24 EXCITING Things To Do in The Financial District 2024: Must See Attractions For The Best Trip

Financial District walking tour

As someone who has explored the vibrant streets of New York City’s Financial District, I can assure you that this neighborhood is a captivating blend of history, modernity, and bustling energy.

Let me share my personal recommendations for an unforgettable experience.

Key Takeaways

  • Key Spots: One World Observatory, 9/11 Memorial, Charging Bull, Battery Park, Museums (Jewish Heritage, American Indian), Wall Street, NYSE, Woolworth Building, Stone Street, Dining (Joe’s Pizza, Leo’s Bagels), Fearless Girl.
  • Unique views from historical sites to the highest observatory.
  • Enjoy walking tours and memorial visits at no cost.
  • Discover the Elevated Acre for quiet and scenic views.
  • Spring and fall for pleasant weather and fewer crowds.
  •  From historic Delmonico’s to casual dining on Stone Street.

Top Activities in New York City’s Financial District

24. A Stroll Through Bowling Green

Financial District activities

On my wanderings through the Financial District, I stumbled upon Bowling Green, a quaint little park nestled right beside the Charging Bull.

It’s not just any park, though; it’s the oldest one in New York City, having been officially opened as a park back in 1733.

Even before that, it was a gathering spot for the public, which adds a layer of historical charm to it, making it a special place on the National Register of Historic Places.

What caught my eye was its serene beauty, with vibrant red tulips, a peaceful fountain, and lush trees that offer a slice of tranquility amidst the hustle and bustle of the city.

I learned that once upon a time, a statue of King George III stood here before the American Revolutionary War, which I found to be a fascinating piece of history according to Smithsonian Magazine.

Taking a leisurely stroll through Bowling Green, surrounded by its gorgeous flora and framed by historic buildings, was a highlight of my time in the Financial District. It’s a perfect spot for anyone looking to catch a breath of fresh air and soak in a bit of New York’s rich history.

23. Discovering the West Street Building

Wall Street experiences

Address: 90 West St, New York, NY 10006

What’s fascinating is how it artfully blends elements from different architectural styles, making it a unique sight in the city.

Opening its doors back in 1907, the building was recognized as a New York City Landmark in 1998, and it’s also proudly listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Its rich history and architectural beauty make it a must-see spot.

22. Battery Park

Downtown Manhattan attractions

Address: Battery Place, New York, NY 10004

I took a break from the Financial District’s skyscrapers to explore Battery Park and it was totally worth it.

This park offers amazing views of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, plus it’s filled with monuments and a lot of open space. It’s a great spot for anyone looking to chill out or catch a ferry to see the Statue of Liberty up close.

The mix of tourists and locals, the greenery, and the water views create a really cool vibe that contrasts with the city’s usual hustle.

21. Museum of Jewish Heritage

Financial District landmarks

Address: 36 Battery Place, New York, NY 10280

The Museum of Jewish Heritage near the Financial District was an enlightening stop on my city tour.

It’s dedicated to remembering the Holocaust while celebrating Jewish culture. The exhibits here are powerful, with tons of artifacts and stories that paint a vivid picture of Jewish history.

Plus, the museum’s setting by the water, with views of the Statue of Liberty, adds a peaceful backdrop to the visit.

It’s a meaningful place that offers a deep dive into Jewish life and history, making it a must-see for anyone interested in learning more about these important narratives.

20. View From One World Observatory

Address: 117 West St, New York, NY 10007

Visiting the One World Observatory at One World Trade Center in the Financial District was an unforgettable experience for me.

It’s an observation deck spread across the 100th, 101st, and 102nd floors, offering the most breathtaking panoramic views from the city’s highest point.

I was blown away by the scenery; it’s just remarkable. What made the visit even more special was the opportunity to dine at the restaurant there.

Enjoying delicious meals while gazing over New York City from such an altitude was truly unique. And there’s also a bar where you can grab a drink and just soak in the view.

19. Walking Down Wall Street

Financial District sightseeing

Walking down Wall Street in the Financial District is like stepping into the heartbeat of NYC’s financial powerhouse. T

his iconic street, stretching from Broadway all the way to the East River, is steeped in history, dating back to the 17th century when it was part of New Amsterdam under Dutch rule.

It’s fascinating to think that its name originates from an actual wall that stood here in the 1600s.

Wall Street isn’t just a street; it’s the epicenter of the financial industry in the United States according to Harvard Business Review.

Saying “Wall Street” is like saying the whole American financial system, which is something I’ve always heard about but only truly appreciated while walking here.

The street is lined with monumental buildings, each telling a story of America’s economic evolution.

Notable among them are the New York Stock Exchange and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, surrounded by numerous commercial banks.

Walking here, amidst the hustle and bustle of finance professionals and the towering symbols of economic might, I felt a sense of awe at the sheer scale of economic activities that have shaped, and continue to shape, our world.

18. My Visit to the Charging Bull

NYC Financial District tour

Nestled on Broadway, just a stone’s throw from Bowling Green, this massive bronze sculpture caught my eye with its imposing presence.

Crafted in 1989 by Italian artist Arturo Di Modica, the Charging Bull stands as a powerful symbol of Wall Street and the financial prowess of New York City as per Artnet news.

I was intrigued to learn that Di Modica was inspired by similar sculptures outside the German Stock Exchange in Frankfurt. It’s fascinating how art can connect cities and cultures across the globe.

The sheer size of the bull is astounding – it weighs about 7,100 pounds, stands 11 feet tall, and stretches 16 feet in length.

Standing next to it, I couldn’t help but feel a mix of awe and inspiration, reflecting on the resilience and strength it represents.

17. My Adventure at Pier 16

It’s an extension of the South Street Seaport Museum and offers a fascinating glimpse into maritime history through its free outdoor exhibition.

Wandering around, I was captivated by the historic photographs, paintings, prints, and a variety of objects on display.

It felt like stepping back in time, especially when I got up close to the old ships docked there. Seeing vessels from the early 20th century was truly a highlight, each with its own story to tell.

But Pier 16 isn’t just about the past. It’s a splendid spot to soak in views of the East River and the Brooklyn Bridge. There’s something magical about standing there, looking out over the water and the city skyline.

16. Take a Look of the New York Stock Exchange


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Address: 11 Wall St, New York, NY 10005

I made it a point to swing by the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street.

Known as the largest stock exchange in the world, the grandeur of its home, the New York Stock Exchange Building, did not disappoint. It’s not just a building; it’s a National Historic Landmark, steeped in history and significance.

Founded in 1792, the New York Stock Exchange has been a cornerstone of New York City’s, and indeed the world’s, economic history. 

It’s a place where history and modernity converge, and seeing it in person added a whole new layer to my understanding of New York’s financial heartbeat.

15. Visit 9/11 Memorial & Museum

Financial District exploration

Address: 180 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10007

Visiting the 9/11 Memorial & Museum was a deeply moving experience for me.

Located in the World Trade Center area of New York City, this place is a poignant reminder of the tragic events of 9/11 and the World Trade Center bombing in 1993.

Nearly 3,000 lives were lost in these attacks, and the memorial stands where the Twin Towers once graced the skyline.

Walking through the museum, I was surrounded by artifacts, photographs, and personal stories that painted a vivid picture of that day and the people affected by it.

It was an educational journey, helping me understand the enormity of the events and the impact they had on the world.

The museum also sheds light on the bombing that occurred on February 26, 1993, offering a comprehensive narrative of the site’s history.

14. Experience a Night at Pier 17

Lower Manhattan highlights

Address: 89 South St, New York, NY 10038

Located in the Financial District, this iconic outdoor music venue sits atop Pier 17, offering breathtaking panoramic views of Manhattan’s skyline. It’s not every day you get to enjoy live music with such a spectacular backdrop.

I was amazed to learn that some of the world’s most famous musicians have graced this venue, and it’s easy to see why.

The atmosphere is electric, and the setting is unmatched. Aside from the concerts, Pier 17 is also a fantastic spot for dining with a view.

I had the pleasure of trying out The Greens and Malibu Farm New York, both located right there. The food was as impressive as the vistas.

Address: 1 Bowling Green, New York, NY 10004

This museum caught my attention for its dedication to celebrating the rich cultures of the native peoples of the Americas. It’s one of those places that just broadens your perspective.

The museum boasts a vast collection that spans ceremonial objects, clothing, jewelry, and baskets, among many other fascinating items. Each piece tells a story, offering a window into the diverse cultures it represents.

The museum isn’t just in New York; there’s another location in Washington DC. 

12. A Visit to Trinity Church

Address: 89 Broadway, New York, NY 10006

This historic church has been a part of New York’s story for centuries. The original church was built in 1698, only to be lost in the Great Fire of New York in 1776.

The church that stands today was completed in 1846 and once held the title of the tallest building in the city.

Trinity Church is not just an ordinary building; it’s a New York City Landmark and a National Historic Landmark.

Its architecture and the sense of tranquility it offers amidst the bustling city are truly remarkable.

Whether you’re interested in history, or architecture, or just looking for a peaceful moment, Trinity Church is a must-visit.

The experience of walking through its doors and exploring its rich history is something I’ll always remember.

11. A Night Out at the Schimmel Center

Financial District entertainment

Address: 3 Spruce St, New York, NY 10038

Located conveniently near New York City Hall and the Brooklyn Bridge, this Pace University performing arts venue has a charm all its own. With its opening in 1970, the theater’s rich history adds to the allure, making every performance feel special.

The Schimmel Center, with its 647-seat theater, hosts a wide array of events open to the public. Whether you’re into music, comedy, dance, or live theater, there’s likely something on the schedule to catch your interest.

The quality of performances is top-notch, featuring some of the best artists in their respective fields.

The diversity of shows means that every visit can offer a new and unique experience. It’s a fantastic way to spend an evening in the Financial District, especially if you’re looking to be entertained and inspired.

10. The Woolworth Building

Financial District destinations

This historic skyscraper, which dates back to 1913, stands as a testament to early 20th-century architecture and ambition.

Recognized as a New York City landmark, it’s undeniably one of the city’s most iconic structures.

The building’s Gothic architectural style is stunning, with Cass Gilbert’s design for Frank W. Woolworth showcasing a blend of beauty and ingenuity.

It’s fascinating to learn that the Woolworth Building was the tallest in the world for 17 years following its completion, a feat achieved through the use of groundbreaking construction techniques of the time.

It’s a must-see for anyone interested in the architectural marvels that define New York City’s skyline.

9. New York City Hall

Remarkably, it’s among the oldest city halls in the country that’s still serving its original purpose, having been constructed in the early 19th century.

What caught my eye the most was its striking French Renaissance Revival style exterior.

The architecture is simply stunning, and learning that it’s designated as a National Historic Landmark, in addition to being listed on the National Register of Historic Places, added to its allure.

I learned that you could take a free tour of City Hall, which I found incredibly appealing.

8. The Famous Stone Street

Financial District culture

Recognized as one of the oldest streets in New York City, its origins trace back to the mid-17th century, offering a tangible connection to the past.

Despite the fact that many original buildings were lost in the great fire of 1835, Stone Street has preserved its historical essence, showcased through its remaining architecture, like the notable 1 Hanover Square.

What really brings Stone Street to life, though, are the numerous restaurants and bars lining the cobblestone path.

It’s a vibrant spot for outdoor dining or enjoying the nightlife, buzzing with energy and the camaraderie of city dwellers and visitors alike.

7. My Visit to La Colombe Coffee Roasters

Financial District events

Address: 67 Wall St, New York, NY 10005

Known for its exceptional coffee, La Colombe has several locations across the United States, including nine in New York City alone. The one at 67 Wall Street has a particularly cozy vibe that instantly makes you feel welcome.

The range of coffee drinks available is impressive. From classic espresso to innovative iced beverages, there’s something for every coffee lover.

I was particularly intrigued by their selection of unique beans from around the globe, which adds a special touch to each cup.

Plus, the variety of plant-based milks offered ensures that everyone can enjoy their drinks just the way they like them.

6. Walking Down Fulton Street

This vibrant street stretches from West Street all the way to South Street, and it’s lined with stunning examples of Beaux-Arts architecture.

These buildings aren’t just beautiful; they’re a testament to the rich history that permeates every corner of this neighborhood.

Fulton Street has a fascinating backstory, dating back to the late 18th century. It was once home to a ferry service that linked Manhattan’s Fulton Street with its counterpart in Brooklyn, playing a crucial role in the city’s daily life.

One of the key attractions along Fulton Street is the South Street Seaport. This spot offers a glimpse into New York City’s maritime history and is a must-visit for anyone exploring the area. 

5. Dont Forget About Leo’s Bagels

Financial District tourism

Address: 3 Hanover Square, New York, NY 10004

The variety of bagels and artisan breads, coupled with their delicious spreads, means there’s something for every taste.

Whether you’re in the mood for a classic bagel with cream cheese or something more adventurous, Leo’s has you covered.

But Leo’s is more than just bagels. The coffee and cold drinks are refreshing, and the specialty sandwiches, pastries, and soups add to a menu that’s hard to resist.

The cozy atmosphere and friendly service make every visit a pleasant experience.

If you’re in the Financial District and craving a bagel, Leo’s Bagels is a must-try. The quality of the food and the warmth of the service make it a standout in the area.

4. Grab a Slice at Joe’s Pizza

Financial District nightlife

Address: 124 Fulton St, New York, NY 10038

Joe’s has been dishing out authentic New York slice pizza since 1975, and it’s clear they’ve perfected the art.

The atmosphere inside Joe’s is exactly what you’d hope for in a classic NYC pizza joint: friendly, laid-back, and unpretentious.

But let’s talk about the pizza—it was nothing short of amazing. The crust was the perfect balance of crispy and chewy, and the toppings were fresh and flavorful, coming together to create that iconic New York pizza taste.

3. Federal Hall

Financial District travel guide

Address: 26 Wall St, New York, NY 10005

This Greek Revival masterpiece, with its stunning architecture, was originally completed in 1842, serving as the city’s Custom House before becoming the Subtreasury building for over fifty-nine years.

Walking up to it, I was struck by the history that permeated the air.

It’s fascinating to think that before this grand structure was erected, the site housed the first City Hall of New York City. Standing there, you can’t help but feel a connection to the past.

2. Visiting St. Paul’s Chapel

Address: 209 Broadway, New York, NY 10007

Built in 1766, this chapel not only boasts a rich history but also serves as a beautiful example of Late Georgian architecture.

Its significance is recognized as both an official New York City Landmark and a listed site on the National Register of Historic Places.

Walking into St. Paul’s Chapel, you’re immediately struck by its historical aura and architectural beauty.

It’s amazing to think that it still serves its original purpose, welcoming over a million visitors each year.

The chapel hosts a variety of events, including regular concerts, which adds to its vibrant community role.

Knowing that figures like George Washington once visited here adds an extra layer of historical reverence to the visit. 

1. My Encounter with the Fearless Girl Statue

Financial District historical sites

Originally positioned opposite the renowned Charging Bull, this bronze figure immediately captured my attention with its powerful message promoting the significance of women in leadership roles and the importance of gender diversity within corporate boards.

I was moved to learn that what was initially meant to be a one-week display had been extended due to its profound impact and message.

The statue, though only 4 feet tall and weighing 250 pounds, stands as a giant symbol of resilience and empowerment.


Are there any hidden gems in the Financial District that aren't as well-known?
Yes, there are several hidden gems in the Financial District. One such place is the Elevated Acre, a secluded green space offering stunning views of the East River and Brooklyn. It’s located at 55 Water Street and provides a quiet escape from the city’s hustle and bustle.
What's the best time of year to visit the Financial District?
The Financial District can be enjoyed year-round, but the best time to visit is during the spring and fall. These seasons offer comfortable temperatures and fewer tourists, making it easier to explore the area and enjoy its attractions without the crowds.
Are there any free activities in the Financial District?
Yes, there are plenty of free activities. Walking tours of Wall Street, visits to the Federal Hall National Memorial, and exploring the 9/11 Memorial are all free. Additionally, many museums offer free admission on certain days or evenings.
Where can I find the best views of the Financial District?
One of the best views of the Financial District can be found at the One World Observatory. However, for a free option, the Brooklyn Bridge provides stunning views of the skyline, especially at sunset.
Can I visit the New York Stock Exchange?
While the NYSE trading floor itself is not open to the public for tours, you can admire the historic building’s exterior at 11 Wall Street. The surrounding area is rich in financial history and makes for an excellent photo opportunity.
Are there any recommended spots for dining in the Financial District?
The Financial District offers a wide range of dining options. For a historic atmosphere, try dining at Delmonico’s, one of America’s oldest restaurants, known for inventing the Delmonico Steak. For a more casual experience, Stone Street offers a variety of eateries with outdoor seating, making it a popular spot for both lunch and dinner.

Final Words

The Financial District in New York City is a captivating blend of the past and the present. As I’ve wandered its streets, I’ve been struck by the layers of history and the vibrant energy that permeates every corner.

One World Observatory offers a breathtaking view—the city sprawled out below, a testament to human ambition. The 9/11 Memorial & Museum is a place of reflection, where the weight of tragedy hangs in the air. And then there’s the Charging Bull, a symbol of determination and resilience, surrounded by the hustle and bustle of Wall Street. i IT IS JUST A MUST VISIT PLACE IF YOU ARE IN NYC.

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