Must-See Monuments and Memorials In New York City

Monumental New York

New York City is full of famous places, huge monuments, amazing skyscrapers, and important memorials. On your next visit, make sure you see at least a few of these iconic places, as all of them should be on your must-see list. From the Statue of Liberty to the Empire State Building, these landmarks have become famous through film and television, as well as having historical stories on their own. They create a sense of wonder and awe in every visitor not just because they are famous, but because they emote a story, a history, and an emotion in everyone. These monuments and memorials are unique to NYC, so check them out on your next visit.
The Vessel
The Vessel
The Vessel at Hudson Yards in Manhattan was completed in 2019 as part art installation and part observation tower. The elaborate honeycomb-like structure rises 16 stories and offers views from the top of the surrounding area, along with some amazing views from within the structure itself. With 154 flights of stairs, 2,500 steps, and 80 landings for visitors to climb, there's an interesting view and photographic angle from every platform. Even though it's only been around for a few years, it has quickly become one of the most interesting and visited sites in New York. Tickets are free the first hour of opening, and then an admission fee is charged for the rest of the day.
20 Hudson Yards, New York, New York, 10017
New York Stock Exchange
New York Stock Exchange
The famous New York Stock Exchange is located on Wall Street, and it is, by far, the world's largest stock exchange.
Wall Street, NYC, New York, 10005
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9/11 Memorial and Museum
9/11 Memorial and Museum
This memorial commemorates the tragic loss of life felt on September 11, 2001 when suicide-piloted planes flew into the two towers of the World Trade Center. More than 3,000 people were killed as a result of the attacks on that day. The memorial is designed with a series of cascading waterfalls, recessed pools, and bronze panels that show the names of those killed during the attacks. The museum shows photos, videos, and artifacts from the events. It is recommended you purchase tickets in advance to visit the memorial. You can also visit for free on Mondays between 3:30 and 5:00, but reservations are still required.
180 Greenwich Street, NYC, New York, 10007
Washington Square Park
Washington Square Park
Washington Square Park in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Lower Manhattan is one of the city's most famous public parks. Visitors here can find the huge Washington Arch which is a large, marble triumphant arch which serves as a landmark and honors the nation's first president. In front of the arch is a nice fountain. The arch also serves as the terminus for 5th Avenue. Also located in the square is a monument to Alexander Lyman Holley, along with some walking paths, benches, and shaded tree areas which make for a nice and relaxing picnic spot.
Washington Square Village, NYC, New York
Irish Hunger Memorial
This memorial and park is dedicated to raising awareness of the Great Irish Famine, also known as "The Great Hunger", during which more than one million people starved to death.
NYC, New York, 10282
Federal Hall
This is one of the first two historic buildings to be located on Wall Street. It once served as New York's City Hall and after the American Revolution it was the meeting place of the Congress of the Confederation.
Pine Street, NYC, New York, 10005
Hamilton Grange National Memorial
The Hamilton Grange National Memorial is the home and burial site of U.S. Founding Father Alexander Hamilton. The mansion showcases the restored historical rooms of the house, along with an interactive exhibit showcasing the history and life of Hamilton.
160 Convent Avenue, NYC, New York, 10031
Statue Of Liberty
Statue Of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty is an iconic symbol of American freedom, and it's a must-see for all visitors to New York City. The statue was given as a gift to America by France, and it is one of the world's largest statues, standing 152 feet tall from the base to the torch. You can get views of the statue from Battery Park, but the best way to experience it is to take a boat trip to Liberty Island and see it up close. Many tours also stop at Ellis Island where you can explore the Immigration Museum.
NYC, Liberty Island, 07302-4522
New York City has plenty more to offer, so see also our other articles: New York City: What to See and Do in the Spring and What to Do in Queens.
Blackwell Island Light
This is a stone lighthouse that was built in 1872. It's located at the northeast end of Roosevelt Island in the East River.
NYC, New York, 10044
Gay Liberation Monument
The Gay Liberation Monument, created by American artist George Segal, is located in Christopher Park along Christopher Street in the West Village.
Christopher Street, 204 West 4th Street, NYC, New York, 10014
One World Observatory
One World Observatory
One World Observatory is located at the top of the One World Trade Center building. It is an observation deck that makes up the 100, 101, and 102nd floors, 1776 feet above the city. The glass building is a beautiful sight and the elevator ride to the top offers a changing scene of how New York City has changed and grown over the years.
NYC, New York, 10048
Ulysses S. Grant's Tomb
Ulysses S. Grant's Tomb
Formally known as the General Grant National Memorial, this is the final resting place of Ulysses S. Grant (1822–1885), the 18th President of the United States, and his wife, Julia Dent Grant (1826–1902). Construction was completed in 1897, and the tomb and monument is located in Riverside Park in the Morningside Heights neighborhood.
501 Riverside Drive, NYC, New York, 10024
Roosevelt Island
Roosevelt Island is a great place to hang out with a family. There are two miles of waterfront that you can explore with impressive views of Manhattan and Queens. There is also plenty of green space, parks, and a playground. For a picnic, head to the southern tip of the island and grab a spot at Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park, which has views of both Manhattan and Queens.
Manhattan
Staten Island Ferry
Staten Island Ferry
The Staten Island Ferry travels between downtown Manhattan and Staten Island. Along the route it offers breathtaking views of the Manhattan skyline and the Statue of Liberty. The ride is free, and it's particularly nice at sunset when the colors are bright and the setting is stunning.
New York City has plenty more to offer, so see also our other articles: The Best Iconic Skyscrapers to Visit in New York City and Famous Squares and Plazas to Visit in New York City.
The Rockefeller Center
The Rockefeller Center
New York's iconic Rockefeller Center is a must-see for visitors. It is a large complex that includes 19 commercial buildings and spreads out over 22 acres in Midtown Manhattan. There's an observation deck called Top of the Rock that offers beautiful views from a tower that stands 70 floors high. It has been the home of NBC Studios since 1933 and is open for public tours.

The Rockefeller Center is a quintessential destination during the Christmas season when the iconic Christmas tree is lit and the ice skating rink is opened in the plaza.
45 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY, 10111
Governor's Island
Head to this island between the months of May and October (it's closed other times of the year). In addition to fountains where kids can play, there's a zip line, rock wall, and even a mini golf course. The national park service also offers educational programming, so it's fun and informative. The island spans 172 acres and it's the perfect place for walking, running, or cycling. There's also a lot of history here. As you arrive on the island, the first thing you'll likely notice is the breathtaking views of the city. Bring your camera and enjoy your day!
New York Harbor
Queens County Farm Museum
This fun and family-friendly museum lets kids and adults explore everything about life on a farm, including getting to know the animals. They have pigs, alpacas, sheep, goats, and chickens, as well as hay rides, a bush maze, and a variety of education events. They also have seasonal activities such as pumpkin picking in the fall and more. Most days are free, except during special events.
73-50 Little Neck Parkway, Queens, Floral Park, New York, 11004
St. Vincent's Triangle Park
This triangular plaza is in the middle of Greenwich Village and is the location of the New York City AIDS Memorial. The park also has beautiful vegetation and plenty of seating where wanderers can rest their weary legs. Whether you want to watch the people passing by or just take a moment to reflect to yourself, this is a nice space to spend some time.
Verrazano Narrows Bridge
The Verrazano Narrows Bridge is the longest suspension bridge in the United States, measuring just over 2.5 miles in length. It crosses "The Narrows" and connects Staten Island to Brooklyn. This is a double-decker bridge that is named for the Italian explorer, Giovanni da Verrazzano.
Times Square
Times Square
Times Square is one of the most famous areas in New York City. It's known for its brightly lit billboards which really brighten the city at night. But even if you visit during the day you'll find the area filled with energy, activity, and people. If the crowds get to be too much, there are bleachers set up on one side where you can sit and take a break. Times Square is also recognizable as the location of the iconic ball drop on New Years Eve. It's also an entertainment center for the city.

Times Square is in the Midtown Manhattan neighborhood at the junction of Broadway and Seventh Avenue.
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Brooklyn Bridge Park
Sitting on the edge of the water between DUMBO and Brooklyn Heights, this park offers a number of great facilities and recreational activities. There's a bouldering wall, a roller skating rink, a pop-up pool during the summer months, and bocce courts. This is the perfect park to enjoy a run or a bike ride. The park also offers stunning views of the Manhattan skyline as it meanders along the waterfront, with the most spectacular spot being by Jane's Carousel, between the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan Bridge.
Brooklyn
New York Life Building
This Gothic Revival style building serves as the headquarters for the New York Life Insurance Company.
Williamsburg Bridge
Spanning the East River, the Williamsburg Bridge connects the Lower East Side of Manhattan to the Williamsburg neighborhood in Brooklyn. It was built between 1896 and 1903 and is made of steel towers and four steel cables. At the time of its completion, the Williamsburg Bridge was the longest suspension bridge in the world.

Today the bridge has 3 subway lines, a bike path, a walkway, and eight lanes of traffic that go across it. This is also a popular photography spot in the city.
The Flatiron Building
The Flatiron Building
This triangular shaped building received its name because it looks like an iron. The surrounding area is named the Flatiron District, after this iconic building.
George Washington Bridge
The George Washington Bridge connects New Jersey to Manhattan, crossing over the Hudson River. This is a double-decker suspension bridge that's the busiest motor vehicle bridge in the world. It has two towers that are held by four main steel cables. There are 14 lanes for cars and two sidewalks on the upper level.
Empire State Building
Empire State Building
The iconic Empire State Building has long been a symbol of New York City. It's one of the most famous skyscrapers in the world and the Art-Deco tower has been called one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers. The Empire State Building was the tallest building in the world from 1931 to 1970 and, at 102 stories, it is currently the 2nd tallest in New York City.

A highlight for many visitors to New York is the ride and view from the Top Deck observatory, which offers breathtaking views in every direction.
20 W 34th St, New York, NY, 10001
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Queensboro Bridge
Queensboro Bridge
The Queensboro Bridge crosses the East River connecting Manhattan to Queens. It is a very recognizable bridge with its distinct design and two levels. The bridge has vehicle traffic as well as a pedestrian path. It was completed in 1909 and it remains a popular attraction with tourists today.
The Chrysler Building
The Chrysler Building
This Art-Deco skyscraper continues to be considered one of the New York City's greatest sites. It has 77 floors and a beautiful lobby that is open to the public, although there is no public observation deck.
405 Lexington Ave, New York, NY, 10174
Union Square
Union Square Park is a popular place to tourists and locals alike. The park is a hub of activity and there always seems to be something going on. Locals are often in the park playing chess, and there are performers that entertain tourists and those passing by. The park also has lots of public artwork as well as the Metronome and Countdown Clock, which shows 24 hour time from left to right and also counts down the time that's left in the day. Various markets are also held here at different times of the year, such as Christmas.
Louise Nevelson Plaza
Located by William St. and Liberty St., this plaza is where you'll find the seven sculptures called "Shadows and Flags." You'll likely pass by it on your way to catch a boat to see the Statue of Liberty. There are several glass benches in the area as well where you can relax for a bit before continuing to explore Lower Manhattan.
Edge Observation Deck
Edge Observation Deck
Located at Hudson Yards, this viewpoint sticks out from the 100th floor of one of the tallest buildings in New York, and offers views of all of Manhattan, as well as a glass floor area so you can look down at the streets below (if you have the courage). Enter on the 4th floor of the shops and restaurants at Hudson Yards opposite of the Vessel. And don't forget your camera!
Hudson Boulevard at Hudson Yards, Manhattan, New York City, New York
Metropolitan Life Tower
Don't confuse this building with the MetLife Building at Grand Central Terminal. This tower faces Madison Square Park and has 50 floors. A premiere feature of the tower is the clocks on all fours sides of the tower. Each clock has a face that's 27 feet and each number is four feet tall.
How much does it cost to visit the monuments in New York City?

Prices for activities, things to do, and tours range from $15 to $1,595. The average cost for a tour or tickets is $257. A few of the best options are below.

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