New York, the city of skyscrapers and asphalt. That fascinating and moving city at any time of day that we know will hook you when you arrive. With plenty of experiences to try and places to visit in New York essential, whether it is your first time in the city or you already have a few, you must keep in mind that The Big Apple is addictive. Of the many things to see and do in New York, we wanted to list our 20 essentials based on our 11 day trip to New York. We started!!
1. Times Square
Times Square is the epicenter and most touristic place in New York. Everyone who comes to this city passes here several times, whether day or night and to admire their posters and neon lights. To make good photos you can climb the red stairs of the TKTS, from where you will have a fantastic panorama of this crossroads.
If you want to enjoy the atmosphere, a good option is to take a long coffee and sit on some of their chairs and red tables, just to watch life go by. If we also tell you that it is one of the things to do for free in New York, the plan is even more delicious, right?
2. Grand Central Terminal
Grand Central Terminal is one of the jewels of the city and one of the must-see places in New York. With one of the most beautiful halls in the world, which has been the scene of some scenes of Hollywood famous films like ” With the death on the heels ” or ” Superman “, this is another of the essential in New York. With more than a century of history, this mythical railway station has become an icon of the city, with its emblematic clock located in the central part and surrounded by screens of arrival and departure of trains.
3. Rockefeller Center and Top of the Rock
Rockefeller Center consists of several shopping centers with restaurants, bars, and shops. Here at Christmas you can see the lighting of the lights with its famous Christmas tree and skate on its ice rink. But for us, the highlight is the best viewpoint in New York: Top of the Rock. With magnificent views of Manhattan and Central Park, this gazebo is open every day of the year and is another must see in New York. The entrance is included in the CityPASS, but you have to go before to reserve the time since otherwise, you can run out of places, especially at busy times such as sunset, the moment that according to our experience is one of the best of the day. We recommend going an hour before sunset to see the changing colors, sunset and New York at night.
4. Brooklyn Bridge
Crossing the Brooklyn Bridge at sunset while the lights of Manhattan are lit is another of the best free things you can do in New York. It is the most photogenic bridge in the city that connects Manhattan with Brooklyn along nearly 2 miles above the East River. Also from here you can make some of the best photos of New York, both as you cross the bridge, and later, at Brooklyn Heights Promenade and Empire Fulton Ferry Park, two very incredible viewpoints from where there are very good perspectives of the bridge from the Brooklyn.
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5. Central Park
Relaxing, walking, picnicking or playing sports are just some of the many things you can do in Central Park, the best place to unwind from the sometimes stressful New York. Central Park is the green lung of Manhattan and is immense, full of lakes, viewpoints, statues, and gardens, so it is advisable to take your time to visit or do it several times. We recommend you visit it on a Sunday when New Yorkers take the opportunity to practice sport or have a family picnic. Another good option is to rent a bike to visit its main points and feel like a true New Yorker.
6. Museum of Natural History
We may not be too objective at this point, as we have to say that the Natural History Museum is our favorite New York museum. It is considered one of the best science museums in the world and is that in addition to thousands of animals from around the world, you can also see an incredible collection of large meteorites and minerals of all kinds. Its most famous rooms are the reproductions of dinosaurs and the blue whale. We assure you that they will leave you speechless.
It is open every day from 10 a.m. to 5.45 p.m. and the entrance is included in the CityPASS.
7. Fifth Avenue
This is the most famous street in New York. It crosses the city from north to south and is also one of the most commercial places to visit in New York. The most touristic avenue is located between Central Park and St. Patrick’s Cathedral, where the most exclusive and famous shops, including Tiffany & Co, known for the ” Breakfast with Diamonds ” scene or the Apple store. Most shops open between 9 am and 8 pm every day, whether or not they are open, 5th Avenue is still a must-see in New York.
8. St. Patrick’s Cathedral
St. Patrick’s Cathedral is just across from Rockefeller Center, next to Fifth Avenue. It owes its name to the patron saint of Ireland and we assure you that it is worth entering, although its exterior is the most striking at first sight. From the Atlas sculpture of the Rockefeller Center, we can make another of the best photos of New York, showing the architectural contrast of the Cathedral with the skyscrapers that surround it. The time to visit is from 7 in the morning until 8:30 in the afternoon.
9. Empire State Building
The Empire State Building is the most famous skyscraper in the world as well as being for many years the tallest building on the planet and one of the best viewpoints in New York. Still not falling? And if we say that was the location of one of the mythical scenes of the history of cinema with King Kong climbed the Empire State. The timetable to climb to the lookout point is from 8 am to 2 am, we recommend climbing a little before sunset to see the city lit after sunset. The entrance is included in the CityPASS.
10. Harlem neighborhood
Crossing Central Park you will reach the Harlem neighborhood, a multicultural neighborhood and music and one of the best places to visit in New York. Full of venues where you can listen to good jazz or Latin music, you can also attend a Gospel Mass in one of its churches in the morning. This neighborhood with a large African-American community and with a somewhat tumultuous history, to this day, is very quiet and safe and you can walk quietly through it without any problem.
In addition to the walks, always full of surprises, you can not miss visiting mythical clubs such as the Cotton Club or the Apollo Theater as well as enjoy a good brunch of the typical southern food.
Broadway, with nearly 33 kilometers, is the longest and most famous street along Quina Avenue in New York. The most well-known part is the one that crosses Times Square, where they concentrate the great majority of the theaters in which many Hollywood actors began their race. Musicals are your star show and one of the things to book in New York, especially if you want to make sure you get a good seat and on many occasions, take advantage of good deals. Some of the most famous are: The Miserables, Mary Poppins, The Phantom of the Opera, The Lion King or Aladdin, which was the one that we saw and that left us impressed, so we can not do anything other than recommend it.
12. Flatiron Building
The Flatiron Building is one of the most iconic buildings in New York City. Located next to Madison Square Park, its architecture will not leave you indifferent with its triangular shape and with an end only 2 meters wide. Also, scene scenes of movies like Spiderman or Armageddon, this area is also a good place to eat as you have right next to Eataly, an Italian shopping center, full of quality products and restaurants.
13. Madison Square Garden
Watching a Knicks game at Madison Square Garden is another must see in New York. In this mythical stadium also play the New York Rangers ice hockey, another option to come if you like sports. To have good seats it is best to reserve the tickets with time, especially in matches with a good rival. Only by seeing the show that is formed at the beginning and in the dead times is already worth the money spent and is that in the end, even if you are not a big fan of this sport, the experience in general, we assure you that you will not forget it. In addition, with some luck, you will always be able to see some famous actor or singer watching the match in the main stands.
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14. Statue of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty is one of the world’s most famous and most famous monuments in New York and you’ll find it on Liberty Island just south of Manhattan. The best views of the statue are from the Hudson River and one of the best views you’ll get from the free ferry to Staten Island or catching one of the many cruises that cruise the area.
If you buy the CityPASS you will have included the ticket for a cruise or the visit to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, another of the many reasons to purchase this pass. The ferry timetable is between 8:30 and 16:30 in the afternoon.
Of course, it is important to keep in mind that in order to climb to the viewpoint, the crown of the Statue of Liberty, you will have to reserve the entrance with time, since they usually exhaust quickly.
15. High Line and Chelsea Market
Strolling the two miles of the High Line, a park built an old elevated railway line, is another thing you must do in New York. There are several points with good views of the city and it is very pleasant to sit down and have a picnic in one of its zones enabled for it. In addition, you can take advantage of the High Line visit to Chelsea Market, a beautiful covered market with very good restaurants and shops with quality products, where in addition to eating you can stock up on food if you stay in an apartment in New York and need to cook. The market opens from 7 in the morning until 9 at night.
16. Memorial and Museum of 11-S
The Memorial pays homage to the victims of the World Trade Center twin towers. In the place that occupied the towers, you will find two great monuments in which you can see inscribed the names of the deceased, besides the tree that survived the fall of the towers and you can see in the square. In the Museum of 11S, you can see objects of the victims, material recovered from the towers, parts of the airplanes, survivors’ testimonies, among many other details and objects, as well as explanations.
Although we understand it is a breathtaking place, we believe it is one of the must-see places in New York.
The Museum entrance is included in the CityPASS and the schedules go from 9 in the morning until 8 in the afternoon, Friday and Saturday they close at 9.
17. Public Library and Bryant Park
Bryant Park is one of the most beautiful parks in New York and also one of the most central. On one of the sides is the New York Public Library and, as it could not be otherwise, a visit in silence is worthy. It’s beautiful Astor Hall welcomes us with white marble walls, ceilings and stairs and the Rose Main Reading Room, the main reading room that has appeared in numerous films, surrounded by oak shelves, tables, and chairs, is one of those Places that you can not miss and where you would stay hours and hours.
Visiting hours are from 10 in the morning to 6 in the afternoon.
18. Wall Street
In the area of New York’s financial district is Wall Street, one of the city’s most popular and well-known streets. This area includes the La Bolsa building, the Federal Reserve and a little further away from the famous Wall Street bull or Charging Bull, which they say you must touch to bring you good luck. During the noon hours, weekdays, you will see some brokers rushing out of the buildings to catch a hot dog and eat it while chatting in small groups. And it is necessary to take into account that the money that moves there gives little rest.
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19. Queens Quarter
It is not the most visited neighborhood or district in New York, but it is worth spending some time on. It is the most multicultural of the city and in which we can observe with the naked eye how the inhabitants of each area of the neighborhood originate from a different area of the world.
Queens is also full of good restaurants and shops of all nationalities, so also, in addition to walking, can be a perfect destination in which to taste good gastronomy and do some shopping. Some of the areas to visit in Queens are the Jackson Heights neighborhood, Forest Hills, Rockaway Beach, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Jamaica, and Astoria.
If you do not want to get here on your own, one of the best ways to get a first idea of the neighborhood is to hire the New York Contrasts Tour, where one of the areas you visit is Queens, as well as others like the Bronx.
20. Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is undoubtedly one of the museums to visit in New York. It is considered as one of the most important museums in the world and the Egyptian and Roman area we can say are essential. It is located inside Central Park and in the summer months, you can climb to the roof where there is a good viewpoint where you can relax and enjoy incredible views of the park and the surroundings.
The entrance is included in the CityPASS and the hours are from 9:30 to 17:30, and on Fridays and Saturdays until 9 at night.