New York has a lot of entertaining things to offer to visitors and locals alike. But once you’ve covered the most iconic sites, or if you want to lose the crowds, you will need to go beyond the obvious. If you are looking for unusual things to do in New York, these will surely get you off the beaten path.

Visit the Tenement Museum

Located on the Lower East Side, the Tenement Museum takes visitors back in time to give them a glimpse of what it was like to be an immigrant in New York in the late 19th century – early 20th century. Housed in a five-story brick building, it is estimated that some 7000 people from over 20 countries lived in the historic building.


Take a Break at the Cloisters

This quiet spot in northern Manhattan offers a welcome respite from the hectic pace of NYC. The Cloisters are a branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and it houses the museum’s extensive collection of art and architecture from Medieval Europe.


Dine in a Train Car at Le Train Bleu

Hidden in the sixth floor of Bloomingdale’s in midtown Manhattan, Le Train Bleu is a restaurant modeled as an old train dining car. For over 30 years, this quirky restaurant has been offering a very unique experience right in the heart of New York; while still remaining one of the city’s best kept secrets.


Go on a Street Art Hunt

One of the best ways to go off the beaten path while traveling is to go searching for street art or to join one of the several street art tours available. New York is one of the best cities for street art, so it is no wonder that it attracts artists from all over the world.


Shop at Brooklyn Flea

Ranked as one of the top markets in the United States, the Brooklyn Flea features over a hundred vendors selling furniture, vintage clothing, antiques, jewellery and much more. If you are looking for the perfect souvenir for your trip, you’ll probably find it here!

#bkflea @dansparentshouse

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Explore an Abandoned Subway Station

New York’s subway system is one of the oldest in the world. As such, there are a number of stations that are now closed or abandoned for one reason or another. The most famous of them all is the City Hall station and you can visit it by joining one of the tours organised by the New York Transit Museum.


Visit MoMA PS1

MoMA PS1 is one of the oldest contemporary art institutions in North America. Affiliated with New York’s Museum of Modern Art, this exhibition space hosts some of the most avant-garde contemporary art in the world.


Have a Drink at The Backroom Bar

If you want to revisit what it was like to experience the Prohibition era, head down to The Backroom Bar. One of the two speakeasies that still operates from those days in New York, this classic bar features vintage decor, period pieces and cocktails served in tea cups; just like in the old days!

It's a nightcap. #thursdayisthenewfriday #teacuptime

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Go Backstage the Metropolitan Opera House

Go where few people have gone before by taking a backstage tour of the Metropolitan Opera House. Held during the performance season, these tours give visitors a glimpse into what goes on in the rehearsal rooms, dressing rooms and stage area.

Eyebrows #onfleek. #Lindstagram #Turandot #MetOpera #Iwokeuplikethis #Flawless #Lindsanity

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Go Kayaking on the Hudson River

If you want to keep active, kayaking on the Hudson River is a great way to spend the afternoon. The Manhattan Community Boathouse is a nonprofit organization that offers free kayaks to use during summer.

Volunteering has its perks.

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Addresses & Contact Details

If you enjoyed this post, you might also like to read other articles in our Off the Beaten Path series: Paris, London, Rome.

What other unusual things to do in New York would you recommend? Share it with us in the comments section!

10 Unusual Things to Do in New York


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