As any New Yorker will tell you, it’s impossible to see everything about this large and complex city in one visit. And yes, that’s part of the excitement of visiting New York: there’s always something new to explore. But all these ideas for enticing activities and experiences can also make it difficult to plan your visit to New York. So instead of trying to see, eat, drink and sight-see everything in NYC, we’ve curated the best things to do in New York: from iconic sights to local favourites. So, without further ado, let’s dive into this blog and learn some of the places you need to visit in New York.
1. Metropolitan Museum of Art
Brilliant and intimidating, the Metropolitan Museum of Art ranks among the best art museums in the world, housing medieval and expressionist masterpieces as well as an Egyptian temple ensemble. The Greek and Roman sculptures exhibit from Africa and Oceania, and the Asian wing is also quite incredible. If you wake up one morning and it’s raining, go to the “Met” (open seven days a week) and wander through the aisles of the museum.
2. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
A visit to the Guggenheim Museum is doubly rewarding if you are looking for what to do in New York as part of an original visit: you will discover a sharp selection of collections of modern and contemporary art objects and enter one of the most iconic mid-20th century buildings in the United States. Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and opened in 1959, the museum mimics a spiralling nautilus (mollusk) shell, which leads visitors down gently sloping ramps where exhibits feature works by Picasso, Monet, Gauguin, Cézanne, Kandinsky, and others around a dramatic rotunda.
3. Grand Central Terminal
Emblematic of the Big Apple, it is a “reference” (often filmic) that allows you to visit New York in its most symbolic places. Seven hundred fifty thousand people rush through Grand Central Terminal every day, so while you’re there, try not to get caught up in the hustle and bustle. Visit this station around noon, when the light pierces the stained glass windows like in a cathedral, to best appreciate the huge main hall of this 100-year-old architectural gem. End your visit with lunch in the lower level room, where you can eat everything from oysters to hot dogs.
4. Take the temperature in Times Square
Many New Yorkers try to avoid Times Square, not because of its sordid past (peep shows, prostitution, porn cinemas), but rather because it now resembles an urban amusement park overrun by hordes of tourists taking selfies. However, that doesn’t just mean that you shouldn’t see Times Square; go there at least once! While you’re amid giant screens and flashing neon lights, climb the ruby-red stairs, find the naked cowboy guitarist, or take to the skies in one of the cocktail bars nestled atop the buildings before continuing on to Broadway.
5. Attend a musical on Broadway
Cosmopolitan place, cultural myth and pantheon of musicals, Broadway needs no introduction. Emblematic of the Big Apple, the famous avenue evokes a symbol far beyond borders. Undoubtedly, therefore, Broadway is one of the essential places of passage during a trip to New York. Electrifying, and dazzling, this part of Times Square will immerse you in its very special atmosphere that cannot be described because it is lived.
Let yourself be carried along its few kilometres in the sandstone of the lights and headliners that dress the avenue in such a particular costume. Better yet, attend one of the shows where plays and musicals come together, promising an unforgettable moment. You will have understood it, visiting New York without going through Broadway… you can’t imagine that!
6. Fly over New York in a helicopter
A helicopter flight over New York is probably the most unusual experience you can have during your stay. If you have the budget, we advise you to do it. The memories you will create during your flight will be engraved forever.
There are three different routes. Overall, the 3 routes all fly over the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Central Park, and Upper Manhattan. The 20 and 30 minute routes fly over Yankee Stadium and Harlem in particular. The 30 minute flight goes to Coney Island. Note that there is a night flight also.
7. Cross the Brooklyn Bridge
Capture the city’s historical energy and admire its famous skyline as you stroll the Brooklyn Bridge pedestrian lane that has been there since it opened in 1883. Views are best if you depart from Brooklyn (several subway lines drop you off at less than 15 minutes walk).
Go, for example to visit Coney Island (in summer) or the New York Transit Museum and finish with a walk towards Manhattan at the end of the afternoon while the skyscrapers loom behind the great Gothic arches of the famous bridge. In Brooklyn, take a trip to Williamsburg, the hipster neighborhood of New York.
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