New York City is regularly named the greatest city in the world. It is truly the center of everything – finance, fashion, entertainment, sports, and more. From modern, mesmerizing skyscrapers to the iconic buildings of days gone by, the architecture in New York stands apart from other cities. The city is filled with monuments to its greatest moments. And, food-and-beverage options cannot be beaten. There is always something to do in the City That Never Sleeps.
Top Tourist Spots in NYC
There are several places that first-time visitors to New York City must-see. These are places that define the city and have had impacts on American and world history. It is impossible to see them all in a few days, as most have special events for tourists that can take a few hours to an entire day to complete.
Iconic Buildings to See
These buildings have become symbols of the strength and resolve of New York City. They defied gravity in the early days of the city and continue to be places of power. Most of them have observatories at high levels, so you can see what the architects saw when they first made it to the top of their masterpieces. Others have ground-level features that offer treats for the senses. These buildings must be on your agenda:
- Empire State Building
- Grand Central Terminal
- St. Patrick’s Cathedral
- One World Trade Center and One World Observatory
- Rockefeller Center and Top of the Rock Observation Deck
Monuments and Parks
In a city with so much hustle, parks are a necessity. New York City has some amazing green spaces that have inspired memorable stories, songs, and other works of art. When visiting the Big Apple, tourists should take a break from the concrete and steel. Go to the parks to see the monuments and take some time to relax and play. These must-see places include:
- Liberty Island & the Statue of Liberty
- Central Park
- The High Line
- Bryant Park
New York City is loaded with culture, which is what separates it from other great cities. There are so many ways to expand your mind and broaden your horizons by taking in these treasures. These are the must-see cultural stops for every New York City tourist:
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art
- Broadway and the Theater District
- 9/11 Memorial and Museum
- The Frick Collection
- New York Public Library
- Radio City Music Hall
- Carnegie Hall
- Yankee Stadium
Sights on the Streets
Big cities often have a few streets that everyone knows. In Chicago, tourists visit Michigan Avenue to take in the shops. In San Francisco, visitors must drive down the curvy Lombard Street. But, in New York City, there are so many streets to see and sights to behold. These are a few of the greatest:
- Times Square
- Brooklyn Bridge
- Fifth Avenue
- Wall Street
Hidden Gems in NYC That You Should Definitely See
Believe it or not, there are still hidden gems that have yet to go mainstream. These special places give you a glimpse of what New York City means to the locals. Many of the secret treasures are in or near popular tourist attractions, so you do not have to go out of your way to enjoy them.
The Whispering Gallery
This special spot is located inside the Grand Central Terminal. It’s magnificent Beaux-Arts architecture created a unique acoustic sensation: sound travels across the domed ceiling. The perfect arches on a lower floor of the terminal offer a corner-to-corner whispering gallery. You can stand in one corner of the space, whisper to the wall, and your voice can be heard by other people standing in the farthest spaces in the same room.
The Smallpox Hospital on Roosevelt Island
On Roosevelt Island in the East River, the Renwick Hospital shows off its gothic-revival style. This secluded hospital was used to treat highly contagious patients with diseases like smallpox and the plague. It is no longer a working hospital but was named a city landmark in the 1970s. It is the city’s only landmark ruin, and the island features a public area dedicated to President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Secret Garden at the Rockefeller Center
When visiting Rockefeller Center, take the time to visit 620 Loft and Gallery. This special spot is a garden oasis that is often used as a wedding venue. When you visit the space, look down below to see the unforgettable views of nearby St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
See a Piece of Berlin Wall
As a world-class city, New York City has several historic sights to see. One is the five-part piece of the Berlin Wall. The actual pieces from this Cold War monster were installed at 520 Madison and feature street art from German artists Thierry Noir and Kiddy Citny.
The Old City Hall Subway Stop
New York’s subway is a masterpiece on its own, but some of the stops have become must-see locations for tourists. One of those is the City Hall Subway Station in Lower Manhattan. It was the first subway stop in the city and it opened in 1904. It shut down in 1945. Subway trains still pass through the stop, but the public space has become a museum and homage to the architects Heins & LaFarge. This space is nothing short of elegant, and tickets to the museum and tours are difficult to acquire.
Visiting NYC is considered a rite of passage for the citizens of the world, and seeing the sights leaves indelible marks of inspiration on those who visit. New York City is one of the busiest places on the planet. Because of this, visitors need to take time to slow down and enjoy all that it offers. From the must-see attractions to the hidden gems tucked away in mysterious places, there is never a dull moment in the city affectionately called The Capital of the World.