10 Things to Do in Upper East Side: A Guide to New York’s Most Upscale Neighborhood

The Upper East Side, also known as Upper Manhattan, one of the most elegant and affluent neighborhoods in New York City and often referred to as Upper Social or Upper Snob by locals, is an area stretching roughly from 59th Street to 96th Street east of Central Park, and includes the neighborhoods of Lenox Hill, Carnegie Hill, Upper East Side, Yorkville and Roosevelt Island. So many iconic locations are on the Upper East Side that it’s hard to sum up all there is to do in just one day.

Visit the Guggenheim

NEW YORK, USA – OCT 6, 2017: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum is the permanent home of a continuously expanding collection of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, early Modern and contemporary art

In 1964, the Guggenheim moved uptown and this museum has become one of the most iconic landmarks of upper east side.

As with any Guggenheim museum, you’ll find modern and abstract artwork from 20th century masters.

The Guggenheim Museum is located at 1071 Fifth Avenue, on 88th Street.

For more information about visiting and planning your trip, please see our Guggenheim page.

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Carl Schurz Park

New York, NY – 12.03.2018 : Gracie Mansion in Manhattan. Joseph Esposito was fired and arrived to the mansion to speak with Mayor Deblasio himself.

Upper East Side is home to some of the city’s most iconic landmarks. One of its oldest public parks, Carl Schurz Park, will take you back to nature and allow you a break from urban living.

If exploring waterfalls is more your thing, then head over to the Horace Harding pedestrian bridge for access to The Fells—a densely wooded area with hiking trails, boardwalks, and an off-leash dog park.

Further east is Midtown, an area known for its luxury apartments and affluent population. Spanning from Fifth Avenue and 52nd Street up to 59th Street, Midtown remains one of Manhattan’s most sought-after neighborhoods.

Park Avenue alone offers a range of world-class shopping destinations and museums including The Frick Collection and The Guggenheim Museum.

Central Park

Central Park, New York City
Central Park, New York City

One of the largest city parks, Central Park offers everything from beautiful sights to educational tours. Enjoy a walk or bike ride through the park, picnic on the lawn, or rent rowboats for a leisurely cruise.

During lunch, a variety of popular food trucks are located at various points throughout the park. For an evening treat, head over to Serendipity 3. This upscale ice cream parlor offers all your favorite flavors as well as signature delights like their frozen hot chocolate.

If you’re in need of a caffeine fix, stop by Le Pain Quotidien for freshly roasted coffee and artisan teas.

Roosevelt Island Tram for awesome views of NYC

New York City, USA-October 2020; Close up view of the Roosevelt Island aerial tramway car with on the side the (Ed Koch) Queensboro bridge and city skyscrapers in back

The best way to see the city, with all its glittering lights and iconic landmarks, is from high up on Roosevelt Island. Take the Roosevelt Island Tram from Manhattan or Queens and enjoy amazing views of the big city below.

The tram itself has an entrance at Murray Hill Pkwy & 58th Street on Manhattan’s east side, or at 21st Street & Northern Boulevard on Queens’ west side. Round-trip tickets are $3.00 per person (cash only).

Park Avenue

MANHATTAN, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 19: View to the Grand Central Terminal and the Met Life Building on September 19, 2015. This view is from the Sixth Avenue, also called the Park Avenue.

When you’re in the upper east side, many of your sightseeing options are inside of buildings. When you do take a walk outside, the skyline views from many points on the upper east side offer a unique experience. One option for taking in these vistas is to head up towards the lookout at Murray Hill just north of Lexington Avenue for an expansive view.

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

NEW YORK, USA – OCT 6, 2017: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum is the permanent home of a continuously expanding collection of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, early Modern and contemporary art

Open since 1959, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and is noted for its unique shape that echoes a spiral. The museum houses 20th-century modern and contemporary art from Picasso, Monet, Kandinsky, Warhol, Pollock and many more artists from the world over.

Afterward, you can walk down Fifth Avenue and stop by Tiffany & Co., where you can browse a selection of jewelry, watches and other luxury goods. If you are looking for even more shopping, visit Bergdorf Goodman on 5th Avenue between 58th and 59th streets. Explore some of their designer fashions such as Gucci shoes, Valentino gowns and Chanel handbags.

The Jewish Museum

Since opening its doors in 1904, the Jewish Museum has been a fixture of culture and history for Upper East Side as well as for visitors from around the world.

The beautiful Beaux-Arts structure on Fifth Avenue boasts one of the most comprehensive collections of Judaica outside of Israel, paintings from some of Jewish Europe’s greatest artists, and so much more.

Asphalt Green

Few people are as invested in your health and wellness than you. But it takes a lot of work, motivation, and a great place to achieve the type of exercise regimen that will be rewarding both physically and mentally.

Luckily for residents of Upper East Side, NY, there is Asphalt Green. It is one of the only major indoor parks located in Manhattan where people can enjoy natural light and an environment that mimics the outdoors without ever having to step outside.

Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art MOCCA NYC

A fantastic museum for all the comic and cartoon enthusiasts, MOCCA NYC offers visitors a chance to explore original comics artwork and cartoons. One of the best parts about the museum is their incredible hours!

MOCCA is open Monday through Saturday from 10am-6pm, so make sure you stop by on your visit to NYC. They offer tons of events as well as lectures that are perfect for those who want a little extra on their trip.

Barney’s

Finding yourself with a little extra cash? Treat yourself to some new clothes at Barney’s, the store that stocks everything from $90 jeans and $250 t-shirts to fur coats for over $1,000. And even if you’re not shopping for yourself, don’t forget about their fragrances section where it will only cost you a measly few dollars.

Conclusions

If you’re looking for a taste of high-class New York living, the Upper East Side is the place to be. With world-renowned museums, delicious restaurants, and luxury shopping, this neighborhood has something for everyone.

We’ve put together a guide to some of our favorite things to do in the Upper East Side so that you can make the most of your visit. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a lifelong resident, we hope you’ll find something new in our list. Are there any other must-see spots in the Upper East Side that we missed? Let us know in the comments!