New York City has a reputation as one of the most popular travel destinations in the world. You’ll never run out of things to see and do in the Big Apple but certain attractions are must-sees. Here’s the definitive bucket list to New York’s most intriguing spots. These budget-friendly destinations are fun for tourists and residents alike.
This 843-acre green space set in the middle of Manhattan is surrounded on all sides by towering skyscrapers, which make for a dramatic contrast with the park’s meadows, lakes and bucolic trails. If you love people-watching, Central Park is the place to come. From picnickers, sunbathers and baseball players in the summer to ice skaters and cross country skiers in the colder months, the Park is never empty.
The Empire State Building
Although the Empire State Building surrendered its title as the world’s tallest skyscraper long ago, it’s still arguably the world’s most iconic. It’s also one of the world’s most beautiful buildings with its distinctive Art Deco lines and outdoor observatories that offer an impressive 360-degree view of the city below.
The Brooklyn Bridge
In 1883, when it became the first bridge to span the East River, the Brooklyn Bridge was extolled as an engineering marvel. Over the years, numerous artists have seen it as an aesthetic triumph as well. Walt Whitman, Hart Crane and Marianne Moore all wrote poems about it while Georgia O’Keefe painted it. An afternoon stroll across this beautiful suspension span offers spectacular views of the Statue of Liberty, Governors Island and lower Manhattan.
The Staten Island Ferry
“We were very tired, we were very merry— We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry,” wrote poet Edna St. Vincent Millay in the 1920s. The Staten Island Ferry still runs today, and it’s absolutely free. You do not need a ticket to take advantage of those great views of the Statue of Liberty, Governors Island, the Brooklyn Bridge and lower Manhattan.
The Statue of Liberty
Lady Liberty is the symbol of much of what makes America great to countless people around the world. It’s one of New York City’s most popular attractions. Tickets sell out quickly, so it’s smart to pre-purchase yours in advance.
The Top of the Rock Observation Deck at Rockefeller Center may be the best place to get a peek at Freedom Tower, the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building and other iconic Manhattan buildings up close and personal. There are many other things to see and do, too, at this vast entertainment and shopping complex, including ice skating, performances at nearby Radio City Music Hall and tours of the NBC studios.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Met’s neoclassical façade is home to 17 curated collections of art and anthropological artifacts, including arms and armor, Egyptian art, American decorative arts, musical instruments, medieval weapons and armor, and paintings from just about every one of the world’s most celebrated artists. It’s widely considered one of the foremost museums in the world.