In this blog, we’ll show you 10 best things to do in New York in May. Are you traveling to New York City? And there’re just so many things to organize How to get from the airport? Where to stay? When to go? And then what to visit? How much do you pay for your cocktail, accommodation, transportation? How to get around the city? Which apps to use? Then this travel blog is perfect for you. Here are 10 essential things to do in New York in May.
Here are our top 10 Things to do in New York in May
10. TIMES SQUARE
Times Square is one of the busiest pedestrian areas in the world, located in the heart of Manhattan. It is famous for its enormous electrified ads creating a surreal neon atmosphere, as well as famous theatres, shopping, and dining. It attracts over 50 million visitors every year. Times Square got its name from the New York Times Tower, headquarters of the New York Times newspaper built in 1904,when the area became the epicenter of New York’s social elite.
1904 was also the year when first electrified ads appeared in the square. Times Square is also the center of New York’s entertainment industry with its Broadway Theater District, and the venue of New Year’s Eyeball drop, which is probably one of the most famous New Year’s Eve celebrations in the world. Did you know that every night at exactly 11:57 PM, the screens on Times Square transform into a three-minute art show?
9. ONE WORLD OBSERVATORY & 9/11 MEMORIAL
One World Observatory is an observation deck situated on the top floors of One World Trade Center, also called the Freedom Tower, the tallest building in North America and the tallest building on the Western hemisphere. One World Observatory provides amazing panoramic views of New York City from above 1,250 feet. You will enter the Observatory through an impressive elevator ride featuring a virtual time-lapse recreating the development of New York City’s skyline from 1,500s to present day and the descent back to ground level feels like a virtual helicopter ride around the building.
When you enter the observatory, there is a short video presentation about New York and eventually, the screen rises and reveals the impressive New York skyline below What an amazing experience. One World Trade Center is the main building of the area known as World Trade Center complex, rebuilt after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Just outside the Freedom Tower, there is the 9/11 memorial, located exactly where the World Trade Center twin towers once stood, represented by two square reflecting pools. You can visit The Survivor Tree, a tree that survived the 9/11 attacks. The 9/11 Museum is also part of the memorial. Don’t miss the Oculus, an impressive terminal station on the PATH system, part of the World Trade Center complex, which peacefully blends with the surrounding architecture.
New York City is home to hundreds of parks and recreation areas offering a great escape from the busy city streets. Here are some of the best parks in New York City: The High Line, a nearly 1.5-mile-long elevated park, built on a former railroad spur, redesigned as a living system full of amazing green areas above New York. You can enter the High Line Park through one of the 11 entrances and stroll, read a book, or simply soak in the atmosphere.
Here you’ll also find food, public art and entertainment areas. Central Park, the most visited urban park in the United States, and probably one of the most famous parks in the world. It spreads across 843 acres features lakes, meadows, impressive buildings and much more. First areas in Central Park opened to public in 1858.Already in 1890s, Central Park was a famous spot for ice-skating.
While the park is located in Manhattan and surrounded by tall buildings and city life, it is hard to believe you are actually in a big city. Some of the more impressive sights include Sheep Meadow, a great place for a picnic, Bethesda Terrace and Fountain overlooking The Lake, the famous Bow Bridge, featured in many movies, a forest featuring beautiful pathways, the impressive Belvedere castle, Cleopatra’s Needle and other attractions.
Central Park is also a very popular recreation spot. Don’t miss the Upper 5th Avenue that runs alongside Central Park, nicknamed The Millionaires Row, home of some of the wealthiest people on earth. New York is also full of smaller but equally impressive parks such as Bryant Park in Midtown Manhattan, located between 5th and 6th avenue.
7. ICONIC BUILDINGS
New York would not be New York without its unique skyline stretching across the Manhattan island. The Big Apple is home to numerous unique and world-famous buildings. The Vessel, is one of the newest architectural marvels in New York City. This extraordinary 16-stories-high structure opened in 2019,as a part of the Hudson Yards Redevelopment Project, located close to High Line Park.
You can climb this interactive artwork on its spiral staircase and experience New York from a new angle. Flatiron Building, completed in 1902is also referred to as “one of the world’s most iconic skyscrapers”. Initially called the Fuller Building, because of its unusual triangular shape and resemblance to clothes iron, the building’s name eventually changed to Flatiron.
Completed in 1930, the Chrysler Building was the tallest building in the world at the time of its completion. The building served as the corporate headquarters for the Chrysler Corporation until the mid-1950sand is considered one of the most influential buildings of the Art Deco architectural style. However, Chrysler Building was the tallest building only for 11 months, when it was surpassed by another Art Deco landmark skyscraper, the Empire State Building, completed in 1931.
The building got its name from a nickname for New York– “the Empire State”. Empire State Building is still the 5th tallest skyscraper in the United States and also features an observation deck.30 Rockefeller Plaza was built in 1933 and is probably best known for its NBC headquarters. It is a part of Rockefeller Center, a 19-buildingcenter and a plaza built by the Rockefeller family, especially popular during the Christmas season because of its abundantly decorated Christmas tree.30 Rockefeller Plaza is home to another observation deck with amazing views of Central Park and Manhattan, nicknamed “Top of the Rock”.
6. LITTLE ITALY & CHINATOWN
Two neighborhoods which played a crucial role in the cultural history of New York are Little Italy and Chinatown located in lower Manhattan. Little Italy or Piccolo Italia was once a large settlement of Italian immigrants. It was a known mobster meeting place, in fact, you can even take a mafia walking tour. The movie Godfather also takes place in Little Italy.
Today Little Italy is still home to several Italian restaurants and cafés, but the majority of the original Italian population relocated, and Little Italy is shrinking with Chinatown on one side and upscale So Ho on the other side. However, Little Italy is now a popular tourist attraction. Chinatown is home to the largest ethnic Chinese population in the Western Hemisphere estimated between 90,000 and 100,000. The neighborhood is full of Chinese restaurants, shops, as well as other cultural organizations.
New York City is one of the world’s main centers for culture and art and home to numerous museums. So much so that a section of Manhattan’s5th avenue, where many of the famous museums are located, is nicknamed the “Museum Mile”. Let’s name just a few of the most famous museums in New York: Guggenheim Museum is the permanent home to Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, early Modern and contemporary art, as well as several temporary exhibitions.
The museum is also known because of its incredible architecture with a central rotunda where the art is displayed. So even if impressionism is not your thing, the building itself, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, is a work of art. Mama or Museum of Modern Art offers a collection of modern and contemporary art and is also home to film and design displays and performances.
New York Transit Museum in Brooklyn offers a glimpse of amazing history of New York’s complex transit system. The museum is located in a former subway station and displays a collection of subway trains from the beginning until now. There are many other impressive museums in New York.
4. GRAND CENTRAL TERMINAL
Grand Central Terminal is a world-famous commuter train terminal in Midtown Manhattan. The building also features shops and restaurants spread out through several different levels. You will probably recognize the Main Concourse with its iconic clock in the middle from the movies, as it is a popular meeting place.
Because of its impressive Beaux-Arts architecture and its central location, Grand Central Terminal, which was completed in 1913, is one of the ten most visited tourist attractions in the world Don’t miss the whispering gallery located below the Main Concourse. A person standing in one corner can clearly hear the person from the opposite side.
3. BROOKLYN BRIDGE
The Brooklyn Bridge connects Brooklyn and Manhattan, two of New York’s five boroughs, crossing the East River. When opened in 1883 it was the largest suspension bridge in the world. Brooklyn Bridge is 1,596 ft (486 m) long and 277 ft (84 m) tall and is one of the main tourist attractions in New York City.
While there was once even a railway line on the bridge, the bridge is now open only to cars, pedestrians, and cyclists, and commercial vehicles are banned from using the bridge. Join over 10,000 people who cross the bridge every day on a large pedestrian and bicycle lane and enjoy amazing views of Lower Manhattan skyscrapers on one side and historic Brooklyn on the other side. The walk in one direction takes at least 20 minutes.
2. WALL STREET
New York City would probably not be one of the world’s main financial centers without Wall Street. Wall Street is an actual street, located in Manhattan’s financial district but over the years the word Wall Street became a synonym for the American financial markets as two of the largest stock exchanges in the world, New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ, are both located on Wall Street.
The most recognizable building on Wall Street is the New York Stock Exchange building, although there are many other impressive buildings in the area, for example, the Federal Hall or Trinity Church. Don’t miss two impressive statues, Fearless Girl in front of stock exchange and Charging Bull located in bowling green park nearby. You can read more about the meaning of both statues in our travel guide.
1. STATUE OF LIBERTY & ELLIS ISLAND
Liberty Enlightening the World or what we know today simply as the Statue of Liberty is a 151 ft (46 m) tall statue located on the Liberty Island in the New York Harbor. The statue was a gift of friendship from the people of France to the United States in 1886and represents a figure of Liberties, a Roman liberty goddess holding a torch in her right hand and a tablet with the date of US declaration of independence, July 4, 1776, in her left hand.
The statue is recognized as a universal symbol of freedom and democracy. The Liberty Island now also houses a new Statue of Liberty Museum where the original torch is displayed. On the adjacent Ellis Island, you will find another museum, dedicated to the former immigration inspection station which operated on the island from 1892 to 1954.Over 12 million immigrants arrived in the United States through Ellis Island.
The American Museum of Immigration offers a glimpse of what it was like for people arriving in America for the first time, trying to find a better life. Don’t miss Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital Complex, on the south side of the island, which you can only visit with a guided tour.
If you want to visit either the Statue of Liberty or Ellis Island, you will have to buy one ticket for both destinations as part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument which includes a boat cruise with Statue Cruises, the only authorized official provider of tickets and tours to both islands. And here is the bonus tip we promised: Located right under the High Line Park in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, Chelsea Market is a paradise for foodies, offering an array of restaurants from all over the world.
A more proper way to describe Chelsea Market would be “food mall”, because of its design when you can simply walk from one restaurant to the next. Chelsea Market was transformed into its current form in 1997 from what was originally a factory complex of the National Biscuit Company. In fact, OREO cookie was invented in this very building in 1912.