If you’re heading to New York, you’re in for a treat. The city delights international visitors every day and, for many, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime trip.

You don’t want to waste your time there on disappointing attractions and sights that will let you down – Times Square, for instance, looks better in photos and you won’t even be able to get your own. As the Secret Traveller explains, it’s surrounded by busy streets, with virtually no pedestrian areas at all.

To make sure you avoid such tourist traps, we’ve gathered seven of the best attractions New York has to offer – all much better than Times Square.

  1. Central Park

The heart of New York’s busiest borough, Central Park accounts for 6% of Manhattan at a massive 843 acres. It’s an oasis in the middle of the city, home to vast wildlife, as well as locals and tourists alike.

Whether you’re there for a quiet stroll, to stare at the scenery or find the perfect spot for a picnic, you’ll have a great time in Central Park.

  1. Rooftop bars

One of the best ways to experience New York is from above. You can visit the observation decks of the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Centre and the 1 World Trade Centre for a cost. Or you can visit a rooftop bar and spend the money enjoying a few drinks with the view.

The Guardian recommend the Standard hotel in the Meatpacking District, the 230 Fifth in Midtown and the Wythe hotel in Brooklyn.

  1. American Museum of Natural History


As the largest natural history museum in the world, the American Museum of Natural History is a must-visit when in New York.

There are 45 exhibition halls though, holding more than 30 million artefacts, so make sure you plan ahead or allocate plenty of time to inevitably get lost amongst the delights.

  1. The High Line

The High Line, a transformed freight train line along New York’s west side, is the result of a decade-long effort by Joshua David and Robert Hammond.

And their hard work was well worth it – the park in the sky is now one of New York’s most popular attractions. It’s not hard to see why – above the busy traffic, you can stroll among semi-wild meadow plants and get some well-earnt respite from the city below.

  1. Walk the Brooklyn bridge

Our fifth suggestion involves more walking – but it’s worth it because of the views. Connecting Manhattan and Brooklyn, the Brooklyn bridge stretches over the East River.

It will take you about 40 minutes to walk across the promenade and for the entire way you’ll get a great view of Lower Manhattan and New York Harbour.

  1. Visit the 9/11 memorial

Whilst revisiting one of the worst moments in US history doesn’t sound like the ideal holiday activity, you won’t regret dedicating some time to visit the 9/11 memorial during your trip.

The museum shows not only what happened at the World Trade centre, but also the terror attack at the Pentagon and the United Flight 93 tragedy.

In their reasons why you should visit, the Press Telegram said: “It’s a powerful tribute to those who died on that day, but also a reminder that we all, individually and as a group, have the potential to recover and rebuild.”

  1. Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island

Okay, you’ll be surrounded by other tourists – but have you really been to New York if you didn’t go to Ellis Island and see the Statue of Liberty?

We recommend going to see them on the same day (they’re served by the same ferry) and booking tickets in advance.

Have you visited New York? Share your experiences and recommendations with us.


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