New York is full of sights to see and we've put the best in this handy guide to world-renowned landmarks, neighborhoods, and shopping opportunities. What is New York known for if not its fast-paced energy and variety of cultures and activities? Get your retail therapy by exploring the swanky streets of SoHo and Fifth Avenue, before catching your breath at the city's expansive urban green spaces like Central Park and Bryant Park.

    If you're looking for a fun night out, New York City is teeming with Broadway shows and street performances, as well as underground clubs blaring various genres of music until late. With iconic monuments, vast parks, excellent restaurants, and entertainment for all ages, it's safe to say that just about any traveler will find something for them among New York's famous places.

    What are the best things to do in New York?

    1

    Times Square

    The neon lights are bright on Broadway

    Times Square, located in Midtown Manhattan, is one of New York's famous places. You can enjoy street performances, explore museums and galleries, and catch award-winning Broadway shows.

    One of the city's major gathering spots, this open crossroads also offers unique establishments like Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, Birdland Jazz Club, and Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. If you're here in late December, you get to watch star-studded concerts and the iconic New Year's Eve ball drop.

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    Location: Manhattan, NY 10036, USA

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    2

    Empire State Building

    Visit the observation decks for outstanding views

    The Empire State Building has 2 observatories, both of which offer panoramic views of New York City and beyond. Its famous open-air 86th floor observation deck has been featured in many movie and television scenes.

    The top deck is on the 102nd floor, where you get to spot landmarks like the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, the Brooklyn Bridge, and Times Square. In addition to the observatories, the Empire State Building houses a visitor's center and 2 exhibition spaces.

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    Location: 350 5th Ave, New York, NY 10118, USA

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 12 am

    Phone: +1 212 736 3100

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    3

    Statue of Liberty

    Enjoy panoramic views from the monument's crown

    The Statue of Liberty is usually the first thing travelers spot when they visit New York. Dedicated in 1886, this impressive national monument offers panoramic views of New York, New Jersey, New York Harbor, and the nearby Ellis Island. The 2nd floor of the pedestal houses an exhibition hall, where you can learn about its fascinating history through scale replicas, photographs, texts, and video footage.

    To get to Liberty Island, you need to buy a ferry ticket, which includes a self-guided audio tour. There's also an additional fee if you're planning to climb to the crown of the Statue of Liberty, but be sure to book in advance because it's one of the most popular things to do in New York.

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    Location: Liberty Island, New York, NY 10004, USA

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 6:45 pm

    Phone: +1 212 363 3200

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    4

    Central Park

    One of the largest urban parks in the USA

    Central Park is a lush, expansive green space in Manhattan, featuring over 20 playgrounds, manmade lakes and ponds, as well as extensive walking tracks. It often hosts a variety of activities, exhibitions, and concerts, especially during spring and summer.

    Central Park has plenty of family-friendly things to do in New York – most kids will enjoy the Carousel, Central Park Zoo, the Central Park Conservatory Garden, and Belvedere Castle. It's open to the public all year round, and guided tours are also available.

    Location: New York, NY, USA

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    5

    Fifth Avenue

    A luxury shopping destination like no other

    Fifth Avenue is a swanky shopping mile in New York's Manhattan borough. The Bergdorf Goodman department store has been attracting the rich and famous since 1928, thanks to its extravagant window displays and international brands such as Burberry, Balenciaga, and Marc Jacobs.

    Stroll up the avenue between 49th and 60th Streets and you'll see flagship outlets for Louis Vuitton, Armani, Prada, and Dolce & Gabbana.

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    Location: 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10003, USA

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    6

    New York Grand Central Terminal Station

    Marvel at the astronomical ceiling mural in the main concourse

    New York Grand Central Terminal Station is one of the city's busiest landmarks, with thousands of New Yorkers passing through it on their daily commute. Located in Midtown, its exterior features Beaux-Arts sculptures and architecture, containing a total of 44 train platforms and numerous restaurants.

    The main concourse is always packed with commuters, but you can still make your way to its iconic features like the 4-sided clock, astronomical ceiling mural, and European-style food market. Even if you're not planning to catch a train, it's not hard to spend hours exploring the food and shopping on offer within New York Grand Central Terminal Station.

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    Location: 89 E 42nd St, New York, NY 10017, USA

    Phone: +1 212-340-2583

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    7

    Chinatown

    A great place to experience Chinese culture in bustling Lower Manhattan

    Chinatown is a vibrant neighborhood in the area south of Broome Street and east of Lafayette in New York City. One of the best things to do in New York is explore its busy streets and sample a variety of foods. You'll feel like you're on a different continent, with dozens of restaurants representing the cuisine of Southeast Asia, mainland China, and Hong Kong.

    If you're a fan of eclectic items, the tiny Mmuseumm exhibits quirky objects from all over the world, including counterfeit beauty products, selfie sticks, and toys left behind by immigrants.

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    8

    The Metropolitan Museum of Art

    A massive collection of art from around the world

    The Metropolitan Museum of Art is a colossal building and part of a museum trio that forms one of the largest collections of artworks in the US, encompassing 5 millennia. The exhibitions range from the sculptures of ancient kingdoms to medieval weapons to and even 20th century artworks. It also includes an entire sandstone temple imported from Egypt. .

    This magnificent museum is world-famous for the size and quality of its collection, and it's located in the heart of Manhattan. It's easy to get there with the subway, and it's a major stop along what is known as the New York Museum Mile.

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    Location: 1000 5th Ave, New York, NY 10028, USA

    Open: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 10 am to 5 pm, Friday to Saturday from 10 am to 9 pm

    Phone: +1 212 535 7710

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    9

    National September 11 Memorial

    A somber memorial with two exhibitions

    The National September 11 Memorial commemorates those who were killed in the terror attacks of 11th September 2001. One of its most striking features is the twin reflecting pools, which were designed to symbolize the fallen Twin Towers. You can also see the names of the deceased inscribed around the bronze edges of the pools.

    There are 2 main exhibitions within the memorial. One depicts the past, the present, and aftermath of the event, while the other is a 270° panoramic media installation of the memorial.

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    Location: 180 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10007, USA

    Open: Daily from 8 am to 8 pm

    Phone: +1 212 312 8800

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    10

    One World Trade Center

    Enjoy panoramic views of New York City

    The One World Trade Center is an imposing skyscraper in the heart of New York City. Also known as One WTC, it's recognized as the tallest building in the U.S. at 1,776 ft. This glistening structure stands on the site of the former World Trade Center, with high-end restaurants, bars, and commercial businesses.

    For tourists looking to admire New York City's world-renowned skyline, you won't find a better place than One World Trade Center. With an innovative fine-dining venue and panoramic views available from the viewing point on the 101st floor, exploring the One World Observatory is an unforgettable experience.

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    Location: 285 Fulton St, New York, NY 10007, USA

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 10 pm

    Phone: +1 844 696 1776

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    11

    Yankee Stadium

    A modern stadium with riveting games and events

    The Yankee Stadium is the modern home of baseball in New York City, having replaced the previous building in 2009. Located in the Bronx neighborhood, it's the country's 6th-largest Major League Baseball stadium, with a capacity of more than 46,000 people. If you consider yourself a sporting fanatic, this world-class stadium must be crossed off your bucket list.

    There are plenty of things to do besides catching a baseball game or soccer match at Yankee Stadium. You can head to the New York Yankees Museum or Section 105 to watch batting practice. With the stadium conveniently located next to a subway station, getting to and from a game is a breeze.

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    Location: 1 E 161 St, Bronx, NY 10451, USA

    Phone: +1 718 293 4300

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    12

    Brooklyn Bridge

    A mile-long pathway perfect for your whole family

    The majestic Brooklyn Bridge spans the East River, connecting New York's Manhattan and Brooklyn boroughs. There are 2 lanes on the pedestrian pathway, one is for cyclists and the other for pedestrians. The latter gets notoriously crowded with tourists, which isn't surprising because it's a great place to take photos of New York's famous places like Lower Manhattan, Governors Island and the Statue of Liberty.

    After enjoying the stunning views, you and your kids can visit the many attractions around the end of the bridge, like the Brooklyn Children's Museum and Brooklyn Bridge Park, as well as a variety of sports fields, playgrounds, bicycle rentals, restaurants, and piers.

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    Location: Brooklyn Bridge, New York, NY 10038, USA

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    13

    Jazz in Harlem

    A music lover's dream from live gigs to a jazz museum

    Harlem is home to many of New York's famous places for music lovers. This vibrant neighborhood has an extensive collection of jazz clubs playing swing, Latin, Bebop, and cool jazz all year round. Popular venues include Bill's Place, The Porch, and Patrick's Place.

    If you want to learn more about the history of jazz, the National Jazz Museum is a must-visit. This free museum often hosts intriguing exhibits, photographs, audio and film archives, as well as weekly talks and concerts.

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    Penny Wong | Compulsive Traveler

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