NYC’s Top Attractions: Thrills, Freedom, Views, and Remembrance
Top 10 NYC Attractions
New York City is a thrill ride that’ll set your heart racing no matter how many times you visit. But to make the most of your time in the Big Apple, check out these top-rated NYC attractions that get five-star reviews from other visitors!
Originally a gift from France, the Statue of Liberty is a world symbol of freedom. Avoid long lines by purchasing your ticket in advance!
1. Statue of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty is the top attraction for many first-time visitors to New York City. Designed by French sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi with a metal framework by Gustav Eiffel, the statue symbolizes freedom and stands on a 14.7 acre island in the harbor.
A visit to Ellis Island is also a must-do for anyone visiting America’s most iconic symbol; tens of millions of Americans can trace their roots back to immigrants who came through here.
2. Empire State Building
The Empire State Building is a NYC icon that’s recognizable to residents and visitors alike. Visit the 86th or 102nd floor observatories for spectacular views of the city.
The Empire State Building’s fame grew after King Kong scaled it in the 1933 movie, and it survived a 1945 plane crash. No trip to New York City is complete without a visit to this iconic skyscraper.
3. Top of the Rock
The observation deck at 30 Rockefeller Center is the highlight of this iconic NYC complex. Whizz up 70 floors to see spectacular, unobstructed views of the city below.
Plan your visit to enjoy the views day or night. Visit during the winter to see the famous Rockefeller Tree and ice skating rink.
4. National 9/11 Memorial & Museum
The National 9/11 Memorial & Museum is one of the top attractions in New York City. It’s an emotional place to visit and will remind you that tragedy isn’t unique to the city, but is part of its DNA.
Take a pensive walk around the memorial and read the names of everyone who lost their lives on September 11, 2001. Also, explore the museum, a tribute to their courageous work and survival.
5. The Met
Founded 151 years ago, the Metropolitan Museum of Art is America’s largest art museum. Its vast halls showcase a range of works, from ancient mummies to modern masterpieces.
Start with the main Greek and Roman showroom, whose Ionic columns make you feel like you’re in ancient Rome. Download the Met’s free smartphone app for self-guided audio tours. A ticket also includes admission to the nearby Met Breuer and The Cloisters.
6. Central Park
Central Park is an iconic part of NYC and its 843 acres make for a great place to stroll, picnic, or jog. Sharp-eyed movie fans might recognize the area as a setting for films like When Harry Met Sally, Enchanted, and Elf.
The park also has a small zoo that’s an excellent add on to a trip. Also make sure to check out the Bethesda Terrace and Fountain, as well as Strawberry Fields, a peaceful memorial garden with the famous “Imagine” mosaic.
7. Times Square
A trip to NYC isn’t complete without exploring Times Square. This area is lined with huge billboards and is an iconic spot in the city.
It’s also the location for New Year’s Eve celebrations and is a fun place to stroll at night. Check out the famous TKTS Stairs, where you can purchase tickets for Broadway shows. Another popular attraction here is Madame Tussauds wax museum.
8. Grand Central Terminal
The nation’s largest train station awes millions of commuters and tourists every day. But Grand Central Terminal is so much more than a transit hub.
Wander the main concourse and marvel at the astronomical mural of constellations on its ceiling. Don’t miss the four-sided opal clock atop the information booth. Also, don’t overlook the Downstairs Food Concourse, a gourmet food emporium.
9. Rockefeller Center
Rockefeller Center is one of the most famous places in NYC and it has a lot to offer. You will find a large Christmas tree, an ice skating rink, a restaurant and many specialty shops.
The complex is also home to Radio City Music Hall and NBC Studios. The famous statue of Prometheus that represents the gift of fire is located at the entrance by the ice skating rink.
10. Rockefeller Center Ice Skating Rink
The Rockefeller Center Ice Skating Rink is a NYC tradition and a must-see attraction. While a visit to this iconic rink does come with a higher price tag, it is an experience that is well worth the money.
During its heyday, Flipper’s Roller Boogie Palace, located in the plaza, attracted celebrities including Jane Fonda and Jean-Michel Basquiat. Guests can now relive this magic with a visit to the new pop-up shop.