With a promise of endless adventure and opportunities, New York City is like a siren that calls visitors from all walks of life to come and make fresh and interesting memories. As a novice in NYC, you’re probably wondering how to make the most of your stay since there’s so much to do and explore.
If you’re a culture vulture and food lover, there’s no shortage of destinations and meals to nourish your eager soul. You can visit many museums and feast on diverse, well-prepared cuisine should you find the time.
Without further ado, let’s explore ten must-do things for newcomers in New York.
1. Savour NYC’s Culinary Depth
New York City is known for many things, and a mixed population is one of them. Thanks to the diversity brought about by this cultural dynamic, NYC boasts an impressive collection of restaurants serving delicacies from almost every corner of the globe, including exotic cuisines.
There are many good restaurants and cafés that have won multiple accolades for their culinary excellence. Among them are Little Collins, Broadway Bagel, Bibble & Sip, and Martha’s Country Bakery, among others.
2. Head Out to Times Square
Forget the snippets of Times Square you’ve seen on TV. Anyone who’s actually been there will tell you that being there is an assault on the senses. You’ll rarely miss busting crowds, aromatic smells of diverse meals, and plenty of entertainment options no matter the time of the day.
When the sun is up, you can explore museums, watch Broadway shows at affordable prices, and catch multiple discounts on foods and snacks thanks to the special hour offers. When the sun sets, you can enjoy live music and comedy shows or take a look at the city’s impressive skyline.
3. Tour the Metropolitan Museum
The Metropolitan Museum, popularly known as the ‘Met,’ is a one-stop shop for both pretty paintings and medieval and modern art treasures. If you like Egyptian art, then you’ll be pleased to know that the Met is among the few museums in the world that contains huge archives of Egyptian art and history outside of Egypt.
Furthermore, this unique destination exposes you to collections of celebrated Greek and Roman artisans. You’ll also get to feast your eyes on standout art masterpieces made by Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, among other legendary creatives.
4. Take a Boat Ride
If you thought NYC’s bus tours were fun, wait until you tour New York on a boat. Besides being an ideal way to chill and escape the hassle and bustle of the busy uptown, boat rides offer a completely new perspective of the city.
You will enjoy exclusive picturesque views that will make you appreciate the city’s grand scale and beauty. Places to explore are mainly iconic structures, including the popular Brooklyn Bridge. Depending on your taste and preference, choose a boat ride that fits your desires, from sightseeing cruises, jazz cruises, to party cruises.
5. Visit Central Park
Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or are simply looking for an ideal place to chill and enjoy the day, Central Park is the place for you. This gem of a park features exemplary landscapes that comprise diverse, beautiful trees, meadows, playgrounds, and even lakes.
History buffs can make the most of their experience by visiting any of the many cultural and historical attractions, including the Central Park Conservancy. If you love a place to relax or have some fun, you’ll be pleased to know that Central Park has some of the best playgrounds in the world.
6. Check Out the Statue of Liberty
Apart from being cool to look at, the famous 305-foot-tall Liberty Statue stands as a symbol of freedom for people across the globe. If you’d like to learn more about the history, construction, and importance of this magnificent statue, tour the Statue of Liberty Museum situated on the Island.
You can get to take cool selfies in front of this magnificent structure, with the Manhattan skyline just in the background. For the foodies, there’s a good café situated on the pedestal of this monument, where you can devour diverse meal types before or after the tour.
7. Explore the Museum of Modern Arts
If dynamism and history float your boat, then the Museum of Modern Arts is a must-go location for you. This destination boasts an impressive collection of over 100,000 artistic works spanning multiple mediums, including sculptures, film, photography, and architecture. Moreover, the museum routinely expands its collection and rotates exhibitions so that there’s something fresh for visitors anytime they return.
8. Tour the Empire State Building
The Empire State Building, which is conveniently nestled in Manhattan, is more than just a tourist trap. It’s a cultural icon with a rich history that you can learn more about when you tour the building. Discover the fascinating facts behind the building’s engineering and backstory. You can also feast your eye on other iconic architectural creations by making your way to the top of the Empire State Building.
9. Consider Walking on the High Line
If you fancy long walks, then touring the almost 2.3 km former railway line is a must-do for you. While covering the entire stretch, you’ll have a chance to take stunning insta-worthy photos, savor amazing delicacies, meet people from diverse cultures, and might even uncover some of the hidden gems along the track.
10. Visit the World Trade Center
If you’re the kind of person who fancies picturesque views, you should definitely visit the 1,776 ft tall Freedom Tower. This monolithic structure boasts an impressive 360° view observation deck. From this deck, you can see the entire city for miles in any direction.
Getting to the observation deck is an isolated experience because it’s situated on the 102nd floor. To get there, you’ll have to take a high-speed elevator, which will take you to the top in less than 50 seconds.
Things to Know Before Coming to New York
Since you’re in the Big City for the first time, there are some things you should know to protect yourself:
- Beware of pickpockets.
Whenever you go somewhere, such as to the museum or just to explore the city, don’t take a lot of cash with you, as there’s a high chance that it will be stolen the second you look up (and this is what you will do 90% of the time in New York). Or, if you need some extra money for certain activities, invest in pick-pocket-proof supplies such as hidden pockets and money belts.
- Learn how to protect yourself from online and phone scammers.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, in 2022 alone, Americans lost $8.8 billion to fraud, with the state of New York taking the fourth position for total fraud reports. The number is staggering, but there are ways to avoid becoming a victim.
First, never disclose your personal information, such as your social security number, passport details, or login credentials, to people you don’t know. Second, whenever someone calls you with requests for anything that shouldn’t be revealed, reverse search the number to find out who stands behind the call. Third, when someone tries to apply emotional manipulation on the phone or social media, ignore and block them.
Everyone has something they fancy, and New York is the perfect place to tickle those fancies. Whether you’re a foodie, culture enthusiast, or history buff, you will find plenty of things to do in the Big Apple.
Before visiting the city, take a look at the list above and make an itinerary. However, always be aware of pickpockets and scammers. One can never be too careful these days, especially as a tourist.
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