As one of the oldest districts in New York City, Lower Manhattan has tremendous importance in trade, commerce, culture, and transportation. Surrounded by the New York Harbor and East River, this district has some of NYC’s premier waterfront features. Iconic skyscrapers, specialty museums, and pristine parks highlight the unique scene in Lower Manhattan. From Wall Street to The Battery, there’s plenty to explore in this well-established neighborhood.
Attractions and Landmarks
Standing more than 1,770 feet tall, One World Trade Center dominates the skyline of Lower Manhattan. This contemporary tower was rebuilt on the former foundations of the World Trade Center. The One World Observatory offers 360-degree views of New York City and its surroundings. There are plenty of other architectural landmarks in this part of Manhattan, such as the Woolworth Building and 70 Pine Street.
One of the most important attractions in Lower Manhattan is the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, which commemorates the people who lost their lives in the September 11 Attacks. Featuring two enormous pools and a contemporary museum, this complex provides an emotionally moving experience amid the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple.
After paying tribute to fallen citizens and heroes, you could move on to the historic Wall Street. With a history dating back to the 1600s, this famous street is home to the New York Stock Exchange, Federal Hall, and the Museum of American Finance.
With its elongated steeple and brownstone facade, Trinity Church is another notable installation on Wall Street. Taking a picture with the Charging Bull Statue is a great way to end your tour of the Financial District.
The tip of Lower Manhattan is home to the National Museum of the American Indian. Managed by the Smithsonian Institution, this museum occupies an elegant building that was once known as the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House.
After learning about Native Americans, you’ll find plenty of interesting material at the Museum of Jewish Heritage. As the name suggests, this museum presents various topics relating to Jewish culture, with a special focus on the Holocaust.
Lower Manhattan has some of the best waterfront parks, promenades, piers, and other similar installations in New York City. Overlooking the Hudson River, Rockefeller Park, South Cove Park, and Robert F. Wagner Park provide great opportunities for relaxation or recreation. The largest green space in this part of Manhattan is The Battery, which was once home to forts that were used by Dutch and British colonists. From this park, you can also hop on a ferry that goes to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
The eastern part of Lower Manhattan is home to the South Street Seaport, which once supported one of NYC’s busiest fish markets. You can visit the South Street Seaport Museum to learn about the maritime industries of the area. Pier 16 also provides docking space for historic vessels that offer exciting tours on the East River and New York Harbor. The area just north of South Street Seaport offers great views of the famous Brooklyn Bridge.
More than a dozen New York City subway stations are located in Lower Manhattan. One World Trade Center, Wall Street, Chambers Street, and South Ferry provide convenient access to all major points in the district. At Whitehall Terminal, you could catch a ride on the Staten Island Ferry. Additional ferry service is available at the World Financial Center and Pier 11/Wall Street terminals. The Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, Brooklyn Bridge, and Holland Tunnel accommodate most of the car traffic in the district.