New York City Travel Guide

High angle view of Lower Manhattan, New York City
Photo: Marco Bottigelli/Getty Images

Whatever it is you're into, you'll find there's more to do in New York than you'll have time.

Check out the views from the top of the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, or One World Observatory. Take yourself on a museum crawl, starting at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on the northeastern edge of Central Park. Then, make your way north several blocks to the Guggenheim Museum and eventually to the Museum of the City of New York, one of the best places to learn about the Big Apple's history.

Go to Chinatown for dim sum and to Little Italy for cannoli. Head to a jazz club in Harlem, check out the independent artist galleries that dot Chelsea, shop along Fifth Avenue, and pay a visit to the Statue of Liberty.

You could spend an entire day in Central Park alone, checking out its zoo, carousel, lakes, and ice rink. A number of gardens and meadows make for excellent people-watching and host impromptu musical performances on nice days. Traveling in the summer? Make sure to check the schedule for Shakespeare in the Park.

Prefer sports, movies, and live music? See the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium, the New York Mets at Citi Field, or the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. Track down sites from your favorite movies and TV shows. Seinfeld, Sex and the City, "When Harry Met Sally," "Sleepless in Seattle," "Serendipity," and "Home Alone 2" are just a small fraction of what's been filmed here.

New York is a city filled with attractions, but some of its most interesting experiences are sure to be the ones you accidentally stumble upon on the way to somewhere else. Whatever it is you're looking for, you can find it in New York. Just don't try to do everything in one trip.

Time Zone

Eastern Standard Time

Best Time to Go

New York is a city that's always celebrating something, and summer is one of the best times to visit. Outdoor concert season is in full swing. Free movies and theatrical performances fill the city's parks, street vendors are everywhere, and street fairs abound. But subway platforms can get steamy, lines can get long, and temperatures can soar among the city's high-rises. If this sounds like misery, visit between Thanksgiving and the New Year, when temperatures are cooler and department store windows are decked out for the holidays. During this time, Manhattan's three major outdoor ice rinks are open, a giant Christmas tree marks Rockefeller Center, and holiday light shows are more elaborate than anything you could ever imagine.

Things to Know

New York is a city made up of five boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island. Most tourist attractions are in Manhattan, with a few scattered across Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx.

Driving in Manhattan is unnecessary. The city has an extensive public transit system, making it easy to get just about anywhere by subway, bus, cab, and foot. Uber and Lyft are plentiful, while parking can be both a miserable and expensive experience. Meanwhile, the subway is open 24/7.

New York is a city that moves fast. Step aside to look at your phone, and remember to stand on the right side of the escalator so hurried commuters can walk on the left.

Times Square characters can be pushy. Tipping is at your discretion.

How to Get Around

Trains: The New York City subway is one of the most extensive public transit systems in the world. It connects Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx, and runs on Staten Island. Each ride costs $2.75. A seven-day pass is available for $33 and covers both trains and buses.

Buses: A network of buses offers easy access to the rare spots not served by nearby train stations and to New York's LaGuardia Airport. Individual bus rides cost $2.75. Seven-day transit passes cost $33 and cover trains and buses. While buses can be convenient, traffic can sometimes make them easy to outwalk.

Ferries: One of the best ways to hop among New York's boroughs in good weather is a ferry. Ferries connect Queens, the western coast of Brooklyn, the eastern side of Manhattan, and Staten Island. Rides are $2.75 each. Subway and bus passes aren't accepted on New York ferries. The Staten Island Ferry is free.

Taxis: Cabs are all over Manhattan, but a little harder to find in parts of Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx. Green cabs offer service in northern Manhattan and the outer boroughs. To hail a cab, look for one that has its light on and raise your arm. All New York cabs are metered and required to accept credit cards.

Rideshare: Uber and Lyft are all over New York and offer similar pricing. Rideshare can be the best way to travel in parts of Brooklyn and Queens.

Best Hotels

The Plaza

Address: 768 5th Ave., New York, NY 10019

Phone: (212) 759-3000

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The Plaza Hotel Entrance New York
Alamy Stock Photo

If money is no object and you've always dreamed of sleeping in a castle, this is the hotel for you. It was built to resemble a French château and sits across the street from the southern edge of Central Park. A favorite of filmmakers, The Plaza is where Robert Redford and Barbra Streisand filmed "The Way We Were" and where Macaulay Culkin spent Christmas in "Home Alone 2." The Plaza underwent a $450 million restoration in 2008 and is known for its afternoon tea service.

The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park

Address: 50 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

Phone: (212) 308-9100

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View from a rom at the Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park
Courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park

The Ritz-Carlton is one of Central Park's most luxurious hotels. The high-end property is located steps from some of the best shopping in the world and the southern edge of Central Park. Rooms are plush and personal touches abound. This is a place to be pampered. Come for a spa day, stay for afternoon tea, and while away the hours in between at Bergdorf Goodman a few blocks away.

The Peninsula New York

Address: 700 5th Ave., New York, NY, 10019

Phone: (212) 956-2888


A vintage Rolls Royce in front of The Peninsula hotel in New York City
Courtesy of The Peninsula Hotels

After being closed for 14 months during the COVID-19 pandemic, The Peninsula New York reopened in summer 2021 and welcomed guests back to this iconic address on Fifth Avenue, near high-end stores and popular attractions such as Rockefeller Center and Radio City Music Hall. The hotel's spa is one of the largest in the city, spanning three floors, and the top-floor indoor pool offers sweeping views of the skyline.

CitizenM New York Times Square Hotel

Address: 218 W. 50th St., New York, NY 10019

Phone: (212) 461-3638

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Located on the northern edge of Times Square in the heart of the Theater District, this hotel feels like an urban art gallery. Rooms are compact yet modern, functional, and clean. Plus, the hotel bar is as affordable as they come in NYC, and there's a rooftop that's perfect for sipping cocktails.

Pendry Manhattan West

Address: 438 W. 33rd St., New York, NY, 10001

Phone: (212) 933-7000


The lobby at Pendry Manhattan West
Courtesy of Pendry Manhattan West

Located in one of the city's newest developments, Pendry Manhattan West brings a sense of modern California luxury to Hudson Yards. Pendry's first hotel in New York City, Manhattan West opened in September 2021 and sits among some of the area's premium dining and shopping options. The hotel decor has a refined 1960s retro inspiration, merging the brand's serene West Coast style with the energy of New York City's west side. Take a stroll outside on the nearby High Line, or simply head to the hotel's Peloton-outfitted fitness center.

Soho Grand Hotel

Address: 310 W. Broadway, New York, NY, 10013

Phone: (212) 965-3000

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The luxury Soho Grand Hotel takes the guest experience to another level. It has rooms that are small yet luxurious and functional, even for business travelers. Common areas are nothing short of opulent. This is a perfect home base for exploring Lower Manhattan and escaping the hustle and bustle of the city overnight.

The Empire Hotel

Address: 44 W. 63rd St., New York, NY 10023

Phone: (212) 265-7400

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This trendy boutique hotel is known for its rooftop bar whose red neon sign looms large over the Upper West Side. Rooms are small yet functional, comfortable, and well-equipped for business travelers. Besides, the rooftop is where you'll want to spend all of your free time.

Arlo Hotel

Address: Multiple Locations

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Micro Hotel in New York City (Arlo NoMad)
A king Sky guest room at the Arlo NoMad in New York City. Courtesy of Arlo NoMad

This trendy hotel has outposts in SoHo, NoMad, and Midtown. The Hudson Street location is perfect for travelers looking for a party in the Meatpacking District, while the NoMad spot offers excellent proximity to shopping and rooftop bars, including the hotel's own. The Arlo NoMad rooftop is a great place to gawk at the Empire State Building, cocktail in hand.

Grayson Hotel

30 W. 39th St., New York, NY 10018

Phone: (212) 229-4729

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The Grayson Hotel combines luxurious style with industrial-chic design and stunning skyline views for an authentic Manhattan experience. Minutes from Bryant Park, Herald Square, and a short walk to the Times Square theater district, its convenient midtown location is a plus. Enjoy wine and tapas at Bar Harta or mezcal at Cima, set above the city on the 28th floor.

The James New York NoMad

22 E. 29th Street, New York, NY 10016

Phone: (212) 532-4100

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Stay at this stylish Beaux Arts boutique hotel for a welcome refuge from the bustle of the city or take inspiration from its modern, upbeat atmosphere. The James Club lobby features a nightly happy hour with live music and morning coffee to start your day. Don’t miss the Seville, its speakeasy-style cocktail lounge or Scarpetta for gourmet Italian cuisine.

Smyth Tribeca

Address: 85 W. Broadway, New York, NY 10007

Phone: (917) 997-2700

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Smyth Tribeca hotel
Courtesy of Smyth Tribeca

Set downtown in Tribeca, the Smyth offers 100 spacious, stylishly furnished guest rooms and suites. The Smyth is conveniently located near the Chambers Street metro station, and it's just a short walk to the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, shopping at the Oculus and Brookfield Place, and a variety of bars and restaurants. This moderately priced hotel features soundproof floor-to-ceiling windows, continental breakfast, and thoughtful details that make it a comfortable home away from home.

TWA Hotel

Address: John F. Kennedy International Airport, JFK Access Road, One Idlewild Dr., 11430

Phone: (212) 806-9000

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TWA Hotel JFK Airport
TWA Hotel/David Mitchell

Designed by the architect behind St. Louis' Gateway Arch and completed in 1962, TWA Hotel is a vintage aviation geek's dream come true. Formerly an airline terminal, it has since been converted into a 512-room hotel. It's also a convenient choice if you're working a New York stop into a long layover. The hotel offers four- to six-hour bookings, as well as overnight stays, and the rooftop infinity pool is the perfect place to watch planes take off.

Sofitel New York

Address: 45 W. 44th St., New York, NY, 10036

Phone: (212) 354-8844


Room at the Sofitel New York
Score: 89.33. Courtesy of Sofitel

The Sofitel New York brings a bit of French Art Deco elegance to New York City, with interior decor inspiration that will transport you back to 1930s Paris. But head to one of the top-floor suites and you'll instantly know which city you're in, as all four Terrace Suites offer up-close views of either the Chrysler or Empire State buildings from private outdoor terraces. Whether entertaining a crowd or celebrating an intimate occasion, the Sofitel offers a fashionable escape from the hustle and bustle of nearby Grand Central Station.

Park Lane Hotel New York

Address: 36 Central Park South, New York, NY, 10019

Phone: (212) 371-4000


Recently renovated Park Lane Hotel has spun up a welcoming atmosphere with artful touches steps from Central Park. Whimsical murals from New York City-based artists decorate guests rooms and public space in the hotel — which is also pet-friendly, near every city dog's dream spot for a long walk. Make sure to head upstairs to Darling, Central Park South's only rooftop lounge, where guests can take in the sprawling views of the park and skyline from the 47th floor.

The Langham, New York, Fifth Avenue

Address: 400 5th Ave., New York, NY 10018

Phone: (212) 695-4005

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With the Theater District just a 12-minute walk, Bryant Park six minutes away, and the Empire State Building around the corner, you can't ask for a better-located hotel in New York City. But this luxurious five-star spot is hard to leave, thanks to its Michelin-starred restaurant Ai Fiori, well-appointed suites (some with full kitchens), spacious gym and spa, and fabulous 60-story views of Manhattan.

Kimpton Hotel Eventi

851 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10001

Phone: (212) 564-4567

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Friendly, casual, and comfortable, Eventi’s warm atmosphere is evident in its living room–style lobby and adjacent coffee bar, cocktail lounge, and restaurant. Set in the Chelsea neighborhood steps from Penn Station, Madison Square Garden, and the Empire State Building, the hotel offers magnificent city views along with its convenient location.

Best Restaurants

Katz's Delicatessen

Address: 205 E. Houston St., New York, NY 10002

Phone: (212) 254-2246


Founded in 1888, this kosher-style deli sits underneath an iconic old-school sign. The casual, bustling space is known for its pastrami on rye — considered to be one of the city's best — as well as for its corned beef. It's likely to look familiar — Katz's was the backdrop for Meg Ryan's fake orgasm scene in "When Harry Met Sally."

Eleven Madison Park

Address: 11 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10010

Phone: (212) 889-0905


Regularly on lists of the world's top fine-dining establishments, Eleven Madison Park is best known for its multi-course tasting menu. The Michelin three-starred restaurant also serves up beautiful views, given its location overlooking Madison Square Park.

Le Coucou

Address: 138 Lafayette St., New York, NY, 10013

Phone: (212) 271-4252


Le Coucou was the first U.S. establishment for head chef Daniel Rose, who hails from two successful restaurants in France. Reopened in November 2021 after more than a year closed, the Michelin-starred French restaurant still offers an a la carte menu, as well as a new four-course tasting menu priced at $185 per person. While jackets are not required, the dress code is still listed as "elegant."

Keens Steakhouse

Address: 72 W. 36th St., New York, NY 10018

Phone: (212) 947-3636


Keens is the rare restaurant that has survived more than a century in the Herald Square section of Midtown Manhattan. It opened in 1885 and was a favorite among stage actors in the early days. Now, it's a carnivore's paradise known around the world for its whiskey and gigantic mutton chop. The restaurant previously allowed patrons to store their clay pipes, allowing it to build a collection from legends such as Babe Ruth, Theodore Roosevelt, J.P. Morgan, and Albert Einstein.

Gage & Tollner

Address: 372 Fulton St., Brooklyn, NY, 11201

Phone: (347) 689-3677


Interior bar and dining of Gage & Tollner
Lizzie Munro

Originally open for 125 years from 1879 to 2004, Gage & Tollner reopened in April 2021 as a modern oyster and chop house. Now, once again, the cornerstone of Downtown Brooklyn's restaurant scene, Gage & Tollner gives plenty of nods to its history, through both the food and largely Gilded Age-inspired design. Looking to stray from the classic '40s martini-and-steak vibes? There's a tiki bar called Sunken Harbour Club upstairs.

Joe's Shanghai

Address: 46 Bowery, New York, NY 10013

Phone: (212) 233-8888


The original Joe's Shanghai opened in Flushing, Queens, paving the way for future locations in Chinatown and Midtown Manhattan. The restaurant is known for its authentic Shanghainese food, specifically its pork and crab xiao long bao. This variety of Chinese steamed bun is cooked with soup inside the dumpling, creating a simple culinary experience like none other.

Totto Ramen

Address: Multiple Locations


Ramen is everywhere these days and Totto Ramen doles out some of the best in New York City. Its restaurants are small, lines can be long, and reservations aren't an option. But don't worry — this ramen is worth the wait. Totto is known for using a rich, chicken-based broth instead of a more traditional pork-based version, and for serving up some of the best noodles in Manhattan. There are now three Totto Ramen locations in Midtown Manhattan. The 52nd Street location is the original.


Address: 240 Central Park S., New York, NY 10019

Phone: (212) 582-5100


Bourdain's favorite NYC restaurants
Courtesy of Marea

Marea is one of the city's top seafood restaurants. This high-end spot at the edge of Central Park has earned two Michelin stars and the 2010 James Beard Award for best new restaurant. Chef Michael White gets his inspiration from coastal Italy — don't miss the branzino, Adriatic seafood soup, or the stuffed calamari. Can't decide? Opt for a multi-course prix-fixe menu or a chef's tasting menu.

Ci Siamo

Address: 385 9th Ave., New York, NY, 10001

Phone: (212) 219-6559


The newest restaurant from famed New York City restaurateur Danny Meyer, Ci Siamo, which translates to "here we are" or "we've finally arrived," brings a bit of Italian flair to Hudson Yards on the west side. With plush leather and velvet seating, plus subtle midcentury modern decor touches, the interior of the restaurant is meant to evoke the comfortable feeling of dining in someone's home. Chef Hillary Sterling even has a custom-built grill to accommodate various temperatures at once, as she cooks up selections like wood-fired whole trout.

H&H Bagels

Address: Multiple Locations


You can't visit New York without eating an iconic NYC bagel. But why not eat that bagel where Seinfeld's Kramer used to work? H&H was once the largest bagel maker in New York and one of the largest bagel manufacturers in the world, making an estimated 80,000 rounds per day. Nowadays, its two locations feed New Yorkers on the Upper East and Upper West Sides of Manhattan.


Address: 398 Manhattan Ave., Brooklyn, NY, 11211

Phone: (914) 875-3709


Named after chef Calvin Eng's mom, Bonnie's, in Brooklyn, is self-described as Cantonese American cuisine, with a varied menu that includes nods to some of Eng's favorite food memories, including glazed pork served on a sesame milk bun, mimicking a high-end McRib sandwich. The popular Williamsburg restaurant is closed on Mondays and offers reservations from Tuesday to Sunday, though they leave a few tables and seats at the bar open for walk-ins.

Dominique Ansel

Address: 189 Spring St., New York, NY 10012

Phone: (212) 219-2773


This Soho bakery is perhaps best known for creating the cronut, a magical blend of croissant and donut in new flavors revealed each month. But Dominique Ansel offers so much more. Among the treats not to miss: torched-to-order frozen s'mores with a vanilla ice cream center covered in chocolate wafer crisps and honey marshmallows.


Address: 35 E. 76th St., New York, NY, 10021

Phone: (212) 744-1600


This new, fine art-covered restaurant located within The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel is under the guidance of executive chef Sylvain Delpique — previously of 21 Club — with a menu nearly as timeless as New York itself. The throwback favorites, including wedge salad, shrimp cocktail, and steak, are sure to be crowd favorites, though there are distinctly modern sections of the menu, too. Jackets are recommended for dinner service, though if you prefer to dine sans sport coat, Dowling's does an impressive lunch service complete with mini-martinis.


Address: 70 Pine St., New York, NY, 10005

Phone: (212) 339-3963


Perched atop the 63rd floor of a landmark Art Deco tower, SAGA offers a modern European tasting menu from acclaimed duo James Kent and Jeff Katz, known for building their careers at top New York City institutions like Eleven Madison Park and Del Posto. At this modern fine-dining spot, reservations are hard to grab; lucky diners who do snag one will need to prepay the full nonrefundable menu price of $245 each, with a minimum reservation for two.

Serendipity III

Address: 225 E 60th St., New York, NY 10022

Phone: (212) 838-3531


This is a place guaranteed to satisfy your sweet tooth. The legendary sweet shop and general store opened in 1954 and has since become a go-to for celebrities like Marilyn Monroe, Andy Warhol, Grace Kelly, Cary Grant, Cher, and Beyonce. It's known for its Frozen Hot Chocolate, creative savory dishes such as shrimp-stuffed avocado, and for creating both the world's most expensive dessert and most expensive burger. The restaurant has made appearances in the movies "Serendipity," "One Fine Day," and "Trust the Man."

Xi'an Famous Foods

Address: Multiple Locations


With several locations across New York, this chain of family-run restaurants specializes in authentic western Chinese food. The company's CEO was born in Xi'an, one of China's oldest cities. Fun fact: Its dishes were a favorite of Anthony Bourdain's.

Tanner Smith's

Address: 204 W. 55th St., New York, NY 10019

Phone: (646) 590-2034


Located just south of Central Park, Tanner Smith's is the perfect place to go for a classy tea that doubles as a tipsy brunch. It's part speakeasy, part cocktail bar, part restaurant, and 100% authentic New York. This is a place whose roots stretch back to the 1800s and whose Tipsy Tea Brunch will make you feel as if you've stepped back in time.

Laser Wolf Brooklyn

Address: 97 Wythe Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11249

Phone: (718) 215-7150


Located on the roof of The Hoxton, Williamsburg, Laser Wolf Brooklyn offers Manhattan skyline views almost as delightful as its Israeli cuisine. Cooked over live coals, the food at this "shipudiya" (or skewer house) from legendary chef Michael Solomonov offers the luxury of simplicity: simply choose from three main dish categories (meat, fish, or veggies) and then prepare to be whisked away on a culinary journey. The wide selection of salatim (Israeli side dishes) and the brown-sugar soft serve for dessert are included in the price.

Things to Do

Times Square


Times Square is the pulsing heart of the city that never sleeps, but it isn't actually a square. In fact, it looks more like a bow tie and covers an area from West 42nd to West 47th Streets along Broadway and Seventh Avenues. This commercial intersection is where the city's world-famous New Year's Eve celebration is held. Hundreds of thousands of people pass through it even on a slow day, and visitors should not be surprised to catch impromptu concerts, yoga classes, and street performances here.

Theater District


New York's Theater District is home to Broadway, the collection of Midtown Manhattan theaters that comprise one of the world's top live performance hubs. This area between West 40th and West 54th Streets, and between Sixth and Eighth Avenues, is where most of the city's Broadway theaters are located. Some offer discount tickets through lotteries, and even walking through the area provides ample opportunity to spot celebrities. Performers often take the time to sign autographs and snap photos with audiences outside of stage doors after shows. For discounted same- and next-day tickets, check out the TKTS booth in Times Square.

Central Park


Central Park is an 840-acre urban oasis separating the Upper East and Upper West Sides of Manhattan. The park draws more than 35 million visitors a year and is one of the most filmed locations in the world. It is home to the Central Park Zoo, the expansive Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, the John Lenon tribute Strawberry Fields, and Delacorte Theater, home of Shakespeare in the Park. Spend some time soaking in the sun at Sheep Meadow and wandering through the Conservatory Garden, and be sure to check the schedule for special events.

Empire State Building

Address: 20 W, 34th St., New York, NY 10001

Phone: (212) 736-3100


This 102-story Art Deco skyscraper is a cultural icon in Midtown Manhattan that's appeared in more than 250 movies and TV shows. The Empire State Building is the second-tallest building in New York City and the 45th tallest building in the world. It's an office building with public observation decks offering some of the best views in Manhattan. Tip: Splurge for the skip-the-line tickets, especially during the spring and summer.

Top of the Rock

Address: 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10112

Phone: (212) 698-2000


Sitting at the top of Rockefeller Center, Top of the Rock is home to three of the best observation decks in the city, which offer unobstructed views of Central Park and the towering skyscrapers of Midtown Manhattan. Observation decks are located on the 67th, 69th, and 70th floors of the building, which also happens to be the iconic 30 Rock.

One World Observatory

Address: One World Trade Center, 117 West St., New York, NY 10006

Phone: (844) 696-1776


People photograph the view from the One World Observatory at One World Trade Center in New York
Gary Hershorn/Corbis via Getty Images

One World Trade Center's elevators whisk visitors up 102 stories in just 47 seconds, delivering them to an expansive observation deck that offers a bird's-eye view of Lower Manhattan, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Statue of Liberty. This observatory is located farther south than the Empire State Building and Top of the Rock, making for a completely different way of experiencing New York City from above.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Address: 1000 5th Ave., New York, NY 10028

Phone: (212) 535-7710


The Met, as it's known to most, is the largest art museum in the U.S. and was the third most-visited art museum in the world in 2018. The Met's collection includes more than two million pieces spread across three Manhattan venues, the largest of which sits on Fifth Avenue and overlooks Central Park. Don't miss the Temple of Dendur, an ancient Egyptian temple that dates back to the first century B.C. or the rooftop.

American Museum of Natural History

Address: 200 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024

Phone: (212) 769-5100


The American Museum of Natural History is the largest natural history museum in the world. The Upper West Side space has 28 interconnected buildings and 45 permanent exhibition halls, as well as a planetarium, library, and the largest collection of dinosaur fossils in the world. If dinosaurs are your thing, plan to spend most of your time in Dinosaur Hall, home to a massive T-Rex made almost entirely of real fossil bones from the museum's collection.

Yankee Stadium

Address: 1 E 161 St., Bronx, NY 10451

Phone: 646-977-8400


Yankee Stadium is the home to the world-famous New York Yankees. The stadium is located in the Bronx and easily accessible by the New York subway. This is an iconic place to catch a baseball game while on vacation. Not traveling in season? Try a tour. Yankee Stadium tours include stops at the on-site New York Yankees Museum and in the 27-time World Series champions' locker room. Some pregame tours during baseball season include opportunities to sit in on batting practice.

Brooklyn Bridge


Brooklyn Bridge evening skyline glow
Nicolas Montreuil/Getty Images

This iconic neo-Gothic bridge connects Manhattan to Brooklyn and offers visitors the chance to walk between boroughs on a piece of literal history. The Brooklyn Bridge was the world's first-ever steel-wire suspension bridge. It once carried horse-drawn carriages, but now serves as a way for cars, pedestrians, and bikes to cross the East River between Manhattan and Brooklyn. The bridge is also known for its pointed arches and stone towers, and offers excellent views of the Financial District skyline and Brooklyn.

Washington Square Park

Address: Washington Square


Flowers blooming in Washington Square Park in spring
Getty Images

This nearly 10-acre park in Greenwich Village is a hotbed of cultural activity. The park has a gateway reminiscent of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris and has long served as a place to celebrate nonconformity. Expect to find artists, musicians, and other types of performers here every day, and spend some time people-watching around the park's iconic fountain.

Statue of Liberty

Phone: (212) 363-3200


Lady Liberty is an icon of freedom that sits in the harbor just off the coast of Manhattan. Visitors can either schedule a visit to the statue and Ellis Island from Battery Park City in Manhattan, or hop on the free Staten Island Ferry to see the Statue of Liberty from the water. Visits to the Statue of Liberty's pedestal and the top of her crown require visitors to pass through airport-like security. Tickets to the crown should be booked months in advance.

9/11 Memorial and Museum

Address: 180 Greenwich St., New York, NY 10007

Phone: (212) 312-8800


The World Trade Center museum and memorial site honor the victims of the September 11, 2001, attack on New York City. Two memorial pools stand where the World Trade Center's iconic towers once did, inscribed with the names of those killed. Museum tickets can be purchased up to six months in advance.

Best Shopping

Saks Fifth Avenue

Address: 611 Fifth Ave., New York, NY, 10022

Phone: (212) 753-4000


Saks Fifth Avenue is a luxury department store that anchors New York's Fifth Avenue shopping strip, an area known for its designer names and sky high prices. The shopping experience at Saks is like none other, especially during the holidays, when the building's facade becomes part of one of the best holiday light shows in the world.

Macy's Herald Square

Address: 151 W 34th St., New York, NY 10001

Phone: (212) 695-4400


Anchoring the Herald Square section of Manhattan, this flagship Macy's store is among the largest in the world. It covers nine levels and has been in operation since 1902. It's also known for its animated holiday window displays and for hosting the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. But tucked into its sixth floor is Stella, a peaceful oasis of Italian food in a neighborhood where quiet restaurants are few and far between.

Bergdorf Goodman

Address: 754 5th Ave., New York, NY 10019

Phone: (212) 753-7300


This is the kind of New York department store high-dollar dreams are made of. Bergdorf isn't just a place to shop for designer bags, clothes, and beauty products — it's also a great place for tea. Make time for tea at Bergdorf Goodman's BG restaurant on the top floor, and watch the movie "Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf's" before you go. It'll give you an idea of how this department store became the retail icon it is today.

Sabyasachi New York

Address: 160 Christopher St., New York, NY 10014

Phone: (646) 799-9400


Kolkata-based couturier Shabyasachi Mukherjee's first U.S. store in the West Village is arguably one of the shopping wonders of the world. This 5,800-square-foot ode to maximalism is decked out in priceless kilims, art, and crystal chandeliers, these a backdrop to the mega-luxe fashions for men and women, jewelry, and collectibles. The designer, known abroad for his elaborate bridal wear, dressed Priyanka Chopra for one of her ceremonies to Nick Jonas honoring her Indian roots. While many of his clients prefer wearing head-to-toe ensembles from the brand, Mukherjee expects visitors to this store to take a more high-low approach, perhaps pairing one of his opulent creations with jeans and a t-shirt.

Olde Good Things

Address: Multiple Locations


Olde Good Things is an architectural salvage shop that offers visitors the opportunity to quite literally take home a piece of old New York. Much of this store's inventory won't fit into an overhead compartment, but there is no more interesting place to browse for one-of-a-kind New York souvenirs. Olde Good Things sources from pre-Depression and late 19th-century buildings, including some with very famous names. Want to take home a piece of the Waldorf Astoria hotel or the J.P. Morgan empire? Olde Good Things has you covered with furniture, accessories, and more.


Take the N, R subway to Prince or Canal Street stations

Various shops and traffic on Broadway in Soho, New York
Alexander Spatari/Getty Images

This is where to find designer boutiques, sample sales, and the occasional bargain. This area in Lower Manhattan is also home to retail chains such as AllSaints, Madewell, Nike, and REI; resale shops; and a number of unique boutiques. While you're here, take a stroll through Chinatown for affordable souvenirs and accessories.

Harlem Haberdashery

Address: 245 Malcolm X Blvd., New York, NY 10027

Phone: (646) 707-0070


Inside Harlem Haberdashery shop in NYC
Driely Vieira

This Harlem boutique has been dressing American hip-hop royalty for years. It has outfitted celebrities like Will Smith, LeBron James, Kanye West, and Pharrell Williams, and is said to be a favorite of Jay Z's. The store carries both men and women's clothing, as well as household items.

Artists & Fleas

Address: Multiple Locations


Artists & Fleas operates a collection of sprawling indoor markets across New York City. New merchants selling arts, crafts, clothing, and more cycle out every couple of weeks, making each a spot to consistently find new things.

An illustrated map showing top neighborhoods in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens as mentioned in the travel guide text

Michela Buttignol/Travel+Leisure

Neighborhoods to Know

Financial District: This is where you'll find the New York Stock Exchange and the iconic Charging Bull statue that's become a symbol of Wall Street. Visitors can no longer enter the stock exchange, but they can take photos outside with the Fearless Girl, a controversial New York statue that once stared down the Charging Bull. Cruises to the Statue of Liberty leave from Battery Park City in this area.

Midtown: This is the heart of Manhattan. It's where you'll find Times Square, Broadway, Bryant Park, and the gargantuan Macy's store in Herald Square. It's also home to Radio City Music Hall, St. Patrick's Cathedral, and the Museum of Modern Art. If you're looking to shop, head to Fifth Avenue, where you'll find Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman, and Bloomingdale's.

Chinatown: This neighborhood of narrow streets not far from City Hall is where you'll find some of the city's best Chinese restaurants and bargain prices on accessories, souvenirs, and more.

Little Italy: Little Italy sits in Lower Manhattan near Chinatown. It was once known for its large Italian-American population, but these days, it houses a small collection of Italian stores and restaurants. Don't miss Ferrara, a bakery that traces its New York City roots to 1892, or The Feast of San Gennaro, a one-of-a-kind food festival that takes place each September.

Williamsburg: Known for its independent shops, cute cafes, and abundant street art, this hipster paradise is especially popular among European tourists. Visit the Brooklyn Bowl, Brooklyn Brewery, and East River State Park, which offers some of the best Manhattan skyline views and an international food market on Saturdays.

Astoria: This former Greek enclave was America's original motion picture capital, and it still houses several film and TV production studios. It's home to the Museum of the Moving Image, Kaufman Astoria Studios, and some excellent views of the Manhattan skyline. Several scenes from Orange Is the New Black were filmed in this neighborhood.

Greenwich Village: This is where you'll find New York University, Washington Square Park, and some of the city's top comedy and jazz clubs. It's known for its intimate restaurants, hole-in-the-wall bars, and one-of-a-kind boutiques. It's also home to the historic Stonewall Inn.

Harlem: Harlem sits in northern Manhattan above Central Park. It was a hub for jazz musicians in the 1920s and the birthplace of the Harlem Renaissance, an outpouring of artistic work that stretched into the 1930s. Nowadays, it's a great place to catch a jazz show or have a decadent Southern meal. Harlem is also home to the iconic Apollo Theater.

Upper West Side: This largely residential area is home to the American Museum of Natural History and to Strawberry Fields, a tribute to former resident John Lennon. This neighborhood is also a great place to gawk at gorgeous townhouses and spot celebs.

Upper East Side: This posh residential area is home to a number of the city's top museums, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Jewish Museum, and the Museum of the City of New York. It's bordered by Central Park to the west and home to a number of foreign embassies.


Summer days are long and can be either beautiful or sticky and sweaty. Winters are relatively mild, with January and February offering the coldest temperatures.

The following are average Fahrenheit lows and highs by month.

January: 26°F to 39°F
February: 29°F to 42°F
March: 35°F to 50°F
April: 44°F to 60°F
May: 55°F to 71°F
June: 64°F to 79°F
July: 70°F to 85°F
August: 69°F to 83°F
September: 61°F to 76°F
October: 50°F to 65°F
November: 41°F to 54°F
December: 32°F to 44°F

Apps to Download

OpenTable: Restaurant reservations
iOs | Android

MyMTA: Trip planning, service updates
iOs | Android

TodayTix: Last-minute discounted Broadway show tickets
iOs | Android

For the best hotels, restaurants, shops, and more in Brooklyn, visit our full Brooklyn travel guide.

Updated by
Kelsey Fowler
Kelsey Fowler is a New York City-based journalist who specializes in covering travel, business, and news. She is a frequent contributor to Travel + Leisure and currently works at The New York Times as a coordinating producer for NYT Events.
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