Explore your world
Mark Wang / © Culture Trip
Mark Wang / © Culture Trip

Activities to Enjoy Alone In New York City

Picture of Julia Goicochea
Updated: 3 January 2018
In the City That Never Sleeps, it can be difficult to find a quiet moment or an empty street. As energizing as the city’s bustling crowds may be, every New Yorker knows there’s something to be said for solitude. Here are 10 New York activities meant to be experienced and enjoyed alone.

Experience peace at Shakespeare Garden

Escape the crowds at Central Park’s secluded Shakespeare Garden, a four-acre space dedicated to the plays and poems of William Shakespeare. Bibliophiles will love the garden’s quiet paths lined with flowers and plants referenced in the playwright’s works. With its picturesque landscape and ample seating, this designated ‘quiet zone’ is a great place to stop and smell the roses.

Shakespeare Garden, 79 Street Traverse, New York, NY, USA +1 212 310 6600

Activities to Enjoy Alone In New York City Shakespeare Garden Manhattan

Mark Wang / © Culture Trip

Play tourist for a day at the Brooklyn Bridge

Explore the city through the eyes of a stranger by visiting one of New York’s most popular tourist attractions. A peaceful stroll across the Brooklyn Bridge offers breathtaking views of the city’s landscape as well as glimpses of Lady Liberty herself. A great source of exercise and entertainment, this solo activity is sure to gratify locals and tourists alike.

Brooklyn Bridge, New York, NY, USA

Relax and recharge at a meditation class

Mindful of the apprehension felt by many novices, Tibet House U. S. offers simple and accessible meditation classes open to beginners as well as experienced practitioners. The classes are educational and relaxing, delving into the history of meditation as the instructor guides a soothing group practice. A deeply personal and individual experience, meditation is an excellent and enriching solo activity.

Tibet House U.S., 22 West 15 Street Second Floor, New York, NY, USA +1 212 807 0563

Activities to Enjoy Alone In New York City Meditation Classes

Mark Wang / © Culture Trip

Dine solo at Veselka

Ukrainian eatery Veselka, one of the city’s best kept secrets, has attracted a loyal following of comfort food-craving locals for more than 50 years. Grab a table for one and sample ethnic staples like savory pierogis, cheese-filled blintzes and cold borscht soup. The restaurant’s convenient hours (it’s open 24 hours daily) and unobtrusive service make it the perfect spot for a solitary bite.

Veselka, 144 Second Avenue, New York, NY, USA +1 212 228 9682

Browse the shelves at one of Brooklyn’s biggest superstores

Don’t call it a junk shop: the inventory of Green Village Used Furniture and Clothing ranges from Fisher Price children’s toys to antique furniture. Also selling books, theater props and housewares, this one-stop shop promises rewarding finds to patient searchers.

Green Village Used Furniture and Clothing, 276 Starr Street, Brooklyn, NY, USA +1 718 599 4017

Get thrifty in Williamsburg

Take advantage of the neighborhood’s numerous thrift shops by embarking on a personalized thrift crawl. Fans of 1950s letterman jackets and vintage fabrics will love the high-quality finds at 10 Ft Single by Stella and nearby Stella Dallas Living. For more modern pieces at affordable prices, check out Buffalo Exchange and Monk Vintage Thrift Shop on Driggs Avenue. Often rewarding and always interesting, thrift shopping is an entertaining activity best experienced at your own leisure.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY, USA

Activities to Enjoy Alone In New York City Thrift Stores Williamsburg Brooklyn

Mark Wang / © Culture Trip

Lounge in a chic hotel lobby

The Salon at the Soho Grand Hotel is an ideal spot to enjoy an afternoon of solitude in style. Sink into one of the room’s plush armchairs with a good book in one hand and a well-made cocktail in the other. Enjoy the anonymity afforded by the hotel’s transient nature as you treat yourself to a delicious item from its extensive food and drink menu.

Soho Grand Hotel, 310 West Broadway, New York, NY, USA +1 212 965 3000

Learn a new language at Bryant Park’s beginner classes

Study Italian, Japanese or Brazilian Portuguese at one of Bryant Park’s inlingua-run language classes. At 20 students per class, inlingua provides an intimate learning environment ideal for interacting with your instructor and fellow students. Great for exploring interests and meeting like-minded people, these classes promise an excitingly foreign experience.

Bryant Park, New York, NY, USA +1 212 768 4242

Explore a museum at your own pace

Check out the Whitney Museum of American Art, an institution dedicated to 20th century and contemporary American art. Explore the exhibitions at leisure, lingering and bypassing at your own discretion in order to fully utilize the freedom afforded by solitude.

Whitney Museum of American Art, 99 Gansevoort Street, New York, NY, USA +1 212 570 3600

Activities to Enjoy Alone In New York City Explore Museum Mile

Mark Wang / © Culture Trip

Treat yourself to an indulgent snack

Chocolate lovers will adore MarieBelle, a Soho salon serving decadent desserts, beverages and delicacies. Settle into the shop’s lush Marie Antoinette-inspired setting to sip exotic hot chocolates or sample beautiful ganaches in flavors like whisky, pistachio and champagne. With an enticing variety of pre-packaged products available for purchase, MarieBelle encourages patrons to continue treating themselves long after they leave the store.

MarieBelle, 484 Broome Street, New York, NY, USA +1 212 925 6999