8 Lesser Known Things to Do in New York

New York is the third and final stop in my three part series dedicated to the lesser known hidden gems. Along with Paris and London, New York is one of those cities that captures the hearts of everyone who walks its concrete streets. There is so much to do in the city, and New York can become very touristy very fast. The Statue of Liberty, Coney Island, and the Empire State Building are all well known sights for tourists. Beyond those, there is a whole other world of undiscovered hidden New York treasures. So here 8 lesser known things to do in New York, that will not disappoint!

8 Lesser Known Things to Do in New York

1. The Berlin Wall

Okay, obviously the Berlin Wall is not located in New York, but I had to start this off with a bang! You can in fact see a part of the original Berlin Wall in New York city, and you really should see it. While there are five specific places in NYC that you can see this little slice of history in person, the 520 Madison Ave. one is probably the largest piece most recognized. As a hardcore history nerd, which I find most travelers are, seeing the parts of the Berlin Wall sent chills down my spine. You won’t regret seeing this piece of history, and the best part is you don’t even have to travel to Berlin.

2. Bohemian New York

When in New York, manger! You’re definitely doing it right if you hit up Bohemian New York. That is, if you can get in. This exclusive Japanese restaurant serving up a six course meal is anything but effortless to get in to. There is no phone number listed anywhere, and even if you find the phone number… good luck getting in without a reference. Yes, they actually require a referral for a reservation. Bohemian New York seats about 20 people and is located in a back corridor through a NOHO Butcher Shop, and it was once owned by Andy Warhol himself! It’s a fun time if you fancy a challenge, along with a fantastic meal and a piece of history. In my best Liam Neeson voice: ‘good luck’.

8 Lesser Known Things to Do in New York

3. Fort Tryon

This insanely large park runs along the Hudson River and dates back to the American Revolutionary War. Fort Tryon gives off an English countryside vibe and spans a whopping 67 acres. On top of a hill lies Cloisters Museum and Gardens which are open to the public. The museum building was actually made from medieval structures that were brought over from Europe and then reassembled (the lengths people went to back then!). As you can imagine, this museum boats some pretty incredible architecture. You will easily feel transported to 15th century Europe in the middle of New York city, which is my favorite part.

4. The Tenement Museum

This is a lesser known museum in New York that gives you a look in to the lives of immigrants. What better way to enjoy New York than by celebrating diversity and the immigrants who made this city what it is today. The Tenement Museum is exactly what it sounds like. It is a museum that takes you through the apartments of immigrants in the 19th and 20th century. You’ll get to see the different restored apartments, and they even have ‘residents’ you can meet which is pretty fun! It’s definitely a unique museum experience and one of the lesser known gems in the city.

8 Lesser Known Things to Do in New York

5. The Chelsea Galleries

Also quite commonly referred to as ‘gallery hopping’, there are no shortage of great art galleries in Chelsea. Locals regularly peruse and go hopping through the different galleries on a Thursday or weekend night. There are an array of independent galleries in Chelsea, from the more well known artist to less known independent artists trying to make a name for themselves. If you want to see art, then Chelsea is the place to be. Some consider these galleries to showcase the best art in the world. For a fun laid back night out, grab a few drinks and go gallery hopping in Chelsea! People also visit during the day and all the galleries are free to enter.

6. The Frick Collection

While we’re on the topic of great art, The Frick Collection is another lesser known visit among tourists! Located in Upper East Side, it is an immaculate building that contains an abundant collection of Western art. There are many works from Francisco Goya, François Boucher, Barna da Siena, and even a Bellini and Rembrandt is housed here! There is also a beautiful garden court located inside the building (perfect for Instagram photos), as well as gorgeous gardens outside the building too.

8 Lesser Known Things to Do in New York

7. The Morgan Library

In the dying age of print, finding a good solid library is a satisfying thing. The Morgan Library is absolutely stunning you guys. Visit this library and you will not be disappointed.  This library was J.P. Morgan’s private library in the early 1900’s and its design cost around $1.2 million! There are ceiling murals and paintings all along the walls, which were all inspired by the great Raphael. Much like a few of these others I’ve mentioned here, this is a great visit to purely take your time and marvel at the beautiful architecture and interior. This library blows so many others out of the water, and it will be less packed and less touristy.

8. Love Quotes in Central Park

It’s no secret most people have been to Central Park. Don’t get me wrong, Central Park is always worth a visit or a jog in the morning in between your New York foodie adventures. However, the park’s love quotes usually go unnoticed by busy tourists. I missed them the first time too! Just sit on almost any bench in the park, and you’ll see a lovely little plaque with a quote, typically about love. Well, I guess not any bench will do. You’ll have to seek them out since only about 2,000 of the 9,000 benches have quotes so far. It’s definitely fun to spend a few hours walking the park and reading the quotes with a loved one. You can even ‘adopt’ a bench and leave your own love quote for as little as $7,500. You know, just about a month’s rent in New York city…

Whether you’re planning your first trip to New York (I can give you a hand with that too), or your third, these are some of my favorite things to do that people often miss. Hopefully you add these to your list on your next trip!

What’s your favorite thing to do in New York? Or, what would you love to see in New York that you haven’t seen yet?

Check out Trip Planner for a hand in planning your next trip!

62 Comments

  • 3 months ago

    Everything sounds so cool. I’m so saving this list for my trip to New York, I hope I can make it in 2017! ♥

    http://www.heresometimes.com

    • Emily
      3 months ago

      Thanks Jen! I hope you get to visit!

  • Darriyan
    3 months ago

    Such a great post! Will save this and come back to it if i ever visit New York!

    Darriyan xx
    http://www.darriyancateland.co.uk

    • Emily
      3 months ago

      Thank you Darriyan!

  • 3 months ago

    Oh I have been trying to get to Fort Tryon park since I moved back to NY from Seattle 8 years ago!! Thanks for these ideas, they are excellent!

    Allie of ALLIENYC
    http://www.allienyc.com

    • Emily
      3 months ago

      Haha dang! Definitely worth a visit, which I’m sure you know ;). You are most welcome!

  • 3 months ago

    Great post hun….love all the pictures….Newyork is indeed beautiful…
    XOXO, NEHA
    http://www.theinstylejournal.com/

    • Emily
      3 months ago

      Thank you Neha!!

  • 3 months ago

    I love NYC. I think I’m more of a NYC gal than LA. I’ve only been once and it was too short. Short enough that I never went into Central Park AND (I’m being 100% honest!) never saw Times Square. I did drive through it on my way to the airport if that counts for much hahahaha. I did th Brooklyn Bridge though. And the Staten Island ferry. I’ve been dreaming of going back for so many years now. I’d love to spend a month just exploring. Not sure that I’d hit up Bohemian though it sounds like a lot of fun. I don’t think I’m clever enough to figure any of that out!

    Sxx
    http://www.daringcoco.com

    • Emily
      3 months ago

      Oh dang! You need to go for a few days then for sure! I too am more of an NY girl. I just prefer the demeanor of everyone and the colder weather. I actually have never been to the Brooklyn Bridge! Haha.

  • 3 months ago

    This is such a brilliant post! Tenement Museum, Chelsea galleries & Morgan Library sound amazing!
    I’m adding them to my must-go list! Thanks xx

    Kaylee ㅣJK’s Dawn

    • Emily
      3 months ago

      Thanks Kaylee! Glad you enjoyed it and are adding it to your list!!

  • Ivana
    3 months ago
  • 3 months ago

    I hope to visit New York sometime soon. Thanks for the headsup.

    Funmi x
    http://www.funmialabi.co.uk

    • Emily
      3 months ago

      You’re welcome Funmi!

  • Lindsey
    3 months ago

    I love gallery hopping! When I was in art school we used to take a trip up to Toronto and walk through all the little galleries. I can imagine that new york has plenty more.
    Had no idea about a piece of the Berlin Wall being in New York. Will have to keep that in mind next time I visit.

    Thanks for sharing!!

    Lindsey Elyse | lindseyginge

    • Emily
      3 months ago

      You’re welcome Lindsey! That’s awesome you went to art school! I studied some art in college and I’ve always loved the classics. Hope you are having a great weekend!

  • 3 months ago

    I’m also a major history geek so I’d definitely love to see a piece of the Berlin Wall.
    Thanks for sharing!

    XoXo Noma

    • Emily
      3 months ago

      Yasss! Thanks Noma!

  • 3 months ago

    I know many look forward to a trip to NYC but not me. To my eyes it’s another metropolitan city and the crowd would drive me absolutely bonkers. This list gives me a different perspective to NYC though, maybe there’s something more to the city than shopping, massive crowds and where everybody looks like a catwalk model.

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

    • Emily
      3 months ago

      There really is! I think New York sort of has something for everyone. Obviously if you don’t like crowds that might be a bit of a problem haha. But the places I’ve listed are not too crazy at all. 🙂

  • 3 months ago

    Thanks for sharing! I’ve been many times to NY but never did any kind of tourist visits! I was to busy shopping and eating !

    • Emily
      3 months ago

      Haha shopping and eating are always on my list! That’s a give in. 😉

  • 3 months ago

    This is lovely, I really want to visit New York at some point! x
    adelelydia.blogspot.com

    • Emily
      3 months ago

      Thanks Adele! I hope you get to visit!

  • 3 months ago

    I haven’t visited NY whatsoever, so my list of things to do just keeps getting bigger. :]

    // ▲ itsCarmen.com ▲

    • Emily
      3 months ago

      Everyone has to visit once! It’s such an amazing city, and it’s so different from any other. I hope you get to one day!

  • Gabrielle
    3 months ago

    How have I never heard of the Love Quotes in Central Park? Truly a hidden gem! I’m so keen to visit NYC and when I do, i’ll have to pop back and pick up some more of your tips!

    aglassofice.com
    x

    • Emily
      3 months ago

      Thanks Gabrielle!!

  • 3 months ago

    This blog post is amazing! I wish I read this before I went to NYC because I don’t want to end up like another tourist in the big city :). I’m going to add them to my list of places to visit, especially Chelsea Galleries. I really like The Whitney so I think I would enjoy a visit there too 🙂 Thanks for the share hun! 🙂 xo~ Lena
    http://www.thewanderliste.com

    • Emily
      3 months ago

      You’re welcome Lena! So glad you like them and I hope you make it back some day soon!

  • Emily
    3 months ago

    I was fortunate enough to be taken to New York in January but there was just so much to do! I love reading your lesser known posts as they give me great ideas for future tips! I also never knew about love quotes at Central Park, how sweet!

    Musings & More

    • Emily
      3 months ago

      Thanks Emily! So glad to hear you like them. Woot!

  • Love everything about this post! So cute!
    Love, Hadasah Love
    http://www.styletolove.com | Instagram @hadasahlove

  • 3 months ago

    Great list! I would love to have walked by the Brooklyn bridge and across it last time I was in NYC =o)

    https://dreamofadventures.blogspot.com

    • Emily
      3 months ago

      Thank you! The Brooklyn Bridge is definitely a classic.

  • 3 months ago

    New York is beautiful. I hope to visit there one day.

    Ann-Marie | http://facetocurls.com

    • Emily
      3 months ago

      It’s so stunning!

  • 3 months ago

    I’ve been feeling a pull towards New York lately and feeling like a trip is necessary, so this is super helpful! The museum suggestions in particular have me ready to pack my bags!

    • Emily
      3 months ago

      Haha thanks Kasie!

  • 3 months ago

    I love going to NYC and actually haven’t done some of the things that you listed. Maybe next time.
    Have a gorgeous week!

    Camila,
    My Vogue Style | http://www.myvoguestyle.com

    • Emily
      3 months ago

      Thanks Camila, you too! Hope you put some of them on your list. 🙂

  • 3 months ago

    Great blogpost babe!

    Can’t wait to visit New York soon.

    • Emily
      3 months ago

      Thanks Merel! Happy travels!

  • 3 months ago

    Great post! As a NYer, there is always something new and different to experience in my city. It never seems to get boring. I love when I have family and friends visiting because I get to explore none tourist things. Surprisingly, there are two things on your list that I have overlooked. hmmm I think I might check them out
    http://www.comfycozyup.com

    • Emily
      3 months ago

      Yay! Glad I could find some hidden gems for the New Yorker! Haha. 😉

  • 3 months ago

    Even though I’m from the area you actually named quite a few things I haven’t done yet. I’ll have to make sure I cross them off my list before I move to DC. Fort Tryon is a fave of mine since The Cloisters are just beautiful and really speak to the history nerd in me. I didn’t notice the love quotes on the benches at all! I think when you see something all the time you forget to even look at those small details.

    -M

    Violet Roots || Instagram

    • Emily
      3 months ago

      Haha that totally makes sense! I forget the little details too. I am sure it’s different for an outsider. Good luck with your move to DC! You’re going to love it. I’ve been wanting to go back for so long. 🙂

  • 3 months ago

    I’ll definitely be saving this post – I’ve never been to New York but would love to take a trip one day. The Chelsea galleries sound especially interesting. Thanks for sharing, lady!

    Kathryn • simplykk.com

    • Emily
      3 months ago

      Thank you Kathryn! Glad you saved!!

  • 3 months ago

    I need to visits some of the places you mantioned here. Great post.
    Nina
    Nina’s Style Blog _ enter to win $60 Giveaway

    • Emily
      3 months ago

      Thanks Nina!

  • Kay
    3 months ago

    I have actually never been to New York or that part of the world in general, but I’d definitely love to visit one day. I really like this little blog series, It’s easy to read about popular tourist attractions but there are always so many hidden gems that are easy to miss, so it’s lovely to show them some appreciation! I really like the idea of that library, I’m not much into books myself but I’ve always enjoyed just being in libraries, something about them is just so awesome. 😀 Thanks for sharing hun, and I hope that you’re having a lovely Christmas week! xoxo

    Kay
    http://shoesandglitter.com

    • Emily
      3 months ago

      You’re welcome! Thanks for reading and I am glad you enjoyed the series. I feel that way about a lot of the places I visit. I may not be too particularly in to reading or art, but I love the idea of these places so much. I love photographing them too. I am glad you share the same sort of sentiment! Hope you’re having a great week too Kay! Still can’t believe this Sunday is Christmas.

  • 3 months ago

    Such a great list! I’m always so overwhelmed when ‘m in NY and I love how unique this list is!

    Annessa
    http://www.seekingsunshine.com

    • Emily
      3 months ago

      Thank you Annessa!

  • 3 months ago

    The Bohemian sounds so good! I didn’t know about the love quotes either, I will definitely need to keep an eye out for them next time xx

    Tamz | http://www.throughneweyesx.com

    • Emily
      3 months ago

      Definitely do! They are pretty fun to read. 🙂

  • 2 months ago

    This post is exactly what I needed right now! I’m currently planning a trip to New York at the end of 2018 and I’m beyond excited, especially after reading this!

    Thanks so much for this post,

    Imogen // http://www.faux-silk.com

    PS: I love your blog name xx

    • Emily
      2 months ago

      Yay! I love traveling to New York myself. You are going to have such a great time! Glad I could provide a little NY inspo. And thank you!!

  • 2 months ago

    I love this post!! I go to New York about once a year and I’m always looking for unique things to do! Bookmarking this!

    Francesca
    http://www.vintagelillies.com

    • Emily
      2 months ago

      Yay! Glad you liked it. 🙂

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