New York, New York – so good they named it twice. New York has quickly become one of my favourite cities in the world. It’s inexhaustible. It’s ever-changing streets can never be fully known but man is it fun to try! These are the 45 things to tick off your bucket list in the big apple!
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- Times Square – see the bright, colourful lights of the most famous square in the world. Spot the weird and wonderful people dressed up in Elmo suits and take in the true chaos and buzz of the city
- Top of the Rock – my preferred location to get a bird’s eye view of New York, as you’re able to get photos with the iconic Empire State Building in the skyline
- Empire State Building – perhaps the most romantic place to see New York. Have your Sleepless in Seattle moment as you take in the sights and wait for Tom Hank to show up and hold your hand. I personally prefer this spot in the evening to the day!
- Grand Central Station Terminal – I’m yet to see a more beautiful train station, nor a more familiar one. This terminal has cropped up in more movies and tv shows than I can count, from Gossip Girl to Friends with Benefits. Make sure to look out for the ceiling, which is covered in an aqua cosmic sky
- Columbia University – one of the oldest universities in the US and definitely worth a visit if you find yourself on the Upper West Side
- The Plaza Palm Court – the most beautiful hotel plaza in the city, bonus points if you get afternoon tea there!
- One World Observatory – ride 102 stores to the top in just 47 seconds and get amazing views of the city
- Oculus Train Station – the modern architecture at this train station is pretty incredible and makes for a great photo!
- Radio City Music Hall – the iconic lights of Radio City Music Hall is not to be missed. If you happen to be in New York at Christmas time make sure to see the rockettes at their Christmas Spectacular!
- New York Public Library – one of the most beautiful libraries in the world, this is a bibliophile’s paradise. It also houses the original Winnie the Pooh characters!
- St. Patrick’s Cathedral – this neo-Gothic cathedral in the centre of the city dates back to 1878 and is truly beautiful. Nestled between the skyscrapers, it’s an odd but beautiful landmark of the city
- The Chrsyler Building – the Chrysler Building was the first supertall building to take the title of World’s Tallest Building. It lost this title only 11 months later to the Empire State Building but it’s beautiful art deco design means that it’s still one of the most iconic buildings in the city
- The Flatiron Building – the unique triangle design of this building has made it one of the most famous in New York. In fact, it’s got a whole district named after it.
- Charging Bull Statue – the Charging Bull statue is meant to be a symbol of prosperity and strength for the city, whilst the fearless girl was commissioned in celebration of International Women’s Day.
- Statue of Liberty – what has now become a symbol of freedom and the American dream was actually initially a gift from the people of France. In fact, it’s framework was built by Gustave Eiffel, the brains behind the Eiffel Tower! You can now take boat rides to get a good view of the statue or even purchase a ticket to climb to the top!
- Bushwick Collective – the Bushwick Collective in Brooklyn boasts some of the most impressive street art in the world. The walls have become a gallery of impressive and poignant artwork in the city.
- Strawberry Fields, John Lennon Memorial – 2.5 landscaped acres of Central Park dedicated to John Lennon, this is must-visit spot for any Beatles fans. The area is named after the famous song ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ and features a mosaic of the word ‘Imagine’.
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- 9/11 Memorial & Museum – a memorial and museum to commemorate the lives of the thousands who were killed in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Whilst harrowing, it’s an important part of the city’s history and is a testament to the city’s resilience and love
- The MoMA – located in Midtown, the MoMA is considered to be one of the largest and most impressive museums of modern art in the entire world!
- The Guggenheim – another of the city’s impressive and most famous art collections, the Guggenheim houses some of the most beautiful art in the world
- The Frick Collection – housed in a beautiful building on the Upper East Side, the Frick is a fine arts museum with a spectacular collection of old master paintings
- The American Museum of Natural History – located on the Upper West Side, the museum is comprised of a whopping 26 interconnected buildings filled with exhibitions observing the natural history of the world, from fossils to cultural artefacts.
- The Met – One of the world’s largest art museums, the Met’s collection includes over 2 million works of art! I’d particularly recommend visiting during the fashion exhibit that takes place each year!
- Washington Square Park – nestled in one of my favourite areas of the city, Greenwich Village, is Washington Square Park. Here you can sit by the fountain, watch the world go by, or even partake in a friendly game of chess!
- Central Park – perhaps the most famous park in the world, Central Park spans 843 acres and is the perfect place to spend a sunny day in the city
- New York Botanical Garden – located in the Bronx is this 250 acre site containing over a million plants! Although it’s a little further out of the city’s centre, it’s beauty definitely makes it worth a visit if you have enough time during your trip!
- Bethesda Terrace and Fountain – Bethesda Terrace and Fountain are actually located within Central Park, however I thought their beauty won them their very own spot on this list. The grand staircases overlook the parks lake and you can often find swing bands playing to captivated audiences
- The High Line – the High Line is a 1.5 mile long elevated walkway on the west side of Manhattan. It’s built on a disused viaduct section of the New York Central Railroad line and is filled with all sorts of artwork and ecology. It’s a great place to take a stroll and peer down at the bustling city life below!
- Battery Park – Battery Park is a 25-acre park located at the southern tip of Manhattan Island. Although less well-known than Central Park, it’s definitely a lovely place to find a little calm in the city and take in the views of the harbour
- Watch a Broadway Show – New York has some of the most amazing theatre in the world and, if you get a chance, seeing a Broadway show here is definitely a must!
- Walk Over Brooklyn Bridge – Brooklyn Bridge is an iconic landmark of the city, and there’s definitely something magical about walking over it!
- Shop on 5th Avenue – 5th Avenue is shopping heaven. It’s even worth it to take a look at the beautiful window displays – they’re truly works of art!
- Eat a Bagel – New York is known for its bagels, so it would be rude not to, right?
- Have a Meal at Ellen’s Stardust Diner – Ellen’s Stardust Diner is 50s-themed diner in Times Square filled with insanely talented serves who sing Broadway hits to you during your meals. Is the food overpriced for what it is? Yes. Is it a fun experience nonetheless? Absolutely!
- Take the Staten Island Ferry – this is a free ferry that affords incredible views of the city. If you want a great photo of the Statue of Liberty without having to pay for it, this is the place to be!
- See Something at Madison Square Garden – often considered to be the most famous arena in the world, Madison Square Garden is the place to be if you want to see your favourite artist play in the city!
- Take a photo at the Manhattan Bridge Viewpoint in DUMBO – the corner of Washington and Water Streets in DUMBO provides the perfect place to snap that famous photo of Manhattan Bridge!
- Go to a Yankees Game – whilst in the city, why not partake in some of the sports culture? The New York Yankees are the city’s most beloved baseball team
- Eat a Pretzel – another food NYC is famous for is it’s pretzels! Pick one up to keep you going as you stroll through the city!
- Visit Ellis Island – this is where 12 million immigrants were processed between 1892 and 1954. It’s an interesting slice of the city’s history and is also where you’ll find the Statue of Liberty!
- Visit Coney Island – a Brooklyn neighbourhood that truly comes alive in the summer-time. It features and amusements park, circus and plenty of street performers!
- Have Breakfast at Tiffany’s – make like Audrey Hepburn and grab yourself a croissant and coffee early on a Saturday morning and walk down 5th ave. Alternatively, you can now book to eat breakfast in the Tiffany’s store!
- Shopping in Soho – the Soho area is New York’s top shopping district. It’s cobblestone streets and cast-iron facades also make for a great photo opportunity!
- Explore Greenwich Village – Greenwich Village is one of my favourite areas of the city. Here you can find Washington Square Park, Carrie Bradshaw’s home, the Friends apartment, and plenty of cool shops
- Visit China Town – what better place to grab a meal than here! My sister still raves about the dinner we had in China Town, proclaiming it to be the best Chinese she’s had in her life!
TOP TIP: You can save money on lots of the city’s major attractions including the Empire State Building and the Top of the Rock by getting a New York City Go Pass!