New York is a city that is always full of excitement and activity. It is a popular destination for tourists from all around the world, and it is easy to see why. From the iconic Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building to the beautiful Central Park and the historic Brooklyn Bridge, there are so many amazing tourist attractions in New York to visit. In addition to these well-known landmarks, the city is also home to numerous museums, Broadway shows, and excellent shopping and dining options. One of the great things about visiting New York is that many of the top attractions are located close to each other, making it easy to see and do a lot in a short period of time. In recent years, there have been several new top tourist attractions in New York City that offer unique views of the city, such as the High Line and the One World Observatory.
Although the city may not have its usual vibrant atmosphere this year due to the pandemic, it is still worth visiting. With fewer tourists, the city has become more accessible, more affordable, and has shorter lines at popular attractions. Take this opportunity to explore the city on your own and make the most of your trip by checking out our list of the top tourist attractions in New York.
Here are Top Tourist Attractions in New York City
Central Park in New York
Anyone visiting New York City should take a stroll in Central Park’s winding paths, ride a bicycle through them, or ride in a carriage. You can even put on your skates in the winter and skate over Wollman Rink. One of the things that make New York such a lovely and pleasant city is this enormous park in the middle of the city, which is a half-mile broad and 2.5 miles long.
The majority of the attractions in Central Park are free, making it one of the few inexpensive things to do in NYC in addition to being a terrific spot to enjoy some nature. The Lake, Strawberry Fields, the Central Park Zoo, and Belvedere Castle are a few of the most well-liked tourist destinations.
Pick up a map at one of the visitor centers and plan your route if you are visiting the park on your own.
Our top picks for Manhattan’s budget hotels are: You can’t top The Pearl Hotel for quality, value, comfort, and a great location that puts Times Square, Central Park, and Rockefeller Center within easy walking distance. Room Mate Grace is a boutique hotel with a pool, gym, and sauna that is a little closer to Times Square and the Theatre District and frequently offers very reasonable rates.
Statue of Liberty in New York
The Statue of Liberty, the most recognizable landmark in America, is at the top of every first-time visitor’s list of things to do in New York. It was a gift from France to America. One of America’s greatest tourist destinations, it was constructed in 1886 and continues to serve as a global symbol of freedom.
With a height of just under 152 feet from the base to the torch and a weight of roughly 450,000 pounds, it is one of the tallest statues in the entire world.
The statue is visible from the ground, with views from Battery Park at the southernmost tip of Manhattan being particularly good.
The best thing to do, though, is to take a little boat ride to Liberty Island and visit the Statue of Liberty up close in order to appreciate it fully. Enjoy a leisurely tour around the base before entering the pedestal, if you choose. At the time of writing, the crown is still shut.
You can choose to visit Ellis Island and view the Immigration Museum as part of a tour to the Statue of Liberty. The ancient immigration station complex, where many immigrants were processed before entering the US, is home to this wonderful museum.
The method, the events, and the experiences of the individuals who passed through here on their way to the United States are highlighted in the exhibits.
You can even lookup a list of immigrants who passed through here by using the on-site computer database.
The statue’s admission tickets are in high demand. Pre-purchasing ticket is a requirement at the busiest times of the year and a smart move all year round. You can visit both the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island on the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Tour. This tour gives you priority boarding of the ferry and admission to the Ellis Island Museum.
Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York
One of the most well-known museums in the United States is the Metropolitan Museum of Art or the Met as it is more frequently known. It was established in 1870. There are more than two million works of art in The Met’s permanent collection, which spans a time period of 5,000 years.
The Met Fifth Avenue serves as the museum’s focal point despite having three locations. The collection’s highlights include American ornamental arts, weapons and armor, costumes, Egyptian art, musical instruments, and a wide range of other items.
The public can view some of the most well-known pieces in exhibitions.
Consider taking a VIP: Empty Met Tour at the Metropolitan Museum of Art if you’re serious about going there. You’ll get to tour this amazing museum with just 25 other people before it opens to the public in the morning.
Another incredibly well-liked New York attraction is the Met Cloisters, which is situated in Fort Tryon Park in northern Manhattan. This division of the Metropolitan Museum of Art is dedicated to European medieval art and architecture, and it is situated in a magnificent building designed to resemble medieval cloisters, chapels, and halls.
Empire State Building in New York City
One of New York’s most recognizable iconic structures and a popular destination for tourists is the Empire State Building. The 102-story, the 381-meter-tall building held the record for world height until the 1 World Trade Center tower surpassed it 41 years later. When the Empire State Building opened in 1931, it was topped with an airship mooring mast and instantly became a landmark and a representation of New York City.
The Empire State Building has two observatories, but both have breathtaking views.
Looking into the neighboring states of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Massachusetts, you may see up to 80 miles away on clear days.
The city’s tallest open-air viewing deck, the 86th Floor Observatory (1,050 feet), is what most visitors anticipate seeing as they climb the Empire State Building. It may seem recognizable because it has appeared in so many films and television programs.
It contains both a glass-enclosed section that is heated in winter and cooled in summer, as well as roomy outdoor promenades on all four sides of the structure, all of which are accessible by high-speed, automatic elevators.
The views are amazing. The 102nd Floor’s Top Deck is 1,250 feet above the busy streets below. The viewing area is contained, despite the fact that you are 16 stories higher.
The wait to climb the Empire State Building is often long, goes slowly, and can get out of hand during busy periods, which adds unnecessary frustration to the process. Be advised that visiting this one attraction alone might easily consume half of your day of sightseeing.
The Empire State Building Ticket – Observatory and Optional is highly recommended. You can skip the lines with a skip-the-line ticket.
If the weather is bad, you can save the ticket and use it another day because it is flexible and valid for up to a year.
Times Square in New York City
The place to be in New York at night, Times Square is lined with enormous, brilliantly lighted billboards and screens, but it’s fascinating any time of day. The renowned “ball drop” at midnight takes place here as part of New Year’s Eve festivities in New York, and the square and nearby streets are crowded with revelers.
Times Square is constantly busy and packed, but it has a special charm all its own. A fantastic area to pause and take in the panorama are the bleachers that are built up at one end.
Times Square, formerly known as Longacre Square, was renamed in 1904 in honor of the New York Times tower.
The newspaper was the first of its kind in the world to display the most recent headlines along a moving sign in 1928.
Visit the Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum if you’re searching for something entertaining to do as a group or as a pair after you’ve got your fill of sitting on the bleachers. The uncannily accurate wax sculptures depict New York City icons like Jimmy Fallon and The Tonight Show set, Broadway performers, and events where you can dress up and take part. A glass dome on the structure extends over Times Square, providing stunning vistas.
American Museum of Natural History in New York
The American Museum of Natural History is one of New York City’s top museums for family outings since it offers something for everyone to enjoy. All the fascinating aspects of our planet’s natural environment are displayed in eight permanent exhibit rooms, including science, the environment, animals, and fossils.
The museum additionally hosts temporary special exhibitions.
A shark display showcasing models of these incredible creatures that you can actually touch is among the current exhibits that are highly recommended. The rare 22-carat Okavango Blue Diamond is another eye-catching showcase.
A walk to the Butterfly Conservatory is a must-do experience no matter where you go. 500 fluttering butterflies will share the space with you inside this warm, humid, climate-controlled building.
Brooklyn Bridge is one of the top tourist attractions in New York City
The Brooklyn Bridge, one of the city’s most famous sights with its Gothic-shaped arches and suspension cables, has served as an inspiration to countless poets, musicians, and artists throughout the years. The first steel suspension bridge ever built, this historic bridge spans the East River from Manhattan to Brooklyn. It was finished in 1883.
The Brooklyn Bridge is visible from several boats and the east side of Manhattan, but walking across it for an hour is the greatest way to appreciate this landmark. Only walkers and bicycles have access to the wood-plank walkway that runs above the lanes of traffic.
If you don’t feel like trekking all the way, at least make it to the first pillar, where there is a viewing platform from which you may get a close-up look at one of the granite towers.
Beautiful views of Manhattan, the East River, and the Statue of Liberty may be seen from the bridge. Another option is to bike over the bridge, but on busy days cycling might be slow and difficult due to the strong pedestrian traffic. Be advised that the bridge’s entrance is located quite a distance from the water.
Grand Central Terminal is another one of the top tourist attractions in New York City
Grand Central Terminal, also known as Grand Central Station, is a magnificent Beaux Arts structure that is absolutely worth visiting to see this well-known monument. As a hub for railroad and subway stations, the structure debuted in 1913.
Some of the primary characteristics on the outside include the statuary on top and the 42nd Street colonnaded faces. You can pause on the Grand Staircase inside to take in the view of the concourse. Here, a celestial scene is depicted on the wonderfully repaired ceiling. Inside, there is a wide variety of dining options and shopping stores.
Public Library in New York
The main branch of the New York Public Library was created in the Beaux Arts style by architects Carrere & Hastings. The library is a well-known local landmark with stunning interiors that has been in several films and television programs throughout the years.
Although it is sometimes referred to as the main branch, the Stephen A. Schwarzman building is its official name. It was well received when it debuted in 1911. A massive library with two city blocks of the Main Reading Room and 10,000 current magazines in the Periodicals Room. To put it mildly, the collection here is enormous.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the top tourist attractions in New York City?
Some of the most popular tourist attractions in New York City include the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, Central Park, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Times Square, the High Line, the One World Observatory, and the Brooklyn Bridge.
How can I visit the Statue of Liberty?
To visit the Statue of Liberty, you can take a ferry from either Battery Park in Manhattan or Liberty State Park in New Jersey. Tickets to visit the statue are available online or at the ticket offices at either ferry location.
Is it possible to go to the top of the Empire State Building?
Yes, it is possible to go to the top of the Empire State Building. The observatory is open to visitors every day of the year, and tickets can be purchased online or at the ticket office on the day of your visit.
What can I do in Central Park?
There are many things to do in Central Park, including walking or biking along the park’s many paths, watching a performance at the Delacorte Theater, visiting the Central Park Zoo, or having a picnic on the Great Lawn.
Are there any free activities in New York City?
There are many free activities to enjoy in New York City, including visiting Central Park, walking across the Brooklyn Bridge, checking out street art in the Lower East Side, and visiting the New York Public Library.
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