Cultural New York offers many different options to see when you’re in town. You could even live here for four lifetimes and not get the chance to experience all its incredible sites.
And even trying to figure out where to start, and what to see during your NYC trip can be a pain. That is why we want to help you make the best of your time on your trip and give you a few pointers on the way. Whether you are a local that has yet to explore some of the city’s park and ancient historic places or you’re from out of town with little to none knowledge of the Big Apple, these 10 stops will give you a glimpse of the city’s essence.
1# Coney Island
To visit Coney Island is like going back in time where you can enjoy old-timey charms on this beachfront American town. Fun fact about Coney Island is that there used to be a seven story building named the Elephant Colossus in the shape of an elephant, it was a major tourist attraction and newly arrived immigrants would see it first.
Enjoy your time there and witness a piece of American history. You can also hang out on the beach while eating an ice cream cone and go on a ride on the famous Cyclone roller coaster.
2# Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island
Ellis Island is located in New York Harbor, north of Liberty Island and where the iconic landmark the Statue of Liberty is placed. Ellis Island became the largest immigration station in the United States of America and received over a million immigrants searching for a better life. Today the station is a museum, and access is granted if you have already purchased a ticket for the Statue of Liberty. To visit you have to pay for a round-trip ferry ride.
3# 9/11 Memorial and Museum
The 9/11 Memorial and Museum is a must-see stop on your list. Once you enter you go down from the street to the bedrock level – the foundation of where the Twin Towers used to the stand – and are still placed in a meditative mindset, which will make you remember where were you on that fateful day, The museum pays homage to the loss, both physical and spiritual of Americans and people worldwide.
4# Central Park
Central Park is a total of 693 acres of man-made forests, gardens, rolling hillsides and meadows. You can find a wide variety of fountains, sculptures, bridges, monuments, and arches. And also 21 playgrounds, a zoo, an ice-skating rink, and even a castle. You will hardly believe your in the middle of a big city. Find yourself time to a walk through the park.
5# Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
The Guggenheim is a museum that takes on a totally different approach for museum layouts – and even buildings in general as well. The circular concrete structure stands out in contrast to the rectangular steel-and-glass buildings that surround it. Once inside, you will find a central ramp that spirals up and out towards from one exhibition floor to the next and creates an open interior space, that is flooded with daylight. The designer of this building is Frank Lloyd Wright, and it contains Solomon R. Guggenheim modern art collection, and also paintings made by Kandinsky, and works by Picasso, Miró, Klee, and many more. If you’re in the mood for a meal, you can visit The Wright, a James Beard Award-winning American bistro on site.
6# David Zwirner Art Gallery
David Zwirmer is an art gallery in New York City with three locations around the Big Apple, and satellites also in London and Hong Kong. Compared to other ultra-high-end galleries similar to its kind, David Zwirmer has a more academic, family-business feel to it. The expositions tend to be more quiet and thoughtful, but the material is pure gold – muted paintings made by Luc Tuymans, Alice Neel, and Giorgio Morandi; Dan Flavin neons; and watercolor paintings by Chris Ofili and Raymond Pettibon. The gallery even has its own podcast,which is locally produced.
7# Brooklyn Botanic Garden
The Brooklyn Botanic Garden is in essence a series of gardens, pavilions and conservatories that are connected by a looping path. You can find greenhouses with bonsais, rare orchids, and desert plants, and outdoor you can see different settings from Shakespearean garden to a Japanese-style lily pond with a romantic bridge. The flora you will see depends on the station when visiting, you can see either cherry blossoms shedding their petals, or stately rose bushes full with lush flowers.
8# The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Metropolitan Museum has been the cultural center of New York City for over a century and a half, this is because of all the forward-thinking exhibits and a very extensive permanent collection. The building is a site to be seen thanks to its Gothic-Revival-style building with iconic tiered steps, and located near Central Park. Step inside and be overwhelmed by all the museum has to offer for exploration and discovery. If you have limited time when visiting, begin the tour with the 2,000-year-old Egyptian Temple, the Temple of Dendur, the only complete one located in the Western Hemisphere.
9# Queens Night Market
The Queens Night Market is pure chaos and is known for its artisanal and Instagram-friendly food. It was inspired by the night markets of Southeast Asia, it brings together vendors from different cultures all around the world in one place. They rotate on a yearly basis, but you can select from a variety of dishes that go from Peruvian cuisine to Taiwanese flavors and other delicacies. Most of them cost $10 or less, so you can have a taste of international food without spending a lot.
10# The Brooklyn Bridge
Extending 1,595 feet across the East River, the Brooklyn Bridge was built in 1883 to be able to connect Manhattan and Brooklyn Heights and it was the longest suspension bridge in the world at the time. Today, it’s one of New York’s iconic structures that allows commuters to go back and forth either by car below or on foot above.
These are just some of the places that make New York one of the major and most interesting cities in the world.