Things To Do in Manhattan

Being the most densely populated of all five of the New York boroughs, there is no shortage of things to do and see in Manhattan.

This area holds most of the major tourist attractions of the Big Apple and is where most people will spend the majority of their time when visiting the city. 

If you’re looking to get away from the regular NYC itinerary and delve a bit deeper into the history and culture of the area, we've got you covered with our guide to the best things to do in Manhattan.

Explore some Manhattan Hidden Gems

Manhattan is known for hosting some of the most iconic landmarks in NYC, but the borough is also home to plenty of hidden gems that are a bit less touristy. If you’re looking for something to do away from the crowds and noise why not try:

Relaxing in Bryant Park

This beautiful park is located between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, and between 40th and 42nd Streets. It's a great place to relax and unwind, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. 

One of the best things about Bryant Park is that it's free and open to the public. There are plenty of things to do there, from strolling through the lush gardens to people-watching on the lawn. The park is also home to a variety of events throughout the year, including outdoor movie screenings, concerts, and even ice skating in the winter.
Be sure to check out the Reading Room over on the 42nd Street side of the park, which offers a selection of books and magazines for visitors to read while in the park.

📍 Bryant Park, New York, NY 10018
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Bryant Park

Visiting Union Square

Union Square is a bustling neighborhood located in the heart of Manhattan. While it's not exactly off the beaten path, it's a great destination for those looking to explore non-tourist spots in the city.

Union Square is famous for its Greenmarket, which takes place every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. This farmers' market is a great place to sample fresh produce, baked goods, and other artisanal products from local vendors. It's a lovely way to get a taste of the local culture and support small businesses.

Another great thing to do in Union Square is to check out the public art installations and sculptures that are scattered throughout the neighborhood. From the iconic George Washington statue to the contemporary art exhibits at the nearby New Museum, there's always something interesting to see.

📍 Union Square, New York, NY 10003
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Union Square

Taking a Trip to Little Italy

Little Italy is a charming neighborhood located in Lower Manhattan that's steeped in history and culture. Once home to a large population of Italian immigrants, the area is now a popular destination for foodies, history buffs, and anyone looking to experience the vibrant energy of the city. 

One of the main draws of Little Italy is its incredible food scene. From traditional Italian restaurants like Il Cortile and Puglia to trendy cafes and bakeries like Ferrara Bakery & Cafe and Caffe Roma, there's no shortage of delicious food to try. Be sure to sample some of the area's famous cannolis, gelato, and fresh pasta dishes.

In addition to its food scene, Little Italy is also home to a number of historic landmarks and cultural institutions. The Italian American Museum, located on Mulberry Street, is a great place to learn about the history of Italian immigrants in New York City. You can also visit the Church of the Most Precious Blood, a stunning 19th-century church that's still in use today.

📍 Little Italy, New York, NY 10013
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Little Italy

Going on a Scavenger Hunt

What better way to explore and learn about New York City's oldest neighborhood than going on a puzzle-filled scavenger hunt! 

Take a deep dive into the history of Lower Manhattan and the remnants of New Amsterdam. Learn bizarre and fascinating facts while following clues sent directly to your phone as you tackle the riddles of this exciting outdoor escape room-style challenge. With plenty of rest stops built into the route, you’ll have great fun while also getting to try some of the best food and drink of NYC’s Southern Tip.

📍 Chambers St Station, Manhattan, NYC
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The Southern Tip

Best Places to Eat and Drink in Manhattan

From high-end restaurants to street food vendors, Manhattan's diverse culinary scene has something to suit anyone's taste. 

Here are some of our tops picks of the best places to eat and drink around the borough:

Visit Chelsea Market

Chelsea Market is a food lover's paradise! This historic building, which was once home to the National Biscuit Company, is now a bustling marketplace filled with gourmet food vendors, artisanal shops, and trendy eateries.

From fresh seafood at The Lobster Place to artisanal cheese at Saxelby Cheesemongers, there's no shortage of delicious food to try, and it is also home to a number of trendy bars and cafes. If you’re looking for some unique food gifts to take home with you, check out the famous Chelsea Market Baskets and artisan chocolate makers Li-Lac Chocolates.

📍 75 Ninth Avenue (between 15th & 16th St.) New York, NY 10011
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Chelsea Market

Enjoy a Bagel and Lox at Russ & Daughters

Founded in 1914, this family-owned and operated store located on the Lower East Side of Manhattan has become a must-visit destination for anyone looking to sample the best bagels and lox in the city

Russ & Daughters is renowned for its incredible selection of smoked fish and other Jewish delicacies. The store offers a wide variety of smoked salmon, including Scottish, Norwegian, and wild Alaskan varieties. You can also find other traditional Jewish foods, such as herring, chopped liver, and knishes.

But the real star of the show at Russ & Daughters is the bagels and lox. The bagels are freshly baked on-site and come in a variety of flavors, including plain, everything, and sesame. The lox is sliced to order and served with cream cheese, onions, and capers.

Russ & Daughters also operates a sit-down cafe next door where you can enjoy your bagel and lox in a cozy, old-world atmosphere. The cafe also offers a selection of other Jewish deli favorites, such as matzo ball soup, pastrami sandwiches, and babka.

📍 179 E Houston St, NYC 10002
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Russ and Daughters

Best Spot for Some Retail Therapy in Manhattan

Whether you’re looking to splurge on a luxury item or score yourself a great deal, you are spoilt for choice when it comes to shopping in Manhattan.

Visit Some of the City’s Most Iconic Shopping Areas

Manhattan is home to some of the most iconic shopping destinations in the world, with a wide variety of stores and boutiques that cater to every taste and budget. Whether you're searching for high-end luxury brands or unique vintage finds, the city has it all:

  • Fifth Avenue - One of the most famous shopping destinations in the world, Fifth Avenue is home to a wide variety of high-end luxury brands, including Tiffany & Co., Cartier, and Saks Fifth Avenue.
  • Orchard Street Shopping District - Located on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, the Orchard Street Shopping District is a great place to find unique clothing and accessories from up-and-coming designers. There are also plenty of vintage and thrift stores, making it a great destination for bargain hunters.
  • East 9th Street - East 9th Street, located in the East Village, is a great destination for vintage and secondhand clothing. The street also has several independent boutiques and specialty shops.
  • Macy's NYC - Macy's is one of the largest department stores in the world, and its flagship location in Herald Square is a must-visit destination for shoppers in Manhattan. The store offers a wide variety of clothing, accessories, and home goods, as well as several dining options if you get peckish.
  • Bloomingdale's - Another iconic department store in Manhattan, Bloomingdale's is known for its high-end fashion and accessories. The store also hosts several exclusive collections and designer collaborations, making it a great destination for fashion-forward shoppers.

Things to Do in Manhattan at Night

There is no shortage of things to do in Manhattan after dark. Whether you are a comedy fan, love a bit of live music, or are looking to catch a show - you’ll be spoiled for choice with the lively nightlife scene.

Enjoy a Comedy Show at the Comedy Cellar

The Comedy Cellar is a legendary comedy club located in the heart of Greenwich Village. Founded in 1982, this intimate venue has become a must-visit destination for comedy lovers from around the world.

The club has hosted some of the biggest names in comedy, including Jerry Seinfeld, Louis C.K., and Chris Rock. You never know who might show up for a surprise set, making each show a unique and unforgettable experience.
The Comedy Cellar has several shows each night, with tickets available for purchase online or at the door. Be sure to arrive early to secure your spot, as the shows often sell out quickly.

📍 117 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012
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The Comedy Cellar

Listen to Live Jazz at the Blue Note

The Blue Note is a jazz club located in Greenwich Village that has been entertaining jazz lovers since 1981. The club has been home to some of the greatest jazz musicians of all time, including Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, and Wynton Marsalis. You can also find up-and-coming jazz musicians and local favorites at the Blue Note, making each show a unique experience.

Apart from the jazz shows, the Blue Note also offers a full menu of food and drinks, making it a great destination for a night out with friends.

📍 131 W 3rd St, New York, NY 10012
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The Blue Note

See a Show at Radio City Music Hall

Located in the heart of Midtown Manhattan, Radio City Music Hall is a world famous venue with an incredible lineup of shows and events.
The theater has hosted some of the biggest names in music, comedy, and entertainment, including Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, and the Rockettes. With various shows multiple times a week there will be something to suit everyone's taste.

Radio City Music Hall also runs guided tours of the theater so you can learn more about its history and stunning art deco architecture.

📍 1260 6th Ave, New York, NY 10020
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Radio City Music Hall

Find More Things to Do in Manhattan with CityDays

Whatever your interests are, there’s always something new for you to discover in New York City. In fact, you don’t have to go out of your way at all to find them - you just have to know where to look. 

Discover New York’s secret sites and noteworthy nooks by playing one of our New York treasure and scavenger hunts, escape room games or walking tours.

You’ll find curated trails and hunts all over New York, including Manhattan, Chelsea, Midtown and Chinatown. 

All you have to do is team up with your friends, family or whoever to solve riddles, complete challenges and answer trivia to lead you on an unforgettable journey around New York’s most intriguing streets. 

The best part? We’ll recommend top-rated bars, cafés and restaurants and give your team the chance to earn rewards by competing on our leaderboard. 

CityDays gives you total freedom to start and finish whenever you like, take extra breaks if you want or need them, and it’s suitable for people of all ages

You’re also guaranteed your money back if you don’t have an amazing time - although our previous reviews speak for themselves: we’re rated 5/5 on TripAdvisor and 4.95/5 on Google Reviews!