Looking for the best parks in New York? New York City might be skyscraper central, but one of its biggest charms is how well the greenery is dispersed throughout the boroughs. These parks are pictures of tranquillity, with some containing iconic features you’re sure to recognise from a popular film or TV show.

    You'll find a photo op in just about all of them, as incredible views of the city are always a stone's throw away. Each park in New York offers its fair share of activities, such as music, theatre, sports, and dining. They’re among the best spots to escape the concrete jungle while savouring the local culture. 


    Central Park

    An iconic park bursting with things to do

    Central Park in New York needs no introduction, but you might not be aware of the great things you can see and do there. The gardens at Conservatory Garden are well-tended and always changing. Here, you’ll see beautiful flower arrangements and other local flora. You can ride a carousel that's over a hundred years old, a beloved relic from Coney Island.

    Check and see if there's live music happening anywhere in Central Park – there's bound to be a free show or two. Ride a gondola on the Lake before seeing a Shakespeare play in the evening. Whether you decide to wander or plan out a list of spots to hit, you can easily spend an entire day here.

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    Open: Daily from 6 am to 1 am

    Phone: +1 212-310-6600


    Bryant Park

    A chill oasis in the middle of Manhattan

    Bryant Park is considered a main square of Manhattan and it’s definitely a centre of activity. This is your spot for seasonal events – lay out a blanket on the grass and watch a flick, go ice skating in the winter and walk through the holiday shops at the end of the year.

    Bryant Park's French Market, which runs during the warm-weather months, introduces you to an entirely new world of olive oil and cheese. If you're feeling hungry but don't want to go too far, choose any of the restaurants that offer cosy outdoor seating, like Southwest Porch and Bryant Park Grill.

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    Location: New York, NY 10018, USA

    Open: Monday–Thursday from 7 am to 10 pm, Friday–Sunday from 7 am to 11 pm

    Phone: +1 212-768-4242


    The Battery

    The most essential views in New York

    The Battery in New York is worth visiting for the views alone. The esplanade on the Hudson River offers essential views of the harbour and Ellis Island. If you want to enjoy a view of the Statue of Liberty with a fancy meal and glass of wine, visit Pier A Harbor House. It'll be a lunch or dinner you never forget.

    Play ping pong and pool in Rockefeller Park or visit the Irish Hunger Memorial before splurging on some upscale shopping at Brookfield Place. Who said the Battery was just a walk in the park?

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    Location: New York, NY 10004, USA

    Open: Daily from 6 am to midnight

    Phone: +1 212-344-3491


    The High Line

    A relic of New York's past made green

    The High Line is an old freight railway repurposed as a park-slash-walkway more than a mile long. Walking among the skyscrapers from a new vantage point is enough of a draw, but you can also find art and architectural installations.

    If you're lucky, you'll catch an outdoor party, event or performance, while Tuesday nights are for stargazing with high-tech telescopes! Relax your legs by sitting down for a bite to eat or a cocktail. If you're short on time, an abundance of street food ensures you'll never go hungry while you stroll.

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    Location: New York, NY 10011, USA

    Open: Monday–Friday from 7 am to 7 pm, Saturday–Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm

    Phone: +1 212-500-6035


    Brooklyn Bridge Park

    Take your own photo of the iconic bridge

    Brooklyn Bridge Park sits right next to the trendiest borough in NYC, and it’s one of the city’s must-visits. It's a hot spot for fitness – you've got beach volleyball, football, basketball and even a roller rink. If you're just trying to stroll, you'll still get one of the best views of the Manhattan skyline, and the food options nearby make picnicking a cinch.

    Check out Empire Stores to see a warehouse repurposed into a shopping centre with some incredible views, and be sure to hit St. Ann's Warehouse and peruse their list of performances and live shows. They've got a brick patio that will make your Instagram sing.

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    Location: 334 Furman St, Brooklyn, NY 11201, USA

    Open: Daily from 6 am to 1 am

    Phone: +1 718-222-9939


    Washington Square Park

    A park for the hip and the young

    Washington Square Park is a young person's haven in New York City. Greenwich Village has an undying reputation for attracting the young and the hip, mostly because of the freshman dormitories in the area. The youthful bustle of the park makes it feel like the centre of the world. You absolutely must take a picture of the fountain and the arch.

    Nearby, you can find loads of excellent food options, like Joe's Pizza and Molly's Cupcakes, the latter of which offers board games you can play as you while away the time. Also, check out the Comedy Cellar to see a real-life landmark of entertainment history; past performers include Chris Rock and Jerry Seinfeld.

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    Location: Washington Square, New York, NY 10012, USA

    Open: Daily from 6 am to midnight

    Phone: +1 212-639-9675


    Flushing Meadows-Corona Park

    A park with a penchant for science

    Flushing Meadows-Corona Park is a feast for the mind – it’s home to the New York Hall of Science, Queens Museum, and Queens Zoo. You've got a veritable 1.5 days of educational fun for the whole family at this site of a former World Fair.

    Don't just exercise the mind, either. Go for a skate or a swim, row across a lake, and even putt your way through a full 18-hole minigolf course. Finish things off with a pint or two at Mikkeller Brewing NYC, where they serve excellent craft beer and local food. 

    Location: Between Grand Central Pkwy and, Van Wyck Expy, 11354, USA

    Open: Daily from 6 am to 9 pm

    Phone: +1 718-760-6565


    Prospect Park

    Central Park's quieter sibling

    Prospect Park reveals Brooklyn's rural past while serving as an area of pure calm and green. It’ll make the city feel miles away and give you a much-needed respite from the hustle and bustle. Visitors can hike one of several trails, each about 1 mile long.

    Bring your bike or running shoes to exercise in one of the most tranquil parts of the city, or come on a midsummer evening to catch some live music or a film under the stars. It doesn't matter what you do in Prospect Park, as you’re sure to experience the serene atmosphere. Make sure to snap a pic with the Camperdown Elm Tree before you go.

    Location: Brooklyn, NY, USA

    Open: Daily from 5 am to 1 am


    City Hall Park

    Where you can feel the grandeur of New York City

    City Hall Park is a gorgeous spot to sit a spell and admire the architecture of some of New York City's beautiful buildings. The park is on the smaller side, but you'll still easily recognise iconic photo ops as soon as you stumble upon it. If you're walking around Lower Manhattan, you can't miss it.

    You might get lucky and see a pair of newlyweds walking away from City Hall with their marriage license. All in all, you're coming mainly for the views, but what breathtaking views they are.

    Location: Broadway &, Chambers St, New York, NY 10007, USA

    Open: Daily from 6 am to midnight

    Phone: +1 212-639-9675


    Riverside Park

    A peaceful haven in the centre of town

    Riverside Park is just a short walk from Broadway, so it may surprise you to find out just how tucked-away it feels. Locals prefer walking through Riverside as opposed to the touristy Central Park. The peace and quiet here is unmatched, and so are some of the views. You'll find your fair share of recognisable photo ops, just like you will in any other New York City park, and no, it never gets old.

    Walking along the Hudson River will number among your favourite moments in New York City. Be sure to check out the striking Grant's Tomb, the final resting place of 18th President Ulysses S. Grant.

    Open: 24/7

    Phone: +1 212-870-3070

    Benjamin Gorman | Contributing Writer

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