12 Incredible Places to Visit in New York City
New York City, also known as the Big Apple, is a one-of-a-kind place that never sleeps. It’s a concrete jungle where dreams come true, and it’s home to many iconic TV shows like Gossip Girl, Sex and the City, and Suits. The city is full of diversity and unique places to explore, attracting fashionable, hard-working, and open-minded individuals worldwide. It’s truly a place like no other. Here are 12 incredible places to visit in New York City!
1. EMPIRE STATE BUILDING (TOP OF THE ROCK)
One of the city’s most breathtaking views is definitely the Empire State Building, which is my favourite. To me, it’s like the Eiffel Tower of Paris. You can’t imagine my excitement when I saw the Empire State Building for the first time when I visited NYC.
I highly recommend going up to the top of the building to get an incredible view of the city that never sleeps. While Chuck Bass wanted to propose to Blair Waldorf on the Empire State Building, I actually never made it to the top. Instead, I suggest going to the Top of the Rock in the Rockefeller Center. From there, you can also see the Empire State Building, which is impossible if you were on top of it. Although the tickets are a bit pricey (around $40), the stunning view is definitely worth it! I suggest going during sunset and staying until it gets dark to see the Manhattan skyline during both day and night.
2. BROOKLYN BRIDGE
One of the most popular attractions in New York City is the Brooklyn Bridge. This suspension bridge was completed in 1883 and connects Manhattan to Brooklyn over the East River. Walking across the bridge provides a stunning view of the city skyline. For those who enjoy sunrises and sunsets, taking a romantic stroll during those times of the day is highly recommended.
3. STATUE OF LIBERTY
The Statue of Liberty is a widely recognized symbol of America’s freedom and independence, particularly in New York. The Staten Island ferry is a great option to see this iconic landmark, as it provides a free ride. Given the high cost of living in NYC, finding free things to do is always a happy discovery. Furthermore, the ferry also offers views of Lower Manhattan.
4. TIMES SQUARE & BROADWAY
New York City is an iconic hub of entertainment that’s full of energy. The bright lights and bustling crowds create a chaotic yet unforgettable atmosphere that everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime. One of the top attractions in the area is Broadway, where you can catch a musical that will leave you in awe. As someone who has loved musicals since childhood, I found watching Disney’s Aladdin on Broadway to be an unforgettable experience. Other highly recommended shows include ‘Wicked – the witches from OZ’, ‘The Lion King’, and ‘Mamma Mia’.
5. ONE WORLD TRADE CENTER & 9/11 MEMORIAL
The One World Trade Center in the financial district is the tallest building in New York City today. Visitors can enjoy panoramic views of Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty at the One World Observatory. Adjacent to the tower is the 9/11 memorial and museum, which I refrained from photographing out of respect. However, I highly recommend visiting this significant landmark during your trip to NYC. While the museum may be emotionally intense, it showcases how people come together and support each other during challenging times, which left a touching impression on me.
6. GRAND CENTRAL STATION
“Spotted at Grand Central, bags in hand: Serena Van der Woodsen” was the famous opening line from the tv show Gossip Girl, which forever made it on my must-visit list item! For more Gossip Girl locations to visit in New York City, check out our GG location guide in NYC.
Grand Central is a unique train station that captures the energetic vibe of New York City. Its stunning architecture sets it apart from other stations, making it one of the most beautiful train stations I have ever seen. If you venture downstairs, you can enjoy a Shake Shack or Magnolia Bakery treat without the crowds found at other popular spots.
7. FIFTH AVENUE
Every trip to New York City is complete with a shopping spree on Fifth Avenue, where you can find everything from fast fashion to high-end luxury brands. Notable stores include the iconic Tiffany & Co. from the movie “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”, department stores like Bergdorf Goodman, and the distinctive Apple cube. In addition to these, you can also find popular American brands like Victoria’s Secret and Abercrombie & Fitch.
8. CENTRAL PARK
Although it can be exciting to experience the fast-paced lifestyle of New York City, it can also become tiring. Luckily, ample green space is located in the heart of the city called Central Park. If you need a break, take a stroll through the park, have a picnic, go for a run, or even take a boat ride. Remember to visit the ice skating rink during the winter season. Central Park is the perfect place to relax and recharge.
9. CHINA TOWN, LITTLE ITALY & KOREA TOWN
NYC has a unique quality where you can experience different cultures without travelling far. Little Italy provides a taste of Italy with delicious pizza and pasta. Nearby is China Town, where you can find affordable Asian cuisine and colourful architecture. China Town is a personal favourite of mine since it offers authentic meals that remind me of my Asian roots. For the best skincare, beauty treatments, BBQs, and Karaoke nights, head to Korea Town. I enjoyed visiting this district regularly.
10. MUSEUMS IN NEW YORK CITY
New York City has plenty of museums for those who love art. The MET Museum (The Metropolitan of Arts), MOMA (Museum of Modern Arts), and the Natural History Museum are just a few examples. I enjoyed visiting the MOMA museum because they have my favourite artist Claude Monet panorama painting “Water Lilies.” Another beautiful art piece in the MOMA museum is Vincent Van Gogh’s “The Starry Night.” However, suppose you plan to see this painting. In that case, it’s best to visit either early or late because it’s a popular tourist attraction and always crowded.
11. WALL STREET
As someone in the finance industry, I had to visit this location in New York City. It’s thrilling to see where “Wolf of Wall Street” took place and where billions of dollars are traded daily, even if I didn’t run into Leo DiCaprio (unfortunately!). Despite most transactions being done electronically nowadays, the trading floor is still accessible. Additionally, the financial district boasts the Charging Bull, a notable monument and symbol in the finance world.
12. THE HIGH LINE
The High Line is a converted overground railway that spans through Manhattan. As a resident nearby, I frequently walked along the pathway to explore the city from a unique vantage point. The view of the Hudson River on one side is both beautiful and peaceful. Additionally, strolling along the High Line feels like walking through a garden that stretches from the Meatpacking District to 34th Street.
Read here for how it feels like to live in New York City!