Top 20 Best Tourist Attractions in New York City

What are the top attractions to visit in New York City?

Metropolitan Museum of Art New York

New York City Bucket List: Top Tourist Spots and Best Attractions in New York City

Team Out of Town Blog Hub (Outoftownblog.com) – Dubbed the City that Never Sleeps or Gotham, New York City is truly a lively place to visit. It is also one of the most famous cities worldwide, offering many tourist attractions, from the iconic Statue of Liberty to towering skyscrapers. Many tourists also visit New York City to enjoy Broadway shows, shop for luxury goods, or explore world-renowned museums.

And if it’s your first time visiting the Big Apple, check out our list of the top 20 best tourist attractions in New York City.

Statue of Liberty

Statue of Liberty by Matthew Daniels via Unsplash
Statue of Liberty by Matthew Daniels via Unsplash

One of the best tourist attractions in New York City and the top first to see is the iconic Statue of Liberty. Located on New York Harbor, Liberty Island, the neoclassical copper sculpture was a gift from France to the American people.

Designed by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi and its metal features were the work of Gustave Eiffel. It stands 152 feet tall and is considered one of the largest statues worldwide.

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Empire State Building

Empire State Building NYC
Empire State Building NYC

If you’d like to see New York City skyline, there’s no better place to go than the iconic Empire State Building. It is the 9th tallest skyscraper in the United States, featuring an Art Deco style, and one of America’s Favorite Architecture.

The 102-story building was constructed from 1930 to 1931 and features observation decks on the 86th and 102nd floors, where tourists can catch sight of New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts.

Central Park

New York Central Park via Pixabay
New York Central Park via Pixabay

Despite the towering buildings, New York City offers Central Park for people who wish to take a break from the hustle and bustle. It is an 840-acres park in the city center, a great place to relax and enjoy nature.

There are many activities for visitors in the park, such as rowboat rental, jogging, and bicycling. In addition, there are other attractions in the area, including the Lake, Central Park Zoo, Belvedere Castle, and the Wollman Rink.

Rockefeller Center

Rockefeller Center NYC via Pixabay
Rockefeller Center NYC via Pixabay

Whether visiting New York during the summer or holiday season, the Rockefeller Center is a must-stop tourist attraction. You can book a tour to learn about the 19 impressive Art Deco buildings constructed by the Rockefeller family, which house the NBC Studios and Radio City Music Hall.

It also boasts a 70-story Top of the Rock Observation Deck and an outdoor skating rink, where a massive Christmas tree stands during the holidays.

Times Square

Broadway Shows in Times Square New York
Broadway Shows in Times Square New York

Another top-best tourist attraction New York City has to offer is the famous Times Square, which attracts over 50 million visitors yearly. The plaza is a commercial intersection and entertainment center with billboards and advertisements and is one of the busiest pedestrian areas in the world.

It was formerly called Longacre Square and renamed Times Square when the headquarters of The New York Times moved to the area in 1904.

American Museum of Natural History

American Museum of Natural History via Pixabay
American Museum of Natural History via Pixabay

Located in Theodore Roosevelt Park, the American Museum of Natural History is a go-to place for families with kids. The facility is one of the best museums in New York City, containing 45 permanent exhibition halls, a planetarium, and a library.

Established in 1869, the museum houses over 34 million specimens of animals, plants, fossils, meteorites, rocks, minerals, human remains, and cultural artifacts. The museum also features a Butterfly Conservatory, housing over 500 butterflies.

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Metropolitan Museum of Art New York
Metropolitan Museum of Art New York

For art enthusiasts tourists, visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art will surely leave you in awe. Founded in 1870 and referred to as “the Met”, it is the largest art museum in the Western Hemisphere and one of the largest in the world.

It holds over two million permanent collections, including artworks from classical antiquity, Ancient Egypt, European paintings and sculptures, and modern and American art.

Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge New York
Brooklyn Bridge New York

Spanning 5,989 feet over the East River, the Brooklyn Bridge is a popular tourist attraction connecting Brooklyn and Manhattan. The hybrid suspension bridge is one of the most famous and oldest worldwide, constructed from 1869 to 1883.

It is one of New York City’s famous landmarks, where tourists can drive or bike to admire the skyline. Also, the bridge features a pedestrian walkway for visitors to enjoy the harbor and boroughs views.

St. Patrick’s Cathedral

St. Patrick’s Cathedral by alvaroreguly via Wikipedia cc
St. Patrick’s Cathedral By alvaroreguly, CC BY 2.0, cc

Reconnect your faith with one of New York’s National Register of Historic Places, the St. Patrick’s Cathedral is yet another famous landmark featuring outstanding English and Gothic Revival architecture. The Catholic cathedral was constructed from 1858 until 1906, finishing its Lady Chapel.

It features a marble facade, rose windows, bronze doors, the Great Organ, and two 330 feet high spires. The cathedral measures 332 feet long, accommodates 2,400 seating capacity and holds the statue of Pieta.

Broadway and the Theater District

New York Broadway
New York Broadway

Aside from the city lights, New York City is famous for its Broadway shows. So if you’re in search of entertaining activities in town, head to the Theater District and Broadway street, where numerous and massive theater venues flocks.

You can catch shows from the classics to the latest play, such as The Lion Wing, Aladdin, and The Phantom of the Opera. Also, visit the famous playhouses, including the Shubert and the Booth.

Fifth Avenue

Fifth Avenue New York
Fifth Avenue New York

If “shop till you drop” is your mantra in life, visit one of America’s famous shopping streets, Fifth Avenue. It is New York’s top shopping avenue and one of the world’s high-end shopping streets where luxury designers and department stores line up, such as Tiffany, Cartier, and Saks Fifth Avenue.

But if you’re not into breaking your bank, stroll around and visit nine museums in the area, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Guggenheim.

Bryant Park

Bryant Park New York
Bryant Park New York

The perfect spot for people-watching, Bryant Park is a go-to place for New Yorkers to grab their lunch and for tourists. It is a 9.6-acre public park filled with numerous booths selling products, including jewelry, artworks, clothing, foods, and drinks.

During winter, head to its outdoor ice skating rink to have fun and enjoy the weather. There are also plenty of tables and chairs set up to enjoy takeaways.

9/11 Memorial and Museum

9 11 memorial and museum by Paul Sableman via Wikimedia cc
9 11 memorial and museum By Paul Sableman – 9/11 Memorial and Museum, CC BY 2.0, cc

The 110-story twin towers of the World Trade Center were once an iconic structure in Manhattan, which was destroyed after a suicide attack on September 11, 2001, resulting in 2,996 casualties, including the 19 terrorists.

The 9/11 Memorial and Museum stands in the same spot where the World Trade Center twin towers were once erect. The site has two 1-acre square reflecting pools surrounded by bronze panels engraved with the victims’ names.

Grand Central Terminal

Grand Central Terminal New York
Grand Central Terminal New York

Considered one of the world’s most beautiful train stations, the Grand Central Terminal features Beaux-art architecture with various artworks. It is also one of the most visited tourist attractions worldwide, attracting over 22 million visitors annually.

The terminal boasts its lovely Grand Staircase, celestial ceiling, and clock made with pearl opal glass. There are various dining options on the lower level, and the Vanderbilt Hall hosts special exhibitions and a Christmas market annually.

High Line

The High Line New York by Elizabeth Villalta via Unsplash
The High Line New York by Elizabeth Villalta via Unsplash

An interesting tourist attraction in New York City, the High Line was once a rail line converted to an elevated walking trail. It is a 1.45-mile linear public park filled with plants and trees on the west side of Manhattan.

In addition, there are also a variety of fun activities held monthly for visitors, such as art tours, stargazing, and seasonal events like the Haunted High Line Halloween.

New York Public Library

New York Public State Library via Pixabay
New York Public State Library via Pixabay

The New York Public Library should be on top of your must-visit list if you’re a bookworm. It is considered the United States’ 2nd largest public library and the 4th largest worldwide.

The library holds over 53 million items with 92 locations, and its main branch is in Manhattan, declared in 1965 as a National Historic Landmark and established in 1895. Its main branch is an exemplar piece of Beaux-Arts architecture featuring a marble façade and massive Corinthian beams.

One World Observatory

A view of New York City's financial district, Governors Island, the Upper New York Bay, and part of Brooklyn by Joseph Quam via Unsplash
A view of New York City’s financial district, Governors Island, the Upper New York Bay, and part of Brooklyn by Joseph Quam via Unsplash

A must-visit tourist attraction, the One World Observatory is an observation deck at the new building, the One World Trade Center. It stands 1,776 feet, offering a breathtaking 360 view of New York on the 100th to 102nd floors of the glass building.

The tour up the deck also comes with an exhibit featuring the city’s history. Visitors can also enjoy dining at the café and restaurant while taking in the views.

Chrysler Building

Chrysler Building
Chrysler Building

Considered the 11th tallest in the city, the Chrysler Building is a skyscraper with an Art Deco style and the world’s tallest brick building with a steel framework. Standing 1,046 feet, the Chrysler Building was once the tallest worldwide in 1930.

It can be seen across some spots in the city but more ideal to see its magnificent lobby-filled interior pieces collected from countries worldwide.

Coney Island

Coney Island by Jessica D Vega via Unsplash
Coney Island by Jessica D Vega via Unsplash

If searching for the best tourist attraction ideal for a family outing, go to the Coney Islands, which kids and adults will surely enjoy. Coney Island is a go-to seaside getaway for New Yorkers, offering a variety of entertainment.

It offers seaside dining and amusement rides and has an iconic wooden rollercoaster operating since 1927, the Coney Island Cyclone. In addition, it is an ideal place to visit during summer, offering Manhattan Beach and Brighton Beach.

Chelsea Market

Chelsea Market by Patrick Tomasso via Unsplash
Chelsea Market by Patrick Tomasso via Unsplash

For foodies, visiting the Chelsea Market will certainly not disappoint you. This shopping mall is where the famous Oreo cookie was born and became New York’s must-visit food hall.

The market consists of upscale supermarkets, specialty stores, and delis. Apart from produce, Chelsea Market offers eateries selling mouthwatering foods, including Italian, Mexican, Chinese, Jamaican, Western, Thailand, Vietnamese, and more. You can also find lots of options for fresh seafood, beers, and wines.

References

  • Law,(2022), 22 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in New York City
  • (2021), 27 Top Tourist Attractions in New York City, Touropia
  • (2021), 32 Best Things To Do in New York City, US News

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