When it comes to New York, it’s hard to know where to start—there are so many things to see and do that it can be overwhelming. However, there are some must-see places that should go straight to the top of any first-time visitor’s list.


Coloring buildings in SoHo in Manhattan, New York

This trendy neighborhood still holds strong as one of the hippest areas of Manhattan and the heart of the city’s fashion scene for good reason. Between the combination of upscale boutiques, thrift shops, bistros, and beautiful people, it has a vibe all its own.

The Empire State Building

Skyview of the Empire State Building in New York City during an orange sunset

Yes, it’s obvious, but you can’t leave the city without making a stop here. While it will always probably be pretty busy—this is the city that never sleeps, after all—consider going at off-peak hours (past 10 pm) to beat the crazy crowds.

West Village

If you want a taste of old New York, the Village has you covered. Ivy creeps up charming old brick buildings, well-heeled residents stroll the cobblestone streets with their dogs, and the bohemian spirit of the ’60s can be felt all around. And, of course, the famous Magnolia Bakery, Minetta Tavern, and White Horse Tavern are all here too.

Central Park

Lots of trees and greenery and a bridge inside of Central Park, New York

Get your outdoor fix by spending an afternoon in this expansive green space. As you probably know, it’s not your average park: there’s a zoo, a lake, a castle, an ice-skating rink, pavilions, gardens, and fountains galore.

The High Line

This vibrant urban park seems worlds away from the hustle and bustle—and, considering it’s X feet above the street, it sort of is. Wander the nearly 1.5-mile greenway, taking in the beautiful gardens and the Manhattan views. You can even grab a meal and drink at Hearth on the High Line or a smaller bite at one of several other vendors.


the outside of the American Museum of Natural History in New York

NYC arguably has some of the best museums in the whole world, so you should make it a point to see at least one of them during your visit. The good news? You can’t go wrong: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, the American Museum of Natural History, and the Guggenheim are all great choices.

Broadway Shows

Street sign on Broadway and West 34th Street in New York

No, you don’t need to spend three paychecks and get your tickets three years ahead of time. Well, unless you’re seeing Hamilton. If you’re flexible with your schedule, check out the TKTS booths around the city to see what shows are available that day; you might just snag some deeply-discounted tickets.