Selecting a city to visit can be challenging, especially when you’re choosing from a country like the United States.
The USA has numerous tourist hotspots after all, so it can take you weeks to decide which destinations to explore.
However, one of the most quintessential cities you need to visit at least once in your lifetime is New York City.
New York has been a popular city to visit for many US residents and foreign tourists alike.
Not only is the city filled with incredible landmarks and attractions, but many of NYC’s points of interests are also easy to get to.
For example, once you’ve checked in into one of New York’s many clean hotels, the city’s most famous landmarks and attractions are within easy reach, thanks to New York’s excellent subway system.
In this short guide, we’ll fill you in on why you should definitely include visiting this dazzling global city in your bucket list.
Reasons to Visit New York City
1. Numerous Points of Interests
The moment you arrive in New York City, you’re immediately surrounded by a number of attractions, which are all accessible via cab, bus, or train.
There’s no stopping you from visiting every single point of interest, but depending on your schedule, you might be only able to visit the attractions nearest to the airport.
If you’re only going to NYC on a layover and you’ll be staying for more than 6 hours, here are a number of sights you can explore:
- From JFK Airport: Queens Botanical Garden, Corona Park, and The Rockaways Boardwalk.
- From La Guardia Airport: Louis Armstrong House Museum, Astoria Park, and Queens Zoo.
- From Newark Airport: Newark Museum, Turtle Back Zoo, and The Statue of Liberty.
If you’ll be in the city for several days, however, you have more time to visit the following points of interest:
- Central Park
- The Highline
- Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)
- American Museum of Natural History
- Top of the Rock Observation Deck at Rockefeller Center
The great thing is that there are plenty of cheap things to do in NYC as well, so if you’re there on a budget you can still see and do a lot in the city.
2. Catch a Live Show, Musical Performance, Musical, or Game
New York City has a lot of places where you can get tickets to watch your favorite musical, music artist, or sports team live.
For those who want to watch a play or musical, Broadway is the place to be. However, Broadway isn’t just one place; it actually refers to the 41 professional theaters—each having a 500 or more seat capacity—located in the Theater District and Lincoln Center along Broadway in Manhattan.
As such, you can expect to see a variety of shows, including Chicago with its femme fatales, Hamilton with its transformative rap music and theme, and The Lion King with its awe-inspiring production design anchored in puppetry.
There are also a number of halls and stages in NYC where you can catch a live concert.
If you’re interested in attending an orchestral performance, Carnegie Hall regularly holds symphonic events to feed your classical music soul.
If you prefer listening to live band performances, however, the PlayStation Theater or Bowery Ballroom offer awesome concert lineups to get you singing and dancing in your seat.
Finally, NYC boasts some of the best sports venues in the country, and each one of which is used to hold tournaments of different types of sports.
For the baseball fans, you have the Yankee Stadium in the Bronx and Citi Field in Queens. As for the basketball fans, you have the Barclays Center in Brooklyn and Madison Square Garden right in New York.
3. Feast on the City’s Diverse Cuisines
The City of New York is a melting pot of cultures, so it’s no surprise that its food scene is as diverse as its people.
You can enjoy getting a slice of pepperoni pizza in Little Italy or grab a falafel on the go in Hell’s Kitchen. Whatever you’re craving for, the restaurants in New York will definitely have the dish you’re seeking.
Nevertheless, there are a handful of foods that have become staples in a New Yorker’s diet. If you’re down to take a little gastronomic adventure in the city, here are some iconic, mouthwatering fares you need to try:
- New York bagel
- New York cheesecake
- New York hot dog
- New York pizza
- Pastrami on rye
- Black and white cookie
4. Explore NYC’s Nightlife
New York is also known as “The City That Never Sleeps.” As such, expect to see the city liven up when the sun goes down.
Once the locals have clocked out of work, many would seek refuge in the different bars and lounges sprawled across the city to cap off or extend the night with a couple of drinks.
Of course, you too can enjoy sipping on classic New York cocktails like the Cosmopolitan or martini.
However, if you’re interested in exploring New York City’s off the beaten path destinations, here are a number things you can do to explore the city’s unique nightlife offerings:
- Take a mini-cruise on the Staten Island Ferry
- Hit a new high score in Modern Pinball in Kips Bay
- Sing your heart out in one of the many karaoke lounges in K-Town
- Enjoy a hot bath in The Russian & Turkish Baths in the East Village
5. Jaw-Dropping Architecture Everywhere
A great way to explore New York’s fascinating and rich history is through the city’s towering buildings and grand structures.
NYC is home to different types of architectural marvels, many of which show prime examples of the popular designs of their respective eras.
The Empire State Building, for example, is a famous building that showcases elements of the Art Deco period. Its modern materials and sleek exterior defined the architectural taste of the roaring ’20s.
Another iconic building is the Flatiron Building. This structure is well-known for its wedge shape design that perfectly fits a triangular plot of land that intersects Broadway and Fifth Avenue. As for its architectural design, it evokes the Renaissance revival era, which was often seen in the early 1900s.
One of the best ways to capture New York’s gorgeous architecture is by viewing the city’s skyline. There are several spots in NYC that offer picturesque and unobstructed views of the city’s towering buildings.
These places include Governors Island, Fort Tyron Park, and Top of the Rock.
6. Countless Famous Movie Settings
New York is a haven for many moviegoers as the city has been used as the main setting for a number of famous movies.
Titles such as The Godfather, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and When Harry Met Sally have utilized NYC’s unique environment to create iconic scenes that have changed the face of the movie industry.
If you want to relive an unforgettable moment or reenact a scene from your favorite film, check out the following areas to experience the movie magic that envelops New York City:
- Verrazano Narrows Bridge (Featured in Saturday Night Fever)
- FDNY’s Hook and Ladder 8 (Featured in Ghostbusters)
- The Calvary Cemetery (Featured in The Godfather)
- Katz Delicatessen (Featured in When Harry Met Sally)
7. Bask in the City’s Unique Culture
Even if you don’t plan on visiting any of New York’s famous attractions, sometimes it’s best to experience the city’s culture by simply walking down the street.
New York is a diverse and colorful city, bringing together cultures and nationalities from different parts of the world while adding its original NYC flavor into the mix.
It’s possible that you’ll meet someone who has an eccentric taste in fashion while strolling along 5th avenue or an aspiring musician holding a small concert in the subway.
You’ll always find something new to appreciate no matter where you are in the city.
Visit New York
When it comes to selecting a city to visit, New York City is a definite standout.
The city’s lively atmosphere, diverse cuisines, unique set of architecture, and multi-cultural environment cater to the interests of every type of individual, so start planning your next trip to NYC today and get excited for the wonderful things you’ll see, eat, and experience in the city.
I recommend using SafetyWing Travel Insurance for your trip, just in case, it’s best to be prepared.
For more reading on the United States take a look at the United States destinations page.