10 Iconic Things You Cannot Miss in NYC

Disclaimer: this post may contain affiliate links, which at no cost to you I may earn a small commission.

Iconic Things You Cannot Miss in NYC

While there is so much to see in NYC, here is a list of the top 10 iconic things you cannot miss in NYC perfect for first-time visitors or if you need some inspiration for your next trip.

Be sure to add these 10 iconic things to your NYC bucket list!

1. Views From The Top Of The Rock

You absolutely cannot leave NYC without getting a proper look at the city from an observation deck. My favorite is the Top of the Rock because you get epic views of New York’s iconic Empire State Building.

You’ll also get amazing views of Central Park. Afterward, you’ll really get a sense of how big NYC really is! Also, don’t make the same mistake as me.

I arrived in the afternoon to buy tickets, and the next available time slot was 4 hours later. So it’s a huge benefit to purchasing flexible date tickets.

Top of the Rock View

top of the rock nyc

2. Walk the High Line in the Meatpacking District

The High Line is becoming more and more popular, but it’s a little hideaway from the hustle of NYC. It’s an elevated park on an old rail line stretching from 14th Street all the way to 34th.

I love relaxing on the 17th Street Box overlooking the street below.

I’ve included this location in my 10 NYC Instagram Spots Blog Post. Check out this post if you’re looking for more IG inspiration.

highline park nyc

3. Row Boat in Central Park

There is nothing like spending an afternoon row boating in Central Park. It’s fairly inexpensive, for $15 per boat per hour, and such an iconic thing to do!

You can find admissions and docking right by the Loeb Boathouse in Central Park.

Sometimes you’ll be lucky enough to find a musician singing or playing an instrument to really make the mood even more special.

Central Park row boats

While you’re in Central Park, head to the Bethesda Fountain and Bethesda Terrace. It is one of my favorite areas in Central Park, perfect for a picnic or people-watching.

Bethesda Terrace

4. Lunch at Shake Shack’s Original Location

Before Shake Shack became a national company, there was only one outdoor location in Madison Square Park. Back then you’d be lucky to wait under 45 minutes for your burger and fries.

Now you’ll hardly have to wait and it’s enjoyable to place to eat in the park while taking in the views of the Flatiron Building!

Shake shack Madison square park

flatiron building nyc

5. Wander through West Village

Out of all the neighborhoods in NYC, the West Village remains to be my favorite to wander through!

You’ll find so many cafes, boutiques, and famous buildings from TV shows like the front of Carrie Bradshaw’s brownstone apartment, and the Friend’s building facade!

Restaurants I recommend Visiting:

Magnolia Bakery: Iconic Bakery featured on Sex and the City.

Extra Virgin: Local Italian/ Medditeraian restaurant

Tartine: French Bistro with sidewalk tables.

The Garret: A cocktail bar with a hidden entrance through a Five Guys

west village nyc

petite boucherie

6. Get Lost in the Metropolitan Museum of Art

This is definitely one of the things you cannot miss in NYC. The MET museum always remains a favorite (I’m pretty sure I’ve recommended it on every NYC blog post I’ve done).

Because it’s so huge, pick an area of interest to explore, or you could just wander and see where you end up!

My favorite is the Islamic Art Wing. The collections of rugs, ceramics, and jewelry are just dream-worthy!

Gossip girl met steps metropolitan museum of art new york

7. Must-Try Iconic Foods: Bagels & Pizza

There is a reason why NYC is known for its bagels and pizza. The secret is in the water of NYC. Yes, the tap water is safe to drink, and it’s actually known for being better than the water you’d buy in plastic bottles).

So take advantage and order up endless amounts of bagels and pasta guilt-free because you know damn well they are better in NYC!

Favorite Bagel Spots

Kossar’s: Classic Lower East Side Staple. While you’re there, try a Bialy!

Ess-A-Bagel: Family owned for over 70 years! Just wait until you smell the inside, heavenly!

Favorite Pizza Spots

Stromboli”s: My local neighborhood go-to (open until 4 AM too)

Bleecker Street Pizza: NYC Staple! Try the “nona” slice!

Prince Street Pizza: Nolita Pizzeria, perfect for a pizza break after shopping in Soho!

My Pie: Classic Roman-style pizza located in Midtown

Strombolli pizza


8. Walk the Brooklyn Bridge

You’ll have to make the trek and walk NYC’s most iconic bridge. I recommend starting from the Brooklyn side and walking into Manhattan so you’ll have city views the entire walk!

If you want no crowds and a relaxing morning wake up for sunrise! It’s a great way to start the day and take in the city views.

Brooklyn Bridge New York


9. Try A Trendy Desert

Dominique Ansel’s Cronut: There is so much hype associated with Dominique Ansel’s Cronut that I had to try it out myself.

It’s a mixture between a croissant and doughnut and the flavors change monthly.

Check out the Soho Location early in the morning before they all sell out. While the buzz has settled down somewhat, you may expect a line, especially on weekends.

Or if you are in the mood for ice cream, try Taiyaki’s iconic fish-shaped ice cream cones.

dominique ansel bakery cronut

10. See a Broadway Play

Before leaving NYC you’ll have to see a broadway play! There is something so fun about getting dressed up and having a night on the town. Check out the TCKTS booth for the day of discounted tickets.

I recently just saw King Kong on Broadway and it was really impressive. The use of lighting and effects really made King Kong seem real! Highly recommend this show.

Get Broadway Tickets here

Times Square NYC

Headed to NYC?

Check Out These NYC Posts:

NYC Instagram Spots

Soho NYC Instagram Spots

Empire State Building Photo Spots

Local’s Guide to NYC

Best Hotels in NYC

First Timer’s Guide to NYC

Save this to post to your NYC Pin Boards

10 Iconic Things to do in NYC - Row Boat in Central Park | New York City Travel Guide, best of NYC | Dana Berez New York City Travel Guide>


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *