Fun Things to Do in New York – The Ultimate Tourist Guide for Your Trip

Greatest city in the world? You decide. From a skyline populated with more skyscrapers than we can count to the expansive green that is Central Park, there’s one thing that can’t be argued: New York City has something for everybody.

Whether you’re traveling with kids, planning a romantic getaway, meeting up with friends, or just going solo, our travel guides have all the information you need to plan the perfect trip and make sure you see it all (and then some).

What are some popular attractions to visit?

  • Hop On Hop Off New York Bus Tour –  A must do for first-time visitors, this sightseeing tour is not only the perfect introduction to New York, but you can hop on and hop off to visit other attractions included in your Pass.
  • Empire State Building – Spend some time at one of the most iconic and world famous landmarks.
  • Top of the Rock Observatory – From high atop Rockefeller Center, this is one of the best places for unmatched views of the city.
  • Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island Immigration Museum – Visit the grounds of Liberty Island for unbeatable views of Lady Liberty and downtown Manhattan.
  • 9/11 Memorial & Museum – located at the World Trade Center site, bears solemn witness to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and February 26, 1993.
  • American Museum of Natural History– One of the largest museums in the world, with collections of more than 32 million specimens and artifacts.
  • The Museum of Modern Art – Its extraordinary exhibitions and collections are dedicated to helping you understand and enjoy the art of our time.

These are just a few. Want more fun ideas for things to do in New York? Head over here for more New York attractions to see during your trip.

How long are you visiting?

Whether you’re visiting New York City for 24-hours or a whole week, we’ve put together sample itineraries that include a ton of the most popular things to do in the city.

From top-rated tours to iconic landmarks, these itineraries give you the best New York City experience based on the time you have.

Who are you visiting with?

No matter who you’re traveling with, there are a ton of things to do in New York City for everyone.

We’ve put together a list of top attractions and activities tailored to every type of traveler, from young kids to couples and even nerds.

What type of activities interest you?

Whether you’re envisioning yourself checking off all of the city’s top museums or you just really want to be part of a live audience, our New York City local experts put together a few ‘best of’ lists to help you streamline your itinerary.

What parts of New York City are you visiting?

We highlighted a handful of the top attractions and places to see by neighborhood so you can maximize your time in each location.

When are you visiting?

New York City offers a different experience with each season, weather, and holiday.

Check out our lists of things to do in New York City throughout the year to make the most of your itinerary and experience unique, calendar-based events.

What’s the best way to get around?

NYC is easy to navigate and there are lots of options for transportation, including public transportation, taxis, and shared ride services.

Hop-on, hop-off tours: A hop-on, hop-off sightseeing bus tour, like Big Bus New York, is a great way to get acquainted with the city and visit popular attractions. Tours follow a specific route and time schedule, so plan accordingly if you have timed tickets or reservations.

Public transportation: the MTA subway and bus system is the most popular way to get around the city. You can purchase a reusable MetroCard from vending machines at most subway stations. The subway is often faster than relying on cabs due to traffic.

Tip: get the free moovit app for point-to-point trip planning and real-time updates for both subway and bus routes.

Taxis: taxis are available and easy to hail down.

Looking for more info? Check out our post on getting around New York for tourists.

Where should you stay?

There are plenty of great places to stay in the area. Below are a handful of hotel suggestions located near popular tourist attractions and fun things to do.

  • The Gotham Hotel
  • Langham Place, New York, Fifth Avenue
  • The Plaza Hotel
  • Hilton Garden Inn New York-Times Square Central
  • Hudson New York, Central Park

Where should you shop?

In between sightseeing, try and find some time to pick up some souvenirs. Here are a few popular areas to get some of the best shopping in New York.

  • Woodbury Common Premium Outlets
  • Bloomingdales
  • Macy’s Herald Square
  • SoHo
  • Upper East Side

Make sure to check out all of the extra discounts and savings available on the New York City Explorer Pass.

Where to Eat?

Go on a tour of New York City’ foodie scene with our top picks for family-friendly places to eat in New York City. We’ve included top picks for every appetite and even made note of nearby attractions so you can sightsee while you taste your way through New York City’s culinary destinations. No judgment.

Fun Info from a Local

  • Despite what you may hear, literally, honking is illegal in NYC.
  • Approximately 1 out of every 21 New Yorkers is a millionaire.
  • New York City is the most linguistically diverse city in the world. Almost half of its residents speak a language other than English at home.
  • The MTA subway system consists of 722 miles of track.
  • New York City was the original capital of the United States.

Share your adventure with us!

Tag us when you upload photos from your trip to Instagram: @GoCity or #GoCityCard.

The information contained in this post, to the best of the author's knowledge, was accurate at time of publishing. We do our best to ensure and maintain the accuracy of this information.

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