20 Things To Do In Manhattan At Night

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Manhattan encompasses everything visitors love about the Big Apple, with famous buildings and iconic places like the Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, Central Park and Time Square, and many more equally popular attractions across the borough. It’s impossible to get bored in Manhattan, thanks to its incredible cultural diversity, ethnically diverse neighbourhoods and exciting choices of things to do.

Whether you wish to take walks through scenic areas, marvel at architectural wonders and museum exhibits, dine at exquisite restaurants or learn about history and culture, you’ll be like a kid in a candy store. So narrow down your options and try these 20 things to do in Manhattan at night.

Manhattan At Night

Top 3 Tours

20 Things To Do In Manhattan At Night

1- View The City From One World Observatory

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One World Trade Center Building Observatory is one of the top places to go in Manhattan at night.

If you’re searching for something fun and exciting to do in Manhattan, visit One World Observatory.

Located at the top of the recently opened One World Trade Center, this unique observatory offers stunning 360° scenic views of New York City’s five boroughs and beyond.

See a multimedia presentation, ride the SkyPod to the top of the skyscraper in less than 47 seconds at speeds of up to 28 mph, and enjoy a breathtaking cinema experience.

There’s also a fantastic bar and restaurant at One World Observatory, which has the breathtaking cityscape as a backdrop.

Visiting the One World Observatory is a unique experience that won’t disappoint. Choose from three skip-the-line ticket options here.

One World Observatory is open until 8 pm (Monday to Sunday) at 117 West St, New York, NY 10006.

2- Take In The Sights From The Empire State Building

things to do in manhattan at night
Empire State Building in Manhattan at night.

In the middle of Manhattan, Empire State Building is one of the most recognisable structures with Art Deco design.

Since its completion in the early 1930s, the 102-story Empire State Building has been an iconic feature of the New York City skyline.

The main highlights of visiting the Empire State Building are the two observation decks, each providing stunning views of the city below.

The main deck is open-air and located on the 86th floor, while the top deck is enclosed by glass from floor to ceiling on the 102nd floor.

The structure also houses various restaurants and businesses and observation decks.

Walking the streets below and taking pictures from the outside is an adventure in and of itself, as the building is well-known for its ever-changing light themes.

Purchase skip-the-line tickets to this iconic building here.

Empire State Building is open until 10 pm (Monday to Sunday) at 20 W 34th Street, New York, NY 10001.

3- Cruise Past The Statue of Liberty

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The Statue of Liberty at dusk.

The Statue of Liberty is a 305 feet (92 m) tall historical landmark that has been a symbol of freedom for Americans since 1886.

One of the city’s most popular tourist destinations, this historical landmark is covered in green copper and may be seen from numerous scenic vantage points around the city.

A national park surrounds it, and you can get to within 100 feet (30m)of it on this 1-hour boat ride.

This boat cruise will take you directly beneath the Brooklyn Bridge and allow you to see Manhattan’s iconic skyline and famed skyscrapers, including the Empire State Building, the One World Trade Center and Manhattan Bridge. Find out more here.

4- Experience The Thrill Of Edge Observation Deck

The Edge Observation Deck, which rises 100 floors above Manhattan’s streets, is the Western Hemisphere’s tallest outdoor observation deck.

This observation deck provides visitors with unparalleled 360-degree views of Midtown Manhattan’s sparkling lights on one side, Downtown on the other, the Hudson River cutting through Manhattan, the Statue of Liberty, Central Park and even New Jersey.

At the Outdoor Sky Deck, frameless glass panel walls are boldly oriented outwards and you’ll be out in the open air with nothing but transparent glass separating you from the busy city below.

The unobstructed views are breathtaking for those brave enough, and the photo opportunities are fantastic.

The upper level has the impressive Skyline Steps, where you can peek out over glass panels past the edge of the deck.

There’s also a bar on-site where you can sip champagne or a signature cocktail.

With entry tickets to the Edge Observation Deck, you can experience the thrill of this unique observatory.

Edge Observation Deck is at 30 Hudson Yards, New York, NY 10001, United States.

5- Go On A Private Walking Tour

manhattan at night wallpaper In the bottom left of the photo are hands holding smart phone and taking picture of Lower Manhattan in New York City at night (USA).
Taking photos of Lower Manhattan at night is one of the fun things to do for your Instagram feed.

Private walking tours of Manhattan are the ideal way to see all the sights at your own pace and in the way that best suits your interests.

On this private walking tour, you can explore Manhattan with a knowledgeable local who will help you discover the best of the city.

You can walk through the most beautiful areas of Central Park, take a stroll downtown, stop at the city’s best cafes, or ask your host to guide you to the charming, vintage-covered market in Greenwich Village.

During the tour, there are many options for exploring the city, and a unique itinerary will be created just for you based on your preferences and interests.

Your local guide can suggest a different sight or activity if they think you’d enjoy it or if you feel like changing the route.

6- Get Busy At Times Square After Dark

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Times Square in New York City in the evening.

In the heart of Midtown Manhattan, Times Square is the best place to experience the pulse of the metropolis.

It’s a hive of activity with its constant stream of tourists, street performers, and film crews, and even if you don’t plan to visit any of the many attractions, just exploring the area will provide hours of entertainment.

Not only does Times Square offer some of Manhattan’s best nightlife, shopping and Broadway theatres, but it also hosts several annual festivals and other free events.

In addition to being the entrance to the spectacular Midnight Moment light show, you can purchase Broadway discount tickets here.

Eat a hot dog from a street vendor, browse souvenir shops or pose with your favourite celebrities with Madame Tussauds entry tickets.

The options at Times Square will have you staying up until the wee hours in Manhattan at night, and you won’t be disappointed.

Times Square is in Manhattan, NY, 10036.

7- View The Amazing Exhibits At ARTECHOUSE NYC

ARTECHOUSE NYC, located in the historic boiler room of Chelsea Market, is one of the unique art spaces to explore in New York City.

This is art is unlike anything you’ve ever seen, as sound design and room-sized digital projections combine to produce a cinematic experience.

Take a cellular-level tour of the human brain at the ‘Life of a Neuron’ exhibit, a first-of-its-kind lifelike 3D model of a human prefrontal cortex neurone, also known as the “thinking cell” that you can watch develop from birth to death.

Other immersive artworks are also available in addition to the main installation.

Grab a drink at the ARTECHOUSE XR Bar, which serves a menu of cocktails inspired by the current exhibition and comes to life in extended reality via the ARTECHOUSE app.

Pre-book your entry ticket to ARTECHOUSE NYC and explore interactive and immersive digital art exhibits in a space dedicated to 21st-century artists and audiences.

ARTECHOUSE NYC is open until 10 pm (Monday to Sunday) at 439 W 15th St, New York, NY 10011, United States.

8- Admire The Art Collection At MoMA

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) should be at the top of your list of attractions in Manhattan at night, especially if you are interested in art.

It’s constantly refreshed with new unique works, iconic masterpieces and thought-provoking exhibits.

With a permanent collection of about 200,000 artworks, the Museum of Modern Art provides a comprehensive overview of 20th and 21st-century art.

Highlights at the museum include works like Monet’s Water Lilies, Van Gogh’s The Starry Night, and Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, among several other iconic pieces.

It also houses the modern work by Elizabeth Murray, Cindy Sherman, Ai Weiwei, and many others.

You won’t need to stand in a huge line to enter the museum if you buy tickets before your visit.

Pre-book your timed-entry ticket to enjoy contactless entry.

Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is open until 5:30 pm (Sunday to Friday) and 7 pm (Saturday) at 11 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019, United States. Check out their rotating program for special showings, lectures, talks and events held at night.

9- Go On A Food Tour

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View of Chinatown with lower Manhattan at night in the background.

A food tour in Manhattan is not only a fun way to learn about the cuisine of the city’s different neighbourhoods but also about their rich history and culture.

The bustling streets of Chinatown are full of life and culture, and it is a great place to sample Chinese and Southeast Asian cuisine.

This is where you’ll find the city’s best noodle and dumpling joints, as well as Hong Kong-style sponge cakes.

Another great location is Little Italy, a neighbourhood with a predominantly Italian and Euro-centric population.

Like Chinatown, Little Italy is filled with excellent restaurants where you can sample authentic Italian food while learning about its history and culture.

On this authentic food tour of Chinatown and Little Italy in Manhattan, allow yourself to be guided through the unique history, flavours and rich culture of these two vibrant neighbourhoods.

10- Go On A Night Bus Tour

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The Brooklyn Bridge and the Lower Manhattan skyline at night from Brooklyn Pier.

A nighttime bus tour of Manhattan is a great way to enjoy amazing views of the Big Apple’s main monuments and the famous Manhattan skyline.

On this guided bus tour, you will see some of Manhattan’s most famous landmarks after dark, when they are illuminated.

Sit back and relax on the bus as your accompanying guide provides facts and interesting stories about the famous landmarks you pass.

Get a feel for the city’s nightlife and visit some of the city’s most famous places and landmarks, like Times Square, Chinatown, Greenwich Village, the Empire State Building, Little Italy and the Brooklyn Bridge.

11- View The Skyline On A Helicopter Tour

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Night view of the Manhattan skyline.

A helicopter tour is an impressive way to see the city from a new perspective.

Soar above the city and get a bird’s eye view of Central Park, Madison Square Garden, the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty, among other notable landmarks.

Choose from various tour companies, each offering its unique take on the city, so whether you want a quick 15-minute ride or something more in-depth that lasts up to an hour, you can find it. Check out this popular helicopter tour.

Even though plenty of flights are available throughout the day, the city comes to life after dark.

Helicopter tours are expensive, but the sights, thrills, and air of luxury you’ll experience as you swing around the Downtown skyscrapers are unparalleled.

12- See A Show At Radio City Music Hall

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Radio City Music Hall is home to the annual Christmas Spectacular starring the Rockettes.

Adjacent to Rockefeller Center in Midtown Manhattan, Radio City Music Hall is a 6000-capacity theatre space renowned for its entertainment, architecture, and history.

For decades, audiences have been delighted by America’s most popular entertainers at the Radio City Music Hall, which still preserves its historical architecture, aesthetics and sensibilities.

The venue is famous for hosting the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, a popular New York City tradition that features the Rockettes.

When in Manhattan, you never know what kind of live entertainment you’ll find, from rock gigs to opera, stand-up comedy to ballet.

Radio City Music Hall is at 1260 6th Ave, New York, NY 10020.

13- Sip Cocktails At Dear Irving on Hudson Rooftop Bar

Dear Irving on Hudson is high in the sky on the 40th and 41st floors in the Aliz Hotel Times Square. It’s Manhattan’s highest rooftop bar and lounge.

This stylish, multi-level rooftop bar has sleek vintage décor, panoramic views, outdoor spaces, and plenty of intimate spots for sipping in style.

This sophisticated rooftop bar offers magnificent 360-degree views of the Manhattan skyline and features an indoor lounge and a lovely open-air terrace.

You can choose from creative cocktails, sommelier-selected wines, beers, and small dishes on the menu.

One of Manhattan’s best rooftop bars, Dear Irving is a terrific spot to enhance your evening but make a reservation if you want to take advantage of this relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere. Or join this tour of Manhattan’s rooftop bars.

Dear Irving on Hudson Rooftop Bar is at 310 W 40th Street, New York, NY 10018. You may also like this prohibition bar tour.

14- View The City From the Top of the Rock

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Christmas decorations at the Rockefeller Center in Manhattan at night.

Top of the Rock has one of the best views in New York City, yet it is sometimes overlooked for the Empire State Building’s observation deck.

You can see the entire city from the observation decks at the Top of the Rock, Central Park to Lower Manhattan and all in between, including the Empire State Building.

Of the three observation decks, the first deck is where you will find the famous Radiance Wall while the second deck offers a lovely open-air breezeway.

The third and most stunning deck is an open-air deck on the 70th floor.

If you’re looking for a romantic spot for a date or if you want some genuinely unforgettable photos, this deck is an absolute must.

When you’re done exploring Top of the Rock, wander around the restaurants and shops in the area.

Top of the Rock is at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10112, United States. This ticket will get you to the Top of the Rock.

15- Catch A Show At The Apollo Theater

The Apollo Theater in Harlem is a 1500-seat music theatre with a long history of supporting and promoting African American culture and performance.

The famous theatre has been hosting performances since the 1930s and is an excellent choice for a night out.

The Apollo Theatre is notable not only because it honours and promotes African American performers but also because of the progress it represents as a building that was formerly segregated for whites only.

This renowned theatre is home to the world-famous Amateur Night contests, where emerging artists battle for the opportunity to perform on stage and where legendary performers such as Jimi Hendrix, Ella Fitzgerald, Diana Ross and Aretha Franklin got their start.

You can catch a show at the theatre or opt for a historical tour of the building, where you get the chance to learn about the theatre’s illustrious past.

Apollo Theatre is at 253 W 125th St, New York, NY 10027, United States. You may also like this Harlem Sunday Gospel Tour.

16- Relax At The AIRE Ancient Baths NYC

Located on Franklin Street in Tribeca, the renowned Aire Ancient Baths in Manhattan offers a unique way for tourists to unwind after exploring.

The baths are inspired by ancient Roman bathhouses and the concept of hot-to-cold therapy, but they also have modern conveniences.

Switch between four pools that have a range of temperatures; the caldarium (hot), tepidarium (warm), frigidarium (ice) and floatarium (warm with salt).

There’s also a glass-enclosed Hamman that looks like a sunken cloud when the walls steam over.

Heated marble benches provide an excellent place to rest mid-rotation and sip from the selection of juices and teas.

If you choose, you can add a traditional massage to your cycle; for maximum indulgence, you may try a private bath, great for couples, infused with your choice of red wine, cava or olive oil.

AIRE Ancient Baths NYC is open until 11 pm (Monday to Sunday) at 88 Franklin St, New York, NY 10013, United States.

17- Take A Stroll Through High Line Park

A trip to Manhattan would be incomplete without a visit to the High Line.

It is a mile-long linear park created on a section of the former elevated New York Central Railroad and has since become one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions.

The stunning vistas of New York City and its most treasured historic buildings make it excellent for various outdoor activities.

There are picnic tables, a great trail for walking or bicycling, and benches for relaxing and taking in the environment.

Walking down the High Line is unlike any other experience because of the fantastic things you can see and do along the way, from live gardens in the middle of the walkway to close-up views of the stunning buildings all around you.

High Line Park is located in Manhattan, NY, 10011.

18- Watch A Game Or See A Show At Madison Square Garden

Madison Square Garden is one of the world’s most famous indoor arenas, located in the heart of downtown Manhattan.

If you time your trip well planned, you might be able to catch a professional sporting event involving the NBA New York Knicks and NHL New York Rangers.

Madison Square Garden not only serves as a home to professional sports teams but also a large concert venue.

For the price of a ticket, you can see famous resident artists like Billy Joel and big-name headliners.

It is also a fascinating building to explore, and if you aren’t attending an event, you can join an all-access tour to see exclusive areas like the Knicks and Rangers locker rooms.

Several concession stands are scattered around the arena, where you can get refreshments or reserve a table for dinner at the upscale Club Bar and Grill on the Terrace Level before the events start.

Madison Square Garden is at 4 Pennsylvania Plaza, New York, NY 10001.

19- Party At Rumpus Room

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Christmas is a wonderful time to visit as the decorations in Manhattan at night are lovely.

Rumpus Room is an eccentric nightclub on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, known for hosting some of the wildest parties in The City.

The club’s aesthetic is stunning, with its bamboo flooring, burnt wood panels, and green leaf wallpaper. But Rumpus Room is unlike any other local nightclub.

It is an elegant after-hours hangout where you and your friends can unwind with some unique drinks and dance the night away to the latest pop, electronic and hip-hop hits.

The club is exclusively open on Fridays and Saturdays, and unlike the other stuffy nightclubs in the area, the Rumpus Room sets itself apart by being an inclusive space where everyone is welcome.

If you’re looking for a hip spot to have a drink in Manhattan, look no further than this upscale lounge.

Rumpus Room is at 249 Eldridge St, New York, NY 10002, United States. Check out this nightclub tour.

20- Explore Chelsea Market

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Brooklyn Bridge Park at night with the Manhattan Bridge in the background.

For a truly authentic Manhattan experience, visit Chelsea Market, which also has the most varied culinary options in the city.

Like a regular market, there are vendor stalls lining the maze of passageways; however, the market is so diverse that you might come across a gelateria next to a butcher shop or a Thai restaurant with cheesemongers on either side.

This is where some of the best restaurants in the city are located, as well as some cool shops, and nights may be spent strolling around and speaking with shopkeepers, artisans, and food vendors.

When visiting this location in Manhattan, make sure you come hungry and try something new before you leave, as the market offers something for every taste bud, from bakeries to delis to gelaterias.

In addition to the excellent food and service, Chelsea Market offers a wide range of shops, from well-known franchises to high-end boutiques to small shops and local artisans, making it an ideal spot to shop.

Chelsea Market is open until 2 am (Monday to Saturday) and 10 pm (Sunday) at 75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011, United States.

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Mark Westwood is a Seattle-based writer who writes for various online blogs and travel websites. In 2017, he went on a 12-month road trip across the USA visiting many iconic landmarks and small towns along the way. Having explored over 20 countries, his favourite places to date are along the west coast of the USA but he is happiest anywhere where there are mountains and ocean.