18 Essential Experiences For a First Timer in New York City!

14 Mar 2020
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Things to do in New York City

From Times Square to the Empire State Building, you’re sure to never run out of things to do in New York City. With so many things to do, see, and experience in the Big Apple, we can totally understand if you’re intimidated by it all. To help you out, we’ve done the legwork and pulled together a couple of must-do activities to fully maximize your stay.
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Read along to see how you can navigate the streets of New York City:


1. Bike around Central Park!

things to do new york
With 843 acres of land, make sure to rent a bike to enjoy the beautiful sights of various flora and fauna within the park. If you don’t know how to ride a bike, don’t fret! Other than being the fifth-largest park in New York City, a lot of New Yorkers spend some of their downtimes here by going on walks or picnics.
Address: Central Park stretches from 59th Street to 110th Street, between Fifth Avenue and Central Park West
Operating Hours: 6 AM to 1 AM, Monday to Sunday

2. Watch a Broadway Show

things to do new york
With all those posters plastered throughout Times Square, it’s an absolute must that you watch at least one Broadway play in New York. Come see the stars portray some of your favorite characters in musicals such as Wicked, The Phantom of the Opera, Waitress the Musical, The Lion King, and so much more! Make sure to book your tickets beforehand on Klook so you get the best seats in the house at the best price!

3. Get tickets to a Baseball Game

things to do new york
Take yourself out to a ball game! See the New York Yankees in action as they play in the different stadiums across the city! Grab a quick snack and cheer on your favorite team with your foam hand in the air. Remember, watch carefully, because you might just be that lucky fan who gets to catch that major home run ball.

4. Shop at SoHo!

things to do new york
Head on to this infamous art district and shopping area! Also known as the “South of Houston,” the SoHo area is widely known as one of the top shopping destinations in New York City. Shop at both trendy and upscale boutiques, as well as some international chain stores like Zara, Nike, Louis Vuitton, etc.

5. Go thrift shopping at the West Village!

things to do new york
Why not shop and make a difference at the same time? At the Vintage Thrift West, you can go shop for unique and pre-loved finds. From costumes to jewelries, this boutique has it all. At the same time, the store gives its proceeds to a charity- United Jewish Council of the East Side!
Address: 242 W 10th St., Manhattan, NY 10014 (between Hudson St. & Bleecker St. West Village)
Operating Hours: 11:30 AM to 5 PM, Sunday to Monday

6. Visit the Color Factory!

things to do new york
Photo Credit: JAKE JOSH ART
Let your true colors shine through with the Color Factory! Learn more about different palettes, shades, hues, and even engage in some activities within the museum. With various rooms to explore, Color Factory is a definite eye-catcher that’ll sure to captivate your imagination.
Address: 251 Spring Street, New York, NY 10013
Operating Hours: 10 AM to 10 PM, Fridays to Tuesdays | 9:30 AM to 9:30 PM, Wednesdays


7. Chelsea Market

things to do new york
Curious to find out where the locals go to dine? Head onto Chelsea Market for a wide variety of both food and drink to choose from. With over 35 stalls in the area, this indoor market has food from all over the world! From New York Cheesecakes to Boston Clam Chowders, the options at Chelsea Market will surely make your taste buds tingle with excitement!
Address: 75 9th Avenue (Between 15th and 16 Streets), New York, NY 10011
Operating Hours: 7 AM to 2 AM, Mondays to Saturdays | 8 AM to 10 PM, Sundays

8. The Halal Guys

things to do new york
Photo Credit: itsmelive on Flickr
If you’re in New York, then you’d definitely want to try out the Halal Guys! Starting out, the Halal Guys was just a simple cart in the streets of New York. Now, they’re a massive force internationally with their Halal food meals. Make sure to catch them at the corners of 53rd St. and 6th Avenue and try their signature platter of chicken and gyro that will surely be worth that wait in line!

9. Lombardi’s Pizza

things to do new york
Can you believe that you can still try what is said to be America’s first pizza created in 1905? In Lombardi’s Pizza, you can try their infamous coal-oven baked pizza – favored by locals, tourists, and celebrities alike!Lombardi’s simple combination of tomato sauce, mozzarella, and basil always keep customers coming back for more. Drop by and you might just spot someone famous at the next table.
Address: 32 Spring St, New York, NY 10012
Operating Hours: 11:30 AM to 11 PM, Sundays to Thursdays | 11:30 AM to 12 AM, Fridays to Saturdays

10. New York Pizza

things to do new york
If there is one dish you need to try in New York – it’s definitely got to be their pizza. New Yorkers pride themselves on their large, hand-tossed, thin crust pizzas, and we totally understand why! Fortunately for us tourists, New York has dozens of pizzerias to try all over the city, so you have no reason not to get a slice or two!

11. New York Hotdog

things to do new york
If there’s one thing you can count on while you’re in the streets of New York, it’s a hotdog stand at almost every corner. If you get hungry while shopping in Fifth Avenue, don’t worry! The street has a handful of hotdog stands just for you. Just like their pizzas, New York’s hotdogs is simply not the same hotdog you’ll find anywhere else. New York’s hotdogs are often topped with a spicy brown mustard, with either sautéed onions or sauerkraut in tomato sauce.

12. Music Bars

things to do new york
If you’re a night owl, then get ready to explore that city that never sleeps! New York City is home to a number of music bars that are open until the early hours in the morning. Enjoy a night-out with your friends and listen to various performances by heading to the various music bars around the city. Some music bars such as Paddy Reilly’s Music Bar and Arlene’s Grocery are open until 4 AM so the fun never stops!


13. Empire State Building

things to do new york
Everyone knows it’s not a trip to New York unless you’ve gone to the Empire State building. One of the most iconic buildings in the world, the Empire State building is one of the main skyscrapers that beautifully shows you the New York City skyline on the 86th floor. Lines can be long, so make sure you get a ticket beforehand to see the breathtaking sight that is New York City without the hassle of waiting in line.
Address: 20 W 34th St, New York, NY 10001
Operating Hours: 8 AM to 2 AM, Monday to Sunday

14. The High Line

things to do new york
The High Line is a public space in the city perfect for anyone looking to relax amidst New York’s fast-paced lifestyle. Formerly one of the city’s old railroad tracks, this elevated park was renovated into a communal area for locals and tourists to gather. Here, you can enjoy various dining experiences, public art and gardens.
Operating Hours: Open daily: 7 AM to 10 PM, April 1 through May 31 | 7 AM to 11 PM, June 1 through September 30 | 7 AM to 10 PM, October 1 through November 30 | 7 AM to 7 PM, December 1 through March 31

15. The Vessel

things to do new york
Having recently opened in March 2019, the Vessel has quickly become one of New York’s most iconic landmarks. The Vessel’s spiral staircase showcases over 154 flights of stairs, 2,500 steps, and 80 landings. This is definitely worth the climb just to see the majestic views of the city!
Address: The Shops and Restaurants at Hudson Yards, New York, NY 10001
Operating Hours: 10 AM to 9 PM, Monday to Sunday

16. New York Museums

things to do new york
Aside from its many iconic landmarks, New York City is also home to some world-class museums, too! At the Metropolitan Museum of Art, you’ll lay your eyes on some extremely rare pieces of art that tell tales of America’s past and present – including each years’ exhibition from The MET Ball. While you can pay the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) a visit to appreciate modern and contemporary art.
Address: The Metropolitan Museum of Art (1000 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10028) | The MoMA (11 West 53 Street, New York, NY 10019)

17. Brooklyn Botanical Garden

things to do new york
Relax and unwind at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, a public park located outside of Manhattan. This urban botanic garden boasts of 52 acres of land where you can take a lovely stroll to see the various flora and fauna within the park’s multiple gardens and conservatory. The Brooklyn Botanical Garden is home to multiple gardens within a garden, plant collections, as well as the Steinhardt Conservatory.
Address: 990 Washington Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11225
Operating Hours: 8 AM to 6 PM, Tuesday to Friday | 10 AM to 10 PM, Saturday to Sunday

18. The Oculus

things to do new york
Travel further in time as you walk into the Oculus – one of New York’s newer landmarks! Otherwise known as the World Trade Center Station, the Oculus is the one of the most expensive train stations built, boasting a jaw-dropping design suitable for anybody’s Instagram feeds! Designed by Santiago Calatrava, the Oculus replaces the PATH train station that was previously destroyed during the 9/11 attacks.
Address: New York, NY 10007
Operating Hours: 12 AM to 11:59 PM, Monday to Sunday

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things to do new york
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