15 Things You Must Do In New York City Your First Time

featured Image: @irina_ls

I have been obsessed with New York City since I was a young girl. I love the city life, the hustle, and bustle of it all.

There is so much to see and do that it’s hard to pack it all in, but there are a couple of absolute must-see’s if it’s your first time visiting the Big Apple.



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Things You Must Do Your First Time in New York

So many songs have been dedicated to the city of New York, from Frank Sinatra to Jay-z and Alicia Keys.

The City That Never Sleeps, The Big Apple, The City So Nice, They Named it Twice; the list goes on and on. New York City is the most recognizable city in the world that it has so many monikers.

When New York is mentioned, people often get images of Broadway and the Empire State Building in their minds. The city comprises of 5 boroughs and has a population of more than 8 million people and each one of them will tell you that it is one of the greatest cities in the world (don’t fact check me on this one, just accept).

New York is a city so big that it often overwhelms first-time visitors. Most people who visit for the first time often end up missing a few attractions.

There is just too little time to see everything, especially if you don’t do your research and plan your itinerary well.

You may not be able to spend a lifetime in New York (those prices!) but with this guide, you will be able to do things and see places that will leave you with memories which you will forever cherish.



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Where To Eat In New York City?

One of the best things about traveling is the opportunity you get to also sample local food.

New York is a hub for all kinds of food and as a first-timer, you will want to eat as much as possible when in the city. Although you won’t be able to try all the city’s most iconic foods, we have a list that you can surely accomplish during a short stay. 

Bagels are a staple in New York and Absolute Bagels on Broadway offers the best. Warm, doughy and chewy, they are perfect to have before you head out discovering the city’s hidden treasures.

Chocolate chip cookie from Levain Bakery is well-loved by locals and tourists alike, and this is evident by the daily lines of people looking forward to their gooey and chocolatey cookies.

Katz’s Delicatessen’s pastrami on rye is a favorite and is a dish that has been craved and relished by New Yorkers for more than a hundred years. 

But if we’re being honest, every corner of New York has amazing food and you’re sure to find more amazing restaurants than you have time to dine in.



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What to see in New York?



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Statue of Liberty

No New York visit is complete without seeing the Statue of Liberty. If it is your first time in the city, you’ll want to see Lady Liberty herself.

Yes, it is a touristy thing to do but it is a MUST. You definitely wouldn’t want to go to Paris without seeing the Eiffel Tower right?

There are two ways to the famed monument, one is through the Staten Island ferry and the other is through a tour. The first option is your best bet if your budget is a little tight because you don’t have to spend a dime.

Ferries leave every thirty minutes from Manhattan’s South Terminal. If you wish to get up close and personal to Lady Liberty, you should opt for the New York City Pass.



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9/11 Museum

9/11 was an event that rocked the world and visiting Ground Zero has been on the list of all travelers since then. The museum is powerful and is a great reminder of one of the most poignant events in the world.

People flock to the museum so it makes sense to make your way there early. There are audio guides available for just $7 and you can also download the 9/11 audio guide app for free. The famous actor Robert Deniro does a very good job of narrating. Just be sure to bring your headphones. 



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Times Square

Times Square is one of the world’s most recognizable places and one of the city’s most iconic attractions.

Go there and be surrounded by towering buildings, neon lights and bustling energy which is unlike anywhere else in the world. If you are lucky enough to be in the city during New Year’s Eve, you can witness the world-famous Times Square Ball Drop.



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Broadway Musical

The City That Never Sleeps is famous for its Broadway musicals. For someone who likes musicals, seeing one live and in-person in an actual theater is a surreal experience.

This is one of the pricier things to do in New York, but it’s an amazing experience. Book your tickets early so that you get a guaranteed seat and prepare to be awed.



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Central Park

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@andrewandamelia

A beautiful and sprawling urban park, Central Park is filled with lush foliage, scenic lakes, beautiful sculptures, a myriad of flora and fauna and various other attractions.

Right smack in the middle of the city, it is the best place to go to for people who need a break from the city’s hustle and bustle.

Not exaggerating when I say you will need at least half a day to explore this massive park. There’s just SO much to see.



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American Museum of Natural History

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Love history? You will love the American Museum of Natural History.

This expansive museum has 45 exhibition halls which house a large variety of natural history specimens.

The dinosaur exhibitions are probably the favorite and the most fun to see. The T-Rex with its gaping jaws and rows of serrated teeth is beyond amazing.

Definitely give yourself some time to explore and get lost in history.




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Brooklyn Bridge

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This iconic bridge has been featured in several movies such as Sex and the City, Enchanted, Transformers, and the French Connection and it is one of the most recognizable bridges in the world.

There is a pedestrian walkway which will take your safely over to Brooklyn where you will see an incredible view of the Manhattan skyline.

An Instagram-worthy photo on the bridge is mandatory for any first-timer.

The best time to go is in the morning when there are only a few people and the lighting is superb.



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Flatiron Building

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@nancyporopat

So-called for its shape, the Flatiron Building is a triangular 22-story building. It completely fills the triangle formed by Broadway, 23rd Street, and Fifth Avenue. Built in 1902 and designed by architect Daniel Burn, this office building is of historical significance to the city and a must-see for architecture enthusiasts.



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Check Out The Highline

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@ondrejsom

A historic freight rail turned public park, the Highline is a local favorite.

A casual stroll along the Highline takes about 30 to 60 minutes and you get some amazing views of the city along the way.

Also, during the summer months, there are a lot of food stalls and quick meals to grab. There’s nothing like a cold ice-cream on a summers day while strolling across New York City.



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Wall Street

One of the most famous streets in the world that it has its own movie, and the personification of the entire financial system of the country, Wall Street is home to the New York Stock Exchange and the Federal Reserve Bank.



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Empire State Building

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@empirestatebldg

Located in Midtown Manhattan, the Empire State Building has also been featured in various movies, most notably King Kong. Completed in 1931, it has a height of 1,250 feet and was once the tallest building in the world. 



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The Vessel

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@hot.on.kos.heels

One of the newest additions to the city and an instant classic with locals and tourists alike.

It’s basically a spiral staircase that you can climb to et amazing views. The vessel is basically art you can interact with and I’m sure

What will you be doing in New York your first time?
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15 Things You Must Do in New York City Your First Time. Want to visit New York City like a local but have no idea where to go or what to see in New York City?  #NYCwithkids #thingstodonyc #NYCtravelguide #nycfamilyguide #nyc #newyorkcity #nyctips
15 Things You Must Do in New York City Your First Time. Want to visit New York City like a local but have no idea where to go or what to see in New York City?  #NYCwithkids #thingstodonyc #NYCtravelguide #nycfamilyguide #nyc #newyorkcity #nyctips