There’s no doubt that New York City is one of the most fascinating cities in the world, and it’s impossible to separate Manhattan from all of the beauty and splendor the city has to offer.
Although it’s the smallest borough in NYC but it’s one of the most fascinating with beautiful skyscrapers, and lots of historic landmarks.
In Manhattan, there are lots of areas to explore such as Chinatown, Little Italy, Harlem, etc. Manhattan food and drinks are amazing and are scattered around the borough.There are several activities you can engage in that would make your visit worthwhile. Nightlife in this part of the city is incredible, there are a number of comedy clubs and celebrities frequented nightclubs. A visit to the Metropolitan of Art Museum to see beautiful exhibitions and collection can also be fun.
The number of things to do in Manhattan can be enormous but fun, you can stay here for years without having to explore all the borough has to offer.
In the article we have outlined the best things to do in Manhattan, so the next time you make a visit to The Big Apple, ensure to make the most of it by exploring all these areas, you’d be glad you did.
1. Go Strolling On Bryant Park
Address: New York, NY 10018, United States
This 10-arce park is located in Midtown Manhattan, and it’s few block away from Times Square. This is one of the most beautiful parks in the city and it’s a lovely place to be. You can stroll around the park, watch people or even engage in any activity if you feel like. Around the park there a small village-style shops, restaurants, bars, crafters, etc.
The park is open all season but during the Christmas season, it’s extraordinary, it’s turns into an ice skating rink but in the summer you’ enjoy outdoor entertainment, and several recreational activities from basketball, to table tennis, baseball, soccer, etc. Find your way to Bryant Park is really one of the most fun things to do in Manhattan.
2. Tour Around Grand Central Station
A visit to tye Grand Central Station should be amongst the things to do in Manhattan.This place is a symbol of the city’s history and culture so whether or not you are taking a train there are so much to see that would fascinate you at the Grand Central Terminal. Thousands of tourists come here yearly to see the spectacular Beaux-Arts architectural, the beautiful astronomical mural painted under the ceiling dome, and lots of other things.
3. Explore Chinatown
Chinatown is a beautiful neighborhood in Manhattan, it’s a densely populated area of the city and it’s where you’d fine lots of amazing thing to do. Tourists from different parts of the world flock to this area in Manhattan to explore the neighborhood. There are several restaurants, shops, bar, quaint cafes, etc.
One of the most sought after things in Chinatown is their food, there are Chinese and southern Asian cuisine around that you can not afford to miss. To make your visit memorable you can stop by a jewelry shop to purchase a bracelet or take a picture at any of the significant structures.
4. Visit the Empire State Building
Address: 20 W 34th St, New York, NY 10001, United States
Located in Midtown Manhattan, the Empire State Building was built in 1930s, it’s one of the most popular skyscrapers on the planet with houses, businesses, restaurants, etc. This 102-story building is one of the most famous tourists attractions in the city of New York and it’s the mainstay of the city skylines.
To be able to explore all this building has to offer, you would need to buy a ticket at the observation deck or online. The top deck is located at the 102nd floor enclosed in floor-to-ceiling windows, the view from there is amazing but the open-air deck is on the 86th floors, this is the main dex if the building. A visit to the Empire State Building should be part of the things to do in Manhattan, you do not want to miss it.
5. Enjoy the city skyline from Top of The Rock
Address: 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10112, United States
One of the best things to do in Manhattan is finding your way to spot, it’s a tourist attraction and one of the best attractions in the city of New York. It’s located at the top of Rockefeller center, the view from this location is absolutely beautiful.
Although there are other significant viewpoint in the city but this is arguably the best. From this location you can have a panoramic view of the Empire State Building and other magnificent structures around the city.
At Top of The Rock, there are three observation decks, the first, you’ll find Radiance Wall and a gift shop, on the second, there is a open-air breezeway. The third and the most amazing deck is at the 70th floor, it’s an outdoor and perfect place for a date, pictures, etc. To access this location you’d have to buy your tickets and you can do so online in advance.
6. Wander Around Times Square
Address: Manhattan, NY 10036, United States
Times Square is one of the most fascinating areas of Manhattan, it’s a place of beauty with thousands of shimmering lights and billboards. It is the center for shopping, entertainment and several other fascinating things. Located at midtown Manhattan, it is the center to all of NYC happenings and there are several fun and free things to do in Times Square.
There are a number of attractions in Times Square which is why you have to plan yourself when visiting because it can be overwhelming. It’s adjacent to Broadway, a few block away from 5th Avenue, and several historic landmarks of the city. Being in Times Square is one of the funniest things to do in Manhattan and you should add it to your bucket list.
7. Enjoy a Concert or a Game At The Madison Square Garden
Address: 4 Pennsylvania Plaza, New York, NY 10001, United States
This is one of the most famous entertainment venues in New York City, it is located midtown Manhattan. It’s often referred to as The Garden, it’s the home of the NHL’s New York Rangers and the NBA’S New York Knicks. Madison Square Garden is also used as a venue for large music concert. And most of the big names in the music industry has been hosted here.
If you are looking for a place to have fun then you should plan to catch a game or show at this at this The Garden. You can also make a reservation for a tour around so you can appreciate the magnificent building. Around there are a number of restaurants, bars and lots of other fun things that would spice up your day.
8. Pay Tribute At The 9/11 Memorial & Museum
The 9/11 Memorial and Museum is one of the historic landmarks of the city, and paying your respects to those who lost their lives on that day can be one of the things to do in Manhattan. It is adjacent to the oldest church in the city, St. Paul’s Chapel. The museum is about 110,000 SQ ft and it’s divided into three parts with each of them having their own separate story of the tragedy that took place that day.
Some areas of the 9/11 Memorial and Museum are free but you’d need tickets to access the main areas and you can purchase this tickets in advance or if you also have new York City Pass, you may gain access to all three parts.
9. Spend An Afternoon At Central Park
Wandering around Central Park should be amongst the top things to do in Manhattan, Central Park is located between the Upper West and Upper East sides of Manhattan, it’s a green oasis that has become the center of attractions for both locals and tourists alike.
Close to this iconic New York City Park are beautiful skyscrapers and other significant landmarks. The park is about 900-acres, it boasts of an on-site zoo (Central Park Zoo), a lake full of turtles, playground for kids, beautiful landscapes, etc.
At Central Park, there several free things to do both in the summer or winter season, If you are on a budget and you are looking for free and cheap things to do, find your way to Central Park can be one of the best things you can do for yourself because it’s a place of fun.
During the summer you can go boating on the lake or stroll to Belvedere Castle amidst several other things you can do. During the winter one of the most fascinating things to do here is ice skating in the park, it’s amazing.
10. Enjoy The View From The One World Observatory
Address; 117 West St, New York, NY 10006, United States
One World Observatory is located at the 102th floor of the World Trade Center which is also known as Freedom Tower. You can not afford to miss this, it’s one of the top outdoor activities in Manhattan. The views from the top floor of the 1,250-feet high building will blow your mind. From this spot, you would have a wide view of the city including some iconic landmarks, from this viewpoint, you can see the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge, Empire State Building, New Jersey, Staten Island, etc.
Aside the views, there are a lot of things you can do, you can ride the 102-floor sky pod, or you can tour a multimedia presentation, etc. At the One World Observatory, there are tour guides that will show you around to see some beautiful exhibits of the city. You can also learn so much about the history of Manhattan. This is nice place to be and you should plan to be here, you need a ticket to this iconic building.
11. Explore American Museum of Natural History
Address: 200 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024, United States
The American Museum of Natural History was founded in 1869, it is located on the Upper West of NYC, and it is one of the most popular museums in Manhattan attracting thousands of people including locals and foreign annually. The museum is a place to learn about the natural world, culture, history, such as greenhouse gases, dinosaurs, sharks, amphibians, planetary science, human evolution, etc.
At the museum, there are special progams for adults, teens and children so any one regardless of the age grade can come to this museum and have an amazing time. To make most of your time here join an in-depth tour which is mostly led by an expert historian.
12. Go See The Vessel
This is a beautiful art installation located in Hudson Yards. It’s a new attraction in the city and you should be on your list of the things to do in Manhattan. Access to this location is free but you’d have to book for your slot online before you show up because of the influx of people, it’s better you book your timeslot weeks ahead.
This is an extraordinary architectural building in the the city of New York and you’d have to be here to understand it for yourself. It’s offers a 360 degree views with a thrilling glass floor and champagne bar 100 floor up, however access to the Vessel is temporarily closed but access to the ground level is still very much open and free all week days.
13. See The Iconic Met
Address: 1000 5th Ave, New York, NY 10028, United States
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, also commonly called the Met is a must visit and should be at the top of your to do list. This iconic museum is located in Central Park, it is the largest museum in the city and one of the most incredible attractions as well, hosting millions of tourists both home and abroad yearly. Like several other attractions in Manhattan, it is easily accessible.
At the Met, there are exhibits of over 5,000 years with collection from around the world such as Egyptian arts, European paintings and decorative arts, etc. Every few months theere are special exhibitions where they showcase beautiful art collection from prominent artists such as Rothko, Cassatt, Picasso, etc. You should not miss the Met when you are in Manhattan, make sure you add it to the list of things to do.
14. Go Strolling On The High Line
Address: New York, NY 10011
If you are looking for free and cheap things to do in Manhattan, then you should consider a visit to The High Line. It is located in Meatpacking District, this one-and-a-half mile long rail-trail was built by the city and since then it’s one of the most famous outdoor attractions. It boasts of beautiful landscape gardens, walkways and breathtaking views of the city’s skyline and the Hudson River.
This elevated park was built on railroad used to transport goods from Manhattan to different parts of the city but today it’s one of the best attractions of the city offering amazing opportunity for outdoor activities for both locals and visitors. At this park, there are benches where you can sit and enjoy the beautiful views, there are also picnic areas and walkways to stroll and free your mind. Children are not left out, there are playgrounds for children as well. This is a beautiful place in Manhattan to relax and ease the stress of a stressful yor week.
15. Go See The Statue of Liberty
Address: New York, NY 10004, United States
The Statue of Liberty is the symbol of the city of New York and of the United States, it is located in Staten Island and it’s close to Manhattan, all you need to do is either take a short subway ride or a ferry ride. You can not afford to miss this, it’s the most popular structure of the city. This historic landmark is a symbol of freedom, it is 305-foot-tall. Although you can have a view of the Iconic symbol from different vantage point but if you would like to have a closer look then you need to be at the Ellis Island which you can do via any of the means mentioned above.
16. See Little Italy and SoHo
Little Italy and SoHo are in different areas of Manhattan but they both have similar electric atmosphere. Little Italy is located on Lower Manhattan and it’s home to specifically Italian population, and here you’ll find some if the best restaurants with a warm atmosphere. SoHo which is short for South of Houston Street, is one of NYC’s most popular neighborhoods because of big fashion house such as Louis Vuitton, Prada, etc.
Both neighborhoods are some if the nicest places to visit when you are in Manhattan, you can decide to taste of the nicest Italian cuisine in Little Italy and go for shopping at SoHo at some of the boutiques.
17. Visit Union Square
Union Square is an attraction of the city where you can go strolling and also shop. It is a pedestrian plaza where you would find different outdoor activities as well as restaurants, shopping and cultural experiences. This is one of the happening places in Manhattan so you’d find both locals and visitors from this parts of the world observing some historic statues, taking pictures at the beautiful gardens and fountain. There are just so much to see and do at the Union Square.
The Greenmarket is open at the Union Square and during the holiday season, the Union Square Holiday Market attracts over 100 craftsmen and vendors. This is one of the fun places to visit in the city.
18. Enjoy The View From The Rockefeller Center
Address: 45 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10111, United States
The Rockefeller Center is located in Midtown Manhattan and it’s made up of commercial buildings, plazas, shopping, restaurants, etc. At the Rockefeller Center, you’d find some of the notable landmarks like the Top of The Rock, NBC Studios, and The Rainbow Room. Aeound the center, there are several popular shops like Brook Brothers, Nintendo Store, Anthropologie, F.A.O Schwartz, etc.
As one of the most famous attractions in the city, there are thousands of tourists that come here every year to wander and enjoy the beautiful views as well as engage in a tour around the center. There are nice restaurants around the Rockefeller Center where they serve top quality dishes. You can add this place to your itinerary, you’d be glad you did.
19. Join a hop-on hop-off Bus Tour.
One if the ways to make the most of your time in Manhattan is to join a hop-on hop-off Bus Tour, it’s an activity you’d enjoy because you’d get to you around the top attractions in the city. This is not just sightseeing but you’d learn about each attraction you pass, all thanks to the audio commentary. There are stops around the borough , this is one of the sure ways to enjoy your time in Manhattan and it’s hould be included amongst the fun things to do.
20. Take a Boat Tour Along The Hudson River
This is one of the most fun activities you can do in Manhattan, a sightseeing boat tour on the Hudson River is super fun and very informative. On the tour you’d get to learn so much about the city of New York and all of the five boroughs. The boat which usually depart from Battery Park or Chelsea Piers (Pier 60) takes about an hour. On the boat tour you’d pass lots of landmarks and there is a commentary to explain and educate tourists about each of them.
21. Wander Around 5th Avenue
5th Avenue, also known as the Millionaire’s Row, is the place where you can find the best shopping and dining in the city of New York. Here, you’ll find luxury shops and restaurants. You can wander around the 5th Avenue, and enjoy the electrifying atmosphere. You can even window shop at some of the top shops. Some of the notable shops at the 5th Avenue are Neiman Marcus, Louis Vuitton, Saks, Bergdorf Goodman, etc. If you are looking for the best place in Manhattan for shopping, this is your best option.
22. Visit The Theater District
This is a place of world-class entertainment, located in Midtown Manhattan and close to Times Square. This is the place to catch a Broadway show. Although acesa is not free, you would have to purchase your ticket for the show you intend to see.
At the Theater District, there are always spectacular shows to see regardless of the time of the year grom amazing musicals to gut-wrenching dramas. There are also several nice restaurants around, plan a visit to the Theater District so you can enjoy all it has to offer. You’d be glad you did.