Do you want to be a part of it? Would you like to wake up in a city that never sleeps? Then you’ve got to get to New York City! There’s a reason that everyone is always going on about this city. It’s truly amazing, and it will likely exceed all of your expectations, if you’ve never had the good fortune to travel to there before.
But, knowing what to do in New York City is no easy thing. That’s because there’s literally too much to do! Ask any New Yorker, and they’ll tell you that there are places in city that they’ve been meaning to visit for years. There’s just not enough time in the day.
So, this list includes what we believe are the most essential “touristy” things to do in the city. Some of them are probably pretty obvious – they’re the one’s that you’ve been planning on. There are others, however, that might’ve escaped your notice. You won’t want to skip those places and activities either!
Come take a look at the 39 touristy things we think everyone should do in New York City, even if you’re a person who’s been living there for years!
1. Window Shop on Fifth Avenue
You’ve always wondered where the rich and famous buy their things; well, here it is!
2. Walk Across the Brooklyn Bridge
How many movies have you seen where the lovers meet in the middle of the Brooklyn Bridge. Learn for yourself how ridiculous that really is!
3. Buy Something in Chinatown
Looking to get a sweet deal on a technological device that may or not be a knock off? Here’s your chance!
4. Empire State Building
What touristy trip to New York City would be complete without a picture snapped at the top of the Empire State Building? Be prepared to pay for the elevator ride.
5. Skating in Rockefeller Center
If you’re in New York City in the winter, then you too can have the chance to be one of those people skating around Rockefeller Center.
6. Wave to the Today Show
You’ll have to get up early in the morning, but if you’ve ever wanted to be on TV, this is a quick and easy way to do it!
7. Eat in Little Italy
When you’re dining in Little Italy, you’ll feel as if you walked right onto the set of one of the Godfather movies.
8. Hang Out in Union Square
Ready to do some amazing people watching? Well, then you, sir or ma’am, need to stake out a bench in Union Square.
9. Visit Trump Tower
We’ll admit that Donald Trump doesn’t look like a real person. But, when you visit Trump Tower you’ll see that he is, in fact, very real and very orange.
10. Relax On The High Line
This amazing park, built on an old above-ground subway line, goes unnoticed by many of the tourists that visit. Don’t be one of those tourists!
11. Get Arty In The East Village
If it was good enough for Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Allen Ginsburg, and countless other writers and artists, then it’s good enough for you!
12. Visit Madison Square Garden
Is there a more famous sports and entertainment venue in the entire country? No, there isn’t. Take a tour, or, better yet, see a show.
13. Get Snooty At MOMA
Before you set foot in the MOMA, be sure you pull a few random words from a thesaurus, so you can say things like: “This giant yellow block sculpture is utterly pedantic.”
14. Get Refined At The MET
Classic art and sculptures abound at the MET. If you’re thirsty, be sure to grab a cocktail at the bar!
15. Hello, New York Public Library
The New York Public Library isn’t just a home to a massive number of books; it’s also an architectural wonder.
16. Get Confused in Midtown
Even New Yorkers can’t tell you what’s going on in Midtown. If you want to get in the swing of things, get confused like they do.
17. Go to a Letterman Taping
He’s only got a few months left on the air before he’s replaced by Stephen Colbert. Better go to a taping while you still can!
18. Visit Ground Zero
When you take the time to visit Ground Zero, you’ll come to a full appreciation of just how massive of an even 9/11 was for New York City and the country at large.
19. Walk Through The 9/11 Museum
If you make it all the way there, then you’ll obviously want to walk the halls of the 9/11 Museum.
20. Visit Williamsburg
You know those hipsters that everyone keeps talking about? The ones with the skinny jeans, weird music and dead-end jobs? This is their Mecca.
21. Eat At Nathan’s On Coney Island
If you’ve ever caught the hot dog eating content on the 4th of July, then this is where it takes place.
22. Ride The Cyclone
Coney Island is a national treasure, and the treasure of Coney Island is its historic wooden roller coaster called The Cyclone.
23. Gawk at Grand Central Station
As far as train stations go, Grand Central Station may be one of the most awe-inspiring in the world.
24. Instagram a Photo of the Flatiron Building
It’s a building that’s shaped like a wedge! Wow! You’ve got to do what everyone else does an take a picture of it!
25. A Trip to Ellis Island
The odds are that you have relatives who passed through this landmark when they came to America. See what they saw when they arrived.
26. The Statue of Liberty, Of Course
Aside from the Empire State Building, is there anything else that New York City is more associated with?
27. Ride The Bull On Wall Street
Well, don’t actually do that. You might get a ticket. But definitely get your picture taken with the iconic bull!
28. Meet Some Animals At The Bronx Zoo
The Bronx Zoo is home to a range of different animals, and is a favorite of New Yorkers and tourists alike.
29. Get A Sandwich At Katz’s Deli
This deli is an institution that’s beloved by people around the world. You’ve got to eat there; just be sure to bring your appetite.
30. Stay Up Until 4am
Did you know that the bars in New York City stay open until 4am? If you want to know what it’s like to be young, hip and single, then hang around until last call!
31. Visit the Former CBGB
It was a sad day when this classic venue shut down for good. But, you should still visit the site, especially if you’re a fan of the Ramones or the Talking Heads.