45 Fun Things to do Alone in NYC 
45 Things to Do by Yourself in NYC
There’s no shortage of fun things to do in NYC, even if you’re traveling alone. This city was made for everyone, so taking a bite out of The Big Apple solo is no big deal. Maybe you want to hunt down the best pizza NYC has to offer or stroll through Central Park for an idle afternoon in Manhattan? At night, the jazz clubs in NYC come in a variety of styles, from old-school posh to underground and casual.
Places to Go Alone in NYC
So, ready to dive in? Take your pick of these fun things to do in NYC alone. And if you run out of time, don’t worry, there’s always another vacation waiting.
1 | Visit The Statue of Liberty | Whether you’re a recent NYC transplant or just visiting the Big Apple, seeing The Statue of Liberty is a must. This iconic monument, which stands for freedom and hope, is also located next to Ellis Island. You can take a tour of this beauty by hopping on the ferry down at Battery Park. Make sure to visit other historical sites in NYC.
WHERE: New York, NY 10004 | WHO: 212-363-3200
2 | Walk The High Line | Conveniently located in the quaint neighborhood of Chelsea, The High Line is actually a railroad that’s been transformed into 1.45-miles of gorgeous green space. Connected to the Hudson Yard, walking The High Line offers one of the most unique views in the city.
WHERE: New York, NY 10011 | WHO: 212-500-6035
3 | Visit the Vessel | Located at Hudson Yards, the Vessel is undoubtedly one of New York’s most interesting attractions. The honey-comb-shaped architectural structure stands a whopping 154 feet tall and offers an unobscured view of the Hudson River. Although you can’t currently climb to the top, just walking by will still leave you in awe.
WHERE: 20 Hudson Yards New York, NY 10001 | WHO: 332-204-8500
4 | Visit Summit One Vanderbilt | Views upon views is the only way to describe the Summit at One Vanderbilt. Buy yourself a ticket and get ready to experience floor-to-ceiling windows, mirrored rooms and views of the city that will take your breath away.
WHERE: 45 E 42nd St, New York, NY 10017 | WHO: 877-682-1401
5 | Have Lunch in Bryant Park | If you’re looking for a place where you can get to know the locals, enjoy al fresco dining and even join a riveting game of chess in the middle of the day, Bryant Park is for you. More than 12 million people visit this park every year to sample local fare, sip a cup of brew or simply sit and admire the pretty florals in bloom.
WHERE: New York, NY 10018 | WHO: 212-768-4242
6 | Visit MoMA | NYC is home to some of the quintessential museums in the USA, including MoMA. The Museum of Modern Art is home to masterpieces from all over the world, including Picasso. If you’re visiting for the first time, you need to check out the interactive exhibitions. You also should take a peek at the Greek, Roman and Egyptian art exhibits on the first floor. You can also sign up for a guided tour to learn more about the history of the relics that call MoMa home.
WHERE: 11 West 53rd St, New York, NY | WHO: 212-708-9400
7 | Tour the Brooklyn Botanic Garden | Although it’s open all year long, spring and summer are the best times to tour the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. The garden is over 52 acres with more than 12,000 different plant species, including the Instagram-worthy Cherry Blossoms. You can also sign up to learn more about the flowering plants, or if you live in the city, you can sign up to earn a horticultural certificate.
WHERE: 990 Washington Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11225 | WHO: 718-623-7200
8 | Stroll the Brooklyn Bridge | Tour this iconic structure that spans the East River and two boroughs. The Brooklyn Bridge was built in 1883, and it still attracts millions of tourists and New Yorkers each year. Walking the 1.1-mile bridge takes between 30 to 60 minutes, and you’ll love the breathtaking views of the New York skyline. Entrances for pedestrians are 1.6 miles apart. Start walking to Brooklyn from Manhattan by heading to its entrance at Centre Street, directly across from City Hall Park.
WHERE: Brooklyn Bridge, New York, NY 10038 | WHO: N/A
9 | People Watch in Times Square | Ask any New Yorker and they’ll tell you to avoid Times Square at all costs! However, even if it’s only once, everyone has to see the bright lights and larger-than-life billboards. As memorable as this spot is during the day, be sure to stop by at night when the city is all aglow. You can also check out Escape Room NYC and put your critical thinking skills to the test! Avoid shopping or dining in the area as prices are some of the highest in the city, but do bring your camera and grab a selfie on the iconic red steps!
WHERE: 200 W 47th Street, New York, NY 10036 | WHO: N/A
10 | Picnic in Central Park | No one can visit New York City without having a picnic in Central Park. With over 800 acres of rolling green hills, finding a place to lay your blanket is easy. Inside the park, you can also visit Strawberry Fields, Bow Bridge, Belvedere Castle and Bethesda Terrace. Central Park even has its own zoo, and depending on the time of year, you might be able to partake in Shakespeare in the Park.
WHERE: 5th Ave to Central Park West | WHO: 212-310-6600
11 | Visit the Chelsea Market | Located in Chelsea, the Chelsea Market is internationally known as one of the top indoor urban food courts worldwide. With over 40 indoor vendors, there’s definitely no shortage of food and shopping choices. Fun fact: Chelsea Market was also home to the original Rachel Ray cooking show on Food Network. It’s also open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. except on Sundays when doors open at 8 a.m. and close at 9 p.m.
WHERE: 75 at 9th Avenue, New York, NY 10011 | WHO: 212-652-2121
12 | Take a Walk on the Edge | Edge Observation Deck is the highest outdoor observation point in the entire Western Hemisphere. If you’re looking for the best view in New York, it’s here. You’ll get a 360-degree view of the city that makes you feel like you’re walking among the clouds. Made up of 100 stories of glass, this structure is just as beautiful from the outside as the view it contains within. Venture out onto the jutted balcony and sip champagne as you take in an unforgettable NYC sunset.
WHERE: 30 Hudson Yards, New York, NY 10001 | WHO: 332-204-8500
13 | Catch a Show at the New York Comedy Club | The best comedy shows in New York happen at the New York Comedy Club, open since 1989. It always has a great lineup of must-see New York stand-up comedians, including Ari Shaffir, Mile Feeny and Matt Richards. Nothing beats a night in the city paired with great laughter and food. Make a night out of the experience by hitting up one of the local bars for a bite before settling in for the show.
WHERE: Midtown: 241 E 24th St, New York, NY 10010 | WHO: N/A (multiple locations)
14 | Visit Rockefeller Center | Rockefeller Center has something for everyone: Beautiful sculptures, an enormous skating rink, a fishbowl view of NBC Studios, plus hordes of stores and restaurants. Though there will be intense crowds, this is an experience that's worth having at least once. During the wintertime holidays, the plaza sparkles with an illuminated Christmas tree and skaters gliding across the ice rink. But don't fret if your New York adventure doesn't take place during the cold months.
WHERE: 45 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10111 | WHO: 212-588-8601
15 | Marvel at St. Patrick’s Cathedral | St. Patrick’s Cathedral is truly a one-of-a-kind building. Built in 1878, this Neo-Gothic cathedral houses the Archbishop of New York and serves as a parish church. The 329-foot-tall building has been a National Historic Landmark since 1976, and today, it still stands as one of the most beautiful architectural structures in the United States. Stop by during the late morning or early afternoon for the smallest crowds. Take a seat, admire the stained glass and columns, and even pick up something from the gift shop.
WHERE: 5th Ave, New York, NY 10022 | WHO: 212-753-2261
16 | Shop at Grand Central | Grand Central is a bustling train station that serves over 250,000 passengers every day. The famous celestial ceiling design was dreamt up in 1912 by architect Whitney Warren and painter Paul César Helleu. It depicts more than 2,500 stars against a striking turquoise backdrop. Within the station, you’ll find a number of shops and restaurants, cafes, bakeries and bars. The dining concourse includes staples such as the famous Central Market New York and Magnolia Bakery.
WHERE: 450 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10170 | WHO: 212-330-5724
17 | Head to the Top of the Empire State Building | The 102-story art deco building is world-renowned, and you can climb to the top thanks to the Top of the Rock experience. Whether you want to head in with the crowd or book a private guided tour, visiting the Top of the Rock and beholding Manhattan unfolding beneath your eyes is a one-of-a-kind experience everyone visiting NYC should see once.
WHERE: 20 W 34th St, New York, NY 10001 | WHO: 212-736-3100
18 | Stroll Down Fifth Avenue | Fifth Avenue, the most famous shopping street in the U.S., is filled with luxury retailers and chain stores, including Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman and Cartier. From Adidas to Urban Outfitters, you can think of Fifth Avenue as a sprawling outdoor mall with everything you could ever want to buy in one place. Go on a shopping spree or just window shop for the afternoon as you sip a cold drink. Just taking in the crowd and atmosphere of this quintessential Manhattan street is an experience in itself.
WHERE: 5th Ave, New York, NY 10001 | WHO: N/A
19 | Visit Radio City Music Hall | Located three miles from Rockefeller Center lies the famous Radio City Music Hall. Heralded as the “Showplace of the Nation,” Radio City Music Hall is home to New York City’s world-famous Rockettes. There are always concerts happening that you can easily book for a fun night in the center of the city.
WHERE: 1260 6th Ave, New York, NY 10020 | WHO: 212-465-6741
20 | Travel to Coney Island | Catch the C, B or Q train down to Brighton Beach for a trip to Coney Island. This neighborhood has the look and feel of a bygone era filled with classic American boardwalk charm. The change in landscape feels completely different from New York City, despite only being an hour train ride from Manhattan. Ride the Ferris wheel, tour the boardwalk, visit the beach and enjoy some quintessential Coney Island food, like hot dogs and funnel cakes. Afterward, enjoy a restful afternoon from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan.
WHERE: Coney Island Beach & Boardwalk, Coney Island, NY 11224 | WHO: N/A
21 | Explore the Bronx Zoo | Animal lovers will feel right at home in the Bronx Zoo! Filled with more than 6,000 species of furry, fuzzy, feathered and scaly animals, you’ll have no problem finding your new favorite among the crowd. Highlights include the world-class Congo Gorilla Forest and Wild Asia Monorail.
WHERE: 2300 Southern Blvd, Bronx, NY 10460 | WHO: 718-367-1010
22 | Enrich Your Mind at The Frick Collection | If you’d like another thrilling art expedition in NYC, then you won’t want to miss The Frick Collection. This museum features European fine art paintings by artists such as Bellini, Rembrandt and Vermeer. It’s the perfect place for esteemed connoisseurs and amateur admirers alike to appreciate some of the most beautiful classic works of art ever painted.
WHERE: 1 E 70th St, New York, NY 10021 | WHO: 212-288-0700
23 | Stop by The Strand Bookstore | For nearly 100 years, The Strand has been a landmark establishment in New York’s East Village. With thousands of new, rare and collectible books lining its shelves, you’ll easily lose hours strolling through the stacked columns and aisles of books. There are also plenty of souvenirs and gifts to snag while you’re there, so be sure to treat yourself and any bibliophiles in your life to a keepsake postcard or bookmark.
WHERE: 828 Broadway, New York, NY 10003 | WHO: 212-473-1452
24 | Snap a Shot of the Flatiron Building | Originally the Fuller Building, this iconic, pointed building rests at 175 Fifth Avenue. Chicago architect Daniel Burnham came up with the building’s design, and construction took place between 1901 and 1903. At the intersection of Broadway and Fifth Avenue, the Flatiron Building is a century-old homage to the ambitious and ever-growing city. The building is not open to the public except for the lobby. We suggest snapping some great pictures from the street, then walking three minutes to Madison Square Park.
WHERE: 175 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010 | WHO: N/A
25 | Venture to Gantry Plaza State Park | Spend an afternoon under the sun in Gantry State Park, an industrial waterfront turned communal greenspace. You’ll enjoy clear views of the East River and Midtown Manhattan. Inside the 12.5-acre park, you can visit one of four different piers, each with their own theme. Pier 1 is for viewing, Pier 2 has a café, Pier 3 is for sunning and Pier 4 is known as the “fishing pier.” If you’re the active type, Gantry Plaza State Park has a number of sports courts, including basketball and tennis courts, as well as trails perfect for biking and running.
WHERE: 4-09 47th Road, Queens, NY 10007 | WHO: 718-786-6385
26 | Check Out the Met Cloisters | The Cloisters Museum first opened in 1938 as a part of MoMa. Today, you can visit the museum to take in the European medieval art collections and appreciate the building’s unique architecture. The building was inspired by a 13th-century French chapel. It features a cuxa with stone pillars, a beautiful garden overlooking the Hudson River and even a Gothic chapel inside.
WHERE: 99 Margaret Corbin Dr, New York, NY 10040 | WHO: 212-923-3700
27 | Tour the Historic South Street Seaport | Adjacent to the Financial District lies South Street Seaport, a historical Manhattan neighborhood filled with old-world charm. The Seaport’s history spans nearly four centuries. It served as a port for the Dutch West India Company and helped establish the New York colony as an economic powerhouse on the East Coast. Through the decades, Seaport has seen many changes, weathered major historic events and still retained its quaint, comforting atmosphere. Today, you can visit it to explore dozens of little shops, famous restaurants and take in gorgeous views of the Brooklyn Bridge.
WHERE: 19 Fulton St, New York, NY 10038 | WHO: N/A
28 | See the Famous Plaza Hotel | Since 1907, the Plaza Hotel has been a hallmark of New York’s class and refinement. Throughout the decades, it’s held some of the city’s most exquisite social events. It’s also been the center in many films, such as Band Wagon, Sabrina, The Great Gatsby, 101 Dalmatians, and Home Alone 2. Enjoy afternoon tea at The Palm Court, the hotel’s stunning dining venue, or enjoy a night of fine wine and jazz at the on-site Rose Club.
WHERE: 5th Avenue at, Central Park S, New York, NY 10019 | WHO: 212-759-3000
29 | Explore the Tastes of Little Italy | Little Italy, one of NYC’s oldest neighborhoods, stands north of the Nolita neighborhood, surrounded by Tribeca, SoHo and Chinatown. Although the population has dwindled due to rising rent prices, there are still many charming, family-owned restaurants, bakeries and stores boasting Italian artisanal goods. From Sept. 19-25, you can attend the annual Feast of San Gennaro. This is a major event filled with incredible Italian food stalls, bright and lively processions, live music and even a cannoli eating contest.
WHERE: Mulberry Street, New York NY, 10013 | WHO: N/A
30 | Shop in SoHo | South of Houston Street lies SoHo. Its location also gives it its trendy name. Just as chic as its moniker are the luxury boutiques and independent designer stores that line its streets. You’ll garner plenty of fashion inspiration just watching the well-dressed passerby go about their day. But you can get in on the action yourself by picking up some unique pieces for your wardrobe. At night, there are plenty of upscale lounges and bars for you to socialize at. Put on your finest and get ready to hit the town!
WHERE: South of Houston Street, New York City, NY 10022 | WHO: N/A
31 | See a Broadway Show | Seeing a real Broadway show is a trademark NYC experience. From classics like Aladdin and The Lion King to Moulin Rouge and The Phantom of the Opera, there’s lots of fun to be had in the theater. The locations of each spot vary, ranging from the famous Marquis Theater to the Minskoff Theatre.
WHERE: 242 W 45th St, New York, NY 10036 | WHO: N/A
32 | Take a Trip to Chinatown | Chinatown is one of Manhattan’s most famous and culturally dynamic neighborhoods. Multi-generational families call the bustling, packed streets home. Tourists enjoy authentic Chinese cuisine from dim sum to Szechuan kitchens. You’ll find plenty of charming noodle bars and cozy tea parlors. You can also visit the Mahayana Buddhist Temple across from the Manhattan Bridge. Be sure to check out Doyers Street, which features one of the most interesting pieces of street art in Manhattan. The 4,800-square-feet stretch of road is entirely covered in a technicolor, geometric mural that demands to be photographed.
WHERE: Doyers Street, New York, NY 10013 | WHO: N/A
33 | Explore the Guggenheim | One of the world’s finest art museums is the Guggenheim. The museum on the Upper East Side is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and one of its most notable features is its architecture. A curved atrium spanning several stories is a sight to behold, speaking to the modern art collections that lie within its walls. Featured artists include Afro, Josef Albers, John Balderassi and Giacomo Bella. Anyone interested in modern art will surely find themselves at home among the collections at the Guggenheim.
WHERE: 1071 5th Ave, New York, NY 10128 | WHO: 212-423-3500
34 | Stroll Through Greenwich Village | Greenwich Village, a hidden jewel in the Lower West Side of Manhattan, makes for the perfect low-key afternoon or evening destination. Filled with tree-lined streets and classic brownstones, Greenwich features dozens of coffee houses, bars, jazz clubs and off-Broadway theaters that are sure to delight. At the center of the village lies Washington Square Park, the perfect destination for a self-guided walking tour of one of New York’s most laid-back neighborhoods.
WHERE: Houston Street to 14th Street, between Fourth and Sixth Avenues | WHO: N/A
35 | Learn at the American Museum of Natural History | See life-size fossils of the mighty T-Rex, dive into the fascinating world of sharks or see dazzling diamonds on display. The American Museum of Natural History will fill anyone with excitement as they take in the science-backed, curiosity-driven exhibits. These exhibits are on rotation throughout the year. Admission is limited, so make sure you book tickets ahead of time.
WHERE: 200 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024 | WHO: 212-769-5100
36 | See a Performance at The Lincoln Center Theater | The Lincoln Center, one of the world’s most prestigious performance halls, hosts five million visitors each year. No matter what show you’re viewing, the center embraces individualism and comfort above all else. There is no stuffy dress code, so everything from a tux to blue jeans and cowboy boots are welcome. From music and dance to opera and theater, there is always an exciting show happening.
WHERE: Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, NY 10023 | WHO: 212-875-5456
37 | Wonder at the One World Observatory | At the One World Trade Center, you can climb 102 stories to take in one of the most astounding views of New York City. The One World Trade Center is the tallest building in the U.S., and it rests on the site of the original World Trade Center, which was destroyed during the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Today, the Freedom Tower stands as a testament to heroism, a memorial to the lives lost in 2001 and a promise to all who visit. With more than 10 million visitors and counting, the One World Observatory is an exciting and memorable way to wrap up a tour of the city.
WHERE: 117 West St, New York, NY 10006 | WHO: 844-696-1776
38 | Study at the New York Public Library | With more than 53 million items and 92 locations, the New York Public Library boasts one of the most impressive collections in the world. The central library is open to the public and even offers free, one-hour tours every day except Sundays. The flagship Stephen A. Schwartzman Building has been open for 125 years and features the relaxing, historic Rose Main Reading Room, a must-see while you visit.
WHERE: 476 5th Ave, New York, NY 10018 | WHO: 917-275-6975
39 | Experience Staten Island | Staten Island, the lesser-known borough, still boasts plenty of fun and attractions. Ride the Staten Island ferry from the New York Harbor, then take a tour of the Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden. You may decide to visit the Staten Island Zoo or pass the afternoon in peace and harmony at the Chinese Scholar’s Garden. If you want some authentic New York pizza, visit the family-owned Denino’s at 524 Port Richmond Avenue.
WHERE: Whitehall Ferry Terminal in Manhattan: 4 Whitehall Street, New York, NY 10004 | WHO: N/A
40 | Take the Roosevelt Island Tramway | For a fun, scenic view of the Manhattan skyline, hop on the Roosevelt Island Tramway. An electric car will take you across the East River from the Upper East Side to Roosevelt Island. Roosevelt Island is largely residential, but it is also a historical location. The two-mile stretch of land once housed a number of prisons and insane asylums, but now it features parks, an art gallery and historical points of interest, such as The Octagon. You may not stay for long on Roosevelt Island, but the trip across the river to and from Manhattan makes it a fun pit stop on your walking tour of the Upper East Side.
WHERE: 254 E 60th St, New York, NY 10022 | WHO: 212-832-4555
41 | See the Charging Bull on Bowling Street | The iconic golden bull statue in the Financial District is a symbol of perseverance and prosperity. The Charging Bull is the worldwide symbol of the U.S. stock market. You’ll have no trouble spotting some of the city’s most passionate and successful business professionals as they bustle to and from the stock exchange. The bull was designed by Italian-American Arturo Di Modica. He paid his own money to build the statue because he wanted to inspire the American people to always strive for their professional goals.
WHERE: Bowling Green, New York, NY 10004 | WHO: N/A
42 | See a Concert at Carnegie Hall | If you love classical music, then a stop at Carnegie Hall will make your trip to NYC complete. Many bus tours will drive past the building, but it’s the shows inside that really make it worth a trip. Orchestras, ensembles, singers and epic recitalists all perform under the historical Renaissance-inspired building’s roof.
WHERE: 881 7th Ave, New York, NY 10019 | WHO: 212-247-7800
43 | Relax at the Elizabeth Street Garden | A well-hidden but delightful attraction, the Elizabeth Street Garden offers a nice reprieve from the fast-paced city. Surrounded by restaurants, stores and all the routine noise of Manhattan, the garden is a small slice of natural paradise that many locals consider an essential part of their neighborhood. Located just a few steps from Prince Street Plaza, stop by for a drink and enjoy the sunshine before heading back out into the city for the rest of your day. It may be tiny, but this one-acre strip of land is a serendipitous surprise filled with lovely blooms and charming sculptures worth seeing.
WHERE: Elizabeth St, New York, NY 10012 | WHO: N/A
44 | Create a Cocktail at The Cauldron | All of the excitement of touring Wall Street can definitely make you thirsty, so why not wet your whistle at The Cauldron? You can learn how to mix your own signature cocktails and mocktails by a certified mixologist. The Cauldron features a fantasy-like atmosphere designed to make you feel like a true magician as you whip up your own unique brew. Don a cloak, wave a wand and enjoy this adult edition of Harry Potter’s potion-making class.
WHERE: 47 Stone St New York, NY 10004 | WHO: 917-635-1960
45 | Go on a Bus Tour | Bus tours go all around the city for a fun and casual experience. One of our top recommendations is the Big Bus New York Hop-On, Hop-Off Tour. You’ll get to ride through Manhattan’s best neighborhoods, get exciting audio commentary and get to loop around downtown, midtown and uptown at your leisure.
WHERE: 723 7th Ave, New York, NY 10019 | WHO: 518-333-7747
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Last Tips on 45 Fun Things to Do Alone in NYC
There is always something to do in New York City, so have fun exploring. Try new things and don’t hesitate to take time just wandering around and taking in the sights. That’s half the fun of a trip to Manhattan and elsewhere. Maybe even venture on a quest for things to do outside of NYC. Instead of structuring your day too much, plan one or two attractions each day, maybe try to find the best dessert in NYC, then give yourself time to unwind and let the city surprise you. For more travel tips for NYC, visit the Westgate Resorts Travel Blog.
* Westgate Resorts is in no way affiliated with the attractions featured in this article. Items or places listed are current as of the publishing date of this article. Please call or visit the respective website for the most up-to-date offerings and details.
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