Running from 34th Street to 59th Street and between the East and Hudson Rivers, Midtown Manhattan is one of NYC’s most iconic neighborhoods. Home to famous landmarks like the Empire State Building and Times Square, it’s truly the heart of the city that keeps the spirit pumping.
Since millions of tourists and locals visit Midtown every year, we’ve gone ahead and created a guide to all of the best things to do in Midtown! From food and drink to entertainment, here’s a guide to Midtown Manhattan.
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Best Things To Do in Midtown Manhattan
Midtown Manhattan is home to so many attractions and things to do and these are the best. From iconic museums to observation decks overlooking NYC, there’s plenty of fun to be had. Check out our must-visit things to do in Midtown below!
1. The Museum of Modern Art
Home to some of the greatest art of the 20th and 21st centuries, The Museum of Modern Art is an NYC institution. Showcasing the works of artists like Pablo Picasso, Vincent van Gogh, Salvador Dalí, and Andy Warhol, the museum is cultural hub ranging from sculptures to paintings. With rotating exhibits and free admission days on the first Friday of the month, it’s a must-visit.
Our pick for this month is the brand new “Picasso in Fontainebleau” exhibition, which showcases the iconic Spanish artist’s pivotal pieces from when he spent the summer of 1921 in Fontainebleau, France — working from a small garage.
2. Bryant Park
Take a breath of fresh air and a seat in the grass amongst the skyscrapers at Bryant Park. The beautifully landscaped green area offers a breath of relaxation among the hustle bustle of Midtown, and often has tons of happenings going on! During the summer months you can find free outdoor movies, yoga, live music performances.
While in the colder months it turns into Bryant Park Winter Village, complete with an ice skating rink and charming holiday shops — and this year’s opening has been announced for Friday, October 27 at 12 p.m.
Check out what’s happening here.
NYC’s Broadway scene is home to the magical world of live theater, where the world’s best actors and actresses come to play! With many musicals, dramas, and comedies at your fingertips, it’s not difficult to find world-class productions right in the heart of NYC! We’re talking classics like Wicked and Hamilton all to new-school offerings like Harry Potter and Sweeney Todd. Check out all of Broadway’s plays running here.
Our picks for this month are the pop-tastic & Juliet and the show where disco dance party meets history, Here Lies Love.
4. SPIN Midtown
Get your game on at SPIN’s adult ping pong paradise. This brand new location only opened a few days ago in Midtown & will serve as their flagship — boasting an underground venue following a trail of neon lights to a wall of art, 10 ping pong tables surrounded by inviting lounge seating, and a magnetizing wrap-around bar.
The food and drink menu features partnerships with the likes of La Boite, Afterlife Mushrooms, MONDAY Zero Alcohol cocktails, Metallica’s BLACKENED American Whiskey and more. OH and they have the the U.S.’s first AI powered ping pong robot you can play against! Find out more on their website.
Where: 1626 Broadway
5. Rockefeller Center/Top of the Rock
Rockefeller Center is famous for so many reasons, including the world-famous Christmas Tree lighting in the winter, the rollerskating/ice skating rink during the summer, its shops, it being steps away from Radio City Music Hall and so much more. For October, definitely make sure to see Robert Indiana’s art pieces, including the iconic LOVE sculpture, on display throughout the Rockefeller Center campus (only through October 24, 2023!).
Another thing love and recommend is Top of the Rock, their 70th floor observation deck that serves sweeping skyline views (including views of the ESB).
6. “Echoes – A Voice from Unchartered Waters” Installation
This interactive sound and light installation — in the form of a 55-foot-long steel whale — is the Garment District’s latest public art piece! The luminous creation comes from artist, designer and researcher Mathias Gmachl and is a co-production of the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership with MuseumsQuartier Wien and the LAC Lugano Arte e Cultura. Find it on the Broadway plazas in the Garment District between 38th and 39th Street.
7. Empire State Building
One of NYC’s most recognizable buildings in its skyline is one of our favorite attractions to visit in Midtown. Their 86th floor observation deck offers 360-degree views of New York, Brooklyn, Queens, and beyond! Plus, there’s awesome exhibits on the way up that tell the tale of NYC’s history and the construction process behind the famous skyscraper.
8. Times Square
New York City’s most iconic block of illuminated streets is something to behold! The neon-lit hub is a sensory spectacle, where dazzling billboards, Broadway marquees, and bustling crowds create an atmosphere that is non-replicable. People watch from the TKTS steps, snap photos with famous characters in the streets, or stop by the countless amount of shops.
9. Grand Central Terminal
Grand Central Terminal is Midtown’s timeless jewel. Not only is it an essential transportation hub, but it’s home to loads of history and architectural grandeur. Stop for a few minutes and gaze at the stunning hand-painted ceilings, or be mystified by the famous Whispering Gallery. Don’t forget about the yummy restaurants and occasional pop-up fairs too.
10. New York Public Library – Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
Stop by one of NYC’s most beautiful libraries, the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building of the NYPL. Pass by the iconic marble lion guardians and cozy into the grand Rose Main Reading Room, where many scholars and authors have spent hours and hours! It’s great for book lovers and tourists alike.
Best Restaurants in Midtown Manhattan
New York City is home to some of the best restaurants around, and in Midtown there are so many good eats at your disposal. From Michelin-starred restaurants to world renowned food trucks, there is so much to dig your teeth into! Here are some of our favorites!
1. Le Bernardin
Le Bernardin is an iconic NYC French restaurant that you should definitely check out. Not only is it Michelin-starred, but they’ve also received more James Beard Awards than any other restaurant in New York City. Let head chef Eric Ripert guide you on a four-course meal, “Chef’s Tasting,” or “Vegetable Tasting” of seafood and French cuisine…you won’t regret it. See menu here.
Where: 153 W 51st St
2. Urban Hawker
Taste the best Singaporean flavors at Urban Hawker, a brand new street food center in Midtown Manhattan featuring stalls from the UNESCO hawker centers of Singapore. With 17 vendors in total, you can try out all kinds of cuisines, like Malay, Peranakan, Chinese, Indian, Southeast Asian, Asian-style Western favorites, and many more! See all the vendors here.
Where: 135 W 50th St
Empellón is one of our favorite Mexican/American fusion spots, serving up small bites, tacos and shareable large plates curated by Chef Alex Stupak. Don’t forget about their Instagrammable desserts which are just as tasty as they look. See full menu here.
Where: 510 Madison Ave
4. Tony’s Di Napoli
For an Italian restaurant recommendation, head to Tony’s Di Napoli, who’s been serving some of the most authentic Southern Neapolitan cuisine for years. Their menu ranges from pasta to seafood, and has something for everyone! There’s also an Upper East Side location if you end up venturing a little further Uptown. See full menu here.
Where: 147 W 43rd St
Step into the elegantly designed Art Deco space of Hutong, where the Northern Chinese plates of cuisine are something to write home about! Combining the influences of New York and Shanghai, you can feast on their dim sum, roasted pecking duck, seafood, and so much more. Although the fine-dining prices are steeper, you’re paying for the experience and the stunning restaurant interior and environment. See full menu here.
Where: 731 Lexington Ave
Marea is one of the most romantic restaurants in NYC, and their Italian-meets-New York dishes are still very much the talk of the town. Particularly their octopus and bone marrow fusilli, which continues to be one of NYC’s most talked about pasta dishes is always worth the try. The airy dining room right at the foot of Central Park is a can’t miss. See their full menu here.
Where: 240 Central Park S
7. The GRILL
The Grill comes from the same team as Carbone, so you know the prices are high and the food prepared with care. This NYC steakhouse will serve you the finest of meats, and even do it table side. It’s a rework of the old Four Seasons, so it’s boujee. If you’re still down for it, you won’t regret it. See the full menu here.
Where: 99 E 52nd St
8. Gabriel Kreuther
Named after Chef Gabriel Kreuther, his Michelin-starred French restaurant in Midtown Manhattan certainly doesn’t disappoint. Complete with a stunning dining room and sweeping range of Alsatian cuisine, it’s definitely worth a visit. We recommend doing it all… from the foie gras to the cheese trolley to the cocktails. See full menu here.
Where: 41 W 42nd St
9. Halal Guys
You’ve probably seen this famous food truck on social media, and The Halal Guys in Midtown is worth it! You’ll probably have to wait in a line for it, but it’s all worth it when you have their famous platters of chicken and gyro over rice or falafel sandwiches in hand. It’s perfect for a meal on-the-go as you’re sightseeing.
Where: 6th Ave & W 53rd St
Best Hotels in Midtown Manhattan
Looking for somewhere to stay in Midtown? This neighborhood boasts an array of hotels, each with its own unique charm and offerings. From the timeless elegance of historic landmarks to the contemporary luxury of modern boutiques, there are so many options located right in the heart of NYC.
Check out our favorite hotels that are just steps away from iconic skyscrapers, Broadway theaters, Central Park, and more!
1. Royalton Hotel
This sophisticated boutique hotel overlooking 43rd and 44th Streets offers luxury rooms with “a sleek and timeless style with maximum comfort.” Being only a 10-minute walk from Bryant Park and 5th Avenue, the Royalton offers plenty of amenities including a 24-hour fitness center, valet parking, and a cozy sleek lobby bar. See their rates here.
Where: 44 W 44th St
2. Ace Hotel Midtown
A little closer to downtown than Times Square and peak Midtown, the Ace Hotel is 12-story historic boutique hotel that’s as trendy and stylish as you like! Their famous hotel bar in the lobby is the real deal, the industrial designs and custom-designed furniture are eye-catching, and it’s on the NoMad side of Midtown…just a 10-minute walk to Madison Square Garden. See their rates here.
Where: 20 W 29th St
3. W New York – Times Square
The W New York is nestled into the illuminated billboards of Times Square, which is also just steps away from numerous Broadway theaters. Their 509 original and electric guest rooms (including 43 suites) offer mind-blowing views of Times Square, as well as access to The Living Room Bar, fitness center, and more. Check out their rates here.
Where: 1567 Broadway
4. Moxy Hotel Times Square
If you’re looking for a more social experience rather than a traditional hotel stay, consider the Moxy in Times Square. Between their immersive social spaces and rooftop bar Magic Hour, there’s so many place to mingle with other travelers and enjoy your time in NYC. Not to mention the bedrooms are cozy, stylish, and range in size/price. Check out their rates here.
Where: 485 7th Ave
5. The Peninsula Hotel
The Peninsula New York has earned some of the highest awards in accommodation, so we can’t recommend it highly enough! Walking distance from Central Park and Rockefeller Center, this hotel offers luxurious apartment-styled rooms and suites that are perfect for any stay. Don’t forget to check out their stunning rooftop bar and terrace Salon de Ning, which gets decked out in the holidays too. Check out their rates here.
Where: 700 5th Ave
6. Park Terrace Hotel
Just steps away from Bryant Park lies the Park Terrace Hotel, which includes accommodations of all different varieties. Amenities here include a large outdoor terrace, a fitness center complete with Pelotons, a quick walk to multiple restaurants, and more! Check out their rates here.
Where: 18 W 40th St
7. Baccarat Hotel
This Parisian-inspired hotel offers a luxury experience, featuring exquisite Baccarat crystal chandeliers and custom-made furnishings throughout the rooms and hotel. Amenities include the breathtaking Grand Salon dining area, afternoon tea options, a heated pool, Spa de la Mer, fitness center, and a whole lot more. Check out their rates here.
Where: 28 W 53rd St
8. The Kimberly Hotel
The Kimberly Hotel’s 500-to-600-square-foot suites are some of the most affordable in all of Midtown! Complete with flat-screen TVs, first-class toilet amenities, and so much more, you can also enjoy breakfast or cocktails at their level rooftop bar “Upstairs” or Italian delicacies at their lobby-level Empire Steakhouse. See rates here.
Where: 145 E 50th St
Best Shopping in Midtown Manhattan
Midtown Manhattan is also a shopper’s paradise, consisting of world-famous flagship stores, luxury boutiques, and iconic department stores. So grab your shopping bags because you won’t be able to escape one of the best shopping districts in all of NYC!
1. The Shops at Columbus Circle
2. The Shops at Hudson Yards
Just west of Midtown lies another smaller neighborhood Hudson Yards, which has a plethora of shopping options right near The Vessel. The upscale indoor shopping mall has all kinds of shops, ranging from luxury brands and apparel, to tech, and much more. You can find tons of chains like Aritzia, Uniqlo, Banana Republic, Brooks Brothers, and more. Check out all of the shops here.
3. Fifth Avenue
Stroll down Fifth Avenue and window shop among the world’s most iconic flagship stores like Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue, and more. It’s a street full of luxurious shopping options that are also just steps away from the stunning St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Museum Mile. See all of the shops on 5th Ave here.
4. The Shops at Rockefeller Center
Rockefeller Center is home to so many brands that have stores right in the area. From New York brands like Apotheke to international names like LEGO, there are so many great options to fix your retail craving. Check out all of the shops at Rockefeller Center here.
The Herald Square Macy’s is the flagship and corporate headquarters of the famous department store. It spans a block of the city streets and features floors and floors (complete with old-fashioned wood escalators) of goods! Plus, the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade finds its roots here!
Where: 151 W 34th St
6-8. Speciality Shops
New York is home to many brand’s global flagship stores, and one-of-a-kind shopping experiences that you will only find in Midtown Manhattan. From over-the-top displays to exclusive deals and merchandise, check out some of our favorite stores below:
- FAO Schwarz: An iconic children’s toy store that sells a wide range of toys and collectibles (30 Rockefeller Plaza)
- Tiffany & Co.: High end retailer known for jewelry, gifts, home accessories, home decor, pet accessories and more (610 5th Ave)
- M&M’s New York: Flagship for world-renowned candies M&M’s (1600 Broadway)