Our Top 5 Must-See New York Attractions

by GoWithGuide travel specialist:Gowithguide travel specialist O.

Last updated : Oct 28, 20227 min read

The ‘big apple’ is world famous not only as one of the largest metropolises in the world, but also as that shining beacon of liberty on which American culture is built. As one of the top travel destinations in the United States and the world, the city is a must-see for any well-seasoned traveler. 

Actually visiting the city can be an intimidating experience for newcomers though, with its labyrinthine streets, hordes of honking taxi cabs, and the general hustle and bustle of a large city. In this article we aim to provide you some ease of mind by giving our recommendations as to the top 5 must-see attractions in New York City

The Statue of Liberty

Gifted to the nascent United States by France as congratulations for achieving independence, the Statue of Liberty is amongst the most famous landmarks in America. Standing as a beacon of freedom for millions of immigrants since its completion, the statue reflects the ideals of liberty, justice, and freedom for all. 

Located on Liberty Island in New York Harbor, close to the famous Ellis Island - the 93 meter (305 foot) statue is made of copper and was designed by French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi. Dedicated on October 28, 1886, the statue features the Roman goddess of liberty, Libertas, holding a torch in her outstretched hand. 

To visit the statue, guests will first need to board one of the Statue Cruises ferries which serve the island. Since 1933 the island has been administered by the US National Park Service, and guests are urged to make a reservation beforehand since things can get crowded during busy seasons. 

Reservations are available in three tiers, Island, Pedestal, and Crown - each allowing visitors a bit more access to Lady Liberty herself. We’d recommend at least going for the Pedestal ticket, since this allows guests to climb the stairs through the statue’s pedestal and access the balcony. Unfortunately access to Lady Liberty’s torch has been closed to the public since 1916 for safety reasons, but one can still enjoy breathtaking views to this day. 

One World Trade Center

The world trade center has always been a mainstay of New York’s famous landmarks, and although the original buildings are unfortunately no more, the trade center has been rebuilt in recent years. The new ‘One World Trade Center’ proudly carries the name and legacy of the previous buildings, and features a unique modern style which is sure to appeal to architecture lovers. 

Proudly holding the record as the tallest building in the United States, it occupies roughly the same site as the original structures, but features a striking new design by architect David Childs. In addition to the tower itself, the area also plays host to a plethora of amazing restaurants and bars, as well as luxury shopping options.

While admiring the building itself is a great experience, we would recommend visitors try out the One World Observatory. Here you can take in the marvelous New York skyline from over 100 stories up! To get to the observatory, one can also ride the special SkyPod elevators which have an astonishing rate of climb clearing 102 floors in just 47 seconds.

Patrons can also visit a special restaurant and bar up on the 101st floor, with options ranging from a quick drink to a gourmet New York style culinary experience. The entire observatory has also been outfitted with state-of-the-art technology to help you explore the past and present of the city in much more detail - from interactive iPads to futuristic walls of displays.

Central Park

Another of those essential New York landmarks is Central Park located on the island of Manhattan. Covering a surprisingly large 843 acres, it’s the fifth largest urban park in the world, and one of the most visited in the world. 

The park has served as a model for other urban parks around the world, and has been designated as a historic landmark since 1963. A plethora of nature tours and attractions are available through the park - allowing guests to enjoy everything from a relaxing lake-side picnic to bicycle tours or strolling through Central Park Zoo. 

For access the park is served by a number of public transport options, including several subway stations and bus routes, or you can simply enjoy a walk through downtown Manhattan as you make your own way to the park. The park is open daily from 06:00 am to 1:00 am, and general access is free (though some attractions do require tickets). 

If the sheer size and complexity of the park seems like a bit of a daunting task, we would recommend hiring one of our vetted private local guides to take you on a scenic tour of this icon of New York history. 

Times Square

When it comes to modern glamor and glitter, perhaps no spot is as well known as Times Square in Midtown Manhattan. One of the most visited tourist destinations in the world, it features a myriad of interesting shops, restaurants, and sometimes odd characters lining its five blocks. 

Times Square is perhaps most famous for the walls of brightly lit towering billboards that flank it on all sides. This is one of the best known selfie locations in the world, and sees more than 300,000 pedestrians crossing to and fro each day. Times Square is also well known for hosting the New Year’s Eve ball drop every year since 1907, an event which attracts millions of visitors - locals and tourists alike. 

In addition to the sheer spectacle of visiting the so-called “crossroads of the world”, visitors can also enjoy free concerts held at regular intervals during the summer months, as well as a free digital art exhibition beamed from the various large billboards every evening at midnight. 


For theater lovers around the world, a visit to the Broadway theater district in New York can be seen as a pilgrimage of sorts, the area being well known even amongst non-theater fans. The term ‘Broadway’ doesn’t only refer to a particular theater however (except in the case of the aptly named Broadway theater), but instead to large professional theaters capable of seating at least 500 people. 

The theater district actually consists of a group of 41 theaters, with three of the most famous located on Broadway road itself - the Broadway, Palace, and Winter Garden Theaters. The district plays host to a myriad of shows at any given time, with an estimated attendance in 2019 of almost 15 million theatergoers! 

The majority of performances are musicals, however many other types of shows can also be enjoyed, especially when veering off into the smaller so-called ‘Off-Broadway’ experiences. These are theaters with a smaller seating capacity that plays host to every flavor of the dramatic arts. To experience the wonders of Broadway, one of our many private New York tour guides can take you for an immersive stroll through the area, explaining its rich history and giving recommendations as to the best shows to check out. 


Visiting New York City can be an overwhelming experience if you aren’t sure what to do or where to go in this bustling metropolis, but whether you decide to explore for yourself or enlist the help of a guide, you’re sure to have an unforgettable time making your way through the big apple. 

Check out our New York tours page and guides page to get in touch with one of our New York tour experts and book your experience today! 

Images: https://unsplash.com/

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