New York The Most Visited City by Solo Female Travelers Things to Do and Areas to Avoid
With so many attractions, it’s easy to see why New York City ranks number one as “best trip for solo female travelers in the U.S.” It’s the most visited city in the United States, and the 9th safest city in the world, right after Paris. If you’re planning a solo vacation, NYC is the place to go.
Before you pack your bags, there are a few things you should know. What is there to do in New York? Is New York safe to travel alone? What are current Covid-19 restrictions? Are there places I should avoid? What makes New York City so special? We’ve put together this guide to answer those questions and help you get the most out of your trip.
Must See Attractions and Things to Do
All these things to do in NYC are great for solo travelers; don’t think that going alone will ruin the experience. The following are the most popular attractions that you might add to your trip itinerary. And yes, we made sure that they were open during Covid.
- The National 9/11 Memorial & Museum
The 9/11 Memorial and Museum help us remember those lost on September 11, 2001. They also stand as a symbol of how humanity will continue to move forward and come together despite opposition. The 9/11 memorial pool is the largest man-made waterfall in the world. Open 10am to 5pm. Various tour and museum admission options are available starting at $26 USD. Mondays are free, but still require a ticket. See https://www.911memorial.org for more details.
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art
With two locations, the Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of the largest and finest art museums in the world. Expositions constantly rotate, so check out their site to see what they have going on during your vacation. $25 General adult admission. See The Metropolitan Museum of Art for more details.
- Central Park
The iconic New York Central Park contains 843 acres of well curated nature and peace. Events posted on their website. Open 6am – 1am. See https://www.centralparknyc.org for more details.
- Empire State Building
With restaurants, a bar, cafes, shops, exhibits and a world-famous observatory, the Empire State Building is a must see for your trip to New York. Tickets required. Prices range from $42 to $500, depending on your chosen experience. See Empire State Building for more details.
- Top of the Rock
Home of the Rockefeller Center, rink-side restaurants, and high-end retail shops. The Top of the Rock is living history. With constant events, concerts, tours, and, of course, the observatory, you could make an entire day trip to Top of the Rock. See Top of the Rock Observation Deck for more details.
- Statue of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty was a gift from France and represents lasting freedom and democracy. They dedicated the Statue of Liberty in October 1886 and made it into a National Park in 1924. Liberty Island contains a museum, theater, accessible pedestal, cafe, and tours. Currently the crown is not open. See Statue of Liberty National Monument (US National Park Service) for more details.
Please know that NJ. Statue City Cruises is the only allowed ferry for access to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Book tickets at www.statuecitycruises.com . Ferry tickets start at $23.80.
- Brooklyn Bridge
From Manhattan to Brooklyn, The Brooklyn Bridge spans the East River for historic views. It is now a National Historic Landmark. You can pass over in a passenger vehicle, but most tourists prefer to walk or bike over. See NYC DOT – Brooklyn Bridgefor more details.
- Manhattan Skyline
This isn’t so much a single place as it is a view. The Manhattan Skyline is famous for its pop culture appearances, such as Superman, and now even has a song written after it. Many prefer to view the skyline from a park or at the observatories we have listed here.
Some of the more popular park locations for seeing the Manhattan Skyline are:
The High Line
- Hunters Point South Park (Queens)
- Brooklyn Bridge Park (Brooklyn)
- Randall’s Island Park (Manhattan)
- Sunset Park (Brooklyn)
- Ralph Demarco Park (Queens)
As a park built on the old, elevated freight railway, High Line blends art, design, and nature. Wheelchair accessible. The High Line trail is 1.45 miles long and sits on Manhattan’s West Side. No reservation required. Free tours available. Open hours depend on time of year. See The High Line<for more details.
One World Observatory
Located inside the top of the tallest building in the United States, the One World Observatory offers a spectacular view you won’t get anywhere else. The One World Observatory offers a sky portal lookout, restaurant, and cafe. See One World Observatory for more details.
Some experiences we’ve listed are pricey, but the New York CityPass offers admission into six of the listed attractions. Check it out at Official New York CityPASS® | Visit 6 New York Attractions for $136
Things to Know About New York City
New York City is the most populated (and most densely populated) city in the United States. It’s also on top of one of the world’s largest natural harbors. They divided New York City into five boroughs, each with its own county.
- Brooklyn (Kings County)
Most of New York’s population lives here. Brooklyn boasts some of the best New York pizza, Brighton Beach, and the famous Brooklyn Heights.
- Queens (Queens County)
Just northeast of Brooklyn, Queens is geographically the largest and contains the most ethnic diversity in the world.
- Manhattan (New York County)
Home of central park and most of New York’s skyscrapers. It is the smallest and most dense part of New York. This is where you’ll find a lot of the cultural events and the best hotels.
- The Bronx (Bronx County)
Located at the far north of New York City, and is mostly mainland. The Bronx contains the Bronx Zoo, home to over 6,000 animals.
- Staten Island (Richmond County)
Staten Island is mostly suburban.
Covid-19 Restrictions and Guidelines
- Key to NYC
Beginning December 2021, you must provide proof of full vaccination to take part in any public indoor activity. This includes dining, entertainment, and fitness. See COVID-19: Vaccine Key to NYC for more details.
- International Travel
As of 8 November 2021, international travelers are again welcome to enter the country to visit New York. Travelers over 18 must be fully vaccinated. If traveling from outside the U.S., you must have proof of a negative Covid-19 test within 24 hours before departure.
The Broadway theaters in New York City require vaccinations for all audience members, performers, crew, and staff through February 2022.
- Metropolitan Transport Authority
The subway will continue with 24-hour services. They require riders to wear masks.
Areas of Caution
Is it safe to travel to New York right now? Yes! New York City ranks as the safest big city in the U.S. and makes a fantastic location for solo female travelers. However, as a tourist in New York, there are places you need to be more wary. The following 7 neighborhoods have the highest rates of violent crime per capita in New York City. Most of these crimes are robberies.
- Vinegar Hill (Brooklyn)
- Downtown Brooklyn (Brooklyn)
- Theatre District / Times Square (Manhattan)
- Meatpacking District (Manhattan)
- Koreatown (Manhattan)
- Port Morris (Bronx)
- Garment District (Manhattan)
You may have noticed that these areas are also the places most people go to see when visiting New York. These areas are high-traffic and have a higher statistical chance for crime. Tourists who are less aware/familiar with their surroundings and are easier targets for criminals. Female travelers are at slightly lower risk than male travelers.
With some caution, your trip can be flawlessly safe. Most residents and visitors report feeling safe while visiting New York City. International and national solo travelers have also posted about their trips to New York on Reddit and celebrate its safety.
Safety is a significant factor when deciding where to vacation, especially as a solo female traveler. New York is safe to visit alone, but the following tips can help give you the confidence and skills you need for a safe trip.
- Be aware of your surroundings.
- Stay with other people if possible.
- Know where you are going, and how you are going to get there before you leave.
- Stay off your cellphone, don’t search your purse, or get distracted while walking.
- Most violent attacks occur between 6pm and 11pm.
- Put up a fight. Most attackers give up when faced with even minimal resistance.
- Most attackers avoid those with umbrellas or throwable object. Keys are not a deterrent.
- Pepper Spray is legal in New York. Carry some if you can. Know how to use it. Threaten to use it if necessary.
- Most attacks occur in grocery parking lots. Public restrooms are also common.
- Stay in well-lit, well-populated areas.
- Yell if someone is coming towards you maliciously.
New York City cares about your safety. To protect citizens and visitors, New York City maintains a high police presence. This reduces the risk of crime. Also, most reported crimes occur after dark and are alcohol related.