Best things to do in New York City

Check out our guide to the best things to do in New York City, from museums to cruises to walking tours at some of Manhattan's most famous parks and landmarks.

Allison Considine
Allison Considine

From soaring skyscrapers to expansive parks, from bustling food markets to first-rate museums, New York City is one of the greatest cities in the world. Whether you are visiting the Big Apple for the first time or are a seasoned local, there is always a supply of things to do in New York. Spend a day outdoors exploring the 843 acres of Central Park, or peruse art inside the 2.2 million square feet of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Check off the popular attractions in the City That Never Sleeps, like climbing to the top of the Empire State Building or circling the Statue of Liberty on a ferry in the East River. Your NYC itinerary can also include exploring the city’s vibrant neighborhoods and eateries.

Check out or list of must-dos and must-sees below, and get tickets to NYC events and experiences right here on New York Theatre Guide.

Book Tickets CTA - LT/NYTG

The Metropolitan Museum of Art 1200x600

Find inspiration at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

There are more than 2 million works in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s permanent collection, with objects spanning centuries and continents. There’s something for everyone at the museum, and you can spend a whole day — or two — perusing the Costume Institute, the Egyptian Art Wing, photography exhibitions, and more. For a unique museum experience, join a small guide-led group or one specifically for theatre lovers that explores the theatre-related works of art in the collection. There’s also a macabre interactive tour — if you dare!

An afternoon at the Metropolitan Museum of Art pairs well with a stroll through Central Park. The Met is on Museum Mile, near the park’s Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir and 13-acre Great Lawn.

Deepen your knowledge of art and get Metropolitan Museum of Art guided tour tickets on New York Theatre Guide.

Book Tickets CTA - LT/NYTG

For a behind-the-scenes tour, get Staged: The Museum Tour for People Who Love Theater tickets on New York Theatre Guide.

Book Tickets CTA - LT/NYTG

Prepare to be spooked and get Ghost Stories: A Mysterious, Macabre Interactive Tour at the Metropolitan Museum of Art tickets on New York Theatre Guide.

Book Tickets CTA - LT/NYTG


Stroll through Central Park

New York City’s sprawling Central Park is 843 acres and spans approximately 51 New York City blocks. The park offers a quiet respite from the bustle of the city year-round. Peep the colorful foliage in the fall, lace up your ice skates in the winter, walk beneath the cherry blossoms in the spring, and pack a picnic for the summer. More than 42 million people visit the urban oasis annually, and it has appeared in more than 240 films.

It’s easy to spend an entire day at Central Park. Popular attractions inside the park include the Bethesda Fountain, the Central Park Zoo, and the DiscOasis rollerskating rink. There are lots of hidden gems in the park, and perhaps the best way to explore them is with the guidance of a historian.

Join a park historian for an inside peak at the city’s largest park, and get Secret Places of Central Park tickets on New York Theatre Guide.

Book Tickets CTA - LT/NYTG

New York Botanical Garden 1200x600

Spend an afternoon exploring the New York Botanical Garden

The 250-acre New York Botanical Garden, located in the Bronx, is one of the most extensive botanical gardens in the world. The living museum features over 12,000 species! Visitors can marvel at various flora throughout the year, as it changes from season to season. New York Botanical Garden highlights include the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden and the Native Plant Garden. The New York Botanical Garden currently features the exhibit …things come to thrive…in the shedding…in the molting… with horticultural displays and sculptures by contemporary artist Ebony G. Patterson.

Follow your experience at the gardens with a visit to the nearby Bronx Zoo, the largest US zoo in size and number of animals. Literary fans can visit the nearby Edgar Allen Poe Cottage, a historic landmark once home to the famed writer.

Prepare to experience nature and get …things come to thrive…in the shedding…in the molting… tickets on New York Theatre Guide.

Book Tickets CTA - LT/NYTG

Best of Brooklyn Walking Tour 1200x600

Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge

Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge is an awe-inspiring experience. The Brooklyn Bridge, completed in 1883, is a hybrid cabled-stayed/suspension bridge that spans a little over one mile. The bridge connects Lower Manhattan to Brooklyn Heights, and walking or biking over the bridge offers up breathtaking views of the East River and the skyline. Walkers can see the Statue of Liberty and the towering skyscrapers in the Financial District, including the One World Trade Center. Join a guided Brooklyn Bridge walking tour so you don’t miss a thing!

Complete your visit to this iconic bridge with a visit to the waterfront Brooklyn Bridge Park. Stroll through the neighborhood of Dumbo, eat at one of the famous pizzerias, ride on the historic Jane’s Carousel, or attend a theatre performance at St. Anne’s Warehouse. If crossing into Manhattan, follow your Brooklyn Bridge experience by visiting the 9/11 Memorial Pools and Ground Zero Guided tour.

Lace up your walking shoes and get Best of Brooklyn Walking Tour tickets on New York Theatre Guide.

Book Tickets CTA - LT/NYTG

Get ready to explore the Financial District and book 9/11 Memorial Pools & Ground Zero Guided Tour Tickets on New York Theatre Guide.

Book Tickets CTA - LT/NYTG

Statue of Liberty_1200

Salute the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor

The copper Lady Liberty, standing 151 feet tall, was a gift to the United States from the people of France and made her way to New York City in 1885. Take a ferry to the Statue of Liberty and admire the colossal statue from the New York Harbor, or disembark to walk around Liberty Island and climb the statue’s pedestal and the crown. The neoclassical sculpture draws more than four million visitors annually. The iconic figure symbolizes New York, and its likeness has appeared in countless films set in the city.

A trip to the Statue of Liberty is best paired with a visit to the nearby Ellis Island. At this historic immigration station, more than 12 million immigrants entered the United States. Explore historical artifacts and discover your familiar connections to the island. You can island hop and ferry to Governors Island, a 172-acre island with bike paths, art galleries, picnic tables, hammocks, restaurants, and more.

Step back in time and get Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island 60-Minute Sightseeing Cruise Tickets on New York Theatre Guide.

Book Tickets CTA - LT/NYTG

bubbles poster

Enjoy happy hour on the Hudson River

Cheers! The Shearwater Classic Schooner, a 1929 sailing ship, is one of the best places to enjoy a glass of wine in New York City. Step on board the luxury yacht to enjoy wine and charcuterie and learn about different types of wines from experts. Gather your vino-loving friends for happy hour or plan a memorable date night with exceptional views of the New York Harbor. Visitors can sit atop the deck or step back in time in the ship’s Gatsby-like mahogany interior.

The ship departs from the North Cove Marina at Brookfield Place in lower Manhattan. Schedule an afternoon or evening sail after visiting the nearby 9/11 Memorial Pools and Ground Zero Guided tour.

Get ready to expand your palate and get Bubbles and Bites Cruise NYC: Shearwater Tickets on New York Theatre Guide.

Book Tickets CTA - LT/NYTG

once upon 1-1200x600-NYTG

Experience a Broadway show

Broadway is the center of the American theatre industry and attracts visitors from across the globe to see its unparalleled theatrical experiences with top-tier performances and designs. Experience the electric energy of Broadway and see a classic musical or contemporary play — there’s something for everyone on Broadway.

Get razzle-dazzled by Chicago, Broadway’s longest-running musical, or travel to Oz with Wicked. Experience the magic of puppetry at The Lion King, or see a new musical, like Kimberly Akimbo or Once Upon a One More Time. The vibrant theatre district is in the heart of Times Square, a lively landmark with bright marquees, street performers, energetic crowds, and hundreds of restaurants.

Get tickets to a Broadway show on New York Theatre Guide.

Book Tickets CTA - LT/NYTG

For more planning tips, see our NYC guide, ideas of things to do with kids, and list of top NYC attractions.

Originally published on

Subscribe to our newsletter to unlock exclusive New York theatre updates!

  • Get early access to Broadway's newest shows
  • Access to exclusive deals and promotions
  • Stay in the know about top shows and news on Broadway
  • Get updates on shows that are important to you

You can unsubscribe at any time. Privacy Policy