New York City things to do

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Times Square

Price guide: Free
#21/23
expert-rated things to do in New York City
Expert overall rating:3.5 (out of 5)

It’s a thrill but too overwhelming for some.

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Even after more than 20 years I keep discovering new attractions to this city. It’s so diverse, so fast moving, so complex and so exciting that there is truly something for everyone here, whether you are looking for an incredible modern art collection, a slice of park tranquility, a boat ride that captures some of New York’s most amazing views, or an offbeat neighborhood that is quintessentially part of this urban landscape.

The city is truly great for walking so put on your trainers and explore some of the burgeoning neighborhoods. Among my favorites are the Lower East Side, the West Village, Cobble Hill in Brooklyn and far west Chelsea, but I have walked almost every neighborhood and every single one has its own atmosphere and distinctive characteristics. My ideal way to experience the city is to plan in one or two of the top 20 sights a day and then leave the rest for exploring their surrounding areas, and of course doing lots of eating and drinking along the way!
 

How I’ve picked my things to do: 

It was hard to pick only 20 top attractions in my beloved city but I tried to capture the very best and most iconic of the lot, from the gorgeous Art Deco Empire State building and the spectacular and jam-packed treasures of the Metropolitan Museum of Art to the magnificent Brooklyn Bridge. I then added in a few offbeat choices that I think exemplify all that is quirky and terrific about the city, like Coney Island (in the movie Annie Hall, Annie lives under the rollercoaster) and Yankee Stadium where I have spent many a happy summer day.

As E.B. White famously said, "There are roughly three New Yorks. There is, first, the New York of the man or woman who was born here, who takes the city for granted and accepts its size and its turbulence as natural and inevitable. Second, there is the New York of the commuter - the city that is devoured by locusts each day and spat out each night. Third, there is the New York of the person who was born somewhere else and came to New York in quest of something...Commuters give the city its tidal restlessness; natives give it solidity and continuity; but the settlers give it passion." Here is my New York - restless, solid and always passionate.
 

Set focus

It was hard to pick only 20 top attractions in my beloved city but I tried to capture the very best and most iconic of the lot, from the gorgeous Art Deco Empire State building and the spectacular and jam-packed treasures of the Metropolitan Museum of Art to the magnificent Brooklyn Bridge. I then added in a few offbeat choices that I think exemplify all that is quirky and terrific about the city, like Coney Island (in the movie Annie Hall, Annie lives under the rollercoaster) and Yankee Stadium where I have spent many a happy summer day.

As E.B. White famously said, "There are roughly three New Yorks. There is, first, the New York of the man or woman who was born here, who takes the city for granted and accepts its size and its turbulence as natural and inevitable. Second, there is the New York of the commuter - the city that is devoured by locusts each day and spat out each night. Third, there is the New York of the person who was born somewhere else and came to New York in quest of something...Commuters give the city its tidal restlessness; natives give it solidity and continuity; but the settlers give it passion." Here is my New York - restless, solid and always passionate.