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43 Best Things to do Alone in NYC – Local Tips for 2024

Visiting New York City is on just about everybody’s bucket list, and for good reason. The Big Apple is one of the most vibrant and diverse cities in North America.

Yet, it still maintains an unmistakable culture and personality all its own – making it an ideal spot for solo travel and a place where you can enjoy some of the very best things to do alone in NYC.

However, it’s your first time visiting NYC alone, you’ll probably feel a bit overwhelmed as you try and uncover all of the top things to do by yourself in NYC.

Well, never fear because this 30+ year local has got you covered and knows all about some of the best places to go by yourself in NYC.

So, from the Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center all the way down to the shops at Chelsea Market, here are some of most the quintessential New York locations that absolutely shouldn’t be missed on your next visit to this amazing city.

Therefore, step away from the guide book and get ready to dig into this monumental local’s guide on all of the best best things to do alone in New York City.

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Where to Stay When Traveling Alone to NYC

Stunning room in one of the best places to stay when backpacking NYC on a budget.

Not sure where to stay while experiencing all of the very best things to do alone in NYC? If so then this section is for you!

Because I’m about to share all of my insider tips on all of the very best hotels for solo travelers to stay in New York City.

You know, safe, well-located, reasonably priced accommodations that you can feel REALLY good about staying in.

But, if you are on a tight budget while backpacking through NYC then you can check out the best hostels in NYC too.

  • The Leo House (Chelsea) – Operated by the Catholic Sisters of St. Agnes, this hotel itself doesn’t have any religious affiliations and features well-priced rooms with shared showers in Chelsea. It’s nothing fancy but you’ll be comfy with a 24-hour front desk, cable TV, access to an on-site garden, and a $9 breakfast buffet with delish fresh baked goods. Deffo is an epic place to stay in Chelsea.
  • The Jane (West Village) – Dating back to 1908, this sleek, boutique hotel is within walking distance of the Highline. Well-priced, nautical-themed rooms feature WIFI, flat-screen TVs, DVD players, free bike rentals, iPod docks, and shared bathrooms (upgrade to a private bathroom). They also have a Victorian-style bar and an on-site restaurant with French/Moroccan cuisine.
  • The Library Hotel (Midtown East) – Perfect for all my fellow book lovers out there, each room at the Library Hotel is designed around the Dewey Decimal system. Centrally located in Midtown, enjoy bookish decor and their fabulous rooftop lounge. Complimentary breakfast is included, as is wine and cheese in the evenings and all-day refreshments inside on-site reading rooms.
  • The Ace Hotel (Nomad) – My fave hotel on this list, the Ace Hotel is a 2-minute walk from the subway and requires keycard access to use the elevator. Rooms are vintage in style and feature minibars, Wifi, and flat-screen TVs. They also have Stumptown Coffee in the lobby and wine on tap in the bar, making it a total no-brainer that you MUST stay here now.

Best Things to Do Alone in NYC

1. Go Shopping at Some Local Thrift Stores

View of Housingworks Thrift Store. At the top you have people shopping through racks of clothes and you see wooden ralings. On the bottom you have stacks of books in shelves in the bookstore.

If you love shopping on a budget in NYC then one of the best things to do alone is go to local thrift stores.

I love Housing Works thrift store in Manhattan. Not only do proceeds go towards fighting AIDs, but they have killer merch and locations all across the city.

I found a chic, Kate Spade wallet here for just $25.00. The merch is also top quality so you won’t have to worry about holes or stains or anything like that.

However, other great thrift stores in NYC include Crossroads, Beacon’s Closet, L Train Vintage, Stray Vintage (Queens), and Awoke Vintage (Brooklyn).

And if you find yourself looking for cool things to do on the Upper West Side then you can always shop for pre-owned, designer threads at Central Park Resale.

2. Go for a Bike Ride

If you’re planning a self-guided tour on two wheels, then grab a bike and enjoy one of the fun things to do alone in NYC.

See, Citi Bike offers an unbeatable combination of convenience and affordability.

With the freedom to explore at your own pace, you can soak in the urban vibes of NYC’s many boroughs, or seek out the less-traveled paths for a unique view of NYC.

Remember to stay aware of cyclists’ traffic rules and embrace the adventure that comes with discovering the city’s diverse neighborhoods and stunning NYC landmarks—all from the comfort of your Citi Bike.

It’s just $4.79 for a single ride and $19.00 for the day if you want to bike along the Central Park Southern Loop, the Brooklyn-Queens Greenway, the George Washington Bridge, and the Hudson River Greenway.

3. The Metropolitan Museum of Art (aka the MET)

The exterior of the MET (metropolitan museum of art). One of the many cool museums in NYC.

One of the best things to do alone in NYC is to experience the suave sophistication of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

In fact, this incredible museum occupies a full city block and sits right across the street from Central Park – taking up a solid 1,000 feet or prime real estate along 5th Avenue.

It’s also known for being one of the world’s most well-known and influential art galleries and also plays host the iconic, annual Met Gala.

Yup, this is one of the world’s most infamous fashion events and is so exclusive that guests are handpicked by Anna Wintour herself.

Therefore, no one else is allowed to attend this extravaganza inside the Anna Wintour Costume Center Wing. (Guests are allowed to visit the wing during regular hours though.)

So, stop by to marvel at fine pieces of art from every civilization and every culture imaginable, all of which are regularly on display at the Met.

Pro Tip: Click here to get more tips on how to enjoy the MET like a real local.

Address: 1000 5th Avenue, New York, New York (Between East 80th and East 84th Street).

Hours: Open Sunday through Thursday from 10:00 am to 5:30 pm and Friday and Saturday from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm.

Price: Pay what you wish for NJ, NY, and PA residents with a valid form of ID. Everyone else will have to pay $25 for adults, $17 for seniors, and $12 for students (free children under 12.).

How to Get There: Take the 4,5, or 6 train to the 86th Street station.

4. Have a Meal with a Local

Me sitting at a table with a 24-layer funfetti cake in front of my. I am wearing a blue fleece and a gray and yellow hat with a wall of bottles behind me at one of the best dessert places in NYC.

If you want to meet real locals during your one day in NYC itinerary then try EatWith.

This unique company allows you to do fun cooking classes and enjoy incredible supper clubs with real locals.

Just select your desired day/time and your party size and EatWith will come up with expertly curated foodie experiences that will help you enjoy some of the best food in NYC.

It’s a wonderfully intimate experience that will help you feel a little less lonely as you solo travel in NYC.

I mean, you can enjoy authentic Mexican food with locals in Harlem or an epic Thai meal with stellar views of the city. Seriously, what’s not to love?

5. Take a Stroll Through Central Park

A view of the iconic skyscrapers of the upper west side reflected in the lake in Central Park.

Central Park really has to be seen to be believed. Plus, it’s a masterpiece of modern landscape architecture since almost every major park in the United States was based on its design.

Therefore, it was an easy addition to this list of the best things to do alone in NYC since this features some of the most fun things to do in NYC for first-time visitors.

For starters, it’s filled to the brim with historical monuments and statues – no less than 70 in total.

There’s also a vast number of unique playgrounds, gorgeous scenery, incredible fountains, stunning lakes, ethereal bridges, and a diverse array of events that are held here annually.

Not to mention, it’s just an all-around great place to bring someone special, particularly if you happen to be in NYC around Valentine’s Day.

Address: Central Park, New York, New York

Hours: Open daily from 6:00 am to 1:00 am.

Price: Free

How to Get There: Take the R/W train to 59th and 5th or the A/C to Columbus Circle and walk from there.

6. Explore a Local Neighborhood

The cool thing about traveling alone in NYC is that you’ll never run out of things to do.

So, traveling alone in NYC can be loads of fun as you discover free things to do on the Upper West Side and enjoy budget-friendly activities on the Upper East Side.

You also don’t need a super detailed itinerary and can just wander through parks and discover tons of NYC hidden gems in cool neighborhoods.

Some of my fave places to walk around include Chelsea, Greenwich Village, SoHo, the West Village, and more.

7. Take the Ferry to See the Statue of Liberty and Liberty Island

A bright orange Staten Island Ferry docked at the terminal in Staten Island on a sunny day. It is surrounded by tons of industrial buildings.

If you’re a fan of architecture, New York City has some incredible buildings and monuments for you to check out.

That includes the Statue of Liberty, which for many is the singular most important symbol of freedom in the Western world.

It’s hard to deny that the sight of the flame in her hand held high against the sunrise on the New York skyline is powerful.

And when you enjoy one of the best things to do alone in NYC by taking the ferry to Liberty Island you’ll get the chance to see the Statue of Liberty museum and can even go inside the statue, climb up to the top, and see New York city from Lady Liberty’s vantage point.

Pro Tip: If you’re looking for things to do by yourself in NYC but are on a bit of a budget, you can enjoy stellar views of the Statue of Liberty for FREE from the Staten Island Ferry.

Address: Castle Clinton National Monument, Battery Park – Liberty Island, New York, NY 10004

Hours: Open daily from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm.

Price: Tickets start at $23.50 for adults, $18.00 for seniors, and $12.00 for children.

How to Get There: Take the 1 train to South Ferry station or the 4/5 train to Bowling Green station and walk from there.

8. Enjoy a Fun Solo Dining Experience

The vibrant exterior of Trailer Park Lounge featurea a lime green exterior with bright blue trim around the windows. There are also red neon signs that say, "Trailer Park Lounge" and a mannequin and pink flamingos sitting at the top.

One of the most amazing things about NYC is there are a ton of cool restaurants in NYC where you can feel comfortable dining alone.

So, one of the fun things to do alone in NYC is to go out to eat at cute cafes on the Upper East Side, epic food halls (Turnstyle Underground Market/Time Out Market/Essex Market), or at a cool local bar.

Try Trailer Park Lounge in Chelsea or Beetle House if you’re looking for a fun dining experience at one of the best themed restaurants in New York.

Another great option is choosing a restaurant that offers entertainment while you dine. We recently went to Red Rooster in Harlem and they have great live music for you to enjoy at this epic brunch spot in NYC.

You can opt for the full Gospel music experience by booking a table at Ginny’s Super Club at Red Rooster. But, it is VERY expensive.

You can also check out some of the best drag brunches in NYC since they usually include entertainment at places like Lips and Lucky Cheng’s.

9. Visit MOMA (The Museum of Modern Art)

The entrance to MOMA, the Museum of Modern Art. One of the cool museums in NYC.

Home to Vincent Van Gogh’s “The Starry Night” along with numerous other modern classics, the MoMA is widely regarded as one of the finest contemporary art museums in the world and is easily one of the best things to do alone in NYC.

The museum also isn’t overly pricey, but if you’re on a tight budget, it’s free on Friday evenings from 5:30 pm to 9:00 pm – although you’ll likely have to contend with a larger than normal crowd.

You’ll also want to pay a visit to the gift shop, as it is truly amazing and has some of the best souvenirs from NYC.

Pro Tip: Skip the crowds and stop by MOMA PS1 in Queens or the MOMA design store in lower Manhattan.

Address: 11 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019

Hours: Open daily from 10:30 am to 5:30 pm.

Price: Tickets are $25 for adults, $18 for seniors (65+) and visitors with disabilities, $14 for students, and free for children 16 and under.

How to Get There: Take the N, R, or W train to 57th Street and 7th Avenue and walk from there.

10. Try a Fun Class

If you’re looking for cool things to do alone in NYC then you can’t beat taking a fun class. Not only will you get to learn a new skill but you’ll meet loads of cool people too.

Some of my fave classes include one at Trapeze School NY, a hip hop class with SassClass, a pottery workshop at EarthworksNYC, crafting with Brooklyn Craft Company, Q.E.D comedy classes, etc.

You could even drink while you pain at spots like The Painting Lounge. Attend a class here and as a bonus, you’ll get a one-of-kind NYC souvenir to take home with you.

11. Visit the Empire State Building

Empire State building at sunset

For almost 40 years, the Empire State Building was the tallest building in the entire world. And while it’s no longer the world’s tallest building, it’s still one of the city’s most popular attractions.

In fact, this iconic structure receives more than 4 million visitors annually and is one of the best things to do alone in NYC since any of its three observatories offer views unlike any you’ve ever seen.

Plus, with recent expansions that include an additional observatory on the 86th floor, an interactive King Kong exhibit, and a fully immersive tour detailing how the building was built, now is the perfect time to visit the Empire State Building.

Just do yourself a favor and check the weather before you visit since clouds can obstruct the view from the top.

Pro Tip: This is one of the best things to do by yourself in NYC that is best on Thursdays evenings when your views from the 86th floor are accompanied by live saxophone music.

Address: 20 W 34th St, New York, NY 10001

Hours: Open daily from 12:00 pm to 9:00 pm.

Price: Tickets are typically $45.73 per person.

How to Get There: Take the N, R, or W train to 34th street and Herald Square and walk from there.

12. Visit Times Square

Me standing on the red steps in Times square with my arms bent and near my ears and my toungue sticking out. I am standing in front of a neon sign and I have a gray and yellow hat with a black jacket.

Times Square is probably one of the most recognizable intersections on the planet.

See, for more than a century it’s been home to the New Year’s Eve ball – an immortal, live, televised event that is shown all around the world.

The ads that blare out from the iconic TV screens here are also so bright that it can sometimes be hard to tell whether it’s day or night.

But, if you do decide to try one of the best things to alone in NYC, you’ll find larger-than-life versions of some of your favorite fast-food restaurants and stores, plus all kinds of attractions, like a wax museum.

Costumed street performers also here abound, and you might even run into a celebrity or two. Just know that if you do pose for pictures with costumed characters you are expected to pay them.

Also, keep a close eye on your belongings while you’re here since pickpockets are known to frequent this tourist hot spot.

Pro Tip: Go early in the morning to beat the crowds and for the best photo ops.

You can also stop by the TKTS booth to get discount Broadway tickets, and grab a drink at the R Lounge in the Renaissance Times Square Hotel for one of the best views in NYC.

Address: Manhattan, NY 10036 (just type “Times Square” into your phone)

Hours: Open all day, everyday.

Price: Free

How to Get There: You can pretty much take just about any subway train here.

13. Walk the Brooklyn Bridge

Vertical show of the arched towers the Brooklyn Bridge is known for. It's a sunny day and the camera is pointed down the brown pedestrian walkway as people walk along the bridge in the sun.

Looking for some fun, totally free things to do alone in NYC? If so then look no further than the Brooklyn Bridge.

Not only is it one of the best free things to do in NYC but the Brooklyn Bridge is yet another one of NYC’s most recognizable sights, having been featured in dozens of famous movies and television shows.

If you want truly breathtaking photos to commemorate your trip, the Brooklyn Bridge is one of the best places to visit in NYC.

You can also check out this guide to walking the Brooklyn Bridge for even more insider tips too!

Pro Tip: Go at dawn to avoid the crowds and when the light is perfect for snapping photos.

Also, wear comfy shoes, stay out of the bike lane (they show no mercy), and walk from Brooklyn to Manhattan for the best views.

Plus, other fun bridges to walk along include the Williamsburg Bridge, the Manhattan Bridge, and Queensborough Bridge.

Address: Brooklyn Bridge, New York, NY 10038, United States

Hours: Open all day, everyday.

Price: Free

How to Get There: Take the A or C train to High Street/Brooklyn Bridge station and walk from there.

14. Go for a Hike

Believe it or not, there are a ton of great hiking trails near New York City. It’s a great way to experience the natural beauty of the city and it won’t cost you a ton either when you visit NYC alone.

So, try visiting the Ravine in Central Park if you want to see cool waterfalls. Or, check out the beautiful forests that line the many paths through Inwood Hill Park.

You could also explore the Greenbelt Trail in Staten Island, visit Marine Park Salt Marsh Nature Center in Brooklyn, or enjoy a scenic walk through Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx.

But, if you’re looking for a cool day trip from the city and then check out some of the best hiking trails on Long Island too.

15. Visit the Guggenheim Museum

A view of the modern, white exterior of the Guggenheim. It has lots of clean lines and a curved part as people walk by up and down Fifth Avenue.

Easily one of the coolest museums in NYC, the floors of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum are designed so that if you look up from the bottom floor, it looks like one continuous swirl trending inward.

It’s also just an all-around amazing building that was designed by famed American architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

In fact, construction began in 1943 and wasn’t finished until 6 months after his death in 1959.

Therefore, this is yet another one of NYC’s most iconic locations and a definite must-see if you’re looking for one of the best things to do alone in NYC.

Just don’t leave without seeing impressionist, post-impressionist, and modern art pieces from masters like Degas, Picasso, Pollock, Rousseau, Gaugin, Seurat, and more.

Pro Tip: Grab a coffee at Cafe 3 and admire the sweeping views of Central Park. Also, visit on Saturdays between 4:00 pm and 6:00 pm for “pay what you wish” prices.

This way you enjoy one of the coolest things to do on the Upper East Side, but for less.

Address: 1071 5th Ave, New York, NY 10128

Hours: Open Thursday through Monday from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm.

Price: Tickets are $25 for adults, $18 for students and seniors 65+ and visitors with disabilities, and free for members/kids 12 and under (avoid lines and get your tickets in advance now).

How to Get There: Take the 4,5,6 or Q train to 86th street and walk from there.

16. Do a Fun “Crawl” Through the City

Sometimes when you’re traveling solo, you can feel a bit lonely.

It can also be difficult to meet people, which is why a group tour/themed crawl is a great way to connect with fellow travelers while doing something fun.

Some of these can be organized through hostels but fun options include:

  • Cupcake tour through Greenwich Village
  • Art Gallery Tour in Chelsea
  • Dumpling tour through Chinatown
  • Pizza crawl through Williamsburg/DUMBO/Bushwick
  • Bar crawl through Greenwich Village

17. Enjoy the High Line

View of NYC all lit up in the evening from the Highline. You can see read, white and blue colors on the Empire State Building and skyscrapers illuminated by lights in the night sky.

This is one of the best things to do alone in NYC because the views are so amazing that you won’t have time to think about anything else.

See, the High Line is not just a park, but a sanctuary of greenery for New Yorkers that was built in 2009 atop an old railway track.

It is also about 1.5 miles long and extends from the Whitney Museum to the Javits Center.

As you walk along one of the coolest outdoor spaces in NYC, admire well-manicured gardens, epic art installations, and sit at well-located benches to take in the views.

Address: Since the Highline spans 1.5 miles, check here for an entry point near you.

Hours: Open daily from 12:00 am to 8:00 pm

Price: Free

How to get there: Check here for transportation information since it will depend on your starting point.

18. Visit the American Museum of Natural History

The exterior of the American Museum of Natural History with an arched doorway and two columns on either side of the door. The roof is square and stairs lead up to the doors.

If the very thought of dioramas gives you nightmarish flashbacks to your high school years, maybe the American Museum of Natural History isn’t right for you.

However, if you’re a visual learner and someone who’s fascinated by plant and animal life as well as evolution, then it’s one of the best things to do alone in NYC.

After all, within these hallow halls you’ll find life-sized whales, displays full of precious gems, and an amazing planetarium.

They’ve also got some very real and very cool dinosaur skeletons on display, including a mighty tyrannosaurus rex that anyone and everyone will love.

So, if you are looking for cool things to do on the Upper West Side then give this place a visit.

Address: 200 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024-5102

Hours: Open Wednesday through Sunday from 10:00 am to 5:30 pm.

Price: Tickets are $28 for adults, $22.50 for seniors (60+) and students with a valid ID (discount tickets are available for residents of NY, NJ, and CT with valid ID), and $16.50 for children between 3 and 12,

How to Get There: Take the B (weekdays only) or C train to 81st Street station and walk to the museum there. You can also take the 1 train to Broadway and West 79th Street and walk from there.

19. Visit Grand Central

Me standing on the balcony in front of Grand Central Terminal. You can see the red and green Christmas light near the ceiling and the main concourse with its constellation studded ceiling with a turquoise sky.

Grand Central Terminal is full of small eccentricities that are emblematic of New York’s vibrant personality.

For starters, the beautiful mural of the constellations painted across the ceiling is backwards since the original designer misinterpreted the way the architects would be analyzing it during construction.

Then there’s the whisper tunnel, where you can stand in one corner, whisper something, and a person standing in an opposite corner, 30 yards away, will be able to hear you.

And that’s not to mention all of the wonderful shops and restaurants you’ll find within. It’s also the busiest train station in the world, with more than 250,000 visitors daily, and is not to be missed when looking for the best things to do alone in NYC.

Address: 89 E 42nd St, New York, NY 10017

Hours: Open daily from 5:15 am to 2:00 am.

Price: Free

How to Get There: You can take the 4,5,6,7, or S train to Grand Central.

20. Marvel at all the People in Washington Square Park

Stunning marble arch in Washington Square Park is all lit up in the evening. People walk pasr and there is a Christmas tree with white lights beneath the arch.

Located right near NYU in Greenwich Village, Washington Square Park is a great place to go if you want to people-watch and see students skateboard with the iconic, Stanford White Arch in the background.

You can also sit on one of the park’s many benches and admire the wealth of Greek Revival townhouses all around you before grabbing a dosa from NY Dosa.

It’s a food cart in the park that serves some of the best vegan food in NYC. Afterward, stop to take a pic of the arch while facing Fifth Avenue.

This is a cool Instagram spot in NYC since you can see the Empire State Building in the background, framed by the arch.

Address: Washington Square, New York, NY 10012

Hours: Open 6:00 am to 12:00 am daily.

Price: Free

How to Get There: Take the A/C/E train or the B/D/F/M train to Washington Square Park and walk from there.

21. Visit Governors Island

If you want to get away from Manhattan and experience one of the best green spaces in NYC then one of the many things to best things to do in NYC by yourself is to catch the ferry to Governors Island.

Ferries currently run all year long to this 172-acre green oasis that is a park, an adult playground, and an outdoor art space all rolled into one.

It’s also totally car-free and you’ll only need to $4.00 for a round-trip ticket to this epic place.

Just catch the ferry at Battery Maritime Building any time between 7:00 am and 4:15 pm, with the last ferry going back to Manhattan at 6:00 pm.

22. Visit the 9/11 Memorial & Museum

A view of the 9/11 Memorial. It is a dark, square memorial with the Old World Trade Center Tower once stood. You can see the names of the victims carved on the outer edge and then a square fountain and pool with water flowing down into a square, black hole at the center.

The September 11th attack was one of the worst things to happen to the United States in recent memory. However, it also showed the world how resilient New Yorkers are.

Since that tragic day, Ground Zero has been cleaned up and transformed into a heartbreaking but beautiful memorial and museum.

So, if you’re looking for some of the best things to do in NYC alone, be sure to stop by, remember all those who lost their lives that tragic day, and learn everything you can about what really happened on 9/11 and the harrowing days and weeks that followed.

Pro Tip: Remember, you do NOT need tickets to see the Memorial but you DO need tickets to see the museum. And these should be purchased in advance.

Address: 180 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10007

Hours: The 9/11 Memorial is currently open daily from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm while the museum is open Thursday through Monday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Price: Museum tickets are $26 for adults, $20 for young adults (13-17)/seniors (65+)/college students, and $18 for US veterans. Be sure to skip the line and book your tickets now!

How to Get there: Take the 1 to Rector Street, the 2/3 train to Park Place, or the 4/5 to Wall Street station and walk from there.

23. Explore the Frick Collection

Gold and blue decor with a female head at the center of the photo stands over a selection of guide books for the museum.

If you love musuems then a visit to the Frick is one of the best things to do in NYC by yourself.

It’s located along Fifth Avenue on the Upper East Side (currently on Madison due to renovations) and is home to an incredible collection of French ceramic ware that is lined with gold.

I also love that this museum is actually housed inside the old mansion of Henry Clay Frick.

So, that adds an extra laryer of awesomeness since you get to enjoy his stunning home while marveling at sculptures, paintings, furniture, and more.

There’s even a dynamis fountain in a central courtyard, complete with a glass-roofed ceiling. It’s a great place to sit and enjoy the art and verdant greenery all around you.

Currently the museum is at a less awesome location but they should relocate soon.

And if you want to save money while visiting NYC alone then enjoy pay-what-you-wish hours between 4:00 pm and 6:00 pm on Thursdays.

Address: 1 E 70th St, New York, NY 10021

Hours: Open Thursday through Sunday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.

Price: Tickets are $22 for adults, $17 for. seniors 65+ and disabled visitors, and $12 for students and kids between 10 and 17.

How to Get There: Take the 6 train to 68th street station and walk from there.

24. Grab a Ticket to Sleep No More

A view of a playing card, a white mask, and a flyer from Sleep No More.

Sleep No More is a great option if you are looking for things to do alone in NYC at night.

See, this fully immersive, modern retelling of Shakespeare’s play, MacBeth, features no talking. It is also completely interactive.

So, as you silently explore the six floor set at The McKittrick Hotel, actors will come up to you and interact with you as if you are part of the show.

Additionally, there is a great, Prohitiion era bar where you can relax, grab a drink, and enjoy love music either before or after the show.

Yeah, it’s definitely a trippy experience but uniquely New York.

Address: 530 W 27th St, New York, NY

Hours: The show starts at 8 pm, but tickets can be purchased at different, 15-minute increments that begin at 7 pm. Performances can last up to 3 hours and end at 11 pm.

Price: Tickets are $159.50 per person or $220 for a priority access seat with a guaranteed table reservation.

How to Get There: You can either take the 7 train to the Hudson Yards station or take the C train to the 23rd street station.

25. Visit the Observatory at One World Trade Center

Sunset around the world trade center

Speaking of resilience, just down the block from where the original twin towers stood, a brand new tower was officially opened in 2014.

It is now called One World Trade Center, althouygh many still refer to it by its unofficial nickname, “Freedom Tower.”

Then, a year later (in 2015), an observatory was opened to the public on the 102nd floor, which includes some highly exclusive and intimate gourmet dining options.

So, if you’re traveling to NYC alone it doesn’t get much more awesome than treating yourself to some fine dining on top of the World Trade Center.

You’ll want to book well in advance though, but the good news is the menu items are relatively affordable.

Address: 285 Fulton St, New York, NY 10006, United States

Hours: Open daily from 8:00 am to 9:00 pm with the last admission at 8:15 pm (hours may change so check their website for more details).

Price: Tickets start at $38 per person,

How to Get There: Take the 1,2, or 3 train to Chambers Street and walk to One World Observatory from there.

26. Tour the UN

If you’ve ever wanted to get a look inside the United Nations General Assembly room, you actually can, albeit not while it’s in session.

The United Nations Headquarters in NYC offers tours of its entire complex with highly educated and informative guides from all around the world.

So, if you’re interested in seeing and learning more about this amazing center of international diplomacy, then be sure to check it out.

Pro Tip: Please note they are currently only offering virtual tours at this time.

Address: 46th St & 1st Ave, New York, NY 10017

Hours: Open Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Price: Tickets are $12.00 for general admission and $10 for children/seniors.

How to Get There: Take the 7, S, or 4/5/6 train to Grand Central and walk from there.

27. Explore the New York Public Library

Me enjoying the Rose Main Reading Room in the New York Public Library. I have a winter jacket, a hat, and green sunglasses on and am walking towards the camera. I am surrounded by wooden work desks and there is a ceiling mural with ornate wood trim.

The New York Public Library is of the best places to go alone in NYC.

Not only is this stunning building home to an incredible 2.5 million books, but you get to see amazing architecture inside places like the Rose Main Reading Room.

Be sure to head to the third floor between 10:00 am and 11:00 am (any day except Sunday) since this is the only time that the room is open to tourists. Otherwise, it is used for studying only.

Afterward, head to the grand floor and check out the super cool museum. It has awesome artifacts like a Gutenberg Bible (aka the first printed book) and the original Winnie the Pooh stuffed animals.

Address: 476 5th Ave, New York, NY 10018

Hours: Open Monday and Thursday from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm, Tuesday and Wednesday from 8:00 am to 9:00 pm, Friday from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm, Saturday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, and Sunday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Price: Free

How to Get There: Take the B/D/F/M train to Bryant Park and 42nd Street Station and walk to the Library from there.

28. Explore the New York Botanical Garden

At 250 acres, the New York Botanical Garden is the largest city garden in the entire United States.

So, be sure to stop by and enjoy one of the best things to do by yourself in NYC since this oasis of greenery features over a million different types of flowers, ferns, and trees.

Not only is it a serene place to take a walk but it also houses a world-class science and research program that includes specimens collected by some of history’s greatest scientists – including Charles Darwin.

Address: 2900 Southern Blvd, The Bronx, NY 10458

Hours: Open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm; Closed on Mondays

Price: $22 per person

How to get there: Take a Metro North Harlem or New Haven line train to Fordham (there’s also a botanical gardens stop too) and walk from there.

29. Enjoy Elizabeth Street Garden

Tucked away in Nolita, this is one of the best things to alone in NYC if you hate crowds and just want a bit of quiet.

It’s a lovely little spot that is hidden away between Spring and Prince Street. It also features a dizzying array of unique sculptures and incredible flowers – particuliarly in spring.

A wide variety of community events and concerts are also held here, many of which are totally free to attend.

Address: Elizabeth St, New York, NY 10012

Hours: Open Monday through Friday from 11:00 am to 4:30 pm and Saturday/Sunday from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm.

Price: Free

How to Get There: Take the 4/6 to Spring Street and walk from there.

30. Catch a Broadway Show

A view of the elaborate red stage for Moulin Rouge. The curtain is red and there is a windmill on the left and an elephant on the right with seats in the center. This is one of the best things to do alone in NYC at night.

In 1928, NYC’s Broadway Theatre (then known as B.S. Moss’s Colony Theatre) held a premiere for a cartoon film called “Steamboat Willie”.

And if that name doesn’t sound familiar to you, this one might: it was produced by a man named Walt Disney and its main character was none other than Mickie Mouse in his very first film appearance.

Since then, the Broadway Theatre – and Broadway in general- has hosted timeless, iconic musicals and theatrical productions that are easily one of the best things to do in NYC for your birthday.

In fact, this theater’s incredible list of productions includes classics like West Side Story, The Wiz, and Oklahoma, just to name a few.

So, If you’re planning a trip to NYC then be sure to add a Broadway show to your list of the best things to do alone in NYC.

Pro Tip: You should NEVER pay full price for tickets to a Broadway show and can use TodayTix to buy cheap tickets fast.

31. Check Out the Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Free to visit on Friday mornings between 8:00 am and 12:00 pm, this amazing oasis of greenery covers 52 acres of land in Brooklyn and is home to a wide array of plants.

Highlights include 300-year-old Bonsai trees, the Shakespeare Garden, and the Rose Garden.

However, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden is particuliarly lovely in the spring, when all of the cherry trees in the Japanese garden come alive with pink flowers.

There’s even a cool Cherry Blossom Festival that you will while you are traveling alone in NYC.

Address: 900 Washington Avenue Brooklyn, New York, 11238

Hours: Open Tuesday through Friday from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm and Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm (March through October).

The gardens close at 4:30 pm instead of 6:00 pm in November and are open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm in December and February.

Price: Tickets start at $18.00 per adult.

How to Get There: Take the 2 or 3 train to Eastern Parkway Brooklyn Museum station and walk to the garden from there.

32. Explore the Brooklyn Museum

This museum may not be as famous as some of the museums in Manhattan. But, it is super impressive and well worth visiting if you should find yourself in Brooklyn.

In total, this institution is home to upwards of 1.5 million objects that include paintings, sculptures, period rooms from the 19th century, and more. They even have a rad section about ancient Egypt.

There are also an array of rotating exhibits that are featured here.

Plus, you don’t have to worry about feeling crammed inside this building since the sturcture’s design helps disperse people throughout five floors.

If you can, stop by the first Saturday of the month to enjoy live music up until 11:00 pm. It’s a great event where you can meet loads of cool people and is one of the best things to do alone in NYC.

Address: 200 Eastern Pkwy, Brooklyn, NY 11238

Hours: Open Wednesday/Thursday from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm, Friday/Saturday from 11:00 am to 8:00 pm, and Sunday from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm.

Price: Tickets are $16 for adults, $10 for seniors (65+) and visitors with disabilities and students with a vaid ID, and free for anyone 19 and under.

How to Get There: Take the 2/3 to the Eastern Parkway/Brooklyn Museum stop and walk from there.

33. See the Knicks at Madison Square Garden

Exterior of Madison Square Garden where some of the best NYC anthems are performed.

For sports fans, Madison Square Garden is definitely one of the best sports attractions to visit in NYC.

After all, it’s the official home of the New York Rangers (hockey team) and the New York Knicks (basketball team) and is one of the largest sporting arenas in the entire world.

Additionally, Madison Square Garden plays host to a wide variety of concerts, college sporting events, and family events, including a monthly concert from none other than the Piano Man himself, Billy Joel.

Pro Tip: You can also take a 75-minute tour of the facility and see Elton’s John’s autographed setlist and marvel at the liturgy book used during a papal mass held here by Pope Francis.

Address: 4 Pennsylvania Plaza, New York, NY 10001

Hours: Varies by the event.

Price: Varies by the event.

How to Get There: Take the 1/2/3 train to 34th Street/Penn Station and walk from there.

34. Take in the Views from Green-Wood Cemetery

View of the gravestones inside Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn. You can see trees and the Manhattan skyline in the background.

Easily one of the most unique things to do alone in NYC since this amazing cemetery was built in 1838 and covers an astounding 478 acres of land.

Therefore, more than 600,000 people are buried here, with famous people like Jean-Michel Basquiat and composer Leonard Bernstein being laid to rest here.

So, take a walk, admire the graves, and see how many famous headstones you can locate.

Afterward, stop to take in impressive views of Manhattan since the cemetery sits atop Battle Hill, which is the tallest point in Brooklyn.

Additionally, be on the look out for a flock of Monk Parakeets that reside at the Gothic entrance to the cemetery.

Local Tip: Grab a complimentary map at the entrance before exploring the cemetery.

Epic twilight tours are also on offer. They last two hours and give you a close-up look at the catacombs.

Address: 500 25th St, Brooklyn, NY 11232, United States

Hours: Open daily from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm.

Price: Free

How to Get There: Take the 2/3 train to Barclays Center and transfer to the N/R. Ride the N/R for four stops, get off at 25 Street Station, and walk to the cemetery from there.

35. Grab Dinner and a Movie at NiteHawk Cinema

With two epic locations in Brooklyn, NiteHawk Cinema allows you to take yourself out on a date night in NYC.

Just head to either Williamsburg or Prospect Park and get ready to enjoy some cool indie films or mega-blockbusters.

However, what I love the most is that you can order a full meal and have it brought right to your seat. They even have signature meals that they specially pair with certain films.

You can even add in a cocktail or two and don’t have to feel awkward about dining alone since you are watching a movie and everyone has to be quiet anyway.

Local Tip: Order the fried chicken sandwich. It is delicious.

Address: 136 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11249

Hours: Varies by film.

Price: Starts at $16.00 per ticket.

How to Get There: Take the G to Metropolitan Avenua and walk from there.

36. Enjoy the Top of The Rock

View of the binoculars and the Empire State Building in the background at the Top of the Rock, one of the best things to do by yourself in NYC.

As you might have guessed by now, New York City is full of huge skyscrapers and stunning sky-high observatories.

And guess what? Rockefeller Plaza has its very own. However, what separates the Top of the Rock from the others is the sheer variety of exhibits you’ll pass through on the way up, which include:

  • Joie Chandelier – A huge chandelier designed to look like 30 Rock and that is made entirely out of Swarovski crystals.
  • Mezzanine Exhibit – An interactive, self-guided experience that will take you through the planning, creation, and history of Rockefeller Center and NBC.
  • Beam Walk – An interactive recreation of the classic photo of construction workers sitting and eating lunch high above Manhattan on one of the building’s original beams. Hope you’re not afraid of heights!
  • Radiance Wall – A gorgeous full wall exhibit made by Swarovski consisting of glass panels, crystal clusters, blown glass, fiber-optic lighting, and tiny crystal animal figurines.
  • 70th Floor Open Air Roof Deck – Once you finally reach the top, you’ll be rewarded with a gorgeous view from a roof with absolutely no glass or metal enclosures. Don’t forget to bring a camera, because you’ll want to take photos while you’re up here!

Local Tip: Remember to always check the weather since views can easily be obstructed by clouds.

Many of the top observatories in NYC will also gladly reschedule your tickets at no extra fee. Also, avoid lines and get your tickets now!

Address: 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10112

Hours: Open daily from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm (try to visit around sunset).

Price: General admission ranges in price between $34 and $40 per person.

How to Get There: Take almost any train to Times Square and walk from there.

37. Explore the Bronx Zoo

The main building inside the Bronx Zoo, one of the top outdoor activities in NYC.

There’s a lot to do at the Bronx Zoo. And that’s probably because it’s the largest metropolitan zoo in the United States by area – and even larger than the New York Botanical Garden.

It is also one of the top things to do alone in New York City that allows you to get up close and personal with a bunch of exotic animals including penguins, cheetahs, porcupines, and sloths.

So, stop by and take a ride on the bug carousel, ride the Wild Asia Monorail, explore the Congo Gorilla Forest, and take in all of the amazing things the Bronx Zoo has to offer.

Pro Tip: Stop by on Wednesdays when the zoo offers “pay what you wish” tickets.

Address: 2300 Southern Boulevard Bronx, New York 10460

Hours: Open 10:00 am to 4:30 pm daily from November 1 through March 26 and then open daily until 5:00 pm between March 27 and October 31st, with extended hours until 5:30 pm on weekends and holidays.

Price: Tickets start at $30.95 for adults, $28.95 for seniors, and $22.95 for children 3 and over.

How to Get There: Take the 2 train to the Pelham Parkway station and then walk to the zoo from there.

38. Visit Radio City Music Hall

View of the famous red and blue sign that sits outside of Radio City Music Hall in NYC.

Known as the “Showpiece of the Nation”, Radio City Music Hall was the first building ever built in what would become the sprawling Rockefeller Plaza area.

And for a long time, it was actually the largest indoor movie theatre in the world. Sure, it fell on hard times in the early ’70s but it was eventually designated a national landmark and allowed to remain open.

It is also the home of the Rockettes and has played host to dozens of the most important awards shows and gatherings throughout its long history – including the Grammys, the Tony Awards, and the Daytime Emmys.

Today, it continues to be a popular attraction and one of the best things to do alone in NYC, with numerous pieces of art on display and a regular rotation of high-profile performers stopping by to put on a show.

Address: 1260 6th Ave, New York, NY 10020

Hours: Varies by show.

Price: Varies by show.

How to Get There: Take the 1 train to 50th and Broadway or the B/D/F/M train to Rockefeller Center and walk from there.

39. Visit Bryant Park

The fountain at Bryant Park in the evening with water coming out. It is surrounded by skyscrapers and there are buildings associated with the winter market at Bryant Park arund the fountain.

In comparison to many other popular spots in NYC, Bryant Park may seem kind of small and insignificant at first glance.

However, don’t skip it because it’s a park you’ll want to visit, especially if it’s your first time in the city and you’re looking for some of the best things to do alone in NYC.

After all, it’s located right in the heart of downtown Manhattan and is the busiest park in the entire world. Plus, for such a small area, it has a zany amount of things to do – most of which are free.

So, one of the many things to do by yourself in NYC while you’re here is watch juggling and skating performances, enjoy movie screenings on the lawn, play ping pong, ride the carousel, and or do a bit of yoga.

The New York Public Library is also located along the perimeter of Bryant Park, and, just like everything else mentioned, is free.

Pro Tip: Stop by the Breads Bakery kiosk and get some delicious chocolate babka for me.

Address: Bryant Park, New York, NY 10018

Hours: All day, every day.

Price: Free

How to Get There: Take the 4/5/6/S/7 train to Grand Central or the B/D/F/M to Bryant Park and walk from there.

40. Enjoy Chelsea Market

red sign for Chelsea Market, one of the best things to do in Chelsea NYC

One of the best things to do alone in NYC – and in any city, really – is to visit a local food market and enjoy the local cuisine.

And Chelsea Market certainly doesn’t fail to deliver. Because, guess what? There are no chain restaurants or big-name stores in this vast indoor shopping complex in the Meatpacking District.

Yup, just a one-of-a-kind collection of local vendors and restaurants that are eager to serve you in this busy, marketplace environment.

So, between the fine wines, delicious cheeses, choice meats, and deliciously prepared global cuisine, you’ll have plenty to experience one of the best things to do in NYC by yourself.

Pro Tip: Some of my fave places include Fat Witch Bakery (get the brownies), Posman Books, Sarabeth’s (great pancakes), Artists and Fleas, Takumi (great Japanese/Mexican fare), and more.

Address: 75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011

Hours: Open daily from 7:00 am to 2:00 am and on Sundays from 8:00 am to 10:00 pm.

Price: Free to window shop.

How to Get There: Take the A/C/E train to 14th Street and walk from there.

41. Score a sweet deal on Canal Street

View of the subway entrance at canal Street

Canal Street is one of New York City’s best-kept secrets. And while not much of the merchandise you’ll find in the shops here is authentic, that’s not really the point.

Because people come here to haggle. And if you’re a thrifty bargain hunter, you may walk away with a knockoff version of one of your favorite name brands that’s still pretty solid for the price you paid.

So, check out one of the best budget shopping spots in NYC and be sure to visit Wo Hop and Nam Wah Tea Parlour while you’re here since those are two of the best Chinese restaurants in all of Chinatown.

42. Visit Some Indie Bookstores in Brooklyn

Get off the beaten path and explore some of the most unique bookstores in NYC that are based in Brooklyn.

See, you could do a self-guided tour of some of the best Brooklyn bookstores by starting in Cobble Hill at Books Are Magic. Because this place really is Harry Potter level magical, at least if you’re a book nerd.

Next, head to Unnameable Books in Prospect Heights and finish up in Williamsburg with a look at some super rare books at Spoonbill & Sugartown Books.

43. Boulder It Up at Bouldering Project Brooklyn

If you love rock climbing but don;t have time to visit the Catskills then head to Bouldering Project Brooklyn.

It’s hidden away in Gowanus and is a massive, 10,000-square-foot space where you can try bouldering, lead climbing, and more.

Basically, climb until your arms beg for mercy as you enjoy one of the best things to do alone in NYC.

And if you’re a beginner like me, book an intro bouldering class since it is an hour long and a great way to learn all the basics while meeting cool people.

Address: 575 Degraw St, Brooklyn, NY 11217

Hours: Open daily from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm, except Saturday/Sunday when they open at 8:00 am.

Price: Day pass starts ar $32.00.

How to Get There: Take the D/N/R/W to Union Street and walk from there.

Map of the Best Things to do By Yourself in NYC

Click here for the full map.

There you have it! That wraps up this guide to the best things to do by yourself in NYC!

Did your picks for the best things to do alone in New York City make the list? If not then let me know below!

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