72 Things to Do Alone in New York: The Complete List
Thinking about a trip to New York City by yourself? Keep reading to find out the ultimate list of things to do in New York alone.
New York is the perfect city to visit – whether it’s for a weekend, a week, or even a month. There is just so much to do and see. Don’t worry if you can’t find anyone to go with you- it’s also a great place to visit for solo travelers.
In a city of 8.5 million people, there’s always something to do, someone to meet, or someone to strike up a conversation with. If you’re traveling alone for the first time, New York is a good place to do so too. The city is safe, getting around is easy, there are many things to do alone and everything you need is readily available.
If you’re here wondering whether New York City is a good place to visit by yourself the answer is definitely yes. There are so many things to do in New York alone, so many things to see, and people here also just don’t care about what others are doing. If you’re feeling self-conscious about dining alone- don’t be, New Yorkers do it all the time and no one will bat an eyelid either way.
I visited New York alone, and I left safe and comfortable everywhere I went (Manhattan & Brooklyn, and New Jersey.) From experience, I can say it’s a great city to visit solo.
Read more: The Benefits of Confidence & High Self Esteem
*This ‘things to do alone in New York’ post contains affiliate links meaning I might make a small profit if you choose to book at no extra cost to you. This helps me to keep providing you with top-quality content for free.
Now let’s dive in. We’ve compiled the ultimate list of things to do alone in New York that are absolute musts for first-timers and seasoned visitors.
Looking for the perfect 4 Days in New York Itinerary? Read Our Epic New York Itinerary for 4 Days in the Big Apple
72 Things to Do in New York Alone
1. Photograph Manhattan from the Top of the Rock
Manhattan certainly has its fair share of viewpoints and observatories. Heading up to the top of buildings and seeing the views is one of the best things to do in New York alone. The Top of the Rock is one of the most classic views. With two outdoor platforms and views over three floors, here you’ll get a complete 360-degree view of Manhattan. They really are stunning- especially at sunset.
It’s a good idea to buy your ticket in advance and choose your time slot but this is easily changeable if the weather doesn’t cooperate. Skip the queues and get your ticket here.
To read more about exactly how to visit the Top of the Rock read our guide here.
2. Treat Yourself to a New York Bagel
Bagels are a New York staple and grabbing one while exploring is a must.
Choose your bagel type and your filling at some of the best New York Delis in the city. You’ll be able to find gluten-free options and vegan options too.
Our favorite spots for fresh bagels are Russ & Daughters on the Lower East Side, Zabar’s on the Upper West Side, and Murray’s Bagels in Greenwich Village.
3. Take the Ferry to Staten Island
One of the best ways to see the Statue of Liberty and Lower Manhattan is from the water. Catch the Staten Island ferry from Whitehall Terminal right by Battery Park and it takes 40 minutes to get to Staten Island. It’s one of the best things to do in New York alone.
On arrival, you can choose to explore or take the same ferry right back. The ferry doesn’t get too close to the Statue of Liberty but you can still see it well. The Staten Island ferry is free and runs all day.
4. Explore the Cafes of Brooklyn
If you like coffee or spending time in cafes, you’ll find some of the best in Brooklyn. To be honest, Manhattan also has so great cafes but there’s something about the hipster vibes of the ones we found in Brooklyn.
Make sure not to miss % Arabica- yes it’s a chain but it’s amazing, Bulter, a cute cafe in DUMBO, Cup of Joe, and Partners Coffee.
5. Read a Book in Washington Square Park
Lower Midtown and NoMad have quite a few small parks allowing you to enjoy a bit of nature when in the city without having to head quite a bit further north to Central Park.
Washington Square Park is a lovely little space that’s perfect for relaxing, catching up on reading, enjoying a coffee, or just people-watching. Grab a book head to the park, find yourself a bench, and enjoy your own company.
6. Admire the Views from the Empire State Building
One of New York’s icons, the Empire State Building is a must when visiting NYC and you can easily summit and look around alone. Not only is the building absolutely beautiful with its Modernist Art Deco architecture, but the views are also pretty splendid too. It’s one of the highest views in New York City and you can opt for the extra entry to the 102nd floor!
Get your tickets in advance here.
7. Oogle at the Architecture at the Guggenheim Museum
One of the most spectacular buildings is Frank Lloyd Wright’s Guggenheim Museum which is a must-see when in NYC. It’s also well worth popping in to see its modern art collection which includes works from Manet, Van Gogh, and Degas.
Get your ticket in advance here or pop in on Saturday between 6-8 pm for pay-what-you-wish admission.
8. Walk the High Line
The High Line is an awesome way to get to know the streets of Chelsea from a pretty privileged vantage point. The High Line is a raised, disused railway line that was eventually abandoned and then transformed into a garden-filled walkway.
Along the High Line, you’ll find many little gardens, benches, and stops to relax but the best thing to do is just to stroll it while listening to a great podcast or taking some great photos.
You can also download a Guided Meditation to do while walking the High Line via the official website. The High Line will take you all the way from The Vessel to the Whitney Museum.
The best time to walk the High Line is in the morning before it gets too crowded. It’s also an excellent jogging route.
9. Grab a Bite at Chelsea Market
One of the most famous food markets in New York if not the world, Chelsea Market is the perfect place to browse and try some of New York’s best foods. It’s an iconic culinary destination in the Meatpacking District where you can buy fresh produce, artisanal products, imported Italian ingredients and top-quality meat and fish.
Apart from cooking ingredients, you’ll also find a wide range of meals available from classic Italian food to sandwiches and everything in between. It’s the perfect stop after shopping at Hudson Yards, checking out the Vessel, and walking the High Line.
If you want to find out a little more about these areas from a local and do a food and history tour click here.
10. Check out the Intrepid Museum
If you’re someone that loves science then make sure to check out the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum. You’ll be able to learn a lot about US military, naval and air history as well as space exploration, technology, and more. A museum is always one of the good things to do in New York alone. Get the skip the line ticket here.
11. Go for a Run in Central Park
The world’s most iconic park, Central Park is a non-negotiable when visiting New York alone. It’s the biggest green space in the city and there are so many activities you can do in order to be able to experience New York’s green lung. We suggest combining your visit with some fitness and going for a run, but you can also go for a walk, or bike around the 2.5 by 0.5-mile park.
If you prefer to relax you can also have a picnic, relax and read a book or just stroll around.
12. Go for dinner in Chelsea
Chelsea and Greenwich Village have some of the best restaurants in New York, both budget eats and fine dining. It’s one of the best areas to stay close to in order to take advantage of all the amazing eats. While eating alone in a restaurant in a large city might feel awkward at first- it’s pretty common in NYC.
Some of the best restaurants in Chelsea and the West Village to take yourself out on a dinner date are Osteria 57 for incredible Italian, Willow for vegan, Llama San for Nikkei cuisine, and Little Prince a little further south in Soho.
13. Take Photos of the Flatiron Building
The Flatiron building is one of the coolest buildings in NYC and definitely deserves a few snaps. The iconic 22-story building was originally the Fuller Building and was completed in 1902. The Flatiron and NoMad areas are also some of the best places to stay in NYC to get the most out of your stay. It’s famous for its triangular shape- hence the name flatiron, derived from the old cast-iron clothes irons.
Given the rectangular block structure of New York City, you don’t see many triangular buildings so it’s one to take note of.
14. Go Vintage Shopping
If vintage shopping is your thing, then you’ll find many amazing vintage stores in New York where you’ll be able to browse and pick up that unique piece to bring home. With so many vintage stores in New York City, where do you start?
If you want to stay in Manhattan, I’d suggest popping into Hamlet’s Vintage in West Village and for vintage handbags What Goes Around Comes Around in West Broadway.
For some other gems in Brooklyn, check out Le Grand Strip and Awoke Vintage in Greenpoint.
15. Check out the Vessel
The Vessel in Hudson Yards is one of New York’s newest modern buildings. It was designed by a London architect and has a very unique honeycomb-like structure in the shape of a giant egg. Many staircases inside the structure connect each of the floors and platforms together.
Unfortunately due to a few tragic suicides, the Vessel has closed for a while but its reopening is planned for the near future with more suicide prevention measures in place. However, the new opening will bring new rules and one of them is that visitors won’t be able to go up alone. While this isn’t yet confirmed you’ll need to check their official website here before you go. Otherwise, you can still see the structure from the ground floor.
16. Go Shopping in Hudson Yards
After you pop into the Vessel make sure to check out the brand-new mall at Hudson Yards. This new complex also includes luxury residences, the Equinox hotel, and many shops and restaurants too. It’s a spot you can definitely kill a few hours on your NYC itinerary indulging.
New York City is after all one of the best places in the world for shopping so make sure to make the most of it here.
17. Walk over the Brooklyn Bridge
The Brooklyn Bridge is one of New York’s highlights- not only for its hybrid steel cable/suspension bridge design but also for the incredible views you see from the bridge. Walking along the two-tiered bridge, traffic at the lower tier, and bicycles and pedestrians on the elevated pedestrian walkway, is one of the best things to do in New York alone.
For the best views, make sure to start in DUMBO, Brooklyn, and walk towards Manhattan and not the other way around. The bridge can get pretty busy so make sure to come earlier in the day for the best experience. You can easily do this solo, making it one of the best things to do in New York alone.
18. Check out the New York Public Library
While getting a library membership as a visitor in NYC might not be on your list of things to do alone in New York City, the New York Public Library is a real gem, especially if you’re already in the Midtown area.
The library is the second largest in the world and signing up for a free tour of the iconic Stephen A Schwarzman Building will allow you access to the building and the stunning Rose Main Reading Room. You’ll also learn more about the history, architecture, and collections of this fine neo-classical building.
You can sign up for the free, 1-hour tour which runs at 11am and 2pm from Monday to Saturday. You’ll need to pre-book your tickets. Get more information and reserve here.
19. Take Photos and Shop at the Oculus
The Oculus is one of Manhattan’s newest landmarks just steps away from the World Trade Center. It’s a PATH transit Hub in Lower Manhattan but it’s far from your basic train station. The Oculus really explored the boundaries of what a transportation hub can look like, combining it with a pedestrian tunnel and shopping center.
The architecture here is the real highlight, almost skeleton-like from certain viewpoints. Make sure to pop in and take a photo of the unique artistic landmark.
20. Learn more about the Events of 9/11 at the 9/11 Memorial Museum
When in lower Manhattan and New York, one simply cannot forget the tragic events of 9/11.
Just steps from the Oculus, you’ll find the 9/11 Memorial. The two memorials stand in the exact same place where the Twin Towers once stood. The memorials are in the form of deep pools with large bronze panels running around the perimeter which bear the names of those who died during the attack. The memorial is free to visit.
For those that want to learn more, make sure to also visit the 9/11 Memorial Museum. The museum tells the story of 9/11 through images, various artifacts recovered from ground zero, and personal stories. As you can imagine it’s a pretty heavy and saddening experience but well worth it when in NYC. Book your tickets in advance here.
21. Take a Food Tour
New York City is a foodie city. With so many different cultures and identities represented here, there’s no denying that the city also has some of the best food around. Much like London, you’ll find the best international foods here from Italian to Mexican and it’s available everywhere all the time.
One of the best ways to experience the food culture is by going on a food tour. Guides will take you to the best places to sample the food without the need for you to research the best grub for hours by yourself. While there are many food tours in NYC, I recommend this Lower East Side Culture and Food Tour via Viator.
22. Check out the Views in Dumbo
Before heading over the Brooklyn Bridge, make sure to explore DUMBO, and walk around the Brooklyn Bridge Park and the riverfront to capture the most amazing views of Lower Manhattan from Brooklyn. Make sure to come at sunrise or sunset for the best golden light over the city.
23. Get Pampered at The Well
The Well is NYC’s best wellness escape. If those looking to relax a little, indulge in some self-care or even head to a meditation class, the Well is the place to be. Located right by Union Square, why not opt for one of their signature massages, IV therapy, or a customized facial?
If you’re not after treatments there are also yoga and meditation classes as well as energy healing.
You can also head to their healthy and delicious restaurant or stop by the store to stock up on skincare. Find out more here.
24. Visit Times Square
Yes, it might be very commercialized, crowded, and touristy, but first-timers in New York City won’t be able to miss Times Square, even if just for a minute. Check out the latest flashing billboards, stores, and neon lights.
25. Go Shopping at Saks Fifth Avenue
When shopping, nothing is more iconic in New York than its department stores. Saks 5th Avenue is one of the best luxury department stores in the world and you’ll be able to find grand displays, the latest fashion offerings, and more.
Some other alternatives are Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdale’s, and Macy’s.
26. Buy a Book at an Independent Bookstore
When traveling alone, I always find that books are a great companion for riding the subway or sometimes even when dining alone.
Luckily New York City has some amazing bookstores to stop at to pick up a new read. Try Barnes & Noble for a great variety or perhaps pop into some wonderful independent bookshops like Shakespeare & Co, Albertine on the Upper East Side, or The Strand Bookstore on Broadway.
27. Spend an Afternoon in Williamsburg
Williamsburg is one of New York’s coolest neighborhoods and a good reason to leave the tourist hub of Manhattan. Just across the bridge from the Lower Eastside, Williamsburg is now famous for its hip accommodation and great restaurant and bar scene.
The area has seen a lot of gentrification recently, which does have its pros and cons and I highly encourage you to spend some time here and see the area for yourself.
If you want to see all the highlights without needing to do too much research then join this Williamsburg Food and Walking Tour to get the best out of the district.
28. Go to a Yankees Game
For the sports fans out there, a chance to see the New York Yankees is a must. Try to grab some tickets online well in advance and enjoy a baseball game at the most famous baseball stadium in the world.
29. Take a Walk Through Bethesda Terrace
Located in the central southern end of Central Park, Bethesda terrace is a bi-level lakeside terrace with a fountain. It’s unmissable when taking a stroll or going for a run in Central Park.
Make sure to head down to the covered lower level where you’ll find elaborately carved ceilings and grand arches.
30. Go see Art at the MOMA
For fans of modern and contemporary art, the Museum of Modern Art is one to consider on a rainy day. There are many different rotating exhibitions and the standing collection includes works by artists such as Dali, de Kooning, Picasso, Lichtenstein, and Frida Khalo just to name a few.
31. Have Fun at the Museum of Ice Cream
Have a little fun at the Museum of Ice Cream. This worldwide museum will have you interacting with life-sized displays and jumping into a pool of giant sprinkles. There’s also access to unlimited ice cream and you’ll be able to learn about the history of the popular treat.
While this museum is really fun for kids, adults here also have a blast. It’s the perfect thing to do in New York City alone to bring out the kid in you. Get your ticket here.
32. Have a Conversation with a Total Stranger
New York is one of the best places in the world to have a conversation with a total stranger. If you’re traveling solo meeting new people even for a few moments can add some perhaps needed social interaction to your trip. New Yorkers are friendly and never afraid of starting a chat.
33. See a Show on Broadway
Nowhere does theatre quite like iconic Broadway and what better way to spend time in NYC than to go see a Broadway show? You can choose from a variety of plays, musicals, and shows that tickle your fancy including the iconic Chicago, the Lion King, and new additions; Life of Pi and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
You should never pay full price for your Broadway tickets as many discounts are offered both online and at booths in Times Square. Check here for what’s on.
Get your tickets here or at the Box Office.
34. Take Yourself out on a Date
Because why not? Make the most of New York’s buzzing restaurant scene and treat yourself to a dinner date. Dining alone might need a bit of practice and if you’re not yet comfortable with the idea, go out for a lunch date instead.
35. Take a Speakeasy & Prohibition History Tour
Travel back in time to the era of Prohibition in 1920s America. Learn more about the history and discover New York’s underground speakeasy bars.
You’ll enjoy a drink, and learn some interesting facts about the city in one of the best off-the-beaten-path experiences in NYC. Learn more about the tour and book here.
36. Go Ice Skating & See the Tree at Rockefeller Plaza
When visiting New York City during the Christmas period, make sure not to miss the beautifully festive Rockefeller Plaza. You’ll find New York’s largest tree here and you’ll be able to get some exercise in on the ice rink too. It’s one of the best things to do in New York City at Christmas time.
37. Go on a Helicopter Ride over Manhattan
Probably one of my personal most unforgettable travel experiences ever, taking a helicopter ride over NYC is one of the most thrilling things to do in the city. Not only for the ride itself but also for the jaw-dropping views over the city- it’s a vantage point that not many see.
During your 20-minute ride, you’ll fly around the Hudson and along the East river getting spectacular views of Midtown, Lower Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Statue of Liberty, and beyond. For photographers, this is unmissable.
There are many different helicopter rides and ride lengths to choose from. They are short so I would highly recommend going for the longer flight if you can. For the ultimate flight, choose the doors-off experience. Click here for the exact doors-off flight I did.
Choose a doors-on helicopter ride here.
38. Take a Walking Tour with a Local Guide
No one knows New York quite as well as those that live there. For the opportunity to meet new people and get to know the different districts and neighborhoods in New York, one of the best things to do in New York alone is to take a walking tour.
There are many tours to choose from. Some focus on food, others more on culture and history. It’s a great way to get to know the city with the knowledgeable guides that know it best. My favorite walking tours are the New York City Food Tour and the Three Neighbourhoods Tour.
39. Go on a Boat Cruise
Another great way to experience New York and the top things to do in New York alone is on the water. The East and Hudson rivers are the two main waterways that surround the city and going on a cruise along the river is the perfect way to relax and check out the amazing views.
Opt for the Circle Line Landmark Cruise and sail past Midtown, Lower Manhattan, and the Statue of Liberty or if you prefer a bit more luxury, there’s this amazing brunch, lunch or dinner Harbour Cruise.
40. Go Jetskiing on the East River
Another, slightly faster-paced way to experience the East River and admire the skyline is by going jetskiing on the East River. The perfect summer activity to cool off and have some fun, join a guide and head down the river to check out all of New York’s best sights. Get more information and book here.
41. Take a Graffiti Lesson
Want to get creative during your time in New York? Not everywhere you’ll get the chance to learn street art.
Head over to Brooklyn and get a fun and artsy graffiti lesson from a real graffiti artist. You’ll learn all the best techniques and materials to use and you’ll paint your own canvas that you can take home with you as the ultimate New York souvenir. What would you paint?
42. Visit Grand Central Station
Probably the most beautiful train station in the world, Grand Central Station is a must when in the Big Apple. The unofficial meeting point features stunning period architecture and numerous tunnels and passages. The highlight is the main atrium where you’ll find the main lobby clock, information boards, and a ceiling filled with constellations.
It’s one of New York’s prettiest buildings and as a functioning station, it’s free to enter and take a look around.
43. Check out the Views from SUMMIT One Vanderbilt
SUMMIT One Vanderbilt is one of the latest additions to the New York observatories. But it’s not just an observation deck, it’s an entire sensory experience that blends, art, technology, and architecture. Head up on Ascent, the world’s highest, external, glass-bottomed elevator, and experience a room covered entirely in mirrors and another in giant baubles.
Awakening the senses and the child in your while also sporting some of the most incredible views in New York City. Get your SUMMIT One Vanderbilt ticket in advance here- you’ll need to it’s extremely popular.
44. Go to a Jazz Club
When it comes to solo travel, finding activities to do at night can be a little more difficult. While just going to a bar by yourself in the evening can be a little daunting for most, why not try going to a jazz club instead?
A jazz club is a fun experience that will allow you to focus on and enjoy the music rather than think about who might be looking over at you thinking you’re a loner. As many come for the music, it’s not uncommon to see solo people at New York Jazz clubs. Some of the best Jazz Clubs to check out in New York are Blue Note, Iridium, and Village Vanguard.
45. Do a Yoga Class
For a way to meet people and feel like a local, take some time out of sightseeing to join a fun yoga class. There are countless places to join a yoga class in NYC. Some of the best places you can sign up for a drop-in session or single class are Y7 Studio, LL Studio, The Studio and Yoga Vida.
46. New York One World Observatory
One World Observatory is the newest addition to the New York skyline. Also known as the Freedom Tower, it towers over the Lower Manhattan skyline. As the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, there sure is a view to be had at its summit.
Head to the top for unrivaled 360-degree views of New York as well as interactive exhibitions. There’s also a restaurant and bar for sunset drinks post-viewpoint. It’s one of the top things to do in New York alone.
If you’re trying to decide which are the best observation decks to choose from then I’d recommend New York One World Observatory along with the Top of the Rock. From the Top of the Rock, you get a view of the whole of Midtown and Uptown while One World’s location in Lower Manhattan gives unparalleled views of the rivers, Brooklyn, and pretty much the whole of Manhattan, New York City, and New Jersey.
Get your New York One World Observatory tickets here.
47. Visit the Statue of Liberty
Seeing the iconic statue from the Staten Island ferry might be enough for you, but the landmark is also worth visiting up close. First, you’ll need to buy ferry tickets from Statue City Cruises, which include access to Liberty Island where you can walk around. They also offer tours to Ellis Island.
If you’d like to visit the Statue itself, you can opt for the Pedestal ticket or the Crown Ticket which will allow you up into the head of the Liberty Statue as well as the pedestal. Both these tickets need to be purchased in advance and can be done so here.
48. Take a New York City Street Art Walking tour
Street art is fundamental to New York’s culture and identity and there are some seriously amazing pieces on New York’s streets by some very talented artists. A street art walking tour will not only show you some of the best works in the city, but you’ll also learn more about how it started and about the neighborhoods most famous for it. Find out more here.
49. See the NYC Highlights from the Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Bus
If time is short then one of the best ways to see New York City’s top attractions is by the Sightseeing Bus. It’s a thing to do in New York alone that’s easy and convenient. You’ll learn all about the main attractions of the city while seeing them from the open roof of a double-decker bus.
The best part is that when you get to a landmark you want to visit you can just get off and continue the ride later. Grab your tickets here.
50. Take a Day Trip to Niagara Falls
I know, you might be thinking one day just isn’t enough time to get to and explore Niagara Falls and you’re right, it probably isn’t, but if you’re not in New York for the first time and you’re looking for some other things to do this might be it.
Tours leave New York City early in the morning and you’ll have the incredible opportunity to see the world-famous falls.
I recommend opting for the 2 day tour which will give you much more time at the Falls themselves and a chance to explore the Canadian side too. The tour includes a boat ride, a visit to Watkins Glen State Park, and a stop at Cave of the Winds for photos.
51. Visit the American Museum of Natural History
There really is no shortage of museums in New York but if you’re interested in National History, then the American Museum of Natural History in Central Park has some fantastic displays educating all about endangered and extinct species and endemic and popular species in America. It’s a great visit for those who love a dose of nature and the natural world.
52. Take a Sunday Harlem Gospel Tour
Gospel music is at the heart of culture and history in the New York area of Harlem. Why not take a fascinating tour to learn a little more about it? On a Sunday you’ll get a historical guided tour of Harlem and join a congregation for a joyful service of gospel music. Check out more details and book here.
53. Visit the New York Catacombs
Most of us that have been to Paris have seen the famous catacombs there but did you also know New York has some too? In the tunnels underneath the Basilica of St Patrick’s Old Cathedral, many secrets await. The catacombs, for over 200 years served as the final resting place of many prominent Catholics in the community including bishops and well-known families.
Click here to find out more about it and discover one of New York City’s off-the-beaten-track gems.
54. Take a Trip to Washington DC
With just 3 hours between New York City and Washington DC, why not head over for a day or even two to discover a new city? There are plenty of things to do in Washington DC from cultural landmarks to great museums and restaurants.
Some of the best things to do in Washington DC are taking a walk in Rock Creek Park, visiting Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, feasting on the delights of Eastern Market, and visiting the United States National Arboretum.
55. Take a Dip at the Aire Ancient Baths
One of the best spaces for relaxation and rejuvenation in New York, Aire Ancient Baths is a Spanish bath experience right in the city. It’s a three-story space but the highlight is the basement open baths. Here you’ll find cold water pools, hot pools, saltwater pools, and multijet pools as well as a steam room and hot stone room.
It’s the perfect place to come to rest and recover your legs from all that walking around the city.
56. Explore Time Out Market
Located in Dumbo, Time Out Market is the newest place to hang out for foodies. It’s an indoor dining and culture experience that will have you feasting on some of the best foods from around the world. With so many stands to choose from, the hard part is deciding what to eat. Make sure to come hungry.
57. Get a Massage
When thinking about the things to do in New York alone, a massage might not come to mind. Take some time for yourself and recover from exploring NYC with a luxury massage experience. You’ll find some of the best wellness centers and urban spas in NYC, all offering personalized or various styles of massage.
Some of my favorite spots for grabbing a massage are The Well, Shibui Spa, and Bamford Wellness Spa. Alternatively, you can also enquire at your hotel.
Read more: Where to Stay in New York City: Top Areas and Hotels
58. Go Bouldering
Try something new or get your hands chalky again with a chance to go bouldering right in the city. You’ll be able to meet new people and climb to your heart’s content. The best places to head are Brooklyn Boulders which also does yoga classes and offers day passes, Dumbo Boulders, the most affordable, Rock Climbing at Chelsea Piers Fitness.
59. Visit Brooklyn Botanical Garden
On a lovely spring day, you’ll most probably be looking for any excuse to stay outside. One of the best places to visit is the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, which has many things to see. Make sure to check out the wonderfully pretty Japanese Garden, the Aquatic House and Orchid Collection, and Daffodil Hill, especially in spring.
It might take a little while to get to from Manhattan but it’s totally worth it for a little bit of nature during your city trip.
60. Grab a Pizza Slice
Because any New Yorker will tell you the pizza here is next level.
61. See Art at The Met
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of the largest museums in North America dedicated to ancient and modern art. It’s huge and honestly, you could spend an entire day walking through the galleries.
You’ll find a lot of Classical sculpture and American Art but also a brilliant collection of African Art and Asian Art. There’s also a great collection of European paintings that features artists like Klimt, Manet, and Degas.
Many New Yorkers and tourists alike visit the museum alone and if there is one museum you choose to visit during your time in New York make sure it’s the Met. Click here to opt for a guided tour of the Met instead of just wandering around solo. Either way it’s one of the top things to do in New York alone.
62. Try a Unique Activity at Chelsea Piers
Chelsea Piers is full of opportunities to try something new. You’ll find so many different activities to try and ways to get you active in the city. Why not try some adult gymnastics, or golf, or perhaps some sailing? Better still there are also rock climbing opportunities here and you can grab a Day Pass for the Health Club.
63. Take a Workout Class
New Yorkers love fitness and if you do too, you should join them.
During your stay in NYC, you’ll find plenty of places to work out. If you don’t fancy your hotel gym, HIIT workout in your hotel room or running around Central Park then you can also join a group class.
Equinox is one of the best gyms in New York to try, Pure Barre gives you a free first class to try it out and you can also pop into a cycle at Peloton Studios in Hudson Yards. There’s also SoulCycle, another great cycling workout.
64. Go on a Bike Ride
Grab one of New York’s Citi Sharing Bikes and head out on your own adventure. Buy a day pass for $19 and use the bike to pedal your way around the city, including through Central Park and over Brooklyn Bridge. You’ll cover so much more ground by bike and it’s one of the most fun things to do in New York alone!
65. Chill in Bryant Park
Located just behind the New York Public Library, Bryant Park is a gorgeous little square surrounded by the giant skyscrapers of Midtown. Grab a book and come relax here in the sunshine and enjoy one of the best green spaces in Midtown (apart from Central Park).
66. Treat Yourself to a Stay at Aman New York
Aman New York is one of the newest wellness-focused hotels in New York City located in busy and bustling midtown, Aman is all but that on the inside. Inside you’ll find a truly luxurious and ample space that gives you the opportunity to really retreat, even in the center of Manhattan.
The property is just amazing but the highlight here is Aman’s two spa houses- one modeled on a European banya and the other the Moroccan hammam where you can spend your evenings indulging in the best treatments in the city. It’s definitely costly but it is the epitome of New York luxury.
67. Go to a Concert
New York City has so many different varieties of entertainment and when the world’s best artists tour, sure thing they come to New York City. Whatever your music taste you’ll be able to find, who knows, one of your favorite bands performing live while you’re here.
One of the best places to browse and buy tickets is Ticketmaster. I recommend having a look a few months in advance of your trip as the big acts sell out fast.
68. Have a Drink at a Rooftop Bar
As you can probably imagine there is no shortage of rooftop bars in New York with stunning views of the city. Going to a bar alone can be a little daunting at first but bring a book or something to do and it automatically feels less conscious.
Some of my favourite bars to visit, especially for sunset are Bar 54 for the tallest view in the city just above Times Square, Harriet’s Rooftop in Brooklyn, and Dear Irving on Hudson. Enjoy a craft cocktail and the best views of the city- the perfect end to the day.
69. See a Movie at an Independent cinema
For the movie fans out there, going to the cinema is one of the best things to do in New York alone. After a whole day on your feet, there’s nothing better than to kick back, relax and enjoy a movie. New York City has a great selection of independent cinemas that are perfect for catching a movie after a long day. Some of the best cinemas to check out are Nitehawk in Brooklyn and Quad Cinema in Manhattan.
70. Visit Radio City Music Hall
Radio City Music Hall is a one-of-a-kind building in New York. It’s a multipurpose theatre used for many different shows, concerts, and as a cinema. There are many different comedy shows, music, arts, and theatre taking place each month. To see what’s on and to buy tickets head to the official website here.
71. Visit the General Assembly Room at the UN Headquarters
The United Nations Headquarters are in New York but they are often overlooked by visitors to the city. You can actually visit the inside of the headquarters and particularly the General Assembly Room- the place where most UN policy is made. For those interested in politics and foreign policy this is one of the best things to do in New York alone.
One-hour tours are offered in several languages giving you a chance to see the building. Find all the information you need about visiting the UN headquarters here.
72. Catch the Knicks at Madison Square Garden
For the sports fans that prefer basketball, make sure to catch a Knicks game during your stay in New York City. The New York Knicks generally play at Madison Square Garden and you can catch an iconic game one evening.
It’s best to book tickets as soon as you know when you’re going to be in New York as they tend to sell out fast. Book your NY Knicks tickets here.
Find the perfect activity in New York City
Ready to try all the best things to do in New York alone? Have any questions or comments about your trip? Let me know in the box below.
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Planning a trip right now? These are just some of my favourite websites I use to book everything from hotels to rental cars!
Rentalcars.com for quick and easy car rentals worldwide
Booking.com for great deals on hotels
Agoda also for great deals on hotels
Get Your Guide and Viator for tours and adventures around the world
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The Best Wellness Retreats in New York
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