10 Things to Do in NYC

Here’s a list of sights and activities to consider if you’re planning a trip to New York City

The Big Apple is a hot destination for tourists from all over the world. From restaurants and renowned parks to famous museums, theaters and landmarks, New York City has it all.

So, how do you plan your trip, and where do you start? It all depends on what you’re into. But if you’re looking for a way to tour the city and take in some of its more popular sights, this list is a great place to start. Bringing kids? No problem.

Here are 10 fun things to do in NYC…and most of them are free!

1. Marvel at Grand Central Terminal

Located in Midtown Manhattan, Grand Central Terminal opened in 1913. Inside, you’ll find the famous information booth clock, the celestial ceiling in the main concourse, the whispering gallery and the Tiffany glass clock. And if you get hungry or a hankering to do some shopping while you’re wandering, there are plenty of options to choose from.

2. Visit Times Square

Some might say you haven’t experienced New York City until you’ve been to Times Square. You’ll find the historic intersection where 7th Avenue, Broadway and 42nd Street meet. It features enormous flashing marquees and advertisements, and plenty of restaurants and shopping. It’s also one of the most-visited tourist sites in the world, with an estimated 50 million annual visitors. That said, you may want to visit at a less busy time, which some say is midmorning.

Times Square.

3. See a show

Whether it’s on or off Broadway, there’s no doubt that all of the best shows are in NYC. And with so many options to choose from, there are ways to snag affordable tickets, even on the day of a performance. Many Broadway shows run every night, so you’ll have a lot of opportunities while you’re in town.

4. Visit a museum

Whether you’re looking to go back in time, explore modern art or check out your favorite comic book illustrators, there’s no shortage of museums in this city.

5. Take a kid-friendly food tour

Want to give your kid a taste of New York City with age-appropriate, palette-pleasing eats? Consider a guided or self-led tour of the city’s many kid-friendly food stops specializing in crowd favorites like New York-style pizza or authentic Chinese food.

6. Walk through Central Park

Exploring the 843-acre greenery of Central Park is a great way to escape New York’s concrete jungle. The massive park grounds include a lake, a large reservoir, multiple gardens, fields and ponds, and so much more. Boat rentals, pedicab tours and walking tours are all available, and some famous museums and restaurants dot the surrounding area as well.

While you’re in the park, take a minute to visit the zoo. It’s an affordable and fun destination for people of all ages, with more than 130 species of animals and 5 acres of natural beauty to explore.

A couple sitting in a rowboat.

7. Walk the High Line

Designed on top of an old, elevated railway on Manhatten’s West Side, the High Line is both a garden in the sky and an urban work of art. To form the High Line, old railroad tracks were turned into a beautiful and modern elevated walkway featuring gardens, greenery, outdoor artwork, and even places to eat and drink. The nearly 1.5-mile-long park offers a beautiful view overlooking the streets of Manhattan and a great place to relax and unwind.

8. Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge

Completed in 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge was the first steel-wire suspension bridge in the world. Today, it remains one of the United States’ oldest roadway bridges. It spans the East River, connecting Manhattan to Brooklyn. And here’s the best part: You can walk it! This free stroll across the bridge is just over a mile long and brings with it some of the most beautiful views of the Manhattan skyline.

The Brooklyn Bridge.

9. Hop aboard the Staten Island Ferry

Want an afternoon escape from the busy city? Take a free ride on the Staten Island Ferry. While the island itself offers many attractions, the ferry ride also gives you a great view of the skyline and even the Statue of Liberty in the distance. The ferry runs 24/7, and travel time is close to 25 minutes each way. While some locals use the ferry for commuting, tourists often enjoy taking a ride simply to see the sights.

10. Browse the boroughs

If you’re ever at a loss as to where to go, pick a borough and go explore. Chinatown offers plenty of interesting shops. Little Italy has a wealth of delicious food. The Lower East Side plays host to some of the city’s most sacred dining and drinking establishments, as do midtown and Astoria. You can even hit the beach and enjoy some rides on the boardwalk by taking a trip to Coney Island. There really is something for everyone in New York City. Every borough has its own flavor, and there’s no shortage of fun no matter where you end up.

Grab your subway card and go!

With so many restaurants and landmarks at almost every turn, you simply can’t go wrong. A subway card will get you almost everywhere you need to go. And with this list to kick your trip off, you’ll be set for an amazing adventure in the Big Apple.

A woman watching  the subway pass.

We hope you found this helpful. Our content is not intended to provide legal, investment or financial advice or to indicate that a particular Capital One product or service is available or right for you. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, consider talking with a qualified professional.

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