The Complete New York City Guide for Couples: Where to Stay & Things to Do

Local residents and tourists will buzz with excitement over these picks.
Aerial view of Central Park Manhattan
Alexander Spatari / Getty Images
Jessica Kelly
by Jessica Kelly
Updated May 14, 2023
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We get it, you want to be part of it. Whether you're a New Yorker who proudly occupies one of the city's five boroughs, a repeat visitor who appreciates the never-ending hum of the city, or a newcomer exploring the best across the Big Apple, there's plenty of couples' activities to consider for a date, day or night. Across Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and The Bronx, find our list of the best date ideas in New York, New York, including places to stay and romantic restaurants to book.

In This Article:

Fun Couple Activities in NYC

When in search of fun activities for couples in NYC, there are plenty of romantic options. Whether you're looking to do something adventurous or you'd like to experience a relaxing afternoon, there's a bit of everything from Brooklyn to Queens.

Summitt One Vanderbilt Couples things to do in New York City
Photo: SUMMIT One Vanderbilt

Fun Couple Activities in Manhattan

AIRE Ancient Baths New York, Tribeca

AIRE Ancient Baths will essentially transport you to Europe, giving you a unique experience without leaving the city. It dates back to Ottoman civilizations, bringing Ancient Roman, Turkish and Greek bathing traditions to NYC. The different baths are offered across various temperatures to promote a calming experience. With fabulous reviews, it's a date spot couples won't forget.

86 Franklin St., No. 88, New York City, NY 10013

Battle of Tables - Culinary Studio, Little Italy

The city is full of cooking classes to choose from, but Battle of the Tables brings all of the excitement of a cooking show to their studio. It allows guests to have a ton of fun while also creating a gourmet meal with a professional chef.

136 Bowery St., New York, NY 10013

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Upper East Side

The Met is a given when it comes to exploring world-class art exhibits and artwork across the city. The museum (and just ask reviewers) is brimming with over 2 million pieces and actual treasures, so repeat dates here are a must. The Knot's travel editor (a New Yorker, herself) recommends stopping by on weekdays or first thing on weekend mornings to explore its vast halls, including the Egyptian Wing.

1000 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10028

Couples Dance Classes, Tribeca

In a city that celebrates art and theater, it's no surprise that adult dance classes are not hard to come by. Sign up for a couples dance class to learn anything from classic dances like the waltz or the foxtrot, to disco or samba. It's a fun skill to learn together, even if it's just in your back pocket to pull out at the next wedding you attend together.

205 West Street St., New York, NY 10119

City Climb, Hudson Yards

If you're looking for a thrilling experience within the city, City Climb is the highest open air building ascent in the world. On top of a skyscraper, 1200 feet in the air, visitors can climb and hang off of this towering building, testing their fear of heights together.

30 Hudson Yards, New York, NY 10001

Home Alone 2: Fun in New York, Upper East Side

Explore the city like Kevin McAllister. Home Alone 2: Lost in New York is a classic Christmas film and The Plaza Hotel has created an experience to let you live out your childhood dream. Not only can you stay overnight at the Plaza Hotel and order room service with a giant sundae like he did in the movie, but you'll even get a four hour private limo ride to visit some of the main sites in the city that were featured in the movie. On top of that, the package also includes a cheese pizza just for you two.

768 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10019

Fun Couple Activities in Brooklyn

A.I.R. Gallery, Brooklyn Heights

Although the Metropolitan Museum of Art is a popular one within the city, there are quite a few art galleries in the other boroughs, as well, including A.I.R (aka Artists in Residence) that celebrates contemporary art, in addition to supporting non-binary individuals and women in the arts.

155 Plymouth St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Williamsburg Food Tasting, Williamsburg

Manhattan isn't the only mecca for incredible food in the city and there are tours celebrating the other boroughs and what they have to offer when it comes to delicious cuisine in the Big Apple. This tour specifically travels throughout Brooklyn, guiding locals and visitors through trendy neighborhoods to explore some of the best delis, pizzerias, bagel shops and special dishes throughout Williamsburg.

285 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY 11211

Artists & Fleas, Williamsburg

Browse through local art, clothing, jewelry and other handmade items to support small businesses and city vendors. The weekend market celebrates the creatives in the city and gives shoppers a chance to buy something special.

70 N 7th St, Brooklyn, NY 11249

Graffiti & Street Art Walking Tour in Brooklyn, Bushwick

There's more than just art galleries in New York. Next time you're in Brooklyn, explore the art of graffiti together. Stroll through the streets of Brooklyn to find the work of incredible artists and learn the meaning behind their talented murals.

30 Wyckoff Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11237

Skyline Drive In NYC, Greenpoint

Skyline Drive in New York City is a drive-in theater in Brooklyn where locals and visitors can go to see old and new movies on the big screen. Even if you don't have a car, there are seats available at the outdoor venue for walkers and space for other methods of transportation like bikes and scooters.

1 Oak St., Brooklyn, NY 11222

Luna Park in Coney Island [Coney Island]

Act like kids again at Luna Park in Coney Island, an amusement park that has been open for over 130 years. You and your significant other can play carnival games to win tacky prizes, ride thrilling roller coasters and snack on plenty of hot dogs and cotton candy.

1295 Riegelmann Boardwalk, Brooklyn, NY 11224

Fun Couple Activities in the Bronx

Bronx Zoo, Bronx Park

In the Bronx, one of the main attractions for locals and visitors is the Bronx Zoo. Purchase your tickets to explore 265 acres filled with a variety of animals like giant gorillas, tigers, African painted dogs, lions, bears, giraffes and more.

2300 Southern Boulevard, The Bronx, NY 10460

The New Fulton Fish Market, Hunts Point

Fulton Fish Market is a classic must-visit in New York City. For those who want to indulge from a distance, try their caviar tins. The famous fish market has been open for over 180 years and is one of America's oldest fish markets. Try different foods or grab some ingredients to cook dinner after exploring the market. (Pro tip: get there early.)

800 Food Center Drive, The Bronx, NY 10474

Yankee Stadium Tours, Concourse

If you're both baseball fans, a trip to Yankee Stadium is a necessity while in town. Whether you're seeing a game, sharing a few beers and a hot pretzel, or taking a tour of the stadium, the Bronx is the place to see where the famous Yankees make history.

East 161 St., The Bronx, NY 10451

New York Botanical Garden, Bronx Park

As a great way to escape the cold weather in the winter, visit the New York Botanical Garden to explore beautiful plant life. Learn about different plants, research projects and conservation efforts while browsing through the gardens.

2900 Southern Boulevard, Bronx, New York 10458

Fun Couple Activities in Queens

Private City Tour with a Driver, Queens

When in Queens, this is a great way to explore some of the outer boroughs like Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx, where a car is much more convenient to see the hottest sites. From Yankee Stadium to Little Italy, this tour is a great option for people looking to see a lot in a short amount of time.

Asia in Queens: Exploring NYC's Largest Chinatown, Jackson Heights

In Queens, you can explore the largest Chinatown and its incredible culinary scene. Browse through the neighborhood to visit local vendors, food stands and food courts. Split some kimchi and dim sum while browsing through the wide variety of culinary options from Hong Kong, Vietnam, China, Korea and more.

104-05 47th Ave., Queens, NY 11368

Fun Couple Activities in Staten Island

Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden, Snug Harbor

Staten Island's Snug Harbor is a great place to explore, celebrating the famous architecture in Staten Island. The 19th century buildings span across 83 acres in Staten Island, making it a fun place to stroll through together.

1000 Richmond Terrace, Staten Island, NY 10301

St. George Theatre, St. George

The St. George Theatre is one of many in the city and a famous one in Staten Island. Along the north shore, couples can head to the St. George Theatre to view broadway plays, concerts, comedy shows and more.

35 Hyatt St, Staten Island, NY 10301

The Most Romantic Things to Do in NYC

Virgin Hotels Couples Guide to New York City
Photo: Virgin Hotels New York

When you're looking for something fun and new to do, there are plenty of romantic things to do in NYC. Indulge in a couples massage with champagne or take in spectacular views together from one of the city's famous skyscrapers. Here are some of our favorite romantic activities in the city.

SUMMIT One Vanderbilt, Midtown, Manhattan

If you're looking for something different to do in the city, SUMMIT One Vanderbilt gives you incredible views of New York. Their observation deck can be accessed through TD Bank (not One Vanderbilt's main lobby) where you can make your way up to the top to experience the city from above.

45 E 42nd St, New York, NY 10017

FlyNYON Helicopter Tours, Kearny, New Jersey

Although this tour technically starts out of New Jersey, you can take a helicopter ride over famous sites throughout New York City. FlyNYON takes riders over the World Trade Center, the Statue of Liberty and Governors Island, to name a few of the well-known sites you'll see. They offer options for private or shared flights and experiences with the doors on the helicopter, or even the doors off.

78 John Miller Way, Kearny, NJ 07032

Experience the Holidays in the City, Manhattan

It doesn't get any more romantic than the holidays in the city. Take a snowy stroll over to Rockefeller Center to view the tree or browse through local holiday markets at Bryant Park or Union Square. Stop at Saks Fifth Avenue to see the light show before walking over to Macy's to view the window displays. Bundle up and marvel at the nights. The holidays in New York City is absolutely magical.

Visit Central Park, Upper Manhattan

Whether you opt for a horse carriage ride in Central Park, a yoga class in the park, or an intimate picnic while enjoying the surroundings, Central Park is filled with opportunities. It offers a much needed escape from the crowded city.

Enter via the West Drive Entrance (W 59th St and 7th Ave), New York, NY

Walk the High Line, Chelsea, Manhattan

Walk over to Chelsea Market for a bite to eat before climbing the stairs to the High Line. What were originally freight train tracks became a high rise walking path with plenty of greenery and plants for locals and visitors to enjoy. There are 12 entry points to this urban garden, so consult the map and enjoy the walk.

Take the Tram to Roosevelt Island, Upper East Side, Manhattan

Hop on the tram over to Roosevelt Island for beautiful views of the river and the skyline. The tram runs from 59th St. and 2nd Ave. to the island where visitors can enjoy the scenery and take plenty of photos of the city from a distance.

Enter via 2nd Ave. (Between 59th and 60th St.), New York, NY

Sea the City, Jersey City, New Jersey

Sea the City is based right across the Hudson River, but it brings guests onto the water to experience lesser-witnessed views of the city, including close-ups of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and other sites. The company has jet ski rentals, but what they're really known for are hot tub boats. Pack your own drinks to bring onto the boat and enjoy the views while relaxing in… a hot tub.

84 Audrey Zapp Dr, Jersey City, NJ 07305

Explore the Empire State Building, Midtown, Manhattan

Explore the historical Empire State Building whether you're a tourist in New York, or a local looking to enjoy the city. There are tours you can take if you're looking to learn about the building, or you can head up to the viewing deck.

20 W 34th St., New York, NY 10001

Book Couples Massages at a Spa, Fort Greene, Brooklyn

Relax together, enjoying treatments at this crowd-pleasing spa in Brooklyn. Cynergy Spa offers romantic couple packages with full body, 55 minute Swedish massages together, a jacuzzi soak and even a snack of fresh fruit with chocolate fondue and some bubbly.

87 Fort Greene Pl, Brooklyn, NY 11217

Enjoy a Rooftop Pool Day

There are numerous rooftop pools sprinkled throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn. Arguably, the best come with a stay in the city, especially if you're planning a summer staycation or a romantic getaway of sorts. We recommend The Pool Club at the Virgin Hotels New York City, which has direct views of the Empire State Building, as well as the pool at the ever-popular 1 Hotels Brooklyn Bridge offering direct views of the East River and the Lower Manhattan skyline.

Explore the Brooklyn Heights Promenade

Explore the Brooklyn Promenade to take in some beautiful skyline views. It's especially romantic if you can make your way over there at sunset with a blanket or first thing in the morning. (Editor's note: I'm almost hesitant to give this one away, but the best way to start a weekend morning is with croissants from L'Appartement 4F. Walk with your iced coffee and pastries to the benches facing the city on the promenade. Thank us later.)

The Most Romantic Restaurants in NYC for Couples

Narrowing down options when looking for date night restaurants in New York City is difficult to do with so many phenomenal options. You truly can't go wrong, whether you choose to dine at a three Michelin Star restaurant, or explore hidden gems in Chinatown, there's delicious food everywhere.

RD Bar Best Places for Couples New York City
Photo: Thomas Schauer

Restaurant DANIEL, Upper East Side, Manhattan

Daniel Boulud's acclaimed French restaurant, Restaurant DANIEL, is the perfect place to enjoy top of the line cuisine. Not only is the food incredible, but the service is impeccable.

60 E 65th St, New York, NY 10065

Ai Fiori, Midtown, Manhattan

For gourmet Italian and French Riviera cuisine, along with an elegant wine selection, Ai Fiori offers it all. Enjoy the romantic ambience while sharing handmade pasta dishes, seafood selections and seasonal specials.

400 5th Ave #2, New York, NY 10018

Le Bernardin, Midtown, Manhattan

Eric Ripert's restaurant, Le Bernardin, has a reputation for unbelievable French food and luxury from the meal to the overall experience. The menu is filled with carefully thought out dishes with elegant touches like artichoke panaché with a black truffle emulsion and oyster uni, combining oysters with creamy sea urchin and nori.

155 W 51st St, New York, NY 10019

Aurora Brooklyn, Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Aurora Brooklyn has Tuscan style decor with a beautiful garden, serving delicious pasta dishes and specials. The team behind Aurora puts a lot of care into their food, using organic produce as often as possible and selecting some of the best meat and fish, looking for products that don't have any hormones or antibiotics.

70 Grand St, Brooklyn, NY 11249

The Best Hotels in NYC for Couples

The Plaza Hotel Best Hotels for Couples New York City
Photo: MISHELLA

When you initially start looking for a hotel in New York City, so many options come up it's hard to know what direction to go in. Here are a few of our favorites, ranging from convenient and comfortable, to luxurious and top tier.

The Ritz-Carlton Central Park, Upper East Side

The Ritz-Carlton, Central Park New York City Most Romantic Hotels for Couples
Photo: The Ritz-Carlton

This well-appointed hotel screams hyper luxury as soon as couples enter through its gilded double doors. The service is impeccable, while a discreet lobby atmosphere transports guests away from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan. With unobstructed views of Central Park (the hotel, after all, sits on the iconic landmark), the Ritz-Carlton Central Park is an ideal and elevated weekend getaway for couples. We recommend splurging for the club lounge as it provides access to a more intimate and otherworldly club including daily breakfast, lunch and evening tastings.

50 Central Park S, New York, NY 10019

Virgin Hotels New York, NoMad, Manhattan

Virgin Hotels Most Romantic Hotels for Couples New York City
Photo: Virgin Hotels New York

Richard Branson's vibrant new property in Manhattan's NoMad neighborhood is one of the most highly-anticipated openings in the city. It certainly doesn't disappoint with sleek and sultry interiors, colorful pops of artwork, high-tech elevators, intuitive rooms, its beautiful on-site restaurant and accompanying outdoor terrace. (The views aren't so bad too. In fact, they're magnificent.)

1227 Broadway, New York, NY 10001

The Plaza, Upper East Side, Manhattan

Plaza Hotel Best Hotels for Couples New York City
Photo: The Plaza Hotel

When it comes to elegance and romance, the Plaza Hotel is really hard to beat. Not only does it have a historical aspect, being built back in the early 1900s, but the Plaza also has a reputation of being a staple in the city.

768 5th Ave, New York, NY 10019

Moxy Brooklyn Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Moxy Hotel Williamsburg Brooklyn Most Romantic Hotels for Couples New York City
Photo: Moxy Hotels

The Moxy Williamsburg is a boutique hotel with 216 rooms in Brooklyn. The Moxy has a fun, hip vibe with a beautiful indoor and outdoor bar, LilliStar, overlooking the NYC skyline and a restaurant serving delicious Israeli food. Relax in your room with a terrace, overlooking the Williamsburg Bridge.

353 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211

The Kimpton Muse Hotel, Midtown, Manhattan

The Kimpton Muse Hotel Best Hotels for Couples New York City
Photo: Kimpton Muse Hotel

The Kimpton Muse Hotel in Times Square puts you right in the center of the action. Whether you're planning a staycation or you're an out-of-town couple looking to experience the touristy hot spots while in New York, a stay in Times Square can be fun and full of energy. This is in the middle of it all.

130 W 46th St, New York, NY 10036

LUMA Hotel Times Square, Midtown, Manhattan

LUMA Hotel Times Square Best Hotels for Couples New York City
Photo: LUMA Hotel Times Square

For a beautiful stay in the city near Time Square and Bryant Park, LUMA Hotel Times Square is a great option, especially if you're visiting the city during the holidays. LUMA puts you close to Bryant Park where the famous holiday market takes place, in addition to other great things to see in the city like museums and incredible restaurants.

120 W 41st St, New York, NY 10036

Moxy NYC East Village, East Village, Manhattan

Moxy NYC East Village Best Hotels for Couples in New York City
Photo: Moxy Hotels NYC East Village

Moxy East Village created by Rockwell Group, in the heart of the city, is the perfect homebase when exploring New York. Great location aside, the modern bedrooms and amenities keep guests comfortable and happy during their stay. The rooms at this Moxy are filled with natural light with floor to ceiling windows, giving guests beautiful views of the city while relaxing in bed. Grab a drink at the rooftop, filled with greenery, art and pops of color, before having a meal at Cathédrale, indulging in their champagne and oyster happy hour.

112 E 11th St, New York, NY 10003

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