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This post covers the best NYC attractions and points of interest, including content on free, family-friendly, nighttime and neighborhood-specific attractions, each with a map listing these attractions.
Below we list our top 10 free attractions in New York City as well as a map of even more free points of interest. We start off with this section because many of the most famous NYC tourist attractions cost nothing to enjoy, that you could plan a trip without paying for even one.
Below is a map listing many other free attractions and points of interest as well as resources for even more free attractions (there are over 100).
Click the map for an interactive version.
Likewise, each of our neighborhood posts (below) all list free attractions and attractions with free days for those particular areas.
Many of our walking tours visit several of the sights listed above, such as the Brooklyn Bridge, Central Park, and the 9/11 Memorial. Our tours are free to sign up for and work on a pay-what-you-wish basis only after a successful tour.
Unfortunately, not everything is free in NYC. Some of the best and most popular attractions come with entry fees, and sometimes with hefty price tags.
But, before we list them, there is a way to visit some of them for free or at a discount.
If you are considering visiting at least 2 of the city’s main paid attractions, then consider an all-inclusive tourist attraction discount pass. If you are smart with these deals, you will end up getting 1 or 2 attractions for free each day.
Be sure to read our post that details and compares the various attraction passes available to you to see if one is right for you.
Below is a list of many of the best attractions. For in-depth information on how to visit these attractions, simply click on the attraction’s name and you will be taken to another post with information such as:
In this section, we highlight the main attractions in NYC that are top picks for those with children. These are in addition to the family-friendly options in the previous 2 sections above.
Click the map for an interactive version.
Each of our things to do by neighborhood posts below get more granular by area. You can also visit our NYC neighborhoods page to view a clickable map of NYC to better understand how each neighborhood is positioned in relation to the others.
Attractions from Midtown to Harlem
Lower Manhattan to the Financial District
Be sure to also check out our post on things to do in Brooklyn.
In this section, we will break down some of the best attractions that you can visit for free or at a heavy discount with a New York Tourist Pass. In addition to providing a list of the most popular activities included with each service, we will also explain some of the differences between them to help you pick one that fits your itinerary.
The following is a list of the top attractions available on all three of the major New York Tourist Passes.
If you’re looking for an attraction that isn’t listed above, don’t worry – you may find it listed below on a specific pass.
The following attractions are not included with some of the other tourist passes in New York City. If you see any activities you like, read our recommendation to get a sense for some of the best things about this pass.
This pass will allow you to take the next step and dig a little further into notable sites such as Rockefeller Center and the Empire State Building. It’s also great for sports fans who want to learn more about where their favorite teams play. This is an all-inclusive pass, so you will get instant access to all of these sites for a specific amount of time.
These attractions may not be offered by other tourist passes. If you’re interested in seeing or doing anything on this list, check our recommendation to determine whether or not this is the right pass for your needs.
If you’re looking for even more popular activities to enjoy, this is an excellent option. Families should also take note that admission to both the Central Park Zoo and the Bronx Zoo are included with this service. This is available as either an all-inclusive pass or a set number of attractions pass. To learn more about each option, read the before you buy section on our New York tourist pass post.
This list will only include attractions that aren’t offered by at least one of the other New York tourist passes. If you’re still not sure about which pass to get, check our recommendation to get a better sense for what to expect.
As you could probably tell, many of these attractions are also included with the New York Sightseeing Pass. The main difference between these two services is that the Explorer Pass lets you pay one flat price for a certain number of activities. This pass can be used at any time over the course of an entire month, so it will last much longer than the other options on our list.