20 Best Things To Do in Manhattan, NY
The things to do in Manhattan, New York are endless: world-class attractions, mouthwatering foods, and historical events. Picking what to see and do in Manhattan can be a challenge.
To get you started, here are the 20 best & fun things to do in Manhattan, New York’s most visited borough.
Table of Contents
See it all with a full-day walking tour
TIME TO SPEND: 7 hours
Things to do in Manhattan in one day
If you have a limited amount of time to spend in New York City, it can be overwhelming to create a list of stuff to do in Manhattan.
Instead, kick off your trip with a full-day walking tour for an experience that works as a New York City sampler platter for the best things to do in Manhattan, NY.
What to see in Manhattan with a one-day tour
The tour begins in Times Square where you’ll experience the dazzling chaos of the theater district while learning more about its unique history as a horse-trading market.
Continue hitting Manhattan cool must-see spots like Rockefeller Center, Grand Central, the New York Stock Exchange, the Statue of Liberty, and the 9/11 Memorial. Then proceed with a few lesser-known New York attractions, like St. Patrick’s Cathedral and the Canyon of Heroes.
Throughout the course of your busy day, your local guide will share stories about the rich history that lies just below the surface of these well-known tourist attractions of Manhattan.
Pro tip: Be sure to wear comfortable shoes as you’ll do plenty of walking, but you’ll also hop on the subway with the help of your guide to get around like a real New Yorker.
Rest on a ferry ride
You’ll have a few chances to rest your feet during the day, like while riding the Staten Island Ferry to get a stunning view of the Statue of Liberty from the water and during lunch at Grand Central Terminal.
See Manhattan from above
From your vantage point at the highest observation deck in New York City, perched 1,250 feet in the air, you’ll have the chance to look over all of the sites you visited during the day while marveling at the resilience of New York, a city that overcame the tragedy of 9/11 and rebuilt something new while also honoring the past.
The action-packed day will wrap up with a final, unforgettable stop, admission to the Observatory at One World Trade Center, also known as “Freedom Tower”.
Visit the iconic Empire State Building
TIME TO SPEND: 1.5 hours
A brief history of the Empire State Building
The Empire State Building was erected thanks to the booming economy in the late 1920s as builders were locked in a mad dash to erect the world’s largest skyscraper. When the Empire State Building was finally completed in 1931, it officially gained notoriety as the world’s tallest building after an intense battle of size with the Chrysler Building.
Empire State building should be one of the must-sees on your list of the best things to do in Manhattan. It remained the world’s tallest for 40 years, and today it is still regarded as an architectural icon and an essential New York City experience. There are several different ways to see it, depending on your preference.
Best way to visit the Empire State Building
Sunset is the best time to take in the view from the 86th floor observation deck, but you should purchase a skip-the-line ticket ahead of time to secure your spot. Instead of arriving right before sunset when the crowds are the largest, show up in the late afternoon and spend some time exploring the building.
Things to do at the Empire State Building
Marvel at the newly designed Art Deco lobby in the late afternoon and explore the 10,000 square feet of sprawling interactive exhibits on the second floor, which delve into the history of this landmark.
Highlights of the exhibits include Kong, a look into the hundreds of references to the Empire State Building pop culture, and the Otis Elevator exhibit, offering a peek inside the building’s first elevators.
When you finally get to the observation deck, take in panoramic views across 6 surrounding states along with 360-degree views of New York City. Be sure to bring a jacket, as the observation deck gets chilly at night in almost every season.
If you are a morning person
If you happen to be a morning person, you can also visit the observation deck at sunrise with a more expensive ticket—but be sure to book far in advance, as only 100 sunrise tickets are available every day. No matter what time you visit, you’re guaranteed stunning views and an experience you won’t forget.
Take in breathtaking views at The Edge
TIME TO SPEND: 1.5 hours
If you are looking for some skyline views as part of your best things to do in Manhattan, a visit to The Edge is a must.
Located in Hudson Yards, Manhattan’s newest development located on the far western edge of Midtown, The Edge is a marvel of architecture, engineering, and technology, suspended 1,100 feet above the ground.
Your visit starts at Level 4 of The Shops at Hudson Yards, where you’ll enjoy an immersive multimedia exhibit exploring the design, construction, and sustainability of the Hudson Yards neighborhood before taking an elevator up 100 stories to the highest outdoor sky deck in the Western Hemisphere.
The Skydeck juts out from the side of the building like a shard of glass, offering a uniquely thrilling vantage point with angled glass walls and see-through glass flooring, giving the impression that you’re floating high above the city below.
Take in 360-degree views of the city, all the way from the tip of Central Park to the Statue of Liberty and beyond.
Be sure to purchase your tickets in advance, as this attraction is still relatively new and tends to sell out.
For the true adrenaline seekers, take the experience a step further by booking the City Climb, a once-in-a-lifetime adventure where you’ll scale the side of the building until you reach The Apex, the highest vantage point on the building only reachable by climbing, before leaning out over the edge 100 stories in the air.
From there, you’ll lean out over The Apex—don’t worry, you’ll be safely strapped in—and when you go home, you’ll be able to brag that for a moment, you were at the very top of Manhattan.
See a Broadway show and stick around for Times Square at midnight
TIME TO SPEND: 3 hours
Times Square is the pinnacle of New York City’s always-on, in-your-face energy. From the marvelous, twinkling lights and billboards that use 161 megawatts of electricity every year, nearly double the amount of electricity required to power all of the casinos in Las Vegas, to the zany street performers like the Naked Cowboy and dancing Elmo, this Midtown Manhattan neighborhood is not to be missed.
Times Square also happens to be the heart of the theater district, housing 41 world-class Broadway theaters with rotating productions that draw in visitors from around the globe.
For the most unforgettable Times Square experience, start by booking a late show of your choice. You can choose from a number of new musicals and plays, or stick to one of the classics, like The Phantom of the Opera or The Lion King.
After the show, hang around for the world’s largest, longest-running digital art exhibition, Midnight Moment. If you’ve always wanted to feel the magic of the ball drop in Times Square but you never wanted to endure the crowds, this is the experience for you.
From 11:57 pm to midnight, over 92 digital displays in Times Square synchronize to present a single work of contemporary art, bringing public art to a monumental scale for New Yorkers and visitors 364 days of the year.
This nightly presentation features a different experimental artist every month and seeing it is one of the most incredible free experiences you can have while in New York. There is no bad view for Midnight Moment, which spans from 41st and 49th street, but be sure not to arrive late, as the art display begins promptly at 11:57 pm and lasts for only three minutes.
Stroll around three famous neighborhoods: SoHo, Little Italy, and Chinatown
TIME TO SPEND: 2 hours
One of the best things to do in Manhattan except for site seeing is exploring its districts. There are over 53 neighborhoods in Manhattan alone, each with its own distinct history, cuisine, architecture, and modern-day personality.
While it would be impossible to get to know them all during your trip, you should opt for a walking tour to get further acquainted with three of the most storied downtown neighborhoods: Soho, Little Italy, and Chinatown.
You’ll discover three completely different worlds in a single afternoon, something that is only possible in a city as diverse as New York.
Start in SoHo, the trendy, upscale shopping district that stands for South of Houston. Home to countless celebrities, posh storefronts, and classic wrought-iron architecture. SoHo is a mecca for high-end living. Get to know the area with visits to several buildings of interest, including the E.V. Haughwout Building and the Old Police Station.
Next, you’ll venture over to Little Italy and Chinatown, where New York’s rich immigrant history comes to life. As immigrants flooded to New York in the 19th and 20th centuries seeking better opportunities, many ethnic groups stuck together and formed tight-knit communities that are still thriving more than 100 years later.
Your guide will share stories of immigrant life, trials and tribulations, and gang violence in the neighborhoods as you are guided aroundn the area, stopping at a handful of important sights and buildings along the way.
You’ll also have the chance to sample snacks and shop for souvenirs in Little Italy, the perfect place to purchase delicious treats to bring home with you. To make the most of your trip, plan to end the 2-hour walking tour in Chinatown, where you should enjoy lunch or dinner at one of the neighborhood’s famous dim sum shops, like Nom Wah Tea Parlor or Golden Unicorn.
Get to know the city’s famous architecture on the water
TIME TO SPEND: 3 hours
From the Woolworth Building to the classic Greenwich Village brownstones to the massive bridges that connect the five boroughs, New York is brimming with architectural significance spanning centuries of history.
With so many significant places to see in Manhattan and so much physical ground to cover, the best way to discover the architectural marvels of the city is to examine its visionary development from the unofficial 6th borough, the water.
Hop on board an elegant, 1920’s style yacht for a three-hour architecture cruise around Manhattan, led by architects and members of the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter, for an unforgettable afternoon. Circumnavigate Manhattan through the Hudson, East, and Harlem rivers, passing under all 18 bridges while taking in the sights and stunning architecture.
While aboard, you can opt for an indoor seat in the air conditioning, or venture out onto the elegant teakwood deck as you learn about important fixtures of the NYC architecture scene, like the marvel of the One World Trade Center, Downtown “Starchitecture”, Jean Nouvel’s 100 Eleventh Avenue condos, and classic icons like the Woolworth Building, and Wall Street’s art deco spires.
You’ll also learn more about the postwar urban renewal and public housing along the East River, along with many other historical architectural stories about how the city came to be.
With a complimentary drink and unbeatable views from the water, you’ll cover more ground on this tour than you thought possible. If you take this tour at the start of your trip, it can serve as a good introduction to the city’s architectural scene, allowing you to decide what buildings you’re most interested in exploring for the remainder of your trip.
Discover world-class art on Museum Mile
TIME TO SPEND: 4 hours
If you are an art lover, there is plenty of places to see in Manhattan for you.
Walk along the Upper East Side’s stretch of Fifth Avenue and you’ll discover the wealth of world-class museums and cultural institutions that have earned the block the nickname “Museum Mile.”
This stretch, hugging the east side of Central Park, offers the most diverse art-viewing opportunities on any given mile in the country, making it a must-visit for any art lover visiting New York.
One of the most noteworthy museums is The Metropolitan Museum of Art or the Met for short. With 17 curational collections featuring over 2 million works of art spanning from ancient Egypt to the modern-day, you could spend hours exploring the massive museum.
If you have a bit more time, purchase a combo ticket to see both The Met Fifth Avenue and The Met Cloisters, a beautiful outdoor museum in Washington Heights known for its impressive collection of art from the Middle Ages.
Another fantastic option on Museum Mile is the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Guggenheim, which was designated a UNESCO world heritage site in 2019—one of the only two in New York City, along with the Statue of Liberty Climb the famous spiral-shaped staircase as you explore a collection of early modern masterpieces, featuring an ever-evolving display devoted to the art of the 20th century and beyond.
If you’ve got the stamina, it is possible to visit both The Met and Guggenheim on the same day. You can take a break in Central Park between visits to the museum, grabbing lunch at one of the restaurants on Madison Avenue near Carnegie Hall.
Spend a Sunday exploring Mount Morris with gospel and brunch
TIME TO SPEND: 4 hours
Harlem, a historically and culturally significant neighborhood in uptown Manhattan, is internationally known as the Black mecca of the world. As one of the oldest neighborhoods in the US, Harlem’s history traces back to the 1600s, when the land was inhabited by the Manhattans, a native American tribe that predated the later Dutch settlers.
Through the decades, cultural cycles have transformed the area many times over, with the most well-known transition happening in 1904 when railroad construction displaced many Black New Yorkers who were living downtown.
As Black families moved uptown to Harlem in the early 1900s, many artists, musicians, and poets followed suit. Shortly thereafter came the Harlem Renaissance during the 1920s and 1930s, and the artistic, musical, and intellectual impact of that time period is reflected in the vibrant community that thrives in Harlem today.
You’ll feel this magnetic energy as you walk through Harlem’s streets during a Sunday morning tour introducing you to the sights and sounds of uptown neighborhood at its best.
You’ll be guided through the Mount Morris Historic District, where the Founding Fathers made their homes and where beautiful churches rich in abundant history are found on every corner.
Let yourself be inspired by the uplifting sounds of live gospel at one of Harlem’s most notable houses of worship, learn more about the famous residents of the neighborhood, and end your morning with a delicious brunch at one of Harlem’s most delicious restaurants. Before leaving, stop by a local Black-owned coffee shop, like NBHD Brulee or Silvana, for an afternoon pick me up.
Stroll around the artistic, bohemian West Village neighborhood
TIME TO SPEND: 3 hours
West Village is a hip, lively downtown neighborhood regarded as an important landmark in American bohemian culture. Home to many famous writers, musicians, and poets in the early and mid-twentieth century, West Village was once a beacon for beatniks, protests, and artistic expression.
While the vibe of the neighborhood today isn’t quite what it used to be—more polished and modern, less gritty—it is still one of the most iconic and interesting neighborhoods in Manhattan.
Get a feel for the historical significance of the area with visits to institutions like Smalls Jazz Club, which earned a reputation in the 1990s as a “hotbed for New York’s jazz talent”, Caffe Reggio, which opened in 1927 and claims to have invented cappuccino, the Comedy Cellar, known for hosting impromptu performances from world-famous comedians who come to practice new material in the intimate setting of this tiny basement, and Cafe Wha, another famous music venue that has been operating since 1959.
Washington Square Park is another must-visit West Village stop, where you’ll get the chance to see the iconic Arch while being immersed in the vibrant local scene. While you can explore the neighborhood on your own, foodie-inclined visitors should embark on a West Village food tour where you’ll get a chance to visit historically fascinating spots in between delicious tastings from a wide array of landmark establishments.
You can also opt for a Greenwich Village walking tour, which covers the smaller subset of West Village that is known for its historic counterculture.
Walk over the Brooklyn Bridge and explore DUMBO
TIME TO SPEND: 2.5 hours
While this stop technically ends in Brooklyn, it starts in Manhattan, just past the Financial District at City Hall. A stroll across the Brooklyn Bridge is one of the best things in Manhattan, and like many other major architectural fixtures in the city, it has a fascinating history.
As the first fixed structure built for crossing the East River back in 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge used to be one of the most important architectural structures for connecting New York City to Brooklyn.
These days it is most popular as a pedestrian walkway, offering stunning views and unmatched photo ops. To hear more about the riveting history of the construction of the first-ever steel-wire suspension bridge, including tales of its many immigrant builders and the trials and tribulations of the Roebling family, the designers of the formed bridge, opt for a guided walking tour.
The tour will take you across the bridge, stopping at all the best places for photos along the way, and it will continue on the Brooklyn side in DUMBO, another history-rich Brooklyn neighborhood.
DUMBO stands for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass, a name that was given to the neighborhood specifically to deter rapid gentrification of the formerly industrial area.
Ironically, DUMBO is one of the most expensive and coveted neighborhoods in Brooklyn today, where cobblestone streets are flocked with beautiful boutiques, chic restaurants, and luxury apartment buildings. Once you cross the bridge to DUMBO, stop at Ample Hills, a local ice cream shop located in an old fireboat house at the end of the bridge.
Be sure to check out Brooklyn Bridge Park, a public park offering incredible waterfront views of the city, and don’t leave the area without stopping at one of the most popular photo ops in all of Brooklyn, the intersection of Washington Street and Water Street.
Explore the High Line, Chelsea, and Meatpacking District
TIME TO SPEND: 2 hours
Another quintessential NYC neighborhood you can’t miss on your best things to do in Manhattan list is Chelsea, located between Downtown and Midtown on the West Side of Manhattan. With over 400 art galleries around the neighborhood, Chelsea is regarded as the art capital of New York City, but there is plenty to see outside of its impressive collection of art.
Chelsea is known as a formerly industrial area turned impossibly chic and high end, which is particularly present in the neighborhood’s Meatpacking District, an area that housed hundreds of slaughterhouses and meat packing plants in the early and mid-1900s.
Take a tour of the area to hit all of its highlights while learning about the extensive history of the place. You’ll start at Chelsea Market, a large indoor market selling artisanal crafts and local food and drink.
Next, make your way to New York’s only elevated park, The High Line. The 1-mile-long linear park was created on a section of the former elevated New York Central Railroad, which became obsolete after trucking became a more popular means of transporting goods in the 1980s. As the demolition date got closer, wild plants began to grow through the tracks, creating a surprisingly beautiful area that eventually became a garden.
A non-profit advocated for the preservation of this thriving garden and turned it into a public park, officially opening in 2009 and moving on to become one of the most-visited attractions in all of New York City.
A stroll along The High Line is a truly unique experience, with many notable stop-offs offering incredible views of surrounding buildings, live gardens planted within the walkway, and up-close views of the stunning surrounding architecture, including the ultramodern Standard Hotel and the undulating glass curtain design of the IAC building
Climb up The Vessel in Hudson Yards
TIME TO SPEND: 1.5 hours
When The High Line ends, Hudson Yards begins. As the most expansive and expensive private development in the US, Hudson Yards has been dubbed a “billionaire’s fantasy city.” The newest of New York’s neighborhoods is largely composed of mixed-used luxury residences, name-brand shopping, high-end hotels, and posh office spaces—roughly $25 billion worth of real estate development.
There is much to see and explore in Hudson Yards in Manhattan, but you’ll want to start with The Vessel, the extraordinary centerpiece of Hudson Yards that has quickly become a new New York City landmark since its unveiling in 2019.
The Vessel is compromised of 154 interconnecting flights of stairs, with almost 2,500 individual steps and 80 landings. While the stairs are currently closed in the wake of COVID, you can still snap a photo outside of the beautiful structure before going on to explore the rest of Hudson Yards.
Opt for a tour if you want to be led around the area by an expert guide, or choose to explore yourself. Be sure to check out The Shed, home to rotating art exhibitions, and The Shops at Hudson Yards, a beautiful, multi-floor shopping mall with plenty of top-notch dining and shopping.
If you happen to be hungry, make a pit stop at José Andrés’s Mercado Little Spain on the first floor of the Shops, an authentic Spanish-style food hall boasting market-style tapas restaurants, bars, and food stalls.
Visit the Morgan Library and Museum
TIME TO SPEND: 1 hour
What began as the personal library of financier, collector, and cultural benefactor Pierpont Morgan is now a museum and independent research library in the heart of New York City. It is well worth a visit being one of the best things to do in Manhattan.
As early as 1890, Morgan had begun to assemble a collection of illuminated, literary, and historical manuscripts, early printed books, and old master drawings and prints. amassing a large and highly rare collection of important pieces of history.
To house his collection, Morgan had a stunning library built adjacent to his Madison Avenue home in the early 1900s, designed in a grand Italian Renaissance style by famous architect Charles McKim. Eleven years after Mr. Morgan’s death, his son, Jack, realized the library had become too significant to remain private.
In what is considered one of the most momentous cultural gifts in US history, Morgan’s son decided to give the library to New York City, making its treasures available to scholars and the public alike by transforming it into a public institution.
Today, the original library includes a 75,000 square foot addition, which visitors can enjoy as they peruse the incredibly rare works of writing and art housed in the library. Be sure to buy your ticket online in advance, or you can visit for Free Friday, where entry is free from 5 pm to 7 pm with a pre-booked online reservation required.
Explore the bounty of Central Park
TIME TO SPEND: 2 hours
Located in the center of Manhattan is a sight that is instantly recognizable around the world, thanks to its countless features in famous movies like When Harry Met Sally and Breakfast at Tiffanys, Central Park.
For those willing to hide from the city’s loudness, Central Park should be on the list of the best things to do in Manhattan.
As the first landscaped public park in the US, this sprawling green space is filled with interesting stops, vibrant nature, and immense historical significance.
Most visitors don’t realize just how large the park actually is—943 acres, nearly double the size of the country of Monaco. That being said, it’s nearly impossible to explore Central Park entirely on your own or by foot, so opt for an electric scooter tour to cover more ground and hit the main highlights along the way.
You’ll stop off at noteworthy sights like the iconic Bethesda Fountain, also known as the Heart of New York City, Cleopatra’s Needle, the Jackie Kennedy Reservoir, and the North Woods.
If you’re a movie buff, another guided option for seeing the park is a walking tour of the park’s movie locations, where you can recreate your favorite scenes from the big screen. With this option, you’ll see sights like the Boathouse Cafe and Wollman RInk, among many others.
If you want to spend even more time getting to know this dynamic area before or after your tour, you can rent a paddleboat or take a gondola ride during the warmer months at Loeb boathouse, have a picnic in Sheep’s Meadow, or explore The Ramble, a dense forest in the middle of the park.
Discover world-class exhibits at the Museum of Modern Art
TIME TO SPEND: 2.5 hours
The Museum of Modern Art called the MoMA for short, is highly regarded as one of the finest modern art institutions in the world. As it is on many people’s lists of the best things to do in Manhattan, be aware of the queues.
Book a timed entry ticket to skip the line and admire the works of Monet, Matisse, and van Gogh as you move through six floors of extensive art galleries.
What makes MoMA so unique is its dedication to the conversation between past and present art, juxtaposing some of the most established artists of the last century with more modern, experimental counterparts for an art-viewing experience like no other.
The MoMA’s immense private collection includes 200,000 works of art, from paintings and sculptures to photographs, drawings, and more—there are over 2 million pieces in the museum’s collection of film stills alone.
The vast size and scale of the museum can make it so you’re not sure where to begin. Make it a point to start on the fifth floor, where you’ll find some of the most famous works you won’t want to miss, including van Gogh’s The Starry Night as well Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Cans.
On the first Friday of every month, MoMA stays open late, until 8 pm, offering a different late-night vibe to the hallmark institution.
Venture through the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral by candlelight
TIME TO SPEND: 1.5 hours
One of New York’s greatest hidden gems is located in the heart of Little Italy at St. Patrick’s Basilica, not to be confused with the notable St. Patrick’s Cathedral near Rockefeller Center.
Explore the oldest cathedral in New York, which served as a final resting place for many prominent New York Catholics, before gaining access to the behind-the-scenes areas of the church that are normally barred from the public.
After getting a tour of the cathedral and learning more about its thrilling history, you’ll gain exclusive access to off-limits areas, including two walled cemeteries and the only active Catholic catacombs in New York City.
Explore the catacombs, located beneath the cathedral, by candlelight and discover where bishops rest alongside prominent New York Catholics, such as the Delmonico Family and the first resident Bishop of New York, Bishop John Connolly. While these catacombs aren’t quite as extensive or spooky as the ones located in Paris, they are equally as significant to the Catholic Church.
The only way to access them is by booking a tour, and the experience is unlike anything else you’ll do while in New York. It is well worth the time, especially for those who are interested in the history of the Catholic church.
Ignite your inner child at the American Museum of Natural History
TIME TO SPEND: 2.5 hours
Located just northeast of Central Park Lake is the largest natural history museum in the world, the Museum of Natural History.
The massive campus, built nearly 150 years ago, comprises 26 interconnected buildings spanning 2 million square feet. You might recognize it from the giant dinosaur skeleton in the lobby, or as the setting from Ben Stiller’s Night At The Museum.
From dinosaurs to space rocks, this museum houses some of the world’s most fascinating artifacts—33 million objects, to be exact. This makes it on one of the best & most fun things to do in Manhattan
The museum is perfect for both children and adults thanks to its varying exhibits, but because of its sheer size, exploring the museum on your own can be a daunting task. Instead, take a guided tour led by a young, passionate storyteller who knows the museum backward and forward.
This is a great option for those who are especially curious, as the tour is entirely customizable, and having a guide there to answer your questions and suggest things to see transforms the experience.
Even if you have visited the museum before, there’s a good chance this tour will make it feel like your first time, thanks to the knowledge of your art historian guide.
Visit notable exhibits like the giant African mammals of the Akeley Hall, the dinosaur exhibits, the North American Forests, and the Hall of Ocean Life. Be sure to check out the Hall of Meteorites to see some of the largest meteorites that have landed here on Earth, and marvel at all of the knowledge you’ve acquired as you make your way out of the museum after a thrilling afternoon.
Immerse yourself in a new kind of art experience at ARTECHOUSE
TIME TO SPEND: 1 hour
Located beneath the Chelsea Market in a previously unoccupied boiler room, you’ll find ARTECHOUSE, a first of its kind multisensory art experience.
Discover interactive and immersive digital art exhibits in a space dedicated to 21st-century artists and audiences, with evolving immersive exhibits by artists who are forerunners of the new age in arts, science, and technology.
ARCHEHOUSE features incredible large-scale installations that work to open minds, inspire curiosity, and encourage art without limitations. you can further enrich the experience by downloading the ARCHEHOUSE XR app, which you can use to order cocktails, wine, or beer from the ARCHEHOUSE Extended Reality Bar.
Soar above Manhattan on a helicopter
TIME TO SPEND: 30 minutes
By this point you’ve seen Manhattan from the ground and possibly from the water, so round out your New York City experience with a trip high above Manhattan’s iconic skyline with a helicopter tour.
While it’s quite expensive it’s an unforgettable experience that should be on your list of the best things to do in Manhattan if you are not on a budget trip.
During this heart-pumping, once-in-a-lifetime experience, you’ll have the opportunity to take in the most famous sights of the city from nearly 1,000 feet above.
Enjoy the ever-evolving skyline as you cruise over Central Park, Hudson River, the New York Harbor, Rockefeller Center, Empire State Building, the World Financial Center, and the Chrysler Building, as well as the iconic Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Greenwich Village, South Street Seaport, and the Brooklyn Bridge.
A helicopter flight is a perfect way to kick off or conclude your New York trip, as you’ll gain a new appreciation for the famed sights when you catch them from a different vantage point.
You can book anywhere from 12-30 minute rides, and your helicopter pilot will narrate the whole experience so you won’t miss a thing.
See a show or catch a game at Madison Square Garden
TIME TO SPEND: 2 hours
Since it first opened its doors in 1879, Madison Square Garden has been a celebrated center of New York life.
From being the home of the New York Knicks, Rangers, professional boxing, college basketball to hosting concerts from world-famous musicians to being the home of the Democratic National Convention on two separate occasions, Madison Square Garden has seen many of the world’s most famous celebrities, politicians, and athletes walk through its doors.
There are many ways to experience Madison Square Garden, the oldest major sporting facility in New York, depending on the time of year you are visiting and your interests.
You can play it like a real New Yorker and see a Knicks or Rangers game at the Garden, but you can also catch plenty of other exciting events there if sports aren’t your thing. Most major musical artists play at the Garden during their tours, and famous New York musician Billy Joel currently has a visiting residency there.
While you’re in the area, walk about ten minutes southeast of the Garden and visit Madison Square Park, located right next to the Flatiron Building. Grab a burger at the original Shake Shack location, located in the park. and do some people watching as you soak it all in.