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Things to do in New York

New York City is the largest city in the USA and often gets referred to as the ‘city that never sleeps.’

It is a melting pot of the best culture, art, architecture, history, and entertainment, with lots to see and enjoy.

In fact, there are so many tourist attractions in New York that it gets overwhelming for a first-time visitor.

Besides the perennial favorites such as the Empire State Building and Statue of Liberty that everybody visits, there are specialized interest-based attractions as well.

The city also boasts of numerous observatories – Empire State Building, One World Observatory, Top of the Rock, Hudson Yard’s Vessel, to name a few.

After all, New York has more than 130 buildings that are taller than 183 meters (600 feet), decorating its skyline.

If you are into art, New York has lots for you – The Met, MoMA, Guggenheim Museum, etc.

Discover the best places to visit in this metropolis with our list of the things to do in New York.

Statue of Liberty

Statue of Liberty
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Statue of Liberty is a massive monument on Liberty Island in New York Harbor. Tourists can cruise around the island or land on it. Visitors who want a closer look choose to go up to the statue’s pedestal or its crown.

Empire State Building

Empire State Building
Shooter Sam / Getty Images

The Empire State Building is an 88-years-old skyscraper in 5th Avenue, Midtown Manhattan, New York City. Tourists love to go up the observatories on the 86th and 102nd floor of ESB and look at the New York skyline.

One World Observatory

One World Observatory
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One World Observatory is an observational deck on the 100th floor of One World Trade Center, the rebuilt World Trade Center Complex. From this 100th floor observatory, visitors get to see fantastic views of New York.

View from One World Observatory

Top of the Rock

Top of the Rock, New York
Image: Topoftherocknyc.com

Top of the Rock (TOTR) is an outstanding observation deck ascending to 70 floors with fantastic 360-degree views of New York’s skyline. It has three observation decks – on the 67th floor, 69th floor and the 70th floor.

Edge Hudson Yards

Edge at Hudson Yards
Eli Perry / Edgenyc.com

Edge at Hudson Yards is on the 100th floor of the 30 Hudson Yards building, and at the height of 345 meters (1,131 feet), it is the highest outdoor observation deck in the Western Hemisphere.

Vessel Hudson Yards

Vessel at Hudson Yards
Image: Hudsonyardsnewyork.com

Vessel at Hudson Yards is a spiral staircase with 2,500 steps, 80 landings, and 154 interconnecting flights of stairs offering visitors with a 1.6 km (1 mile) vertical climbing experience.

Best observation deck in New York

New York has many world-class observation decks, making it difficult for a visitor to choose – from where should they see the city’s skyline? Four of our favorite observatories are – Empire State Building, Top of the Rock, One World Observatory and The Edge at Hudson Yards. Check out our comparisons.

One World Observatory or Top of the Rock
Lhabum/Getty Images & Pio3

If you want a modern observation deck experience and maximum bang for your buck, opt between Top of the Rock and One World.

Empire State Building or One World Observatory
Joreks & Lhabum / Getty Images

Visitors stuck between the classic experience and the modern end up choosing Empire State Building or One World Observatory.

Empire State or Top of the Rock
Joreks/Getty Images & Pio3

If you want to visit a historically and culturally significant attraction offering stunning views, choose Empire State or Top of the Rock.

Edge at Hudson Yards or One World Observatory
Lhabum & Lisa-Blue / Getty Images

Tourists who want to check out the latest NYC observation deck opened to the public choose either One World Observatory or The Edge.

The Met Museum

The Met Museum
Image: Metmuseum.org

The Metropolitan Museum of Art (also known as The Met) is the largest art Museum in the United States. It has over 5,000 years worth of art, belonging to a variety of cultures and time periods.

Museum of Modern Art

Visitors at MoMA in New York
Image: Moma.org

Museum of Modern Art (also known as MoMA) is the world’s foremost collection of modern and contemporary art. It is full of paintings by Van Gogh, Warhol, Picasso, etc, which is sure to turn you into an art fan.

MOMA or The Met

MOMA or The Met Museum
Image: Moma.org & Metmuseum.org

If you are an art lover we recommend you visit both the Museums. However, if you don’t have the time, budget or inclination to visit both the art Museums, check out our analysis of Moma vs The Met.

9/11 Memorial & Museum

9/11 Museum and Memorial
Image: Nbcnews.com

The 9/11 Memorial and Museum is a tribute to the lives lost on September 11, 2001, and on February 26, 1993 (World Trade Center bombing). Tourists visit this New York attraction to pay their respects and learn more about the events.

Intrepid Museum

Intrepid Museum in New York
Image: Wikimedia Commons

The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum is a military and maritime museum. At this attraction besides the Aircraft Carrier USS Intrepid, you will also see the Space Shuttle Pavilion, the Submarine Growler, and British Airways Concorde.

New York Botanical Garden

Azalea Garden at New York Botanical Garden
Image: Nybg.org

New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx has beautifully curated indoor and outdoor gardens, plants, trees, rolling hills, sculptures, and water bodies spread over 250 acres.

American Museum of Natural History

Entrance of American Museum of Natural History
Image: Amnh.org

The American Museum of Natural History in New York is one of the world’s top scientific and cultural institutions. More than 5 million visitors explore its scientific exhibits, exhibitions and shows every year.

Guggenheim Museum

Guggenheim Museum, New York

Guggenheim Museum in New York exhibits modern and contemporary art. It boasts of one of the most beautiful collections of European and American paintings throughout the 20th century.

Museum of Ice Cream

Museum of Ice Cream, New York
Image: Museumoficecream.com

Museum of Ice Cream is dedicated to ice creams, and visitors explore 13 immersive and innovative multi-sensory installations spread over three floors and 20,000 square feet.

Dinner Cruise in NYC

Dinner on Spirit of New York cruise
Image: Spiritcruises.com

This New York dinner cruise is an opportunity to dine, wine, and dance to the tunes of the waves even as you witness the magnificent New York skyline, all lit up.

Lunch Cruise in New York

Lunch Cruise in New York
Image: Spiritcruises.com

Departing from Chelsea Piers, the Spirit of New York Lunch cruise offers you good food, drinks, music, games, and memories to savor.

New York by helicopter

New York City Helicopter tour
TriggerPhoto / Getty Images

There are three ways to see New York – by road, water, and air. The best way, of course, is exploring New York from a helicopter and feeling the adrenalin rush. From high up, you can see all the major New York City landmarks, not to mention coming face to face with the Statue of Liberty.

Blueman New York

Blue Man Group in New York
Image: Blueman.com

The Blue Man Group NYC is a popular multi-sensory experience. It is a dynamic combination of art, music, comedy, and technology, which appeals to a broad range of age groups and cultural backgrounds.

Valentine’s Day in NYC

Romantic couple in New York
Monkey Business Images

The City That Never Sleeps has numerous tourist attractions, a mouth-watering sanctuary for food lovers, and a treasure trove for art enthusiasts – this is why young couples love to celebrate Valentine’s Day in New York.