Top 20 Things To Do in New York

What can you do in New York?

There is always a lot to see and experience in New York, even after my 20th visit it will definitely not be boring! In my TOP 20 Things to do in New York, I have packed all the events, attractions, tours and insider spots that make New York City so special to me. You’ll find the best New York sights, the latest hot spots like The Edge and The Vessel, but also really great restaurants in New York, and my favorite bars from Manhattan to Brooklyn.

My Top 20 Things to do in New York

Central Park aerial view, Manhattan, New York; Park is surrounds

With its 340 hectares, Central Park is a popular meeting place for New Yorkers. With more than 25 million visitors, the man-made idyll is an attraction not only for tourists. New Yorkers love Central Park and the peace and quiet that you find there, even though you are in the middle of the big city. In summer there are many free events here, in winter you can visit the ice rinks – these are only two reasons why Central Park is one of the best parks in NYC for me!

Empty Met tour at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Attention art lovers: Have you always dreamed of walking through the Metropolitan Museum of Art almost alone and having a guide show you the highlights of the museum in a small group? That is now possible. The Metropolitan Museum of Art opens its doors for the EmptyMet tour for an exclusive guided tour of New York City’s most visited attraction!

Brooklyn Bridge

Today 120,000 vehicles cross the 6 lanes of the Brooklyn Bridge every day, 4,000 pedestrians and over 3,000 cyclists use the upper level to get from Manhattan to Brooklyn (and vice versa). It doesn’t really matter what time of day or night you come: the view of the bridge and from the bridge is spectacular at any time.

Empire State Building at sunrise

Experience New York City awakening on top of the Empire State Building. This unforgettable VIP experience at sunrise is an absolute must for every visitor to New York City and one of the newest tours we have tested! The Empire State Building is probably the most famous skyscraper in the city and definitely one of the best sights in New York City. That’s why it absolutely had to be in my TOP 20 Things to do! 

Gantry Plaza State Park

The park is very beautifully laid out, with many wooden benches (also with ergonomic design) and dunes with sand grass etc. Although one apartment building after the other is currently being built at the back (to the east), the park is still relatively unfrequented – also thanks to its size and the jetties that extend far into the East River.

Circle Line – Best of NYC Cruise

Along three rivers, under 20 bridges and past all five boroughs of New York City – on this tour, you will circumnavigate Manhattan Island completely and see more than 25 of the city’s world-famous landmarks. For me, this tour is one of the best boat tours in NYC, because you get a wonderful and complete picture of New York City.

Chelsea Market

The first address for the gourmets among you is the Chelsea Market. The building that was once a biscuit factory and the place where the famous Oreo biscuits were invented. Today you’ll find bakeries, wine merchants, greengrocers, a fish shop, sushi bars, a butcher’s shop with steak restaurant and much more. It is one of the many food markets in New York that I love so much!

Empire Outlets Staten Island

New York City is the shopping paradise badly gone. However, when it comes to outlets, up to 60-minute bus rides or car rides have always had to be accepted. This has now come to an end, because now you can be at the outlet in 25 minutes by ferry. The Outlets in New York are now enriched by another great shopping spot!

High line Park

The High Line Park, which was opened in June 2009 by the mayor at the time, extends from Gansevoort Street in the south to 20 Street when it opens. The second section was completed in June 2011 – now New York’s Westside can be admired from lofty heights up to 30th Street.

Smorgasburg Food Market

The Smorgasburg Food Market is one of the hippest open-air food markets in New York City – this is where people meet in the warm months, eat, drink and enjoy the view of the Manhattan skyline on the East River Waterfront. Smorgasburg means “a mix of food” and offers a huge selection of small stalls.

Grand Central Terminal

Who doesn’t know it, the famous Grand Central Station in the heart of Manhattan?! As one of the largest train stations in the world, it is a symbol of the hustle and bustle of the city that never sleeps. It’s one of the places in NYC you must see and one of the many spots where you can experience New York for free!

Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

The MoMA was founded in 1929 and was the first museum to dedicate its collection entirely to modern art. Manhattan’s art mecca is 60,000 m2 in size after the reconstruction by the architect Yoshio Taniguchi. The renovation cost nearly 860 million dollars and since its reopening in 2004, some 2.5 million visitors have visited the museum.

Gallow Green Rooftop Garden

Gallow Green is a great bar on the roof of the McKittrick Hotel, which is both quaint and classy. The leafy, vine-covered loggia invites you to spend long summer nights. The garden enchants with vintage train tracks and shimmering lights, live jazz music, and a fresh cocktail menu. It is my absolute favorite bar on the High Line and therefore on my list of the best rooftop bars in New York!

Paley Park

The entrance to the park, which is only 390 square meters in size, is at 53rd Street – and what immediately catches the eye: the 6-meter high waterfall. During the day in summer, the waterfall’s spray mist is wonderfully cooling. And: it “swallows” all surrounding sounds and the park is such a spot with a really fascinating atmosphere!

Graffiti & Street Art Walking Tour in Brooklyn

Here you will get to know the best corners of Bushwick/Brooklyn when it comes to alternative art. For all fans of graffiti and street art, this walking tour is a must!

Rockefeller Tree Lighting Ceremony

The Christmas Tree in New York at Rockefeller Center is probably the most famous Christmas tree in the city. The illumination of this tree is celebrated at the Christmas Tree Lighting in New York. After the official opening, the Christmas season in New York officially begins!

Bill’s Bar and Burger

As the name suggests, you can get tasty burgers and excellent beer here. The list of beers that are drafted or bottled is as long as the list of burgers. And all this at a fair price – there are several of them in New York, their most famous shop is the one right next to Rockefeller Center. Bill’s Bar and Burger should be visited by you if you are looking for the best burgers in NYC!

Staten Island Ferry

One of the most famous and popular tourist attractions in New York is the Staten Island Ferry, which commutes between the southern tip of Manhattan and Staten Island. The crossing is free! The 5-mile crossing takes about 20-25 minutes and offers a stunning panoramic view of the skyscrapers. That’s why it’s my favorite tour on my New York free list!

Sailing in the evening with live jazz

You will sail with the beautiful tall ship “Clipper City” from Battery Park southwards into the harbor of New York and can admire the illuminated One World Trade Center and the skyline from close range. The atmosphere on the tall ship is really very special: you are surrounded by locals, the hustle and bustle of the city is far away and you are immediately deeply relaxed.

Walkthrough Soho

In the southwest of Manhattan is the artists’ quarter and shopping paradise SoHo. Encircled by Houston Street, Lafayette/Centre Street, Canal Street, and West Broadway, is New York’s most vibrant neighborhood: SoHo. As the location of many Hollywood movies, TV shows, and commercials, you will never forget that you have been here before.