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Top Ten New York City Tourist Attractions

Updated on June 25, 2012

Even if you’ve never been to New York City, you’ve seen most of New York City attractions in movies, pictures and magazines. My mother, when she visited me in New York in the first time, looked at MetLife building on Park Avenue and said “That’s exactly how I’ve imagined it”. But even if you had images of New York City in your head, still it is better to visit New York at least once in your life. And when you finally decided to take this trip to ‘the capital of the world’, here for you top ten New York City tourist attractions to start your journey.

The Statue of Liberty, New York
The Statue of Liberty, New York

Statue of Liberty

If you come to New York in the first time, you have to see the Statue of Liberty or even get inside of it. There are great boat tours to the Statue of Liberty directly or to Ellis Island as well as a part of your tour to the statue. Visitors can get inside and climb to the top of the Pedestal or to the Statue's Crown. Once visitors were allowed to climb up to the torch, but that was a long time ago. In any case, the view of Manhattan downtown and New York harbor from the top of the Pedestal is absolutely magnificent and if you don’t mind climbing more, you can get to the Statue’s crown and view New York even from the higher point. If you don’t want to get inside of the Statue, you can view the Statue of Liberty on a distance from Battery Park promenade (a great viewpoint of the Statue and New York harbor) or from Staten Island Ferry (free and fun). For more luxurious observation of the Lady Liberty stop by at the bar in the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Battery Park and enjoy the view of New York harbor and the Statue with your favorite drink. Or take a dinner cruise in New York harbor and watch the Statue of Liberty at night under fireworks.

Brooklyn Bridge, New York
Brooklyn Bridge, New York

Brooklyn Bridge

You've never experienced New York if you never walked across the Brooklyn Bridge. The Brooklyn Bridge stretches 5,989 feet over the East River connecting the New York City boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn. Besides being an architectural wonder, the Brooklyn Bridge offers amazing views of Downtown Manhattan, Governor's Island, the Statue of Liberty and Brooklyn Bridge Park. Opened in 1883, the Brooklyn Bridges is still one of the most amazing sights to see in the country. One-way walk across the bridge's promenade takes about 40 minutes. Subway stops are available on either end of the bridge.

Charging Bull, Wall Street New York
Charging Bull, Wall Street New York

Wall Street

Wall Street area is one of the most beautiful areas in New York City, not to mention one of the most famous. Cobble stone streets, amazing architecture, rich history make this area a quite different from any other New York neighborhood. The best time to visit the heart of the financial world is during the week day to see the world’s main financial districts in action. In the morning thousands of suite-wearing people are running into impressive buildings home to world-known banks and financial institutions. The most recognizable buildings in the area are New York Stock Exchange, Federal Reserve Bank, Federal hall, India House, the American International Building, 20 Exchange Place, 40 Wall Street and One Wall Street. Not to miss one of New York’s oldest churches - Trinity Church, and the famous "Charging Bull" sculpture by Arturo Di Modica. Plus, Wall Street is in a walking distance to many attractions including South Street Seaport, Ground Zero, Battery Park, Brooklyn Bridge and etc.

Chinatown, New York
Chinatown, New York

Chinatown

Well, yes it is very crowded and smelly, but it has a lot of culinary treasures and specialty shops, seafood markets and authentic little eateries. Chinatown is also great place for shopping in New York for those who don't mind knock-off designer items like fake Gucci bags or Rolex watches. If you want to buy some souvenirs to remember New York, Chinatown is also a great place for that. Here you will find a lot of t-shirts and souvenirs with prices much less than at souvenir stores on Fifth Avenue or Times Square. But, the main reason to visit Chinatown is food. New York’s Chinatown has one of the largest populations of Chinese people outside of Asia. Therefore you can find here a variety of Chinese cuisine from Taiwanese to Shanghais to Pekingese to Cantonese. The area is also slightly diversified by Vietnamese and Malaysian population, so Malaysian satay and curry and Vietnamese wraps and rolls are well presented.

Times Square at New Years Eve, New York
Times Square at New Years Eve, New York
Times Square, New York
Times Square, New York

Times Square

Times Square is a symbol and primary landmark of New York City. Its magnitude and exhilaration attract tourists from around the world all year round. Times Square is a place to be if you are spending New Years Eve in New York City, when over a million people gather here to view the famous New Years Eve Ball drop. In the New Year Eve of 1907 a time ball was first time dropped in Times Square symbolized arriving of New Year’s day, and the Square has held the main New Year's celebration in New York City ever since. The Square is surrounded by famous buildings such as One Times Square, the building upon which the famous New Year's Times Square Ball drop is performed annually; New York Times Building, a home of the New York Time and International Herald Tribune; New York Marriott Marquis, one of the biggest hotels, provides a great view to the city and the Square from rooftop revolving restaurant; The Condé Nast Building, a home of NASDAQ MarketSite; and W Hotel Times Square, one of the trendiest hotels in New York. Times Square is packed with Broadway theaters, megastores, restaurants and bars. Street performers, tourists, actors, theater lovers and bankers, the Square is crowded all day and night round. It is one of those places that make New York a city that never sleeps. Tourist and visitors of New York love to stay in Times Square hotels and there is no surprise here. Theater district is right here, Central Park is within a walking distance, Fifth Avenue and Rockefeller Center are just a couple of blocks away – Times Square is really the center of New York.

Broadway Theaters

Seeing a show on Broadway is one of the most popular events for New York City tourists. Broadway theaters in New York are concentrated mostly in the theater district, which got its name for that. The Great White Way is the nickname given to the section of Broadway that runs through the theatre district. Most of theaters have been in use for over 50 years. The Majestic Theatre is one of the largest Broadway theatres in New York City, with 1607 seats at its 245 West 44th Street location. Herbert J. Krapp designed the theatre in 1927 for Irwin Chanin, but was soon taken over by the present owners, the Shuberts, during the Great Depression. The interior of the theatre is a beautiful neo-classical design and has remained one of Broadway's premier musical houses. It currently hosts the longest running show on Broadway, ‘The Phantom of the Opera’. Other notable theatres in the area include The Belasco, The Imperial, The Palace, The Shubert, the Ambassador and the Winter Garden. The Winter Garden was the home of the musical ‘Cats’ for 18 years.

Washington Square Arch, New York
Washington Square Arch, New York
The Plaza Hotel, New York
The Plaza Hotel, New York

Fifth Avenue

Fifth Avenue is among most famous streets in the world. Home to many notable New York City attractions it starts from Washington Square Park right from the Arch and goes through all Manhattan island. The Arch was erected in 1889 to celebrate the centennial of George Washington's inauguration. Decorated with sculptures of Washington in both his civilian and military guises by Alexander Stirling Calder and Herman MacNeil, the Arch became the symbol of a new America devoted to the arts. In the first decades of the 20th century, the West Village became an increasingly bohemian neighborhood, and The Arch became a site of artistic and social rebellion. Cars no longer pass under The Arch as they once did; the Arch remains one of the Village's important urban landmarks. When you walk up on Fifth Avenue, you arrive into shopping heaven. Saks Fifth Avenue and Bergdorf Goodman stores, The Rockefeller Center and Trump Tower with their shops, Tiffany’s and Harry Winston, FAO Schwarz and Apple stores – Fifth Avenue is a main destination for shopping in New York City. Manhattan landmarks, The Plaza and The Pierre hotels are situated on Fifth Avenue. Upper Fifth Avenue features awesome old mansions and residential buildings in one side and Central Park on another. The part of Fifth Avenue from 82 Street to 110 Street calls the museum mile, thanks ten prominent museums located here.

Central Park, New York
Central Park, New York
Central Park, New York
Central Park, New York

Central Park

Among many New York City parks Central Park is undoubtedly is most famous one. Built in 1850s-1870s and officially completed in 1873, Central Park now is 843 acres of trees, lakes, ponds, hills and rocks. More urbanized on the south part with great recreational attractions such as Wollman Ice-Skating Rink, Central Park Zoo and Conservatory Garden, Central Park is an oasis of wild nature and tranquility on the north. There are plenty places here where you can escape from noisiness and busyness of the city and relax in an isolation. Central Park South, the street that is boarded Central Park on the south, is packed with beautiful residential building, hotels and restaurants. Horse-carriages along the street offer you a romantic ride in the park; beautiful hotels offer great accommodations and astonishing views of Central Park. Central Park is also popular venue for cultural activities – the Sheep Meadow and the Great Lawn in a regular place for summer performances of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, the Metropolitan Opera, rock and pop musicians. Delacorte Theater in Central Park presents annual Shakespeare in the Park festival. Art installations, dancing classes, street performers and artists – the beauty and scenery of Central Park attracts all kind of arts, even movies. And its appearance in many movies and TV shows has made it famous not only in the USA but world-wide.

Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of the world's largest and finest art museums. Its collections include more than two million works of art spanning five thousand years of world culture, from prehistory to the present and from every part of the globe. Founded in 1870, the Metropolitan Museum is located in New York City's Central Park along Fifth Avenue (from 80th to 84th Streets). Nearly five million people visit the Museum each year. The Cloisters, the branch of The Metropolitan Museum of Art devoted to the art and architecture of medieval Europe, located in Fort Tryon Park in Northern Manhattan is one of great places to visit in New York off the beaten path.

The Empire State Building, New York
The Empire State Building, New York

Empire State Building

The Empire State Building is probably the most known skyscraper in the world, thanks to the representation of the building in popular movies such as King Kong, Affair to Remember and Sleepless in Seattle. The outdoor observation deck on the 86th floor of 1,250 ft (381 m) tower is not only the popular touristic attraction but also one of the most romantic places in New York City. At night the tower lights, which colors usually match seasonal events such as St. Patrick’s Day, Christmas, the Fourth of July and etc., add a special magnetism to a breathtaking panorama of the city that never sleeps.

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    • aaatrees profile image

      jonson 12 months ago from NewYork

      Very Nice i was there few times

    • profile image

      jarry 20 months ago

      I have a good experience of Brooklyn Bridge because I have been there about few months ago during my heart castle bus tour with my few friends. We stay there for few hours and enjoyed there a lot.

    • profile image

      JOHNNY 5 years ago

      I LOVED THE STATUE OF LIBERTY WITH THE GREAT VIEW FROM THE CROWN

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 6 years ago from South Carolina

      I enjoyed this comprehensive "tour" of New York City. New York is a great place to visit any time of year and you've done a great job of highlighting many of its attractions.

    • profile image

      Adrian Park 6 years ago

      Nice.. :) This post is one my favorite blog..

      Keep it up ..and keep posting :) I am loking forward to see more interesting content like this..

      Visit this one of the interesting site that i managed to surf in:

      New York Hotels and Hotels in New York

    • AskAshlie3433 profile image

      AskAshlie3433 6 years ago from WEST VIRGINIA

      Very cool hub.

    • Aisla profile image

      Carolyn Mikkelsen 6 years ago from Norway

      I wish I had read this 2 years ago. Will remember to visit again before my next trip.

    • profile image

      lcartwrightp 6 years ago

      You know, I used to go crazy in Times Square (too crowded). Then, when I came into the city a few months ago I took a walking tour with Garry. He told me why Broadway is called the Great White Way, why the ball drops, why the steps on brownstones are so tall - all fascinating! Check him out the next time you're in town. http://www.manhattanwalkingtour.com/ You'll get a whole new perspective on the neighborhood.

    • Wanderlust profile image
      Author

      Wanderlust 6 years ago from New York City

      Many thanks everybody for comments!

      smakram - most of NYC tourist attractions are in Manhattan. However if you want to explore more of NYC visit my hub http://hubpages.com/hub/Best-Places-To-Visit-In-Br... for an information on Brooklyn attractions and https://hubpages.com/travel/New-York-Off-The-Beate... for Things To Do In New York Off The Beaten Path.

    • profile image

      smakram 6 years ago

      Beautiful pics. Makes me want to re-visit Manhattan but also explore some other parts of NYC. If you have info on those would be great.

    • sligobay profile image

      sligobay 7 years ago from east of the equator

      Wanderlust,you are well-named but you inspire the same in others. You are also a homeboy- in love with the hometown you describe so eloquently. A video link to Sinatra's "New York" would have put the cherry on the sundae. Great Hub.

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago

      I agree wholeheartedly with your list. I have visited all of these places more than once and you have it right here. Well done!

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 7 years ago from London, UK

      I love this article and will bookmark it for when I get the chance to visit America.

      I'm so glad there's a China Town. It means I won't miss my Chinese Take aways while I'm away. lol :)

    • stevetheman2 profile image

      stevetheman2 7 years ago

      Great article!

    • Putz Ballard profile image

      Putz Ballard 7 years ago

      It's been since 1970 since I boarded an airplane at LaGuardia coming home for a short visit and on to Laredo, Texas to a new duty assignment in the Air Force but my memories of Long Island and NYC are some of my fondest during those days. I loved the accents of those girls I met and enjoyed my two years spent in and around New York. Your places to see brought back many memories, thanks for sharing.

    • billyaustindillon profile image

      billyaustindillon 7 years ago

      A great hub - I would have to see Central park in summer after visiting the Metropolitan museum of art would be my favorite. Though there is Broadway and times Square and....

    • profile image

      Melissa 7 years ago

      Great starter list! I always recommend visitors mix in some local NYC with the tourist attractions - catch a Times Talk, street fair, Yankees game, free outdoor movie in Central Park or a million other things locals do all the time. For lots of free and cool monthly events, along with free NYC print maps, see http://www.nycinsiderguide.com.

    • Coolmon2009 profile image

      Coolmon2009 7 years ago from Texas, USA

      Good article, I have been to New York a couple of times, I didn't know about two of the attractions you mentioned on your list. Thanks for educating me.

    • profile image

      Jill1jill 7 years ago

      As a long time resident and author of www.nyc-visitor-discounts, I suggest that everyone take in one Broadway show, a great museum like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, a fantastic meal, a walking tour, one bus tour of the first day to get your bearings, a boat tour during which you can see the Statue of Liberty (it take a whole day to, visit, and return so I think this is sufficient if you are short on time). The other things are 'up to your own personal interests.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 7 years ago from south Florida

      Super list, Wanderlust. My favorites when I visit NYC are Broadway and Times Square to take in the plays, the fantastic array of restaurants, and Chinatown.

    • Wanderlust profile image
      Author

      Wanderlust 7 years ago from New York City

      Hi Pop, come across the river more ofter! We miss you here :)

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 7 years ago

      Great hub. I grew up in New York and although I live in New Jersey now my heart will always be across the river.

    • Wanderlust profile image
      Author

      Wanderlust 7 years ago from New York City

      Hello Roychoundhury, thank you for stopping by. Yes, New York has a lot of architectural treasures and memorable places - this hub is just a highlight of what this city can offer for visitors. I hope you will revisit New York and see more of the city.

    • H P Roychoudhury profile image

      H P Roychoudhury 7 years ago from Guwahati, India

      It is a great hub and special to me. I visited once in July 2007 in my life time and I have seen few of the sites just you have mentioned. The wonder city remained memorable to me. You mentioned the sites of Statue of Liberty, Wall Street, Brooklyn Bridge, Times Square, Broadway Theaters, Fifth Avenue, Empire State Building- all are outstanding sculptures of the world, still I wish to visit in the remaining span of my life.

    • Wanderlust profile image
      Author

      Wanderlust 7 years ago from New York City

      Thank you for stopping by Darlene. I am glad you like New York and hope you revisit us soon :)

    • Darlene Sabella profile image

      Darlene Sabella 7 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

      I love New York, Eilis Island is where both sides of my family land and stayed in the city, and some on Long Island, fantastic hub, loved it! Thumbs up and useful