New York City is one of the world’s most bustling cities. With a beautiful skyline, plenty of worldly foods, and iconic skyscrapers, New York City has it all. Whether you are just visiting for a weekend or have lived there all your life, you can always find something new and exciting to do in NYC.
A trip to New York can be a magical experience, and it is important to make sure you get to see all of the iconic landmarks within this fabulous city. To help you plan your next trip to ‘The Big Apple,’ we have made a comprehensive list of some of the most iconic New York City locations. So just sit back, relax, and choose whatever sounds the most interesting to you!
1.Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island
Yes, you guessed it. Number one on the list of must-see places in NYC is the Statue of Liberty. Lady Liberty was a present from France for America’s 100th birthday. It is not only an important landmark for New York, but it also represents the freedom of America. After all, this universal symbol of freedom greeted over 10 million immigrants during the 20th century.
While you can see the statue from the harbor, seeing the Statue of Liberty up close is a whole different experience. Take a short ferry boat to Ellis Island and visit the Statue of Liberty Museum and climb the steps of the pedestal to see the breathtaking view. Just remember to purchase your ticket in advance, either online or over the phone to secure your spot on the ferry.
2. Central Park
Central Park is the most visited park in The United States, and with good reason. Central Park is a huge, 38-acre park located between the Upper West and the Upper East sides of Manhattan. This beautiful landscape is a nice breath of fresh air from the bustling crowds and giant skyscrapers. Make sure to go on a sunny day to truly enjoy the hills, large rocks, pond, and greenery. You can even pack a picnic basket, your favorite blanket, and a delicious charcuterie board for a picturesque evening at the park. If you are visiting New York City in the winter, you can still stop by the central park and enjoy the wintertime activities such as ice skating.
3. Broadway and Theater District
You can’t go to New York without seeing a Broadway musical. Broadway is located in Midtown Manhattan, and it is home to over 40 professional theatres. Each theatre contains over 500 seats, and the musicals sold out nearly every night. If you want to see a more popular show, make sure you book your tickets well in advance. You can even still see the longest-running musical, Phantom of the Opera, which originally debuted 33 years ago in 1988. Broadway in NYC and London’s West End present the most prestigious commercial level of live theater within the English hemisphere.
The theater district is also home to the famous Shubert on 221 West 44th Street and Booth at 22 West 45 Street theatres. These two theaters are where the aspiring actors would search for opportunities to perform in a Sam S. Shubert-sponsored play. If you are interested in arts and performances, you must see a Broadway musical.
4. Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, or as the locals call it, ‘The Met,’ is the largest museum in The United States. Beyond the iconic steps is an expansive collection of 17 curatorial collections of art from ancient to modern times from all cultures imaginable. If you are not specifically interested in art, there are also many musical instruments, medieval armor, iconic fashion collections, and other anthropological finds. There are also yearly special exhibits that change from time to time for those who may live in New York or are frequent museum-goers.
5. Empire State Building
Another iconic must-see building in New York City is the Empire State Building in Midtown Manhattan. This skyscraper is one of NYC’s most famous landmarks. If you are not afraid of heights, or even if you are, you must go up to the 86th-floor observatory at 1,050 feet. It is the highest open-air observation deck within the city, and the view is absolutely breathtaking. Even for those who have never visited New York, the Empire State Building will seem familiar because of its representation within pop culture. The Empire State Building is recognizable in films such as King Kong, various books, television shows, and video games.
6. Brooklyn Bridge
The Brooklyn Bridge is a historic bridge that connects the East River in Manhattan to Brooklyn. The gothic-styled arches and suspension cables have been an inspiration for many famous poets, writers, and painters. In 1883, when the bridge was completed, it was considered an architectural feat. The Brooklyn Bridge was the first steel suspension bridge in the world, and it was also the first structure to span across the East River. This bridge is an iconic, instagramable spot that attracts thousands of tourists each year. When taking photos, it is important to pay attention to the crowd of bicyclists and pedestrians. If you plan on walking across the entire bridge, make sure to bring your walking shoes as it will be more than a mile-long stroll. Once you get to Brooklyn, make sure to try out a Brooklyn Bakery.
7. The High Line
There is nothing quite like visiting the High Line on a beautiful sunny day in New York City. The High Line is a modern and beautiful elevated park on the West side of Manhattan. It spans 1.45 miles, and it is lined with fragrant flowers, trees, and plants. This relatively new park was just completed in 2016, and it was built on a former industrial railroad. The railroad tracks intricately become part of the design between the beautiful landscape. Bring your walking shoes, sunglasses, and your loved ones, and take a scenic walk through the park.
8. Rockefeller Center
If you are traveling to New York City, Rockefeller Center is one of the best places to visit. This extensive entertainment and shopping complex comprises 19 commercial buildings between 48th and 51st streets in Midtown, Manhattan. Many large media companies such as NBC-TV and Saturday Night live are based in Rockefeller Center.
From October to April, the Rockefeller plaza has one of the world’s most famous ice skating rinks. If you happen to be there during one of those months, you should definitely take your family or a date to go ice skating. As you may have seen in the Home Alone movies, the Rockefeller Center also celebrates Christmas with a gigantic, beautifully decorated Christmas tree in front of the skating rink. Many tourists visit New York during the Holidays just to see the Rockefeller Center festivities.
9. Times Square
Times Square is almost always one of the first landmarks people think of when they picture New York City. As a capitalistic, urban city, it is fitting that Times Square is the commercial intersection of NYC. With glowing billboards and flashy advertisements in every direction, Times Square screams America. Times Square is one of the most visited places in the world, with around 50 million visitors a year. If you want to get the most out of your visit to Times Square, it is best to visit during New Year’s Eve. Watching the ‘ball drop’ at midnight, signifying the beginning of the New Year, is one of the most iconic ways to celebrate the New Year. Counting down the seconds with a large, energetic crowd of people and celebrating with glitter, LED lights, and fireworks is the type of event you want to experience at least once in your lifetime.
Calling all foodies! New York City is a food lover’s paradise, and Smorgasburg is one of the best for food. A Smorgasburg is traditionally a type of Scandinavian meal consisting of an extensive collection of lots of different foods, and Smorgasburg in New York lives up to the standards. Smorgasburg located in Brooklyn takes place every weekend, and it is the largest open-air food market in America. This market attracts between 20,000 to 30,000 people each weekend and it has around 100 local food vendors to choose from. Each of the vendors sells something unique, and with many different cuisines and dishes, there is always something for everyone. Grab a slice of pizza, a bowl of ramen, or some fried chicken and make your way to one of the other locations on this list.