Nov 15, 2023



Travel Inspiration

The 5 Coolest Places to Visit in New York City

Fora Author Fora

The Modern Travel Agency


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Looking for the coolest places to visit in New York City? From the instantly recognizable Times Square to amazing museums, we’re covering five of our favorite must-see attractions.

On the other hand: connect with Fora to plan and book your trip. We’ll help you build an exciting itinerary that matches your interests and budget. Want to stay at one of the top hotels in Downtown NYC, too? We can take the hassle of booking off your plate (for the same price you’d pay booking alone) and score A+ hotel perks for you. What’s not to love?

5 of the best places to visit in New York City

Read on for a quick breakdown of the best places to visit in New York City.

1. Central Park: New York City’s largest (and most historic) urban green space

Want to visit Manhattan like a local? Central Park is a good starting point. 

Finding greenery in a metropolis of concrete, asphalt and steel isn’t always easy. But Central Park offers a pleasant escape from the city’s otherwise frantically busy streets. If nothing else, it’s a lovely place to catch a breath of fresh air and unwind. But there are also horse-drawn carriages, awesome museums (we’ll come back to this), event spaces and sudden bursts of interesting and historic architecture, like Belvedere Castle and Bethesda Terrace.

2. Times Square: New York’s most iconic hub

With its stories-tall billboards, surrounding high-rises and constant streams of people traveling every which way, there may not be a landmark in New York more recognizable than Times Square. 

Well, maybe aside from the Statue of Liberty. Or the Empire State Building. Or the Brooklyn Bridge (see below)…okay, okay — our point is that just about everyone who’s watched a movie or TV show over the past century has heard of Times Square.

In all fairness, locals find Times Square a bit touristy. But if you haven’t actually set foot there, it’s worth seeing in person at least once, if only to experience the city's hectic energy firsthand. There are also tons of sights, restaurants and bars in Times Square’s immediate vicinity.

(Want to stay near this iconic landmark and/or see other cool landmarks in the area? Check out our guides to hotels near Times Square, NYC and things to do in Manhattan.)

Can’t wait to stand in Times Square? Why not add awesome digs to the equation? Plan and book your stay with Fora.

3. Brooklyn: one of the best places to visit in New York City for cultural immersion (& lots of cool sights, of course)

It’s probably a little unfair to list an entire borough along with individual places to visit in New York. But Manhattan tends to hog a lot of attention, and Brooklyn deserves some love, too. 

For one, the Brooklyn Bridge has long been one of New York’s most famous landmarks. Since 1883, the bridge has connected Brooklyn to Lower Manhattan, with an estimated “116,000 vehicles, 30,000 pedestrians and 3,000 cyclists” — per the NYC Department of Transportation — crossing the bridge every single day. 

There’s also the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, which offers glorious views. Dumbo boasts upscale restaurants, boutiques, cafés and plenty more to see and do. 

Want more intel on exploring Brooklyn? Read our guide to visiting Brooklyn (and Queens). Or, connect with Fora for tailored travel suggestions.

4. Grand Central Terminal: a must-see place to visit in NYC for first-timers

Like Times Square, there’s something special about visiting such a famous landmark as Grand Central Terminal (sometimes called “Grand Central Station,” although that technically refers to a nearby post office as well as a metro station below). 

Grand Central Terminal isn’t just a transit hub, though, it’s also filled with shops, restaurants and gorgeous architecture, especially the arched Main Concourse. 

The Whispering Gallery is also neat for first-time visitors. The terminal’s acoustics carry voices over long distances, so you and a friend or captivated kiddo can hear each other clearly in opposite corners of the space, regardless of all the other travelers.

(First time in New York City? Our first-timer’s 3-day NYC itinerary has you covered.) 

5. NYC Museums: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art, The Guggenheim…

This is probably cheating — however, we’re here to give you great travel inspiration, not conform to list rules (and we didn’t want to make you read 20 more entries). But of course, the city’s most prestigious institutions are featured among our list of the best places to visit in New York. And there are a lot of them.

Few cities in the United States are home to as many reputable museums — from The Metropolitan Museum of Art (a.k.a. The Met) and the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the American Museum of Natural History — as New York. 

The range of topics is just as expansive, too. There are intriguing museums covering ice cream, sex, fashion, “interesting things” (really) and much, much more. 

Looking for more hidden gems in New York City? See our guide.

Want more recs for places to visit in New York? Connect with Fora

No question, there are a lot more than five cool places to visit in New York. Plan and book your trip with Fora for more insider intel on everything from the coolest bars to the most prestigious museums and more. 

Looking for more of the best places to visit in the USA? Check out these travel guides, too:

This article has been fact checked by Pro Fora Advisor Holly Wasserman, an expert on travel to New York City.

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