20 Things to Do in New York City in Your Twenties

Start your night at the 230 Fifth rooftop bar
Start your night at the 230 Fifth rooftop bar | © Antonio Gravante / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Cailey Rizzo
10 July 2020

A high-octane, round-the-clock city, New York is made for those in their twenties. Culture Trip curates your bucket list.

Picnic in Prospect Park

Come high summer, you’ll find half of New York at The Great Lawn in Central Park. Culture Trip’s suggestion? A lesser-visited green space called Prospect Park. Rally your friends, a couple frisbees and a picnic basket for an afternoon of fun.

A quieter alternative to Central Park, Prospect Park is great for chilling out with friends | © Hemis / Alamy Stock Photo

Go gallery hopping for free booze

On Thursday’s in Chelsea you can expect to come across loads of gallery openings – of which some are free. You’ll find the details online, so do your research before heading out and sweeping up some champagne as you go.

Check out the flea markets

New Yorkers are a stylish bunch, and you can bet their cast-offs are too. Bring a sizeable tote bag and turn up early to some of the city’s flea markets to bag yourself some of their pre-loved pieces. Brooklyn Flea Market is always a winner.

The Brooklyn Flea in the Fort Greene neighborhood of Brooklyn is a popular place for bargain hunters | © Beth Dixson / Alamy Stock Photo

Eat your way through the Smorgasburg food market

Farmers' Market, Market, Food Court, Food Stall, Food Stand, Philippine
Map View
Foodies from around the city flock to the Smorgasburg in Williamsburg
Foodies from around the city flock to the Smorgasburg in Williamsburg | © Frances Roberts / Alamy Stock Photo

If you’re only visiting for a couple of days you’re going to have to be smart with your time. In the culinary department, this means trying a little bit of everything. One of New York’s most popular food markets, Smorgaburg has you covered when it comes to global cuisine.

Make reservations for a bottomless brunch

Cafe, American
Map View
Miss Lily's in the Greenwich Village neighbourhood of Manhattan
© Robert K. Chin - Storefronts / Alamy Stock Photo
What are you doing if you’re not having a boozy brunch at the weekend? In New York, there are loads of great spots you can enjoy eggs benedict and a glass of fizz before midday. A lot of people in the city often have the same idea come Sunday, so get ahead of the game and make a reservation. Miss Lily’s is one such place that takes reservations; you’ll get unlimited drinks and an entrée for $35 here.

Row, row, row your boat in Central Park

New York doesn’t have much green space, but the green space it does have is spectacular. Get a good look at Central Park by boat – with friends and beers in tow, of course.

Enjoy New York’s green space on the row boats on the lake in Central Park | © Patti McConville / Alamy Stock Photo

Day trip from the city

Once you’ve worked your way around the city, jump on the train out of town. In the neighborhood of Jackson Heights in Queens you’ll be able to tuck into authentic Tibetan food at Lhasa Fast Food. Meanwhile, in New York’s lesser-known Little Italy, Arthur Avenue in the Bronx is the place to go for a true taste of Italy.

Chow down on New York-style bagels

This is for the both the taste factor and the Instagram post.

Cheese and bacon bagel from Absolute bagels, New York City | © Helene ROCHE Photography / Alamy Stock Photo

Enjoy a drink at a rooftop bar

New York’s skyline of over 7,000 high-rise buildings is nothing short of spectacular. The best way to see it? From up above on a rooftop bar with a cold beer. Your best option is to head to the midtown bars, which are smack-bang in the middle of all the skyscrapers.

Enjoy the view of the city skyline from the rooftop bar at The Wythe hotel in trendy Williamsburg | © Randy Duchaine / Alamy Stock Photo
These recommendations were updated on July 10, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.