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▷ Ultimate Guide to Christmas Lights in NYC 2022 • Where to see • 6 Best Tours



Throughout the vacation season, electrical payments skyrocket all all through New York Metropolis. Searching for to outdo each other, each personal properties and established landmarks string up dazzling lights so that you can marvel at in each route you flip. Right here’s the place to go to see essentially the most gorgeous New York Christmas Lights.

Spending Christmas in New York is absolutely particular – decorations and lights within the metropolis stay unparalleled. One of the simplest ways to discover the magic is by taking a guided tour. Discover out which of the various New York Christmas Lights tours we personally advocate this 12 months – we’ve executed these ourselves!

The 16 greatest locations to see the New York Christmas Lights

Yearly, the vacation spirit takes over all 5 boroughs of New York. Although all Christmas decorations in NYC are lovely, some are just a little extra spectacular than others which is why now we have picked out the very best locations to see New York Christmas lights for you.

  1. 01

    From Manhattan: Dyker Heights Christmas Lights Bus Tour

    Bus Tour
    Dyker Heights

    Our Spotlight

    For the reason that custom’s inception within the Eighties, this Brooklyn neighborhood’s decorations have change into greater and brighter yearly. Now Dyker Heights is well-known for its spectacular, over-the-top vacation decorations and attracts 1000’s of holiday makers yearly. Strolling via the streets, passing one home after the opposite, you may see life-size Santas, snowmen, timber, and plenty of different Christmas shows. To prime the lavish decorations themselves, Christmas carols waft from outside audio system. If that doesn’t get you into the vacation spirit, what does?

    As among the most exuberant New York Christmas Lights, a go to to Dyker Heights is a should in the course of the vacation season. The small neighborhood begins wanting like a magical Christmas village starting the week after Thanksgiving. When you can select to discover the huge mild shows by your self, we are able to hook you up with an interactive guided tour that permits you to benefit from the highlights and maximize your expertise.

    That is our information to Dyker Heights Christmas Lights.

  2. 02

    Saks Fifth Avenue Gentle Present

    Different Purchasing
    Midtown Manhattan


    Saks Fifth Avenue doesn’t solely boast festive vacation home windows but in addition an annual theatrical mild present. Seeing the vacation mild present at Saks has change into a convention for a lot of locals and guests. The sunshine present is accompanied by music and repeats itself each 10 minutes from 5 pm to 11 pm.

    As among the most spectacular Christmas Lights in NYC, it’s possible you’ll think about that the sidewalks are extraordinarily crowded. Although that’s fully true, it’s completely value seeing the spectacle no less than as soon as.

    In addition to the Gentle Present, Saks additionally embellished its home windows!

    In 2021 you may see the Saks Vacation Home windows from November 22 on. The three minutes and 23 seconds lengthy mild present could be seen day by day each 10 minutes from 4:30 pm to 11:35 pm.


  3. 03

    Rockefeller Heart Christmas Tree

    Different Attraction
    Midtown Manhattan


    In fact, the long-lasting Rockefeller Plaza is residence to probably the most lovely Christmas decorations in NYC. It’s a vacation beacon and the epicenter of New York’s vacation season. Crowds flock right here like nowhere else within the metropolis to see the spectacular tree in particular person. 1000’s of sunshine bulbs drape the tree that’s topped by a brand new dazzling diamond Swarovski star yearly. Other than the tree itself, there are angels and adorned foliage sweetening the sight of the well-known show.

    A particular time to see the Rockefeller Heart Christmas Tree is throughout its lighting ceremony. It all the time takes place the Wednesday after Thanksgiving. This 12 months, it falls on Wednesday, Dec 1st 2021 and marks the 89th ceremony in its historical past. The Christmas tree lighting ceremony is free to attend. To really get a peek of the tree being lit at 8 pm, nevertheless, that you must be right here many hours upfront.

    • When? December 1st – via January
  4. 04

    Holidays Beneath The Stars at Time Warner Heart

    Different Attraction
    Hell’s Kitchen


    The Retailers at Columbus Circle boast the largest specialty crafted show of illuminated shade on the planet! Twelve 14-foot handcrafted stars shall be hanging from the ceiling contained in the Time Warner Heart. When you present up within the night hours, know that there’s a dazzling mild present each half hour from 5 pm until closing. Entry to the spectacle is free! The specialty exhibit “Holidays Beneath the Stars” is a real New York custom and comes with prolonged purchasing hours. Dine, store and benefit from the leisure after you visited Columbus Circle Vacation Market, one of many best Christmas markets within the metropolis.


    To pair among the greatest Christmas lights in NYC with an much more magical expertise, come right here on a Monday. That’s when Broadway Under the Stars takes place contained in the Retailers at Columbus Circle. Who doesn’t like a free mild present and Broadway  efficiency?

    • When? November 4 – December 16
  5. 05

    Rolf’s Restaurant

    Different Eating places


    Rolf’s German Restaurant in Gramercy Park attracts 1000’s of holiday makers and locals to its location. Why? It options among the most over-the-top vacation decorations beginning in November. It shouldn’t be a typical location to see New York Christmas Lights, but it made it on our checklist. You gained’t discover one other restaurant with over-the-top vacation decorations like this one. The restaurant is reworked right into a veritable fairytale, made up of 1000’s of ornaments hanging from the ceiling. The flowery decorations alone make eating right here value it.

  6. 06

    Radio Metropolis Music Corridor Decorations

    Different Attraction
    Midtown Manhattan

    Outside Shot of Radio City

    Radio City Music Hall is a well-known New York live performance venue, partly as a result of its world-famous Radio Metropolis Christmas Spectacular starring the Rockettes. Whenever you arrive, you may be overawed by the jolly exterior embellished with a Christmas tree for the vacation season. Throughout the road from it, large tree ornaments present the proper vacation photograph op in your subsequent Christmas card. They’re value seeing throughout each the day and night, as they’re additionally illuminated as soon as the solar units.

    Whereas visiting to see among the greatest Christmas decorations in NYC don’t miss the Radio Metropolis Spectacular. The Christmas present is compulsory in case you are in New York in the course of the vacation season.

  7. 07

    Shine Shiny Solely at Hudson Yards

    Different Occasions
    Hudson Yards

    Shine Bright Only at Hudson Yards

    Beginning on the finish of November, you may get pleasure from a spectacular mild present at Hudson Yards titled “Shine On”. It’s one of many latest Christmas mild shows in New York Metropolis. Shine On is an indoor-outdoor mild and music set up. Day-after-day at 5 pm, “the moments” invite spectators to get dazzled by a visible spectacle that’s synchronized to festive music.

    • When? from November 15, 2021
  8. 08

    Benefit from the Christmas Decorations at Bloomingdale’s

    Different Purchasing
    Midtown Manhattan


    Bloomingdale’s is an establishment in New York. The brown purchasing luggage that you’re certain to really feel such as you’ve come throughout 100 occasions in New York are very well-known. There’s a cause for this: the choice is large and actually invaluable!

    Bloomingdale’s is festively embellished simply in time for the Vacation Season. For us, the shop is likely one of the most lovely in New York!

  9. 09

    Vacation Lights Present at New York Botanical Backyard

    Different Attraction


    NYBG GLOW is a light-weight set up on the New York Botanical Backyard in the course of the Christmas season in NYC. On 25 evenings from 5 pm – 10 pm you may admire this outside exhibition on a 1.5 mile lengthy path. That is the 2nd time this occasion has been held, now with much more gorgeous colours and shows.

    My tip: Mix your go to with the Vacation Practice Present!

    Tickets can be found here.

    • When? November 24, 2021 – January 22, 2022 (25 chosen nights)
  10. 10

    Luminaries at Brookfield Place’s Winter Backyard

    Different Attraction
    Battery Park Metropolis


    This lovely vacation mild set up was designed by LAB at Rockwell. Glowing lanterns that change colours and depth will mild the room contained in the winter backyard at Brookfield Place. When you keep right here lengthy sufficient, it’s possible you’ll even catch a winter-themed present that’s displayed each half-hour. They’re one in all my favourite New York Christmas lights, complemented by the alluring ambiance of Brookfield Place.

    Brookfield Place can also be a terrific vacation spot to do some vacation purchasing and connects to the Westfield purchasing heart contained in the Oculus. Whenever you’ve completed all of your seasonal reward purchases, it’s nice to sit down down on the steps contained in the Winter Backyard and benefit from the present.

    • When? November 29, 2021 – January 2, 2022
  11. 11

    Bronx Zoo Vacation Lights

    Different Occasions

    BRONX ZOO Holiday Lights

    On the checklist of the most effective Christmas lights in New York, the Bronx Zoo is unquestionably to not be missed! It is likely one of the latest Vacation Lights within the metropolis and appears actually lovely. You may see over 260 completely different mild show, tree lightings, animal lanterns and animated sculptures.

    The animals and vegetation are mad of big lanterns made with nice consideration to element. This 12 months, the gathering has grown much more, with 30 new species added. From elephants to frogs, butterflies, polar bears, corals, lions and way more you may expertise on the Bronx Zoo.

    • When? November 19, 2021 – January 9, 2022

    Photograph: Julie Larsen Maher

  12. 12

    Lantern Fest Fridays at Cosy Harbor

    Different Attraction
    Staten Island

    The Winter Lantern Pageant takes place at Cosy Harbor, Staten Island, and have massive mild installations. On the Cultural Heart & Botanical Backyard, a whimsical world shall be created with over 1,000 lanterns throughout 8 acres. Lights, reveals, and displays shall be completely different from final 12 months’s show, making it value a returning go to even for many who partook final 12 months. So if you happen to’re trying to see some beautiful Christmas shows in New York, Staten Island needs to be in your checklist!

    • When? Fridays in December
  13. 13

    Central Park Vacation Lighting

    Different Occasions
    Harlem & Washington Heights


    Photographs from the twenty third Annual Vacation Lighting in Central Park on the Harlem Meer.

    The Annual Central Park Vacation Lighting is all the time held in December close to the Harlem Meer in Central Park and attracts a number of hundred New Yorkers annually. It’s a free occasion, a choir sings and there are a couple of Christmas cubicles with scrumptious meals and drinks.

    • When? Thursday, December 2nd
  14. 14

    Santa’s Nook

    Different Attraction

    Probably the most spectacular Christmas lights in New York will not be solely in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Staten Island. Queens also needs to be in your radar in case you are on the hunt for a magical Christmas mild expertise. Right here, you’ll discover a substitute for the Dyker Heights Christmas Lights in Brooklyn.

    Whitestone home-owner Kevin Lynch drapes his home in 1000’s of twinkling lights as soon as once more. What are you able to see right here? Nutcrackers, Santas, snowmen: you title it! Are you able to consider that it takes him about three months to arrange the decorations? Santa’s Nook, together with all the opposite lovely Christmas lights in NYC, actually fosters the vacation spirit. For a few of you, the title might ring a bell. That’s for good cause: Lynch was featured on ABC’s “The Nice Christmas Gentle Combat” the place he gained the competitors.

    • The place? the intersection of 166th Road and twenty third Avenue
  15. 15

    Hi there Panda Pageant

    Different Occasions


    Hi there Panda prides itself in being the biggest lantern competition in North America. What meaning for you: extra magical vacation mild shows. The stadium doesn’t solely characteristic lantern displays but in addition reside leisure and a vacation market, making an ideal spot to spend the night.

    • When? Not formally introduced, but.
  16. 16

    LuminoCity Pageant

    Different Attraction
    Outdoors of New York Metropolis


    This dynamic vacation mild competition is coming to New York for the primary time this 12 months. You may anticipate an immersive wonderland arrange on Randall’s Island Park from Finish of November via the primary week of. The six-week-long vacation occasion covers 12 acres and is named The Winter Fantasy. It incorporates a frozen world, consisting of assorted mild installations, reminiscent of “the skating unicorn”, “the citadel within the crowds”, “the frosted forest” and “the icy valley”. If you’re searching for a terrific photograph alternative, the icy blue and white lights gained’t disappoint you.

    To make your expertise much more pleasurable, reside performances and a vacation market providing a number of meals and crafts shall be current on the island as nicely. What higher solution to get pleasure from New York Christmas lights than with some scrumptious snacks?

    • When? Not formally announce but for 2021.

The Finest New York Christmas Lights Excursions for 2022

There are six Vacation Gentle excursions in New York we are able to advocate. Every of them is just a little completely different: some are bus excursions, others are strolling excursions; some happen in Brooklyn, others in Manhattan. See the small print for your self to resolve which of them of the New York Christmas lights tour is greatest for you.

One of the Best Dyker Heights Christmas Lights Tours : The 4-Hour Dyker Heights Holiday Lights Bus Tour

New York Christmas Markets and Lights Walking Tour

The most exklusive way to see the NYC Christmas Lights: NYC Holiday Lights Tour by Limousine

This is one of the Best Dyker Heights Christmas Lights Tours

One of the Best Dyker Heights Christmas Lights Tours: the Brooklyn Christmas Magic Tour from Manhattan

This Luxury Bus Tour is one of the Best Dyker Heights Christmas Lights Tours

Bus Tour & Strolling By way of Dyker Heights

Bus Tour & Strolling By way of Dyker Heights

November 26, 2021 – December 30, 2021

November 27, 2021 – January 2, 2022

December 3, 2021 – December 18, 2021

December 1, 2021 – December 31, 2021

December 1, 2021 – January 5, 2022

December 1, 2021 – December 30, 2022

November 26, 2021 – December 31, 2022

Rockefeller Heart, Manhattan

The Retailers at Columbus Circle, Manhattan

Choose up from any location in NYC

Occasions Sq. Lodge

  • St. Patrick’s Cathedral
  • Rockfeller Heart
  • Radio Metropolis Music Corridor
  • Bryant Park Winter Village
  • Fifth Avenue
  • Macy’s
  • Dyker Heights
  • Brooklyn Bridge
  • Bryant Park Winter Village
  • 4 completely different vacation markets
  • St. Patrick’s Cathedral
  • Rockfeller Heart
  • Radio Metropolis Music Corridor
  • Bryant Park Winter Village
  • Fifth Avenue
  • Macy’s

You may cease wherever you want, e.g.:

  • Dyker Heights
  • Brooklyn Bridge
  • St. Patrick’s Cathedral
  • Rockfeller Heart
  • Radio Metropolis Music Corridor
  • Bryant Park Winter Village
  • Fifth Avenue
  • Macy’s
  • Dyker Heights
  • Brooklyn Bridge
  • Dyker Heights
  • Brooklyn Bridge
  • Dyker Heights
  • Brooklyn Bridge 
  • Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Heart

$419 per group (as much as 4)

The Christmas lights excursions in Brooklyn focus round Dyker Heights (right here is our information to Dyker Heights Christmas Lights). The festive neighborhood showcases the preferred Christmas decorations in NYC by far. For sure, the excursions listed below are additionally the preferred vacation lights excursions in New York. Coming right here, you have got the choice to discover the festive neighborhood on foot or by bus.

The Christmas lights excursions in Manhattan are each small-group strolling excursions that can present you essentially the most lovely Christmas lights New York has to supply. The longer vacation lights tour additionally consists of New York’s most iconic Christmas markets. Throughout the stroll, you’ll be taught fascinating details about every landmark that can make you recognize the lights much more. In fact, there shall be loads of time to take images and drink scorching cocoa, too!

Any of those NYC Christmas lights excursions presents you a magical expertise. Your alternative primarily is determined by whether or not you wish to keep in Manhattan or head to Brooklyn and whether or not you wish to stroll or go by bus!

Our Video in regards to the well-known Dyker Heights Christmas Lights Tour👇

FAQ about Christmas lights in New York

When do Christmas lights go up in New York?

Thanksgiving formally kicks off the vacation season in New York. From this level on, the primary Christmas lights could be seen in New York, the store home windows are embellished and the Christmas markets are open!


The 18 Best Tours in 2023



Classic Harbor Line in New York is still an insider tip. For me, this operator of boat tours is my absolute favorite one. Compared to Circle Line Cruises (which are undoubtedly also great!) the tours with Classic Harbor Line are even better and more personal.

One of their highlights are the ships themselves: there are several wooden boats in the style of 1920s yachts (they are called Manhattan, Manhattan II and Kingston) and the sailing ships America 2.0 and Adirondack. One thing I can promise you:


What can you expect? Wonderful sailing tours towards the Statue of Liberty, sunset cruises, boat tours with live jazz, wine tastings and many more. They even offer tours out of New York City towards the Hudson Valley.

By the way, I’ve done almost all of the tours they offer, so if you have any questions about them, feel free to contact me!

What boat tours are available from Classic Harbor Line? A comparison of the best!

For me, a boat tour is part of every trip to New York. There is hardly a more relaxing way to enjoy the skyline. Already during the day I can’t get enough of it, at sunset and at night, when the moon and the illuminated buildings are reflecting in the water, it can’t get any better.

After doing the Circle Line Cruises classics on my first few visits (they are included with almost all New York sightseeing passes), I wanted to try something new. And that’s how Classic Harbor Line came to my attention. What can I say. If you’re looking for something really special and out of the ordinary that’s off the beaten path, there’s no way around them!

You can see the main sailing and boating tours here in my table – there’s more below!

Sightseeing with Classic Harbor Line: All Routes


These are the Best Classic Harbor Line Cruises in New York

I have compiled all the boat tours, including the 2023 schedules here:



What is Circle Line in New York?

Circle Line is the best known and largest provider of boat tours in New York. Most of the boat tours start at Pier 83 on the Hudson River. On board, you will see sights like the Empire State Building, the One World Observatory, or the new SUMMIT One Vanderbilt.

What can you do near Circle Line NYC 42nd St?

After your boat tour, walk south along the Hudson River. After 15 to 20 minutes you will reach the Hudson Yards. Either walk along the High Line or visit the observation deck named The Edge.

How long do Circle Line NYC boat tours last?

Circle Line boat tours last between 50 minutes and 2.5 hours:

Circle Line Boat Tours


Landmarks Cruise

1,5 Hours

Best of NYC

2,5 Hours

Harbor Lights

2 Hours

Liberty Midtown

1 Hour

Liberty Super Express Downtown

50 Minutes

Where can I buy the tickets for the Circle Line boat tours?

You can buy tickets for the Circle Line boat tours here.

Where do the Circle Line boat tours depart from?

The boat tours depart from Pier 83 on the Hudson River. You can’t miss the building with its distinctive green and white coloring. The best way to get there is to take the subway A C E N Q R W to “42 St – Port Authority Bus Terminal” or 7 to “34 Street-Hudson Yards Subway Station.” You can also walk from Times Square, which takes about 20 minutes.

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▷ The 10 Best Events on St. Patrick’s Day in New York 2023



It’s that time again! March in NYC is home to one of the most popular holidays in NYC. The famous holiday, St. Patrick’s Day in New York will be celebrated on the 17th of March and the atmosphere in the city will be exciting and festive. You don’t have to be Irish to enjoy this amazing holiday. Just make sure to wear green and celebrate! It’s an experience everyone should take part of.

When is St. Patrick’s Day in New York?

Every year, on March 17, St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated. It’s an official holiday in Ireland and locals and tourists alike will spend their time with friends and family. Bars will be filled up and people will line up 5th Avenue to watch the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in NYC.

When will the 2023 St. Patrick’s Day Parade take place?

The 2023 Parade will be held on Friday, March 17.

What exactly is St. Patrick’s Day?

The honorable saint of Ireland, St. Patrick, is honored on this day. St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated not only in New York but worldwide. In the US, however, it is very popular and widespread because of the 19 million Irish that lives here. With green being one of the colors of the Irish flag, it only makes sense everything has to be green on this day. Faces, flags, and clothing will be green. In Chicago, even their river is dyed in a green hue. The beer and also the Empire State Building adorns itself with a green crown.

What are the best St. Patrick’s Day Events in NYC?

These are the best Best Things To Do in New York on St. Patrick’s Day that you shouldn’t miss:

  1. 01

    St. Patrick’s Day Parade

    Other Events
    Midtown Manhattan

    The famous St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which is one of the oldest, attracts around 700,000 people annually who want to be part of the spectacle. The parade takes place either directly on March 17th or – if it is a weekday – on the following weekend. Destination of the parade is the St. Patrick Cathedral. At 11 a.m. on the dot, the parade starts moving north at 44th Street/corner of 5th Avenue.

    The St. Patrick’s Day Parade route will stay on 5th Avenue, and will run from 44th Street, will pass by St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and will end on 79th Street. The parade will begin at approximately 11 AM– 4:30 PM EST. We suggest that spectators plan your trip accordingly so you can claim your spot along 5th Avenue. It will get busy and it will be crowded. We also recommend taking public transportation into the city as well. Parking will definitely be limited and certain roads will be shut down, making it very difficult to navigate.

  2. 02

    Check out the numerous pubs within the city

    Midtown Manhattan

    Our Highlight



    There will definitely be special menus and prices based on the holiday. Check out some of our favorite bars on St. Patrick’s Day!

  3. 03

    Explore the catacombs underneath St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral

    Walking Tour


    You will be surprised how beautiful Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral in Nolita is from the inside – and that it hides some secrets. The best way to find out what they are is to take a tour that takes you to different parts of the church, including the catacombs. As you explore, learn all about the landmark’s place in New York history and discover the final resting place of famous New Yorkers past.

    It is one of the absolute insider tours in New York!

  4. 04

    Try delicious authentic Irish food!

    Financial District

    Our Highlight


    Enjoy real Irish hospitality and try delicious pies, shellfish, Irish stew or Black and white pudding in one of the many Irish restaurants. You will be surprised how good the food is in many Irish pubs. No wonder: after all, there are many Irish people living in New York who love authentic food!

    My tip: Check out my article with the best Irish Restaurants in NYC!

  5. 05

    Enjoy a glass of Irish whiskey


    Our Highlight


    I love whiskey and not only on St. Patricks Day New York City has a lot of really good whiskey bars to offer. Here you can find the best whiskey bars in NYC for me, especially the Brandy Library is amazing (don’t let the name mislead you, they have almost 1,000 different kinds of whiskey).

  6. 06

    Visit the amazing St. Patrick’s Cathedral

    Midtown Manhattan


    In the middle of Midtown, opposite Rockefeller Center, is the largest neo-Gothic style cathedral in the United States: St. Patrick’s Cathedral New York City is the most breathtaking ecclesiastical building in New York. The slender towers rise almost majestically to a height of over 100 metres.

  7. 07

    Join a Pub Crawl on St. Patrick’s Day

    East Village

    Our Highlight

    McSorley’s Old Ale House New York

    This is probably one of the most fun activities in New York City for adults you can do. For a set fee, you and others will be able to bar-hop and get full access to drinks. This goes on throughout the day and it’s a great way to meet new people or even just spend time with friends.

    These are the best pub crawls in NYC on St. Patrick’s Day 👇

  8. 08

    Join the I’m Feelin’ Lucky St Patrick’s Day Party Cruise

    Other Events
    Kips Bay

    Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day aboard the 2-story Avalon Yacht and enjoy breathtaking views of the NYC skyline during the sunset hours. Mark the beginning of the Spring season with this festive occasion. I’m Feeling’ Lucky St Patrick’s Day Cruise offers a delicious à la carte menu including Shepherd’s Pie, Roast Beef Sandwiches, Mac and Cheese and much more.

    Get your tickets now to celebrate St. Patrick’s day on a cruise!

  9. 09

    Educate yourself on some Irish-American History and Culture

    Lower East Side


    We recommend visiting the Tenement Museum located on the Lower East Side. It’s a great way to get an idea of what is being celebrated during St. Patrick’s Day in NYC. Here you can learn the many hardships and prejudices that Irish families faced in the US in the late 1860s.

    My tip: The Tenement Museum is part of our list of the best museums in NYC.

  10. 10

    Choose a hotel from which you can see the St. Patrick’s Day parade!

    Hotels & Accommodations
    Upper East Side


    Are you looking for hotel rooms with view of St. Patrick’s Day Parade? Then you don’t have to look any further! I’ll show you the Best Hotels to Watch St. Patrick’s Day Parade from.

  11. 11

    Keep an eye on the Empire State Building

    Midtown Manhattan

    Empire State Building

    The Empire State Building is known to change colors based on current events and holidays. St. Patricks Day in NYC is no different. The top of the skyscraper will turn green in honor of the Irish Holiday.

More St. Patrick’s Day Articles

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Top 9 Fun Winter Activities for 2023



Winter in New York is a wonderful time to explore the city. It might be very cold outside, so you may want to dress accordingly. There are so many fun things to do in NYC in the winter that you shouldn’t miss. New York is lucky enough to experience a lot of snow during the winter season which makes our fun winter activities in New York even more exciting.

After a couple of years of living in the city, there are a few things that I love doing during the winter season. Today I’ll share my personal favorite winter activities with you.

When it comes to fun things to do in New York in the winter there’s a lot that I personally enjoy the most during that special time of the year. My weekends are for ice skating and holiday markets and even during the week, there’s more fun stuff to do in NYC in winter like visiting a museum or catching up with some of my friends inside an igloo (!) at one of my favorite rooftop bars.

My weekends are for ice skating and holiday markets…

Top 9 Fun Things To Do In New York City In The Winter

  1. New York gets really cold during the holiday season and the famous ice rinks in New York are one of the fun things to do in New York City during winter. You have multiple ice skating options in New York which are definitely fun especially in the midst of the beautiful skyscrapers. The rinks in New York are also reasonably priced.

    If you have little to no experience on the ice, do not worry. Our favorite ice rinks in NYC are the Wollman Rink in Central Park, Rockefeller Ice Rink and the ice rink at Bryant Park.

    Here you can find our list of ice rinks in NYC.

  2. Best Christmas Markets NYC

    The famous Union Square Holiday Market is one of the biggest holiday markets in the city. From mid-November until Christmas the market on Union Square attracts lots of visitors from all over the world.

    As fun winter activities in New York, an afternoon at one of the amazing holiday markets is an unforgettable experience when you’re visiting NYC. Also, don’t miss out the Winter Village in Bryant Park where you can find everything from cute shops with locally handcrafted gifts to delicious food from the city’s best restaurants.

    To give you an overview of NYC’s Holiday markets, we made a list for you.

  3. rockefeller_center_christmas_tree_191208095722003

    The Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center is probably the most famous tree in the world. The tree lights up on the Wednesday after Thanksgiving with a huge party and ceremony.

    As one of the most fun stuff to do in NYC in winter make sure to come early to grab a good spot with a view, enjoy the live music and of course the unforgettable moment when New York City officially starts their holiday season. The famous Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center stays until January which gives you enough time to enjoy it to the fullest.

  4. One of the Best Dyker Heights Christmas Lights Tours : The 4-Hour Dyker Heights Holiday Lights Bus Tour

    Each neighborhood decorates its block differently and it so much fun to explore all the different Christmas decoration in the wintertime in NYC. One of our highlights of fun things to do in New York in the winter is a tour trough Dyker Heights. One of the most visited neighborhoods during this time.

    The Dyker Heights Christmas lights are located in Brooklyn. Here, countless homes are beautifully decorated with lights and props. The whole neighborhood is pretty much lit up which becomes a sight to see. There is no limit to creativity. Often there are even small competitions in the neighborhood such as whose house is the best decorated.

  5. 191117210844003_Igloo_Bar_at_230_Fifth_Rooftop

    To me having a drink at one of the rooftop bars in NYC is high on my list of fun activities in nyc in the winter. It’s amazing how rooftop bars are still a great place to go even though it’s cold out. At 230 5th Ave, they have rooftop igloos where you can stay warm while enjoying the breathtaking city views.

    Starting every year in November New York City’s largest indoor and outdoor rooftop bar offers the igloos until May of each year. Don’t miss out on this fun stuff to do in NYC in winter.

  6. fun_things_to_do_in_nyc_in_the_winter_181206121306001_1_1920x960

    It’s the most popular toy shop in New York and it simply belongs to the city just like the yellow taxis and the Empire State Building. Since November 2018 FAO Schwarz shines brightly from its new location at Rockefeller Center and is a great thing to do in the winter in NYC for a good reason.

    FAO Schwarz has been making children’s hearts beat fast for over 150 years. They have a large selection of teddy bears, barbies, books, and international toys.

    If you want to see the FAO Schwarz NYC’s toy shop in Manhattan and do not want to be pushed through the store like sardines, come early in the morning. For children, this place is, of course, unique and should definitely be on the list.

  7. 180808123042004_national_museum_history_nyc

    With many of the most famous museums in the world, New York City offers a huge variety for everyone. From the Museum of Natural History to art museums like the MoMa or the Metropolitan Museum of Art, these iconic places are something you should have on your list of fun stuff to do in New York in the winter.

    Especially when it’s really cold outside, the museum can be a great place to warm up again, get a break from the freezing temperatures and enjoy the exhibits at the same time. Most museums are included in one of the sightseeing passes.

  8. radio_city_christmas_spectacular_161104104936001

    Every year from November through January, over 140 sensational dancers and singers perform in pure Christmas spirit at the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. The entire show lasts for 90 minutes and is one of the most fun things to do in New York City during the winter. Why?

    You will see sparkling costumes, a unique stage set and loads of Christmas songs that inspire audiences. The stars of the show are Santa Claus and his elves, the Rockettes. The female dancers are one of the best dance groups in the world. My favorite part of the show is the Toy Soldier Performance. Every move they make is seemingly perfect. At one point you will see them lined up so flawlessly, you can only see one soldier.

  9. Macy

    Macy’s Christmas Decorations

    Last but not least on our list of fun winter activities in New York is the beautiful holiday windows which are being decorated right after Thanksgiving.

    Each year, New York City department stores design their entire window displays and usually has a theme. You can tell department stores put time and effort into these decorations and it’s such a great time to stroll around and admire them all. There is a lot of detail that goes into the Holiday Windows in New York. Of course, this is not just something special for the New York tourists.

    As far as routes go, we recommend walking from Central Park on Fifth Avenue towards Herald Square to see the most beautiful holiday windows. The city is adorned with wreaths and bright lights everywhere. You’ll be able to pass by the Rockefeller Center’s Christmas Tree along the way. Once you arrive at Herald Square, don’t miss out on Macy’s holiday department on the very upper level. It’s an entire floor full of Christmas decoration.

More Fun Things to Do in New York City

Fun Things To Do In New York CityNew York City has so much more to offer than its must-sees. In order to inspire you with not so typical activities, we’ve compiled a list of the top fun things to do in NYC for you. Also, you’ll find the most fun activities in New York City in different categories on this overview page. We made sure there’s more than enough fun stuff to discover for everyone!

Fun Activities to Do in NYC

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▷ The New York Pass



The New York Pass is a sensationally easy way to save money on over 110 attractions and tours, as well as at select restaurants and stores in New York. I have been to New York over twenty times; I have used the New York Pass several times and I, as well as my travel budget, was thrilled!

What can you expect to find in my article about the New York Pass? I’ll show you everything you need to know about this discount pass and how to make your travel budget go further, including:

If you have any additional questions about the New York Pass, feel free to contact me directly, as I’m always available at steffen@lovingnewyork.de

Too much to read?

A quick description of The New York Pass

  • With the New York Pass you can choose from over 110 attractions; except for the new Summit One Vanderbilt, all major sights & tours are included.
  • Once paid, it’s your ticket to the attractions, so you don’t have to pay anything extra once you arrive. All you must do is show your pass at the ticket booth of your desired attraction and in return you will receive your admission ticket.
  • The New York Pass is ideal if you plan compact sightseeing days and wish to see as much as possible.
  • Three things to keep in mind:
    The New York Pass is a day-based attraction pass, meaning you buy it for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 or 10 consecutive days.
    You can visit each attraction exactly once with the New York Pass.
    To Visit the Empire State Building, you will need an additional free time ticket, which you can get via this link.


What is the New York Pass?

The New York Pass allows free access to over 110 different attractions in New York.

It is available in several versions, which therefore also vary in price. You can choose your New York Pass to be valid for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 or 10 consecutive days. You can also save up to 10% at selected restaurants, stores, and bars. Once paid, you can visit as many attractions as you can manage during your trip!

The popular hop-on hop-off bus tours are also an integral part of the New York Pass.

The New York Pass is ideal for anyone who wishes to see many attractions while also being flexible with their time!

Please note: the New York Pass does not include a ticket for the subway or public transportation. You can read more about this in my detailed article on the MetroCard in New York and the OMNY, the new digital version of it.

How does the New York Pass work?

Once you’re in New York, you show the electronic version of the pass in the app or your printout with the barcode at any ticket counter of the 110+ attractions and you’ll then be handed your ticket for that attraction. You can then visit as many attractions and tours as you can manage within your booked days. However, during peak times at popular attractions, your allotted time may be up to an hour after your arrival, which is the case with all New York Passes.

Here’s how the New York Pass works in four easy steps:

  1. Buy the New York Pass online and download it to your cell phone
  2. Go to the ticket office of the attraction and show it to the ticket collector
  3. Get your ticket
  4. Have fun and enjoy the attraction!

Once you have ordered your New York Pass, you will receive an email with your voucher and your personal New York Pass number. You will need this number for the tours where you must make a reservation in advance.


My tip

Use your New York Pass in the morning!

If you are using the New York Pass for the first time, you should start sightseeing as early as possible. The pass counts a day as a calendar day, and not a 24-hour period. This means that if you use your New York Pass for the first time at 8pm, you only have 4 hours until the first booked day is over. It’s much better to start early to take full advantage of your first day!

What does the New York Pass include?

The list of attractions included in the New York Pass is long; highlights such as the Empire State Building, the One World Observatory, and the Top of the Rock are included, in addition to various world-famous museums. Also part of the available attractions is the popular boat tour to the Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island. In addition, there are various bus tours through New York as well as discounts at selected restaurants and stores.

New York Pass attractions

These are the most popular attractions you can see for free with the New York Pass. As you can see, all the big ones are included except Summit One Vanderbilt!

  • Empire State Building
  • Top of the Rock
  • Edge Observation Deck
  • 9/11 Memorial & Museum
  • Big Bus Hop on Hop off: 1-Day Classic Ticket
  • One World Observatory
  • Statue of Liberty Ferry and Ellis Island Immigration Museum
  • American Museum of Natural History
  • Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
  • Madame Tussauds Admission + MARVEL Universe 4D
  • Best of NYC Cruise by Circle Line

Check out the full list of attractions included in the New York Pass here.

Boat tours included with the New York Pass

You can choose from several boat tours with the New York Pass, including these:

  • Best of NYC Cruise (2.5 hours, it takes you once completely around Manhattan)
  • Harbor Lights Cruise (1.5 hours)
  • Landmark Cruise (1.5 hours, it takes you halfway around Manhattan)
  • Statue of Liberty Cruise (1 hour)
  • 🆕 Liberty Super Express Cruise
  • BEAST Speedboat (30 minutes, only in summer)
  • Clipper City Tall Ship to the Statue of Liberty (wonderful sailing tour on a tall ship)

My recommendation is to take the Harbor Lights Cruise (Evening Lights Cruise) as it offers beautiful views of the city at night!

The great thing about the New York Pass and Circle Line Cruises is that it allows you to bypass the queue via a special check-in lane reserved only for pass holders.


Bus tours with the New York Pass

Since Covid, there is only one major hop-on hop-off bus tour provider: BIG BUS, which you can easily recognize by its burgundy-colored busses. With the New York Pass you can use the 1-day ticket for free, which includes both the Downtown Loop and the Uptown Loop.

In addition, there are other bus tours to choose from, including the On Location bus tours to famous movie locations or the bus tour to the Woodbury Common Outlets in New Jersey.

Walking tours

Walking tours are becoming increasingly popular and with the New York Pass, the choices of tours to take are vast. From tours of neighborhoods like SoHo, Little Italy, Hudson Yard, or DUMBO, to food tours where a local resident shows you the best food spots. With the New York Pass, you’re guaranteed to find what you’re looking for, which is one of the main reasons I repeatedly use it!

A complete list of all the spots included in the New York Pass can be found here.

Booking tours with the New York Pass

Your personal New York Pass number is important because you need it to reserve some attractions and guided tours in advance. If you provide your pass number, then it is clear to the provider that you do not have to pay extra, as the tour is already paid for with the purchase of the New York Pass.

Check out this list to see where you must make reservations in advance with the New York Pass. Just choose your attraction and click on the details.

How much does the New York Pass cost?

The New York Pass ranges in cost from $142 to $369 for an adult, depending on the selected options. A child is anyone from 3 to 12 years old.

New York Pass for

Price Adults

Price Children
(3-12 years)















My tip: if you are exploring New York with kids and they are 6 years old or younger, I wouldn’t buy a pass for them. At many attractions, there is no entrance fee for kids of that age!


Is the New York Pass worth purchasing?

Even before Covid, the New York Pass quickly paid for itself. Presently, it is even more worthwhile! Why? The entrance tickets for many attractions have become much more expensive. For example, the normal ticket for the Empire State Building cost $34 before Covid, yet today it costs $48, and many others have also seen significant price increases.

My tip: plan three full days of visiting attractions rather than five days where you spend half the day at attractions.

By doing so, you not only have two completely free days that you can spend on site quite relaxed, but you can also buy a smaller New York Pass and save even more!

Is the New York Pass Worth Purchasing for Three Days?

Here I have a calculation example for three days in New York; you can see how easy it is to calculate the New York Pass. This is quite relaxed and manageable without sightseeing stress:

SoHo, Little Italy & Chinatown Walking Tour




American Museum of Natural History


Circle Line Landmarks Cruise


Woodbury Common Premium Outlets


Here are some helpful tips to determine if the New York Pass is right for you!

The New York Pass is worth purchasing:

  • If you plan to visit 3 – 4 attractions, buy the New York Pass for 1 day.
  • If you plan to visit 6 – 8 attractions, buy the New York Pass for 2 or 3 days.
  • If you plan to visit more than 10 attractions & tours, the New York Pass for 3 or 4 days is optimal.
  • If you plan to visit more than 12 attractions, the New York Pass for 5 days is definitely worth purchasing.

The New York Pass is not worth purchasing if:

  • You don’t want to do any sightseeing for a few days in between your sightseeing days. The New York Pass is available for 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7 and 10 days and these days must be consecutive! If you only go sightseeing on day 1 and 3, you have paid for the day in between without using it. Reasonable alternatives to the New York Pass are the attraction-based passes like the Sightseeing Flex Pass or the New York Explorer Pass.
  • You plan only seeing a few attractions. The New York Pass is ideal if you want to see several attractions per day, as it pays for itself very quickly. If you only have a few attractions on your itinerary, I recommend also looking at the attraction-based sightseeing passes. For a detailed comparison, check out my New York Pass Comparison.


New York Pass vs. Sightseeing Pass NYC

One sightseeing pass that is very similar to the New York Pass is the Sightseeing DAY Pass for New York. The handling is the same and the attractions are almost identical; you can let the price be your determining factor!

My conclusion

My experience with the New York Pass

I have had very good experiences with the New York Pass and can highly recommend it to you. The selection of attractions is enormous, all major sights and tours are included, and it is super-easy to use!


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▷ All Attractions & My Review



With the Go New York Explorer Pass, you can choose from more than 100 sights to see, attractions, and tours all while saving up to 50% off the regular ticket price. I am a big fan of this sightseeing pass and have used it several times during my over twenty visits to New York City.

What can you expect to discover in my article about the Go New York Explorer Pass? I want to show you how easy it is to save money in New York without having to compromise on anything. I will answer all of your questions, including:

By the way, if you have additional questions about the Explorer Pass, feel free to contact me personally; I’m always available at steffen@lovingnewyork.de !

Too much to read?

A quick explanation of The Go New York Explorer Pass

  • With the Explorer Pass, you can choose from over 100 attractions; except for the new Summit One Vanderbilt, all major sights & tours are included.
  • Once paid, it’s your ticket to the attractions, so you don’t have to pay anything extra at each location. All you must do is show it at the attraction’s ticket booth to receive your admission ticket.
  • The Explorer Pass is available for 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 or 10 attractions.
  • Two important things to remember:
    1. You can visit each attraction exactly once with the Explorer Pass.
    2. For the Empire State Building, you will need an additional free time ticket, which is available via this link.


What is the Go New York Explorer Pass?

The Go New York Explorer Pass is one of the city’s discounted passes and, once purchased, gives you free access to over 100 different attractions in New York City. With the Go New York Explorer Pass you can choose from these attractions and visit either 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 or 10 of them. You don’t have to decide which ones you want to see in advance; you can decide that when you’re in NYC. You have the flexibility of choosing exactly what you want to see.

The genius of these attraction-based passes is the time flexibility they offer, which is exactly why I’m such a big fan of them. You can spread out your visits to your desired attractions over several days without sacrificing your savings.

How does the Go New York Explorer Pass work?

  1. After booking, you’ll receive your personal Explorer Pass number, which you can then use to log into their free app.
  2. When you’re in New York, you simply show your New York Explorer Pass at each attraction…
  3. …where it will then be scanned at the ticket counter where you will receive your admission ticket. It’s that easy!

Which attractions are included in the Go New York Explorer Pass?

The list of attractions that the Go New York Explorer Pass is valid for includes many of the sights and attractions that New York City is so well known and loved for. All of the major boat tours, walking tours, the hop-on hop-off buses, and observation decks (except for Summit One Vanderbilt) are included.

The most popular attractions covered by the Go New York Explorer Pass

You can choose from over 100 attractions in total, and nearly all the big ones are included. The top sights are (small selection):

  • Empire State Building
  • Top of the Rock
  • Edge Hudson Yards
  • One World Observatory
  • 9/11 Memorial Museum
  • American Museum of Natural History
  • Museum of Modern Art
  • Hop-on Hop-Off Bustour with BIG BUS
  • Circle Line Cruises
  • Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island Ferry

Here’s the full list of attractions covered by the Go New York Explorer Pass as of 2023.

Hop-on hop-off bus tours

One of the most popular tours are hop-on hop-off bus tours, which are also included for free with the Go New York Explorer Pass. The current provider is BIG BUS. You can easily recognize the buses by their burgundy color. Included is the 1-day ticket, which is valid for both the Uptown and Downtown loops. Although they are two loops, they only count as one attraction, not two.


Other popular bus tours include the NYC TV & Movie Bus Tour, the Woodbury Common Bus Tour, and the Insider Tour of Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx.

Boat tours you can take with the Go New York Explorer Pass

When it comes to boat tours, you have all the great providers and routes to choose from with the Explorer Pass. My personal favorite is the Best of New York boat tour, which takes you all the way around Manhattan!


  • 2-hour boat tour “Best of New York” by Circle Line
  • 1.5-h hour boat tour “Landmarks Cruise” by Circle Line
  • Ferry to the Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island
  • Boat tour to the Statue of Liberty by Circle Line (without disembarking at the Statue of Liberty)
  • Harbor Lights Cruise by Circle Line (evening lights cruise)
  • Sailing tour on the tall ship Clipper City (in the warm season)
  • Liberty Super Express Cruise

Walking Tours

One of the highlights of the Explorer Pass are the walking tours – super-exciting if you want to get to know some of the city’s neighborhoods with a New York guide. The selection of tours to choose from is huge! From food tours to tours through the hippest parts of the city, the choices are endless!

How much does the Go New York Explorer Pass cost?

Prices vary depending on the number of attractions you wish to visit:

Go New York Explorer Pass for

Prices (Adults)

Prices (Child)
(3-12 years)
















My tip: if you are in New York City with children and they are six years old or younger, I would recommend not buying a sightseeing pass for them, as the entrance fee for many sights is free for children of that age.

Is the Go New York Explorer Pass worth purchasing?

Whether the Explorer Pass really pays off depends on which sights and tours you have on your itinerary. Basically, the more expensive the single use ticket is for the attractions, the higher your savings will be.

How easily you can save in New York City?

To see how quickly and easily you can save money, look here to see my 3-day travel plan, which you could also spread out over five relaxing days.

Travel Plan for Day 1


Times Square


Flatiron Building & 5th Avenue

Travel Plan for Day 2


Circle Line Landmarks Cruise


Central Park

American Museum of Natural History


SoHo, Little Italy & Chinatown Walking Tour



Little Island

Travel Plan for Day 3


Ferry to Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island



Go New York Explorer Pass for 10 Attractions


Not sure which pass is the best for you? Then try our free New York Pass Consultant! It calculates daily whether a New York City Pass is worth purchasing and if so, which one! You can find out which New York Pass is the best here!

Go New York Explorer Pass or New York Sightseeing Flex Pass?

Both discount passes are great, and you’ll be able to save big with both. Whether the Explorer Pass or the New York Sightseeing Flex Pass is better depends on only two factors; on all other points they are almost identical.

  1. Want to take the ferry to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island? This boat tour is only included with the Go New York Explorer Pass, not the Flex Pass!
  2. If the Statue of Liberty is not on your itinerary, then the 2nd factor is not completely unimportant. With my discount code LNYOffer the New York Sightseeing Flex Pass becomes significantly cheaper, as you can see in the table.

My Experiences with the Go New York Explorer Pass

Why do I keep choosing the attraction-based Go New York Explorer Pass? I like to save money on admission costs at attractions, and at the same time there’s no sightseeing hassle!

Unlike the day-based discount passes like the New York Pass or the New York Sightseeing Pass, with the Go New York Explorer Pass you can plan days without sightseeing in between sightseeing days without losing the cost-saving benefit of buying a pass.

I have had only good experiences with the Explorer Pass; it is known at every attraction, the selection of attractions is enormous, and the app works without any issues. While I always used the large variants with 7 or 10 choices during my first few trips to New York City, I now stick to the smaller passes with 3 to 5 choices.

My conclusion: The discount pass is great and I can recommend it to you without reservation!


Frequently asked questions about the Go New York Explorer Pass

How long is the Go New York Explorer Pass valid?

The Explorer Pass is activated the first time you use it, and you then have 60 days before it expires.

Can I use the subway with the Go New York Explorer Pass?

No. The discount passes for New York City are for the city’s attractions, but unfortunately the ticket fees for public transport (subway and bus) are not included. This is true for all New York City passes.

Why do I need to specify the date when booking?

The date is only present to show that you have one year to begin using the Explorer Pass in New York City. Only when you use the Explorer Pass for the first time at an attraction does the 60-days validity period begin!

I bought the Explorer Pass for several people, but only my name is on the voucher!

If one person buys the Explorer Pass for several people, multiple barcodes will be generated on the pass. Additionally, each 12-digit number in the red field denotes the number of individuals on the pass.

How and where can I buy the Go New York Explorer Pass cheaply?

You can easily buy the Go New York Pass online before your trip to New York. If you buy the Explorer Pass in advance, you don’t even have to do anything once you arrive! Just print out the Go New York voucher or download it to your phone, and you’re done! You don’t have to pick it up anywhere and it’s valid for 60 days from the first activation.

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▷ New York Sightseeing Flex Pass



The New York Sightseeing FLEX Pass is one of the most popular New York passes and I have used it nine times in my over twenty visits. If you want to visit the top sights in New York and save up to 40% on the entrance fee, you should definitely read on!

A lot has changed in the last few months, so I’ve completely updated this article. If you still have questions, always feel free to contact me directly at steffen@lovingnewyork.de !

In this article I will answer any questions you may have about the FLEX Pass and explain what makes it so great!

Note: One reason why the Sightseeing Passes pay off so quickly is the increase in ticket prices since Covid-19. Many of the attractions have really increased their prices, such as the Empire State Building, which now has ticket prices of up to $98 per person!

Not in the mood to read it all?

A quick explanation of the New York Sightseeing FLEX Pass

  • The FLEX pass offers over 100 attractions for you to choose from, of which you can visit 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10 or 12 attractions.
  • You can flexibly spread your activities over all days of your visit.
  • You can visit any attraction only once with the New York Pass.
  • With the purchase of a FLEX Pass, everything is paid for, so you do not have to pay anything extra at each attraction.
  • To use the pass, show it at the ticket counter of your desired attraction and in return you will receive your admission ticket.
  • Two important notes:
    For the Empire State Building, you will also need a free time ticket, which is available via this link.
    The ferry to the Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island is not included in the FLEX Pass (you can see my alternatives here).


Do you like to keep your plans flexible and explore the city without a tight schedule? Then the Sightseeing FLEX Pass is just the right New York discount pass for you!

What is the New York Sightseeing FLEX Pass?

The Sightseeing FLEX Pass is a discount pass for over 100 attractions in New York that is valid for 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10 or 12 attractions. Once paid, it gives you free admission to the attractions, museums, guided tours, and boat and bus tours that are included in the pass. You won’t need to buy tickets for the individual attractions and you can save a lot of money overall!

Like the Go New York Explorer Pass, the FLEX Pass is an attraction-based pass, meaning that you decide on the number of attractions you want to visit. You don’t have to decide which attractions in advance so you can choose when and what to see after purchase. The FLEX pass is valid for 60 days after its first activation!

My tip: if you are not quite sure how many attractions to pay for, choose a smaller amount. There should be no sightseeing stress!

How does the FLEX Pass work?

When you buy the Sightseeing FLEX Pass, you first choose the number of attractions you want to visit in New York City and pay a fixed price. Be sure to use my discount code LNYOffer when purchasing to save even more!

Once in New York City, just show your FLEX pass to the ticket booth of the attraction you want to see and you’ll receive your admission ticket. If makes no difference if you have the pass printed out or on your phone!

Only a few attractions require you to reserve an additional time slot in advance. This is the case for the Empire State Building (do so at this link if you bought your FLEX Pass) and the American Museum of Natural History, as well as the walking tours. The necessity to book a time slot in advance for certain attractions applies to all New York Passes.

Here’s how to best use your FLEX Pass in New York City:

Step 1: After purchasing, you will receive your FLEX Passes with your individual numbers by email. Click on “View my passes >” in the email.

You will receive this email confirmation from Sightseeing FLEX Pass New York


Step 2: Now you can see all your passes and choose whether you want to print them or download them directly to your smartphone. I recommend the latter.

Sightseeing Flex Pass New York Funktionsweise Schritt 2 // Sightseeing Pass New York How it works Step 2
I recommend downloading your pass directly to your phone.

Step 3: Have fun in New York!

Which attractions are included in the FLEX Pass?

With the Sightseeing FLEX Pass, you can choose from around 100 attractions and sights to see. These include world-famous attractions such as the Empire State Building, the 9/11 Memorial Museum, the Top of the Rock, Edge Hudson Yards, and the One World Observatory.

The newest observation deck, Summit One Vanderbilt, is not included with any of the New York Passes.

Top sights to see with the FLEX Pass

  • 9/11 Memorial & Museum
  • Empire State Building
  • Top of the Rock
  • The Edge Observation Deck
  • Guggenheim Museum
  • Big Bus Hop on Hop off: 1-Day Classic Ticket
  • One World Observatory
  • American Museum of Natural History
  • Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

If you’re interested in New York’s most popular museums, you’re well equipped with the Sightseeing FLEX Pass. Around 30 museums are included in the program, including the popular ones like the 9/11 Memorial Museum and the Museum of Modern Art, also known as MoMA.

Check out the full list of attractions included in the New York Sightseeing FLEX Pass here.

Boat tours included with the FLEX Pass

Have you ever experienced New York City from the water? It’s a brilliant experience! Included in the FLEX Pass are some of the most popular boat and ship tours:

  • Circle Line Landmarks Cruise
  • Circle Line Liberty Cruise
  • Circle Line Liberty Super Express Downtown
  • City Cruises – Alive After Five
  • Freedom Liberty boat tour
  • Manhattan By Sail – Shearwater Statue Sail

The ferry to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island is NOT included!

ATTENTION: The Sightseeing FLEX Pass does NOT include the ferry to the Statue of Liberty, which stops at Liberty Island and Ellis Island! If you’re dying to see the Statue of Liberty and want the same benefits as the Sightseeing FLEX Pass, you have two options:

  1. Check out the Go New York Explorer Pass. It works identically to the FLEX Pass and all the major attractions are included as well. The disadvantage with the Explorer Pass is the price is a bit higher than the FLEX Pass. Don’t forget to use our discount code: LNYOffer
  2. Take the FLEX Pass for all other attractions on your itinerary and buy the ticket to the Statue of Liberty separately

🔥 My tip: find out which option is the best for you by calculating your cost here with my free tool!

Hop-on hop-off buses & bus tours

The popular hop-on hop-off buses are also covered by the FLEX Pass. With the burgundy buses from market leader BIG BUS, you can take both the Uptown and Downtown tours within 24 hours, and both together count as one attraction. Each additional bus tour counts as an additional attraction. More information and the routes can be found here.

Tours & guided city walks

The Sightseeing FLEX Pass includes several great guided tours. You’ll be on the road with a New York local and learn more about the respective districts and sights of New York City. In total, you have about 30 tours to choose from with the pass. In addition to the classic walking tours, there are also delicious food tours, bike tours, and special tours on certain topics.

🔥 My tip: The Graffiti & Street Art Tour through Brooklyn is incredibly interesting!

How much does the Sightseeing FLEX Pass cost?

Here you can find all prices for the New York FLEX Pass with our coupon code “LNYOffer”:

Sightseeing FLEX Pass for

Price Adult

Price Children
(3-12 Years)

















To find the best option for your stay in New York City, you need to roughly estimate how many of the attractions you would like to visit. After visiting just three attractions the FLEX Pass pays off, with 10 attractions you save even more, and with 12 you really have the full ‘must-see’ New York program covered.

With our discount code “LNYOffer” you can get up to a 42% discount on the FLEX Sightseeing Pass!


Is the Sightseeing Flex Pass worth purchasing?

In my experience, the FLEX Pass pays for itself after visiting just a few attractions. If you are in New York City for the first time and want to see the most important sights, the Sightseeing FLEX Pass is often the best choice.

Travel Plan #1: FLEX Pass with 10 attractions

In this itinerary, I’ve put together the most popular attractions and tours that you can see with the FLEX Pass. The great thing about this is that you can spread them out over your travel days in a very flexible way.

Circle Line Landmarks Cruise


American Museum of Natural History


SoHo, Little Italy & Chinatown Walking Tour



Guggenheim Museum



FLEX Pass for 10 Attractions


Travel Plan #2: FLEX Pass with 5 attractions

Even if you only want to see a few selected highlights, the Sightseeing FLEX Pass pays for itself very quickly.


Circle Line Landmarks Cruise



FLEX Pass for 5 Attractions


Travel Plan #3: Ultimate summer experience

As soon as it’s warm, we see the return of the wonderful sailing tours on the Hudson River that take you all the way to the Statue of Liberty. That’s why one of the best of these tours ended up on my summer itinerary; and with only 4 attractions, you’d save 57% with the FLEX Pass!

Sailing tour with the Shearwater



FLEX Pass for 4 Attractions


My experience with the New York Sightseeing Flex Pass

Having used the FLEX Pass fairly often, I can tell you with conviction that the FLEX version is the best attraction-based discount pass.

The biggest advantage with the Sightseeing FLEX Pass is that there are never days where sightseeing stress arises because you have enough time available and can reschedule flexibly. If you don’t want to go to the One World Observatory on a specific day as planned, it’s no matter as you can do the visit another day.

If you want to spread the attraction visits over several days and spend a day without sightseeing in between, the Sightseeing FLEX Pass is ideal.

The only downside is that the boat tour to the Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island, with stops on the island, is not included (here are some alternatives). Personally, I don’t really mind this because I like Circle Line’s Statue of Liberty boat tour, which is included in the FLEX Pass, better. It doesn’t stop at the island, but just before it, so you can get the perfect photo op of Miss Liberty.

My conclusion

For those who want to explore many top sights without a tight plan and also want to use guided tours and bus tours, the Sightseeing FLEX Pass is the best attraction-based pass.

With this pass, you must only determine the number of attractions you wish to visit and can then decide spontaneously without the pressure of a timed schedule what you want to do and when.

It is the perfect pass for flexible sightseeing without stress!


Frequently Asked Questions

Here you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions we receive about the Sightseeing FLEX Pass. If anything is still unclear, feel free to ask your question in the comments.

Does the FLEX Pass offer discounts for children?

There is a Sightseeing Flex Pass for children between the ages of 3 and 12. They receive a 15% to 30% discount, depending on the type of pass.

Are there also discounts for pensioners?

No. Unfortunately, the Sightseeing Pass only offers discounts for children.

Is the Sightseeing FLEX Pass cheaper locally in New York?

No. If you buy the New York Passes locally, they are usually more expensive! You can always get the best price for the Sightseeing Pass on the official website, where you can also enter our discount code LNYOffer.

When is the best time to buy the FLEX Pass?

The FLEX Pass is also flexible as far as the date of purchase is concerned. In principle, you can buy it up to one year before the first use; the 60-day period to use the pass only starts when you visit the first attraction, not when you buy it.

If you need the pass very quickly, that’s no problem. The pass is ready to use immediately after purchase and you can simply display it on your cell phone at any applicable attraction.

Do I have to book the attractions in advance?

No, this is usually not necessary. You just need to go to the attraction with your Sightseeing FLEX Pass and then receive a ticket.

The exceptions to this are the tours and guided city tours that you can take part in with the FLEX Pass. For those, you must register on the Sightseeing Pass website. You also need a reservation for the Empire State Building (this applies to all New York Passes, just use this link).

IMPORTANT: The reservation does not activate the pass; it is activated only after you visit the first attraction.

Can I use public transportation with the FLEX Pass?

No. Unfortunately, public transportation is not included in any of the New York Passes. Alternatively, you can use the hop-on hop-off buses with the Sightseeing Pass or buy a MetroCard.

How do I activate the New York Sightseeing FLEX Pass?

The Sightseeing Pass is automatically activated when you show it at the first attraction and have it scanned. Once activated, the FLEX Pass is valid for 60 consecutive calendar days.

Can I visit attractions more than once with the FLEX Pass?

No, you can only visit each attraction once with the Sightseeing Pass; access is then validated electronically. Exceptions to this are the hop-on hop-off bus tours.

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▷ Free Fridays at MoMA NYC in 2023



The Museum of Modern Art in NYC, commonly known as the MoMA, is one of the largest and most influential modern and contemporary art museums in the world. Located in Midtown Manhattan, it houses an extensive collection of over 150,000 works of art, ranging from painting and sculpture to photography, design, and film.

The Free Fridays at the MoMA is a topic that many art lovers and visitors to New York City are interested in. The MoMA is a popular destination for art enthusiasts and offers a unique experience for those who want to explore the world of modern and contemporary art.

In this article, I will discuss the various free admission policies and programs offered by the MoMA and explore the question of whether MoMA is free on Friday.

Enjoy the UNIQLO NYC Nights

Every first Friday of the month MoMA is staying open late. The so-called UNIQLO NYC Nights have been around for quite some time. You can enjoy the exhibitions, a DJ plays music and there are tasty drinks at the pop-up bar.

The tickets are free for New York residents, you have to reserve them in advance.

Is there a free day at the MoMA?

The MoMA has a “Pay-what-you-wish” policy, which means that visitors can pay what they can afford for admission to the museum. This policy is in place to make the MoMA’s world-class collection accessible to everyone, regardless of their financial situation. The Pay-what-you-wish admission is available every day from 4:00 PM to close.

Attention: Pay What You Wish is only available for New York residents!

In addition to the Pay-what-you-wish policy, the MoMA also offers free admission on selected days. The museum is free for all visitors every Friday evening from 4 pm to 8 pm. This provides an opportunity for visitors to explore the museum and its collections for free, making it a popular option for budget-conscious travelers.

Is MoMA free for New Yorkers?

The MoMA offers free admission to New York state residents with a valid ID every Friday from 4 pm to 8 pm. This is a great opportunity for local residents to visit the museum and explore its collections at no cost.

Is MoMA Pay as you wish?

Yes, the MoMA in NYC has a Pay-what-you-wish policy every day from 4:00 PM to close. During these times, visitors can pay what they wish for admission, making it accessible to a wide range of visitors.

How much is a MoMA ticket?

MoMA’s standard ticket prices for adult admission are $25 for a single visit, with discounts available for seniors, students, and military personnel. Children under 16 years of age are admitted for free.

Not a resident? Here you can get the tickets for the MoMA in New York!

My Tip

Visit the MoMA for free

I have a tip on how you can visit MoMA in NYC super cheap if you are a visitor to the city: The Museum of Modern Art is included in the discount passes of New York. With these attraction passes you can visit the MoMA much cheaper compared to a standard admission ticket.

You can choose between the day-based sightseeing passes like the New York Pass and the New York Sightseeing DAY Pass. These are ideal if you want to see and do a lot in the city.

The MoMA in New York is also included in the attraction-based passes. Here I recommend the New York Sightseeing FLEX Pass and the Go New York Explorer Pass. With them, you can visit the sights of New York at your own pace.

My Conclusion

The MoMA in NYC is a world-renowned art museum that is a must-visit destination for art lovers and culture seekers. Even I, who doesn’t visit museums often, was really blown away by it.

While standard admission is $25, the museum offers a Pay-what-you-wish policy every day from 4 pm to close, and free admission is available to New York residents and children under 16 years of age. Additionally, MoMA is included in several New York Sightseeing Passes, offering visitors the opportunity to experience multiple attractions at a discounted price.

Whether you’re a New Yorker, a student, or a tourist, the MoMA is a fascinating and diverse cultural institution that offers something for everyone. With its Pay-what-you-wish policy and its inclusion in New York Sightseeing Passes, there’s never been a better time to experience the art and culture of the MoMA in NYC. So why not take advantage of the free day on Friday and explore the wonders of this iconic museum for yourself?


Is the MoMA free on Monday?

No, the MoMA is not free on Monday. However, the Pay-what-you-wish policy is available every day from 4 pm to 8 pm. Additionally, the museum offers free admission to New York state residents with a valid ID every Friday from 4:00 PM to close. It’s always best to check the MoMA’s official website for the most up-to-date information on their free admission policies and schedules.

Do NYU students get into MoMA for free?

The MoMA does not offer free admission to NYU students. However, students with a valid ID can receive a discount on the standard ticket price. Additionally, the museum’s Pay-what-you-wish policy is available every day from 4 pm to close, allowing students to pay what they can afford for admission.

Can you just walk into MoMA?

No, visitors cannot just walk into the MoMA. The museum requires all visitors to purchase a ticket for entry, with the exception of New York state residents with a valid ID on Friday evenings. Visitors can purchase tickets online or in-person at the MoMA’s ticket desk. It is advisable to book in advance to avoid long lines and ensure entry to the museum on your preferred date and time.

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the most famous train station in New York



From its stunning architecture to its central location in Midtown Manhattan, no visit to New York City is complete without a stop at Grand Central Terminal!

Like Penn Station, Grand Central Station is famous for being one of the main train stations and ways to get into New York City.

However, it’s so much more! As one of the world’s most visited tourist attractions, Grand Central Station is a thrill to behold.

Whether it’s bringing up memories from when it was featured in some of your favorite movies – including Men in Black, Superman, and North by Northwest – or you’re taking in its stunning ceiling for the very first time, Grand Central Station is one of the most special New York monuments.

To help you make the most of your time at Grand Central Station, we’re sharing some of the best Grand Central Station bars, restaurants, and hotels, along with the tours you have to take to learn its hidden secrets (including where the world’s largest Tiffany clock is!).

A Brief History of Grand Central Station NYC

Grand Central Station, known more formally as Grand Central Terminal, is one of the most historic train stations in New York City. In fact, thanks to its stunning Beaux-Arts design, it has also been designated a National Historical Landmark.

That history began back with the construction of the Grand Central Depot in 1871. As New York City grew in popularity, so did the use of its public transportation system, so this central terminal had to be expanded, too.

In 1900, Grand Central Station was born, a dramatic feat of engineering that rivaled the Eiffel Tower and the Crystal Palace. Unfortunately, a crash of two southbound trains in 1902 led to rewritten legislature and some big changes for Grand Central.

The building was torn down, and construction on what would become the Grand Central Terminal began in 1903. It opened in February, 1913, and the rest, as they say, is history!

Make The Most Of Your Stop At Grand Central Terminal NYC

Given the many awards that Grand Central Terminal has won just for its architecture, even a stop inside the main terminal could be enough as you gaze up in wonder.

However, there’s so much more! From the gourmet foods at Grand Central Market to 50 unique specialty shops – and five must-try restaurants and cocktail lounges – there’s plenty to do at and around Grand Central Terminal.

Top 5 Hotels Near Grand Central Station NYC

If you’re arriving late and looking for the best hotels near Grand Central Station NYC, we have a few selections that should help you find a comfortable stay.

Take a look below and make sure to reserve your nights soon!

  1. Library Hotel – At just a three-minute walk from Grand Central Terminal and one of the best hotels in New York City, the Library Hotel is an excellent choice for quality and comfort. With access to fitness rooms, lounges, and over 6,000 books, this is a great hotel for getting a bit of quiet away from the city’s hustle and bustle.
  2. Fitzpatrick Manhattan – Enjoy comfortable, modern amenities and finely appointed rooms that are only minutes away from all of Manhattan’s best spots, including Rockefeller Center, Central Park, and the MoMA.
  3. Gotham Hotel – Indulge in a boutique hotel experience right in the middle of Manhattan at the independently owned and operated 67-room Gotham Hotel. Just a few blocks away from Grand Central and its trains, this is a refined accommodation
  4. The Renwick – Enjoy a blend of old New York style with modern luxury at this warm hotel just a few minutes from Grand Central Terminal. Occupying a beautiful building from the 20s, each room has wonderful touches, including artist-style work areas, handmade-furniture, and plush bedding.
  5. Pod 39 Hotel – While New York City can be a more expensive city, there are always great deals when you know where to look. The Pod 39 Hotel is exactly that: a friendly hotel at an even friendlier price. Featuring comfortable rooms, great communal spaces, and a cool bar area, this is a great choice for a hotel near Grand Central Station.

Top 5 Restaurants Near Grand Central Station NYC

Only got time for a quick bite before your train? Want to indulge in some fine-dining while you’re at Grand Central?

Any of the following restaurants near Grand Central Station NYC is sure to satisfy!

  1. Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant – This restaurant has been open nearly as long as Grand Central Terminal itself (it opened just three weeks after). Where there once stood oyster bars, now there is one of the city’s most well-known oyster restaurants. Take in fresh seafood in a beautiful setting at a truly New York restaurant.
  2. Urbanspace – Traveling with a group? Stop by Urbanspace, one of the most celebrated eating experiences in the city. This food hall brings together a range of cuisines as dynamic as New York, from noodles and poké bowls to pasta, lobster, vegan, burgers, and more. It’s all housed in a lively, open building that’ll encourage you to get to know your fellow New Yorkers.
  3. Benjamin Steakhouse Prime – Given that New York has a cut of steak named after it (the NY Strip), it’s only fitting that you add a stop at one of the most tempting steakhouses in the neighborhood.
  4. Cipriani-Dolci – Grand Central Terminal is too magnificent to simply wander through. Sit, stay a while, and enjoy a great Italian meal at this GCT staple. Located right above the hustle and bustle of the main hall, this is one exceptional New York restaurant.
  5. Sinigual – Eating in New York should be as much a celebration of New York’s past as an indulgence in its present. Seeing as NYC is one of the most diverse cities in the country, you’ve got to try what’s being cooked up at Sinigual, a Midtown Mexican restaurant just steps away from Grand Central Terminal. We’re partial to the Carnitas Yucatán with a refreshing margarita on the side, but you really can’t go wrong with anything on the menu.

5 Best Bars Near Grand Central Terminal NYC

For the best bars near Grand Central Terminal NYC, you don’t have to go far. With this selection, you can enjoy a classically crafted cocktail just minutes away.

  1. Valerie New York – Stop by Valerie to enjoy a great cocktail in a truly unique space. This Midtown Manhattan bar is inspired by Manhattan’s Golden Age. With a beautiful golden glow and timeless details, you’ll be sure to want to stay a while
  2. The Campbell Bar – This is one of our favorite bars, and it’s actually located right inside Grand Central Terminal. Beautifully restored, elegant, and contemporary, the soaring ceilings make for an impressive place to have their take on a classic cocktail. Why not give their GG Manhattan a try?
  3. Refinery Rooftop – Head from one New York institution to a bar with one of the best views of New York at the Refinery Rooftop. If it’s your first time in New York, you’ve got to try their The Big Apple!
  4. Stout NYC – This New York staple is a great spot to enjoy a drink after visiting Grand Central Terminal. With an ample beer menu that celebrates the seasons and a crafty, creative cocktail menu, stop by and stay for a while.
  5. The Raines Law Room – No, you don’t need to be a lawyer to head to The Raines Law Room. A play on the prohibition of the sale of alcohol, this just so happens to be one of the best cocktail bars in Manhattan. Not satisfied to just enjoy their drinks? They also offer cocktail-crafting classes, too!

5 Best Grand Central Terminal Tours NYC

While we did the research for this article, we understand if you want to dive deeper into the awesome history of Grand Central Terminal. Here are our five picks for best Grand Central Terminal tours NYC.

  1. The Grand Central Terminal Official Guided Tour – There’s something to be said about a tour sponsored by the folks behind Grand Central Terminal. Started in 2013 as a celebration of the terminal’s 100th birthday, thisThe 75-minute tour highlights its history, architecture and operations.
  2. Grand Central Terminal Tours – From hidden tennis courts to the world’s largest Tiffany clock, Grand Central Terminal has a few tricks up its sleeve. For a guided tour of Grand Central Terminal that reveals the little-known facts that even native New Yorkers don’t know, check out these Grand Central Terminal tours.
  3. Grand Central Terminal Walking Tour – Too many people rush around Grand Central Terminal trying to get from one train to the next. With this slower-paced walking tour, you’ll get to know Grand Central Terminal’s attractions, such as the Whispering Gallery, Zodiac ceiling, and more.
  4. Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour – If you are arriving at Grand Central Terminal and you want a way to keep seeing the city, this bus tour will connect with you many of NYC’s major highlights – including Times Square, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Central Park.
  5. Grand Central: The Open Sesame Bagel Tour – Want to know more about the art and architecture that make the Grand Central Terminal so special? This 1.5 hour tour is dedicated to revealing Grand Central Terminal’s secrets with a helpful, knowledgeable guide.

And one of our favorite things to do after getting to know Grand Central Terminal? Heading up to SUMMIT One Vanderbilt! To learn more about getting tickets to one of the best views of New York City (it has the second-highest outdoor deck in NYC!), head over to our guide here.

Frequently Asked Questions About Grand Central Station

Where is Grand Central Station in NYC?

Grand Central Station, formally called Grand Central Terminal, is located at 89 E 42nd St, New York, NY 10017, USA.

To arrive at Grand Central, you can take the 4, 5, 6, 7, and S subway lines, the M101, M102, M103, M1, M2, M3, M4, Q32 and M42 buses, as well as the Hudson, Harlem, and New Haven lines on Metro North.

Does Amtrak go to Grand Central Station in NYC?

With the exception of occasional infrastructure work at Penn Station which requires rerouting, Amtrak does not normally use Grand Central Station.

What trains go to Grand Central Station NYC?

Grand Central is serviced by three of Metro-North’s five main lines, including the Harlem Line to Wassaic, New York, the Hudson Line to Poughkeepsie, New York, and the New Haven Line to New Haven, Connecticut.

When was Grand Central Station NYC built?

The current Grand Central Station was opened to the public in 1913 after construction began in 1902. Previously, Grand Central Depot was completed in 1871.

Where is Grand Central Station located in NYC?

Grand Central Terminal is located in Midtown Manhattan at 89 E. 42nd Street at Park Avenue. It is one of New York City’s two main rail stations, along with Penn Station. Grand Central Station can be found on NYC’s East Side, while Penn Station is on the West Side.

Who built Grand Central Station in NYC?

The current Grand Central Terminal was a collaboration between two design firms: Reed and term, and Warren and Wetmore. The original Grand Central Depot was made by Cornelius Vanderbilt in 1871.

Where to eat near Grand Central Station NYC?

If you’re looking for a meal in Grand Central, there are restaurants like the Campbell Bar, Cipriani Dolci, City Winery Grand Central, Cornelius, the Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant, and Prova Pizzabar. Just steps outside, you’ll find One Vanderbilt right next door for delicious eats and impressive views of the city.

Who built NYC Grand Central Station?

The original Grand Central Depot was created in 1871 by Cornelius Vanderbilt for the New York Central & Hudson River, New York and Harlem Railroad, and New Haven railroads. The current structure was designed by the firms Reed and Stem and Warren and Wetmore. Construction was completed in 1913, with Warren & Wetmor being credited with Grand Central’s famous interior design.

Are Grand Central Station and Grand Central Terminal the same thing?

Though many people use Grand Central Station and Grand Central Terminal interchangeably, they are not the same thing. Grand Central Terminal refers to the beautiful, historic building at 42nd Street and Park Avenue in Manhattan that is the southern terminus of the Metro-North Railroad’s Harlem, Hudson and New Haven Lines.

Grand Central Station refers to the nearby US Post Office down the street or the subway station below.

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▷ The Ultimate 2 Day New York Itinerary 2023



Looking to see all the sights for your first-ever weekend in NYC? We’ve got you covered with a 2-day itinerary designed to help you make the most of your time.

I know from experience that planning a weekend in New York City isn’t easy! You’re probably asking yourself a thousand questions, like what museums should you visit? Where should you eat? What’s on your “must see” list? What places are okay to save for your next visit?

(Because trust me, you’re going to want to have another visit!)

Figuring out what to pack into a 2-day NYC itinerary can be a lot! That’s why I’m here to help.

New York City is by far my favorite city in the world. I have visited NYC more than 20 times. I’ve taken almost every tour and tried every sightseeing pass. And I’ve made a few mistakes along the way (12-hour days + brand new walking shoes don’t mix!).

With that experience, I’m going to share with you exactly what to see in New York in 2 days. A weekend is the perfect amount of time to get to know New York.

Honestly, I’m excited for you! I’ll never forget my first trip to New York City, and I hope that with this 2-day New York City itinerary, you’ll get to make your own unforgettable New York memories, too.

Your First Day In NYC

Day 1 of your NYC 2-day itinerary is all about Manhattan. It includes Central Park, the High Line, Times Square, and much, much more.

In a few areas, I include options, like museums to visit or tours you can add on. These activities can add more time onto your itinerary, so depending on your energy levels (or if you’re traveling with kids), it may make sense to adjust other areas of the schedule.
Given that you’ve got a fun-filled day ahead of you, it’s important to make sure you eat well throughout. We’ve included recommendations for lunch at Hudson Yards and dinner when you get to Madison Square Park. These are just suggestions, though!

One of New York’s many joys is discovering your favorite food spots hidden throughout the city, so if something catches your eye or you’re feeling a little grumble in your stomach, just go for it.

The Perfect First Morning in NYC

  1. 01 Start Your Day in Central Park!

    Your time in New York starts with one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions: Central Park.

    Known for its famous ice skating rink, its baseball fields, its running track, and its endlessly looping trails, Central Park is worthy of hours of exploration.

    Since we’re kickstarting our NYC weekend itinerary, we’ll need to focus on the highlights for this trip. Our favorites include Bethesda Terrace, a large plaza and fountain that are often filled with performers, and Bow Bridge, a serene spot to take in the park, the city, and maybe snap a selfie.

  2. Contemporary Art NYC

    02 Choose Between Two of The Best Museums!

    As a note: New York may be one of the best cities in the world for museums. In fact, we’ve outlined all of our favorite New York museums here. With your 2-day NYC itinerary, however, we know you don’t have time to visit them all, so we’re recommending two of the best here.

    Option A: Metropolitan Museum of Art
    The Metropolitan Museum of Art, or the Met for short, deserves its place as one of the most famous art museums in the world. Its collection spans ancient times to contemporary collections, and includes Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Asian, European, and Modern Art.

    For more on the Met, including hours and upcoming exhibitions, visit their official website.

    Option B: Museum of Modern Art
    Hands down one of the most creative, compelling museums in New York, the Museum of Modern Art is a showstopper. With impressive permanent collections and ever-evolving exhibitions, as well as a can’t-miss gift shop, the MoMA is well worth your time.

    For more on the MoMA, including hours and upcoming exhibitions, visit their official website.

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    03 Stroll Down Millionaire’s Row

    There may be no city in the world that does glitz and glamor quite like New York.

    One of the places they do it best? 5th Avenue.

    Also known as Millionaire’s Row, this is both New York’s most expensive shopping street and some of the world’s most costly retail spaces. Some of the famous names that line 5th Avenue that you may have heard of: Saks 5th Avenue, Apple, Prada, Cartier, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Tiffany, Bottega Veneta, Giorgio Armani, Versace, and so many more.

    Even if you don’t want to go on a shopping spree, just strolling by these stores is an eye-opening way to start your New York adventure.

  4. Top of the Rock

    04 Visit the Rockefeller Center

    Rockefeller Center, known also as 30 Rock, is one of the cultural centers of New York.

    If you’ve wanted to visit Radio City Music Hall, NBC Studios, or you’re visiting during Christmas and you want to see the big tree, Rockefeller Center is the place to be. Or, if you’re fans of the NBC sitcom 30 Rock, you definitely need to swing by!

    An absolute must during the winter season, Rockefeller Center has plenty to offer all year round, too, from seeing live tapings of shows to going to the Top of the Rock Observation Deck to soak up the Midtown Manhattan views.

    You can find out more about Rockefeller Center at their official website.

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    05 Marvel at St. Patrick’s Cathedral

    New York City has a number of captivating churches. On this 2-day NYC itinerary, you’re going straight to the most impressive one: St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

    Located on 5th Avenue right alongside some of the most well-known brands in the world, this landmark church has been drawing attention since construction finished in 1879.

    Starting with its size, the St. Patrick’s Cathedral is a sight to behold as it takes up 50th and 51st streets and 5th and Madison Avenues. It’s adorned with bronze doors, Neo-Gothic architecture, thousands of stained glass windows, and twenty altars (two of which were designed by Tiffany & Co.!).

    For more on the history of this Catholic cathedral in Manhattan, visit their official website.

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    06 Visit The Exciting Grand Central Terminal

    While you may visit a lot of subway and train stations while you’re in New York, there’s no terminal quite like Grand Central Terminal in Grand Central Station.

    Welcoming 750,000 visitors every day, Grand Central Station is the second most popular spot in NYC (Times Square nabs the number one slot). Yes, trains and subways connect through the Grand Central 42 St. stop, but that alone doesn’t explain the sheer numbers.

    What draws visitors to The Terminal is what makes it a National Historic Landmark: it is simply stunning. Designed in the Beaux-Arts style with sweeping ceilings and ornate touches, Grand Central Terminal is a beautiful home to stores, restaurants, and more.

    Plus, if you happen to be visiting New York during the holidays, Grand Central Station is a must-visit thanks to its Holiday Fair and seasonal wreaths, garland, and festive lighting.

    For more about the market, dining concourse, and shops, visit Grand Central Terminal’s official website.

The Perfect First Afternoon in NYC

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    01 Soak Up Some Greenery in Bryant Park

    When you’ve got a day filled with skyscrapers and historic buildings to enjoy, it’s important to take time to soak up the greenery, too.

    While Bryant Park may be small, it is one of the most loved by New Yorkers. Located by the esteemed New York Public Library between 40th and 42nd Streets and Fifth Avenue in midtown Manhattan, this important park is often called Manhattan’s Town Square.

    Winter activities include ice skating, holiday shopping, iceless curling, and a tree lighting show, and summertime fun includes sunbathing, picnicking, and movie watching.

    Find out what’s happening at Bryant Park during your upcoming visit.

  2. new_york_public_library_new_york_public_library_180508105745004

    02 Visit The Impressive New York Public Library

    You may not be able to fit too much book-reading into this 2-day NYC itinerary, but that’s no reason not to visit the impressive New York Public Library.

    As the second-largest public library in the U.S. (the Library of Congress down in D.C. takes 1st place), the NYPL has over 50 million items across 92 locations. Once you get past the sheer scale of the items they’re taking care of, let yourself be won over by the architecture.

    Done in the same Beaux-Arts style as Grand Central Terminal, it features marble arches, a grand staircase, and plenty of art and murals.

    Just be sure to keep your voice down while you’re wandering around it because people do use it for reading and studying!

    For more on the NYPL, including upcoming events, you can visit their site.

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    03 Spend Some Time at The Remarkable Hudson Yards

    From the classic institution, you’ll wander past Times Square (don’t worry, you’ll be back – we’re saving it for that just-right moment!) to Hudson Yards, a modern development that’s seriously impressive.

    Known to locals for being the biggest real estate development deal in U.S. history, it’s become an attraction all its own with 14 acres of public space, gardens, and a park, as well as a hotel, mall, and the eye-catching The Vessel, a bronze sculpture that stands 15 stories tall.

    With its mix of stairs, flights, and landings, there’s an Instagram-worthy spot just waiting for you.

    To make the most of your time, you’ll have two options to choose from:

    Option A: The Edge
    Take advantage of one of New York’s best views at the Edge, the world’s highest outdoor observation deck. At over 1,100’ high and extending 65’ feet into the air, the Edge offers unparalleled views of Manhattan and the Hudson River.

    Option B: The Shed
    The Shed is both Hudson Yards’ art venue, featuring dance, concerts, plays, and more, as well as home to Cedric’s at The Shed, a full-service restaurant. If there’s an exhibition you’re interested in seeing, this could be worth a visit!

    For more on everything related to the Hudson Yards, visit their official website.

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    04 Wander Above The Streets at The High Line

    And now, it’s time for one of the absolute gems of New York: the High Line.

    Built on a historic rail line that carves through the city, the High Line is part public park, part gardens, part experience. The perspectives that it gives you of the city, the pockets of quietness you’ll find, and the smiles you’ll see from the people discovering this new side of New York combine for a remarkable experience.

    It’s more than just being above the streets and away from the traffic. Walking the High Line lets you feel more connected to the built city in a way few other cities around the world can pull off.

    To discover more about this elevated landscape on the West Side of Manhattan, visit the High Line’s official website.

  5. Little Island New York

    05 Visit Little Island, a Park on The Hudson River

    Most of the parks we’ll visit on your NYC 2-day itinerary are tucked in and around towering, magnificent buildings. What makes Little Island so unique is that it’s a park that popped up just on the Hudson River.

    Made from the remains of Pier 54, this floating park is indeed little – you can walk it in just 15 minutes – but that only adds to its charm. Filled with green spaces that change to reflect the seasons, rolling hills, and well-designed pathways, this is a much-needed natural pause in the middle of a mighty, industrial city.

    For more about Little Island, including upcoming events, check out their official website.

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    06 Try a Delicious Slice of Pizza in Greenwich Village

    Known more formally as Greenwich Village, the Village is one of New York’s most recognizable cultural spots.
    Though these tree-lined streets are now home to cafés, restaurants, and boutiques, this was the beating heart of the ‘60s counterculture movement. Filled with student energy courtesy of the adjacent New York University and the always-bustling Washington Square Park, the Village feels like New York.

    There are plenty of good eats to be had here, too. If you’ve been holding out for a New York slice, now’s the time to dig in! For my money, Artichoke Basille’s Pizza is one of the best in the city.

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    07 Drop by Energetic Washington Square Park

    What makes Washington Square Park such a unique place to visit during a New York City weekend is how energetic the park is.

    More than just a public park known for its iconic arch and fountain, it’s a gathering place for people from Greenwich Village, the students from NYU, it’s a performance space for amateurs and professionals alike, it’s a battle ground for chess players of all ages, and so much more.

    While it may be easier to stop and stay a while during the warmer summer months, any visit to the park is a memorable one.

    For more on the park’s history, visit Washington Square Park’s official website.

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    08 Come to Union Square

    As you arrive at Union Square, you’re being welcomed fully back into the bustling, beating heart of New York City. Union Square, located at 14th Street and 5th Avenue, is one of the city’s more recognizable centers.

    The park itself is a small oasis of green surrounded by buildings where you’ll find a bustling produce market four days a week. Nearby, one of the city’s most famous bookstores, The Strand, offers a collection of books that could span 18 miles.

    Plus, a collection of taverns, bars, and bakeries could tempt you with a mid-afternoon drink or dessert, depending on what you’re in the mood for.

    For a full list of restaurants, bars, and a calendar of events, visit Union Square’s official website.

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    09 Come to Flatiron Building and Madison Square Park

    Time for a quick stroll up Broadway to get to Madison Square Park and the Flatiron Building.

    The Flatiron, so-named because it looks like something you’d iron your clothes with, is an iconic 1902 building from architect Daniel Burnham. It’s one of my favorite spots to take an “only in New York” photo!

    From there, you’ll head to Madison Square Park and you’ll have a choice to make. If you’ve ever heard of Shake Shack, the delicious burger chain with some of the best milkshakes (and I’ve tasted a lot of milkshakes!), then you’ve got to pay homage to the very first Shake Shack that opened here in Madison Square Park.

    If you’re in the mood for an Italian meal in one of the most interesting markets in New York, make sure to stop by the Eataly Food Market for a bite.

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    10 A New York City Must-See: The Empire State Building

    We’ve saved one of the best moments of your weekend NYC itinerary for the evening: the Empire State Building.

    Even from the street level, the Empire State Building has a magnetic presence. You’ve undoubtedly seen it during the day from different vantage points throughout the city. Now, you’re here at the base of this 102-story Art Deco beauty.

    Depending on your schedule, you may decide to opt out of heading to the observation decks. However, if you have the time, we highly recommend it.

    From learning about the history of its construction and the city around it to the expansive views that can include up to five other states, this is a terrific way to end your day in New York.

    For more information about the building and the kinds of tickets available, visit our guide about the Empire State Building.

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    11 End Your First Day Surrounded by Colorful Lights at Times Square

    There’s no place like Times Square. Always filled with energy, Times Square is New York. The iconic filming spot for countless movies and TV shows, the always-on billboards, and the sight of the New Year’s Eve Ball Drop, it all comes together at Times Square.

    With over 330,000 visitors each day, Times Square is an energizing way to cap the beginning of your New York adventure. From here, the night is yours. If you’ve been hoping to see a Broadway show, you’re now only blocks away from the heart of it! Just head north and you’ll be at your theater in a few minutes.

  12. Summit One Vanderbilt Observation Deck

    12 Soak up One Last View of NYC

    If you want to soak up one last view of NYC, we’ve got two fun options laid out for you below.

    Option A: Summit One Vanderbilt (best observation deck in NYC)
    While it’s hard to go wrong with observation decks in New York, Summit One Vanderbilt’s is the best one. Opened in 2021, this is the first observation deck on the East Side of Manhattan, meaning it offers remarkable views of the East River, the Chrysler Building, Central Park, and the Empire State Building.

    Plus, if you manage to make it in time for sunset, you will not regret it!

    You can find more information in our guide about the Summit One Vanderbilt observation decks, including info about tickets.

    Option B: The Refinery Rooftop
    Another great way to wind down after your action-packed first day in New York is with the Refinery Rooftop, a bar in Midtown Manhattan.

    With great views and even better cocktails, you’ll want to grab reservations at this popular evening spot – just in case!

    Check out the menu and make your reservations at the Refinery Rooftop here.

Your Second Day in NYC

Let’s get started on Day 2 of your 2-day NYC itinerary! You’ll start today in Manhattan before setting off for some adventures on Ellis Island and Brooklyn before returning to finish the day soaking up the city.

Even more than Day 1, today you’ll find tempting treats at nearly every stop of your journey. Our advice for Day 2: read through the guide once and see what sounds good to you (choosing between a SoHo brunch and a delicious meal in Little Italy is never easy!) and make some notes.

Then when you’re walking around, you’ll have a better idea of whether to give into temptation – or to hold out a little longer!

Start Your Second Day in NYC

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    01 Explore Soho and Little Italy

    Day 2 starts with one of our favorite spots in New York: SoHo!

    SoHo, or South of Houston (pronounced How-ston, not Hue-ston), is filled with visual treats good eats, and great shopping.

    Start your day off with a breakfast at either 12 Chairs (a fusion of Middle East cuisine and breakfast classics) or Banter NYC (a healthy brunch choice). From there, keep your eyes peeled for both the permanent street art and the more temporary sort.

    Even if you’re not big on shopping, looking into some of SoHo’s shops is an experience in and of itself. With cast-iron buildings, cobblestone streets, and brick walls, it’s worth poking around.

    For a taste of New York how it used to be, you’ve got to spend some time in Little Italy!

    Thanks to its roots of Italian immigrants from Sicily and Naples coming in the 1880s, this area around Mulberry Street became one of the areas most tied to the idea of New York.

    While there’s plenty of history and culture still in the air, we’d be misleading you if we didn’t tell you the best thing to do here was to eat!

    Start hungry at standouts like Emilio’s Ballato, Parm, Rubirosa, and Lombardi’s. Then make sure you save room for some sweets, like gelato at La Bella Ferrara or a cannoli at Caffe Palermo.

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    02 Take a Stroll Around Tribeca

    With its fascinating blend of centuries of history and modern pop culture, a stroll through the Tribeca neighborhood is always a good time.

    The history includes beautifully preserved Federal Style townhomes that date back to the 1820s and plenty of Civil War-era architecture. Those classic constructions make the backdrop for one of the most popular comedies of all time, Ghostbusters (1984), which visitors can celebrate at the fire station used for filming at 14 North Moore Street.

    It’s also one of the best areas in NYC to go shopping, with a handful of timeless used book stores, great vintage shops, and boutiques. If you somehow made it through Little Italy without digging in, then you’ll definitely find a great bite to eat here.

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    03 Take Some Time at 9/11 Memorial & Museum

    One of the most important stops you’ll make during this NYC 2-day itinerary is to the 9/11 National Memorial.

    This museum is located next to the World Trade Center and designed to honor the nearly 3,000 people who lost their lives in the attacks on September 11, 2001, as well as the bombing on February 26, 1993. It is also a moving tribute to those who risked their lives to save others, as well as the support that New Yorkers showed to each other in the difficult times that followed.

    Given the more serious nature of this stop, I encourage you to take your time moving through it. Visitors often share that they spend between 30 minutes and two hours making their way through the memorials.

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    04 Enjoy a Breathtaking View From One World Observatory

    One World Observatory offers a truly unmatched view of New York. With 360° views from over 100 stories up, there is no higher building in New York from which to look out over the city.

    Designed as the main building of the rebuilt World Trade Center complex, One World Trade Center is more than just an interesting place to visit, it’s a powerful reminder of the history of the World Trade Center.

    It is also impressive, standing as the tallest building in the United States – and the seventh-tallest in the world. Almost as stunning as the view? The elevator ride up! It’s blink-and-you’ll-miss-it fast, shooting you up 102 stories in just 47 seconds.

    For more information about the One World Observatory, including information about tickets, head to our complete guide.

Make The Most of Your Second Afternoon

  1. Statue of Liberty Cruise

    01 Say Hello to Lady Liberty

    More than just a fascinating stop on any first-time visit to New York, the Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island are an essential part of American history.

    For more than 30 years in the late 1800s and early 1900s, Ellis Island was referred to as the “Island of Hope” because it represented the chance for immigrants to start a new life in America. The Statue of Liberty, a gift from the French that was dedicated in 1886, is located on Liberty Island and became a symbol of freedom and democracy.

    Taking the ferry out to Ellis Island and being able to spend time learning about and exploring the Statue of Liberty may be one of the most powerful moments of your 2-day NYC trip.

    The ferry itself only takes about 15 minutes to arrive at Ellis Island, and getting to the top of the Statue of Liberty only takes about 20 minutes.

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    02 Visit The World’s Most Famous Financial District

    Home of New York’s financial center – and known the world over – Wall Street makes for one of the more interesting stops for any 2-day NYC itinerary.

    For fun photo opportunities, you’ll definitely need to head to the Charging Bull, the bronze statue on Broadway just north of Bowling Green.

    As for the New York Stock Exchange, you’d need to get here by 9:30am on a weekday to hear the opening bell. Otherwise, the historic building is still well worth a photo!

    You can also pay respects at the 9/11 Memorial that rests where the former Twin Towers used to stand. This open air plaza is a powerful tribute to those that lost their lives, and the memorials can be a surprisingly quiet place even in such a busy part of the city.

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    03 Take Some Classic NYC Pictures on Brooklyn Bridge

    Get your cameras ready, because walking across the Brooklyn Bridge is going to set you up for some of the most classic NYC photos.

    Built between 1869 and 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge is NYC’s oldest suspension bridge. From this majestic 5,989’ bridge you’ll have the chance to see Lower Manhattan, Brooklyn, the East River, Governors Island, Staten Island, New Jersey, and your new friend, the Statue of Liberty!
    For both locals and visitors alike, the Brooklyn Bridge is a popular spot. Because of that, you’ll want to be courteous of other people, especially if you’re trying to catch the perfect selfie angle.

    If you’re taking your time and snapping pictures along the way, give yourself about an hour to finish the walk. If you’re planning to power through it and just take a few photos, you can expect to cross in 25 minutes or so.

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    04 Enjoy Amazing Views of The Manhattan Skyline From Brooklyn Bridge Park

    After finishing your walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, it’s time to start exploring Brooklyn!

    This 85-acre sustainable park is situated right along Brooklyn’s East River waterfront. In addition to having spectacular, unobstructed views of Manhattan (among other things, you can see the beautiful World Trade Center as part of the skyline), the Brooklyn Bridge Park has plenty of fun, free activities. With an impressive nine lawns, the park is the ideal spot for a quick break during an adventure-packed two days in New York.

    Brooklyn Bridge Park is also one of the best places to see sculptures and art outdoors in New York, with displays and installations that are refreshed regularly.

    For more on what you can do while you’re at the park, including upcoming events, visit their official website.

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    05 Take a Picture of The Manhattan Bridge in DUMBO

    When you’re spending 2 days in New York, you have to make sure you seize the moment to get the best photos possible.

    One of the most iconic spots? This DUMBO Manhattan Bridge view you find on Washington Street. Already one of the most eye-catching bridges in New York, the Manhattan Bridge connects Downtown Brooklyn with Lower Manhattan.

    What makes this spot so unique is its combination of old, new, and New York. You’ve got trees poking out from the sides of red brick buildings, cute cobblestone streets, and the modernity of the Manhattan Bridge in the background. Not only that, you should also be able to see the Empire State Building, too!

    FYI – Wondering what DUMBO means? No, there’s no connection with the animated Disney movie! It’s an acronym that stands for Down Under The Manhattan Bridge Overpass!

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    06 Explore Some of The Best Restaurants at Time Out Market

    One of the many joys of visiting New York is experiencing some of the world’s best restaurants all throughout the city. When you’re planning a weekend itinerary for New York, however, you’ve got to head straight for the Time Out Market.

    This mouthwatering marketplace features more than 20 unique food concepts with two floors of restaurants and bars.

    Once you’ve eaten your fill downstairs, be sure to check out the Roof Top Bar. It’s quite a New York moment to be sipping on one of their Signature Cocktails as you take in the Manhattan skyline!

    Get ready to visit Brooklyn’s Time Out Market by checking the full list of dining and drinking options here.

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    07 Take The NYC Ferry Back to Manhattan

    From Brooklyn, it’s time to make our way back to Manhattan – and we’re going to do it in style on the NYC Ferry.

    The ferry, which only takes about 10 minutes to cover the 2 miles between the Brooklyn Navy Yard and the Wall Street / Pier 11 Landing, is more than just a convenient option. From this New York City expert, this actually has one of the best views of the New York skyline you can get.

    While the views of New York from the Empire State Building and 30 Rockefeller Center are impressive, seeing the city grow in size as you approach it on a ferry is one of our favorite parts of this 2-day NYC itinerary. Make sure your cameras are ready, because with just 10 minutes, you’ll have to get your pictures quickly!

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    08 Let The Day End in The Lower East Side

    We wrap up your whirlwind 2-day NYC itinerary with an evening in the Lower East Side, or the LES (as the locals call it).

    Given that it’s a popular destination for drinks, dinner, and music, it’s only fitting you spend your last evening in New York here. From a neighborhood that gets much of its character from the vibrant blend of cultures – including Jewish, Russian, Ukrainian, Italian, and Irish – the Lower East Side is a wonderful blend.

    Enjoy a taste of one of the most famous Jewish delis in town by grabbing a table at Katz’s Delicatessen. To get the full experience, we recommend a pastrami on rye with mustard, juicy (meaning… fatty).

    After dinner, head up to the cloudM Rooftop bar, enjoy a finely crafted cocktail, and sit back as you take in the beauty of the sunset and evening of New York.

10 Tips for Visiting NYC for First Time

Your first visit to NYC is going to be unforgettable, there’s no doubt about that.

Make sure it’s unforgettable for all the right reasons by following these 10 tips, and your NYC weekend will go as smoothly as possible.

  1. Wear comfortable clothing – To make the most of a 2-day NYC itinerary, you’ll need to be on the move. While you may want to dress your best for the photos, make sure that you’ve got shoes that you can use for miles of walking and layers of clothes to stay comfortable.
  2. Charge your phone – From taking videos of the Statue of Liberty to scanning your digital tickets, your phone is going to get a workout while you follow this NYC weekend itinerary. Charge it before you go and keep it in airplane mode when you’re not expecting calls, and you’ll be in great shape.
  3. Use the subway – One thing I’ve learned over my years of visiting NYC: New York City is almost *too* walkable! Don’t forget to save your legs and take advantage of the easy-to-use public transportation system in New York.
  4. Keep your head up – For one, there’s so much amazing architecture in New York City that you can appreciate when you’re alert to your surroundings. Another, more practical reason: there are a lot of people walking around, and you’ll need to stay active to avoid running into them.
  5. Grab a sightseeing pass – As a way of saving time and money for your weekend NYC trip, a NYC sightseeing pass is a great option. We share our tips for picking the best NYC sightseeing pass for your trip here.
  6. Stay in a hotel near transportation – New York City is one of the easiest big cities in the world to get around. The only trick? Making sure you’re near public transportation. With some hotels, you might have a great view or a great rate, but they could leave you spending more time getting to where you want to go.
  7. Plan your eating – There’s no shortage of delicious eats in New York City. When you’re coming for your first trip, do yourself a favor and reserve a restaurant or two. This will make sure that even if you get off your itinerary a little bit, you’ll still leave your trip having checked off some boxes.
  8. Stop by a park – With museums, buildings, and sports being some of NYC’s major draws, it can be easy to overlook some of the city’s true gems: its parks! Make sure to save some time to stop by Central Park, Prospect Park, Washington Square Park, and others to see a greener side of the city.
  9. Don’t rent a car – First of all, the public transportation is so good that you don’t need a car to get anywhere you want to go. Second, having to deal with parking will take away from the fun of your weekend. From difficult-to-find spots to overnight parking charges, save yourself the stress and enjoy a car-free weekend in NYC.
  10. Eat pizza and bagels – We save our best tip for last. Make sure to start one of your mornings with a bagel or egg sandwich, and include a stop for a New York slice during the day.

Easy Ways To Get Around NYC In A Weekend

If you’re planning a 2-day weekend itinerary for NYC, then you’ll need to know the best ways to get around the city. Some brave travelers want to spend the whole weekend walking, and while we commend them, our legs and feet need a break every once in a while!

Here are our four favorite ways of getting around NYC for the weekend:

  1. NYC By Subways and Buses – New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) operates throughout all five of NYC’s boroughs, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Grab a MetroCard from any of the automated machines and getting around the city will be easy!
  2. NYC by Taxi or Rideshare – With the availability of taxis and rideshares, you really have no reason to rent a car while you’re in NYC. New York’s iconic yellow taxis can be hailed from the street or requested through apps like Curb. You can also use your favorite ridesharing apps like Uber and Lyft.
  3. NYC by Bike – When the weather is decent, biking around New York City can be one of the fastest and most enjoyable modes of transportation. Whether you rent a bike for your full stay or take advantage of Citi Bike, NYC’s bike-sharing system, it’s a wonderful way to see the city.
  4. Hop-on, Hop-off Bus – For a way of getting around NYC that’s geared toward your itinerary, a Hop-on Hop-off NYC Bus could be your best bet. Cheaper than taking the taxi to each stop, better suited to any weather, and with a better view than the metro, these buses are ideal for tourists planning a 2-day NYC itinerary.

Best Tours to Experience New York City in 2 Days

A self-guided New York City tour gives you plenty of freedom to see the city exactly how you want. Still, there’s something to be said for a guided tour to reveal more of what makes New York City so special.

From themed tours all about pizza to general tours that give you insights into the history and culture of New York, there’s something for every interest. See below for some of our favorite guided tours:

  1. Hamilton Musical Walking Tour – Before you see the musical on Broadway, walk the steps of Alexander Hamilton throughout New York City. Highlights include Thomas Jefferson’s home, King’s College and Trinity Church.
  2. New York: Central Park Movie Sites Walking Tour – Visit one of the most iconic filming sites in the world: Central Park. This guided NYC tour takes you to where famous scenes from Home Alone 2, Ghostbusters, Harry and Sally, and more were filmed.
  3. Radio City Music Hall Stage Door Tour – New York knows how to put on a show! Anyone who enjoys theater, stage, and New York City history will enjoy this guided tour.
  4. Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island: 4-Hour Guided Tour – Did you know part of the Statue of Liberty was crowdfunded? And no, not with Kickstarter! This story and plenty of other fun facts about the Statue of Liberty are revealed during this interesting 4-hour guided tour.
  5. Greenwich Village Pizza Walk – If pizza is on the top of your 2-day NYC itinerary, then sign up for this Greenwich Village and Little Italy walking tour. You’ll enjoy slices of pizza from 3 different stores while learning about the culinary history of the area.

For more, we’ve collected all of the best walking tours of NYC here.

Best Neighborhood To Stay In New York City For 2 Days

When you’re coming to New York City for the weekend, you can make the most of your limited time by choosing the right NYC neighborhood to stay in.

To help you with your decision, we’ve outlined the best areas to stay in New York City for 2 days, along with who they might be best for!

  • First time In NYC? Stay in the Theater District – For a lively look at New York’s highest-energy area, the Theater District between 42nd Street and 50th Street to the west of Sixth Avenue is ideal. While also great for seeing a Broadway show, its main subway stop – 42nd Street Broadway – connects to many other lines throughout the city.
  • Want to see all the NYC sights? Stay in Midtown – Want to enjoy lots of New York’s cultural institutions without having to travel to and fro on the subway? A Midtown stay connects you with shopping, theater, and museums at walking distance.
  • Visiting NYC with family? Stay in the Upper West Side – Being close to Central Park, Natural History Museum, and a quieter part of town is the ideal combination for families exploring NYC for the first time.
  • Coming for New York’s nightlife? Stay in the Meatpacking District – When you like to plan your trips around bars and clubs, stay in the Meatpacking District and enjoy bars that don’t close until 4am on the weekend.
  • Traveling with foodies? Stay in SoHo – If your trip orbits around fine dining and some of New York’s best food choices, staying in the SoHo and Tribeca areas will put you right in the heart of the culinary scene.
  • Looking for NYC’s quieter side? Stay in the Upper East Side – From families needing a quieter area to settle in during the evenings to those who like a nice break after a long day of exploring, the residential Upper East Side and Lincoln Center provide travelers with a calmer stay (and some of the city’s most beautiful architecture!).

3 Things To Know Before You Go

  1. Grab Tickets Ahead Of Time – New York is a city full of energy, so it can be tempting to just go with the flow and see what happens when you’re there. However, for trips as quick and action-packed as this NYC weekend itinerary is, we highly recommend buying tickets in advance to save time in line. With a sightseeing pass, you’ll save even more time. We’ve compared all of NYC’s best sightseeing passes for you here.
  2. Follow Our Maps – While it’s easier than ever to open up a map on your phone and see what’s around you, our maps were designed to help you make the most of your trip. Bookmark this page and save our maps, and you’ll have an easy-to-follow guide right in your pocket.
  3. Buy This Itinerary – The Big Apple is a lot to take in, and we want you to stay in the moment! By buying this New York City itinerary – along with beautifully designed maps, insider advice, and locals-only tips – you don’t ever have to worry about what’s next. Just enjoy!

FAQs About Spending A Weekend in NYC

Is it worth going to New York City for a weekend?

A weekend is an excellent amount of time to experience what New York City has to offer. It’s especially ideal for a visit because you won’t be dealing with the workday hustle and bustle, and the majority of museums will be open.

Is 2 nights in NYC enough?

2 nights is more than enough time to discover New York City. By spending full days in the city, you can focus on everything the Big Apple has to offer.Whether it’s during the week or the weekend, you’ll have the opportunity to check out different parts of the city, spend time in a museum or two, and enjoy some of the city’s famous restaurants.

How much money do I need for 2 days in NYC?

According to past travelers, the cost per day of a vacation in New York City is around $240. Average costs include $37 on meals per day and $39 in transportation. Much of this budget will also go to your hotel stay, so depending on the quality and location, you can either save or splurge accordingly!

Can you walk all of Manhattan in a day?

Yes, it’s possible to walk Manhattan in about 12 hours. If you go for it, be sure to stop for snacks! To enjoy the trip, plan out interesting activities that can double as breaks along the way. For example, walk through Central Park so you can stop for a picnic or on a park bench, but save the museums for another day when your legs are fresher!

What is the best month to visit New York City?

There are two great times for your first visit to New York City: the spring and the fall. From April to June, you’ll find New York’s weather is the best and increasingly longer days. In November and December, you can see the city’s beautiful fall colors and its unique celebrations for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year.

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▷ 3 Days in New York



There’s no wonder why New York is known as “The City That Never Sleeps.” With countless museums, restaurants, stores, galleries, and more, New York City does not have a shortage of offerings. So, as you can imagine, NYC is an exciting destination for first-time visitors.

Yet, as someone who has visited the city more than 20 times, I can tell you that you will not get to everything the area offers in just three days. However, with the help of our beautifully designed 3-Day NYC Itinerary PDF, which is available to buy in our shop, you can make the most out of just a few days. The PDF includes a Google map for each day, tips, and more.

Before we get started, it’s also important to note that if you’re only spending three days in NYC, buying your tickets in advance may make more sense. The other thing you can do, which is very beneficial, is checking out the sightseeing passes here. Either way, NYC is a hectic place with a lot of people, so anything you can do to save time on your trip is a big plus!

That said, below, you will find a comprehensive three-day NYC itinerary, tips for visiting the city for the first time, how to get around on the weekend, the best sightseeing tours, and where to stay. Let’s stop wasting time and get started!

NYC Itinerary: Day One

Day one of our three-day itinerary focuses on Midtown Manhattan and the must-see attractions, from parks and buildings to observation decks and museums.

The Perfect First Morning in NYC

  1. 01 Start Your Day in Central Park!

    Central Park is an attraction that every NYC visitor must see. Not only is the park a sprawling, gorgeous natural oasis in the middle of a busy city, but it’s also full of history, folklore, and character.

    However, considering Central Park encompasses 843 acres, seeing everything in one visit is nearly impossible. For your first trip, we’ve included two stops to explore.

    First is Bow Bridge, arguably the park’s most famous landmark. This bridge has been featured in many movies and is popular with locals and tourists alike. Then, you will head over to the Bethesda Terrace, where you will find one of the first structures constructed in Central Park. In this area, you will find lots of history, street performers, Instagram stars, and more.

  2. Contemporary Art NYC

    02 Choose Between Two of The Best Museums!

    As a note: New York may be one of the best cities in the world for museums. In fact, we’ve outlined all of our favorite New York museums here. With your 3-day NYC itinerary, however, we know you don’t have time to visit them all, so we’re recommending two of the best here.

    Option A: Metropolitan Museum of Art
    After Central Park, we are providing you with two options, of which the first is the Metropolitan Museum of Art. More commonly known as The Met, this museum is the largest art museum in the country and is also one of the largest art museums in the world. It is home to a permanent collection of more than two million works of art that are divided into 17 curatorial departments. The museum was founded in 1870 with the mission of bringing art and education to the American people. Located near Central Park, here you will find a permanent collection of works from ancient Egypt and classical antiquity, sculptures and paintings from nearly every European Master, and a large collection of modern and American art.

    For more on the Met, including hours and upcoming exhibitions, visit their official website.

    Option B: Museum of Modern Art
    Your other option is to visit the MoMA or Museum of Modern Art. This museum is located in Midtown Manhattan and is home to more than 300,000 exhibition catalogs and books, 40,000 files of ephemera about groups and individual artists, and over 1,000 periodical titles. In fact, the MoMA plays a significant role in collecting and developing modern art, making it one of the world’s most influential modern art museums. It’s also one of the world’s most visited museums, making it a must-see attraction in NYC.

    For more on the MoMA, including hours and upcoming exhibitions, visit their official website.

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    03 Stroll Down Millionaire’s Row

    Even if you’ve never visited NYC, you have heard of 5th Avenue. It’s been deemed the most expensive and famous shopping district in the world, and for a good reason! Just walking down this main thoroughfare that connects Upper Manhattan to Lower Manhattan gives you a feeling like nowhere else in the world!

    From world-famous restaurants to high-end luxury shops and everything in between – you’ll find it on 5th Avenue! So, for day one of our itinerary, you will spend a bit of time taking in the sights and tastes of 5th Avenue before moving on with your day.

  4. Top of the Rock

    04 Visit the Rockefeller Center

    You simply cannot visit New York City and not see Rockefeller Center, even if just for a short time. This national historic landmark is situated in the heart of Midtown Manhattan and comprises 19 buildings across 22 acres. This complex is home to NBC Studios, Top of the Rock Observation Deck, Radio City Music Hall, and much more. So, here you can simply take a stroll and enjoy the many sights and sounds of Rockefeller Center, or you have many options for activities such as shopping and dining. One thing I will reiterate is that if you plan to visit the Top of the Rock, you should book tickets in advance to save time on day one.

    You can find out more about Rockefeller Center at their official website.

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    05 Marvel at St. Patrick’s Cathedral

    NYC is home to many gorgeous architectural styles, but some structures just stand out more than others. One such structure is the St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Midtown Manhattan. This building is the end result of centuries of planning, hard work, and refurbishing, but it captures the admiration and attention of every person who passes by. Constructed in 1878, this Cathedral is one of the largest Gothic Revival Catholic cathedrals in America. Given that this building is located right across from Rockefeller Center, there’s no better time to marvel at this beautiful building and snap some pictures to capture the memory!

    For more on the history of this Catholic cathedral in Manhattan, visit their official website.

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    06 Take a Break in Bryant Park

    Bryant Park is located between Fifth and Sixth Avenues in Midtown Manhattan and covers just over 9 acres. One of the largest features in the park is the large lawn that’s situated just below the surrounding pathways. Aside from serving as a lunch spot for office workers, this area is also seating for major events hosted here, like Broadway in Bryant Park, Bryant Park Movie Nights, and Square Dance. While in Bryant Park, be sure to watch for numerous sculptures placed around the property and take a ride on the iconic Carousel before heading to your next stop.

The Perfect First Afternoon in NYC

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    01 Visit The Impressive New York Public Library

    And Bryant Park also brings us to the next stop: the New York Public Library. In fact, the main branch of the system is housed within this park. Easily recognizable by the lion statues out front, the Main Branch was constructed in 1911 and is one of four research libraries within the library system.

    The building is open to the public, but wear your walking shoes if you go inside. The structure is four stories tall and is said to contain more than 2.5 million volumes in its collection. Still, even if you do not venture far inside, just seeing the New York Public Library in Brant Park is exhilarating!

    For more on the NYPL, including upcoming events, you can visit their site.

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    02 Stop by Macy’s

    Macy’s Herald Square location in Midtown is the flagship store for the company and serves as Macy’s corporate headquarters. The building spans an entire city block and encompasses over 2.5 million square feet, of which 1.25 million square feet is retail space.

    Thus, this is your opportunity to visit the largest department store in the U.S. and one of the largest in the world. Not only can you shop until you drop, browsing some of the most iconic brands, but there are also many places to grab food. Moreover, during the holidays, Macy’s Herald Square location is an excellent place to catch the Macy’s Day Parade or simply look at the holiday window displays.

    For more information you can visit Macy’s official website.

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    03 Spend Some Time at The Remarkable Hudson Yards

    There’s no better time to visit Hudson Yards, now that it’s gotten a face-lift and is home to a state-of-the-art building facility. At 28 acres, Hudson Yards is larger than Rockefeller Center and boasts an impressive neighborhood that is fun to experience. While here, you will find a hotel, monumental sculpture, art space, offices, restaurants, residences, a mall, an observation deck, and 14 acres of green public space. Regardless if you just stop by Hudson Yards to browse and say you’ve been there or shop and have a meal, this is one NYC attraction you don’t want to miss!

    There are two amazing attractions in Hudson Yards, and you will choose one for the sake of this three-day NYC itinerary.

    Option A: The Edge
    The first option is The Edge, and, trust me, you will not experience NYC like this anywhere else in the city! Edge is the Western Hemisphere’s highest outdoor sky deck that features a unique, one-of-a-kind design. Suspended in mid-air, Edge gives you the feeling of floating in the sky. When you combine this with the 360-degree views of New York, it’s understandable why this is one of the area’s most-visited attractions. Just keep in mind that this option may not be best for those with a fear of heights, as The Edge allows you to peer 100 stories below from the glass floor.

    Option B: The Shed
    If heights are not your thing, the other unique experience at Hudson Yards is The Shed. This cultural center commissions original artwork for all audiences across all disciplines. The Shed combines emerging and established artists in fields ranging from classical music to hip hop, digital media to painting, literature to theater, and dance to sculpture in a unique moveable structure that can adapt to support many inventive types of art in one building. The Shed is located at 15 Hudson Yards and borders the Gardens and Public Square. And even if you don’t go inside to see the exhibits of these attractions, just know that Edge and The Shed both feature innovative building techniques that are wonderful to marvel at from the outside.

    For more on everything related to the Hudson Yards, visit their official website.

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    04 Wander Above The Streets at The High Line

    Continuing on day one, the next stop is NYC’s High Line. Built atop a defunct viaduct section of the New York Rail System, you will find the High Line, which is an elevated linear greenway and park. The park is 1.45 miles long and will take you from Hudson Yards through Chelsea to the Meatpacking District. Here you will find artwork, lush horticulture, community events, seasonal food vendors, and unique views of the city skyline and Hudson River.

    If you want to make even more out of your time around the High Line, stop at the Chelsea Piers and take a cruise.

    To discover more about this elevated landscape on the West Side of Manhattan, visit the High Line’s official website.

  5. Little Island New York

    05 Visit Little Island, a Park on The Hudson River

    As you make your way into Chelsea and the Meatpacking District, you’ll find an artificial island park called Little Island.

    Situated on the Hudson River, Little Island opened in 2021 to serve as an oasis for New Yorkers. With over two acres of distinctive architecture, magnificent landscaping, free programs, and dazzling views, Little Island is not like any other park you’ve visited. Here you can enjoy the gorgeous scenery, grab food from local vendors, or play the various games and activities that are placed around the island. Entrance is free, and Little Island is a great place to reflect on the day for a few minutes.

    For more about Little Island, including upcoming events, check out their official website.

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    06 Come to Union Square

    As you head back toward 5th Avenue, you will find your next stop: Union Square. This is not just another neighborhood. It is a park where Flatiron, Gramercy, and East Village meet. From the famed George Washington on horseback statue to the Union Square Greenmarket, Fotografiska, and the various local eateries and shops, Union Square is a bustling centrally-located attraction that has much to offer. Tourists and locals alike enjoy spending time around Union Square, and this is also an excellent place to catch street performers and other entertainment. Don’t forget to stop by Breads Bakery and get one of their iconic buttery croissants before moving on!

    For a full list of restaurants, bars, and a calendar of events, visit Union Square’s official website.

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    07 Come to Flatiron Building and Madison Square Park

    Madison Square Park is named after America’s fourth President, James Madison, and is most famous for providing the name of the iconic sports arena Madison Square Garden. The park is located at the northern end of the Flatiron District and is a public park that encompasses over six acres in the heart of NYC. Perhaps the coolest thing about this park is that it has been a public space since 1686!

    This is a must-stop location for day one, as you’ll have spectacular views of many famous buildings such as the Flatiron Building, New York Life Building, the Toy Center, Appellate Division Courthouse, One Madison Park, and the MetLife Tower.

    For more information visit the official website of Madison Square Park.

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    08 A New York City Must-See: The Empire State Building

    As you continue on the trek, enjoy the sights and sounds of 5th Avenue as you head toward Times Square. Yet, before you make it there, be sure to stop out front of the Empire State Building. Once the tallest building in the world, this towering structure is home to an observatory on the 102nd floor. And it’s a good thing the building is equipped with 73 elevators. Otherwise, you would have to climb 1,872 stairs to reach the top. Of course, going inside the Empire State Building is optional, but at the very least, stop by and take a few pictures out front!

    For more information about the building and the kinds of tickets available, visit our guide about the Empire State Building.

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    09 End Your First Day Surrounded by Colorful Lights at Times Square

    Times Square is one of NYC’s most popular tourist attractions and is the epicenter of all things media. So, it’s only fitting that you visit this area on the first day of your trip. Depending on what time of the day you make it to Times Square, strolling through the area, you may find it illuminated under the bright lights of the night or during the day with its digital billboards and skyscrapers looming above.

    Either way, Times Square is impressive and a place everyone should experience at least once in their lives. When visiting Times Square, consider catching a Broadway show at one of the many local theaters!

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    10 Soak up One Last View of NYC

    Finishing out day one of your trip, we are providing you with two options for your last attraction of the day.

    Option A: Summit One Vanderbilt (my favorite observation deck in NYC!)
    First, check out the Summit One Vanderbilt, which is, hands down, the best observation deck in NYC! Located on the top three floors of one of Manhattan’s tallest skyscrapers is a multi-sensory, immersive experience that combines floor-to-ceiling mirrors with art installations and amazing views. Summit One Vanderbilt is a different experience than what you get with any of NYC’s other observation decks. And this is a good thing! Of course, if you’re feeling really adventurous, you can also take part in Ascent, which is the largest external glass-bottomed elevator in the world.

    You can find more information in our guide about the Summit One Vanderbilt observation decks, including info about tickets.

    Option B: The Refinery Rooftop
    The Refinery Rooftop is a fan favorite for both tourists and locals alike. Located on top of the Refinery Hotel, this coveted spot offers awe-inspiring views of the Empire State Building and the NYC skyline. By day, the Refinery Rooftop is a melange of fashion, culture, and culinary delights as chef Jeff Haskell prepares a full lunch menu with options like Seared Yellowfin Tuna and Little Gem Caesar salads. At night, which is around the time you’ll probably arrive, the Refinery Rooftop is transformed into a more lively place to sip on some signature cocktails. Regardless of which option you choose, both attractions offer spectacular city views and overall experiences.

    Check out the menu and make your reservations at the Refinery Rooftop here.

NYC Itinerary: Day Two

Moving a bit south, day two of the itinerary focuses on Lower Manhattan, primarily the areas just south of Gramercy Park to Chinatown. From shopping, cafes, and unique neighborhoods to Union Square and the Meatpacking district, let’s take a look at day two.

Start into Your Second Day

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    01 Enjoy a Delicious Breakfast in the West Village

    To kick off your second day, the tour will begin in the West Village. This is a popular attraction thanks to its trendy restaurants and designer boutiques. Yet, the other draw to this area is the quaint streets, some of which are still made from cobblestone. Here you’ll find Federal-style townhouses lining the streets that are dotted with public spaces. Though West Village is historically artsy and home to many cabarets, theaters, and piano bars that are busy at night, during the day, it’s a whole different atmosphere.

    Given that you will be here first thing in the morning, stop by Dante West Village for breakfast and then browse the shops before stopping by a cafe for a snack or tasty beverage.

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    02 Take a Walk in Greenwich Village

    Heading west from West Village to Greenwich Village, you’ll be entering one of NYC’s most historically wealthy areas. This neighborhood is highly coveted thanks to its appealing architecture that spans every decade.

    When in the area, don’t forget to look for the famed Friends apartment building and check out Washington Square Park. One of the city’s most beloved parks, Washington Square Park is much smaller than Central Park, only covering about 10 acres. Here you will find a wide array of people from all walks of life. From families and NYU students to poets, artists, chess players, and musicians, you really never know who you will see here!

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    03 Explore the Neighborhoods of SoHo, Little Italy and Chinatown

    • SoHo
      Located just Northeast of Greenwich Village is the ever-popular SoHo neighborhood. Here you’ll find lots of shopping and dining options. From fancy chain stores and designer boutiques to art galleries and more, SoHo is a common shopping destination for out-of-towners. Admired for its elegant cast-iron building facades and cobblestone streets, this area is a magnet for fashionable crowds who gather at restaurants and nightlife spots. You will be visiting SoHo during the day, so prepare to fill your time shopping, and don’t forget to check out the street vendors who offer everything from original artwork to jewelry.
    • Little Italy
      The next stop on day two is Little Italy. This location is usually included on every tourist’s must-see list because it offers a romantic, old-world New York atmosphere that is world-famous and features authentic Italian dishes that cannot be beaten. At one time, Little Italy stressed from Houston to Canal Streets, between the Bowery and Lafayette Street, as immigrants from Sicily and Naples flooded the neighborhood in the 1880s. Today, Little Italy is primarily confined to the blocks around Mulberry Street. Nonetheless, here you will find some of the trendiest clothing shops and best bars in the city.
    • Chinatown
      Home to many Asian immigrants, New York City’s Chinatown is one of the most evocative neighborhoods in the city. Walking its narrow, busy streets reveals surprise after surprise. Marvel at sights like Chatham Square’s statue of Lin Zexu, a Qing dynasty official credited with leading the fight against Britain’s illegal opium importation. Then, keep walking and check out the unique pagoda-style roofs and the Buddhist Temple. Many tourists also venture over to Doyers Street, where you’ll find speakeasies and basement bars that will make you think it’s the 1920s all over again. Bring your appetite and work your way through dumpling dens, dim sum palaces, and noodle joints.

Your Second Afternoon

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    01 Discover the Lower East Side

    The Lower East Side is an eclectic Manhattan neighborhood where tenement-style buildings and gritty alleys mix with chic boutiques and upscale apartments. If you want to visit this area at night, you’ll find it draws young, hip crowds with local music venues, restaurants, and trendy bars. During the day, take in the city’s Jewish heritage as you pass by the Tenement Museum and old-world fabric stores.

    Finish out your time in the Lower East Side by stopping at Katz’s Delicatessen and Yonah Schimmel’s Knish. These two restaurants have been in the city for decades and offer up the freshest and tastiest Jewish delicacies and comfort food – you will not be disappointed!

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    02 Another beautiful neighborhood: The East Village

    Heading north toward NoHo is East Village. Once the birthplace of punk rock music, today, East Village is still an artsy section of town, as it is home to many music venues, comedy clubs, and theaters. While in East Village, stop by Astor Place, which was named after John Jacob Astor, America’s richest man at one time. This is a cool area that is famous for the Joseph Papp Public Theatre and the Blue Man Group.

    Of course, Astor Place and East Village are both home to some wonderful restaurants and cafes to enjoy while in the neighborhood.

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    03 Come back to Union Square

    As you make your way back toward Greenwich Village, the next stop is another visit to Union Square. Union Square NYC is the heart of everything that happens and is one of the best places to experience everything the city has to offer.

    Use this visit to do something different than you did on day one. Perhaps you can go to 14th Street and spend an hour or two strolling, shopping, and dining. Regardless of what you choose to do, Union Square is home to many businesses, from restaurants and bars to shopping, lodging, and theaters.

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    04 Get to know the glamorous Meatpacking District

    Once a neighborhood full of factories and slaughterhouses, NYC’s Meatpacking District has transformed into one of the city’s most glamorous neighborhoods. This luxury destination is home to stylish restaurants, trendy hotels, and luxe clubs. Along the historic cobblestone streets, you’ll also find many upscale salons and boutiques, as well as world-class attractions like the High Line and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

    While here, stop at the Sugar Factory, Chelsea Market, or venture over to the Gansevoort Market, where you’ll find a food area and farmer’s market that have been in NYC since 1884. The Meatpacking District is a wonderful place to grab a bite to eat, sip on a signature cocktail, or simply take in the sights of one of the local area attractions like the High Line.

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    05 Let the day end on Bleecker Street

    To finish out an amazing day two of your trip, spend the evening on Bleecker Street. This is basically a one-mile stretch of road that starts in the West Village and runs to Greenwich Village. Bleecker Street is a great way to spend an evening because it is home to so many tasty restaurants, including one of my personal favorites, Dante’s NYC. However, if the tastes of Dante’s aren’t right for you, no worries – Bleecker Street is home to many restaurants, bars, clubs, theaters, art galleries, hotels, and more. In fact, here you will find NYC’s oldest rock and roll club known as The Bitter End, and one of the most authentic blues clubs in the city, Terra Blues.

NYC Itinerary: Day Three

Welcome to day three of your three-day NYC trip! Today will focus on some of New York City’s most famous and iconic landmarks. From Tribeca and the Statue of Liberty to DUMBO and Brooklyn, let’s take a look at day three.

Start Your Third Day in NYC

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    01 Take a Stroll Around Tribeca

    Tribeca is one of NYC’s most hip areas and is renowned for its old industrial buildings that now serve as residential loft spaces. The area’s cobblestone streets are lined with trendy restaurants and boutiques, and you’ll find historical buildings such as the 1884 red-brick New York Mercantile Exchange. Families and other visitors enjoy quiet weekends along the Hudson River and through Washington Market Park.

    If you’re lucky, perhaps the Tribeca Film Festival will be taking place, which is held here in the spring each year. Regardless, Tribeca is full of NYC charm, architecture, and other unique sights to see.

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    02 Take Some Time at 9/11 Memorial & Museum

    The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, are forever etched in the minds of people around the world, but especially in New York City. Your second stop on day three is the 9/11 National Memorial and Museum.

    Here you can pay your respects to those who were lost that fateful day, spend quiet time gathering your thoughts around the reflection pools, and view some of the artifacts saved from that day. In fact, you can check out the Survivor’s Stairs, pieces of the aircraft, damaged steel beams, the Survivor’s Tree, and much more. Just remember that this attraction does get busy, so the earlier you arrive at this stop, the better.

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    03 Enjoy a Breathtaking View From One World Observatory

    Next up, you’ll enjoy the breathtaking views of Lower Manhattan from the One World Observatory.

    Once you enter the building, you begin an ascent to the 102nd floor, where the deck is located. As you travel up the building, you are placed in a lift that is covered by screens and depicts an amazing time-lapse of New York City’s evolution from its founding as a 17th Century Dutch colony to the present-day marvel that it is. At the top of the skyscraper, which is the tallest building in NYC, you’ll enter the Observatory and enjoy views of New York that you won’t find anywhere else.

    For more information about the One World Observatory, including information about tickets, head to our complete guide.

Make The Most of Your Last Afternoon

  1. Statue of Liberty Cruise

    01 Say Hello to Lady Liberty

    Arguably two of the most famous landmarks in the world, you cannot visit NYC for the first time and not see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. The place where so many immigrants began their American dreams and the perfect gift from France, these two attractions have long been a draw for many tourists in NYC. Regardless if you just arrive at the area and marvel from afar or plan visits to both Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, which is located on Liberty Island, you will not be disappointed.

    If you are feeling extra adventurous, sign up for the Hard Hat Tour of Ellis Island, which gives you a tour of the Ellis Island Hospital, where some 275,000 immigrants were treated as they entered the country. Defunct since 1951, the hospital has fallen into disrepair, and the tour is a way to Save the Ellis Island Hospital.

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    02 Visit The World’s Most Famous Financial District

    After seeing what American dreams are made of, it’s time to head toward another infamous landmark: Wall Street.

    Located in the heart of New York City’s Financial District, Wall Street is famous for the Charging Bull statue and the New York Stock Exchange building. As you stroll down this famous street, also be sure to check out the Fearless Girl statue in front of the NYSE building, Federal Hall with its famous statue of George Washington, and then stop by Trinity Church for a free tour if you’d like.

    Once the sights on Wall Street are over, you can enjoy a quick bite to eat or grab a drink at one of the many cafes and restaurants in the area.

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    03 Take Some Classic NYC Pictures on Brooklyn Bridge

    The legendary Brooklyn Bridge was constructed from 1869 until 1883 and was designed by John A. Roebling. When it was built, the Brooklyn Bridge was the world’s longest suspension bridge and the first bridge to use steel as cable wire. This bridge connects Manhattan to Brooklyn and spans the East River. This is a must-see attraction that is known for its beloved stone arches.

    Just beware, it accommodates six lanes of traffic as well as a bicycle and a pedestrian path. It is estimated that the Brooklyn Bridge is used daily by 30,000 pedestrians, 3,000 cyclists, and 116,000 vehicles.

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    04 Enjoy Amazing Views of The Manhattan Skyline From Brooklyn Bridge Park

    Brooklyn Bridge Park has something for everyone. Whether you want to explore the rich ecology, sweeping vistas, vibrant programming, or expansive piers, you’ll find it here. Spanning 85 acres, this waterfront park features riverfront promenades, rolling hills, lush gardens, and dazzling city views.

    Quite simply, if you are visiting NYC for the first time and planning to see the Brooklyn Bridge, do not miss this accompanying park. Spend a few minutes relaxing by the waterfront or engage in a fun game of bocce ball, basketball, or handball. No matter what you choose to do, Brooklyn Bridge Park is a treasure that you have to see!

    For more on what you can do while you’re at the park, including upcoming events, visit their official website.

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    05 Take a Picture of The Manhattan Bridge in DUMBO

    Now that you are on the Brooklyn side of the bridge, it’s time to check out the Manhattan Bridge view from DUMBO. If you are wondering what DUMBO stands for, it means “Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass.” Situated along Washington Street, you’ll find the Manhattan Bridge viewpoint. This is hands down the best view of this bridge that you’ll find in the city and makes for the perfect photo-op backdrop. The bridge view, combined with the tree-lined cobblestone streets and red brick buildings, provides one of NYC’s best places to take photos and create memories.

    Here’s a pro tip: look directly beneath the bridge, and you’ll see the Empire State Building peeking through!

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    06 Explore Some of The Best Restaurants at Time Out Market

    All of this walking and sightseeing may have made you a bit famished, but not to worry, DUMBO is home to the Time Out Market. You’ve never experienced a food court quite like this before! First of all, having so many food options you can eat at the same place is amazing! But when you consider how different your family’s tastes are, it’s so wonderful for everyone to enjoy what they want. From Asian fusion, barbecue, and Indian to bakeries, healthy options, and other specialty restaurants, you can find nearly every type of dish here! The bonus is that the Time Out Market is located on the fifth floor of the building, so you can see the East River, Brooklyn Bridge, and Manhattan Bridge right from the terrace!

    Get ready to visit Brooklyn’s Time Out Market by checking the full list of dining and drinking options here.

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    07 Take The NYC Ferry Back to Manhattan

    There’s no doubt you may be tired of walking by this point of day three, so we’re going to give you a break.

    One of the last stops on your final day is taking a ride on the NYC Ferry back to Manhattan. Rather than walking across the Brooklyn Bridge again, hop on the ferry and enjoy the ride back to either Wall Street or Pier 11. If you’re not a fan of the ferry, you can also rent a bike at Citi Bike and ride over the Manhattan Bridge. Regardless of which “ride” you take back to Manhattan, this is an excellent way to see some additional sights as you close out your final day.

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    08 Let The Day End in The Lower East Side

    East Village and the Lower East Side both make wonderful options for some nightlife activities. In fact, these are some of the most famed nightlife spots in the city! The bar scene is phenomenal, as they have cocktail lounges, dive bars, speakeasies, and karaoke bars. Then, if it’s dinner or a late-night snack you want, that’s here too! Though some come for the Japanese food of bars, others flock to this area for the eclectic mix of people who attend the area’s many nightclubs.

    Whether you enjoy a quiet night at a cocktail lounge or a wild night at The Pyramid Club, have fun and enjoy your last night in the Big Apple.

Tips for Visiting NYC for the First Time

New York City is an amazing Megacity that can be quite overwhelming even for locals. Yet, the good news is that New Yorkers are busy, but they are also very helpful. Traffic cops and signs are always present to guide you, but with a few tips and tricks, your NYC visit can be as hassle-free as visiting the store near your house. Here are our tips for visiting NYC for the first time.

  • Pack Comfortable Shoes
    If you are traveling to the Big Apple and plan to follow our itinerary, be sure to pack comfortable shoes. This is non-negotiable because you will do a ton of walking! After all, it’s the greatest city in the world, so who wants to be stuck in a car?
  • Pay Attention
    Not only can NYC streets be dirty, but you never know who or what you may run into on the street. Remaining vigilant and aware of your surroundings will keep you safe and ensure you have a great first trip.
  • Invest in Passes
    Before you arrive in the city, it’s best to have a clear plan for what you will see and do. Buying a New York CityPASS and subway pass will not only save you money but a great deal of time as well.
  • Stay Close to Transportation
    The last thing you want is to be located far away from the primary types of transportation, i.e., the subway. Traffic is horrendous, and to make the most out of your three days, you will want to quickly access different parts of the city.
  • Research Places to Eat
    Yes, NYC is full of Michelin-star-rated eateries, but it’s also home to many hole-in-the-walls, local restaurants, and food trucks. Before arriving in the city, take some time to research places to eat near your hotel and on your tour route. Doing this is a great way to save money on food or at least prevent going over budget.
  • Live in the Moment
    NYC is one of the world’s most vibrant cities. So, while you are there, save a bit of time to just stop and live in the moment. Take videos and pictures, but remember to see New York City with your eyes as well!

How to Get Around NYC in a Weekend

Getting around NYC in just a weekend can be challenging. There are a million things to see and do, yet the city is bustling with people everywhere. Hence, it takes time to get to places and see the sights.

The best way to make sure you don’t miss anything that you should see is to follow a two or three-day itinerary. These guides are created by people (like me) who have visited NYC many times and are experienced at knowing how to manage a city tour. Basically, you choose the itinerary that fits your needs and follow it as closely as possible. Sure, you may decide that a neighboring attraction looks more fun than the one you originally wanted to visit. Yet, just try to stay on the same general path. The itinerary has been created with traffic, lines, and other time-consuming issues in mind, making it your best bet to see the most attractions in the shortest time.

Where to Stay

As you would imagine, there are many wonderful places to stay in the Big Apple. However, before you book a super luxe Upper Midtown hotel, you should know that it takes about twenty minutes to get to Midtown Manhattan.

Still, the truth is that every NYC neighborhood offers a unique and distinct style and personality. From trendy or luxurious to family-friendly. Hence, it can be challenging to pick the perfect lodging destination. Depending on your preferences, travel style, and who you are visiting with, you may decide to avoid some areas to make your trip more memorable.

That said, you still want to enjoy what NYC has to offer. So, it’s probably best if you choose a place that is centrally located. Here are our top three neighborhoods to stay in NYC during a short trip:

  • Midtown Manhattan
    If you are like most people, then you want to spend your first time in the city seeing the places you have been watching on TV and in movies for years. The part of Manhattan that you usually see depicted is Midtown. Midtown is where you will find most of the iconic buildings, and the location is central, so getting anywhere in the city is easy.
    It is important to note that because Midtown is home to so many tourist attractions, it’s always crowded and busy. Yet, it’s a great area to stay for first-time travelers because there are hotels to fit every budget.
  • Financial District
    NYC is often referred to as the world’s financial capital, and the Financial District serves as its epicenter. This lower Manhattan neighborhood is home to Wall Street and the New York Stock Exchange and is where business travelers are commonly found. First-time travelers enjoy the Financial District because it is a business-centric area that is steeped in history. In fact, some of the historic restaurants, bars, and cobblestone streets date back to the 1800s.  Staying in the Financial District puts you close to the 9/11 Memorial, One World Trade Center, Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty and so much more!
  • SoHo
    SoHo, or South of Houston Street, is where you will find many shops, art galleries, designer boutiques, and cobblestone streets. The good thing about staying in this district is that it’s more of a residential area, so there are fewer crowds. So, while everyone else is waiting to access landmarks, you can enjoy some of the art galleries and shops. If you are visiting NYC for the first time and are a pizza enthusiast or fashionista, then this is where you want to be! Just be sure that your phone is fully charged for endless photo ops and possible celebrity sightings!

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