13 Places To Find Some Goddamned Peace And Quiet In NYC, Because Sometimes You Need To Hear Yourself Think

by Shannon Fiedler

New York City is famous for a lot of things — its culture, its food, and also its noise. From sirens to taxi horns to just the general hustle and bustle of eight million people living their lives, New York is nothing if not chaotic. And in the midst of all the hubbub, it can be quite a challenge to find a quiet space in New York City to clear your mind and relax.

One of the biggest benefits of living in New York is the possibility for constant stimulation and excitement; at every hour of the day or night, you're just a few blocks away from something compelling to see, eat or do. But this trait can also be the city's biggest deterrent. In the city that never sleeps, where can you go to get some rest? Among all of the activity, is it ever possible to find some peace and quiet?

Good news: It is! Throughout the boroughs, there are havens of relaxation you can spend time in to give yourself a break from the hectic city pace. Visiting these hidden gems will give you a chance to escape traffic, Time Square, tourists, and turmoil and give you a moment to just be alone with your thoughts.


Conservatory Garden at Central Park

Contrary to popular belief, Central Park is not 1.3 miles of serenity. Areas like The Central Park Zoo or Sheep's Meadow can be the total opposite of quiet, filled with visitors causing a racket.

But if you know the right places to go, Central Park can, in fact, be your tranquil oasis. Conservatory Garden is high enough uptown that it won't be overly crowded, and it offers a beautiful backdrop for some R&R. Best of all, it is a designated Quiet Zone, which means you're guaranteed some silence.


Rose Main Reading Room at The New York Public Library

Libraries are notorious no-talking zones, and the New York Public Library is no exception. Sneak off to the Rose Main Reading Room to get lost in a good book and read with no interruptions.


The Metropolitan Museum Of Art

Not only is The Met a source of cultural enlightenment, it's also quiet. Amongst the works of art, with the sunlight streaming in through the floor to ceiling windows, you'll feel totally calm. As you walk through the many exhibits, I highly recommend taking a break and spending some time at The Temple of Dendur for optimal tranquility.


Four Freedoms Park at Roosevelt Island

Roosevelt Island in it of itself is quieter than Manhattan or Brooklyn proper, and the recently completed Four Freedoms Park at the tip of the island is extra serene. A tribute to FDR, the park offers green space, a nice breeze off the river and beautiful views of the famous New York skyline.


St. Patrick's Cathedral

If you find yourself in the middle of 5th Avenue — one of the most crowded, craziest areas of Manhattan — slip into St. Patrick's Cathedral. Whether you're a believer or not, St. Pat's is an overwhelmingly peaceful place. Take a respite and reflect among the stained glass windows, burning candles and the ornamented architecture.


The Morgan Library Museum

Pierpont Morgan's 1906 Library at The Morgan Library Museum is not just quiet, but it is also home to a large collection of rare books and manuscripts, which any bookworm will gush over. Plus, the Pierpont Morgan Library resembles Hogwarts or The Beast's library in Beauty And The Beast, giving it an extra magical feeling.


Hotel Spas

New York City is home to some of the most luxurious hotels in the world. Treat yourself to an afternoon at the spa at The Plaza, The Ritz or The Waldorf Astoria — you deserve it!


The Loch at Central Park

Another relaxing and quiet space in Central Park, The Loch's tranquil waterfall makes you almost forget you're in the middle of New York City.


Brooklyn Botanical Gardens

The Brooklyn Botanical Gardens is another nature-filled escaper, offering serenity and scenery. If you can, visit in the spring when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom.


Wave Hill in The Bronx

A 28-acre public park overlooking the Hudson River, Wave Hill is the perfect way to leisurely pass an afternoon with your family or on your own. You get all the perks of taking a trip to the country without having to buy a train ticket.


The Cloisters

Take a step back in time to medieval Europe when you visit The Cloisters museums and gardens. You'll get the chance to interact with nature while enjoying over two thousand works of art, a perfect getaway from midtown.


Snug Harbor at Staten Island

Snug Harbor can be completely stimulating if you want it to be, as it is a cultural center full of visual and performing art exhibits and productions. But it can also be a place to decompress, as it is home to several gardens (one of which even has a castle and a maze!). A little less well-known than Central Park or even the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, your trip will be full of flora and fauna, but won't be overcrowded.


Hayden Planetarium at The American Museum of Natural History

It's hard to stargaze in the city that never sleeps, so that's why there's the amazing Hayden Planetarium to get your celestial fix. Learn about our galaxy in a cool, quiet place and transport yourself (at least mentally) out of NYC.

Images: Lydia Liu, Eunice, Jiahui Huang, Phil Roeder, Eric, Rob Shenk, Brian Holsclaw, Bruce Monroe, dee_dee_creamer, André Natta, Neosnaps, Shannon McGee, bradhoc/flickr