19 Most Romantic Things to Do in NYC

9 min read
The Manhattan skyline with skyscrapers and water and boats in front
NYC has many attractions, including lots of romantic things for couples to do

New York City in New York State, United States, is a destination known across the world. The famous city welcomes over 65 million visitors every year. The city is also highly popular with couples.

Whether you live in the area or are planning a couples vacation, this list of the most romantic things to do in NYC will give you some great date ideas.

Suggestions range from museum dates to exploring urban parks and finding the best pizza in the city. If you and your other half are after some fun date ideas in New York, then keep reading!

  • 19 things to do

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New York City Things to Do Map

Using the map of New York City, you can explore all the things to do.

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Visiting the Empire State Building is one of the most romantic things to do in NYC
Taking in the views from the iconic Empire State Building is a memorable date idea

Go up the Empire State Building

The Empire State Building is one of the most iconic places in New York City. The building also offers some of the best panoramas of New York, and taking your partner to appreciate these views with you is a perfect date idea.

You can visit the Empire State Building during the day or in the evening. While going to the viewing deck during the day offers clear views, going just before sunset is incredibly romantic!

No matter when you go, you and your other half can take some scenic pictures and make memories together.

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A tall mirrored skyscraper surrounded by other buildings under a cloudy sky
The restaurant at One World Observatory offers amazing views and cuisine

Share a meal at the One World Observatory

While you can visit the One World Observatory observation deck, taking your partner for dinner here instead is well worth it. The restaurant offers 360-degree panoramas of the New York skyline along with delicious food and drink.

Dishes on offer include burrata salad, lobster rolls, and filet mignon. You can also choose from a selection of specialty cocktails and finish your meal with a decadent dessert. Enjoying high-quality cuisine and some of the best views in the city is sure to please you both!

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An old station building with people and an American flag hanging from the ceiling
Grand Central Station has a long history of being a romantic place in New York City

Unearth the Secrets of the Grand Central Station

While you may not think it, Grand Central Station is one of the most romantic places to go in New York. The station has been associated with reuniting couples since WWII, when soldiers would reconnect here with their loved ones.

Today, it’s a fun place to go with your partner to people watch and appreciate the architecture, even if you don’t have a train to catch. Another exciting thing to take a Secrets of Grand Central Station tour. This fascinating tour uncovers facts about the station that few know.

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Pink cherry blossom trees lining a grass path
The Cherry Blossom trees at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden are truly stunning

Escape the city bustle at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden

New York is one of the busiest cities in the world. While the bustle of the city can be exhilarating, heading to a peaceful urban retreat is always welcome. The Brooklyn Botanic Garden is the ideal place for you and your date to unwind and connect.

The 52-acre gardens feature a range of flowers, plants, and trees from across the world. These include dahlias, cherry blossom trees, and palm trees. You’ll also discover relaxing water gardens and will spot a variety of bird species.

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A unique art sculpture being looked at by two people on some grass
The Socrates Sculpture Park showcases a range of unique art installations

Wander through Socrates Sculpture Park

Located in Astoria, Queens, the Socrates Sculpture Park is a beautiful outdoor park filled with art and multimedia installations. It’s the perfect place to stroll through with your loved one, taking in the greenery and artistic designs.

With such a selection of unique sculptures in the park, it’s also an ideal place to take some pictures with interesting backgrounds. Due to being one of the less touristy things to do in New York, the park is never overcrowded either.

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Two buildings with large arched windows and a fountain in front
Watching the New York City Ballet at Lincoln Center is a great romantic date idea

Spend an evening at the New York City Ballet in the Lincoln Center

Watching a show at the New York City Ballet, located in Lincoln Center, makes for one of the most romantic dates in NYC.

The New York City Ballet is one of the most famous ballet destinations in the world. They host breathtaking shows every year, including performances of Swan Lake and The Nutcracker Ballet.

Whichever performance you see, you and your significant other are sure to be mesmerized. For a full date night, treat your partner to a meal at a nearby restaurant before or after the performance.

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A park with a bridge over some water, trees, and buildings in the background
Central Park is the ideal place to go biking with your partner

Bike through Central Park

If you and your partner like bike riding, then biking through scenic Central Park is a fun date idea. While you can both take your bikes, you can also find Central Park bike rentals or take a bike tour.

Whichever way you choose to ride through the park, you’ll find an array of paths to follow. Along the way, you’ll enjoy the scenes of the iconic urban park and be able to appreciate the surrounding skyline.

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A horse-drawn carriage in a park
Going on a carriage ride is a romantic way to see Central Park

Take a romantic carriage ride through Central Park

Another amazing and romantic way to see Central Park is via a horse and carriage ride. Multiple carriage ride operators offer rides within the park, and you can also book in advance.

Once in your cute carriage, you and your date will be taken through the most beautiful parts of the park. This is a memorable activity that you can do in the day, evening, or after dark.

If visiting during the winter, the ride becomes even more magical as you’re surrounded by fresh white snow.

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Illuminated city buildings in the evening as seen from another building
Enjoying evening drinks at a rooftop bar will offer amazing views of Manhattan

Enjoy drinks with stunning views at a rooftop bar

New York City has some of the best views in the world. Therefore, it’s no surprise that the city is home to a multitude of rooftop bars, allowing you to take in the skyline as you relax with a drink.

Going with your partner to one of these bars is sure to make for an incredible day or night out. If you’re unsure which bar to head to, try a New York rooftop bar tour. The tour will take you to multiple incredible bars, and at least one drink is included at each location.

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An urban area with many billboards and advertisements on buildings
Checking out everything going on in Times Square is a fun and laid back date idea

Explore Times Square

Spending the day or an evening exploring Times Square is one of the many fun date ideas in New York. This renowned area is known for its brightly illuminated buildings and billboards, plus an array of shops and restaurants.

When in Times Square, you’ll find lots for you and your date to check out. To start with, you’ll find multiple places to enjoy a meal. These establishments range from high-end spots to chain favorites. You can also shop at a range of stores and are sure to spot some fun street performers.

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A statue of a rhino in front of an old building with three people walking towards it
You and your date can spot many species of animals at the Bronx Zoo

Spot a variety of animals at the Bronx Zoo

Go back to your childhood with a fun day out at the Bronx Zoo. The 265-acre animal park features over 8,000 creatures from all over the world.

Animals living here include lions, elephants, red pandas, flamingos, and more. The zoo also hosts experiences, such as watching feedings and getting up close with some animals.

Best of all, the Bronx Zoo is a conservation zoo, meaning proceeds go to wildlife conservation efforts.

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A red brick building under blue sky with an American flag and water in front
Going on a couples trip to Ellis Island is a great way to learn some US history

Have a historical date at Ellis Island

If your partner loves historical attractions, then a trip to Ellis Island is one of the fun date ideas in New York that you must try.

The island was opened in 1892 to process immigrants sailing in. During its operational years from 1892 to 1954, the island processed more than 12 million immigrants.

Today, the island houses a museum covering Ellis Island history and the backstories of some of the immigrants that arrived there. To make a day out of it, combine a tour of Ellis Island with a visit to the Statue of Liberty.

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An aerial city skyline with skyscrapers and water surrounding a statue island
A helicopter tour allows you to gain stunning aerial views of Manhattan

Get aerial views of New York City on a helicopter tour

New York City is breathtaking when viewed from the ground, but it’s even more stunning from above. To have a date neither of you will forget, give an NYC helicopter tour a go!

Helicopter tours are a popular activity in New York, so there are various options to choose from. All tours will take you above the city and offer views of major landmarks.

These North American landmarks include the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, and the Brooklyn Bridge. While a helicopter tour can be a little expensive, neither of you will ever forget it!

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A large museum building with a water fountain in front
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is an ideal date spot for art lovers

Appreciate artworks at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, or the Met, is the largest art museum in the US. It houses an extensive collection of artworks, with two million pieces in the permanent collection alone.

If you and your partner enjoy art and cultural activities, spending a day exploring the Met is a fun idea. Works on display include those by Van Gogh, Monet, and Picasso.

You can find a variety of Metropolitan Museum of Art guided tours if you would like an in-depth background on the artworks on display.

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Sip cocktails at New York’s speakeasies

During prohibition in the 1920s, New York City was one of the main cities to secretly disobey the new laws and run illegal bars called speakeasies.

If you and your date want to “do drinks” in a more unique way, you have to go on a Speakeasy tour of New York.

The tour takes you on a speakeasy outing through Manhattan. At each bar, you can try prohibition-style drinks and learn more about how the era played out in NYC.

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A pedestrian bridge with American flag and city skyline in the background
Walking together across the Brooklyn Bridge is a timeless romantic thing to do in NYC

Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge

The Brooklyn Bridge is another iconic landmark on the New York City skyline.

Strolling along the bridge that connects Brooklyn to Manhattan is one of the laid-back romantic dates in NYC to try. The bridge even has romantic connotations as a meeting point for couples where one lives in Manhattan and the other in Brooklyn.

Even if you aren’t meeting your date halfway, wandering along the bridge, chatting, and taking in the breathtaking views will never disappoint. You’ll also find Brooklyn Bridge tours and activities if you’re after something a little different.

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A cruise boat on the water with a skyline in the background and pink sky
Taking a sunset dinner cruise is one of the most romantic things to do in NYC

Dine under the stars on a New York dinner cruise

Enjoying the New York City skyline from the water is a must-do. An even better and more romantic way to do this is by going on a New York dinner cruise. As you enjoy your meal, the boat will take you down the Hudson and the East River past major New York landmarks.

The cruise sets sail just before sunset so that you can watch the sunset and then dine under the stars. For dinner, you can choose from a range of buffet dishes, and there’s even DJ entertainment. This date night activity is the perfect way to relax and enjoy your date’s company.

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A red neon sign that says Pizza in front of a kitchen with pizza on the counter
Find the best pizza in New York on a Brooklyn Pizza Walk

Discover the best Brooklyn pizza joints

New York pizza is iconic and is often referred to as the best pizza in North America. While it's up for debate, many believe the best pizza in New York is found in Brooklyn.

If you and your date are foodies, why not test this opinion by going on a Brooklyn pizza walk?

The delicious tour will take you to a selection of Brooklyn's top pizzerias, where you can grab a slice and learn more about each location's pizza-making process. You may even find your new favorite spot to grab a slice!

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A pathway going through greenery with buildings in the background
The High Line is an NYC urban park that's a great place to hang out with your partner

Stroll along the High Line

Walking along the High Line is one more of the chilled-out and fun things to do in NYC for couples. The High Line is an urban park raised above the city on an old train line. The 1.45-mile-long path features greenery and beautiful flowers, all planted and maintained as part of a non-profit operation.

Strolling along this attraction with your partner is a great way to unwind and enjoy each other's company. If you want to walk the entire length of the High Line, it will take around two to three hours. However, you can also wander along a section of the path.

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In Summary

New York City is a location full of attractions for all types of travelers. If looking for date ideas, there's an array of fun and romantic things to do in New York City.

This list covered a few of those romantic suggestions that are sure to see you and your partner have an amazing time.

This article was edited by Loredana Elena.

Written by Alli Sewell

allisewell WRITER Currently based in Canada, I've also lived and worked in the UK and Brazil and travelled in North and South America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. I love finding the best photo-ops and food and drink locations wherever I go!

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