What are the best attractions in New York City?

Answers from Our Experts (3)

Carol Cain
Carol Cain, GirlGoneTravel.com

There is a reason why we call NYC the city that never sleeps. The list of attractions is extensive and can take weeks to explore. But of all the things there are to do in the city, my favorites are the free attractions. Here are three you can’t miss:

1. Museum Mile: Fifth Avenue, running from 82nd to 105th streets is home to some of the city's best museums, many which offer discounted or free admission on certain days of the week (check their websites for more details). The Museum Mile Festival takes place every June, where speakers, music, and free admission is offered to all.

2. The Parks: We’ve all heard of the magnificence found along the 843 acres of Central Park. Shakespeare in The Park at the Delacorte Theatre and the Summer Concert Series are two of the most popular free events during warmer months, while ice-skating at Wollman Rink is a family favorite in the winter. But between May and September, I enjoy leaving the city behind and taking the free ferry over to Governors Island, where free entertainment can be found as well as plenty of space for lounging and picnics. A small fee for a bike rental will allow you to take in the amazing views around the small island, a unique NYC experience.

3. Audience Seats for TV Tapings: NYC is where most of my favorite American shows are filmed, from cooking talk shows like The Rachael Ray Show to comedic icons like The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and Saturday Night Live. The process to request tickets is listed on the show’s website and through an online reservation system. Take note: the demand for these shows is high, so plan far in advance and put in your request early, as the wait can be long (but not impossible).

Jessica Colley

The best attractions in New York kill two birds with one stone: sightseeing and rubbing elbows with New Yorkers. There are some lesser-known places where we gather on weekends for picnics, go for a stroll with loved ones, or bring out-of-town visitors looking to see something new.

The Brooklyn Heights Promenade, perched over the BQE (Brooklyn Queens Expressway) is a walkway with views of the Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan skyline, and the historic Brooklyn Heights neighborhood. Ample benches are ideal for picnics or an afternoon read of The New York Times, with one fantastic backdrop--especially at sunset.

The Irish Hunger Memorial overlooks a different river, the Hudson, in a space squeezed between the skyscrapers of Battery Park City on the edge of Hudson River Park. This piece of landscape architecture brought stone, soil, and vegetation straight from Ireland to recreate the Emerald Isle in Lower Manhattan. It is a moving monument to the Great Irish Famine with gorgeous river views.

Linnea Covington

When love is in the air, New York City is one of the best places to be. The number one reason for this can be seen in Sleepless in Seattle, Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks’ romantic movie that climaxes on top of the Empire State Building. Lucky for us, this landmark is open to the public so you can visit anytime and relive that tale, or numerous other films and shows that have had a heartfelt moment 102 stories up.
On the subject of cinema’s best romantic duo, Central Park is another wonderful attractions in the city, and a place where you can pretend you are in When Harry Met Sally while dining at the iconic Loeb Boathouse or walking down the promenade. In fact, walk straight through and towards the Metropolitan Museum of Art, another place from the movie and a wonderful way to find out why NYC attracts lovers and love stories. 

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