Things to do in New York
From the 102nd floor, the Empire State Building gives panoramic views of Manhattan's skyscrapers. Midtown is home to ornate Grand Central Terminal and Downtown has crowded Canal Street in Chinatown. On the Upper East Side, locals rollerblade through Central Park, browse art at the white-spiralled Guggenheim and heritage at the Jewish Museum. Walk over Brooklyn Bridge to Brooklyn, home to Egyptian statues at Brooklyn Museum. Most museums open daily, with free entry on Friday evening. Some close on Monday.
Museums and GalleriesExpand all
1. International Center of Photography - Museums & GalleriesShow more
The ICP is one of the world’s premier educators, collectors, and exhibitors of photographic art. The state-of-the-art gallery space is ideal for viewing rotating exhibitions of the museum’s 50,000-plus prints as well as visiting shows. The emphasis is on contemporary photographic works, but historically important photographers aren’t ignored. This is a must-see on any photography buff’s list.
2. The Jewish Museum - Museums & GalleriesShow more
Housed in a Gothic-style mansion renovated in 1993 by AIA Gold Medal winner Kevin Roche, this wonderful museum now has the world-class space it deserves to showcase its remarkable collections, which chronicle 4,000 years of Jewish history. The two-floor permanent exhibit, "Culture and Continuity: The Jewish Journey," tells the story of the Jewish experience from ancient times through today, and is the museum’s centerpiece.Show this on mapE-mail this item
3. Museum of Modern Art - Museums & GalleriesShow more
After a two-year renovation completed in 2004, MoMA grew to almost twice its original size. The renovation, designed by Yoshio Taniguchi, highlights space and light, with open rooms, high ceilings, and gardens—a beautiful work of architecture and a perfect complement to the art within. Exhibits include van Gogh’s Starry Night, Cezanne’s Bather, Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, and the great sculpture by Rodin, Monument to Balzac.Show this on mapE-mail this item
4. Brooklyn Museum of Art - Museums & GalleriesShow more
One of the nation’s premier art institutions, the Brooklyn Museum of Art rocketed into public consciousness in 1999 with the controversial “Sensation: Young British Artists from the Saatchi Collection,” which drew international media attention and record crowds who came to see just what an artist—and a few conservative politicians—could make out of a little elephant dung.Show this on mapE-mail this item
5. Ellis Island - Museums & GalleriesShow more
One of New York’s most moving sights, the restored Ellis Island opened in 1990, slightly north of Liberty Island. Roughly 40% of Americans can trace their heritage back to an ancestor who came through here. For the 62 years when it was America’s main entry point for immigrants (1892–1954), Ellis Island processed some 12 million people.Show this on mapE-mail this item
6. Central Park - AttractionsShow more
Without the miracle of civic planning that is Central Park, Manhattan would be a virtual unbroken block of buildings. Instead, smack in the middle of Gotham, an 843-acre natural retreat provides a daily escape valve and tranquilizer for millions of New Yorkers. While you’re in the city, be sure to take advantage of the park’s many charms—not the least of which is its sublime layout.Show this on mapE-mail this item
7. Brooklyn Bridge - AttractionsShow more
Its Gothic-inspired stone pylons and intricate steel-cable webs have moved poets such as Walt Whitman and Hart Crane to sing the praises of this great span, the first to cross the East River and connect Manhattan to Brooklyn. Begun in 1867 and completed in 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge is the city's best-known symbol of the age of growth that began in the late 19th century.Show this on mapE-mail this item
8. New York Public Library - AttractionsShow more
The New York Public Library, adjacent to Bryant Park, is one of the country’s finest examples of Beaux Arts architecture, a majestic structure of white Vermont marble with Corinthian columns and allegorical statues. The interior has high-arched marble ceilings and grand staircases, and the main Reading Rooms have been returned to their stately glory and moved into the computer age. There’s a full calendar of lecture programs and excellent rotating exhibitions.Show this on mapE-mail this item
9. Grand Central Terminal - AttractionsShow more
New York’s Grand Central Terminal counts among the most magnificent public spaces in the country. Its high windows allow sunlight to penetrate the space, glinting off the Tennessee marble floor. The brass clock over the central kiosk gleams, as do the gold- and nickel-plated chandeliers piercing the side archways. And the masterful green-blue sky ceiling depicts the constellations of the winter sky above New York.Show this on mapE-mail this item
10. Empire State Building - AttractionsShow more
It took 60,000 tons of steel and 10 million bricks to build. King Kong climbed it in 1933. Tragically, on September 11, 2001, it regained its status as New York City’s tallest building. Through it all, the Empire State Building has remained one of the city’s favorite landmarks and its signature high-rise.
The best views are from the 86th-floor observatory. Walk out on the windy deck to look through coin-operated viewers over a magnificent citywide panorama. Dusk brings the biggest crowds and starry nights are pure magic.
Special things to doExpand all
11. Mother A.M.E. Zion Church - Special Things to DoShow more
One of Harlem’s great gospel churches, this African Methodist Episcopal house of worship was the first black church to be founded in New York State. Established in 1796, Mother A.M.E. was known as the “Freedom Church” for the central role it played in the Underground Railroad. Among the escaped slaves the church hid was Frederick Douglass; Paul Robeson was another of its famous congregant.Show this on mapE-mail this item
12. Statue of Liberty - Special Things to DoShow more
For the millions who came by ship to America in the last century, Lady Liberty was their first glimpse of America. No monument so embodies the nation’s notion of political freedom and economic potential. Even if you don’t make it out to Liberty Island, you can glimpse it from Battery Park, the New Jersey side of the bay, or from the Staten Island Ferry.Show this on mapE-mail this item
13. Staten Island Ferry - Special Things to DoShow more
In 2006, the Staten Island Ferry celebrated its 100th anniversary. Over the years it has been one of New York’s best bargains—sometimes costing a nickel and most of the time, like now, a free ride. It’s New York’s best freebie—especially if you just want to glimpse the Statue of Liberty and not climb her steps. You get an hour-long round-trip into the world’s biggest harbor.Show this on mapE-mail this item
14. The High Line - Special Things to DoShow more
The High Line, Manhattan’s newest and most inventive park, runs 30 feet above street level on a former freight rail line. Where milk, meat and raw materials once trundled by, trendy New York now chats and chills, enjoying marvelous views over the Hudson River. The High Line’s lush landscaping of wildflowers, shrubs, sculpture and trees winds its way through two of Manhattan’s most creative and vibrant neighborhoods; gallery-rich Chelsea and the fashionista-filled Meatpacking District.Show this on mapE-mail this item