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As one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world, answering the question, “What’s New York known for” is a bit challenging.

Besides the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, and Empire State Building, New York is famous for its world-class museums, abundant history, huge lush parks, and high-end shopping avenues. New York is also known for its exquisite galleries, mind-blowing skyscrapers, and flashy Broadway performances.

So, it’s no surprise the largest American city attracts tourists all year round.

In this guide, you’ll discover 33 amazing things New York City is known for.

Ready to explore? Let’s start!

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Landmarks New York Is Famous For

Statue of Liberty
The most recognizable landmark of New York is the Statue of Liberty

The Big Apple offers tons of world-famous attractions. In this section, you’ll find the landmarks New York is popular for.

  1. The Statue of Liberty. This colossal, neoclassical sculpture stands on Liberty Island. An interesting New York fact not many people know is that the Statue of Liberty was a gift from France to the U.S. The copper statue is a figure of the Roman goddess of liberty – Libertas.
  2. Central Park. Lying between the Upper West and Upper East sides of Manhattan, Central Park holds several records. It’s the most filmed location in the world and the most visited urban park in the United States. In 2016, more than 42 million people visited it. Surprisingly, by size, it’s the fifth-largest park in NYC after Pelham Bay Park, Greenbelt, Van Cortlandt Park, and the Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.
  3. The Rockefeller Center. This is the epicenter of everything New York. The Rockefeller Center is one of the city’s most famous cultural landmarks. Almost all of its 14 Art Deco buildings display art in various forms. Don’t miss the Top of the Rock observatory and the ice-skating rink in front of the center if you’re in New York in winter.
  4. The Empire State Building. A namesake for the state of New York, the Empire State Building is one the city’s most iconic symbols. Until the 1970, it stood as the tallest building in the world when World Trade Center took its place. The two observatories on the 86th and 102nd floors provide sweeping views of Manhattan’s skyline.
  5. The Freedom Tower. One World Trade Center (formerly Freedom Tower) is the main building of the rebuilt World Trade Center that terrorists destroyed in 2001. With its 1,792 ft. (546.2m) in height, One WTC is the tallest building in the U.S.A. and in the Western Hemisphere.
  6. Wall Street. Home to the New York Stock Exchange, Wall Street is an eight-block-long street in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan in NYC. It has been the historic headquarters of some of the biggest brokerages and investment banks in the United States.
  7. Times Square. It doesn’t get more central in New York than Times Square. The renowned square attracts visitors 24/7, so our best New York travel tip will be to avoid eating in the area as the prices can be exorbitantly high. And please hold on to your belongings. The area attracts pickpockets.
  8. Brooklyn Bridge. At the time of its opening in 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge was the longest suspension bridge in the world. It connects Brooklyn with Manhattan and since its creation, it has been designated as a National Historic Landmark. The bridge has a pedestrian walkway and a bicycle lane, so you can explore it closely.

Museums New York Is Known For

Guggenheim Museum New York
New York is famous for its world-class exhibitions

The Big Apple is home to some of the most popular exhibition halls. In this section, you’ll discover the museums NYC is famous for.

  1. American Museum of Natural History. In AMNH, you can explore the natural world, discover the known universe, and marvel at some of the world’s best scientific collections. Don’t miss the dinosaur exhibition and the first human – Lucy. Reserve your tickets online as they’re all by timed entry.
  2. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Locals have nicknamed the largest art museum in the U.S. “The Met”. More than 2 million works, spanning across 17 curational departments, comprise The Met’s permanent collection. Book your “skip the line” ticket through this link.
  3. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.Often just called The Guggenheim, you can find this museum at 1071 5th Avenue. Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, Early Modern, as well as Contemporary art exhibitions await your museum-thirsty senses. Even if you’re not interested in its unique collection, check out the exterior as it’s a true architectural masterpiece. Reserve your tickets here.
  4. The Museum of Modern Art. Looking to ignite your mind, fuel your creativity, and get some inspiration? The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is the place to be. Its collection includes works of architecture, design, drawing, electronic media, film, painting, photography, prints, and sculpture. Skip the lines by booking here.
  5. Tenement Museum. Among NYC’s most interesting museums is the Tenement Museum. Discover historically restored tenement buildings and explore how 15,000+ immigrants from over 20 nations lived there between 1863 and 2011. Reserve your tickets online via this link.
  6. Madame Tussauds New York. More than 220 life-like wax figures of politicians, celebrities, and icons from the past and present await you at Madame Tussauds New York. Scare yourself silly in SCREAM, the museum’s live-actor-filled attraction. Get your online tickets in advance here.

Foods New York Is Popular For

New York-style Hot Dog
The New York-style hot dog is one of the most famous fast food options in the city

As a melting pot of cultures and nationalities, NYC’s cuisine is quite diverse, too. This section will show you the foods New York City is known for.

  1. New York-style hot dog. In the Big Apple, a hot dog is served with spicy mustard, sauerkraut, onion sauce, and sweet relish. Quick, cheap, and easy to eat, the delicious sausages became America’s first fast food.
  2. New York-style pizza.This pizza comes with a thick and crisp crust only along the edge. Beneath its toppings, it is thin, soft, and pliable enough to be folded in half to eat. Locals derived it from the Neapolitan-style pizza in Italy.
  3. New York-style cheesecake. The New York-style cheesecake is the richer, larger, and more decadent cousin of the traditional cheesecake. The few extra egg yolks create an ultra-rich, creamy cheesecake that’s to die for.
  4. Manhattan clam chowder. Unlike the New England cham chowder, the Manhattan one has no milk or cream. Instead, it has a red, tomato-based broth and usually contains carrots or celery.
  5. Doughnuts. Dutch settlers brought olykoek (“oily cake”) to early New York in the 19th century. That’s where modern doughnuts (donuts) got their origins from. Toppings and fillings are as diverse as you can get.
  6. Eggs Benedict. This dish got popular in NYC in the 19th century. It’s a common breakfast or brunch dish, which includes two halves of an English muffin, both topped with Canadian bacon, a poached egg, and sauce Hollandaise.

Drinks New York Is Famous For

Cocktail at a New York Bar
New York is known for its staple cocktails

After the lip-smacking food section, let’s jump straight into the drinks New York City is popular for. You can best enjoy the signature drinks at one of the top-notch rooftop restaurants in NYC while soaking in the breathtaking views.

  1. Manhattan. A true classic, this iconic cocktail originates in NYC. Legends narrate the story of Manhattan’s original brewing process for a party at the Manhattan Club. After most celebrities loved it, the high-end hotel added the drink to its menu in the early 1900s.
  2. Cosmopolitan. Synonymous with what the Big Apple is, Cosmopolitan got its fame by the The Odeon bar and restaurant. This happened in the late 1980s in Tribeca, which is the best area to stay in New York for arts and culture.
  3. The Brooklyn. Like its namesake borough, The Brooklyn cocktail packs a bold flavor by combining two spirits that don’t often go together: rye whiskey and vermouth. Add to that the cherry-flavored liquor that’s an indispensable part of the cocktail, and drink the night away.
  4. New York Lemonade. Nothing beats an ice-cold, New York-style lemonade on a hot summer day in Central Park. Its citrus-y flavor goes well with zucchini-corn salad and grilled Hawaiian chicken kebabs.
  5. New York Sour. If the New York Lemonade doesn’t strike a particular chord with you, consider its sibling for grownups – the New York Sour. It combines the tongue-tingling characteristics of a citrus summer drink with sweet red wine – any type of Shiraz, Beaujolais, or red Zinfandel works.
  6. Long Island Ice Tea. Depending on whom you ask, this classic New York City cocktail might or might not originate in Long Island. In many ways, though, the Long Island Ice Tea incorporates the kick, energy, and diversity that are so characteristic of Long Island – and NYC as a whole.

Interesting Facts New York is Known For

New York Skyline at Dusk
New York is famous for its gorgeous skyline

In this section, you’ll discover fun and interesting facts NYC is famous for. If you desire more info, check our New York facts as well.

  1. New York has many nicknames. The Big Apple, Gotham, The City That Never Sleeps, Empire City, The City So Nice They Named It Twice, Fun City, The City of Dreams, and the Five Boroughs. These are the most famous monikers of NYC. If you know more, please share them with us in the comments below.
  2. Going topless in NYC is not illegal. Locals still prefer strolling around the streets with their clothes on. But if you want to show off your beautiful chest, you can do so in New York without getting into trouble.
  3. The world’s largest marathon happens here. The New York City Marathon first occurred in 1970. The race takes place on the first Sunday of November, and the course runs through each of the five NY boroughs.
  4. New York is the city with the most skyscrapers in America. Chicago and Miami are second and third, respectively. In NYC, you’ll find 274 skyscrapers, towering over 492 ft. (150 m) in height. You can admire most of them in Manhattan.
  5. The Big Apple is the city with most billionaires. 92 billionaires reside in New York. Their combined net worth is over $424 billion. Michael Bloomberg is the richest resident whose estimated net worth is $48 billion.
  6. The world’s largest gold storage is in Gotham. The Federal Reserve Bank in NYC houses the largest gold storage worldwide. The vault keeps 7,000 tons of gold bars worth $90+ billion. The reserve is 80 ft. (24 m) below the ground.
  7. The city is full of villages. New York might be a huge city, but it’s also full of small villages. The most famous are East Village, West Village, and Greenwich Village. Each of them has its own landmarks and unique atmosphere.

How Many of the Things New York Is Famous For Did you Already Know?

New York Taxi and Street
New York is known for its busy streets

This wraps up our list with 33 things New York is popular for.

NYC abounds in culture, history, museums, high-risers, tasty treats, and interesting facts.

One of our best New York travel tips for first-time visitors is to get around this fast-paced city slowly because it offers a host of things to do.

Now, we’d like to know:

What do you associate New York City with?

Share it with us in the comment section below.

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Svet

Svet has lived on three continents. He graduated from his Master’s in Belgium, did a Work & Travel program in the USA, and in 2015, spent several months working, traveling, and exploring the Chinese culture. As a result, he found how challenging yet fun it is for a Westerner to live in China. Fun fact: Svet loves doing push-ups in public places and has a crush on tractors.

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