24 Things to Add to Your New York City Bucket List

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Planning a trip to NYC? Keep reading for the best things to add to your New York City bucket list!


With its incredible food scene, electric atmosphere, and no shortage of fun things to do, New York City is a destination on the bucket lists of many travelers. There’s a never-ending list of things to do and experience in New York City, even if you’re visiting for the hundredth time.

When most people think of NYC, there are a few things that come to mind. The Statue of Liberty, Times Square, and Central Park are all some of the city’s top sights that are definitely worth a visit. However, there is so much more to the city than just it’s top tourist attractions.

Planning an upcoming trip to New York City? Whether you’re visiting for the first time or the fifth time, you’ll be able to find plenty of things to do to keep you busy. From old favorites to hidden gems, here are some of the top things to do in NYC to add to your New York City bucket list.

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New York City bucket list: NYC skyline at sunset with the Empire State Building

New York City Bucket List: Save Money with the New York CityPASS

Planning a visit to several of NYC’s top attractions? If so, the New York CityPASS might save you some cash.

The New York CityPASS is a multi-attraction ticket that allows you to save 40% on the admission costs of NYC’s top attractions and museums.

With a New York CityPASS, you’ll get admission to:

  • Empire State Building’s 86th Floor Observatory (plus a bonus nighttime admission so you can see the view during the day and after dark)
  • American Museum of Natural History (general admission + access to one special exhibition)
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art (general admission + same-day admission to The Cloisters)
  • Admission to either The Guggenheim Museum OR Top of the Rock
  • Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island OR a Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise
  • The 9/11 Memorial and Museum OR the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum

If you’re planning on visiting all or most of the attractions during your visit to New York City, the New York CityPASS can save you around $100 in admission fees. If you’re just planning on visiting a couple of the attractions, skip the CityPASS and pay for the regular admission.

You can pre-book your New York CityPass on GetYourGuide.

NYC Bucket List: Wander around Central Park

With nearly 850 acres of green space, you can easily spend a full day (or more!) wandering around Central Park. As the largest park in NYC and the most visited city park in the USA, Central Park is definitely worth a spot on your New York City bucket list.

Central Park is located in between Manhattan’s Upper West Side and Upper East Side, starting at 59th Street and ending all the way up at 110th Street in Harlem. Within the park’s boundaries are countless things to do.

When exploring Central Park, make sure to include visits to some of the park’s most iconic attractions like Bethesda Fountain and Terrace, Strawberry Fields, Belvedere Castle, and the Central Park Carousel. During the warmer months, rent a boat at Loeb Boathouse and paddle around Central Park Lake. In the winter, don’t miss ice skating with skyline views at the Wollman Rink. Other top spots in Central Park include the Central Park Zoo and the Conservatory Garden.

Boaters on the Central Park Lake in New York City
Boaters on the Central Park Lake

Enjoy a slice of New York-Style Pizza

New York City has one of the best food scenes in the world, and you can’t visit the city without trying its most popular dish: a slice of New York-style pizza.

Traditional New York-style pizza is made with a thin but soft crust; toppings usually include just tomato sauce and cheese, but most pizza joints offer up other toppings as well. Slices are usually folded before eating, making them easy to eat on the go.

There are hundreds of pizza places in NYC, many claiming to have the best slice in the city. Joe’s Pizza on Carmine Street is a favorite among locals and tourists. My personal favorite slice that I’ve tried on my many trips to the city is the one at NY Pizza Suprema in Midtown. Many NYC pizza joints are open late, which is perfect for late-night explorers and those needing a snack after a night out on the town.

Want to try several different slices of NY-style pizza? Book a New York City Pizza Walk tour and try a few different slices so you can pick your favorite!

A busy night at Joe's Pizza on Carmine Street in New York City
Joe’s Pizza on Carmine Street
A slice of pepperoni pizza from Joe's Pizza in NYC
A slice of pepperoni pizza from Joe’s Pizza

See a Jazz Show at 55 Bar

New York City’s music scene is top-notch, and the city is home to several different jazz clubs where you can catch a show. One of the best places in the city to see a jazz show is the 55 Bar in Greenwich Village.

The 55 Bar first opened as a speakeasy in 1919. In 1983, the bar switched to have a focus on jazz music, and not much has changed since then. Today, the 55 Bar is a popular place among locals to catch a jazz show.

The bar itself doesn’t look like much – it’s a small space, crowded with tables and bar stools. In the minutes before a show starts, the area is crowded with jazz fans and music lovers, excited to see some of the best jazz musicians perform in an intimate space. At the 55 Bar, you can catch performances from some of the biggest names in jazz as well as local up-and-coming artists.

Cover charges are modest and vary depending on the act of the night. There’s also a $20 drink minimum per person. As of May 2021, 55 Bar is requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination (as well as an ID matching the vaccination record) for entry. You can find a schedule of upcoming performances on the bar’s official website.

A packed house at a jazz show at the 55 Bar

Visit the 9/11 Memorial & Museum

Nearly every American alive on September 11, 2001 remembers where they were when news broke that planes had struck the Twin Towers. Between the attacks on the World Trade Center, the attack on the Pentagon, and the crash of Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, 2977 lives were lost.

The National 9/11 Memorial and Museum is home to an unforgettable museum detailing the story of the attacks and their aftermath, as well as the stories of the people who experienced that fateful day. Additionally, the moving memorial outside the museum is dedicated to the 2977 victims of the attacks as well as the 6 victims from the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

The museum is open five days a week, and tickets are required for admission. While making your way through the museum, you will follow the timeline of September 11, 2001 and the following days. Artifacts, audio, and video recordings help tell the story of the attacks. Visiting the museum is an extremely somber and educational experience.

If you don’t have time to visit the museum, a visit to the memorial should not be missed. The memorial’s twin reflecting pools are located on the site of the former Twin Towers. Around the pools, you can find the names of the victims of the attacks. You can also search the names of victims to find their location on the memorial on the memorial’s website.

American Flags stuck in names on one of the 9/11 Memorial Pools in New York City
The 9/11 Memorial Pools

Visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island

by Rachael from A City Girl Outside

The Statue of Liberty is undoubtedly New York City’s top attraction. The iconic statue has stood tall on Liberty Island since 1886. She was designed by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi and gifted to the city of New York by France.

There are several ways to visit Lady Liberty. You can opt to take the Staten Island ferry for free which passes by Liberty Island, or purchase a ticket to see her up close. Ticket options include visiting just the grounds, pedestal access or the crown. Tickets to access the crown are the most popular and often sell out quickly, so purchasing well in advance is advised. The ticket price includes entry to both Liberty Island and Ellis Island.

The Statue of Liberty with Ellis Island in the background

Ellis Island is home to one of the best museums in New York City. This island is an important part of history for both New York and the United States. Ellis Island once housed an immigration complex where more than 12 million immigrants were processed upon their arrival to the United States of America. 

The former complex has since been transformed into a museum documenting the lives of those who passed through between 1892 and 1952.

Once you arrive at the museum you’ll be offered an audio tour. I wouldn’t skip this, as it is so interesting to learn about the process and the individuals who helped make America what it is today. There are multiple floors and rooms to explore, the most popular being the registry room which saw up to 5000 people per day registered here. There is also the option to search for passenger records if you have ancestors who were processed at Ellis Island.

If arriving from New York’s Battery Park, Ellis Island will be your second stop. If arriving from New Jersey’s Liberty Park it will be the first stop. The Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration is free to visit and included in the ferry ticket price. Click here to book tickets for the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

See a Broadway Show

by Elizabeth from The Fearless Foreigner

Broadway, Times Square, the Great White Way, the Theater District…whatever you call this area in New York City, it is home to some of the best musicals and plays in the world! The shows are written, produced, and performed by world-class talent. You can’t visit NYC without seeing a Broadway show.

While you can often catch a touring Broadway show in other cities, there is nothing like seeing it on Broadway in one of the many historic theaters. You have the opportunity to see the show before anyone else in the country and watch the original cast. Plus there is no place else like Times Square. Before and after the shows the streets are buzzing with even more excitement than usual.

With about 40 Broadway theaters you will always be able to find a show you want to see and haven’t watched yet.

Are you tempted to leave attending a Broadway show off your NYC bucket list because you think it is too expensive? Think again! There are so many different ways to score discount Broadway tickets.

My Fair Lady playbill and ticket inside the Lincoln Center Theater on Broadway, NYC
Photo by Elizabeth from The Fearless Foreigner

Experience the Lights and Sounds of Times Square

by Emma from The Checklist Chic

You can’t go all the way to the Big Apple without making a stop at Times Square.

One of the world’s busiest pedestrian areas, Times Square is one of the world’s most visited tourist attractions, drawing an estimated 50 million visitors annually. Not only is it the hub of the Broadway Theatre District it is also filled with fun shops like the Disney Store, M&M World, an Apple Store, and so many more.

A professional walking tour is a great way to explore Times Square and the theatre district, offering fascinating insights and history to this famous area. One of the best times to visit Times Square is for New Year’s Eve, where you can watch the famous ball drop at midnight. If you don’t want to fare the crowds, the ball stays on display all year round, stationary until 31st December. Whether you’re touring for the first time or you’re a seasoned visitor, Times Square is a don’t-miss activity in New York City.

Visiting Times Square at night should be on your NYC bucket list

NYC Bucket List: See the city from the Top of the Rock

by Martha from May Cause Wanderlust

If you’re going to New York City, you must try to get a view of that famous Manhattan skyline – and the best place to do that is from the Rockefeller Center.

There is an observatory at the top of the Rockefeller tower called Top of the Rock. It is 70-stories high and gives 360-degree views of the city.  One of the great views is northward, over Central Park and uptown. It is really lovely to see the park from so high up and to see just how huge it is.

However, the best view is southwards, towards midtown and lower Manhattan.  Right in the middle of this view is the reason Top of the Rock is so great: the Empire State Building. If you go to the observatory on the Empire State Building, the only thing missing from the view is the Empire State Building itself. But, you get the perfect view of it from Top of the Rock.

Top of the Rock is located at Rockefeller Center at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, between 5th and 6th Avenues and 49th and 50th Streets.  Prices for entry start at $36. Click here to pre-book your Top of the Rock entry ticket.

The view of the Empire State Building from Top of the Rock | Phot
The view of the Empire State Building from Top of the Rock | Photo by Martha from May Cause Wanderlust

Climb to the top of the Statue of Liberty’s Crown

by Katie from Creative Travel Guide

Many visitors to New York City will head to the Statue of Liberty with good reason. The Statue has been a figure of liberty and an icon in the city since 1886.

Book your Liberty Cruise tickets early (at least three months before your visit), this includes entrance to Liberty and Ellis Island. But also, if you are in fairly decent health, book a trip to the Crown of the Statue of Liberty. Again, book tickets ahead of time to avoid disappointment and aim to book early morning tickets to avoid the crowds as well.

Crown ticket holders can first visit the historical museum inside the pedestal of the statue. Here, you will find a replica of the Lady Liberty’s face, as well as the original torch that once welcomed immigrants back to the country.

The Crown tickets allow you to visit the crown, a 146 climb up tight and narrow winding steps. Admire the architecture and building work from the 19th century and take in some unique views through the crown windows.

A view of the Lower Manhattan skyline from the interior of the Statue of Liberty's crown

Spend a day at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

by Kelly from Girl with the Passport

No 4 day NYC itinerary would ever be complete without a stop at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, or the MET for short.

Located on New York City’s Upper East Side, this world-renowned museum overlooks Central Park and is brimming over with stunning works of art from greats like Picasso, Van Gogh, and Degas, just to name a few. So, while you’re here, feel free to visit the museum’s rooftop bar for a relaxing drink and stunning panoramic views of the city.

Next, take the elevator downstairs to explore the institution’s astounding collection of art, which spans an impressive 5,000 years’ worth of history. Highlights include the Arms and Armor collection, The American Collection, The Cloisters (located in a different building in a different part of the city), and the Egyptian Collection.

As you explore the museum’s amazing selection of Egyptian art, be sure to stop by the Temple of Dendur for stunning photo ops with a full-scale Egyptian temple. It’s the perfect way to end your visit as you make your way through your NYC bucket list. Click here to book skip-the-line tickets for the museum.

People sitting on the steps of the recently renovated exterior of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City

Go to the top of the One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the USA

by Victoria from Guide Your Travel

The One World Trade Center is the tallest building in the United States and one of New York’s most iconic landmarks. Going to the top is an absolute must-do and the views are more than breath-taking.

The One World Trade Center officially opened in 2014 and has attracted millions of tourists since then. Visiting the skyscraper early in the morning is definitely recommended as it can get quite crowded during the day.

The One World Observatory is home to one of New York City’s best skyline views and although tickets are pricey it’s worth it! You can visit every day from 9:00 am to 10:00 pm. General admission costs $43 per person and fast-lane tickets are available for $53 per person. During popular visiting times it’s definitely recommended to get these fast-tracked passes as they will save you a lot of time. You can buy tickets online or on arrival. Click here to book skip-the-line tickets.

The lower Manhattan skyline with the One World Trade Center - New York City bucket list
Photo by Lucas Franco on Unsplash

See the NYC Skyline from a Harbor Cruise

by Candice from CS Ginger

If you’re ready to escape the hustle and bustle of downtown New York, consider a harbor cruise. It is a relaxing and fun way to spend an evening. It is a perfect way to see the New York City skyline and see the Statue of Liberty up close.

There are a variety of different cruise options throughout the day, however sunset on the water is hard to beat. A champagne sunset cruise with Classic Harbor Line will take you by all the lower Manhattan sites as well as out to see Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty.

There are also tours that focus on a variety of different aspects of New York City. The architecture of New York City tours are provided by the New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. They also have family-friendly tours if you are visiting New York City with kids.

Find the perfect NYC harbor cruise on GetYourGuide.

New York City skyline at sunset

Experience Edge at Hudson Yards

by Mark and Kristen from Where Are Those Morgans?

Edge at Hudson Yards is the most recent addition to the ever expanding New York City skyline observation deck party. But Edge is different. It is the highest outdoor viewing platform in the Western Hemisphere.

Edge looks unnatural from below, a sharp triangular shaped platform jutting out into the sky at the top of a glass building. But once you stand on the Edge, feel the breeze blowing through your hair 100-stories above ground and watch a spectacular sunset over the most famous cityscape in the world, you will know why Edge is the perfect addition to any NYC bucket list.

Located inside Hudson Yard’s pristine shopping mall and with the impressive Vessel right outside, Edge is more than just an attraction, it is an experience. Educational exhibits explain how modern buildings use renewable energy and recycling for cleaner living, the elevator ascent feels a bit like a theme park ride and the view is extraordinary.

Edge is best for families with kids, couples taking a romantic weekend break, or photographers collecting observation deck views. Buy a glass of champagne or a hot chocolate on a cold evening to watch the sun slowly cross diagonally behind Lower Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty.

The unique elevated view over the Hudson River and Lower Manhattan’s remarkable skyline is what makes Edge at Hudson Yards in NYC so special. 

Edge at Hudson Yards is no ordinary observation platform, over no ordinary city. Click here to book skip-the-line tickets for Edge.

The view of lower Manhattan at sunset from Edge at Hudson Yards
Photo by Mark and Kristen from Where Are Those Morgans?

Try the Famous Cookies from Levain Bakery

by Nina from Nina Out and About

One of the best parts of being in New York City is wandering the city streets. Whether it’s Madison Avenue or a suburban street, you’re sure to find magic around every corner.

The most magical cookie in New York can be found on such an adventure.

When you visit New York City on a weekend getaway in the USA, be sure to stop by Levain Bakery to get one of their famous chocolate chip cookies.

The cookie is so much more than a simple chocolate chip cookie. First of all, it’s the size of four cookies; it’s bigger than most people’s hands! And it’s thick, filled with crunchy walnuts and rich, gooey chocolate chips.

The bakery is incredibly unassuming. You could wander past it and never realize that this hidden gem is right beside Central Park.

On a stroll through Central Park or on a visit to the MET, detour to 74th Street. You’ll find a half underground bakery in a Manhattan brownstone. Descend the steps and you’ll be enveloped in a heavenly aroma of fresh dough that’s tinged with the sweetness of their confections.

Not only is the bakery Instagram famous, but they’ve also won numerous awards from the New York Times, TripAdvisor, and Yelp for their amazing cookies.

Although they have other varieties, the chocolate chip walnut is the cookie they’re most famous for. Don’t forget to take a selfie while eating it in the park!

Wander around the High Line

by Denise from Chef Denise

The best hotels and restaurants in New York City can be very expensive. But luckily, one of the top things to do is free – the High Line!

The High Line is an architectural and landscaping marvel. What was once a freight rail line until 1980, has been transformed into a park-like setting where visitors can enjoy nature, art, and the magic of the city.

It’s an easy 1.45 mile elevated walk through the lower west side of Manhattan. Enter by stairs or elevator at Gansevoort Street and Washington, near the Whitney Museum. The path parallels 10th Avenue for a good stretch curving at West 30th Street around Hudson Yards, ending at West 34th Street.

Vista points along the way, as well as benches and steps provide opportunities to take your time while taking in the city sites. You’ll see iconic landmarks like the Chrysler Building, the Empire State Building, and the Statue of Liberty all while strolling through gardens on a rail line.

The plants used in the landscaping of these gardens were inspired by the ones that had been growing naturally over the defunct rails for 25 years. This beautiful overgrowth was actually the impetus to save the High Line. In 1999, Mayor Giuliani had scheduled the High Line for demolition. The neighborhood fought hard and won, and in 2009, the park opened.

A view of gardens and the Empire State Building from the High Line in New York City

Visit the top of the Empire State Building

by Debbie Fettback from WorldAdventurists.com

Once the world’s tallest building, visiting the iconic Empire State Building is a cannot-miss attraction in New York City. The world-renowned building itself is impressive, having dominated the skyline at 102 stories tall, as well as tourist itineraries for more than 90 years.

The views of the city are spectacular day and night, and the panoramic view seems to go on forever. On a clear day you can see for miles, and up to five states. The bustling streets below, the Brooklyn Bridge, Central Park, the Statue of Liberty and the Hudson River are a few of the other iconic sights of New York that you will recognize from the viewing platform.

The view of Lower Manhattan from the top of the Empire State Building
Photo by Debbie Fettback from WorldAdventurists.com

The concrete jungle has an incredible energy. It is magical to see it during daylight, but seeing the bustling city with glistening lights has a different magic to it. If you get a NYC CityPASS, you will be able to see the city both ways as you are able to return that night for another viewing. Arrive in time for sunset to see the city change from day to night.

Also, do not miss admiring the tower itself from a distance after you enjoy the night views. It is breathtaking when illuminated, and really stands out as something special.

If you are trying to beat the crowds, going as early and late as possible will help keep the wait times shorter. Book your skip-the-line Empire State Building tickets here.

Take the Tramway to Roosevelt Island

by Elina from Empnefsys & Travel

Roosevelt Island is a small stretch of land between Queens and Manhattan in the East River. It is the perfect location for a short escape from the hustle of New York City.

To get there, you can take the subway line F, the Astoria line ferry, or the Q102 bus from various stops in Queens. However, the most iconic way of reaching the island is by taking the red aerial tramway cart from Manhattan’s 2nd Avenue/60th Street. There are services every few minutes and the fare can be paid using a MetroCard. Besides, you get to enjoy the beautiful views of the river.

Once you arrive at the island, there are a few things you can do. The Four Freedoms Park, on the south tip, is perfect for a relaxing walk and for enjoying the views of New York’s skyscrapers. Also, don’t miss having a look at the Smallpox Hospital Memorial, which stands as a reminder of the dark history of the island.

The other end of the island is more industrial, but it still has a few interesting spots, like Blackwell House, the Octagon Tower, and a lighthouse at the northernmost point.

As the island is small, you can easily move around on foot. Alternatively, you can use the Red Bus, a free bus service which circles the island.

A tree-lined walking path on Roosevelt Island in New York City
Roosevelt Island / Photo by Elina from Empnefsys & Travel

See a Free Summer Movie in Bryant Park

by James from Travel Collecting

One of the top things to do in New York City in summer is to see an outdoor movie in Bryant Park. Every Monday evening in summer (and Tuesdays in 2021), a classic movie is shown on a big screen set up on the park.

This is very popular with local New Yorkers, so you should get there early. The lawn opens at 5:00pm, and the second the clock turns five, there is a mad dash as hundreds of people rush on to the lawn and throw their blankest to claim a spot. Get there by 4:30pm at the latest to get a good position, and be prepared to run and throw your blanket as quickly as you can! This is not for the faint-of-heart or the timid!

An outdoor movie on a big screen in Bryant Park, NYC
Photo by James from Travel Collecting

The stressful part is then over, and you can have a picnic while waiting for the sun to set. Just before the movie starts, if you want to be a real New Yorker, stand up and do the “Bryant Park Movie dance” – just follow along with everyone else. Then it is time to lie back and enjoy the movie!

This is a real New York tradition. There is nothing quite like being surrounded by the skyscrapers of Midtown, including the back of the New York Public Library, while watching a movie on a summer’s night.

Take a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge

by Shannon from Traveling Teacher Girl

Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge is a must-do activity when visiting New York City and is one of NYC’s best outdoor activities. The Brooklyn Bridge was completed in 1883 and is well known for its iconic steel cables and granite columns. The bridge’s walkway is just over one mile long, and it takes most people approximately one hour to walk across it.

The Brooklyn Bridge connects lower Manhattan and Brooklyn. I recommend starting on the Manhattan side and then walking over to the Brooklyn side to visit the beautiful neighborhood of DUMBO afterwards. There are many beautiful viewpoints for photos on the Brooklyn Bridge, with views of the One World Trade Center, Statue of Liberty, and Manhattan Bridge.

Be sure to wear comfortable shoes. Even though the bridge is only one mile long, it can feel much longer due to crowds and the length of the walk to enter and exit the bridge.

Girl sitting on the Brooklyn Bridge walkway in NYC
Photo by Shannon from Traveling Teacher Girl

Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth at Serendipity3

by Cortney Edwards from Tin Can Living

New York City is a mecca for the arts, culture, and entertainment. With dozens of neighborhoods to explore that have their own distinct character, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all of the options. An absolute must-visit place is Serendipity3.

Serendipity3 is one of the most famous restaurants in New York City. It has been featured in many TV shows and movies, including Sex In The City. Their food is delicious and their desserts are to die for! They have a wide range of dishes available on their menu, which means that there will be something to please everyone’s taste buds.

The most popular item on their menu is the Frrrozen hot chocolate. But don’t stop there! There are many delicacies to try including a menu that is fit for the Guinness Book of World Records!

If you are daring and willing to shell out a few benjamins, the Golden Opulence Sundae weighs in at a whopping $1000 and is considered to be the most expensive sundae in the world. The price is due to special ingredients being flown in from around the world and the edible golden adornment that this extravagant dessert. Serendipity3’s regular ice cream is pretty great too, earning it a spot among the best ice cream shops in the USA.

Don’t have regrets after your fantastic and exciting visit to NYC. Be sure to feed your sweet tooth at this magnificent restaurant and cultural icon.

Go Shopping at The Strand Bookstore

by Dale from Wander Her Way

The Strand is one of the oldest and largest independent bookstores in NYC, and a must-see for any literature lover.

Founded in 1927, this famous New York bookstore is nearly 100 years old. It’s located on a stretch of 4th Avenue near Union Square in Manhattan that was once known as “Book Row” due to the presence of nearly fifty independent bookstores. However, the Strand is the only bookstore that has survived this long.

The Strand is known for its large selection, boasting over 18 miles of books! You can easily spend hours getting lost in the stacks and finding a cozy corner to page through a new book. Outside, there are tons of carts containing discount books if you’re looking for a good deal.

In addition to the original downtown location, there’s also a newer location on the Upper West Side, as well as book kiosks in Central Park and Times Square.

Bookshelves at The Strand bookstore in New York City
Photo by Dale from Wander Her Way

Explore the Frick Collection

by Catherine Ryan Gregory from To & Fro Fam

Most people visiting New York are familiar with the city’s famous museums—the Met, the Guggenheim, the Museum of Natural History and so forth. For a New York bucket list experience that’s off the beaten path, head to a lesser-known museum: the Frick Collection.

Located on the Upper West Side in a mansion converted to a museum, the Frick displays not only art but also masterpieces of home furnishings.

The Frick is curated to look like a home—if you happen to live as the extremely wealthy New York elite. Paintings and sculptures displayed among tables, sofas, pianos, clocks and so forth.

A fountain inside the Frick Collection in NYC
Photo by Catherine Ryan Gregory from To & Fro Fam

The Frick’s permanent collection includes works of art from the Renaissance through the 19th century. The museum also hosts special exhibitions that vary depending on when you visit. Don’t miss seeing the Frick’s three Vermeers, which are among only 34 paintings by this master.

Even if Renaissance art isn’t your thing, the Frick Collection is still worth a visit. One of the highlights of the museum is its gorgeous courtyard. Take a seat among the courtyard’s tropical plants and soak in the peaceful setting – a lovely change of pace from the bustle of New York City.

The Frick Collection is not only a bucket list experience in New York; it’s also one most tourists overlook. While you’re at it, you may want to check out other unusual museums in New York. You’ll have plenty to explore!

See Lower Manhattan from Brooklyn Heights

by Claudia Tavani from My Adventures Across the World

Who said you need to spend an arm and a leg to get fabulous views of New York? Simply walk across Brooklyn Bridge and head to Brooklyn Heights for impressive views of Lower Manhattan, complete with the shiny skyscrapers, spanning all the way to the Statue of Liberty!

To get to Brooklyn Heights Promenade, you’ll have to cross the Brooklyn Bridge. At the very end, turn right towards Whitman Park, and again right on Tillary Street. Finally, turn left on Clifton Street and right again on Pierrepont Street.

Your experience and the views will change dramatically depending on the time of day you visit. Sunset is definitely a good time, but if you visit at night, the lights of Manhattan will be impressive.

Once you are done taking in the views, make sure to explore the neighborhood: you will find lovely small shops, Victorian style buildings, boulevards with lots of shade, and a unique, very much local atmosphere.

The view of lower Manhattan from Brooklyn Heights, NYC
Photo by Claudia Tavani from My Adventures Across the World

Spend a day at Coney Island

by Melissa from Navigation Junkie

Coney Island is a must-stop spot in New York City for those looking to have some fun and experience a different side of the city, perfect for families and singles alike. Located in Brooklyn, Coney Island lies along the Atlantic Ocean, featuring a boardwalk, a sandy beach, amusement parks, an aquarium, street performers, and plenty of tasty dining options.

Coney Island is home to two separate amusement parks – Luna Park and Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park. The parks offer a large selection of roller coasters, amusement rides, and kiddie rides. You will also find classic fair games, a haunted house, and the famous Wonder Wheel that has been sitting in the park for 100 years. Also within the parks you can find a go-kart course and a mini golf course.

The Wonder Wheel at Coney Island, New York City things to do
Photo by Melissa from Navigation Junkie

Throughout the amusement parks and along the boardwalk you will find plenty of carnival treats and dining options, including the original Nathan’s Hotdog Stand. After a day of thrills in the hot summer sun you will find easy access to the nearby beach to cool off, walk along the pier, build some sandcastles, or sunbathe.

For some more entertainment, you can find plenty of unique street performers located along the boardwalk at any given time. You can also visit the New York Aquarium for some sea life viewing, shows, and animal encounters.

Coney Island is easily accessible via the NYC subway, with the Stillwell Avenue Station being only steps away.


As you can see, there are so many amazing things to do that should be on your NYC bucket list. The Big Apple is full of fascinating museums, beautiful parks, and unique experiences that you can’t find anywhere else in the world.

Have you been to NYC? What would you add to your New York bucket list?

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Planning a visit to NYC? From the city's top sights to hidden gems, here are some of the top things to do in NYC to add to your New York City bucket list. / NYC bucket list / New York bucket list / things to do in New York City / NYC travel tips / NYC weekend trip / hidden gems in New York City / popular things to do in NYC / best things to do in NYC / NYC travel guide / New York City museums / NYC bucket list locations / traveling in NYC / NYC itinerary / New York City travel tips / USA travel
Top things to do in New York City: Brookyln Bridge, Empire State Building, Times Square, Statue of Liberty

One thought on “24 Things to Add to Your New York City Bucket List

  1. Pafoua says:

    Wow, your pictures are amazing! I’ve been to NYC once before, but don’t remember doing half of what you listed. I will definitely be visiting New York again on these tips. Thank you!

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