Midtown Manhattan has endless skyscrapers, full sidewalks, and the streets are filled with honking and bicyclists swerving in and out of traffic. This part of the city attracts countless tourists daily to New York City’s most famous landmarks and unique attractions such as the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building.
People are drawn to the bright lights of Times Square and are easily inspired by the energizing aura of the city. Exploring Midtown is on every to-do list for the New York City vacationer. Fifth Avenue is arguably the most popular shopping street which is filled with tourists and locals every day. Don’t be surprised if you run into a celebrity as well.
By the way: you’ll find many more New York City spots in our Loving New York travel guides!
My TOP 5 Things to do in Midtown Manhattan
You won’t be able to explore all of Midtown in one day. There’s simply too much to experience and a lot of it can be time-consuming. Below are the absolute things to do in this part of the city.
- Empire State Building by Night
- Bryant Park
- Shopping at 5th Avenue
- Enjoy breath-taking views from SUMMIT One Vanderbilt
- Visit the bright lights of Times Square
Where is Midtown Manhattan located?
Don’t let the term midtown confuse you! Midtown Manhattan describes on the one hand the whole area from 14th Street to 59th Street (at Central Park) and includes more than 10 neighborhoods like Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen, the Theatre District and the Flatiron District. Below Midtown Manhattan begins Downtown Manhattan, with Uptown Manhattan bordering it to the north.
At the same time, Midtown is also a neighborhood within the Midtown Manhattan area.
Here you find a map of Midtown Manhattan
How to Get To Midtown Manhattan
Metro: It really depends where in Midtown Manhattan you would like to visit. All of the trains go right into the city. For main locations such as Time Square, take the or the . If you want to go to Grand Central, you can take the , or the . For Bryant Park, you can take the and the lines.
Hop on Hop Off Bus: Stop 1 to 4, 14 and 15 of the downtown loop of BIG BUS (“Union Square”) or stop 1 to 5 of the downtown loop of Gray Line Sightseeing (“Union Square”). Here you find more about Hop on Hop off in NYC.
My tip: the tickets for the buses are included in many of the New York City passes – which one is the best for you, you can see in my Pass Comparison for New York!
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The 29 Best Things To Do in Midtown Manhattan
There are so many things to do in Midtown Manhattan that it would be impossible for someone to go through all the attractions in just one day. With so many NYC attractions, tours, and sights, it would take multiple days and maybe even multiple visits to the city. With that being said, it’s ok if you don’t get to experience everything.
Empire State Building
The Empire State Building is one of New York’s most iconic landmarks. Its construction was completed in 1930 after a close race with the Chrysler Building. The 86th floor of the 102 story building serves as an observation desk that gives you a stunning view of the city.
Bryant Park is located right in central Manhattan and is a quiet oasis between 40th and 42nd Street. Bryant Park is right in the cetner of Midtown Manhattan between 40th and 42nd Street, yet it still lends you the peace and quiet you need to get away for a few moments from the bustling city. With many small cafés dotted throughout the park this is the perfect place to unwind or relax when the weather is nice. The large meadow in the middle of the park is often used for sunbathing or reading.
In the winter, Bryant Park ice skating is popular as the green lawn turns into an ice rink and the pathways become the Bryant Park Winter Village. Here, you’ll find many holiday vendors that sell holiday ornaments, souvenirs, and food. And if you’re in New York this summer, don’t miss the free movie screenings in Bryant Park!
Insider Tip: In addition to winter markets, there are certain days of the year that the city closes certain streets to make way for NYC street fairs. You’ll be able to buy food from local vendors and pop-up shops also make an appearance.
New York: Midtown Manhattan Street Food Walking Tour
Food trucks are very popular with New Yorkers: as a quick snack between meals or as a lunch. The Gourmet Snack Truck Tour takes you either through the Financial District or Midtown. From Korean short ribs to souvlaki, curry, falafel, hot dogs or brownies – you will be surprised!
New York Public Library