New York City is one of those destinations that’s too large to squeeze into a single definition, a single image, or a single experience. The more you come here, the more you’ll learn and gain familiarity with the dense layers of history and culture that comprise the city. It sounds overwhelming, but that’s a good thing—it’s what makes the Big Apple stand out. (And when you take your time and slow things down, that overwhelming factor disappears rapidly.)

To help newcomers get started, we put together a list of the ultimate NYC and Brooklyn bucket list. We promise that once you go out and experience these recommendations, your personal list of must-dos in NYC will inevitably grow larger and larger. 

Hit The Major Parks

For a city so famous for its hustle and bustle, New York offers quite a lot in regards to serene, natural spaces. The parks across the boroughs range from the iconic Central Park with its many famous lawns, and hidden gems, to staples of other boroughs, like Brooklyn’s Prospect Park

Visit Every Borough

One of the best ways you can get to know this vast and diverse city is to take a tour of the five boroughs. Few New Yorkers have even been to all five, so hitting Staten Island, The Bronx, Queens and Manhattan during your Brooklyn stay makes for a special accomplishment. 

Take A Museum Tour

New York City is well known for its world-class museum scene, which stretches across its boroughs. In Manhattan, there’s plenty of exceptional cultural institutions, the most well known of which include The Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and The Museum of Natural History. We’re also huge fans of The Brooklyn Museum, and MoMa PS1 in Long Island City. 

Catch a Memorable Show

Art never ends in New York City, so after your day at the museum, treat yourself to a live show somewhere in town. You can go classic Big Apple and treat yourself to a night on Broadway watching a Tony-winning musical or critically-acclaimed drama. Off Broadway theater, concert venues, and street performances also dazzle the city around the clock. 

Head To Coney Island

Flashing a little bit of Brooklyn pride over here—Coney Island is one of the most recognizable and iconic neighborhoods in New York City. Make sure to cross it off your bucket list by having a visit during your next NYC vacation. During the summer, it’s pure beach-carnival fun. During the winter, it’s a quiet wonderland that’s simply beautiful. 

Eat A Ton of Pizza

For over a century, New York City has put its own spin on the Italian pizza pie, and has since become one of the most famous places in the world to grab a slice. Nu Hotel’s borough of Brooklyn has an exceptional selection of storied pizza spots, which are well-worth including on your NYC bucket list. For some recommendations, check out our post on A Slice of Brooklyn Pizza

Tour The Landmarks

Before your tour of New York City is finished, be sure to visit as many of the noteworthy landmarks that you can. While crowded and considered “touristy,” sights like The Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, and One World Trade Center are truly breathtaking and worth a viewing. 

Find The Perfect Place To Stay

When you come to New York City, you can stay in a range of different boroughs, neighborhoods, and accommodations. It takes time to discover what’s best for you, but we recommend beginning your search with a booking here at Nu Hotel. Located in Downtown Brooklyn, we put guests within reach of the city’s best attractions. Additionally, our art-filled rooms and property offer an ambiance that’s sure to put you in the spirit of New York City. 


There’s a myriad of activities to experience in Brooklyn. Discover NYC’s Best Borough with NU, and explore more on our Brooklyn blog.