It can take several trips to New York City to uncover some of its best kept secrets. Now, after many visits, I like to think I’ve discovered some hidden gems of my own and today I’m sharing some of them with you.

Once you’ve ticked off Times Square, the Statue of Liberty and other New York landmarks (find 30 of them here!), experience the hidden gems of New York City for exciting discoveries you’ll really want to write home about.

1. 77 Water Street Rooftop

When you’re walking the streets of Manhattan, the soaring buildings hide an equally impressive view of the rooftops. Several are green places where you can relax and take in stunning views, but there is one that is particularly special.

On this roof stands a replica of a World War I Sopwith Camel fighter plane, positioned on a small runway, so it stands out against the backdrop of other rooftops. You’ll also find a cute, old-school candy shop near the entrance. Keep an eye out and you’ll be in for a treat!

2. Sidewalk Soho Subway Map at 110 Greene Street

Discover a special subway map of Manhattan on the ground on Greene Street. Made up of 1/2 inch stainless steel bars set into the ground, with 156 glass rounds highlighting landmarks and LED lights marking subway stops, this map stretches to ninety feet long and twelve feet wide.

It’s beautiful as a piece of art, but don’t solely rely on it when travelling around the city. It could be hard to read for first timers or locals who don’t use public transport often.

3. The Smallpox Hospital on Roosevelt Island

Supernatural fans, this one’s for you! You’ll find one of the most haunted places in all of America on Roosevelt Island. The big, abandoned hospital was originally used to isolate and treat smallpox and eviscerate immigrant illnesses arriving in New York. Now, it’s a tourist attraction for those who like stories with a thrill.

4. Whispering Gallery in Grand Central Station

This is one of the most popular places to pop the question. Located at the famous Grand Central train station, the hidden gem lies in this building’s very construction.

To experience it for yourself, stand in the opposite corner of the large arched entryway to your friend and whisper. You should be able to hear them from five feet away – but it will sound like they are stood right beside you!

5. A Piece Of The Berlin Wall

Five pieces of the Berlin Wall were brought over to New York City from Berlin in 1990. Now, you’ll find them at the 520 Madison Avenue building on 53rd Street.

6. The Statue of Lenin

This is an 18-foot statue of communist leader Vladimir Lenin. It was recently relocated to 178 Norfolk Street from the top an apartment building. Originally, it was found in a rubbish bin in a backyard outside Moscow, before being sent to New York in 1994. Yuri Gerasimov created the statue, after being commissioned to build it by the Soviet Union, but it was never unveiled.  

Of course, when you spend the day strolling the streets of New York in pursuit of its elusive hidden gems, you’ll work up a hearty appetite! Get the inside scoop on eating out in the USA here. You’ll find out where to go, what to order and what to expect (the portions really are as big as they seem on TV!).

Fancy extending your trip to the States? These are 7 states that are well worth a visit, plus get the low-down on USA city breaks here and my guide to the country’s National Parks here.

13 COMMENTS

  1. This is super helpful for me seeing as I’m visiting New York next month! Definitely putting these on my list and woah, the rooftop on water street – I’ve always wondnered what hidden gems topped those sky scrapers! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  2. I would love to see photos along with these descriptions as they sound like fun little spots to seek out. Always good to get off the beaten path a bit, especially in a huge place like New York!

  3. So true! I’ve only been to NY once and saw all the top attractions but I could go so many times. I had no idea about the piece of Berlin Wall or the statue of Lenin!

  4. I really like to discover “hidden gems” on the places I visited. Last winter, I visited New York and was able to see a bit of The Bronx and Brooklyn. I will like to check out your suggestions! We have a piece of the Berlin Wall in Los Angeles too.

  5. Lovely post ! NY is really an amazing city. I’ve visited NY few years ago and reading your this post I realize how much places I’ve missed. It’s always nice to see the city also off the beaten path. I’ll keep this list in mind next time.

  6. I had no idea that New York had pieces of the Berlin Wall. I was surprised to see pieces of the wall in Los Angeles and now NYC? Great tips. More things to discover on my next trip to the Big Apple!

  7. Perfect timing on finding this post! I will be headed to NYC on Thursday for an unexpected trip and will definitely be looking for hidden gems so that I can try to avoid the crowds. That rooftop bar sounds so neat and I love haunted history, so hopefully we can make it to Roosevelt Island.

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