When you’re visiting another city, do you want to go to the usual tourist sites or explore the city’s hidden gems?

There are tourist attractions that almost everyone visits when they vacation in New York City. Some of the usual destinations are:

  • Empire State Building
  • Broadway
  • Times Square
  • Museum of Modern Art
  • Coney Island

However, there are dozens of lesser-known sites that many vacationers will find interesting. If you’re adventurous, here are some of the unique sites you should not miss when in the Big Apple.

Brooklyn Art Library

If you’re an art lover, then you may find this obscure tourist destination fascinating. Instead of housing finished works of art, the space is filled with bookshelves full of sketchbooks donated from artists from over 100 countries.

It is a freebie as there is no charge to visit the library.

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Lucky Luciano’s Hideout

One of the most notorious mobsters in New York was Charles “Lucky” Luciano. The Italian mob used to run the city, and he helped establish the five mafia families.

If you’re a fan of films like The Godfather or Goodfellas, you may want to visit his hideout while grabbing a slice in the East Village.

Midtown Waterfall

The concrete jungle of Manhattan doesn’t seem to be the place to find a waterfall, but there is a 25-foot man-made one in Greenacre Park.

It is easy to get there, especially if you’re on a hopon-hopoff tours bus as there is a stop a few blocks from the Midtown park.

The Berlin Wall

A piece of this Cold War symbol from Germany resides in the city at an outdoor plaza on Madison Street. After the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, pieces of it were divided, and many of them were sold all around the world.

The section of the wall in New York depicts some of the art and graffiti that decorated the wall.

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Atomic Buddhist Statue

When an atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima in 1945, over 70% of the buildings were destroyed. A symbol of that infamous day now resides in front of the New York Buddhist Church on Riverside Drive.

The Atomic Buddhist Statue, the Shinran Statue, survived the blast intact and it has stood in front of the church since 1955.

Roosevelt Island Tramway

There are many modes of transportation in New York, including the Roosevelt Island Tramway.

The tram takes passengers to the small island in the East River over 100 times a day. It mainly carries residential passengers, so few tourists ride the tram.

Graffiti Hall of Fame

Graffiti is easy to find in big cities like New York, and some of it is now recognized as an art form instead of criminal vandalism.

The Graffiti Hall of Fame in Harlem has celebrated this form of street art created by some of the world’s best-known artists for over 30 years. See it from the street or take a tour for a close-up view.

By going off the beaten path, you can discover many of the lesser known tourist sites of New York. They reveal the city’s and the world’s history, and you can visit many of them for free.