17 Most Romantic Things To Do in New York City for Couples

Anda Galffy is an award-winning travel writer and the voice behind Travel Notes & Beyond.
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When it comes to romantic getaways, New York is always a good idea. With its gorgeous skyline and amazing views, beautiful parks and incredibly romantic restaurants, you can’t go wrong with the Big Apple. But where should you start in a city that has thousands of restaurants and cafés, hundreds of museums, countless historical landmarks, and tons of attractions on every corner? 

Planning a romantic getaway in New York may feel overwhelming. So, if you are having trouble deciding what to choose, let me give you a few ideas about the most romantic things to do in New York. 

1. Take a horse-drawn carriage tour through Central Park

Couple on a horse drawn carriage

Horse-drawn carriages are really romantic. They are reminiscent of a bygone era, when New Yorkers got around on horseback or by means of horse-drawn carriages. Today it’s hard to imagine a world without cars, buses, and trucks, which makes horse-drawn carriages even more nostalgic. 

Hiring a carriage is a charming and romantic way to experience the beauty of New York’s Central Park. You can find them lined up year-round at the following pickup zones:

  • Grand Army Plaza: center lane at the entrance on Fifth Avenue and East 60th Street
  • Sixth Avenue: within the park entrance north of Central Park South
  • Seventh Avenue Entrance: the east curb, about 20 feet from Central Park South

Prices can be high depending on the company you use and the length of your trip, but booking your tour online is a good way to find the best price for the experience you want.

2. Climb into the crown of the Statue of Liberty

Looking up to the famous Statue of Liberty

Visiting the Statue of Liberty is at the top of many bucket lists. Lady Liberty is a shining beacon for freedom and justice, and the top of most lists of romantic things to do in NYC for couples. 

Make the experience more romantic with a sunset ferry ride back. Watch as the sun dips behind Lady Liberty, below the sparkling waters of the Hudson River. You’ll see the twinkling lights of Manhattan come on one by one, while the statue’s crown and torch glow in the dusk.  

To visit Liberty Island, as well as Ellis Islands, you can book tickets in advance. The ferry departs daily from The Battery at Manhattan’s southern tip and includes access to the Statue of Liberty Museum and Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration. You’ll be able to get up close and personal with Lady Liberty, but if you want to hop on her pedestal, you need to book a ticket directly that includes entry to the statue.

3. Stroll across the Brooklyn Bridge at night

Across the Brooklyn Bridge

One of the most romantic things to do in NYC is walk across the famous Brooklyn Bridge. Make it even more romantic by visiting at night. This is one of New York’s most beloved landmarks, and each step of its 1.1-mile length offers spectacular views and romantic photo ops. 

Opened in 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge has an old and interesting history that dates back to the late 1800s. Initially built to ease the commute of Brooklynites to Manhattan, it’s now one of the city’s most popular attractions, combining history with spectacular views and a chance to visit one of New York’s hippest boroughs. For a romantic evening, stroll across Brooklyn Bridge at dusk, and watch the skyscrapers light up in Manhattan on one side and Brooklyn on the other. This is the perfect photo opportunity, or a chance to enjoy New York in the quiet dusk. Finish with dinner in one of Brooklyn’s trendy candlelit restaurants like The River Cafe or Cecconi’s Dumbo

If you prefer to explore by day, take a leisurely bike tour that will take you across the bridge to explore the neighborhood.

4. Catch a Broadway show

Just in time for the Broadway show

Nowhere in the world is more famous for theater than Broadway, and theater entertainment remains one of the most popular attractions in NYC. So, if you are looking for a fun, romantic night out in New York with your partner, look no further.There are over 40 Broadway theaters in Manhattan and a wide variety of shows to choose from. 

Pair a show with dinner for a classic dinner-and-a-show style date. There are some fantastic options near Broadway, whether you prefer fine dining or are working with a smaller budget. As you leave the show, be sure to head to Times Square for a unique experience at 11:57 PM. Most of the screens flash and coordinate to display the latest work of art for 3 minutes — called the Midnight Moment. 

5. Relax at the AIRE Ancient Baths

Stop by the AIRE Ancient Baths

I can’t think of a more romantic thing to do in New York as a couple than have a mineral bath treatment and a massage together. AIRE Ancient Baths on 88 Franklin Street is one of the city’s best kept secrets. It’s difficult to discover this place on your own, unless a local tells you about it. 

Hidden in an industrial building from the turn of the 20th-century, AIRE is an upscale place without an attitude, so you can pamper yourself and completely relax. Prices start at $125 per person, but there are plenty of more luxurious couples options to choose from if your budget allows.

6. Row a boat in Central Park

Central Park in autumn colors

A retreat from the city’s hustle and bustle for many New Yorkers, Central Park is a green oasis right in the middle of Manhattan. The peaceful Central Park Lake is surrounded by skyscrapers, lawns and trees, making it an ideal place to take to the water and simply relax.  

Being out on the lake allows you to be alone with your loved one, while the city beats around you. Take a picnic or pick up a coffee on the way and while away an hour or two as you take in New York’s famous skyline — is there a more romantic way to spend an afternoon?

From May to September, between 10:00 AM and dusk, you can rent row boats and gondolas at the Loeb Boathouse for an even more romantic New York experience. 

7. Admire Manhattan from atop the Empire State Building

Time for a Manhattan view

The Empire State Building is a great place to see the sunset over Manhattan, or simply admire the city from above. Up on the 86th or 102nd floor, you can take in spectacular views and simply enjoy each other’s company. 

Visit during sunset to watch New York lit up by the fading sun before the twinkling lights come on for the evening. Afterwards, book a romantic dinner nearby for the ultimate romantic evening. The STATE Grill and Bar inside the Empire State Building gives you a choice of American dishes, while nearby The Vine offers fine Italian cuisine in a relaxed setting. 

The Empire State Building is located on Fifth Avenue, between 33rd and 34th Streets. You can purchase your tickets either online or on the spot at the ticket booth. 

Top tips: There are 2 observation decks in this iconic building: one on the 86th floor and one on the 102nd floor. If you’re looking to save some money, book tickets to the 86th floor observation deck. You can also book your Empire State Building tickets here and skip the line.

8. Walk around The Battery

Walk around The Battery

The Battery, formerly known as Battery Park, is famous for its amazing waterfront views across the Hudson River to Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty, and Jersey City. Named for the old cannons (batteries) that once defended the city, The Battery is a relaxing place where people come to enjoy some fresh, salty air.

A wander around The Battery makes for the perfect romantic afternoon or evening. Or, add to the romance and ride the SeaGlass carousel. This 3.5 minute trip is set to Mozart and gently spins you around as the LED glass around you lights up. Afterwards, finish with a romantic waterside meal or a drink or two in a nearby bar. 

If you’re visiting the Statue of Liberty, the ferry leaves from here, allowing you to explore this romantic spot before or after. If you’re staying on dry land, it’s the perfect spot to catch a glimpse of the Statue of Liberty, and an especially romantic spot to watch the sunset.

9. Get your music fix at Carnegie Hall

Live show at Carnegie Hall

Attending a concert at Carnegie Hall is not only very romantic, it’s also one of the most uplifting experiences you can have in New York. People come from all over the world to see this famous concert hall.

Since its inauguration in 1891, anyone who’s anyone in the world of music has performed at this prestigious venue, from the world’s most famous composers like Tchaikovsky, Dvořák, or Mahler, to celebrities like Benny Goodman, Judy Garland, and The Beatles. 

Carnegie Hall is located at 881 Seventh Avenue, two blocks from Central Park, in Midtown Manhattan. You can buy concert tickets online at carnegiehall.org, or in person at the box office.

10. Discover the abandoned City Hall station

The abandoned station

Hidden under City Hall lies one of the most beautiful but forgotten subway stations in the world. It’s hard to believe that such elaborate tile designs, ornately arched ceilings, and elegant chandeliers were created for a mere subway station, but in 1904, City Hall station was the jewel of the NY subway system. But its glory days were short — in 1945, the station was closed because its platform was too short for the modern trains. 

The station lay abandoned for decades and trying to access it was illegal. It became a magnet for filmmakers, copied for “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” and appearing in the first “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” among others. Today the New York Transit Museum offers guided tours of the old subway station for $50 a ticket. The catch? You must become a member of the museum to be able to purchase tickets, which costs from $40 per year.  

Top Tip: You can partially see the abandoned station for free by taking the subway and staying on board the downtown-bound number 6 train past the last stop, Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall, as it makes a U-turn through the old City Hall station to travel back uptown. Pretend you didn’t hear the conductor announce the last stop and stay on, getting close to the window on the right to see the empty station as you pass through.

11. See the catacombs by candlelight

Catacombs by Candlelight

This hidden treasure is one of the most unique romantic things to do in NYC. The tour takes you to St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral in Lower Manhattan, where you’ll explore its historical Basilica. 

The candlelight adds a romantic atmosphere as you explore the catacombs, see the pipe organ and wander through parts of the Cathedral that are usually closed to the public. You’ll feel as if you’re in your very own Phantom of the Opera candlelit tour as your guide takes you through the history and stories of the building. 

12. Enjoy a special evening of stargazing on the Highline

Stargazing on the highline

Every Tuesday in April through October sees a special, memorable and unforgettable activity open up to visitors and locals alike. Stargazing on the Highline allows you to see planets, the moon and the stars through the Amateur Astronomers Association’s powerful telescopes. 

The Highline is a fascinating attraction in itself, and one of the best things to do in NYC. It’s a former elevated train line which has been turned into a park, offering incredible views of Manhattan and the Hudson River. 

Usually too tricky to stargaze from, with the bright lights of the city around you, stargazing on the Highline is an idyllic thing to do in NYC for couples. Stay for dinner afterwards and revel in this magical experience as you enjoy tacos, gelato and more from the trendy Skyline area. Don’t forget to soak in the views of the city at night around you as you make your way back to your hotel. 

13. Relax with a city lights yacht cruise

Gentle romance under the city lights

New York is known for its many waterways. It’s where 2 rivers converge to meet the Atlantic Ocean, and has a long and fascinating history of sea trade. But there’s a more romantic side to New York’s waterways. 

Explore the famous Hudson River, drink in hand, on a romantic yacht cruise. This is your chance to see NYC’s famous skyline from a different angle, listen to jazz and take in glittering Lady Liberty as she floats by, with her crown and torch lit up for the night. 

This evening cruise is perfect for couples, with the 1920s inspired yacht, moonlight and stargazing opportunities up on deck making it one of the most romantic things to do in NYC. 

14. Hold hands on a spooky Greenwich Village Ghost Tour

Greenwich village ghost tour

What better place to enjoy a ghost tour than in the “city that never sleeps”? Greenwich Village is home to classic red brick mansions peppered with ironwork, as well as a lively food scene. Begin your romantic evening with a walk around the neighborhood to get your bearings. Then, have dinner at one of the many trendy restaurants. Choose from sushi counters, casual pizza restaurants, veggie spots, or fine dining brasseries, depending on your budget. 

After a walk and dinner, embark on your spooky Ghost Tour of Greenwich Village. You’ll get to see all the scariest spots in town, including the Hanging Tree, the oldest known living tree in Manhattan, which is said to be the site of many hangings. Visit the spooky Murder House, where 22 spirits reportedly live, and see the Brown Building, where a famous factory fire led to spirits still haunting the area today. You’ll also visit the Church of the Ascension, haunted by the artist John Lafarge, and many more mysterious spots for fascinating stories and legends.

15. Experience the delights of VR World

Explore the cyber world

A key part of romance is the element of surprise and mystery. Book a trip to New York City’s VR World and you’re bound to find it here. 

You can choose from single-player or two-player games, or band up with those around you and try a multiplayer VR experience. Zombie lovers can run and hide from the undead, while art lovers can fully immerse themselves in some of the most beautiful works ever created. The most romantic films come alive and allow you to be on set, while music lovers can immerse themselves in their favorites like never before. 

Ride on a rollercoaster and hold hands for comfort, create your own art together, or watch your favorite music come alive in front of your eyes. This unique romantic New York experience is ideal for couples who love to try something new. 

16. Have an escape room adventure

Our escape room adventure

Teamwork is the basis of a great relationship. Test your mettle and cunning together with an escape room adventure

Choose the game you like best — falsely-accused prisoners trying to break out of jail, spies recovering a piece of stolen artwork, or seek out gold and find your fortune. 

This is a brilliant opportunity to work together, solve a tricky puzzle and take yourself to another world in a challenging, fun and immersive experience. Test your skills as a team, give yourself a fun sense of achievement and leave the escape room feeling accomplished and invigorated as you head out to explore the rest of the city together. You may be on a romantic vacation in New York, but this is a chance to explore other worlds together. 

17. Travel back in time to the prohibition era

Quality time over a drink

There’s no better romantic thing to do in NYC for couples than to step back into the “Roaring Twenties”. The prohibition era was a time of glitz and glamor, hidden bars and fascinating history. 

Book a Speakeasy Drinks and Prohibition History Tour and discover some of New York’s secrets for yourself. This 3-hour walking tour offers plenty of chances to experience the debauchery for yourselves; taking you to 3 historical pubs and bars, and a speakeasy. Soak in the atmosphere as you enjoy a drink or two of your favorite tipple, learning fascinating stories from New York in the twenties as you go. 

Retrace the journey from immigrant to American Dream as you step off the busy city streets into quiet, hidden bars off the beaten path. You’ll get to learn about New York’s famous gangsters and bootleggers, and walk in the footsteps of the notorious. 

Last word

New York City is famously one of the most romantic places in the world. Whether you’re traveling with someone new, visiting NYC on your honeymoon or simply wanting to enjoy the holiday of a lifetime with your loved one, you’ll find some fantastic couples activities waiting for you. 

What are the most romantic things to do in NYC?

  • Stroll across the Brooklyn Bridge at night
  • Empire State Building & dinner
  • Catacombs by Candlelight

What are the most unique things to do in NYC for couples?

  • AIRE Ancient Baths
  • Abandoned City Hall station
  • Stargazing on the Highline

What are the best anniversary ideas in NYC?

  • City Lights Yacht Cruise with Drink Included
  • Take a horse-drawn carriage tour through Central Park
  • Private Helicopter Tour for Couples

What are the best things to do for couples at night in NYC?

  • Greenwich Village Ghost Tour
  • Stargazing on the Highline
  • Stroll across the Brooklyn Bridge at night

What are the best fun things for couples in NYC?

  • VR World 
  • 1-Hour Escape Room Adventure
  • Drinks and Prohibition History Tour
Anda Galffy is an award-winning travel writer and the voice behind Travel Notes & Beyond. She also does freelance writing for online travel magazines and other publications. You can read more of her articles, such as How to spend 4 Days in New York, on her blog

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