What to see and do in the city that never sleeps
It’s starred in countless TV shows and inspired a myriad of movies; the Big Apple boasts a wealth of iconic, scene-stealing landmarks, from the Statue of Liberty to the Empire State Building, plus museums and galleries galore!
So what are you waiting for? Check out our top picks for making the most of New York:
1. Arty feats and hearty eats at the Rockefeller Center
Covering a whopping 19 imposing buildings facing 5th Avenue, the Rockefeller Center is eye-poppingly massive. Every winter, the Lower Plaza is transformed into a shimmering ice rink, where you can slip and slide surrounded by towering skyscrapers and glittering trees. Beneath the entire complex is the Concourse: a subterranean retail haven that connects every Rockefeller Center building and stretches as far as 7th Avenue. Head here for a classic New York-style pick-me-up, like an onion-stuffed burger, cream-cheese bagel or a hot pizza slice.
The sky-high observation deck known as Top of the Rock also offers a bird’s-eye view of Central Park and beyond. Grab a handy Top of the Rock admission pass for a discount to this 70th-floor delight.
2. Lung-busting sing-alongs at a Broadway musical
They say the neon lights are bright on Broadway, but they rarely tell you that – at an impressive 53 kilometres – it’s New York’s longest street! It takes hours to explore it from top to bottom, so we’d recommend you head straight to where it curves into the bright and busy Times Square. This is where you’ll find old-time theatres like The Palace, which first opened its doors over a hundred years ago.
With more than 40 theatres, Broadway has a multitude of world-famous musicals to choose from. Stuck on what to pick? Take a look at Klook’s range of Broadway tickets, and you’ll soon be defying gravity with Elphaba or discovering a whole new world with Jasmine and Aladdin.
3. Skyline views and movie nostalgia at the Empire State Building
Dominating the landscape of Midtown Manhattan, the Empire State Building has been immortalised by Hollywood in countless blockbusters, from King Kong to Sleepless in Seattle. This beacon of Art Deco beauty also has two viewing platforms; on the 86th floor you’ll find the highest open-air observation deck in the city, or dare to go 16-floors higher and on a clear day you can see up to 128-kilometres out past the skyscrapers!
Klook a direct entry ticket to the Empire State Building and get a free multimedia tour app to help you understand what it is you’re seeing. Alternatively, opt for a combo ticket if you’re keen to explore other nearby attractions too.
4. Masterpieces at the Museum of Modern Art
Know your Monet from your Manet? Swoon at the sight of dreamy Chagall watercolours? If so, the Museum of Modern Art will have you in raptures. The gallery has nearly 200,000 works of modern and contemporary art in its collection. Gaze into van Gogh’s The Starry Night and feast your eyes on Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Cans.
And, with a fast-track entry ticket to the Museum of Modern Art booked via Klook, you’ll skip straight past the queues for entry.
5. Symbolic statuary on Liberty Island
She’s one of New York’s most recognisable sights. Located on Liberty Island and seen as a symbol of freedom, the Statue of Liberty stands 93-metres tall and gazes across New York Harbour like a giant green copper gatekeeper. To get up close and personal, Klook a guided Ellis Island tour, which includes reserve-line ferry access and a trip to the Museum of Immigration.
Better yet, see the Statue of Liberty at night when she’s illuminated against the inky evening sky.
6. Elegant interior décor at Grand Central Station
A bustling transport hub serving more than 67-million commuters and travellers every year, New York’s famous train station is grand by design as well as name. Shimmering chandeliers hang from the Main Waiting Room, while the cavernous Main Concourse has a million-dollar opal clock and a ceiling covered with 12 constellations painted in gold leaf.
With a one-day walking tour of New York City, you’ll spend 30-minutes exploring this timeless terminus before continuing on to some of New York’s other fascinating places, including Wall Street and the National 9/11 Memorial.
7. Luscious locations in Central Park
For leaf-laden trees, flower-dotted walkways and a shimmering 20-acre lake, head to the charming wilds of Central Park. See the Bandshell from Breakfast at Tiffany’s and feed the pigeons like Macauley Culkin in Home Alone 2.
Prefer to discover the park at your own pace? Klook a Central Park experience that provides full-day bike hire as well as a perfectly packed picnic to fuel your explorations.
Klook Tip: over the summer, the Delacorte Theatre hosts free outdoor Shakespeare productions. Take a seat and lap up some culture!
8. Banging beats and colourful streets in New York’s diverse boroughs
New York isn’t just about Manhattan and its skyscraper-dotted avenues. The other four boroughs that make up the city – Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island – are rich in musical history and vibrant street culture.
A fast-paced New York Boroughs day tour will whisk you through three of them. Learn about the history of hip hop and gawp at old-school graffiti in the Bronx, before ambling through the more affluent neighbourhood of Malba in Queens. On your final stop, be sure to Instagram the mighty Brooklyn Bridge.
9. Mind-boggling architecture at the Guggenheim
Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum houses some of the world’s most exquisite paintings by the likes of Picasso, Cézanne and Kandinsky. And the building’s spiralling rotunda is a work of art in itself!
Enjoy easy entry at any time with Klook’s paperless open-dated ticket to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.
10. Fossils, furry animals and far-flung galaxies at the American Museum of Natural History
Want to learn more about the origins of our planet? In the setting for the film Night at the Museum, you can come face to face with ancient dinosaurs and explore the secrets of the solar system. From a mighty mastodon skeleton to a 9,500kg model of a blue whale suspended from the ceiling, the diversity of life on earth is displayed in over 45 permanent exhibits.
Book an entry ticket to the American Museum of Natural History through Klook to tread the halls. Alternatively, choose to pay a bit more to see a special exhibition or the Hayden Planetarium Space Show too.
This is just a taste of what’s on offer in the Big Apple!
Need more inspiring ideas for what to do in New York? Check out the New York page on Klook for more experiences and attractions that await you on your next holiday. Get all your travel essentials ready and pre-book your 4G WiFi SIM Card and shared airport transfer from Klook.