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Monday, December 25, 2023

What to see in Central Park (New York)?

  Rajesh Kumar Rana       Monday, December 25, 2023
New York's Central Park is one of the most popular parks in the world. It is located in the borough of Manhattan, surrounded by spectacular buildings and is considered the lungs of the Big Apple.

Central Park New York
A view from the Central Park towards south.
 Image source:ZeroOne/Flickr

This park has a total area of ​​3.4 square kilometers, which is more than enough to jog for a few hours without leaving the park grounds. All the space in this park is very well used and the amount of activities you can do there would take an afternoon or even a whole day.

The most common thing to do is to visit it on your own, but to make the most of your trip, it's important to plan your routes, enjoying a day in the Central Park area and its surroundings. For this we recommend you take a look at our post what to see in New York in 5 days, where through 5 routes you can get to know the Big Apple completely.

What is Central Park famous for?

Picturesque Central Park, known as the "beating heart of Manhattan", is rich in sights and entertainment. Read the most interesting about Central Park and its sights here.

What To See In Central Park?

We are going to explain the areas of Central Park to you, so that you can establish an itinerary with all that is worth visiting: statues, lakes, meadows and monuments, at the zoo of the park… Let's go!


Before entering the park, right at the entrance is Columbus Circle. It is a roundabout dedicated to Christopher Columbus that connects the southwest part of Central Park to Broadway and Eighth Avenue.

It is surrounded by trees and, right in the middle, is a statue of Christopher Columbus. Although it is a roundabout, it is not a normal roundabout, as you will have to climb several steps to get to its center and visit the statue of Christopher Columbus.


Once inside the park, what you will see the most is obviously its vegetation, its flora, its fauna and its 6 lakes or ponds. But don't think that because you've seen one area, you've seen it all. All its regions have their particularities.


If you enter through the Place Christophe Colomb entrance, the first thing you will come across is a park for the little ones to play in and the Umpire Rock. It is neither more nor less than a rocky elevation. But far from thinking that it is only for admiring, it can also be used for climbing. Remember, this is a rocky mountain in a park, so the challenge won't be too extreme. For experienced climbers, this will only be a walk, but for those who are not, this activity can be a challenge.

In this area you will also have the opportunity to see the Cop Cot or what amounts to the same, a small house located on a small mountain. Weddings can even be celebrated there, and you may be lucky enough to see one with your own eyes.


Just to the right of the upper cop you have a pond called The Pond and its Gapstow Bridge. It is said that walking around this pond watching the fish or birds and nature is very peaceful and inhibits the noise of cars.

You can also visit the Wollman Rink, which is open from October to April. So, if you are lucky enough to visit New York during these months, you will be able to enjoy one of the best skating rinks in the world.

And almost across the street you will see the Central Park Agenda, which is now used as an information point and gift shop. If you want to pick up a map of the park or a nice souvenir, this is the place.


At this point, you still have to see the many statues that are in the park. Those who evoke the most feelings are Alice in Wonderland, the sled dog, Balto and Hans Christian Andersen.

For those of you who don't know who Christian Andersen is, he's a children's book author, poet, and novelist. The story that stands out the most from his repertoire is that of the ugly duckling. I'm sure after mentioning this book, you already know who he is, right?

And these are just some of the statues you can see, but as I said there are many, many more to discover.


About halfway through the park you will come across beautiful meadows. The largest in New York's Central Park is the Sheep Meadow. It was once used to graze sheep, but is now a resting place. Visitors and New Yorkers alike take the opportunity to lie down and sunbathe, picnic or read.


The lake is another of the most beautiful landscape complexes. It is made up of 3 waterfalls and a bridge, the Bow Bridge. This almost 20 meter long bridge spans the entire lake and invites you to let yourself be carried away in a very romantic atmosphere. Watch the couples take a boat ride on the lake, while you sit on the benches. Boats can be rented at the boathouse, right by the lake. It is certainly one of the most special places on the lake.


Near this lake is another small lake or pond, Conservatory Water, which was built later than the rest of the lakes and is intended for children to have fun, sailing on remote-controlled boats.

Visiting all these places can be exhausting, so if you want to relax, you can always do it on the Bethesda Terrace. Overlooking the lake and endowed with a huge fountain presided over by the statue of the angel of the waters.


We don't want to forget the beautiful memorial dedicated to singer John Lennon. It is located in Strawberry Fields. Every year on the singer's birthday, fans gather around this place to pay their respects.

The last part of the lake is already made up of other monuments. From the creation of a fortification like Belvedere Castle in the Victorian style. Also in the same structure are the Meteorological Observatory and the Metropolitan Museum of New York. By the way, if you like museums, you can check out our article on the best museums in New York.


You'll also find the other meadow there, Great Lawn. This lawn is not so much intended for relaxation since it is made up of 8 baseball fields, a football field and a few basketball courts. It is more of a recreation ground.

And of course, the crown jewel of the park is the lake dedicated to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, known as Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir or simply Reservoir. This is the king of the lakes in Central Park, occupying a total of 43 hectares – impressive!

You will have understood that a visit to this park can last a very, very long time. The most common way to get the most out of your visit to the park without missing any details is to take a Central Park Tour. In the link you have a comparison of different visits to the park, so you won't miss a single detail. One of the good things about these activities is that the guide speaks French and they last about 2 hours.

How long does it take to get around Central Park?

Central Park is huge and full of attractions so you can spend many hours there. Rent a bike and explore the entire park in a couple of hours.

What To Do In Central Park


You already know that you have a lot of activities to do. Among them, you can choose between a bike ride, a bike taxi or a carriage ride, while touring the park and discovering the different attractions it offers.

Other activities you can enjoy while visiting the park are picnicking, sunbathing, and even physical exercise. Inside Central Park, it is typical to find groups of people doing relaxation exercises like yoga, running teams, playing baseball and even soccer.

However, if none of these activities suit you, you can always take a boat ride on the lake, enter the Met, visit Shakspeare's garden or enjoy the ice skating rink.

If you are going with children and you want them to have fun or you want to have fun with them. We've already mentioned that you can play with them on the conservation water, drive a remote-controlled boat, or ride together on the beautiful carousel at the start of the park.

We also recommend that you consult our guide “Travelling in New York with children” to help you organize your trip and your activities with the little ones.

For shopping enthusiasts, Central Park allows you to enjoy nature and shopping at The Wall. There you will find a small shopping center where you can do some shopping.

Another very common activity that we recommend, although it is not part of the Central Park offer, is to fly over the New York sky in a helicopter. You will be able to realise the real size of the park and get an idea of ​​the panoramic view. Seen from the sky, it is impressive.


I'm sure you were expecting me to mention the famous zoo, which is right next to the ice rink.

Having a good time at the zoo is one of the best things to do here as both kids and adults alike enjoy it. The zoo is open from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. So if you want to see the park in depth, it's best to go early or mid-morning.

If you like the idea of ​​the zoo, and you want to have more information about the animals, the prices, the opening hours… do not hesitate to visit the post that we have prepared with all the information about the zoo of Central Park in New York.


Central Park is the heart of Manhattan, located in the middle of the island and next to Fifth Avenue.

Once the tour of the park is over, you can take a stroll along the famous Fifth Avenue. This avenue is popular for being the most cosmopolitan shopping area in Manhattan. Check out our article on what to see on Fifth Avenue if you are interested in the places and buildings that made this street so famous.

Otherwise, if you've already visited Fifth Avenue, don't worry, there's plenty to see on the other side as well. The most popular sites on the west side are the Dakota Building, location of John Lennon's murder, and the Museum of Natural History.

Rent Bikes In Central Park

The most popular activity in New York's Central Park is to rent a bike and tour the park on two wheels.

Near the park, at 208W. 80th Street, there are bike rental stations at a very affordable price and there are also bikes that can be adapted for the disabled.

There are bikes for adults, bikes for children, tandems for two people, bikes with baby seats, bike trailers and bikes attached to each other for parents with young children.

The opening hours of these stations are from 08:00 to 20:00, except from September to March, when the opening hours change to 09:00 to 18:00.

As for the price, you can rent bikes from 14 dollars, and depending on the options you add, you will pay more or less. It is important to note that if you buy your tickets online, the price is reduced by 50%.

Among all the offers that exist, we have selected the ones that we consider the best for travelers, so if you want to see the offers that exist to rent a bike, you can enter and see what interests you most.

See also: Taxi in New York: how to get a taxi in nyc?


A guided walk through the park lasts approximately 2 hours. You will get acquainted with the history of the park and interesting facts. Your guide will take you to various attractions in the park, including Strawberry Fields, Belvedere Castle, Central Park Mall, and the Bethesda Fountain. The tour takes place in small groups.

Interesting Facts

  • Over 350 films have been filmed in the park
  • The territory of the park could accommodate more than 16 million New York apartments
  • Central Park is bigger than Monaco
  • More gunpowder was used to build the roads in the park than was used during the Battle of Gettysburg during the American Civil War.

Is Central Park free?

Yes, Entrance to Central Park is free. However, you will have to pay for some attractions and activities, such as visiting the Central Park Zoo.

Related posts:

• Amusement parks in New York


Thanks for reading What to see in Central Park (New York)?

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