20 Romantic Things to Do in NYC For Couples

There is no shortage of unique experiences to share with your loved one regarding romantic things to do in NYC. It can feel overwhelming to narrow it down to one thing, so today, we share some of our favorite couple things to do in NYC,

The best part is that most of these experiences are pretty cheap things to do in NYC. On entry-level wages in New York, we were able to save $50,000 in a year to travel the world and check all of these things off the list. While it might be a stretch to call ourselves past New Yorkers, it is safe to say we know the city pretty well as former residents; here are some of the most romantic things to do in NYC.

Romantic Things to Do in NYC for Couples

Head to the Lincoln Center

The Ballet At The Lincoln Center — Romantic Things to do in NYC

This is one of those couple things to do in NYC. The Lincoln Center is one of the most romantic spots in NYC and home to some of the world’s best performers. A night at the Metropolitan Opera House is highly recommended, as world-class talent and impressive set pieces are sure to wow.

We’ve been to three shows at the Metropolitan Opera, enjoying Carmen, Contes D’Hoffman, and The Magic Flute. It’s the perfect opportunity to wear your best outfit and enjoy dinner at The Grand Tier before the show. The New York City Ballet dancers at the David H. Koch Theater will leave you speechless with their exquisite moves. We loved spending time at the Lincoln Center, and in our last six months in New York, we attended two Ballets.

Please do not write it off if you have not been to the opera. It’s a beautiful chance to get dressed, have a fantastic meal, and experience brilliant art that can move and transform you. I think it’s the best thing for couples to do in NYC at night. Certainly better than a night in the clubs!

Stroll Through Socrates Sculpture Park

Socrates Sculpture Park - Romantic Things To Do In NYC

A free and easy thing you can do in New York City is check out the Socrates Sculpture Park. Socrates Sculpture Park is an outdoor museum and public park in Astoria, Queens, where artists create and exhibit sculptures and unique multi-media installations.

The park is open 365 days a year and is well worth a couple of hours of exploration with a coffee. On a lovely Fall day, our favorite season in NYC, it’s tough to beat a stroll through the park before heading for a good meal in Astoria.

Try Omakase Sushi

Sushi Chef - Romantic Things to do in NYC

Next to Japan and Vancouver, New York City has some of the best sushi in the world. When we lived in New York, we made it a regular ritual to explore sushi institutions there. These fine-dining restaurants serve up a signature style of sushi called Omakase. It is a chef-selected meal where the head sushi chef curates the best of what’s available in the markets daily and serves you piece by piece.

The experience is intimate and relaxing as you dive into the beautiful intricacies of a dish that can be composed of two ingredients. The fish served in the sushi restaurants is curated worldwide and utilizes the New Fulton Fish Market, one of the world’s largest fish markets. If there is one negative to this experience, it’s the price. Sushi is not cheap.


Walk the Brooklyn Bridge

The Brooklyn Bridge At Night - Romantic Things to do in NYC

Walking the famous Brooklyn Bridge is one of the most romantic things to do in NYC. There are a few iconic New York landmarks that everyone should experience, and Brooklyn Bridge is undeniably one of them. It’s the one landmark where tourists and locals can enjoy a beautiful day. The Brooklyn Bridge is one of the oldest in the United States, and at 1,595 feet, it’s no short distance to cross.

Just be warned, walking the bridge in bad weather or the winter can be pretty unpleasant!  Some of the best weather in New York City comes in the fall, and it’s the perfect time to visit New York City to walk over the East River. This walk is one of the best things for couples to do in NYC.

Picnic in Central Park

Central Park With Fall Colors - Romantic Things to do in NYC
Enjoying beautiful Central Park is one of the most romantic things to do in NYC

One of those great fun activities in NYC for couples is to head to Central Park. It’s impossible not to love Central Park; it’s one of the most romantic places in NYC. The park is an oasis for residents and visitors in one of the most densely populated cities in the world.  Frederick Law Olmsted pioneered landscape design and played a vital role in conservation in the United States.

His design style changed parks and grounds forever as he designed parks around landscapes meant to age with time. He broke the mold of straight paths and manicured garden beds and is responsible for what Central Park is to this day.

Central Park stretches between 59th Street and 110th Street, making up the center of Fifth Avenue and Central Park West. Spending a day outside in New York is reason enough to come to Central Park, but there is almost always something on offer.

Beach volleyball, paddleboarding, carriage rides, running the loop, Shakespeare, giant water fights, and parks concerts are all fun ways to spend a day! Of course, one of the most romantic things to do in New York City is to picnic in one of the many quiet spots within the park.

Catch a Jazz Show

Jazz Show - Romantic Things To Do in NYC

One of the most fun anniversary ideas in NYC is to enjoy a jazz show. Harlem used to be considered dangerous, but lately, it has faced gentrification and new wealth in the metropolis. We used always to make our way to 114 Street to check out new restaurants and bars. One of our favorite things to do together was enjoy a jazz show.

Harlem has countless clubs where you can enjoy a live jazz show, but one of our favorites is Bill’s Place, a speakeasy that has existed since prohibition in the 1920s. Make a romantic evening here with dinner, cocktails, and a show. If you don’t feel like traveling uptown, there are many venues all over the city.

Enjoy a Show on (or Off) Broadway

Times Square - Broadway Street - Romantic Things to Do in NYC

I know it sounds cliche, but if you are into the arts and want to see some of the best actors and actresses in the world, you must see a show on or off Broadway. The TKTS Booth is a great place to get last-minute tickets for shows around New York. Don’t expect to catch the most popular shows; they can sell out months in advance.

However, there are other ways to find cheap Broadway tickets, such as discounted tickets for the day of shows at four locations: Times Square, South Street Seaport, Downtown Brooklyn, and the Lincoln Center. I recommend avoiding the Times Square location as there is usually a long line.

Take a Stroll on the High Line

The Highline At Dusk - Romantic Things To Do In New York City

One of the most romantic things to do in NYC is head to the High Line. Indeed, there is not much green space in Manhattan. That’s why, in 2009, the High Line was formed on the old New York Central Railroad platform on the west side of Manhattan. The High Line is a one-and-a-half-mile-long elevated park where you can walk with your loved one and enjoy the wonderful outdoors in New York City. It’s perfect for a romantic date on a nice day.

There’s also some great food, a coffee shop, and even a little bar along the walkway, making it a great place for lunch. We suggest you head to the new Whitney location from the High Line or check out the Chelsea Market. We love oysters, and you can pick some fresh ones at the Cull & Pistol oyster bar inside the market. In case you’re wondering, the High Line is one of the most romantic places in New York.

Have a Drink at a Speakeasy

Bartender Crafting A Drink At Speakeasy Bar - Romantic Things To Do In NYC

One of those great couple activities in NYC is a Speakeasy Bar. During the prohibition days in the United States, a “speakeasy” was the term used for illicit drinking houses to serve booze in hiding when it wasn’t allowed. They usually had no signs or small hidden doors and were often by invitation only. Nowadays, speakeasies are hip establishments serving craft cocktails to imitate the atmosphere.

Speakeasy bars are popular in big cities worldwide, and New York City may be the epicenter of the craze. If you’re in the mood for a romantic trip back in time with some great cocktails, head to one of New York’s many establishments. Two great ones to check out are Attaboy, Employees Only, and Bathtub Gin!

Head to a Rooftop Bar

New York City Skyline - Things to do in NYC for Couples

Sip cocktails amongst the rooftops and enjoy views of New York’s skyline. When the weather is good, New York springs to life with al fresco dining, picnics, markets, festivals, and rooftop bars. New York has a wide range of rooftop bars, all offering their own atmosphere. You don’t need to take our word for the best rooftop bar because Timeout has been to them all and breaks down the best bars for romance or a night out.

We’d suggest you check out Gallow Green and partake in the famed Sleep No More performance. The rooftop bar takes on the atmosphere of an old garden party, and actors from the play intermix with guests while in character. It’s a unique romantic experience that can only be found in New York City.

Explore The Cloisters

The Cloisters Architecture - Romantic Things to do in NYC

This is a tremendous, easy anniversary idea in NYC if it’s that special day. The Cloisters is a museum specializing in Medieval history, located at the top of Manhattan on 190th Street in Washington Heights. It’s a great place to enjoy nature along the Hudson if medieval architecture is your thing!

We found the museum to be boring. The Dark Ages were indeed a dark period for art… However, the architecture and surrounding grounds make for an excellent escape from the city. Take a run or bike ride along the west side greenway up the Cloisters.

Spend the day at the MET

The Metropolitan Museum Of Art - Romantic Things to do in NYC

This is a fun couples thing to do in NYC. The Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of the finest museums in the world. If you’re into art, this can be one of the best things to do with the boyfriend or girlfriend in NYC. There are a handful of museums everyone in the world should visit, and the MET easily tops the list.

It’s a massive collection of art from around the globe from various periods. The museum is enormous, and it would take hours to see it all at once, so be prepared to see a section. The Met is located on the Upper East Side on the edge of Central Park.

Go to the Bronx Zoo

Profile Portrait Of Giraffe

If you love animals, consider stopping by the Bronx Zoo as one of the most romantic things to do in NYC. We’ve spent our fair share of days in safari attire exploring the African bush. So, it’s safe to say we’re not big fans of seeing animals in enclosures or zoos in general.

However, we know that not everyone can travel to Africa, and some zoos do essential work in conservation. The Bronx Zoo is one of the few exceptional examples of a zoo. It is also the largest zoo in the United States, making for a romantic day together. The zoo does excellent work with conservation and frequently rescues and rehabilitates endangered species found throughout the globe.

Enjoy the New York Botanical Gardens

New York Botanical Gardens - Romantic Things To Do in NYC

If you want a romantic anniversary idea in NYC, why not consider strolling through a garden? I know that everyone raves about the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. Still, after spending time in both the New York Botanical Gardens and Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, I think New York is better.

The New York Botanical Gardens are indeed located in the Bronx, but the gardens get much less packed than their neighbors in Brooklyn because of their location. The NY Botanical Gardens are the largest in the US and are recognized as one of the most significant historical areas in New York.

Get Sweaty

Woman Leading Spin Class - Romantic Things To Do In NYC

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of workout studios and gyms in New York. When we lived in NYC, we regularly tried different classes around the city. Anything from boot camps to spin classes to CrossFit classes.

Why not take a break from the touristy things in New York and get active with a unique workout class? You can find them any day and every hour in every neighborhood. Or you can try your hand together at activities like stand-up paddleboarding, bouldering, or trampoline fitness.


Head Out to Ellis Island

Ellis Island Main Hall - Romantic Things to do in NYC

Do you know your ancestry and where you came from? Enjoy your loved one’s company and take the ferry to Ellis Island for the day! Ellis Island was the gateway for entry into the United States, and it is estimated that over 12 million people came here between the late 1800s and 1950s. Ellis Island is open every day of the year besides Christmas and can be reached via ferry from either Battery Park or Liberty State Park. I would suggest allocating at least three hours for the trip.

Enjoy Nature at Wave Hill

Bike Along A Wooded Path - Romantic Things To Do In NYC
Wave Hill is my favorite romantic thing to do in NYC

Wave Hill is one of the most romantic places in NYC. I may be biased because we used to live in Riverdale, but Wave Hill in the Bronx is nothing short of amazing. For a nice, sunny day outside New York City, we would always escape to Wave Hill, where the crowds are low.

When Cameron and I were looking for something romantic to do during the day, we’d grab some cold brew coffees and head to Wave Hill to enjoy the views over the Hudson River.

People Watch at Grand Central Station

Grand Central Station - Romantic Things to do in NYC for Couples

If you’re looking for a fun and free romantic thing to do in NYC in the winter, look to Grand Central Station. I know people-watching may sound boring, but when you people-watch at a terminal that 750,000 people visit daily, it’s bound to pass the time in a fun way! Grand Central is over a century old and quite an impressive sight with 44 tracks.  If you’re already visiting Times Square, you may as well walk the three avenues here!

Explore the Hudson Valley

Viewpoint Of Hudson Valley - Romantic things to do for couples in new york

Although it is the most fantastic city on earth, that doesn’t mean you should never leave! One of the most romantic things in NYC is exploring the surrounding area. The Hudson Valley is a beautiful region of The United States.

It has wonderful B&Bs, apple picking, museums, and farm-to-table restaurants. It’s also home to the Storm King Art Center, probably one of the coolest outdoor art exhibits in the world.

Romantic Things to do in NYC Map

Plan for NYC


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Where to Stay in NYC

The Chatwal

Regarding New York City hotels, it’s easy for the romance to fizzle. The vast majority of hotels are mega hotels with hundreds of tiny rooms. We’ve been in and out of many different hotels in the city, and without fail, we’re almost always disappointed with room/service to value. However, when it came to The Chatwal Hotel, we found it the perfect romantic escape in the city.

Hilton New York Fashion District
Hilton New York Fashion District

The Hilton Hotel is in the Chelsea neighborhood and within walking distance of Penn Station. It’s great for a late-night arrival or departure from New York. It also has a 24-hour business center, 24-hour fitness center, and a concierge who can help you with any planning needs while in New York!

Millennium Hilton New York
Millennium Hilton New York

This is an excellent option if you want to stay in downtown Manhattan. The Millennium has a business and fitness center and is steps away 150 meters from The World Trade Center.

Should You Get A CityPASS?

Romantic Things to do in NYC - New York City Skyline At Night

The New York City Pass is great to see multiple tourist sites around New York. Entrance includes to the Empire State Building, American Museum of Natural History, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Top of the Rock Observation Deck, Guggenheim Museum, Ferry Access to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises, 9/11 Memorial & Museum, and the  Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum.

You can save money by visiting at least three or more sites. Once activated upon first use, the City Pass lasts nine consecutive days, so you never feel rushed. You can get your City Pass here before you visit New York City!

What Is The Best Way To Get To New York City?

The Statue Of Liberty At Sunset - Romantic Things To Do In NYC

Three international airports service New York City. John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), LaGuardia Airport (LGA), and Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR). If you have the option, I recommend flying into JFK or LGA, as EWR is in New Jersey and will take more work and time to get into the Big Apple. JFK is in Queens and has the Airtrain, which will connect you to the MTA system for $5. Once there, you can easily navigate where you need to go into the city.

LGA is the smallest of the airports but the closest to Manhattan. The easiest and cheapest way into NYC from LGA is via the public bus, which can connect you to the subway. You can also use the private bus companies for about $15 a person and a taxi for around $40. If you arrive at EWR, you can take the AirTrain Newark to the Newark Airport Rail station ($5.50) and hop on the NJ Transit train ($13) to New York Penn Station.

Transportation Around New York

Looking Down Fifth Avenue In New York City - Romantic Things To Do In NYC

Once in the city, the subway is the best (and my favorite) way to get around. Yes, it is dirty and loud and over 100 years old, but I believe you haven’t seen New York until you have navigated your way around the underground world. The subway is always full of interesting characters, so you’re bound to be entertained at least once. MTA tickets are $2.75 a ride. You can also take the bus, but I would rather walk to most places.

The only other viable option to get around is to hail a cab, Uber, or Lyft. Don’t attempt to rent a car and drive through Manhattan unless you are comfortable with crowds or crazy drivers, and don’t suffer from anxiety. If you are only staying in Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx, or Long Island, a rental car can be a good option – just not in Manhattan.

If you only want a car for a short period, check out Zipcar. Zipcar is a car-sharing platform that operates in big cities. It is on-demand access to drive cars by the hour or the day in New York. If you’re traveling to New York City, it’s best to accept that you will walk a lot, so bring a good pair of shoes.

Plan For Your Trip

What Other Romantic Things to do in NYC would you suggest?

About Cameron Seagle

Cameron Seagle is one of the principal writers and photographers for The World Pursuit. He is a travel expert that has been traveling the world for the past decade. During this time, he established a passion for conservation and environmental sustainability. When not traveling, he's obsessed with finding the best gear and travel products. In his free time, you can find him hiking, mountain biking, mountaineering, and snowboarding. His favorite countries are Scotland, Indonesia, Mozambique, Peru, Italy, and Japan.

You can learn more about Cameron on The World Pursuit About Us Page.

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