Tours & Attractions

Book New York's most popular tours and attractions from museums to popular NYC landmarks

Museum tickets and passes

American Museum of Natural History

RECOMMENDED: American Museum of Natural History   No matter which wing you wander through or where your curiosities lie (dinosaurs, gems or something else entirely), it’s hard to explore this Upper West Side fixture without being awestruck. You’ll immediately spot the rotunda’s hulking Barosaurus skeleton replica, but delving further into the museum’s collection, you’ll find actual specimens, such as a Deinonychus, in the fourth-floor fossil halls. Roughly 80 percent of the bones on display were actually dug out of the ground; the rest are casts. During the museum’s mid-1990s renovation, several specimens were remodeled to incorporate new discoveries. The Tyrannosaurus rex, for instance, was once believed to have walked upright, Godzilla-style; it now stalks prey with its head lowered and tail raised parallel to the ground. The rest of the museum is equally dramatic. The newly opened Hall of Human Origins boasts a fine display of your old cousins, the Neanderthals. The Hall of Biodiversity examines world ecosystems and environmental preservation, and a life-size model of a blue whale hangs from the ceiling of the Hall of Ocean Life. The impressive Hall of Meteorites was brushed up and reorganized in 2003. The space’s focal point is Ahnighito, the largest iron meteor on display anywhere in the world, weighing in at 34 tons (more than 30,000kg). The spectacular $210 million Rose Center for Earth and Space—dazzling at night—is a giant silvery globe where you can discover the uni

Users say
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Read more
Attractions

Discovery Times Square

The Discovery Channel is one of the sponsors of this new large-scale exhibition center, which will offer limited-edition runs of exhibits from across the globe. The 60,000-square-foot space is housed in the former New York Times building, and includes a learning center, a space for special events and a café.

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Read more

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

RECOMMENDED: The Metropolitan Museum of Art Occupying 13 acres of Central Park, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which opened in 1880, is impressive in terms both of quality and scale. Added in 1895 by McKim, Mead and White, the neoclassical facade is daunting. However, the museum is surprisingly easy to negotiate, particularly if you come early on a weekday and avoid the crowds. In the ground floor’s north wing sits the collection of Egyptian art and the glass-walled atrium housing the Temple of Dendur, moved en masse from its original Nile-side setting and now overlooking a reflective pool. Antiquity is also well represented in the southern wing of the ground floor by the halls housing Greek and Roman art, which reopened in 2007 after receiving an elegant makeover. Turning west brings you to the Arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas collection; it was donated by Nelson Rockefeller as a memorial to his son Michael, who disappeared while visiting New Guinea in 1961. A wider-ranging bequest, the two-story Robert Lehman Wing, can be found at the western end of the floor. This eclectic collection is housed in a re-creation of his townhouse and features Bellini’s masterful Madonna and Child. Rounding out the ground-floor highlights is the American Wing on the northwest corner. Its Engelhard Court reopened in spring 2009 as part of the wing’s current revamp. Now more a sculpture court than an interior garden, it houses large-scale 19th-century works in bronze and marble—and on

Read more
Attractions Buy tickets

Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island Immigration Museum

Trust us, even if your blood doesn’t run red, white and blue you will not be underwhelmed or disappointed by either of these two major New York landmarks. Note that, contrary to some mistaken notions, the mother of all American statues is not actually on Ellis Island, though that historic place and its resident Ellis Island Immigration Museum can be reached by the same ferry. Liberty Enlightening the World, sculpted by Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi and a gift from the people of France, was unveiled in 1886. Although security concerns placed the statue off-limits after 9/11, Lady Liberty’s insides were reopened for guided tours (reservations required; call 866-782 8834) in 2004. You can now climb up to the crown, and take in the carving on the pedestal, which features the 1883 Emma Lazarus poem that includes the renowned lines ‘Give me your tired, your poor/your huddled masses yearning to breathe free’. On the way back to Manhattan, the ferry will stop at the popular Immigration Museum, on Ellis Island, through which more than 12 million people entered the country between 1892 and 1954. The exhibitions are a moving tribute to the immigrants from so many different countries who made the journey to America, dreaming of a better life. The $6 audio tour, narrated by Tom Brokaw, is informative and inspiring.

Users say
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Read more

Attraction tickets

Attractions Buy tickets

Top of the Rock Observation Deck at Rockefeller Center

Sure, the 86th floor observatory at the Empire State Building is the original place to go for an eagle's-eye look at New York, and it's located atop a global icon. But at 70 stories up, the observation deck at TOTR affords a spectacular vista of Central Park without the crazy lines. Plus, the sprawling subterranean mall at 30 Rock offers amenities like shopping and eating.

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Read more
Attractions Buy tickets

Empire State Building

Try imagining New York City’s skyline without the towering spire of the Empire State Building. Impossible, right? Taking a mere 11 months to construct, the 1,454-foot-tall emblem became the city’s highest building upon completion in 1931. (When One World Trade Center is finished, it will tower over the ESB by a good 300 feet.) During your visit, pay special attention to the lobby, restored in 2009 to its original Art Deco design. You can also impress your pals with these tidbits while queuing for the observation decks: In 1945, 14 tenants were killed when a plane crashed into the 79th floor during heavy fog; a terrace on the 103rd level was once intended for use as a docking station for airships; and the topper’s three tiers of lights can illuminate up to nine colors at a time. High-speed elevators shoot visitors up 1,050 feet to the 86th-floor observatory, where you can either peer out at the city from the comfort of a glass-enclosed pavilion or brave the elements on the open-air decks. Tickets to the 102nd Floor Observatory are an additional $17. Daily 8am–10pm: The New York Skyride Visitors take a motion-picture tour over, through and below the city streets ($29; seniors, students and children 6–12 $19).

Read more
Attractions Buy tickets

Ripley's Believe It or Not! Odditorium

Times Square might be a little whitewashed these days, but you can get a taste of the old freak show at this repository of the eerie and uncanny. Items on display include a six-legged cow, a 3,000-pound meteorite and the largest collection of shrunken heads in the civilized world.

Read more
Attractions Buy tickets

Madame Tussauds New York

Can’t get a table at Nobu? No worries—you can rub shoulders with Madonna, Hillary Clinton and Oprah (or their paraffin equivalents, anyway) at this world-famous wax museum.

Read more