15 fun things to do alone in NYC

February 24, 2020

If you’re visiting NYC solo, you might be a little worried about finding things to do alone in NYC. The good news is, NYC is an amazing city to visit alone, it’s a safe place to visit, there are loads of things to do here and the city lends itself extremely well to solo travellers.

Also – Once you’re finished reading this article of things to do, you might want to head on over to my ‘ultimate guide to NYC‘ – where you’ll find endless information about getting around, what to eat, see and do, and even money-saving tips and tricks. 

But first – here are some of my favourite things to do solo in NYC…

Take a food tour

The first thing on my list of things to do alone in NYC, it’s a food tour! Doing an NYC food tour is actually one of the best things to do solo in NYC! A food tour is a guided group tour (usually between 5-10 people) where you’ll be taken around some of the best local restaurants or cafes to try their ‘speciality dish’ or just something extremely delicious.

It’s great for solo travellers in NYC because it’ll give you a chance to meet new people, try lots of new food and explore a neighbourhood too! There are loads of food tours in the city, but here are a few of my top picks… Definitely one of the top things to do alone in NYC!

2-Hour Cupcake Tour of Greenwich Village

Little Italy Italian Food Tasting Tour

Midtown Manhattan Street Food Walking Tour

things to do solo in nyc

Visit the observation decks

Next up on my list of things to do alone in NYC, it’s visit an observation deck. There are three main observation decks in NYC and it’s definitely worth visiting at least one during your solo trip to NYC. I’ve listed them out below so you can see which is best suited to you!

The One World Observation Deck – Amazing views from the highest building in NYC.

The Empire State Building – An NYC classic, this is one of the original observation decks!

Top of the Rock Observation Deck – My personal favourite, this observation deck has the BEST views over the city and the Empire State.

Take the Staten Island Ferry

My next suggestion of things to do alone in NYC, take the Staten Island Ferry! If you want to doing something fun (and free) one afternoon, taking a round trip on the Staten Island Ferry is actually a really nice things to do solo in NYC. It’s completely free (it’s just public transport, not a tour or anything!) but the views over the city on your way over to Staten Island are insanely good.

There’s a little shop onboard, so you can sit down, people watch, enjoy the view, you name it. It’s a really relaxing and lovely idea for things to do alone in NYC.

things to do solo in nyc

Watch a Broadway show

I can’t visit NYC with watching a Broadway show, so it had to make my list of things to do solo in NYC! If you’re looking for things to do solo in NYC, then a Broadway show has be on your list. Actually, going alone to a Broadway show is a great way to score cheap tickets! Usually single seats are priced lower than seats together, so you might be able to snatch up a really good seat for a pretty affordable price.

Watching a Broadway show is one of the absolutely top things to do alone in NYC and it is also a great way to score tickets to the newer or more in-demand shows! These are my favourite shows:

Frozen the Musical (based on the hit Disney movie, it was so happy and upbeat and just so “Disney”)

Mean Girls (based on the classic teen movie, it’s a great choice!)

The Cursed Child (two plays in one day. A incredible theatrical must-see for ANY Harry Potter fan)

The Lion King on Broadway (A Broadway must-see, this is like the ‘ultimate’ Broadway musical)

Come From Away  (uplifting musical about the true events following 9/11, in a small town where many planes were rerouted)

Moulin Rouge!  (quite a new addition to Broadway, based off the movie of the same name. Looks so good!)

Wicked the Musical  (Another classic, this was one of the first shows I saw on Broadway!)

things to do in nyc solo

Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge

Next up on my list of things to do alone in NYC, the Brooklyn Bridge! Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge is a must-do for anyone visit NYC. First of all, it’s one of the most iconic bridges in the world, so you definitely need to make time to walk across it! Secondly, the views you get from the bridge are amazing, and it’s one of the best ways to see the NYC skyline.

things to do solo in new york city

Visit Time Out Market

Time Out Market is located in Brooklyn (right under the Brooklyn Bridge in DUMBO) and it’s one of the best places to eat in NYC if you’re visiting solo. It’s a brilliant food hall full of some of NYC’s best food chains, or restaurants. They’re all located in a food hall, with communal seating, and they serve up their best dishes. It’s a lot of fun, a must-visit for any foodies! Also – the rooftop has some of the best views in the city, so make sure you head up there before leaving! This is such a great things to do solo in NYC, especially if you’re feeling nervous about eating on your own.

things to do solo in new york city

Climb The Vessel

The Vessel is located in Hudson Yards, which is a newly regenerated neighbourhood about a 10 minute walk from Times Square and it’s my next idea for things to do alone in NYC.

The Vessel is a huge sculpture / vertical park, full of staircases and reaching dizzying heights. It’s quite amazing to look at, and you can enter it and climb it for free. It’s one of my new favourite things to do in the city, and it’d be a great thing to do in NYC if you were visiting solo.

things to do solo in NYC

Visit one of the MANY museums or art galleries

Next up on my list of things to do alone in NYC, visit one of the many museums. We all know NYC is full to burst with museums and art galleries. On a rainy day (or if the weather isn’t too great) then heading inside to a museum or gallery is a perfect way to spend the day solo in NYC.

I personally recommend the Museum of Modern Art or MoMA as many people call it (click here to buy skip-the-line tickets).

things to do solo in NYC

Stroll through Central Park

You can’t beat a leisurely stroll through Central Park, so it had to make my list of things to do solo in NYC. The park is huge too, so you could easily split this out into 2 days if you wanted to break it up! During the daytime, you can walk through the park on your own completely safely – so don’t let that worry you. The park is always full of locals, visitors, and event tour groups and cyclists. It’s the hub of the city and so many people enjoy spending time there.

If you want to do a walking tour of the park to make sure you see all the best bits, and to make sure you don’t get lost, I recommend this one. Or, you can read my full list of Central Park tours (there are all kinds to choose from, including running tours and even movie tours!). These are definitely one of my favourite things to do alone in NYC.

things to do solo in nyc

Visit the Statue of Liberty

Next on my list of things to do alone in NYC, the Statue of Liberty. There are loads of different ways you can see the Statue of Liberty (I’ve written about lots of them here) but the classic way to see The Statue of Liberty is probably the ferry ride, with admission to Liberty Island.

This is a must-do if you’re visiting NYC, it’s one of the main sights to see, and it’s just one of those absolutely iconic places. Click here for Statue of Liberty tickets. 

Next up on my list of things to do solo in NYC

Check out the street art on a walking tour

Another really cool walking tour, this time taking you around some of the city’s best street art and graffiti spots. I love tour groups (especially walking tours) when you’re travelling alone in NYC, because it’s the perfect chance to meet people.

This tour is fantastic and there are so many amazing locations included where you can take some great photos. This tour is super cool, which is why it had to make my list of things to do alone in NYC.

things to do solo in NYC

Walk the High Line

Next on my list of things to do alone in NYC, it’s the High Line park. The High Line is a public park that was made on top of old abandoned rail lines in the Soho area of NYC.

It’s a really special place, constantly changing with the seasons, and with some beautiful places to sit and relax and enjoy views of the city. On a clear day it’ll be busy, so I recommend getting there early to avoid the crowds. Oh, and it’s free!

things to do solo in nyc

Visit the Color Factory

Probably the most quirky things on this list of things to do solo in NYC, it’s Color Factory! This is a new immersive art installation / museum that will transform the way you feel about colour and art. It’s really unique, so much fun, and it’s somewhere you can easily spend a few hours (because there’s so many interesting things to see and do).

I recommend booking online ahead of time, as it can get quite busy – especially because people are starting to realise just how amazing it is! This is for sure one of the best things to do alone in NYC!

things to do on your own in nyc

Go thrift shopping in Brooklyn

And finally on my list of things to do solo in NYC… Thrift shopping! This is always more fun when you’re solo, as you can really take the time to browse each and every rack of clothing to find that perfect item. As you’d probably expect, NYC has some amazing thrift shopping, but Brooklyn has to take the crown. Buffalo Exchange and Monk Vintage Thrift Shop on Driggs Avenue are both brilliant places to start your day of thrift shopping.

things to do solo in nyc

I hope this list of things to do solo in NYC has been useful! If you have any suggestions to add to the list, just let me know in the comments below!

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