Things to Do in NYC for College Students

As the biggest city in the nation and one of the world’s most important centers for everything from finance to fashion, New York City is a hot spot for tourists from around the globe. Bustling with diverse cultural life and a vibrant youth scene, The Big Apple is one of the most exciting destinations for college students.

Not to mention the fact that NYC’s vibrant night life is almost unparalleled (they don’t call it The City that Never Sleeps for nothing!). Contrary to what you may have heard, New York attractions can be enjoyed on a college budget. So check out our list of the top places to visit in New York for college students!

If you’re planning on visiting a lot of attractions, don’t worry about breaking that limited college budget! The New York City Explorer Pass® can save you up to 50% on admission prices, allowing you to save you hard-earned dollars for souvenirs, food, and drink.

Madame Tussauds Wax Museum

Justin Bieber with…Justin Bieber.

This contemporary attraction is one of the most popular sites for students visiting New York. The wax statues of your favorite celebrities (from Bieber to Obama) are so life-like that you can fool your friends with photo ops!

Dave & Buster’s

This restaurant, bar, and action-packed arcade is NYC’s prime place to eat, drink, and play. Dave & Buster’s features over 200 video games, fantastic American bar food, and an endless drink menu—what else could a college student ask for?

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Metropolitan Museum of Art Whether you’re an aspiring artist or not, you can’t miss out on The Met! This world-class art museum houses over two million works of art and is the most-visited attraction in New York!

Ellen’s Stardust Diner

This retro ’50s diner takes dining to a new level with a talented staff of singing waiters that entertain you while you eat. In the heart of Times Square, Ellen’s Stardust Diner is a great place to stop before (or after) your night on the town.

NYC Food Tours


What college student wouldn’t be interested in a tasting tour of New York? Because NYC offers such an abundance of delicious cuisine, you can choose from a number of specified tours—like the World Famous Sweet Tooth Tour or the East Village Variety Tour.

Sex and the City Tour

You may not be able to shop like Carrie, but you can walk a little in her footsteps!

If you’re one of the many fans of the award-winning hit television series, you can’t miss your chance to experience life like Carrie or Samantha as you sip a Cosmo and stop by the famous Magnolia Bakery. You’ll visit 40 locations featured on the show.

St. Mark’s Place

This is more your style, budget-wise.

For chic and cheap shopping, you can’t beat St. Mark’s Place in East Village. This shopping mecca attracts a young, eclectic crowd, as New York University is quite nearby.

Ripley’s Believe It or Not NYC


Be prepared to be a little weirded out…in a good way.

Dubbed New York’s most bizarre attraction, Ripley’s is the perfect spot for college students seeking a little off-beat fun. Come face-to-face with strange relics like shrunken heads, and brace yourself for “sideshow wonders” like “The Incredible Lizard Man.”

Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

You’ll be inspired by their impressive collection of stunning works of art.

The MoMA is the most influential modern art museum in the world, featuring hugely influential pieces like Van Gogh’s “Starry Night.” No trip to NYC is complete without a visit to this celebrated attraction, especially if you’re an art-lover!

Other Music

One of the few record stores still standing in NYC.

If you’re like most college kids, you’re too cool for mainstream music. Lucky for you, Other Music, a small but overflowing shop in the hip East Village, has a heaping collection of alternative records and relics to peruse.

Gossip Girl Tour

The whole gang’s here.

Experience a day in the life of one of your favorite Gossip Girl characters as you explore more than 40 iconic locations from the set of the hit series. This Upper East Side Tour will have you living the high life…for a day.

Museum of Sex

Museum of Sex

It’s actually educational…really!

You’d be hard-pressed to find a subject college students are more enthusiastic about. This progressive museum addresses a wide range of topics once considered taboo in order to present and preserve the history, evolution, and cultural significance of human sexuality. They also promote safe-sex practices.

The Apple Store on Fifth Avenue

Such a beautiful sight.

Never mind, we’ve just found a subject college students are more enthusiastic about. Can’t live without your newest “iGadget?” At the Apple Store on Fifth Avenue, you’ll get lost in a world of cutting-edge featuring all your favorite Apple products.

BEAST Speedboat Thrill Ride

beast-speedboat-rideFor a thrilling tour of the city’s most well-known landmarks, catch a ride on the BEAST Speedboat. This high-speed tour is for those who don’t mind the occasional splash of water as they whiz by Lady Liberty and Ellis Island.

Remember, if you want to save big bucks on admission when visiting NYC, scoop up a New York Explorer Pass and save up to 50% vs. paying at the attraction. You can even use it on your smartphone!

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