Metropolitan Museum of Art The most incredible encyclopedic museum in the Americas comes stocked with its own Egyptian temple.
MoMA NYC’s darling museum has brilliantly curated spaces boasting the best of the world’s modern art.
Guggenheim Museum The exhibits can be uneven, but the architecture is the real star in this Frank Lloyd Wright–designed building.
Whitney Museum of American Art Celebrated for cutting-edge contemporary and 20th-century works. See future American greats at the Whitney Biennial.
Frick Collection This Gilded Age mansion has Vermeers, El Grecos and Goyas and a stunning courtyard fountain.
Cloisters Museum & Gardens Medieval treasures including a beguiling 16th-century tapestry that depicts a unicorn hunt.
Brooklyn Museum Ancient Egyptian treasures, a stellar collection of American painting and a cutting-edge feminist arts center.
Lower East Side Tenement Museum Fantastic insight into life as an immigrant during the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Places of Worship
St Patrick’s Cathedral A glorious neo-Gothic masterpiece – it’s the largest cathedral in America.
Trinity Church This gorgeous Anglican church was the tallest building in NYC in the mid-1800s.
Cathedral Church of St John the Divine The largest house of worship in the US was begun in 1892 – and still isn’t completely finished (hence its nickname, St John the Unfinished).
Temple Emanu-El A Romanesque structure with gilded ceilings serves as one of New York’s most beautiful synagogues.
Mahayana Temple An atmospheric Buddist temple complete with guilded guardian lions in Chinatown.
Eldridge Street Synagogue Glittering after a multi-million-dollar restoration, the hallowed hall is now a museum space.
Staying Up Late
Smalls Catch 1am ‘after hours’ shows at this atmospheric West Village jazz spot.
Silvana Head up to Harlem for nightly world music jams followed by DJ-fueled revelry.
IFC Center Watch midnight screenings of cult classics in the West Village.
Chinatown A secreted scatter of late-night lounges tucked behind the unassuming facades of hole-in-the-wall chow spots.
Rue B This tiny late-night jazz den in the East Village is a great spot to end the night.
Slipper Room Catch a riotously fun burlesque show at this cheeky den of debauchery on the Lower East Side.
Employees Only No need to eat sickening fast food after midnight. This West Village gastrobar serves a good menu past 3am.
Veselka The go-to place when you’ve just got to have varenyky (homemade dumplings) at 4am.
Empire State Building The iconic building offers sweeping city views from its sky-high observation deck.
Brooklyn Bridge Park Wide-open views of downtown Manhattan and the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges.
Governors Island A lush, car-free space in the harbor with photogenic views of Manhattan and Lady Liberty.
Top of the Strand Go one better than staring at Midtown’s mix of scrapers and swig a drink while you’re part of the view.
The Standard Hotel Check out the downtown views from the rooftop perch of the very hip Le Bain.
Brooklyn Heights Promenade Staggering view of Manhattan, 24 hours a day.
Roosevelt Island River and skyscraper views from Louis Kahn’s Franklin D Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park.
Cantor Roof Garden Bar From late April through October, the rooftop garden at the Met offers incredible views.
East River State Park Take in an inspiring sweep of Midtown from the Williamsburg waterfront.
Central Park The city’s most famous park has more than 800 acres of rolling meadows and boulder-topped hillocks.
High Line A thin stripe of green with wild plants and surprising vantage points atop a former rail line.
Prospect Park Brooklyn’s favorite outdoor space for picnics, kite-flying, running and ambling amid beautifully landscaped scenery.
Hudson River Park Manhattan’s looking greener than ever thanks to new parkland running up its western side.
Brooklyn Bridge Park This new park lines the waterfront along Dumbo, all the way to the foot of Atlantic Ave.
Green-Wood Cemetery A lush oasis with great views and rambling paths that dates back to the 1830s.
Brooklyn Botanic Garden Three-season beauty with cherry blossoms in spring, vibrant summery blooms, and fiery blazes in autumn.
Ellis Island The gateway to freedom and opportunity for so many of America’s immigrants.
Frick Collection A rare mansion from the Gilded Age survives as a museum on the Upper East Side.
Lower East Side Tenement Museum Get insight into how the early immigrants lived, on an eye-opening tour of a preserved tenement.
Museum of Chinese in America Learn about a much ignored group who made profound contributions to the country.
Morgan Library & Museum Browse the exquisite interiors of the former home of industrialist JP Morgan.
Morris-Jumel Mansion Museum This Georgian-Federal structure is the oldest house in Manhattan.
Historic Richmond Town A time-stuck village in Staten Island that’s home to the country’s oldest schoolhouse.
Gracie Mansion A graceful Federal-style structure now serves as the mayor’s home.
Venturing off the Beaten Path
Flushing Go on a foodie safari deep in the heart of Queens and browse New York’s biggest and best Chinatown.
New York Botanical Garden A vast garden in the Bronx is home to 50 acres of forest and a Victorian-style conservatory.
Inwood Hill Park It’s part of Manhattan, but it doesn’t feel like it – this park remains wonderfully wild.
Queens Museum Excellent exhibits without the fanfare and crowds of some of Manhattan’s other museum spaces.
Dyckman Farmhouse Museum Manhattan’s last surviving Dutch farmhouse.
Red Hook Wander old cobblestone streets near the Brooklyn waterfront, stopping for refreshment at dive bars and seafood spots.
Ditmas Park Spend an afternoon peeking at gorgeous old houses, followed by drinks at a neighborhood bar.
Old-School New York
Coney Island An amusement center that dates back to the early days of the 20th century; don’t forget the hot dogs at Nathan’s Famous.
Barney Greengrass After a century in the business, BG still serves up some of the best smoked fish in the city.
Russian & Turkish Baths Steam your stress away in this East Village classic, now over 120 years old.
Marie’s Crisis Show tunes and singing patrons at this legendary West Village gay bar.
Zabar’s An emporium for all types of Upper West Side food-a-holics since the 1930s.
McSorley’s Old Ale House Abraham Lincoln, Boss Tweed and Woody Guthrie are among the many who’ve raised a glass or two at this sawdust-on-the-floor pub.
Barneys The fashionista’s aspirational closet comes with a hefty price tag.
Dough Home to some of the best doughnuts on the planet.
Pegu Club Stylish lounge, with a great ambience and welcome lack of pretension (never mind the $15 cocktails).
Brandy Library Nurse a glass of rare, amber-hued Armagnac at this refined retreat.
Exhale Four-handed massage, beginner yoga classes, acupuncture: you’ll find it all at this zen Upper East Side spa.
Bowery Hotel Treat yourself to a luxury stay in this beautifully designed downtown pad.
Central Park New York’s quintessential green space.
High Line Visitors come to stroll, sit and picnic 30ft above the city, enjoying fabulous views of Manhattan's ever-changing urban landscape.
Staten Island Ferry The journey between Lower Manhattan and the Staten Island neighborhood of St George is one of NYC’s finest free adventures.
National Museum of the American Indian The collections at this Smithsonian affiliate include stunning decorative arts, textiles and ceremonial objects.
David Zwirner One of the greatest Chelsea galleries.
Brooklyn Bridge Park A gorgeous park hugging the East River with jaw-dropping views of Lower Manhattan.
SummerStage A series of outdoor concerts in Central Park held from June till early September.
American Folk Art Museum A glimpse into an alternative art world, with free music on Friday nights.
Big Apple Greeter tours Reserve in advance for a free tour of a neighborhood of your choice from a local keen to show off their city.
National September 11 Memorial A sombre, moving memorial.