Fun and Memorable Things to Do in New York as Soon as You Arrive

Over 65 million tourists traveled to New York City in 2019, making it one of the most visited cities in the world.

It is not difficult to see why. There is an abundance of things to do in New York no matter whether you want museums, great food, or entertainment. It has it all!

But if you have never been to New York before or wishing to move to New York, you want the first day of your trip to be perfect and something you will always remember. So, here are the very first things you should do in the Big Apple.

Check Out the Manhattan Skyline

Talk to anyone who has visited New York and they will tell you that seeing the Manhattan skyline was a surreal, out-of-body experience. It is such an iconic vista that you have seen hundreds of times in movies and TV shows, but nothing can prepare you for it. It is one of the first things to do in New York for any first-time visitor!


Here are some of the best places to see the Manhattan skyline:

  • Liberty and Ellis Island
  • Brooklyn Bridge Park in Brooklyn
  • Hunters Point South Park in Queens
  • Staten Island Ferry

If you are a budget traveler, the Staten Island ferry is free and a great alternative to the ferry that heads to Liberty Island.

Walk Around Central Park

New York Central Park is almost 850 acres, which is huge. There is no way you will be able to explore it all in a day. But if you are a New York travel newbie, you have to stroll through some of it.

Here are some Central Park highlights you might like to visit:

  • Alice in Wonderland statue
  • Belvedere Castle
  • Bethesda Terrace
  • The Loeb Boathouse
  • Bow Bridge over the lake

Rewatch your favorite New York-set films and see which of these Central Park landmarks feature in them.

Book Tickets to a Broadway Show

Depending on the show, tickets to Broadway productions get snapped up fast. If you did not book any tickets before arriving in New York, you should buy some ASAP.

Vendors like sell tickets to Broadway shows, sports games, and comedy performances. They will hook you up in a New York minute!

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Head to Times Square at Night

Times Square is an overwhelming and claustrophobic attack of the senses. Blinding advertisements, people, supersize stores, and street entertainers surround you from every angle.

But you have to see it. And you have to see it lit up at night. 

Lean into your tourist title and visit M&M’s World to buy gifts for your friends and family. Visit Hershey’s Chocolate World, see your tiny face on the big screen camera, and do not leave until you see the Naked Cowboy.

That is what any smart travel person would do.

Don’t Miss These Things to Do in New York

There are so many things to do in New York, you will never see everything in 24 hours. But your first day in the “City That Never Sleeps” will be something you will remember forever, so make sure it counts.

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