What Things to See and Do in New York City

view of New York City from Staten Island Ferry
view of New York City from Staten Island Ferry

New York City is considered to be the financial capital of the world. I also think it should be considered the actual capital of the world because in this city you will find people from all parts (all continents) of the world, living together in a giant melting pot.

New York City is a city that never sleeps. There is much to see and much to do in this great city. If you are interested in visiting New York City read on further to find out what you can do and see when coming to New York.

About New York City

New York City is made up of five boroughs - Manhattan (referred to by all as the city), Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, and Staten Island. Since the population of each borough is in the millions, each one can be considered its own city.

The boroughs of New York City are connected together by bridges and/or tunnels. Some of the famous bridges include the Verrazano Bridge (connects Brooklyn and Staten Island), the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges (connect Brooklyn and Manhattan), the George Washington Bridge (connects Manhattan to the state of New Jersey) and the RFK Bridge (formerly the Triboro Bridge), which is a set of three bridges that connects Manhattan, Queens, and the Bronx. The tunnels include the famous Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel (now renamed Hugh L Carey Tunnel), which connects Brooklyn and Manhattan and is the longest underwater vehicular tunnel in North America, and the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels, which connect Manhattan to the State of New Jersey.

Walking Across The Brooklyn Bridge

The Brooklyn Bridge, which connects Manhattan to Brooklyn and serves vehicular traffic, also serves as a pedestrian bridge allowing people to get between Brooklyn and Manhattan by foot. There is breathtaking scenery all around when walking (or bike riding) across the Brooklyn Bridge and it is a great thing to do when visiting New York City. Walking (or bike riding) across the bridge is of course FREE, which is all the more reason to make that round trip from Manhattan to Brooklyn and back to Manhattan again. Be sure to have a camera with you when you walk across Brooklyn Bridge as there is opportunity for some great and memorable photos. And if you are an artist you may want to take a drawing pad and colored pencils or even paint along with you as you will be able to create some mesmerizing paintings or drawings while spending time on the Brooklyn Bridge..

Transportation in New York City

There is ample transportation in New York City to get you from one borough to the next. There are local and express buses, the subway, the ferry, and the Staten Island Railway. The ride on the Staten Island ferry is FREE in both directions. The Staten Island Railway is free with the exception of the St. George Ferry Terminal stop, and the one before it. Local fare must be paid upon entering or exiting these stops.

The subway and local bus fare is $2.75/ride; the express bus fare is $6.50/ride. There is a free two-hour transfer available. Buses accept coins and MetroCards while subways only accept MetroCards.

MetroCards are magnetic strip cards onto which commuters add money for travel. Each time a person slides a MetroCard the appropriate fare is deducted from the balance on the card. Once the balance is depleted on the MetroCard a person can either refill the card (add more money to it) or throw it away and buy a new one. There are pay-per-ride MetroCards and unlimited MetroCards, which allow unlimited travel on subways and local buses. Buying a new MetroCard you will be required to pay a $1 fee for the card. To avoid paying a fee in the future just reuse the same MetroCard by adding money to it whenever you need.

Neighborhoods to See in Manhattan

If you are planning to spend time sightseeing in Manhattan you might want to visit these neighborhoods: Times Square, Herald Square, Union Square, Chelsea, Harlem, Chinatown, Greenwich Village, Soho, Tribeca, Little Italy, Bryant Park, Battery Park, Upper East Side, and Upper West Side. Each neighborhood is unique and has lots to explore and experience. And there are many restaurants situated in each neighborhood that allow you to taste many delicious dishes from international cuisines.

Museums

One of the great things to do in New York City is to immerse yourself in art. There are many museums in New York to visit. Here is a list of the more popular ones along with the hours of operation and the admission rates. Note that the hours of operation and the admission rates may have changed.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art (aka The Met)

Here you will find paintings, and sculptures from European artists. You will find collections of Asian, African, Oceanic, Byzantine, and Islamic art, as well as a collection from Ancient Egypt. There is also a collection of classical antiquities and a collection of musical instruments, costumes & accessories, and weapons/armor from around the world. You will also find photography exhibits along with interesting special exhibitions that always draw in a large crowd.

  • Location: 1000 Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street, New York, New York
  • Hours of Operation: Open every day except Mondays. Open on major holidays falling on a Monday.
  • Admission (suggested): Adults: $20, Seniors (65 & up): $15, Students: $10, Children accompanied by adult: Free

A markerMetropolitan Museum of Art New York City -
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10028, USA
[get directions]

The Cloisters

A branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The museum features art and architecture of the European Middle Ages. It is located in Fort Tryon Park and overlooks the Hudson River.

  • Location: 99 Margaret Corbin Drive, Fort Tryon Park, New York, New York
  • Hours of Operation: Open every day except Mondays.
  • Admission (suggested): Adults: $20, Seniors (65 & up): $15, Students: $10,
    Children accompanied by adult: Free

A markerThe Cloisters New York City -
The Cloisters Museum & Gardens, 99 Margaret Corbin Drive, New York, NY 10040, USA
[get directions]

MoMa (Modern Museum of Art)

Features collections of modern and contemporary art. Here you can look at architecture & design, paintings, drawings, photography, sculptures, prints, film, and more.

  • Location: 11 West 53rd Street, New York, NY
  • Hours of Operation: Open every day except Tuesdays.
  • Admission: Adults: $20, Seniors (65 & up): $16, Students: $12,
    Children (16 & under): Free

A markerMoMa New York City -
The Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53rd Street, New York, NY 10019, USA
[get directions]

The Guggenheim

Features impressionist, post-impressionist, early modern art, and contemporary art.

  • Location: 1071 5th Avenue at 89th Street, New York, NY
  • Hours of Operation:
    Open every day except Thursday
  • Admission: Adults: $15, Seniors (65 & up): $10

A markerGuggenheim New York City -
guggenheim museum, 1260 Broadway, New York, NY 10001, USA
[get directions]

American Museum of Natural History

A science museum that consists of 46 exhibition halls and features exhibits on minerals and gems, human biology and evolution, meteorites, fossils, ocean life and more..

  • Location: Central Park West at 79th Street, New York, NY
  • Hours of Operation: Open every day
  • Admission: Adults: $16, Seniors (65 & up): $12

A markerAmerican Museum of Natural History New York City -
American Museum of Natural History, 200 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024, USA
[get directions]

Whitney Museum of American Art

Features collections of 20th-Century and 21st-Century American art.

  • Location: 945 Madison Avenue at 75th Street, New York, NY
  • Hours of Operation: Open every day except Mondays
  • Admission: Adults: $18, Seniors (65 & up): $12

A markerWhitney Museum of Art New York City -
The Whitney Museum of American Art, 945 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10021, USA
[get directions]

The Brooklyn Museum of Art

Features ancient Egyptian masterpieces, contemporary art, and art from many other cultures around the world. It is second largest museum in New York City.

  • Location: 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, NY
  • Hours of Operation:
    Open every day except Mondays and Tuesdays
  • Admission: Adults: $10, Seniors (65 & up): $6

A markerBrooklyn Museum of Art New York City -
Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts, 80 Hanson Place, Brooklyn, NY 11217, USA
[get directions]

Observatories

Want to see New York City from way up high? Here is a list of two famous observatories in New York City.

Observatory at the Empire State Building (86th floor):

  • Location: 34th Street and 5th Avenue, New York, NY
  • Hours of Operation: daily 8 am - 2 am
  • Admission: Adults (13-61): $18.45*, Seniors (62 & up): $16.61*,
    Children (6-12):
    $12.92*
    *Sales tax will be added to the ticket price.

Top of the Rock Observation Deck at the Rockefeller Center:

  • Location: 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY (Entrance on 50th Street)
  • Hours of Operation: daily 8 am - 12 am
  • Admission: Adults: $21, Seniors (62 & up): $19, Children (6-12): $14, Sunrise/Sunset: $30, Sunrise/Sunset Children: $15

show route and directions
A markerTop of the Rock Rockefeller Center New York City -
Top of the Rock Observation Deck, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10112, USA
[get directions]

B markerEmpire State Building New York City -
Empire State Building, 350 5th Avenue #100, New York, NY 10118, USA
[get directions]

Central Park
Central Park

Central Park

Central Park is the biggest park in New York City and is visited by millions of people every year. It is located in Manhattan and runs from 59th Street to 110th Street. It is filled with lush greenery, beautiful plants, sculptures & fountains, lakes & ponds (including the turtle pond), bridges and passageways, and more. There is a road running through the entire park for cyclists, and rollerbladers, and there are ample pathways for people who enjoy walking.

There is a lot to do in Central Park. Some activities include boating, carriage horse rides, pedicab rides, rock climbing, ice-skating (during winter), and riding the carousel. There are many playgrounds situated about the park for kids to play in. For animal lovers Central Park has its own zoo. There is the regular zoo and the children's zoo. (Information on this is featured in the zoo section of this article).

Central Park Zoo
Central Park Zoo

Zoos and Aquariums

If you are an animal or ocean life lovers you can spend your day visiting one of New York City's zoos and aquariums. Note the hours of operation and the admission rates may have changed.

Central Park Zoo:

  • Location: 64th Street at 5th Avenue (east side of Central Park), New York, NY
  • Hours of Operation:
    Summer (March 27 - Oct 31): Monday - Friday: 10 am - 5 pm
    Summer (March 27 - Oct 31): Weekends/Holidays: 10 am - 5:30 pm
    Winter (November 1 - April 1): daily 10 am - 4:30 pm
  • Admission: Adults: $12, Senior Citizens (65 & up): $9,
    Children (3-12): $7, Children under three: FREE

Prospect Park Zoo:

  • Location: 450 Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn, NY
  • Hours of Operation:

    Summer (March 31 – November 4): Monday - Friday: 10 am - 5 pm
    Summer (March 31 – November 4): Weekends/Holidays: 10 am - 5:30 pm
    Winter (November 6 – March 30): daily 10 am - 4:30 pm

Admission: Adults: $8, Senior Citizens (65 & up): $6,
Children (3-12): $5 Children under three: FREE

Bronx Zoo:

  • Location: 2300 Southern Blvd, Bronx, NY
  • Hours of Operation:
    Spring/Summer: Monday - Friday: 10 am - 5 pm
    Spring/Summer: Weekends/Holidays 10 am - 5:30 pm
    Fall/Winter: daily: 10 am - 4:30 pm
  • Admission: Adults: $16, Senior Citizens (65 & up): $14,
    Children (3-12):
    $12


New York Aquarium:

  • Location: Surf Ave and West 8th Street, Brooklyn, NY
  • Hours of Operation:
    Winter (November 6 - March 30): 10:00 am - 4:30 pm
    Spring (March 31 - May 25): Monday - Friday 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
    Spring (March 31 - May 25): Weekends & Holidays 10:00 am - 5:30 pm
    Summer (May 26 - September 3): Monday - Friday 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
    Summer (May 26 - September 3): Weekends & Holidays 10:00 am - 7:00 pm
    Fall (September 4 - November 4): Monday - Friday 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
    Fall (September 4 - November 4): Weekends & Holidays 10:00 am - 5:30 pm
  • Admission: Adults: $14.95, Senior Citizens (65 & up): $11.95,
    Children (3-12):
    $10.95

show route and directions
A markerCentral Park Zoo New York City -
Central Park Zoo, 830 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10065, USA
[get directions]

B markerProspect Park Zoo New York City -
Prospect Park Zoo, 450 Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11225, USA
[get directions]

C markerBronx Zoo New York City -
Bronx Zoo, 2300 Southern Boulevard, Bronx, NY 10460, USA
[get directions]

D markerNew York Aquarium New York City -
New York Aquarium, 602 Surf Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11224, USA
[get directions]

The Botanical Gardens

If you are into plants, greenery, and such you might want to head to one of the botanical gardens. Note the hours of operation and the admission rates may have changed.

Brooklyn Botanical Garden:

  • Location: 900 Washington Avenue, Brooklyn, NY
  • Hours of Operation:
    Monday: Closed
    Tuesday - Friday: 8 am - 6 pm
    Weekend: 10 am - 6 pm
  • Admission: Adults: $8, Senior Citizens: $4, Students: $4,
    Children under 12:
    Free

The New York Botanical Garden:

  • Location: 200th Street and Kazimiroff Boulevard , Bronx, NY
  • Hours of Operation:
    Monday: Closed
    Tuesday - Sunday:10 am - 6 pm
  • Admission: Adults: $6, Senior Citizens: $3, Students: $3,
    Children 2-12:
    $1, Children under 2: Free

show route and directions
A markerBrookly Botanical Garden New York City -
Botanical Gardens, New York, NY 10011, USA
[get directions]

B markerNew York Botanical Garden New York City -
New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Boulevard, Bronx, NY 10458, USA
[get directions]

If you are visiting New York City in the winter you can have some fun by taking up ice skating. There are a number of ice skating rinks situated throughout New York City that will allow you to do just that. The best ones to go to are in Manhattan. These include the skating rink at Rockefeller Center, the Wollman and Lasker rinks at Central Park, and the CitiPond at Bryant Park. These skating rinks are open all winter.

The CitiPond at Bryant Park, which I always go to, is open from end of October to beginning of March. It has free admission unlike the other rinks so all you pay is for ice skate rentals. If you happen to have a pair of your own skates then it costs you nothing to have some winter fun on the ice. After you've ice skated you can visit the famous Times Square, which is only a few blocks away and take in the sights. You can also have a nice dinner while you are there.

Times Square
Times Square

Broadway Shows, Plays, and Concerts

The area around the famous Times Square (in Manhattan) is home to many theaters where people can enjoy Broadway shows, off-Broadway shows, plays, and even concerts. There is a vast variety of shows and plays to choose from and there is something playing every night of the week. Here you will also find the famous Nokia Theater where many popular musical artists perform when they tour the country. The other Nokia Theater is located in Los Angeles.

On 32nd Street and 7th Avenue (in Manhattan) you will find Madison Square Garden, which is the home of many music concerts and also sporting events.

On 6th Avenue, between 50th and 51st Streets (in Manhattan) you will find Radio City Music Call where shows and concerts take place. Radio City Music Hall is the home of the Christmas Spectacular featuring the Rockettes. The show runs every year starting in November and going past Christmas.

At 253 West 125th Street, in Manhattan's Harlem neighborhood, you will find one of the most famous music halls in the United States - The Apollo Theater. This famous theater was the home of Showtime at the Apollo (a television variety show).

show route and directions
A markerMadison Square Garden New York City -
Madison Square Garden, 4 Pennsylvania Plaza, New York, NY 10001, USA
[get directions]

B markerRadio City Music Hall New York City -
Radio City Music Hall, New York, NY 10020, USA
[get directions]

C markerApollo Theater New York City -
253 West 125th Street, New York, NY 10027, USA
[get directions]

If you really want to see New York City, you have to allocate more than a few days for your trip. There is so much to do and so much to see while here, much more than I have included in this article. There is plenty of information to digest here, so I thought it would be best to end it here. Hope you get to visit New York City soon. You are going to love it here.

I live in New York City myself and always love exploring it as there is always something new to explore and always something I haven't experienced yet.

How many times have you visited New York City?

See results without voting

© 2010 Lena Kovadlo

More by this Author


Comments 9 comments

lovebuglena profile image

lovebuglena 3 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

DanaTeresa - Thank you for your feedback. I love NYC. Been living here all my life since moving to America and there is still a lot that I've yet to see and places I've yet to visit.


DanaTeresa profile image

DanaTeresa 3 years ago from Ohio

Very nicely done. I have family in NYC and have been there hundreds of times.... You do a nice job of presenting a lot of info on some great places to visit without it being overwhelming. I enjoyed this.


writer20 profile image

writer20 4 years ago from Southern Nevada

Great hub. I'll have to save this to show my husband as he came from Brooklyn, so many years ago.

I was to move to N.Y. I had a job lined up and one in California, then I realized like England winter was on it's way. So I choose good old California and wore shorts on my second day.

Voted up useful and interesting.


lovebuglena profile image

lovebuglena 6 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

Ginger Meow - thanks for the feedback. Not sure about now but in the past Harlem was not such a good neighborhood to be in. And I would not go wonder around to the Bronx - go there only if you want to go to the zoo or botanical garden.

Lena


Ginger Meow profile image

Ginger Meow 6 years ago

This is a great hub! One to bookmark for any traveller. Are you able to recommend areas of NYC to be careful of? Neighbourhoods that you should take caution going into? Thanks again.


lovebuglena profile image

lovebuglena 6 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

Ign Andy - Thanks for the feedback. If you ever get to visit NYC you're going to love it. And now you have yourself a short guide of what you can do while here. :)

Lena


Ign Andy profile image

Ign Andy 6 years ago from Green Home Office

Very thorough information about New York city.

I hope, I can visit NYC someday.


lovebuglena profile image

lovebuglena 6 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

Thank you Regis. Maybe you will visit New York someday :).

Lena


rauffray profile image

rauffray 6 years ago from BC, Canada

Wow! That is an most informative article, Ms. Kovadlo. Thank you for sharing.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working