6 Ways to Spend a Weekend in New York in 2021
The Big Apple, the city that never sleeps, or simply NYC; no matter how you call it, there’s no denying that New York is among the most lively, creative, and exciting cities in the world, and a destination deserving its place on everyone’s bucket list. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic and the recent lockdowns and closures, you might be wondering whether you could still experience all the beauty and excitement this city has to offer.
Thankfully, attractions are slowly starting to reopen across New York, although with new rules and regulations, meaning you will still be able to enjoy the most iconic aspects of this breathtaking city. With that in mind, here are some interesting ways you could safely spend a weekend in NYC in 2021:
Walk around the famous Times Square
Arguably the most famous and frequently-visited attraction, Times Square is truly the place where the energy and the character of New York come to life, and is a sight not to be missed. Among the massive billboards and bright lights, you will also find brilliant street performers, churches performing gospels, as well as costly yet phenomenal restaurants, making it quite a unique and characteristic aspect of NYC that should undoubtedly be on your checklist of amazing things to do in New York for free. If you have the opportunity, visiting Times Square is also the perfect excuse to stop by Broadway, where you can catch some brilliant and memorable shows.
Enjoy the view from One World Observatory
Considering the fact that the distinct skylines are among the most iconic features of New York City, it would be a shame not to see them from above. So, consider visiting the One World Observatory, where you can climb to the 100th story of one of the largest buildings in this part of the world, and take in that magnificent, awe-inspiring view. If you have the time, you could also pay a visit to the nearby Oculus and 9/11 Memorial Museum, to learn more about the recent history that impacted New Yorkers in quite a significant and memorable way.
Go on a wonderful bike ride through the city
Although an often overlooked mode of transport, exploring New York on a bicycle can offer one of the most wonderful and unique local experiences, while allowing you to see the attractions from a different point of view. For instance, going on a ride around Central Park, where you can find the best bike rental in New York, can make for quite a calming, scenic journey perfect for escaping the chaos of the city. If you’d like to cover larger grounds, however, you can ride around Manhattan, visit the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges, or even go on a ride through Queens and Brooklyn, all effortlessly done on two wheels.
Visit Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty
Another iconic landmark of NYC, the Statue of Liberty is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a breathtaking attraction that shouldn’t be missed if you’re in the area. After a quick boat ride to Liberty Island, you can walk around this renowned statue, or even make your way to the viewing platform for a different perspective. Then, continue your journey to Ellis Island, where you can visit an interesting museum dedicated to New York’s fascinating immigration history. As both of these islands provide wonderful and insightful experiences, make sure to give yourself enough time to properly explore them.
Stop by the brilliant NYC museums
From the more well-known Guggenheim, Museum of Modern Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the American Museum of Natural History, to the less-frequented Museum of Mathematics, Museum of the Moving Image, and the Louis Armstrong House, New York is home to some of the best and most captivating museums in the world. Depending on your schedule, it’s essential to visit at least one or two during your NYC trip. However, as most museums aren’t yet open at full capacity, keep in mind you might need to call ahead or make reservations before your visits.
Eat your way around Little Italy and Chinatown
Hop on the Subway and take a trip to Canal Street, where you can explore both Little Italy and the nearby Chinatown. With plenty of family-owned restaurants, these districts are well-known for offering some of the best, most authentic, and undeniably delicious food experiences in the city. However, there’s more to these neighborhoods than just incredible cuisine. For instance, Little Italy is home to great bars, trendy boutiques, as well as the annual Feast of San Gennaro, while Chinatown offers a number of small quirky shops and street markets that are filled with history and a wonderful sense of community, making for a more unique NYC experience.
Evidently, New York can still be safely explored in 2021, with most attractions available to tourists in some capacity once again. However, it would be advised to double-check all sites and services before visiting nonetheless, as closures and lockdowns might still happen amidst the pandemic.