New York City
The backdrop for countless films, books, and television shows, New York is a true global capital, and one of the world’s most visited cities. Travelers flock to the Big Apple to see neon-lit Times Square, Central Park, the Empire State Building, and the Statue of Liberty, but also to experience world-class museums, dining, and Broadway theater. Guided tours help navigate NYC’s hectic pace and secure guaranteed access to in-demand shows and attractions. The city is also a convenient base for exploring other East Coast destinations, including Boston, Philadelphia, Washington DC, and Niagara Falls.
Statue of Liberty
Gifted to the United States by the French in 1886, the Statue of Liberty is a global icon of freedom and democracy standing on Liberty Island in New York Harbor. Tours depart from Lower Manhattan by ferry, and often include stops at neighboring Ellis Island. Express cruises are available for time-pressed visitors, while private and small-group itineraries offer a more intimate way to explore the always-crowded site.
Travelers rarely visit the Statue of Liberty without also exploring Ellis Island, and this tour stops at both while providing early ferry boarding.
If your clients want to see the Statue of Liberty illuminated from the water, this twilight cruise provides just that, as well as nighttime views of the Manhattan skyline.
This speedy 1-hour cruise is ideal for clients who want to see the statue up close but who don’t have the time to disembark and actually visit it.
Though the Statue of Liberty attracts more than 4 million annual visitors, this private tour offers a flexible and personal way to see the icon (plus Ellis Island) and bypass the crowds.
Read more about Statue of Liberty tour options here.
Empire State Building
The Empire State Building, once the world’s tallest skyscraper, is a must-see for most first-time visitors to New York City. With its distinctive art deco design and pinnacle, the building is impressive from the ground, but its two observatories make venturing inside more than worthwhile. Guided tours provide a way to skip the long entry lines and access one (or both) observation decks, while helicopter tours offer another perspective on the world-famous landmark.
Viator Exclusive: Empire State Building Experience – Top Deck Express Pass & STATE Grill and Bar Dinner
Ideal for a first night in New York, this experience provides skip-the-line access to both observation decks and a 3-course dinner at the building’s lobby restaurant.
This VIP tour takes travelers to see the sunrise from the building’s 86th-floor observation deck before it’s open to the public, bypassing crowds in the process.
The flexibility of this experience makes it a winner for time-pressed clients. Tickets are valid for up to a year from the date of purchase, and include VIP, skip-the-line privileges that can be used at any time.
One of the more budget-friendly New York City helicopter tours, this 15-minute flight gives visitors a bird’s-eye view of the Empire State Building and other highlights.
Read more about Empire State Building tour options here.
National September 11 Memorial and Museum
The National September 11 Memorial and Museum is a place of somber tribute to those who lost their lives in the 2001 terrorist attacks in New York City. The outdoor memorial, with its enormous reflecting pools and waterfalls, is free to visit and a common stop on walking tours. The companion museum, located beneath the memorial plaza, requires admission tickets and is best experienced with guided tours that provide context.
Clients get a comprehensive tour of the memorial plus access to the museum and One World Observatory, which they can visit on their own afterwards.
Perfect for clients interested in the memorial’s history and architecture, this VIP tour offers priority, skip-the-line access to the museum.
This tour visits the memorial and key landmarks nearby such as St. Paul’s Chapel and the Fireman’s Memorial. Bonus: Pre-reserved tickets to the museum.
The guide on this tour shares personal connections and first-hand stories of the 9/11 attacks. Museum admission is available as an optional upgrade.
Read more about National September 11 Memorial tour options here.
Metropolitan Museum of Art
One of the world’s largest and most visited museums, the Metropolitan Museum of Art is the crown jewel of Manhattan’s Museum Mile. The massive gallery space encompasses more than 5,000 years of art history, with collection highlights ranging from the ancient Egyptian Temple of Dendur to The Dance Class painting by Edgar Degas. Tours take the hassle and intimidation out of navigating the sprawling museum, while private and skip-the-line options provide a calmer way to experience the Met.
On this VIP tour limited to 25 people, clients can enjoy the rare opportunity to explore the Met before opening hours and without crowds.
For clients choosing not to visit the Met on a guided tour, book admission tickets in advance to secure express access.
This small-group, skip-the-line tour ensures that clients discover the Met’s highlights while saving time and sidestepping crowds.
Led by an art historian, this private tour is available during weekend evenings—a rare perk and a nice way to avoid daytime crowds.
Read more about Metropolitan Museum of Art tour options here.
Things to Know
When to Visit
New York is very cold in the winter and smoldering in the summer. The city is a year-round destination, but spring and fall are the most temperate times to visit.
The New York subway serves four out of five boroughs—there’s no service to Staten Island—24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Buses and cabs are ubiquitous, but walking is often a better option in trafficked Manhattan.
In New York, nightlife begins and ends later than in most American cities. During weekends it’s not uncommon for dinners to begin at 9pm and bars to stay open until 4am.
Things to Bring
Walking shoes and dress shoes. New York is easily the tourist and fashion capital of North America, and it’s recommended travelers are prepared for all occasions.
What the Locals Know
An oasis in busy Midtown, Bryant Park offers a relaxing place to unwind, proximity to the sights, free Wi-Fi, and solar-powered charging stations.