The 15 most romantic spots in NYC

Beautiful New York City can take your breath away, whether you're with your squeeze or adventuring solo
By Time Out editors |
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New York certainly doesn't lack for gorgeous places to wine and dine—just take a peek at our roundup of romantic restaurants for the most delicious examples. And you don't need to be a big spender to see Gotham at her finest, as our best cheap dates redux proves. But you know what's really romantic? NYC's really beautiful, simple treasures. We've mixed in classic attractions, like the view from the Empire State Building, with lesser-known delights such as the Butterfly Conservatory at the American Museum of Natural History. Whichever spot you decide to visit, we're sure it'll set your heart aflutter.

Attractions, Parks and gardens

Brooklyn Botanic Garden

icon-location-pin Prospect Park

This peaceful oasis hits its fairytale peak in spring, for the Sakura Matsuri festival, during which more than 70 trees blossom along the Cherry Esplanade. But at any time of year you'll find some real beauty spots, from the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden to the romantic Rose Garden.

Attractions, Monuments and memorials

Top of the Empire State Building

icon-location-pin Midtown West

There is simply no denying the enduring romance of the Empire State Building's Observation Deck, as celebrated in movie swoonathon Sleepless in Seattle and the epic novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay. 

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Museums, Science and technology

The Butterfly Conservatory

icon-location-pin Upper West Side

If you're feeling the chill in the colder months, head to this tropical paradise at the American Museum of Natural History, where temperatures soar to a delicious 80 degrees. Let yourself be enchanted by the sight—and feel—of monarchs, zebra longwings and iridescent blue morpho butterflies fluttering around you.

Jane's Carousel
Photograph: Lee Magill
Attractions, Arcades and amusements

Jane's Carousel

icon-location-pin DUMBO

Stroll along the water at Dumbo's Brooklyn Bridge Park as you make your way to this beautifully restored old-world carousel. It's open year-round but closed every Wednesday (the horses, apparently, need a rest).

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Grand Central Terminal
Photograph: Jeffrey Gurwin
Attractions, Historic buildings and sites

Grand Central Terminal

icon-location-pin Midtown East
Breathtaking. There is simply no other word for the view of the inside of Grand Central Station, wherever you're standing. The architecture is 1913 Beaux Arts and its vaulted ceiling, painted with the planets, is spectacular. Don't be surprised if you see a proposal happen—to crowd applause—while you're there. And do swing by the old-fashioned Oyster Bar for a slurp or two.
The Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art
Photograph: courtesy Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art
Museums, Cultural center

Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art

icon-location-pin Staten Island

A romantic spot for those in search of tranquility and natural beauty, this tiny museum on Staten Island was built in 1947 and is the only Himalayan-temple-style building in the United States, complete with pretty meditation gardens. Take a deep breath of clean air, and relax.

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Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/David Ohmer
Attractions, Parks and gardens

Bow Bridge at Central Park

icon-location-pin Central Park

Featured in such movies as Autumn in New York, Keeping the Faith and Uptown Girls, the sight of Central Park's Bow Bridge will likely inspire your inner artist—go ahead, make a Monet-style sketch! Or, you know, snap a cute selfie on the bridge.

Photograph: Shutterstock
Attractions, Public spaces

The Lincoln Center fountain

icon-location-pin Upper West Side

Sure, you can head to a world-class ballet, play or opera at Lincoln Center, but you know what we're crazy about? The lovely Revson Fountain at Josie Robertson Plaza. Seeing it lit up at night is always pretty, but there are also five-minute water shows throughout the evening (check the Lincoln Center for times).

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50 free events, Stargazing, The High Line
Photograph: Courtesy Liz Ligon/Friends of the High Line
Attractions, Parks and gardens

The High Line

icon-location-pin Chelsea

Built on an abandoned railway track, this wildflower-festooned pathway has become one of the city's best-loved (and strolled) attractions. Romantic types will love the High Line's Star Gazing evenings, where local astronomers let you peek through their telescopes at the cosmos.

Things to do

Williamsburg Waterfront

icon-location-pin Williamsburg

Yes, it's located in the hipster nexus of East River State Park, but there are few sweeter spots to have a low-key picnic with your honey than by the water in Williamsburg.

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Museums, Art and design

The Cloisters

icon-location-pin Washington Heights

Set in a lovely park overlooking the Hudson River, the Cloisters houses the Met’s medieval art and architecture collections. A path winds through the peaceful grounds to a castle that seems to have survived from the Middle Ages, but was in fact built less than 100 years ago, using material from five medieval French cloisters. Tres romantique.

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Attractions, Sightseeing

Staten Island Ferry

icon-location-pin Financial District

Back in 1817 it cost 25 cents to cross the harbor between Staten Island and lower Manhattan; today, it’s free. This 24-hour ferry is a lifeline for commuters, but it’s also a boat trip affording some of the most romantic views in the world: Lady Liberty and the Manhattan skyline among them.

Shopping, Jewelry

Tiffany & Co.

icon-location-pin Financial District

Nestled in a 1907 Beaux Arts building, Tiffany's still exudes a classic ladies-who-lunch vibe with its marble walls and crown molding—and of course, plenty of diamonds.

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Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/cgc76
Attractions, Parks and gardens

The Boathouse at Prospect Park

icon-location-pin Prospect Park

Built in 1905, Prospect Park’s Beaux Arts–style boathouse was one of the first buildings in New York City to be declared a landmark. In 2002, it became the home to a state-of-the-art facility that allows visitors to virtually explore the great outdoors. A fine thing, but we'll happily stay outside and gaze at the real deal.

Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson
Attractions, Parks and gardens

Brooklyn Botanic Garden

icon-location-pin Prospect Park

This peaceful oasis hits its fairytale peak in spring, for the Sakura Matsuri festival, during which more than 70 trees blossom along the Cherry Esplanade. But at any time of year you'll find some real beauty spots, from the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden to the romantic Rose Garden.

Time Out says
Empire State Building
Photograph: Shutterstock
Attractions, Monuments and memorials

Top of the Empire State Building

icon-location-pin Midtown West

There is simply no denying the enduring romance of the Empire State Building's Observation Deck, as celebrated in movie swoonathon Sleepless in Seattle and the epic novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay. 

Advertising
Jane's Carousel
Photograph: Lee Magill
Attractions, Arcades and amusements

Jane's Carousel

icon-location-pin DUMBO

Stroll along the water at Dumbo's Brooklyn Bridge Park as you make your way to this beautifully restored old-world carousel. It's open year-round but closed every Wednesday (the horses, apparently, need a rest).

Things to do, Literary events

Grand Central Terminal

icon-location-pin Midtown East

Breathtaking. There is simply no other word for the view of the inside of Grand Central Station, wherever you're standing. The architecture is 1913 Beaux Arts and its vaulted ceiling, painted with the planets, is spectacular. Don't be surprised if you see a proposal happen—to crowd applause—while you're there. And do swing by the old-fashioned Oyster Bar for a slurp or two.

Advertising
The Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art
Photograph: courtesy Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art
Museums, Art and design

Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art

icon-location-pin Staten Island

A romantic spot for those in search of tranquility and natural beauty, this tiny museum on Staten Island was built in 1947 and is the only Himalayan-temple-style building in the United States, complete with pretty meditation gardens. Take a deep breath of clean air, and relax.

Bow Bridge
Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/Wally Gobetz
Attractions, Parks and gardens

Bow Bridge, Central Park

icon-location-pin Central Park

A romantic spot for those in search of tranquility and natural beauty, this tiny museum on Staten Island was built in 1947 and is the only Himalayan-temple-style building in the United States, complete with pretty meditation gardens. Take a deep breath of clean air, and relax.

Advertising
best christmas lights nyc
Photograph: Shutterstock
Attractions

The Fountain at Lincoln Center

icon-location-pin Upper West Side

Sure, you can head to a world-class ballet, play or opera at Lincoln Center, but you know what we're crazy about? The lovely Revson Fountain at Josie Robertson Plaza. Seeing it lit up at night is always pretty, but there are also five-minute water shows throughout the evening (check the Lincoln Center for times).

The High Line
Photograph: Shutterstock
Attractions, Parks and gardens

The High Line | New York, NY

icon-location-pin Chelsea

Built on an abandoned railway track, this wildflower-festooned pathway has become one of the city's best-loved (and strolled) attractions. Romantic types will love the High Line's Star Gazing evenings, where local astronomers let you peek through their telescopes at the cosmos.

Time Out says
Advertising
Williamsburg Waterfront
Photograph: Loren Wohl

Williamsburg Waterfront

Yes, it's located in the hipster nexus of East River State Park, but there are few sweeter spots to have a low-key picnic with your honey than by the water in Williamsburg.

Advertising
Photograph: Virginia Rollison
Museums, Art and design

The Cloisters

icon-location-pin Washington Heights

Set in a lovely park overlooking the Hudson River, the Cloisters houses the Met’s medieval art and architecture collections. A path winds through the peaceful grounds to a castle that seems to have survived from the Middle Ages, but was in fact built less than 100 years ago, using material from five medieval French cloisters. Tres romantique.

New York attractions
Photograph: Alys Tomlinson
Attractions, Sightseeing

Staten Island Ferry

icon-location-pin Financial District

Back in 1817 it cost 25 cents to cross the harbor between Staten Island and lower Manhattan; today, it’s free. This 24-hour ferry is a lifeline for commuters, but it’s also a boat trip affording some of the most romantic views in the world: Lady Liberty and the Manhattan skyline among them.

Time Out says
Advertising
Tiffany & Co. holiday windows 2013
Photograph: Courtesy Jessica Lin
Shopping, Jewelry

Tiffany & Co.

icon-location-pin Midtown East

Nestled in a 1907 Beaux Arts building, Tiffany's still exudes a classic ladies-who-lunch vibe with its marble walls and crown molding—and of course, plenty of diamonds.

Prospect Park Boathouse

Prospect Park Boathouse

Built in 1905, Prospect Park’s Beaux Arts–style boathouse was one of the first buildings in New York City to be declared a landmark. In 2002, it became the home to a state-of-the-art facility that allows visitors to virtually explore the great outdoors. A fine thing, but we'll happily stay outside and gaze at the real deal.

Advertising