What Is The Best Way To See New York Attractions?

If you’re yearning to explore the captivating wonders of New York City, you may find yourself pondering over the best way to experience its renowned attractions. From the dazzling lights of Times Square to the iconic Statue of Liberty, the Big Apple is brimming with remarkable sights that leave you in awe. But fear not, for with a plethora of options at your fingertips, you’ll discover the most enjoyable and efficient way to navigate the city while soaking in its vibrant essence. So, whether you prefer to meander through Central Park, cruise along the Hudson River, or delve into the bustling streets of Manhattan, buckle up and get ready for an unforgettable adventure!


Walking is one of the best ways to explore New York attractions. It allows you to immerse yourself in the vibrant streets and neighborhoods of the city. Whether you prefer to go at your own pace or join a guided tour, walking tours offer a unique perspective and the chance to discover hidden gems that you might miss when traveling by other means of transportation.

Exploring on Foot

Exploring on foot gives you the freedom to fully experience the energy and atmosphere of New York City. As you walk through streets lined with iconic landmarks and historic buildings, you can pause to take in the sights, sounds, and smells of the city. From the bustling streets of Times Square to the peaceful greenery of Central Park, there is something to discover around every corner.

Guided Walking Tours

If you prefer a structured experience, joining a guided walking tour can be a great option. There are numerous companies offering guided tours of different areas and themes in New York City. Whether you’re interested in art, history, or food, there is a walking tour available to suit your interests. A knowledgeable guide will lead you through the city, sharing fascinating stories and insider tips along the way.

Self-Guided Walking Tours

For those who prefer to explore at their own pace, self-guided walking tours are a fantastic choice. Many websites and apps provide detailed maps and itineraries for popular routes and neighborhoods. Armed with a guidebook or a smartphone, you can embark on your own adventure, stopping at attractions and landmarks that catch your interest. Self-guided tours allow you to be flexible and customize your experience according to your preferences.

Tips for Walking Tours

When embarking on a walking tour, there are a few tips to keep in mind to ensure a pleasant and enjoyable experience. First, wear comfortable shoes as you will be on your feet for an extended period. Dress appropriately for the weather and consider bringing a water bottle and snacks, especially if you’re planning a long tour. It’s also a good idea to bring a map or have a fully charged phone with a navigation app to help you find your way. Finally, don’t forget to bring a camera to capture the beautiful sights and memories of your walking tour.


Another popular way to see New York attractions is by bicycling. With its extensive network of bike lanes, New York City offers a bike-friendly environment that allows you to cover more ground and enjoy a unique perspective of the city.

Bike Rentals

If you don’t own a bicycle, there are many rental shops scattered throughout the city. Renting a bike allows you to explore New York attractions on two wheels, giving you the freedom to navigate the streets and reach destinations faster than walking. Most bike rental shops provide maps and helmets, ensuring your safety and helping you make the most of your cycling adventure.

Guided Bike Tours

Joining a guided bike tour is an excellent option for those who want to explore New York attractions while learning about the city’s history and culture. There are a variety of companies that offer guided bike tours, led by knowledgeable guides who will take you to iconic landmarks, neighborhoods, and lesser-known gems. These tours often include stops at famous sights such as the Brooklyn Bridge, Central Park, and the High Line.

Citi Bike

Citi Bike is New York City’s bike-sharing program, providing a convenient and affordable way to get around the city. With Citi Bike, you can rent a bike for a short period and return it to any of the many docking stations located throughout the city. This option is great for those who want to have the freedom to explore at their own pace, without the constraints of a guided tour.

Safety Precautions

When biking in New York City, it’s crucial to prioritize safety. Always wear a helmet, obey traffic laws, and be aware of your surroundings. New York City streets can be busy and chaotic, so it’s essential to stay alert and follow cycling etiquette. Pay attention to bike lanes, use hand signals, and be courteous to pedestrians and fellow cyclists. By taking these safety precautions, you can enjoy a safe and enjoyable biking experience in the city.

Bus Tours

If you prefer a more relaxed and convenient way to see New York attractions, bus tours are an excellent option. They provide a comfortable means of transportation with the added benefit of a knowledgeable guide who will provide commentary and insight into the city’s landmarks and history.

Hop-On Hop-Off Tours

Hop-On Hop-Off tours are a popular choice for tourists visiting New York City. These tours allow you to board and disembark the bus at various designated stops, giving you the flexibility to explore attractions at your own pace. Whether you want to spend more time at a particular landmark or move quickly between different areas of the city, Hop-On Hop-Off tours provide the convenience and freedom to create your own itinerary.

Uptown/Downtown Tours

Uptown and Downtown tours offer a comprehensive view of New York City’s iconic landmarks and neighborhoods. The Uptown tour typically covers attractions such as Central Park, the Guggenheim Museum, and Harlem, while the Downtown tour focuses on famous sights like Times Square, the Empire State Building, and the Statue of Liberty. These tours are a great way to get an overview of the city’s highlights and familiarize yourself with different areas.

Night Tours

For a unique and enchanting experience, consider taking a night tour of New York City. The city comes alive with lights and excitement after dark, offering a different perspective on familiar landmarks. Night tours often feature stops at iconic locations like Times Square, Rockefeller Center, and the Brooklyn Bridge, providing stunning views of the city illuminated against the night sky.

Specialty Bus Tours

In addition to the classic bus tours, there are also specialty tours available in New York City. These tours cater to specific interests and offer a more in-depth exploration of particular themes. For example, you can embark on a food and culinary tour, where you’ll have the opportunity to sample diverse cuisines from around the world. Alternatively, you can choose a gangster and crime tour, delving into the city’s intriguing history of organized crime. Whatever your interests, there is likely a specialty bus tour that will cater to your curiosity.

Boat Tours

Boat tours provide a unique perspective of New York City, allowing you to experience the city’s stunning skyline from the water. Whether you’re interested in historical landmarks, scenic cruises, or a visit to the Statue of Liberty, there is a boat tour that will suit your preferences.

Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island

A visit to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island is a must-do when in New York City. Several boat tours offer the opportunity to get up close to Lady Liberty and explore her majestic surroundings. These tours often include narrated commentary, providing insights into the history and significance of these iconic landmarks. Additionally, some tours also grant access to the Ellis Island Immigration Museum, where you can learn about the millions of immigrants who passed through this gateway to the United States.

New York Harbor Cruises

New York Harbor cruises are a fantastic way to appreciate the city’s skyline and famous landmarks. These cruises offer panoramic views of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, the Brooklyn Bridge, and many other iconic sights. Whether you choose a daytime cruise or a romantic sunset sail, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views and memorable photo opportunities.

Sightseeing Cruises

Sightseeing cruises provide an excellent opportunity to explore different neighborhoods and areas of New York City from the water. These cruises often pass by famous landmarks such as the Empire State Building, One World Trade Center, and the Chrysler Building, allowing you to see the city’s architectural marvels from a unique vantage point. Along the way, knowledgeable guides provide interesting commentary, giving you insights into the history and significance of each attraction.

Ferry Services

Ferry services are a convenient and efficient means of transportation between various parts of New York City. The Staten Island Ferry, for example, offers passengers stunning views of the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline as it shuttles between Manhattan and Staten Island. Additionally, there are several ferry services that connect Manhattan with other areas, such as Queens and Brooklyn, providing an alternative way to travel and explore the city.

Helicopter Tours

For a truly breathtaking experience and a bird’s-eye view of New York City, helicopter tours are the way to go. These tours offer a unique perspective and the opportunity to see the city’s famous landmarks from above.

Aerial Views of NYC

Helicopter tours provide unrivaled aerial views of New York City’s skyline, offering an unforgettable experience and stunning photo opportunities. From the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island to Central Park and the Empire State Building, you’ll be able to see the city’s most iconic landmarks from a perspective that few get to enjoy.

Tour Routes

Helicopter tours typically follow predefined routes that showcase the best of New York City. These routes are carefully designed to ensure that passengers can experience the city’s famous sights and landmarks from a breathtaking vantage point. Depending on the tour, you may fly over Manhattan, Brooklyn, or even farther afield to explore attractions such as the Coney Island Boardwalk or the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.

Safety Considerations

Safety is of the utmost importance when it comes to helicopter tours. The operators of these tours adhere to strict safety regulations and maintain well-maintained and modern helicopters. Certified and experienced pilots will ensure a smooth and enjoyable flight while providing informative commentary throughout the tour. Passengers are usually required to undergo a safety briefing before the flight, ensuring that everyone understands the necessary precautions and procedures.

Cost and Reservations

Helicopter tours are typically more expensive than other forms of sightseeing in New York City, but the experience is well worth it for the stunning views and unique perspective. Prices can vary depending on the duration and route of the tour, as well as the popularity of the operator. It is advisable to book your helicopter tour in advance to secure your preferred date and time, as these tours can be in high demand, especially during peak travel seasons.

Rooftop Views

If you want to admire the breathtaking skyline of New York City while enjoying a drink or a meal, rooftop views are the way to go. These elevated vantage points provide stunning panoramas and a memorable experience.

Observation Decks

Observation decks, such as the iconic Empire State Building and the Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center, offer unparalleled views of New York City. From these elevated platforms, you can gaze out over the city’s skyscrapers and landmarks, capturing panoramic photos and taking in the breathtaking scenery. Observation decks often provide telescopes, interactive exhibits, and knowledgeable staff who can answer any questions you may have about the city and its landmarks.

Rooftop Bars and Restaurants

Several rooftop bars and restaurants throughout New York City offer fantastic skyline views along with delicious food and beverages. From upscale establishments with specialty cocktails to casual bars with a laid-back atmosphere, there is a rooftop venue for every taste and budget. Sip on a refreshing drink, savor a gourmet meal, and soak in the incredible views as you relax and unwind high above the bustling city streets.

Panoramic Views

New York City’s skyline is known for its iconic landmarks and breathtaking beauty. From the Empire State Building to the Chrysler Building, the city’s architectural marvels create a stunning backdrop that can be enjoyed from various rooftop vantage points. Whether you’re looking for a sweeping view of midtown Manhattan or a glimpse of the downtown skyline, rooftop views offer panoramic perspectives that are truly awe-inspiring.

Entry Fees and Timings

Entry fees and timings for rooftop views can vary depending on the establishment and location. Observation decks typically have set admission fees, while rooftop bars and restaurants may require a minimum spend or charge a cover fee during peak hours or special events. It’s advisable to check the opening hours and any restrictions before visiting. Keep in mind that popular rooftop venues can get crowded, especially during sunset, so planning your visit in advance or arriving early can ensure a more enjoyable and relaxing experience.


While walking, biking, and public transportation are common ways to get around New York City, driving offers a different perspective and increased flexibility. However, there are several factors to consider before deciding to explore the city by car.

Car Rentals

If you plan to drive in New York City, renting a car is the most convenient option. Several car rental companies operate in the city, offering a wide range of vehicles to suit different needs and preferences. Renting a car allows you to explore the city and its surrounding areas at your own pace, without relying on public transportation or tour schedules.

Self-Guided Driving Tours

Self-guided driving tours can be a fun and flexible way to explore New York City and its neighboring attractions. By following a preplanned route or using a GPS navigation system, you can visit iconic landmarks, scenic routes, and lesser-known gems. Whether you’re interested in exploring the boroughs of Manhattan, Brooklyn, or the Bronx, self-guided driving tours allow you to customize your itinerary and discover the city at your own pace.

Parking Considerations

Parking in New York City can be challenging and expensive, especially in popular tourist areas and during peak hours. It’s essential to familiarize yourself with parking regulations and restrictions to avoid fines or towing. Street parking is available in certain areas but is often limited and subject to time restrictions. Alternatively, many parking garages and lots are scattered throughout the city, offering a more secure and convenient option, albeit at a higher cost.

Traffic and Navigation

New York City is known for its congestion and heavy traffic. Before embarking on a driving adventure, it’s important to consider the time of day, as rush hours can significantly impact travel times. Familiarize yourself with the city’s major roads and highways, as well as potential alternate routes to avoid traffic jams. Utilizing a GPS navigation system or a smartphone app can help you navigate the city more efficiently and avoid getting lost.

Public Transportation

New York City’s public transportation system is extensive and efficient, providing a convenient and affordable way to get around the city. With its network of subways and buses, you can easily access popular attractions and explore different neighborhoods.


The subway is the backbone of New York City’s public transportation system, offering a quick and efficient means of getting around. With multiple lines and stations throughout the city, you can easily reach popular attractions and navigate between boroughs. The subway operates 24/7, with more frequent service during peak hours and reduced service during late-night hours. It’s advisable to consult a subway map or use a smartphone app to plan your route and decide which lines and transfers to take.


Buses are another popular mode of public transportation in New York City, offering comprehensive coverage and the ability to travel above ground, allowing you to take in the sights as you move between destinations. Like the subway, buses operate throughout the day and night, with differing frequencies depending on the time and location. Bus routes can be complex, so it’s essential to consult a bus map or use a smartphone app to plan your journey and ensure you catch the correct bus.

Fare Options

New York City’s public transportation system operates using the MetroCard, a rechargeable card that allows you to pay for subway and bus rides. There are two types of MetroCards: Pay-Per-Ride and Unlimited Ride. Pay-Per-Ride allows you to load a specific dollar amount onto your card, and each ride deducts a set fee. Unlimited Ride passes, on the other hand, offer unlimited rides for a specific duration, such as seven days or 30 days. Both options provide cost-effective ways to travel within the city, and the choice depends on the length of your stay and your anticipated travel needs.

Navigating the System

Navigating New York City’s public transportation system may seem daunting at first, but with a bit of preparation and understanding, it becomes a user-friendly and efficient way to explore the city. Before your trip, familiarize yourself with the subway and bus maps, as well as the locations of major stations and stops near your destination. Utilize smartphone apps or online resources to access real-time service updates, plan your routes, and check for any potential disruptions or delays. Additionally, don’t hesitate to ask transit employees or fellow travelers for assistance if you need guidance or have any questions.

Specialty Tours

New York City offers a wide range of specialty tours that cater to various interests and passions. Whether you’re a foodie, history buff, cinephile, or art lover, there are specialized tours that will give you a unique and immersive experience.

Food and Culinary Tours

Food and culinary tours are a delicious way to explore New York City’s diverse and vibrant culinary scene. These tours take you to local eateries, food stalls, and markets, allowing you to sample a wide array of flavors and cuisines. From iconic pizza and bagels to international dishes and gourmet treats, food tours offer a culinary adventure that will awaken your taste buds and leave you with a greater appreciation for the city’s gastronomic offerings.

Gangster and Crime Tours

If you’re intrigued by the history of organized crime and the city’s darker past, gangster and crime tours are a fascinating option. Led by knowledgeable guides, these tours delve into the world of infamous mobsters, legendary crime scenes, and lesser-known stories of New York City’s criminal underbelly. From the infamous speakeasies of the Prohibition era to the bustling streets of Little Italy and Chinatown, you’ll uncover intriguing tales of gangsters, law enforcement, and the city’s fight against crime.

TV and Movie Tours

New York City has been a backdrop for countless movies and TV shows, making it a dream destination for film and television enthusiasts. TV and movie tours take you to iconic filming locations, allowing you to experience the city through the lens of your favorite shows and movies. From famous landmarks featured in blockbuster films to hidden gems that only avid fans know about, these tours provide a unique behind-the-scenes look at the magic of the silver screen.

Art and Museum Tours

As a cultural capital, New York City boasts an impressive array of world-class museums and galleries. Art and museum tours offer a guided exploration of these institutions, allowing you to appreciate the city’s rich artistic heritage. From the renowned Metropolitan Museum of Art to the cutting-edge Museum of Modern Art, these tours provide insights into the artworks and exhibits, as well as the history and significance of the museums themselves.

Combo Packages

For those looking to make the most of their time in New York City and maximize their sightseeing experience, combo packages are an excellent choice. These packages offer a mix of attractions and activities at a reduced price, providing great value for money and convenience.

Attraction Passes

Attraction passes bundle together several popular attractions and offer discounted admission prices. With an attraction pass, you can gain access to a selection of must-see sights, such as the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, and museums like the Museum of Natural History or the Guggenheim. These passes typically grant skip-the-line access, allowing you to save time and make the most of your visit.

All-Inclusive Tours

All-inclusive tours are comprehensive packages that include various modes of transportation, guided tours, and attractions. These tours often combine walking, bus, and boat tours, allowing you to experience the city from different perspectives. They may also include admission to popular attractions, meals, and even additional activities like bike rentals or helicopter tours. All-inclusive tours offer a hassle-free way to see multiple attractions without the need to plan each activity individually.

Customizable Packages

If you prefer a more tailored experience, customizable packages allow you to select specific attractions and activities that match your interests. These packages provide the flexibility to design your own itinerary, combining the attractions and tours that most appeal to you. Whether you want to focus on art and culture, food and culinary exploration, or a mix of everything, customizable packages let you create a personalized and memorable New York City experience.

Value for Money

Combo packages are often a cost-effective way to see multiple New York attractions and participate in various activities. By bundling together several experiences, these packages offer discounted prices compared to purchasing each attraction or tour individually. Additionally, many combo packages include skip-the-line access or reserved seating, allowing you to save time and bypass long queues. Before purchasing a combo package, it’s important to compare prices and offerings to ensure you’re getting the best value for your money.