First, let’s clear up something. You are never alone in New York City. Unless you want to. There are countless possibilities to have a really good time. Here is our list of 12 things to do alone in NYC.1
Go to museum and enjoy. There will bo no one rushing you along. You can stare at some piece for an hour if you wish. Also you can rush through parts that don’t really interest you.
Do you like poetry? Then you should visit Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Bowery Poetry Club or The Moth You’ll hear a lot of talent and won’t feel weird being alone there.
Things to do alone in NYC: Nuyorican Poets Cafe
Catch a show at one of the many awesome and affordable music venues: Bowery Ballroom, Music Hall of Williamsburg, Pianos…
Do we really need to tell you to visit Broadway?2
Walk in the Park
There are parks all over the city and they are lovely even on rainy and snowy days. Take a walk in the Park, read a good book or have a picnic in Central Park. You can literally spend a few hours here. And bring some bird food or nuts with you. Just in case.
Things to do alone in NYC: Walk in the Park
Don’t be afraid of getting lost. You will always find a kind stranger to show you a way. If not, remember light posts are your friends.3
This city can run. Fast. You’ll find more group runs and clubs than probably any other city and one of the most popular marathons in the world. Just start at Central Park and you’ll find someone to run with.
Things to do alone in NYC: Walk in the Park
Alternatively you can choose the Hudson River path. You’ll start at Battery Park and run to the top of Manhattan. This path provides an excellent place for long flat runs uninterrupted by streetlights. You’ll enjoy views of the city skyline and the river as you cruise along this tree-lined path.4
Taste the Big Apple
New York City’s street food is as much an enduring icon as landmark, such as the Empire State Building or Central Park. Eating from a genuine street cart is a delightfully universal experience in New York: typically, the people standing in line are a cross-section of the population, coming from a wide range of incomes and backgrounds. Its true, New Yorkers have always had plenty of delicious, inexpensive and quick ways to eat in the streets.
Things to do alone in NYC: Taste the Big Apple
New York has always been a city dedicated to commerce. It’s no surprise that the markets in NYC are some of the best in the United states (and probably in the world). For most visitors, the plethora of street food that most markets in NYC offer is the main reason to seek out these meccas of culture and cuisine. But you should not forget that there’s much more than just food on offer—a real New York Market celebrates the artists, artisans, collectors, cultures and traditions of its home borough and it’s often one of the focal points around which various communities in the city unite.
Things to do alone in NYC: Visit market
Take the subway
The subway is a fast, affordable way to get around New York City. But let’s be honest. Subways have become a frustrating fact of life in New York City. There are endless alerts about painful disruptions across the system. Trains creep along or stop in the tunnels. Crowds thicken on the platforms. But if you just visiting New York City, the subway can be unmatching experience. Forget about freaks and see amazing subway performance below!
Things to do alone in NYC: Take the subway7
Just sit on a bench and watch the people around you. Make a list of their hair colors, their shoes. Count how many are on their phones. How many are sitting at a table with a friend but still pickup their phone. Become a spy. Choose one person and use your notebook to profile that person. Imagine what he or she does during the week. Where does she or he work? Does he or she have a family? When you’re done leave the paper where someone can find it and wonder about the person who wrote it.
Things to do alone in NYC: Play spy8
Go to the beach
Let’s admit it, New York City isn’t your typical summer retreat. This really is a shame, as the city boasts quite a lot of impressive beaches. New York City has 14 miles of beaches, from beauties in the Bronx, to the historical sands of Brooklyn, to surfing in Queens. Just outside of Manhattan, you’ll find cozy beach towns and miles of sandy paradise, proving that you don’t have to go far to achieve that sun-kissed skin. Just head to the Coney Island if you are looking for fun and crowds. But if you want solitude and peace, visit one of these beaches.
Things to do alone in NYC: Go to the beach
Wake up really early. Nothing beats heading over to the Brooklyn Bridge to watch the sunrise. Same in the evening. Watching the sunset over the Hudson is amazing.
Things to do alone in NYC: Watch sunrise10
Go to bar or club
Get a good pair of walking shoes and look for a bar. Don’t be afraid to ask people for directions or help, if they are from NYC they could be very helpful. Get coffee and Make small talk with the barista. Ask about his or her day. If the place is crowded, be considerate of the waiter or waitress. Remember, she or he gets paid on tips. Leave a generous tip. Look for a place to dance or embarrass yourself in a karaoke bar. Put yourself in places to interact with people. Strike up conversations with people in bars. Maybe its your last day being alone:)
Things to do alone in NYC: Go to bar or club11
See a movie
Are you a movie lover? New York City is full of outdoor movies and rooftop screenings. Pack a picnic dinner, kick off your shoes and enjoy a great movie. The best thing is the screenings are usually free. You can have dozens of epic summer nights that don’t cost a thing, or are at least super affordable.
Things to do alone in NYC: See a movie12
Stop at street performance
When you walking the streets you’re more likely to find a street performer. Stop for a minute or two. The depth and breadth of the performances can be inspiring, from rock and roll covers to a classical music maestro or Picasso reincarnation. You can see future stars or even greatest stars of today.
Things to do alone in NYC: Stop at street performance