Explore New York City’s Must-Visit Spots for Students

Get to know the city beyond NYU’s Brooklyn and Manhattan campuses!

 

As a once NYU first year who spent her whole life living in the suburbs, the transition to New York City not only came with culture shock but also an opportunity to immerse myself in a life I once only thought was possible in movies and TV shows. As I spent my first couple of months of college making friends, getting used to living on my own, and adjusting to college life, I also took time to explore the city. If you want to explore New York City too but have no clue where to start, then you are in the right place. Though I am a sophomore, and still have many, many parts of the city left to discover, here is a list of places that are definitely worth visiting.

1. Brooklyn Heights Promenade

The Brooklyn Heights Promenade, which is a favorite of many Tandon School of Engineering students (myself included), is a pedestrian passage near the Brooklyn campus. It is one of the very first places I visited after moving here. And one year later, it still holds a place as one of my favorite spots to explore in New York City. Going to the promenade with my friends at night is still one of my favorite activities. I recommend checking this spot out, especially if you love taking in the view of Manhattan. And the best part? It is basically the backyard for all Tandon students who live on campus!

 

The Brooklyn Bridge at night.
The Manhattan skyline at dusk.

2. Chelsea Piers

If you’re a big fan of breathtaking city views over the water, then you should check out Chelsea Piers. Whether you’re in the mood to picnic with friends, enjoy the sunset, or take a quick jog, Chelsea Piers is a great spot for that. My friends and I went there all the time over the summer at sunset to relax and chill. Luckily, the piers are about a 20-minute subway ride from campus. So it’s not too far!

 

Piers along the Hudson River.

3. Chelsea Market

After you’re done with the stunning view at Chelsea Piers, you should stop by the Chelsea Market. It’s a great place to go if you’re a foodie like me! The market offers several varieties of food as well as several shopping stores. It’s also a great place to support local small businesses. If you’re searching for a Saturday afternoon activity, going to Chelsea Market is a great idea!

 

Decorated arches in the Chelsea Market.

4. Washington Mews

If you scroll through your Instagram feed during your first week at NYU, you will probably come across numerous posts of people posing on this street. I admit, I was one of those people too! “You aren’t officially an NYU student unless—and until—you have had a photoshoot on this street,” is the joke on campus.

Washington Mews is one of the last privately owned streets in New York City. And NYU just so happens to own it. What’s more, it is home to several of our international houses. So it is definitely worth checking out. And it’s right on campus! Passing through this street allows you to feel as if you’ve explored New York City and traveled across the world to Europe. In New York City, you can really can get a taste of every corner of the world.

People passing through Washington Mews at NYU.

5. Dumbo

Manhattan is filled with amazing views, culture, and history. But this holds true for New York City’s other boroughs too, especially Brooklyn. After living in Brooklyn for a year, and spending a lot of time in Manhattan too, I grew fond of both places for different reasons. While I love the adrenaline rush the streets of Manhattan give me, the quieter, and rather more peaceful, streets of Brooklyn strike the perfect balance.

Dumbo is one of my absolute favorite Brooklyn neighborhoods. It offers sweeping views and plenty of activities. Whenever someone visits me, Dumbo is always on the top of the list of places I want to take them. What’s more, Dumbo is a pedestrian-friendly distance from campus! As a Tandon student, you really do have the entirety of Brooklyn on your doorstep. But even if you aren’t at Tandon, it’s worth checking out.

 

The Manhattan Bridge in Dumbo, Brooklyn.
Brooklyn Flea, a market held under the Manhattan Bridge in Dumbo.

The best part about New York City is that it will never stop growing. So as I continue to spend more time living here, the must-visit list will grow! Trust me, you will never run out of things to do with the city as your backyard. As an NYU student who wants to explore New York City, you’ll have a very, very, long bucket list. Start exploring!