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You took your relatives to the top of the Empire State Building, you’ve gawked at the Grand Central ceiling innumerable times and you know the Met like the back of your hand. But we’ll bet there are plenty of NYC landmarks that you haven’t checked off yet. So what are you waiting for?

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woolworth building NY

The Woolworth Building

It may be one of the city’s most famed skyscrapers, but it’s also famously off-limits to the public. As of now, your only way to get access to the gorgeous lobby—complete with vaulted mosaic ceilings, a marble-railed staircase and gargoyles galore—is to take a tour…or shell out for one of the brand-new luxury condos inside.

renwick smallpox hospital NY

Renwick Smallpox Hospital

If your interest in NYC history veers toward the macabre, head to Roosevelt Island, stat: It’s the site of a long-abandoned hospital that once treated (and, OK, quarantined) thousands of smallpox patients in the 19th century. It’s often cited as one of the city’s most haunted places, but even if you’re not paranormally inclined, you have to admit the overgrown facade is pretty ominous.

city hall subway station NY

City Hall Station

Can you imagine if your commute led you under those gorgeously tiled arches every day? Sadly, the station’s been out of commission since 1945, but you can still get a glimpse of the Art Deco grandeur on a tour with the New York Transit Museum (or unofficially, by staying on the 6 train as it loops around to go uptown—but be forewarned it’s not exactly MTA-sanctioned).

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beekman hotel NY

5 Beekman Street

Big hotel openings always cause a stir in this town (hi, PUBLIC), but the unveiling of the Beekman Hotel last fall was especially notable: The building once known as Temple Court was one of the city’s first-ever skyscrapers (before they were even called that), and its most stunning feature is a nine-story atrium, topped by a pyramidal skylight.

tenement museum NY

Lower East Side Tenement Museum

We’ll admit we had walked by here dozens of times before we finally went in, but we’re so glad we did. The building housed some 7,000 people—from over 20 countries—between 1863 and 1935, and now serves to document the immigrant experience of past generations.

queens museum NY
Leo Chiou/Wikimedia Commons

Queens Museum

It’s not as old as the other spots on this list (it was founded in 1972), but it houses one of the coolest permanent exhibitions in the city: the Panorama of the City of New York, a 9,335-square-foot architectural model of New York City. (And FYI, it’s completely to scale, where 1 inch = 100 feet.)

eldridge street synagogue NY
Jason 3091/Wikimedia Commons

Eldridge Street Synagogue

This 130-year-old house of worship has major cultural significance: It was one of the first synagogues erected in the U.S. by Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe, and served as an important gathering space for the community. Today, it’s both a museum (which chronicles the neighborhood’s Jewish history) and a place of prayer for a small Orthodox congregation. 

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