New York City, the “city that never sleeps” is as fascinating as it is diverse. With a total population of 8,008,278 according to citypopulationreview, New York City is the biggest city in the United States. There is something to see and do on every corner in the Big Apple. We would therefore like to help you make a selection and present the top sights of New York in the following. Before you jump straight into the fray, a few tips for your travel planning.
Tips for sightseeing in New York
- Plan sightseeing beforehand: To see sights in New York, you not only need a well-filled wallet, you will probably also be on your feet all day. So first of all, make a well thought out plan for your sightseeing tours. Put together travel and walking routes optimally and also include opening and waiting times. So you will see a lot more and get the most out of your trip!
- Use Sightseeing Passes: Travelers can save a lot with a New York The most popular passes are the New York Explorer Pass, The New York Pass, and The New York Sightseeing Pass. They include tickets for a different number of sights and museums as well as boat tours and hop-on-hop-off buses.
- Buy tickets online:Tickets for popular New York attractions like the Statue of Liberty are often booked out well in advance. For places where there is limited space, it is usually necessary to purchase a season ticket. Find out early and reserve from home.
- Chasing bargains: If your must-do list includes going to a Broadway show or sports event, it is also worthwhile to compare ticket prices before you leave. It is best to use the official websites of the venues, because there you will also find heavily discounted tickets for performances and events.
- Pack your running shoes: you will probably run a lot! Comfortable shoes and things are essential in your luggage. It’s best to take an umbrella with you for the changeable New York
- See even more: The center of New York may have a lot to offer, but feel free to step out of the “Manhattan Bubble” and get involved in one (or more) of the other districts of New York.
With our tips you are now well prepared for your travel planning. So then, curtain up on the top 10 of our New York attractions:
- Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island
The Statue of Liberty is the symbol of the USA and a symbol of freedom and democracy. Located in New York Harbor on Liberty Island, the 93 m high statue greets travelers with a torch in their right hand and the US Constitution in their left hand. The self-confident lady was originally French. The head of the Statue of Liberty first graced the Paris World Exhibition in 1878, and in 1886 it came to New York as a gift from France to mark the 100th anniversary of American independence.
Not far from Lady Liberty is Ellis Island. Around 12 million immigrants came here from 1892 to realize their American Dream. There about. Ellis Island is also known as the “Island of Tears” (2% of those who want to immigrate back). In Ellis Island’s digital immigration archive, visitors can find out for themselves whether they have relatives who once came to the United States this way.
You can only get directly to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island with the ferries of the Statue Cruises company. Both islands are part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument, for which a combo ticket is available that also includes the Statue of Liberty Museum on Liberty Island. If you still want to climb the 354 steps to the crown of the Statue of Liberty, you need an additional ticket (please reserve online in advance!).
Our tip: take the free Staten Island Ferry and find a seat on the right. The ferry doesn’t stop at Liberty Island, but it goes so close that you can take wonderful photos of the Statue of Liberty for free.
- Address: Ferries from Battery Park in Downtown Manhattan
- Hours of Operation: Ferries depart Manhattan from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm, every 40 minutes; last ferries from Liberty Island and Ellis Island at 5:00 PM and 5:15 PM respectively
- Price: $ 26.25, with ascent to the crown $ 29.25 (as of October 12, 2020)
- Central Park
Whoever came up with the idea of creating a huge park in the middle of the city in the 19th century, the New Yorkers owe a lot to him. The Central Park in the heart of Manhattan is the perfect contrast to the hectic city life – a recreation area, meeting, outdoor sports complex and definitely one of the most beautiful sights of New York!
Central Park highlights include:
Great Lawn: a large lawn, popular for outdoor sports like basketball and baseball, free open air concerts in summer
Strawberry Fields: John Lennon’s favorite spot in the park, now a memorial and symbol of peace
Belvedere Castle: a 19th century castle built on Vista Rock
Central Park Zoo: In the second oldest zoo in the USA, you can see sea lions, grizzly bears, monkeys, pandas, penguins, snow leopards and various bird species. There is a petting zoo for children.
Sheep Meadow: a large lawn, often used to sit down, relax, picnic and sunbathe
Wollman Rink and Lasker Rink: ice rinks set up in winter for ice skating and ice hockey
- Address: from 59th Street to 110th Street and Fifth Avenue to 8th Avenue
- Opening times: always open
- Price: free
- Empire State Building
The silhouette of the iconic Empire State Building is unmistakable. Hardly any other sight shaped New York’s skyline as much as the skyscraper, which was built in record time in 1930/31 and, when it was completed, was the tallest building in the city at 443 m. Hollywood films such as “King Kong” or “Sleepless in Seattle” finally made it world famous.
The Empire State Building is particularly impressive on public holidays, because a large number of LED floodlights make it possible to illuminate the building in 16 million different color combinations. So it shines z. B. for Independence Day on July 4th in red, white and blue.
The famous viewing platform on the 86th floor of the Empire State Building exudes a lot of nostalgia. Both during the day and in the dark you have a great view over Manhattan and since the platform is outdoors, great photos can be taken. The only downer: Central Park cannot be seen from the Empire State Building due to its location.
Our tip: You cannot buy season tickets for the Empire State Building. Avoid rush hours as it can get quite crowded.
- Address: 350 Fifth Avenue, NY 10118 New York
- Opening times: daily 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. (last elevator 1:15 a.m.)
- Price: Main Deck 86th floor $ 42.00; Main Deck & Top Deck 102nd floor $ 72.00 (as of 10/12/2020)
- Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center
Can’t get enough of the great New York panorama? Then your next stop is the Top of the Rock observation deck on the 70th floor of the Comcast Building in Rockefeller Center . Also built in the 1930’s, the Rockefeller building complex is best known for opulent Christmas decorations. The famous black-and-white photograph “Lunch atop a Skyscraper” by Charles C. Ebbets, which shows construction workers taking their lunch break high up on the skyscraper, was also taken in Rockefeller Center.
Rockefeller Center is still the perfect place for photography lovers. Top of the Rock is completely outdoors, so you can photograph your surroundings (including the Empire State Building) to your heart’s content without disruptive glass panes. Architecture fans will also love it, because the construction of the viewing platform gives the impression that you are on the top deck of an ocean liner from the 1930’s.
While Top of the Rock is not the highest of New York’s observation decks, its location between most of New York’s skyscrapers offers some advantages. You will have the feeling of being “right in the middle” and being able to literally touch the surrounding buildings. From the north side of the building there is a wonderful view of Central Park (be sure to visit it before sunset, the park is not illuminated at night!). In addition, it is never overcrowded, as Top of the Rock extends over three levels.
- Address: 30 Rockefeller Plaza, 10112 New York
- Opening times: daily 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. (last elevator 8:10 p.m.)
- Price: $ 72.00 (As of 10/12/2020)
5th 9/11 Memorial & One World Trade Center
The area where the twin towers of the World Trade Center collapsed on September 11, 2001 was long known as Ground Zero . After the construction of the 9/11 Memorial and a large number of other new buildings, the area gradually transformed back into a busy business district.
At the same time, the 9/11 Memorial remains a place of silence and remembrance: The Reflecting Pools , two large pools of water framed by bronze plaques with the names of the almost 3,000 victims, mark the outlines of the collapsed towers. In the park area around the pools, the survival tree , which was recovered from the rubble, which was badly damaged, stands in its original location. Also, The Sphere , a golden globe that stood between the towers and survived the collapse largely, is now back near its former location.
The newly constructed buildings include the futuristic-looking, light-flooded train station The Oculus and the new One World Trade Center . At 542 meters, the latter is currently the tallest building in the United States and once again embodies the strength, independence and optimism of the Americans.
Our tip: If you want to learn more about the events of 9/11, a visit to the 9/11 Memorial Museum is recommended. The museum is generally accessible free of charge on Tuesdays.
- Address: 180 Greenwich St, 10007 New York
- Opening times: 9/11 Memorial Thursday + Friday 12 p.m. – 7 p.m., Sa – Wed 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; 9/11 Museum Thu + Fri 12 p.m. – 7 p.m., Sat – Mon 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
- Price: 9/11 Memorial Free; 9/11 Museum $ 26.00 (Free on Tuesdays) (As of 10/13/2020)
- One World Observatory
The vantage point in One World Trade Center proves once again that New York is always an eye-catcher from above. The office tower, built between 2006 and 2014, has three complete floors between the 100th and 102nd floors for visitors who want to enjoy a 360 ° panorama of New York from floor-to-ceiling windows.
But not only the view, but also the way up becomes an experience in the One World Trade Center. During the ride up in one of the Sky Pods, you can watch an animation of the 500-year history of the Big Apple in time-lapse. Once at the top, a 2-minute film about New York follows in the See Forever Theater. Only afterwards, when the screen reveals the New York skyline, does the real wow moment follow.
Since the One World Observatory is located at the southernmost end of Manhattan, you have a particularly great view of the Statue of Liberty and the waterways around New York. However, it is a long way from the other skyscrapers in Midtown Manhattan and photos can only be shot through a window pane.
- Address: 285 Fulton St, 10007 New York
- Opening times: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily
- Price: from $ 38.00 (as of October 13, 2020)
- Times Square
With large screens and flashing lights, what is probably New York City’s most famous intersection awaits you where Seventh Avenue and Broadway meet. Incidentally, Times Square owes its name to the New York Times newspaper, which moved its offices to the square in 1904. The characteristic neon signs became the figurehead of Times Square from the 1950’s, e.g. B. back then the famous camel cowboy blew his clouds of smoke into the air. The New Year’s Eve party in Times Square with the ball drop at midnight also developed into a tradition.
Today, in addition to the countless billboards, the square is home to the Times Square Studios of the broadcaster ABC, the MTV studios and the editorial office of the fashion magazine Vogue. The street musician Naked Cowboy has been a tourist attraction for several decades, performing in Times Square in just underpants, a cowboy hat and boots in all weathers.
Our tip: go to Times Square at midnight to experience the midnight moment . Then, instead of the usual advertising, all canvases will show exclusively digital art for three minutes.
- Address: 1560 Broadway Ste 1001, 10036 New York
- Opening times: always open
- Price: free
- Hudson Yards & The Vessel
One of the most interesting new New York sights is the Hudson Yards district in western Manhattan. The area next to the Hudson River and Javits Convention Center was originally intended for a new sports stadium for the 2012 Olympic Games. After New York’s candidacy failed, a business district consisting of 15 skyscrapers was planned. There is still brisk construction activity, but Hudson Yards should shine in a completely new light by 2024.
A highlight opened in March 2020: the Edge Skydeck viewing platform protrudes far over the abyss. The daring can stroll across the glass floor and look down at the hustle and bustle of the street below. Something for the curious is the futuristic stair structure The Vessel , which was designed by British designer Thomas Heatherwick and completed in 2009. On this mixture of artwork and building, you can ascend and descend 15 floors on 154 stairs with a total of 2,500 steps and enjoy the panorama from one of the 80 viewing platforms.
Our tip: if you’ve toured Hudson Yards, one of New York’s most interesting parks is waiting for you. The High Line Park was created on a disused elevated railway line and runs parallel to 10th Avenue across Manhattan. After the 2.3 km walk, you’ve earned yourself a cocktail. Fortunately, the Meatpacking District , which is known for its vibrant nightlife, is just right for you.
- Address: 3 Hudson Boulevard, New York
- Opening times: Edge Skydeck daily 12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.; The Vessel daily 0:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
- Price: Edge Skydeck: $ 36.00; The Vessel: General Admission (on site) free, Flex Pass (online reservation) $ 10.00 (as of October 13, 2020)
- Brooklyn Bridge
This icon of New York is also a real feast for the eyes – the Brooklyn Bridge , which takes you across the East River from Manhattan to Brooklyn. But the bridge is not only suitable as a background for a great holiday photo, it is also an architectural masterpiece. When it was completed in 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge was the longest suspension bridge in the world and the first structure for which the much more robust material steel was used instead of iron. This innovation was the inspiration and basis for the construction of the New York skyscraper.
Even after almost 140 years, the bridge still stands like a one. Although the metro is no longer allowed to cross the Brooklyn Bridge, there are separate lanes for cars, cyclists and pedestrians. You can walk from one side to the other in around 20 minutes. Make sure to take some time when you reach the Dumbo neighborhood of Brooklyn and explore the many interesting shops, cafes and restaurants.
- Address: New York City, NY 10038
- Opening times: always open
- Price: free
- Grand Central Terminal
Around 1 million commuters and visitors pass through Grand Central Station with its 44 platforms and 67 tracks every day. This makes the New York hub the largest train station in the world. But the train station, built in the middle of Manhattan in 1913, is not only large, but also impresses with its architecture. The huge main hall, Grand Central Terminal , is particularly impressive, adorned with splendid chandeliers, a starry sky and ornaments richly decorated with acorns.
Travelers can pass the waiting time in around 60 shops and 35 restaurants, e.g. B. the famous Oyster Bar. There is even a tennis club of its own on the 4th floor of the huge train station. If you get off at Grand Central Terminal with a friend, pay a visit to the infamous Whispering Gallery . The acoustics in this room are so special that you can hear what your friend is saying on the opposite column from one of the pillars of the arched arch.
- Address: 89 East 42nd Street New York, NY 10017
- Hours of Operation: 5:15 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. daily
- Price: free