Last Updated on December 14, 2022
It doesn’t get bigger than the Big Apple itself – a place that vibrates with energy every single inch of the way. From the city’s outskirts to the very core, every single spot in New York is meant to be absorbed the way you do with the first days of spring after a long winter.
New York is more than a city – it is a feeling in itself, a buzz that rushes through your body at the speed of light, leaving you in awe, full of life.
What are some of the best places to visit (and things to do while in New York)?
We have some tips for you – so read on and find out more.
1. Ellis Island
You can consider this the symbolic heart of the city – and of the American Dream itself as well. As the island on which most of the immigrants came hundreds of years ago when America was shaping up after its War of Independence, the Ellis Island is a truly meaningful spot you shouldn’t miss out on.
Aside from the history of the island itself, you will also find the one and only Statue of Liberty here – one of the single most powerful symbols of America and everything it stands for, a landmark you are simply not allowed to skip when you visit New York!
Ferry Fees to the Ellis Island are $18.5 for adults (anyone aged over 13), and they are free for children under 4.
Visiting the island and the Statue of Liberty will not take very long in itself, but do expect the ferry ride to take at least half an hour to an hour. Furthermore, keep in mind the fact that you should only get your ticket from legal vendors (as there might be scammers out there as well).
2. Central Park
If Ellis Island is the heart of the city, Central Park is the soul. This is where life happens in its most beautiful man-made varieties. A park that stretches across more than 840 acres, Central Park is the absolute epitome of urban parks, with everything you might ever want from an urban oasis of greenness. Even more, it has been in existence for more than one and a half centuries, as its first areas opened up to the public in the mid-19th century.
Visiting Central Park is completely free and you can do it anytime. Do take your time with it – it’s an experience so different than any other park you will ever visit that it would be a real pity not to enjoy it!
3. Museum Mile
As you will notice, New York’s streets and attractions are quite self-explanatory. What you see is what you get here – with a bonus on top, as this city has the rare talent of surprising you every step of the way!
The Museum Mile can be found on 5th Avenue, between 82nd street and 105th street. This is where you will find some of New York’s (and the world’s) most famous museums ever:
The Guggenheim Museum – an art museum famous worldwide for its exhibitions. You will find this open every day from 10 am (until 5:30 pm on Monday, Wednesday till Friday, and on Sundays and until 8 pm on Tuesdays and Saturdays).
Tickets cost $25 for adults, but every Saturday, from 5 pm to 8 pm you can pay as much as you want for the entrance fee.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of the most popular art museums in the world (you will hear about it in every movie set in NYC!), and it hosts exhibitions that will touch your heart and make you think.
The museum is open from 10 am to 5:30 pm every day, with the exception of Friday and Saturday when it will stay open until 10:30 pm.
Tickets start at $25 and they are free for children under 12.
The Jewish Museum. This is the oldest museum in the world dedicated entirely to Jewish art and culture. You will find it open from 11 am to 5:45 pm from Sunday to Tuesday, as well as on Friday and Saturday; and from 11 am to 8 pm on Thursday. Wednesday, both the galleries and restaurants are closed, and only the gift shop is open. Ticket prices are $18 for adults and all children under 18 are allowed free entrance.
El Museo del Barrio. Just like the Jewish Museum is dedicated entirely to Jewish art and culture, El Museo del Barrio is dedicated to Puerto Rican, Caribbean, and Latin American cultures. The museum is open from Wednesday to Saturday from 11 am to 6 pm and on Sundays from 12 pm to 5 pm. Ticket prices for adults are $9 and entrance is free for all children under 12.
These are just some of the museums you can visit the Museum Mile in New York City. Our recommendation is to plan ahead and leave an entire day for everything you want to see here (or more, if you want to spend more time in more of these museums). This way, you will allow yourself to fully embrace the exhibitions here.
4. The Empire State Building
Perhaps one of the most imposing and famous buildings in the world, The Empire State Building is a symbol of the American economy. You will find the 102-story building on 20 W 34th St, New York, NY 10001, USA, and you can even visit its observation deck for a full view of New York City from the top of one of its most monumental buildings.
A visit on its main deck on the 86th floor will cost $38 for adults and $32 for children.
The entire building is open from 8 am to 2 am, making it one of the attractions you might want to visit later in the day (especially since the view over NYC can be even more spectacular at night!)
5. Brooklyn Bridge
It’s hard to move through NYC and miss out on one of its staple constructions: the Brooklyn Bridge. You will find this famous bridge right at the heart of New York, watching over the passerby tourists and locals from no less than 272 feet in height (on its towers).
It is a sight you won’t forget very soon, that’s for certain!
6. Times Square
Can you really go to New York and miss out on this absolute buzz of an attraction? Times Square is where the pulse of the city beats faster, where lights are stronger, where everything America represents is amassed in a nutshell.
Stop by Times Square and take a photo surrounded by a myriad of ads and lights – this has been a true staple of New York ever since it was first conceived in 1907 and it will continue to mark the pulse of the city for a lot of time from hereon!
Clearly these are just the absolute basics of what New York City has to offer. As you can imagine, a city this grand cannot be boring in any way, shape or form. It will literally provide everyone with everything they might be looking for when traveling around.
7. The 9/11 Memorial Museum
In another life, this is where the World Trade Center towers stood high over New York, guarding over its beliefs and economy.
The tragedy of September 11, 2001, tore down not only the buildings themselves – but the very symbol of what they represented: dreams, trust, life. Nearly 3,000 people lost their lives in the tragedy – and this museum is there to commemorate them and show gratitude to all those who helped in the rescue efforts.
The 9/11 Memorial Museum can be found on 80 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10007, USA – and it has been there since March 2006.
Adult admission tickets cost $26 and tours cost between $41 and $46 and the museum is open from 7:30 am to 9 pm every day.