Get A Tourist Discount Pass
A tourist discount pass affords you discounted entry into most of NYCs most popular attractions.
While the passes themselves certainly arent free, if you plan your itineraries well, you will end up getting one or two attractions for free each day.
There are several different types of passes, so be sure to read our comparison post to learn about how you can save the most money on your trip.
Get Out Of Town For A Day
NYC is within 3 hours of so many other cities and areas you can visit for just one day. The weather in April makes is pretty easy to head to Washington DC, Boston, Philadelphia, Niagara Falls, the Hamptons, Woodbury Common Shopping Outlets and more quite easily.
Whether you live in NY or are visiting, and no matter how much you love NYC, escaping for a day is a treat for everyone. Top choices for 1-day Out of Town:
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Itinerary For 2 Days In New York City
This itinerary focuses on the highlights of the city, and is ordered by the way we would suggest you do the route.
Of course, as with all our itineraries, this is just a suggested starting point to help you plan your trip. Feel free to adjust this itinerary to suit your particular interests New York City truly has something for everyone. In addition, many attractions are open quite late, so you can definitely fit a lot in if you are up for it.
Its also always worth checking each attraction you plan to visit for opening hours and dates. Although most of the attractions on this list are open 7 days a week, some are closed, have seasonal hours, and may be closed for holidays and special events. So we always recommend checking dates and hours for any attractions you really want to visit before your trip to avoid disappointment.
New York: Day 1
Your first day in New York has you focusing on the southern end of Manhattan island, starting with the citys most famous statue.
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New York City Helicopter Tours
The cold weather is a great time to take to the Manhattan skies for an exciting New York City Helicopter Tour! Enjoy spectacular aerial views of Manhattan, including the Statue of Liberty, Wall Street, 9-11 Memorial, World Trade Center and Ellis Island. If your tour heads uptown, Central Park and Yankee Stadium are must-sees!
I LOVED my tourcheck out some of my photos and review at New York City Helicopter Tour.
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New York Public Library
The New York Public Library’s main branch was designed by architects, Carrere & Hastings, in the Beaux Arts style. The library, with its impressive rooms, is a prominent city attraction that has been featured in many movies and TV shows over the years.
Although colloquially known as the main branch, the proper name is actually the Stephen A. Schwarzman building. It opened in 1911 to immediate acclaim. An enormous library, the Main Reading Room alone stretches two city blocks, and the Periodicals Room holds 10,000 current magazines. The collection at this location is vast, to say the least.
Location: Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street, New York, New York
Stretching for eight city blocks from Broadway to South Street is the world famous Wall Street. This street and the surrounding area are home to some of the most important exchanges in the world, including the New York Stock Exchange, the NASDAQ, and the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Also located nearby are the impressive Trinity Church and Federal Hall. Look for the bronze statue of Charging Bull at Bowling Green, on Broadway. This is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Financial District and a popular photo opportunity for visitors.
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Currency In New York City
The United States is the home of the United States Dollar, so obviously this is the currency youll be using in New York City. Dollars come in note form, from $1 bills up to $100 bills. There are also a range of coins, ranging from 1 cent to 1 dollar.
In addition, single fares on buses can only be bought using coins, although Metrocards can be bought and topped up using a credit or debit card.
We would suggest using a credit card for your purchases where practical, as this will save you carrying large amounts of cash around with you. Just make sure you have a credit card which doesnt charge you for foreign transactions if you are visiting from outside the USA.
World Trade Center Station
Ok, I appreciate including a train station might seem a bit odd. In fact, Ive included two on this itinerary!
The World Trade Center Station is a pretty epic building, and I think youll agree, well worth a visit. The centerpiece is the Oculus, a magnificent white ribbed construction that gave me the impression of being inside a giant futuristic whale.
Its a great spot for some photos, and I think worth a few minutes of your time at least. Its also only a short walk from the 9/11 Memorial Museum, on the way to the next stop on this itinerary.
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Free Things To Do In Upstate New York
A visit to Upstate New York need not break the bank. You won’t even need your wallet if you go to:
Oxbow Falls Park – Bring your camera and let nature awaken awe and wonder in you.
Great Swamp Conservancy – Whether you can tell your lilies from lilacs, it’s easy to find beauty in this glorious display.
Free Central Park Walking Tours
New York City offers FREE walking tours all year round, and autumn in New York is incomparable when it comes to beautiful views of Central Park.
Against a backdrop of cobblestone and some of the worlds greatest parkitechture, learn about the history, geology and design of one of the worlds most fabulous parks.
See famous sites from movies and TV, find out about fun, free things to do in Central Park, catch the performances of some of NYCs most gifted entertainers giving it away free , soak in Central Parks colorful beauty and walk off those famous New York City hot dogs. This is a great way to spend an autumn afternoon in New York City.
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New York Itinerary: What To Do And See In 5 Days In Nyc
Posted: 8/26/21 | August 26th, 2021
First settled by the Dutch as New Amsterdam in 1624, the city came under English control in 1664. The city was a major trading center thanks to its location at the mouth of the Hudson River. After the American Revolution, New York became the seat of Americas power and government, officially becoming the nations capital in 1789 when George Washington was sworn in.
While its no longer the nations capital , NYC is still the beating heart of the country.
Home to around 10 million people, NYC has tons of things to see and do. You can barely scratch the surface on a typical four- or five-day visit.
New York is impossible to see in one visit. This city is home to thousands of restaurants, hundreds of museums, attractions, plays, and quirky things to do. You just have to resign yourself to that fact, unless you move here , youre only going to see a fraction of what you hope to see. It takes a while to get around town.
As a traveler, how do you visit NYC? What are the best things to see and do here? What is the best itinerary for NYC? How do you make the most of your time here?
There are ways to make the most of the limited time travelers have in New York. You need at least three days to really see the main highlights . However, I suggest 4-5 days to see the main sights without rushing too much.
So, without further ado, here is my suggested five-day New York itinerary featuring my favorite things to do in the Big Apple:
Taste The Best Burgers At Jg Melons
A great burger is a beautiful thing, as simple as it is delicious. Established in 1972, the J.G Melons firm was called a few times the best burger in the city by famous frequenters such as the restaurateur Danny Meyer, or even best burger in the world by previous NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
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Sightsee From The Sky
Top of the Rock, Empire State Building, One World Observatory, Edge or Summit? Which is best and, if we have to choose, which should we visit? There is no easy answer, but here are some facts to help guide your choice.
- Empire State Building – Best for patient movie and history buffs who need to check it off their bucket list. Recently redone indoor 102nd Floor Observatory
- Top of the Rock – Best for sweeping 360° vista views, including of the Empire State Building and Central Park. Shorter lines and cheaper than the ESB.
- One World Observatory – Best for homage to the Twin Towers. Modern and high tech, with phenomenal views
- Edge – Highest outdoor observation deck, glass bottom floor, deck extends 80 feet away from building
- Summit One Vanderbilt – Opens Oct 2021, all glass elevator, indoor and outdoor decks and glass terraces off the side of the building
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Where To Eat The Best Cheesecake In New York
. Open since 1950, the old slogan goes: you havent really lived until youve had a cheesecake from Juniors and the giant portions and fluffy consistency keep fans coming back. The all-American Strawberry Cheesepie is $6.95 a slice.
Eileens . If you have dietary requirements, such as gluten-free or dairy-free, call ahead and Eileens will cater for you. You can also pre-order one of the fancier, cocktail-inspired flavours like Pina Colada or drop in for favourite varieties like Blueberry and Cookies and Cream, as well as the delicious, zingy original from $13.
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Listen To Live Music Every Night Of The Week
There are music gigs in New York every day of the year, many of them performed by some of the most famous artists from around the world. Sellout acts play the stadiums Madison Square Garden and Brooklyns Barclays Center, though venues like Radio City Music Hall, the Beacon Theater, Irving Plaza, the Hammerstein Ballroom, Webster Hall, Williamsburgs Brooklyn Steel and Kings Theater in Flatbush also attract big names. Cool acts sometimes play smaller venues like the Bowery Ballroom or Williamsburgs Babys All Right, while dozens of bars host up-and-comers . Birdland, Blue Note, Village Vanguard, Iridium and Cornelia Street Café are among the citys top jazz clubs.
Tourist Attraction Discount Passes
In this section, we will break down some of the best attractions that you can visit for free or at a heavy discount with a New York City tourist attraction discount pass.
In addition to providing a list of the most popular activities included with each service, we will also explain some of the differences between them to help you pick one that fits your itinerary.
Note:We update this section every 6-months, so there could be discrepancies. Last updated in March 2019.
The following is a list of the top attractions available on all three of the major New York Tourist Passes.
- Hop-on-Hop-off Bus Tour
- Whitney Museum of American Art
- When Harry Met Seinfeld Bus Tour
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art
- Inside Broadway Walking Tour
If you’re looking for an attraction that isn’t listed above, don’t worry you may find it listed below on a specific pass.
In addition to these options, we should also mention that both Groupon and Living Social often offer discounts on some of the most popular activities in New York City.
The following attractions are not included with some of the other tourist passes in New York City.
If you see any activities you like, read our recommendation to get a sense of some of the best things about this pass.
- Bronx Zoo
If you’re looking for even more popular activities to enjoy, this is an excellent option. Families should also take note that admission to both the Central Park Zoo and the Bronx Zoo is included with this service.
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New York City Itinerary: Day 4
Walking distance: 4 miles
Brooklyn is becoming one of New York Citys hot spots to visit. With historic neighborhoods, a fabulous food scene, and some of the best views of the Manhattan skyline, this is a great place to add to your New York City itinerary.
Since Brooklyn is so large, its impossible to visit all of it in just one day. With just one day you can visit the neighborhood of Williamsburg and the areas along the East River. Think of today as a mini food tour combined with some of the best views of Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge.
Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge
The day starts in Williamsburg, a wonderful neighborhood with boutique shops, a variety of restaurants, and the Brooklyn Brewery. Then, take a ferry on the East River to Dumbo and the Brooklyn Bridge. From here, enjoy one of the best views of the Manhattan skyline, dine on the best pizza in the city, and end with a walk over the iconic Brooklyn Bridge.
Get the full details in our article: One Perfect Day in Brooklyn
PRO TRAVEL TIP: This Brooklyn day trip works best on a Saturday or Sunday. Both Brooklyn Bowl and the Brooklyn Brewery open midday on the weekend, versus 6 pm during the weekdays. Plus, midtown Manhattan and the popular touristy sites in New York can be very crowded on the weekends, so Brooklyn makes a nice escape from the crowds.
Hone Your Secret Agent Skills At Spyscape
Channel your inner supersleuth and dive into the mysterious world of spies at this interactive museum. 007 fans love the James Bond exhibition which includes one of the original cars.
Uncover the truth about codebreaking and discover real-life gadgets used out in the field. You will be tasked with several Skyscape challenges, so get ready to crack clues and tackle laser rooms.
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Eat A Classic New York Pizza
TripSavvy / Kelsea Watkins
Among other things New York is famous for, pizza is undoubtedly one of them. Is it the water? The flour? Generations of pizzaiolo knowledge passed down among families? Who knows, but it goes without saying that New York City pizza is a must-try for anyone’s first visit to the city. Among our favorites: Patsy’s, which has been slinging pies since the 1930s in Harlem, Lombardi’s, which calls itself America’s first pizzeria, and Prince Street Pizza, whose square slices are loaded up with the best pepperoni you’ve ever eaten,
Top Paid Nyc Attractions
Unfortunately, not everything is free in NYC. Some of the best and most popular attractions come with entry fees, and sometimes with hefty price tags.
Below, we list our top 10 and provide a long list of additional attractions that require paid tickets to enter.
Be sure to check out our neighborhood, nighttimey family-friendly sections for more ideas.
But, before we list them, there is a way to visit many of them for free or at a discount.
If you are considering visiting at least 2 of the city’s main paid attractions, then consider an all-inclusive tourist attraction discount pass.
If you are efficient with these deals, you will end up getting 1 or 2 attractions for free each day.
Be sure to read our post that details and compares the various attraction passes available to you to see if one is right for you.Our Top 10
Many of our walking tours visit several of the sights listed above, such as the Brooklyn Bridge, Central Park, and the 9/11 Memorial.
Our tours are free to sign up for and work on a pay-what-you-wish basis only after a successful tour.
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Ellis Island National Museum Of Immigration
The point of arrival for 12 million immigrants to the United States between 1892 and 1954, Ellis Island is a short boat trip via Statue Cruises at Battery Park.
To give you an idea of the importance of this site, the descendants of these immigrants account for nearly half of the entire population of the United States.
Dating to 1900, the main building of the immigration station complex houses the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration.
Just outside, the Wall of Honour lists some of the people to have been processed here.
Within the Renaissance Revival building theres a wealth of information panels, artefacts, photographs, videos, oral histories and interactive stations.
The audio tour has more than 120 hours worth of content, going into detail on what it was like to pass through Ellis Island, how America was populated in the 19th and 20th centuries, and immigration in the present day.
Just like Broadway is synonymous with musical theatre, Fifth Avenue means luxury and prestige.
New Yorks most refined artery is the eastern boundary to Central Park and cuts past a staggering amount of things on this list, be it the Empire State Building or the Frick Collection.
There are specific stretches that demand a visit, like the park-side blocks between 59th and 96th Street.
From 82nd to 105th Streets is Museum Mile, loaded with nine prestigious museums almost side by side, including The Met and the Guggenheim.