St. Patrick’s Cathedral in a Day

St. Patrick’s Cathedral in a Day

St. Patrick’s Cathedral is one of the most recognizable structures in New York City. Thousands of visitors flock to the Gothic Revival structure to take photos and get a glimpse of the famous nativity scene displayed every year at Christmas. Find out when you should go, why you should visit, how to get there, and why you should skip.

Why You Should Visit St. Patrick’s Cathedral

Icons NYC in a Day Iconic: One of the most recognizable buildings in New York City, St. Patrick’s Cathedral has been in dozens of movies and TV shows.

  Photographic: St. Patrick’s is one of the most photographed buildings in NYC. You can get stunning high-quality photos both inside and outside the church.

Empire State Building NYC in a Day Architectural: The Gothic Revival structure is one of the most impressive in New York City. Architectural buffs will find plenty of flying buttresses as well as an ornate alter and vaulted ceilings inside.

History NYC in a Day  Historic: The current location opened in 1878 and changed the landscape of Manhattan. Previously, the congregation was located in what is now the NoLita area, but the church moved uptown to follow the masses of wealthy congregants moving up north to Midtown.

Musical NYC in a Day  Musical: St. Patrick’s plays host to many ensembles, choirs, and orchestras. They also have their own in-house choir that has performed at the Vatican and for President George W. Bush.

Celebrity NYC in a Day  Celebrity: Many celebrities have gotten married at St. Patrick’s and many also attend church services here on Sundays.

Cinematic NYC in a Day  Cinematic: St. Patrick’s Cathedral has been featured in dozens of movies and TV shows, including The Path, Gremlins 2, and Sex and the City.

Like a Local NYC in a Day Like a Local: St. Patrick’s has an active congregation. In order to be a congregant, you must live in the area (sorry!).


Cost NYC in a Day How Much Does it Cost to Visit St. Patrick’s Cathedral?/Money Savers: 

  • Services are free!
  • Donations are not mandatory but are appreciated


Time Commitment NYC in a Day How Much Time Should I Spend at St. Patrick’s Cathedral?/Time Savers:

Fly-By NYC in a Day Fly-By: 15 minutes for interior and exterior photos.

In-Depth NYC in a Day  In-Depth: 60 minutes if you want to stay for a service.


Need to Know NYC in a Day  Need to Know:

  • St. Patrick’s Cathedral is a cathedral–not a tourist attraction. Please respect the congregants when entering the church by removing hats and speaking in hushed tones.
  • Security guards will check your bag before entering.


Why You Should Skip NYC in a Day  Why You Should Skip:

If you’re not into religious attractions or churches, you can skip.


When to Go NYC in a Day  When to Go to St. Patrick’s Cathedral:    

  • Anytime is a good time to visit St. Patrick’s; check out their website for service times.
  • Visit at Christmas to see the impressive nativity scene.


How to Get to NYC in a Day  How to Get to St. Patrick’s Cathedral:

Walking NYC in a Day  Walking: Walk to W. 50th Street and 5th Avenue in Manhattan.

Subway NYC in a Day  Subway: Take the E or the M to the Lexington Av/53 St. stop. Walk four blocks west, and take a left on 5th Avenue.

Taxi NYC in a Day  Taxi/Car: Hop in a taxi or car, and tell them to take you to St. Patrick’s. Most cab and car drivers will know how to get you there.

Bus NYC in a Day Bus: If you don’t mind sitting in a little traffic, take the M50 to 5th Avenue, or take the M101, M102, or M103 to 5th Avenue.


Alternate Ways to See Attractions NYC in a Day  Related Attractions/Other Ways to See: 

St. John of the DivineIf you want to see a Cathedral that’s slightly less touristy, head up to St. John of the Divine on the Upper West Side. This cathedral is the fifth largest church in the world.

Trinity ChurchHead downtown to check out a stunning Episcopalian church that was also the first church in Manhattan under British rule.


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Don’t forget to read a few articles on how to hack New York City, so you can see more, do more, and stress less!

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