I want to be a part of it. New York, New York.

The city that never sleeps has returned in all its glory. And if you’re thinking of visiting soon, planning a trip to New York can be overwhelming. So we’ve taken in the sights recently to help you narrow down your visit to the Big Apple this year. What’s new and exciting? A lot. Perhaps all of it. Revisiting New York is like discovering it all over again, and that’s the best part. Although, there is a new addition to the city’s spotlight.

So here’s our list of the best things to do and check out in New York this year.

Empire State Building


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The iconic Empire State Building is still a must-see spot in New York City. Besides the epic views, there is a new museum that features 12 interactive exhibits. But of course, this building is known for its breathtaking 360-degree, open-air views from its famous 86th Floor Observatory. New this year, you can check out the brand-new 102nd Floor Observatory with an upgraded ticket experience. If you’re in New York a few days, which we would recommend, check out CityPass. It gives you discounted access to all the top attractions including the Empire State Building, Top of the Rock, and the Guggenheim Museum.

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Check out a Broadway show


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Going back to New York, or visiting for the first time? A Broadway show is still part of the full city experience. Midtown Manhattan’s Theatre District continues to be lit up every night of the week, as dozens of historic venues host new and long-running hits. If you’re looking to choose one, we recommend the highly entertaining Moulin Rouge! The Musical at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre.

Summit One Vanderbilt


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Having just opened in October 2021, Summit One Vanderbilt is probably one of the newest kids on the block, but also one you may have seen a ton of photos of on social media already. While it may look like just another observatory with amazing views of New York City, Summit One Vanderbilt is SO much more. Besides its surprising different rooms and levels (we don’t want to spoil the experience by giving away too much), and glass floors to allow you to see many flights down to the streets of NY, this spot also offers an outdoor terrace with the highest urban alpine meadow in the Western hemisphere. Definitely one for the thrill seekers, and those who want to kick up their Instagram feeds.

Art & the City


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New York has no shortage of art. From the world famous Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), to plenty of public art outdoors, days could be spent exploring art in the city. Cultural programs are back in full swing this year, with highlights including Apollo’s Africa Now! Festival, and the return of the Whitney Biennial, portions will remain on view through October 23 this year.

Central Park


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You can’t visit NYC without checking out its urban oasis, Central Park. Globally known for its 843-acre green space, with stunning vistas, relaxing bodies of water, a walk through Central Park is like visiting a different place than New York city entirely. While there, check out the Central Park Zoo, and if you’re visiting during the summer month, you may even catch a live concert there.

Hudson Yards


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If you’re wondering what Hudson Yards is, that is why it is added onto our list. Hudson Yards is New York’s newest neighborhood! According to NYCGO, it is home to a “significant public art such as Vessel; dynamic cultural institutions including The Shed; Edge, the tallest observation deck in the Western hemisphere; modern residences; 14 acres of public plazas, gardens and groves; and the world’s first Equinox Hotel.” And yes, this hotel is as epic as the gyms. Hudson Yards also connects easily to the High Line, which is built on a once-abandoned elevated rail line, and is now a green space offers unparalleled views of Manhattan’s far west side.

Visit one of the city’s rooftop bars


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NYC is blessed with views as far as the eyes can see, as long as you’re on a rooftop. And thankfully, there is no shortage of rooftop restaurants and bars to check out all over the city. If you’re visiting Hudson Yards, the new Peak Lounge is located on the 101st floor, giving “new heights of dining” a whole new meaning. And for those close to Central Park, Darling is the new secret rooftop bar on the 47th floor of the Park Lane Hotel, and the only rooftop lounge on Billionaire Row. For those looking for a party, there is the legendary Mr. Purple, as well as The Ready rooftop.

And also visit a live music venue


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There is something about the live music scene in New York. Catching a show in this lively city is usually an unforgettable experience. While many travel down to catch big concerts that may not be hitting other cities, we recommend checking out some of the smaller live music venues featuring amazing local talent. Smalls jazz Club in Greenwich Village and Birdland are two spots to check out during a short visit.

Explore one of the five boroughs


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Did you know New York City has five boroughs? Yep, they’re the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island. While we tend to spend most of our time in Manhattan, just because there is always so much to see and do, the boroughs each offer different and distinct sights and eats! If you have time, and you like to eat, we recommend visiting Queens. For foodies, there are plenty of authentic options here including Greek cuisine of Astoria and the Asian food in Flushing. Queen’s is a quick subway ride away from Manhattan, and if you’re up for some surf, there’s Rockaway Beach in the borough’s southern extremes with waves ready for your boards. And for any jazz lovers, the Louis Armstrong House Museum is also in Queens.

Stay in the heart of the action 


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One of the best things about New York is its endless choices when it comes to neighbourhoods and places to stay. But to get the full experience, try spending even just one night in the heart of it all. The Park Lane is located directly across the street from Central Park, with many of its spacious rooms offering a full view of the park. Staying here gives you direct access to the Park, where you can enjoy a morning walk with your coffee. One of the newer spots in NY, as mentioned earlier, is Hudson Yards and it is up for exploration. Splurge for one night and stay at the Equinox Hotel, a luxurious NY getaway that comes with free fitness classes at SoulCycle or Equinox (just downstairs.) Oh, and did we mention the pool and outdoor saunas? Ya…

And there you have it, a few sites to see and check out in New York this year.

For those looking to see another side of New York, you can check out the Inside Out Tours, where you can learn about the Underground Railroad in New York City. The walking tour allows you to visit the site of the city’s first slave market and learn about the origins of slavery in colonial New York. You can discover and view a former stop on the Underground Railroad.

And finally, while we didn’t add specific places to eat, there is no shortage of dining in NYC, just be sure to make reservations in advance! For more info on any of the sights, or info on New York City’s five boroughs, visit NYCGo’s website.

Prior to travel into the USA, ensure you check the requirements for entry at all times.

The author was hosted by New York City & Company.