Romantic things to do in New York

New York for couples

Cultural capital of the USA - if not the world - New York is a history-laden, bustling metropolis that holds immense romantic appeal for visitors.

  1. Picnic in Central Park
  2. Check out the MET
  3. Sip a cocktail at the Rockefeller Center
  4. Walk the High Line
  5. Lunch at Chelsea Market
  6. Cross from Manhattan to Brooklyn
  7. Wining and dining
  8. Gaze up at Times Square

The bright lights of New York City are enough to dazzle anybody. From the tangled lanes of Wall Street to the tenements of the Low East Side and the towering skyscrapers, it’s hard not to be impressed. And what better way to explore the Big Apple than with the apple of your eye? There are plenty of romantic things to do in New York, and here’s where to start.

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Rough Guides

1. Picnic in Central Park

New York’s landscaped green spaces - including Central Park - give the city a chance to catch its breath. This park, located between the Upper East and Upper West sides, is one of the city’s most popular landmarks, instantly recognizable from films and TV shows from Friends to Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Take a stroll through it with your sweetheart, and bring a picnic to lounge about catching the summer rays. If you’d rather explore on two wheels, you can rent bikes from the southeast and southwest corners of the park.

Best for: Flitting the day away

Don’t forget: If you’re in New York on a romantic trip – or even your honeymoon – be sure to rent a row boat or gondola.

2. Check out the MET

The MET - or the Metropolitan Museum of Art to quote its full title - has one of the most impressive art collections in the world. Spanning more than 5000 years of history, its galleries range from Greek and Roman art to Egyptian, medieval, and Modern and Contemporary art, and plenty more besides. Carve out enough time so you can stroll leisurely through the vast spaces - hand in hand is the way to go.

Best for: Culture vultures

Don’t forget: Be sure to check out the American wing for some home-grown pieces. When in Rome…

3. Sip a cocktail at the Rockefeller Center

There are a number of lofty heights to pick from to take in the stupendous views across the twinkling New York skyline. Many couples will opt for the Empire State Building, but that means your views omit the structure itself. Instead, why not make for the Rockefeller Center? You can either buy a ticket to the Top of the Rock Observation Deck, or - better still - head to the Rainbow Room for a sunset cocktail or glass of champagne. You won’t have to pay to get up here, so admission is simply the price of your bubbly. Drink it in.

Best for: Skyscraper gazing

Don’t forget: A drink with a view is one of the best couply things to do in New York, so be sure to reserve your spot in good time.

4. Walk the High Line

An unlikely city walking trail, the High Line makes use of an old railway track above Manhattan, giving lovers the chance to take in New York from a whole different perspective. Leafy flower beds and public art installations just add to the allure.

Best for: Wandering above Manhattan

Don’t forget: Picking plants, bicycles and skateboards are all prohibited on the High Line: respect the rules.

5. Lunch at Chelsea Market

If you can’t decide what to eat, come to Chelsea Market, stuffed chock-a-block with eateries serving everything from Mexican tacos to lobster rolls, farm-shop goodies to gelato. Wandering through the food hall is a delight in itself, and there are plenty of artisan products for sale alongside. Why not treat your better half to a souvenir while you’re there?

Best for: Local and international food at its best

Don’t forget: The High Line route ends in Chelsea - Chelsea Market is a great choice for a spot of lunch.

6. Cross from Manhattan to Brooklyn

Brooklyn is Manhattan’s trendy neighbour, and a great place to explore for its vibrant cultural scene - not to mention the stunning views back across to Manhattan. One of the best things to do for couples in New York is to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge at sunset, remembering to keep looking back as Manhattan starts to light up for the night.

Best for: Manhattan views

Don’t forget: It can get nippy up on the bridge, so bring a coat and be ready to huddle together for warmth.

7. Wining and dining

As you’d expect of one of the world’s greatest cities, the restaurant and bar scene in New York is something very special. There’s nothing more romantic than an evening meal - great food, smooth wine and dim lighting being a real recipe for love. Bedford Avenue in Brooklyn is a good place to start, lined with restaurants serving creative dishes from around the world. For a nightcap, make for the bar at the William Vale Rooftop Hotel in Williamsburg, with a wraparound terrace and smashing views across to Manhattan. If you’re looking for a room with a view, search New York holidays.

Best for: Appealing to the senses

Don’t forget: Things get booked up fast in New York, so make all your restaurant reservations in advance.

8. Gaze up at Times Square

The neon lights of Times Square are one of the city’s major cultural icons, with soaring skyscrapers all around that are monuments of the modern age. Getting caught in the headlights with your beau in the City that Never Sleeps is a whole load of fun. Pause and you’ll find yourself musing that there’s nowhere quite like New York City. And you’ll be right.

Best for: Getting that New York, New York feeling

Don’t forget: While you’re in the area, why not catch a Broadway show? There’s endless productions to choose from, whatever your cup of tea.

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