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Things to do in Lower Manhattan

Our most recommended things to do in Lower Manhattan

NYC: 1-Hour Cruise Around Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island

1. NYC: 1-Hour Cruise Around Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island

Take a 60-minute boat ride to within 100 feet of the Statue of Liberty. Cruise right under the Brooklyn Bridge and see the most famous skyline in the world. Your live English guide will point out the sites as you journey along the river including the Empire State Building, the new Freedom Tower, the Manhattan Bridge, Governor's Island, and more. Make use of both the indoor and outdoor seating, along with large open windows for your viewing pleasure. Get within touching distance of "Lady Liberty" and then move on to Ellis Island to take photos of the famous entry point to New York City. Marvel at the skyline of Manhattan and its famous skyscrapers, including the new One World Trade Center. Glide down both the east and west sides of Lower Manhattan on this roundtrip cruise, and purchase drinks and food from the concession stand aboard the boat. 

New York: CityPASS® to Save 40% at 5 Top Attractions

2. New York: CityPASS® to Save 40% at 5 Top Attractions

See world-class art, fascinating science, important history, and incredible views—from the sky AND the sea and save up to 40% with the New York CityPASS! New York CityPASS includes admission to: 1. The Empire State Building: With iconic views and a new museum, the Empire State Building provides breathtaking 360-degree, open-air views from the 86th-floor observatory. 2. American Museum of Natural History: Explore human cultures, the natural world, and the universe with a visit to one of the world’s most famous natural history museums. 3. Top of the Rock OR Guggenheim Museum Top of the Rock: Experience incredible 360-degree panoramic views of New York City and beyond from interior and exterior decks on the top three floors of this legendary art deco skyscraper, 30 Rock.   Guggenheim Museum: Frank Lloyd Wright’s mid-century masterpiece of modern architecture, located alongside scenic Central Park.  See collection highlights, including works by Manet, Picasso, Van Gogh and more. 5. Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island OR Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island: Experience the beauty and history of the Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island Immigration Museum with Statue Cruises.   Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises: Take in the world’s premier skyline with up-close and magnificent views of the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, One World Trade and 101 NYC sights.   6. 9/11 Memorial & Museum OR Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum 9/11 Memorial & Museum: Pay your respects to the victims of the 9/11 attacks at the 9/11 Memorial & Museum.  Examine the history and impact of the events and learn the stories of loss and recovery within the Museum.   Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum: Get an up-close look at the space shuttle Enterprise and 28 aircraft, including the world’s fastest jet.

New York One World Observatory: Skip-the-Line Ticket Options

3. New York One World Observatory: Skip-the-Line Ticket Options

Ascend via SkyPod to the top of the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere in less than 47 seconds at 28 mph. SkyPod provides a virtual time-lapse visual experience showing how New York City has changed from the 1500s. Skip the ticket line and even opt to skip the elevator line.  At the observatory, located atop One World Trade Center, elevate your senses with 360-degree views of the New York skyline from the highest point in the city. Take in the iconic sights, surrounding waters, and panoramas of the Manhattan skyline and beyond.   Engage with City Pulse and One World Observatory's global ambassadors as they share stories of this amazing city. Stop by the restaurant, cafe, or bar to enjoy themed dining options and seasonal beverages from 101 stories in the sky  Upgrade to Combination or All-Inclusive Tickets and enjoy skip-the-line access to the elevators. Access expedited security via the priority security line. The Digital Skyline Guide, an interactive, virtual reality iPad guide to New York City, is also included. 

NYC: 9/11 Memorial & Museum Timed-Entry Ticket

4. NYC: 9/11 Memorial & Museum Timed-Entry Ticket

Benefit from contactless entry to the National September 11 Memorial Museum with your pre-purchased timed-entry ticket. Enjoy complimentary access to the 9/11 Memorial, the Survival Tree, and the Memorial Glades The 9/11 Museum The museum displays over 10,000 monumental artifacts linked to the events of 9/11 and is made up of three permanent exhibition sections: • The Historical Exhibition has three parts: the Day of 9/11, Before 9/11 and After 9/11. It tells the story of what happened on 9/11, including the events at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and the story of Flight 93.  • The Memorial Exhibition "In Memoriam", commemorates the lives of those who perished on September 11, 2001 and February 26, 1993 and provides visitors with the opportunity to learn about the men, women and children who died. • The Foundation Hall is a room of massive scale, which houses both the last column and the slurry wall.  The 9/11 Memorial (Free Entry) The “National September 11 Memorial” is a tribute of remembrance and honor to the nearly 3,000 people killed in the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 at the World Trade Center site, the Pentagon, as well as the six people killed in the World Trade Center bombing in February 1993.  The memorial’s twin reflecting pools are each nearly an acre in size and feature the largest manmade waterfalls in North America. The pools sit within the footprints where the Twin Towers once stood. The names of every person who died in the 2001 and 1993 attacks are inscribed into bronze panels edging the memorial pools.

NYC: Museum of Ice Cream Entry Ticket

5. NYC: Museum of Ice Cream Entry Ticket

Walk through the pink doors of the Museum of Ice Cream and enter a world of pure imagination. Satisfy your inner child and your actual kids with exhibitions featuring various installations designed to engage and delight children of all ages. Time your visit the museum on a weekday for a more peaceful experience. Once inside, explore imaginative, multi-sensory exhibitions that bring to life your most delightful dreams. Savor the sweetest treats on a magical floating table, slide down an epic three-story slide, take a celestial ride on a pink Museum of Ice Cream subway, and follow the buzzing sound to a giant "Queen Bee" hive. Taste the museum's signature flavors and ice cream treats along the way, before taking a dive into the world's largest sprinkle pool. Take all the Instagram-worthy pictures that your heart desires. When you finish your experience, be sure to explore the museum's whimsical shop. The Museum of Ice Cream is not a traditional museum — every installation is interactive, meaning touching isn't only allowed, it's encouraged. Alternatively, grab your partner, friend, or family member for an exclusive Night at the Museum experience at The Museum of Ice Cream. Start off the night with a signature cocktail and ignite your senses through a theatrical experience. After hours, enjoy a full tour of the museum's 13 magical installations, along with special activities and treats designed to celebrate love in all its forms. Satisfy your sweet tooth with a pink super-cone.

New York City: Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island with Ferry

6. New York City: Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island with Ferry

Hop on board the ferry and enjoy a self-guided tour of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island from New Jersey. Visit Liberty Island, explore the Ellis Island Immigration Museum, and learn fascinating facts as you go. Begin your experience by departing from Liberty State Park, located in Jersey City, NJ, and easily accessible by car. Once you arrive at the meeting point, bypass the ticket line with your pre-purchased ticket. Board the ferry and see the impressive views of Lady Liberty and the NYC skyline. Take note of the ferry's return times to plan your day. Your ticket gives you access to explore two attractions: Ellis Island and Liberty Island (with the Statue of Liberty). On arrival to Ellis Island, pick up your multilingual audio guide at the Immigration Museum. Then, explore what was America’s busiest immigration station for over 62 years. Walk in the footsteps of millions of people from all around the globe who passed through here looking for a new beginning and a new life for their families in America. With access to the American Family Immigration History Center's records, you can search all ship manifests that came through Ellis Island. Use this unique experience to research your family history. Once you're ready to discover Liberty Island, drop off your audio guide and return to the ferry. Upon arrival on Liberty Island, pick up your multilingual audio guide to start exploring the history of the Statue of Liberty. Children also have the opportunity to enjoy a special narration of this self-guided tour. When you are finished, return to the ferry and make your way back to your original departure point.

New York City: Manhattan Island Helicopter Tour

7. New York City: Manhattan Island Helicopter Tour

Experience the best views in New York City from inside a helicopter, complete with large floor-to-ceiling convex windows for your viewing pleasure. On your flight you will see the beautiful Central Park, Hudson River, and New York Harbor, including the Intrepid Sea Air Space Museum. Cruise past the Rockefeller Center, Empire State Building, the World Financial Center, and the Chrysler Building from up high, as well as the iconic Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Greenwich Village, South Street Seaport, and the Brooklyn Bridge, which dates all the way back to 1883. With tour narration and all heliport fees included, there is no better way to enjoy the dramatic and ever-evolving New York City skyline.

NYC: Statue of Liberty Express Skip-the-Box-Office Cruise

8. NYC: Statue of Liberty Express Skip-the-Box-Office Cruise

Departing from Downtown Manhattan in Battery Park, this 50-minute express cruise is the fastest way to get up close and personal with the Statue of Liberty. The best views are definitely from the water and you'll enjoy the insights of your fun, onboard tour guide with live narration. Begin your cruise experience at Battery Park's Slip 6. Get your souvenir photo with Lady Liberty in the background while you wait.  Board the vessel, sit back, and set sail on your round-trip sightseeing cruise. Bask in the panoramic view of downtown New York's celebrated towers, memorials, and Landmarks while you relax on board the state-of-the-art boat.  Cruise right over to see the Statue of Liberty, one of the most iconic symbols in the world. On your way to Lady Liberty, you’ll sail past and learn about Ellis Island, once home to the United States’ busiest immigration station, where approximately 12 million immigrants came through.  You will also see Governors Island, a former military base that has since been redeveloped with a beautiful park for the public to enjoy.

New York: Go City Explorer Pass with 95+ Tours & Attractions

9. New York: Go City Explorer Pass with 95+ Tours & Attractions

Go City offers a selection of over 90 must-see NYC attractions, museums, and tours for one low pre-paid price. Get great savings compared to buying separate attraction tickets, and see New York's most popular attractions with one easy-to-use digital pass. Options include the Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island Ferry, 9/11 Museum and Memorial, Empire State Building, Edge, MoMA, American Museum of Natural History, and many more. Pick between a 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 or 10-choice pass, browse the included digital guide to check entry requirements for each attraction, and plan your itinerary. Scanning your pass at the gate or ticket office of an attraction (or tour) for the first time will activate it. You can then take up to 60 days to use the remaining number of choices purchased. Your Explorer Pass also features special perks including gift shop discounts or a free audio guide at selected attractions, helping you make the most of your New York trip and save even more along the way. The New York attractions you can choose include:  Museums and Galleries • American Museum of Natural History • 9/11 Memorial and Museum • Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) • Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum and Space Shuttle • Guggenheim Museum • The Whitney Museum of American Art • Fotografiska New York • Museum of Sex • Museum of the City of New York • New York Botanical Garden • Brooklyn Museum and Botanical Garden Combo Experiences • Empire State Building • Top of the Rock • One World Observatory • Edge • Central Park Bike Rental • Rise NY • 9/11 Museum Workshop: Hands-on 9/11 Tour • SPYSCAPE • Escape Virtuality • Luna Park at Coney Island • Beyond King Tut: The Immersive Experience • Madame Tussauds + Marvel Universe 4D • Harlem Jazz Series • Harlem Bike Rental • The Beast Speedboat Ride (seasonal) • Clipper City Tall Ship: Daytime or Sunset Statue Sail (seasonal) • Surrey Bike Rental Governors Island • SEA Life Aquarium New Jersey • LEGOLAND Discovery Center New Jersey Tours & Cruises • Rockefeller Center Tour • Big Bus New York Hop-on Hop-off: 1-Day Classic Tour • Best of NYC Cruise: Circle Line Sightseeing • Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Ferry • Harbor Lights Cruise: Circle Line Sightseeing • NYC Landmarks Cruise: Circle Line Sightseeing • Liberty Cruise: Circle Line Sightseeing • Central Park Bike Tour • Madison Square Garden All Access Tour • Radio City Stage Door Tour • Greenwhich Village at Night Walking Tour • NYC Slavery & Underground Railroad Walking Tour • Hamilton Tour • St Patrick's Cathedral Tour with Express Entry • Graffiti and Street Art Tour Walking Tour of Brooklyn • Secrets of the Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island Walking Tour • NYC Bus Tour of Bronx, Brooklyn & Queens • Holiday Markets & Christmas Lights Walking Tour (seasonal) • Soho - Little Italy - Chinatown Walking Tour • Broadway & Times Square Walking Tour • Central Park TV & Movies Walking Tour • Yankee Stadium Tour • How Money was Made - Wall Street Walking Tour • Catacombs by Candlelight • Pride Walking Tour • NYC TV & Movie Bus Tour • Top of the Highline and Hudson Yards Tour Food and Drinks • Food on Foot Tours • Perfect Picnic • Tastes of the Lower East Side Walking Tour • Spirits on Foot - Beer, Spirits & Wine Crawl Attractions and tours are subject to change and some may require advanced reservations. Please check the included digital guide for an up-to-date list of included experiences, and follow the instructions to place reservations well in advance where needed, as well as follow top tips to ensure the best sightseeing experience with your Explorer Pass.

New York City: Manhattan Helicopter Tour

10. New York City: Manhattan Helicopter Tour

Manhattan brings to mind grand skyscrapers, taxi cabs, and a world-class attitude all of its own. See all this and more as an expert pilot flies you over NYC on a 15 or 20-minute helicopter tour. Soar over the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, Brooklyn Bridge, Madison Square Garden, among other landmarks. After take-off from the Downtown Heliport, swing down over lower Manhattan to see the skyline and streets below. Swoop over Battery Park to glance at Wall Street and its labyrinth of streets. Then sail over to Governor's Island, an island once reserved only for the city's dignitaries that now hosts summer concerts and public art. Then, fly over Ellis Island and see Lady Liberty shining brightly in the distance. Cruise right up to her eye for a new perspective of the Statue of Liberty. Enjoy all this before heading up the Hudson past the piers of Chelsea and the lights of Broadway. On your way back to the pier, head around the Empire State Building, Brooklyn Bridge, and fly over Ground Zero where you can have a look at the exceptional work they're doing at the sight. Continue past Madison Square Garden and the Intrepid Air and Space Museum. See Central Park as your flight turns around to return to the heliport. Sights included in the 15-Minute tour: Statue of LibertyEllis IslandOne World Trade Center9/11 MemorialBrooklyn BridgeBattery ParkWall Street/Financial DistrictEmpire State BuildingChrysler BuildingMadison Square GardenTimes SquareU.S.S. Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space MuseumCentral Park Sights included in the 20-Minute tour: Brooklyn BridgeBattery ParkWall StreetStatue of LibertyEllis IslandOne World Trade Center9/11 Memorial SiteEmpire State BuildingChrysler BuildingMadison Square GardenU.S.S. Intrepid MuseumTimes SquareCentral ParkGrant’s TombGeorge Washington BridgeHarlem and Harlem RiverThe Bronx and Yankee StadiumPalisades CliffsSpuyten Duyvil Bridge

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Frequently asked questions about Lower Manhattan

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What people are saying about Lower Manhattan

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 46,681 reviews

Thomas, our tour guide, was very knowledgeable and personable. He spoke with such enthusiasm and provided historical anecdotes that made the area come to life. He was very personable and encouraged everyone to ask questions. My husband has been to NYC numerous times and enjoyed the tour just as much as my daughters and I did. I would love to tour a different area next time as long as Thomas was giving the tour. He made it a super fun day for us all!

Definitely one of the most organized, informative and well-designed museums I’ve ever been to. Hard to say that I “enjoyed” visiting a venue that memorializes one of the most horrific events in our nation’s history, but I will definitely say that it is an experience that cannot be missed. It is a very moving experience and one that truly reinforces the notion that we must always remember and never forget what happened that dreadful day.

Very friendly crew and amazing views! Does not land at Ellis island. Arrive as early as possible, as the line to board can get long. We got a table on the first floor by the front of the boat, they open the front deck once the ship gets moving which provides seating unlike the rear deck.

It was amazing, really fast using Get Your Guide and I would back with my family!

Well worth the money spent. Definitely learned some things I had no idea of