New York, NYC, USA

35 fun things to do alone in NYC – that you won’t want to miss! (Updated for 2022!)

August 25, 2022

Are you looking for things to do alone in NYC? If so – keep reading!

If you’re looking for things to do alone in NYC, then hopefully this post will help! If you’re visiting NYC solo, you might be on the lookout for fun things to do alone in NYC during your trip!

You might also be a little worried about finding things to do alone in NYC – But 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 alone in NYC, and the city lends itself extremely well to solo travelers.

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. 

things to do alone in NYC


But first – here are some of my favorite things to do alone 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 ‘specialty dish’ or just something extremely delicious.

It’s great for solo travelers in NYC because it’ll give you a chance to meet new people, try lots of new food and explore a neighborhood 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! It’s a great pick for things to do solo in NYC. 

 

Visit the observation decks

Next up on our list of things to do alone in NYC, it’s visiting an observation deck. There are four 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! Make sure you add at least one of these to your list of things to do alone in NYC.

Click the links below to books tickets! 

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 favorite, this observation deck has the BEST views over the city and the Empire State.

The Edge Observation Deck – A brand new observation deck with a glass floor overlooking downtown NYC!

Read more: What is the best observation deck in NYC?

 

Take the Staten Island Ferry

Our next suggestion of things to do alone in NYC, take the Staten Island Ferry!

If you want to do something fun (and free) one afternoon, taking a round trip on the Staten Island Ferry is actually a really nice choice for things to do alone 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 on board, 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.

It’s a great choice for things to do solo in NYC. 

things to do solo in nyc


Watch a Broadway show

We can’t visit NYC without watching a Broadway show, so it had to make my list of things to do alone 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, which makes this one of the best choices for things to do alone in NYC!

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 favorite shows:

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

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)

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

Read more: A guide to Broadway shows, and which you should watch!

things to do alone in NYC

Editorial credit: Sociopath987 / Shutterstock.com


Explore DUMBO

DUMBO in Brooklyn is one of our favorite places to explore alone when we’re in the city.

You have plenty of interesting stores nearby, there’s a great food market (featured later on this list!) to try out, and there are so many walkways and parks to stroll through. 

Our ideal morning, would be jumping on the subway to York St (in Brooklyn) and taking a slow walk to the waterfront, stopping to grab a coffee, and ice-cream and enjoy the views along the way. 

You get the most incredible views of the city from here, so spend some time soaking them all in, and enjoy being by yourself and doing things on your own schedule! 

things to do alone in NYC


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 visiting NYC, and it’s definitely one of the best things to do alone in NYC because going alone lets you soak in all the views!

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. It’s definitely one of the best things to do alone in NYC, so don’t miss it!

things to do solo in new york city


Visit Time Out Market in Brooklyn

Next on my list of the best things to do alone in NYC, it’s the Time Out Market.

The 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 such a fantastic choice for things to do alone in NYC. 

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 definitely one of the best things to do alone in NYC, especially if you’re feeling nervous about eating on your own. Lots of locals go here in the evening to eat alone, so you won’t feel out of place. Another great pick for things to do solo in NYC. 

Read more about visiting NYC solo: Dining solo in NYC and the best places to eat alone in NYC!

things to do solo in new york city


Visit one of NYC’s many museums or art galleries

Next up on our 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). It’s one of my favorite things to do alone in NYC.

Read more: 15 fun museums in NYC you need to explore!

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 alone 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, and it’s a great choice for things to do alone in NYC.

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 favorite things to do alone in NYC.

Read more: The best Central Park photo spots!

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.

Read more: What is the best way to see The Statue of Liberty?

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


Buy a ridiculous cookie

Sometimes when you’re traveling on your own, you get to go out of your way to do something ridiculous, or frivolous. 

One of the most frivolous things I can never resist is stopping in on ‘Funny Face Bakery‘ in NYC. They basically make cookies that are designed to look like well-known celebrities, or memes, or just hilarious quotes. 

Sure, this isn’t for everyone, but it’s something I love and it always makes me smile. 

Last time, I oped for the cookie shaped like New York’s famous Pizza Rat. A hero! 

Read more NYC food recommendations: 15 places to find the best cookies in NYC!

things to do alone 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 traveling 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.

Read more about visiting NYC: 34 things to do in NYC when it rains

things to do solo in NYC


Museum of Ice Cream

Next on my list of things to do alone in NYC, it’s the Museum of ice-cream. This is a totally random, fun, a bit weird, but really interesting museum – and it’s definitely worth giving it a visit.

It’s one of those museums that is so bizarre you’d only find it in a city such as NYC, so make sure you add it to your list of things to do alone in NYC.

Read more NYC food recommendations: Where to find the best pancakes 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! This is a really great choice for things to do alone in NYC!

Read more: Your NYC bucket list: 80 things to do in the city!

things to do solo in nyc


Visit the Color Factory

Probably the most quirky thing on this list of things to do alone in NYC, it’s Color Factory! This is a new immersive art installation/museum that will transform the way you feel about color 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 realize just how amazing it is! This is for sure one of the best things to do alone in NYC!

Read more about visiting NYC: 14 amazing dog-friendly hotels in NYC

things to do on your own in nyc


Take a guided tour

Guided tours are brilliant things to do alone in NYC, so if you’ve got the time, it’s a great choice for things to do alone in NYC. 

First of all, being in a group setting is refreshing when you’re traveling alone (it’s nice to have some conversation and laughter!) but also, it’s a great chance to potentially meet other solo travelers and potential friends for a dinner date later in your trip.

There are lots of differently themed tours you can take, here are some we recommend: 

Another great thing about guided tours, is how much you learn! You’ll find out things about NYC you never knew, and have lots of knowledge to return home with! 

 

Visit the Floating Island in NYC (Little Island)

This wonderful little park, is found just off the west waterfront of NYC, looking over the Hudson River. It’s a unique and amazing little floating island in NYC, housing a gorgeous park space. 

If you want somewhere unique and interesting to walk around for the day – this is it. 

The views of the city are wonderful, it’s free (hurray!) and it’s beautiful! 

We recommend reading our guide to visiting the famous floating island in NYC for all the info you need about visiting. 

Floating Island in NYC


Go rockclimbing

Next on my list of things to do alone in NYC, it’s rock climbing (or bouldering). There are a few great rockclimbing centers in NYC, and taking a class is an easy way to meet new people, and learn a new skill. 

It’s also a lot of fun too – and it’s a way to meet locals who live in the city (rather than other tourists!). We can’t recommend it enough! 

things to do alone in NYC


Explore Grand Central Station

Next on our list of things to do alone in NYC, it’s exploring Grand Central Station.

Grand Central Station is one of the most iconic buildings in NYC, and you can easily explore it by yourself. 

Top tip: Take the ‘Secrets of Grand Central Station tour’ to learn everything there is to know about this amazing landmark.

A great thing about exploring Grand Central Station when you’re a solo traveler? You don’t really stand out – everyone is going somewhere or doing something here, so being on your own isn’t a big deal. 

Of course, you have the amazing main concourse (don’t miss it!), but I’d also really recommend checking out the cute little food market inside the station too! It’s adorable and a great place to grab lunch! 

Read more NYC recommendations: The 18 best happy hours on the Upper West Side, NYC

things to do alone in NYC


Dine out (somewhere fancy!) 

One of the big perks of visiting NYC alone, is not having to wait as long for some of the more exclusive parts of the city.

For example, if you’ve had your eye on visiting a really exclusive restaurant in NYC, one of the best things to do alone in NYC, if to head there as a solo diner. 

Most restaurants in NYC will have bar seating, where you can easily dine alone, without feeling awkward or out of place. Also, by dining alone you reduce the bill at the end of the night! Bonus! 

things to do alone in NYC


Catch a movie 

If you want to spend the evening relaxing on your own in NYC, then one of the best things to do alone in NYC is to head to a movie theater.

There are loads in the city, and catching a movie alone in NYC, isn’t that out of the ordinary. 

Pick a movie, grab some snacks, and enjoy some entertainment! It’s the perfect way to spend the evening alone in NYC, and a great choice for things to do alone in NYC on rainy evenings! 

Read more NYC: Wondering what to wear to a Broadway Show? Here’s our guide!

things to do alone in NYC


Try NYC’s best hot dogs

If you’re a foodie, then the next suggestion on our list of things to do alone in NYC might be somewhat appealing!

things to do alone in NYC

Apparently, the hotdogs at Papaya hot dogs are some of the best in the city (we can confirm, they’re great!).

If you’re looking for somewhere easy and cheap to eat (where you won’t look out of place alone) then this is a fantastic option. 

It’s a little bit out of Midtown, but it’s worth the subway ride, and you’ll get to explore a new neighborhood too! 

things to do alone in NYC


Do an open-top bus tour 

This is one our favorite things to do alone in NYC, and it’s perfect for nervous travelers too.

If you’re still getting your head around the layout of NYC, or you don’t feel comfortable or confident on the subway system yet – then the open-top bus tours are a perfect way to get around the city on your own! 

Obviously, you’ll be with other passengers (which can be nice if you fancy striking up some conversation) but you can also just sit by yourself and take in the city by yourself. It’s a great choice for things to do alone in NYC! 

Click here to buy tickets for the best open-top bus tours in NYC

things to do by yourself in nyc

365 Focus Photography / Shutterstock.com


Have a spa treatment 

The great things about traveling alone, is the reduced costs! So our next idea for things to do in NYC alone, is to book yourself a spa treatment.

Of course, if you were there with someone else, you’d need to fork out for double the treatments, and double the costs – but when you’re by yourself and alone in NYC, suddenly a spa treatment becomes more affordable! 

We recommend the Aire Spa in downtown NYC as an epic choice for things to do alone in NYC. The whole point of the sa is to transport you to another world, and make you feel completely relaxed. Which sound pretty incredible right? 


Thrift shopping in Brooklyn

Next on our list of things to do alone 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. This is such a great choice for things to do alone in NYC!

things to do solo in nyc


Eat at Katz Deli

Next up on our list of things to do alone in NYC, it’s Katz Deli. This is one of those epic NYC food places, that you have to see to believe. With sandwiches bigger than you can imagine… it’s a must-visit! 

The diner-style of Katz Deli means that it’s also a really easy place to eat at alone. You won’t feel self conscious, and the staff are really friendly too. Definitely add this to your list of things to do alone in NYC. 

things to do alone in NYC


Eat at The Plaza Hotel’s food market 

Next up on our list of things to do alone in NYC, it’s the Plaza food market. If you head into the basement level of the famous Plaza Hotel, you’ll find the Plaza food market.

It’s a pretty small food market, but it’s a really cute option for lunch or dinner, especially if you’re around Central Park! A great option to add to your list of things to do alone in NYC. 

things to do alone in NYC

Editorial credit: Osugi / Shutterstock.com


Visit a sports bar 

Next up on our list of things to do alone in NYC, it’s visiting a sports bar on game day! This is actually a pretty easy way to socialize if you’re visiting the city solo. 

If you fancy a night of casual conversation, and some great energy and atmosphere – then you’ll find sports bars are a great place to go. 

Sit at the bar, make friends with the bartender (tip well!) and you’ll be entertained all night! 

things to do alone in NYC

Editorial credit: Popova Valeriya / Shutterstock.com


Explore Little Italy 

Our next suggestion for things to do alone in NYC, it’s exploring Little Italy. This is a great neighborhood to explore in NYC, and it’s a lovely place to stroll around alone. 

Take you time and explore all the little stores, amazing cafes and street art too. There’s actually plenty to see and do in Little Italy, and it’s a great choice for things to do alone in NYC. 

Read more about NYC food: Top 12 best places to eat in Little Italy, NYC

things to do alone in NYC

Editorial credit: Michele Vacchiano / Shutterstock.com


Get lost inside Macy’s 

Did you even visit NYC, if you didn’t go inside Macy’s? Next on our list of things to do alone in NYC, is getting lost in Macy’s! 

Take a trip to this gigantic department store, and just do a little bit of window shopping! 

Another thing we love doing? No matter what your age, visit the prom department, and try on prom dresses! It’s hilarious and fun, and a great choice for things to do alone in NYC!

things to do alone in NYC

Editorial credit: Leonard Zhukovsky / Shutterstock.com


People watch in Times Square

Next on our list of things to do solo in NYC, it’s people-watching in Times Square! Grab yourself a coffee, sit in one of the many seating areas, and just enjoy a bit of people-watching!

There’s nowhere quite as good as Times Square for people-watching in NYC! It’s a must-do for things to do alone in NYC!

things to do alone in NYC

Editorial credit: Andrey Bayda / Shutterstock.com


Hang out in Bryant Park

Next on my list of things to do alone in NYC, it’s exploring Bryant Park. This might not be one of NYC’s most famous parks, but it’s my favorite! 

This park is located in the heart of Midtown, and it’s pocket-sized, so perfect for an hour or so of exploring. 

I’d grab yourself a lunch from Wholefoods (across the road) and then have a little picnic on the grassy area, or on one of the many chairs and benches. 

The views are absolutely lovely, which is why it makes my list of things to do alone in NYC. 

Read more about NYC: Top 14 grocery stores in NYC

things to do alone in NYC

Editorial credit: ymgerman / Shutterstock.com


Indulge in Taco Tuesday

There are some *seriously* amazing taco places in NYC, and we find that tacos are one of those foods, that suit solo travelers really well. 

It’s cheap, delicious, quick and you won’t feel weird sitting down in a taco place on your own. 

If you’re feeling a bit self-conscious about eating alone in NYC, then we recommend heading to a taco place. It’s a great option or things to do alone in NYC. 

things to do alone in NYC


Watch the sunset at Pier 35

Next on our list of things to do alone in NYC, is watching the sunset at Pier 35. 

This pier on the east side of Manhattan overlooks the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridge, and the views around sunset… they’re amazing. 

Who says sunsets are only for couples in love? Not us! Head down to Pier 35 with your book, or a podcast, sit on one of their sunset swings, and just enjoy those amazing views as the sun goes down. 

We know you’ll love it. 

things to do alone in NYC


Grab a delicious breakfast!

Next up on our list of things to do alone in NYC, it’s breakfast! A key part of everyday in the city, is breakfast! 

We’ll keep this one short, because you can get all the inspiration for where to go, by clicking the blog post below! 

Read more NYC food recommendations: 50 amazing places to grab breakfast in NYC

things to do alone in NYC


I hope this list of things to do alone in NYC has been useful! 

As you can see from this list, there are so many amazing things to do alone in NYC! The city has plenty of awesome activities and things to do for solo travelers!


Need more inspiration for your trip to NYC?


Some of these posts might give you plenty of ideas!

Read more: Christmas in NYC: Things to do in the city during the festive season!

Read more: Where to find the best cheesecake in NYC

Read more: A guide to exploring Little Tokyo in NYC

Read more: 50 delicious breakfast places in NYC

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