You’ve probably experienced a lot of not so fun things in NYC: sprinting to the subway car so the doors don’t close on you, doing literally anything it takes to avoid tourist traps, selling your soul to pay rent for your shoe box-sized apartment. And the more desirable: laughing until your stomach hurts at a really great comedy show, having the most delicious dining experience of your life, and owning the stage at some memorable late-night karaoke.
Even with all those things checked off your to-do list, NYC has more to offer than you can even imagine, and there’s no way you’ve done it all!
Whether it’s some tasty food guides, the best places to connect with nature, or our go-to spots for creative street art, here are 110 of the best things to do in NYC.
1-5. Start your day off with one of NYC’s best cups of joe
Sometimes it seems as if there are more coffeeshops in NYC than there are people, so it definitely can get overwhelming when you’re trying to find a cup of coffee that’s actually worth the hype. Some of our fav NYC coffee shops include:
- Intelligentsia, Chelsea
- Devoción, Multiple Locations
- Ground Support, SoHo
- Hi-Collar, East Village
- Felix Roasting Co., SoHo
See our full list of favorites here.
6-10. Visit an iconic museum
There are over 80 museums in New York City, so it will definitely take some time to make your way through all of them. If we had to start out with top five museums we think you should definitely visit, we’d say:
- American Museum of Natural History, for their new shark exhibit
- Metropolitan Museum of Art, for their first ever Walt Disney exhibit
- Museum of Modern Art, for some extraordinary avant-garde art
- Queens Botanical Garden, for breathtaking views
- Whitney Museum of American Art, for amazing twentieth-century art
If you’re a New Yorker yourself you can also get free access to these museums! See more here.
11. Explore Central Park
Regardless of the weather it’s never a bad idea to take a nice leisurely walk around NYC’s iconic 843-acre park.
Or, for something even more under-the-radar, find all of Central Park’s hidden waterfalls!
12. Catch a Broadway show
Broadway Shows are a huge part of New York culture, and there’s always a great show to catch. Whether it’s The Lion King, The Book of Mormon, or Dear Evan Hansen, we doubt you’ll be disappointed. Then afterwards, be sure to check out the first ever Museum of Broadway, opening this summer!
On a budget? Then read our tips for How To Get Cheap Broadway Tickets In NYC.
13-15. Stop at all of the most iconic NYC attractions
Take in the most iconic NYC attractions and buildings like a true tourist! We suggest heading to:
- Ellis Island, to view the Statue of Liberty
- The Empire State Building, to see it lit up in all its glory
- One World Trade Center, to take in breathtaking views of the city at the Observatory
16. Have a day of fun on Little Island, NYC’s first “floating park”
Little Island is described as “a new public park designed for New Yorkers of all ages to enjoy nature and art.” It features lots of green space for lounging, beautiful landscaped gardens with more than 350 species of flowers, trees and shrubs, and fantastic views of the NYC skyline and Hudson River. There are also be community spaces and performance venues, offering educational programs, events and cultural experiences. Get more info here.
17-19. Find out for yourself why everyone says New York has the best pizza
New York pizza is a sacred thing, but even though New Yorkers pride themselves on having the best pizza around, you still need to weave through what’s out there to find the best of the best. Three of our go-to spots for the best pizza in NYC are:
- Song’ E Napule, SoHo/Greenwich
- Baker’s Pizza, East Village
- Roberta’s, Bushwick
Find 12 more of our favorites here.
20. Bike across the Brooklyn Bridge
The Brooklyn Bridge’s new bike lane opened up last September, giving bicyclists a dedicated (and safer) route to take when biking over the bridge. If you’d prefer to walk, there’s also a lane for doing so!
21-25. Try a classic New York bagel
Similar to their favorite pizza joint, New Yorkers are very passionate about where to get the best bagel in NYC. So we asked our followers to tell us their favorites and we tallied up the answers into one list ranking the top 15 bagel spots according to true NYers. Five spots that made the list are:
- Absolute Bagels, UWS
- Tompkins Square Bagels, East Village
- Leo’s Bagels, FiDi
- Bagel Pub, Brooklyn
- Murray’s Bagels, Greenwich Village
See the full list here.
26. Check out a book at the main branch of the New York Public Library
The New York Public Library is an iconic NYC destination that is a must-visit. Check out a book, grab a table to get some work done, or enjoy the weather at their rooftop hangout spot at their newly renovated midtown location!
Where: 476 5th Ave
27. Have some fun on the boardwalk at Coney Island
There’s endless amounts of fun to be had at Coney Island. Face your fears on the Cyclone or Phoenix rollercoasters at Luna Park, visit the New York Aquarium, grab a delicious Nathan’s hot dog, participate in the annual Mermaid Parade, or relax and catch some rays on the beach.
28. Revel in beautiful architecture at The Met Cloisters
The Met Cloisters is a museum in Fort Tryon Park in Washington Heights that specializes in European medieval art and architecture, with a focus on the Romanesque and Gothic periods, and it’s the only museum in the country dedicated to the art of the Middle Ages. Here you’ll feel like you were on a trip to Europe! Read more about it here.
Where: 99 Margaret Corbin Dr.
29. Allow a New Yorker to plan your day’s itinerary for you
NYC is the city that has everything, sometimes to the point that it can be a bit overwhelming. If you need to liven up your weekend plans, want to do something you never have before, or have some friends coming into town, why not let someone else do the planning for you?
With ideas like starting out at Cafe LULUc in Brooklyn for brunch before heading to Jacob Riis Park in Queens and then enjoying a tasty French dinner at Chez Moi in Brooklyn, there’s no better person to plan your itinerary for you than a fellow New Yorker! Find out some more ideas for the best ways to spend 24 hours in NYC here.
30-34. Check out all the different cuisines NYC has to offer
New York is a melting pot, and with all the different cultures in this city you know there are some delicious restaurants just waiting for you to try them. Some of our favorite food you can find in the city includes:
- Insanely delicious Korean BBQ
- Mouthwatering soup dumplings
- Tasty Little Italy restaurants
- Best bowls of ramen
- Tasty tacos
35. Hangout at the High Line
The High Line is a 1.45-mile-long elevated park and greenway built on an old railroad line on Manhattan’s West Side. You can walk through gardens, view art, catch a performance, chow down on delicious food, or connect with friends while taking in New York City from a unique perspective. It’s a must-visit!
Where: Starts at Washington & Gansevoort St., travels up the West Side to 34th St.
36. Take in gorgeous views at the New York Botanical Garden
Head to the New York Botanical Garden to check out its 50 specialty gardens and collections that are comprised of more than one million plants. Be sure to check out their annual Orchid Show that showcases one of the world’s most delicate flowers and completely transforms the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory into a floral oasis.
37-39. Frolic around with the animals
If you’re looking for the purrfect thing to do, why not hangout with some of our favorite four-legged friends…or the ones with fins and flippers? Pretend like you’re on an episode of National Geographic at one of these fun animal-filled places:
- The Bronx Zoo, Belmont
- Queens County Farm, Glen Oaks
- The New York Aquarium, Coney Island
40-43. Add a plant baby to your family and visit a Brooklyn plant shop
Filling your home with indoor plants offers some great health benefits like purified air, improved mood, lowered stress and anxiety levels, and improved focus. And in a place like New York City, we need all the purified air we can get! Thankfully, there’s no shortage of great plant shops sprinkled around the city. Four of our go-to Brooklyn plant shops are:
- Tend Greenpoint
- Tula Plants & Design
- Little Shop Of Soil
- Feng Sway
44-45. Explore colorful street art
There’s a ton of one-of-a-kind art to be seen right around the streets of NYC, and the best part – it’s free! Two of our favorite spots to check out are The Bushwick Art Collective and the Wellington Art Mural Project (Astoria). Find some more places here.
46-50. Go out on a hot date to one of NYC’s most romantic restaurants
Disney’s Lady and the Tramp taught us that food is the way to a loved one’s heart, but in addition to the food a restaurant’s ambiance definitely has an effect on how you enjoy your dining experience as a whole. So, if you have a date night coming up, here are some of NYC’s most romantic restaurants:
- Watermark Bar, South Street Seaport
- Loulou, Chelsea
- Court Street Tavern, Carroll Gardens
- Cosme, Flatiron
- L’Artusi, West Village
See our full list here.
51-53. Support NYC’s Black community and stop by a Black-owned business
From fashion brands and interior design shops to yummy bakeries, Black-owned businesses help make New York the cultural epicenter that we love so much – plus they’re just awesome spots you really don’t want to miss out on. Three of our favorite Black-owned businesses in NYC are:
- Sugar Hill Creamery
- BLK MKT Vintage
- Brother Vellies
Click here to see our full list of 25.
54. Spend an afternoon antiquing
Find one-of-a-kind treasures for you and your home by spending an afternoon antiquing around NYC. Click here to find out ten of our favorite spots.
55-59. Pig out at an all you can eat restaurant
Not many things are better than eating as much food as you want for one price – especially when NYC is full of delicious restaurants with the most tasty menu items that are almost impossible to get enough of. That’s why we love a good all-you-can-eat restaurant, and thankfully there are tons of them across the city. Five of our favorites are:
- Maya, Lenox Hill
- Becco, Hell’s Kitchen
- 99 Favor Taste, Multiple Locations
- Akino, Elmhurst, Queens
- Lakruwana, Staten Island
Rainy days often make us want to stay inside and hide under the covers, but when it comes to New York City there’s definitely something romantic about a rainy day. If you’re brave enough to venture out into the rainy streets, here are some suggestions of what you can do:
- Golf at Chelsea Piers
- See a movie
- Hide away with a book in the New York Public Library
- Head to this indoor adventure park in Brooklyn
Find some more suggestions here.
64-68. Eat your veggies at a tasty vegan restaurant
With a growing population of vegan Americans it’s no surprise that more and more restaurants are hopping on the bandwagon and serving up dishes that cater to our fellow herbivores. There’s no shortage of vegan restaurants throughout NYC, and they’re all serving up some tasty eats. Five of our favorites include:
Check out our full list here.
69. Get a sugar rush with a delicious ice cream cone
Whether it’s 10 or 100 degrees outside there’s never a wrong time for ice cream. From soft serve or to hand rolled, to shaved cream and milkshakes (is your mouth watering yet?) the options are truly endless, and we know the best spots to get your fix. Here are some of our go-to spots.
70. Explore these extraordinary places that you wouldn’t believe are in NYC
When people think of New York City they often think of the Empire State Building, Times Square, or the Statue of Liberty. While these are iconic NYC locations, there are also some extraordinary must-visit locations that you wouldn’t believe are actually in the concrete jungle.
The Island Oyster bar on Governors Island on a warm sunny day is enough to make you feel like you’re on a tropical island, save for the gorgeous NYC skyline in the background. Nine other amazing NYC spots can be found here.
71-74. Catch a game at one of NYC’s best sports bars
Hanging out at a sports bar on game day is vital to our society and when game day arrives we need three things: a rowdy place to catch the game at, good food in front of us, and an ice cold drink by our side. No matter what sport you’re into, four of our fav sports bars in NYC are:
- The Irish American, FiDi
- The Whiskey On Grand, Williamsburg
- The Bronx Public, The Bronx
- Smithfield Hall NYC, Chelsea
See six more of our favorites here.
75. Score the best happy hour deals
There’s not much New Yorkers love more than eating and drinking with friends, and considering it’s so expensive to live in New York City we’ll take all the deals we can get. That’s where happy hour comes in! Lido in Harlem offers $5 beers and $7 wine and sangria at their happy hour. And they extend this happy hour to their bites, serving up some $9 items like creamy garlic bread and fried calamari.
76-81. Relive the Prohibition Era at a speakeasy
There are endless hidden gems to discover in New York City, you just have to know where to look. From back rooms that were actually around in the 1920’s to new interpretations of what a speakeasy was like during the Prohibition era, there are endless hidden gems to discover in New York City – you just have to know where to look. Some of our favorite speakeasies that we think everyone has to try at least once are:
- 99 Franklin, Greenpoint
- Attaboy, Lower East Side
- La Noxe, Chelsea
- Patent Pending, Chelsea
- Thyme Bar, Flatiron
- Nothing Really Matters, Midtown
82-86. Give yourself the creeps while checking out some of NYC’s most haunted places
Halloween isn’t the only time to get spooky! If you’re feeling brave why not head to some of the most haunted places in NYC, like these five spots:
- Woodlawn Cemetery, The Bronx
- Washington Square Park, Greenwich Village
- Blood Manor, Tribeca
- House of Death, Greenwich Village
- Hotel Chelsea, Chelsea
Click here to find 10 more haunted spots if you dare.
SUMMIT One Vanderbilt takes visitors over 1,000 feet into the sky for an observatory experience that lets you explore the city like never before! Step out onto the fully transparent glass sky boxes called “Levitation” that places you 1,063 feet above Madison Avenue. Want your heart to race even more? Soar over 1,200 feet above New York City in the thrilling, all-glass “Ascent” elevators that will take you 364 feet up the side of the building. If you’re brave enough click here to find out more.
88. Grab dinner at Peter Luger, one of NYC’s best steakhouses
Steakhouses are dining staples in New York City, and Peter Luger is one of the best. This restaurant has been rated the top steakhouse in New York since 1984, has earned itself a Michelin Star and has joined the ranks of American classics, so head here and treat yourself to the over-the-top steakhouse dining experience you deserve. For more of the best steakhouses in nyc see here.
89-92. Think outside of the box at one of these one-of-a-kind spots
It’s no secret that New York is filled with fun, quirky spots everywhere you turn—and that’s what gives it such an exciting atmosphere! Some of our favorite not-so-ordinary spots you must visit include:
- Raccoon Cave, to get your bubble tea served to you with a raccoon paw
- Beetle House, for the ultimate Tim Burton experience
- Kinky’s, for some tasty NSFW treats
- Chocobar Cortés, for a menu filled to the brim with chocolate
93-97. Get “high” at a rooftop bar
New York City is known for its extraordinary views, and a night out for cocktails wouldn’t be the same if the city skyline wasn’t your backdrop! Regardless of the weather a rooftop bar is never a bad idea. We suggest you head to one (or all) of the following:
Find some more here.
98. Check out Chinatown’s dazzling light display
The organization Send Chinatown Love has been working tirelessly to keep Chinatown and all its businesses afloat during the pandemic. One of their newest ventures – the installation of a permanent display of 250 colorful and bright lanterns lighting up Chinatown. These lights (installed on Mott St. from Canal St. to Bayard St. and Bayard St. from Mott St. to Bowery St.) are not only gorgeous to see in person, but are also helpful at enticing customers to head to Chinatown to support local businesses.
99-102. Have all the fun for free
The one downside to New York City is how expensive it is and how quickly a night out can break the bank. But, even though it’s one of the most expensive cities in the world, there are loads of completely FREE things to do. Here are some free things we think you must take advantage of:
- Join a walking tour, like the ones offered by Central Park Conservancy
- Play tennis at Hudson River Park
- See a live TV show taping
- Tour the Ample Hills ice cream factory/museum in Brooklyn
Our full list of the best free things to do in NYC can be found here.
103-106. Get buzzed at bottomless brunch
Bottomless brunch is the perfect weekend activity, year-round, and is literally the answer to any “What should we do this weekend?”. Some of our favorite places to get boozy and enjoy bottomless brunch include:
- Wicked Willy’s, Greenwich Village
- Mojave, Astoria
- Ainslie, Williamsburg
- Beatstro, Bronx
See 11 more of our fav spots here.
107-110. Unwind at one of NYC’s gorgeous secret gardens
It can be easy to forget about the parks, courtyards, and secret gardens when you think of the “concrete jungle,” but if you take a stroll through your neighborhood you’ll definitely stumble across some greenery. Some of our favorites are:
- Grove Court, West Village
- Amster Yard, Turtle Bay
- 6B Garden, East Village
Find 7 more gorgeous gardens here.
111-114. Escape the city for a bit to go on a nearby hike
There are a ton of really great hiking trails right around NYC that are accessible by public transport—many of which also provide you with stunning views. Here are five of our favorite trails:
- Franny Reese State Park
- Anthony’s Nose Hike
- Camp Smith Trail
- Stairway to Heaven
Click here to see seven more, all of which are organized by increasing level of difficulty.