In my opinion, merely watching the city go about its business is a sight to behold. Do yourself a favor and spend some time on a park bench or the like and see what the foot traffic looks like. Of course, you’ve probably come to New York City to see more than Central Park joggers or harried Manhattanites. New York does have some iconic landmarks; by taking a bus and walking tours, you’ll be sure to catch the highlights.
One of my favorites places for New York City sightseeing is Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. This amazing gift from France is inspiring in its story and massive scale, and it brings up fond memories for me of Ghostbusters II. Even if you’ve never seen that movie, it’s hard not to be in awe of the Lady. Ferries to Ellis Island leave from Battery Park.
Of all the touristy things to do, I really enjoy Times Square. I know that in recent years, grizzled cynics decried the corporatization (yes, there are a lot of chain restaurants) of Times Square, but there’s just something about all those people busying under the glow of all those lights that fascinates me (see also: Shibuyu Crossing in Tokyo).
Other sights you’ll want to see include the Brooklyn Bridge, Yankee Stadium and the Empire State Building. Try a New York City Hop-on Hop-off tour for these and many other famed points of interest.