There’s a lot to do in Financial District NYC! Located in Lower Manhattan, on the southern tip of the island. Many tall buildings and wonderful waterfront views featuring the Statue of Liberty, Hudson & East River, with Brooklyn & New Jersey views as well as the Brooklyn, Manhattan & Williamsburg bridges from the East side of Financial District. Nice to walk around and explore this historic neighborhood.
Tips: Try going on a weekday so you get the “Wall Street vibe”. Wall St. area tends to be quieter on weekends.
Good to Know: Financial District is also known as FiDi.
How long will it take to visit Financial District NYC?
It can take 1-2 days to explore everything. Usually, one day is good but intense.
Financial District in Half a Day
If you’re in NY for just a few days (3-4 days only) you could probably do the Financial District in half-day, only doing the very basics as described below & skipping Liberty & Ellis Island (a tour that will take many hours).
Must-See Places in Financial District NYC
The very basics that you can’t miss out!
You can follow this order starting at World Trade Center, or upside down doing the Statue first.
- World Trade Center: freedom tower (one world), 9/11 memorial & museum.
- The Oculus.
- Trinity Church.
- Wall Street.
- Charging Bull: also known as Wall Street Bull.
- Statue of Liberty.
Keep in mind that in Winter, it gets dark at 4:30/5pm, so maybe it could be better to do the Statue in the morning or early in the afternoon (since it’s not as crowded as in the Summer).
World Trade Center
ONE WORLD TRADE CENTER (FREEDOM TOWER)
The main building of the rebuilt World Trade Center after 9/11 and the tallest skyscraper in NY.
If you go during the summer, it’ll be very crowded! Try going in the morning before noon to beat the crowds. More info here.
How much time it takes to visit One World Observatory: about 1 hour approx. 2hs max.
Location: West St. between Fulton & Barclay Sts.
9/11 MEMORIAL & MUSEUM
Right next to the Freedom Tower.
The Memorial Plaza is free of charge. A tribute of remembrance and honor to the 2,977 people killed in the terror attacks of September 11, 2001. You’ll see the famous pools that sit within the footprints where the Twin Towers once stood. This won’t take much time. Not more than 20-30min at the most.
The 9/11 Memorial Museum is right there and is free on Mondays! Exploring inside this museum can take about 1.5-2 hours. You don’t really have to do it though, especially if you’re tight in time. It’s interesting & very moving to watch the news from when it happened and pieces of the twin towers destroyed, etc.
Keep in mind that this location is very close to Century 21 if you’re planning on doing some shopping.
Location: Between West & Greenwich Streets & Liberty & Fulton Sts.
A $4 Billion transportation hub super modern. It’s nice to see how it looks like from the inside. No need to spend much time here!
Location: Church St. between Vesey & Liberty Sts.
Inside the Oculus you’ll find the New Jersey Trains and inside you have a mall:
WESTFIELD WORLD TRADE CENTER
A mall in Financial District featuring stores such as Apple Store, Victoria’s Secret, Aldo, Sephora, Mac, Forever 21, etc. The good thing about this place is that you’ll have the stores for you with less people than other places.
The Oculus & Westfield World Trade Center connects with BROOKFIELD PLACE (right next to Hudson River), with upscale brands and wonderful river views. Good place for lunch upstairs with great views. You’ll be able to see the Statue of Liberty from here. The sidewalk right next to the river is beautiful and you can go walking to South Ferry if you want! If you do this, then from South Ferry you do the Charging Bull & Wall St on your way back. Many people don’t do this part if they don’t have much time, but when they do it, they love it and wish they spent more time here! I recommend it, especially in Spring & Summer!
Trinity Church & Cemetery
Manhattan’s oldest parish founded in 1967. You can visit this place on your way to Wall St! It’s also a short walk from the World Trade Center.
You can just observe the wonderful architecture from the outside or take some more time and explore it inside (it’s small and free!).
The resting place of Alexander Hamilton and his family and other early Americans.
Location: Broadway & Wall St.
Take a walk down Wall Street in Financial District.
Popular block: Wall St & Broad St. where the NY Stock Exchange & the Federal Hall are located.
If you’re curious about the historic streets & want to explore more, walk to the famous corner of Beaver & William Streets. Where the iconic Delmonico’s Restaurant is located. By the way, this is the restaurant that many very well-known people used to go to such as J.P. Morgan, Theodore Roosevelt Jr., Nikola Tesla, etc.
From here, you can walk down to see the Charging Bull.
Popular bronze statue and financial icon of Wall Street. This place is usually crowded with tourists.
It’s being said that touching this bull’s testicles bring good luck & good fortune. You’ll probably see many people touching them & taking pictures.
Location: Broadway between Beaver & Morris Sts.
Statue of Liberty
FREE SOUTH FERRY
If you don’t want to explore the statue and drop off there, the South Ferry is your best and fastest option and it’s FREE! Take the ferry from the South Ferry station in Battery Park. Each ride is 20′ minutes and you can go back to Manhattan right away (there’s nothing to do in Staten Island). You’ll get a free ride along Hudson River and you’ll be able to see the statue from a closer distance.
15-30 min approx. the waiting time to go back to Manhattan. Check schedule here.
Tip: go outside of the ferry to take pictures. Make sure you’re on the right side when you hop on from Manhattan since it’s the side with the Statue’s view!
Another alternative is taking the Harbor cruises that stop very close to the Statue for pictures from the cruise (it’s paid).
STATUE OF LIBERTY & ELLIS ISLAND: PAID TOUR
Statue Cruises is the only provider authorized to take visitors to the Statue of Liberty at Liberty Island & Ellis Island. One ticket includes both islands.
Afternoon time is more congested and can take more time. Especially during summer time!
Total tour time: it takes half a day! 4-5 hours and can take up to 6 hours in the summer!
To get to the Statue of Liberty Pedestal you need to climb up 5 flights and go through an additional Security Check. Once you’re up, it’s narrower & can be crowded. You need to find your way to take pictures without people around.
You’ll need to rent a locker for your personal bags to climb up the pedestal.
There’s a coffee shop with food at Liberty Island.
More Cool Places to Visit in Financial District NYC
The first paved street of Manhattan. A short street in FiDi (pedestrian-only) filled with restaurants and bars with an old-charm vibe. One of the oldest streets in NYC.
The eastern portion of the street and the surrounding buildings have been protected since 1996 by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission.
I recommend taking a small walk along Stone St. It’s nice feeling the “old NY vibe”. You can do it after visiting the Charging Bull or the Statue of Liberty for lunch (or afternoon snacks/drinks).
Location: Stone St. between Coenties Alley & Hanover Sq. and S William St & Pearl St.
South Street Seaport
It’s nice going during Spring & Summer to this part of Financial District. It’s kind of empty in Winter and you don’t get the same vibes. You’ll get the “old NY vibe” with old buildings and some food shops around. It’s right next to the East River where you’ll see the Brooklyn views with the Manhattan & Brooklyn bridges.
Location: Fulton St. between Water St. & East River. It’s very nice walking along Front St. btw Fulton St. & Peck Slip!
Click here and go at the end where it says “Financial District” shopping area.
If you wanna go to Century 21 & the brands that are on Broadway (such as Zara, Urban, Gap, Aldo) it’s better to start the itinerary doing the Statue of Liberty first & ending at World Trade Center, so from there you go shopping since you’ll be close to the C21 & Broadway where the brands are. So you don’t have to carry the bags with you the whole day 😉
Where to Eat in Financial District NYC
- Eataly Downtown: Liberty & Church Sts.
- Le District & Hudson Eats at Brookfield Place, in front of World Trade Center. Hudson Eats is located upstairs with great Hudson River views and many different kinds of food shops! By the way, the Skinny Pizza place there is really good! Same with the Cupcake shop!
- Shake Shack: just a short walk from Brookfield Place, very close to World Trade Center.
- Pick a Bagel: quick spot for a good bagel & sandwiches and salads, in front of World Trade Center & next to Brookfield.
- Harry’s Italian – a restaurant: right next to Shake Shack.
- Stone St: many casual restaurants & pubs.
- Whole Foods: you can buy something to eat here & go upstairs, or if the weather is nice you can grab the food and go to the Rockefeller Park right next to Brookfield and Hudson River or just at Brookfield’s tables outside next to the river!
How to Go to Financial District?
So many Subways take you to FiDi!
If you’re doing the Statue of Liberty first:
- 1 to South Ferry.
- 4 or 5 to Bowling Green.
- R or W to White Hall
If you start at World Trade Center:
- 1 to Rector St.
- 2 or 3 to Park Pl.
- R/W to Cortlandt St.
- 4 or 5 to Fulton St.
Closer to Wall St / Charging Bull:
- 2/3 to Wall St.
- 4/5 to Wall St.
- R/W or 1 to Rector St.
Exploring ALL + Museums + Statue Cruises + Top of One World + South St. Seaport + Shopping
You won’t have time to do it ALL in one day. It can be better to do South St. Seaport the day you do the Brooklyn Bridge (since it’s close). Another option could be to do the Statue Cruise another day, and then walk along the East River sidewalk up to Fulton St. where South St. Seaport is. You decide! I’d skip South St. Seaport if you don’t go in Summer. It’s not the main & most popular touristy place to visit if you don’t have much time. I’d only do it if you have enough time.
Museums in the Area
Check all FiDi museums here, even though is an article from the Night at the FiDi museums, all of them are listed there 🙂 Most popular ones (after the 9/11 Memorial Museum):
MUSEUM OF AMERICAN FINANCE
The United States’s only independent public museum dedicated to preserving, exhibiting and teaching about American finance and financial history.
FRAUNCES TAVERN MUSEUM
Museum & tavern in a city’s oldest building, where George Washington bid farewell to his troops.
SOUTH STREET SEAPORT MUSEUM
Telling the story of the rise of New York as a port city and its critical role in the development of the United States. I don’t recommend this one if the second floor isn’t open yet.
LINKS OF INTEREST:
Hope this FiDi NYC Guide is helpful!