What to do in New York City: 10 NYC Hidden Gems

10 NYC Hidden Gems

New York City is an awe-inspiring destination, from the Empire State Building to Central Park, the city is brimming with iconic landmarks that draw incredible crowds. There’s no shortage of things to do in NYC so while the major NYC attractions are always worth a visit, there’s also a ton of NYC hidden gems for you to discover. So escape the crowds and explore these hidden gems in New York City.  

Visit the Old City Hall Subway Stop

10 NYC Hidden Gems
10 NYC Hidden Gems: Old City Hall Subway Stop (image via @allisoncmeier, Instagram)

Step back in time and visit the Old City Hall Subway Stop, one of the first stations of the New York City Subway system. Closed in 1945, tour this historic station, and see the vintage architecture and tile arch system. Learn about this NYC hidden gem here.

Catch an Off-Broadway Show: Sleep No More and Then She Fell

10 NYC Hidden Gems: Sleep No More
10 NYC Hidden Gems: Sleep No More (image via Edgardo Aviles-Lopez, flickr)

These immersive theater shows have gained in popularity but deserve to be on this list for being truly magical experiences. Book a ticket to Sleep No More, a play based off of Shakespeare’s MacBeth or Then She Fell, a performance that touches on Alice in Wonderland and Lewis Carroll’s life. Walk through the venues and witness the show unfold all around you, you may even be pulled into the show yourself!

Pig Out with an NYC Pizza Tour

10 NYC Hidden Gems: Pizza Tour
10 NYC Hidden Gems: NYC Pizza Tour (image via Britt Reints, flickr)

For those who consider pizza to be its own food group, Scott’s Pizza Tours in NYC is the hidden gem for you! Enjoy a guided walking tour to some of New York’s finest and most famed pizza joints and of course, sample some delicious slices of pie along the way. Book a pizza tour here.

See the Roosevelt Island Smallpox Hospital Ruins

10 NYC Hidden Gems
10 NYC Hidden Gems: Roosevelt Island Smallpox Hospital Ruins (image via Jessica Sheridan, flickr)

This abandoned NYC building has been designated an official New York City Landmark. The gothic architecture of this 19th-century smallpox hospital gives the location a spooky atmosphere. History buffs will appreciate the moss-covered ruins of at this NYC hidden gem.

Drink up at Please Don’t Tell (PDT)

10 NYC Hidden Gems: Please Don't Tell
10 NYC Hidden Gems: Please Don’t Tell (image via Lara Farhadi, flickr)

The name says it all. This NYC speakeasy in the East Village is hidden behind in a hot dog spot. To enter, you need to first look for an old-fashioned phone booth and call for approval. If you’re permitted, the phone booth wall opens to let you into a small bar.

Explore the Freedom Tunnel

10 NYC Hidden Gems: Freedom Tunnel
10 NYC Hidden Gems: Freedom Tunnel (image via Stuart McAlpine, flickr)

Walk through this once abandoned train tunnel that housed a homeless shanty town. Nowadays, the tunnel is an active train track used by Amtrak. Wander the Freedom Tunnel and check out the graffiti in this NYC hidden gem.

Visit the Mmuseumm

10 NYC Hidden Gems: Mmuseumm
10 NYC Hidden Gems: Museum (image via shuets udono, flickr)

Ever wanted to visit a museum so tiny it fits in a freight elevator? Find this *very* hidden gem in an unassuming alleyway and admire the collection of artifacts described as “overlooked, dismissed, or ignored”.

Eavesdrop at the Whispering Gallery in Grand Central Terminal

10 NYC Hidden Gems: The Whispering Gallery
10 NYC Hidden Gems: The Whispering Gallery (image via I like, flickr)

Journey to Grand Central Terminal, and head to the ‘whisper archway’, in front of Oyster Bar and Restaurant. At this unique point, two people can hear each other’s whispers. Talk about a secret location!

Stroll Along The High Line

10 NYC Hidden Gems: High Line
10 NYC Hidden Gems: High Line (image via brownpau, flickr)

The High Line is a popular NYC attraction but you probably won’t find line ups or big crowds, making it a fun, laid-back thing to do on a New York vacation. Stroll along this public park, built on an old freight rail line. Admire the views of Manhattan’s West Side, stop and appreciate the graffiti artwork or sit down on a bench and people watch.

The City Reliquary

10 NYC Hidden Gems: City Reliquary
10 NYC Hidden Gems: The City Reliquary (image via Scott Edmunds, flickr)

The City Reliquary is a not-for-profit community museum in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Marvel at displays of New York City artifacts like subway rat bones, fragments of landmark buildings, and paint chips from the L train platform. Step inside this time capsule of New York City.

After you enjoy the vibrance of Rockefeller Center and Times Square, head out to one of the NYC hidden gems. Fall in love with New York’s one-of-a-kind attractions!