New York offers a lot of world-famous sights and it was really hard for us to settle on only ten. That’s why we’ve put together 12 of the best attractions for you here.
First, there is our TOP 12 and then our personal highlights, which should not be missing!
At the end of the article, I have shown our TOP 10 attractions on a map so that you can see at a glance what is where in New York.
My budget tip: many attractions are included in New York’s sightseeing passes – you can save a lot of money on tickets. Be sure to take a look at this.
These are my TOP 10 sights in New York
Empire State Building: the most famous skyscraper
The view from the observation deck of the Empire State Building is breathtaking and something you won’t forget so quickly. An absolute must when visiting New York! Everything you need to know about the Empire State Building, including our tips, we have compiled for you in this comprehensive Empire State Building guide. There you will learn our TOP 10 tips & tricks, important information about the different tickets and if a visit to the 102nd floor is really worthwhile (NO!).
FROM SUNSET TO 2 AM YOU CAN ALWAYS SEE A TOP LED-ANIMATION AT THE FULL HOUR!
Then the waiting times are not so long, or even better with the New York Pass you can walk past the queue! Tickets with Fast Lane access can be bought here – or you can take one of the New York discount passes, where the entrance fee is included!
My tip: visit the Rooftop bar 230 Fifth, which is very close by. It offers you a magnificent view of the Empire State Building all year round!
Brooklyn Bridge – The most famous bridge in NYC
Probably the most famous bridge in New York: the Brooklyn Bridge
An official landmark of the city: the Brooklyn Bridge. Here you must walk over the bridge and enjoy the great view from Brooklyn over the East River! Brand new and popular are tours across the Brooklyn Bridge to Brooklyn. We recommend the beautiful Brooklyn Bridge Park and Brooklyn Heights.
My tip: We love to ride the Citi Bike over the Brooklyn Bridge towards Brooklyn (you can find out more about the city bike program Citi Bike here) and take the Manhattan Bridge on the way back. Then you will have a great view at the eye level of the Brooklyn Bridge. Fantastic!
We provide you with individual tips from our New York expert Steffen during your travel preparations. Plan, save and experience – we show you how to get the most out of your holiday!
Top of the Rock – The viewing platform from Rockefeller Center
View from the Top of the Rock towards downtown Manhattan with the Empire State Building
You also have a great view over New York from the Rockefeller Center viewing platform called “Top of the Rock“. A tip from us, because it is not as crowded as the Empire State Building. Tickets for the viewing platform can be bought here – or you can take one of the New York discount passes, which include the entrance fee to the Top of the Rock!
OUR TIP: GO THERE LATE AFTERNOON & WAIT FOR THE SUNSET!
My tip: if you have to wait at the Top of the Rock, it’s no big deal. Go either to our beloved Bills Bar & Burger or the rooftop bar Peninsula, which are right at the Top of the Rock. And 5th Avenue is also only 50 meters away!
One World Trade Center with the National 9/11 Memorial
The 9/11 Memorial Museum is also very popular!
The One World Trade Center was built at Ground Zero. It is the tallest building in New York at 1776 feet (541 meters). By the way, 1776 is a reference to the year of the Declaration of Independence. A visit to the 9/11 Memorial Museum is a very popular attraction, which we also recommend to you. You can easily order tickets in advance online – they are included in the popular New York Pass and the New York Explorer Pass!
OUR TIP: IN THE EVENING IT IS ESPECIALLY IMPRESSIVE!
My tip: make sure you go to EATALY Downtown afterward and get a table at the window. From there you have a direct view to the 9/11 Memorial and the One World Observatory!
One World Observatory – New York’s tallest viewing platform
Since May 2015, tickets have been available for the viewing platform of the One World Trade Center, and New York is now one major attraction richer. New Yorkers are proud of the new landmark and star of the New York skyline. We have been up there several times – the view from here is really fantastic!
My tip: from the outside area of the Mexican restaurant “El Vez” or the BBQ restaurant “Blue Smoke” you can admire the One World Observatory wonderfully!
High Line Park: A park on tracks in the Meatpacking District
The High Line Park is one of New York’s most popular attractions. The park, which extends on the tracks of the former High Line from Gansevoort Street up to 34th Street, was opened in 2009 and is definitely worth a walk.
My tip: at the southern end of the High Line one of the most interesting parts of the city is waiting for you. The Meatpacking District offers you a huge selection of bars, restaurants and shopping spots. Be sure to visit the Chelsea Market, which is located in the former Oreo factory.
Times Square: the heart of Manhattan
The pulsating heart & definitely a MUST SEE: Times Square!
Sure, it can’t be missed! There is always something going on, even during the day it is exciting to watch many people and cars. But in our opinion Times Square shows what it can do only in the evening and at night. And that is when the LED advertising spaces glow! I also think it’s nice that there is now a pedestrian zone where you can sit down and relax.
My tip: go to one of the many rooftop bars on Times Square in the evening, which offers you a sensational view of Times Square. They are one of our favorite spots because the combination of the sounds of New York and the relaxed atmosphere with a drink in your hand is really incredible.
Panorama View Deluxe: the Brooklyn Bridge Park
It is definitely THE park with the best photo motif: Brooklyn Bridge Park on the East River. You can either walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, take a Citi Bike or take the NYC Ferry from Manhattan and enjoy the spectacular views. You will not only see the Brooklyn Bridge, but also the Manhattan Bridge and the towering One World Trade Center!
WE LOVE IT: TO EXPERIENCE THE SKYLINE & THE HUSTLE AND BUSTLE OF THE CITY WITH A COFFEE IN YOUR HAND!
Staten Island Ferry: a free experience
A trip with the Staten Island Ferry is an absolute highlight. The free crossing from the southern tip of Manhattan provides a sensational view of the skyscrapers.
THE BEST THING ABOUT IT: THE RIDE IS FREE!
My tip: on the trip from Manhattan you should be at the rear of the ferry so that you have the best view. Be sure to take advantage of the outside decks: letting the wind blow around your nose and being relaxed on the water is so wonderfully “normal”!
Central Park: the biggest park in New York
A green sight in New York: Central Park
Central Park is the green lung of the city and extends from 59th to 110th Street and from 5th to 8th Avenue. It was created by city planners and is a popular destination for New Yorkers. The big jogging route of almost 10 kilometers, which leads around the park, is really fun. If you want to take it easy, you can also rent a rowing boat and paddle around the lakes – in any case, it should not be missing on any sightseeing list!
My tip: It’s also great fun to explore the park by bike. There are many signposted cycle paths – you will be surprised how big the park is.
And these sights should be on your list when you are in NYC!
The Edge Hudson Yards observation deck
THE EDGE VIEWING PLATFORM WILL BE THE HIGHEST OPEN VIEWING PLATFORM IN NEW YORK
I am very much looking forward to this: in March 2020 New York will get a new highest open viewing platform! It is called The Edge Hudson Yards and will be higher than the Empire State Building. But even before the opening, you can admire it – if you are at the northern end of the High Line Park, you will be standing right in front of the skyscraper.
My favorite park in NYC: Bryant Park
Just a few blocks from Times Square is Bryant Park, which is my absolute favorite park. In summer there are free movie shows, in winter you can go skating on New York’s most famous skating rink and even when there’s no event, the park is just awesome. You can sit in the green, surrounded by skyscrapers and even the Empire State Building can be seen from here. Simply fantastic!
My tip: Go there early in the evening and enjoy the view of the illuminated Empire State Building!