30 Famous landmarks in New York

This article focuses on the famous landmarks in New York State, from the impressive skyscrapers to Niagara Falls. New York is blessed with attractions and incredible places worth seeing. As usual in these articles, we asked a few fellow bloggers to contribute with some of the most famous New York landmarks to provide the best information possible.

If you are planning a trip to New York, we suggest you buy a city pass that includes tours and tickets to many of the most famous landmarks in New York.

New York is one of the most popular destinations in the world. It is well-known for its livelihood, impressive buildings, historic places, and overall importance.

New York state has everything you need for a fabulous journey, but the highlight goes to New York City and its relevance in today’s world, particularly in pop culture. Traveling in NYC is like entering the setting of many of our favorite movies, series, or tv shows.

If you want to learn more about New York, look at the things New York is famous for.

So, without further delays, let’s explore some of the most famous landmarks in New York Stake.

Famous Natural Landmarks in New York

Niagara falls

Niagara Falls are one of the most famous natural wonders in the USA, so it is not surprising it made the list. Though, some people may not realize that they are still part of New York state, as they are on the NY state border with Ontario, Canada.

Niagara Falls consists of 3 waterfalls at the southern end of Niagara Gorge. Horseshoe falls are the largest and are located on the Canadian side of the border, while the smaller American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls are within New York State.

Famed for its beauty and proportions, the Niagara River creates the falls, draining water from Lake Erie into Lake Ontario. With a vertical fall of 167 ft (51 m), they have a combined flow rate of 85,000 cu ft/s (2,400 m3/s), making the most powerful in North America by flow rate.

Visiting the falls from both sides is always advisable to have a comprehensive view and experience. While the American side is usually touted as the best because of the dimension, it is also much more commercialized. The American side is within a state park (the oldest in the USA), creating a more natural experience than you would expect when visiting a waterfall.

Visiting the Niagara Falls state park to experience this natural wonder is free and open 365 days a year. You can walk around the 400 acres of lush terrain and find several activities and attractions. The tours and activities are (obviously) mostly paid for. You can go behind de falls, go on a walking tour, navigate the falls on the Maid of the Mist boat, and much more.

Niagara Falls, the most famous natural landmark in NY State
Niagara Falls, the most famous natural landmark in NY State | Photo via GYG

Ausable Chasm

By Kelly from Travel New York Now

One of the best New York state landmarks is Ausable Chasm. It’s a stunning cavern and series of waterfalls about an hour from Lake Placid in the Adirondacks region of New York.

So, if you’d like to tackle one of the easiest and best hikes in the Adirondacks for yourself, then you’ll find this awe-inspiring natural wonder at exit 34 of the New York Thruway, right off Route 9.

In fact, you can see rainbow falls from the road, allowing you to take some impressive aerial photos from the bridge that will lead you to the park’s main entrance. 

Also, note that because a hydroelectric company controls the flow of the AuSable River, this waterfall looks much more impressive on some days than on others. 

However, if you’d still like to hike within the chasm, purchase your tickets at the main entrance since this park is privately owned.

Once inside, you and your entire family can enjoy a stroll along a vertical walled canyon as you admire countless waterfalls and ancient rock that is more than 500 million years old. If you want, make a day of it and do some pretty tame white water rafting after hiking along the well-marked trails.

Famous landmarks in New York State
Ausable Chasm, one of the famous Natural Landmarks in New York State | photo from Travel New York Now

Letchworth State Park

By Samantha Meabon from PAonPause.com

On the western side of the Finger Lakes in New York, Letchworth State Park is home to some of the most famous waterfalls outside Niagara Falls. It has also been voted the best state park in the entire US.

You’ll need a car both to get to the park and then to navigate between some of the significant points of interest within. The nearest airport is in Rochester, NY, about 40 miles to the north. Once you arrive, there are many places to explore and things to do in Letchworth.

Known as “the Grand Canyon of the East,” it is home to numerous waterfalls. Make sure to visit the iconic Upper, Middle, and Lower Falls. If you get lucky, you might catch a train rolling across the railroad bridge spanning the gorge over Upper Falls.

There are plenty of hiking trails and scenic overlooks with stunning views along the Genesee River Gorge. Visit in the spring when the waterfalls are flowing at maximum capacity or during the fall for stunning foliage views along the gorge.

Well known landmarks in New York State
New York’s famous landmarks – Letchworth State Park | photo from PAonPause.com

Watkins Glen State Park

By Samantha Stamps from Seeing Sam

If you are looking to get out into nature, the Watkins Glen State Park in the village of Watkins Glen, NY, south of Seneca Lake, is a wonderful place to do just that. Watkins Glen was voted the 3rd best State Park in the country by USA Today, and it is easy to see why. This state park surrounds a 400 ft gorge and offers seasonal camping with over 300 RV, tent, and cabin campsites for $18-$30 a night.

Amenities include hot showers, restrooms, firewood, and a dumping station. Visitors can enjoy an Olympic size swimming pool, guided gorge tours, nature trails, the nearby town of Watkins Glen with world-class wineries, shops, restaurants, and trout fishing in nearby Seneca Lake.

The most famous landmark in this gorgeous state park is the stunning gorge. A must-do is walking the 1.5-mile Gorge Trail along 200 ft cliffs, over stone bridges, through chiseled stone tunnels, and up many stone stairs to get spectacular views of the 19 waterfalls that joyously flow through the natural gorge below.

Day entry to the park is $8 per vehicle. It is open year-round, but the Gorge Trail closes during winter. It is a beautiful area to spend a weekend or relax in a blanket of wilderness for a day. 

Famous Natural Landmarks in New York
Watkins Glen State Park – Beautiful landmarks in New York state | photo from Seeing Sam

Saratoga Spa State Park

 By Michele DeBella from From Inwood Out

Saratoga Spa State Park is a year-round destination in upstate New York. Visitors come for swimming, hiking, and cross-country skiing, depending on the season. The park is also home to museums, a popular outdoor concert venue, and the historic Gideon Putnam hotel. 

The best reason to visit Saratoga Spa State Park is the natural mineral water springs that spout up like geysers from beneath the ground and stream from faucets manmade in the 19th century when the mineral springs were tapped.

The springs are scattered throughout the park, and visitors can find them by following easy, clearly marked hiking trails. Be sure to bring along a cup to taste the water.

For a spa-like experience, book an appointment for a therapeutic mineral bath in your private soaking room at Roosevelt Baths & Spa in the park. This hydrotherapy spa was initially established in 1935, and Health-conscious tourists still flock here to take advantage of the healing effervescent waters.

Saratoga Spa State Park is located in Saratoga Springs, NY, approximately three hours north of New York City. Saratoga Springs is serviced by Amtrak, Greyhound, and Trailways buses. The closest major airport is Albany International.

Beautifull Landmarks in new York
Saratoga Spa State Park | photo From Inwood Out

The Finger Lakes

By Paula Barnes from Truly Expat

The Finger Lakes district is in Up-State New York, approximately a 5-hour drive from Manhattan. Otherwise, there are five airports within driving distance. Rochester International Airport (1-hour drive), Hancock International Airport (1.5 hours drive), Buffalo International (2 hours drive), and Elmira Corning Regional Airport (1-hour drive).

The Finger Lakes region is packed with fantastic scenery and exciting things to do within its 11 lakes. Although, the Finger Lakes region is best known for its wineries and, in particular, its world-class rieslings. The Lakes themselves are what make this area so unique.

The 11 lakes look somewhat like fingers (hence the name), and each lake has a reason to visit individually. You will find incredible breathtaking waterfalls in Ithaca to cruising down the beautifully scenic Seneca Lake in Watkins Glen.

The finger Lakes area will captivate you and heighten all your senses. So if outdoor hiking, kayaking, and wine tasting all get too much, you can always explore some of the towns in the surrounding areas. Elmira and Watkins Glen is a great place to start, with much to offer. So whether you choose to retrace Mark Twain’s steps and take a deep dive into his life in Elmira or sit back and watch world-class racing at Watkins Glen International, you will find that there is something here for everyone.

The Finger Lakes NY landmarks 30 Famous landmarks in New York
The Finger Lakes region is a must-visit in New York. | photo by sainaniritu via Depositphotos

Famous landmarks in New York City

Central Park

Located between the Upper West and East Side of Manhattan, Central Park is another extremely popular landmark in New York. With about 843 acres, it is 2.5 miles long and 0.5 miles wide. It is a large park, but it is only the fifth largest in the city. Yet, it is visited by 42 million people annually, making it the most visited urban park in the United States.

Besides being one of the most visited tourist attractions worldwide, Central Park is also considered the most filmed location in the world. It naturally became a model for urban parks worldwide and became a National Historic Landmark.

The park’s popularity has much to do with its location. Central Park is located right in the center of Manhattan, making it a green oasis in the middle of the concrete jungle that is New York City. The central location also means that it is easily accessible by public transportation, and millions of people live, work, and visit the area.

Central Park was mostly landscaped in the 19th century with natural-looking plants, several lakes and ponds, and various woodland sections, lawns, meadows, and grassy areas. Some of the most famous landmarks in Central Park are the Central Park Zoo, the Carousel, the Rink, and the lakes and reservoirs. Although it is a year-round landmark, Central Park is particularly fun when visiting NYC in Winter.

The park has created a diverse ecosystem with a few hundred species that coexist with human recreational activities like biking, sports facilities, and tours. One popular tourist activity is taking a carriage tour through the park or alternatively going on a bike tour.

Ice skating in Central Park 30 Famous landmarks in New York
Ring skate in Central Park, one of New York’s most famous places | photo by stu99 via Depositphotos

Statue of Liberty

More than a famous landmark in New York, the Statue of Liberty is an American icon and a symbol of freedom. Located on Liberty Island in New York Harbor, the colossal statue welcomes everyone who arrives by sea.

Dedicated on the 28th of October of 1886, the copper statue was a gift from the French people to the USA intended to commemorate the lasting friendship between the peoples of the two nations.

Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi designed it in a neoclassical style, but Gustave Eiffel built the framework. The statue depicts Libertas, the Roman goddess of liberty, with a torch in her right hand and a tabula ansata with the date of the declaration of Independence.

The statue of liberty was inscribed as a UNESCO heritage site in 1984. UNESCO states that it’s a masterpiece of the human spirit and “endures as a highly potent symbol—inspiring contemplation, debate, and protest—of ideals such as liberty, peace, human rights, abolition of slavery, democracy, and opportunity.”

To visit the Statue of Liberty, we suggest buying tickets beforehand!

Statue of Liberty in NYC USA DP 30 Famous landmarks in New York
The most famous thing in New York – The Statue of Liberty, the symbol of liberty | photo by J2R via Depositphotos

Brooklyn Bridge

By Sam Oppenheimer from Find Love & Travel

The Brooklyn Bridge is one of the most iconic landmarks in New York. Its unique wooden footpath and giant gothic-like towers have made this bridge one of the most famous in New York. The bridge was designed by John A. Roebling and started construction in 1870. Completed by 1883, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world at the time. 

Spanning the length of the East River, you can reach the Brooklyn Bridge from DUMBO, Brooklyn, or New York City in the financial which, Chambers St. being the closest metro. 

The walk across the bridge is 1.1 miles and offers epic city skyline views. Furthermore, visiting the Brooklyn Bridge is one of the best free things to do in NYC! Because of this, it was estimated that 5 million people walked across the Brooklyn Bridge in 2021, and that doesn’t even count the cars and cyclists! Because the bridge is so popular with tourists and everyday New Yorkers, the best time to visit is early in the morning, before or after rush hour.

Additionally, when visiting the Brooklyn Bridge, make sure to check out Brooklyn Bridge Park, which is located on the DUMB side. You will find lovely picnic lawns, piers, food, and more to explore!

This popular cruise crosses the Brooklyn bridge, and it’s a lovely way of enjoying this New York landmark.

famous landmark in New York state
Brooklyn Bridge, one of the most well-known landmarks in New York | photo from Find Love & Travel

Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn

By Gerry Isabelle from Dominican Abroad

Located in the busy center of Brooklyn is the serene Green Wood Cemetery. This historic NY landmark spans 478 acres of natural beauty and local New York City history. In the 1800s, the Green-Wood Cemetery was the most popular tourist attraction in New York City. The moment you step past the majestic gates of the cemetery, you’ll understand why.

The Green-Wood Cemetery was established in 1838 (during the Victorian Era) and inspired Central Park, Prospect Park, and many other outdoor landmarks in NYC. Today, the Green-Wood Cemetery offers four designated National Historic Landmarks on its premises: The Chapel, Fort Hamilton Parkway Entrance, The Weir Greenhouse, and the Gothic revival gates at the main entrance. Today, over half a million people have been buried here, including famous politicians like De Witt Clinton and famous artists like Jean-Michel Basquiat.

So what can you do there today? Well, in addition to getting an entirely different look at NYC and stepping back in time to the 1800s, the cemetery also offers a myriad of guided experiences. These tours can tell you about the famous people buried here, the history, and the fascinating life stories in New York in the 1800s and 1900s. They also host seasonal experiences, like the After-Hours Night-Time Cemetery Tour and concerts in the catacombs.

To get there, take the R train to 25th Street. Then, you walk a block south and cross the street. Super easy!

Cool Landmarks in New York
Famous monuments in NYC – Green-wood cemetery | photo from Dominican Abroad

San Remo, Manhattan

By Amanda from Hey! East Coast USA

San Remo is the unusual yet attractive twin tower building that pokes out through the trees of Central Park in New York City’s Upper West Side.

Designed by Emery Roth in the 1920s, this twenty-six-story, lux apartment block first opened its doors at 145-146 Central Park West (74th to 75th Street) in 1931. However, it sat empty during the Depression. Roth also designed the Ritz Tower. 

The north and south towers were inspired by architecture in Athens, Greece. The north tower has one apartment on each floor, and the south offers even bigger spaces.

Considering the Upper West Side zip code, living at The San Remo costs a pretty penny, with apartments previously costing $26 million. And according to The Reel Deal, actress Demi Moore is selling her 7,000-square-foot penthouse apartment for a cool $75 million. Would you pay that for a private view over Central Park and the Hudson? NYC in fall would be pretty magical from the top floor!

Fellow celeb residents include Glen Close, Diane Keaton, Stephen Spielberg, and Bono, who bought the apartment from Steve Jobs. That’s some Friday night dinner party. 

Famous Landmarks in New York
New York State Landmarks – The San Remo | photo from Hey! East Coast USA

Grand Central Station, Manhattan

By Nicole from Go Far Grow Close

Grand Central Station is located at 42nd Street and Park Avenue in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. It is a transportation hub and a shopping and dining destination. In addition, it is one of the United State’s architectural treasures.

It opened to the public in 1913, and in 1978, it was awarded “landmark status.” The opal-faced main concourse, information booth, and clock are backdrops to thousands of movies and TV shows. The ceiling of the concourse is 125 feet tall and painted with constellations. Back in 1913, it was one of the largest enclosed spaces of its time. It is built in the Beaux-Arts style and looks like it could comfortably fit into French architecture from the 1870s. Atop the main facade is a large clock and sculptures of an American eagle and Roman deities.

The station was lavishly restored in the late 20th century, spearheaded by Jacqueline Onasis Kenndy. This led to the landmark status. An unknown New York City travel tip is that you can do a self-guided tour of Grand Central Station. You just have to locate the tiny office off the main course, pay a nominal fee for the headset, and allot around 30 minutes.

Another option is doing a guided tour and learning why the Grand central station is one of the most famous landmarks in New York State.

New Yorks most famous landmarks
Grand Central Station is one of New York’s most famous landmarks | photo from Go Far Grow Close

New York Public Library, Manhattan

By Martha from May Cause Wanderlust

The New York Public Library is an NYC institution providing access to books and information for more than 125 years. It houses 2.5 million works of literature!

Even if you’re not looking for a book, the building is worth checking out. Unlike so many buildings in Manhattan, it is not a high-rise and has a proud façade with marble steps, a portico, and Corinthian columns. The Beaux-Arts style building was built in 1911 and was made a National Historic Landmark in 1965, listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1966, and designated a New York City Landmark in 1967. You may recognize it from movies like Ghostbusters and The Day After Tomorrow.

Inside, the halls and staircases are all marble grandeur – charming to wander around. However, the highlight of the building is arguably the Rose Reading room, which has grand arched windows, an elaborate ceiling, chandeliers, and rows of lamp-lit tables. Out front, two stone lions guard the building. They’re nicknamed Patience and Fortitude.

You can find the New York Public Library at 476 Fifth Avenue, Manhattan, and it is a stop on this free self-guided walking tour of Manhattan.

New York Public Library NYC landmarks USA DP 30 Famous landmarks in New York
New York Public Library – A landmark in New you for book lovers | photo by cla1978 via Depositphotos

Times Square, Manhattan

By Sydney A World in Reach

When you think of New York City, the bright lights of Times Square are probably one of the first things that come to mind. Times Square is one of the most iconic landmarks in New York City and one of the most visited attractions in the world.

Also known as “The Crossroads of the World,” Times Square is a pedestrian area at the intersection of Broadway, 42nd Street, and 7th Avenue. The entire area is surrounded by flashing billboards, shops, theaters, street performers, and more. More than 50 million tourists are drawn to the site each year, making it one of the top spots on many New York City bucket lists.

The name “Times Square” dates back to 1904 when the New York Times opened its new offices in the Times Building, located on the square. The square then became a popular gathering place, especially for celebrating the New Year. The Times Building began dropping a ball to mark the New Year, a tradition that continues today.

Times Square sometimes gets a bad reputation, especially among NYC locals. While it is a bit of a “tourist trap,” it’s still worth a visit when you’re in the Big Apple. Plus, it’s the hub of the Broadway Theater District, and seeing a Broadway Show is one of the top things to do in NYC. To make the most of your visit, go after dark when the square is lit up in all its glory and avoid dining at the various chain restaurants in the area – there are much better places to eat a bit further away from Times Square.

There are quite a few tours that go to times square.

One of the most famous Landmarks in New York
The busy Times Square in New York- one of the most famous landmarks in New York | photo by masterlu via Depositphotos

Walkway Over The Hudson

By Ian James from Hudson Valley Discovered

The Walkway Over The Hudson is a classic landmark in the mid-Hudson Valley. The walkway, now a state park, is a former railway bridge that spans from Highland on the west bank of the Hudson River to Poughkeepsie on the river’s east bank. The bridge dates from 1889 but was converted to a pedestrian bridge in 2009. Today, it is one of the top things to do in the Hudson Valley.  

There is parking on both sides of the river, and there are interpretive signs along the walkway, giving you information about the bridge’s history and the local environment. On the Poughkeepsie side, an elevator goes from the walkway down to the banks of the Hudson River. 

A tip: there is no shade on the walkway, so it is best to do this in the cooler months or on a cloudy day and summer, as otherwise, it can get very, very hot.  

A great way to visit Walkway Over The Hudson is to park your car at Highland, walk over to the Poughkeepsie side, take the elevator down to the river, walk along the river to one of the nearby waterside restaurants, have lunch, and then head back to your car by doing the whole thing in reverse. This is a lovely way to spend a summer day.

classic landmarks in New York
The Walkway Over The Hudson is a classic landmark in the mid-Hudson Valley in New York. | photo from Hudson Valley Discovered

Coney Island Boardwalk, Brooklyn

By Emily Mandagie from The Mandagies

The Coney Island boardwalk is one of the most famous and well-known promenades globally. Getting there is easy – you can hop on a 1-hour long subway ride from Manhattan or take a 25-minute drive from NYC to the coast. Located in South Brooklyn, Coney Island is a neighborhood that hosts two amusement parks, a public beachfront (perfect for people-watching), a long boardwalk, and plenty of beachside attractions.

In an effort to reclaim the beach and beautify the area, construction of the Coney Island Boardwalk began in 1921, making this historic New York landmark just over 100 years old! It has undergone numerous additions, phases, and construction periods to adapt to the ever-changing times. Formally called the Riegelmann Boardwalk (named after Brooklyn borough president Edward J. Riegelmann), this walkway now stretches more than 2.7 miles across and uses 1.3 million individual boards.

This is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. Come for some classic vacation experiences with fair food, twinkling lights, and colorful backdrops to find those perfect NYC Instagram spots. If you plan to visit Coney Island Boardwalk, check the event calendar beforehand. Public events like Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, The Coney Island Mermaid Parade, and other fun events are happening all year long!

Cool Landmarks in New York
Nathan’s Hot Dog in Coney Island Boardwalk, Brooklyn | photo from from The Mandagies

The High Line

By Terri from FemaleSoloTrek.com

Strolling on New York City’s High Line is probably a Top 5 attraction for visitors to the Big Apple, along with seeing a Broadway play, visiting the 9-11 Memorial, and climbing the Empire State Building. But if you love nature and architecture, you must walk it.

The 13-year-old High Line is an elevated walk created from an old circa 1930s freight line serving factories and businesses. It resulted from an architectural competition to save this part of NYC’s commercial history. The first leg opened in 2009 between Gansevoort Street and 20th Street.

Pedestrians walk two stories above the streets of New York City and observe apartments, condos, shops, and bustling streets. It is an urban boardwalk and park owned by the City of New York. The Friends of the High Line maintains it. Music is pumped out at The Spur, one of the newest sections of the High Line. It overlooks the Hudson River.

Piet Oudolf is the landscape architect who designed the palette of plants and the natural arrangements of trees. He featured self-seeding plants that once grew wild along the abandoned train tracks. There are cozy benches to rest on. The High Line offers incredible landscaping, modernistic art, programming, and exercise.

There is a group tour to the high line that you can take part in when buying this New York pass.

Must visit landmarks in New York
Walking on New York City’s High Line is one of the coolest things to do in New York. | from FemaleSoloTrek.com

Vessel in Hudson Yards, Manhattan

By Disha Smith from Disha Discovers

One of the most famous landmarks in New York is Vessel in Hudson Yards in New York City. Opened in 2019, Vessel has quickly become one of Manhattan’s most popular attractions.

Thomas Heatherwick designed the Vessel, and the architecture makes it impressive. At Vessel, there are 154 interconnecting flights of stairs, around 2500 steps, and 80 landings. It’s shaped like a honeycomb covered in shimmering, silver-leafed aluminum tiles.

The climbable staircases create a maze as you go up and down different flights to explore. Special arrangements such as long benches and kiosks allow visitors to sit and rest as they make their way through the intricate paths.

According to the architect himself, his intention with Vessel was to use human scale and intimacy as a counterpoint to the other manmade structures that have been built in Manhattan over the centuries. He wanted to create a landmark that people would use and not just look at from the outside.

The Vessel is easily accessible by public transportation. You can take the subway to 34th Street and then walk a few blocks west to find it. There’s also a bus stop right near the attraction. You can also access the Vessel by walking the High Line.

One of the most famous landmarks in the state of New York
One of the most famous landmarks in the state of New York is Vessel | photo from Disha Discovers

Federal Hall

 By Rachael from A City Girl Outside


Federal Hall is one of the many famous sights along Wall Street and one of the oldest. While many visitors may bypass this building during their visit to New York City, it holds an essential part of United States history. Built in 1703, Federal Hall was the site of George Washington’s Presidential inauguration in 1789. New York City was the capital city of the United States at the time. 

The original building was demolished in 1812 and constructed in its current Greek Revival form in 1842. Today, Federal Hall is a National Memorial operated by the National Park Service and is free to visit. 

Federal Hall is located at 26 Wall Street in the Financial District, next to the New York Stock Exchange. The nearest subway stations are Wall Street Station, Rector St, and Fulton St. Operating times are 9 am to 5 pm on weekdays. 

Federal Hall New York City Landmarks 30 Famous landmarks in New York
Federal Hall in NYC | photo from A City Girl Outside


By Kelly from Travel New York Now

It is impossible to go through life without hearing a song from a musical. Whether it’s a classic like Hello, Dolly to Chicago, Rent, or Hamilton, these musicals were initially performed on Broadway. 

Broadway is a street that runs the length of Manhattan, but the area where musicals and plays are performed is in the Theater District. The neighborhood in Midtown Manhattan includes Times Square, and it is also called The Great White Way by insiders. 

Historic theaters dot the neighborhood and productions cycle between musicals and plays. One of the longest-running musicals is the beloved The Lion King, and it is known for its animal puppets, aside from the wonderful music. 

Carmine’s is one of those old-school Italian restaurants to get a pre-show dinner, but Junior’s has excellent New York cheesecake for those who also want dessert. 

For those that aren’t choosy about their seats and want to watch a show, some musicals have a lottery for deeply discounted tickets for same-day shows. Otherwise, the TKTS booth is right in Times Square for discounted same-day tickets. 

A trip to the city is not complete without taking in a show, and Broadway does not disappoint. Though, if you want to learn more about Broadway, then a Broadway-guided tour with an actor might be a great option.

must-does in New York
Going to a show on Broadway is a must-do in New York | photo from Travel New York Now

Landmarks New York – Skyscrapers

Top of the Rock

By Jiayi from The Diary of a Nomad

The Top of The Rock Observation Deck is an iconic landmark that offers a breathtaking 360-degree view of New York City, one of the best US East Coast vacation spots. From this scenic New York landmark, you can also spot other famous landmarks in NYC, such as the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Empire State Building.

Completed in 1933 by architect Raymond Hood, the Top of The Rock Observation Deck is situated on the 70th floor of the Rockefeller Center in NYC. The easiest way to get there is by taking the F, D, B, or M train to the 47th-50th Street Rockefeller Center stop.

As one can imagine, the Top of The Rock has become a famous tourist attraction in NYC, especially during sunset. Many visitors make their way up there with their cameras, eager to watch the sun paint the NYC skyline pink and orange. Be sure to stay for a glimmering night view as well!

The Top of the Rock is open daily from 11 am to 7 pm. The last elevator goes up at 6:10 pm. Be sure to book your tickets in advance. An adult ticket costs $40, while a child’s ticket costs $34. While this experience isn’t cheap, the views at the top are well worth the price. Just be sure to bring a warm jacket as it’s pretty windy up there, even in the summer!

iconic landmarks in New York
Top of The Rock Observation Deck is an iconic landmark in New York. | photo from The Diary of a Nomad

One World Trade Center

By Krisztina Harsanyi from She Wanders Abroad

Located in the Lower Manhattan area of New York City, One World Trade Center is currently the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, standing at 1,776 feet (541 meters). It was designed by David Childs, whose firm also designed several landmarks worldwide, such as the Burj Khalifa in Dubai or the Willis Tower in Chicago.

The building was completed in 2013 and opened its doors on November 3, 2014, when the first tenants moved in. In addition to being an architectural marvel that took nearly 10 years to construct, it also serves as a symbol of resilience following the tragic events that took place on 9/11.

One World Trade Center is home to the One World Observatory, one of the best observatories in New York. From the top of the observation deck, visitors can take in spectacular views of New York City. As you enjoy the vistas from above, you can also explore the museum or lose yourself in thought as you visit the 9/11 Memorial. As this is a very popular NY landmark, be sure to book your ticket beforehand.

The best way to get there is by subway. The closest stations are World Trade Center (line E), Cortland Street (line R, W), Park Place (line 2, 3), and Chambers Street (line A, C, 1, 2, 3). If you’re driving, several parking garages are nearby – the closest one is the Brookfield Place Garage on West Street.56368b07d70151ad1105fbf7b9ad6e731d36be0d 30 Famous landmarks in New York

grandiose landmarks in New York
One of the tallest buildings in New York | photo from She Wanders Abroad

Empire State Building

Empire State Building is one of New York’s most famous skyscrapers. With 1,454 feet (443.2 m) tall, including the antenna, it was the tallest skyscraper in the world from 1930 to 1970. Constructed in 1931 in an Art Deco style, initially, it only had 50 stories; later on, it was increased to 60 and then 80 stories; nowadays, it has 102 stories.

The Empire State Building is an American cultural icon sited in Midtown Manhattan on 5th Avenue at 34 street. It has appeared in several movies and TV series like the famous King Kong and Sleepless in Seattle, How I met you mother, and several more.

It is also a must-visit in New York, with over 4 million visitors yearly. It is possible to climb up to the 86th-floor observation deck or the 102nd-floor. From the observation deck, you can spot some of the other most famous NYC landmarks like Central Park, Times Square, and One World Trade Center.

You can’t come to New York and not go to the observation deck of the Empire State building. Just make sure you buy a ticket in advance, or you may have an unpleasant surprise.

empire stade building
Empire State Building- Iconic landmarks in New York | photo by mandritoiu via Depositphotos

Famous landmarks in New York – Museums

Museum of Modern Art, MoMA

By Talek Nantes from Travels with talek

New York City is the ultimate museum city. Even in this wealth of culture, one museum stands out, the Museum of Modern Art, affectionately known as MoMA.

Established in 1929, MoMA quickly became world-famous for its fine collections of works by artists like Picasso, Monet, Magritte, and Kahlo, just to mention a few.

The museum has continued to expand throughout its lifetime, survived a fire in 1956, and recently underwent a massive renovation during which it was closed for two years.

Today the MoMA is one of the 25 most visited museums in the world, and with good reason! It is not just a museum; it is an experience. It is a beautiful way to spend the day absorbing world-class art like Warhol’s colorful Campbell Soup Cans, van Gogh’s magnum opus, Starry Night, or Dali’s hypnotic The Persistence of Memory. Then enjoy a snack at the cafeteria, stroll the interior patio, and shop at the museum store. 

The main MoMA is in midtown Manhattan on 53rd Street between 5th and 6th Avenues. The closest subway stop is the 5th Ave/53rd Street station. The MoMA PS1 branch is in the borough of Queens at 22-25 Jackson Avenue.

If you want the whole NYC museum experience, stay in a hotel near the Museum Mile area and explore the nearby museums. You can buy a MoMa ticket beforehand here.

Famous landmarks in New York - Museums
The Persistence of Memory of Salvador Dali | photo from Travels with talek

The Met Cloisters

By Claudia Laroye from Claudia travels

For anyone interested in medieval Europe’s art, architecture, and gardens, a visit to the Met Cloisters is a must, even for first-time visitors to New York City.

The Met Cloisters is located in Fort Tyron Park in Washington Heights near the northern tip of Manhattan. It can be reached by car or public transit via the A train to Dyckman Street Subway Station or the 1 train to 191st Street. Situated in a cluster of reconstructed French-style abbeys and monasteries, the Cloisters was built in 1938 and is home to one of the world’s largest collections of medieval artworks.

The art consists of European sculptures, tapestries, stained glass, paintings, and manuscripts dating from the Byzantine to the early Renaissance periods, from the 12th through 15th centuries. Among the various works, some of the most outstanding are the early Netherlandish 15th-century Mérode Altarpiece and the famous Flemish Hunt of the Unicorn Tapestries.

The Cloisters have three gardens, all designed in medieval style and planted with rare medieval species. The Gothic Chapel displays many of the Cloisters’ stained glassworks, as well as religious sculptures and several tombs and sarcophagi.

Guided tours are available in summer and provide illuminating background on the museum’s art, architecture, and horticulture. Walking through the serene and well-tended grounds and Romanesque and Gothic buildings, one feels a world away from the bustle of big city life.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, MET

by Ania James of the travelling twins

New York is one of the most famous cities in the world, a city that many dreams of visiting at least once in a lifetime. New York attracts people with a variety of sights and landmarks.

The most important landmark for all art lovers is the famous Metropolitan Museum of Art – one of the biggest museums in the world. The museum is known for its collections, which include more than two million works of art and cover a wide range of human culture and history.

The Metropolitan Museum is located in Central Park on the eastern edge. The building was designed by an American architect Calvert Vaux with the construction beginning in 1872, though his design wasn’t well-received, and other architects redesigned the building. The museum we visit now measures almost 2 million square feet, which is 20 times more than when it was designed.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is home to various displays and exhibits which attract visitors from all over the world. Some of the museum’s most popular exhibits include the Egyptian Collection, which contains artifacts from some of the most ancient civilizations in the world, and the American Wing, which showcases art from America’s colonial period to the present day.

The museum also features a wide range of temporary exhibitions, which change regularly. If you’re looking for an enriching and enlightening experience, be sure to check out The Metropolitan Museum of Art!

New York Landmarks MET 30 Famous landmarks in New York
The Metropolitan Museum of Art – One of New York’s most important museums | Photo by rmbarricarte via Depositphotos

Guggenheim Museum

By Bernadette from Explorer Chick

The iconic building of the Guggenheim Museum is one of the architectural gems of New York City. It is located on the Upper East Side in the Museum Mile section of Fifth Avenue and is a stone’s throw away from the Metropolitan Museum of Art and other notable museums. It is easily one of the must-sees in the city not only for the modern art that it houses but also for the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed building. 

The modern spiral building is wider at the top, and visitors are greeted with the glass-domed atrium once inside. This is usually the first picture that anyone takes, especially on a sunny day when the bright blue sky shines throughout the building.

The way it was designed is such that visitors should go up to the top floor via elevator and then walk down the ramp to view the art on the walls. Along the way are smaller rooms with sculptures, paintings, and other works of art. In 2019, the building and other of Wright’s architectural creations were included in UNESCO’s World Heritage List. 

As usual, with popular landmarks in NYC, we advise you to buy tickets before you go.

New York's well known ladnmarks
Inside the Guggenheim Museum, one of New York’s most iconic museums | photo from Explorer Chick

Human-made New York Landmarks – Outside NYC

Montauk Point Lighthouse, Long Island

By Melissa from Navigation Junkie

Montauk Point Lighthouse sits at the easternmost point of Long Island’s South Fork. From Montauk Point Lighthouse, you will be treated to stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean, merging with the Block Island Sound, neighboring Camp Hero State Park, and Block Island itself. Visitors can tour the museum to learn more about the lighthouse’s history, climb to the top for a fee, and stroll the grounds surrounding the lighthouse.

The Montauk Point Lighthouse is the oldest in New York State, making it one of the most historically significant landmarks in New York. The building of Montauk Point Lighthouse was authorized by President George Washington in 1792 and was completed in 1796.

The lighthouse served as a guide for ships entering the harbor and played a role in WWII when the US Army occupied it as part of the East Coast Defense.

Montauk Point Lighthouse is easily reachable by car. You can reach Montauk Point Lighthouse by taking the Long Island Expressway (I-495) to exit 70 and following NY Route 27 to the lighthouse. There is a parking area across the street from the lighthouse, with a fee of $8. You can also reach Montauk Point by bus from East Hampton (in the summer only). 

Human New York Landmarks
Montauk Point Lighthouse is one of the most historically significant landmarks in New York. | photo from Navigation Junkie

FDR Museum, Poughkeepsie

By Lyndsay from The Purposely Lost

Created on the grounds of Springwood Estate–the Roosevelt family mansion–the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum are one of the most famous New York state landmarks, just outside of Poughkeepsie. The Library and Museum house Roosevelt’s presidency papers and other historical items and conduct public programs to make the estate more accessible to the public. 

There was no official system for conserving documents and other essential materials created by American presidents before FDR’s presidency. Roosevelt intended to preserve his whole collection of presidential artifacts, so he solicited private funding to construct the library.

The structure was completed and ready for dedication by 1941, during his third presidential term. The Presidential Libraries Act of 1955 and the Presidential Records Act of 1978 were enacted in response to FDR’s library, establishing that a president’s records are public property and must be maintained.

FDR’s papers and other papers and artifacts from the New Deal and World War II are housed in the museum. Visitors can look through collections of authentic documents, pictures, and personal artifacts, as well as the digital artifact collection. The Roosevelt farmhouse is also on the property and opens to explore how the wealthy 20th-century family lived.

Well known landmarks in NY
Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) Museum | photo from The Purposely Lost

Boldt Castle, Thousand Islands

By Melissa from Navigation Junkie

An icon of the Thousand Islands, Boldt Castle on Heart Island was built as a gift from a man to his wife but has become one of New York’s most recognizable landmarks. The island and castle are open to the public with self-guided tours. You can explore the grounds and the castle, including the basement, main floors, and unfinished floors. For an extra fee, you can take a quick boat ride across the bay to the Yacht House and the antique boats it contains. 

George Boldt and his family purchased Hart Island (as it was previously called), and in 1900 construction began on Boldt Castle, which George designed as a gift for his wife, Louise. Tragedy hit when Louise unexpectedly passed away, and construction was halted.

The castle sat vacant for 73 years before being taken over by the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority in the 1970s. Reconstruction and restoration began in 1977 and resulted in the castle that stands today. Restoration of the castle aimed to maintain the Châteauesque Style that the castle was designed to reflect.

The island can be reached today by boat with either Uncle Sam Boat Tours or Clayton Island Tours. Tours leave from Alexandria Bay or Clayton, New York. If you have a boat or choose to rent one, you can also dock at Heart Island. 

most historically significant landmarks in New York
Boldt Castle in the Thousand Islands is a famous landmark in New York state. | photo from Navigation Junkie

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Famous landmarks in New York

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