Explore the City that Never Sleeps – 31 Exciting Activities in NYC on Your First Trip 2023!

Welcome to NYC! On your first visit, here are 31 delightful activities to experience this beautiful city. From iconic monuments to hidden gems, there’s something here for everyone to enjoy!

New York City is an amazing place with endless possibilities. With the wealth of activities and sights to explore, you can create a lifetime of memories and experiences. Embrace the opportunity to explore this exciting metropolis and fill your days with adventure.

As a first-time visitor to a European country, you should be aware of any visa requirements before departing. You should contact the embassy of the country to which you are travelling to determine whether you need a visa and the procedures for obtaining one. You should also determine whether you require any additional documentation, such as a passport or proof of medical insurance. Furthermore, different countries have different restrictions and requirements for visa applicants, so it is critical to familiarise yourself with the country’s visa policies. We maintain longstanding partnerships with Embassies in Washington, DC, and Consulates across the US. We ensure clarity in our instructions and strive to provide the highest quality Document Pre-Check service

Must-See Attractions in NYC:

The Iconic View of the Statue of Liberty.

1.Statue of Liberty.

A visit to New York City is not complete without a glimpse of the Statue of Liberty. We recommend several ways, places and times to best view the iconic statue, depending on your desired experience – be it shoreline, boat or aerial.

By Land

For an optimum viewing of the Statue of Liberty, visitors should make their way to the southernmost part of Lower Manhattan, known as the Battery. Transit options include getting off at Battery Park/Ellis Island/Statue of Liberty Ferry, taking the subway to South Ferry, or exiting at Bowling Green.

 There is no doubt that the most breathtaking landscape on land can be seen from One World Observatory. Situated in the south of Manhattan, this observation deck is the nearest to the Statue of Liberty and offers a unique, close-up view of the landmark.

For a cost-effective experience in Brooklyn, the Fairway Red Hook supermarket (480-500 Van Brunt, Brooklyn, NY 11231) provides a remarkable view of the Statue of Liberty from its parking lot or patio.

Head to Louis Valentino Jr. Pier and Park, (Ferris Street between Coffey and Van Dyke), for a rare, head-on view of the Statue of Liberty – a truly luxurious vantage point! Before you go, why not treat yourself to a picnic of delicious, ready-to-eat food?

The Ritz-Carlton New York, Battery Park Hotel provides guests with an unparalleled opportunity to experience the iconic Statue of Liberty first-hand. Most guest rooms offer spectacular views of the Statue, and are even equipped with telescopes for a closer inspection.

By Sea

For those in a hurry, the most efficient and rewarding way to experience the Statue of Liberty from the water is to take the Circle Line Liberty 1-Hour Cruise.

Embark on a scenic voyage along the majestic Hudson River. Witness the iconic Statue of Liberty and its surrounding monuments, such as Ellis Island – the renowned immigration centre, the majestic Freedom Tower, and the bustling World Financial Center. This tour is offered in seven languages.

For an alternate experience to witness Lady Liberty illuminated against the night sky, the Circle Line Statue by Night Tour is an excellent choice.

The City Sightseeing Ferry is a comprehensive sightseeing and travel solution, providing a one-of-a-kind narrated tour of the New York City waterfront and its renowned landmarks. It is the ideal option for exploring the Big Apple, offering an efficient and enjoyable mode of transportation as well as a memorable harbour cruise.

By Air

If you have the means, experiencing the breathtaking beauty of Lady Liberty up close is an opportunity not many people get. We highly recommend Liberty Helicopter’s Big Apple Tour for an unforgettable experience.

Checking out the Statue of Liberty

To experience the majestic beauty of the Statue of Liberty, there is only one way to visit. To plan your visit, Book your tickets with USA Travel services, where you will find information on ferry service, tours, and tickets to the crown and pedestal.

3.Museum Hop*

Central Park in New York City is a luxurious oasis in the hustle and bustle of the city. It’s a sprawling 843 acres of lush, green beauty that offers a variety of activities. From taking a leisurely stroll to enjoying the multitude of recreational activities, Central Park has something to offer everyone. As you explore the winding pathways, you’ll pass by tranquil lakes, winding trails, and impressive monuments. You can even take a boat tour to admire the park from the water. Throughout the year, special events take place to celebrate the park’s natural beauty and landmarks. Central Park also has an array of art galleries and outdoor sculpture gardens for those looking for an artistic experience. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing day outdoors.

2. Central Park

Experience the beauty and wonder of New York City’s more than 80 museums; explore the diversity and richness of each one and make your own unique journey. From the curious and unconventional Museum of Sex to the timeless American Museum of Natural History, these museums offer something for everyone to discover.

Having the opportunity to explore the renowned museums of New York City for the very first time was an incredible experience – the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the American Museum of Natural History, two of the most iconic museums in the world, allowing us to discover and appreciate the world’s cultural and natural wonders.

If you have limited time in New York and don’t consider yourself to be a museum enthusiast, it is recommended that you select just one. We had the opportunity to experience both, albeit briefly, and wished we had taken the time to appreciate one in depth, rather than feeling rushed.

Both museums are remarkable and everyone has unique perspectives on which one is the most exceptional. We found that the American Museum of Natural History was perfect for families with kids, but we personally were inspired by the MET more. Additionally, the rooftop bar at the MET provides breathtaking views!

4.Yankees Stadium

If you get the gist of that reference, consider taking a trip to New York City and making it a game. Yankee Stadium is iconic and a real must-see for all the sports fanatics out there. It’s an experience you won’t want to miss.

If you’re not a die-hard baseball fan or don’t have a lot of time on your hands, then maybe you should pass on this one. It’ll take a good chunk of the day to get to the Bronx and really soak in the game.

5.Brooklyn Bridge

The renowned Brooklyn Bridge, renowned as one of the most iconic bridges globally, is frequently featured on the itineraries of travellers to New York. Taking approximately 20 minutes to cross while photographing the scenery and navigating the crowds, it is an experience not to be missed.

The most beautiful time of day to go is in the morning when there are fewer people and the natural light is stunning. With our schedule, we chose to go at sunset and it was amazing to witness the sun’s descent beneath the horizon, yet still bustling with activity!

Due to the increased popularity of biking across the bridge, we advise against it unless you are travelling very early in the morning. Pedestrians have been observed to be distracted, creating hazardous conditions for bikers. We recommend walking across the bridge as an alternative, as it appears to be less stressful.

Having crossed the bridge to success, why not take a moment to admire the stunning sights of Empire Fulton Ferry Park and Main Street Park? Allow yourself to explore the magical wonders of Dumbo and revel in the beauty of the neighbourhood.

For a stunning vista of the Manhattan Bridge, venture to Washington Street and experience Juliana’s Restaurant, renowned as the USA’s greatest pizzeria in 2015. A lovely spot to stop for lunch or a tasty snack!

Visiting Ground Zero is strongly recommended when travelling to New York City. The museum offers an incredibly well-crafted and emotionally moving experience. To ensure an optimal experience, it is advised to visit the museum as soon as possible to avoid overcrowding. As you make your way, be sure to take a moment to admire the Oculus, a stunning train station adjacent to Ground Zero that is meant to symbolise the beauty of a dove taking flight.

6. National September 11 memorial & Museum

If you’re looking to explore the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, why not take advantage of the 9/11 Museum Audio Guide app? Not only is it free, but it can help enhance your experience and give you a better understanding of the events that took place.What an incredible opportunity to explore our world- this is just like having an audio guide to us, and it was suggested to us by staff to get the most out of our visit. All the audio guides had already been rented, so there’s no better way to use our imagination and take in all that life has to offer.

Visiting Yankee Stadium is a must-do for all serious sports enthusiasts. If you are in the Big Apple, you should take the opportunity to experience the historical stadium for yourself.

7. The Empire State Building

Ride the elevator and in less than a minute you will be free to explore the world from above.  On a clear day, you can experience the beauty of the city from up to 80 miles away! From the deck, you will have an amazing view of some of New York City’s most iconic landmarks.

It is possible to observe five distinct states in the region, including New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Delaware.

8.Governors Island

Summer on Governors Island is a time for celebration! All throughout the season, there are tons of festivals and events happening that you won’t want to miss. From music and art festivals to theatre performances and sporting events, there’s something for every kind of person. Be sure to check the Governors Island schedule here to find an event that piques your interest.

Governors Island is open to the public from April – October, and you can get there easily by taking the ferry. A quick 10-minute ride will transport you to this island oasis. Check out the ferry schedule here to make sure you don’t miss your boat. 

 If you need a break from the hustle and bustle of city life, Governors Island is just a short jaunt away. Located just off the coast of lower Manhattan, the 172-acre island is full of parks, bike trails, and art exhibitions. Take this opportunity to take a breather in a beautiful and serene setting, without having to journey too far!

9. Rockefeller Center and top of the Rock observation Deck

Experience the beauty of New York unlike any other from the 67th, 69th, and 70th stories of the iconic Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center. From this lofty vantage point, you’ll be treated to magnificent views that you’ll remember for a lifetime. Come discover the three levels of breathtaking splendour that make this New York adventure truly unforgettable.

 From the peak of the Rockefeller Center, one is blessed with an awe-inspiring experience. This colossal 85-story structure has stood majestically in the heart of New York City since the 1930s. From the 70th floor observatory, the majestic skyline of Manhattan, the hustle and bustle of the Financial District, the Empire State Building, and beyond can be seen in all its grandeur.

The Rockefeller Centre is a must-see destination for tourists each year, offering a plethora of exhilarating experiences from the majestic Top Of The Rock Observation deck to a wide range of exciting attractions. Whether you are visiting with family or in a group, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

10.Museum of Art of New York City

The Met has for nearly 150 years been the shining beacon of culture and progress in the heart of New York City. It is renowned for its forward-thinking exhibitions and extensive permanent collection, as well as its awe-inspiring Gothic Revival architecture, iconic steps, and its beautiful location nestled in Central Park. Truly, it is a sight to behold!

11.Manhattan Skyline

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, known more commonly as The Met, is one of the world’s leading art museums. With two locations in New York City, The Met provides visitors with a wide range of cultural experiences. The main museum on Fifth Avenue houses a permanent collection of over two million works of art from around the world, ranging from ancient to modern. Additionally, the Met Breuer location on Madison Avenue offers rotating exhibitions of modern and contemporary art, as well as special installations and educational programming. With such expansive collections, The Met has something for everyone, from traditional works of art to installations in the cutting-edge of modern culture.

12.Madame Tussauds New York

Madame Tussauds New York provides an exclusive and unique experience located in the heart of Times Square. Step into a world of wonder, filled with your favourite celebrity idols, and get up close and personal with the stars that you have always dreamed of meeting. Here, there are no boundaries or restrictions preventing you from experiencing a once in a lifetime opportunity. Whether you want to take a selfie with your favourite actor, or get a photo with a world leader, Madame Tussauds New York has it all. Get ready to be inspired, and make memories that will last a lifetime.

13.The Oculus

The Oculus is a grandiose structure, standing as the World Trade Center Transportation Hub with a train station. It is a magnificent sight to behold, its sculptural grandeur captivating all who set eyes upon it. Its sweeping curves and towering architecture make it a breathtaking landmark in the cityscape. Designed by the renowned Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, the Oculus is a beautiful fusion of aesthetics and functionality, an ode to modern engineering and brilliant craftsmanship. Its white marble facade and clear glass walls create a dazzling display of light and geometry that is awe-inspiring. Within the Oculus lies a shining train station, providing access to the entire city by rail.

14.Chrysler Building

The Chrysler Building stands tall and proud in the heart of New York City, its gleaming spire and glorious triangle-shaped crown visible from miles away. This architectural marvel has become an iconic part of the city’s skyline, and considered by many to be one of the finest buildings in the world. Built in 1930 as the headquarters of the Chrysler Corporation, it has stood the test of time, a shining symbol of power and progress. Its intricate design and bold use of materials make it truly unique; its steel-clad facade and art deco flourishes display a timeless beauty. It is a sight to behold, a vision of American innovation and ambition, a breathtaking tribute to the spirit of the modern age.

15.View from Waterfront: Brooklyn Bridge

Behold the stunning majesty of the Manhattan skyline, illuminated by the setting sun – a sight not to be missed when in New York City. Gather at the waterfront by the Brooklyn bridge park for a truly brilliant and inspiring view of the city.


SoHo, short for South of Houston Street, has become one of New York City’s most renowned shopping districts. Known in the 70s and 80s for its art galleries and creative atmosphere, modern-day SoHo continues to maintain its flair, but now with a more commercialised approach. The district is now home to numerous designer boutiques, high-end stores, and expensive restaurants. Alongside these are the art galleries that still remain, featuring a wide array of artwork from emerging and established artists. The galleries are not as prominent as they once were due to the influx of commercialised stores, but they still remain as a reminder of SoHo’s rich history.


The developers of the Vessel, New York took extraordinary measures to ensure that the ultimate design of the structure remained a secret until its grand opening. The team constructed a 20-foot fence around the steelworks in northwest Italy, ignoring the inconveniences this could cause. It was of utmost importance that the design of the Vessel remained a mystery for the public’s anticipation, and the developers had a plan to make sure this happened. Through their hard work and dedication, they managed to keep the Vessel a secret until its grand opening. The Vessel stands today as a testament to the dedication and determination of the development team and their strong will to protect their creative vision. Their efforts have inspired people around the world, and their legacy will live on forever.

18. Chinatown and Little Italy

New York City’s Chinatown and Little Italy neighbourhoods are two of the most iconic and vibrant districts in the city. These two ethnic enclaves are located in the borough of Manhattan and offer a unique experience to both local New Yorkers and tourists alike. Chinatown is known for its bustling markets, vibrant nightlife and tasty cuisine, while Little Italy is famous for its classic Italian restaurants and old-world charm. Both of these vibrant districts are filled with a rich history and culture that can be experienced firsthand by taking a stroll down the narrow streets. Chinatown and Little Italy provide a wonderful opportunity for visitors to explore the cultural diversity of the Big Apple and discover the unique flavour of these two distinct neighbourhoods.

Ahoy Food tours are the perfect way to jumpstart your New York experience, whether you have been to the city ten times or are visiting for the first time. Come with an appetite and let Alana, the tour guide and owner, fill your stomach and your mind with interesting facts and stories about the local area.

19.The High Line

A visit to the High Line and Chelsea Market is best done as a day-long affair. First, indulge in the beauty of the High Line, followed by a delightful meal at Chelsea Market. For the health-conscious, walking the High Line can be a great way to work up an appetite, and a leisurely stroll afterwards is the perfect way to burn off those calories.

20.Madison Square Garden

Madison Square Garden, located in the heart of New York City, is one of the most well-known sports and entertainment venues in the world. With a rich history spanning over 140 years, the Garden has hosted numerous iconic events and witnessed some of sports’ greatest moments. In this blog post, we will look at Madison Square Garden’s history and significance.

Madison Square Garden’s History

Madison Square Garden first opened its doors in 1879 as an open-air venue for various events such as circus performances and political rallies. The venue has undergone several renovations and expansions over the years, with the most recent renovation completed in 2013. Madison Square Garden, in its current form, can seat up to 20,000 people and is widely regarded as one of the world’s premier sports and entertainment venues.

21 .Edge Observation Deck

Come to the Edge Observation Deck, the highest  outdoor Skydeck in the Western Hemisphere with breathtaking 360° views of New York City. Step onto a thrilling platform featuring a glass floor and walls that give you a unique perspective of the city.

22.Manhattan Bridge

The Manhattan Bridge stands out among the other bridges of New York City. It’s a sight to behold: the grandeur of its arches, the strength of its steel, the awe-inspiring view of the city from its deck. It was constructed in 1909, and ever since it has been an icon of the city, a symbol of strength and progress. The bridge connects Manhattan to Brooklyn, allowing commuters to travel back and forth between these two bustling boroughs. It’s one of the most heavily trafficked bridges in the world, and the views it provides of New York City are the stuff of legend.

23. Lower Manhattan

This is where the City began in the 1600s—a place of opportunity and innovation, of grandeur and mystery. From the beginning, it has been a place of possibility and of greatness, where dreams are born and transformed into reality. Even today, centuries later, its skyline is instantly recognizable and its emotional resonance undeniable—a gleaming testament to the power of human ambition and the promise of a future filled with possibility. Here are the towering skyscrapers, the financial powerhouses, the bustling streets and the cultural landmarks that keep the City humming in the 21st century. From the iconic to the innovative, from the historic to the modern, in this City.

24. Harlem

Harlem has been an iconic neighbourhood in New York City for decades. Located in upper Manhattan, Harlem has a unique, vibrant culture and an indelible spirit of resilience. Music and art are a huge part of the area’s history, with famous jazz clubs and art galleries dotting the streets. Of course, Harlem also has plenty of delicious soul food restaurants and a bustling nightlife. The area has seen its ups and downs, but the people of Harlem are dedicated to living and thriving in the city. In recent years, Harlem has seen an influx of investment and development, with new businesses and housing popping up throughout the area. Whether you’re looking for a fun night out or an immersive cultural experience.

25.One World Trade Center

One World Trade Center: New York City. Standing tall and proud, this iconic monument of steel and glass is an awe-inspiring testament to the strength of the human spirit. Built to replace the Twin Towers that were destroyed in a devastating terrorist attack, the One World Trade Center is a symbol of resilience, hope, and renewal. It stands a majestic 1,776 feet tall, its spire illuminated in a blaze of glory at night. Its location in Lower Manhattan serves as a reminder that we can never forget the events of the past, but must move forward with courage and determination. The building is a beautiful reminder that the American spirit is alive and well in the Big.

26.Beacon Theatre

At the Beacon Theatre, technology has transformed the audience experience. Not only does it provide artists and engineers with greater programming control and flexibility, but it also brings a truly awe-inspiring level of sound clarity to each and every seat. Audiences are able to experience the show with an unbeatable clarity, hearing every nuance and every detail of the performance as if it were meant for them alone. This level of sonic perfection provides a truly unique and memorable experience, one that will stay with the audience for a lifetime and move them in ways they never thought possible. Technology has the power to bring the artist and their music to life, and at the Beacon Theatre, it has done just that.

27.Wall Street Walks

Wall Street insiders, you will explore world-famous financial landmarks such as the New York Stock Exchange, Federal Reserve, and Wall Street on a journey of discovery. As you meander the narrow, winding streets of Lower Manhattan, you will be exposed to remarkable tales from “inside the trenches” that will inspire, educate, and entertain. This is an opportunity to venture into the heart of the financial capital of the world and gain a real understanding of its inner workings. You’ll learn about the individuals who have made their fortunes on Wall Street, and how their decisions have helped shape the world’s economy. During this excursion, you will discover the secrets of Wall Street’s success and gain valuable insight into the strategies of the world.

28.Jazz at Lincoln Center

A performing arts and learning centre devoted to jazz performance, education and presentation, Jazz at Lincoln Center offers a unique and memorable experience for all. Step inside and be transported to a world that celebrates the soul of jazz music and its historical and cultural influence on the world. Whether you choose to attend a concert, take a class, or enjoy a special event, you’ll get an unforgettable experience and be inspired by the passion and dedication of the artists, students and staff. Travelling with a group? Jazz at Lincoln Center’s group sales office will coordinate your ticket request and help facilitate a timeless experience for everyone. So come and experience the beauty of jazz, where the music never stops and you’ll leave feeling good!

29.Roosevelt Island

Roosevelt Island, New York is a small island situated in the East River, nestled between Manhattan and Queens. It is a tranquil oasis, a hidden gem, where a unique community of locals call it home. From its lush parks, to its iconic aerial tram, Roosevelt Island is a place of beauty and serenity in the heart of New York City. It offers incredible views of the Manhattan skyline, with its impressive high-rise buildings and the Brooklyn Bridge in the distance. The island also boasts a variety of attractions, including the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park, the Blackwell House and the Octagon. With its small-town charm and its breathtaking views of the city, Roosevelt Island is truly magical.

30.Bateaux New York

Step aboard our luxurious European-inspired all-glass vessel and prepare to be swept away in an afternoon or evening of sheer magnificence and splendour. Take in the breathtaking sight of the incomparable New York skyline as it spreads out before you in all directions. As you cruise along the New York Harbor, you will be pampered with gourmet cuisine, fine wines, and the tranquil sounds of live jazz. Enjoy sophisticated dance performances, and indulge in the atmosphere of sophistication and elegance that surrounds you. With a perfect combination of luxury and entertainment, it promises to be an unforgettable experience aboard our majestic New York Harbor cruise.

31. Verazzano Narrow Bridge

The Verazzano Narrows Bridge is an iconic landmark in New York City and a symbol of the city’s vibrant history. Spanning the narrows of the Upper New York Bay, the bridge is a marvel of modern engineering, connecting the boroughs of Brooklyn and Staten Island. Rising an impressive 276 feet above the bay, the Verrazano Narrows Bridge is an awe-inspiring sight, especially at night when it is illuminated by thousands of twinkling lights. It’s hard to believe that this majestic bridge was designed and built in just five short years. A feat that speaks to the ambition and hard work of the construction teams and engineers who made this bridge a reality. The bridge is an essential part of New York.

Discover the ultimate luxury of permanent residence in NYC with extended stay offerings at some of the city’s most prestigious hotels. For any further inquiries please contact us!

Latest Posts

Best Business Class Deals

Subscribe to Get Best Deal Updates from us!

A wide range of hot deals and packages for privilege travellers. Grab discounted airfares and best deals Flights from USA Travel Services