Things to do in Upper West Side

Our most recommended things to do in Upper West Side, Upper Manhattan

New York: CityPASS® to Save 40% at 5 Top Attractions

1. New York: CityPASS® to Save 40% at 5 Top Attractions

See world-class art, fascinating science, important history, and incredible views—from the sky AND the sea and save up to 40% with the New York CityPASS! New York CityPASS includes admission to: 1. The Empire State Building: With iconic views and a new museum, the Empire State Building provides breathtaking 360-degree, open-air views from the 86th-floor observatory. 2. American Museum of Natural History: Explore human cultures, the natural world, and the universe with a visit to one of the world’s most famous natural history museums. 3. Top of the Rock OR Guggenheim Museum Top of the Rock: Experience incredible 360-degree panoramic views of New York City and beyond from interior and exterior decks on the top three floors of this legendary art deco skyscraper, 30 Rock.   Guggenheim Museum: Frank Lloyd Wright’s mid-century masterpiece of modern architecture, located alongside scenic Central Park.  See collection highlights, including works by Manet, Picasso, Van Gogh and more. 5. Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island OR Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island: Experience the beauty and history of the Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island Immigration Museum with Statue Cruises.   Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises: Take in the world’s premier skyline with up-close and magnificent views of the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, One World Trade and 101 NYC sights.   6. 9/11 Memorial & Museum OR Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum 9/11 Memorial & Museum: Pay your respects to the victims of the 9/11 attacks at the 9/11 Memorial & Museum.  Examine the history and impact of the events and learn the stories of loss and recovery within the Museum.   Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum: Get an up-close look at the space shuttle Enterprise and 28 aircraft, including the world’s fastest jet.

New York City: American Museum of Natural History Ticket

2. New York City: American Museum of Natural History Ticket

Enjoy a day of family-friendly activities at the American Museum of Natural History, in New York City. Located just across from Central Park, the museum is home to over 32 million specimens. Benefit from all-day entry and use the option to upgrade your general entry ticket to include special exhibitions. Explore all permanent exhibitions as well as the Rose Center for Earth and Space. Wander around 45 Museum Halls to learn about dinosaurs and diamonds, and everything in-between. Look out for the iconic Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton and Easter Island head that inspired characters in the film "Night at the Museum." Connect to the museum's WiFi and download the free Explorer App to your smartphone. The app offers turn-by-turn navigation, behind-the-scenes stories about exhibits, quizzes, and more. See the exhibition highlights at your own pace with the museum's self-guided tours of popular collections. Special Exhibitions: • Sea Lions: Life by a Whisker Dive into the world of a rare Australian sea lion pup and meet the people who are trying to save her species in this immersive giant-screen film. Discover a classic coming-of-age tale that takes place in a colony of sea lions living between a jagged cliff face and a roaring ocean, in an environment as harsh as it is beautiful. • Sharks: Older than dinosaurs—and more threatened than threatening—sharks are spectacular, surprising, and often misunderstood. Dive into the world of this amazingly diverse group of animals in the new exhibition, Sharks. • Worlds Beyond Earth: Worlds Beyond Earth tells the story of the surprisingly dynamic nature of the worlds that share our solar system and the unique conditions that make life on Earth possible. Captioning devices are available.

New York: Go City Explorer Pass with 95+ Tours & Attractions

3. New York: Go City Explorer Pass with 95+ Tours & Attractions

Go City offers you a selection of over 95 must-see NYC attractions, museums, and tours for one low pre-paid price. Save up to 40% compared to buying separate attraction tickets, and see New York's most popular attractions with one easy-to-use digital pass. Options include the Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island Ferry, 9/11 Museum and Memorial, Empire State Building, Edge, MoMA, American Museum of Natural History, and many more. Pick between a 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 or 10-choice pass, browse the included digital guide to check entry requirements for each attraction, and plan your itinerary. Scanning your pass at the gate or ticket office of an attraction (or tour) for the first time will activate it. You can then take up to 60 days to use the remaining number of choices purchased. Your Explorer Pass also features special perks including gift shop discounts or a free audio guide at selected attractions, helping you make the most of your New York trip and save even more along the way. The New York attractions you can choose include:  Museums and Galleries• American Museum of Natural History • The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) • 9/11 Memorial and Museum• Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum and Space Shuttle• Guggenheim Museum • Museum of Sex • New York Historical Society Museum • The Whitney Museum of American Art• Brooklyn Museum and Botanic Garden Combo• Museum of the City of New York• Museum of Jewish Heritage• Fotografiska New York Experiences• Top of the Rock Observatory• Empire State Building• One World Observatory• Edge• Hop-On Hop-Off Big Bus New York• Statue of Liberty Ferry and Ellis Island Immigration Museum• Central Park Bike Rental• Ground Zero Museum Workshop: Hands-On 9/11 Tour• Brooklyn Bridge Full-Day Bike Rental• Hudson River Full-Day Bike Rental• New York Botanical Garden• Madame Tussauds Times Square New York• Spyscape• LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester• LEGOLAND Discovery Center at American Dream• Welcome to Harlem: Harlem Jazz Series• RiseNY• Surrey Bike Rental on Governors Island (2 hours)• SEA LIFE at American Dream• Escape Virtuality Tours• Central Park Walking Tour• Yankee Stadium Tour• Woodbury Common Bus Tour (Round Trip + VIP Coupon Booklet)• Rockefeller Center Tour• Central Park Bike Tour• Brooklyn Bridge Bike Tour• Central Park TV and Movie Sites Walking Tour• When Harry Met Seinfeld Bus Tour • NYC TV and Movie Bus Tour • Brooklyn Bridge and DUMBO Walking Tour• Hamilton Happy Hour Tour• Catacombs by Candlelight Tour• Harlem Gospel Tour (Sunday Service)• High Line, Chelsea, Meatpacking District Neighborhood Walking Tour• Top Dog Tours NYC Marvel & DC Superheroes• Holiday Market & Christmas Lights Walking Tour (seasonal)• Ghosts of Greenwich Village Tour• New York City Sketching Art Tour• Top of the Highline and Vessel Tour• Fashion Windows Walking Tour• Pride Walking Tour• NYC Slavery & Underground Railroad Walking Tour• St. Patrick's Cathedral Tour with Express Entry• Best of Brooklyn Walking Tour in Williamsburg• Greenwich Village Walking Tour• Broadway & Times Square Walking Tour• Graffiti & Street Art Walking Tour in Brooklyn• Secrets of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island - Walking Tour• SoHo – Little Italy – Chinatown Neighborhood Walking Tour Food and Drinks• Spirits On Foot: Beer, Spirits and Wine Crawls• Food On Foot Tours• Queens-Flushing Meadows International Food Excursion Cruises• Lady Liberty Cruise: Circle Line Sightseeing• Harbor Lights Cruise: Circle Line Sightseeing (Upgrade fee applies)• Best of NYC Cruise: Circle Line Sightseeing (Upgrade fee applies)• Landmarks Cruise: Circle Line Sightseeing• Clipper City Tall Ship Sail - Daytime Statue or Harbor Lights (Seasonal) Customers save an average of 40% when buying the New York Explorer Pass versus buying tickets at the gate. Savings percentage based on most popular customer itineraries. Attractions and tours are subject to change. Please check the included guide for an up-to-date list of included experiences. Certain attractions or tours require advanced reservations. Make sure to follow the instructions included on the digital guide and place reservations well in advance where needed, as well as follow the top tips to ensure the best sightseeing experience with your Explorer Pass.

Standard Central Park Horse Carriage Ride

4. Standard Central Park Horse Carriage Ride

With this ride, you will get the lucky opportunity to witness many of Central Park's historical landmarks from the comfort of a horse-drawn carriage. This activity is perfect for a romantic promenade or a fun ride with friends and family. The ride takes 40-minutes on a 2.5-mile trail. It has one stop at Cherry Hill/Friends Fountain where you can take some mesmerizing holiday pictures or simply just enjoy the view. During the ride, you will see various landmarks such as The Wollman Rink, Carousel, Chess & Checker House, The Dairy, Plaza Hotel, 5th Avenue/Upper East Side, Literary Mall, Balto Statue, Summer Stage, Boat Pond, The Loeb Boathouse Restaurant, Bethesda Fountain, and much more. The nice park scenery alongside the magnificent views of the city from the park is a must-do during your visit to NYC.

NYC: Hudson River Fall Foliage Yacht Tour

5. NYC: Hudson River Fall Foliage Yacht Tour

Admire the last leaves of fall in all their splendor through the large windowed salon from the ship's heated and enclosed observatory, or while catching the breeze on her bow. Observe New York's most dramatic natural wonders and colorful foliage as the seasons change with a hot beverage in hand. The Kingston offers wrap-around seating, on a small intimate classic yacht with unobscured views for all. The back observatory is covered to protect you from the bright sun but has open windows for you to feel the fresh breeze in your hair. Guests are welcome on the forward deck as well to soak up the sun and to capture fantastic photographs of the city skyline. This is a beautiful autumn cruise out of Chelsea Piers that takes passengers north on the tree-lined, scenic Hudson River. 

Central Park: Private Horse-Drawn Carriage Tour

6. Central Park: Private Horse-Drawn Carriage Tour

Pass by many historical landmarks of Central Park on a horse-drawn carriage. This is the perfect activity for a romantic date or a fun outing with friends or family. Climb into a lavishly-decorated carriage with plush seating for a ride through Central Park. With the clip-clop of the horses' hooves in the background, you will visit the cascading Angel of the Waters Sculpture, as well as many other famous sights in the park. With a knowledgeable driver to tell you stories about the park's past, you will cruise by the Dairy, where New York's children once came to get fresh milk. View the horses on the carousel, and pass by the statue of William Shakespeare. At the Bethesda Fountain, you can pause to snap memorable photos, before you head toward Cherry Hill. Head to the top of the hill and see the Imagine mosaic at Strawberry Fields, and the John Lennon memorial. Clop by the English lawn bowling court, and admire the bust of Italian philosopher Giuseppe Mazzini. You can then enjoy views of the legendary restaurant, the Tavern on the Green.

New York City Pass: Access to 100+ Attractions and Tours

7. New York City Pass: Access to 100+ Attractions and Tours

Use The New York Pass on your phone for cash-free entry to over 100 New York City tourist attractions. See the best that the Big Apple has to offer with access to any of the attractions and experiences covered. Activate your pass at the first attraction or tour you go to. Once activated, your pass records when and where you first used it and how long it will remain valid for. Your New York Pass is then valid for the number of consecutive days that you've purchased. Activities include: Popular Experiences • Empire State Building • Big Bus Tours: 1-day Classic Tour • Top of the Rock Observation Deck • 9/11 Memorial & Museum • Edge (Hudson Yards) • One World Observatory • Statue of Liberty Ferry and Ellis Island Immigration Museum • Circle Line: Best of New York Cruise • Madame Tussauds New York • Central Park Bike Rental by Unlimited Biking • Guggenheim Museum Museums & Galleries • American Museum of Natural History • MoMA - Museum of Modern Art • Intrepid Sea Air and Space Museum • Museum of Sex • Whitney Museum of American Art • Fotografiska New York • Museum of the City of New York • New York Historical Society • Museum of Arts and Design • Museum of Jewish Heritage • Skyscraper Museum • Fraunces Tavern Museum • New York Hall of Science • Brooklyn Museum of Art • Museum at Eldridge Street • International Center of Photography • MOMA PS 1 • Staten Island Museum • Paley Center for Media • Museum of Chinese in America • Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum Family-friendly • Central Park Bike Tour by Unlimited Biking • 9/11 Museum Workshop: Hands-On 9/11 Tour • Marvel & DC Superheroes Walking Tour • Yankee Stadium Tour • LEGOLAND® Discovery Center, Westchester • Staten Island Zoo • LEGOLAND® Discovery Center New Jersey • Staten Island Children’s Museum • Bike Rentals Hidden Gems • New York Botanical Garden • Catacombs by Candlelight Tour • Harlem Jazz Series – Tuesday and Friday • New Museum • El Museo del Barrio • Cathedral of St. John the Divine • Snug Harbor Botanical Garden- Staten Island • Brooklyn Botanical Garden Tours & Cruises • Central Park TV & Movie Sites Walking Tour • Rockefeller Center Tour • The Official Chinatown Walking Tour • How Money Was Made: Wall Street Walking Tour • Circle Line: Harbor Lights Cruise • Circle Line: Landmark Cruise • Manhattan by Sail: Clipper City Tall Ships Cruise (seasonal) • The Official Little Italy Walking Tour • Hamilton Tour • Colonial New York Retold Walking Tour • New York City News Media Tour • Brooklyn Bridge & DUMBO Neighborhood Walking Tour • Brooklyn Bridge Bike Tours Attractions and tours are subject to change. Check the digital guide for an up-to-date attraction line-up including opening times and instructions on how to access each attraction before you go. Some tours and attractions require advance reservations.

New York City: Big Bus Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Tour

8. New York City: Big Bus Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Tour

Admire New York City’s top sights and most popular neighborhoods from the top deck of an open-top Hop-On Hop-Off bus. See iconic landmarks like the Empire State Building, Times Square, and the Brooklyn Bridge. Enhance your experience with multi-attraction or sightseeing cruise combo tickets. Experience the diverse culture, beautiful parks, stunning architecture, and picturesque views both from the top of the open-air sightseeing bus and on foot when you choose to hop off to further explore. Hop off and back on at your leisure, creating your own customized itinerary around the city while on the Uptown and Downtown loops. Benefit from a live bus-tracking app tracking so that you will always know exactly when the next bus will arrive.  Enjoy new, state-of-the-art audio commentary that is informative, highly entertaining, and engaging for adults and children alike. Choose from 3 ticket options: 1. Classic Ticket includes unlimited boarding on Uptown and Downtown loops for 1 day 2. Classic Ticket plus a 90-minute Circle Line sightseeing cruise 3. Best of New York Package includes Classic ticket plus Empire State Building and Statue of Liberty skip-the-line tickets Top sights on the Downtown loop include: • The Flatiron District • Union Square • Greenwich Village• East Village • Chinatown• Little Italy• Wall St. and the Stock Exchange • SoHo  Top sights on the Uptown loop include: • Times Square • Upper East Side• Central Park• Museum Mile• Uptown Manhattan• MoMA • The Met• Columbus Circle

New York City: Private Central Park Pedicab Tour

9. New York City: Private Central Park Pedicab Tour

One of New York City's most celebrated sights, Central Park, is a vast green space plum in the heart of Manhattan. With this private pedicab tour you are guaranteed to see more of this oasis than possible on foot. As you travel you will be regaled in stories of the park's highlights, such as the Bethesda Fountain and Strawberry Fields, John Lennon's memorial. You knowledgable guide is bound to provide you with extra information you might miss if you were doing it alone. There will be more than fifty highlights throughout this experience, which include historical landmarks, movie locations, celebrity apartments, and much more. At the conclusion of your tour, you will be dropped off at either the Rockefeller Center, Times Square, or the Fifth Avenue Shops.

New York City: Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

10. New York City: Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

With a choice of two different 1-day tickets with two route options, explore New York from onboard the open-top, double-decker sightseeing bus. Hop-off at the attractions you want to explore further, and see the city at your own pace before hopping back on the bus when you're ready to continue your tour. Travel on the Downtown Loop and the Uptown Loop, jumping off at any of the 14 stops along the way. Enjoy the best of Manhattan, from the flashing lights of Times Square and the iconic Empire State Building–New York's most prestigious skyscraper–to the fashion stores of 5th Avenue, or the impressive home of the United Nations. Onboard, you will have access to a high-quality live audio commentary, giving you a general overview of the sights. Downtown Loop Stop 1 - M&M World Stop 2 - Times Square East Stop 3 - Empire State Building / Korea Town Stop 4 - Flatiron District Stop 5 - Soho Stop 6 - Chinatown / Little Italy Stop 7 - Brooklyn Bridge Stop 8 - Wall Street / Charging Bull Stop 9 - Statue of Liberty / Battery Park Stop 10 - Circle Line Sightseeing Uptown Loop Stop 2: Times Square East Stop 11: Times Square North Stop 12: The Metropolitan Museum of Art Stop 13: Central Park Zoo Stop 14: Columbus Circle

Frequently asked questions about Upper West Side

Other Sightseeing Options in Upper West Side

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What people are saying about Upper West Side, Upper Manhattan

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 7,748 reviews

The tour was wonderful. We saw so many things! Our guide knew everything New York - she was a NY City native (Brooklyn). So knowledgeable. Not an excessive amount of walking - just enough (I’m 64 - went with my 42 yo daughter). Sufficient restroom breaks. Water available onboard. Nice, comfortable coach bus. Started on time; ended at 3:15ish. Lunch on your own for 30 min or so. It was a hustle to get off the first ferry to Staten Island and get back onto the returning ferry. If you’re challenged with walking fast, it can take your breath away and require a sit on the ride back. Time allotted to walk the 9/11 Memorial and Strawberry Fields in Central Park. Ask questions to your guide - ours knew ALL KINDS of NY City history. AMAZING. They will take pictures of you with your camera - just ask!

Great handy pass to have, easy to add to apple wallet and away you go. Lots of activities available, downside is that sumit isn't available on the pass which is a real shame.

It was fun. I liked how they gave out headphones so the tour guide didn’t have to tell and you could take the headphones out if you wanted a break.

Great hassle free pass, I would definitely recommend to anyone visiting New York wanting to visit a few tourist attractions

Always a great way to see the city and get the lay of the land.