I'm by no means an expert on New York City, but as someone who's stayed for short periods of time, I've learned to prioritize what to do in New York. There are so many things to see, but there are several items that I think are "musts" for anyone who visits.
When I plan short trips to the city, I want to hit all the "must-sees" as well as discover my own favorite spots and areas. New York has so much to do that it can be hard to narrow it down, so I've created a list with the top things that I think shouldn't be missed while in the city. These aren't really unique or off the beaten path, just classic New York things that I think you have to include in your itinerary.
1. Visit Central Park
Make it to the Reservoir, the Lake, and the Pond, Bow Bridge, and the fountain if you can.
2. Spend a few hours at an art museum
I would recommend the Met, but if contemporary art is more your thing, the MOMA or the Guggenheim is great too.
3. Visit the 9/11 Memorial and Museum
It's extremely moving and an integral part of the city's identity.
4. Walk the High Line
A popular activity for good reason, walking along this converted rail line is a unique urban experience.
5. Grab lunch at Chelsea Market
You'll find a variety of delicious and healthy food options, plus fun shops to look through.
6. Brave the crowds for shopping in SoHo
The buildings in this section of the city are beautiful, and the shopping is crowded, but fun.
7. Visit the Flatiron District for food and shopping
Grab gelato at Italian food mecca Eataly and enjoy it across the street at Madison Square Park.
8. See a Broadway play or ballet performance
You can't go wrong with a Broadway play but a great alternative option is seeing an ABT (American Ballet Theatre) performance at the Metropolitan Opera House.
9. Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge
Take the subway to Brooklyn and walk back across the bridge towards Manhattan for beautiful skyline views.
10. Sightsee the famous spots
They may be touristy, but spots like the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, and Times Square are iconic for a reason.
What are your must-do activities in New York?