The best time to visit New York

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Best time to visit New York

As a tour guide I have been many times in New York City and have experienced the city in every season – except at Christmas time. Nevertheless, I know New York very well in late winter, spring, summer and fall. This metropolis delights all year round and offers countless attractions and activities. But when is the best time to visit New York? From skyscrapers to world famous museums to diverse restaurants – the city has something to offer for everyone. The question is not whether you should visit New York, but when is the best time to visit. It depends on your interests, as the city offers countless reasons to visit all year round.



Spring in New York is a wonderful time as temperatures are mild and the city's parks come to life. Central Park is in bloom, and events like the Cherry Blossom Festival attract many visitors. Therefore, this is the perfect season for outdoor lovers.

Although it can get hot and humid in summer, the city still offers numerous outdoor festivals, concerts and rooftop bars. The long days invite you to go on extensive sightseeing tours, and on the weekends many New Yorkers head to the beaches of Coney Island.

For many, fall is the best time to visit New York, as temperatures are pleasant and the trees in Central Park turn into gorgeous fall colors. In addition, events such as the Halloween parade and the Thanksgiving festival provide additional highlights. In addition, waiting times for popular attractions are shorter.

Winter transforms New York. Ice skating at Rockefeller Center, the twinkling lights and the festive atmosphere in the pre-christmas time are famous. After the holidays, hotel prices drop and the city becomes quieter.


New York City in spring
New York City in spring Photo by Richard Lu on Unsplash


Spring in New York City (March to May)

The best time to visit New York is in spring from March to May. The temperatures are mild and the city comes to life. Plants are blooming everywhere and Central Park is at its best. It is the ideal season for walks and bike rides. Particularly recommended are the cherry blossoms in the Conservatory Garden and the daffodils in the large meadows. I remember walking around the lake in the southern part of the park. I also always enjoyed going to Battery Park in the spring.

Spring is also the time for numerous outdoor festivals and markets. Events like the Cherry Blossom Festival in Brooklyn Botanic Garden or the Tribeca Film Festival attract both locals and visitors. These events offer the opportunity to experience New York's cultural diversity up close while enjoying the mild weather. Markets like that Smorgasburg Food Market in Williamsburg offer a variety of culinary delights from all over the world.

Another advantage of spring in New York is the lower number of tourists compared to summer. Since the city is less crowded, this means you can visit the sights without long waits. Whether visiting the Empire State Building, taking a boat tour to the Statue of Liberty or strolling through the city - New York can be explored more relaxed in spring. Famous museums such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art are also less crowded, allowing for a quieter visit.

  • Tips:
    • Suitable for walks and bike rides in the park
    • Visits to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and the Highline


New York City in summer
New York City in summer Photo by Harry Gillen on Unsplash


Summer in New York City (June to August)

Everyone has to decide for themselves whether the summer from June to August is the best time to visit New York City. The weather is hot and humid, ideal for numerous outdoor activities. Rooftop bars and open-air cinemas invite you on mild summer evenings. Central Park offers concerts and picnic areas. Highlights are events like Summerstage and Shakespeare in the Park. Longer days make longer sightseeing possible. The city is pulsating with life, and beaches like Coney Island offer cooling off. Plan your visit early as demand is high and enjoy New York's summer energy.

Rooftop bars like 230 Fifth and Westlight in Williamsburg offer breathtaking views of the Manhattan skyline and are perfect places to end the evening with a cocktail in hand. Open-air cinemas, like the one in Bryant Park, invite you to enjoy films in the open air and offer a way to while away the balmy summer nights.

Another advantage of summer is the longer days, which allow more time for sightseeing. This allows you to visit attractions like the Empire State Building, One World Observatory, and the Statue of Liberty without worrying about early closing times. In addition, a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge at sunset or a boat tour around Manhattan offer unforgettable experiences. In the summer, I was particularly fascinated by the places on the water, whether it was the South Street Seaport or the Hudson River region.

  • Tips:
    • Book accommodation and attractions early due to high demand
    • Visits to beaches like Coney Island


New York City in autumn
New York City in autumn Photo by Harry Gillen on Unsplash


Fall in New York City (September to November)

The best time to visit New York is in the fall, from September to November. The weather is pleasant with mild temperatures, ideal for walks. Central Park and Prospect Park are in the colors of Indian Summer. The highlights are the Halloween parade and the Thanksgiving parade. The city offers many cultural events, such as the New York Film Festival and Fashion Week. In addition, the crowds of tourists are fewer, which makes visiting sights more relaxed. Autumn gives New York a special charm and invites you to enjoy and discover. My personal highlight in autumn is definitely Central Park with its bunches of deciduous trees.

A highlight in autumn is the famous Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. This festive parade attracts millions of spectators each year and features giant balloons, elaborate floats and live performances. Halloween is also an exciting time in New York. The Village Halloween Parade in Greenwich Village is a spectacular event where costumed participants parade through the streets admiring the creative and spooky costumes.

Autumn is also the time for important cultural events. The New York Film Festival shows a selection of the best international films and attracts film enthusiasts from all over the world. Additionally, Fashion Week in September brings the latest trends and designers to the city and offers fashion fans the opportunity to see the latest collections.

  • Tips:
    • Ideal for photographers and nature lovers
    • Shorter queues at popular attractions


Winter in the Big Apple
Winter in New York City Photo by Joseph Pearson on Unsplash


Winter in the Big Apple (December to February)

However, whether winter is the best time to visit New York City depends on your interests. The weather is cold and snowfall is possible, turning the city into a winter landscape. Highlights include ice skating at Rockefeller Center and the festive lighting at Times Square. In addition, the Christmas markets, like the one at Union Square, offer a special atmosphere. After the holidays, hotel prices are also cheaper and the city becomes quieter, making visiting sights more pleasant. Overall, winter in New York offers a unique experience that you shouldn't miss. My personal highlights in winter were the great museums in New York. I spent hours or even days in many of them.

Christmas and New Year are special experiences. The giant Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center and the ice skating rink in front of it are iconic attractions that attract numerous visitors every year. Ice skating at Rockefeller Center or Central Park is a must and offers unforgettable winter moments.

The festive atmosphere continues in the numerous winter markets. The Union Square Holiday Market and Winter Village at Bryant Park offer unique gifts, crafts and delicious treats. The light shows, like the spectacular lighting of the Dyker Heights in Brooklyn, make the city shine and are perfect for evening walks.

In addition to the outdoor attractions, winter in New York also offers many indoor experiences. Broadway shows in particular are an absolute highlight. The famous theaters in Times Square present world-class musicals and plays that provide a warm and cozy experience. Museums like the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the American Museum of Natural History are also ideal refuges from the cold.

  • Tips:
    • Bring warm clothing and waterproof shoes
    • Cheaper hotel prices after the holidays

And finally ...

New York is a fascinating destination all year round, but the best time to visit depends largely on your individual preferences. Each season offers unique experiences and activities that reflect the diversity of this metropolis.

Therefore, plan your visit according to your personal interests. Whether you prefer blooming gardens in spring, hot summer days, fall colors or New York winter, the Big Apple offers great experiences all year round.

A few more tips: Book your accommodation and tickets for popular attractions well in advance, especially in high season. You can also use public transport to explore the city efficiently and try local specialties in the numerous restaurants and food markets. Plus, don't miss sights like the Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty and Times Square. No matter when you visit New York, the city will delight you with its energy and diversity.


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Source: own research on site. My work as a tour guide took me to New York City frequently and in all seasons.

Text: © Copyright Monika Fuchs and TravelWorldOnline
Photos © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline as well as Pixabay and Unsplash
Video © Copyright Monika Fuchs and TravelWorldOnline

The best time to visit New York

Monika Fuchs

Monika Fuchs and Petar Fuchs are the authors and publishers of the Slow Travel and Enjoyment travel blog TravelWorldOnline Traveller. You have been publishing this blog since 2005. TravelWorldOnline has been online since 2001. Your topics are Trips to Savor and wine tourism worldwide and Slow Travel. During her studies, Monika Fuchs spent some time in North America, where she traveled to the USA and Canada - sometimes together with Petar Fuchs - and spent a research year in British Columbia. This strengthened her thirst for knowledge, which she pursued for 6 years Adventure Guide for Rotel Tours and then for 11 years as Study tour guide for Studiosus Reisen tried to breastfeed all over the world. She constantly expanded her travel regions, but curiosity still gnawed at her: “What is beyond the horizon? What else is there to discover in this city? Which people are interesting here? What do you eat in this region?” These are the questions she is now trying to answer as a freelance travel journalist (her articles have appeared in DIE ZEIT, 360° Canada, 360° USA, etc.), among others. travel writer and travel blogger answers in many countries around the world. Petar Fuchs produces the videos on this blog as well as on YouTube. Monika Fuchs from TravelWorldOnline is below Germany's top 50 bloggers in 2021 Other Information about Monika and Petar Fuchs. Recommendations on LinkedIn from tourism experts Further recommendations from cooperation partners and tourism experts Professional experience Monika on LinkedIn

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