Most Popular Tourist Attractions in New York - Top 10

By Stuart Bak

No one could ever accuse The Big Apple of lacking bite when it comes to world-beating tourist attractions. From Brooklyn Bridge to the bright lights of Broadway, Central Park to the Statue of Liberty, MoMa to The Met, and the Empire State Building to Edge, there’s something for everyone here, and then some! Dive in for our guide to 10 of New York’s most popular tourist attractions…

Central Park

Belevedere Castle in Central Park, New York

NYC icons don’t come much bigger than Central Park. Explore 843 acres of manicured gardens, rocky ravines and pleasant glens but, fear not, if that sounds like a lot of hard work there are over 9,000 benches on which to rest weary legs. And, you know, you can also just leave your adventurer hat at home and potter around a few key Central Park attractions instead. We’re talking the peaceful, elm-shaded Strawberry Fields memorial to John Lennon, the romantic Bethesda Fountain, the meandering path that snakes around the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Belvedere Castle, a fairytale folly that doubles as a weather station. Hire a bicycle to see the sights at a leisurely pace or – why the heck not – strap on your roller skates and cruise the broad leafy avenues in style.

The Statue of Liberty

Man photographing the Statue of Liberty

Believe it or not, the Statue of Liberty isn’t even one of NYC’s most-visited attractions, despite being indisputably its most iconic. That’s because the majority tend to view it from Manhattan observation platforms (more on these later), or perhaps from the Staten Island Ferry, rather than disembarking at Liberty Island itself for the real deal. But in fact nothing beats getting right up close with a roundtrip to Ellis Island, where you can visit the Immigration Museum and even set foot inside sections of the Green Goddess herself. Those with a head for heights will likely thrill to the idea of getting right to the heart (or indeed crown) of the definitive emblem of American freedom, with a 354-step climb up the internal staircase and into the famous headgear. A positively regal experience.


Tourists admiring a sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York

If you’re only going to visit one art museum in New York, make it MoMA, the most popular and arguably the best. Here, over 200,000 pieces of 20th and 21st Century art occupies some 700,000 square feet of prime Midtown Manhattan real estate. Dive in for some of the most famous modern masterpieces on the planet, including Dalí’s The Persistence of Memory, Van Gogh’s Starry Night and Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Cans, to namecheck just a few. In a word: wow.

Natural Highs

Manhattan skyline, including the Empire State Building

New York has more sky-high observation decks than you can shake a very large stick at, many of which feature regularly in lists of the most popular tourist attractions in town. It’s not hard to see why. Just zip to the top of the One World Trade Center, Empire State Building or Rockefeller Center and let those far-reaching views across the iconic Manhattan skyline do the talking. You can even (gulp) take an al fresco stroll across the top of the 30 Hudson Yards building at relative newbie Edge, an experience for which only those with nerves of absolute steel need apply. Check out our comparisons between some of the biggest hitters here and here.

American Museum of Natural History

Easter Island head at the American Museum of Natural History

Who doesn’t love a natural history museum, am I right? And this one’s a doozy. Set inside a purpose-built 19th-century Romanesque Revival building on the edge of Central Park, its labyrinthine interiors showcase millions of ancient relics that chart the entire story of life on Earth. Highlights of this mind-bogglingly vast collection include a 122-foot-long titanosaur skeleton, a 34-ton section of the 200-ton Cape York meteorite, an Easter Island head statue, and an epic butterfly vivarium with around 1,000 of the free-flying critters. 

Times Square

Classic yellow cabs and bright lights on Times Square, New York

It’s a fact universally acknowledged that no one leaves Manhattan without first bagging a selfie amid the dazzling lights and iconic yellow cabs of Times Square. Heck, you can even have your beautiful face beamed onto the huge digital billboard – your 15 seconds of fame for a mere $40. Bargain.

Grand Central Terminal

Grand Central Terminal in New York

It takes a special kind of train station to make it into any city’s top 10 most popular attractions, let alone somewhere like NYC, but then the Grand Central Terminal is no ordinary station. Insta addicts flock to this Beaux-Arts beauty for its epic architecture and features that include a massive astrological ceiling mural (2,500 stars, fact fans), glittering chandeliers, the famous four-faced information-booth clock, and a fun whispering gallery. So good, in fact, that you’ll probably miss the train you rushed here to catch.

9/11 Memorial and Museum

US flag at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum in New York

Built on the former site of the World Trade Center, this stunning memorial and museum tells the human stories behind the tragic events of September 11, 2001, combining moving personal testimonies and memorabilia with multimedia presentations to provide a real insight into the day's events. The courageous stories told by survivors and first responders are frankly awe-inspiring, and twin reflecting pools – each almost an acre in size – provide serene spots for quiet remembrance.

Coney Island

Young couple on a ride at Coney Island, New York

Unleash your inner child in the birthplace of the theme park. There have been rides at Coney Island since the late 19th Century and the oldest ride still operating here – the 150-foot-tall Wonder Wheel in Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park – has been thrilling kids young and old for well over 100 years now. For more modern kicks, hit up the revived and revamped Luna Park, where 21st-century coasters with names like Cyclone, The Tickler and Thunderbolt are every bit as nerve-jangling as they sound. 


Theater stage

Yes, Broadway shows can be a little pricey, but there’s really no better place on the planet to take in a spot of high-end drama or musical theater. Here’s where the likes of Meryl Streep, James Earl Jones, Julie Andrews and Idina Menzel cut their teeth. And where you, dear reader, can see the stars of today (and tomorrow) singing their lungs out at huuuge shows like Chicago, Hamilton, Wicked and The Lion King. Indeed, an evening of musical theater on Broadway might just be the quintessential Manhattan night out.

Save on New York’s most popular tourist attractions

Save on admission to New York attractions with the New York Pass. Check out @NewYorkPass on Instagram for the latest top tips and attraction info.

Continue reading


New York Bicycle Rentals and Tours

Did you know New York City has more than 800 miles of bike routes? They are divided into three categories: Bike Paths: on-street bike paths are protected from vehicular traffic by parked cars or physical barriers. Off-street bike paths exist along much of the City’s waterfront and in many parks – Perfect for visitors and families. Bike Lanes: bike lanes are painted onto the road usually next to the parking lane, and are marked with bike symbols. Shared Lanes: used by cyclists and motorists, placed just far enough from the curb to help you avoid opening car doors. You can explore NYC by bike with your New York Pass Riding a bike in NYC has never been easier, it’s a great and healthy idea for a day out. New York Pass holders get up to 4hours of free bike rental, with locations available across Manhattan, alternatively, Pass holders can join a Bicycle Tour of Central Park or Brooklyn Bridge – All free with New York Pass. Blazing Saddles Bike Rentals & Tours Explore bike-friendly New York City on a scenic and historic bike ride! Brooklyn Bridge Bike Tours and Rentals The New York Pass grants you a FREE 2-hour guided bike tour of Brooklyn Bridge, DUMBO, and Brooklyn Bridge Park and waterfront, or a FREE 3-hour bike rental anytime during business hours Central Park Bicycle Rentals & Tours See more of Central Park with New York City’s premier local bike rental provider Central Park Bicycle Rentals & Tours (aka Bike Rent NYC). Central Park Sightseeing Bike Tours & Rentals Experience the full grandeur of Central Park from a cyclist’s perspective.
Kirsten McCroskrie

New Year In New York: What's On In 2019?

When Christmas has come and gone, there's only one thing left to look forward to. Boxing day. The day people all over the world lace up your boxing gloves, and fights their families for Christmas dinner leftovers. But wait, don't do that. Take the gloves off, because we're nearly in 2020. And you know what that means? New Year's Eve, the last and possibly biggest event of your year, is on its way. Whether you're visiting New York, or call the city home, you might be wondering what to do? Well, lucky for you, we've compiled an elite list of only the best New Year's entertainment that NYC has to offer. So prepare for the new year in New York, with the best New Year's Eve events in 2019. You're most welcome. Featuring... Times Square NYRR Midnight Run Prospect Park Fireworks Times Square NYE Ball Drop Times Square If you want something traditional, family-friendly, and with plenty of photo opportunities, Times Square is just the place. Famed for the ball drop that sees in the New Year, it's the place to be in NYC. It's popular. Real popular. Hundreds of thousands of people popular. It's so popular that the line to get in starts 12 hours earlier, at noon. So if you want in, you need to be dedicated. Plus, you know, New York is pretty cold in the winter. So wrap up warm. If you go to the toilet, or leave for any other reason, you'll likely lose your spot. If you do keep your place, and stay warm, you'll be in for a treat. Singing, dancing, live performances, and the aforementioned ball drop all await. Bear in mind that there's a no-alcohol policy if you like a drink or two to ring in the new year. NYE Ball Drop party Assorted locations in and around Times Square For all you party animals who want to see the ball drop with a glass of champagne in hand. Well, thankfully you're covered too. As you'd expect, these parties aren't cheap, and tickets are pretty limited. But you get a lot of bang for your buck. Free bar, dinner, and the best view of the ball drop this side of the front row. Plus you're inside, so no worries about freezing in the late-December cold. And you'll likely have space to relax, eat, and a generous dancefloor to bust some moves on. If your stuck with your little ones, or actually want them to accompany you, you're in luck. Children are usually welcome too. However, no one under 21 can have a drink. It might be New Year, but you still have to play by the rules! Book ASAP to make sure you get a place. Go Clubbing Assorted clubs around NYC Yes, we all like to dance every so often. How else does one express oneself? Thankfully, New York is teeming with clubs of all shapes and sizes that open until the early hours. And on NYE, it's no different. You've got popular clubs like Marquee and 1 Oak, as well as more paired back options such as Le Bain, PHD, and Output. Whatever your dress code, music taste, or preferred scene, there's sure to be a New York club that fits the bill. Just be aware, lots of these places will have hefty entry fees, or will be sold out weeks or even months in advance. Do your research. The last thing you want to see in the new decade is to spend ages getting to a club only to find out they're fully booked. With any luck, and a fair bit of forward-planning, you'll get your dancing shoes on this new year's, and tear up that dancefloor like nobody's business. Who's the dancing queen? You are. You are. Prospect Park Fireworks Prospect Park If you're looking for some New Years' fun that won't break the bank, head over to Prospect Park and check out their New Years' fireworks. It's completely free to get in, and there's some quality live entertainment to kick off proceeding at 10:30pm. Grab a hot chocolate to keep warm, and see in the new year the way nature intended - surrounded by trees! This is Prospect Park's 40th year of fireworks, and attendees will be joining thousands of New Yorkers who make it out every year. Kids are welcome too, of course. Just make sure they're wearing multiple scarves. NYRR Midnight Run Central Park Planning on making a New Years' resolution come January? Planning on getting into shape? Well, what better way to start the year, and keep your resolution, with the NYRR Midnight Run? Simply swap your suits and shoes for joggers and sneakers. As the bell tolls midnight, hundreds of runners set off on the 4-mile course. Starting near Bethesda Terrace, runners will complete a circuit that takes them through Engineers' Gate, past the Reservoir, and all the way back around. A magnificent fireworks display awaits everyone at the finishing line, and you can help yourself to a sparkling cider at the halfway mark. Clearly, it's not a run that takes itself too seriously. But that's exactly what you want after a week of Christmas gorging. About as exhilarating a new year in New York you can imagine! Whatever you do, you're sure to enjoy your New Year in New York! Oh, and if you're feeling hungry before the celebrations get underway, or you're feeling famished once the night is through, go grab a burger at some of the best joints around. And if you're from out of town and staying for a few days...'ll want to make the most of your time in the Big Apple. As you can imagine, there's a huge amount to do and see. It's the city that never sleeps, after all. You'll want to start with all the iconic buildings and locations in the city. Head up to the Empire State Building's Observatory for the best views overlooking the city. Take a trip over to Liberty Island and visit Lady Liberty herself. Take a bus tour of New York's inner landmarks. Or take the seas and get a different perspective of the city. And, if you want a little culture, then check out these unmissable exhibitions. If you're unsure about how to get about the city (it's pretty big), check out our handy beginner's guide to the subway, and all you need to know about hailing a cab too.
Dom Bewley

Mountain Bike Trails & Bike Trails Near You

More riders are hitting the mountain bike trails, bike trails and cycle paths than ever. Fact. Which is why World Bicycle Day is the perfect day to get on your bike and enjoy the beautiful scenery around you. But where should you go if you're looking for mountain bike trails and bike trails that stray from the beaten path? If you live in a major city like London, New York, or Paris, you may want to head out of the urban sprawl to one of these top tier bike trails. Get on your bike - bike trails Sunrise Ride at Grand Army Plaza - US Yes, you can take this ride at any time of the day, but it truly becomes something spectacular if you're there at sunrise. The trail begins in Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn, right at the northern tip of Prospect Park, passing Fort Tilden. You'll take this to Bedford Avenue and will ride through some of the most beautiful and often under-experienced neighborhoods in all of Brooklyn. Along the way you'll pass Brooklyn College and arrive at Sheepshead Bay. If you time it right, you'll be able to see the morning boats departing the dock. Riding over Jamaican Bay in the morning is beautiful and there's a cooling breeze. This ride is longer at 27 miles, but it's not hilly and always a pretty comfortable ride. Plus, it isn't as busy as some of the other trails and parks throughout New York, which gives you the sunrise almost all to yourself. Ocean Parkway Ocean Parkway makes the list of top bike tours in New York City because it was the first actual bike path in the entire United States. Created in 1894, it is seven miles long and travels down Ocean Parkway, beginning (again) at Prospect Park and heading out to Coney Island Beach. This path is away from pedestrians and a shorter route. Plus, it ends at Coney Island, so make sure to stop off for a hot dog or a ride. Either way, it's a great way of taking in some American history while getting fit. Tamsin Trail When you're in London and want a leisurely ride, The Tamsin Trail is perfect as it is 12km that has plenty of built-in stops. There are also a ton of ice cream shops, making it perfect for a summer cycle. The Tamsin Trail is London's largest royal park, so you'll be riding through some of the most breathtaking landscapes in London. Of course, if this path is too easy you can always hop off and take the National Cycle Route 4's hill climb. This will really work your legs and is one of the most recognized bike paths in all of London. Westminster Bridge to Box Hill This is a longer path of 42km. It's also more of a challenge, so only tackle this bike path if you've been riding road bikes for a while now. In fact, the "Zig Zag Road" portion of the path was part of the 2012 Olympic road cycling route. Taking this longer trail also brings some incredible views with it. The trail heads out of London along Richmond Park. Now, you can take the hill, but with this path there's no need to. You'll hit plenty of hills during the path and it's best to not blow your energy all at the beginning. Beyond Richmond Park you'll pass Hampton Court Palace and ride into Surrey. When you hit Box Hill you'll climb 120 meters over about the next 2 kilometers. You may want to stop at the base of Box Hill and grab some refreshments at National Trust Cafe. Plus it's just a nice little spot to relax a bit. Stalingrad to Bois de Vincennes There's plenty of fantastic bicycle paths in and around Paris, so you'll have your pick. However, one of the best is Stalingrad to Bois de Vincennes. You'll start off at Canal Saint-Martin and head past Bastille as you take a left just after Opera Bastille. You'll take this until you hit Viaduc de Arts. You will need to carry your bike up the Promenade Plantee stairs, which gives you a fantastic view from the overpass. You'll then take your bike and finish at Bois de Vincennes. Thankfully, there will be plenty of chocolate shops along the way if you're feeling like rewarding yourself for this bike ride. More and more people are taking to the saddle every year.Ride every mountain - mountain bike trails Jura Mountains - France The Jura Mountains, with its cool green pine forests, secret landscapes and immutable topography. It's the perfect place to get your adrenaline and your Zen, all in one go. The well-marked and maintained routes feature challenging and varied terrain to suit all levels. Find flatter terrain further south if you're a fledgling rider. Follow the trail out of the trees, to the Grande Traversée du Jura to enjoy stunning meadow-scapes, or if technical difficulty is your thing, the northern section skirts the Doubs gorge. Epping Forest - UK Just outside of London, Epping Forest is known for its varied and, let's be honest, muddy, mountain bike trails. The route is 95 per cent off-road and 90 per cent singletrack. The highest point is located at Pole Hill, at 91 metres. But be wary: navigation can be difficult due to the trail being largely unmapped. But you’ll never be far from a road or a landmark. The trail is never more than 4km wide and 19km long. Epping Forest is near several car parks located at the edge of the woods. Look out for the free weekend parking on the residential streets. Lippman Park - US A proud community asset to the Town of Wawarsing with a name that means "where the stream bends". Lippman Park is a well-maintained mountain bike trail for intermediate to advanced riders, with a singletrack of 14 miles and 301 ft elevation. This beautiful area features a park that plays host to both open and woodland areas, so be sure to stop off to relax once you're done. And look out for the brewery near the park's entrance. These are just some of the few bike tours to consider for World Bicycle Day if you live in London, New York or Paris. Don't fancy leaving the city? No problem. Celebrate World Bicycle Day by taking a Central Park Sightseeing Bike Tour! That and a number of other top London attractions are free with The New York Pass.
Suz Pathmanathan

Have a 5% discount, on us!

More savings? You're welcome. Sign up to our newsletter and receive exclusive discounts, vacation inspiration and much more.

  • Thick check Icon