Final Thoughts On One Day In New York
There are so many amazing things to do in NYC of course you cant possible see as much as you would like in one day, BUT you can see the best of the best if you have 24 hours in the Big Apple.
From historical monuments to stunning views from the best observatories in the world, you almost cant go wrong with how your spend your day here.
What would you put on your 1-day NYC itinerary? Let us know in the comments below!
Day 4 In New York City: Whatever Your Heart Desires
When I create itineraries, I always like to leave some room for you to design a day based on your interests or have some time to hit up places you may have missed in the previous days.
You can retrace your steps, and continue exploring anything you missed in Manhattan, or you can stay in Brooklyn for a second day, which would be my personal preference.
In Brooklyn, you can visit other neighborhoods like Bushwick and Red Hook.
Bushwick has some of the best street art and tons of incredible art galleries and studios.
I would also go on a free graffiti tour led by Free Tours by Foot, and then grab some French or Vietnamese food for lunch. You are in one of the best neighborhoods for the aforementioned foods.
In Red Hook, I highly suggest visiting Pioneer Works, a space for alternative expression in the arts, technology, music, and science. They have galleries and workshops here, and free admission Wednesday through Sunday from noon to 6 pm.
For an alternative thing to do in Brooklyn, visit the largest rooftop soil farm, Brooklyn Grange, which hosts educational programs and workshops that promote sustainable living and local ecology. This is the kind of stuff that creates a better future.
If you want to see a different side of New York, head over to Astoria in Queens for dinner. This area has the best Greek food in New York and tons of other great restaurants too.
The options are endless!
Day 6 Ny Itinerary Helicopter Ride & Soho
On day 6 youll be visiting:
- Helicopter Ride or Sport Event
Now any of these days from our New York itinerary can be done in any order, we just wanted to give you a guideline of all there is to see in the city as well as ideas on how to save. By day 6 youre probably thinking how much more is there to do? Well, you yet have amazing things ahead of you!
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Nyc Travel Health & Trip Insurance
If you are traveling to NYC from a country that supports/pays your healthcare , you may want to consider a short term medical plan for US Travel, especially one that specifically says “Covid-19 Medical Covered” or “Covid-19 Cancellation Covered.”
My research shows plans start at $20 USD per week per person that include Covid Medical Care, and you can add trip cancellation and other travel insurance coverage in the online comparison tool. Our US medical expenses are not for the faint of heart, or anyone used to medical care being paid for . Please consider this small investment if it makes sense for you. We recommend SquareMouth to compare global travel health insurance plans.
There are so many special New York City Tours. You can tour New York by walking, bus, helicopter, boat or ferry. Many of these New York City Tours are even free! Whether you want to see the most you can in one day, or have a month to explore, these NYC Tours are here to help you make the most of your time in NYC!
New York One Day Itinerary
Planning a NYC One-Day Itinerary is tough there is just so much to see and do! But if you are going to plan a New York trip for 1 day, we recommend making the most of it! To create your New York one day trip planner, it is best to focus on one area of the city.
New York City Itinerary 1 Day
Our best advice for how to spend the day in New York is to simply choose a single day from our above outlined New York 7-Day Itinerary based on your specific interests. For example, if the Statue of Liberty is a must-see, use Day 3 of our 7-Day Itinerary New York. Or, if going to the Top of the Rock is top of your list, then follow our outline for Day 1.
Alternatively, you can create a New York in One Day Itinerary by combining sights from Days 1 and 2 or Days 2 and 3. Or, better yet, let someone else do all the planning for you and join a guide for a comprehensive 6-hour New York tour of the top things to do in NYC in one day. Find out more!
Pro Tip: Just remember, if including any ticketed attractions in your 1 Day in NYC, it is best to buy Skip the Line Tickets!
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Prioritise What You Want To See
Yeah, seems obvious right?
That being said, there doesnt seem to be enough hours in the day to see everything in New York. Thats when you come to realise the importance of prioritising certain places and events so you dont miss the best of the city.
For instance, if youre planning on visiting the Top Of The Rock , it can sometimes be best to visit the ticket centre first thing in the morning.
This way, you can ensure you get an allocated time to head straight up to the top while also confirming what time Sunset will fall. Honestly, its one of the best ways to plan and see New York City and its all organised before your visit.
First Time Guide To New York City 5 Day Itinerary By A Native New Yorker
Im so proud to be a native New Yorker and I love to help first timers plan their first trip to New York City. Ive made a five day itinerary for NYC with advice on what to see and eat mostly in Manhattan for all budgets.
This post may contain affliate links. Please see my disclosure for more information. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases .
This is a local guide, so although I cover the famous sites, I encourage you to see the smaller neighborhoods/places that make New York special. The Big Apple has so much to offer year-round, so most of these tips can be also used over the holidays. Theres a FREE downloadable map with all the best places to see in New York City in 5 days.
FYI: This is a suggested itinerary for five days, so not everything may be your cup of tea. Feel free to pick from the days , but keep in mind that New York City is BIG, so you change up this itinerary, you might have a lengthy train or taxi ride between places.
How long to spend in NYC? 5 days in NYC is actually the perfect amount if its your first visit. You can spend 3 days in New York City, but its cutting it closeand youll need to come back again. If you have only one day in New York City, you can still see Manhattan!
Before you visit New York City: Download Google Maps & the FREE map at the bottom with all mentioned places as well as Yelp for food. Google has recently really improved their offers for food recommendations.
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How To Spend A Perfect 3 Days In New York City
Three days in New York City might not be enough to see the entirety of the city after all, it is enormous but those 3 days would be just enough to see a lot of its most popular attractions.
The best way to experience the city on your first trip to New York is to explore its attractions in sections, breaking it up area by area. Manhattan is massive with a lot of things to do, so by dedicating your time to particular locations you will end up with the most efficient use of your limited time here.
If youve never been to the Big Apple before and are feeling a bit lost on what to see in New York City in 3 days, we recommend buying the New York CityPASS, as it will give you access to some of the most popular things to see in town at heavily discounted rates.
So without further ado, here is our perfect 3 days in New York City itinerary and travel tips to help you get the most out of your first trip to the city that never sleeps.
Sometimes Its Faster To Walk
In some circumstances! Sometimes the best way to save time is by public transport, but in all honesty, why not walk.
If, for instance, youre travelling from the Flatiron Building to The Empire State Building itll only take 25 minutes. Not only will this save you time but you will see much more that youve wanted to plan and see New York City.
Obviously, for much larger distances, or when your feet refuse to work the subway, cab or Uber is a gem!
Use apps like CityMapper that will allow you to find multiple routes for walking, costings for subway journeys and even the price of a yellow cab.
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More Things To Do On A Day Trip To New York City
If you want to spend more time with the Statue of Liberty and visit Ellis Island, you might like this optionthatincludes a guided pre-ferry tour of Battery Park.
Or pay a visit to the top of One World Observatory with this skip-the-line ticket.
If youre staying the night in New York, consider this sunset cruise in New York Harbor.
Flexible travel dates? Then Id like you to meet Scott. Scotts Cheap Flights to be exact. With a premium subscription to Scotts Cheap Flights, youll get amazing flight deals sent straight to your inbox with instructions on how to book directly with the airlines. Scotts is the ONLY premium subscription service I use to find great travel deals.
New York City Trip Planner
Writer Pearl Buck once called New York City a place apart, and this giant urban center remains unlike any other in the world. An agglomeration of vastly different cultures from around the world, the city is perhaps best explored through its many small diners and world-famous restaurants. With a population of over 8 million, the city is one of the world’s major centers for media, fashion, food, culture, art, research, trade, and finance. Its famous skyline includes some of the most recognizable buildings on the planet, drawing millions of tourists from every corner of the world. To experience the city more fully, travel on foot or on the subway. Plan the details of your New York City holiday and any onward adventuring with our easy-to-use United States trip planner.Read the New York City holiday planning guide
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Check Restaurant Reviews Before Sitting Down
New Yorks restaurant scene is consistently amazing and constantly evolving. Every day, new restaurants open, old ones close, local favorites come under new managementit would literally be a full-time job to keep up with them all.
For that reason, we strongly recommend checking the reviews on restaurants before picking a place to eatits the most reliable way to get up-to-date information about a location and ensure that you wont be disappointed with a single meal you eat during your 4 days in New York.
Where To Stay In New York City & How Much Spending Money Youll Need
New York is expensive. If youre not on a tight budget, youre best off staying off in Midtown or the Village if you can afford it since both locations make sightseeing easiest.
However, for those seeking a more alternative experience and/or lower price tag with a short train ride to the sites, stay in Astoria or Long Island City in Queens. In Brooklyn, look in Williamsburg, Dumbo, or Clinton Hill.
You might also find some affordable picks along the Lower East Side. You might also want to look into the Pod hotel chain for affordable rooms in central locations.
For budgeting tips, read my master NYC on a budget post where all of the activities are FREE. Plan on spending at minimum $50+ per person on food, $20 per person on activities minimum, $100+ on the hotel , and extra if you plan on going out . Be sure to master happy hour as it will save you a lot of money. Please be sure to account for tips at restaurants as tipping is standard in New York City.
I did not include this on the list: I highly recommend stopping to see a Broadway show, if thats your thing. Book your tickets early and try first through the theatre itself to get the best prices in advance. In place of going out, see a show. Budget about $70-$300+ per ticket depending on the show and your sets. A friend of mine was able to get tickets to a major Broadway show for just $70 per seat. Off-Broadway is a great option for those on a tighter budget.
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Can I Cancel My Last
Cancellation, like booking, traditionally has to be done well in advance, but Expedia understands that unforeseen circumstances can call for more last-minute decisions. That’s why we strive to offer flexibility in all our bookings, because where you book matters, even if it’s for rentals that are in high demand like Panama City Beach hotels. Many available hotel deals come with free cancellation even with last-minute booking.
Volunteering In New York City
Long term travel is awesome. Giving back is awesome too. For backpackers looking to travel long-term on a budget in New York City whilst making a real impact on local communities look no further than World Packers. World Packers is an excellent platform connecting travelers with meaningful volunteer positions throughout the world.
In exchange for a few hours of work each day, your room and board are covered.
Backpackers can spend long periods of time volunteering in an awesome place without spending any money. Meaningful life and travel experiences are rooted in stepping out of your comfort zone and into the world of a purposeful project.
World Packers opens the doors for work opportunities in hostels, homestays, NGOs, and eco-projects around the world. Broke Backpacker readers get a special discount of $20 just use this discount code BROKEBACKPACKER and membership is discounted from $49 a year to $29.
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One World Trade Centre & 9/11 Memorial Site
The first time I went to New York was in 2005 when the land where the Twin Towers once stood was still being worked on. On my second visit, I was able to go to the 9/11 Memorial Site, where there is a park commemorating the victims of the terror attack.
Its a very moving place and it certainly deserves a moment of your time, this strangely peaceful and solemn space seems so small to have housed such huge buildings.
You can also take the elevator to the top of the One World Trade Centre Freedom Tower which is the tallest building in New York .
Get a ticket and skip the line for the One World Observatory here
Free And Discounted Sightseeing Tours
Of course, we would love for you to join us on one of our pay-what-you-wish tours. But you have many other options too.
Below are some articles we have written about many ways to sight-see for free or at a discount.
- We have a vast array of downloadable and free self-guided tours, as well as many GPS-enabled audio tours.
- See the city from the water for free, or as close to free as possible. Our post, Free New York Boat Tours, tells you how.
- Take a hop-on-hop-off bus for a convenient way to explore the city. Click here to get 20% off ticket prices with Big Bus.
- For other bus tours, read our informative post on Which New York Bus Tour is the Best. We compare cost and quality.
- Sightsee by bike. NYC is very bike-friendly. You can rent a bike and explore on your own or join a guided bike tour.
- Get 20% off bike tours of Central Park and Brooklyn, as well as the cost of rentals by using the promo code use code FTBF.
- You can take a free tour at many of New York Citys most famous landmarks like the Federal Reserve, Grand Central, and Federal Hall.
- Get a discount on a Helicopter Tour! Our post provides tips on how to get discounts for chopper rides.
TIP: Before booking a tour, note that many sightseeing tours are included for free in several tourist passes.
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Activities To Arrange Before You Go
Advance reservations for popular restaurants are a must, and scoring tickets for the most in-demand Broadway shows can be tougher than finding a cab in the rain. For blockbusters like Hamilton, youll need to buy tickets months in advance. Youll also need to buy tickets early for opera and ballet performances at Lincoln Center, as well as for blockbuster exhibits at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. If you have trouble standing for long periods, buy all theater and museum tickets ahead of time to ensure faster entry.
Ways to save: The New York CityPass, which you can buy online before you go, is arguably the single most useful one and includes admission to the top attractions: the Empire State Building, American Museum of Natural History, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Top of the Rock Observation Deck or Guggenheim Museum, Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island or Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises, 9/11 Memorial & Museum or Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum Complex. At $129, the pass is valid for nine days from first day of use. Pricey? Not when you consider that individual admissions to sites and attractions add up quickly. Other passes bundle similar attractions, including the New York City Explorer Pass, the New York Pass and the New York Sightseeing Pass.