New York Solo: The Best Things to Do and Places to Eat Alone

We all know that solo traveling can be the best way to discover ourselves. Although sometimes it can feel a bit lonely, we always find exciting activities and interesting, like-minded people. In New York, you certainly never run out of things to do. The city is packed with shops, restaurants, museums, and culture – a never-ending oasis of adventure and entertainment.

If you’ve landed alone in New York for a couple of days, here is a list of the best things to do and places to eat in New York solo. Explore your surroundings at your own pace, space, and freedom – there are only a few things better than that in this world.

New York solo woman sitting on stone wall overlooking new york skyline
There are plenty of fantastic ways to spend time on your own in The Big Apple. Photo credit:

Things to Do in New York Solo

Visit Iconic NYC Monuments and Buildings

In New York, there’s the tourist-101 list of monuments and buildings you need to see. Although you may not have time to visit them all properly, it is nice to at least stroll past them and catch a glimpse from the outside. Emblematic buildings like the Empire State Building, the Flatiron, and the Chrysler are a must-see when visiting New York. You can also enjoy the observation decks at One Vanderbilt Summit and The Edge.

Make sure also to see the classic monuments in the city. If you have time, take the ferry to see the Statue of Liberty (or just look at it from the pier). Check the Charging Bull at the Financial District and enter the Vessel for some unique architectural wonders. And don’t forget to take pictures!

Insider’s tip: On your way to the Statue of Liberty? Make sure to make note of the best restaurants in the Financial District! You’ll find everything from beer on tap (at the oldest tavern in the city, no less!) to birria tacos to Italian panini sandwiches.

People at Summit One Vanderbilt Observation Deck
SUMMIT One Vanderbilt has the largest glass elevators in the world. Photo credit: Anna Arysheva

Stroll Down 5th Avenue

Shopping is an activity that is best when done alone. Especially when you’re walking down 5th Avenue, with hundreds of different places to explore. Indulge in window shopping, walk into the stores you enjoy the most, and take your time trying everything on. Explore luxurious brands in midtown and walk down to SoHo, where you start to see more independent brands and boutique-like shops.

Like Carrie Bradshaw, shopping is our cardio, and we all have a different pace. There are a bunch of other streets and neighborhoods perfect for shopping as well, so just explore it all and go back home with a bunch of goodies for your house and wardrobe!

Explore NYC Museums

New York is a city packed with art and culture. There are dozens of museums around for you to explore and learn about natural history, music, art, and much more. Visiting one or two of these is a great way to spend alone time. Soaking in culture and history and always learning something new.

The MoMa is the city’s most famous Modern Art museum. Where acclaimed names in the art community display their work. The MET will take you on an art history journey, from ancient Egypt and Sumerian sculptures to renaissance and impressionist paintings. The Museum of Natural History will teach you everything about our planet and its animals. And these are just three of the options.

There are also the National 9/11 Memorial, Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum, the Morgan Library & Museum, the Ice Cream Museum, and the Sex Museum… you get the idea.

people walking around the entrance hall of moma museum
In New York solo? Stroll through MoMA’s immense private collection, which includes 200,000 works of art. Photo credit: Ed Schipul

Walk in The Park With a Podcast

New York parks are something out of this world– A green ocean in the middle of a busy city. Taking a stroll through some of the most famous parks in the city is a great way to spend some time and connect with nature. Put on your favorite podcast and get lost in Central Park. Bring a snack and picnic somewhere, soaking in sunlight and people-watching. You can even go for a run and get your exercise in for the day.

Browse Bookstores

Grabbing a new book and flipping through its pages to see if you enjoy it is one calming feeling. New York has a bookstore on every corner for you to do that. Maybe enter Barnes & Noble and spend an entire afternoon going through new books and different genres. You can also hit smaller and independent book stores and explore their unique collections of books. Lots of them have coffee shops, too, so grab a warm coffee and get your daily dose of reading.

Barnes & Noble sells more than one million unique physical book titles every year. Photo credit: Pixabay

Go on a Food Exploration

New York has a bunch of neighborhoods that are rich in specific food cultures. Here, you can go on a food exploration and try unique dishes and cuisines. Food trucks and markets are also vital to the New York food scene, so munch away! Chinatown and Little Italy are two strong examples of that, where you’ll feel like you’ve crossed continents and arrived at a whole other country.

Walking around burns lots of calories, so grab small portions from different places and travel the world through food. Talk to the cooks and learn about their history and cuisine. Discover new flavors and dishes.

Insider’s Tip: Our New York food tours are perfect for solo travelers! Join us to enjoy delights beloved by locals and visiting foodies alike.

And speaking of food…

The Best Places to Eat in New York Solo

Gotham West Market

Located in Hell’s Kitchen, Gotham West Market is the perfect place for the solo diner who wants to try a bit of everything. Taste dishes from the Uma Temakeria, Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop, and other small restaurants serving foods from around the world. You can sit at a restaurant’s counter or eat at the large communal tables. There will always be an opportunity to chat with others.

busy food hall with people eating
At Gotham West Park you can choose from eight unique and critically-acclaimed culinary purveyors. Photo credit: edwardhblake

Momofuku Ko

This small, two-Michelin star restaurant is the perfect place for you to have an authentic and delicious Korean meal. Let David Cheng and his team lead you through a multi-course tasting menu and indulge in unique flavors and aromas. Make a reservation at the counter, right in front of the open kitchen, which is much easier to do when you’re solo dining. The dining experience usually lasts three hours, and you won’t notice the time going by.

man preping meat over grill in open kitchen
Sit at the bar and enjoy the view of the open kitchen at Momofuku Ko. Photo credit: Lou Stejskal

Upstate Beer & Oyster Bar

After a long day walking around New York, a gastronomic spa treatment is necessary. The combo is simple and ideal: beer and oysters. This is the perfect spot for seafood lovers to rest their feet and indulge in fresh and flavorful delicacies from the ocean.

Go for the happy hour special and order a craft beer with half-dozen oysters for $12. There are also larger plates available, like fettucini with clams. Sit at the bar counter and mingle with other diners or friendly staff. You even get a free slice of cake at the end.

Overhead shot of oysters in a metal ice tray
Indulge in decadent oysters at Upstate Beer & Oyster Bar. Photo credit: Maya Katkova


Ichiran seems to be built for the solo traveler. Here, you can sit at individual booths that look like desks or voting stalls, enjoying a bowl of ramen with privacy. Write your order and pass it to the staff through a slit on the side. Now, enjoy your ramen, and indulge in unique flavors and aromas.

Ichiran is a Japanese chain that has just arrived in the US, with multiple locations in New York. Although the ramen can be a little pricier than usual, it is worth the unique experience.

Ready to make some new friends while enjoying fantastic cuisine at the same time? Our Greenwich Village food tour is calling your name. Join us to explore our favorite eateries and dig into the best local bites in the company of fellow foodies. Come hungry!