Meg’s Top 10 in New York City

The US is a very big place with so many different areas and cities – New York City being arguably the most famous. Despite the fact that two of the best sitcoms to exist are based in this fabulous city – FRIENDS and Brooklyn Nine-Nine – there are a lot of things to see and do here but after a couple of visits, I’ve found that there are some that stand out more than others. 

Here are a couple of honorable mentions to start us off: The Flat Iron Building, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Grand Central Station, Wall Street, the FAO Schwarz toy store, Long Island and Madison Square Gardens. These are all great sights to visit in New York, but some really cater to specific interests or just aren’t as spectacular as the rest. If you have the time, it’s worth at least walking past most of them to have a look but they’re not necessarily things you’d have to plan your whole day around. Now to my top 10 sights in NYC!

10 Rockefeller Center/Top of the Rock

The number 10 slot on my New York City list is occupied by the Rockefeller Center. There is an observatory at the top of the Rockefeller Center known as the Top of the Rock which offers a view of the famous New York City skyline. If you want a view and/or a photo of the skyline with the Empire State Building in it, then this is a good spot for you. I personally would definitely think it through before going because it is certainly an expensive trip up (from about 30€ upward as of Jan 2021) and personally, I find the view from the Empire State Building much better and offers a better overall experience. The building also has an interesting history and nice architecture.

9 Brooklyn Bridge

Slot number 9 goes to the famous Brooklyn Bridge. The bridge is an iconic landmark in NYC, and it is a pretty cool thing to see and walk across. It may just be a bridge but you can get some amazing NYC photos of and on it and the construction is a sight to behold. It’s a pretty windy walk across but it only takes about half an hour. I’d certainly recommend it if you have decent weather and the time. Make sure to take your camera or charge your phone because you’ll get some great photo opportunities along the way! Much like my younger brother did…

8 9/11 Memorial / One World

A melancholier yet very interesting sight in New York City is the 9/11 Memorial and Museum and the One World Trade Center. The National September 11 Memorial & Museum is a memorial and museum commemorating the 11thSeptember 2001 attack the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. The One World and 9/11 memorial are in the lower Manhattan district and are definitely an interesting stop on a New York tour. You can plan your visit by booking your memorial tour with one of the firefighters who was on-site during the tragic events of 11th September 2001.

7 Central Park

I’ll be honest, I was super disappointed when I found out that Central Perk from FRIENDS doesn’t exist. Aside from that though, Central Park is an all-round great experience. Whether you’re visiting the Big Apple in the summer or in the snowy winter, the park is beautiful. The park is full of lovely green areas, the Central Park Zoo, the Pond and great views of the surrounding Manhattan skyline. Get yourself a coffee or an on the go snack and take a wonder through this stunning park in the middle of this constantly hustling-and-bustling city.

6 Broadway

Slots 6 and 5 are a bit more specific but definitely worth your consideration. Wondering around Broadway is interesting if you’re interested in theatre or not because it has a very unique vibe. If you’re even slightly interested in theatre however, you absolutely have to try and catch a show! You can get decently priced tickets if you buy tickets on-site at certain theatres. The quality of the performances that you’ll see in the theatre capital of the world is just amazing! Have a look at what’s on during your stay and there’ll pretty definitely be something on offer that appeals to you.

5 Natural History Museum

Here’s another more specific point on the list. The American Museum of Natural History in New York City is one of the most interesting museums in the world. Of course, I’d recommend watching the Night at the Museum film before you go as an additional orientation and interest point but that’s just an optional add on. On your visit you cannot miss out on the life size great blue whale in the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life. Never again will you have to wonder how ginormous this phenomenal creature is. If you have seen the before mentioned film (and even if not), you will love the dinosaur skeletons of which the highlight is the almost complete T-Rex.

4 Times Square

This is an absolute New York City trip must visit! Times Square is iconic and has a very unique feel to it. I especially recommend an evening visit when you can fully experience all the lights and advertisement boards and the lights of the cars driving by. For the fact that Times Square is actually just an intersection, it has risen to critical acclaim all over the world. It’s the hub of the Broadway theatre district and one of the most visited tourist attractions worldwide. The square gets its name from the New York Times headquarters that moved there in 1904. You don’t need much time to see the square and experience its vibe so it’s an easy spot to fit in on your New York visit.

3 Statue of Liberty

Obviously, an absolute iconic monument in the city of New York is the Statue of Liberty. This should definitely be seen but I as most people I know, wouldn’t recommend actually taking a trip to Ellis Island. There’s not really much there and the view of the statue is perfectly sufficient from the ferries available. But you should definitely try and get your snapshot of this beautiful gift the French brought to America. It’ll be a very touristy event but hey, who wants to say they’ve been to NYC but didn’t see the Statue of Liberty.

2 Highline

If you really want to see another layer to the city and experience something quite unique, I highly recommend the New York Highline. I absolutely loved this when I visited New York last time! The views are very cool, there aren’t too many people there (aka it’s not too touristy) and you get to wonder around and really get a feel for this amazing city. There is also the added bonus that it won’t cost you a penny.

1 Empire State Building

The number one thing I would say to do in New York City is a visit to the Empire State Building. Next to the Statue of Liberty, this is probably the most famous structure in New York City. This was the tallest building in the world for about 40 years until it was overtaken in 1970 by the first World Trade Center tower. It has now been overtaken by many other buildings but still stands as a sign of revolution in construction. The view from the top is stunning and I would definitely recommend a visit. Especially at night you can see the city all light up. This really gives you a typical New York City impression. Additional to the great views, the Empire State Building has a very interesting history that you can find out about when you’re there. This won’t be the cheapest point on your agenda, but I would certainly say it’s worth every penny.

There you have it! My top 10 New York City sights. All in all, there’s not too much you can do wrong on your visit, just have a positive attitude and enjoy everything to the fullest. Try and plan your budget in advance to make the trip a bit more relaxing. Remember, every trip is unique so tailor your visit to your own interests and not those of others.

If you’re interested in more destinations, packing tips or general travel advice, check out some of the other articles and stay tuned for more! In case your questions aren’t answered here, or you have any comments or personal experiences you’d like to share, don’t be afraid to get in touch, comment and let me know. 

You can also follow @megsplaces on Instagram for regular updates, pictures and story polls!

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