York, USA. Daderot, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

For a more adventurous experience, consider renting a rowboat at the Loeb Boathouse. Paddling across the shimmering lake while taking in the skyline views is a quintessential Central Park experience. If you’re visiting during the winter, the lake often freezes over, providing the opportunity for ice skating.

Central Park is an excellent place for a picnic. Spread a blanket on the Great Lawn or find a secluded spot by the Pond and enjoy an alfresco meal. It’s a perfect way to unwind and savor the natural beauty of the park.

As you explore, be sure to visit some of Central Park’s iconic attractions. Bethesda Terrace, with its stunning Neo-Gothic architecture and the famous Angel of the Waters statue, is a must-see. It’s a popular spot for taking photographs and people-watching.

A view at Central Park in May 2023 (5)
A view at Central Park. Benoît Prieur, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Animal lovers should make their way to the Central Park Zoo. This compact yet engaging zoo is home to a variety of animals, including snow leopards, sea lions, and red pandas. It’s an educational and family-friendly destination within the park.

If you’re a fan of the Beatles and John Lennon, you won’t want to miss Strawberry Fields. This tranquil section of Central Park is dedicated to the memory of the legendary musician. You’ll find the iconic “Imagine” mosaic here, which serves as a focal point for visitors paying their respects to Lennon’s legacy.

Central Park (22696562894)
Central Park (NYC). Alex Liivet from Chester, United Kingdom, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Central Park truly offers something for everyone, whether you’re seeking relaxation, adventure, or cultural experiences. It’s a testament to the idea that nature and urban life can harmoniously coexist, making it a cherished gem in the heart of New York City.

2. Explore Times Square

Times Square is the epitome of New York City’s energy. Marvel at the dazzling billboards, catch a Broadway show, or simply soak in the atmosphere of this iconic entertainment hub.

NYC Time Square 4
Times Square, New York City. Lesekreis, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Exploring Times Square in New York City is an experience like no other. This bustling and brightly illuminated commercial and entertainment center is known as “The Crossroads of the World.” Here’s what you can expect when you visit:

  • Dazzling Billboards: Times Square is famous for its towering electronic billboards, which light up the area with a dazzling display of advertisements, news updates, and art installations. The vibrant display of lights and colors is a sight to behold, especially in the evening.
  • Broadway Shows: Times Square is at the heart of the Broadway Theater District. You can catch world-class theater productions, musicals, and plays at the numerous theaters in the area. From classics to cutting-edge performances, there’s something for every theater enthusiast.
  • Street Performers: As you stroll through Times Square, you’re likely to encounter street performers, including musicians, magicians, and costumed characters. They add to the lively atmosphere and provide entertainment for visitors.
  • Shopping: Times Square is home to flagship stores and retail outlets of major brands, making it a popular shopping destination. You can find everything from fashion and electronics to souvenirs and unique New York City merchandise.
  • Food and Dining: There’s no shortage of dining options in Times Square. From fast-food joints to fine dining restaurants, you can sample a wide range of cuisines. Don’t forget to try some classic New York-style pizza while you’re in the area.
  • Events and Celebrations: Times Square is the focal point of major celebrations in New York City, including the famous New Year’s Eve ball drop. It’s also a gathering place for parades, cultural events, and public gatherings.
  • People-Watching: With a constant flow of tourists, locals, and performers, Times Square is a fantastic spot for people-watching. You can sit on the pedestrian plazas and observe the diverse crowd that converges in this iconic location.

Times Square in New York City. MartinThoma, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Visiting Times Square is an essential part of experiencing the vibrant energy of New York City. Whether you’re catching a show, shopping, or simply taking in the sights and sounds, you’ll find that Times Square is a place where the city’s dynamic spirit truly comes alive.

  • Address: Times Square, Manhattan, NY 10036
  • Opening Hours: Always bustling, but best experienced at night
  • More Info: Times Square Alliance

3. Experience the Statue of Liberty

A symbol of freedom and democracy, the Statue of Liberty is a must-visit. Take a ferry to Liberty Island and learn about its history at the museum. You can also visit nearby Ellis Island to explore the immigrant experience.

Experience the Statue of Liberty, one of the most iconic symbols of freedom and democracy in the world. Take a ferry ride to Liberty Island and explore this colossal statue gifted to the United States by France in 1886.

Climb up to the pedestal for breathtaking views of Manhattan and the surrounding harbor. You can also visit the Statue of Liberty Museum to learn about the history and significance of this historic monument. Don’t forget to snap some photos of this iconic symbol of hope and opportunity during your visit to New York City.

Statue of liberty 1
The Statue of Liberty, also known as Lady Liberty, is a famous structure on Liberty Island in New York Harbor. It was a gift from France to the United States to commemorate the centennial of the American Declaration of Independence. Designed by Frédéric Bartholdi, it features a green patinated copper exterior. This iconic statue symbolizes freedom and has UNESCO World Heritage Site status since 1984. ProjectManhattan, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Visiting the Statue: To experience the Statue of Liberty, take a ferry ride to Liberty Island. While there, you can explore both the pedestal and the crown, offering different vantage points and historical insights.

Liberty Island: The island itself is a beautiful place to explore. Aside from the statue, you can visit the Liberty Island Museum, which provides fascinating details about the statue’s history and construction. You’ll gain a deeper appreciation for the statue’s significance and the engineering marvel behind it.

Ellis Island: Adjacent to Liberty Island is Ellis Island, a historic site that was the primary entry point for immigrants coming to the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration tells the story of these immigrants, making it a poignant and educational experience.

Ellis Island, located in New York Harbor, is a symbol of the immigrant experience in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Serving as the primary immigrant processing station from 1892 to 1954, millions of hopeful individuals passed through its gates in search of a new life in America.

Today, Ellis Island houses the Immigration Museum in its historic “Great Hall.” This museum offers a glimpse into the immigrant journey, from the challenges of the sea voyage to the processing and health inspections on the island. Personal stories, photographs, and artifacts vividly portray the aspirations and hardships of those who sought the American Dream.

One poignant feature is the Wall of Honor, which bears the names of millions of immigrants, representing the diverse origins and backgrounds that contributed to America’s rich cultural tapestry.

Together with the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, embodying the ideals of freedom, opportunity, and diversity central to the American identity. It stands as a testament to the resilience and aspirations of those who embarked on the journey to build a better future in the United States.

Ellis Island and Manhattan as seen from New Jersey shore 2020-06-29
Ellis Island and Manhattan as seen from New Jersey shore. Ponor, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Panoramic Views: From the statue’s pedestal or crown, you’ll be treated to breathtaking panoramic views of New York Harbor and the city skyline. It’s a unique perspective and a fantastic opportunity for memorable photos. Due to its extreme popularity, tickets to the crown must be reserved prior to visiting.

Statue of Liberty inside crown
A photo of the interior of the Statue of Liberty’s crown. Kevin Daley, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Symbolism: The Statue of Liberty has been a welcoming symbol for generations of immigrants arriving in the United States, representing hope and the promise of a better life. It’s a place where history and symbolism converge, making it a meaningful stop for anyone visiting New York City.

Remember to book your tickets in advance, especially if you plan to access the crown, as availability is limited. Exploring the Statue of Liberty and its neighboring Ellis Island is a powerful and educational experience that offers a deeper understanding of American history and the values it upholds.

4. Walk the Brooklyn Bridge

Stroll across the historic Brooklyn Bridge for stunning views of the Manhattan skyline. Explore DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass), a trendy neighborhood known for its art scene and great food.

Strolling across the Brooklyn Bridge is a quintessential New York City experience. This historic suspension bridge, connecting Manhattan and Brooklyn, offers not only a pleasant walk but also breathtaking views of the city skyline and the East River. Whether you’re a tourist or a local, this iconic bridge is a must-visit destination for its architectural beauty and its role in New York’s history.

Brooklyn Bridge, New York City, United States (Unsplash)
Brooklyn Bridge, New York City, United States. Alexander Rotker awrotker, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

  • Address: Brooklyn Bridge, Brooklyn, NY 11201
  • Opening Hours: Always accessible, but the views are best at sunrise or sunset

5. Visit World-Class Museums

NYC boasts some of the world’s finest museums. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and the American Museum of Natural History are just a few that should be on your list.

Exploring world-class museums is a cultural delight in NYC. The city hosts an array of renowned institutions, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and the American Museum of Natural History. These iconic venues house a vast collection of art, history, and science, making them essential stops for anyone seeking to enrich their understanding of the world. Don’t miss the chance to immerse yourself in the captivating exhibits and historical treasures these museums offer.

  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art:

The Met’s story began in 1870 when a group of American citizens, art enthusiasts, and philanthropists decided to create a museum to bring art and culture to the American public. The museum officially opened its doors in 1872, and it has been expanding and enriching its collection ever since.

One of The Met’s most remarkable features is its incredibly diverse and extensive collection. Visitors can explore artworks and artifacts from nearly every corner of the globe, including ancient Egyptian treasures, European paintings, Asian sculptures, American decorative arts, and so much more. The museum’s galleries are organized into several departments, each dedicated to a specific type of art or culture.

    • Address: 1000 5th Ave, New York, NY 10028
    • Opening Hours: Open daily, with varying hours
    • More Info: The Met

View of The Metropolitan Museum of Art MET DT12097
Stereograph; Photographs: View of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Metropolitan Museum of Art, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

  • Museum of Modern Art (MoMA):

The Museum of Modern Art, often referred to as MoMA, is a cultural landmark and a haven for modern and contemporary art enthusiasts in the heart of New York City. Located in Midtown Manhattan, MoMA is renowned for its diverse and influential collection of 20th and 21st-century artworks.

MoMA was founded in 1929 by three influential women in the art world: Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, Mary Quinn Sullivan, and Lillie P. Bliss. Their vision was to establish an institution that would promote and celebrate modern art, which was often met with skepticism at the time. Since its inception, MoMA has played a pivotal role in shaping the art scene in the United States and globally.

    • Address: 11 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019
    • Opening Hours: Closed for renovations until October 21, 2022
    • More Info: MoMA

Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) (51395759113)
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), NYC. ajay_suresh, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

MoMA’s collection is a testament to the evolution of modern and contemporary art. It encompasses a wide range of artistic mediums, including painting, sculpture, photography, film, design objects, and more. Some of the most iconic and significant works of art in the world can be found within its walls.

White passage leading to hallway (Unsplash)
White passage leading to hallway (Unsplash). The Museum of Modern Art, New York, United States. Drew Patrick Miller drewpatrickmiller, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Here are some highlights:
  1. Vincent van Gogh’s “The Starry Night”: This masterpiece is one of the most recognized and celebrated paintings in the world. It captures the artist’s unique vision and emotional depth.
  2. Pablo Picasso’s “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon”: A groundbreaking work that revolutionized the art world and marked the beginning of the Cubist movement.
  3. Claude Monet’s “Water Lilies”: A series of serene and captivating paintings that explore the beauty of nature and light.
  4. Salvador Dalí’s “The Persistence of Memory”: Known for its surreal imagery, this painting challenges our perception of reality.
  5. Andy Warhol’s “Campbell’s Soup Cans”: A quintessential piece of pop art that explores consumer culture and mass production.
  6. Contemporary Art: MoMA continues to acquire and display works by contemporary artists, reflecting the ever-evolving landscape of the art world.
  • American Museum of Natural History:

The American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in New York City is a world-renowned institution dedicated to exploring and celebrating the natural world, human history, and the vast cosmos. Established in 1869, the museum has grown to become one of the largest and most influential natural history museums globally.

AMNH at night
Night view of the museum AMNH, looking northwest from across Central Park West. Jay Dobkin, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The American Museum of Natural History is located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and is easily accessible by public transportation. It’s advisable to check the museum’s official website for current hours of operation, admission fees, and special exhibitions. The museum also offers guided tours, educational workshops, and interactive experiences.

American Museum of Natural History rear entrance. Fordmadoxfraud at English Wikipedia, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

In addition to its permanent collections, AMNH hosts temporary exhibitions, educational programs, and events for visitors of all ages. These exhibitions often focus on cutting-edge scientific discoveries and contemporary issues related to the natural world.

    • Address: Central Park West & 79th St, New York, NY 10024
    • Opening Hours: Open daily, with varying hours
    • More Info: AMNH

Blue Whale Nat'l Hist Museum
Model of a blue whale in the Milstein Family Hall of Ocean Life. Breakyunit, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Museum Layout:

AMNH is a vast complex, consisting of 28 interconnected buildings. Its extensive collection spans various scientific disciplines, making it a treasure trove for both the curious and the academic. The museum is divided into several halls and exhibitions, each focusing on different aspects of natural history:

  1. Dinosaurs and Fossils: The museum boasts an extensive collection of dinosaur fossils, including a complete Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton. Visitors can also explore the Hall of Saurischian Dinosaurs and the Hall of Ornithischian Dinosaurs.
  2. Mammals and Biodiversity: The Hall of North American Mammals and the Hall of Biodiversity provide insight into the diversity of Earth’s animal life.
  3. Human Origins and Culture: AMNH delves into the story of human evolution and cultural diversity. The Hall of Human Origins is particularly fascinating for those interested in anthropology and archaeology.
  4. Earth and Space: The Rose Center for Earth and Space is an architectural wonder and home to the Hayden Planetarium. It offers immersive experiences on topics like astrophysics and the cosmos.
  5. Ocean Life: The Milstein Hall of Ocean Life features a life-sized model of a blue whale and offers a glimpse into the wonders of marine ecosystems.
  6. Invertebrates and Minerals: Explore the world of insects, spiders, and other invertebrates in the Hall of Biodiversity. The Hall of Minerals and Gems showcases stunning specimens from around the globe.

6. Enjoy Cultural Neighborhoods

Each NYC neighborhood has a unique character. Explore the hipster vibes of Williamsburg in Brooklyn, the historic charm of Greenwich Village, or the vibrant Latino culture in Spanish Harlem.

  • Williamsburg, Brooklyn: A trendy neighborhood with artisanal shops and galleries.
  • Greenwich Village: Known for its historic charm and Washington Square Park.
  • Spanish Harlem: Experience vibrant Latino culture and cuisine.
Williamsburg, Brooklyn:

Williamsburg, located in the borough of Brooklyn, has evolved into one of the trendiest and most culturally rich neighborhoods in New York City. This dynamic area is known for its artistic vibe, independent boutiques, and a thriving food scene. Here are some highlights:

  • Artisanal Shops and Galleries: Williamsburg is a haven for artists and creatives. You can explore a multitude of galleries, artist studios, and independent shops featuring handmade goods, vintage finds, and unique fashion.
  • Culinary Delights: The neighborhood is a food lover’s paradise, with a diverse range of restaurants, food markets, and artisanal bakeries. Be sure to try out local favorites and international cuisines.
  • East River State Park: Enjoy breathtaking views of the Manhattan skyline from East River State Park, which also hosts the popular Smorgasburg food market on weekends.
Greenwich Village

Greenwich Village, often simply called “the Village,” is a historic and charming neighborhood located in Lower Manhattan. It’s famous for its tree-lined streets, historic architecture, and vibrant culture. Here are some highlights:

  • Washington Square Park: This iconic park is a central gathering place with a beautiful fountain and an iconic arch. It’s a hub for street performances, chess games, and people-watching.
  • Historic Landmarks: Greenwich Village is home to many historic landmarks, including the Stonewall Inn, known for its role in the LGBTQ+ rights movement, and the former homes of renowned artists and writers.
  • Cafes and Music Venues: The Village has a thriving cafe culture, jazz clubs, and music venues. It’s a great place to discover live music and artistic performances.
Spanish Harlem

Spanish Harlem, also known as El Barrio, is a vibrant neighborhood in Upper Manhattan known for its rich Latino culture and heritage. Here’s what you can experience in this lively area:

  • Cultural Festivals: Spanish Harlem hosts various cultural festivals and events celebrating Latino traditions, music, and cuisine throughout the year.
  • Authentic Dining: You can savor delicious Latin American and Caribbean cuisine in local restaurants and food trucks. Try classic dishes like mofongo, empanadas, and tostones.
  • Street Art and Murals: Explore the neighborhood’s colorful streets adorned with vibrant street art and murals that tell stories of the community’s history and culture.

These neighborhoods offer unique experiences and are just a glimpse into the diverse tapestry of New York City’s neighborhoods. Each one has its own character, history, and cultural contributions that make the city a vibrant and ever-evolving metropolis.

7. Savor NYC’s Culinary Delights

From street food carts to Michelin-starred restaurants, NYC is a food lover’s paradise. Try a classic New York-style pizza slice, indulge in a bagel with lox and cream cheese, or explore diverse international cuisines.

  • Pizza: Try Joe’s Pizza, 7 Carmine St, New York, NY 10014
  • Bagels: Visit Ess-a-Bagel, 831 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10022
  • International Cuisine: Explore the diverse options at Chelsea Market, 75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011

USA Travel Guide | Discovering America’s Best Attractions and Wonders

8. Marvel at the Empire State Building

Visit the Empire State Building’s observation deck for panoramic views of the city. It’s especially breathtaking at sunset.

Marveling at the Empire State Building is a must-do experience in NYC. You can ascend to the iconic skyscraper’s observation deck, where you’ll be treated to breathtaking panoramic views of the city. The view is particularly enchanting during sunset when the city’s lights start to twinkle, creating an unforgettable sight. Don’t pass up the opportunity to witness the city that never sleeps from this vantage point.

The Empire State Building in New York City is a must-visit attraction. You can explore both its iconic exterior, renowned for its Art Deco design, and its interior, featuring a historic lobby.

Inside, you can journey to the observation decks on the 86th and 102nd floors for panoramic views of the city. Sunset visits are particularly stunning. The interior also hosts interactive exhibits about its history and sustainability efforts, plus souvenir shops. Don’t miss this iconic symbol of NYC.

The lonely skyscraper (Unsplash)
The Empire State Building, an iconic symbol of New York City, is an absolute must-visit attraction when exploring what to do and see in NYC. This towering masterpiece graces the city’s skyline, offering not only an architectural marvel but also an unforgettable experience. Don’t miss your chance to visit this legendary skyscraper and enjoy its breathtaking views of the city that never sleeps. Ben Dumond bendumond, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons
  • Address: 350 5th Ave, New York, NY 10118
  • Opening Hours: Open daily, 8:00 AM to 2:00 AM
  • More Info: Empire State Building

9. Discover the High Line

The High Line is an elevated park built on a disused railway track. It offers a unique perspective of the city, with beautiful gardens, art installations, and plenty of places to relax.

This elevated park has been ingeniously built on a disused railway track, offering visitors a unique perspective of the city. As you wander through this verdant space, you’ll encounter beautifully landscaped gardens, captivating art installations, and numerous spots to unwind and take in the surroundings.

High Line, New York 2012 07
High Line, New York City. Photograph by Mike Peel (www.mikepeel.net)., CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The High Line is not just a park; it’s a living testament to urban rejuvenation and creativity, making it a must-visit destination for those seeking a tranquil escape amidst the bustling cityscape of New York.

  • Address: High Line Park, Manhattan, NY 10011
  • Opening Hours: Open daily, with varying hours
  • More Info: The High Line

10. Go Museum-Hopping on Museum Mile

Fifth Avenue’s Museum Mile on the Upper East Side is home to several museums, including the Guggenheim Museum and the Jewish Museum. Take a cultural journey through this historic stretch.

Museum Mile, located on Fifth Avenue in the Upper East Side of Manhattan, offers a rich cultural experience with a collection of renowned museums. Among them, the iconic Guggenheim Museum, known for its unique spiral architecture, and the Jewish Museum, which delves into the rich history and heritage of Jewish culture, are standout attractions. Stroll along this historic stretch, and you’ll find yourself immersed in a world of art, history, and culture, making it a must-visit destination for museum enthusiasts and anyone looking to explore the city’s cultural treasures.

Guggenheim Museum:Address: 1071 5th Ave, New York, NY 10128 – Opening Hours: Closed on Thursdays – More Info: Guggenheim

Guggenheim NY's entrance
Main entrance of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City. Fpinault, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

11. Chrysler Building: Iconic Art Deco Marvel

The Chrysler Building, another gem in NYC’s skyline, is renowned for its Art Deco architecture. While you can’t explore its interior like some other skyscrapers, such as the Empire State Building, it’s still worth admiring from the outside.

You can view the Chrysler Building’s stunning exterior, which features intricate ornamentation, during a leisurely stroll through Midtown Manhattan. It’s especially impressive when illuminated at night. Although you can’t visit inside, the building’s exterior is a testament to New York City’s architectural prowess and a must-see for architecture enthusiasts.

For those enchanted by architectural marvels, a stroll around the Chrysler Building is a must. It’s especially captivating when illuminated at night, making it a fantastic addition to any nocturnal exploration of the city. While you can’t venture inside, gazing upon this iconic structure from the streets of New York City is an experience in itself, and a testament to the city’s rich architectural history.

Chrysler Building - Krisby5
Chrysler Building. Krisby5 at English Wikipedia, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

  • Address: 405 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10174, United States
  • Opening Hours: The Chrysler Building itself is not open to the public for tours, and its interior is primarily occupied by various businesses and offices.
  • More Info: Chrysler Building by Tishman Speyer

12. Explore Rockefeller Center: The Rink Skating and Top of the Rock NYC Observation Deck

Rockefeller Center, located in the heart of Manhattan, is an iconic entertainment and shopping complex. It’s famous for its stunning Art Deco architecture, prominent public artworks, and the annual lighting of the towering Christmas tree. Visitors can explore the Rockefeller Center to enjoy its bustling atmosphere, but one of the must-do experiences here is a trip to the “Top of the Rock” observation deck.

NYC - Rockfeller Center - Atlas Statue
Atlas Statue (1936) infront of Rockefeller Center. Jean-Christophe BENOIST, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Rink At Rockefeller Center (Ice/Roller skating rink)

The Rink at Rockefeller Center is one of New York City’s most iconic and beloved ice skating rinks. It is located in the heart of Manhattan, at the renowned Rockefeller Center complex. This historic rink has been a seasonal attraction for both locals and tourists alike for decades.

Skating Experience: Visitors to The Rink can enjoy a magical ice skating experience beneath the stunning backdrop of the Rockefeller Center’s famous Christmas Tree during the holiday season. Skating at The Rink has become a cherished tradition for many and offers a quintessential New York City winter experience.

Rockfeller Center Pista pattinaggio
The Rink At Rockefeller Center (Ice skating rink). Witchblue, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Rink at Rockefeller Center
600 5th Ave
New York, NY 10020 – United States

Opening Hours (Seasonal):
The skating season at The Rink at Rockefeller Center typically runs from October to April each year. Operating hours can vary, but here’s a general schedule:

  • Monday to Thursday: 9:00 AM to 10:00 PM
  • Friday and Saturday: 8:30 AM to 12:00 AM (midnight)
  • Sunday: 8:30 AM to 10:00 PM

More Info and Reservations: For more information, reservations, and to check current hours of operation and ticket availability, you can visit the official website of The Rink at Rockefeller Center:

Whether you’re a skilled skater or a beginner, a visit to The Rink at Rockefeller Center is a memorable and festive way to embrace the holiday spirit or enjoy a fun outing during the winter months in the city.

The Top of the Rock Observation Deck, at the Rockefeller Center

The Top of the Rock Observation Deck offers breathtaking panoramic views of New York City’s skyline. From this vantage point, you can see landmarks like Central Park, the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, and more. The observation deck consists of three levels, including an open-air deck on the 70th floor, providing visitors with a 360-degree view of the city.

Visiting at sunset is particularly magical as you witness the city transform from daylight to a sea of sparkling lights. Tickets are available for purchase, and it’s advisable to book in advance to secure your spot and avoid long lines.

Whether you’re a tourist exploring the city or a local rediscovering your love for New York, the Top of the Rock offers an unforgettable experience and incredible photo opportunities. Don’t forget your camera!

GE Building, Observation deck, Top of the Rock 08
View from observation deck, Top of the Rock. Elisa.rolle, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

  • Address: 30 Rockefeller Plaza – New York, NY 10112
  • Opening Hours: The Top of the Rock Observation Deck is typically open at the following times: daily from 1:00 PM to 9:00 PM. Please note that these hours are subject to change, so it’s a good idea to check the official website or contact them directly for the most up-to-date information on opening hours and ticket availability.
  • More Info: Top of the Rock Official Website

13. Best rooftops in NYC

Here are some of the best rooftops in NYC, with images:

  • 230 Fifth (image: ) – This rooftop bar offers stunning views of the Empire State Building and other iconic NYC landmarks. It’s a popular spot for both locals and tourists alike.

  • The Skylark (image: ) – This rooftop bar is located on the 30th floor of the William Vale Hotel in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It offers panoramic views of the city skyline, including the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty, and the Manhattan skyline.

  • Westlight (image: ) – This rooftop bar is located on the 22nd floor of the William Vale Hotel in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It offers stunning views of the Manhattan skyline, including the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, and the Freedom Tower.

  • Refinery Rooftop (image: ) – This rooftop bar is located in the Garment District and offers stunning views of the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, and the rest of the Midtown skyline.

  • The Press Lounge (image: ) – This rooftop bar is located on the 16th floor of the Kimpton Hotel Eventi in Times Square. It offers panoramic views of Times Square, the Empire State Building, and the rest of the Manhattan skyline.

  • Spyglass Rooftop Bar (image: ) – This rooftop bar is located in the Garment District and offers stunning views of the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, and the rest of the Midtown skyline.

  • The Rooftop at Royalton Park Avenue (image: ) – This rooftop bar is located in Midtown and offers stunning views of the Chrysler Building, the Empire State Building, and the rest of the Manhattan skyline.

  • Panorama Room (image: ) – This rooftop bar is located on the 18th floor of the Graduate Hotel in Roosevelt Island. It offers stunning views of the Manhattan skyline, including the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, and the Freedom Tower.

  • Harriet’s Rooftop and Lounge (image: ) – This rooftop bar is located on the 10th floor of the 1 Hotel in Brooklyn Bridge Park. It offers panoramic views of the Brooklyn Bridge, the East River, and the Manhattan skyline.

I hope this helps!

Hidden Gems of NYC: Unveiling Unique Experiences Beyond the Must-See Sights”

New York City, often referred to as the “City That Never Sleeps” and celebrated for its iconic landmarks like the Statue of Liberty, Times Square, and Central Park, offers an unparalleled array of experiences. However, beneath the surface of these famous attractions lies a world of hidden gems that reveal a different side of the city. In this guide, we’ll embark on a journey to uncover the lesser-known treasures of NYC, showcasing a diverse range of cultural, culinary, and artistic delights that are sure to pique your interest.

1. The Frick Collection: Art Lover’s Paradise

Nestled amidst the bustling streets of Manhattan’s Upper East Side, The Frick Collection is a haven of art and culture. This hidden gem is housed in the former residence of industrialist Henry Clay Frick and features a remarkable collection of European paintings, sculptures, and decorative art.

Henry C Frick House 001
Henry C. Frick House on 5th Avenue in New York, today contains the Frick Collection. Gryffindor, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Explore masterpieces by renowned artists like Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Turner, all within the intimate setting of this Gilded Age mansion.

  • Address: 1 East 70th Street, New York, NY 10021
  • How to Get There: Take the 6 train to 68th Street-Hunter College or use nearby buses.
  • Official Website
  • Opening Hours: Closed on Mondays; check the website for current opening hours.

2. The High Line: Elevated Urban Oasis

Escape the urban jungle by ascending to The High Line, a unique elevated park built on a historic freight rail line. This remarkable green space stretches for 1.45 miles along Manhattan’s West Side, offering a peaceful retreat from the city’s chaos. Stroll along the beautifully landscaped gardens, enjoy public art installations, and take in stunning views of the Hudson River and the city skyline.

  • Address: Gansevoort Street to West 34th Street, Manhattan, NY 10011
  • How to Get There: Access points along the route; nearest subway is 14th Street.
  • Official Website
  • Opening Hours: Open daily; hours vary by season.

3. The Cloisters: Medieval Marvel

Transport yourself to the European Middle Ages without leaving NYC by visiting The Cloisters. This branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art is located in Fort Tryon Park and is dedicated to the art, architecture, and gardens of medieval Europe. Wander through cloistered gardens, admire intricate tapestries, and explore the serene beauty of this cultural gem.

The Cloisters (Museum in New York City, New York)
The Cloisters in New York is a part of Met museum. 7dreamlight7, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

  • Address: 99 Margaret Corbin Drive, Fort Tryon Park, New York, NY 10040
  • How to Get There: Take the A train to 190th Street and follow signs.
  • Official Website
  • Opening Hours: Closed on Mondays; check the website for current opening hours.

4. Arthur Avenue: The Real Little Italy

While many tourists flock to Manhattan’s Little Italy, few venture to the Bronx to discover Arthur Avenue. This neighborhood is an authentic Italian enclave filled with family-owned businesses, specialty food shops, and traditional eateries. Indulge in artisanal cheeses, fresh pasta, and cannoli that rival those in the Old Country.

  • Address: Arthur Avenue, The Bronx, NY 10458
  • How to Get There: Take the subway to Fordham Road Station (B, D trains).
  • More Information
  • Hours vary by shop and restaurant.

5. The Tenement Museum: Immigrant Stories

Step back in time and uncover the immigrant experience at The Tenement Museum. Located in a historic tenement building on the Lower East Side, this museum offers guided tours that provide insight into the lives of early 20th-century immigrants. Explore recreated apartments and hear the stories of the diverse communities that once called this neighborhood home.

  • Address: 103 Orchard Street, New York, NY 10002
  • How to Get There: Take the subway to Delancey Street – Essex Street Station (F, J, M, and Z trains).
  • Official Website
  • Opening Hours: Tours are available; please check their website for schedules.

6. The Hispanic Society of America: Spanish Art and Culture

For a deep dive into Spanish and Latin American art and culture, visit The Hispanic Society of America. Located in Upper Manhattan, this hidden gem houses an extensive collection of paintings, sculptures, and manuscripts. Marvel at the works of renowned artists like Goya and Velázquez, and explore the library’s vast collection of rare books and documents.

  • Address: 613 West 155th Street, New York, NY 10032
  • How to Get There: Take the subway to 157th Street Station (1 Train).
  • Official Website
  • Opening Hours: Currently, closed on Mondays. Please check their website for updated hours.

7. Louis Armstrong House Museum: Jazz Legend’s Home

Discover the intimate life of jazz legend Louis Armstrong at his former home in Queens. The Louis Armstrong House Museum provides a glimpse into the personal world of this iconic musician.

Explore the preserved interiors, including Armstrong’s recording studio, and immerse yourself in the history of jazz.

Louis Armstrong House 02
Louis Armstrong House, now a museum, 34-56 107 St., Corona, Queens, NY. Joe Mabel, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

  • Address: 34-56 107th Street, Queens, NY 11368
  • How to Get There: Take the subway to 111th Street – Roosevelt Avenue Station (7 Train).
  • Official Website
  • Opening Hours: Tours are available; please check their website for schedules.

8. Green-Wood Cemetery: A Historic Resting Place

Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn is not your typical burial ground. This National Historic Landmark boasts stunning architecture, beautiful landscapes, and the final resting places of notable figures, including Leonard Bernstein and Jean-Michel Basquiat. Take a guided trolley tour to uncover the cemetery’s rich history and serene beauty.

  • Address: 500 25th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11232
  • How to Get There: Take the subway to 25th Street Station (R Train).
  • Official Website
  • Open daily; guided trolley tours available.

9. The City Reliquary: Quirky NYC Memorabilia

Dive into the quirky side of NYC at The City Reliquary. This small museum in Brooklyn celebrates the city’s unique history through an eclectic collection of artifacts and memorabilia. From vintage subway tokens to oddball souvenirs, you’ll find a delightful assortment of curiosities here.

  • Address: 370 Metropolitan Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11211
  • How to Get There: Take the subway to Metropolitan Avenue Station (G, L trains).
  • Official Website
  • Opening Hours: Currently closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Please check their website for updated hours.

10. Socrates Sculpture Park: Outdoor Art Oasis

Nestled along the East River in Queens, Socrates Sculpture Park is an open-air gallery that combines art with nature. The park showcases contemporary sculptures, installations, and performances in an inviting green space. Attend one of the park’s cultural programs or simply relax by the waterfront.

  • Address: 32-01 Vernon Boulevard, Long Island City, NY 11106
  • How to Get There: Take the subway to Broadway – 31st Street Station (N, W trains).
  • Official Website
  • Open daily during park hours.

Please note that opening hours may vary, and it’s advisable to check the respective websites for the most up-to-date information before planning your visit. Enjoy exploring these hidden gems in NYC!

These hidden gems of NYC offer a glimpse into the city’s rich cultural tapestry and provide a rewarding escape from the typical tourist crowds. As you explore these lesser-known treasures, you’ll come to appreciate the depth and diversity of experiences that make New York City truly exceptional. So, venture beyond the postcard-perfect sights and uncover the authentic, lesser-explored facets of the Big Apple.


New York City is a city of dreams, offering an unparalleled blend of culture, history, art, and entertainment. With this guide, you’re well-equipped to explore the best of the Big Apple and create lasting memories in one of the world’s most iconic destinations. Whether you’re wandering through Central Park, savoring a hot dog from a street vendor, or taking in a Broadway show, NYC promises an unforgettable experience at every turn.

Photo credit (main picture): Ronile via Pixabay

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