new-york-at-night-skyview

New York at night is another experience. The city that never sleeps with all its lights and lively vibes has something new to explore around every corner. And especially at night is New York a fun, exciting and energising city to explore. Dive into the NYC night life and get a taste of what New York at night is about. Go on a Yacht Cruise to see the New York skyline at night. Or go up to some of the NYC observation decks and enjoy the New York night views from a rooftop bar. There are so many fun things to do in New York at night! Find in this blog post some awesome activities to make your evenings in New York unforgettable! 

30 BEST THINGS TO DO IN NEW YORK AT NIGHT

BONUS TIP

Before we dive into the best things to do in New York at night, let’s give you a little tip.

Buy a New York pass

In case you are planning to visit a lot of the NYC attractions such as the Observation Decks and Museums, then it is highly recommended to get a New York Pass. This will save you hundreds of dollars on entrance fees instead of paying all the fees individually. 

The NYC attractions that are included in the New York pass are:

  • Empire State Building (General Admission (86th Floor Observatory) Plus Bonus Night General Admission) 
  • American Museum of Natural History (General Admission plus one special exhibition) 
  • Guggenheim Museum (General Admission) OR Top of the Rock (General Admission) 
  • Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island (Reserve ticket for one Statue Cruises ferry ride to and from Liberty Island and Ellis Island and admission to Ellis Island Immigration Museum) OR Circle Line Cruises (Admission to one Landmark, or Liberty Cruise) 
  • Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum (General Admission and Space Shuttle Pavillion) OR 9/11 Memorial and Museum (General Admission)

Book your New York pass here with Viator

Book your New York pass here with GetYourGuide

Soak in the magical views from the Empire State Building

One of the most famous New York landmarks is the Empire State Building. Once the tallest building in the world, the 102-story skyscraper (located on 34th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues) is a must go during New York night time. During the day the views of the city are already breathtaking. But after the sun has set and the city slowly lits up, the views on the New York skyline at night look like a fairy tale. 

Visiting the Empire State Building is very popular, so it is highly recommended to book your tickets in advance. Choose the ‘Sunset Admission Ticket’ option to go with sunset. This gives you the opportunity to skip the ticket line to be up as one of the first with sunset at the Empire State Building. You can also choose to skip all of the lines including security, ticket, and elevator lines up and down. Then you’ll have to choose the ‘Sunset Express Ticket: Skip all the Lines’. 

Book your tickets here for the Empire State Building with GetYourGuide

Book your tickets here for the Empire State Building with Viator

Empire-State-Building-view-night

See a Broadway show 

Recommended by Rebecca from Veggies Abroad 

One of the best things to do in NYC at night is to see a Broadway show! There are 41 different Broadway theatres to choose from, so you won’t have a problem finding the show that you prefer. Many Broadway theatres are located between 41st street and 54th street and 6th Avenue and 8th Avenue. This area is also known as the Theatre District. The easiest way to get there is to use public transportation because many subway and bus stops are nearby.

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Throughout the year, visitors will find a variety of internationally-acclaimed shows from Hamilton to Wicked and everything in between. Some shows are suitable for younger audiences, but you should always double-check the show advisories for age requirements before booking.

Once you know you’re going to New York City and you want to visit a Broadway show, then it’s highly recommended to secure your tickets in advance. Broadway shows sell out quickly, so pick the show you’d like to see and book your Broadway tickets here.

Book here your tickets for for several broadway shows via GetYourGuide

Book here your tickets for several broadway shows via Viator

Is this a last-minute trip to NYC and you’re looking for same-day tickets? Then visit one of the TKTS booths located at Broadway and 47th Street in Times Square and try to get your tickets there. You can also visit the theatre box office and see if they have a ticket lottery for same-day shows. However, there is no guarantee you’ll get to see the show you want with same-day tickets.

If you don’t want to see a broadway show but you’re interested to learn more about the Broadway district and Times Square, then book this tour. During this 2 hour tour you will get all the information from your local guide about the Theatre District. You will hear backstage stories and insider secrets and see all the highlights of Broadway district.

broadway-at-night

Book a Helicopter tour to see the NYC skyline at night 

A once in a lifetime experience in New York is to book a helicopter tour to see the impressive skyline and New York landmarks. You can either book a helicopter tour during the day, or around sunset and at night. If you’d love to see the city’s skyline lit up at night and the glow of sunset disappearing at the horizon, then a helicopter tour at night in New York is a must.

Also, if you are a photographer and you wish to have the best light, then booking a helicopter ride around sunset is the best time. If you’re lucky you will see some beautiful colors in the sky with the New York skyline lit up. You will see the Statue of Liberty, Rockefeller Center and Times Square all lit up. And you will also pass over the George Washington Bridge which is known to be one of the most busiest bridges in the world! Truly an unforgettable and once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Book here your helicopter tour over New York at night with Viator

Book here your helicopter tour over New York at night with GetYourGuide

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The New York City skyline at night is truly magical

Discover the hidden speakeasy bars of New York at night 

Have you ever heard of a speakeasy bar? This retro style bar replicates aspects of historical speakeasies and is also called a blind pig or blind tiger. The name ‘Speakeasy bar’ comes from patrons that were told to “speak easy” about these secret bars in public. The reason is that police officers could then not easily locate the bars because people spoke so quietly inside the bars. 

Nowadays speakeasy bars in New York City no longer require secret passwords to get in. But luckily they still remain their tucked-away charm. Going to a speakeasy bar is worth it to try cocktails that you won’t find anywhere else. Go to The Back Room for example where you will do a step back in time. Get surprised with drinks being served in teacups and bottles of beer in paper bags, just like they did years ago. You can also book a guided history tour to soak in the culture of Speakeasy bars and the Gilded Age and Prohibiton-era in America. This saves you the time and effort to find the Speakeasy bars yourself and takes you right to New York City’s best underground and hidden bars. 

Book here your guided speakeasy history tour with GYG

Book here your guided speakeasy history tour with Viator

speakeasy-bar-new-york

Visit Top of the Rock at night for spectacular views

Recommended by Isabella from Boundless Roads

There are thousands of things that you can do in NYC at night. But going up on one of the spectacular rooftops is without a doubt one of the most exciting. The higher the rooftop the better the views. The best time to go to the Top of the Rock is right before sunset in a weekday so that you will avoid the crowds. This will also give you the opportunity to have an incredible vantage point to watch the sunset over Jersey shore and seeing the city lights illuminating at night.

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If you’re not coming for food or drinks but just want a spectacular view over the New York skyline at night, then you must go to Top of the Rock. This is one of the famous NYC observation decks with some of the best views of NYC. Part of the majestic Rockefeller Center, Top of the Rock is one of the most incredible instagrammable places in NYC with a 360° view of the city.

It’s actually a three-level rooftop with the top one on the 70th floor. From there you can enjoy the spectacular views over Central park surrounded by beautiful modern and ancient buildings. You can see the Hudson River, New Jersey Shore and Lower Manhattan with the Empire State Building’s iconic shape peering over the city.

You will get memorable views of NYC at night, so the additional 10 USD on the basic entry fee of 38 USD is totally worth it. And if you are feeling explorative, you can also include a Rockefeller center tour for an extra $25 and make the most of your visit. Just make sure you book in advance to secure your space.

Book here your tickets to Top of the Rock with Viator

Book here your tickets to Top of the Rock with GetYourGuide

Top-of-the-Rock-at-night-new-york

Go to the Comedy Cellar

Recommended by Kelly Ann from Travel New York Now

Tucked away in Greenwich Village, The Comedy Cellar is an amazing, basement-level comedy club where you can go to enjoy one of the best things to do in NYC at night.

After all, prices are reasonable since tickets cost just $17.00 each. Plus, world-renowned comics perform here on a regular basis, including Dave Chapelle, Amy Schumer, Jim Norton, and Robin Williams. However, this place is cozy and one of the many unusual things to do in NYC that is popular among locals. So, be sure to make a reservation well in advance if you want to enjoy a show here.

You’ll also want to note that there is a two-beer maximum, three beer minimum in place. And beers are not cheap so be prepared to spend some money while you’re here.

Other than that, just enjoy the show since they are held daily at any time between 11:00 am and 3:00 am. Then, after the show, head to The Olive Tree restaurant just above the club and see if you can spot a celebrity or two since the comics regularly hang out here.

You’ll also want to grab an artichoke slice from Artichoke Basille’s Pizza and some falafel from Mamoun’s Falafel for some amazing night before you call it a night and head back to your hotel.

If you want to explore Greenwich Village during the day, then book this 2 hour guided walk through Greenwich Village.

Comedy-Cellar-new-york

Take in the New York skyline at night during a cruise

One of the fun things to do in New York at night is booking a cruise along the Hudson River to take in the breathtaking New York City skyline at night. While you will cruise in style in a 1920’s inspired yacht you will listen to light jazz music while taking in the stunning New York night views. Every vantage point offers a different, beautiful view of New York City at night. You will pass lower Manhatten to see the Statue of Liberty glowing at night, the One World Observatory and the Financial District.

Book your ticket here in advance online to secure your seat on the boat with GetYourGuide

Book your ticket here in advance online to secure your seat on the sailboat with Viator

Another option is to book the Circle Line New York City Harbor Lights Cruise which is a less intimate experience, without live Jazz music and without drinks.

cruise-river-new-york-skyline

Watch a basketball game 

Recommended by Leah from Alex and Leah on Tour

If you’re looking for something typical to do in New York City at night, then there is no better activity than watching the New York Knicks at Madison Square Gardens.

For those that enjoy basketball, you’ll find a place to watch your sport. However for those that don’t particularly enjoy basketball, I can assure you this is still an activity worth visiting. Professional basketball is a very quick sport so there is constant action and it’s incredibly easy to pick up. There are also numerous stoppages and breaks which they use to keep the fans engaged with everything from cheerleaders to t-shirt launchers; it really is a great experience!

Make sure to arrive around 45 minutes before tip off so you can browse the numerous Knicks merchandise shops at MSG and potentially purchase that bit of memorabilia you’ll cherish forever. This will also give you enough time to buy any drinks or snacks to last you through the first half; there is nothing worse than people coming and going during the game.

Once you’ve found your seats, make sure to take some time to admire the sheer scale of the arena, slap bang in the middle of New York City. The majority of Knicks games top off around 7:30 PM so it’s a great way to spend your evening.

The cost of tickets vary according to each seat and how far in advance you purchase. For example, if you purchase in advance and you buy cheaper seats higher up and further back, you can get them for as little as $12 per person but most range around the $40 mark pp. Naturally, the closer to the court you go or sooner to the event it is, the price will increase.

Having said that, watching the New York Knicks at the Mecca of Basketball is a bucket list type of event and well worth it every penny; it’s the perfect thing to do in New York City at night.

basketbal-stadium-new-york

Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge at night

Recommended by Disha from Disha Discovers

One of the most incredible things to do in New York City at night is to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. The views of Lower Manhattan are stunning, and the experience is truly unforgettable. And the experience is completely free so that you can save your money for other New York City adventures. 

The New York City night skyline is illuminated with thousands of lights, and the reflections on the East River are simply breathtaking. Compared to the daytime, when the bridge is crowded with tourists and locals alike, walking across at night is a much more peaceful and intimate experience. 

Start at dusk so you can watch the skyline transform as the sun goes down. As you walk across the bridge, you’ll be surrounded by the city’s twinkling lights. You can start your walk from either Brooklyn or Manhattan.

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Plan about an hour to an hour and a half to leisurely walk across the bridge and take in the sights. There are tons of photo opportunities along the bridge, and you’ll definitely want to stop for some photo ops. Make sure you have your camera ready for a photo of the Statue of Liberty because she makes a breathtaking appearance in the distance.

Once you reach Brooklyn Bridge Park, you will see there are plenty of restaurants and bars to enjoy the view of the bridge and Manhattan skyline even longer. All in all, walking across the Brooklyn Bridge in the evening is a great way to see New York City at night. It’s without a doubt an experience that you will never forget.

Book here your Brooklyn Bridge tours during the day.

Book here your walking tour to the Brooklyn Bridge and Dumbo during the day

brooklyn-bridge-at-night-new-york

Go on a ghost tour after dark in Greenwich Village

This tour is not for the faint hearted! Explore the darker side of New York at night and go on a Greenwich Village ghost tour. Learn about the infamous Hanging Tree as you walk into the heart of Washington Square Park. Listen to the spine-chilling stories from your local guide and see the infamous Murder House. According to legend this place is home to 22 spirits and the most haunted house in Manhattan. Are you brave enough for this tour? Book the Ghosts of Greenwich Village tour here.

Experience Times Square at night

Recommended by James Ian from Travel Collecting

If New York City is the most exciting city in the world, then Times Square is the most exciting place on earth. Lying at the very center of Manhattan, it is the beating heart of this crazy city.

Did you know that there is a legal requirement for all businesses in Times Square to have illuminated signs? And there is minimum size required for those signs. So, it’s no wonder that the entire area is a blinding blaze of lights and colors. With all the flashing lights, crowds of people and the noise of the city, it can be a sensory overload. For a respite, there is a set of red stairs (going nowhere) where you can sit and take a load off and watch the world go by. Times Square is THE place to people watch, after all.

Times Square also lies in the middle of the Theater District. So if you’re seeing a Broadway show, chances are you will spill out on to a nearby street after the show. A visit there is the perfect nightcap before heading to your hotel for the evening. Don’t miss a visit to the M&Ms store, where you can stock on candy of ALL colors. It’s open until 10:00 PM.

Times Square is also the place to be during New Year’s eve. If you can stand the cold and crowds, experiencing the NYE concert and seeing the enormous crystal ball drop is an experience of a lifetime. In fact, the entire holiday season in NYC is a perfect time to visit Times Square.

A visit at night to Times Square won’t be a solitary experience. But the energy there is so incredible, you wouldn’t have it any other way!

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Relax in a Spa at night overlooking the New York skyline  

After a day of exploring the city, there is no better way to relax then booking a spa and wellness treatment. Right in the midst of the fast-paced rhythm of the city is an oasis of tranquility. With breathtaking views of lower Manhattan, New Jersey and Brooklyn you can relax, revive and restore at QC Spa. With a glass of bubbles you can watch the sunset of the New York skyline in only your bathrobe. A great and relaxing experience after a full day of exploring the city that never sleeps.

Book here your Spa and Welness experience in New York

Another option for a great Spa in New York is AIRE ancient baths. Inspired by the ancient Roman tradition of baths, you can book several packages at AIRE to fully rejuvenate. Massages including thermal baths, holistic rituals including full-body exfoliation and many other options are available to book at AIRE. 

Enjoy the rooftop bars with a view 

Recommended by Denise from Chef Denise

Not sure how to spend your evenings in NYC? With well over 50 rooftop bars to choose from, cocktails with amazing views is always a good answer. No matter where you are in Manhattan, you are within walking distance to one of these special places. On these rooftop bars you can take in the essence of the city while enjoying your favorite cocktail.

Many of the higher hotels have lounges, bars, and/or nightclubs on the roof. So it’s definitely worth it to check this with the concierge where you’re staying. Or perhaps you’ll book your hotel based on the rooftop bar. 

Bar 54 at the Hyatt Centric Times Square with river to river views is one of the highest. The nightclub and lounge, Somewhere Nowhere NYC, at the Renaissance New York Chelsea Hotel offers 360 degree views and a rooftop pool. If you want to reach out and touch the Empire State Building (or feel like you can), visit the Monarch Rooftop atop the Courtyard Marriott Herald Square (not affiliated to the bar). 

For incredible views of the famous New York skyline, the very large 230 in Nomad, or The Crown in Chinatown will work nicely. Or head to Brooklyn’s Harriet’s Rooftop for stunning Manhattan views across the river.

Many Rooftop Bars in the Big Apple serve meals or snacks. But for the most part, you will be better off just coming for drinks. There are so many great places to eat in NYC, and this is not a cheap activity. It is not uncommon for one drink to be upwards of $20. Check ahead for possible cover charges and if the bar takes reservations (recommend).

Watch Shakespeare in the park

Recommended by Anwar from Beyond My Door

Summer brings many things to New York City including one of the most highly anticipated events, Shakespeare in the Park. Putting on two performances each summer, the Delacorte comes alive in the evenings for nights of Thespian drama.

Started in 1954, the events have grown and have continued in their present Central Park location since 1962. Shakespeare in the park tickets are free and can be received through lining up in Central Park on show nights, daily lotteries, or vouchers in outer boroughs. Last minute tickets can often be had by a standby line before showtime. However, there’s no guarantee for adjacent seats. For those who don’t want to risk not seeing it, there is an option to “buy” tickets through a donation to the Public Theater.

Shows run nightly for 4-5 week performances Tuesday – Sunday at 8 PM. Mondays are dark as they are in most theater performances in New York City. Shakespeare in the Park draws an incredible cast of performances for local theater groups, Broadway, as well as movie and television stars.

Each performance and director brings new life to the Shakespearean characters. Therefore, even if you’ve seen the same play somewhere else (or even at Delacorte) it is likely it will be a different experience.

shakespeare-in-the-park

Enjoy the panoramic views from One World Trade Center

One of the must see attractions and most popular NYC observation decks is the One World Observatory. Being the highest building in America with 546 m to the top, the Freedom Tower (One World Trade Center), takes you on an exciting journey from the ground floor to the 102nd floor in under 60 seconds. Especially at night the views over Manhatten with the illuminating lights are breathtaking. You can also enjoy a dinner at the One Dine and Bar located on the 101st floor of the One World Observatory. But to eat here you’ll have to make dinner reservations separately. Because visiting the One World Observatory deck is so popular, it is highly recommended to book your tickets in advance. You can also choose for ‘skip the line’ tickets to save you time waiting.

Book here your tickets for the One World Observatory deck

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Visit the Whitney Museum

Recommended by Heather from This Noshtalgic Life

If you are looking for a unique experience for a Friday night in the city, then consider checking out one of the most popular museums. The Whitney Museum of American Art. Go and enjoy The Whitney’s full lineup of quality exhibitions along with drink specials and sunset views on the museum’s terraces!

Friday nights are really special at the Whitney Museum. The galleries stay open until 10 pm, and there is always an exciting art exhibit to see. The museum offers permanent and temporary exhibitions, its most famous being its biennial. 

What’s more? The Museum offers pay-what-you-wish admission for all visitors each Friday from 7 pm to 10 pm! This provides an affordable means to see the collection here and is a great way to introduce new art museum-goers to an experience that doesn’t come at such a high cost. It’s a popular choice for families because there is no pressure to stay too long if kids become restless.

What really makes Friday nights at The Whitney amazing is the atmosphere. The museum comes alive after dark, with visitors of all ages enjoying the exhibits and also spending time in the cafe and gift shop. Whether you’re a lifelong art lover or just looking for something different to do on a Friday night, the Whitney Museum is definitely worth a visit. Afterward, you can grab dinner and drinks right in the neighbourhood – the perfect Friday night!

Please take note that tickets must be reserved in advance. Tickets are released each Thursday for the following Friday night. Be sure to grab your tickets early, as they tend to sell out quickly!

Whitney Museum of American Art, Phone: (212) 570-3600, Address: 99 Gansevoort St, New York, NY 10014

whitney-museum-new-york

See the New York City skyline illuminated during a 4 hour bus tour at night

Some of the best and most affordable ways to see the New York City skyline at night is with a bus tour. In a comfortable SUV or luxury bus you will explore the most famous New York landmarks. During the tour you will have plenty of photo stops such as at the Brooklyn Heights and Hamilton Park. At the park you are at the highest point in New Jersey with a breathtaking view of the thousand lights of New York! Definitely some of the best and most affordable ways to explore New York at night.

Book here your bus tour at night with Get Your Guide

Book here your bus tour at night with Viator

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Brooklyn Heights, some of the most famous views of New York at night

Murder at the MET Scavenger Hunt 

Recommended by Lanie from Make More Adventures

Watson Adventures offers a unique way to view the Metropolitan Museum of Art at night with a murder mystery scavenger hunt. Murder at the MET and Whodunit at the MET begins at 5 PM and last for 2 hours. Neither scavenger hunt takes place daily, so you’ll need to check their schedule.

Tickets are mandatory and include museum admission. Currently, tickets cost $45 for adults and $37 for college students with a school ID. The MET is open until 9 PM on Friday and Saturday nights and scavenger hunt participants are able to wander through the museum after their game concludes. So it’s a perfect way of experiencing both at the same day!

Two smartphones are recommended per team of 2-6 players and the teams will use their phones to solve puzzles and clues to determine who the killer is. Participants do not need to be familiar with the museum. You are able to ask for directions if needed, and each hunt comes with a host who will be available to answer any questions that arise.

Don’t forget to wear comfortable shoes. The MET is large and the scavenger hunts require a lot of walking. Running is not allowed, and the scavenger hunts are not a race. Take your time to read the clues and solve each puzzle correctly.

Watson Adventure Scavenger Hunts are a fun way to explore the MET. It is a different way to see the museum, and a fun activity to do in New York at night.

New York City has plenty of unique tours in all 5 boroughs that take place day and night in the city that never sleeps.

Metropolitan-Museum-of-Art-new-york

Take in the views of the skyline at Queens 

Recommended by Steph from A Nomad’s Passport

Seeing the lit-up Midtown Manhattan skyline from the docks of Gantry Plaza in Queens is one of the best free things to do in New York City at night. The illuminated skyline and reflections of the lights on the water are unmissable when you’re in New York.

Gantry Plaza, the location of the Long Island Rail Road sign, is a former dockyard and manufacturing district at the East River. Located on the opposite riverbank of the United Nations headquarter, this area offers one of the most scenic nighttime skyline views.

The dock just north of the rail road sign offers the best view and has several benches, so you can sit down and enjoy the sparkling city lights. Look for ‘Midtown Manhattan Skyline’ on Google Maps. It is also a great place to watch the sunset.

Gantry Plaza State Park is open from 8 AM to 10 PM. The Pepsi Cola sign, an official NYC Landmark is also located in the state park. So you should definitely check it out after taking in the stunning skyline view.

And while the docks offer the best view, photographers should also walk around Gantry Plaza State Park. From the right angle, the old transfer bridges frame the skyline.

To get to the viewpoint docks from Manhattan, you have to catch the (7) 42 Street-Flushing Local line to Vernon Blvd Jackson Av. From there you have to walk 0.5 miles to get to the waterfront.

queens-view-skyline-new-york

Watch a concert at Madison Square Garden

Recommended by Merry from Virginia Vacation Guide

Madison Square Garden (also commonly referred to as “MSG” or “The Garden”) is one of the major event venues in the world. Located right in the heart of Midtown Manhattan between Seventh and Eighth Avenues and 31st and 33rd Streets, MSG is a great and convenient stop for a memorable night out in New York.

The venue is the home of the New York Rangers hockey team and New York Knicks basketball team. It also hosts some of the biggest music and entertainment events in the world. The venue has an astounding capacity of 20,000 for concert events. Each season regularly features such major acts as Elton John, Adele, Justin Bieber, Billy Joel, and Pink.

Having the opportunity to see a favorite performer at MSG is an unforgettable experience. The immense size of the venue and crowds can be overwhelming. But it creates an energetic and boisterous atmosphere that completely envelopes you. Leaving you feeling as though you had entered another world of sound, light, movement, and dance.

MSG has a unique circular design that makes it feel surprisingly intimate for such a grand venue. When visiting the space, make sure to take the time to explore the labyrinthine corridors and levels that surround the main arena.

MSG is easily accessible by subway, bus, or Long Island Rail Road (LIRR). The 34 St Penn Station stop is directly under the venue. It is serviced by the A, C, E and 1, 2, 3 trains. The venue is also serviced by the MTA Buses M4, M10, M16, M34 and Q32, which stop at the 7th Avenue/Penn Station.

The start times for shows can vary, but in general they run between 7 PM and 9 PM. Shows often last two to three hours. Ticket prices also vary depending on the performer and seat. Prices range from under $100 to several thousand dollars or more. 

madison-square-garden

Hop on Hop off bus tour in New York at night

Discover the best of the city that doesn’t sleep from the top deck of an open-top sightseeing bus. Hop on and off at your leisure with this 24-hour hop-on hop-off ticket and take in the city’s most iconic sights like Times Square, the Statue of Liberty, and more. You can experience the diverse culture, beautiful parks, stunning architecture, and picturesque views while listening to the fascinating history and interesting facts with the included audio commentary. 

Book here your 24 hour hop on hop off bus ticket with Get Your Guide

Book here your hop on hop off bus ticket with Viator

Take in the lively night vibes at Grand Central station

The Grand Central Terminal at the intersection of Park Avenue and 42nd Street is one of the most iconic New York landmarks. It appears in many notable films and is the most central transportation hub in Manhattan. But did you know that the Grand Central station is also one of the best places to go out in New York at night? After the sun sets, Grand Central comes alive with a buzzing bar scene and atmospheric restaurants for some of the best New York dinners you can experience. 

Grand-Central-station-new-york

Visit a NYC night market

If you’re looking for a fun and free thing to in New York at night, then heading to some of the NYC night markets is a great idea. There are a few options you can choose from, the Uptown Night Market in Harlem on Thursdays, Queens Night Market in Queens which is open on Saturdays and the monthly Bronx Night Market in the Bronx. Besides that, the monthly China Town Market is held at Forsyth Plaza at the Manhattan Bridge. 

The Uptown Night Market is a lively NYC night market with a selection of 50+ vendors representing the city’s best culinary and arts & crafts offerings. And if you like to dance, then you can swing the night away on the beats of local musicians and performers from every genre. 

Address Uptown Night Market: 701 W 133rd St, New York, NY 10027

The Queens Night Market is an affordable and family-friendly open-air night market in Queens. Featuring up to 100 independent vendors selling merchandise, art, food and featuring small-scale cultural performances you can get a taste of what the rich cultural diversity and heritage of Queens is about. Open on Saturdays from April–October.

Address Queens Night Market: New York Hall of Science, 47-01 111th St. Queens, NY 11368

In the lively neighbourhood the Bronx you can delve into this all-encompassing Night Market event that celebrates the diverse food and vibrant culture in the Bronx. With multiple vendors producing dishes from all corners of the world you can get a taste of what the Bronx is about. Multicultural and full of energy! The open-air, family-friendly Bronx night market with live music, activities, yard games and a craft beer garden has something to offer for the whole family. 

Address Bronx Night Market: Parking lot, 1 Fordham Plaza, The Bronx, NY 10458

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Experience the Meatpacking district after dark

Manhattan’s Meatpacking district was once a neighbourhood full of slaughterhouses and factories which is where the name comes from. But nowadays the lively neighbourhood with cobblestone streets is filled with trendy restaurants, clubs and high-end fashion stores. Besides exploring the meatpacking district during the day and shop until you drop, it is also highly recommended to explore the Meatpacking district after dark. You can book a guided tour with a local to get a taste of the district’s iconic nightlife in the city that never sleeps.

meatpacking-district-new-york

Book a 3 course dinner cruise 

Another fun thing to do in New York at night is to book a 3-course buffet dinner aboard a boat with a live DJ. This is without a doubt some of the most special ways of experiencing a New York dinner. You will cruise around lower and midtown Manhattan and take in the New York landmarks such as the Statue of Liberty and Brooklyn Bridge from the water while enjoying your dinner of the boat. 

Book here your ticket in advance to secure your seat on the boat with GetYourGuide

Book here your ticket in advance to secure your seat on the boat with Viator

Statue-of-Liberty-new-york

Watch a live taping TV show

There are many TV shows filmed in New York City. From late-night talk shows such as ‘The Tonight Show’ with Jimmy Fallon, Saturday Night Live and Late Night, to morning news programs. There’s a live TV show for everyone to enjoy, so if you’ve always wanted to experience a live taping of on of your favorite TV shows, then put this on your ‘New York at night to do list’! To attend the live tapings you should check per show what the ticket request methods are. Usually the tickets are free and obtainable when you apply or enter the lottery system.

Experience Harlem during this food tour 

With such culturally rich roots, it’s not surprising that Harlem has such a delicious and diverse food scene. If you want to explore and taste the best food in this multi-cultural area then booking this Harlem food experience tour with a local to guide is a must. You will be matched to a local guide based on your interests and personality who will take your tastebuds on a tour through Harlem. Your guide will know all the best and tastiest spots based on your preferences. Besides tasting the classic soul food that Harlem is famous for such as Mexican, Puerto Rican, West African and Italian dishes, you will also visit the Malcolm Shabazz Harlem Market to see the African crafts, textiles and street food. 

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Watch a performance at Lincoln Center

The Lincoln Center is one of the most iconic cultural New York landmarks. Built in 1956, the Lincoln Center is huge with over 16 acres and can host over 4 million people! If you love arts and you’re looking for a less touristy thing to do in New York at night, then booking a seat at the Lincoln Center is a must. With over 11 arts organisations varying from the New York Philharmonic, the Metropolitan Opera, and the New York City Ballet there is a show for everyone. Check out the Lincoln Center Calendar to see what’s going on. 

Address: Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, NY 10023

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Take a free ride on the Staten Island Ferry

If you’re on a budget exploring New York at night and you can’t afford the expensive tours or cruises, then taking the free Staten Island Ferry is a great thing to do. Located at 4 Whitehall Street New York NY 10004 you can hop on the ferry for an epic view of the New York City skyline at night. You can even see the Statue of Liberty all lit up. A magical and free experience in New York at night!

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Where to stay in New York

Deciding on where to stay in New York can be challenging as the city is huge with many things to do and see. Depending on your budget you can choose to stay in a touristy place or a residential neighborhood such as Lower East Side. Where Chelsea is one of the trendiest neighborhoods in New York to stay, the Upper West Side is some of the more quiet neighbourhoods. Perfect for travelers who like to stay in a less touristy place including families.

Book your accommodation in New York City here

More New York travel inspiration

I hope you enjoyed this guide about the best things to do in New York at night.

For more New York travel inspiration, head over to our other guides about New York.

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