New York is somewhere like no other. The city that never sleeps, New York seems to be bustling 24/7. As such, there are so many things to see and do, but not all of them are worth your time, especially if you only have a limited stay in the Big Apple.
So let’s dive right into my list of five places to avoid when you’re in New York…
1) Times Square
It’s just an overcrowded square full of headache-inducing bright billboards, weird smells and abusive characters. On one hand, I can see the appeal and if you are determined to visit Times Square for a photo opportunity, do it at night-time when the illuminated billboards seem more appealing. Otherwise, it’s not really worth a place on your itinerary other than to say “oh yeah I went to Times Square. Wasn’t great”.
2) Chelsea Market
Whilst Chelsea Market is very useful for the free wifi, and the quality of the food is just as good as you’d expect, it’s really crowded. Chelsea Market is in a really great location right near the High Line and a short walk from the Whitney Museum. But, Gansevoort Market is only 5 minutes away from Chelsea Market and has a much more relaxed atmosphere. Other alternatives include Smorgasburg on the Williamsburg waterfront with stunning views of Manhattan Island, or DeKalb Market Hall in downtown Brooklyn.
3) Madame Tussauds and Ripley’s Believe It or Not
I just don’t understand why you’d want to waste your time doing things you can do in countless other cities? Both Madame Tussauds and Ripley’s have locations in various other cities and they are the very definition of tourist traps. Plus, even if you’re just going to kill some time they’re not exactly cheap anyway.
4) American Museum of Natural History
The American Museum of Natural History was one of the museums that I was most excited about visiting in New York. But it just wasn’t very good. I visited The Met on the same day, which I was less excited about but found myself enjoying far more.
I didn’t find the Natural History Museum very interesting at all. A lot of it seemed pretty dated, and I wasn’t really that engaged. Whilst it seems that this is the museum that everyone visits when they go to New York, I found it to be one that you could skip entirely.
With this one I am a bit biased; I wouldn’t consider myself a modern art fan at all. Having said that, I found the Whitney Museum of American Art much more enjoyable and interesting than I did MOMA. Again, this could be down to the size of the crowds. MOMA was insanely busy, and you got the sense that nobody was really taking any of the art in. The Whitney Museum, on the other hand, was far less crowded and there was more of an opportunity to take each piece in.