If you’re visiting New York City as a tourist, you’re probably expecting that there will be a lot of people around. Certain parts of the city are more crowded than others, and this is especially true at the more popular tourist attractions. This doesn’t mean many of these locations aren’t worth visiting, but it is good to be aware ahead of time of which places will be the most crowded. If you’re not a crowd person, you might want to avoid these areas or check them out during off times of the day or year.

Here are the ten most crowded tourist destinations in New York.


Central Park is a popular tourist destination in New York City, and it’s easy to see why. The park has some beautiful views and places and being able to see the tall buildings surrounding the park is really worth it. Plus, there are so many movies that have been filmed here, it’s rather iconic. The park tends to be pretty crowded at the Columbus Circle entrance and anywhere along the bottom of the park. However, it’s really large so there are many areas you can wander to that are more secluded.

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The Brooklyn Bridge is another iconic New York City location. As you walk over the bridge, you can get an amazing view of the skyline of Lower Manhattan and then enjoy the charm Brooklyn has to offer. There are times when the bridge isn’t too busy, but there are other times where it can be packed. On certain holiday weekends, especially in the summer, there are times when it can be so packed with people it feels like a traffic jam. So, it’s definitely better to enjoy this location on a less busy weekend.


The Empire State Building is one of the most well-known, if not the most well-known, building in the city. As such, you’ll definitely want to get a good view of it. Many people also opt to go up to the top to get a good view of the city. While this is a worthwhile experience, this attraction can get rather crowded at times. Another option is to check out the One World Trade Center Observatory if the Empire State is too busy.

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Chinatown is a great place to visit if you want to eat some amazing food and see a lot of interesting and delicious shops and stores. However, this area of Manhattan can get a little crowded at times. This doesn’t mean you should avoid the area altogether, but keep in mind that the sidewalks here tend to be busier. You’ll definitely feel like you're in a big city surrounded by people while in this area, so if crowds make you nervous you might want to avoid.

6 6. Statue of Liberty

Taking a ferry out to the Statue of Liberty is definitely worth doing if you’re interested in American history. While you can get a view of it from Manhattan, it’s not as big as you’d think. If you really want to get an up-close view and also want to go up in the statute, you’ll need to book a ferry ride and tour. During the summer months or on popular times of the year, doing so can be extremely crowded. This means you could be stuck in hot temperatures waiting to get a chance to go up.


Union Square Park is another bustling area of the city. There are a lot of shops around the area including Barnes and Noble, Whole Foods, MAC, and many other shopping areas. Plus, there is a nice park in the center that many people like to enjoy. As such, it is generally full of people enjoying the park or doing some shopping. You can still usually maneuver around the area pretty easily, but you should expect to see people congregating together for different events fairly often.

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Rockefeller Center is another area that you’ll see over and over in movies and television shows. The area is a big tourist attraction all year but especially around Christmastime when there is a skating rink and the tree there. Even during the other months, however, there are often a lot of people checking out this well-known area. So, you should definitely expect crowds, and be especially prepared if you’re there during the holiday season.

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3 3. 9/11 MEMORIAL

The 9/11 Memorial area of downtown Manhattan can get quite busy at times. Many people come to this area to see the memorial of the towers themselves or to go to the museum. There is also the Oculus close by, so overall the area tends to be full of people. If you want to see the memorial, it’s best to plan to go during a weekday and to avoid times when people tend to go on vacation.


Penn Station isn’t exactly the most well-known tourist attraction, but it is a place that you hear about a lot even if you don’t live in NYC. As so many trains go to this station and it’s a central location for many stores and events, you’ll likely find yourself in the area at some point if you’re exploring. The inside of Penn Station is often packed. Grand Central can feel even more so as it’s both a central point for travelers daily as well as a place tourists like to visit.

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There is really no other New York tourist attraction that could take the list than Times Square. At most times of the day, the area is rather crowded, and during certain times of the year, it can be hard to navigate. At night, the area is full of even more people. Weekends tend to be especially busy and anytime the weather is good you can expect to be surrounded by people. Plus, with many street performers and individuals in costumes looking for money, it can get overwhelming.

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