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Best Things To Do in New York City

Even if you're not mesmerized by the city's soaring skyscrapers and monuments, you'll be blown away by its flourishing arts, food, fashion and nightlife scenes. You can spend your morning browsing Fifth Avenue's designer racks and your afternoon catching stunning city views from the Top of the Rock Observation Deck. Or, if you're an art lover, you can admire the striking works on display at the Met and the Guggenheim before feasting on ethnic fare in Chinatown or Little Italy. If you still have some energy (and cash) left over, don't miss the chance to snag tickets to an award-winning Broadway show or hop over to one of the low key rooftop bars and jazz clubs illuminating the Meatpacking District after dark.

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How We Rank Things to Do
#1
Central Park Free attraction
Sightseeing | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 5.0

Why go: This part-park, part-museum, part-concert hall swallows central Manhattan, and many of the city's most notable attractions are situated next ... read more»

#2
American Museum of Natural History
Museums | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 5.0

Why go: Visitors are thrilled with the American Museum of Natural History off Central Park West. Whether you're exploring the interactive ... read more»

#3
Rockefeller Center and Top of the Rock Observation Deck Free attraction
Entertainment and Nightlife, Sightseeing | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 5.0

Why go: This iconic plaza has it all — beautiful sculptures, an enormous skating rink, a fishbowl view of NBC Studios, plus hordes ... read more»

#4
St. Patrick's Cathedral Free attraction
Churches/Religious Sites, Sightseeing | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 5.0

Why go: This sprawling cathedral sits amongst the hustle and distinctively secular bustle of Rockefeller Center. But that doesn't take away ... read more»

#5
Bryant Park Free attraction
Entertainment and Nightlife, Sightseeing | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 5.0

Why go: Just east of Times Square lies one of the most beautiful four-acres in Manhattan -- Bryant Park. Though its lush green ... read more»

#6
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Museums | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.5

Why go: No museum in the United States is as celebrated as the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Spilling over with masterpieces from ... read more»

#7
National September 11 Memorial & Museum Free attraction
Monuments and Memorials, Museums, Sightseeing | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.5

Why go: The National September 11 Memorial & Museum serves as the primary tribute to the nearly 3,000 victims of the 2001 ... read more»

#8
Grand Central Station Free attraction
Sightseeing | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.5

Why go: At this beautiful train station, you can eat some lunch, or shop till you drop, but recent travelers most enjoyed ... read more»

#9
Empire State Building
Sightseeing | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.5

Why go: New York City Tourist 101 dictates that you must swing by this landmark structure in Midtown Manhattan. And despite the ... read more»

#10
Statue of Liberty
Sightseeing, Tours | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.5

Why go: This brightly shining beacon draws visitors year-round. So let's discuss your visiting options. The most popular method involves waiting ... read more»

#11
Museum of Modern Art
Museums | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.5

Why go: You don't have to be an art lover to appreciate the Museum of Modern Art; this airy Midtown gallery ... read more»

#12
New York Public Library Free attraction
Sightseeing | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.0

Why go: This main branch, officially called the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, attracts plenty of book lovers, history junkies and architecture aficionados ... read more»

#13
Times Square Free attraction
Entertainment and Nightlife, Sightseeing | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.0

Why go: Some say that Times Square is like a five-block metaphor for New York City itself — it's exciting, colorful and ... read more»

#14
The High Line Free attraction
Parks and Gardens | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.0

Why go: Set on an abandoned rail track on Manhattan's West Side, this sprawling nearly 1½-mile-long landscaped park stretches over three ... read more»

#15
Chrysler Building Free attraction
Sightseeing | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.0

Why go: Technically, the Chrysler Building is an office building open Monday through Friday, but you don't need to go inside ... read more»

#16
Broadway
Entertainment and Nightlife, Sightseeing | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.0

Why go: Some out-of-towners spend their entire New York trip at one show or another on the Broadway circuit. And if you ... read more»

#17
Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Parks and Gardens | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.0

Why go: Wander along Brooklyn's Washington Avenue, and you can't avoid stumbling upon this verdant 52-acre park. A main highlight ... read more»

#18
Fifth Avenue Free attraction
Shopping, Neighborhood/Area | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.0

Why go: It's fitting that St. Patrick's Cathedral would be on the same street with stores like Bergdorf Goodman, Tiffany ... read more»

#19
Frick Collection
Museums | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.0

Why go: Tucked inside an 18th-century New York mansion that once belonged to steel tycoon Henry Clay Frick, this robust art collection ... read more»

#20
Radio City Music Hall
Entertainment and Nightlife | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.0

Why go: It's where Ella Fitzgerald pined for the man she loved, the Rolling Stones couldn't get no satisfaction and ... read more»

#21
Coney Island
Amusement Parks, Neighborhood/Area | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.0

Why go: Known as the "the People's Playground," this famous amusement area in Brooklyn has witnessed an illustrious past. In the ... read more»

#22
The Guggenheim
Museums, Sightseeing | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.0

Why go: The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, or simply, "The Guggenheim," is one of the most well-known art museums in the country ... read more»

#23
Brooklyn Bridge Free attraction
Sightseeing | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 3.5

Why go: One of many signature landmarks of New York City, the Brooklyn Bridge is also one of the oldest suspension bridges ... read more»

#24
Ellis Island
Museums, Sightseeing | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 3.5

Why go: For 62 years this was the United States' main immigration entry point, and many U.S. citizens have at least ... read more»

#25
Bronx Zoo
Zoos and Aquariums | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 3.5

Why go: No, we're not referring to the Yankees' less affectionate nickname, but the actual wildlife conservatory in Bronx Park. According ... read more»

#26
Apollo Theater
Entertainment and Nightlife | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 3.5

Why go: One of the most famous music halls in the United States, "the Apollo" started as a burlesque theater in 1914 ... read more»

#27
Metropolitan Opera House
Entertainment and Nightlife | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 3.0

Why go: Stroll through the courtyard of the Metropolitan Opera House even if you're not going inside for a performance. Every ... read more»

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