New York has hundreds of locations, corners and attractions waiting to be discovered. However, the reality is that one trip will not be able to tackle everything.
For this reason, it is necessary to focus on one of the districts, and what better way to start than with Manhattan, the city’s financial center and the area with the largest number of iconic places.
If you are preparing your trip to Manhattan and you are wondering which places you cannot leave out to have a complete New York experience, do not miss this list of the 20 best tourist attractions in the city, which are mandatory stops. Pack your bags!
1. A Visit to the Statue of Liberty
To get to know it, you must access Liberty Island, where the structure rests, so you will have to cross the mouth of the Hudson River by ferry, from Battery Park City, in the city.
The history of the statue dates back to 1886, when the French government offered it as an offering to the Americans, in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence of the United States.
In October of the same year it became a tourist attraction and in 1924 it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
When including this destination in your itinerary, you must bear in mind that the ferry ticket includes arrival on the island, but does not guarantee a visit to the monument itself, for which you will have to make reservations, given the influx of tourists.
To visit the island, including a trip to Ellis Island (adjacent to the attraction), enjoy the monument and the pedestal, the average price is $18.50 for adults, and $9 for children between 4 and 9 years old. If you want to access the crown of the statue, you will need to pay an extra $3.
Designed by the architect William van Alen, being an emblematic symbol of art deco, the Chrysler held the title of the tallest building in the world for 11 months, until the opening of the Empire State Building.
The massive brick building was home to the Chrysler company from the 1930s to the mid-1950s.
It was built to be the largest building in the world, at the same time that it competed with the construction of the now The Trump Building, which was projected for 282 meters, while that of the Chrysler building would be 281.9.
They finally win the challenge, incorporating a metal needle at the top, which takes it to reach the 319 meters it now boasts.
Despite how beautiful the crown of the building is and how wonderful the view is, you cannot access beyond the lobby of the building, since all the floors are occupied by companies and private investors.
Despite this, the lobby is a must stop and you can visit it from Monday to Friday, between 8 am and 6 pm
3. 9/11 Museum
An emotional and unique collection of more than 10,000 objects that are part of and tell the story of the largest recorded terrorist attack in the world. The 9/11 Museum was opened by Barack Obama in commemoration of the 13th anniversary of the New York tragedy.
The structure is not only a museum, but a memorial park to honor and remember all the lives lost in the attack, and whose center is two enormous ponds that are located in the foundations of what were once the Twin Towers.
In the surroundings of the waterfall, rest the names of the victims.
Inside the Memorial Park , there is the museum whose latest addition was the suit of the soldier who killed Osama Bin Laden, the intellectual author of the attack, as well as debris from the buildings and unpublished photos of the victims.
The cost of the visit is $24 for adults and $15 for children between 7 and 12 years old, with an intermediate price of $20 for youth between 13 and 17 years old.
In addition, the Memorial works from Monday to Sunday, from 9:00 am. to 8:00 pm, while on Fridays and Saturdays they work until 9:00 pm
The sale of tickets ends about two hours before closing.
4. Rockefeller Center
An undeniable symbol of New York City. Rockefeller Center was built by the heir to one of the most powerful families in the country, the Rockefellers, during the 1930s.
It became a complex with shops, restaurants, television studios and the offices of large art companies.
Given its combination of structures, with the predominance of art deco , it is made up of several attractions, which are a must-see.
For example, you can’t miss a visit to the Top of the Rock observatory, located from the 67th to the 70th floor of the Comcast Building, which allows a complete view of the Big Apple. In the same building you can take a step through the NBC offices.
A little closer to the ground, you can’t say you’ve been to Rockefeller Center without strolling through the central plaza, where Christmas takes place in winter.
There you can enjoy the skating rink between October and April, as well as the Rockefeller Christmas tree and, of course, the golden statue of Prometheus.
You also have to visit the emblematic Radio City Hall building, which you can access on a guided tour for a show or at the Rockettes Christmas show , from November to January.
5. Museum of the New York Historical Society
The oldest museum in the city. It dates from 1804 and comprises a compendium of four centuries of the city’s history, showing its journey between slavery, racial controversy, political conflicts, the fight against terrorism and the challenges of the modern era.
You can visit it from Tuesday to Sunday, with hours between 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., with variations on Fridays until 8:00 p.m., and on Sundays from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
The cost of admission is $18 for adults. Children and young people under the age of 19 enter completely free.
One of the clearest representations of New York, it was originally an area of crime and danger in the city, which at the end of the 90s and under the direction of Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, became one of the most expensive areas of the Big Apple to establish. business and advertising.
In the area you can do various activities, ranging from staying, eating something or having a drink, since it is made up of an agglomeration of various shops and premises that offer the most varied services and tourist experiences.
The experience will be incredible at any time of the day. However, at night the memories and photos will be second to none. Plan your visit for after six in the evening. You will not regret!
One of the most important and recognized economic areas of the city, which received its name from the wall built by the Dutch in 1652 to defend against British attacks, is one of the mandatory stops on the tour of the city.
It consists of various offices. However, the two most emblematic buildings are the New York Stock Exchange (where the Stock Exchange takes place) and Federal Hall.
Before, these buildings could be accessed to enjoy the stock market activity from a contemplation room. But since the September 11 attacks, these visits have been canceled and only the exterior view of the buildings can be enjoyed.
8. St. Patrick’s Cathedral
Made in honor of the patron saint of Ireland, this cathedral is the largest Catholic church in North America and was made with clearly Gothic lines. Construction work began in 1858 and ended in 1879, after the break due to the Civil War.
It is one of the paradigmatic stops in the city, since it is one of the few places to visit and meet that is not characterized by lights or hustle and bustle. It is rather a spiritual space, which is visited by hundreds of tourists without distinction of religion.
You can enjoy it between 6:00 am and 8:45 pm, and it is located in the heart of the district, among the hectic New York life.
9. One World Trade Center
Built as the first building in the reestablishment of the World Trade Center group, and which would come to replace the loss of the Twin Towers, it became a reality in 2013.
Although the construction works formally started in 2006, the first stone was laid on July 4, 2004, in a deeply symbolic event that represented the resurgence of this economic area and the rebirth of everything lost in the 2001 attacks.
It also has an observatory opened in 2015 and which occupies the last three floors of the skyscraper over 500 meters high.
Called One World Observatory, it is one of the best places to enjoy a panoramic view of the city, with a range of about 80 kilometers.
To access the observatory you must buy a ticket a few hours in advance, since visits are limited to appointments by time, available on any day of the year and between 8:00 am and 9:00 pm
Additionally, tickets are $40.28 for adults and $33.75 for children ages 7-12.
10. Madison Square Garden
Recognized worldwide as “The Most Famous Coliseum in the World”, with five floors and capacity for more than twenty thousand people, Madison Square Garden is one of the most important sports stadiums in the world.
It is home to various events, including basketball games and ice hockey games .
To visit it you have two options: a guided tour or attend a sporting or musical event. In the first case, you will be able to enjoy a full tour of all the facilities, including the changing rooms, trophy rooms and boxes, as well as the guidance of an expert.
In the case of accessing this first option, known as the All Access Tour , the price goes from $30 and up, while if you opt for a sporting event, you should check the venue’s calendar to find out the available dates.
The value of the tickets varies according to the show you decide to attend.
With a construction in record time of 410 days and appearing as the third tallest building in the city since the fall of the Twin Towers, it has 102 floors and 443 meters, including the antenna that crowns the building.
It is one of the classic symbols of New York and offers the possibility of enjoying a privileged view of this city, from one of the two viewpoints it has. The first, located on the 86th floor, about 320 meters away; the second, on the top floor, at about 381.
Both viewpoints are visited by an average of four million tourists a year, which means that the queue to go up can take several hours. Access to the first viewpoint has a cost of $32 and for an additional $20, you have access to the second.
As a curious fact, we can tell you that this is one of the favorite locations to ask for marriage in New York, so if your trip is about a romantic getaway, do not rule out the ring among the trousseau.
Considered the lung of New York City and one of the largest natural parks in the world, with about 4 km long and 800 meters wide, it is a classic and necessary stop on any trip to the Big Apple.
Here you can enjoy a break from the hustle and bustle and city air, contemplating the meadows, artificial lakes, waterfalls and small forests that the park offers.
It has a zoo and a wide agenda of cultural and musical events.
One of the best ways to enjoy the entire extension and breathe the park is through a bike ride, for which you can rent it in one of the different shops scattered around the park and that offer very varied prices.
To access it you do not have to pay anything, although some attractions such as the zoo require the payment of an entrance fee. You can visit it from 6:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m.
13. Metropolitan Museum of Art
One of the 10 most visited museums in the world (receiving some six million citations a year), the Metropolitan Museum of Art is a regular stop in any New York tourist guide, currently with more than two million objects on display to the public.
Inaugurated in February 1872, it stands out for its emblematic collections of classical cultures and large-scale painters, such as Monet or Rembrandt, joining the exhibitions of Egypt and an extensive exhibition of Rome.
It costs $25 for adults, $12 for students, and free for children under 12.
You can enjoy it from Tuesday to Sunday, from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm, and Friday and Saturday until 9:00 pm On Mondays (during Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years) it is closed.
14. The High Line
This urban park, which takes place on the old railway line of the city, is one of the most important and beautiful green areas in all of New York. It is about 2 kilometers long and crosses the Big Apple to its western part.
You can access it from one of the three points that make it up throughout the city.
It has a wide range of scheduled activities, including pilates lessons, guided tours and astronomy classes, with the addition that all are taught by volunteers, so they are completely free.
You can enter completely free, with varied hours depending on the time of year in which you are visiting.
15. Grand Central Terminal
Built until 1913 and renovated in 1998, it is an invaluable piece of the city’s architecture and an excellent reflection of its fast and crazy pace.
This station was a response to the need to retire steam transport and to organize what would become rail transport. However, it fell apart in the 1950s, when the rise of the automobile displaced the use of trains almost to absolute disuse.
In view of this scenario, the construction and modernization of the structure was proposed, including commercial areas that accommodated locals.
Although the station is currently used by about 100,000 people, about twice as many enter just to browse the shops, eat in restaurants, take photos and see the place.
The great influx of public does not respond to the use of the train service, but to the tourist potential that the building took.
16. Whitney Museum of American Art
Founded in 1930, it has its origins in the idea of Gertrude Whitney, a sculptor who carried more than 400 works of art for herself, and who decided to bring this museum to life in response to the refusal of the Metropolitan Museum to exhibit its collection.
It has a five-story structure. The last one is the only one to exhibit permanent collections, while three of them are dedicated to the exhibition of temporary collections. In addition, the granite and cement structure, with an impressive façade, makes it an outstanding destination.
You have to make the caveat that, if art is not part of your tastes, it will not be a very interesting walk for you. Even so, due to the architecture and wonder of the construction, we recommend you spend even a little time to admire the building.
You can visit it for a price of $25 for adults and $18 for young people under 19 years of age. Children under 12 enter free.
17. Guggenheim Museum
Manhattan is a district rich in artistic life and the best proof of this is the number of museums that you can enjoy in it.
Such is the case of the Guggenheim Museum, an achievement of a businessman with this surname and a native of Philadelphia, who, upon achieving economic success in the business world, began to treasure modern art.
It has exhibitions by various artists, such as Edouard Monet and Pablo Picasso, although the works on display rotate throughout the year with the other Guggenheim museums in the world.
In it, you can enjoy a completely free guided tour every day, between 11:00 am and 1:00 pm, limited to full English. In case you cannot embark on the tour at that time or with that language, they also offer free audio guides.
The cost to visit is $25 for adults and $18 for students. Admission is free for members and children under 12 years of age.
Located near the Hudson River, it is a combination of a market and a food court, where you can enjoy different shops, restaurants with a variety of food and offices, among which those of YouTube or Google stand out .
Historically, it was the building of the Nabisco cookie company, which gives life to Oreo, Ritz and Chips Ahoy , in the company of the Meatpacking District, a slaughterhouse that supplied Nabisco with butter for cookies.
Although today it is not a factory, it preserves the industrial environment, since its structure has conserved and prioritized these elements as a way of honoring the past of the building and giving tourists a different trip.
As an important fact, we can tell you that this market is located near the High Line, so you can schedule a meal at Chelsea Market and after a visit to read and cool off at the High Line.
19. American Museum of Natural History
Have you enjoyed any of Ben Stiller’s “Night at the Museum” installments? If the answer is yes, then you’ll be eager to pay a visit to one of New York’s most important museums and a cinematographic icon.
Be warned though, the exhibits don’t seem to come to life at night.
Founded in 1869 by the twenty-sixth president of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt, it is a museum dedicated to exposing the enigmas of nature, the origins of the world and of man, the mysteries of space, the passage of dinosaurs through the earth and the anatomy of hundreds of animals of the world.
It is a mandatory stop if you are embarking on the trip with children, since the dynamic and illustrative exhibitions are made for the enjoyment of the little ones, while they learn about the history of the universe.
One of the favorite parts is the planetarium, or the Imax projection rooms .
In addition, it enjoys a visionary economic policy, and the cost of admission is governed by the concept of pay as you wish, which is understood as the place suggesting a price to the tourist and accepting, through discussion, some payment. within this range.
This modality was implemented as a way to avoid the absenteeism of locals and tourists in the museum, shielded by the high costs of reaching the place.
20. New York Public Library
In the Big Apple there is also space for reading and enriching the intellect, and what better example than the city’s Public Library, the second largest in the country and one of the most important in the world, made up of more than three million books .
It was opened to the public at the beginning of the 20th century, carrying the great collections of magnates John Astor and James Lenox, and with a construction where the neoclassical style prevailed, with two large lions waiting at the entrance of the enclosure.
It is said that during the time of the Great Depression, the then mayor of the city, Fiorello LaGuardia, named each of these lions Patience (patience) and Fortitude (Fortitude), which would be, for him, the two great qualities that will allow New Yorkers to survive the economic meltdown.
You can enjoy it for free, even with the guided tour service, which takes place from Monday to Saturday, from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm, after signing up on a list.
New York is an emblematic city worldwide, and an indisputable tourist gem for every traveler.
It is the best representation of modernity, the urban and the turmoil of everyday life, at the same time that it stands imposing and resilient, after the ravages of time, the economy and terrorism.
It is a city that prevails despite the blows and invites us to fill ourselves with hope in the darkest moments.
For this reason, Manhattan is by far a key point to understand and enjoy this unique city in the world, and understand life in the Big Apple.
If you are preparing your travel itinerary or you already know the city and its best destinations, share it with us in the comments!
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