If you are planning to visit New York, then there are certain “bucket list” experiences – things to do, places to visit, and so on – that you probably consider; the options that are meant to offer the ultimate “New York” experience. 

With so much choice available, narrowing down the list of possibilities can seem like a huge undertaking. As a result, it can be helpful to ask if some of the “must see/must do” options in New York are really worth the effort they require – or if your time might be better spent elsewhere. 



Admire the city from above at the Empire State building 

The Empire State building is an iconic part of the Manhattan skyline and one of the most visited landmarks in the city, with its views over the city particularly renowned. 

Is it worth it? 

Well… not really. There’s always significant crowds to contend with, the price is rather steep, and if you’re looking for amazing views, then Top of the Rock observation deck at Rockefeller Center is often considered to be the better choice.

Seeing a Broadway show 

Broadway is the epicenter of the theater world, the starting point for productions that will go on to tour the rest of the globe.

Is it worth it? 

Absolutely! The theaters are incredible, the production values second to none, and the sheer choice of shows available ensures you will be able to find an option that perfectly suits your family’s preferences. You can pre-buy tickets to the latest Broadway shows online for extra convenience, then take a walking tour around the district before its time to head to your chosen show for a night you will never forget. 

Sample the sweet delights at Magnolia Bakery 

An undeniable NYC classic, Magnolia Bakery has earned a reputation as the ultimate home for any visitor with a sweet tooth and, in particular, for the range of amazing cupcakes that are available.

Is it worth it? 

If you want to visit Magnolia Bakery for the sake of visiting Magnolia Bakery specifically, then perhaps, provided you’re okay with the crowds. However, if you’re just looking for a delicious snack, Levain Bakery or Patisserie Chanson are less busy and every bit as good. 

Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge 

The Brooklyn Bridge connects Manhattan to Brooklyn, and is said to offer a spectacular skyline vista to anyone who chooses to walk it. 

Is it worth it? 

Very much so – the views are as good as you’ve heard, and the bridge is open 24 hours a day so you can time your walk to suit the rest of your schedule. If you’ll be walking with young children, it might be best just to go halfway – the entire pedestrian walkway is just over a mile – and if you’re hoping to get the best skyline view, then crossing from Brooklyn to Manhattan is usually the best choice. 

In conclusion

Above, we have tried to decide if some of the classic tourist experiences available in New York actually justify the hype, but it’s important to note that our conclusions are subjective, based on a mixture of expert opinions and tourist feedback. If you still want to include one of the above options listed as “not worth it” in your New York itinerary, there’s no reason not to do so – everyone has different tastes, after all! 

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