1. Head to a Skyscraper Summit
- One World Observatory at the top of the One World Trade Center, the tallest building in NYC. Go big or go home!
- Empire State Building, a historic building and one of the OG skyscrapers that is one of the most recognizable in the NYC skyline.
- SUMMIT One Vanderbilt, the newest skyscraper summit which opened in 2020. Perfect for Instagrammers, I visited SUMMIT One Vanderbilt at night on my most recent trip to NYC too.
- Top of the Rock, at the Rockefeller Center, isn’t one of the tallest skyscrapers in NYC but that means you can look up at other buildings during your summit experience.
2. Visit Times Square
Seeing Times Square at night will make you feel like you are in the heart of NYC!
3. Catch a Broadway Theater Show
Attending a Broadway theater show in New York City is a must-do activity for first-timers to the city. Most Broadway performances have show options starting at 7:00pm or 8:00pm, making it a perfect nighttime activity in NYC!
4. Go on a Night Tour of NYC
You’ll see many of NYC’s iconic sites that you may have visited during the day, but from a completely new perspective.
- New York City Guided Bus Tour at Night – Starts at 5:30pm and runs for 4-4.5 hours. Explore neighborhoods like Chelsea, Tribeca, Times Square, and end at the Rockefeller Center for an optional summit to the Top of the Rock.
- New York City Skyline at Night Tour – Starts at 5:30pm and runs for 4 hours. Stop by Liberty Park for views of the Statue of Liberty, the 9/11 Memorial, and see the Manhattan Skyline.
5. Go to a Rooftop Bar
Getting high in NYC is one of the best ways to experience New York at night. Visiting a rooftop bar is a guaranteed way to take in beautiful views of the city’s many skyscrapers and even catch glimpses into the lives of New Yorkers.
When partaking in this NYC at night activity, it’s best to do a bit of research ahead of time into whether a reservation or cover charge is required or whether a dress code applies.
- 230 Fifth in the Flatiron District for views of the Empire State Building. Open until midnight throughout the week, 3am on Fridays and 4am on Saturdays.
- The Crown at Hotel 50 Bowery for views of the NYC skyline the One World Trade Center. Open until midnight throughout the week and 2am on Fridays and Saturdays.
- The Delancey rooftop, lounge, and live music venue in the Lower East Side. Open until late throughout the week, and 4am on Fridays and Saturdays.
- Monarch Rooftop and indoor lounge in Midtown for views of the Empire State Building. Open until 1am or 2am during the week and 4am on Fridays and Saturdays.
- Mr. Purple rooftop and pool at the Hotel Indigo on the Lower East Side for NYC skyline views. Open until 2am throughout the week, 3am on Thursdays, and 4am on Fridays and Saturdays.
If you prefer to leave the NYC at night bar-hopping itinerary to a local, check out this tour options from GetYourGuide:
Where to stay in NYC to explore the city at night
If traveling to NYC on a budget, consider staying at the Pod Hotels. Pod Hotels offer small single and double rooms (some with bathrooms attached) and are easy on the wallet compared to many other New York City hotels. I’ve stayed at both Pod 51 and Pod 39 which are walking distance from Times Square, SUMMIT One Vanderbilt, and other things to do in NYC at night. I recommend them both when spending a few days exploring New York City!