Each year, New York City is visited by millions and inhabited by even more as the most populous city in the US. The entire city comprises five unique boroughs: Brooklyn, The Bronx, Staten Island, Queens and, the subject of our guide, Manhattan. Each neighborhood in Manhattan has its own unmistakable flair, offering an endless array of things to do from the obvious to the lesser-known activities. Whether you’re here for the weekend or for good, see below for our picks of things to do in Manhattan.
Museums and Sightseeing
Known for its towering skyscrapers, Manhattan arguably has the most recognizable and romanticized skylines in the world. Among the New York architecture is a plethora of museums and historical sites worth paying a visit. Take in views of the city from the 102nd floor observation deck of the Empire State Building or look out over Manhattan from the top of Rockefeller Center. A ferry will take you out to New York’s mascot, the Statue of Liberty, as well as to the historical immigration port, Ellis Island. Take a walk along the High Line, a former freight rail line elevated above the West Side, or in one of New York’s many green spaces. In Central Park, you can even charter an old-fashioned carriage ride, or rent a gondola from the Loeb Boathouse to take you across the lake.
Fans of classical paintings will appreciate a tour of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, while those who prefer the new school will enjoy wandering the Museum of Modern Art (MoMa) for a while. Make stops at the Guggenheim, Whitney, and New Museum for an art-filled day in the city or mingle among dinosaurs at the American Museum of Natural History. Head downtown to see the fountain at the 9/11 Memorial, then ride the Sky Pod elevator up the the top of the One World Observatory to see Manhattan from a new view.
Entertainment and Shopping
No matter how many times you visit Manhattan, a Broadway show should always be on your itinerary. The ever-changing lineup means there’s always a new Playbill to add to the collection, whether from a fresh new musical or time-honored play revival, and the bright lights of Times Square are all around you. Madison Square Garden, known to locals as simply ‘The Garden,’ is a must for both sports events and big-name concerts.
Between Fifth Avenue and Madison Avenue, you’ll find the New York shopping scene that’s been documented in Manhattan-set movies for decades. It’s here that Tiffany & Co. stands alongside fashion designers like Hermès and Lanvin as well as famed department stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Barneys New York and Bloomingdale’s. The trendy Soho neighborhood provides a different backdrop for a New York retail experience with an array of well-known and up-and-coming designer stores. For more luxury brands, out of the New York winter weather, the new Brookfield Place is a high-end shopping center in downtown Manhattan. Chelsea Market offers an upscale flea-market vibe, complete with snacks, with a nearby dock for your yacht at Chelsea Piers.