New York City is a diverse, vibrant, and energetic city filled with plenty of sights to see and things to do. It’s also one of the best cities worldwide to travel solo. Despite any stereotypes you may have heard, people are friendly, helpful, and willing to meet new people so you can feel comfortable traveling around alone. After all, it is one of the most walkable cities in the U.S.
Whether you have an adventurous streak or are into museums and parks, there’s something for everyone in the “Big Apple.” Read on for a list of 11 solo activities in NYC you can enjoy.
Explore Museum Mile
For the ultimate experience of NYC’s top cultural institution, you have to wander down Museum Mile. You could spend a whole day or two stopping at all the museums, including the Guggenheim Museum, Museum of the City of New York, Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Met).
The Met especially is a great place to visit solo. It features 2.2 million square feet of art and artifacts that span 5,000 years of culture. Avoid large tour groups by visiting during the Met’s late-night weekend hours on Fridays and Saturdays.
Visit Central Park
Your trip to NYC isn’t complete without visiting the iconic Central Park. You can catch an event in the park or visit the Belvedere Castle, the American Museum of Natural History, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. There’s also the Central Park Zoo and an option to hike in the Ravine, which features three waterfalls.
While it can get a little crowded in certain areas, the Shakespeare Garden is a nice peaceful location and a must-visit. It’s a great place to soak in the atmosphere or sit and read a book.
Attend a Social Event
Going solo in NYC doesn’t mean you can’t attend a social event. Companies like Amiccio host various events where almost everyone else shows up alone and are open to mingling and meeting new people. You can attend socials, networking events, themed parties, speed dating events, and dance classes. Check out their upcoming events where you can go solo and meet new people.
Go on An Urban Hike
Hiking in the boroughs of NYC is more of a thing than you might initially assume! There are some great parks and trails that let you take in the beauty of nature. Here are just a few to check out:
- Manhattan: trek through Inwood Hill Park’s wild forest to see beautiful woodland, water, and marsh views
- Bronx: hike the 1,146 acres of NYC’s largest park – Van Cortlandt Park
- Staten Island: the 3.3-mile loop of the Greenbelt Trail is popular among solo hikers
- Queens: hike Alley Pond Park, especially the 2.3-mile scenic White Trail with pine trees and a pond
Ride The the Staten Island Ferry
Even if you aren’t planning a trip to Staten Island, taking the ferry ride is still a worthwhile attraction. You’ll get to see incredible views of Governor’s Island, Ellis Island, Lady Liberty, and the Manhattan skyline. The ferry runs 24 hours a day, every 30 minutes or every 20 minutes during rush hour. And, it’s completely free! You’ll be glad you added it to your list of solo activities in NYC.
Attend a Live Show Taping
Have you ever been part of a live studio audience? While you’re in NYC, you’ll have the chance for this unique experience. With so many shows taped in the city, there are plenty of options to choose from. However, you need to plan ahead and request your tickets in advance. The most popular shows to attend are:
- Late Night with Seth Meyers
- The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
- The Daily Show with Trevor Noah
Catch a Show on Broadway
If you’re a theatre fanatic, Broadway is the place to be to catch an exciting show. Shows are typically between 10 am and 8:30 pm and tickets can range between $20 and $175, depending on your seat selection. One great thing is that for the price of one ticket, you might be able to catch multiple shows as your solo activities in NYC.
For a different perspective of Broadway’s famous theatres, consider taking a Broadway Theatre District Tour. The guide will share the area’s history, backstage stories, insider secrets, and more!
Bike Around the City
Explore the city on two wheels by renting a bike for the day. The Citi Bike share program makes it easy to get a ride for a day or a few hours. You can get the bikes from docking stations throughout Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Jersey, and Hoboken. Prices are:
- $3.99 for the first 30minutes and $0.23 per additional minute
- $15 for a 24-hour period
- $15 per month for an annual membership
There are biking tours you can book online where a guide takes you through the various neighborhoods of NYC. Or you can bike the:
- Central Park Southern Loop
- Hudson River Greenway
- Brooklyn-Queens Greenway
- George Washington Bridge
Go On a Pizza Tasting Tour
New York’s signature thin-crust pizza is famous for a reason. Since it’s a must to try a slice, why not go on a pizza tour at some popular spots? Before you leave the city, make sure to grab a slice (or whole pie) at one of these locations:
- Di Fara
- Patsy’s Pizza
- Joe’s Pizza
Have a Feast at Smorgasburg
Food connoisseurs will love this weekend activity! Smorgasburg is the largest open-air food market in the U.S., featuring over 100 local vendors. There’s something for everyone, from BBQ and dumplings to cake and vegan options. It takes place every Friday to Sunday at the World Trade Center, Williamsburg, Jersey City, or Prospect Park. Make sure to bring some cash since not all the vendors take cards.
Go on a Shopping Spree
NYC is one of the world’s shopping meccas with numerous options ranging from brand-name department stores and vintage stores to on-a-budget thrift shops. Even only window shopping is worth the trip and is one of the best solo activities in NYC. Here are just a few examples of what to check out:
- 260 Sample Sale with discounted designer items
- The Shops at Columbus Circle
- The Harry Potter store
- Dylan’s Candy Bar
- 5th Avenue shops
- The Oculus