Are you planning to bring the family to the Big Apple? If so, you won’t be short of famous landmarks to visit. Of all the world’s renowned cities, New York City has perhaps the largest number of iconic attractions. Let’s learn about famous landmarks in New York City.
Many of New York City’s landmarks are just as educational as they are exciting. It’s because of this that in many ways, NYC is the ideal destination for a big-city family vacation. Here we’ll talk about New York City landmarks that you should visit on your upcoming getaway.
- 18 New York City Landmarks You Should Visit
- Times Square
- Brooklyn Bridge
- Empire State Building
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art
- Washington Square Park
- Madison Square Garden
- Rockefeller Center
- Grand Central Terminal
- Central Park
- Statue of Liberty
- September 11 Memorial
- Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
- St. Patrick’s Cathedral
- United Nations Headquarters
- Bronx Zoo Wildlife Conservation Society
- American Museum of Natural History
- New York Public Library, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
- Final Thoughts
18 New York City Landmarks You Should Visit
It’s time to find out the New York City landmarks that simply must be part of your NYC itinerary. Visiting these attractions will make lifelong memories for everyone.
Location: Manhattan, New York City, New York
While New York City is full of world-famous attractions, Times Square still stands out. Most NYC visitors cannot even imagine leaving the city without visiting this legendary location.
Emblematic of New York City, Times Square isn’t just one thing. It’s found on Broadway and 7th Avenue. Times Square features an exciting variety of nightlife spots, stores, museums, theaters, and restaurants.
As well as the bright lights and enormous advertisements, Times Square is Manhattan’s busiest area (and that’s saying something)! Hundreds of thousands of people visit Times Square daily.
If you’re visiting New York City, you’ll want to spend a lot of time in Times Square. Set aside time for several visits.
Location: Brooklyn Bridge, New York City, New York
Make sure you see or travel on Brooklyn Bridge during your exploration of New York City. This landmark’s history stretches back to the 19th century. As well as six vehicle lanes, this bridge has bicycle and pedestrian paths.
As well as enjoying the architecture of this bridge, you’ll enjoy the view of the city you experience as you cross it. Many visitors enjoy walking or bicycling across the bridge just for that benefit.
The Brooklyn Bridge has been featured in many movies and images, so you’ve probably seen it before. But there’s no substitute for seeing it in person.
Empire State Building
Location: 20 W 34th Street, New York City, New York
The Empire State Building is synonymous with New York City. This iconic building is one of the world’s most popular tourist attractions. In fact, 4 million people visit the Empire State Building every year.
When you visit this famous NYC landmark, make sure you go to the observation decks, also known as observatories. Go on a full tour of the building. You’ll regret it if you don’t! It’s an essential part of the NYC experience.
Built in 1931, the Empire State Building was once the tallest building on the planet. It has 102 stories. Get your tickets for a 90-minute Premium tour as soon as you can. If you go with this option, you’ll get more insight into the building’s most historic aspects.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Location: 1000 5th Avenue, New York City, New York
Whether or not you’re a fine arts enthusiast, a trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art is a must on your NYC trip. There’s a good reason the Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of the most renowned art museums on the planet.
You’ll hear locals and fans lovingly call this museum “the Met.” Compared to most other museums, the Met has a strikingly large permanent collection. You can take a look at this no matter when you visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
One of the many fantastic features of the Metropolitan Museum of Art is its location. It’s close to Central Park. As the Met is so large, you should set aside a lot of time in your itinerary for exploring it.
Washington Square Park
Location: Washington Square, New York City, New York
If you want to feel like a local, check out Washington Square Park. This park is named after George Washington, and it has a famous fountain.
Washington Square Park is especially popular with artists. And lots of locals and visitors love playing chess here, too. It’s a laidback and refreshing spot with great historic significance.
There are many family-centered events at Washington Square Park. For example, there is Storytime Under the Trees, Kids Yoga, and other activities available. If you love yoga, check out some of the Yoga classes and events in store here.
A historic monument here is the Washington Square Arch. Stanford White designed this monument back in 1895.
Madison Square Garden
Location: 4 Pennsylvania Plaza, Midtown Manhattan, New York City, New York
Most of us have heard of Madison Square Garden. It’s a world-famous indoor arena. Whether you prefer sports events or concerts, there is plenty in store here.
Are you a New York Knicks fan? Madison Square Garden is their home arena! If you’re into ice hockey, you’ll be thrilled to know that this arena is home to that team, too.
Madison Square Garden is much more impressive than other arenas you’ve probably seen. It can fit 20,000 people. It has five floors. This iconic NYC landmark opened in 1879.
This legendary New York City attraction correctly calls itself The World’s Most Famous Arena. Don’t end your NYC adventures without visiting them.
Location: 45 Rockefeller Plaza, New York City, New York
Like so many New York City landmarks, Rockefeller Plaza is an essential part of any NYC itinerary.
There are so many things to do here that it’s hard to know where to start. But how about a Rockefeller Center Tour? This tour is historian-led, making sure you learn about the center’s Art Deco construction and design.
Rockefeller Center Tours are available daily. They usually start every 30 minutes between 11 in the morning and 4 in the afternoon.
As implied by the name, Rockefeller Center was built by Rockefeller, specifically John D. Rockefeller. You’ll learn a lot about its history when you go on a tour.
Ever heard of Radio City Music Hall? Well, it’s part of Rockefeller Center.
Grand Central Terminal
Location: 89 E 42nd Street, New York City, New York
Even if you don’t take the train in NYC, go ahead and visit Grand Central Terminal. As well as being a train station, Grand Central Terminal is also the location for a plethora of other amenities.
Like shopping? Head over to Grand Central Terminal. There are 60 retail destinations here. You can also enjoy delicious meals here, choosing from the 35 eateries and restaurants. Grand Central Terminal is also a place for history lovers.
As we touched on earlier, Grand Central Terminal is much more than a terminal. It’s a work of art. Bet you’ve never been to a train terminal with chandeliers! You’ll find them in Vanderbilt Hall. Truly, this train station looks like a museum!
Location: New York City, New York
Central Park is so famous it almost doesn’t need to be mentioned. But we couldn’t leave it off our list of famous NYC landmarks you’ve got to visit.
This park is simply enormous. It spans 840 acres! The landscaping here is meticulous. It was created with classic techniques of landscape architecture. Central Park has a fascinating history going back to 1876 when it opened.
Set aside plenty of time in your NYC itinerary for exploring Central Park. If you go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art too, you can visit it the same day you go to Central Park. That museum is found within Central Park itself!
Of course, Central Park is a great place to bring your kids so they have space to run around and play (with your close supervision, of course).
Statue of Liberty
Location: New York City, New York
The Statue of Liberty goes far beyond just being a symbol of NYC. It’s a symbol of the United States itself! This enormous statue is immediately recognizable. No matter where you go in the world, if you show someone a picture of the Statue of Liberty, they’ll almost certainly know what it is.
Like so many other historic attractions in New York City, the Statue of Liberty is just as educational as it is impressive. Make sure you bring the family there as you explore this sprawling metropolis.
You can take a tour of the inside of the Statue of Liberty, getting up to the crown! Make arrangements for your family to take part in one of these unforgettable tours.
September 11 Memorial
Location: 180 Greenwich Street, New York City, New York
You should bring your family to the September 11 Memorial during your New York City adventures. This monument is a memorial to the victims of the September 11, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center.
The September 11 Memorial includes a museum. Visiting this landmark will help to educate your family on what happened on September 11 and how we must remember the victims that lost their lives, including the heroic first responders.
This memorial is open every day, and the hours are 9 am to 8 pm. Most visitors will go on a tour with one of the expert guides. There are different tours available. The Museum Tour is one hour, while the Memorial + Museum Tour is 90 minutes.
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Location: 1071 Fifth Avenue, New York City, New York
Museums are a must when you’re in New York City. The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, often referred to as simply “the Guggenheim,” is an enormous fine arts museum with a variety of exhibits. Like most other art museums, the exhibits change and vary. Find out which ones will be on offer at the time of your visit.
You’ll need to buy tickets for your visit to the Guggenheim. They’re quite reasonably priced, with the adult ticket price being just $25. Have kids under 12? They get in for free!
As well as its qualities as a world-renowned museum, the Guggenheim is known for its unique architecture. It was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, a famous architect.
Once you step inside the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, you’ll be in no hurry to leave.
Location: Midtown Manhattan, New York City, New York
Why not take in a Broadway show or two while you’re in New York City? Of course, you’re going to be going to Midtown Manhattan, and that’s where Broadway is located.
Are your kids a little older? Broadway will probably be perfect. They should be at least about six or seven years old before you treat them to a Broadway performance. And make sure the performance you choose is appropriate for kids before you book!
There are often family-friendly Broadway shows, so check to see if there are any during your time in the city. Even if you don’t see a show, you and the family can visit the Broadway area and see all the signs and lights. It’s quite impressive.
St. Patrick’s Cathedral
Location: 5th Avenue, New York City, New York
You don’t have to be religious to visit historic churches, and St. Patrick’s Cathedral is one of the most important historic landmarks in New York City. This cathedral has convenient opening hours stretching from 6:30 am to 8 pm.
This may be different on holidays, however. You’ll want to check in advance. You can get all the information you need on the St. Patrick’s Cathedral website. If you visit this church, you’ll probably be amazed by how many other visitors there are.
St. Patrick’s Cathedral attracts up to 5 million visitors annually. If you’ve chosen a busy day, you may have to wait in a long line. But it’s worth the wait. This cathedral is simply spectacular.
United Nations Headquarters
Location: 405 E 42nd Street, New York, New York
Bring your family for a tour of the United Nations Headquarters. You will see diplomats from all over the world working on numerous international projects. There are several tours available, such as the Standard Guided Tour and Garden Tour. There is occasionally a Thematic Guided Tour for Children, as well.
Your family will never forget the experience of exploring the impressive corridors of this complex. The tours are thorough, lasting around an hour. If you have very young kids under 5, you’ll have to wait a couple of years before you bring them to the United Nations Headquarters.
If you’re visiting in the summer, you might prefer a Garden Tour. Most people don’t realize that the United Nations Headquarters has gorgeous gardens with plants like cherry trees.
Bronx Zoo Wildlife Conservation Society
Location: 2300 Southern Boulevard, The Bronx, New York City, New York
The Bronx Zoo Wildlife Conservation Society is a no-brainer when it comes to family attractions in New York City. Of course, the most popular thing to do is to explore the zoo and see all the animal displays.
This zoo is larger than you probably think. It stretches over at least 265 acres. All the animals are meticulously cared for and given spacious natural habitats for them to roam, play, and show their natural behaviors.
If you’re not sure where to start, check out the Bronx Zoo’s itinerary guides on its site. You can also get your kids to take part in educational programs.
American Museum of Natural History
Location: 200 Central Park West, New York City, New York
New York City is one of the world’s most renowned cities when it comes to museums, so it makes sense that it has a famous Museum of natural history. If you’re visiting with the kids, they’ll be mesmerized by the exhibits in store at the American Museum of Natural History.
One of the best-known is a gigantic blue whale on display in the museum’s Milstein Family Hall of Ocean Life, so make sure to check it out. Of course, you’ll also want to see the dinosaur fossil exhibits, of which there are plenty.
One of the most impressive dinosaur fossil exhibits on the planet is found here. If your family is interested in learning about space, add the Earth and Planetary Sciences Halls to your itinerary.
New York Public Library, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
Get your family excited about a visit to the library! This isn’t just any library. The Stephen A. Schwarzman Building that houses the New York Public Library Main Branch is an architectural gem.
This building received a Historic Landmark designation way back in 1965. The New York Public Library Main branch has a majestic facade of marble modeled after ancient Roman architecture. This style is made even more impressive by artistic touches such as fountains and statues.
So, there you have it! You’ve learned about some of the most famous New York City landmarks that your family will be excited to see.
Now that you’ve decided to bring the family to NYC, learn a bit more about how much it’ll cost.