5 Must-Do’s When You’re in New York City

Must-Do's When You're in New York
Photo by Kit Suman on Unsplash.com

When you think of New York City, do you immediately think of the touristy things like Times Square and the Empire State Building? While those are amazing places to visit, there’s more to New York than just the Manhattan you see on TV and in movies. There are hundreds of fun things to do in NYC, especially if you don’t just stick to the main attractions. Here are eight must-do’s when visiting New York City.

Central Park

You’ll want to spend a day exploring the beauty of Central Park. This is one of the most iconic places in NYC and offers many opportunities for exploration. There are plenty of trails, bike paths, lakes, and ponds to explore, as well as animal exhibits including a zoo. The park also features many monuments and stunning gardens.

Downtown New York City

Downtown New York is full of sights and sounds. There are so many things to do, but this list should help you get started. The first thing you need to do is take a walk down the Freedom Trail on your way to the Statue of Liberty or Ellis Island. Once you’ve finished your walking tour, head over to the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum for an interactive look at some of America’s most famous ships, planes and missiles.

Downtown has neighborhoods packed with sights, shops, eateries and culture. Wander through Wall Street’s skyscrapers, feast on dim sum in Chinatown and buy some eccentric goods at an East Village market. You may also head to Nolita for street art, quirky boutiques and cafes. The people watching here are some of NYC’s best. 

The Empire State Building

The Art Deco-inspired Empire State Building stands 102 stories tall. It offers unparalleled 360-degree open-air views from the observatory deck on the 86th floor. Gaze out over iconic landmarks like the Chrysler Building, One World Trade Center and Central Park. Go at night to witness the dazzling city lights. Buy skip-the-line tickets beforehand for easy access to the observatory. Top your visit off on the 2nd floor and experience the new immersive museum exhibit displaying the building’s rich history.

Visiting the Empire State Building is on just about any traveler’s list of must-do things to do when they visit New York City. The iconic skyscraper sits at the top of Fifth Avenue, and for decades has been a symbol of America. For those who have never visited, there are two choices: take the elevator up or take the stairs. No matter which option you choose, it is worth the wait to see all that this landmark has to offer.

Ground Zero and the 9/11 Memorial

Ground Zero is a must-see for anyone visiting the city. This solemn site holds the remains of the Twin Towers and is a moving tribute to those who lost their lives on September 11th, 2001. Walking across the memorial plaza and looking down at the large pools of water below, it feels as if you are standing on top of one of the buildings that were destroyed that horrible day. Visit to pay respects, reflect on the impact, and honor the 2,977 people killed. Get tickets ahead of time for a seamless experience. 

Watch this video to get a glimpse:


Times Square

Times Square is the bright, beating heart of the city. Take in the overwhelming flashy billboards, gigantic LED screens and neon signs surrounding you. Soak up the frenetic energy as costumed characters, musicians, and performers vie for your attention. When your neck gets sore, duck into one of the lively area restaurants for a bite or relax in pedestrianized Times Square, snapping iconic selfies and taking it all in.

It’s one of the most famous places on Earth, so it should come as no surprise that Times Square is a must-do when you’re in NYC. It has been named as the Crossroads of the World because of its intense advertising and public art displays. However, this is not all there is to see at this site. The area also houses NBC Studios, Toys R Us and other retail stores.

Times Square’s overwhelming sights and sounds truly embody the city that never sleeps. It’s an unforgettable spectacle that you shouldn’t skip!  


While there are plenty of things to do in New York, the city never disappoints. From the iconic Statue of Liberty to the beautiful Brooklyn Bridge, it is a place that should be on every traveler’s bucket list.