Manhattan Tourism: All the Must-See Attractions

Travelers from all over the world — including the U.S. — consistently rank New York City as one of their must-visit destinations. This isn’t surprising: By the end of 2023, more than 60 million people are expected to participate in New York and Manhattan tourism.

Iconic New York Manhattan tourist attractions, in particular, are often what visitors to the city are most excited to see. Whether it’s Times Square, the Guggenheim Museum, or the Chrysler Building, there are countless world-famous places to see in Manhattan.

For instance, One Vanderbilt is host to the city’s buzziest attraction: SUMMIT. Located on the 91st, 92nd, and 93rd floors of Manhattan’s most striking new skyscraper, SUMMIT is a multilevel, art-filled “observation deck” more than 1,100 feet in the air. At this height and location, the views of the city and its environs are unmatched; and with reflective surfaces that capture and contort every shift in the light and the weather, you literally cannot have the same SUMMIT experience twice.

We’ll further explore the grandeur of SUMMIT One Vanderbilt a bit later. In the meantime, let’s dive into some of the other popular and impressive must-see attractions that Manhattan has to offer.

Classic Manhattan Must-See Attractions and Landmarks

Central Park is one of the most venerable and iconic landmarks in Manhattan. A sprawling urban oasis, it contains Bethesda Terrace, the Central Park Zoo, and eight lakes and ponds. It’s the biggest green space in NYC and a haven for outdoor enthusiasts.

The High Line is another popular nature destination. Located on the west side of Manhattan, it’s the site of an abandoned elevated railway that was converted by the city into an almost 1.5-mile-long park. Visitors to this unique outdoor space can appreciate native plants, contemporary art, and one-of-a-kind views of architectural lodestones like Solar Carve and the IAC Building.

If you’re more interested in glitz and dazzle, consider visiting Times Square, the Theater District, or Rockefeller Center (which is just a six-minute walk to SUMMIT). Here, among crowds of people from every corner of the Earth, you can find a constant stream of lights, world-class art and dining, and daily opportunities to glimpse celebrities on the street.

Of course, a trip to NYC wouldn’t be complete without taking the time to appreciate at least one skyscraper. Some of the most recognizable buildings in Manhattan include One Vanderbilt, the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, and One World Trade. Each one of them offers visitors something unique and contributes to the character of the city, making them essential places to see in Manhattan.

What's New Around the Borough?

NYC is as well known for its timeless destinations as it is for its new hotspots.

Projects like Little Island have already transformed the city, bringing new culture and more green spaces to the riverfront. All the Manhattan innovations in their initial or planning stages have the potential to elevate the city even further.

An upcoming project expected to bring visitors into Manhattan and other NYC boroughs is the proposed East River Skyway, an aerial gondola. This would give pedestrians another way to get from Manhattan to Brooklyn and vice versa. It would also give farers a spectacular view of the city.

Speaking of alternative transportation methods, with NYC’s push for sustainable tourism development, tourists will increasingly find more environmentally friendly ways to get around. For example, Citi Bike, the bike-share initiative that launched in 2013, is still going strong. Walking tours are, too. Plus, the public transportation system is set up to get people from place to place without having to rely on individual vehicles that contribute to air pollution and traffic congestion.

Topping off the new and eco-friendly NYC landmarks is One Vanderbilt, one of the most sustainable buildings in the world. The building’s cogeneration plant can produce ample heat and electricity, and its rainwater collection system can handle 90,000 gallons. Even in the concrete jungle, SUMMIT visitors can rest assured that they’re reducing their tourism carbon footprint while enjoying one of the premier Manhattan sightseeing spots.

New York and Manhattan Tourism

There’s no sign that Manhattan tourism is slowing down. Rather, data shows that more Americans booked flights to NYC than any other domestic destination in 2023. If there has ever been time to visit Manhattan, it’s now. The borough’s cultural and architectural marvels ensure that it will remain the must-see destination for visitors.

Even if you’re not interested in Manhattan tourist-specific attractions, you’ll still love NYC. The city features a revolving spread of casual and fine-dining restaurants, and there’s plenty of shopping to do in SoHo and the Upper East Side. If you have extra time and can leave Manhattan, check out other boroughs and neighborhoods, such as Brooklyn and Williamsburg, for an authentic local atmosphere.

No matter what Manhattan landmarks you’re looking for, you should consider starting your visit at SUMMIT: You can see literally everything that you can on foot from a stunning vantage point in one of the most sophisticated structures in the world. Start planning your visit today to experience the pinnacle of Manhattan sightseeing!