30 Great Things To Do in Manhattan You Can’t Miss

Manhattan is known for being the symbol of New York City, and it’s home to some of the most iconic attractions the United States has to offer.

In Manhattan, you’ll find Broadway, Wall Street, Times Square, the Empire State Building, Central Park, the United Nations headquarters, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the 911 Tribute Museum, to name a few.

The city is one of the most densely populated in the world, with more than 1.6 million people fitting into 23 square miles. Most people, locals, and tourists use public transportation, like taxis, trains, buses, and subways. Fine dining, high-end shopping, and celebrity spotting are a way of life in New York‘s Manhattan, even if you’re just visiting for a day or two.

Ready to learn more about this famous New York City borough? Here are 30 things to do in Manhattan that you just can’t miss!



MoMA, or the Museum of Modern Art, has a collection of more than 200,000 works of modern and contemporary art. The museum features traveling and rotating exhibits, ongoing collections, films, and performance programs. 

The museum hosts community events, workshops, and classes. Onsite you can also find a gift shop, a cafe, a bar, and restaurants. MoMA is wheelchair and stroller accessible.


Simply referred to as “The Met,” The Metropolitan Museum of Art has ongoing exhibits of “In Praise of Painting: Dutch Masterpieces at The Met,” “Cross Roads,” “Art of Native America: The Charles and Valerie Diker Collection,” and the “Fabergé from the Matilda Geddings Gray Foundation Collection.”

The Met has over 490,000 workers from all over the world. Collection areas include Ancient American Art, Asian Art, The Costume Institute, Drawings and Prints, Egyptian Art, European Paintings, and more.

In our opinion, there are two great money-saving options for exploring NYC. If this is your first visit then opt for the New York CityPASS. It offers five popular tourist stops for one low price. If this isn’t your first visit, you are staying for more than a few days, or you are with kids and need a lot more flexibility then opt for the New York Sightseeing Pass. Pick Day Passes or the FLEX Pass, and then select from over 150 different attractions, big and small.


The One World Trade Center, also known as the Freedom Tower,  was completed in 2014 and stands 1,776 feet tall, making it the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere and the 7th tallest in the world.  The One World Trade Center combines shopping, dining, hotels, attractions & recreational options, along with office space, to create a bustling destination for tourists, locals, and business executives. 

The One World Observatory Deck is the highest point in the city and offers unrivaled views of the New York City skyline. The observation deck includes the world’s largest LED in the world, with visitors’ names and countries of origin lit up for everyone to see. There are over 10 million names so far.

The Horizon Grid is a collection of 145 screens showing memorable moments, celebrity faces, and legendary places viewable from One World Observatory. One Dine Restaurant and Bar sits on the 101st floor of the tower, where you can grab a bite to eat or a drink while watching the hustle and bustle of life below you. There is also a cafe and a gelateria.

The Oculus is a transportation hub and shopping center built to look like wings reaching up to the sky. It lies at the base of the One World Trade Center and was built after the September 11th attacks to represent the city’s strength and resilience. 


Seeing New York City from above is a great way to get a better understanding of how amazing the city is! Here are a few ways you can do just that.


Rockefeller Center is a historical and iconic site in Manhattan. Here you can find shopping, dining, live entertainment, Top of the Rock, The Rink, Rainbow Room, and Bar SixtyFive.

Top of the Rock offers guests a 365-degree view of the Manhattan skyline from three levels of indoor and outdoor observation decks.  There is a year-round skating rink located in the heart of Rockefeller Center, reminiscent of the 1970s with a modern flare. 

There are also guided tours available of the center where you can learn about its history, architecture, and art that make up the world-famous Rockefeller Center.


At the Empire State Building, you can find observatories, galleries, shops, and restaurants. The restaurants in the building include State Grill and Bar and Tacombi, as well as quick eats like Chipotle, Chop’t, and Sushi-teria. There is also a juice bar and a Starbucks, and a gift shop!

Construction of the Empire State Building started in 1930 and took 1 year and 45 days to finish. The Empire State Building was the world’s first 100+ story building. 


The Edge is the highest observation deck in the Western Hemisphere, and it’s where you can see the entire New York City Skyline from one space. The deck floats more than 1,000 feet in the sky, and is made of frameless glass panes so your view is not obstructed by anything. 

The deck also features glass floors so you can look straight down if you’re not afraid of heights. If you like heights, you can join the City Climb. The City Climb lets guests scale the outside of the building, more than 1,200 feet above the ground, to lean out and over the highest outdoor platform in New York City.


The One Vanderbilt Building is 1400 feet high and offers office space with “helicopter views” of Manhattan and surrounding areas. In the building, you can also find world-class dining and the innovative SUMMIT experience. 

SUMMIT One Vanderbilt is a mind-bedding art installation in the Vanderbilt building. There are several exhibits you can interact with including Air, Levitation which is two glass ledges suspended 1,063 feet above Madison Avenue. Ascent is the world’s largest exterior glass-floor elevator, and it takes you to the highest point in Midtown. 

You can also visit Apre for food and cocktails.

Looking for online tickets to attractions or cool tours offering insider info? Get Your Guide is our go-to resource for online purchases. Yes, there are a lot of NYC tours listed on their site…but here are the 7 most popular. They have sensational ratings, but book them now because they do go fast!


High Line Park is more than just a park. Located on the West Side of Manhattan, High Line is a public space that features gardens, art, live performances, delicious food, and space to hang out with friends or family. The park was built on a historic elevated rail line, giving visitors a dazzling view of New York City.

Points of interest in the park include Tiffany & Co. Foundation Overlook, Donald Pels And Wendy Keys Gansevoort Woodland, 14th Street Passage, Diller – Von Furstenberg Sundeck & Water Feature, the Chelsea Market Passage, and more.


Located in the middle of City Hall Park in lower Manhattan, the City Hall for New York City is the oldest, continuously-used city hall in the United States that’s still home to its original governmental functions.

The building itself is considered to be one of the best architectural structures of its period. Built from 1803 to 1812, it’s a designated New York City landmark, with an amazing rotunda you have to see to believe.

Note: Guided tours are usually offered here, but as of 2022, they were still not being offered due to COVID-19. We will update this article when that changes.


The American Museum of Natural History is an exciting way to learn about Earth and its history. The museum offers dozens of permanent exhibitions as well as traveling and special exhibits. 

Their permanent exhibitions include the Biodiversity and Environmental Halls, Birds, Reptiles, and Amphibian Halls, Earth and Planetary Sciences Halls, the Fossil Halls, The Grand Gallery, Human Origins and Cultural Halls, and more.

Some of the most viewed installations include the Blue Whale Model, The Titanosaur, The Alaska Bear Brown, Rapa Nui Moai Coast, the Tyrannosaurus Rex, and the Mignone Halls of Gems and Minerals. 

The museum also has a gift shop to commemorate your visit.


Before Central Park was called Central Park, it was actually known as Seneca Village. Seneca Village had approximately 225 residents and was comprised of roughly two-thirds African-Americans, one-third Irish immigrants, and a small number of individuals of German descent.

The land then became the first landscaped public park in the United States. It was first opened to the public in 1859, and has been a popular destination for locals and tourists ever since. 

Today, the park has endless outdoor recreational opportunities including bike tours, ice skating, concerts, sports, yoga, fitness classes, children’s activities, and the Central Park Zoo. Points of interest in the park include Bow Bridge, Strawberry Fields, and Summit Rocks. 

A visit to Central Park is one of the best things to do in Manhattan!


The Chelsea Market is an iconic place to go and visit while in Manhattan. The market is home to goods and beverages, arts and culture, shopping, and services. Chelsea Market is an internationally known brand and is considered one of the greatest indoor food and retail markets throughout the world. 

The market dates back to the Algonquin Indians, who traded their game and crops at the very same spot.

Chelsea Market also offers community events, classes, workshops, arts, and live entertainment, and guided tours at certain hours.  


The iconic and legendary financial district of New York City is located on Wall Street.  Some of the top attractions that can be found on Wall Street are Trinity Church, the New York Stock Exchange, The Charging Bull sculpture, Federal Hall, and Fearless Girl.

Wall Street is a worldwide symbol of high finance and investment, where you can take tours or just walk around and take it all in. 

In our opinion, there are two great money-saving options for exploring NYC. If this is your first visit then opt for the New York CityPASS. It offers five popular tourist stops for one low price. If this isn’t your first visit, you are staying for more than a few days, or you are with kids and need a lot more flexibility then opt for the New York Sightseeing Pass. Pick Day Passes or the FLEX Pass, and then select from over 150 different attractions, big and small.


The Morgan Library and Museum is open to the public and is also an independent research library. What once began as the private collection of Pierpont Morgan, has since grown to a unique and massive collection. 

The collections include illuminated, literary, and historical manuscripts including musical manuscripts, early printed books, and old master drawings and prints.

The Morgan Library and Museum features a new performance hall, a welcoming entrance, a new café and a new restaurant, a shop, and a new reading room.

Highlights of the library and museum include a collection of early children’s books, The Crusader Bible, and works by Johann Gutenberg, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and Henry David Thoreau.

The library and museum also offer musical performances, lectures, readings, films, family programs, and tours.


There are few spots in the city where you can catch a stunning sunset. While not technically in Manhattan, the Brooklyn Bridge gives you unmatched views of Manhattan, especially as the sun is setting.

The Brooklyn Bridge connects Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn Heights by crossing the East River. More than 30,000 pedestrians and 3,000 cyclists cross the Brooklyn Bridge each day.

The bridge is just over a mile long and you can visit the Brooklyn Bridge Park where you can play pickleball and volleyball, join in waterfront works outs, bike, kayak, run/walk, fish or go bouldering. 


Times Square is one of the most iconic places to visit in New York City. Known for the legendary Ball Drop to celebrate New Year’s Eve and create a magical Christmas land, Times Square is just as exciting any time of year.

Dining, shopping, Broadway, and other entertainment happen all year long. Some of the more popular shops to visit are M&M’s World, Hershey’s Chocolate World, Swarovski, Disney Store, Phantom Of Broadway, NYC Smoke Shop, and The Yankee Clubhouse Shop. 

Times Square is filled with various entertainment venues like The Town Hall, AMC Empire Theater, Dave and Buster’s, Hard Rock Cafe, Bowlmor Lanes, Ellen’s Stardust Diner, Lol Comedy, and dozens of theaters. 


Grand Central Station has been operating as a transportation station since 1913. Today, Grand Central Station is the starting and ending point for buses, trains, and subways. Not only is it a hub for transportation, but there are over 60 shops, 35 places to eat, and public events are also held here. 

Grand Central is a world-famous historical landmark with several points of interest within the massive cathedral-like building. The Information Booth Clock, the Whispering Gallery, the Main Concourse Celestial Ceiling, and the Tiffany Glass Clock & Transportation Statuary are all places worth visiting. 

There are guided tours that give you an intimate look into the building.


The terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centers on September 11, 2001 is one of the biggest tragedies in U.S. history. Most people can tell you exactly where they were and what they were doing as the news unfolded throughout the country. 

Nearly 3,000 people were killed and millions more were affected by the attacks. Today, you can visit the former site of the towers, which has been transformed into the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. The memorial features twin waterfall pools surrounded by bronze parapets that list the names of the victims of the 9/11 attacks and the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. The pools are set within a plaza, where more than 400 swamp white oak trees grow.

Each reflecting pool sits at the base of each tower and is about an acre in size. Each pool features a 30-foot waterfall plunging into a square basin. Then the water in each pool drops another 20 feet disappearing into a smaller, central void.

The memorial plaza is also home to one Callery Pear Tree. The legacy behind this tree is one of resilience and survival. The tree was severely damaged and found at Ground Zero after the debris from the attacks was cleared. The New York City Parks and Recreation Department removed it and nursed it back to health. It became known as the Survivor Tree, and was brought back to be an important part of the memorial.

There is even a section of the park to honor first responders and recovery workers, relief workers and volunteers, World Trade Center survivors, and lower Manhattan residents, students, and workers, including those who cleaned buildings in the vicinity of Ground Zero, who developed an illness from the direct exposure.


Broadway and the surrounding theater district are where most NYC theaters, performances, and other entertainment can be found. The district also includes recording studios, record label offices, theatrical agencies, television studios, restaurants, and movie theaters.

There are over 13 million people who visit Broadway each year, making it a super popular destination to visit. There are always dozens upon dozens of shows to choose from.


Hudson Yards is the newest neighborhood in New York. Home to “100 diverse shops and culinary experiences, offices for leaders in the industry, significant public art, and dynamic cultural institutions,” Hudson Yards is a modern and vibrant area to visit. 

Hudson Yards is also home to several tourist attractions, including The Vessel. The Vessel is a public art installation that is honeycomb in shape, featuring 6 stories,154 flights of stairs, 2,500 steps, and 80 landings for visitors to climb. 


Radio City Music Hall is the headquarters for the Rockettes and hosts a variety of other entertainment shows, including film, concerts, performances, and stage performances, like the “Radio City Christmas Spectacular.” 

The Music Hall also hosts awards shows like The Grammy Awards, the Tony Awards, the Daytime Emmy Awards, and the MTV Video Music Awards.


The Roosevelt Island Tramway gives riders a unique perspective of the city. It is one of the most modern aerial tramways in the world, and runs every 7-15 minutes from 59th Street and Second Avenue in Manhattan to Tramway Plaza on Roosevelt Island.

The tramway takes you over the East River to Roosevelt Island where you can explore parks, The Renwick Ruin, which was a former smallpox hospital, The Octagon Tower, the remnants of an insane asylum, and a 19th-century lighthouse.


Bryant Park was originally opened to the public in 1847 and named Reservoir Square, but it has since gone under several reservations, restorations, and upgrades to become the beautiful park it is today. 

On the east side of Bryant Park is the Main Branch of the New York Public Library. The western side contains a lawn, tree-lined walkways, and a carousel. 

Bryant Park hosts several community events, including a seasonal “Winter Village,” with an ice rink and shops during the winter. You can find public fitness classes, art carts, chess, and other game tables. 

Throughout the park, you can find food and beverage trucks, an open-air market, as well as other restaurants and cafes.  


The iconic Flatiron Building is known for its distinctive triangle shape. The building was designated a New York City landmark in 1966, added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979 and designated a National Historic Landmark in 1989.

The building stands at 285 feet high with 22 stories. It’s the perfect place for a NYC selfie!


Simply referred to as the Guggenheim, the museum features impressionist, post-impressionist, early modern, and contemporary art. The museum was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2005, and registered as a National Historic Landmark in 2008. In 2019, it was added to the  World Heritage List. 

Highlights of the museum include Man With Crossed Arms, Violin and Palette, Landscape with Factory Chimney, The Yellow Cow, Houses in Paris, The Smokers, Woman with a Fan, Nude Model in the Studio, The Horse, and more.


Fifth Avenue is one of the world’s most expensive shopping streets. Some of the biggest brand names include Cartier, Tiffany & Co., Versace, Armani, Gucci, and other luxury stores. Fifth Avenue is just over six miles long.

While most famous for all the high-end shopping, Fifth Avenue also has other interesting destinations. There are nine museums along the same mile, owning to the nickname “Museum Mile.” You’ll also find St. Patrick’s Cathedral, which is the largest Roman Catholic Church in the U.S., here. Fifth Avenue is also the site of many annual parades.


Boat tours are a classic yet unique way to view the NYC skyline. There are various tour operators that guide you around the waterways near Manhattan.

You can find sightseeing tours, dinner and sunset tours, private tours, Lady Liberty cruises, and other famous landmark cruises, as well as holiday cruises. 



Liberty Island, home of the Statue of Liberty, is only accessible by ferry. On Liberty Island, you can also tour The Statue of Liberty Museum.

The Statue of Liberty was dedicated on October 28, 1886, and was designated as a National Monument in 1924. The gift from France features 146 climbable steps to the Crown of the statue. Once there you have an unobstructed view of the surrounding city and waters.

Ellis Island, home to the National Museum of Immigration, is also served by the same ferry. 



Governors Island sits on 172 acres of land and features bike rentals, playgrounds and “slide hill,” a hammock grove, and Fort Jay and Castle Williams.

You can take guided tours of the park, and there are also winding paths and bikeways for guests to enjoy. 


Staten Island, known for its thick accents, is filled with green park spaces, museums, and historical buildings. Popular parks include Clove Lakes, High Rock Park, Greenbelt, and Lemon Creek Park. 

The island is also known for its beaches, the Empire Outlets, Staten Island Children’s Museum, The Staten Island Zoo, and Fort Wadsworth. 

Staten Island is one of the least populated boroughs of NYC, giving it a more natural and tranquil vibe. 

The Staten Island Ferry can take you from lower Manhattan to St. George on Staten Island. The ferry currently transports about 70,000 people…a DAY!




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