15 Top-Rated Attractions & Things to Do in the Bronx, NY

Written by Meagan Drillinger and Lavanya Sunkara
Updated Dec 23, 2023
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The Bronx does not often get as much of the New York City spotlight as neighboring boroughs like Manhattan, Queens, or Brooklyn. But the Bronx is one of the most authentic, diverse, and historically significant places in the entire country.

Located across the Harlem River northeast of Manhattan, the Bronx is the borough that gave us Hip Hop, and icons like George Carlin, Tony Curtis, Floyd Mayweather, Mary J. Blige, Lauren Bacall, and so many more.

Today the Bronx is home to some of the best things to see and do in New York City, from the world-famous Bronx Zoo to Yankee Stadium, the New York Botanical Garden, and the Bronx Museum of Arts. If you're visiting over the holiday season, you won't want to miss the Holiday Train Show at the Botanical Garden or the Bronx Zoo's Holiday Lights.

It is also a borough that has quite a few parks (including the largest park in New York City), and some beautiful beaches and off-shore islands. Pelham Bay Park, Orchard Beach, and City Island are among the best things to see in the Bronx.

Bronx is the only borough that is not an island itself and can be reached by subway and bus, as well as from New York City airports LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Discover the best places to visit during your vacation in the Big Apple with our list of the top things to do in the Bronx.

1. Yankee Stadium

Yankee Stadium
Yankee Stadium

Whether you are a baseball fan or not, a trip to Yankee Stadium, home of the 27-time World Series champions, is sure to be a memorable experience.

Debuted in 2009, this modern stadium of the Yankees takes baseball watching to a new level, with comfortable seating in the lower level and food concessions beyond curly fries. Enjoy food from Jersey Mike's, Benihana, Mighty Quinn's BBQ, Haru Sushi, or Bareburger (which even has vegan options), as you watch the Yankees play against the Boston Red Sox, Detroit Tigers, Baltimore Orioles, Toronto Blue Jays, among others on their home turf.

Learn about the history of the most successful team in American baseball and check out memorabilia at the Yankees Museum or head to outdoor Monument Park for plaques of famous Yankee players, including Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, and Mickey Mantle. Baseball season lasts from April to October, sometimes longer, but if you happen to be visiting in the off season, you may still sign up for a stadium tour.

Address: 1 E 161 Street, The Bronx, New York

2. Bronx Zoo

Gorilla at the Bronx Zoo
Gorilla at the Bronx Zoo

The country's biggest urban zoo is a must-visit attraction for families and animal lovers. Located a short walk from the E. 180th St. subway station, the world-famous Bronx Zoo, run by the Wildlife Conservation Society, features more than 650 species. With a tagline like the "Wildest Place in the City," you will get your money's worth when making the trek to this special attraction, which features exhibits such as Congo Gorilla Forest, Wild Asia Monorail, a Children's Zoo, and opportunities to connect with animals through interactive programs.

The Congo Gorilla Forest gives visitors a rare opportunity to see the Western lowland gorilla, mandrill, and okapi up close. The seasonal Monorail takes you on a journey past expansive Asian habitats hosting tigers, elephants, pandas, and other endangered species. The zoo's Treetop Adventure is fun for both adults and kids, giving them a chance to climb or zipline from treetops.

Each year, the Run for the Wild event brings together people for a 5K run/walk to raise funds for the conservation of endangered species.

Address: 2300 Southern Blvd, The Bronx, New York

3. New York Botanical Garden

The Enid A. Haupt Conservatory at the New York Botanical Garden
The Enid A. Haupt Conservatory at the New York Botanical Garden

Located across the road from the Bronx Zoo and near Fordham University, the 250-acre New York Botanical Garden is a landmark attraction worth visiting for its numerous gardens, iconic Holiday Train Show featuring miniature NYC landmarks, and the stunning Orchid Show (held from February to April).

On your visit, take a walk through an old-growth forest at the Thain Family Forest, photograph beautiful blooms at the Jane Watson Irwin Perennial Garden and Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden, and get transported to a tropical paradise in the magnificent Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. For those looking for a serene outdoor venue for a wedding, the New York Botanical Garden is a great choice.

The LuEsther T. Mertz Library, tucked in the grounds of the Botanical Garden, houses the largest collection of books and materials on botany; you're likely to find everything from vintage seed catalogs to centuries-old floral illustrations here.

Address: 2900 Southern Boulevard, Bronx, New York

4. City Island

City Island harbor in the Bronx
City Island harbor in the Bronx

The small community living on the 1.5-mile-long City Island is connected to the Bronx via a bridge from the edge of Pelham Bay Park. This former ship-building enclave offers a more New-England-style escape, with antique stores, galleries, old Victorian homes, and a slower pace of life compared to the rest of the bustling city.

Dine at popular seaside restaurants, like Johnny's Reef. Visit the City Island Historical Society and Nautical Museum for exhibits on the island's rich maritime history. For time on the water, rent a boat from Jack's Bait & Tackle and go on a fishing expedition. Keep in mind that the museum is closed during winter.

Address: 190 Fordham Street, City Island, New York

5. Universal Hip Hop Museum

Hip hop is a music genre that changed the world and it was born right here in the Bronx. The year 2023 celebrates 50 years of hip hop and there is no better place to learn about the history, legends, and impact than at the Universal Hip Hop Museum.

The museum is an interactive journey that uses artifacts, multimedia, AI, and virtual technology to help tell the story of Hip Hop. Learn about legends from Run DMC to Whodini, the Beastie Boys, and more. Watch as Hip Hop traveled across the country from the Bronx to Compton, California.

The museum is home to 30,000 objects and is still expanding its collection. It is, without a doubt, the preeminent place to learn about and appreciate the art of Hip Hop — right on the streets where it was born

Address: 610 Exterior Street, Bronx, NY 10451

6. Little Italy in the Bronx

Colorful olives for sale in Bronx's Little Italy
Colorful olives for sale in Bronx's Little Italy

When you think of New York City's Little Italy, you're probably thinking of the one in lower Manhattan. But the city is home to a second Little Italy that has far fewer tourists, and just as excellent (if not better and more authentic) Italian restaurants and markets.

Located in the Belmont section of the Bronx, Little Italy here centers around Arthur Avenue. A short stroll down this bustling thoroughfare will reveal dozens of delectable restaurants serving everything from brick-oven pizza and homemade, bubbly lasagna to shops selling imported cheeses, antipasto, and dried pastas.

The historic neighborhood dates back more than a century. It was, and still is, a haven for Italian immigrants and today is one of the best places to visit in New York City for a glimpse of its multicultural colors.

7. Woodlawn Cemetery

Joseph Pulitzer's grave in the Woodlawn Cemetery
Joseph Pulitzer's grave in the Woodlawn Cemetery | Daniel M. Silva / Shutterstock.com

Dating back to 1863, Woodlawn Cemetery is now a National Historic Landmark. It's easy to see why. The landscaped, 400-acre cemetery features classical architecture, monuments, as well as a large community of birds and other wildlife. It even has five of New York City's "Great Trees," which are trees that are unusual in size, species, form, or historical association.

Today the cemetery is the final resting place for more than 310,000 souls. It's a non-sectarian cemetery and was envisioned as a place for the "famous and powerful," according to the National Historic Landmark plaque.

While visiting the cemetery, guests can also explore the arboretum, which has more than 140 varieties of trees.

Address: 4199 Webster Ave, Bronx, New York

8. Wave Hill

Wave Hill
Wave Hill

Wave Hill is part park and part horticultural garden and gives visitors a wonderful chance to connect with nature. This 28-acre once-private estate now belongs to the City of New York and is located in the Hudson Hill section of Riverdale. The estate had some luminary hosts, like Mark Twain and Teddy Roosevelt, throughout the years. The house that they resided in now houses a café serving beverages and snacks.

Spend some time browsing art at the Glyndor House Gallery before going on a leisurely walk on wooded trails affording expansive views of the Hudson River and the sheer cliffs of New Jersey Palisades. This year-round public parkland has manicured lawns and gardens, lily ponds, and benches at scenic overlooks. Wave Hill also offers guided walks, yoga classes, art workshops, exhibitions tied to nature, environmental programs, and concerts.

Admission to the estate is free on Tuesday and Saturday mornings. Free shuttle services are also available from the Van Cortlandt Park-242nd Street subway stop and the Metro-North stop at Riverdale. Just down the hill from Wave Hill, you will find Riverdale Park, where you can see the Hudson River up close.

Address: Front Entrance, 4900 Independence Ave, Bronx, New York

9. Pelham Bay Park

Pelham Bay Park
Pelham Bay Park

As the largest park in New York City, Pelham Bay Park eclipses Central Park three times over and boasts oak forests, marshes, and miles of shoreline, all spread across 2,772 acres. On the park's eastern shore, Bronx's only public beach, Orchard Beach, welcomes visitors in the warmer months.

Guests visiting the park can participate in horseback riding, tennis, bocce ball, football, and golf, among many other things to do.

The historic house and museum of Bartow-Pell Mansion, situated in the northern part of the park, invites visitors to admire its Greek-Revival-style architecture, elegant parlors and lavish design, and beautifully landscaped lawns and gardens.

10. Van Cortlandt Park

Early morning in Van Cortlandt Park
Early morning in Van Cortlandt Park

New York City's third largest park sits in the northwestern part of the Bronx, lush with valleys and woodlands, and the borough's largest freshwater lake, the Van Cortlandt Lake, all spread over a thousand acres. There are plenty of opportunities to soak in this natural beauty with friends and family. There are playing fields and playgrounds scattered about, and a public golf course for your recreation.

History buffs can visit the Van Cortlandt House Museum, the oldest surviving building in the Bronx, built in 1748, to learn about the namesake family that occupied the house in the 18th and 19th centuries.

11. Orchard Beach

Orchard Beach
Orchard Beach | Shannon McGee / photo modified

The 115-acre, 1.1-mile-long, Orchard Beach is Bronx's only public beach and is considered the "Riviera of New York." As such, it sees a number of sun worshippers during the summer.

The crescent-shaped sandy beach faces the Long Island Sound and overlooks City Island. Visitors can enjoy the Orchard Beach Snack Bar; picnic areas; BBQ areas; playgrounds; and basketball, volleyball, and handball courts.

Changing rooms and showers are also available. Parking is available for a small fee during the beach season and for free during other times. Orchard Beach can be reached by subway to the Pelham Bay Station.

12. Bronx Museum of the Arts

Bronx Museum of the Arts
Bronx Museum of the Arts | Photo Copyright: Argenis Apolinario Photography

Housed in a former synagogue donated by the City of New York, the Bronx Museum of the Arts showcases contemporary art reflecting the diverse cultures that make up the borough, and focuses on political and social themes relevant to the communities.

The Bronx Museum of the Arts is located in the Grand Concourse Cultural District. It features a permanent collection of more than 2,000 artworks by artists of African, Latin American, and Asian backgrounds. The museum also offers events, educational programs, and group visits for students. Best of all, admission is free.

Address: 1040 Grand Concourse, Bronx, New York

13. Bronx River

The Bronx River in the fall
The Bronx River in the fall

Bronx River is the city's only freshwater river, and visitors can enjoy a refreshing day out on the water on canoeing and paddling trips. The river runs 23 miles long and flows through southeast of New York (eight miles in the Bronx) and empties into the East River and ultimately into the Long Island Sound.

This once-polluted waterway has been cleaned and revitalized, thanks to environmental groups such as the Bronx River Alliance. The annual Bronx River Flotilla celebrates the river's comeback with a five-mile paddling excursion. The alliance also organizes paddling trips and other river activities.

14. Edgar Allan Poe Cottage

Edgar Allan Poe Cottage
Edgar Allan Poe Cottage

Travel back in time to the world of poet Edgar Allan Poe, during a visit to his namesake 19th-century cottage, nestled between Kingsbridge Road and the Grand Concourse. Poe spent the last years of his life with his sick wife and mother-in-law at the cottage in the mid-1800s, hoping that the fresh country air would help heal his wife.

This tiny and charming cottage is tucked within Fordham University Rose Hill Campus's Poe Park and is operated by the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation. Inside, you'll find reproductions of furniture from Poe's time, along with some of his personal items. This cottage served as the inspiration for his poem, Annabel Lee.

Address: 2640 Grand Concourse, The Bronx, New York

15. Bronx Night Market

If you find yourself in the Bronx on a Saturday from May through October, head to Fordham Plaza for the free, open-air Bronx Night Market. It offers a taste of New York City's diverse culinary delights from more than 100 food vendors, as well as live music from local talent.

Expect to find flavorful provisions from eateries such as Mao's Bao, Rooster Boy, Chavas Empanadas, Mysttik Masaala, The BX Burger Co., and more. Fordham Plaza is a two-block commercial area located south of Fordham Road and across from the Fordham University's Rose Hill campus.

Address: Fordham Plaza, E. Fordham Road, The Bronx, New York

Where to Stay in The Bronx, NY for Sightseeing

Mid-Range Hotels:

  • The eclectic Umbrella Hotel is a top mid-range choice in The Bronx, which doesn't have any luxury properties. The 3-star hotel has modern rooms with an artsy vibe that come with wall-mounted flatscreen TVs and work desks. A free breakfast is offered. Parking is also complimentary. If you're traveling with a dog, the hotel is pet friendly.
  • Residence Inn By Marriott New York The Bronx at Metro Center Atrium is near Yankee Stadium and other main Bronx attractions, including Fordham University. The 3-star hotel has a mix of rooms and suites, including options for families. Amenities in the suites include full kitchens and separate living and work areas. There is a free breakfast in the morning. Parking is also complimentary, and there is a workout room on-site.
  • The Opera House Hotel is a boutique mid-range property. The 60 rooms comes in varying shapes and styles, but all feature blackout curtains, fridges, and microwaves. A complimentary breakfast is served in the morning. There is also a vending machine for late night snacks.
  • Walking distance from Yankee stadium, the Best Western Plus Stadium Inn is in the up-and-coming Highbridge neighborhood. Rooms are colorful with bright accent walls and faux wood floors. On-site amenities include a complimentary breakfast and parking. There is also a workout room on-site.
  • Also check out the Ramada by Wyndham Bronx. Rooms are basic but comfortable, but book one of the suites to have a Jacuzzi tub. There are also family room options. A free hot breakfast is served in the morning, and guests have complimentary access to a nearby gym if you want to workout.

Budget Hotels:

  • Morris Guest House is an affordable budget choice. It is less than two miles from major borough attractions like Little Italy in the Bronx and Yankee Stadium. In a brick row house, the rooms have exposed brick walls and shared bathrooms. There is a kitchen guests can use. Free parking is also available.
  • Comfort Inn & Suites near Stadium is another good-value choice. The rooms and suites have microwaves and refrigerators. Beds have crisp, white linens, and there are colorful patterned carpets on the floor. Amenities include a workout room, free breakfast, and concierge services.
  • Rodeway Inn Bronx Zoo is another budget-friendly option. Snazzy rooms have beige, brown, and white color schemes and double or king beds. There is free parking on-site. Other amenities include free breakfast and a fitness room.

Bronx, NY - Climate Chart

Average minimum and maximum temperatures for Bronx, NY in °C
4 -3 5 -2 10 2 16 7 22 12 26 18 29 21 28 21 24 17 18 11 12 6 7 0
Average monthly precipitation totals for Bronx, NY in mm.
90 70 100 94 106 91 112 104 96 83 93 89
Average monthly snowfall totals for Bronx, NY in cm.
18 21 7 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 8
Average minimum and maximum temperatures for Bronx, NY in °F
39 26 41 28 50 35 60 44 71 54 79 64 85 69 83 69 76 62 64 51 54 42 44 32
Average monthly precipitation totals for Bronx, NY in inches.
3.6 2.8 3.9 3.7 4.2 3.6 4.4 4.1 3.8 3.3 3.7 3.5
Average monthly snowfall totals for Bronx, NY in inches.
7.2 8.2 2.9 0.4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.4 3.1