Things to do in New York
Been there, seen all that there is to see? Not in New York City, you haven't. With its constant reinvention and renewal, it's possible to see a new New York every time you visit. Tick off the essential must-do list on your first visit, then dig deeper as you return again (and again).
If you've already been to the top of the Empire State Building, here's a tip: many consider the view from Top of the Rock (on top of the Rockefeller Center) to have even more wow factor with its sweeping views over Central Park and the city. For downtown views and out to Brooklyn, your best bet is the top of One World Observatory.
Live TV talk shows
Many TV talk shows including Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and variety shows like Saturday Night Live are filmed in NYC in front of live studio audiences. Scoring tickets isn't easy for the popular shows, but most do offer a limited number of same-day tickets (queues form hours in advance).
Broadway behind the scenes
Go behind the scenes of The Great White Way on Walks of New York's new tour, Disney on Broadway: Behind the Magic. The small-group walking tour takes theatre buffs behind the curtain at Disney's New Amsterdam Theatre and into the Prop and Costume studio where original pieces from shows such as Mary Poppins and The Lion King can be seen up close.
Not into theatre life? Walks of New York also hosts a culinary tour with Mario Batali and other in-depth tours tailored to specific interests.
See New York from the water
See the city from the water: remember, Manhattan is an island and the boroughs of Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island are connected by bridges. The most comfortable ship out on New York Harbor is the Zephyr, offering public sightseeing cruises and plenty of time to enjoy Lady Liberty. Another reputable cruise company, Classic Harbor Line, offers signature specialty cruises including Architecture, Brunch, Sunset Jazz and Wine Tasting cruises on elegant teak yachts.
Support up-and-coming actors and poets at an off-off-Broadway show, gallery exhibition, poetry slam or storytelling meet. NYC is a hive of artistic endeavour and audience members are a valued part of the scene.
Add some soul to your Sunday with a gospel choir church service that raises the roof and lifts the spirits. Brooklyn Tabernacle has three services on Sundays (9am, 12pm and 3pm); the noon service is the best time to enjoy the full Grammy Award-winning choir make a joyful noise. Get there early for the best seats.
Boroughs beyond Manhattan
For many first-time visitors, Manhattan is New York City. To experience the city like a true local, get out into the other boroughs – Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island or the Bronx – to see and taste their diverse sights and flavours.