48 hours in New York; highline observatory

When in New York, Here Are the Top Things To Do

Traveling to New York is like a rite of passage. American citizens or foreign travelers flock to this entrancing city and feel as if they have changed after marveling those grand skyscrapers. But with so many things to do, it’s hard to decide where to even begin. This list of the top things to do in New York city might just make it a little bit easier.

Walk Along the Top of the Rock

Atop the famous Rockefeller Center is one of the best views of Manhattan. Shoot up a quick 70 floors and view the city from its spectacular observation deck. You could even catch a show in the building later that night.

Get an Amazing Aerial View in a Helicopter

If you’re going to fly in a helicopter, there are three places you should do it: the Grand Canyon, Hawaii and New York City. The juxtaposition of Central Park amongst the tall skyscrapers is legendary and if you visit at sunset, even better!

(Here are some of the best helicopter tours in New York)

Enjoy the View at One of The Best Rooftop Bars in New York

Would you like to get a view like the locals do? Then you’re in need of a rooftop view (preferably alongside a tasty cocktail). It also just so happens that many of the best bars also happen to be within hotels, so you’ll have many nights to catch those sunset views! The following rooftop bars are the best in the city for spectacular, skyscraper views:

Take it All in at the Empire State Building

A trip to the legendary 102-story, art deco skyscraper is an absolute must when visiting New York. It’s one of the tallest buildings in the US and in the world, so you know the views are going to be insane!

Get a Taste of the City That Never Sleeps in Times Square

Yes, it’s incredibly touristy. But you cannot visit New York without heading to Times Square. Check out the hustle and bustle of New York, grab some amazing food or enjoy a broadway play!

Witness History at the Statue of Liberty

This marvelous statue is a bit of a cliche, but for good reason. Take a ferry to this historical landmark and marvel it’s detail as you slowly approach. Once you climb to the top of her crown you’ll see one of the best views in the city.

Pay Tribute at the 9/11 Memorial Museum

It’s not enough to visit New York and marvel at its grand history. As a traveler, it’s important to take in and capture some of the city’s more darker moments. Marvel and pay tribute at he 9/11 Memorial & Museum and connect with those who lost their lives on September 11th.

Witness The World’s Best Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Also known as “The Met,” is an incredible art museum, the second most-visited art museum in the world, actually! With famous artwork from artists like Monet, Duccio and Rembrandt, you can see why it’s a major attraction. Make sure to check out the famous roof garden as well!

Take a Stroll Around Central Park

New York’s biggest park is famous for it’s amazing sites like the pond, the Central Park Zoo and Bethesda Terrace. No doubt you’ll recognize some scenes from your favorite shows and movies in this park, but you’ve got plenty of time to witness them in its 2.5 miles.

Enjoy Some of the Best Food in the USA

Want a rainbow bagel? A $500 potato with caviar? How about a puppy with your latte? New York has just about everything you can think of for all of you foodies out there.

(Check out my 48 hours itinerary to see where you should go to eat!)

Should I Get a New York Tourist Pass?

During my stay I got the New York City Pass. With this pass, you can visit the following with a 9-day period from the first day of purchase:

  • The Empire State Building, American Museum of Natural History
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Top of the Rock Observation Deck OR Guggenheim Museum
  • Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island OR Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise
  • 9/11 Memorial & Museum OR Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

By buying this pass and seeing each of these options, you will save 43% had you purchased these tickets individually. (Did I mention you get to skip a lot of lines this way?? HELL YES.)

However, I would make sure to visit at least 3 of these attractions. If you buy this pass and see only 2 sites, it might not be worth the money.

(Get your very own New York City Pass here!)

In Your Opinion, What Are Some of the Top Things To Do in New York?

29 comments on “When in New York, Here Are the Top Things To Do”

  1. NYC is literally my favorite place ever. Thanks for all the great tips! And I love following along on Insta! @michele_aaron

  2. I would add a Broadway musical at night, and visit new York on christmas days, the decorations are out of this world 😍😍😘, also Chinatown and little Italy 😍

  3. What an awesome list! I’ve been to NYC so many times and haven’t hit everything you’ve listed…need to check out some of those rooftop bars! @astravelled 🙂

  4. Checking your blog post out from insta! The Met, Times Square and the 9/11 memorial were my favourite spots when I got to visit New York! Keep it up girl 💕💕 @janaeweiss

  5. Damn this is such a comprehensive guide! Will definitely be referring to it again when I finally get to NY!


  6. Love how comprehensive and informative this is! We recently took a day trip to NYC and had a hard time narrowing down what to do. I can’t wait to refer to this for our next trip!

  7. The 9/11 museum is definitely one of the most powerful museums I’ve been too and I’m so glad you mention it! And the rooftop mentions are much needed for instaworthy pics!

  8. This year it’ll be 10 years since I last (and first) went to New York. Seems I’ll have to book another trip ASAP…
    Thanks for this list with things to do!

  9. I would travel to NY just for one of those rainbow bagels and One Dollar Pizza. 😅 Why don’t we have those in Germany?


  10. Its a great post, very usefull. Im super happy i follow you in instagram and checking your Blogger post. Such a inspiration. Greetings from Bulgaria @enjoyandcreate

  11. This is great girl!!! I’ve lived in NJ and have been to NYC so many times through the years and still have yet to get to some of these spots like the 9/11 memorial i remember that day like it was yesterday and i remember seeing the site that Christmas season. Never gone to the observatory deck at Rockefeller or done the helicopter ride but I’ve done everything else. Everyone needs to eat the food especially the pizza. There are sooo many amazing museums too!!! I love NY!!! @thetravelingnurse_22

  12. It’s funny, I’ve spent a fair amount of time I. NYC but never done any of these things ABOVE to city to really take in where the heck I am!! Need to go back and see top of the rock or even the heli tour!! 😍 #balleralert. I’ve bookmarked this for reference next time!! Thanks for putting this together 🙌🏼

  13. It’s funny, I’ve spent a fair amount of time in NYC but never done any of these things ABOVE to city to really take in where the heck I am!! Instead I just get lost and it often all blends together. Need to go back and see top of the rock or even the heli tour!! 😍 #balleralert. I’ve bookmarked this for reference next time!! Thanks for putting this together 🙌🏼 @sydbinnington

  14. As always, you write about your travels in a very incredible and cheerful way. 😊

    I love this guide. 👍🏼


  15. Don’t forget the AMAZING server at Gelso who DEFINITELY wasn’t awkward in the slightest!!! 😉 It was such a pleasure to meet you ladies!! I can’t wait to see what adventures you three get into next!

  16. I live near here so I don’t see visiting NYC as such a huge deal, but it’s always so fun and refreshing to see it through other people’s eyes!! (Also I love your insta-so colorful! I’m @nicoleetzel )

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