It’s no secret that there are some very famous streets in New York, and you’ve probably seen some of them in movies or TV shows. Of course, exploring these thoroughfares in person is the best way to see them and experience their unique charm.
While the Big Apple has lots of different roads and avenues, there are a few famous NYC streets that stand out. There are well-known ones like Broadway as well as some hidden gems you may not be aware of. Either way, walking along these streets is the perfect way to do some sightseeing and discover many New York landmarks.
In this guide, I’ll share the 10 most famous avenues in New York, including where they’re located and what you can see along the way.
1. Broadway, the most famous street in New York
Broadway is one of the oldest and most famous streets in NYC, serving as a main thoroughfare through multiple boroughs. There are actually several Broadways in NYC, but the most popular one runs from Bowling Green in the Financial District through Manhattan and the Bronx into Sleepy Hollow.
This is one main street in New York that you can’t miss, especially since you can find several awesome attractions and landmarks along the road. For example, Broadway runs alongside some of the most beautiful parks in NYC, like Union Square Park, Madison Square Park, and Van Cortlandt Park.
If you follow Broadway, you’ll come across plenty of interesting sights, including the Flatiron Building, Columbus Circle, Columbia University, and further north, The Met Cloisters. Of course, Broadway also goes through Times Square, where you can explore all kinds of attractions. It’s also worth checking out the Broadway theaters in the area and seeing a Broadway show or musical.
2. Park Avenue, another famous street in NYC
Park Avenue is another long avenue in New York with lots of sightseeing opportunities. It runs from Manhattan and the Bronx, traveling through several neighborhoods like the Bowery, Midtown, and Mott Haven in the Bronx.
The avenue eventually ends at Fordham Plaza, and along the way, you have plenty of things to see. Some of the most famous buildings in NYC are located on or very close to Park Avenue, like Grand Central Terminal, the Chrysler Building, and the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. Park Avenue starts at Union Square, a beautiful park with a year-round Greenmarket and an annual holiday market.
This wide avenue is also home to many well-known businesses, like banks, automobile manufacturers, and corporate headquarters. Some notable examples include Colgate-Palmolive, Ferrari, Heineken, JPMorgan Chase, Mercedes-Benz, and New York Life, to name a few.
3. Wall Street, a famous street in New York’s Financial District
A visit to the Big Apple isn’t complete without going to Wall Street. It’s one of the best things to do in Manhattan, and this busy New York street boasts some of the most impressive Gilded Age architecture in the city. For example, the New York Stock Exchange and Federal Hall (New York’s first city hall) feature beautiful facades and Greek columns.
Trinity Church is another interesting landmark you should see, and you can’t miss a stop at the Charging Bull and the Fearless Girl, two popular sculptures in the area. In fact, the entire Financial District is one of the best neighborhoods in Manhattan, which makes visiting Wall Street even more of a no-brainer.
Don’t forget to stop by Battery Park, where you can check out Bowling Green, the SeaGlass Carousel, the Bosque Fountain, and views of New York Harbor. To make sure you don’t miss anything, I recommend this Wall Street walking tour, which will teach you even more about this old New York street.
4. Fifth Avenue, the most famous shopping street in New York City
Fifth Avenue is a street you’ve probably heard of since it’s one of the most famous avenues in Manhattan. It runs from Washington Square Park, past Bryant Park and Central Park, and ends at the Harlem River.
Along the length of Fifth Avenue, you’ll find so many important New York landmarks like St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the Flatiron Building, the Empire State Building, the Plaza Hotel, and the Rockefeller Center. Many of the richest people in the country lived on Fifth Avenue, earning it the nickname “Millionaire’s Row,” so keep an eye out for mansions like the Duke Residence, the Andrew Carnegie Mansion, and the George W. Vanderbilt Residence.
Also, the portion of Fifth Avenue stretching from 82nd to 110th streets is known as the “Museum Mile” thanks to its concentration of NYC museums like the Guggenheim, El Museo del Barrio, The Jewish Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and The Africa Center.
Finally, Fifth Avenue is one of the best shopping streets in New York, with dozens of luxury brands like Armani, Bergdorf Goodman, and Louis Vuitton.
5. St. Mark’s Place, a small but famous street in NYC
St. Mark’s Place is in the East Village, one of the best Manhattan neighborhoods, so it’s one of the most culturally diverse streets in New York. While it’s not as large and well-known as some other streets in the city, it’s one of the most interesting and offers something for everyone.
Back in the day, St. Mark’s Place was popular with the Beat Generation of the 1950s, followed by the hippies of the 1960s. By the ‘80s, the area had become a mecca for the punk music scene, and today, it’s still one of the best places for artists and trendsetters. As you walk along this busy New York street, you’ll experience a vibrant atmosphere of street vendors, old cafes, and alternative shops.
One of the places you can’t miss is Gem Spa, an old corner shop that first opened in the 1920s. It’s a cultural hotspot to this day and many believe it’s the birthplace of the New York egg cream. I also recommend grabbing drinks at Please Don’t Tell (PDT), one of the best speakeasies in NYC. You have to enter through Crif Dogs at 113 St. Mark’s Place.
6. Washington Street, a famous New York City street with lots to see
Washington Street is a famous street in NYC that goes through two boroughs. In Manhattan, it goes through Lower Manhattan, crossing over Canal Street and ending in the Meatpacking District. From there, you can stroll along the High Line or check out the exhibits at the Whitney Museum of American Art.
Not only that, but Washington Street also runs through DUMBO, one of Brooklyn’s best neighborhoods. More specifically, you can’t miss the photo opportunity between Front and Water streets. From here, you get an iconic view of the Manhattan Bridge with the Empire State Building framed beneath it. This is a super popular photography spot, but it’s worth catching the view, and you can also see the Brooklyn Bridge to the northwest.
7. Bowery Street, one of the oldest and most famous NYC streets
Another famous New York City street is also the name of a Manhattan neighborhood. Bowery Street starts at Kimlau Square, just south of Chinatown, and continues north past Canal Street, Nolita, and into the Bowery.
In addition to being a hip and artsy thoroughfare, Bowery Street is one of the best streets in NYC to experience a variety of neighborhoods and cultures. Interestingly, it’s also the oldest street in New York and named after the Dutch word bouwerie (farm). It became a wealthy area until the 1860s when it experienced a decline. This continued until the 1970s, when new residences, businesses, and museums began cropping up.
These days, you can safely walk down Bowery Street and check out the New Museum, the Tenement Museum, and the Museum of Ice Cream. Some other cultural hubs include the Bowery Theatre, the Bowery Historic District, and Little Saigon, which has several Vietnamese restaurants. Also, at the Houston Street intersection, you’ll find The Roof at PUBLIC Hotel, one of the best rooftop bars in NYC.
8. Canal Street, another famous New York street I recommend
Canal Street is another main street in New York with lots of things to see since it goes through Chinatown, Little Italy, Hudson Square, and borders SoHo and TriBeCa, other popular neighborhoods in NYC. From Seward Park in the Lower East Side, the street travels northeast all the way to Hudson River Park on the western end of Manhattan.
There, you can enjoy the waterfront and go biking or walking along the Hudson River Greenway, one of the best outdoor things to do in NYC. Even if you don’t go to that end of Canal Street, you’ll still find plenty to see and do.
Over in Chinatown, you can visit the Mahayana Buddhist Temple and Columbus Park. This area is also a lively commercial district with tons of street vendors and shops selling everything from jewelry and perfume to hardware and electronics. It’s one of the best shopping streets in New York, especially if you’re hunting for a bargain.
9. Doyers Street, the most famous street in NYC’s Chinatown
Chinatown is also home to Doyers Street, another old New York street that’s worth visiting. It’s just 200 feet long, but it holds so much history.
Doyers Street is safe now, but in the past, it was known as the “Bloody Angle” due to its violent history. It was the site of numerous murders and lots of crime during the early 20th century. You can learn all about it on this gangsters and ghosts tour, which is one of the best ghost tours in NYC.
If that’s not your thing, you’ll still enjoy visiting this famous NYC street since there are all kinds of shops, businesses, and eateries here. Be sure to stop by Ting’s Gift Store and grab a bite to eat at one of the popular restaurants like Nom Wah Tea Parlor, Taiwan Pork Chop House, and Chinese Tuxedo.
Doyers Street is a fun place for foodies, but it’s also home to one of the best speakeasies in New York City, Apotheke. It’s in an old opium den and has a drink menu that’s named after pharmaceutical products and medications.
10. Madison Avenue, a famous street in New York with iconic landmarks
Last but not least, Madison Avenue is one of the most popular streets in New York, so it’s impossible to miss.
It starts at Madison Square Park and runs parallel to Central Park through the Upper East Side. In this area, you can find reputable museums like the Frick Collection, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Guggenheim. Madison Avenue continues past Marcus Garvey Park to the Madison Avenue Bridge over the Harlem River.
If there’s one thing people know about Madison Avenue, it’s that it’s super elegant. This thoroughfare contains a large concentration of high-end designer brands like Dolce & Gabbana, Ralph Lauren, Chanel, Michael Kors, Valentino, and Prada. It’s also home to The Lowell Hotel, one of the best luxury hotels in New York. The Pierre, and The Ludlow, some of Manhattan’s best hotels, are also here.
In addition to being one of the most beautiful streets in New York City, Madison Avenue has an impressive collection of historic landmarks, like St. Patrick’s Cathedral and the Morgan Library & Museum. You can also climb to the top of some of the best observation decks in NYC, like SUMMIT One Vanderbilt.
FAQs about New York’s famous streets
Before I wrap up, here are some common questions about New York’s most popular streets:
Broadway and Fifth Avenue are two of the most famous streets in New York City.
Broadway is the longest street in NYC, running over 13 miles in Manhattan and 2.5 miles in the Bronx.
There is literally a Main Street in Queens, although Fifth Avenue is considered a main street in New York overall.
The most popular street in New York depends on what you’re looking for. Most people flock to Broadway or Fifth Avenue, although any of the streets in this guide would be great.
Map of the most famous streets in NYC
To finish up this list of streets in New York, here is a map where you can find all the avenues and thoroughfares I mentioned.
If you have any questions about these famous New York streets, or you’d like to share your thoughts, feel free to leave me a comment below. Until then, have a wonderful time in the Big Apple!