New York City is the place to visit. With a plethora of attractions, museums, historical sights, and theatres, NYC is unlike any other city in the world. With so many things to see and do, you’ll never experience a dull moment in the Big Apple. The city is known for its continuous buzz of lights, sounds, and energy, but if you need any pauses from the speedy lifestyle, there are several renowned museums and galleries offering afternoons of art and history at a slower pace. Consider adding the following places to a New York City itinerary:
The Guggenheim Museum
New York City is a city of right angles, where streets follow a systematic grid and boxy buildings line the avenues one after another. This all changes once visitors hit Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural masterpiece, the Guggenheim. The modernist works of art by Picasso, Brancusi, Miro, and Kadinsky—just to name a few–are vivid and engaging. The building itself is a piece of art, with its ramps of curving halls and walls and floors that seem fluid with their tilts and twists as they spiral toward the centre. A unique twist on the circular inside is the floor numbers start at the top and work their way down. Engrossing exhibits are never static and combine art with sociology and history. A visit to this unique museum is a journey both educational and utterly captivating.
The Statue of Liberty
The iconic Statue of Liberty must be visited when in New York City. If time permits, board the ferry to Liberty Island and take the official tour of the monument. Experience the thrilling climb to the top of the crown for some of the most spectacular views of the harbour. Just be sure to book tickets well in advance for timed tours and access to the crown, as this gem of the city is a favourite among travellers. There is a glass ceiling at the base of the statue where visitors can see the intricate metal work of the statue, which allows it to sway in windy conditions.
The Empire State Building
As one of the tallest buildings in the world at 1,418 meters in height, the Empire State Building dominates the New York City skyline. Travellers should strongly consider purchasing tickets to ascend the elevators to the world renowned Observation Deck for its exhilarating views. From the top of the building, everything from the island of Manhattan with its boxy skyscrapers, to the powerful Financial District, to the residential area of Midtown, all the way to the Brooklyn Bridge and even Central Park is in clear view. The Empire State Building is open until 2AM if travellers want to see the city lit up in all its glory at night. Express Tickets allow visitors to bypass the epic lines and get to the top quickly, if you want to get right to top in no time flat.
Widely considered to be one of the most famous sights in New York, a pass through Times Square at least once during your stay in New York City is a must. To fully appreciate the square, stroll through at night when the bright, flashing lights from the giant television screens and the dozens of billboards appear as a rainbow of glitter on the sides of the buildings abutting Times Square. It is an unbeatable visual feast for the eyes.
The breathtaking bridge, at 486 meters in length, was the first to connect Manhattan with the lands around it. It took seven years to complete the two Gothic towers and is considered an engineering feat, with the massive steel cables taking two years to string back and forth before work on the bridge could be started. Today, a walk across the bridge is often found on top 10 lists of things to do in city. When you reach the centre, take a moment to enjoy the stunning views of Manhattan and Brooklyn. If time permits, walk to the Brooklyn side and admire the brownstones before taking the subway back to New York City.
The American Museum of Natural History
Learn about dinosaurs, primates, planets, and other fascinating subjects while exploring this great museum! Not only is it a preeminent research facility for the sciences, it keeps a positive and engaging energy flowing between research and curating that allows the museum to remain unique, vital, and educational. There are so many significant exhibits, including the amazing dinosaur room, dioramas dedicated to anthropology, the Halls of Minerals, Biodiversity and Ocean Life, and the centre for Earth and Space. If you’re a first-time visitor, you may want to consider taking an introductory tour led by experienced guides. If you’re travelling with family, don’t miss the Discovery Room. It’s filled with enticing interactive exhibits for little ones. Try to get your tickets to the Discovery Room early, as admission is timed.
The 9/11 Memorial
The memorial is a beautiful tribute to honour those that lost their lives in the 2001 terrorist attacks in New York, Pennsylvania, and the Pentagon. The twin reflecting pools, each over one acre in size, with the largest manmade waterfalls in North America, sit where the towers once stood. It is a site of deep reflection and a powerful reminder of the horror that gripped the continent in September, 2011.
Museum of Modern Art
The visually pleasing and exciting exhibits at this interesting museum with galleries full of contemporary prints, art, design, sculpture, drawings, and architecture is a wonderful gallery to visit. It houses classic pieces by Matisse, Picasso, and other renowned painters. Van Gogh’s famous masterpiece, Starry Night, with its thick brush strokes and foreboding colours, has a vivid impact when admired in person. Viewing Salvator Dali’s classic piece, Persistence of Memory, is also a must. This intriguing museum is vast and complex, so you may want to map out exhibits and displays that interest you the most.
New York City is brimming with history, art, architecture, culture, and excitement. There is always so much to do and see, no matter if it’s your first visit or twentieth.
What are some of your favourite things to do in NYC?