10 Famous Buildings In Manhattan, New York

famous buildings in manhattan
| 5 min read

Manhattan is a densely populated borough of New York City. It consists mainly of Manhattan Island, and is surrounded by the East River, Hudson River and Harlem River. It’s the heart of the Big Apple, and what most people are referring to when they speak of New York City. Manhattan is considered by many to be the cultural, financial and entertainment capital of the world, so it’s no surprise that people flock to the borough to explore its landmarks. We’ve compiled a list of some of Manhattan’s most famous buildings, so read on to learn more about the borough’s landmarks.

1. Empire State Building

Empire State Building during sunset
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Michael Discenza used under CC0

Construction of the Empire State Building was completed in 1931, and with 102 storeys standing 1454 feet (380m) tall, it was at that time the tallest building in the world. Today, it remains the sixth tallest freestanding structure in North America. From its opening day, it’s been a popular tourist destination in Manhattan.

Visitors flock to see its famous Art Deco architecture and to visit its open-air observation deck. From the deck, you can enjoy one-of-a-kind views of the Central Park, the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge, and a plenty of other famous sites.

Empire State Building

Address: 20 W 34th St, New York, NY 10001, USA

Opening hours: Mon - Sun: 8:00am-2:00pm

Website: Empire State Building

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2. One World Trade Center

One World Trade Center New York
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Armando Olivo Mar... used under CC BY-SA 4.0

One World Trade Center is the World Trade Center complex’s main building, which was rebuilt after the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001. It is the world’s sixth tallest building. The complex will eventually house five high-rise office buildings, in addition to the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, which is located where the original Towers stood.

Visitors to One World Trade Center can explore the three-storey observation deck, located on floors 100-102, where you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of Manhattan. You can also visit one of three places to eat in the tower, or head to number four on our list, the World Trade Center Station, also located within the complex.

One World Trade Center

Address: 285 Fulton St, New York, NY 10007, USA

Opening hours: Mon-Sun: 9:00am-10:00pm

Website: One World Trade Center

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3. 30 Rockefeller Plaza

GE-Bldg 30-Rockefeller-Plaza NYC 2012
Source: Photo by user SteveStrummer used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Up next we present another famous Art Deco skyscraper, 30 Rockefeller Plaza. Television fans will recognize it as the headquarters for the NBC network. Its construction was completed in 1933, and at 850 feet (260m) tall, it’s the 22nd tallest building in New York City.

There’s plenty for visitors to do at 30 Rock, including a visit to the observation deck. While not the highest vantage point in Manhattan, many consider it the best view point because you can see the Empire State Building from here. You can also eat a meal at the famous Rainbow Room restaurant, or take a tour of the NBC studios.

30 Rockefeller Plaza

Address: 30 Rockefeller Plaza New York, NY 10111, USA

Website: 30 Rockefeller Plaza

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4. World Trade Center Station

Oculus World Trade Center - August 18 2016
Source: Photo by user Anthony Quintano used under CC BY 2.0

Located within the World Trade Center complex, the World Trade Center Station is a terminal station, which connects many cities in New Jersey to Manhattan. You can also catch the New York City subway and buses at the station.

You might be wondering what’s so special about a train station, but trust us, you’ll want to check out The Oculus, the main station house. This impressive curved structure is built of steel and glass, and was designed to look like a dove in flight. In addition to checking out its impressive architecture, you can do some shopping at the Westfield World Trade Center Mall, located on two floors within the Oculus.

World Trade Center Station

Address: World Trade Center Station, New York, NY 10007, USA

Website: World Trade Center Station

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New York City Tour Guide

Hiram Jacobs

Hiram Jacobs

I am a licensed New York City Department of Consumer Affairs Tour Guide and a native New Yorker. Over the years, I acquired considerable experience organizing solo tours of the major European and East European capitals of the world, Canada's largest cities and Australia's most popular cities, Washington, DC, Atlanta, New Orleans, and San Francisco. During my international travels, I participated in tours organized by private tour companies to China, Russia, South America, India, the Canadian Rockies, Israel, Japan's major cities; USA: Alaska, Arizona and Utah's scenic national National Parks . I received my Master of Arts in Political Science (Urban Administration) from the State University of New York, College at Brockport, Brockport, New York in 1978. Since my recent retirement from the MTA, New York City Transit Authority, after 39 years of service as an Associate Transit Management Analyst, I hope to share with my fellow Travelers my observations, insights and personal experiences relating to Manhattan’s iconic neighborhoods, landmarks and popular attractions that make New York City such a vibrant and dynamic city to visit. I will strive to make your New York City Experience memorable. Tour Cancellations - Please provide at least 24 hours notice prior to the tour date in order to cancel your booking and to receive a full refund.

Tours by Hiram

New York City Tour Guide

Stephanie Eley

Stephanie Eley

I'm a graduate of ITMI, International Tour Management Institute and 17 years as a licensed Tour Director and Program Director. My expertise began in NYC and Washington, DC where I'm a licensed guide and has expanded to Europe, South America, Cuba and the Western / Southwestern National Parks of the US. I'd love to introduce you for a day or a week to Denver, Colorado and the 4 corners region of the US: Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Arizona! Let's GO!! stepheley@gmail.com

Tours by Stephanie

5. Cathedral of St. John the Divine

Cathedral of St. John the Divine (52009407636)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user ajay_suresh used under CC BY 2.0

The Cathedral of St. John the Divine is located in the Morningside Heights neighborhood of Manhattan. It was originally built in the late 1800s, and has undergone a number of architectural changes since then. It is the world’s fifth largest Christian church. The cathedral is home to a textile conservation laboratory, where conservators preserve the cathedral’s textiles.

The cathedral is very community-oriented and is a great spot to visit. They offer a variety of guided visits, so you can explore the interior and learn more about its history. It’s also the site of many musical events. Check out their regular recitals or attend the New Year’s Eve Concert for Peace if you’re visiting in the winter. The cathedral also regularly puts on exhibitions of contemporary artworks.

Cathedral of St. John the Divine

Address: 1047 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10025, USA

Website: Cathedral of St. John the Divine

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6. Hearst Tower

Source: Photo by user Alsandro used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

Located in midtown Manhattan, Hearst Tower is home to Hearst Communications, a media conglomerate which publishes magazines like Cosmopolitan and Esquire. The base of the building dates back to 1928, and the new design, a triangular building composed of steel, incorporates the original base. Environmentalists will be pleased to know it was the first “green” high-rise office building in the New York City.

Staff can enjoy artwork inside the building, an acclaimed restaurant, a wellness center, and more. Unfortunately the public aren’t allowed in, but if you like modern architecture, we definitely recommend standing outside this giant building and marvelling at its angular shape.

Hearst Tower

Address: 300 W 57th St, New York City, NY 10019, USA

Opening hours: Mon-Fri: 10:00am-4:00pm

Website: Hearst Tower

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7. Federal Hall

Federal Hall National Memorial, Wall Street, Manhattan, New York (7236982206)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Ken Lund used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Located in Manhattan’s Financial District, Federal Hall was originally New York’s first City Hall, built in 1703. In the late 1700s, the building was remodelled, and became the first Capitol after the United States gained independence from the Britain. That building was the site where George Washington was sworn in as the first president, and is where the first Congress was held. In 1812, the building was demolished.

The current building is an example of neoclassical architecture, and was completed in 1842. Today, it is designated as the Federal Hall National Monument and is operated by the National Parks Service. The building is open to the public and free to visit on weekdays. Guided tours are available, and you can also enjoy the various exhibits on display.

Federal Hall

Address: 26 Wall St, New York, NY 10005, USA

Opening hours: Mon-Fri: 9:00am-5:00pm

Website: Federal Hall

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8. Carnegie Hall

Carnegie Hall - Full (48155558466)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Ajay Suresh used under CC BY 2.0

Calling all music lovers! Located in the Midtown Manhattan, Carnegie Hall is a concert venue built in 1891. With three auditoriums and over 3500 seats, it is one of the most prestigious music venues in the world. About 250 performances are held here, each season. It also rents out space to performance groups.

Carnegie Hall has a regular programme of events, so do check their website to find a performance that interests you. They also regularly host events for teens and families. And if you don’t have time to catch a performance, you can take a one-hour guided tour of the venue and learn more about its history.

Carnegie Hall

Address: 881 7th Ave, New York, NY 10019, USA

Website: Carnegie Hall

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9. Madison Square Garden

Madison Square Garden (MSG) - Full
Source: Photo by Flickr user ajay_suresh used under CC BY 2.0

Madison Square Garden is an indoor arena and can be found in Midtown Manhattan. It is the fourth location to bear the same name, and this site opened in 1968. It is the home of the ice hockey team, the New York Rangers, as well as the professional basketball team, the New York Knicks. They host a variety of other sports events, circuses, concerts, and more. Some of the famous musicians who have performed at the venue include U2, Madonna, Taylor Swift and Elvis Presley (to name but a few).

Of course, you can catch a concert of sports event at The Garden—be sure to check the website to see what’s on during your visit. While you’re there, you’ll have a plenty of food options, from restaurants to kiosks, where you can grab a quick bite to eat.

Madison Square Garden

Address: 4 Pennsylvania Plaza, New York, NY 10001, USA

Website: Madison Square Garden

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10. Guggenheim Museum

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Source: Photo by Flickr user ajay_suresh used under CC BY 2.0

Let’s finish off our list with one for the art lovers: the Guggenheim Museum. Located in the Upper East Side of Manhattan, it was designed by famous architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. The curved building is a landmark of the 20th century architecture. The building is home to Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, Modern, and contemporary artworks, and the collection is ever-growing.

Visitors can explore the permanent collection, or check out some of the special exhibitions on display during their visit. You can also take a tour of the building and learn more about its architecture.

Guggenheim Museum

Address: 1071 5th Ave, New York, NY 10128, USA

Opening hours: Mon, Wed-Fri & Sun: 10:00am-5:30pm | Tue-Sat: 10:00am-8:00pm

Website: Guggenheim Museum

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So much to explore in Manhattan

There’s a little something for everyone in Manhattan. Explore the city’s architecture, from the contemporary to Art Deco. Check out buildings that are integral to the entertainment industry, or peruse some artwork. Be sure to do a little shopping at department stores or dine at kosher restaurants in Manhattan as well. Pick the ones you want to see the most, and start planning your trip to Manhattan!

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Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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Nicole is an American expat living in London, England. When she moved from the midwest to London in 2012, it was her first time leaving the US. She has traveled steadily since then, making trips...Read more

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