New York City can be so many things to so many people, yet one thing it always can be is a tourist trap. That’s not to say there are not fun touristy things to do, because there certainly are. Yet, sometimes you want to do what locals do. Sometimes you want to see the real New York rather than the one featured on post cards. Well look no further. Below are some of the best activities and places to visit  in our non-touristy things to do in New York City list that will have you adopting a classic NYC dialect in no time!


Non-touristy things to do in New York City - Old City Hall Subway Station


Old City Hall Subway Station

Start off your adventure with a thrill. This one is a bit of a trip, bit so worth it. If you’re looking for a secret amongst locals then you have to get on train six that’s bound for the Brooklyn Bridge. You’ll feel a twinge of excitement as you stay on the train while everyone else exits at the last stop. Prepare yourself to see a little-known gem as you glide through the old City Hall station of the subway that has long since been shut down. It really feels as if you have gone back in time while you admire the classic architecture and a brickwork of the old station. This is not something that we found out by behaving as a regular tourist would.


Non-touristy things to do in New York City - Flushing


In the Mood for Some Authentic Foreign Fare?

So you’re in the mood for some real deal Chinese food. When in New York City and that you feel the hankering for some Asian cuisine don’t even think about going to Chinatown! That’s right! If you want the most authentic Chinese food in the Big Apple, then you have to head to Flushing, Queens. It may seem crazy but we found out this is where the locals go to get the most authentic Chinese cuisine around. With such a vast selection of Chinese fare from different regions of the country, you’ll probably sample something you’ve never had before. You will leave with an open mind and a full stomach.


Non-touristy things to do in New York City - Greenwich Village


Taken some Historical Architecture in this Modern Metropolis

When you’re a diehard historical buff you might be worried that a big city like New York will fall short on classic beauty and visual history. Don’t count out the Big Apple yet. We discovered a little surprise tucked away in Greenwich Village. The discovery of a cobblestone lined street that is framed on both sides by beautiful little buildings was definitely exciting. Upon digging a little, we found that the Washington Mews were old 19th-century stables that had been converted into living spaces and the classic charm still exists. It felt like walking through the city in a different era.


Non-touristy things to do in New York City - Brooklyn Park


Stunning sunsets

Everyone loves a sunset, and if you’re a New Yorker you quickly realize that the most coveted sunset views in the city are those of the Manhattan skyline. Tourists flock daily to the Empire State building to witness them, but we learned from the locals that there is a secret spot. It will leave you in awe as the sun sinks for the day. Visit the beautiful, and very green, South Brooklyn Park. Aptly coined as Sunset Park, and for good reason… at the highest point you get to see the whole of the Manhattan skyline. You can even picnic while the sunsets. You’ll leave feeling like a true local.


Non-touristy things to do in New York City - Museum of Moving Images


Off the Beaten Path Museum

We happened to stumble across a museum unlike any other we’ve ever seen and had a great time! If you are into movies as much as we are, then this could quite possibly be a dream come true for you. Visit the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria. Not only we get to see snippets from your favorite film scenes, but you will be able to dub over them with your own voice! This was absolutely a great way to round out a non-touristy visit to the Big Apple.


As you can see, there is more to New York City than Times Square. With so much history and a mix of cultures, the city has so much to offer in the way of entertainment, food, and culture. The next time you are in the Big Apple, take our tips and do some exploring of your own. You won’t regret it!

If you are looking for more traditional “Things to do in New York City”, please enjoy our One Day in New York Post.


Do you have  any other tips for Non-touristy things to do in New York City?


Photo credits – City Hall, Flushing, Greenwich Village, Brooklyn Park & Museum of Moving Images.