New York Public Library
You may remember New York Public Library from the Sex and the City movie, it was where Carrie was supposed to marry Big. Even if you arent a SATC fan, you will want to see the stunning NYC landmark. Visit the lions guarding the entrance, and once inside see the Rose Reading Room. There are free tours available, one focuses on the building and the other on the exhibition.
Where To Eat Near Times Square: Hells Kitchen
Unfortunately since Times Square is such a touristy spot there actually arent many good restaurants. You will find mostly chain restaurants at Times Square so I do suggest that you walk away from Times Square for decent food .
Los Tacos No.1 : The only place I would recommend at Times Square. Its the same one as the branch in Chelsea Market.
You may have heard of Hells Kitchen because of the cooking show but Hells Kitchen really has a lot of amazing food options:
Pio Pio : A great Peruvian restaurant thats very popular among locals. Order their chicken with the green sauce, Lomo Saltado and ceviche.
Pure Thai Cookhouse : Unlike regular Thai places, Pure Thai Cookhouse is very authentic and offer unique menus. They are known for their noodles so I recommend you try a few different dishes. Go early because the place is small and its usually an 1+ hour wait.
Totto Ramen : one of the best ramen places in New York City. There are two Totto Ramen locations in Hells Kitchen. Cash only.
Taboon : a great Mediterranean spot in the heart of Hells Kitchen.
Gotham West Market : A great NYC indoor food market similar to Chelsea Market.
Wander Down Fifth Avenue
Combining transportation with sightseeing is the best way to check out Fifth Avenue: as you make your way further south toward the rest of the days highlights, be sure to slow down long enough to ogle Fifth Avenues famous stores and buildings!
Notable locations that youll pass on this section of Fifth Avenue include the Plaza Hotel, Tiffany & Co., and Bergdorf Goodman. The Saks Fifth Avenue is also just a smidge past St. Patricks Cathedral, so if youre the shopping type, be sure not to miss that stop, either!
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Extra: Nationalseptember 11 Memorial& museum
The could be another stop. You can visit before you get to Brooklyn or after you cross the Brooklyn Bride.
The Twin Towers once stood and is a somber tribute to those who died from the terrorist attacks that day .
Here youll find the twin reflecting pools, the inscription of nearly 3,000 names of the dead, and the Survivor Tree.
The museum gives a lot of information about the 9-11 attacks and each of the victims. You can walk through this at your own pace or take a tour if you prefer .
- You could just walk once you cross Brooklyn Bridge and are in Manhattan it will take about 10 minutes.
- The museum is open until 8 pm and costs about $26 . The memorial itself is free to see.
- If you arrive by night, it will be closed, so you can either come here earlier in the day, or you visit the memorial without visiting the museum.
- This stop may take about 30-120 minutes.
What Not To Bring To Nyc
- Big bottles of soap and shampoo there are pharmacies and convenience stores like Duane Reade and CVS on the corners of almost every block in New York City, you wont have trouble finding soap or shampoo. You can buy anything in New York, in fact, many tourists visit solely to shop. All hotels provide these essentials and some AirBnB apartments provide as well.
- Dont pack too many socks or underwear, you can easily hand wash these while traveling
- Dont pack anything you can buy in the city
- Unfortunately, theres lots of regulations on the types of knives you can possess in while in the city, so you might research about the laws before bringing your EDC, or whatever type of knife you have. Visit this site a list of the regulations.
- Dont bring umbrellas that golfers use. They are too big in crowded NYC streets. We tend to walk very fast and may get in the way.
- Food and snacks there is an incredible selection of restaurants and eateries, so there shouldnt be any need to pack food or snacks with you unless you have special dietary needs. There are plenty of health food stores in NYC too.
- Hair dryer the chances are your hotel will have this. Hair dryers are heavy and take up lots of space.
The Metropolitan Museum Of Art
The Met is New York Citys biggest grandest art museum. An art lover could easily spend half a day in the museum. Highlights include Washington Crossing the Delaware, plus works by Van Gogh, Monet, OKeeffe, Rembrandt, Raphael, and Goya. I recommend visiting The American Wing to see one of the worlds best collections of American Art.
Day Two Museums Central Park And Midtown Manhattan
Map of day 2
Here you can find the map for your second day in town. I gave the MET as the starting point, but the map is easy to adjust in case you want to go to another museum they are all more or less in the same area.
OPTION 1: Metropolitan Museum of Art
Among the most important art galleries in the world, the Metropolitan Museum of Art has a collection with pieces ranging from ancient Egypt to contemporary art.
A full day is usually recommended to visit the museum, but you dont have that. So pick a map at the entrance and walk straight to the collections you are most interested in.
OPTION 2: Museum of Modern Art
Displaying iconic works of modern art, at MOMA you will find pieces of Vincent van Gogh and Warhol and the works of Matisse, Gauguin, Picasso, Dali and Pollock.
The museum is open daily from 10.30 am to 5:30 pm. Admission is $25. You can buy tickets here.
OPTION 3: The Guggenheim
Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and first opened in 1959, the Guggenheim is famous for its art collection as well as for the incredible architecture. Exhibits change regularly, so if you intend to visit check whats on.
St. Patricks Cathedral
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What To Pack For New York
- Mobile phone/Camera for photos I use the Sony A6000 which is a compact mirrorless camera thats easy to use and takes great photos you can transfer to your mobile right away. Also, take an extra SD Card, New York is photogenic!
- A plug adaptor If youre from outside of North America youll need one of these for your electronics. I love how this one has USB ports too!
- A power bank or portable charger to keep your devices going while youre out all day I have several of these ones.
Night 2 For New York City Itinerary: Time Square And Christmas Trees
If you are visiting New York City in winter, Rockefeller Center will be lit up for the holidays. Be sure to rent some ice skates for The Rink and live out your movie fantasy.
By nightfall, you should head over to Times Square. Normally, Im not a fan of crowded, commercialized places, but everyone needs to experience Time Square lit up at night. There really is no place like it.
Tonight is another great night to catch a show. You could loop back to any of the places you may have missed last night, or head over to East Village and explore the nightlife there.
This would also be the best night to watch a Broadway showsince you are already in Times Square. Other options include a Friday night concert, the Philharmonic Orchestra, or a performance at Carnegie Hall. The world is your oyster!
In the cheap things to do in New York section, Ive covered how to score last-minute and affordable tickets!
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Explore The Lower East Side
After gorging at brunch, take a stroll across to the lower East Side of Manhattan. For me, its one of the areas that makes New York, New York!
Honestly, its pretty easy to visit the Lower East Side when seeing New York in a day as its pretty close to all the main hustle of the city attractions itself.
Also, if the weather takes a turn, pop into the Tenement Museum thats actually really interesting and a great little place to see in New York in a day.
Make sure to head inside some of New Yorks famous flea market and vintage stalls that dot this area of the city. Youll find everything from antiques, food stalls and all sorts of stores that sell everything you can ever imagine.
Oh, and pop over to Katzs Delicatessant if youre looking for a totally authentic and much-loved New York experience. Though be warned, youll leave stuffed!
Afterwards, pop into Beauty & Essex for some tasty cocktails.
Head Back To Manhattan & Hit Up Washington Square Park
Washington Square Park is the center of NYU student life: campus buildings surround the square, its a great spot for people-watching , and its home to the famous Washington Square Arch.
D, the edible cookie dough Instagram sensation from a couple of years back, is nearby if youre looking for a trendy NYC dessertfix . And, while were on the topic of Instagrammable foodBlack Tap, famous for their freakshakes, is less than a 15-minute walk away.
If you choose to indulge in a sugary treat, keep it small, as theres more eating soon to come on this 4 day New York itinerary unless that is, youre a true sweet fiend who wants to prioritize sugar above all other cuisines for the afternoon, in which case I present to you the Greenwich Village Cupcake Tour.
Dessert lovers, book your cupcake tourtoday!
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Day Two Evening: Joes Pizza
After our helicopter flight, we finished the day with a few slices of the iconic Joes Pizza.
Pizza by the slice is something you absolutely need to experience in New York. And Joes Pizza is the best of the best.
Dotted around New York, its hard not to stumble upon one.
But Google Maps helps too if you dont have any luck!
The Best Way To See New York In 4 Days
The subway is your friend. Whilst it may seem silly because you are only there for four days, purchasing a sven-day metro card is the cheapest and easiest way to get around New York.
The metro card costs $33 whilst a single ride costs $3.
So if you take 11 subway journeys throughout your time in New York youll easily make your moneys worth. Thats less than three journeys a day!
Plus it saves you the time and hassle of buying a single ride each time you need to take the subway.
If you want to tick off all the main New York attractions, Id advise investing in a New York City pass.
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Where To Eat Pastrami In New York
- Katz Deli is the spot for the best pastrami youll ever have. Its a little intimidating walking in here. When you enter the deli you actually walk through a turnstile. You get on line at one of the cutters who are standing behind a raised counter and tell them what you want. The sandwich is $25 but you can probably share it, they give you a ton of meat with 2 pickles on the side.
Days In New York Itinerary
Even though I grew up 50 miles outside of NYC and took every chance to explore it, I still have so much on my New York City bucket list. This 4 Days in New York itinerary will help you pack in a ton in just a short amount of time!
This guide is broken down by day and includes tips on where to stay, what to do and most importantly, where to eat and drink! Make sure youre prepared with excellent walking shoes and check out the New York City Pass for the best value access to over 100 New York attractions. Its an easy way to save money during your days in New York.
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Top Tip For Your 4 Days In Nyc
If you can time a visit for sunset youll be able to get both daytime and nighttime views of the city below.
End the day with dinner at the Lower East Sides Beauty & Essex. From the outside it looks like a pawn brokers but once inside youre in a swanky joint full of antiques and artefacts as well as a killer menu. Afterwards, LES is the ideal place to grab a drink in a quirky setting somewhere like The Ten Bells, Nitecap or 169 Bar.
Best Time To Visit New York City
- My favorite time to visit New York City is during the holiday season because of the Christmas markets and decorations.
- My second favorite time to visit is during fall because of the mild temperatures and beautiful fall foliage.
But theres no bad time to visit New York City. Just know that winters can be brutally cold . And the summer heat and humidity can be tough to handle for those not used it .
Is the New York City Pass worthwhile?
With only 4 days in New York City, I do not recommend getting the standard NYC CityPASS. The pass is $132 per person and allows access to six attractions over the span of 9 days. Chances are you wont have time to take advantage of all six attractions in 4 days.
On the contrary, the New York City C3 Pass is worth considering. The C3 pass is $84 per person and allows access to three attractions over the span of 9 days. The attractions are listed below:
- Empire State Building
- Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
- Guggenheim Museum
- Hornblower Sightseeing Cruises
Based on my math, I suggest getting the New York City C3 Pass if you plan to visit at least three of the following places:
- Empire State Building
- Top of the Rock
- The Statue of Liberty
- 9/11 Museum
- The MET
- The Museum of Modern Art
Where to stay in New York City for First Time Visitors
With that said, for first time visitors, my recommendation is to stay in Greenwich Village or SoHo.
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Check Out Grand Central Terminal
Grand Central Terminal is just as busy as you might expectand also just as beautiful. Somehow, in all the TV shows and movies I saw the station featured in growing up, I never managed to catch sight of the stunning turquoise ceilingI saw it for the first time in person, and its now one of my favorite features of the building.
Lighting The World’s Largest Hanukkah Menorahs
In Manhattan and Brooklyn, there is a small competition for the worlds largest Hanukkah Menorah. On December 22nd, the Jewish Festival of Lights begins and this starts with the lighting of the largest Menorah in the world. The gold, 400-pound, 32-foot steel structure can be admired both in front of the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan and at the Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn.
The lighting of the Menorah is one of the great events in NYC in December. Music is played and food is offered as well. In Manhattan, the event begins at 5:30 pm, on Fridays at 3:30 pm and Saturdays at 8:00 pm. In Brooklyn, the lights will be on at 6:00 pm, on Friday at 3:30 pm and on Saturday at 7:00 pm.
As you probably already know, one of the best things in New York for me all year round is the rooftop bars! Even in winter the season is not over yet, because with radiant heaters, free blankets and warm rooftop lounges you can make yourself comfortable there even in icy temperatures. The great view will warm your heart.
At 230 Fifth near the Flatiron building, you can even sit in a heated igloo while enjoying a breathtaking view of the skyline how cool is that!
For more tips, check out our article on the best fall & winter rooftop bars in New York.
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Experience Central Park In The Fall
One of the most beautiful retreats in Manhattan is Central Park. If youre in New York in November, make sure to check it out as there is always something going on at every corner. The trees are now in a deep red-orange autumnal color which gives the park a beautiful aesthetic. You can just stroll around Central Park, ride your bike, or take a guided tour.
Here you find everything you need to know about Central Park Fall Foliage.