Last Updated on March 1, 2020

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New York City aka the “Big Apple” – who doesn’t want to visit this East Coast US city? It is a familiar sight from television programmes such as “Sex and the City” and “Friends” and it is a city that has so much to offer the visitor. Great sights, great shopping and of course great food! I love NYC and I it is a city I can return to again and again.

There are so many things to see and do in New York. I have been twice over the last few years (once in April and once in June so I have not experienced a New York winter yet). New York is a great city to add to any USA travel itinerary. You can find more ideas when planning to visit from this guide to the USA.

I have put together a list of my favourite 10 places to see/things to do after my last two visits. These are my top ten New York sights!


I absolutely love the buzz and noise and madness of Times Square! So much so I have stayed twice at the Crowne Plaza right on the Square. Sitting at the bar in the hotel, sipping on a cocktail with the views of the flashing billboards of Times Square outside is an experience!

I also find Times Square is an easy point in Manhatten to walk to a lot of the attractions and it is also a great place to catch the Hop-on Hop off Bus Tours (I have used them on both visits to NY and would recommend them).

times square new york

A show on Broadway is also a must-do if you get the chance! There are plenty of theatres to choose from with lots of famous names starring in productions. Just don’t do it on your first day as you will probably be jet lagged if you are flying over from Europe!

Times Square New York
traffic everywhere too!

The shops in Times Square are pretty awesome too – the Toys r Us with the Ferris wheel in the store as well as the massive M and M’s store are worth a look around!

M and M store New York
Have an M and M any colour!


Washington DC - what you can do on a daytrip from New York!



Well you can’t go to NY without seeing this famous statue! A short ferry ride to the island from Battery Park and you can walk around this amazing 140 year old gift to the USA from France. The Statue is a UNESCO World Heritage Site – click the link for more UNESCO World Heritage Sites in USA.

statue of liberty at sunset


Queues can be rather long to get onto the ferry (the ticket for which was included in our bus ticket package)so get there first thing if you can. It is definitely worth it and I would do this trip next time I am in NY for a third time! The views of the NY skyline are amazing.

New York skyline


All you need to know about a trip on the Amtrak Coast Starlight



The Rockefeller centre is the largest privately owned complex in the world and consists of 19 buildings none of which  own unfortunately. There are restaurants and gardens and shops and of course the observation deck which is spread over three floors (67th to 70th!) the Top of the Rock! Make sure you book this at least the day before as it gets very busy particularly at sunset for obvious reasons!

ticket for Top of the Rock
For an amazing view of NY!

The views from the Top of the Rock are fantastic. I have been up there twice – its a difficult decision between the Top of the Rock or the top of the Empire State Building but the Top of the Rock gives you views of the Empire State Building and Central Park so it would be my first choice but if you are struggling to decide I recommend reading this post which evaluates the pros and cos of both –  Top of the Rock versus Empire State Building.

Rockefellar lit up at night in New York

Check out things to do in New York if you are visiting with children!

New York skyline


A review of a day in Los Angeles on the Rastabus tour




Central Park is huge. It is well worth a visit for a bit of peace from the madness and noise of the city. Its a great place to visit on a Sunday morning. Wander around and enjoy the greenery and all the fitness mad New Yorkers on their daily run.  A visit to Strawberry Fields, which was created by Yoko Ono in memory of John Lennon, is also a must.


View from Central Park of New York
View from Central Park


Grand Central opened in 1913 is a beautiful train station. Wth over 250,000 people a day commuting through the station it remains an important landmark in NY history. There are loads of restaurants to visit below the station including the famous oyster bar.  I have had to stop myself randomly buying a train ticket and running off around the USA twice now. Meet friends at the clock on the Main Concourse – its a New York tradition.


When I first visited NY the memorial wasn’t finished and we had to go through security to visit. It was a sad and poignant place to visit. I returned somewhat reluctantly I must admit, with my daughter, in 2016. The memorial is now open and we walked past it on the way to Battery Park. I still have a strong emotional reaction to it and reading the names of those who died that day (written around the walls surrounding the 2 waterfalls built in the footprints of the 2 towers) is very moving.

I took no photographs.


Plan to spend some time shopping on Fifth Avenue one of the most expensive streets in the world or enjoying a parade if you are lucky to be there to witness these annual events.St Patrick’s Day, Easter Sunday and the New York Gay Pride Parade are just 3 of the famous parades which take place on Fifth Avenue.

Fifth Avenue New York - top ten new york sights


Easter Parade in New York
Easter parade

There were lots of people dressed in beautiful bonnets and clothes for the Easter Parade on Fifth Avenue. My favourites were the dogs!!


Officially opened in 1931 the Empire State Building is probably the most famous skyscraper in NY thanks to movies such as  Lost in Seattle and King Kong!

Since 1976 the tower lights have changed colour to recognise various holidays, seasons and events throughout the year.

Located in the center of Midtown Manhattan the 86th and 102nd floor observatories provide unforgettable 360° views of New York City and beyond.


Check out 10 things NOT to do in New York!

Empire State Building


I treated my daughter to a Sex and the City Tour and during the tour we spent some time in Soho and Greenwich Village which we totally loved. A popular residential area for many famous actors and actresses keep your eyes peeled as you never know who may have popped out for a carton of milk.

Soho and Greenwich Village are is less touristy than Times Square. Enjoy strolling around admiring the shops and the lovely houses. Heading over to Brooklyn then you will want to know the best free things to do in Brooklyn to make the most of your time there.

Sex and the city tour - famous building where Carrie lived
If you are a fan of Sex and the City you may recognise those steps!!

I bought lots of great souvenirs on my trips to New York – check out 10 of the best you can buy!


We enjoyed the great restaurants and food in NYC but in particular the breakfasts are my favourite.  Although not advisable on a regular basis we did find a great deli for a daily dose of pancakes, bacon and syrup! You needed to spend the rest of the day walking to get anyway near using those calories up


Those are my top ten for New York – what would you include in your top ten for this fabulous US city? If you are taking your children this guide will give you some great ideas for visiting NY with kids.


New York CITY


Top Ten New York sights


This post may contain compensated links. Please read our disclosure for additional information. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

17 thoughts on “My all time top ten New York sights

  1. Rachel ¦¦ A Nesting Nomad says:

    So funny that we both wrote about this at the same time! I was a fan of Soho and Greenwich Village, but didn’t have nearly enough time to look around. I thought Grand Central was beautiful, 5th Avenue was a bit too much like Oxford Street for my liking, and as for breakfast… say no more! I could have eaten breakfast all day long!

    • Tracy Collins says:

      I was there last year but have only written it up recently. I really love New York and know i will have to visit again. Soho and Greenwich Village will be a priority! I agree about 5th Avenue though the Easter parade is worth watching! And oh yes the breakfasts ❤️

  2. Kati from Ms B Travels says:

    I am going to NYC in December and am excited to rearrange some of my schedule to include some of these things. I bought this NYC trip for my mom and we are going right before Christmas! I am excited to see it decorated in all the pretty lights and such. We are staying in a hotel that has the Statue of Liberty right across the water from it. We will be able to see it from our room 🙂

  3. Natalie says:

    I absolutely loved NY the first time I visited and would definitely love to visit again. The Sex and the City tour sounds like it could be a lot of fun! 🙂 #citytripping

    • Tracy Collins says:

      We had a great time! Even i enjoyed the Sex and the City tour and i didnt watch many shows. My daughter who is a big fan absolutely loved it!New York is one city I could visit again and again- so much to see and do!

  4. Mandy says:

    Maybe instead of Empire State Building and Top of the Rock, you should consider trying out the One World Trade Center. I haven’t gone yet, but I want to. 🙂 Aside from that, I think I like the views from Top of the Rock better than the Empire State Building, mostly because you can’t see the Empire State Building when you are on top of it. 😉

    Love the Easter parade bonnets! I had no idea they did that!

    Also, love that you included Greenwich Village and SoHo.

    I’ve been to NYC a handful times already and I never get tired of it! There’s so much to see and do!

  5. Kat @anaussieinsf says:

    Oh wow. That poor woman with the entire garden on her head, her neck must have been killing her by the end! What beautiful photos though.
    I’ve been on a whirlwind winter trip to New York to visit a friend. Ever since I’ve been dying to get back there! Just from your post I can tell that I didn’t even see half of it!
    My favourite place would have to be the Central Park.

  6. Cathy (Mummytravels) says:

    I really want to get back to New York and explore the High Line myself, and I’ve never been to the Top of the Rock either. There’s always just so much to discover in the city. #citytripping

  7. Mandy Southgate says:

    I love this. I spent one week in NYC and loved every minute. I visited most of the places you did (and loved them) but I never visited Greenwich Village or Soho. I shall have to return! #CityTripping

  8. Elizabeth (Wander Mum) says:

    Great list – we went to the Top of the Rock rather than the Empire State. New York is such a great city and I am keen to go back soon as haven’t done everything on your list. I would add central park too. I got engaged there so it has a special place in my heart. Thanks for linking to #citytripping

  9. Sarah Christie says:

    Oh I love NYC we stayed at the Hilton 6th Ave and had a fab view of the Crysler building and Rockerfeller. everything about New York is wonderful and I cant wait to get back. I would have loved to see the easter parade wow,thanks so much for linking up x

    • Tracy Collins says:

      I love it – definitely one of my favourite cities. I could go back again and again – I think if I was younger it would be somewhere I would like to stay for a while.

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