Paid attractions to visit in New York City

Like I said in my post about free things to do in NYC, there’s a ton of stuff you can do in New York that might break your bank a teeny tiny bit! However, that doesn’t mean these aren’t fun experiences. Think of NYC and comes to mind is the big buildings, bagels and coffee carts, people scurrying in all directions, the skyline, and Ross’ dinosaur and museum obsession (no, just me?)!

Here are four places where you can see the city’s skyline, some dinosaur bones, all while trying to push past people and having that stale coffee you just don’t want to waste!

1) The Empire State Building

View of New York City skyline from the Empire State Building.
View of New York City skyline from the Empire State Building observatory.

You can choose to start or end your day from this iconic building that offers unforgettable views from the 86th-floor observatory. The Empire State Building opens at 8am everyday and tickets are available for purchase online as well as in the building lobby. While everyone is still figuring out what bagel to have for breakfast, you can have a great start to the day and update your Instagram with morning vistas of New York city.

2) One World Trade Center

Sunset view of New York City from the One World Trade Center Observatory.
Sunset view of New York City from the One World Trade Center observatory.

Walk into the One World Trade Center and mentally prepare yourself for a thorough security check. This is another tower from where you can either choose to start or end your day from. Personally, I prefer starting the day from the Empire State Building and ending it here for its breathtaking sunset views. From the 102nd-floor observatory, watch the sun go down and the city lights come alive. The twinkling Brooklyn Bridge, the ant-like people on the streets below making their way back home after a long day of work, the tiny yellow cabs of NYC make for such a charming evening sight. Expect to spend about two hours in this observatory, clicking pictures of all city views.

3) The American Museum of Natural History

T-Rex exhibit at The American Museum of Natural History
T-Rex exhibit at The American Museum of Natural History

Full disclosure, I stepped into this museum only because I couldn’t stand the scorching heat in Central Park. But, I didn’t know then my inner dinosaur-nerd was in for a huge surprise. You probably saw the picture above and got a sense of that anyway. This museum is a great choice if you have kids, if you’re an animal / museum enthusiast, or if you plain just want to avoid the New York summer or winter!

They also have a great pay-what-you-can option (check their website for any updates on that), so ask for the pay-what-you-can counter upon entering the museum and you can get a receipt / ticket for the amount you pay. Note that certain exhibits, like the T-Rex one in the picture, are separate paid entry and they have a qualifying ticket purchase that goes with it as well, which is the downside to the pay-what-you-can option.

4) The Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met)

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC.

This again, was my respite from a hot summer day during my visit to NYC. You can spend an entire day here and still not be able to see all the amazing exhibits the museum boasts of. From intricately designed stained glass windows to ornate guns and swords to abstract modern art this iconic building has it all. They also hold other limited period exhibits, check those out as well.

Be prepared to walk and carry water like you would on a hike because once you start exploring this museum you will not want to stop! For local residents and students there are discounts and pay-what-you-can option available, check their website for the latest information. The tickets are also valid for 3 consecutive days at all 3 different locations. Make the most of this option by planning your visit in advance!

Hope you enjoy these places as much as I did, do let me know in the comments section your experience in NYC and recommendations for my next visit there!

If you liked this post, also check out

5 things to do in New York City in one day

Free things to do in New York City

 

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