We wanted to give you a list you could really work with to get in all of the things that one would want to see while visiting Manhattan. So we started from the North-end of Central Park and worked our way all the way down to the tip of Manhattan, Battery Park and even went off shore for tidbits on the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. If you are doing a lot of traveling by foot, it’s safe to say you could see pretty much all of this in 7 days depending on how much time you want to give the museums. Some things are a quick walk by and others could take an entire day. So plan carefully and tackle each area at a time so you don’t back track and can get the most of the beautiful New York City.
The gem of Manhattan, established in 1857 on 778 acres and expanded in 1873 to 843 acres, is the most visited urban park in America and one of the most filmed locations in the world. It’s home to 7 artificial bodies of water, 29 sculptures and 36 bridges which are all a sight to see but here are our top 5 things to see in Central Park in no particular order. Website: www.CentralParkNYC.org
- Strawberry Fields – A piece of Central Park dedicated in remembrance of former Beatle, John Lennon and named after his song “Strawberry Fields Forever”. The memorial is located at the entrance to Central Park on Central Park West and West 72nd Street. It is directly across the street from where Lennon lived and where he was murdered in 1980. It’s supposed to be a quiet zone in the park, however, there is usually a talented individual or two playing guitar and peacefully singing “Imagine”. Address: West Side between 71st and 74th Streets.
- Loeb Boat House – Beginning its life in 1860 as nothing more than a 12x20ft lakeside boat storage house, by the 1950’s it needed restoration. A couple known as the Loeb’s donated $305,000 and it has been operating as a full bar/restaurant and boat rental since then. It has quite the view of the lake that is enjoyed by many boaters still today. Website: http://www.thecentralparkboathouse.com/ Address: East 72nd Street and Park Drive North, New York, NY Phone: 212-517-2233
- Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir – The Reservoir is 106 acres in size and has 1.58 mile jogging track around it and holds over 1 Billion gallons of water! Its beauty is quite breathtaking with the city scape surrounding it from just about every angle. Address: North-End 85th Street to 96th Street, from East to West.
- Belvedere Castle – This marvel was built in the late 1800’s and since 1919 has housed the official Central Park weather station. It contains exhibit rooms and an observation deck. Overlooking the Croton Reservoir the view is beautiful, that’s probably why the name Belvedere means “beautiful view” in Italian. Address: Mid-Park at 79th Street Phone: 212-772-0288
- Bethesda Fountain & Terrace – The Bethesda Fountain is the main feature on the lower level of the terrace, adorned with an angel known as the “Angel of the Waters” and four cherubs representing, temperance, health, purity and peace. It was constructed in 1859-1864 and faces the lower passage of the terrace which has intricate stairways carved from sandstone, herringbone and Roman brick. Make sure to look up at the Minton tiles that line the ceiling of the lower passage. Address: Mid-Park on the North side of 72nd Street.
- Apollo Theater – Everyone remembers “Showtime at the Apollo” with its 1093 episode run from 1987 to 2008 showcasing countless talent acts and making a name for the Apollo Theater. The theater built in 1913 long before the television show first commenced, seats 1506 people and was originally called Hurtig and Seamon’s New Burlesque Theater and was designed with a neo-classical style. It later became the Apollo in 1934 and has since been designated a New York City Landmark. It’s estimated that 1.3 million people visit the Apollo annually and the likes of Michael Jackson, Ella Fitzgerald and Aretha Franklin amongst many other famous performers have graced the stage with their presence. Website: https://www.apollotheater.org/calendar/?gclid=CNyC4bCC88oCFQiqaQodu6AIyQ Address: 253 West 125th Street, New York, NY 10027
- The Dakota – Once the home of former Beatle John Lennon as well as the location of his murder. His wife Yoko Ono still resides here in the beautiful upper Westside neighborhood of Manhattan. The building itself is stunning, built in 1884 and designed by Edward Clark who also designed the infamous Plaza Hotel. A phone booth at the south entrance of the building marks where John Lennon was shot. Please be respectful, quick and quiet when visiting this building as to not bother the tenants or the occasional uptight guard. Address: 1 West 72nd Street, New York, NY 10023
- American Museum of Natural History – As one of the largest museums in the world at 2 million square feet it has 27 interconnected buildings and 45 permanent exhibit halls housing over 32 million specimens of plants, humans, animals, fossils, minerals, rocks, meteorites and human cultural artifacts. Definitely set a day aside for this wonderment. Website: http://www.amnh.org/ Address: Central Park West at 79th Street, New York, NY 10024 Phone:212-769-5100
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art & The Cloisters – The largest museum and most visited museum in the United States. Its permanent collection contains over 2 million works. It takes 17 different curatorial departments to care for the artwork in this facility. The Cloisters over looking the Hudson River incorporates parts from 5 European abbeys that were disassembled and shipped to New York where they were reconstructed and integrated with new buildings and landscaped with gardens according to horticultural information obtained from medieval manuscripts and artifacts. Met & Cloister Website: http://www.metmuseum.org/ Met Address: 1000 Fifth Avenue (at 82nd Street), New York, NY 10028 Phone: 212-535-7710 Cloister Address: 99 Margaret Corbin Drive, Fort Tryon Park, New York, NY 10040 Phone:212-923-3700
- Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum – Founded in 1939 as the Museum of Non-Objective Painting and later named after its founders death in 1952.The Guggenheim as it commonly referred to, houses a continuously expanding collection of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, early Modern and contemporary art. Special exhibits throughout the year are listed on the museums website. Website: http://www.guggenheim.org Address: 1071 Fifth Avenue (at 89th Street)
New York, NY 10128 Phone: 212-423-3575
- The Plaza – Built in 1907 is a French Renaissance style Chateau that took $12.5 million to construct. That’s a lot for 1907! Designated a landmark this beautiful monstrosity has a little known fact. Shhhhhh don’t tell, the hotel offers tours of its grounds! Contact the concierge for more information and we can promise you, it’s so much more than meets the eye. From North by Northwest to Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, this infamous landmark has had many a famous foot grace its elegant floors. Website: http://www.theplazany.com/ Address: 768 5th Ave. New York, NY 10019 Phone: 212-759-3000
- MoMA – With an ever changing array of modern and contemporary art it takes the distinguished title of being the most influential museum of modern art in the world and has been enlightening Manhattan since 1929. Website: http://www.moma.org/ Address: 11 West 53rd Street, New York, NY 10019 Phone: 212-708-9400
- Carnegie Hall – Presents about 250 performances every season and seats 3,671 across 3 auditoriums, the Main Hall however, is the most visually and acoustically impressive in our opinion. The 19th century Baroque theatrical style venue has had many memorable performances from the likes of Billy Holiday, Judy Garland and Benny Goodman amongst many other greats. Website: http://www.carnegiehall.org/ Address: 881 7th Ave, New York, NY 10019 Phone: 212-247-7800
- Times Square – A major commercial intersection across 5 blocks. Once called Longacre Square changed its name to Times Square in 1904 when the New York Times moved its headquarters to the newly erected Times Building, currently the site of the annual ball drop which began December 31st, 1907. With many stores, theater ticket sales and street performers, it’s a brightly lit site not to be missed. Website: http://www.timessquarenyc.org Address: Broadway Ave between 42nd and 47th. Phone: 212-768-1560
- Rockefeller Center- Is comprised of 19 buildings between 48th and 51st Streets. It’s in the center of Midtown and its prized possession is the Top of the Rock located at the observation deck on the 70th floor of 30 Rockefeller Center. Visitors can get a 360 view of Manhattan from 872ft above ground. It’s really spectacular both day and night. Website:https://www.rockefellercenter.com/ Address: 30 Rockefeller Center, New York, NY 10111 Phone: 212-698-2000
- Radio City Music Hall – Located in Rockefeller Center, Radio City Music Hall is known as the Showplace of the Nation. Seating 5,933 spectators this theater is known to host many televised events such as the Grammy Awards, MTV Music Awards, the Day Time Emmy Awards and even a Cirque du Soleil show. It was for a time the leading tourist destination in Manhattan. Website: http://www.radiocity.com/ Address: 1260 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020 Phone: 212-465-6741
- Theater District – Packed with Broadway theaters, movie theaters, restaurants, bars and hotels, it extends 14 blocks including Times Square. Pretty much any hot Broadway show can be found here or has once been here. Beginning its life in 1883 it has transformed Mid-Town Manhattan into a nightlife destination. Here is a website for listings of shows and tickets: http://www.broadway.com/shows/tickets/ Address: 40th Street to 54th Street.
- Bryant Park– 9.6 acres of lushes grass in the summer time and a beautiful and busy ice skating rink in the winter tucked behind the New York Public Library. While Many parks are hidden amongst the high rises in Manhattan we found this park to be especially populated and utilized for many different things from movies in the park, concerts and yoga classes. Website: http://www.bryantpark.org/ Address: Between 5th and 6th Avenue and between 40th and 42nd Street Phone: 212-768-4242
- New York Public Library – Has 53 million items and is the second largest library in the United States. (Second to the Library of Congress). Its architecture is both enormous and breathtaking. You can walk into the library any day it’s open and help yourself around the open rooms and halls. Website: http://www.nypl.org/ Address: 5th Avenue at 42nd Street Phone: 917-275-6975
- Macy’s Herald Square – As if having 2.2 million square feet and being the flagship store for Macy’s isn’t enough, this iconic location is home to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade that is seen all over the world. Also notable for the film Miracle on 34th Street. This Macy’s was the largest department store in the world from 1924 to 2009! Here you can find all of the top fashion labels and an occasional sax player filling the space with music. Website: http://l.macys.com/new-york-ny Address: 151 West 34th Street. New York, NY 10001 Phone: 212-695-4400
- The Empire State Building – Once the world’s tallest building it has a roof height of 1,250ft with an observation deck open until 2am most nights. Named after New York’s nick name the Empire State, the Empire State Building is an American Cultural Icon with its Art Deco architecture it has been a steadfast tourist destination and has lit the Manhattan Skyline since 1931. Be sure to take the elevator ride up the 102 floors and see where Tom Hanks first meets Meg Ryan in Sleepless in Seattle. Website: http://www.esbnyc.com/ Address: 350 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10118
- Madison Square Garden & Penn Station – Sitting atop Pennsylvania Station, it is the oldest active major sporting venue in Manhattan. Toted as the world’s most famous arena, aside from sporting events, many all time favorite recording artists have performed at this grand venue. Website: http://www.thegarden.com/ Address: 4 Pennsylvania Plaza, New York, New York 10001 Phone: 212-465-6225
- Waldorf Astoria – Designated as a historical landmark, it is one of the world’s most prestigious and well known hotels. Filled with the rich and famous throughout the years, the hotel and its towers have 1,413 rooms. In 2014, the hotel sold for $1.95 billion making it the most expensive hotel ever sold. With its beautiful marble lobby and deep mahogany wood it is a sight to be seen. Website: http://www.waldorfnewyork.com/ Address: 301 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10022 Phone: 212-355-3000
- Grand Central Terminal – A railroad terminal with 44 platforms, covering 44 acres it is one of the world’s most visited tourist attractions with both the exterior and interior being intricately designed. With many restaurants and shops to enjoy there are also a couple of hidden secrets like the Whisper Wall, an unmarked archway located in front of the Oyster Bar & Restaurant that has an odd acoustic property. Stand kitty corner from your friend and whisper directly into the corner and the other person though standing across the archway, will be able to hear you as if you are right next to them. Shockingly cool and creepy all at the same time. Website: http://www.grandcentralterminal.com/ Address: 89 East 42nd Street, new York, NY 10017 Phone: 212-340-2583
- St. Patrick’s Cathedral – Set in the concrete jungle is this beautiful Neo-Gothic style Roman Catholic cathedral. Built in 1910 this puts the cathedrals in Italy to contest. The cathedral has two pipe organs, stunning stained glass windows and took $177 million to renovate in 2012. Website: http://saintpatrickscathedral.org/ Address: 14 East 51st Street, New York, NY 10022 Phone: 212-753-2261
- Chrysler Building – Once the headquarters of the Chrysler Corporation and also once the tallest building in the world at 1,046ft, this Art Deco silver tipped skyscraper has been knocked in size to 4th place but has not lost ability to outshine amongst the other buildings in Manhattan. Unfortunately decades ago the observation deck closed to the public and tourists can no longer view Manhattan from the top of this wonder. Don’t let that stop you from walking by and checking out the architecture. Address: 405 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10174
- Hells Kitchen – Near to the Theater District and home to many actors and actresses. Hells Kitchen has an eclectic setting of restaurants and bars, especially lining 9th avenue. It’s always busy and you can find many little hot spots in the area. Address: From 8th Avenue to the Hudson and 34th Street to 59th Street.
- Highline – A public park built on a historic freight rail line elevated above the streets of the West Side. Only having one section open to the public in 2009 the highline has continued to grow, spanning now from the Lower West Side of Midtown through the Meatpacking District in Chelsea. The Highline has views high above the city streets and from certain points the Hudson River can be seen. Website: http://www.thehighline.org/ Address: It runs from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District to West 34th Street, between 10th and 12th Avenues. Phone: 212-206-9922
- Chelsea Piers – Originally a passenger ship terminal, this series of piers is now home to film & television productions facilities as well as a health club, full service spa, the world’s largest training facility for gymnasts, two basketball courts, indoor playing fields for soccer, batting cages, an indoor all year ice rink, a swimming pool and a rock climbing wall! This is the quintessential place to go for everything sport. Memberships do apply. Website: http://venues.chelseapiers.com/index.cfm Address: 23rd Street & Hudson River Park, New York, NY 10011
- Chelsea Market – Currently a food hall, a shopping mall, office building and television production facility but most importantly this is the former headquarters for Nabisco Biscuit Company where the Oreo was first invented and produced. The market takes up an entire block and the Highline runs through the second floor of the 1890’s market. Website: http://www.chelseamarket.com/ Address: 75 9th Avenue, New York, NY 10011 Phone: 212-652-2121
- Meatpacking District – Home to world renowned fashion designers, this 24 hour neighborhood has blossomed over the past 20 years as artists, restaurateurs, architects and corporate headquarters have moved in next to meatpacking plants. With Belgian block stone streets, historical architecture and a variety of night life venues this chic neighborhood has plenty to do and see. Website: http://www.meatpacking-district.com/ Address: From West 44th Street to Gansevoort Street and from the Hudson River to East Hudson Street
- Hotel Chelsea – Built in 1883 the Chelsea Hotel has been home to numerous writers, musicians, actors and artists including Bob Dylan, Jane Fonda, Janis Joplin, Russell Brand and Iggy Pop. Though currently under renovation until 2017 the exterior of the hotel is still a beautiful sight to see. Website: http://www.chelseahotels.com/us/new-york/hotel-chelsea/coming-soon Address: 222 West 23rd Street, New York, NY 10011 Phone: 616-918-8770
- Flatiron Building – A triangular shaped 22-story building once considered a groundbreaking skyscraper and also once one of the tallest buildings. Built in 1902 the building is now considered a landmark and an iconic symbol of New York City. Although you cannot tour the inside or go to the top the building is one of the most photographed buildings in the world and definitely worth stopping by. Address: 175 5th Ave., New York, NY 10010
- Madison Square Park – An adorable little park smack dab in the center of skyscrapers, with a dog park and a Shake Shack. The park offers pop-up markets and regularly scheduled literary readings. Website: http://www.madisonsquarepark.org/ Address: Fifth Ave and Broadway at 23rd Street. Phone: 212-538-1884
- Eataly – Quite possibly one of the more delicious places to shop. Themed as an Italian market and filled to the brim with assorted Italian foods and wines. All of the ingredients that are served in the market and rooftop restaurant are for sale there and let us tell you, everything is to die for! Website: www.Eataly.com Address: 200 5th Ave., New York, NY 10010 Phone: 212-229-2560
- Union Square Park – With an impressive equestrian statue of U.S. President George Washington, this park is both important and historic. Built in 1882 its name celebrates neither the Federal union of the United States nor labor unions but rather denotes that “here was the union of the two principal thoroughfares of the island”. You can find many street performers, concerts in the park, fitness activates and some sidewalk sales. Website: http://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/union-square-park Address: Union Square West, New York NY 10003
- Grace Church – This French Gothic Revival masterpiece is one of the city’s greatest treasures. Built in 1846 and now a National Historic Landmark this stunning parish of worship will take your breath away. Try to stop by when it’s open to the public as getting a view of the stained glass windows from the interior should not be missed. Website: http://gracechurchnyc.org/ Address: 802 Broadway, New York, NY 10003 Phone: 212-254-2000
Lower East Side
- Little Italy – Though the Italian American population in little Italy has digressed over the years the remnants of them has not. There are still many Italian restaurants and bars and the culture is still alive and well in this neighborhood. With many Italian festivals taking place in Little Italy on an average day Mulberry Street is the place to find what’s left of the authentic cuisine that once ran rampant. Website: http://www.littleitalynyc.com/ Address: Mulberry Street between Canal Street and Broome Street.
- Canal and China Town – NYC’s greatest Asian community with blocks of everything from exotic foods to jewelry and gift shops. It not only feels as though you have stepped into a different country but a different continent. Check out the website for the upcoming festivals and best places to eat and buy goods. Beware of the counterfeit goods sold on Canal Street. No you cannot buy a real Chanel hand bag for $45. Website: http://new-york-chinatown.info/ Address: Between Broadway and Canal Street and Grand Street and Worth Street.
- Charging Bull – The Bronze sculpture in the heart of the Financial District is a tourist hot spot. We highly recommend visiting the bull in the most off hours you can tolerate, other wise it’s really hard to get a picture of it that doesn’t have a family of 4 standing in front of it. The Bull stands 11ft tall and is symbolic of the aggressive financial optimism and prosperity of Wall Street. This symbol of the strength and power of the American people was placed here in 1987 after the stock market crash. Website: http://chargingbull.com/ Address: Broadway and Morris Street, New York, NY 10004
- Wall Street – Eight blocks of financial markets and home to the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and NASDAQ. Walking down Wall Street you will see some pretty impressive Art Deco influenced buildings. Website: http://www.wall-street.com/ Address: From Broadway to South Street, New York, NY 10004
- Washington Square Arch – A marble triumphal arch built in 1892 graces the South entrance to the park and celebrates the centennial of George Washington’s inauguration as President of the United States. It stands 77ft high and depicts a couple sculptures of Washington. Website: http://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/washington-square-park/monuments/1657 Address: Washington Square N, New York, NY 10012
- Washington Square Park – Almost 10 acres of open space near NYU, the park is mostly concrete but is home to some really fun activities such as Shakespeare in the Square. You can also catch some pretty cool street performers here. Our last visit, a man had rolled an entire baby grand into the promenade in the park just south of the Arch and it was quite the treat. Website: http://washingtonsquareparkconservancy.org Address: 5th Avenue and Washington Square North. New York, NY 100012
- New York City Hall – Constructed in 1810 the New York City Hall building is the oldest City Hall in the United States still housing original government functions. It has been designated as a National Historical Landmark. If you get a chance to step inside the interior is just as beautiful as the exterior. The Rotunda stairway is a sight to see. Website: http://www.cityclerk.nyc.gov/html/home/home.shtml Address: City Hall Park, New York, NY 10007 Phone: 212-639-9675
- 9/11 Memorial & 9/11 Museum – Two beautiful fountains the size of each of the Original World Trade Centers have been placed where they once stood. The names of the men and women who lost their lives in the incomprehensible terrorist act that day on 9/11 have been engraved in the border of the fountains. A beautiful, emotional place to see. There is a museum right next to the fountains that you can visit that has information on that day, the buildings, the involvement and the atrocity of it all. Website: http://www.911memorial.org/museum Address: 200 Liberty Street, New York, NY 10281 Phone: 212-312-8800
- One World Trade Center – The Freedom Tower. The main building of the rebuilt World Trade Center. It is the tallest building in the western hemisphere and the 6th tallest building in the world. There is an observation deck on the 102nd floor of the tower that you can purchase tickets to visit. Website: https://oneworldobservatory.com/tickets/ Address: 285 Fulton Street, New York, NY 10007 Phone: 844-696-1776
- City Pier A – Is the last historic pier left in the city and is a designated landmark. Originally built to serve the Department of Docks and Harbor Police. There is a restaurant now on the pier that has an excellent view of the Hudson and Statue of Liberty. Pier A Harbor House Website: http://www.piera.com/ Address: 22 Battery Place, New York, NY 10004 Phone: 212-785-0153
- The Sphere – A large metal sculpture that once stood in the middle of Austin J. Tobin Plaza in the area between the original World Trade Center towers was recovered from the rubble after 9/11. However visibly intact it had been damaged by the collapse of the skyscrapers. It was moved to Battery Park without any repairs and rededicated with an eternal flame constantly burning next to it. Address: Hope Garden, Battery Park, New York, NY 10004
Liberty Island and Ellis Island
- Statue of Liberty – A colossal neoclassical sculpture on Liberty Island made of copper and given to the United States by the people of France as a symbol of freedom. Advanced reservations are required to visit the crown and pedestal of the statue. General tickets for the grounds surrounding the statue are available without reservation. The island can be reached by ferry. Website: http://www.nps.gov/stli/planyourvisit/index.htm Address: Liberty Island, New York, NY Phone: 212-363-3200
- Ellis Island Museum – On an island not too far from Liberty Island is the Ellis Island Museum. It was the gateway for millions of immigrants into the United States from 1892 – 1954. For a small fee you can research your ancestors that may have arrived to the United Stated through Ellis Island. The same ferry you take to the Statue of Liberty will take you to Ellis Island for no additional charge. Website: http://www.nps.gov/elis/index.htm Address: Ellis Island, New York, NY Phone: 212-363-3200
If you would like to see our pictures of all these sites in Manhattan, follow on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/i.love.manhattan/
A great way to save money on visiting some of these sites is to buy a City Pass. Log on to www.citypass.com and click on NYC for information on what sites you can see with your city pass. Another awesome benefit of purchasing the city pass is at lot of the attractions you get to go in a much shorter line than those that did not purchase the pass.
We really hope you enjoyed our list of the top 50 must sees in NYC and that you come back to see our must see lists for Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago and London. We will also be posting on the hottest night life spots and best hidden gem restaurants to visit while you stay in NYC. Be sure to click follow below to be updated with new posts the moment we post them.
Also feel free to comment below and let us know how you liked your visit to the big apple!