The Ultimate Bucket List of Things to Do in New York

New York City is one of the most famous cities in the world and with good reason. It is a leader in the field of art, fashion, theatre and food. Celebrity sightings and glittery star-studded events like the Met Gala are a common occurrence. And most importantly, there is something for everyone to be found in this sprawling cosmopolitan city. 


If you are thinking of, or planning a trip to the Big Apple, here is our ultimate bucket list of things to do in New York City.

Visit New York’s World-Class Museums and Galleries




Image by Robert Bye


No New York travel guide would be complete without a reference to its museums, which rank among the best in the world. 


Some of the museums we would recommend include:



(From L-R, Top-Bottom: Images by Ramon MWikimediaImagesenriquelopezgarregothamjoeTime OutAndrea RosenNYTimes) 


  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art: One of the most famous art museums in the world, The Met houses collections spanning the entire globe and over the past six millenia. Come here for a dive into global history, and will the day away as you explore galleries full of glorious Renaissance paintings, Japanese armouries, Egyptian tombs and Roman sculptures. 


  • American Museum of Natural History: A museum dedicated to exploring human cultures and the natural world. It is also the film site of many popular Hollywood movies, most notably Night at the Museum.


  • The Guggenheim: Located on 1071 Fifth Avenue, the world-famous Guggenheim has some of the most famous paintings in the world. Come here for the Picassos, Bollards, and Gauguins, and take a photo against the famous spiral ramps of the Guggenheim’s rotunda. 


  • Louis Armstrong House Museum: This used to be the home of Louis Armstrong and since his death, has been converted into a famous museum. Come here to learn all about Louis - one of the most famous jazz players in the world - and see what it was to live as he did. The museum also offers guided tours as part of the admission price. 


  • Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum: For a glimpse of world war history.


  • Art galleries in Chelsea: Did you know that Chelsea has a huge offering of art galleries featuring everything from 3D polychrome object paintings to tondo oil paintings? For a full list, use the Chelsea Gallery Map.


  • Museum of Sex: In case you want a break from all those paintings, how about a visit to a museum dedicated to the art of love?


Visit Broadway



Image by Sudan Ouyang


In case you didn’t know, West End is to London what Broadway is to New York. 


This 21 km street cuts from south of Manhattan, through the Bronz and into Inwood. There are 41 mainstream theatres featuring long-term classics such as The Lion King and the Phantom of the Opera, to the viral Hamilton, Aladdin, Mean Girls and Frozen. 


Even if you have been to the West End before, Broadway will be a different experience. The type of shows available are different and the cast, who give each performance its unique flavour, is also different. For a full list of Broadway shows available, click here


Admittedly, the theatre ticket prices might be a little steep but the experience of an amazing night out is something that all New Yorkers (and visitors) love. Nowhere else (maybe except in London?) will you get live theatre or musicals of this quality and scope so if this is a must-do on your list, make sure you book your tickets in advance!


Walk along the Highline



Image by NATA Trip from Pixabay  


Located on the west side of Manhattan, the Highline is one of New York’s (scratch that, the world’s!) most famous green spaces. The Highline is 1.45 miles (over 2 km) long and built upon the former New York Central Railway. 


Come here for a free stroll in the morning or late evening. Check out the public art, the varied indie food and art stalls, or sit on one of its benches to catch some sun rays while snacking away. To read up on the latest events happening at the Highline, you can visit the Highline’s official website here


And did we mention just how Instagrammable this gorgeous open space is?


Wander Around the Neighbourhood



Image by Adita Vyas


Every neighbourhood in New York is different and with the city being such a pedestrian-friendly place, it is time to take out your best walking shoes!


Some of our recommended neighbourhoods include: 


  • Wall Street: The financial heart of the American economy, this is one place you should definitely visit if only to gap in awe at the towering skyscrapers and sharp suited men and women walking briskly all around. Wall Street also has plenty of touristy things to do, including taking a picture with the Charging Bull Statue on Bowling Green and the Fearless Girl Statue, the New York City Hall, the New York Stock Exchange, Federal Hall Building, and 9/11 Memorial & Museum. 


  • Park Slope in Brooklyn: Park Slope is a historic place well-known for its pricey brownstones and tree-lined streets. Known as one of the most desired locations in New York, this is the perfect place to find your new dream home (or take a photo against!). There are plenty of other attractions nearby to supplement your visit, including the Old Stone House, Central Library, Prospect Park, Brooklyn Museum and a number of local boutique stores, cafes and restaurants to pop by.


  • Tribeca: Tribe is a hipster area in Lower Manhattan and the site of the Tribeca Film Festival around April or May. Tribeca is gentrified, full of cobblestone streets and refurbished industrial buildings that many celebrities call home. Some of the things to do here include visiting the Ghostbusters’ Fire Station, playing with your children at Pier 25 or the Escapes Games NYC and dining at Tribeca Grill (co-owned by Robert de Niro!). There are also plenty of art museums and boutique shops to cater to every person’s interests. 


Try the New York Cookies



Image by Levain Bakery


New York City is a haven for all the Cookie Monsters out there. And at the head of all the cookie joints in the Big Apple, there is the Levain Bakery. The Levain Bakery is known for its chunky and gooey cookies, and is so amazing that it has influenced hordes of Levain-inspired / copycat cookie recipes. 


If you are looking for a quintessentially NYC treat, try the Black & White Cookies. You can find in places like Russ & Daughters and Zabar’s. Otherwise, head over to Insomnia Cookies (who deliver cookies to your doorstep up till 3am!), Jacques Torres Chocolate and Schmackery’s. 


If you are one with a sweet tooth, then this is a definite bucket list item to put on your food itinerary. 


Try Some of the Most Instagrammable Food in Town





Source: Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer


Speaking of food.. If there ain’t a picture to show it, then it never happened. 


New York gets it. It has perfected the art of creating Instagram-perfect delicacies that look good and taste amazing. 


Some of our top tips include:


  • Dana’s Bakery for some crazy rainbow-coloured cookies and macaroons; 


  • Sweet Moments for some of the most photogenic, “Creamart” lattes and Korean shaved ice (otherwise known as bingsoos);


  • Emack & Bolio’s for some insane crunchy, sprinkle, popcorn-laden ice-creams; and


  • Black Tap for the beer, burgers and crazy Instagrammable milkshakes (which come laden with cookies, M&Ms, bubble gum, caramel, Reese butter cups, brownies, candy floss and so much more).




Our list barely scratches the surface of what New York has to offer but it is a solid start. In fact, you might find yourself wanting to book a return trip after a taste of everything that the Big Apple has to offer!


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A faith-driven Sarawakian lawyer who believes that it is never too late to start crafting a socially impactful legacy. When not grappling with warranties and liabilities, she loves pursuing adrenaline-fueled adventures, improving her Español and playing the violin. You can find her at @vidadeliya or