Visiting New York City: 7 Things You Simply Need To Do

There’s no better place in the world than New York City. It’s big, it’s diverse and it’s exciting – from the glitz of Manhattan to the culture of Brooklyn and the Bronx, not to mention other surrounding areas, you’re spoilt for choice. Whether it's your first time or your fiftieth time there is so much to do. Your choice of accommodation is huge too, from more simple hotels and hostels to luxury hotels or why not try an extended stay hotel?  There is a range of hotels for all budgets. 

To help you navigate the Big Apple, here are seven things you simply need to do.

Pay your respects at the World Trade Center

Although it might seem like a particularly sombre experience in such a vibrant, exciting city, New Yorkers often recommend you visit the 9/11 Museum and Memorial at the World Trade Center. A stark reminder of the tragic event that took place over a decade and a half ago, it doubles as a celebration of New York’s (and America’s) resilience. 

Inside you’ll find pictures from the fateful day, and some of the objects left. It was sad to see the shoes that were scattered in the debris. Parts from the original towers are also shown throughout the museum, situated underneath where they once stood – the size of the area is staggering. Above ground, you’ll find huge fountains taking the place of the Twin Towers, the cascading water providing a necessary moment of peace and reflection in the midst of the city’s bustle.

Try the pizza

You simply cannot pay a visit to New York City without grabbing a slice of traditional pizza. Throughout Manhattan and the surrounding boroughs, you’ll come across plenty of pizzerias offering up dollar slices, and although you might be hesitant, it’ll likely be the best slice of pizza you’ll ever eat.

As there are so many potential restaurants to try here in the Big Apple, it’s important to do your research. Depending on your budget, guides from those living in New York City are essential in determining just where to get your slice.

Head to the top of the Empire State Building

For the best views over the city (and the surrounding areas), head to the top of the Empire State Building. Depending on how brave you’re feeling, floors 86 and 102 offer observation desks with unparalleled views stretching for miles, with the higher floor being an open-air deck to step out to. It's something you must do even if you have only one day in New York!

The Empire State Building is an integral part of New York City and its elaborate history, and it remains as grand and spectacular as ever. Visiting it at night is arguably even better, as you take in the lights of the surrounding streets and those for miles ahead. Alternatively, go to the top of the Rockefeller centre for views with less of a queue.

Sail over to the Statue of Liberty

Another integral landmark to visit is the Statue of Liberty, standing tall on Ellis Island just off the coast of Manhattan. It doesn’t take long to get there – a short ferry ride through the Upper New York Bay will get you there, and once you disembark you’re practically right there in front of it. Be sure to book tickets in advance as it can get very busy.

The statue itself is even more impressive than in the pictures – standing at 300ft tall, it towers over visitors boldly. Its history is prevalent and makes the visit much more powerful. Be sure to stop in the gift shop for your chance to pick up some signature souvenirs. 

Stroll down 5th Avenue

For some of the best shopping opportunities, 5th Avenue is the place to go. It’s the most expensive shopping street in the world, but between Saks and Tiffany & Co. are more affordable options – one of the world’s biggest H&M stores can be found here, for example, at 48th and 5th.

Shopping isn’t the only reason you should visit 5th Avenue, either. From the Rockefeller Center to St. Patrick’s Cathedral – and, of course, the Plaza Hotel, famed by Home Alone 2 – this avenue boasts some of New York City’s most iconic sights.

Take in the wonder of Times Square

You might consider Times Square to be saturated with the effects of tourism and, although you’d admittedly be correct, it still holds out as being one of the most spectacular parts of New York City. The dazzling lights and big billboards illuminating the area are as incredible during the day as they are at night, creating walls of vibrant colours that make for one of the most exciting sights in the world.

Be sure to explore the stores you can find here, too – the Hard Rock CafĂ© is a coveted restaurant masquerading as a mere gift shop, before you get past its exterior and find the legendary remnants of rock music, from Kurt Cobain’s guitar to Elvis’ suits, adorning the walls. Beware, though - as highlighted by 1Cover’s USA guide, this is an area renowned for pickpocketing, as unwitting tourists are targeted by opportunist thieves.

Explore the vast Central Park

Central Park is big. And although you might anticipate it, you’ll be shocked by its actual size – located between Manhattan and the Bronx, it covers nearly three and a half square kilometres of the island. 

There’s a lake to sail upon, trails to follow through the wilderness and massive, open fields that allow you to lay back and bask in the sun amidst the business of the city. Don't forget to seek out the Alice in Wonderland statue and the Strawberry Fields tribute to John Lennon. If you’re in need of a reprieve from the constant energy of New York City, Central Park is where you’ll find it. 

Do you have any more recommendations for sights to see in New York City? Be sure to let me know in the comments below.

*PR collaboration 


  1. I went to NewYork a very long time ago, I am sure so much has changed over the years . My favorite sights are still visiting the statue of lLiberty and Times square amongst others.

    1. New York is always changing but there are some things that don't and the main attractions are always worth a visit.

  2. Really love this post! I haven't been to New York for about ten years, but did all of these things. I think Central Park and the street food is a must too :)

    1. Central Park is so lovely. It's such an oasis in the madness of New York.

  3. Oh I've just read a book with the Alice in Wonderland statue in it but had no idea what it looked like! I'd love to visit it properly one day, I love the idea of an oasis of calm in such a busy city.

  4. I have never been to New York, I would love to though and almost all of these things are top of my list of things to do whilst there! I would love to see the Alice in Wonderland statue and see the view from the top of the Empire State building. Hopefully I will one day!

    1. I loved the Alice in Wonderland statue, it was my favourite book as a child.

  5. I'd love to visit New York and do all these things. My sister and her bf are going in a few weeks time and I'm rather jealous. I'll have to send her the link to this post.

  6. Definitely taking note of this. Hopefully, I can visit New York this year and explore its beauty. The Empire State Building is really one of the landmarks that I want to visit.

  7. WOW I love the idea of ALL these things (my kids would love that statue in central park!). I have never been abroad but if I even do fly I would love to visit New York.

    1. Central Park was amazing. It's easy to find a quiet spot in the middle of this busy city in Central Park.

  8. My hubbie is desperate to get to NYC to take photographs. Its such an amazing city with so many fab things to see and do

  9. I would love to visit New York and see the Times Square while having a slice of pizza! :)