Expats will find themselves with an extensive and ever-expanding list of things to see and do in New York – sightseeing in the city could take up nearly all of a person's free time on its own.
Revel in awe at the enormity (in size and number) of the Times Square billboards, spend time relaxing in beautiful Central Park or view the city from the top of any of the iconic buildings – both the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty are located in the metropolis.
There is also a plethora of museums in New York to satisfy all interests, as well as delightful Broadway entertainment. Even slowing down to mull over coffee at one of SoHo’s many French cafes can be a treat in itself.
Recommended sightseeing in New York City
Statue of Liberty
With a history that dates back to the 1800s, the Statue of Liberty has become a universal symbol of freedom and democracy, and is a must-see for expats in New York.
Empire State Building
Built in just 410 days, the famous Empire State Building is one of New York’s tallest structures, standing at 1,250 feet (381m) tall. The building's observation decks offer splendid views of the city.
Largely thanks to film and television, Central Park has become internationally known and holds the distinction of being one of the most-filmed locations worldwide. Nevertheless, it remains a wonderful natural haven to escape to, with more than 800 acres of beautiful gardens and lakes to enjoy on a day off.
Known by many illustrious nicknames such as 'the Centre of the Universe' and 'the Crossroads of the World', this famous intersection at the corner of Broadway and 42nd Street is a feast of sound and colour, with flashing advertisements and gigantic billboards all around.
Taking a trip down the Great White Way is a must for expats in New York. This theatre district is home to the world's best plays and musicals, offering up something for everyone, ranging from time-tested classics such as The Phantom of the Opera to widely hailed contemporary shows like Hamilton. A hub of creativity, there's always plenty to choose from on Broadway, with new plays and musicals constantly popping up.
9/11 Memorial and Museum
Constructed where the Twin Towers once stood, the 9/11 Memorial Museum is a sobering reminder of the terror attacks that destroyed the towers in 2001, with a resulting death toll of close to 3,000. Outside the museum is the Memorial Plaza, where visitors can walk among the oak trees and sunken fountains in remembrance of those lost.
American Museum of Natural History
Not to be missed, the American Museum of Natural History is situated in the Upper West Side and is one of the largest and most important establishments of its kind worldwide. Here, more than 34 million artefacts are stored – a selection of public displays can be viewed in the museum's 45 exhibition halls. There's also a planetarium and a library.
Metropolitan Museum of Art
With one of the largest collections of art in the world, the Metropolitan Museum of Art (known simply as 'the Met') is an appealing stop for any expat in New York. The museum houses over two million artworks from all over the globe, including not just the paintings and sculptures one would expect at an art museum, but also ancient weapons and armour, antique musical instruments and authentic historical clothing and accessories.
►Looking for more to do in the city that never sleeps? Read about the city's annual events with our round-up of What's On In New York.
"I love the theatre and indie film scene here and try and surround myself with creative and inspiring people. Most galleries and museums are cheap or have free days so you can see a lot for little money." Read more of British expat Kimberly's interview about living in NYC.
"I enjoy the diversity of the city – from the people to the cuisine to the museums, boutiques and restaurants. When you walk down the street in New York City, you are met with so much creativity." Jessica is an American repatriate who hails from Kentucky. Though she's lived in many places, she always finds herself returning to NYC. Read more in Jessica's interview.
Are you an expat living in New York City?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to New York City. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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