Midtown, Manhattan Activities

Part of our Manhattan travel guide; our list of the best attractions in Midtown, including Times Square, Empire State Building and Rockefeller Center.
  • Times Square is a major commercial intersection in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, at the junction of Broadway and Seventh Avenue and stretching from West 42nd to West 47th Streets. Times Square – iconified as "The Crossroads of the World", "The Center of the Universe", and the "The Great White Way" - is the brightly illuminated hub of the Broadway theater district, one of the world's busiest pedestrian intersections, and a major center of the world's entertainment industry.
    Midtown food nearby
  • Empire State Building

    Empire State Building

    350 5th Ave
    $23 adults, $20 seniors (62+), $17 children (6-12), free for military in full uniform/children under 5 (tickets to 102nd floor observatory are $17 extra and only sold at ticket office; express line tickets also sold). A legend from the moment it was finished in 1931, the Empire State Building was easily the tallest building not just in New York, but the entire world for many years before being overtaken by another New York landmark - the twin towers of the World Trade Center. With the destruction of those two buildings, the Empire State Building was once again the tallest building in the city, but that lasted less than eleven years. Even as the second-tallest building, though, it remains iconic, and one of the city's biggest tourist attractions. Expect long lines, and a lot of them - you'll have to wait in line to pass through a security checkpoint, wait in line to get tickets, wait in line for the elevators, and then make your way through the crowd on the outdoor observation deck on the 86th floor. One way to deal with the lines is to buy an express line ticket, which will bring you to the front of any line, but it will more than double the cost of your ticket. Another option is to visit very early in the day or late in the evening, when the lines will be considerably shorter. Despite the long lines and inevitable tourist kitsch, the views are excellent and the experience of being outdoors on top of New York City is a great one. Note that hawkers outside the building may try to tell you there is a very long line inside and that they can get you tickets to cut the line for some exorbitant price; before believing them, go inside and check the actual wait time which is clearly written on the electronic boards.
    Garment District eat nearby
  • Rockefeller Center

    Rockefeller Center

    30 Rockefeller Plz
    The Christmas Tree, the Skating Rink, NBC studios, the shops and hubbub - you can't miss it. The Christmas Tree and the Skating Rink are naturally not year round, but in the summer, the complex is a hub for touristy operations. Within the striking Art Deco buildings of the complex are several dining establishments overlooking the area and many stores. Radio City Music Hall, 1260 6th Ave (between 50th and 51st Sts), ☎ +1 212 307-7171. Daily 11:30AM–6PM. See the Rockettes, another show, or just tour the famous Art Deco masterpiece.Top of the Rock Observation Deck, W 50th St (between 5th and 6th Aves), ☎ +1 212 698-2000, e-mail: info@topoftherocknyc.com. Daily 8:30AM-midnight, last elevator at 11PM. $25 adults, $23 seniors, $16 children. On the 70th floor of the GE Building (better known by some as "30 Rock") is this narrow observation deck, built to resemble the deck of a cruise ship. The deck affords uninterrupted views over Central Park to the north and across Midtown to the south.
    Midtown restaurants nearby
  • Grand Central Terminal

    Grand Central Terminal

    42nd St
    Walk in and see the main concourse, a cavernous room often filled with people and elegantly detailed, with arched windows, a lovely clock, and an astronomical ceiling.
    Midtown food nearby
  • Museum of Modern Art

    Museum of Modern Art

    11 W 53rd St
    Sa-M,W-Th 10:30AM-5:30PM, F 10:30AM-8PM, closed Tu. $20 adults, $16 seniors, $12 students, free for children under 16. Free admission for all on Fridays 4PM-8PM. One of the greatest and most popular collections of modern art, on a par with the Tate Modern in London or Paris's Centre Georges Pompidou. Exceedingly popular so be warned: queues for tickets start early and stretch long. To avoid the crowds, turn up at the door at least a half hour before opening, then take the elevator to the top floor and work your way down. The building is as much a draw as the outstanding collection; possessing arguably the best collection of modern masterpieces world-wide, MoMA houses important art works from Van Gogh, Picasso, Monet, Matisse, Salvador Dalí, Paul Cézanne, Frida Kahlo, Piet Mondrian, and works by leading American artists such as Jackson Pollock, Jasper Johns, Edward Hopper, Andy Warhol, and Chuck Close. MoMA also holds renowned art photography and design collections.
    Midtown eat nearby
  • Madison Square Garden

    Madison Square Garden

    4 Pennsylvania Plaza
    Box office: M-F 9AM-6PM, Sa 10AM-6PM; if event takes place outside regular hours, box office opens at least 1 hour before event start until 1 hour after event start. One of the world's most famous and busiest arenas, Madison Square Garden is home to the New York Rangers [1] NHL team, the New York Knicks [2] NBA team, the New York Liberty [3] WNBA team, and the St. John's Red Storm [4] college men's basketball team, as well as numerous concerts and entertainment events. In addition to most St. John's home games, the Garden also hosts three major college men's basketball events each year. At the start of the season, the Garden hosts the semifinals and finals of the NIT Season Tip-Off [5], a prestigious early-season event operated by the country's main college sports body, the NCAA. After the regular season, the Garden then hosts the Big East Conference Men's Basketball Tournament [6] in early March, which determines the conference's automatic representative in the wildly popular NCAA tournament. Finally, in late March, the Garden hosts the semifinals and finals of the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) [7], a tournament that the NCAA operates as something of a consolation prize for teams that do not make the NCAA tournament.
    Chelsea restaurants nearby
  • Whitney Museum of American Art

    Whitney Museum of American Art

    945 Madison Ave
    W-Th,Sa-Su 11AM-6PM, F 1PM-9PM, closed M-Tu. $18 adults (26-61), $12 seniors (62+)/students/young adults (19-25), free for children 18 and under. Pay what you wish on F 6PM-9PM. Founded in 1931, the Whitney Museum is known for displaying contemporary American art even more up-to-date than the Museum of Modern Art. It is most famous for its long-standing tradition of hosting a biennial art show that displays many lesser-known artists new to the American art scene.
    Central Park food nearby
  • Discovery Times Square

    Discovery Times Square

    New York Times Bldg226 W 44th St
    Discovery Times Square Exposition is an exhibition hall that caters to traveling exhibitions that are deemed "too large, too expensive, too nondisciplinary or too commercial" for local museums. Discovery TSX has been home to Harry Potter: The Exhibition, CSI: The Experience, Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition, King Tut NYC: Return of the King, and Pompeii the Exhibit.
    Chelsea eat nearby
  • New York Public Library

    New York Public Library

    455 5th Ave
    M,Th-Sa 11AM-6PM, Tu-W 11AM-7:30PM, closed Su. Free. The main branch of the New York Public Library (officially the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building), this is the grand structure flanked by lions on both sides of the entrance. Inside you'll see impressive architecture, long hallways, and beautifully designed reading rooms.
    Garment District restaurants nearby
  • Jersey Boys@Venetian

    Jersey Boys@Venetian

    2 hours and 10 minutes with a pause.
    Midtown food nearby
  • Radio City Music Hall

    Radio City Music Hall

    1260 Avenue of the Americas
    See the Rockettes, another show, or just tour the famous Art Deco masterpiece.
    Midtown eat nearby
  • Top of the Rock

    Top of the Rock

    30 Rockefeller Ctr70th Fl
    Daily 8:30AM-midnight, last elevator at 11PM. $25 adults, $23 seniors, $16 children. On the 70th floor of the GE Building (better known by some as "30 Rock") is this narrow observation deck, built to resemble the deck of a cruise ship. The deck affords uninterrupted views over Central Park to the north and across Midtown to the south.
    Midtown restaurants nearby
  • Walter Reade Theater

    Walter Reade Theater

    165 W 65th St
    The Film Society always puts on a terrific repertory program and shows a wide variety of experimental and foreign films. In addition, numerous talks and panels are held here, many featuring bold-named directors, screenwriters, and actors.
    Midtown food nearby
  • The Morgan Library

    The Morgan Library

    225 Madison Avenue
    Tu-Thu 10:30AM-5PM, F:10:30AM-9PM, Sa 10A-6 Su 11-6. $15 adults, $10 students/seniors, $10 children under 16, free Friday after 7. Once J. Pierpont Morgan's private library, this building houses his art collection, a Gutenberg Bible, and a first printing of The Star Spangled Banner. The bookshelves lining the walls include books by Dante, Dickens, Einstein, Twain, and several First and Second Folios
    Garment District eat nearby
  • St. Patrick's Cathedral

    St. Patrick's Cathedral

    460 Madison Ave
    A big, grand Catholic church.
    Midtown restaurants nearby
  • Carnegie Hall

    Carnegie Hall

    881 7th Ave
    If you ask a New Yorker how to get to Carnegie Hall, you may get the answer "Practice, practice!" This elegant 19th-century hall, the closest we have to the great European halls, is New York's premier venue for famous recitalists and visiting symphony orchestras. The complex also includes the more intimate Weill Recital Hall slightly further east and Zankel Hall, in the basement of the side of the building facing 7th Av. near 56th St, a medium-sized venue used by jazz groups and classical concert pianists, alike.
    Central Park food nearby
  • The Music Box Theatre

    The Music Box Theatre

    3733 N Southport Ave
    Evening shows on weekdays, matinees and midnight movies on weekends. Tickets $8.25-9.25. Chicago's foremost source of cinematic delight, with two screens for classic and world-premiere independent movies and the occasional mini-festival.
    Clinton eat nearby
  • American Folk Art Museum

    American Folk Art Museum

    2 Lincoln Square
    Tu-Sa, noon-7:30PM, Su noon-6:30PM, closed M. Free.
    Central Park restaurants nearby
  • The Paley Center for Media

    The Paley Center for Media

    25 W 52nd St
    W,F-Su noon-6PM, Th noon-8PM, closed M-Tu. $10 adults, $8 students/seniors, $5 children under 14. Dedicated to preserving and collecting television programs as a service to the public, the museum consists of two museum branches in Los Angeles and New York City; combined they hold over 100,000 television programs that are available to the public, providing a historical, artistic and cultural perspective to television and radio. You may use their library here for the price of admission. They have lots of old shows and a database so you can see if they have what you want.
    Midtown food nearby
  • United Nations Headquarters

    1st Ave at 46th St
    Free; guided tours $11.50 adults, $8.50 seniors, $7.50 students, $6.50 children (6-14). The UN HQ sits on an 18-acre site between 42nd and 48th Streets, and between First Avenue and the East River. It is noted for its gardens and outdoor sculpture. There is a charge for the tours of the General Assembly and Secretariat but you can visit the Visitor's Lobby for free (although you do have to pass through a security checkpoint). There are two levels to the lobby area which includes a gallery, a gift shop, and a bookshop. If just visiting the lobby, don't join any queues once you're in the lobby - just find your way around. There is little in the way of signs to tell you where you can go - this is the UN, well-meaning but not well organized.
    Midtown eat nearby
  • Hudson Theatre

    145 W 44th St
    This theatre is over 100 years old and remains the third oldest theatre in Broadway. Located right next to the Millennium Broadway Hotel, this NYC theatre now offers wedding, event and meeting space in an elegant, historic setting.
    Garment District restaurants nearby
  • USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center

    +1 718 760-6200
    Home of the U.S. Open and also the largest public tennis facility in the world. It features 3 stadium courts, 9 indoor courts, and 14 outdoor courts which are available to the public year-round.
    Midtown food nearby
  • Kramer's Reality Tour

    358 W 44th St
    For Seinfeld fans. Kenny Kramer, said to be the inspiration for the character Kramer, tells about the show, in a fun way. And guides on a tour to places seen in the show. Stop for photo outside the restaurant seen in the show.
    Clinton eat nearby
  • Frick Collection

    1 E 70th St
    Tu-Sa 10AM-6PM, Su 11AM-5PM. $18 adults, $12 seniors, $5 students, children under 10 prohibited. Pay what you wish on Su 11AM-1PM. The former home of steel baron Henry Clay Frick, this sprawling mansion is filled with Frick's enormous personal art collection, displayed as he left it. It's worth a visit for the house alone, which is explained nicely in the audio tour. The collection is impressive, including works by Whistler, Corot, El Greco, Turner, Renoir, and Rembrandt.
    Central Park restaurants nearby
  • AMC Empire 25 Theatre

    234 W 42nd St
    First showings begin around noon, last showings begin at around 11pm. $6-$14. This large multiplex cinema shows first-run, mainstream films on 25 screens. It also contains an IMAX cinema showing mainstream feature films.
    Chelsea food nearby
  • Waldorf-Astoria Hotel

    301 Park Ave
    A famous luxury hotel.
    Midtown eat nearby
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EDIT THIS ITINERARY Our list of activities in Midtown Manhattan uses some content from Wikipedia and Wikivoyage.