With a population of 8 million in a very small space, New York City is a bustling city with a lot of traffic. This multiplies during the seasons that have a lot of tourism such as Christmas and summer.
Although it will be impossible to avoid overcrowding, you can make your stay more pleasant with smart moves.
For example, you can avoid peak seasons (all summer and November – December), traveling by subway during peak hours (7am – 12am), getting up very early in the morning for your explorations. Finally, you can check various apps that show the state of the crowd depending on the day and time.
During our visit in August 2022 the only places that had long lines were the 9/11 Memorial and Museum and Top of the Rock (about half an hour). All the rest were at tolerable levels of one quarter and below.