A Guide to New York City’s Top Attractions
Top 10 Attractions in New York City
New York City offers a diverse array of attractions that draw in millions of visitors each year. From famous landmarks like the Statue of Liberty to world-renowned museums, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
See a Broadway show to experience the magic of live theater in NYC, or explore iconic neighborhoods and vibrant shopping districts.
1. Statue of Liberty
The most iconic symbol of New York City, the Statue of Liberty stirs a sense of freedom in people around the world. It was conceived as an emblem of the friendship between France and America but has since become much more than that.
The hollow colossus of copper, designed by French sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi and built by Gustave Eiffel, stands on Liberty Island in the entrance to New York Harbor. The best way to visit the island and see the statue is on a guided tour that includes a ferry ticket to both Liberty Island and Ellis Island.
2. Empire State Building
Although it no longer holds the title as tallest skyscraper in the world (that honor now goes to Dubai’s Burj Khalifa), the Empire State Building still has plenty to offer visitors. Two observatories—the open-air 86th floor deck and the enclosed 102nd-floor spire—provide two of the city’s best views.
The iconic structure has graced the fronts of countless postcards, and it’s as quintessentially New York as pastrami on rye. The tower has also made appearances in numerous films, including the 1933 movie King Kong.
3. National 9/11 Memorial & Museum
One of the most moving places in all of NYC, the National 9/11 Memorial & Museum is an unforgettable experience. Gaze into the two reflecting pools at the site where the Twin Towers once stood and learn about the tragedy through respectful interactive exhibits.
Be sure to visit the Survivor Tree (a Callery pear tree that survived the 9/11 attacks) and the bronze FDNY Memorial Wall that lists the names of firefighters killed on September 11. The museum is huge and you will need at least 1.5 hours to get through it.
4. Brooklyn Bridge
The Brooklyn Bridge is a symbol of the city and offers spectacular views. It has also been the site of many adventurous feats, such as P.T. Barnum’s elephant circus and bungee jumping. The bridge’s two towers are also a peregrine falcon nesting site.
Times Square is the heart of New York’s vibrant entertainment scene. The area’s bright lights, billboards and electronic screens make it one of the world’s most exciting intersections.
5. Museum of Modern Art
When museums were designed to resemble secular churches and relegated to the upper classes, three women who cared deeply about art founded MoMA. Since its inception in 1929 in a rented space on the 12th floor of the Hercksler Building, it has moved to several locations and now boasts a sculpture garden named for Abby Aldrich Rockefeller.
The museum is known for curating unconventional artwork that is not easily categorized. It is also user-friendly, focusing on accessibility rather than elitism.
6. Brooklyn Museum
The Brooklyn Museum is one of the largest art museums in America. Its diverse collections range from ancient Egyptian to contemporary art. It also features an impressive collection of Asian art. Besides its permanent exhibits, the museum offers rotating shows such as Judy Chicago’s Dinner Party and the work of Georgia O’Keeffe.
Seeing a Broadway show is a truly magical experience. Whether you see a new hit or a long-running classic, it’s sure to be an unforgettable trip.
7. Museum of the City of New York
Located in Manhattan’s Museum Mile on Fifth Avenue, the MCNY is the place to learn about NYC history and imagine its future. From paintings by Currier and Ives to toys to police and fire department collections, the MCNY has it all.
See the “Timescapes” exhibit, narrated by Stanley Tucci, to discover how New York became the thriving city it is today. Also check out the Tenement Museum, which displays recreations of homes where many immigrants lived in the 1800s.
8. Brooklyn Bridge Observation Deck
If you walk over the Brooklyn Bridge during the day, stop by this area for views of Lower Manhattan. This is also a great spot to take pictures of the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges lit up at night.
This pier is located in Brooklyn Bridge Park and is one of the park’s larger areas of open space. It offers a variety of paths to explore, including some that lead through wooded areas.
9. New York Knicks Game
Seeing an NBA game is one of the most exciting things you can do in New York. Whether you are a fan of the Knicks or just want to experience the madness of a New York basketball game, you should definitely attend a game at Madison Square Garden or Barclays Center.
The Knicks are a professional basketball team based in Manhattan, competing in the National Basketball Association (NBA). The team was founded in 1946 and is one of the original members of the NBA, winning two championships.