The Big Apple is the place where great artists have dreamed of achieving success, where many European immigrants found how to change their destiny and where every visitor has found a reason not to leave.
We are talking, of course, about New York: a city where it is practically impossible to close your eyes. There's so much to see and do that it's important to know what's worth seeing and what's not so you don't get overwhelmed. So here are the most amazing experiences for your trip to New York.
1. Fly over New York City on a helicopter tour
Taking a helicopter tour of New York City will show you the city as few others see it. The bird's eye view will allow you to see New York as if it were in the palm of your hand, and it's an experience you'll definitely want to talk about when you return from your trip.
The city's skyline is a spectacle in itself, even more so from a helicopter flight over New York. Most flights last around 15 minutes, making a tour in which the wonderful views come together with the adrenaline of flying in a helicopter over New York at more than 200 kilometers per hour.
2. The world's best basketball live
Whether you're a basketball fan or not, going to an NBA game is something you won't be able to experience anywhere else. The iconic Madison Square Garden is home to the New York Knicks, the home team, and it's in this arena where you can watch the NBA's stars play their hearts out on the court. Definitely an experience that will add a lot to your trip and a must if you are passionate about basketball. If you already know that you are not going to miss it, buy here your tickets for NBA games.
If you want to read a little more about the experience, understand what you will find there or find out why it is one of the top experiences you can live in New York, let me convince you in my article on NBA Basketball Games in New York: Tickets and Best Prices.
Get to know the mythical Madison Square Garden
Maybe you are not so much a fan of the NBA itself, but you are dying to discover this venue where so many artists and sports teams have made history. There are guided tours of the venue, you can attend concerts and you can, of course, see the Knicks playing at home. Here's how to buy tickets to Madison Square Garden.
Don't miss the Brooklyn Nets Stadium
The Brooklyn Nets stadium may not be as well known as Madison Square Garden, but the Barclays Center is still interesting. This venue hosts concerts and events in addition to NBA games and is worth a visit during your tour of Brooklyn. Here is everything you need to know about the Brooklyn Nets arena.
3. Enjoy a Broadway show
New York is a city entirely dedicated to entertainment. It is no coincidence that Broadway musicals and theatrical performances are world famous and a lure for visitors, so if you want to enjoy a truly unique experience I recommend you to buy your tickets in advance and give a special touch to your visit to New York.
Both The Lion King and Aladdin are certainly two of the most demanded musicals, so try to get your tickets as soon as possible to ensure the best seat at the best price. But if you still don't know which one you want to see, here is a list of what I think are the best Broadway musicals.
Other Broadway musicals
- The Cats Musical
- Moulin Rouge on Broadway
- The Musical of Wicked on Broadway
- Jersey Boys
- The Musical of King Kong
- Pretty Woman on Broadway
- Chicago, the Musical
- Radio City Christimas Spectacular
- Harry Potter
- The Book of Mormon
4. Explore New York's multiculturalism on popular guided tours
The tour of contrasts
New York is, without a doubt, a city where contrasts follow one another at such a speed that it is difficult to keep up with them. The Contrasts Tour takes you to four very different neighborhoods of the city: Queens, Harlem, Bronx and Brooklyn.
You will see the industrial part of the city, the Jewish Quarter, the historic streets of Harlem, iconic buildings of the city and in just one day you will have toured the city and get to know it like a local.
The Upper and Lower Manhattan Tour
If the contrasts tour is a must to get to know the different areas of New York and understand much better how its different cultures fit together, the Upper and Lower Manhattan tour will go much deeper into those contrasts and corners of the island of Manhattan that you can't miss. Whether it's your first time in New York or you're already a regular in the city, the explanations of this expert guide will uncover many key places in the city that I bet you didn't know about.
If you want to be surprised by another of the neighborhoods of Lower Manhattan, treat yourself to a visit to Greenwich Village. You will find the best tours to this fantastic neighborhood and you will be able to breathe that bohemian air of the bourgeois houses of the 20th century, all from the hand of the guides who will tell you the most interesting stories of the famous people who lived there.
For better or worse, New York is a tourist mecca for millions of travelers who make the pilgrimage to the city that never sleeps every year. As such, there are dozens of options for touring the city (on foot, by bus, more or less in depth, etc) and sometimes, choosing the one that best fits our travel itinerary can seem overwhelming. For this reason, I have made this selection of 13 best New York City Tours so that you can choose the one that suits you best.
One of the tours that may interest you a lot to know firsthand the nooks and crannies of the financial world, are the best tours of Wall Street. In them specialized guides will tell you the most succulent stories of the latest financial crises.
And if mystery is your thing, I recommend that you find out how to visit the catacombs of New York.
Discover the secrets of the city
If you are not a big fan of guided tours and prefer to walk around the city at your own pace and without explanations from a guide, I recommend that you make your own itinerary to make sure you don't miss anything. If it's not your first time in the city and you feel like discovering alternative or hidden places that are less visited by tourists, don't miss my guide about secret places in the city.
5. Tour Harlem and attend a Gospel Mass
Exploring Harlem with a guide is one of the best experiences you can have in New York, as you will find everything that many tourists miss by only seeing Manhattan during their trip. In addition, you can attend an authentic Gospel Mass and feel the enormous spirituality that is lived in the churches of the neighborhood, with services so intense that they are a spectacle.
If you want to tour this neighborhood on your own, I recommend that you take note of the essential things to see and do in Harlem to make sure you do not miss anything. Ah! and also take advantage of this list with the best places to eat in Harlem and this one with the best places in Harlem to listen to music.
6. Take a trip to Niagara Falls
Although it's not something to do in New York, it's a great way to take advantage of your trip to the East Coast of the United States to cross off the list one of the most impressive natural wonders of the world.
Niagara Falls tours are a great option to complete your trip to the Big Apple with a great dose of nature in its purest form. Accompanied by an expert guide and with transportation included from and to Manhattan, they are the best option to visit one of the most spectacular National Parks in the United States.
But, is this visit worth it? If you travel two days to New York or if your trip to New York is three days, it is best to spend them in the Big Apple and not leave it, but if you make a 10-day trip to New York or you will be 15 days or more in New York it is an option that you should consider.
7. Take a walk in Central Park
Surely you count visiting Central Park among your New York City plans, but do you know what not to miss once you get there? Stroll through the Conservatory Gardens, a European-style garden with beautiful fountains and statues, Belvedere Castle, a small castle located at the highest point of the park with beautiful views, and Bethesda Terrace and its fountain, a marvel of architecture where you can take some spectacular photos.
Its extension is huge, so to help you orient yourself in the best possible way, I have prepared this guide on 17 things to do in Central Park. You have many options to tour this wonderful park, but a very special one is, for example, a carriage ride through Central Park.
In general, I recommend that you rent a bike (snow permitting) and spend a few hours to get lost in the lung of Manhattan. Let's roll!
But if you are traveling with children, you can not miss the Central Park Zoo, a place to meet the most exotic species, both animal and wild. With your tickets for the Central Park Zoo you will have access to the main zoo, another one specially designed for children and also to the 4-D theater.
8. Inauguration of SUMMIT One Vanderbilt Observatory: Midtown's newest observatory
Yes, you read that right. A few months after New York inaugurated the glass-enclosed observation deck the Edge, we are once again facing an opening that has left everyone open-mouthed: SUMMIT is a spectacular observation deck that you can't miss, both for the views it offers of Manhattan and for the incredible architecture of the building itself.
Here everything is designed for the visitor's enjoyment: perspectives with mirrors and glass for you to take the best photos, glassed-in viewpoints for you to feel the vertigo in first person, ultramodern elevators for you to feel the adrenaline in your body? I won't tell you more. If you want to organize your visit, check out this article on how to go up to the new SUMMIT One Vanderbilt observation deck.
9. Have a picnic in another of Mahattan's parks: Bryant Park
If you thought there was no green space in New York beyond Central Park, you were wrong. Along its long streets and avenues you will find small squares and parks where you will see a large crowd of New Yorkers strolling, playing sports or having a picnic on a break from work. If I have to choose my favorite among the best parks in New York (after, of course, the obligatory visit to Central Park) is Bryant Park.
I recommend you to get one of their little tables (they bring them out when the weather is nice) for a picnic with a view, but I tell you more details in my article on 10 things to do in Bryant Park NYC.
10. Tour the High Line Floating Park
This linear park, built on old railroad tracks, crosses the Chelsea neighborhood with a walkway flanked by floral arrangements and views of the surrounding buildings and the Hudson River to the south. Walking along it is a different way to stroll around New York and I recommend you include it in a walk around Chelsea.
In this article about Guide to the High Line in New York City I tell you some tips for touring it, where to stop to eat or to contemplate the best views and I give you a proposed itinerary so you don't miss the most important things.
11. Stay with your mouth open in Times Square
Times Square needs no introduction: neon lights, giant screens and lots of people. It can be equal parts overwhelming and wonderful, but it sure doesn't leave you indifferent. It's definitely a place to get lost in during your visit to New York, and even more so at night, when the buildings shine brightly and the magic of New York begins to shine through.
What else can you see and do in Manhattan?
Although it may seem that I am pulling cliché, Times Square is undoubtedly an emblematic place of the city. But fortunately, Manhattan holds many other corners (some surprising, others we have seen thousands of times in the movies) that will leave us amazed. If you do not know where to start, I leave you a practical guide on the top things to do and see in Manhattan so you can organize your visit.
12. Go shopping
SoHo ("South of Houston Street") used to be an industrial area full of factories, and long before the concept of gentrification existed, the neighborhood's charm attracted the great riches that turned its buildings and streets into the birthplace of "industrial chic". Today, it is an area full of bars, restaurants and stores on the site of former factories: visit it if you love exposed brick walls, exposed pipes and iron architecture.
I recommend you check out the best Soho tours to get a first-hand glimpse of the glamour of this unique neighborhood.
Along Fifth Avenue
Fifth Avenue is the street of luxury in New York, where you will see the most opulent residential buildings in the city, the headquarters of some of the most prestigious jewelry and fashion brands in the world, and a battery of museums including the Guggenheim and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Visit the best outlet mall in New York
If you love shopping but are looking for the best deals, you're in luck in New York, because you can visit the Premium Outlets, where you'll find dozens of luxury brand stores at deeply discounted prices. Being a bit far from Manhattan, there are organized tours so you can go shopping without having to worry about the logistics of how to get there. I'll tell you how I did it and give you some tips on how to organize your shopping day here: Premium Outlet Day Trips from New York.
What to buy
You are probably going to New York with a "bargain" in mind that you want to get. And you're not wrong: American brands (both clothing and electronics) are undoubtedly the most rewarding. In New York you will be able to find certain products at very good prices, but you will have to know how to look for them. That's why I've written a practical guide to help you find your way around when shopping: 10 things to buy in New York Remember to leave enough room in your suitcase!
13. Discover the great attractions of New York that go unnoticed by many tourists
The New York Botanical Garden
The New York Botanical Garden is a lush park of 100 hectares in which more than one million species are grown in 50 different spaces and environments. One of its main attractions is that it has part of the old forest that covered New York before it was colonized in the seventeenth century, where you can find beautiful specimens of white ash, birch, tulips, cherry and beech trees. I recommend you to visit it, especially if you travel to New York in spring.
The New York Aquarium
It is one of the most enjoyable experiences if you visit New York with your family. Located on the Coney Island boardwalk, in the New York Aquarium you will find more than 500 marine species. The visit is organized in an entertaining way through exhibitions and games focused on children learning values related to nature. In this guide of the New York Aquarium I give you all the information.
The Bronx Zoo
One of the great attractions of New York and that unfortunately (or fortunately for you) goes unnoticed among the millions of tourists who visit the city, is the Bronx Zoo. Hundreds of species live in this gigantic zoo in semi-freedom, which makes it a perfect place to visit. Especially if you are traveling with children, a visit to the animals at the Bronx Zoo will be well worth it. I leave you here several articles with everything you need to know about how to get tickets to the Bronx Zoo, zoo hours and Bronx Zoo prices.
14. Tour Chinatown
Manhattan's Chinatown, surrounded by TriBeCa, the old Little Italy, and the Lower East Side, is a place where you could easily imagine yourself in the Asian continent, for the coming and going of phrases and signs in Cantonese, and the constant market atmosphere, with fishmongers, butchers and greengrocers in constant activity. Chinatown is not the most beautiful neighborhood in the whole country, but it is certainly one of the most authentic and worth a visit if you pass by.
So that you don't just get lost among its streets without rhyme or reason (although wandering around is always highly recommended), I leave you a practical guide on 10 things to do in Chinatown NYC with tips and a list of things you can not miss to see and do there. Do not miss the opportunity to taste the most authentic Chinese food in the city: here you have a guide with the best places to eat in Chinatown.
15. Stroll around Hudson Yards
It is the new trendy neighborhood in New York. In just a few years it has gone from being a totally abandoned area to the new golden mile for luxury residences, ultra-modern Manhattan skyscrapers and trendy restaurants and stores. In addition to housing The Vessel and The Edge (I'll tell you more about them later, but you can't miss them), it has the famous High Line, the new city park that I've already told you about.
In this neighborhood you will be able to eat luxury, you will be able to admire the new wonders of New York architecture and you will be able to go shopping at the new luxury mall. I leave you a practical guide to get to know the neighborhood here: 6 Things to do at Hudson Yards in NYC.
16. Say hello to the Statue of Liberty
If you had to choose just one icon to represent the City That Never Sleeps, it would be the Statue of Liberty. The famous 'Lady Liberty' is located on Liberty Island, a ferry ride away from the piers south of Manhattan, and visiting her is one of the must-do activities on a trip to New York.
By the way, if you take the ferry to the Statue of Liberty in Battery Park, don't miss out on all the things you can see and do in Battery Park before boarding or on your return from visiting the Statue.
Once you arrive at the Statue of Liberty, you have the option to go inside and visit the Statue's pedestal or even climb the Crown. In addition, you can tour the museum and enjoy the view from the Statue of Liberty's observation deck with beautiful panoramic views of Manhattan. If you also choose a guided tour, you should know that there are some that complete the experience with a visit to Ellis Island and the Immigration Museum.
17. Go in search of movie sets
It is clear that the city hides in its streets and squares thousands of scenes from mythical movies and series. If you want to know exactly where is the apartment where Monica and Rachel had Chandler and Joey as neighbors in Friends or want to discover the mythical fire station of the Ghostbusters, this article on 10 TV & movie locations in New York City will help you. Whether you join one of the guided tours or go to the locations on your own, be sure to look them up!
18. Visit the 9/11 Memorial and Museum
The Memorial and Museum dedicated to the 9/11 terrorist attacks is located on the site where the Twin Towers would occupy today, also known as Ground Zero. Instead, you will find fountains engraved with the names of the victims and a memorial museum telling the story of the attacks and how New York slowly rebuilt itself in the days that followed.
Although visiting the 9/11 Museum exhibit is an emotionally overwhelming experience, I recommend it as it will give you an alternative context to your trip and you will see New York through different eyes after your visit.
If you want to evaluate the different options to learn about what happened on 9/11, I leave you with this post with the 5 Best 9/11 Tours in New York.
19. The One World Observatory: a tribute looking to the future
If you're in the area and you've made your way to the 9/11 Memorial or the 9/11 Museum, you may want to climb up to admire New York from above at the One World Observatory. At the top of One World Trade Center, the skyscraper that was built at Ground Zero devastated by the 9/11 attacks, you will find a glass observation deck that will allow you to see the south of Manhattan, the Hudson and Brooklyn with total clarity.
If you have some vertigo, you will not need to miss the views from the One World Observatory as this is the best viewpoint in the city, since being glazed, it conveys a sense of protection that other open observatories do not have. You can read all the details here: NYC One World Observatory Tickets: how to buy, prices and discounts and take note of how to get to One World Observatory in this other article.
20. Discover all Rockefeller Center has to offer
Climb the Top of the Rock
And while you're there, how can you not climb one of the city's most popular observatories? Don't miss the New York skyline and the views from the Top of the Rock, at the top of Rockefeller Center including night views.... I leave here the details for you to organize your climb: NYC Top of the Rock Tickets and for you to decide if you want to climb the Top of the Rock or the Empire State Building. Of course, keep in mind that at Rockefeller Center you will find plenty of places to eat, so it can be a recommended visit even if you don't go up to the observation deck.
At Christmas time
Also, if you visit the city at Christmas time, the Rockefeller Center at Christmas will be a must, both for its famous tree (one of the best Christmas trees in New York ) and its skating rink. The city would not be the same at Christmas without this little corner, where you can take the typical photo and even put on your skates and jump on the rink. In general, I will not deny that Christmas in New York deserves a point and apart.
That's why I've put together this guide on 15 Christmas things to do in New York City And if you're lucky enough to visit New York at Christmas, don't miss out on the spectacular decorations that Brooklyn locals put up every year in their Dyker Heights homes. Also, if lighting is your thing, don't miss the opportunity to see the Christmas lights at the Bronx Zoo. Christmas lovers, this will be your paradise!
Another option is to take one of the guided tours to discover the lights of the city. You will find it an incredible experience to discover the Big Apple decked out for the holidays!
21. Get cultured in the best museums of New York City
Whether you want to devour the city's entire museum offerings or select one or two museums to visit during your trip, I've put together this list of the best museums in New York City. 14 best museums in New York City. Here you can read the highlights of each of them so you can see all the options that exist, what you will see in each one or how to get tickets at the best price.
Impossible not to mention, among the must-sees of New York, the MoMa or Museum of Modern Art in the city. Among the best works of the MoMa are 'The Starry Night' by Van Gogh, 'The Persistence of Memory' by Dalí, 'Les Demoiselles d'Avignon' by Picasso, 'Cambell Soup Cans' by Andy Warhol and many other works of modern art that are worth seeing live at least once in a lifetime.
The majestic museum on Fifth Avenue, the MET (whose stairs you'll instantly recognize if you've seen Gossip Girl) houses works of art and artifacts such as Chinese calligraphy books, cuneiform writing tablets, Egyptian mummies, armor of European kings, musical instruments and a jaw-dropping collection of paintings, with works by Van Gogh, Rembrandt and Raphael among its highlights.
If you are curious to visit the wax museum to see up close what your idols or the most popular characters are like today and historically, Madame Tussauds and its wax figures are a great option. Besides being a fun visit, it will leave you with countless photos and anecdotes that are worth it. If you go to New York with children or friends, it is a great option. Here you have all the information about Madame Tussauds New York Tickets: how to buy and what to see.
A day at the museum of "A Night at the Museum"
Although it was the movie "A Night at the Museum" that launched it to fame, near Central Park is located for decades one of the museums that most impresses its visitors by the large number of curiosities and objects that can be seen (and learn) inside: the Museum of Natural History.
Today remains one of the most important scientific and research centers of the city and its collection houses thousands of fossils, meteorites and minerals that you can not see anywhere else. If you are also visiting New York with children, do not hesitate to make this visit that will leave them speechless.
The Guggenheim Museum in New York
This incredible museum will steal your heart, not only for the incredible works it houses but also for its design and structure, unique in the world. Enter its majestic staircase and feel how you lose track of time in the heart of Manhattan inside the Guggenheim in New York. You won't regret it!
Other interesting museums in the city
As with practically everything in New York, this city has a cultural offer that surpasses that of any city in the world. It is difficult to calculate how much time we would need to visit all its incredible museums, but if you have time or are passionate about art and culture, check out these other museums that will not leave you indifferent:
Read more about the Fotografiska New York, dare to visit the Brooklyn Museum, discover the history of the city at the Museum of the City of New York, delve into the Whitney Museum of American Art, explore the Intrepid aircraft carrier with your visit to the Sea, Air and Space Museum or feel like another spy at the KGB Spy Museum.
22. Defy vertigo from the top of the Empire State Building
The Empire State Building is the most iconic building in New York, and from its observation deck you can enjoy wonderful views of the Big Apple. You can go up at sunrise, just before sunset, or even at night: whatever you choose it will be an experience that you will remember with nostalgia many years later.
To do this, I definitely recommend you to buy your tickets online for the Empire State in advance to avoid the queue at the ticket office, to choose the best time to climb the Empire State and avoid the large crowds of tourists who, of course, have this visit among their priorities when visiting New York.
23. For the bravest, The Edge
One of the most amazing observation decks in the world has recently opened its doors in New York: The Edge. With its glass floor (yes, yes, you read that right) you can fly over the New York skyline with your own feet. The structure of the building (it's literally an "edge," as the name implies) is designed to make you feel the wind (and vertigo) on your skin as you lean out from the top. Ready to test your adrenaline with the views from The Edge?
24. Visit Harvard University, Boston from New York City
As you read it: visiting Harvard is possible and you don't have to be enlightened (or an alumnus) to do so. One of the world's most famed universities opens its doors for travelers to visit on a guided tour. By taking an excursion to Boston from New York, you will also be able to explore the historic center of the city of Boston, where one of the most important episodes in American history was forged: the American War of Independence.
During this tour, you will also be able to see MIT and they will explain everything you need to know about the city and its customs, which contrast with the hustle and bustle of New York. The best part of all? In the evening you'll be back at your hotel in the Big Apple ready to continue your trip.
25. The lights of the city, best seen from the tour bus
Whether you're visiting New York in winter, when the cold will be raging, or you're on short notice, the sightseeing bus will ease the cold temperatures and allow you to tour the city in the easiest way possible. Although it may seem at first an inauthentic experience, the truth is that the routes of New York's tour buses are designed to get you from one attraction to another as quickly as possible (and without fighting with the subway map!).
What I like most about this experience is that you can do it both during the day and take the New York night tour bus, when you have finished your marathon day of sightseeing and you just want to rest while you continue enjoying the panoramic views.
26. What's New, New York: The Vessel
Even if it's not your first time in the city, this area is going to be a complete stranger to you: after being a semi-abandoned area of industrial use for decades, Hudson Yards has emerged in Midtown Manhattan over the past few years (and is still under construction) to accommodate shopping malls and luxury housing. And much of the limelight in this futuristic new area of Manhattan goes to The Vessel (or the Hive, as many call it).
Halfway between architectural jewel and tourist attraction or viewpoint, this building stands out for its external appearance but also for the optical games and the views it offers to those who visit it. I encourage you to go inside, climb its four flights of stairs and draw your own conclusions.
27. Have a good cocktail at the best rooftops in the city
If the views from one of the observatories of the city have not been enough for you, you can continue contemplating them from one of the wonderful rooftops or terraces that Manhattan offers. Although the views will not be as impressive (almost none of them offer 360 views of the city, because other skyscrapers in front can block the views), they usually have live music and a very New York atmosphere that always seems to me a great plan to close a busy day of sightseeing in the city.
Sometimes, finding these little bars or rooftops can seem complicated, so I have compiled a list of what, for me, are the best rooftops in New York.
28. Get out of Manhattan and explore the rest of New York's neighborhoods.
I'm sorry but... New York is so much more than Manhattan and while it's tempting to just stay in and explore the most iconic spots on the island, there's so much more to New York than that. In fact, the city is made up of five boroughs (or "Boroughs") where New Yorkers live, dine out, shop, dance.... Don't let yourself be overcome by laziness and explore what Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Staten Island have to offer in addition to Manhattan. I'll tell you here what you can't miss on your visit to the city: 6 Best New York City Neighborhoods.
What to do and what to see in Brooklyn
I will neither hide nor deny that Brooklyn is one of my favorite areas of the city, so I encourage you (because I can not force you) to throw yourself into its streets to leave no corner uncombed in this area. You will love its cafes, vintage markets, alternative stores and gastronomic markets. Also, take note of the best places to eat in Brooklyn as you can try very authentic dishes and at a lower price than in Manhattan. Here are my recommendations: Things to Do in Brooklyn NYC.
Also, inside Brooklyn, you can visit Williamsburg and the Jewish Quarter of New York, a real world apart that blew my mind the first time I visited it. I give you some tips on how to organize your visit in this practical guide on 12 Things to Do in Williamsburg.
29. Americanize yourself at a Football or Baseball game.
If there's one thing that will make you feel truly at the heart of the United States, it's enjoying its most popular sports. While in New York you will have the chance to see the mythical New York Yankees in a baseball game, which for me was a real experience (I didn't even know the rules of the game, but the experience surrounding these events was spectacular).
If you are not traveling to New York during the MLB season, you can always take a tour of the stadium or visit the surrounding area. After all, it is a mythical place that marks the cultural, sports and leisure agenda of New Yorkers. Here is an article for you to discover how to visit Yankee Stadium.
If you prefer to watch an NFL (National Football League) game, the New York Giants play at MetLife Stadium and watching them live is a spectacle.
30. Disconnect from the tourist life on a Hudson River cruise
Cruising the waters of the Hudson will give you a break from long walks while you take in the views of the Manhattan skyline, cross the Brooklyn Bridge below and get up close and personal with the Statue of Liberty.
Best of all, there are tours and itineraries for all budgets (from a short one-hour tour to a luxury cruise with dinner and live music) and even cruises on the Hudson to do with children. Dare to try it and even if it's cold, wrap up warm and go out on deck to take the best pictures. Here is an article I wrote about Best Manhattan Cruises with my favorite options, but I'll tell you right now that doing a dinner cruise on the Hudson could become the most amazing experience of your trip.
If you want more details you have an article about the best time to do a cruise on the Hudson, another one about how much do Hudson cruises cost and this last one about tips to enjoy a cruise in Manhattan.
Get around using the ferry
The Hudson is one of the big stars of the city and if you want to get out of Manhattan, you will have to cross it by subway, train or ferry. I find the ferry a great way to move around the city while enjoying the views of the Skyline, so even if the boat is not as comfortable as the cruise ships, do not hesitate to use the ferry during your trip. I leave here all the information you need about the New York ferry.
31. Enjoy the best international cuisine
Yes, I know, burgers are not exactly what you have in mind when you think of "haute cuisine", but the great thing about New York is that you can literally eat everything. From the cheapest fast street food to the best pasta, fish, sushi or pizzas you can imagine.
Of course, on your trip you can not miss the hot dogs, the legendary hamburgers and cheesecakes. You can have a picnic in one of its parks, save money in its fast food chains and sit down for dinner at one of its cozy candlelit restaurants in the West Village or SoHo. I'll tell you all about it here: 10 places to eat in New York City.
Visit Chelsea Market
If you plan to stroll along the High Line, eating at Chelsea Market before or after your walk is a great option. In this gastronomic market you will find stores where you can buy good quality food, but also several stalls where you can stop to eat. If you are looking for desserts, breakfasts or snacks, you are also in luck: they have bakeries, cupcake stores, pastry shops...
32. Take the opportunity to visit other cities such as Washington or Philadelphia
New York itself is a world apart, but the United States has so much to see that it would be a shame to forget to take a trip to other nearby cities like Washington or Philadelphia from New York. If you take a guided tour to the cradle of this country's history, you can learn much more about its culture and idiosyncrasies. I found Washington in particular to be an incredible place, very monumental and with many corners, monuments and emblematic places to discover.
In addition, its order, cleanliness and majesty, contrasts with the chaos of the Big Apple, so you will complete your trip by adding this counterpoint that will not leave you indifferent. The best of all is that there are several options to, in addition to visiting Washington, discover its surroundings, especially if you make a two-day trip to Washington, so I have compiled the most interesting ones here: Washington Day Trips from New York.
If you feel like exploring the surroundings of New York but you are still not sure which is your preferred destination, I have written a guide about 5 Day Trips from New York where I've compiled the best places to discover and how to join a guided tour so you don't have to worry about the logistics of getting there by public transportation or renting a car. Let's travel!
33. Enjoy the view from the Roosevelt Island cable car
You may not even have heard of this little island east of Manhattan, but the truth is that if you have time and feel like discovering something different, it is a great option to spend an afternoon. To get there, it's best to take the cable car (it leaves from Second Avenue and 60th) and enjoy the views along the way.
You'll see some of Manhattan's most iconic buildings and land on the other side, already on Roosevelt Island, to enjoy a stroll along its pier. If you are thinking of crossing the river aboard this cable car, you can read more about the experience in my article on Roosevelt Island Tramway NYC.
Other unique experiences in New York
If in addition to the cable car you want to know other unique activities to do in the city, I have prepared a list of the best experiences to live in New York so that your trip is not like the others. I recommend it especially if it is not your first time in the city or if you want to get out of the typical tour to take a unique souvenir of your stay in New York.
34. Vibrate at a field hockey game
Madison Square Garden is not only home of the best NBA three-pointers or great shows and concerts, but you can also live there the atmosphere of the New York Rangers games, the ice hockey team of New York.
Watching an NHL game, the American field hockey league, is a highly recommended experience. Its fast pace and the "battles" between players as they slide the puck will put your adrenaline levels at their peak. If you want to know more about the fourth national sport, read our post on how to get field hockey tickets in New York and get your hands on one.
35. Pay a visit to Radio City Music Hall
In Rockefeller Center you have an appointment with what is considered the most important theater in the USA, the Radio City Music Hall. Its facilities have witnessed the most spectacular shows in the country for decades and now you can tour it with a guided tour in which they will tell you the best secrets behind the scenes. But you can also talk to a Rockette dancer, an institution on this stage.
If you also visit New York at Christmas, do not miss the musical Radio City Christmas Spectacular, a Christmas classic that has been performed in this theater since the 1930s and that you can enjoy with the whole family.
36. Take a bike ride over the iconic Brooklyn Bridge
There are many ways to get around Brooklyn, but you can't miss the iconic bridge that connects the borough to the island of Manhattan. You can walk across it, which can take about 45 minutes, but a very interesting way to tour it is on a bike tour. There are guided tours where you can learn about the history of the bridge while enjoying spectacular views from it.
Pedaling along the way you will see other tourist spots such as Brooklyn Heights, Wall Street or Dumbo. The guide will tell you the details of interest of each of them.
37. Practice yoga in Central Park
If you are a yogi and can't let any more days go by without practicing meditation, join a yoga class in the fabulous Central Park. There's a lot to see in this gigantic park, including strolling through its two and a half miles of nature. But if you want to add a plus to your visit you can take advantage of a yoga and meditation tour.
Disconnect from the hustle and bustle of the New Yorkstreets to give yourself a moment of relaxation and wellness of body and mind. Thanks to the yoga exercises taught by a specialized instructor, you can take a break by exercising in the great green lung of New York.
38. Descend into the depths of St. Patrick's Cathedral
Beneath New York City, specifically in the subway floors of the former St. Patrick's Basilica, are the catacombs where the remains of bishops and other illustrious figures of the city's Catholic world are hidden.
Along the corridors of the cathedral are the numerous crypts that you can see by candlelight. There are tours that take you through the cemeteries that house this temple and tell you their greatest secrets. If mystery is your thing, I recommend that you find out how to visit the catacombs of New York.
39. For those with a sweet tooth, the Museum of Ice Cream
Want to try the juiciest and most unthinkable ice creams? Have a fun and tasty time at the Museum of Ice Cream in New York. If you are a fan of this product, whatever the season, you can not miss this interactive museum where you can unleash your imagination experimenting with unique flavors and colors.
Of course, there you can taste sweets, throw yourself down a snail-shaped slide, bathe in a pool of chocolate chips, among many other things. Get your Instagram ready because here you'll take lots of photos that you'll want them to see on all your networks.
40. Recreate the best scenes from the Sex and the City series
Touring the places in the Big Apple where the scenes of the legendary series Sex and the City were filmed is a great plan to do in the city. You can relive the best moments of Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte by taking a bus tour through more than 40 places.
The Meatpacking District where they used to shop, the Plaza Hotel, the Buddakan restaurant or the Scout bar, where they used to drink their cosmopolitans, are some of these places that you can visit for about 3 hours and a half with a professional guide who will tell you all the secrets of the series.
41. Have fun in the pubs of Stone Street
To spend a fun time in New York you just have to sign up for one of the tours that take you along Stone Street, where you will know the authentic American party while drinking a few beers while they tell you the best stories of Colonial America.
While the local guide tells you about the battles of the revolutionary era of the United States you can have a few beers on tap or cider in the best taverns in the city. Meet people while sharing an afternoon of fun but also learning about American culture.
42. Spend a scary afternoon with the Ghosts of Greenwich
If you love horror and want to hear the spookiest stories in one of the most emblematic neighborhoods of New York, you should take the Greenwich Village ghost tour. A route through places full of legends and spooky stories.
Tour haunted buildings such as New York University, Washington Square Park or the Jefferson Market Library, all with stories of spirits and ghosts that will make you remember this day forever. Only the most squeamish will regret it!
43. Get to know New York's mythical boroughs
Queens, the Bronx, Brooklyn... Do you know the most authentic neighborhoods in New York? Visit some of them and mingle with their people and culture. You will recognize the characteristic diversity of New York as soon as you set foot in the city, but there is nothing like walking the streets of the boroughs that surround the Big Apple.
There are bus tours with a local guide that show you the most peculiar places in districts such as Coney Island, a place to escape from the busy streets of downtown. You can also get to know the birthplace of hip hop and the real street art of graffiti in the Bronx. Or visit the Citi Field stadium of the New York Mets. Go deep into America and get to know the neighborhoods of New York.
44. Enjoy the show on the move with The Ride
The Ride is a unique show that you can experience from a never-before-seen stage, a bus. This experience of living a Broadway-style show on a bus is definitely a highly recommended plan to do in New York.
From the comfortable vehicle you can enjoy a magnificent production in its tiered seating. You will see the artists sing and dance as the bus travels through the city. With family or friends, The Ride will leave you in awe.
45. Taste an American menu at the authentic Hard Rock Cafe
Fancy a good cheeseburger, prime rib or a Texas sandwich? Play it safe by making a reservation with a three-course menu, drink and dessert in the Hard Rock Cafe style, the legendary restaurant in Times Square.
Enjoy American gastronomy in the franchise of this bar that was born in London more than 50 years ago and has already spread to more than 63 countries. Sit down to take a break from your trip to New York and contemplate the largest exhibition of musical memorabilia that the Hard Rock Cafe in New York has. The hard part will be choosing a dish from the wide variety on the menu.
46. Discover the history of slavery on the Underground Railroad
There are two fundamental emblems in New York that you can visit to learn about the history of slavery. On the one hand, the African Cemetery National Monument, which houses the remains of African-American slaves from the 17th and 18th centuries, and on the other, the Underground Railroad, where you can travel back in time as you travel through this network that thousands of slaves forged to escape the country, aided by some Americans of the time.
Thanks to some tours that take you through these and other representative places of this dark period of American history, you will learn more about the daily life of the slaves and their liberation.
47. Become a graffiti artist in Brooklyn
If you've always wanted to be part of street art by doing your own graffiti but never dared, there's no better time than your trip to New York to learn the real spray technique.
Sign up for a workshop with an expert graffiti artist and learn how to spray paint murals in a key location in New York's art scene, the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn. You will have the opportunity to debut your own creation and take it home as a souvenir. A perfect plan for all ages and levels.
48. Bring out your spy side at New York's Spyscape Museum
The Spyscape Museum is a place to experiment and give free rein to the most intrepid. It's an interactive adventure where you can go on a quest to challenge your intelligence and find out what kind of spy you would be.
Designed by a former head of the Secret Intelligence Service, the challenges in this immersive museum will make for a fun afternoon of code-breaking or exploring hidden worlds. Test your skills at the Spyscape Museum and feel like a real CIA agent for a day.
49. Celebrate diversity with Gay Pride Tour
The LGBTQ community is vast in the U.S. and a walking tour of New York City's historic sites can help you recognize and learn about their struggle over the years. Part of the proceeds from the tour will be donated to support Heritage of Pride, an organization that promotes Pride marches in the city.
The Gay Liberation Monument, the Axis Theatre Center or the Stonewall Inn are some of the buildings you can visit along this route in which a guide will tell you the historical details of each place. For example, the Stonewall Inn is the bar where the June 28, 1969 riots that led to the uprising of the LGBTQ community in the country took place.
50. Visit Central Park and its monuments by electric scooter
There are many ways to get to know the great Central Park but if you want a comfortable and at the same time fun way, choose an electric scooter. On this scooter you will be able to visit many of the corners and places of interest that the park has without getting tired.
There are guided tours throughout the park that will also give you the details of each monument. And I assure you that a guide who accompanies you throughout the tour will be very useful because otherwise, you could get lost in its thousands of nooks and crannies. In addition, the electric scooter will make you reach many more sites of this great urban park of more than 4 km long.
51. Take a photo shoot in Brooklyn
If you love the world of photography this plan will interest you. Thanks to a session with a professional photographer in Brooklyn, you can take a great souvenir of New York. This experience will take you through emblematic places, perfect to get spectacular photos, such as Dumbo, Rockefeller Center, Manhattan Borough or Times Square.
You can choose your route and the duration of the session and after a few days you will have your photos ready to download. Do you fancy the plan? The hard part will be choosing which ones you want to share on your social networks...
52. Go to a jazz concert in Harlem
Harlem is one of the most culturally vibrant neighborhoods in New York and you can feel it in the nightclubs in the area. The best jazz clubs are there and experiencing a live concert in one of them, whether you are passionate about this musical style or not, will make you feel like a real American.
Some tours of this mythical neighborhood can take you to know how the artistic scene is lived in Harlem, a place considered by some as the cradle of jazz. You can also walk the streets, visit the gospel churches and visit the most famous clubs where you can spend a fantastic night.
53. Relax in New York's Arab Baths
Need a break from your trip to the capital of the USA? If you are tired of tours, skyscrapers and sightseeing, I recommend this experience where you can relax for a few hours in authentic Arab baths. The AIRE Ancient Baths of New York are located in an old renovated building from 1883.
There you can enjoy relaxing baths at different temperatures or receive a massage in a unique atmosphere that will transport you to the Roman and Greek times.
54. Take home a souvenir tattoo from Bang Bang
Bang Bang Bang is the New York tattoo studio of choice for celebrities. At the head of the studio is Keith McCordy, a prestigious figure in the world of ink, who dedicates practically all his work to tattooing celebrities. But don't worry, he has a whole team of professionals behind him who can make sure you get the best souvenir of your trip to the USA.
Dare to get a hyper-realistic tattoo, a mini-tattoo or the symbol you've always wanted to get tattooed and that means so much to you. If you are not sure about the design, don't worry, the tattoo artists will give you good ideas. So make an appointment with Bang Bang and surprise everybody with your New York tattoo.
55. Spend a fun afternoon at a pinball machine
Pinball games are a great idea to spend the afternoon with your kids in New York. Probably if they are little they will never have seen a pinball machine but I assure you they will love it. Modern Pinball NYC has a wide variety of arcade and themed machines that you can try out and enjoy.
There is also the Modern Pinball Museum, where you can see an exhibit of vintage machines as well as the latest technology, watch a live expert demonstration and participate in the educational gaming program for kids and adults.
56. Defy gravity with indoor skydiving
If you've ever dreamed of jumping from a parachute but want to take an indoor test to try it out in a safer way, sign up for an indoor skydiving session at iFLY. Avoid any danger with the wind tunnels in which you will recreate the real sensation of flying.
They have experiences for all ages and levels. The instructors will teach you all the techniques for you to learn with this unique experience of safe skydiving. Dare and spend a different day.
57. Travel to the future with Artechouse Museum
Art and technology come together in a futuristic museum in New York City, the Artechouse. We're talking about science and innovation applied to the art scene, where you can see unique exhibits with light and sound. An immersive experience of avant-garde art for those who have already visited the more traditional museums and want to see something new in New York.
There are multisensory exhibitions, some temporary and some permanent, all of them highly recommended. Don't miss it!
58. Climb aboard The Beast
Let your adrenaline pump with a ride on a speedboat on the Hudson, whose name, 'The Beast', is already representative of the energy boost it will give you. It is a trip at full speed on the river with rock music at full volume and captained by two comedians who will make you spend an unforgettable time with their funny comments.
There are 30-minute tours that take you to the Statue of Liberty, where you can take a selfie and then start your return trip.
59. Go to a New York Philharmonic Concert
The New York Philharmonic Orchestra is one of the oldest symphony orchestras in the world, having been founded in 1842. It offers its concerts at David Geffen Hall and on Broadway, on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.
If you do not want to miss great classical composers, I recommend you to get your tickets for some of their concerts. I leave you here their official website so you can take a look at all programming.
60. Drive a Tesla through the streets of New York City
Have you ever thought about trying a real luxury electric car? Book a Tesla and drive through the streets of New York with the vehicles of the future. You have from luxury cars to other cars that are super simple to drive.
Respect for the environment and the commitment to sustainable energy is the mission of Elon Musk's company and can you think of a better plan than trying one of these fantastic cars in the Big Apple?
61. Explore the world of 'Inside Out' with the Stranger Things Experience
For fans of the Stranger Things series, there's an interactive experience that brings you up close and personal with the Hawkins lab. Go back to the 80's and help save the town from the Demogorgon, become a hero discovering the mysteries surrounding the famous Netflix series as you explore the world of 'Inside Out'.
In this exhibition you can go to the Family Video store, taste food and cocktails inspired by the series, take thousands of photos with your favorite characters, play in the arcade machines or buy some of the exclusive products from the stores based on the popular series.
62. Find your waffle truck and treat yourself
Wafels & Dinges waffles aren't just anything. That's why I encourage you to find some of their traveling trucks stopping in New York and try one of their delicious Belgian waffles. You have from the classic chocolate and other toppings to almond, mini, gluten-free or vegan.
Look for the yellow truck and take a box of waffles and enjoy this exquisite baked dough that will transport you to Belgium. I leave you in this link where the Wafels & Dinges stands are located and their schedule.
63. Go to the Museum of the Moving Image
If you are a film lover you can not miss this museum dedicated to the performing arts where you will see exhibitions, screenings and educational programs dedicated to the seventh art and the digital world.
Located in the historic Astoria Studio in the borough of Queens, the Museum of the Moving Image offers sequences of films and series of all genres, from science fiction to drama and animation.
64. Laugh at the Comedy Cellar, the ultimate comedy club
If there is a fun activity in New York is to buy tickets for a show at the Comedy Cellar, which is considered the best comedy club in the city and where you can have a few laughs.
The Comedy Cellar is located in Greenwich Village, so you can take advantage of the opportunity to go on one of the tours of this neighborhood afterwards, such as the food tour. With both activities you will spend a fantastic day of fun and culinary pleasure in the Greenwich neighborhood.
65. Taste the delicious pastrami from Katz's store
Pastrami is a typical product of Jewish gastronomy that consists of red veal subjected to a curing and salting process. If you have never tried it, the best place to do so is, without a doubt, by grabbing a sandwich from Katz's Delicatessem.
Beware that they are addictive and it's no wonder that this century-old store specializing in Jewish food sells thousands of sandwiches daily. Head over to their location at 205 East Houston Street and you'll thank me, enjoy!
66. Party big at Brooklyn Mirage
Want to experience a night out in the city that never sleeps? Head to one of New York's most impressive hot spots, the Brooklyn Mirage, an outdoor party temple dedicated to music, sound and spectacle you'll never forget.
The special audio system, the shape of the room, the catwalk and its walls completely covered with plants and LED lights, among many other things will make you think you're in a dream. Go with your friends to spend an unforgettable night at this incredible summer club, a paradise for lovers of good partying.
67. Rescue a work of art in The Escape Game
Scape rooms are always an ideal way to spend an evening with friends or family. Here's one that will bring out your detective side. Specifically, with 'The Heist' you will have to recover a Monet painting of high value that has been stolen from the museum. You have 60 minutes to find it, do you dare?
The Escape Game is a scape room center in New York with five games of varying difficulty. The most complicated to solve is the one in which you have to try to escape from the prison, but you also have other simpler ones like 'Playground', in which you will spend a school day working as a team.
68. Take a trip to the center of the earth with Arcadia Earth
Arcadia Earth is an immersive journey that mixes science and technology so that you and your children can get to know the bowels of the planet. In this virtual reality platform you will be able to interact with the underwater world, contemplate the earth from the inside and feel how each element of nature comes to life.
Don't miss this multi-sensory ride at 705 Broadway, you'll love it!
69. Enjoy a night of burlesque at The Rose Room
The nightlife in New York is endless, the plans are in the thousands. But if you're in the mood for something different, stop by for a little burlesque, circus show or magic show at The Rose Room.
This variety venue in Midtown will make for a magical evening. You can relax with cocktails while watching a cabaret show. Don't miss one of New York's most acclaimed nightspots.
70. Devour a tasty American burger at JG Melons
Are you going to leave the USA without trying a real American burger? If you want a suggestion to try one of the best in New York go to the Upper East Side and ask for a table at JG Melons. A unique place that surrounds you in a Yankee style atmosphere and where you can eat juicy burgers accompanied by a bloody mary.
If that doesn't satisfy you, I recommend the roast beef sandwiches or the authentic steak tartar, aren't your mouth watering?
71. Remember your favorite series with the Friends Experience
The world of the legendary series Friends awaits you in this unmissable experience where you will feel like one of the characters. Enter Monica and Rachel's apartment and sit on their orange couch or attend Ross and Rachel's wedding.
Friends Experiencie recreates the best scenes in an immersive journey perfectly set in this group of Manhattan friends that made us spend so many good times in the 90s.
72. Visit the Museum of Sex in New York
Make a stop on your route through New York and enter the Museum of Sex. There you can find various art exhibitions, secret photographs, galleries of objects and works on sexuality and eroticism.
Learn in this museum about the science, history and sexual culture of man. A different place you can't miss on your trip to the US capital.
73. Go on a scavenger hunt in the streets of New York City
The great New York metropolis hides many hidden treasures. Therefore, I propose this super fun plan in which you can discover corners, sculptures and hidden places while exploring the city.
Enter the great Central Park and locate its hidden monuments, take a stroll through Greenwich Village and find the vestiges left by legendary celebrities like Jimmy Hendrix or discover the hidden secrets of Times Square and Rockefeller Center. There are many exploration and adventure games to spend a fun day in New York, try some of them.
74. Take a hot air balloon ride
For a different kind of adventure, book a hot air balloon flight and admire the New York skyline. Fly over the Hudson River and get the best views of New Jersey. It's a relaxing ride through the clouds at sunrise or sunset of about 45 to 60 minutes that will leave a very good taste in your mouth.
Some of these flights include champagne, if you want to celebrate a special event with your partner, but also allow children over 10 years old to get on board, in case you are traveling as a family. Just make sure you choose a clear day to make the most of this fascinating adventure in the New York sky.
75. Make the most of summer in the Big Apple
If there is one time of the year when you can enjoy more daylight hours to explore the city outdoors, it is to visit New York in summer. It's true that temperatures are very high (sometimes too high) and you'll appreciate the air conditioning in stores and buildings, but the cool evenings on the terraces and endless walks through Manhattan, the banks of the Hudson and bike rides through Central Park make up for it all.
I recommend you to check for this summer season which are the best bike tours in New York and discover the city in a healthier and more sustainable way.
Starting with the 4th of July fireworks and taking into account that the baseball league takes place in summer, I propose a myriad of activities that will make you not want to leave the city despite the heat: what to do and what to see in summer in New York.
76. And face the cold in winter
If on the other hand you decide to visit the city in winter, besides the great attraction of Christmas, I assure you that the cold will not prevent you from enjoying the city, as it is more than prepared for low temperatures. If you're lucky, it may even snow and you'll be left with some postcard Christmas photos.
Besides being able to enjoy the NBA games, you will appreciate having a warm drink in the coziest cafes in the city. My advice is to combine indoor activities in the afternoons (such as visiting the observation decks or observatories, seeing a Broadway musical or shopping) with outdoor activities (walking around the city, taking a cruise on the Hudson or crossing Central Park) in the middle hours of the day when the sun tempers the temperatures a bit.
If you are cold, do not worry because I have prepared a guide with everything you can see and do in New York in winter and what to bring, what to wear, etc. to make your stay there more than pleasant: what to do and what to see in winter in New York.
Anyway, when you travel to New York you will find a thousand things to do. However, if you have not yet booked your tickets, you can take a look at this article with all the information about the best time to travel to New York.
Tips to organize your trip to New York
Perhaps less romantic but just as practical as any other advice I can give you about your trip to New York, I'm going to give you some tips so you don't destroy your travel budget as soon as you arrive (if you are traveling on an unlimited budget this part might interest you a little less, but allow me to address the rest of the mortals).
Get a tourist card
If you are planning to visit several attractions or take a tour (viewpoints, museums, tourist bus routes, cruises, etc), it is possible that the amount you will spend on entrance fees will be more than relevant. For this, there are the tourist cards of the city, which will allow you to access the most emblematic points for a fixed, reduced price.
There are four main options: New York Pass, New York CityPASS, New York Explorer Pass y New York Sightseeing Pass. I know: choosing one among these four may seem like mission impossible, so in addition to the detailed explanation of each of them, I recommend you to read this New York sightseeing pass comparison so you can be sure which one to choose before making the investment.
Book a transfer between the airport and your hotel in Manhattan
If you are looking for a comfortable way to get to your hotel from the airport where you land without leaving a large sum in the attempt, I recommend that you hire a transfer (which you can use exclusively or share with other travelers) to the door of your accommodation. I tell you how to do it in this article about New York Airport Transfers and I also leave you this one on how to get from JFK airport to Manhattan where you have more options.
Use public transportation
Besides the fact that the New York subway is an attraction in itself (if you like taking pictures, there are some iconic stations where you will enjoy going underground), it is the fastest way to move from one point to another in the city. Don't be paralyzed by the large number of lines and stops that you will see on the maps: jump on the subway and move like a New Yorker. Here is a practical guide to get around the New York subway.
Follow these basic tips
If this is your first time in New York, don't worry. There are hundreds of doubts that assail you now just as they assailed all of us travelers when we were there for the first time. In the same way, we have all fallen into the tourist traps that the city has prepared for its visitors. That is why I have decided to compile the best ones 15 travel tips for New York in this article. I'm sure they will come in handy to start organizing your trip.
Plan your itinerary
To avoid wasting a lot of time (and money) on unnecessary tours, I recommend that you organize - roughly speaking - an itinerary that goes by days or by things you want to see. I leave you here these practical guides that I think will help you organize your time in the most efficient way possible: Things to do in New York City in the Fall y 7-day New York Itinerary.
Take out travel insurance
Although a priori it may seem like an extra expense, I assure you that having travel insurance is essential when you travel to New York (or anywhere in the United States). The medical costs there are very high and it never hurts to take a good insurance that covers any unforeseen event. If you don't know which one to take, what you need to cover and how to do it, I leave you here an article with all the details on Health insurance to travel to New York.
Remember to have your visa ready
Most likely to enter New York as a tourist you will need to bring the ESTA visa. You can fill it online and pay the fee also online, which makes the process much easier. If you have doubts about how to do it because you have never done it before, you can check my article on how to get the ESTA visa to travel to New York.
Follow these guides so you don't miss the dates, whenever you go
- New York in January: don't let the cold weather stop you. The year has just begun and it's a great time to finish enjoying the Christmas lights.
- New York in February: take advantage of the great prices that the off-season has to offer: the best hotels are much cheaper! Besides, celebrating Valentine's Day in the Big Apple is an American experience not to be missed.
- New York in March: welcome spring when the days begin to lengthen, the temperatures become milder and it is a pleasure to walk along the endless avenues of Manhattan.
- New York in April: Easter and Easter vacations are likely to kick off New York's peak season with thousands of tourists. Book your tickets and activities in advance to ensure a place in the most popular ones.
- New York in May: the city's parks are now in all their splendor: explore them all on foot or by bike and don't leave a green space untouched. How does a picnic in Bryant Park or a sunny morning on the lake in Central Park sound?
- New York in June: the heat is starting to get hot, but the days are long and you'll have time for everything. It is probably the best time of the year to enjoy the views of Manhattan from the top of one of its skyscrapers.
- New York in July: this is an important month for Americans. If you are there for the 4th of July Independence Day celebrations, don't miss the fireworks display.
- New York in August: the heat lurks but it is a great opportunity to discover the city at night, when the sun gives a break and the parks of Manhattan set up incredible summer outdoor cinemas. Take the opportunity to visit the beaches of Brooklyn or Coney Island and even Luna Park, where you will enjoy yourself like a child.
- New York in September: Back to school is a very special time in New York. The offices are full of life again, New Yorkers return to the city eager to enjoy its restaurants, rooftops and theaters, and take the opportunity to enjoy the city's nightlife like a local!
- New York in October: in October, New York turns pumpkin orange. The Halloween decorations on houses, storefronts and streets are incredible (probably some of the best in the world) so don't miss this time of the year in the city.
- New York in November: Thanksgiving, Black Friday and the Macy's parade. Who gives more? If you visit the city in the last quarter of the year you'll find all the Christmas preparations in full swing.
- New York in December: You'll feel like you're in the famous Home Alone movie: skating rinks all over the city, shop windows decked out with Christmas lights and giant Christmas trees decorating the city. Don't miss the Manhattan lights lighting ceremony or the amazing Dyker Heights neighborhood with dozens of houses showing off their decorations and lights. Oh, and Happy New Year!