Midtown Manhattan Uncovered: Must-See Romantic Spots for Couples

Tourists stay in Midtown Manhattan in order to see a Broadway show or clip-clop through Central Park in a horse-drawn carriage. When it comes to love, the Big Apple serves as the ultimate backdrop. Dotted with iconic landmarks, world-class dining, and intimate corners, this vibrant neighborhood is the perfect setting for couples looking to indulge in the romance of New York City. Here’s your guide to a dreamy, starry-eyed visit to Midtown Manhattan.

Presumably, Getaway Mavens readers have done these things to do in NYC. Multiple times. But we’ve got a couple of unexpected twists. Discover all the most iconic things to do in Midtown Manhattan, plus a couple of secret NYC spots.

Couple in Midtown Manhattan

Romantic Things To Do In Midtown Manhattan

Get free tickets to the Late Show With Stephen Colbert

First – check the website and try to reserve up to two tickets for your chosen date.

Even if you are able to score a couple of tickets, you are not guaranteed a seat.

If you’re staying a block away (see recommended hotels below), it’s a cinch to walk on over to the Ed Sullivan Theater early enough to stay in line.  Bring a picture ID, wait for a short interview to assure Stephen that you’re not a potential liability, and hope for the best.

Then, wait until, at last, around taping time (7:30), you’ll shuffle into the theater and be able to sit down at last. Tickets are more difficult to get than ever before. But try anyway. It will be a highlight of your NY visit.

Times Square intersection in front of the Hershey Store

Visit Times Square: Glimmering Lights and Midnight Kisses

It’s been said that Times Square can feel like the center of the universe, and what better place to celebrate your love? Capture the glimmering lights in a photo or steal a kiss as the world rushes by. The dazzling display of billboards and the palpable energy make for an unforgettable romantic experience.

For more inspiration, check our guide to things to do in Times Square.

Meet at Empire State Building: A Love Story in the Sky

Since its feature in countless romantic movies, the Empire State Building has been synonymous with love. Ascend this Art Deco wonder to the observation deck and hold hands as you take in the breathtaking panorama of New York City. It’s a romantic setting that’s captured countless hearts.

Share Sunset Moments at the Top of the Rock and Rockefeller Center

Rockefeller Center isn’t just about Radio City Music Hall or its famous ice-skating rink; it’s also about intimate moments shared at Top of the Rock. With fewer crowds than the Empire State Building, it offers a more secluded setting for watching the sun dip below the skyline, perfect for a memorable evening.

NYC architecture

Go On An Architectural Tour of NYC

Exploring Midtown Manhattan’s architectural landscape is an experience like no other, and one of the most enriching ways to do so is by taking an architecture tour. These guided excursions offer an in-depth look at the district’s iconic structures, from the Art Deco grandeur of the Chrysler Building to the intricate murals and grand chandeliers of the Reading Room at the New York Public Library and the modernist marvel that is the Museum of Modern Art.

Along the way, you’ll learn about the historical and cultural influences that shaped these buildings and the visionaries behind them. Whether you’re an architecture aficionado or a casual observer, a Midtown Manhattan architecture tour provides a unique lens through which to appreciate the city’s dynamic blend of old and new, all while gaining insights into the urban fabric of one of the world’s most iconic metropolises.

Explore Grand Central Station: An Unexpected Romantic Hideaway

Amidst the rush of Grand Central Terminal, find solace in the quieter corners of this historic transportation hub. Whisper sweet nothings into each other’s ears at the Whispering Gallery or share a kiss beneath the celestial mural that adorns the ceiling. For a different spin on sports, seek out the terminal’s hidden tennis courts.

Grand Central Terminal isn’t merely a bustling transit hub; it’s a microcosm of New York City’s rich history and vibrant culture packed into one stunning architectural marvel. One of the best ways to fully appreciate its grandeur is through a guided tour, which can unveil the secrets and stories that lie within its iconic walls. The celestial ceiling and the famous four-faced opal clock are just the beginning.

Take a culinary adventure through Grand Central Market, featuring a curated selection of gourmet foods and delicacies. Settle in at The Oyster Bar, a historic seafood restaurant known for its vaulted, tiled ceilings and extensive selection of fresh oysters. And when the day’s exploration leaves you yearning for some relaxation, unwind with a cocktail at the Campbell, an opulent bar that harks back to the elegance of the 1920s.

Engagement photo shoot in Central Park

Stroll Through Central Park: Love in the Great Outdoors

Pack a romantic picnic and head to Central Park. Whether you’re rowing a boat together on the lake or simply sharing a quiet moment on one of its secluded benches, Central Park offers a romantic natural retreat amidst the city hustle.

Find even more date ideas in our Central Park guide.

Admire The Elegance of St. Patrick’s Cathedral

For those who find a sense of romance in the spiritual, St. Patrick’s Cathedral is an oasis of tranquility. Light a candle together or simply sit in peaceful contemplation, absorbing the beauty of this architectural marvel.

Visit the Museum of Modern Art to Share Love Through Art

Amble hand in hand through the Museum of Modern Art. Its fascinating collections offer a chance for intellectual and emotional connection, deepening your bond as you discuss your favorite pieces.

Peruse the Wares at Tannen’s Magic Shop

Founded in 1925, this is one of the oldest operating magic shops in NYC. Whether you’re a professional magician or simply intrigued by illusion, this Midtown shop offers something for everyone.

Make It a Date Night at Bryant Park

Bryant Park isn’t just another green space; it’s a hub for romantic activities. From outdoor movies to seasonal ice skating, it provides couples with a laid-back yet intimate setting.

Catch a Show at Madison Square Garden

Whether it’s a concert by your favorite band or a sports game that you both love, Madison Square Garden offers a pulsating setting for a fun night out.

Experience a Symphony at Carnegie Hall

Playing this acclaimed concert hall is still the Holy Grail for every classical musician alive.  So, if it’s the culture you crave after hours of ribald comedy, walk another block – or across the street, depending on the hotel – to this palace of symphonic music.

Carnegie Hall isn’t just a venue; it’s an institution. Its rich history and stellar acoustics make it a must-visit for any music lover. Whether you’re attending a classical concert, a jazz gig, or a contemporary music show, the experience is bound to be unforgettable. And it’s not just about the performances; Carnegie Hall also offers educational programs and guided tours that take you behind the scenes, providing insight into the venue’s storied past and its impact on the musical world.

Serafina Broadway Dream Hotel Midtown NYC
Serafina Broadway at the Dream Hotel

Where To Eat In Midtown Manhattan

You can’t walk a block without finding a great eatery in New York City. Still, even in a city of superlative dining establishments, a few romantic restaurants stand out (but do scroll down for our picks of less formal spots:)

  1. Le Bernardin – A fixture in Manhattan’s culinary scene, Le Bernardin offers an intimate setting perfect for a romantic dinner. Renowned for its exceptional seafood and French-inspired dishes, the restaurant also boasts a wine list that’s second to none.
  2. The Modern – Located adjacent to the Museum of Modern Art, The Modern offers a sleek and romantic ambiance. The restaurant serves contemporary American cuisine and has views of the museum’s sculpture garden, adding a cultural touch to your romantic evening.
  3. La Grenouille – A Midtown classic, La Grenouille serves traditional French cuisine in an opulent setting filled with fresh flowers and plush, red velvet banquettes. It’s an ideal spot for those looking to experience old-world charm and elegance during their meal.

EAT: Serafina Broadway Restaurant

There are Serafina’s the world over, from L.A. to New York, Dubai to Japan, India to Turkey. But this one, attached to Dream Midtown and stylized by David Rockwell, has got to be the most glittery: a Fellini-cinema spectacle of metallic mosaic murals.

Though very good fish, chicken, and beef dishes are on the menu, devotees of Serafina’s pizza will want to go for the pies. But when I dine there, it’s always a homemade al dente pasta dish for me: either the Rigatoni Bolognese or the heart-shaped lobster ravioli in lobster bisque sauce. It’s so tough to decide as both are downright excellent.

99 cent pizza, Midtown Manhattan

EAT: 99c Pizza: Broadway between 54th and 55th

Employees of nearby luxury hotels prefer this bare-bones slice place over the more famous Ray’s (which happens to be across the street).

Not only is this the cheapest pizza joint in New York, but it is also uniformly one of the freshest, not to mention stretch-cheese hot. For a buck, you’ll get a paper plate napkin, along with your wedge of deliciousness.

View from PHD Terrace Dream Hotel NYC
View from the PHD Terrace Bar at the Dream Hotel NYC

Best Midtown Manhattan Hotels For Couples

STAY: Concorde Hotel New York

The Concorde Hotel New York is a boutique hotel situated on the East Side of Midtown Manhattan. It combines sleek, modern design with essential amenities, offering a convenient and comfortable stay for both business and leisure travelers.

Learn more in our Concorde Hotel New York review.

Lobby at The Langham with Alex Katz mural behind reception

STAY: The Langham New York

The Langham New York is a luxury hotel situated in Midtown Manhattan, offering elegant accommodations and world-class service. With its blend of modern amenities and classic sophistication, the hotel provides a serene oasis amid the city’s bustling energy.

This boutique hotel, on 5th Ave (at 37th) is so incredibly romantic it warranted its own post. Check out our Langham New York hotel review and information.

Dream Midtown NYC Guest Room

STAY: Dream Hotel Midtown NY

The Dream Hotel Midtown NYC is a chic, design-focused hotel located in the heart of Manhattan. Known for its trendy rooftop lounge and contemporary art installations, it offers a stylish retreat for travelers looking for an elevated New York City experience.

The newly renovated hotel is so fun and fashionable it’s a Maven Favorite. We covered it in our Dream Hotel review.

Westhouse Hotel, Midtown Manhattan

STAY:  Westhouse Hotel

The Westhouse Hotel in Manhattan offers a luxurious, residential feel with its art deco-inspired interiors and personalized concierge services. It is situated conveniently near Central Park and Times Square and provides an intimate sanctuary for guests seeking high-end, boutique accommodation in the city.

For the sophisticated traveler who yearns for an intimate, VIP experience.  A GM favorite, we wrote a Westhouse Hotel review here.

Park Central Hotel lobby

STAY: Park Central Hotel

How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Stay at the newly refurbished Park Central Hotel and walk across the street. Yes, this former way station for Hollywood stars (Mae West and Jackie Gleason) and First Ladies (Eleanor Roosevelt, who kept a suite here), known in the past as the New York Sheraton and Omni Park Central, is now a competitor once again in the realm of upscale mid-price midtown New York City hotels.

Blending history with contemporary comfort, Park Central is a prime choice for travelers eager to experience the best of New York City. With its generously sized rooms, modern amenities like flat-screen TVs and high-speed Wi-Fi, as well as dining options that include a chic lobby lounge and a bar, the hotel offers both convenience and comfort.

STAY: NH Collection New York Madison Avenue

This hotel prioritizes comfort and convenience by featuring well-appointed rooms with modern amenities such as high-speed Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, and premium bedding. Its central location puts guests near high-end Madison Avenue shops and just four blocks from Grand Central Terminal, while on-site amenities like a gourmet restaurant and a state-of-the-art fitness center add to the appeal. It’s an excellent choice for travelers seeking both style and substance in New York City.

Get all the deets in our Hotel NH Collection review.

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  • Malerie Yolen-Cohen and Sandra Foyt

    Travel experts Malerie Yolen-Cohen and Sandra Foyt share all-in-one destination guides for the best romantic getaways. Although they generally publish independent articles, this is their collection of collaborative posts. Malerie’s focus and specialty is the Northeastern USA, and she is the Author of the cross-country travel guide, Stay On Route 6; Your Guide to All 3562 Miles of Transcontinental Route 6. Originally from the Caribbean, but based in New York's Capital Region for over twenty years, Sandra specializes in warm-climate destinations.

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