Upper East Side
Long associated with New York’s wealthy, the Upper East Side has been a haven for business moguls, politicians, celebrities, socialites, and cultural and fashion leaders for more than a century. The neighborhood’s heritage is exemplified in the mansions overlooking Central Park from Fifth Avenue, most of which were built during the United States’ early-20th-century Gilded Age. Thanks to its high-end stores and a plethora of museums along the aptly named Museum Mile, the Upper East Side is also a shopping and cultural hot spot.
For an easy, illuminating way to get a feel for the Upper East Side, join a NYC tour. Explore Central Park and admire the neighborhood’s architecture on foot, by bike, or by pedicab; spot locations from movies such as Gossip Girl; capture the ultimate pics with a pro photographer; or try out the best restaurants.
Things to Know Before You Go
The Upper East Side attracts culture, history, architecture, and shopping aficionados.
The streets are generally accessible to wheelchairs and strollers.
Several public restrooms are located on Fifth Avenue, bordering Central Park.
How to Get There
The Upper East Side is framed by 97th Street, 59th Street, Fifth Avenue, and FDR Drive. Handy subway stops include Fifth Avenue, 59th Street, and 86th Street. Alternatively, take the subway to 81st Street and walk to Museum Mile through Central Park. Buses also run along every north-south avenue.
When to Get There
Head to Madison Avenue for daytime shopping before enjoying a drink at a plush hotel such as the Carlyle. Museum Mile biggies such as the Metropolitan and the Guggenheim are open from 10am to 5:30pm, closing later on select weekdays and Saturdays.
Shopping in the Upper East Side
You’ll find luxe shopping haunts—such as Ralph Lauren and Chanel—on Madison Avenue. Other big-name stores congregate around Fifth Avenue south of 59th Street. Even if your budget doesn’t allow buying, feel free to browse and window-shop at the likes of Tiffany & Co., Saks Fifth Avenue, and Bergdorf Goodman.
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- The Met Breuer
- New York City Fifth Avenue
- Frick Collection
- Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met)
- Neue Galerie New York
- Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
- Belvedere Castle
- Bethesda Fountain
- Episcopal Church of the Heavenly Rest
- Central Park Zoo
- The Jewish Museum
- Bloomingdale's 59th Street
- Strawberry Fields (John Lennon Memorial)
- Wollman Rink
- Central Park