You are currently viewing 10 Must-Do Activities for a Weekend in New York City

New York City is a destination like no other, with a energy and excitement that is palpable in every corner of the city. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, there’s always something new and exciting to discover in the Big Apple. If you’re planning a weekend trip to NYC, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to things to do and see. From world-renowned museums and iconic landmarks to delicious dining and thrilling nightlife, the city has it all.

To help you make the most of your trip, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 must-do activities in NYC for a weekend getaway. We’ve included a wide range of options to suit different interests and budgets, so whether you’re an art aficionado, a history buff, or just looking to soak up the city’s electric atmosphere, there’s something for everyone on this list. For each activity, we’ve included information on the price, whether it’s away from the crowds, the best time to visit, and a helpful tip or two to ensure you have the ultimate NYC experience. So read on and start planning your dream weekend in the city that never sleeps!

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Visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, also known as the Met, is a must-see for any visitor to New York City. Home to a vast collection of art and artifacts from around the world, the museum offers something for everyone, from ancient Egyptian treasures to Impressionist masterpieces. The Met is open every day except Monday, and tickets cost $25 for adults, with discounts available for students and seniors. The museum can get crowded, especially on weekends and holidays, so it’s a good idea to plan your visit for early in the morning or later in the afternoon to avoid the crowds. To save money on admission and visit other popular attractions in the city, consider purchasing a CityPASS. You can also take a guided tour to learn more about the museum’s collection and to make the most of your visit.

  • Price: $25 for adults, discounts available for students and seniors
  • Crowdedness: Can get crowded, especially on weekends and holidays
  • Best time to visit: Early in the morning or later in the afternoon to avoid crowds
  • Tips and tricks: Purchase a CityPASS to save money on admission and visit other popular attractions in the city. Consider taking a guided tour to learn more about the museum’s collection and to make the most of your visit.
Visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art NYC

Explore Central Park for free

Explore Central Park: No trip to New York City is complete without a visit to Central Park, the iconic urban oasis beloved by locals and visitors alike. Stretching over 843 acres in the heart of Manhattan, the park offers various activities and attractions, from boating on the lake to ice skating in the winter. There are also numerous walking and biking trails, as well as several playgrounds and a zoo. Central Park is free to enter, although some attractions may have a separate fee. The park can get crowded on weekends and holidays, especially in the summer, so it’s a good idea to plan your visit for a weekday or early morning to avoid crowds. One tip for exploring Central Park is downloading a map or tour app to help you navigate the park and find the best attractions.

  • Price: Free to enter, some attractions may have a separate fee
  • Crowdedness: Can get crowded on weekends and holidays, especially in the summer
  • Best time to visit: Weekdays or early in the morning to avoid crowds
  • Tips and tricks: Download a map or tour app to help you navigate the park and find the best attractions. Consider renting a bike or taking a guided tour to see more of the park in a short amount of time.
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Take in the views from the Empire State Building

The Empire State Building is an iconic New York City landmark that offers breathtaking views of the city from its observation deck. Located on Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan, the building is open every day from 8am to 2am, with the last elevator to the observation deck departing at 1:15am. Tickets for the observation deck cost $37 for adults, with discounts available for children and seniors. The building can get crowded, especially on weekends and holidays, so it’s a good idea to plan your visit for early in the morning or later in the evening to avoid the crowds. One tip for visiting the Empire State Building is to purchase your tickets in advance online to save time and avoid long lines.

  • Price: $37 for adults, discounts available for children and seniors
  • Crowdedness: Can get crowded, especially on weekends and holidays
  • Best time to visit: Early in the morning or later in the evening to avoid crowds
  • Tips and tricks: Purchase tickets in advance online to save time and avoid long lines. Consider upgrading to a VIP ticket for access to a shorter line and a guided tour of the building.
Empire State Building Observation Deck

Pay tribute at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum

The 9/11 Memorial and Museum is a solemn tribute to the victims of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and a testament to the strength and resilience of the human spirit. Located at the World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan, the memorial consists of two serene reflecting pools that are set within the footprints of the original Twin Towers. The underground museum tells the story of 9/11 through various exhibits and artifacts, offering a poignant and moving tribute to those who lost their lives in the attacks. The memorial is free to visit, while tickets for the museum cost $26 for adults, with discounts available for children and seniors. The memorial is open every day from 7:30 am to 9 pm, while the museum is open every day from 9 am to 8 pm. Both attractions can get crowded, especially on weekends and holidays, so it’s a good idea to plan your visit for a weekday or early morning to avoid crowds. To save time and avoid long lines, consider purchasing your tickets in advance online. You can also enhance your visit by taking a guided tour, which will provide more context and insight into the events of 9/11 and the museum’s collection.

  • Price: Free to visit the memorial, $26 for adults to visit the museum (discounts available for children and seniors)
  • Crowdedness: It can get crowded, especially on weekends and holidays
  • Best time to visit: Weekdays or early in the morning to avoid crowds

Visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island

Visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island: The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island are two iconic landmarks that symbolize the freedom and opportunity that have attracted millions of immigrants to the United States over the years. The Statue of Liberty is located on Liberty Island in New York Harbor and can be reached by ferry from Lower Manhattan or Jersey City. Tickets to visit the statue cost $21 for adults, with discounts available for children and seniors. Ellis Island, which was once the main immigration processing center for the United States, is located just a short ferry ride away from the Statue of Liberty. It is now a museum that tells the story of immigration to the United States and is open every day except Christmas Day. Tickets to visit Ellis Island cost $10 for adults, with discounts available for children and seniors. Both attractions can get crowded, especially on weekends and holidays, so it’s a good idea to plan your visit for a weekday or early morning to avoid crowds. One tip for visiting the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island is to purchase your ferry tickets in advance online to save time and avoid long lines.

  • Price: $21 for adults to visit the Statue of Liberty, $10 for adults to visit Ellis Island (discounts available for children and seniors)
  • Crowdedness: Can get crowded, especially on weekends and holidays
  • Best time to visit: Weekdays or early in the morning to avoid crowds
  • Tips and tricks: Purchase ferry tickets in advance online to save time and avoid long lines. Consider upgrading to a VIP ticket for access to a shorter line and a guided tour of the attractions.

Shop and people-watch in the bright lights of Times Square

Times Square is the ultimate destination for anyone looking for a dose of the city’s vibrant energy and non-stop action. Located in the heart of Midtown Manhattan, this iconic neighborhood is known for its bright lights, billboards, and towering skyscrapers. It’s a popular spot for shopping, dining, and entertainment, and it’s also a great place to people-watch and take in the energy of the city.

Times Square

Times Square is free to visit, although some attractions and activities may have a separate fee. The area can get crowded, especially on weekends and holidays, so it’s a good idea to plan your visit for a weekday or early in the morning to avoid the crowds. To make the most of your visit, consider taking a guided tour to learn more about the history and culture of Times Square, and be sure to snap some selfies with the bright lights and towering buildings in the background. Just be sure to avoid peak hours, which are typically from 10am to 4pm, and to be mindful of pickpockets and other potential scams.

  • Price: Free to visit, some attractions and activities may have a separate fee
  • Crowdedness: Can get crowded, especially on weekends and holidays
  • Best time to visit: Weekdays or early in the morning to avoid crowds
  • Tips and tricks: Avoid peak hours, which are typically from 10am to 4pm. Be mindful of pickpockets and other potential scams. Consider taking a guided tour to learn more about the history and culture of Times Square.

Experience the magic of Broadway

Broadway is the heart and soul of New York City’s theater scene, and a visit to the city isn’t complete without experiencing the magic of a Broadway show. From blockbuster musicals to thought-provoking plays, there’s a show for everyone on Broadway. Tickets for Broadway shows can be expensive, with prices ranging from $50 to over $200, depending on the show and the seat location. It’s a good idea to purchase tickets in advance online to get the best seats at the best prices. Broadway shows can be crowded, especially on weekends and holidays, so it’s a good idea to plan your visit for a weekday or early in the morning to avoid the crowds. One tip for visiting Broadway is to check out TKTS, a discount ticket booth located in Times Square that offers discounted tickets for same-day performances.

  • Price: Tickets range from $50 to over $200, depending on the show and seat location
  • Crowdedness: Can get crowded, especially on weekends and holidays
  • Best time to visit: Weekdays or early in the morning to avoid crowds
  • Tips and tricks: Purchase tickets in advance online to get the best seats at the best prices. Check out TKTS, a discount ticket booth located in Times Square, for discounted tickets for same-day performances. Consider taking a guided tour of Broadway to learn more about the history and culture of the theater district.

Shop in the trendy neighborhood of SoHo

SoHo is a trendy neighborhood in Lower Manhattan that is known for its boutiques, art galleries, and designer stores. The neighborhood is home to a variety of high-end retailers, as well as independent boutiques and designer showrooms. SoHo is a great place to shop for clothing, accessories, home goods, and more. The neighborhood can get crowded, especially on weekends and holidays, so it’s a good idea to plan your visit for a weekday or early in the morning to avoid the crowds. One tip for visiting SoHo is to plan your route ahead of time and be sure to check out the side streets for hidden gems.

  • Price: Prices vary depending on the store
  • Crowdedness: Can get crowded, especially on weekends and holidays
  • Best time to visit: Weekdays or early in the morning to avoid crowds
  • Tips and tricks: Plan your route ahead of time and be sure to check out the side streets for hidden gems. Consider taking a guided tour of the neighborhood to learn more about its history and culture.

Try some authentic New York City pizza

New York City is home to some of the best pizza in the world, and no visit to the city is complete without trying a slice (or two!) of this iconic dish. From thin-crust to deep-dish, the city has a wide variety of pizza styles to choose from. Prices for pizza vary, with a slice typically costing around $3 to $4. The city has no shortage of pizzerias, so you’ll have no trouble finding a place to enjoy a slice. One tip for trying pizza in New York City is to seek out local pizzerias rather than chain restaurants, as they often have the best and most authentic pies.

  • Price: A slice typically costs around $3 to $4
  • Crowdedness: Varies depending on the pizzeria
  • Best time to visit: Any time! Pizza is a popular and convenient meal any time of day.
  • Tips and tricks: Seek out local pizzerias rather than chain restaurants for the best and most authentic pies. Consider trying a few different styles of pizza to find your favorite.

Take a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge

The Brooklyn Bridge is an iconic landmark that connects Manhattan and Brooklyn and offers breathtaking views of the city skyline. The bridge is a popular spot for tourists and locals alike, and it’s a great way to get a feel for the city. The bridge is free to walk across, although there is a separate pedestrian and bicycle path. The bridge can get crowded, especially on weekends and holidays, so it’s a good idea to plan your visit for a weekday or early in the morning to avoid the crowds. One tip for visiting the Brooklyn Bridge is to start your walk in Brooklyn and make your way to Manhattan, as this will give you the best views of the city skyline.

  • Price: Free to walk across the bridge, although there is a separate pedestrian and bicycle path
  • Crowdedness: Can get crowded, especially on weekends and holidays
  • Best time to visit: Weekdays or early in the morning to avoid crowds
  • Tips and tricks: Start your walk in Brooklyn and make your way to Manhattan for the best views of the city skyline. Consider taking a guided tour of the bridge to learn more about its history and engineering.

New York Helicopter Tour: The ultimate Manhattan sightseeing experience

Experience the ultimate in sightseeing with a New York helicopter tour. This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity offers breathtaking views of the city’s iconic skyline and landmarks, including the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, and the Brooklyn Bridge. The tours typically last around 15 to 30 minutes and are available year-round, weather permitting. Prices for helicopter tours start at around $200 per person, making it an expensive but unforgettable experience. It’s a good idea to book your tour in advance, as availability can be limited. One tip for taking a helicopter tour is to dress warmly, as it can get chilly in the air.

NYC Helicopter Tour Personal Experience
  • Price: Starts at around $200 per person
  • Crowdedness: Depends on the tour operator and size of the helicopter
  • Best time to visit: Any time, although weather permitting
  • Tips and tricks: Book your tour in advance to ensure availability. Dress warmly, as it can get chilly in the air. Consider taking a longer tour for a more comprehensive experience.

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