Okay, so full disclosure: it took me years to finally make it out to Astoria.

My friends finally cornered into visiting for a birthday party at one of Astoria’s famous beer gardens. 

Honestly, I was less than thrilled about leaving Manhattan, but once I got there, I was pleasantly surprised. 

Astoria is a neighborhood that has tons of great restaurants, shopping, museums, and parks.

Over the years, I’ve made more of an effort to venture out to Queens, more to explore.

It’s a cool neighborhood that all tourists (and locals) should check out during their time in NYC

Look below to find out the best things to do in Astoria for the next time you’re in the city.

BEST THINGS TO DO IN ASTORIA

1. Go to The Museum of Moving Image


While you’re in Astoria, visiting The Museum of Moving Image is a must.

It specializes in showcasing media throughout the ages, and has an epic exhibit featuring Jim Henson, Sesame Street, and the Muppets characters. 

They also have tons of vintage cameras, exhibits on the history of film, and tons of film memorabilia. 

The museum lies along the border of Astoria and Long Island City. You could make a day out of it and explore a bit of both neighborhoods after visiting the museum. 

Local’s Tip: Keep an eye out for nearby Kaufman Studios. It’s where TV shows like Orange is the New Black, Sesame Street, and The Undoing film. Who knows, maybe you’ll even spot a celeb heading to work!



2. Catch a Live Performance


NYC is well-known for its music scene. So after dinner, head to one of these popular spots for a night of tunes:



3. Eat Greek Food


This is a neighborhood New Yorkers travel will travel out of their way to when they want authentic Greek food. 

I always head to Taverna Kyclades anytime I need to get my fill of traditional Greek cuisine and recommend you do the same. 

This place is authentic, has delicious flavorful food, and the staff are great.

Taverna Kyclades is a spot that doesn’t take reservations, but the food is absolutely worth the wait.

Don’t forget to order a side of lemon potatoes, they’re one of my favorite things on the menu!



4. Hang Out in Astoria Park


If you’re visiting when the weather is nice, a trip to Astoria Park is a must.

The park has some pretty beautiful views since it sits along Hell’s Gate, a strait of the East River. 

Grab a coffee and stroll along the river, sit in the shade with a wonderful book, or hit up NYC’s oldest and largest free swimming pool.

Either way, this is one park that’s worth checking out. 



5. Grab a Drink


After a day of sight-seeing, you’ll be ready for a nice cocktail.

Thankfully, you won’t have to trek all the way back to Manhattan, because Astoria has a really solid bar scene.

These are some of my favorite places to grab a drink:



6. Shop at HiFi Records


Records have totally been making a comeback the last few years, but how many record stores actually still exist?

Not many!

If you’re into the current record trend, then stopping by HiFi Records is a requirement.

They have a solid selection, really helpful staff, and you can listen to the vinyls before buying them.

Honestly, this place is so cool that it makes me want to invest in a record player, just so I can legitimately shop here.



7. Visit the Socrates Sculpture Park


Socrates Sculpture Park is a neighborhood gem and a quick visit for tourists in the area.

The park has tons of sculptures and provides a beautiful view of the Manhattan skyline.

Even if you’ve been before, it’s worth checking out again since they update the art installations every year, sometimes including interactive pieces.

Fun Fact: The city built the park on a former landfill.



8. Hit Up a Comedy Club


If you’re in need of a good laugh, then you’re in luck! 

Astoria has a fantastic comedy club that you should hit up called Q.E.D.

Besides the typical comedy lineups, they host open mic nights that are funny.

The atmosphere is casual, fun, and inviting. It’s the perfect spot to bring a date or just chill alone.

While you’re there, try the spiked apple cider, it’s delicious!



9. Go Shopping


Astoria has some really great little boutiques, so take advantage of it while you’re in the neighborhood.

These are some shops that you shouldn’t pass up:



10. Get a Sweet Treat


Who doesn’t love a sweet treat to re-energize after a day of sightseeing?

I know I can’t pass up one!

Hit up one of these local favorites the next time you’re looking for a sweet treat in Astoria:



11. Walk the RFK Bridge


Plan on walking across the RFK bridge you want to get a workout in along with your sightseeing.

Sure, it’s just a bridge and not one of the more famous ones, but according to architect Lewis Mumford it has “one of the most dazzling urban views in the world.”

With that kind of endorsement, who wouldn’t want to take a walk to check out the view?

Fair warning though, it’s pretty high, so if you’re afraid of heights, sit this one out. 

Local’s Tip: You’ll still hear lots of New Yorkers refer to this bridge by its original name, the Triboro Bridge. 



12. Go For a Bike Ride


One of my favorite ways to explore a new neighborhood is to rent a bike.

Thankfully, Citibike has plenty of stations around Astoria so you wouldn’t have to look too far to find one. 

I recommend biking along the river in Astoria Park and then over to Socrates Sculpture Park.



13. Hit Up Astoria Bookshop


Okay, so even though I’m now on team Kindle, I still love going into bookstores.

It may sound lame, but I love the smell and browsing the bookshelves.

Plus, as much as I adore my Kindle, I also enjoy having a proper book in my hands. 

When I get that feeling I always shop local, which is getting harder to do now that bookshops are becoming a rarity. 

The Astoria Bookshop is the cutest little neighborhood shop and a spot you should support if you need some new reading materials. 



14. Head to Trivia Night


After a day of exploring the neighborhood, head to a local trivia night.

You can grab a drink and test your knowledge at one of these popular joints:



15. Go to The Noguchi Museum


The Noguchi Museum has the most relaxing sculpture garden. It’s perfect if you want a bit of peace and quiet. 

While you’re there, check out works by Japanese-American sculptor Isamu Noguchi.

He founded the museum so that all of his work would be preserved for years to come.

You’ll see all of his sculptures, drawings, and designs showcased here. 



16. Hang at a Beer Garden


Astoria is well known among New Yorkers for its beer gardens. 

In fact, most of the time I venture into Astoria is to meet friends at one.

I don’t know a ton about beer, but I do know you’ll likely have a great time at any one of these joints:


Final Thoughts

BEST THINGS TO DO IN ASTORIA QUEENS 2

I hope this list has inspired you to visit Astoria the next time you’re in NYC

It’s truly a unique neighborhood that has lots to offer, especially when it comes to delicious Greek food and beer gardens. 

I know I’m looking forward to hanging out with friends the next time I’m in town. 

Let me know in the comments below what you’re most looking forward to checking out when you visit Astoria!

Save Money With Airbnb

Want to save money on your next trip? I easily save thousands of dollars a year using Airbnb instead of hotels. Plus, if you're anything like me, it'll make you feel like more of a local.

Plan Your Next Adventure Read Our Review
If you click this link and make a booking, I earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Leave a Comment