New York City is one of the few places on Earth that completely lives up to its hype.

There’s a reason that every street corner in the city sells T-shirts, coffee mugs, and posters that proclaim ‘I Heart NYC’. After a few hours in the city, you’ll be ready to ditch your fashionable clothes for one of these T-shirts proclaiming your undying love for the Big Apple.

things to do in NYC - Central Park New York City

No matter if you have only a short weekend or enough time to see the city at a leisurely pace, there are five things to do in NYC that every traveler needs to experience in the city to make their time in the Big Apple complete.

1. Central Park

things to do in NYC - Central Park New York City

We always make Central Park our first stop when we get to New York. Central Park is magical, no matter what time of year we visit. We especially love walking the back paths through the old, towering trees, across bridges, and over ponds, watching the beautiful skyline glitter in the background.

things to do in NYC - Central Park New York City

2. The MOMA

things to do in NYC - MOMA New York City

The Museum of Modern Art is a must-do for your time in New York. Itching to see Starry Night? That’s at the MOMA! If you’re looking to save some money (who isn’t), on Fridays the MOMA is free from 4 pm to 8 pm.

We recommend you get there early, so that you aren’t spending your valuable vacation time waiting in line.

things to do in NYC - Starry Night MOMA New York City

3. Chelsea Market

things to do in NYC - High Line Park

Chelsea Market is one of our favorite areas in New York. An eclectic selection of shops, eateries, and craft bars are all housed in a renovated warehouse. It’s also next to the High Line Park, which is a great side stop for a beautiful walk and some amazing views of the city.

things to do in NYC - Chelsea Market

4. Chinatown

things to do in NYC - Chinatown

Have you ever had soup dumplings? If your answer is no, then you need to stop what you’re doing, go to Chinatown, and order the largest order of soup dumplings you can. These life-changing morsels of goodness will make your day in Chinatown heavenly.

things to do in NYC - Soup Dumplings Chinatown

5. The Upper East Side

things to do in NYC - Upper East Side

We love to stop by the Upper East Side, with all of its glamorous shops and restaurants, at least once during every trip to New York City. Sometimes we stop in for dinner and macaroons (if you haven’t tried Ladurée, you haven’t lived), other times we grab high tea, or just make a stop at Bloomingdales.

But no matter you do in the Upper East Side, you always feel a little bit like Blair Waldorf.

things to do in NYC - Ladureé Upper East Side

If you’ve never been to New York City and really just don’t get the hype, just trust me on this one: experience these 5 essentials and you’ll be wearing your flashy, touristy t-shirt with pride.

And you might be surprised when you find you’ve become one of those NYC-obsessed “weirdos” when you realize that New York City really does live up to its hype.

things to do in NYC - Central Park

Have your ever been to New York? What are your favourite things to do in NYC? Let us know what we missed in the comments below!