For The Cultured Crowd
New York City is full of iconic museums. Start by heading to the Metropolitan Museum of Art on 5th Ave, better known as The Met, and either have a photo op on the steps, or splurge on the $25 ticket for a day of art and culture appreciation. Other museums to add to your bucket list should include The Guggenheim, The MoMA, The Whitney, and the Brooklyn Botanical Garden. All unique in their own way, museum-hopping is perfect for someone looking to spend the day alone appreciating art. Its best when you can take the galleries at your own pace, anyway.
The Tenement Museum on the Lower East Side, a national historic site, celebrates migrant stories and provides a peek into the average New Yorkers day-to-day as far back as the 1800s. For insight into the immigrant lifestyle and struggle, upon which New York City was built, The Tenement Museum is a must-see.
Dine At An Exclusive Restaurantwith Little To No Wait Time
We all know reservations at some of the citys most popular spots can be terribly difficult with a large party. Luckily, when you solo dine youre more likely to score a spot when you walk in or taking a seat at an empty bar stool. And if solo dates are a new adventure for you and youre feeling a little hesitant about dining alone, bring a book for a buddy. Hey, when youre a few glasses in youll be striking up conversations with strangers in no time. We recommend you try these restaurants:
Summary Of Things To Do Alone In Nyc
Going to NYC alone gives you the ultimate chance to reinvent yourself, step out of your comfort zone and try many new things. There is a never-ending array of fun for all solo adventurers or solo business travelers to New York.
And, youre sure to meet many other lone travelers along your journey.
These are a few of the best things to do in NYC alone, and each activity provides you the chance to see some of the citys most spectacular features.
Going to New York alone is an experience of a lifetime so enjoy your trip to NYC with these special places and activities.
Remember to buy your map of New York and have FUN!
Grab Lunch At Chelsea Market
The site of the original Nabisco factory, Chelsea Market is now filled with amazing restaurants, local boutiques, and offices. Its the perfect place to grab a quick lunch and has everything from vegan sushi to authentic Mexican tacos to bahn mi sandwiches. During the summer, Chelsea Market is packed with people from 11am onwards, so youll definitely have to wait in a line to get your food. Dont let that turn you off though, because the food here is really good.
Tip: After you wolf down your lunch, check out Artists on Flea at the back of the market it has about a dozen booths set up that showcase local designers and artists.
Make Your Own Tapestry
Another one of the best solo activities in New York City is doing a tapestry workshop with Mindful Zen Arts.
This is a lovely experience where you create your own tapestry.
But that’s not it, the place where you do this is very peaceful because of the atmosphere. There is light music and there are pleasant colors, which is great!
It is very easy to create your own tapestry and you can start within a few minutes. Moreover, you don’t need to have any experience!
What’s great is that you can be very creative when you do this. There are a lot of colors and materials to choose from!
After two hours, you have your own tapestry piece, which is amazing!
What’s great is that you may meet others when you do this experience. That’s because it is a group experience that others can join. This makes it even better during solo travel in New York City.
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How To Solo Travel Nyc And Get Around Safely
So, youre doing a bit of NYC solo travel and want to get around safely, am I right? Of course, I am! Because safety is a HUGE concern to most solo travelers.
So, if you want to navigate your way through NYC like a real local, then the subway is the way to go. Its $2.75 per ride and you can pay either with a MetroCard or any card you have that is a tap and pay card .
Pro Tip: Always check what direction your train is going in since some stations only go in one direction uptown or downtown. Also, look up your route with Google maps BEFORE you enter the subway. Cell service can be spotty in the subway and you might not be able to access directions once youre inside the station.
Not only is it super convenient taking you literally anywhere you want to go but its cheap, you dont have to worry about traffic jams, and it runs twenty-four hours a day.
And while Ive heard its safe any time of day, I personally try not to take the subway late at night like any time after midnight.
You can take the bus for $2.75 per ride but Im not a huge fan. They get stuck in traffic and just take forever in general. But, they are helpful for going crosstown or to certain areas that arent well-connected to the subway.
In terms of cabs, I rarely take them because they are just so damn expensive, And if I do take a car of some sort, Its usually an Uber or Lyft. Again, theyre not super convenient because theyre not dirt cheap and routinely get stuck in traffic.
Go See Santa Claus At Macys
Theres nothing you cant do in New York City. During the holidays, you should set up a date with Santa Claus at Macys and share your wish list. Santaland at Macys is a whole experience with a meet & greet with Santa in the end. Both kids and adults come to Santaland to talk to the big guy. Its a special thing to do in New York on Christmas Eve.
Every year, Macys Santaland is the main highlight of Macys Christmas celebrations. The history of Santaland goes back to 1861 when the store advertised that Santa Claus would come to stock their counters with the finest and most special Christmas gifts. Fast forward to today, close to 200,000 Santa fans are visiting Santaland at Macys every season. If youd like to be one of them make your reservation online beforehand.
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A Fabulous Solo Trip To New York On A Budget
It’s true that New York City is expensive.
It’s also true that you can have a great time visiting the city without spending a fortune.
The key, I think, is to take your time and dig in a little deeper than the average tourist. Travel a little more slowly. Take public transit. Go to events that locals attend. Eat at smaller restaurants rather than those of celebrity chefs. The bottom line is, don’t focus on the high ticket tourist activities that eat up your time and your budget. And, if there are things like going to the top of the Empire State Building that you think are a must, list them all and see what is truly important to you. Then cut the rest off your list and take advantage of some of the tips below.
So that the Big Apple doesn’t take a big bite out of your wallet, here’s my take on the best of budget New York City for solo travelers.
Stop By Grand Central Terminal
Admission fee: Free
Hours: 5:30 am 2:00 am
One of NYCs most legendary places to visit is none other than the Grand Central Terminal. This commuter railway terminal is in midtown Manhattan.
Even if youre not catching a train its a fantastic place for people watching in New York.
Not only is it a railway terminal, it is also a huge NYC landmark that provides excellent cultural, dining and shopping experiences.
Theres everything with 60 amazing shops, 35 different places to grab a meal and a year-round calendar packed to the brim with awesome events.
When I had to catch a train in New York, I enjoyed an excellent lunch at Cipriani Dolci, with a spectacular view overlooking the whole Grand Central Station.
And I got into conversations with other travelers, so I had fun while waiting for the train.
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Shop At Macys Department Store
This iconic department store has origins dating back to the mid-1800s. A man by the name of Rowland Hussey Macy opened a few stores selling dry goods in Massachusetts which ultimately did not succeed.
Mr. Macy was not to be deterred, though. He took his idea to New York City and opened a store on 6th Avenue and 14th street.
On his first day of business, he brought in just over $11, which when calculated today, is almost $350!
Today, Macys is the highest-selling retail department store in the country and forever linked with the fabulous, Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade.
The original Manhattan store would ultimately move to its cant miss flagship location at 34th Street & Broadway, also known as Herald Square.
A visit to Macys Department Store is a classic thing to do, but a cant miss if you visit New York City for Christmas and the overall holiday season.
Peruse Nyc Park Calendars
Did you know that there are over 1700 parks, playgrounds, and recreation facilities across NYCs five boroughs?
Not only that, but many New York City parks regularly host free and cheap outdoor events like movies, comedy shows, dance parties, concerts, yoga classes, group runs, history and nature tours, and more.
A few parks that regularly host events include:
- Central Park
- Prospect Park
- Astroria Park
Note that the warmer months tend to have more park events going on than if youre visiting New York City in winter.
Also note Central Park is one of the most popular stops on an NYC Photo Journeys or influencer photoshoot!
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Explore Time Out Market
When you get to the Brooklyn side of the bridge, youll be close to Time Out Market.
I highly suggest stopping here for a bite to eat and to check out the view from the top floor.
My favorite breakfast spot in the market is Clinton St. Baking Company.
Theyre famous for their fluffy blueberry pancakes, which are pretty epic!
Architecture lovers, and anyone wanting a cool IG photo, should spend some time admiring the modern and eye-catching design of this building.
The Oculus has tons of shops and restaurants, making it a prime spot to spend a few hours if the weather outside isnt great.
Besides being a seriously cool shopping center, its a major subway hub, making it a simple place to check out on your way to your next destination.
Buy A New York Citypass
Buyinga New York CityPASS is by far our number one travel tip for any NYC itinerary. Weve talked about it a lot in this article, and thats because the New York CityPASS is just great value. For only USD$136 youll get access to some of the most popular attractions in the city.
This includes the Empire State Building, the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, Rockefeller Center Top of the Rock, a Statue of Liberty or Circle Line cruise, entrance to the Met as well as the American Museum of Natural History.
If you did all of these independently it would cost you $92 more, giving you a saving of 42%. Well worth it if youre planning on seeing all the best things in this NYC itinerary.
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Enter An Alternate Universe At Sleep No More
Not for the faint of heart, Sleep No More is an immersive theatrical reconception of Macbeth set in Chelseas McKittrick Hotel. Youll be expected to follow mysterious characters, explore eerie environments, and wander in and out of scenes — all while wearing a mask and remaining mute. Stumble upon a woman shivering in a bathtub, a lovers quarrel, or a blood-soaked murder scene — and more often than not, find yourself face-to-face with the actors. Youll likely be separated from your friends upon arrival regardless, so you may as well come alone.
Awesome Things To Do Alone In Nyc
The Big Apple or the City that never sleeps is a mecca for millions of tourists and one of the most visited cities in the world. Interesting experiences and hidden gems lurk around behind every corner waiting to be discovered. And if youre a solo traveler, youll be happy to hear that NYC is actually one of the best destinations for solo travelers. There are many interesting things to do alone in NYC and in this post, well cover some of my personal highlights.
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Walk Along The Highline
Chances are, youve heard of the Highline, a former railway track that was turned into a super fab, elevated park that basically everyone descends upon during the weekends in the summer.
Therefore, to avoid feeling like youre in a herd of cattle, I highly suggest visiting during the week. This way, you can check out the amazing views and beautiful street art of the Highline, without people practically smelling your armpits.
Okay, that was totally gross but you know what I mean. Anyway, besides walking the Highline, you can also play some games at Chelsea Piers, eat your face off at Chelsea Market, enjoy a show at the Highline Ballroom, hang out on the roof of the Whitney Museum of American Art, or get your laugh on at Upright Citizens Brigade Theater.
Talk about a lot of tourist attractions in NYC huh? I feel ya. Before I went, I really just thought that all you could do was walk along a former railway track, amidst a herd of mildly annoying people. Glad I was super wrong, per usual.
Pro Tip: The High Line runs from Hudson Yards to Chelsea, so just take the 1 or C train to the 23rd street station and walk up to Tenth Avenue.
Is It Safe To Visit Nyc Alone
Bow Bridge in Central Park
Absolutely! NYC is one of those rare places where you never truly feel alone because youre always surrounded by people. So even though NYC gets a bad rap for being dangerous , I think its actually one of the best places to travel by yourself.
I come from a small and safe town in the Indianapolis suburbs, and I moved to NYC right after college. I lived in the Big Apple for three years, and while moving to such a large city was a shock to my system I never felt unsafe the whole time I lived there.
However, I do caution you to be wary of pickpockets . Also, be smart about where you are and when i.e. dont drink heavily at dinner and then wander around in an unfamiliar neighborhood after dark, that type of thing.
If this will be your first solo trip to NYC, I recommend staying in mid- to lower Manhattan or on the west side of Brooklyn . Those are popular areas of the city, with lots of hustle and bustle at all times of day.
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Stand Under The Stars At Grand Central
I always forget that Grand Central Terminal is actually one of the better NYC attractions! I say this because I have taken the train into and out of Grand Central so many times, that I completely forget about the architectural beauty of this building.
Truly an enchanting place in NYC and one of the many great things to do alone in NYC
Because between the historic architecture, the gorgeous blue ceiling studded with twinkling constellations and a stunning array of delicious and relatively cheap food options, Grand Central station is probably one of the best attractions in NYC.
Did I mention that tours are offered too? Yup, just nab an audio guide, between 9:00 am and 6:00 pm, seven days a week, from the Tours office in Graybar Passage,
They cost a mere $9 for adults and $7 for kids and are a fantastic way to better understand both the history and architectural nuances of this iconic New York City edifice.
Pro Tip: Now for the important stuff, FOOD! Magnolia Bakery, Shake Shack, the Oyster Bar, Zaros, Jacques ice cream and chocolate, and Murrays Cheese are only some of the amazing food options available in Grand Central. So get your grub on. But you already know that since this is NYC and youre gonna solo travel New York City like a boss!
The Top 10 Must See Sights In New York City For A Solo Traveller
If you’ve never been to NYC before , I’ve popped down the absolute must-dos below. Do you have any you would add? 1. Take in the views from the Top of the RockIf you’re pressed for time, I would always go for the view from the top of Rockefeller Centre, rather than the Empire State, simply because you can SEE the Empire State from The Top of the Rock.Tip 1: Buy tickets in advance here for around £28 / $38 USD. Tip 2: If you’re in NYC around Christmas time, Rockefeller Centre has the most instagrammable Christmas tree in the city .
2. Hire a bike and cycle around Central ParkCentral Park is HUGE! And the quickest way to see it is to hire a bike. Ignore the guys hanging around the entrance at Columbus Circle – I used Central Park Bike Tours . My favourite spots in the park are Jackie Onassis Lake, Gapstow Bridge at The Pond , the leafy canopy of The Mall and Bethseda Fountain. But honestly, there is so much to see . 3. Take in the splendour of Grand CentralVisiting Grand Central Terminal in the heart of Midtown, is like stepping back into a golden age of architecture and engineering. Bustling with commuters, shoppers and tourists snapping pics of the famous four-faced clock, you can easily spend a few hours here. Don’t forget to pull up a seat at the counter, and try the catch of the day at the atmospheric Oyster Bar. I think the quote from the GCT website sums it up perfectly:
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