What to see in New York? Updated to 2018

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During the more than 10 years that we have with the web, many visitors, despite having a couple of plans for people who are going to spend a week on vacation or four or five days in New York, are still asking me what to see in New York and what are the main sites of this city. I usually direct them to my article with the map of tourist sites in New York, where the location of more than 60 sites, and I recommend downloading our app, Destination New York, where you have more than 100 points of interest, but for trying to close this question today I will indicate, in this article updated in the year 2018, the 20 sites you have to see in New York before you leave. Like all the lists, it is very subjective but I will try to be as objective as possible and let all the tastes and possibilities come out

The 20 must-see sites

1 Bryant Park

We started in downtown Manhattan and for what is my favorite park in New York, Bryant Park. Here sitting at any time of the year is a delight, and you can always enjoy all kinds of activities: There is a carousel for children, tables and chairs to sit down for a coffee or lunch, an ice skating rink in winter and a summer cinema. Its location, at 2 steps from Times Square and the Rockefeller Center, makes it a good place to rest for a while after so much walking.

2 Times Square

Following with the essentials, we arrived at Times Square, probably the most famous crossroads in the world, but which is usually always avoided if possible by New Yorkers, by the crowds that are assembled. A show of neons, screens and colored lights that has its greatest splendor at night, essential to sit on the steps and enjoy the night view for a while.

3 Empire State

Undoubtedly, one of the most iconic buildings in New York and one of the most famous sights in the city, the Empire State Building It was until recently the tallest building in the city. From its observatory you have a good view of all of New York.

4 Madison Square Garden

A temple for musical and sporting events, the Madison Square Garden It is located very close to the Empire State Building and just above the main train station in New York, Penn Station, although unfortunately for a short time, the expansion plans of the station will disappear in the coming years this site. This is where the mythical New York Knicks of the NBA play, and I recommend going to watch a NBA basketball game if it coincides with the season (from the end of October to the middle of April approximately).

5 Top of the Rock

In the Top of the Rock We found what is possibly the most iconic view of the Big Apple: on the one hand Central Park at our feet and on the other the Empire State Building in the middle and all around New York. To climb the viewpoint, I recommend doing it a little before sunset, and so you can enjoy the day and night view of Manhattan.

What to see in New York - Top of the Rock
Empire State from the Top of the Rock

6 MoMA

The Museum of Modern Art, or MoMAIt is one of the best museums of modern art in the world, certainly if you like this type of art it is a must. It has a large collection of Picasso, Manet, Monet, Van Gogh, ...

7 Roosevelt Island Cable Car

For the price of a subway trip we can go in a cableway that crosses the river to Roosevelt Island, in the middle of the East River, and that allows us to get a beautiful view of Manhattan, and yes, it is the Spiderman cable car that is about to fall, thank goodness that Spiderman arrived to hold it in time :-)

8 Central Park

The most famous park in New York is well worth a visit, although it is so large that it will be difficult to see everything in a day, for this we have two articles on our website, one that tells you what to see in a day in Central Park and another in which you discover the park in a cycling excursion to try to help you plan your visit.

9 Metropolitan Museum

El Metropolitan Museum of Art (Met) It is without doubt one of the best art museums in the world, and a must on your trip to New York. His collection of paintings, Egyptian, European, American art ... is simply spectacular, and in summer from his terrace offers a beautiful view of the city. With your ticket you can also go to visit The Cloisters, located at the northern end of Harlem and with an interesting exhibition of medieval art.

10. Museum of Natural History

Another one of the most famous museums in the city, and one of the best museums of natural sciences of the World, the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) It is also very famous for movies, especially for A night at the museum. His collection of dinosaur fossils is simply spectacular, and the rest of the collection is no less, you will undoubtedly be there at least one morning that will fly by.

What to see in New York - Times Square at night
The madness of Times Square at night

11 Museum and Memorial of the 11-S

Without a doubt it deserves a visit to September 11 Memorial and Museum, place where the terrible attacks of the 11 of September of 2001 took place. The museum is not suitable for everyone, there are people who have a hard time seeing all the memories, but certainly if it is worth the visit to the square and the memorial they made to the victims, an oasis of peace in the financial district craziness .

12 One World Observatory

At the top of the building that replaced the Twin Towers, we found the One World Observatory, the highest observatory in the entire city and the highest in the entire United States. From it, we get a beautiful view of all of Brooklyn, the bay and New York in the background, no doubt a complementary view that we get from the Empire State or the Top of the Rock.

13 Wall Street

The New York Stock Exchange is undoubtedly one of its best known buildings, and we find it very close to the 11-S memorial and museum. Unfortunately, the Wall Street stock exchange, which is actually called the New York Stock Exchange, can not be visited, so we will have to settle for the view we get from the steps of Federal Hall, the place where George Washington took office as president of the United States of America, and that now is a tourist office where we can find all kinds of brochures, maps and maps.

14 Statue of Liberty

Although there are many ways to see the Statue of Liberty, the Ferry to Staten Island It is the cheapest way to see it, it is free, and after a walk in the bay it will take us to Staten Island, passing very close to the Statue of Liberty. In our article How to go to see the Statue of Liberty? we give you other ways to see Lady Liberty and all the tricks to get the best pictures of one of the icons of the Big Apple.

15 Brooklyn bridge

El Brooklyn bridge it is, without a doubt, the most known and photographed bridge in New York, and it is the bridge that connects the neighborhood of Brooklyn with Manhattan. Crossing it while listening to Frank Sinatra's New York New York song is one of the things I usually do when I'm in New York, and before crossing we have an area where we can go to eat some of the best pizzas in New York.

16 Greenwich Village

We are before the most rogue neighborhood in New York, where all the music movements of the 70 arose: here people like Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Talking Heads or the Ramones started. Although it has lost much of its spirit, it is still worth going to this neighborhood for dinner or a drink. It has great jazz clubs, like the Blue Note or the Village Vanguard, places with live music, like the Cafe Wha? and in it we find an icon of the series Sex in New York: The cupcakes of the bakery Magnolia. Here you have a guide with The best places to go for a drink in New York.

17 Chelsea Market and the High Line

At the Chelsea Market we find the incredible transformation of an old Nabisco factory, where the famous Oreo cookies were invented in a spectacular market. Without a doubt it is worth stopping and seeing it on our way through the High Line, which is the transformation into a park of the old train tracks that ran from this industrial zone to the node of Penn Station. Winner of several prizes, lately it is quite saturated, but it is still worth entering them and crossing through the buildings seeing the views of New York.

18. Flatiron Building

Located in Madison Square Park, it is one of my favorite skyscrapers in New York and one of the first that was made. Its name comes because of its shape, triangular as if it were an iron, which is given by the location of the building, right at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Broadway.

19 Grand Central Terminal

Another must is the Central Station of New York (Grand Central Terminal), one of the most beautiful train stations in the world and that we know from a thousand movies. Just next door is the spectacular Chrysler building, which can not be visited.

20 Harlem

And last but not least, we finished our list with a visit to the Harlem neighborhood, probably one of the most mythical places in New York. Many people make this visit on a Sunday, to match one of their well-known gospel Masses, but for this you have to have time to spend between 2 and 3 hours of mass and be all morning in the neighborhood. I usually recommend more to go during the week, and thus see more the life of the neighborhood. Here I leave you a visit to Harlem to meet him

What to see in New York - Grand Central Terminal
Grand Central Terminal lockers

Other essential points for those who were already in New York

For what is your second visit to the city, or for those who have more time, have visited the previous recommendations and do not know what to do in New York, I would certainly recommend other extra points of interest that maybe still did not visit . They are the following:

21 Four Freedoms Park

A park located on Roosevelt Island in homage to President Roosevelt with beautiful views of New York, Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park Well worth the visit after going by cable car, except on Tuesdays it is closed.

22 St Patrick's Cathedral

Located right next to the Rockefeller Center, it is the largest Catholic church in New York.

23 Columbia University

Located in the neighborhood of Morningside Heights, Columbia University is the most famous and prestigious in New York, and the birthplace of more than 90 Nobel Laureates.

24 Federal Hall

Right next to the New York Stock Exchange, this is where the first United States Congress was and where George Washington took office as president of the United States. The statue of Washington seems to control the Stock Exchange from above.

25 Intrepid Museum of Sea, Air and Space

If you like aeronautics, without a doubt, this museum is an essential part of your visit to Manhattan. Located on an aircraft carrier, which has already met 75 years, the Intrepid Museum of the Sea, Air and Space It has a good collection of fighter jets and a space shuttle inside it.

26 Whitney Museum of American Art

Only the building is a marvel, designed by Renzo Piano. Inside of Whitney Museum of American Art we found an excellent collection of modern American art, where Hopper's painting stands out, and excellent views of Manhattan

27 Barclays Center

We are in front of the most modern stadium in the city, and where the Brooklyn Nets of the NBA play. It usually hosts the best pop / rock concerts in the city, with the permission of Madison Square Garden.

28 Brooklyn Museum and Botanical Garden

If you like Egyptian art, the Brooklyn Museum It is a must see inside the city. In addition, the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, which is right next door, is very beautiful, and one of the most peaceful spots in New York.

29 Coney Island

It's the beach in New York and you can get there by metro, so if you want to take a dip in the Atlantic in summer, that's where you'll have to go. Here we also find Luna Park, the famous amusement park that appears in movies like Big, the aquarium, Nathan's and its famous hot dogs and Cyclone, a wooden rollercoaster with more than 85 years of history.

30 Gantry Plaza

One of the best views of New York is the one we find in Gantry Plaza State Park, a park that I have seen growing since it was only open a small area where the docks so far, which occupies the entire front of Queens. I love to sit in one of its seats and wait at sunset while enjoying a fantastic view of all Manhattan.

What to see in New York? The map

I hope you liked our list with the sites that we think you should see in your visit, I hope your comments and suggestions through the contact form. Here we leave a map with all the sites located, so you can guide yourself better:

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