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OOO New York

How to spend a solo day in New York

  • 4-min read

Are you tired of spending Saturday nights listening to your friend Ashely simp over her ex? Need a moment to yourself? Read on for seven of the best things to do in New York by yourself.

Blonde boy spending a day alone in NYC hangs out the window of a taxi smiling as he drives across a bridge.
Disney / Giphy

I love people, but there’s nothing like being in my own company. Spending the day by yourself and becoming your own best friend can be one of the most liberating feelings. And there’s no greater place to be a loner than in New York. 

If you find yourself in the city as alone as Kevin from “Home Alone,” here’s your go-to guide of things to do.

How to spend a day in New York by yourself

Take a walk in Central Park 

Anyone who’s spent more than five seconds in the New York subway will tell you it’s a walking city. Take in more than one square mile of parkland in the middle of Manhattan. 

This activity is a great starter to reduce your “loner anxiety” because the pressure of “looking alone” isn’t undeniable. Enjoy the beautiful weather, and spend time in nature as you reconnect with yourself. Sometimes in life, you just have to walk alone (put that on a kitchen towel). 

Check out the farmers market in Union Square

Nothing says, “I have my life together,” like shopping at a farmers market on a Saturday morning. The farmers market in Union Square is filled with unique vendors and brings a small-town touch to the big city. This is your sign to buy yourself the damn flowers, purchase local art, and maybe some fresh produce to take back to the hotel later. A farmers market is a place where you can be alone and in great company simultaneously.

Ride a Citi bike

Riding a bike in New York can be very intimidating, but you won’t turn back once you get used to it. Feel the breeze through your hair helmet, feel the rush of the city, and enjoy the view of the buildings. 

If you’re a beginner, I suggest riding in Central Park or along the High Line, a lovely stretch along Husdon Yards and Chelsea. I love to ride a Citi bike and then treat myself to a smoothie afterward.

Going for a bike ride has become a meditative experience for me, and I hope it is the same for you—until the taxi cabs start a honking competition.

Attend a Y7 workout class

If you haven’t been to Y7, you haven’t truly lived. Y7 is a hip-hop yoga studio in New York City. And I know you’re thinking, “No way I will attend a dance workout class alone.” Hear me out.

Y7 Workout classes are in a dark room with no mirrors, so you don’t have to worry about how you look or the opinions of others—flow to the hip-hop sounds of Cardi B, Megan Thee Stallion, Nicki Minaj, and more. And plus, you won’t know anybody in the class, so who cares if you make a fool of yourself? By the time you end the class, you’ll feel rejuvenated and loose for your night on the town.

How to spend an evening alone in New York 

Go to the movies in Bryant Park or Brooklyn Bridge Park 

In the new age of Netflix and HBO Max, watching a movie in an outdoor theater sounds old-timey. And maybe it is, but it just hits different. My favorite is to watch a movie in Brooklyn Bridge Park during sunset. The views alone make you feel like you’re in a movie. Grab yourself some snacks, a bottle of wine, and a cozy blanket, and enjoy a romantic night with yourself (but remember, you’re in public).

Check out more about the Brooklyn Bridge and Bryant Park movie schedules.

Grab a bite in Chinatown

Yes, you can go out to dinner by yourself. Yes, this might be your living nightmare. But Chinatown is the perfect place to grab a bite by yourself: The service is quick, and some restaurants are so small you end up sitting with strangers anyway. I’ve met some of the best people and had the most enlightening conversations that way. 

My go-to spot is Spicy Village, located at 68 Forsyth St. If you want to eat completely alone, Shanghai Dumpling on 100 Mott St. is the best in New York. 

Have a night in

Spending time with yourself can look however you want it to, and sometimes that means in the comfort of your tiny NYC apartment. If baths are your thing, stop by a Lush and pick up a bath balm. Or maybe grab a nice bottle of wine and enjoy the bliss of your own company. 

Finally, turn off your phone. It may be tempting to scroll on social media and see what other New Yorkers are doing in the big city, but you know what? Tonight, that’s none of your business.

This night is about you and protecting your peace. Enjoy unapologetically!

In the end, we love an independent QUEEN (or KING)! 

Sure, having friends is fun, but have you ever had the freedom of going out at your own pace? Leaving without having to do the Irish goodbye? Or pass gas without having to hold it in? (You know the feeling, stinky.) In those moments that you get to spend time alone, enjoy it; get to know yourself, and maybe you’ll discover how cool you are.