March 27, 2023

New York is a bustling city where cultures intersect and where mythical sites, as well as activities of all kinds, number in the thousands. It is also the mecca of shopaholics who will be able to heat up their blue cards in the chic boutiques that are scattered from SoHo to 5th Avenue, before taking a breath of fresh air in one of the green lungs of the city, such as Central Park or Bryant Park.

If you’re looking for a fun NYC-style night out, you won’t be bored either: in addition to Broadway theaters and street performances, the city is full of underground clubs where the sound of DJs blares up to the small day. You probably already know this, but there are so many things to do in the Big Apple that it seduces millions of travelers of all styles every year, so pack your bags!

See the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island

Whether you discover it from Battery Park or aboard the Staten Island ferry, you really have to contemplate the Statue of Liberty if you come to visit New York. Get up close to its feet for a great view of the river and Manhattan. The most iconic copper statue in the world was designed by Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi as a gift from France in 1886 on the occasion of the centenary of the United States.

“Lady Liberty” is 46 m high, with an index measuring 2.40 m long and eyes nearly 90 centimeters wide. One of the best things to do while visiting New York is to pass the statue by ferry and visit the Immigration Museum on Ellis Island. Ellis Island is an American immigration historic site that became a museum in 1990.

Go to the 9/11 Memorial

The Manhattan skyline and the lives of families who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001 will never be the same. But many years later, as One World Trade Center was built, the Twin Towers were replaced by the 9/11 Memorial. Two overflowing water mirrors engraved with the names of the fallen rest where the 110-story towers once stood. A museum opened in spring 2014 and is now open to the public.

Climb the One World Observatory platform

Once you have seen the 9/11 Memorial, you can go to One World Observatory. It is this skyscraper that was built at Ground Zero following the attacks of September 11, 2001. From the top of its observation platform, you will have an unobstructed view of New York, including lower Manhattan, the Hudson and Brooklyn.

Climb to the top of the Empire State Building

And if you stay among the highest peaks of New York? Undoubtedly the most famous of skyscrapers, the Empire State Building located on 5th Avenue promises you a high-flying experience and for good reason: it is now the third tallest building in the city after the One World (541 m) and the Central Park Tower (472 m). A symbol which, from its height of 448.7 meters (antenna included), invites you to travel to its 86th floor (or 102nd for the more adventurous). Up there, all you have to do is enjoy the breathtaking spectacle that will almost whisper to you that the world is yours.

Top of The Rock

If the Empire State Building has had its effect, expect as much spectacle from the Top of the Rock! Built at Rockefeller Center, the skyscraper propels you more than 250 meters before meeting you on its famous terrace. Facing south, the latter offers you a panoramic view of New York and its must-sees, such as the Empire State Building. On the other side, Central Park opens its arms to you. Tip: plan your visit an hour before sunset, until the sky turns magenta/orange and the light transforms the skyline into a shimmering mosaic.

Walk along the High Line

New Yorkers love to walk and the High Line, a 2.3 km long suspended linear urban park that stretches from the Meatpacking District through Chelsea on an abandoned train line, is a fantastic walk. Resurrected with an astonishing labyrinth of gardens (presenting 300 species of plants), paths and bodies of water, it offers a different eye on contemporary architecture, the Hudson River: or how to visit New York in the shoes of a a local.

Take a walk in Central Park

Whether you’re heading to Central Park to ride the vintage 1908 Carousel, sip a glass of wine while admiring lake views from the Boathouse Café, giggle at the zoo’s sea lions and penguins, bird watch at the Ramble, or run around the Reservoir with the locals, this 341-hectare oasis is the largest urban garden in the world and an essential experience to explore if you come to visit New York to discover its green lungs in particular. Going around Central Park on foot takes about 2 hours for nearly 10 km ( see the route ).

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

A visit to the Guggenheim Museum is doubly rewarding if you are looking for what to do in New York as part of an original visit: you will discover a sharp selection of collections of modern and contemporary art objects and enter one of the most iconic mid-20th century buildings in the United States. Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and opened in 1959, the museum mimics a spiraling nautilus (mollusk) shell, which leads visitors down gently sloping ramps where exhibits feature works by Picasso, Monet, Gauguin, Cézanne, Kandinsky, and others around a dramatic rotunda.

Grand Central Terminal

Emblematic of the Big Apple, it is a “reference” (often filmic) that allows you to visit New York in its most symbolic places. 750,000 people rush through Grand Central Terminal every day, so while you’re there, try not to get caught up in the hustle and bustle. Visit this station around noon, when the light pierces the stained glass windows like in a cathedral, to best appreciate the huge main hall of this 100-year-old architectural gem. End your visit with lunch in the lower level room, where you can eat everything from oysters to hot dogs.

Take the temperature in Times Square

Many New Yorkers try to avoid Times Square , not because of its sordid past (peep shows, prostitution, porn cinemas), but rather because it now resembles an urban amusement park overrun by hordes of tourists taking selfies. However, that doesn’t just mean that you shouldn’t see Times Square, go there at least once! While you’re amid giant screens and flashing neon lights, climb the ruby-red stairs, find the naked cowboy guitarist, or take to the skies in one of the cocktail bars nestled atop the buildings before continuing on to the Broadway.

Attend a musical on Broadway

Cosmopolitan place, cultural myth and pantheon of musicals, Broadway needs no introduction. Emblematic of the Big Apple, the famous avenue evokes a symbol far beyond borders. Undoubtedly therefore, Broadway is one of the essential places of passage during a trip to New York.

Electrifying, dazzling, this part of Times Square will immerse you in its very special atmosphere that cannot be described, because it is lived. Let yourself be carried along its few kilometers in the sandstone of the lights and headliners that dress the avenue in such a particular costume. Better yet, attend one of the shows where plays and musicals come together, promising an unforgettable moment. You will have understood it, visiting New York without going through Broadway… you can’t imagine that!

Fly over New York in a helicopter

A helicopter flight over New York is probably the most unusual experience you can have during your stay. If you have the budget, we advise you to do it. The memories you will create during your flight will be engraved forever.

There are three different routes. Overall, the 3 routes all fly over the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Central Park, and Upper Manhattan. The 20 and 30 minute routes fly over Yankee Stadium and Harlem in particular. The 30 minute flight goes to Coney Island. Note that there is aalso.

Cross the Brooklyn Bridge

Capture the city’s historic energy and admire its famous skyline as you stroll the Brooklyn Bridge pedestrian lane that has been there since it opened in 1883. Views are best if you depart from Brooklyn (several subway lines drop you off at less than 15 minutes walk). Go for example to visit Coney Island (in summer) or the New York Transit Museum and finish with a walk towards Manhattan at the end of the afternoon while the skyscrapers loom behind the great Gothic arches of the famous bridge.

5th Avenue

What to do in New York among the other must-sees? For the pleasure of the eyes or a shopping break, go to 5th Avenue. If it is often compared to the Champs-Elysées in Paris, the very posh Fifth Avenue alone symbolizes the most beautiful boutiques of the Big Apple: it is here that the biggest luxury brands have taken up residence. Stretching from the north of Manhattan to Washington Square Park , it is also home to prestigious buildings (to take your eyes off it, go to Millionaires’ Row), museums and historical monuments such as the Empire State Building, the St. Patrick’s Cathedral or Rockefeller Center. In short, 5th Avenue promises you mountains and wonders, sometimes just for the pleasure of the eyes. And then who is it, maybe you will have the chance to meet a celebrity there?

Visit the American Museum of Natural History

Although it doesn’t come alive when the doors close (like in the movie Night at the Museum ), the American Museum of Natural History is a truly fun and educational place. This gigantic museum has 45 permanent exhibition halls, millions of plant and animal specimens, as well as cultural works. Built in 1869 (although it moved to its current building in 1877), the museum educates visitors about the history of our planet, from its living creatures to the evolution of cultures over time. The museum is so big that it takes several days to visit it.

New York Transit Museum

While the gigantic Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum is a must-see for parents with kids, also consider a subway ride to Brooklyn Heights to explore the New York Transit Museum. Located underground in a 1936 station, this is where old subway trains, some dating from the early 20th century with woven rattan chairs, rest as works of art that you can discover the time of a timeless getaway.

Visit the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

Founded in 1929, MoMA is one of New York’s most popular museums, home to over 100,000 works of modern art, mostly by renowned artists like Van Gogh, Matisse, Picasso, Warhol, Lichtenstein, Rothko, Pollock, Bourgeois and many more. Paintings, sculptures, drawings, photographs, design, videos and films… the MoMA collection is rich for a moment full of discoveries.

Explore the Wall Street District

Financial district of New York, Wall Street symbolizes above all the economic lung of the city. Workplace dressed in glass towers, Wall Street also hosts its essentials. This is also where the One World Trade Center and the 9/11 Memorial mentioned above are located.

In the morning, immerse yourself in its business district atmosphere where traders and businessmen have taken up residence before setting off for a trip to Battery Park, the green lung of the district and observation point of the Statue of Liberty. A few streets away, the famous Bull of Wall Street awaits you, especially at the turn of a few photos. Contrary to legend, this one is located on Bowling Green Park near Battery Park, and not on Wall Street itself. Be careful though, the statue is often stormed. A word of advice: take advantage of the general spectacle, early in the morning!

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