First Timer's Guide to NYC

Jody Vandergriff

New York is known as the city that never sleeps, and for good reason! There is no other city quite like it in the world. NYC is a cultural melting pot, filled with some of the world's most famous landmarks, restaurants galore, and attractions to keep you busy for weeks. As a first-timer to the city, it can be super overwhelming to decide what to see and where to go. This guide is here to help you navigate the city and get the most out of your first visit. And trust me... you will be back! Welcome to NYC!

Tags: Cityscapes, Sightseeing

  • Nasdaq in New York, United States

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  • New York Stock Exchange in New York, United States

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  • Charging Bull in New York, United States

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  • TKTS Times Square in New York, United States

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    • chiefseeker

      For deep discounts on Broadway tickets, head to the TKTS booth in Times Square starting 3pm on the day of. But note: you can only get same day tickets and you are at the disposal of whatever is available.

  • Central Park in New York, United States

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    • chiefseeker

      There are so many ways to explore Central Park, but one thing is for sure - you must visit. The park is HUGE, spanning 843 acres and featuring a variety of attractions, including Central Park Zoo, the Bethesda Fountain and Belvedere Castle.

  • American Museum of Natural History, United States

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    • chiefseeker

      The American Museum of Natural History in New York City is one of the largest and most comprehensive natural history museums in the world, with a collection of over 33 million specimens and artifacts. The museum is located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, near Central Park. It has appeared in numerous films and TV shows, including "Night at the Museum," which helped popularize the museum and its exhibits. The Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton in the Hall of Saurischian Dinosaurs is an absolute must see!

  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, United States

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    • chiefseeker

      The Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of the most renowned and extensive art museums in the world (and the 4th largest!). Located on the eastern edge of Central Park in Manhattan, the museum boasts an extensive collection of over two million works of art spanning 5,000 years of world culture, including works by van Gogh, Picasso, and Rembrandt. If I had to choose 1 museum in NYC to visit, this would be it.

  • Brooklyn Bridge in New York, United States

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    • chiefseeker

      The best way to experience the Brooklyn Bridge is by foot! There is a pedestrian walkway and its a great way to explore at a leisurely pace. The full span of the bridge is 1.1 miles but if that's too far you can always turn back.

  • One World Observatory in New York, United States

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    • chiefseeker

      Located in lower Manhatten and situated on the top three floors of One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, the One World Observatory offers panoramic views of the New York City skyline and beyond. There are interactive exhibits and presentations that showcase the history and culture of the city, as well as the construction of the building itself. The highlight of the experience is the observation deck, which provides unparalleled views of the city from 1,250 feet above street level. And if you get hungry, there is an upscale restaurant, which offers stunning views and delicious cuisine.

  • Rockefeller Center in New York, United States

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    • chiefseeker

      Rockefeller Center is a sprawling complex of buildings located in the heart of Midtown Manhattan and includes famous sites such as Top of the Rock observation deck, and Radio City Music Hall. The complex also features a variety of shops, restaurants, and cafes. During winter, Rockefeller Center transforms into a magical wonderland with ice skating at the famous rink and the breathtaking holiday decorations as well as the famous Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree.

  • Grand Central Station in New York, United States

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    • chiefseeker

      Known for its stunning Beaux-Arts architecture and iconic clock, Grand Central Station is a New York City landmark. The station serves as a gateway to New York City and beyond, with train service to destinations throughout the Northeast region. Visitors can admire the station's ornate details, including the famous Zodiac ceiling in the main concourse, or grab a bite to eat at one of the many dining options in the station. Grand Central Station also offers a variety of shopping options, from high-end boutiques to unique artisanal shops.

  • Times Square in New York, United States

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    • chiefseeker

      Perhaps some of the most recognizable streets in America, Times Square is a must visit for your first time in New York City. Known as "The Crossroads of the World," Times Square is a bustling hub of entertainment, shopping, and dining. It is famous for its bright lights, billboards, and lively atmosphere, visitors can take in a Broadway show, shop at flagship stores, or enjoy a meal at one of the many restaurants in the area. Times Square is also a popular spot to ring in the New Year, with the famous ball drop attracting millions of visitors from around the world.

  • Empire State Building in New York, United States

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    • chiefseeker

      The observatory decks of the Empire State Building are a really fun way to get a 360 degree view fo the city that never sleeps. Be sure to purchase tickets ahead of time and wear plenty of layers. It gets cold up there!

  • 9/11 Memorial & Museum in New York, United States

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    • chiefseeker

      The memorial is a somber reminder of that terrible day in 2001. The Memorial features two enormous reflecting pools located where the Twin Towers once stood, with the names of the nearly 3,000 victims inscribed along the perimeter. The Museum, located beneath the Memorial, showcases artifacts, exhibits, and personal stories that provide a comprehensive and emotional account of the events of 9/11, as well as the stories of the people impacted by them.

  • Statue of Liberty National Monument in New York, United States

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    • chiefseeker

      No surprise to find Lady Liberty on this First Timer's Guide to NYC. Despite her popularity, she is definitely NOT overrated. The ferry ride alone makes it worth a visit. Be careful which ticket you purchase as the ride to Ellis Island does not guarantee you a trip up to the crown. Even if crown access is sold out, its still well worth a visit.