New York Landmarks

A view of the New York skyline viewed from Ellis Island

New York landmarks are seen all over the media and internet but visiting them in person is awesome!  We travelled last year in the height of summer and spent a fantastic four days exploring the city.

Here are the highlights!

Top Of The Rock

One of my favourite New York landmarks is the view from the top of the Rockefeller Building, especially at sunset.  It gets very busy but is so worth it.  You can see for miles, and the view of the Empire State Building is incredible as the light changes and it gets dark.  I would recommend booking in advance to avoid the queues, especially at busy times of the day.

Read reviews on TripAdvisor here.

View of Empire State Building and other New York landmarks with pink early evening clouds in the sky

View of the Hudson river from the Top Of The Rock


Statue Of Liberty and Ellis Island

We booked a guided tour first thing in the morning and so avoided many of the crowds, and our guide was both knowledgeable and entertaining.  We took the ferry over to Liberty Island and were guided around the museum and up inside the plinth.  We had some free time to wander around and then took the ferry to Ellis Island where she showed us around.  This was so interesting as I didn’t previously know the history of the millions of immigrants who passed through the facility.  We had lunch in the shade of the trees and the views of the New York skyline were amazing.

Read reviews of the Liberty tour options on TripAdvisor here.

The statue of liberty with bright blue sky in the background

Our brilliant tour guide, Sophia


View of New York skyline on a sunny day with blue skies from Ellis Island
The famous New York skyline


Ellis Island building through trees
Ellis Island building

One World Trade Center

This was my younger son’s favourite building and is next to the extremely poignant 911 memorial in downtown.  We didn’t go inside but will definitely do so on our next visit.


Grand Central Station

Grand Central Station is one of the iconic New York landmarks and is a bustling hub for millions of travellers every year.  There are lots of photo opportunities and I loved the arches like the one in the photo below.

Chelsea Market

One of the lesser-known gems is Chelsea Market which is in an historic old building on the West Side.  It houses independent traders and eateries, and is a great place to browse, or have lunch, as there are so many options.  It is just off the High Line so is a great stopping-off point for a cup of coffee.

Sign of all the food places and shops inside Chelsea Market

The High Line

The High Line is an old raised freight railway line which winds around the lower West Side and is a lovely space for looking at some fab New York landmarks from a different perspective.   The line was due for demolition in the mid 90s but was developed by the city and has been such a success that it has been replicated around the world.  The walkways and landscaping have all had a designer touch and teams of workers maintain the flowers and trees.

There are plenty of seats to take a rest, and water fountains to refill drink bottles.  On a hot summer’s day there is plenty of shade, and there are toilets and refreshments along the route.  It is 1.45 miles in total and some entrance points have lifts to allow disabled access.

We saw tourists using walking tour guides and I wish I’d have considered this as an option as there was so much to see and learn about.  You can read reviews on TripAdvisor here and check out the tour options.


Iconic New York Landmarks

As you wander around the city there are famous buildings everywhere.  I went for an early morning run and caught the Flatiron building before the streets were filled with people.

view of the flatiron building from the street with blue skies in the background

My all time favourite building is the Chrysler Building.  It’s tricky to find a great view from street level as there are so many other skyscrapers in the way.

However, if you know where to go then there are some great spots to take decent photos.  I have made a note of the best ones here :

  • E44th and 3rd Avenue
  • Lexington Avenue, from 37th onwards
  • E41 and Lexington
  • W42nd street between 5th and Madison heading east


View of the top of the Chrysler building from the street as sun is setting

Central Park

There is so much to do in Central Park.  From the zoo to fountains and walkways, and Strawberry Fields which is the memorial to John Lennon.  It’s a great place for an early morning jog, or you can hire a bicycle and take a ride around the park.  Definitely somewhere to explore when you visit New York!

Circle Line Tour

One of the highlights of our visit was the Circle Line Harbor Lights Tour which the whole family absolutely loved.  We took the sunset tour which was a lovely way to finish off a day of sightseeing, and extremely relaxing.  We passed so many New York landmarks including the downtown skyline, One World Trade Center, Liberty Island and Brooklyn Bridge.  You start from Pier 83 and travel south and then in a semicircle anticlockwise up as far as the Chrysler Building on the East River.  If you’re lucky and it’s a clear day then the views of the setting sun are stunning.  Read reviews here.

The new york skyline from the hudson river

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my favourite New York landmarks.  Please leave a comment if you’ve enjoyed the blog or have more ideas about things to see in the Big Apple!

You may also like my tips for a visit to Niagara, which is only a short hop from NYC, and you can read about it here.

This page contains affiliate links for which I may receive a small commission which goes towards the upkeep of the site.  You won’t pay any more than the usual price though!

5 thoughts on “New York Landmarks

  1. Stacey says:

    Totally agree The Ellis Island tour is fascinating. I need to go back to New York was only there 4 days and didn’t fit half the things in that I wanted to do.

    • AliRichards says:

      Thanks Stacey! There’s another blog coming soon of more unusual things to do which I think you’ll love…

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