New York City is my forever favorite city in the world. The vibes, the beauty of the city, all the things you can do in it! You just can’t get enough of this city no matter how many times you visited it.
Well, today I wanted to share with you the best things, the must-have things you need to do when visiting New York City.
I’ve visited New York City multiple times honestly. I was born in Philadelphia, and we’ve gone on several trips to New York City.
But that’s not it, even after moving to Israel, and going on trips to the US, we continued visiting this beautiful city, and I’ve also gone on a few solo trips there in the past few years.
If there is one thing I learned about this city, you can never get enough of New York City, and you will always find new things you didn’t do, or new places that had opened since your last visit.
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Yeah, I am sure you knew there is no way I won’t be adding Times Square to the list.
Every time I visit Times Square, no matter how many times I have already been there, I always get overwhelmed.
The huge buildings, the screens, the lights, all of the people walking around, all of the huge inviting stores waiting for you to get in (4 levels of Forever21, can you hold yourself not to get in?)
Times Square is definitely a must, no matter if it’s your first or 11th time in the city.
Fun fact about me, I always start my trips in New York through Times Square. It is ALWAYS the first stop on every trip I go to (again, no matter how many times I’ve been there).
I love Central Park, beyond its beauty, it is very relaxing to walk/bike around it and take a relaxing break from the busy city life.
It is insane how relaxing and pretty quiet the park is while there is a whole busy, noisy city around it.
A few of my favorite things to do in Central Park:
Rent a bike/go on a bike tour – I feel like you can’t visit Central Park without touring it on a bike. You can either rent yourself a bike, or you can join a group guided bike tour!
If you rent a bike by yourself, you receive a helmet, a map, a lock, and a little basket.
There are multiple bike-renting spots in Manhattan, including at Central Park, at the Colombus Circle, streets 57-59.
It is very easy to find it, because you will see a bunch of bike renting companies, you only need to choose one! 😉
PRO’S TIP: If you buy your bike rental tickets online, you will save a lot of precious time running around looking for different bike renting companies and to compare the prices between them.
CLICK HERE to buy your bike renting tickets for cheap!
Have a picnic and enjoy the sun (unless it’s winter)
Walk around and take pictures of this beautiful place
Rent a boat/gondola and relax – If you are looking for an exciting, different (also romantic if you are traveling with your partner) activity to do, rent a boat at the Loeb Boathouse in Central Park.
It costs $15 for an hour, and during that hour you can paddle around the lake, stop the boat and relax, enjoy the weather and breathe some nature. It really is a gorgeous view.
Also, if you prefer your activity to be more romantic, you can rent a gondola (yup, like the ones in Venice), for $45 an hour.
The Metropolitan Museum
I think this museum is definitely a must whether you like art or you don’t. The idea of this museum is similar to the Louvre Museum, and you can’t finish the whole museum in one visit. It’s huge!
I love this museum because it features many arts and objects from so many lifetimes and cultures. You can find in the museum Egyptian art, African art, and even art and objects from the American-Indian times.
Beyond that, you can find classic art pieces, a lot of beautiful statues, and modern art as well (which personally is one of my favorite types of arts).
The Metropolitan Museum is located in Central Park, so I would recommend combining the both.
PRO’S TIP: I more than recommend purchasing your tickets in advance. Lines are long and it is a waste of time to stand in line forever.
The most famous building in New York City. The Empire State Building is 103 levels tall and is the highest building in the city.
The building is mainly known from the amazing view from the top of it.
To reach the top of the building, you ride the elevator that takes you to two balconies – the first one is on the 86th floor, and is a closed balcony for cold/snowy/rainy days in the winter.
The second balcony is on the 102nd floor. But you do need to know that to enter that balcony you need a special ticket.
PRO’S TIP: Buy your Empire-State Buildings tickets online, lines there are HUGE!
The Upper East Side During the Holidays
Even though the Upper East Side is beautiful all year round, during Halloween/the Holidays it is even prettier.
The people living there usually go all over with their holiday decorations and one of my favorite things to do is to get lost in the beautiful streets of the Upper East Side and look around the beautiful decorations people do in their houses.
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The High-line Park
This is the most unique park I have ever been to (according to the day I am writing this), and it is such a creative idea!
The High-line is a promenade that was built over the remains of the railway that worked in the city between 1934-1980.
What I mainly like about the High-line is that it serves as an amazing example of the contemporary rend of a green world and preservation of the environment.
Instead of destroying the long massive train tracks, the New York City municipality decided to preserve and restore the tracks by turning it into a public park.
The High-line Park is 1.6 kilometers long and is located near the Hudson River as a long promenade.
Through the High-line there are a few viewpoints to the 10th Avenue, which you can see from the top.
PRO’S TIP: visit the High-Line during sunset time, it’s amazing!
Ground Zero Memorial
This is the name that was given to the previous World Trade Center that was tragically destroyed at the terror attack in the 9/11, 2001.
The Ground Zero is the ground level of the Twin Towers, and is what is left from them. The memorial consists of two pools that are surrounded by waterfalls.
Also, 400 oak trees were planted around the memorial, and every pool is surrounded by bronze boards that the victims’ names are engraved on them.
The entree to the memorial is free, and there is also a 45 minutes guide tour in English for $15 per person. You can purchase your ticket to the tour through their website.
Also, next to the memorial the 9/11 museum is placed.
The Museum was built around the remains of the ruined Trade Center.
In the museum, you can find the original staircase which the survivors escaped through from the building.
The 9/11 events are illustrated chronologically through audiovisual exhibits, life stories of the victims and an interesting collection of items.
PRO’S TIP: you MUST buy your tickets to the museum in advance, and also purchase a ticket that is a skip-the-line ticket. Lines to purchase the tickets are HUGE.
And the lines to enter are even bigger. A skip-the-line ticket is definitely a must-have for this museum.
When I visited the museum, I waited way too long in both lines, and it really was a terrible mistake not to purchase the tickets online.
The Statue of Liberty
I know this is obvious, but I still must mention it. The Statue of Liberty, the symbol of New York City.
You just can’t miss it. There are a few ways to see the Statue of Liberty:
The ferryboat to Staten Island – the ferryboat departures from South Ferry, which is very close to Battery Park.
The ferryboat ride takes 22 minutes and is completely free. You don’t arrive at the Statue itself, but you can see it from the boat and take nice pictures of it (and with it of course).
The Ferryboat to Liberty Island – if viewing the statue from the boat isn’t enough for you (which I more than understand), you can hop on the ferryboat to Liberty Island and view the statue (and even climb it) from very close!
The ferryboat to Liberty Island’s ticket includes an audio tour with valuable information about Liberty Island and about the statue itself.
Again, one of New York City’s symbols, you can’t visit the city and skip the Brooklyn Bridge.
View Manhattan’s skyline from Brooklyn, enjoy the beautiful view from the Brooklyn Bridge and cross it as well.
I also recommend visiting the Brooklyn Bridge Park, where you can see a beautiful view of the Brooklyn Bridge itself, a breathtaking view of Manhattan, and take amazing pictures of the bridge and of the view!
If the sky is clear enough, you can also see from there the Statue of Liberty.
Street-art Tour in Brooklyn
This is a very fun activity that I highly recommend to any street-art lovers, photography lovers, and for anyone who wants to take some Instagramable pics!
You can either go on a self-guided tour, or book a guided tour with a guide that will show you all the must-visit streets and wall arts.
Go on a Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour!
This is one of my favorite ways to explore a new city. Bus tours are a very interesting way to view the city.
Yes, you can walk around (which I highly recommend), and yes you can go on top of the RockFeller Center and enjoy a beautiful view, or walk across the Brooklyn Bridge and view the skyline of Manhattan, but viewing the city through a hop-on hop-off bus roof is different, and is an experience by itself.
PRO’S TIP: I highly recommend trying to go on two tours, one on day time, and the second at night. New York’s city lights are amazing, and it is magical to go on a night tour of the lighted city.
CLICK HERE for discounted bus tour tickets!
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