This tour runs through one of the most iconic and well-known sites in downtown Manhattan (called Midtown), and can be done in one morning if you do not stop in too many places and in one day if you take things quietly and stop to see the multiple touristic scenarios that we are going to visit or climb to one of the viewpoints we recommend, such as Times Square, Grand Central Terminal, Empire State Building and its observatory, Rockefeller Center and the observatory of Top of the Rock, …
Start the route at the Plaza Hotel
We arrived at MoMA
To the right of Fifth Avenue, on the 53th, is the MoMA, with a good collection of contemporary paintings (Friday afternoon is free entrance day)
On this museum, do not miss:
- The young ladies of Avignon, of Picasso.
- The Water Lilies, of Monet.
- The starry night, of Van Gogh.
- The section dedicated to Andy Warhol and other contemporary American artists.
- The floor dedicated to design of the twentieth century.
St Patrick’s Cathedral and Rockefeller Center
If we keep going down by 5th. Av., On the 50th on the left is St. Patrick Cathedral and on the right, passing the 6th Av., Is the Radio City Music Hall. Returning to the 5th Av. On the 48th to the right is the Rockefeller Center with its famous skating rink (summer cafeteria). In this square it has reopened FAO Schwarz, a famous toy store in New York, and we can find on its first floor the mythical piano of the movie Big, which will delight the fans of this film.
Right next to St. Patrick’s Cathedral is Jimmy Choo, a place where the girls in Sex in New York buy shoes in the series. The Manolos Blahnik’s Manolos shop is a little further up, on 54th Street, between Fifth Avenue and Sixth Avenue. Next to St. Patricks is the official NBA store, between 47th and 48th, in case you are interested in buying a basketball souvenir.
Park Avenue and Grand Central Terminal
At the 48th go to the left to Park Av. And between the 49th and the 50th is the famous Waldorf Astoria hotel. I recommend you to definitely look south with the MetLife building “blocking” Park Av. Go right to Madison Ave. and go down to 43th; On the left is the Metlife building and under it is the Grand Central Terminal, A must for anyone who goes to New York. Although it has lost much of the rail traffic due to the opening of nearby Pennsylvania Station, just below Madison Square Garden, this beautiful building is still an important train and subway station. Without a doubt I recommend you enter and observe the famous lockers and staircases that appear in many movies.
The Chrysler Building, Bryant Park, Empire State Building
In the background, crossing the station, on the left we find the famous building of the Chrysler, which is not visitable for what to go optionally, and the headquarters of the UN. Go better to the right and go down to the 34th by the 5th Av. And there we find the most mythical building in New York, the Empire State Building. Along the way is the famous New York Public Library at 5th Av. Between 40th and 42th and Bryant Park, one of my favorite parks in New York and where you can stop to eat if you have bought some sandwiches or salads in one of the many nearby stalls and delis.
Madison Square Garden and Macy’s
Very close to the Empire State Building Madison Square Garden, temple of basketball and boxing, and B & H, a store of Orthodox Jews that has the best prices for cameras in the city, a paradise for photographers. There is also Macy’s, which is considered the largest shopping center in the world, and the street of Diamonds, full of shops with windows full of diamonds and precious stones.
We ended up in Times Square
From here go right to Broadway and go up to the 42th which is where is the famous Times Square. Here we admire your impressive display of light and advertising panels, both day and night, and we conclude this walk.
Manhattan best observatories
Finally, during this trip we have passed through two of the best observatories in Manhattan from above, and we can not pass the opportunity to visit any of them:
- Empire State Observatory: This is the best known of all, on clear days can take an hour or more to be able to climb it. Located on the 86 floor of the building, it has the best possible view of Downtown Manhattan and the Financial District.
- Observatory ‘Top of the Rock’ at Rockefeller Center: Much less known, but no less attractive is Top of the Rock, at Rockefeller Center. Organized much better than the previous one, it allows you to book in advance through the internet or buy your ticket at the ticket offices that are authorized for this, giving you an hour to which you have to make the visit, without queues. It has an amazing view over Central Park and the Empire State, Metlife and Chrysler buildings. Although the choice is difficult, this is the observatory that I would go to in case I had to choose between the two available.
In any case, It is recommended to visit these observatories in the late afternoon, one hour before nightfall to be able to see the day and night view of New York.
Video of the route
Here we leave you a video with the main points of interest that we have visited during this walk through Midtown:
Map of the Midtown route