Skip to Content

NYC Bucket List: 31 Best Things To Do In New York

Famous world wide, New York City is located in the north east of the USA, at the southern tip of New York State.

The largest and most densely populated city in the USA, with a population of just under 8 million, New York is a collection of different neighbourhoods spread across five boroughs.

Famous for its iconic landmarks such as the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, Times Square, Central Park and more, this bustling city attracts millions of visitors every year from all around the world.

There is something on offer for everyone in New York, from world class museums and destinations to an abundance of activities and experiences. Along with every sort of cuisine you can think of in an array of restaurants, bars and clubs.

So, if you’re looking for things to do in New York and want to visit all of the iconic spots on offer, then here’s a guide for your bucket list.

1. Top Of The Rock

Located at the top of the Rockefeller Center, Top of the Rock is a three-tiered observation deck. With each deck offering spectacular, 360 degree views over New York City.

Found on the first observation deck is the breathtaking Radiance Wall which was created by Swarovski.

The second observation deck is entirely outdoors, with glass screens to keep visitors safe. (Don’t worry though, there are camera-sized gaps so the glass won’t ruin your snaps!)

The third observation deck, on the 70th floor, is completely open air. It’s almost like a raised plinth for uninterrupted views across the New York skyline.

Top of the Rock operates on a timed ticketing system and you can book your Top of the Rock Observation Deck Ticket in advance.

For all tourists visiting New York we recommend purchasing either the New York: Go City Explorer Pass with 95+ Tours & Attractions or the New York CityPASS®: Save 40% at 5 Top Attractions.

These are a great way of saving money when visiting multiple tourist attractions during your stay in New York.

The vistas from Top of the Rock will take your breath away at any time of the day. However, watching the sun going down, followed by the city lighting up, is truly spectacular.

Visiting Top of the Rock is definitely one of the best things to do in NYC and has to be on your bucket list.

Top Of The Rock View New York
All smiles on top of New York.
Top Of The Rock Observation Deck New York
Top of The Rock at sunset.

2. The Rink At Rockefeller Centre

Located in front of the Rockefeller Building, the ice rink is open from mid-November to mid-March each year. (Including Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.)

Between November and January, the renowned Rockefeller Christmas tree is in situ, making for a magical, Christmasy skating experience.

In addition, ‘Elf’, ‘Home Alone 2’ and many classic movies have featured this iconic ice rink which, for me, brought childhood memories flooding back whilst skating around.

Visiting this famous rink is a quintessential, New York City winter experience and very popular with locals and tourists. Definitely a ‘must do’ for your NYC bucket list of things to do, if visiting during the winter months.

During the months the Plaza is not an ice rink, it transforms into a 1970’s style, roller skating rink.

The Rink At Rockefeller Center New York Things To Do In New York
Lauren having fun at The Rink.
The Rink At Rockefeller Center New York Things To Do In New York
There’s always time for a selfie.

3. Grand Central Terminal

Located in Midtown Manhattan, the famous Grand Central Terminal is one of the largest train stations in the world. Also ranked as one of the ten most visited tourist attractions in the world, it’s definitely very grand.

As well as the stunning architecture, make sure you don’t miss the famous installations. Including, the Information Booth Clock, the Whispering Gallery, the Tiffany glass clock and the celestial ceiling of the main concourse.

Additionally, Grand Central Terminal is also known as a destination for shopping and eating. Having 60 various shops, including the Apple store and Banana Republic and plenty of eateries.

Moreover, Vanderbilt Hall (originally the main waiting room) with its spectacular 48 foot ceilings and gold chandeliers is now used for public and private events.

Did you know there is a hidden tennis court inside Grand Central? Or that its ceiling is backward?

Explore this iconic NYC building with a local guide and discover its many secrets on The Secrets of Grand Central Terminal tour.

Hailed as one of America’s greatest architectural achievements this building is stunning. A visit to Grand Central Terminal is definitely one for the NYC bucket list.

Grand Central Terminal New York Things To Do In New York
Lauren heading into Grand Central Terminal.
Grand Central Terminal New York Things To Do In New York
A rare moment of silence in the terminal.

4. Madame Tussauds

Located in Times Square, Madame Tussauds New York is a world famous waxworks museum and popular tourist attraction.

Voted as one of New York’s most unique attractions, Madame Tussauds is home to more than 220 life-like wax figures.

A great way for you to get up close and personal with some of your favourite celebrities.

You can book your Madame Tussauds Entry Tickets in advance online.

Experience a moment with some of the world’s most famous musicians, sports legends, world leaders and icons.

Some of the characters you have the opportunity to meet and take pictures with include Marilyn Monroe and Brad Pitt. Not forgetting the Beatles, Einstein, Picasso, Donald Trump, Abraham Lincoln and many, many more.

With over 85,000 square feet of interactive entertainment, covering 5 floors, there is definitely something here for everybody to enjoy.

Madame Tussauds In New York
Lauren outside Madame Tussauds New York.
Scarlett Johansson Madame Tussauds In New York
Quick photo with Scarlett Johansson.

5. SUMMIT One Vanderbilt

Sitting atop one of the tallest skyscrapers in Manhattan and covering 3 levels, SUMMIT One Vanderbilt is an immersive, multi-sensory viewing experience.

From a room with mirrored ceilings, walls and floors, to floating balls, this unusual viewpoint in New York is fascinating.

Additional experiences include Levitation, transparent glass-enclosed skyboxes that extend out over 1,000 ft above Madison Avenue.

As well as Ascent, a sensory defying, all-glass elevator reaching SUMMIT’s highest elevation (1,210 ft) above Midtown.

As with everything in New York, we recommend booking your SUMMIT One Vanderbilt Experience Ticket in advance.

With three floors of experiences and the stunning views across New York city, a visit to SUMMIT One Vanderbilt is well worth it.

The has to be ‘high’ on your NYC bucket list of things to do.

SUMMIT One Vanderbilt New York
The view from Summit.
Affinity Balls SUMMIT One Vanderbilt New York
The popular adult ball pit.

6. Central Park

This famous park is one of New York’s star attractions and welcomes over 42 million visitors each year.

Spanning a massive 843 acres between West and East of Manhattan, its the most frequented urban park in America.

Home to gardens, forests, lakes, historical sites, statues, fountains, bridges, performance facilities and much more, Central Park has it all. Not forgetting the famous Central Park Zoo and Wildlife Centre.

It’s impossible to see everything the park has to offer in one day. However, some of the top spots are Belvadere castle, Conservatory Water, Bethesda Fountain, Literary Walk and of course the Zoo.

There are many activities on offer in the park including bike tours and walking tours and horse and carriage rides.

You can even book onto a Highlights of Central Park Bike Tour if you wish!

There are also plenty of places to grab some refreshments, from large restaurants to smaller cafes and food stalls.

Visiting this urban oasis in the midst of one of the busiest cities in the world is definitely enjoyable and a favourite for my NYC bucket list of things to do.

Central Park New York Things To Do In New York
All smiles at Central Park, New York.
Central Park New York Things To Do In New York
Having a stroll and taking 5 away from the city.

7. Times Square

Formed at the junction of Broadway, Seventh Avenue and 42nd Street, Times Square is an entertainment centre and commercial area.

Visited by approximately 50 million visitors every year, Times Square is one of the world’s most visited tourist attractions.

Surrounded by Broadway theatres, restaurant and shops and lit by digital, flashing billboard displays, this area constantly buzzes with activity.

It’s a great place to people watch or be entertained by the many street performers.

It’s also one of the most Instagrammable places in New York!

So if you love bright lights, high energy, hustle and bustle and mixing with diverse people, then this is for you.

There are so many different things to do in Times Square. I’ll leave you to look through the Times Square Tours.

An iconic New York attraction, not to be missed, especially at night time.

Times Square New York Things To Do In New York
The madness of Times Square.
Times Square New York Things To Do In New York
You’ll see some funny sights in Times Square.

8. M&M World & Hershey’s Chocolate World

Both of these world famous brands have stores in Times Square that offer an amazing variety of merchandise.

Covering three floors and decorated in M&M themes and paraphernalia, M&M World greets you with an explosion of colour. You will find M&Ms of every shape, colour and size, filling transparent tubes that line the walls on every floor.

Also available are M&M themed t-shirts, pyjamas, beach towels, toys etc, as well as New York themed M&M branded products. You can even create your very own customised M&Ms.

Famous for its unique chocolate kisses and delicious chocolate bars, Hershey Chocolate World does not disappoint. Again, you will find a variety of goods to choose from and you can even make your own Hershey Kiss!

So if you are a chocoholic or looking for a chocolatey gift, then visiting these famous stores is a must for the NYC bucket list.

M&M'S World New York Things To Do In New York
M&M World is a must visit.
Hershey's Chocolate World New York Things To Do In New York
Picking up some chocolate from Hershey’s.

9. Watch A Broadway Show

There are more than 40 Broadway theatres currently operating in New York City. With an amazing variety of shows, you are sure to find something you would like to see.

From Hamilton to Harry Potter, and Moulin Rouge to Macbeth the different genres and choice of shows is vast.

We opted to see the fabulous Lion King, at the Minskoff Theatre, in the heart of Times Square.

We recommend booking NYC: The Lion King Broadway Tickets as far in advance as possible as shows do sell out!

You can also check out the rest of the Broadway Shows available.

Just being inside the theatre itself was an amazing experience. We loved the gold-leaf sculpted tableaus on the interior walls, showcasing the theatre’s panoramic views of Broadway.

Seeing a Broadway show has to be up there on your bucket list of things to do in NYC.

Lion King Broadway New York Things To Do In New York
Queueing to watch The Lion King on Broadway.

10. Empire State Building

The iconic Empire State Building is a 102 storey skyscraper located in Midtown Manhattan. Probably most famous for featuring in the 1933 movie ‘King Kong’.

Inside the Empire State Building you will find shops and cafes/restaurants on the ground floor. As well as the observation decks you can visit on the 80th, 86th and 102nd floors.

You will find lots of fascinating films, exhibits, displays and interactive experiences as you move around the building.

Again, we recommend booking your Empire State Building General & Skip-the-Line Tickets in advance.

There is a gift shop for you to purchase memorabilia, including lots of King Kong merchandise of course!

With everything it has to offer, topped off with the observation decks, a trip to the iconic Empire State Building is a must on your New York Itinerary!

Empire State Building New York
Striking a pose in the big apple.
Empire State Building New York
Taking in the views.

11. Take A Helicopter Tour

For a totally different perspective of the ‘Big Apple’, why not try taking to the skies in a helicopter. From here you will get a birds-eye view of New York City’s breathtaking skyline.

There are various tours to choose from, with most rides lasting 15 minutes, 20 minutes or 30 minutes.

You can check out the New York City: Manhattan Helicopter Tour or New York City: Manhattan Island Helicopter Tour for prices and booking info.

Some of the iconic sights you can see are the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and most of Lower Manhattan.

All the flights usually follow the same route but you get to go a little further the longer the flight. The 30 minute flight will take you as far as the Yankee Stadium and George Washington Bridge in the Bronx.

With a live on-board commentary, you are certain not to miss any of the famous New York City sights. So don’t forget your camera because you will get some amazing and unique photo opportunities during the tour.

For a truly breathtaking experience, a helicopter tour comes up high on the bucket list as one of the best things to do in NYC.

Flynyon NYC Helicopter Things To Do In New York
Lauren a little nervous to take to the sky.
Flynyon NYC Helicopter Things To Do In New York
Dangling our feet over Manhattan.

12. Watch A Basketball Game

Native New Yorkers are notoriously proud of their two National Basketball Association teams. The New York Knickerbockers (known as the New York Knicks) in Manhattan and the Brooklyn Nets In Brooklyn.

The basketball season runs between October and April. So we were lucky to be able to see a Brooklyn Nets game during our visit.

The Nets were playing at their home arena, the Barclays Center, in Brooklyn. This multi purpose arena offers 17,732 seats for basketball so, with a capacity crowd, the atmosphere was electric.

You can’t take your own food/drink into the arena but there is food/drink available to purchase inside the arena.

Basketball is a classic American sport and you can’t beat the atmosphere at a live game. This is an experience not to be missed, even if you are not a great sports fan.

Brooklyn Nets Basketball Barclays Centre Things To Do In New York
Our seats at the Brooklyn Nets game.
Brooklyn Nets Basketball Barclays Centre Things To Do In New York
Kevin Durant on the big screen.

13. Statue Of Liberty

Located on Liberty Island in New York Harbour, the Statue of Liberty is only accessible via Statue Cruises ferries.

Getting close up to the Statue is amazing, you can really appreciate its size and the actual sculpture itself.

As with everything in New York, we recommend booking your Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island Tickets in advance.

If going up to the pedestal of the statue, you have nearly 200 steps to climb. However, the views of Manhattan, once up there, are definitely worth the climb.

Access to the crown on the Statue of Liberty is limited, due to safety and accessibility requirements. It was not open on the day we visited but is apparently worth the 315 steps when it is open.

The Statue of Liberty is one of the most famous and instantly recognisable symbols of the United States of America. So you can’t visit NYC without having this on your bucket list of things to do.

Statue of Liberty New York
Quick photo with the Statue of Liberty.
Statue of Liberty New York
The pathway leads around Liberty Island.

14. Ellis Island

Once you’ve seen the Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island, why not head over to Ellis Island.

The ferry stops here anyway, and the entrance is included in your Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island Tickets!

This former immigration station is America’s most famous and historically important gateway.

During the 60 years it was open, over 12 million immigrants passed through its doors, hoping to be admitted to America, the ‘land of hope and promise’.

Within the main building of the former complex you will find the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration.

This museum is home to an impactful and fascinating series of exhibits and collections of artifacts that document America’s history.

A free audioguide is available as well as guided tours, programmes and showings of documentary films. For a real insight into America’s compelling history, Ellis Island is the place to visit.

Ellis Island Ferry New York
Cruising past Ellis Island on the ferry.

15. One World Observatory

One World Observatory is an observation deck at the top of the One World Trade Center.

This is the tallest building in New York City and the Western Hemisphere.

The deck is completely enclosed in glass, so you have stunning 360 degree views across the city. Including views of the Hudson River, Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty, New York Harbour and all of Manhattan.

As with everything in New York, we recommend booking your One World Observatory: Skip-the-Line Ticket in advance.

Whilst visiting the deck, you have the opportunity to stand on the Sky Portal. This is a 14ft wide circle of glass, where you can look down at the city 100 stories below!

One World Observatory is definitely worth a visit for the spectacular views. Also, the brilliant use of technology makes it a great immersive experience for all the family.

Apart from the spectacular views, how great to be able to say you have been to the highest point in New York City.

Visiting One World Observatory was another of my favourites one for the NYC bucket list.

One World Observatory In New York
Lauren leading us to One World Trade Center.
One World Observatory In New York View
The view from the observation deck at One World Observatory.

16. ONE Dine At One World Observatory

For a fine dining experience with the most amazing views, ONE Dine at One World Observatory is great. This unique restaurant serves gourmet food alongside breathtaking vistas.

Also available are carefully chosen (and named) cocktails including the ‘The Big (Pine)Apple’, ‘Midtown Margarita’, ‘Uptown Martini’. As well as a good choice of wines and hand crafted beers.

With first-class service, delicious cuisine and delightful cocktails, what’s not to like? Add to this, the spectacular New York skyline at sunset and it’s a match made in heaven!

We enjoyed a delicious 3 course meal, including some tasty vegan dishes and cocktails to drink.

I’d highly recommend this dining experience. For us it was certainly one for the bucket list of best things to do in NYC.

ONE Dine at One World Observatory New York
Lauren tucking into her starter at ONE Dine.
ONE Dine at One World Observatory New York
We had delicious pasta for main.

17. Walk Across Brooklyn Bridge

Spanning the East River, between the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn, the famous Brooklyn Bridge is a suspension bridge that is just over 1 mile/2 km long.

The bridge supports six lanes of vehicles, including, since 2021, a dedicated cycle lane and a pedestrian pathway. (Only passenger vehicles and pedestrian/bicycle traffic are permitted across the bridge.)

One of the most popular ways to see the bridge is via the NYC: 1-Hour Cruise Around Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island.

If you’re more of a adrenaline junky then the New York City: Manhattan Helicopter Tour is a huge bucket list tick!

From the skyline of Manhattan, with the distinctive Woolworth Building and One World Trade Center, to the sweeping views across Brooklyn Heights to Red Hook, there is plenty to see.

You should even be able to see the Statue of Liberty. She may be small but look below the tip of Manhattan and she will be there.

As well as the amazing scenery you also have the changing views of the iconic Brooklyn Bridge itself as you walk across it, with its sweeping cables and soaring suspension towers with Gothic arches.

Walking Brooklyn Bridge New York Skyline
Enjoying the view of NYC.
Welcome To Brooklyn Bridge New York
Welcome to Brooklyn.

18. 9/11 Memorial Pools & Museum

Located at the World Trade Center, the 9/11 Memorial Pools and Museum are a tribute of remembrance for the 2,977 people killed in the terror attacks on September 11th 2001.

As well as the 6 people killed in the World Trade Center bombing on February 26th 1993.

The pools outside are free to visit, however you’ll need a NYC: 9/11 Memorial & Museum Timed-Entry Ticket to enter the museum.

The Memorial’s twin reflecting pools are both just under an acre in size and feature the largest machine-made waterfalls in North America.

Furthermore, the names of all those who were killed are inscribed on plaques around the pools.

The 9/11 Memorial Museum tells the story of this tragic event through media, narratives, and a collection of impactful and authentic artifacts, giving visitors personal stories of loss, recovery, and hope.

Visiting this place of peace and tranquility was an unbelievably moving and humbling experience. This is a beautiful tribute to those who lost their lives and it really is worth spending some time here.

9/11 Memorial Museum New York Things To Do In New York
Lauren reading some of the names on the 9/11 memorial pools.
9/11 Memorial Museum New York Things To Do In New York
The 9/11 memorial pools are free to visit.

19. Photograph The Street Art

New York is known for being the canvas of many great street artists from Banksy to Kobra and you don’t have to go far to see some amazing art murals on the walls of this city.

Street art started to spring up in the 1970s in New York, when the city was bankrupt and full of crime. The then, disillusioned young people began decorating subway cars and buildings with colourful graffiti tags.

Although graffiti is technically vandalism, it has become a unique feature of the New York streets and people come from far and wide to appreciate these great and original pieces or art.

If you are a keen photographer or art enthusiast, then time spent seeking out these amazing pieces of street art would definitely be one for the NYC bucket list.

Street Art New York Things To Do In New York
Street art we found in Chinatown.

20. Try New York Food

New York has an array of delicious styles of food on offer, including New York style cheesecake, pizza, bagels, pastrami, hotdogs and pretzels, to name but a few.

We couldn’t miss trying some of the famous New York bagels during our visit and stopped at the delightful Baz Bagel restaurant.

Here we found tasty bagels in all sorts of colours, with an impressive choice of different, delicious fillings.

Also, not to be missed is the delightfully decadent New York style cheesecake. We sampled some of the recommended Junior’s Cheesecake and found it to be every bit as good as people say!

Another ‘great’ is the famous New York style pizza. This simple but delicious pizza with its large thin crust, traditionally topped with tomato sauce and mozzarella can be bought in wide slices to eat on the go.

Not forgetting the famous Pretzels. This salty snack has been a street food favourite ever since arriving in New York in the early 1800’s via Dutch immigrants.

From gourmet restaurants to trendy delis and relaxed cafes to flavoursome street food, you are certain to find something you love to eat in New York.

If you’d like to visit markets and eateries to discover the rich history and culture of the immigrants who settled in the area, check out the New York: Lower East Side Food Tastings and Culture Tour.

Baz Bagel New York Things To Do In New York
Breakfast at Baz Bagel.
Junior's Cheesecake New York Things To Do In New York
Taking home a Junior’s cheesecake.
New York Pretzel At Chelsea Market
Trying my first NY pretzel.

21. Washington Square Park

Stretching out over nearly 10 acres in the heart of the Greenwich Village neighbourhood, Washington Square Park is an icon of New York City.

This park comprises of lots of landscaped green spaces with pretty gardens, play areas for children, a famous water fountain and is home to many different street performers.

Washington Square Park is well known as a vibrant meeting place for students, locals and tourists alike.

With its famous Chess Plaza and the stunning Washington Square Arch, there is definitely plenty to do and see here.

If you’d like to learn more about the history and discover where legendary artists, such as Jimi Hendrix and Bob Dylan hung out, check out the New York City: Greenwich Village 2-Hour Tour.

Additionally there are many benches placed around the park for people to sit, relax and enjoy the atmosphere of this amazing space.

A great place to spend some time and soak up some New York vibes and highly recommended for your bucket list of things to do in NYC.

Washington Square Park New York
The famous arch at Washington Square Park.
Washington Square Park New York
Lauren made a cute friend.

22. Friends Apartment Building

In the famous TV show, the Friends cast supposedly lived in New York’s Greenwich Village neighbourhood in downtown Manhattan.

All of the interior shots for the show were actually filmed in a studio. However, the exterior of the building that was seen in the show is a real location that you can view at 90 Bedford Street.

There are no signs telling you that you are in the right place (although lots of people taking photos is a bit of a giveaway) but if you are a fan, you will easily recognise the exterior of this iconic building.

At the base of the building you will find a cafe, like in the show, but this one is called Little Owl not Central Perk!

A little disappointing for true Friends fans but this is still a really nice little neighbourhood cafe to grab a coffee.

For the hardcore Friends fans you’ll likely want to visit the New York City: The FRIENDS™ Experience.

Otherwise this is definitely worth a visit for all passionate fans of Friends, if only to get a keepsake photo in front of this iconic building.

Friends Apartment Building New York
Lauren happy to have found the Friends Apartment Building.

23. Chelsea Market

Chelsea Market is an iconic culinary destination in New York and is considered one of the greatest indoor food and retail marketplaces in the world.

With its stripped down brick architecture and beautiful decor, Chelsea Market has a unique vibe and energy that attracts over six million national and international visitors every year.

Home to over fifty, first class restaurants and food stalls, virtually all food preferences and desires are catered for.

Furthermore, after finding something delicious to eat, you can browse the locally made arts and crafts at Artists and Fleas in Chelsea Market.

If you’d like a more in depth tour of the market, the New York High Line, Chelsea & Meatpacking District Tour is the one to book.

We would definitely recommend putting Chelsea Market on your NYC bucket list. Not only for the incredible selection of foods on offer but also to browse the stalls and soak up the amazing atmosphere of this incredible complex.

Chelsea Market New York
Heading into Chelsea Market.
Clock Chelsea Market New York
The central clock and beautiful decor.

24. Vessel At Hudson Yards

Forming an extraordinary spiral structure of connected staircases between buildings, Vessel is the stunning centrepiece of Hudson Yards.

Soaring 16 storeys high and designed to enable people to enjoy new perspectives of the city from different heights, angles and vantage points this structure is truly unique.

Unfortunately, Vessel has been closed to the public since January 2021 after several people used the structure to take their life. Access to the ground-level base is still open and free to the public.

Even without climbing the staircase, this unique structure is worth seeing as a stand alone, amazing piece of architecture.

It is hoped that Vessel will open again soon, once measures are in place that will reduce the risk of any further tragedies.

In the mean time there is the New York City: High Line & Hudson Yards Walking Tour available.

The Vessel Hudson Yards New York
Lauren in front of The Vessel at Hudson Yard.
The Vessel Hudson Yards New York
One of many NY selfies.

25. Walk The High Line

Stretching for nearly a mile and a half, the High Line is a public park that has been created on a former elevated New York Central Railroad spur on the west side of Manhattan.

As you walk along the wooden pathway through the trees and planted areas, you get some amazing views across the city and some great photo opportunities.

The pathway is a mix of a shaded and unshaded areas with benches along the way, where you can stop and take a break and enjoy the art work as well as refreshments from the High Line food stalls.

The High Line is a beautiful, urban, oasis getaway where you can enjoy a peaceful stroll through the building tops.

We would highly recommend this unique experience as one of the best things to do for your NYC bucket list.

The High Line New York
Lauren enjoying a root beer on the High Line.
The High Line New York
The old railway on the High Line.

26. Edge

Opened in March 2020, Edge is a triangular shaped, observation deck jutting out from the 100th floor of 30 Hudson Yards, a super tall skyscraper in the west side area of Manhattan.

As well as a glass floor, the Edge also has glass panel sides that lean away from the suspended deck making it feel like you are floating in the sky.

Standing on this observation deck, you will have amazing, 360 degree views across New York City, from the tip of Central Park to the Statue of Liberty and beyond, making for some awesome photos.

Furthermore, if you are brave enough to look down, you will have thrilling, uninterrupted views straight down to the busy streets of New York City, 100 floors below you!

As with everything in New York, we recommend booking your Edge Observation Deck Admission Ticket in advance.

This really is an astounding piece of architecture and not to be missed off your NYC bucket list of things to do.

The Edge NYC Viewpoint New York
Unreal views on top of Edge.
The Edge NYC Viewpoint New York
Our attempt at the quirky photo.

27. Visit A Rooftop Bar

With literally hundreds of really great rooftop bars in Manhattan you are spoilt for choice. We visited Bar 54 in Times Square.

Located on the 54th floor at the Hyatt Centric Times Square, Bar 54 is one of the highest in New York City and offers stunning views of Times Square and the whole of Lower Manhattan.

As well as the amazing views, Bar 54 has an extensive drinks menu including a collection of really delicious sounding cocktails, wines, beers, spirits and some light food snacks.

With its intimate indoor area and larger outside terrace, Bar 54 has a really nice relaxed vibe and although not cheap, is well worth a visit.

Bar 54 New York Rooftop Bar Things To Do In New York
Rooftop drinks at Bar 54.
Bar 54 New York Rooftop Bar Things To Do In New York
Enjoying our mocktails from the warmth of inside.

28. Grand Bazaar NYC

Located in the Upper West Side of Manhattan and opening only on a Sunday, the Grand Bazaar NYC is New York City’s oldest, largest and most diverse shopping market.

With over 140 vendors, this market is known as one of the best indoor and outdoor flea markets in Manhattan. From handcrafted jewellery, portraits, scarves, candles, cards, bags/totes, rugs and clothes, you are sure to find something that takes your fancy.

There is also an artisanal food court with vendors offering delicious soups, snacks and drinks to keep you refreshed and energised.

The Grand Bazaar provides four local schools with much needed money for various enrichment programmes, books, supplies, teaching assistants, and sports programmes.

Hence, spend some money here and you know you will be helping support a good cause. A nice little spot for your NYC bucket list.

Grand Bazaar NYC In New York
Lauren buzzing to be at Grand Bazaar NYC.
Grand Bazaar NYC In New York
$100 well spent.

29. Dumbo Manhattan Bridge View

Wondering about the name Dumbo? It’s actually an acronym for Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass; this is the neighbourhood where the view point is located.

Not to be confused with Brooklyn Bridge, it covers two sections.

One located between the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges, which connect Brooklyn to Manhattan across the East River, and another that continues east from the Manhattan Bridge to the Vinegar Hill area.

The steel bridge rises up out of the East River, with the Empire State Building visible in the background, the red brick warehouses and cobbled streets in the foreground thus making for some stunning photo opportunities.

So, if you are a keen photographer or just want some amazing pics in a famous, iconic location, then this is definitely a cool thing to do in NYC for your bucket list.

If you’d like to discover more of the area, check out the From Manhattan: Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn Bus Tour.

Dumbo Manhattan Bridge View New York
The iconic photo spot in Dumbo.
Dumbo Manhattan Bridge View New York
Lauren strolling the Brooklyn streets.

30. Little Italy

Known for its large Italian population, Little Italy is a neighbourhood in Lower Manhattan in New York City, famous for great Italian restaurants.

Little Italy’s streets are lined with Italian restaurants, cafes and bakeries, all serving up delicious authentic Italian food and with an ‘old New York’ vibe.

With people relaxing at the tables draped in traditional red and white checked cloths outside the restaurants and the aromatic smell of Italian food, you will definitely feel like you are visiting a small piece of Italy.

If you’re into the history side of things then the SoHo, Little Italy, and Chinatown 2-Hour Guided Walk may be a good option.

If you’re more of a foodie, then the New York City: Little Italy Italian Food Tasting Tour may be more up your street.

Either way, if you’re looking for good Italian food and another great New York experience, then this is the place to visit.

Little Italy New York Things To Do In New York
Welcome to Little Italy.
Little Italy New York Things To Do In New York
People going about their day in the food district.

31. Fine Dine

Whilst in New York City we treated ourselves to a couple of fine dining experiences.

The first was at a beautiful new, high-end, past bar called Sestina in the East Village neighbourhood of Manhattan.

Inspired by the famous Italian cuisine this popular, trendy restaurant serves up tasty plant based food in rustic, Italian styled surroundings.

Some of the most popular dishes are the truffle tagliatelle, shells in vodka sauce and the garlic bread.

The second fine dining experience we tried was at the impressive PLANTA Queen restaurant in the NoMad area of Manhattan. (Also known as Madison Square North.)

This is another restaurant that offers high-end plant based food, this time Asian inspired.

This stylish, upmarket restaurant serves up incredibly tasty food, with bang bang broccoli, truffle udon and sushi being among the favourites.

If you’re looking for a fine dining experience in New York, you will be spoilt for choice but we would definitely recommend the two that we visited.

SESTINA New York Vegan Things To Do In New York
Outside dining at SESTINA.
SESTINA New York Vegan Things To Do In New York
The vegan pasta at SESTINA was out of this world.
Planta Queen New York Vegan Things To Do In New York
Lauren heading into Planta Queen.
Planta Queen New York Vegan Things To Do In New York
Enjoying a mixture of vegan dishes.

Where To Stay In New York


The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park

This Manhattan hotel in Midtown overlooks Central Park and is within walking distance of Fifth Avenue and Rockefeller Center.

Free cable and a bathrobe are provided in every room at the New York Central Park Ritz-Carlton. All rooms are elegant, with wood furniture and light colors. Many rooms also include a city or park view.

La Prairie Spa at the Ritz-Carlton New York Central Park offers massage and facial services, as well as a sauna. Guests can also work out in the state-of-the-art fitness center.

The 57th street subway station is just 2 blocks away, providing easy access to the city. Radio City Music Hall and the Broadway Theatre District are also both within 1 mile of the hotel.


citizenM New York Times Square

Located right in the heart of Manhattan, this hotel is just 1 minute’s walk from Times Square. It’s also within 5 minutes’ walk of Central Park and Columbus Circle.

A flat-screen TV and a small refrigerator with free water are available in citizenM’s rooms. Bathrooms include Hansgrohe rain showers and oversized bathroom amenities.

With the room iPad, all guests can control room lights, black-out blinds, curtains and temperature. As well as TV and radio channels.

Free high-speed Wi-Fi and express check in are on offer at citizenM New York Times Square.

Three outdoor terraces are provided at the New York Times Square citizenM. They feature a state-of-the-art fitness centre with yoga facilities.

After working out, guests can relax with drinks and sweeping views of the city on the exclusive rooftop bar.


Central Park West Hostel

Located in New York City’s Upper West Side, this hostel is a block from the 86th street underground station and 2 blocks from Central Park. It offers Wi-Fi and staff-organized events.

A shared kitchen, café area, and spacious lounge with a flat-screen TV are part of the facilities at the FIT Hotel. Lockers are also provided in the dormitory rooms and luggage storage is available.

The front desk of this New York City hostel is open 24 hours a day. It features daily housekeeping and free linens.

Times Square is only 10 minutes via underground journey.

For more places to stay in New York, you can check the latest prices on

Planning Your Trip

Book Your Flight

Use Skyscanner to find a cheap flight.

They search websites and airlines around the globe to find you the best possible routes and prices.

Book Your Accommodation

Use to find the best accommodation deals.

They consistently return the cheapest rates on everything from guesthouses to hotels for all of your budget needs.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance

Use SafetyWing to find the best travel insurance for you.

They provide travel and medical incident insurance built specifically for digital nomads.

Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations.

Book Your Tours & Activities

Use GetYourGuide to book your activities in advance.

They sell the best tours, excursions and activities to attractions around the world.

Conveniently book, download and access your tickets on the move all from your mobile.

Book Your Rental Car

Use to find the best deals on rental cars in the area.

They compare all major car rental companies and allow you to easily book the perfect vehicle for your trip.

Buy Those Last Minute Bits

Use Amazon to buy everything you need for your adventure.

They offer next day delivery and you can use my travel packing checklist to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything.

Pin It For Later

Best Things To Do In New York