22 Best Things to Do Alone in NYC
Best Things to Do Alone in NYC – It sounds a little intimidating to be alone in a big city. Well, it doesn’t have to be. With a well-organized itinerary, you can conquer all that the streets of New York City can throw at you.
For more than 32 years, my father worked as an electronics engineer for the New York City subway system. And, I could stand on any block, in any of the five towns, and say, “Dad, I’m 59th and 5th. How do I get off to Soho?” And he’ll get me there in a flash.
Growing up here, I developed a deep love for this city, which offers something for all. In New York City (NYC), you can be who you are & find your community of people.
Not to mention that some of the most beautiful hotels to stay in NYC are located in some of the best neighborhoods.
Although I live in the savannah now and have visited some European mecca, I come back to New York whenever I want to imagine a world where people are free to live in a (relatively) judgment-free zone.
With that spirit in mind, check out these things to do alone in NYC. It will take you through one of your happiest solo adventures in NYC.
- Check in at the Library Hotel
If there’s ever one place comfortable and appropriate to travel alone, it’s the Library Hotel. For one, sitting at a table while you enjoy your complimentary breakfast has never been more natural.
Wherever you turn, especially in your opulent room or suite, you’ll have many books to choose from.
It doesn’t matter; that decoration is every book lover’s dream. Each room has its library theme that will take you through the chapters of your wildest fantasies. Feel free to remove any books from those stacked shelves before settling in for the night.
This marvelous Library Hotel is luxury at its finest, and its beds are luxurious! But before you settle in for a night out, make sure you enjoy a nightcap at their scintillating rooftop bar.
You will be perfectly located on Madison Avenue in the heart of Midtown Manhattan. Bring your Amex & get ready to shop! If you only have twenty-four hours in New York City, this seems a good way to spend your time.
While eating alone at a library hotel sounds like a dream, having dinner alone in a packed restaurant that can be a little more intimidating. (Best Things to Do Alone in NYC)
But that’s why God made the bars! If you can manage to eat dinner in a hurry, hop in a cab and go for Raul.
Make sure you’ve secured a seat at their bar when you arrive. It’ll make you feel at home for all the usual reasons, but here’s a huge benefit.
Raul’s only serves its famous burgers to the people sitting at the bar. And that’s why you have to come early:
They make only 30 of these delicious dishes every night. That’s correct! These burgers are so delectable they are only offered in limited quantities.
By now, you have enjoyed a private tour through a world-renowned museum in the quieter hours of the morning and made some steak fries for the books.
Secret missions like these are what make solo travel so much fun! Prepare your taste buds, my friends. Take it from me- Raul is going to knock your socks off. (Best Things to Do Alone in NYC)
- Address: 180 Prince St., New York, NY
- Visit Schwarzman Bui Liding (New York Public Library)
There are various funny things to do in New York City alone & visiting the New York Public Library (NYPL) is one of those enjoyable activities.
After your stay at the Library Hotel, walk just a few steps and find yourself in front of the Schwarzman Building.
You will want to embark on this adventure with a guide as many places are closed to passersby. However, a guide will give you that VIP treatment once again.
The New York Public Library offers impeccable-led tours. Once again, since a large part of this space is restricted, one of your best bet is to take advantage of one of their staff’s knowledge and expertise to experience everything this grand building has to offer.
During this daydreaming, you’ll peruse the archives of old magazines and enter the stunning Rose Main Reading Room.
When you imagine your local library, do you see painted ceilings and shades of golden light? If you want to see it all, book a Viator tour and get the knowledge of a guide. (Best Things to Do Alone in NYC)
- Stephen A. Schwarzman Building Tours
- Address: 476 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10018
- Insider Access to the New York Public Library Theater Collection
- Time: 1.30 hours
- Price: 25-27 USD
Walk Across the Brooklyn Bridge
Some of the city’s attractions are iconic – the London Bridge, the Eiffel Tower, and the Brooklyn Bridge.
In all those New York City prints and paintings, the Brooklyn Bridge is often depicted as a beacon that connects NYC with its beloved brother: Brooklyn. This place is also known as one of the best places for visit in New York.
Why not feel like a part of one of those pictures as you walk across the Brooklyn Bridge? Try to read a little of it before you go. Walking across the bridge built in year 1883 that took 14 years to build makes it feel even more special.
Once on the bridge, you’ll view New York’s South Street seaport. Appreciate all of its characters, and look forward to visiting the exciting streets of artsy Brooklyn as you take in the gorgeous view. This is a must if you want things to do in NYC.
Everything is free here. All here you have to do is to make your way to Lower Manhattan and look for the entrance.
Putting Pace University (a nearby campus full of scholars) in your GPS will get you very-very close to where you want to be. (Best Things to Do Alone in NYC)
Enjoy Afternoon Coffee at Toby’s Estate Cafe & Brew School
Once you land in Brooklyn, you’ll want to head to Williamsburg. This will require a nice short cab ride, to make sure you hail one of those little yellow cabs.
You can also talk with the driver as you finish your way. He is bound to have an interesting story to share.
Toby’s Estate makes some great coffee of all the beanies we can order online, we still get my daily fix from Toby.
They have this Brooklyn blend coffee that smells like heaven—a chocolaty, toffee-filled, mouth-watering heaven in every cup.
Once you fall in love with the fragrance of their Brooklyn blend, it can be a good idea to learn how to create it like a master.
Toby’s offers coffee brew school classes led by their coffee teachers. They help teach anyone & everyone, from novices to experts, how to make the perfect Cup of Joe.
While most of us learn to make coffee long before our college days, this is just a fun little activity that will help you gain some knowledge from these coffee masters.
Somehow, they have manage to turn our rote morning routine into an artistic endeavour. Need help figuring out what to do on a rainy day in New York City? Relax and head to Toby’s for a cup of smooth coffee & a lesson on the art of brewing. (Best Things to Do Alone in NYC)
- Toby’s Estate Brew School
- The Address is: 125 North 6th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11249
Watch a Movie on Metrograph
Metrograph is not your average theater. His film library is other-worldly, turning an indie lover’s fantasy into concrete reality.
You’ll want to visit their website, see what’s happening when you’re in town, and then plan accordingly. Generally, you can catch the show in the afternoon or evening.
After you’ve picked up offbeat novels from library hotel shelves & screened an unknown indie film, know that you have officially become the master of solo travel. (Best Things to Do Alone in NYC)
- The Address is: No. 7 Ludlow Street, New York, NY 10002
Take a Yoga Class
Why not start your day by activating both your mind and body? As we all know, if you are going to do something, you can do it right. The Dharma Yoga Center in the New York City is the worldwide headquarters of Dharma Yoga.
When you visit this place, you will get an opportunity to study under a great yoga guru named Sri Dharma Mitra.
It will be so much fun to kick off new techniques and hum your body with nice and peaceful vibes.
You can drop in just 22 USD. Call them and set it up. You will love the whole experience from start to finish.
- Dharma Yoga
- The Address is: 61 West 23rd St, 6th Floor, New York, NY 10010
- Phone number: 212.889.8160
If you want to take your yoga lessons to the next level (literally and figuratively), give this a try! You will not only be provided with an amazing view of Manhattan skyline will also be rewarded with a special glass of wine after your workout. Just how awesome is that? (Best Things to Do Alone in NYC)
- NYC Rooftop Yoga
- Duration: 1 hour
- Price: 35 USD
Walk the High Line
If you are exploring NYC alone, why not stroll through the beautiful gardens atop the old, towering train line? The High Line begins in New York’s famous Chelsea district.
It was built so that the freight trains could carry meat and produce to the meatpacking district without disrupting traffic.
After its heyday, it lay there for many years. There were plans to demolish the complete line, but instead, a local community group banded together & turned it into a beautiful green space in the heart of downtown Manhattan.
While in the Chelsea District, head to the Chelsea Market and be taken by the fresh fruit, cheese & bread. (It is located in the old Nabisco factory, so you know fabulous delights await!)
- High Line Park & Historic Greenwich Village NYC Food Tour
- Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Scour the Shelves of Three Lives
Before your evening meal, why not you pick up a new novel for some company? This next stop will also found on the West Side, so it is a great treat after your High Line tour.
Three Lives is no standard Barnes and Noble (not that there is anything wrong with a Barnes & Noble glow). Three Lives have a life of its own.
Her shelves are filled with curated books that have yet to be featured on the New York Times Best Seller book list.
That is what makes these books so magical. Each of the shelf contains a pirate’s chest full of the gold coins. Truly, three lives is an experience in itself. (Best Things to Do Alone in NYC)
- Three Lives and Company
- The Address is: 154 West 10th Street, New York, NY 10014
Visit the American Museum of Natural History
Do you like to dream about stars? Do you wonder about all those hidden, unseen galaxies in the sky?
Then head to the Hayden Planetarium inside the American Museum of Natural History. They offer a beautiful show narrated by renowned astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson that showcases a theoretical space-themed journey.
You are bound to feel comfortable in their superior seating arrangement. Here, you can even really understand what it means to be a “distant world.”
You can also visit the rest of the museum while you are there, but the Hayden Planetarium is a specifically sweet treat you should try to enjoy when you are in New York City (NYC).
- New York City (NYC) American Museum of Natural History Admission
- Time: 3 to 4 hours
Walk Through the Brooklyn Botanic Garden
When I look back on my life, this is the timeline of Brooklyn Rose. My father is used to take me to the Brooklyn Botanical Garden as a child, and I promise it will be a surprise to you too.
New York City and all its surrounding towns are spectacular at every season of the year. But, if you’re visiting in June, don’t walk in the Cranford Rose Garden at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.
Very few gardens offer such vivid and beautiful waves of color while the hustle and bustle of Brooklyn carry on in this busy city.
Likewise, their Japanese hill-and-pond garden has also holds enough magic to transport you to a magnificent and lush area. When you return home, you will remember this sacred place every time you drink a cup of green tea. (Best Things to Do Alone in NYC)
- Lower Manhattan to Brooklyn Double Decker Sightseeing Bus Tour
- Duration: 2 hours
Explore the Shakespeare Garden in Central Park
What should I do alone in NYC? Then the Garden Tour is a top option in New York. This is fantastic because you won’t be able to get over the fact that you are in a serene oasis. And, all this while the busiest city in the world explodes with the activity all around you.
Like the Brooklyn Bridge, Central Park is also photographed a lot. The park is worth a walk when you’re visiting NYC.
I like to enter from the Plaza Hotel on Fifth Avenue. While you’re there, you’ll see some horse-drawn carriages and interesting street art.
Shakespeare Garden is the hidden gem within this world-famous gem. Here, you’ll find rosemary and pansies swaying in the wind, alluding to Shakespeare’s character Ophelia.
You can admire how some thistles settle into life as they did in Much Ado About Nothing. The best part is that you will see a white mulberry tree which is said to have been grafted from a tree planted by Shakespeare in 1602! When exploring Central Park, check out some of its best fountains.
- Central Park Walking Tour
- Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes
Stroll Along Fifth Avenue
After you have found your zen in Central Park, stay where you are. If you walk out the way you came in (near the Plaza Hotel), you’ll be all set to tackle some serious window shopping.
Fifth Avenue proudly displays all the big names from Tiffany & Co., Cartier, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Barneys. Several flagship stores of all our favorite brands are also found here.
I love taking a dip in the two-story flagship of the Banana Republic, found on the edge of Rockefeller Center. (When you’re at Rockefeller, you can grab Dean & DeLuca’s cupcakes for a quick bite.)
This was one of my favorite things while traveling alone in NYC. If, for a moment, you want to live a high-gloss lifestyle, dedicate the afternoon to some classy shopping. (Best Things to Do Alone in NYC)
- Fashion on the Fifth Avenue Shopping Tour
- Duration: 3 hours
Experience Cultural Diversity
New York has a lot of diverse cultures. This is why different regions offer specific types of food & activities.
Chinatown is a one of the very popular neighborhood in New York. They offer authentic Chinese food like dumplings, hand-pulled noodles, and the like.
Although it is always a busy area, it is very accessible, so you can always leave the bus if you feel like it. The another popular area in Manhattan is Little Italy.
Foodies love to come and explore their many food options. Food is one of many big things they have to offer.
Take a stroll through Chinatown and Little Italy’s streets and understand their history; if you are lucky, you may even see some of the festivals celebrated to honor their culture. It will be a truly enriching experience! (Best Things to Do Alone in NYC)
- Chinatown and Little Italy Tour
- Duration: 2 hours
Serendipity 3. Have a Savory Feast in
Serendipity 3, hands down, serves up some of the tastiest desserts in all of Manhattan. They are known for their frozen hot chocolate, which is every bit as drool-worthy as it sounds.
If you’re a fan of classic rom-com movies, watch John Cusack highlight this spot in his movie “Serendipity.” This will add to the whole experience’s sweetness and enhance your enjoyment of other NYC attractions like the Central Park ice skating rink.
- Serendipity 3
- The Address is: 225 E 60th St, New York, NY 10022
Have Live Music at Pete’s Candy Store
Ready for one last tour of Brooklyn? Pete’s Candy Store is the epitome of that “hole in the wall” vibe in the best way possible. However, this is not a candy store. Save a few bucks for a pint of your favorite cold beer.
Pete’s features live music in the setting where you will be so close to the artist’s that their music will be rooted in your soul.
Visit this venue & sip on a craft beer while your left foot taps to the tempting palate. It’s the perfect way to top your cool stay in New York City. (Best Things to Do Alone in NYC)
- Pete’s Candy Store
- Address: 709 Lorimer St., Brooklyn, NY 11211
Kayak on the Hudson River
To say that you kayak during a mountain retreat is pretty cool. What if you were really able to say that you are kayaked through lower Manhattan?
One of the best places to go solo in NYC is the Hudson River. Are you interested in knowing more? Then check out Pier 26 in the Tribeca on a sunny afternoon. You will be able to paddle through the harbor and can also enroll in an evening class.
This activity will give you another convenient place to soak up the wonders of New York City. If your yoga pants are waterproof, you will be able to keep this special travel in your pocket and never let it go.
- Pier 26
- Address: Second Wharf north of Battery Park
Join the NYC criminals, gangs, and mafia tour
Looking for a thrilling adventure that you only get to see in the movies? Well, then you have a chance to learn more about them thanks to a tour of this neighborhood that was realized with the help of retired NYPD officers and detectives.
Learn more about the impact of the political corruption in NYC, discuss some of the few biggest white-collar crimes in the Big Apple, hear about gang life in New York, and delve into the true stories and incidents before you tell. Expert guide, you will complete your tour with a good coffee and donut on your way to New York. (Best Things to Do Alone in NYC)
- NYC gangster and mob private walking tour
- Duration: 2 hours
It would help if you dedicated a morning to explore the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It is one of the finest gems in New York.
Because of its splendor, you can expect this fellow to be packed to the gills with curious minds. But, if you’re anything like me, elbows in the rib cage aren’t your favorite thing. So, here’s the trick.
Take advantage of Viator’s “Empty Tour” for only USD 175 and see the whole thing in the quieter hours of the morning before the crowds settle in.
I say a “mere” 175 USD because you just won a big one for a private tour at a famous NYC museum. (Aviators are seriously awesome. Their prices are always reasonable and make for a smooth operation.)
It is a one-and-a-half-hour tour that will take you to all the hotspots. During the tour, your guide will provide you with enough insight to be refreshed, educated, and ready to face that bustling city for the rest of the day. (Best Things to Do Alone in NYC)
- Skip-the-Line Metropolitan Museum of Art Semi-Private Tour
- Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes
- Try Puerto Rican Cooking
New York City certainly has a lot to offer its tourists. They have everything from entertainment to various cuisines, so NYC can’t disappoint.
Although, at times, the city can be quite overwhelming as there is so much to see. Why not you take a step back and indulge in some Puerto Rican cooking?
Learn about their culture while preparing authentic Puerto Rican food such as pastelitos (baked puffed pastry) and the famous Puerto Rican sauce, sofrito. You can also pair your dish with a cocktail of your choice. You will enjoy this experience! (Best Things to Do Alone in NYC)
- Puerto Rican Cooking and Cocktails
- Duration: 3 hours
Get to Land’s Lay with a Hop-On, Hop-Off Bus
Some might consider it a fascinating, touristy thing to do. The gist of this article is about the low-key and interesting places that people often overlook. But before we add to our list of things to do alone in NYC, consider this:
A hop-on, the hop-off bus will do many things for you. First, it will allow you to sit comfortably while you explore the ground. Once you get a better feel of the surroundings around you, this sprawling city will feel less like Terra Secret and more like something worth exploring.
Second, hop-on, hop-off buses share interesting historical facts about your new surroundings. Later, when you’re walking around town, you’ll be able to unravel some of the secrets behind your makeshift home away from home. (Best Things to Do Alone in NYC)
Head to Broadway
You knew it was coming! How can you get to NYC without attending a Broadway show? It doesn’t matter which patronage shows you have – off-Broadway, on Broadway, matinee, or evening show. Make sure you step into one of these majestic theaters during your stay.
Since we’ve already made a splash in other areas (i.e., our hotel stay), let’s move on to the TKTS Time Square. It’s an affordable way to catch a Broadway play. You must attend their huge booth in Times Square.
Swing as long as you want to participate in a show. They will offer you discounted tickets, sometimes up to 50% off. If you want to enjoy the matinee, visit their booth at 10 am. If you want a classic evening performance, try to be there at 3 pm for the best selection.
- Disney on Broadway Behind-the-Scenes Walking Tour
- Duration: 2 hours
A city you won’t soon forget!
Sometimes, traveling through the series of bustling streets with a calm mind provides the perfect contrast to this gift called life. NYC will provide you with a silver platter full of activity. That’s why it’s important to set your goals before you hit the streets. (Best Things to Do Alone in NYC)
With a game plan, you can master this concrete oasis and enjoy a little bit of everything.
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