How Much Money Does The Citypass Save You
The total cost to enter all of these attraction separately would cost $215.45, but the New York CityPASS is just $132. Thats a 41% savings!
Thinking you only want to go to a few of these sites? There is a New York C3 PASS that allows you to choose 3 of these attractions for $83 a 25% savings!
The other perk of the CityPASS is you wont have to wait in the ticket line at most of the attractions. We got to skip the ticketing line at most places which was pretty convenient.
Book your New York CityPASS and get ready to see some of NYCs top sights!
*Weve denoted some of the attractions that are part of the CityPASS with an asterisk so you can see if it makes sense for you to purchase the pass. Prices are from March 2019.
Central Park Bike Rentals
Past visitors to New York City typically lament that they could have spent several days enjoying Central Park. However, you can get too many of the park’s top locations during a full-day bike rental, and you’ll get some great exercise at the same time. Some of the things you’ll definitely want to do during your day at the park include a visit to the Central Park Zoo, a paddleboat ride on the Lake, a relaxing nap at Sheep Meadow, and a tour of the Central Park Mall with its stately Elm trees.
If you have time, enjoy the view of the Great Lawn from the Belvedere Castle and stroll through the Literary Walk to see statues of some of the most widely renowned writers in the English language, including Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott, and Fitz-Greene Halleck.
Start Your Days Early
As you can tell from this NYC itinerary, your days are jam-packed, so make sure you start every day as early as possible to make the most of your 3 days in New York City.
This can of course be hard if youre planning on hitting up some of the hundreds of awesome bars, clubs and speakeasies that the city is known for. But its worth laying off the expensive drinks if you have a limited time in town.
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Things To Do In New York Head Down To Chinatown
Located right next to Little Italy, New York Citys Chinatown is a crowded congested delight. If you are craving authentic Chinese cuisine dont even bother going to any Chinese restaurants anywhere else in the city.
Entering Chinatown is like being transported to a totally different continent. It is one of the most unique neighborhoods in the city, so if you want to experience something slightly different, definitely head down to Chinatown.
While you are at it explore Little Italy, which is right next door. This shrinking neighborhood still offers some of the best Italian food in the entire city, so if you are craving a taste of Italy, make sure to visit.
Want to explore Chinatown, SOHO, and Little Italy in just a few hours? Then check out this guided tour!
The Intrepid Sea Air And Space Museum
Those interested in maritime history should head to the banks of Hudson around Midtown to visit the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum – which features an aircraft carrier turned museum.
The Intrepid was established as a museum in 1982, but previously the structure served as an aircraft carrier both in the Pacific Theater of World War II and in the Vietnam War. Exhibits at the museum explore the vessel’s service history as well as general exhibits on naval history of the 20th century.
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Rockefeller Center & Empire State Building
Its observatory deck time! Marvel at the NYC skyline at sunset atop one of New Yorks most famous buildings, either the Empire State Building or the Rockefeller Center. We personally prefer the views from the Rockefeller Center because not only can you get the Empire State Building in your picture but you will also get a nice view over Central Park. However, no matter which building you choose youll surely be in for a treat. There may be a little bit of a wait, but no weekend in New York City is complete without some selfies on an observatory deck.
Recommendation: Avoid wasting precious vacation time waiting on long lines, and buy your skip-the-line tickets in advance. You can buy skip-the-line tickets for the Top of the Rock Observation Deck here and for the Empire State Building here.
Take A Trip To The Rooftop Farms At Brooklyn Grange
Nobody visits New York for its farm culture. Does it even have a farm culture? Strictly speaking, it doesnt. However, locals are familiar with the fully working 2.5-acre farm on the roof of the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Locals visit because its their only chance to see a working urban farm in the city. The fact that its a rooftop farm makes it all the more impressive.
You can purchase tickets for $10 between the months of May and October if youd like a tour of the farm. With the skyline views and amazing fresh produce you can get whilst youre there, you wont be disappointed.
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Go Sunbathing On Rockaway Beach
When we think of New York, we dont really have beaches in our mind. Yet, a New York summer is not complete without a day at Rockaway Beach. All the locals hang out here in the summer to catch some sun and escape the urban city life. Its perfect for surfers and offers a unique food scene for foodies.
Just so you know, it does get crowded at the weekend so if you can get a sunny day during the week days, that would probably be better for a day out at Rockaway. You can access the beach by subway.
See The Statue Of Liberty & Visit Ellis Island
TripSavvy / Kelsea Watkins
You’ll undoubtedly be sharing the experience with throngs of other tourists, but navigating the lines and crowds is well worth it for the chance to gaze upon the modern-day colossus that is the Statue of Liberty. A symbol of American democracyand a one-time beacon of hope and promise for immigrants arriving at U.S. shores by boat via New York Harboris indeed, still today, an inspiring sight to behold. Dating to 1886 , the monumental 151-foot-high sculpture sits atop a pedestal out on Liberty Island, which guests reach via Statue Cruises ferry service from Battery Park in Downtown Manhattan. Just be sure to plan ahead, since access to the statue’s pedestal or interior can be arranged with reservations only.
While the statue may garner most of the glory, don’t overlook a visit to nearby attraction Ellis Island. Now a national museum of immigration, the complex once served as federal immigration station and processing center for new arrivals to the U.S. between 1892 and 1954. Expect an altogether insightful presentation, via artifacts, photographs, and multimedia exhibits, of the immigrant experience in America. Best of all, entry’s included with your ferry fare, so plan ahead to make a day of it.
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Boutique Hotel In New York City Ludlow Hotel In The Lower East Side
If you can afford to splash out in New York City and want to stay far away from the uber touristy areas like Times Square, there is no better hotel to opt for than the Ludlow Hotel in the Lower East Side. Rooms have spectacular views of the citys iconic skyscrapers, hardwood floors, artisan-crafted Moroccan lamps, and minibars with local products. Luxurious ensuite bathrooms include marble counter-tops, brass fixtures, soaking tubs, and heavenly rain showers.
Additionally, unlike most hotels in NYC wifi access is free of charge in every guest room. If you want to be social after a long day exploring the city the hotel has a lovely garden and lobby bar and lounge. Of course there is also a fitness center. For the best prices at the Ludlow Hotel click here.
New York Harbour And Statue Of Liberty Evening Cruise
Downtown New York is stunning from the water by day, but the sight of the harbour and skyline at night is one of those experiences that will stay with you long after youve gone home.
GetYourGuide.com has an hour-long cruise after sunset, with running commentary imparting titbits you might not have known.
The cruise departs from Pier 16 at South Street Seaport, and arcs around Lower Manhattan to take in the Statue of Liberty, the forest of skyscrapers including the likes of One World Trade Center, and then under the Brooklyn Bridge and up as far as the Empire State Building.
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Times Square And Broadway
Chances are youve seen Times Square on television. Its a busy and bright place to go. Youll see the iconic stacked billboard ads and yellow taxi cabs. This is also the space you want to head to if youre going to fit a Broadway show into your trip. Buy your a ticket to a world-class performance and enjoy a night in the lively atmosphere.
New York City really is a top travel destination. So if youre visiting, youre bound to have a great time. Use this information as a guide to ensure you make it to all these must-visit places in New York City!
Midtown Views From Lic Or Greenpoint
There are many places along the East River where you can get prime views of Manhattan. The best will be found in Greenpoint, or Long Island City. You can also hit up Williamsburg, or DUMBO, for some sweet looks at the iconic Manhattan skyline.
We recommend you try this twice, once during the day, and once at night. There are plenty of places you can go out in Greenpoint and WIlliamsburg after you are done paying the skyline a night time visit. Another totally free and cool thing to do in New York City for first time visitors.
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Check Out The Cloisters
If you are looking for an alternative to the touristy Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Cloisters is a good choice.
Located in the beautiful Fort Tryon Park, The Cloisters displays art and architecture from medieval Europe. Not many tourists come here because it isnt widely known, especially in comparison to the Metropolitan Museum.
The building also showcases endless artifacts and illuminated manuscripts. But its not just whats inside thats important. The building itself looks like it belongs in Game of Thrones. Constructed from European monasteries, The Cloisters building is simply divine. You wont be able to take enough pictures during your time there.
See The Statue Of Liberty
Okay, technically not in Manhattan , the Statue of Liberty is a place youve got to see in the city.
Probably the most famous symbol of the United States, visiting is one of the best things to do in Manhattan for sure.
Now, you can join one of the boat tours from the lower area of Manhattan. From here, youll take a tour that typically lasts around three to four hours and takes in Ellis Island, too.
Though, be warned, you might have to queue quite considerably at peak times . Security is quite tight here and they do take a little time to process you through.
If youre short on time, head here first thing in the morning. This way, youll avoid most of the crowds.
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Spend Hours At The Met Metropolitan Museum Of Art
Out of all the museums in the world, and in New York City, the MET is among the ones we hold most dear. This place is absolutely packed with all sorts of amazing exhibits. From Modern Art including luminaries such as Monet, Picasso, and Dali, to Ancient Greek monuments, Medieval arms and armor, and even an entire chunk of an Egyptian temple. In fact, the Metropolitan Museum of Art holds over two million works of art, spanning over 5,000 years. Wowzers.
The selection here is huge, and its impossible to see it all in one day, which is why we suggest you buy a pass to the MET that is valid for three whole days. Thats a great deal, dont you think?
There may be many to visit, but the MET is definitely one of the best museums in NYC. We highly recommend spending AT LEAST a few hours getting lost among the corridors of this massive and fascinating museum. You dont have to be a museum geek or art nerd to appreciate this place, trust us.
The MET is but one of dozens of awesome museums in New York. Also in the neighborhood and worth noting The Museum of Natural History , the Guggenheim, and the MoMA.
Check out our article on the best museums in New York City for more great choices.
Take In Sweeping Skyline Views
In Manhattan, it’s all about those jaw-dropping skyline views. Get up to vertigo-inducing heights to gain perspective on the city’s unique island terrain and skyscraping architecture. There are a trio of dedicated observatories that propose just such primo perches: The classic Empire State Building, of course, has indoor and outdoor observation decks on both the 86th and 102nd floors the multilevel decks at Rockefeller Center’s Top of the Rock and the newest downtown addition at the One World Observatory, which straddles the 100th, 101st, and 102nd stories atop the Western hemisphere’s tallest building.
You can nab a sweet view for free, too, by wandering out onto the 19th-century span of the Brooklyn Bridge or grab a drink at one of the city’s high-altitude watering holes. Try The Roof at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, overlooking Central Park, Bar 54, the city’s highest rooftop bar, set in the heart of Times Square, or Bar SixtyFive, in classy Rockefeller Center.
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Where To Stay In New York
New York has no shortage of great places to stay. From the high-end hotels near Central Park to the more affordable accommodation on the upper east side. There is something for everyone. When choosing your accommodation we suggest figuring out where you want to explore the first and then plan your hotel around that.
- If you are a first-time visitor you one of the best places to base yourself is in Mid-Town so you are in the heart of it all. The only drawback here is that it gets really expensive.
- If you are on a budget I would suggest looking at the Lower East Side or Upper Westside and take advantage of one of the best subway systems in the world. It may add a little extra time getting around the city but it will save you a ton of cash.
We have an entire post on where to stay in New York and a post on our favourite New York Hotelsthat you can read here to find quieter and more reasonable places to suit your needs.
As you can see there are a lot of things to do in New York and there is no way you could cover all of these things in one visit. Our recommendation is to stick to Manhattan if this is your first visit to New York City and leave things like taking the Staten Island Ferry, Brooklyn, and some of the museums for another visit.
If there is one thing I can guarantee you it is that you will be back.
Plan more of your New York City travels:
Travel Planning Resources
Looking to book your next trip? Why not use these resources that are tried and tested by yours truly.
Have Coffee While Strolling High Line
Once youve grabbed your coffee at the Hudson Yards take a walk on the High Line. This is something we try to do on every trip to New York.
The High Line is a 1 1/2 mile long elevated walkway and park that cuts through Manhattans West Side. It was an old freight train track, that is now a pedestrian path through condos and skyscrapers. You catch some great views of street art along the way as well.
- It takes about 30 40 minutes to walk from Hudson Yards to the Whitney Museum in the Meatpacking District.
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Stay At A Swanky Hotel
New York City is one of the worlds epicenters for creativity, food, culture, and money which is why you should consider spending your evenings at a cool swanky hotel. The city has so many cool hotels like the Standard on the High Line or the Trump International Central Park.
Check out our guide for Where to Stay in NYC to get suggestions at every budget!
Statue Of Liberty & Ellis Island
You cant spend a weekend in New York City without catching a glimpse of Lady Liberty, one of Americas greatest icons. For an up close and personal encounter with Lady Liberty, take the ferry from Battery Park to Liberty Island. If youre up for a challenge, you can even climb the 393 stairs to get to her crown and gaze out over the city. For a great taste of history, dont forget to check out the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration. The exhibits give a voice to the more than 12 million immigrants who entered the United States through Ellis Island.
Recommendation: Ferry tickets to the Statue of Liberty can sell out quickly, so to avoid disappointment make sure to buy your ferry tickets well in advance here. If you want to learn more about the Statue of Liberty and about the history of immigration on Ellis Island, consider booking a guided tour.
If youre looking to spend a weekend in NYC and stay on a budget, the Staten Island Ferry is a free alternative that gives you a glimpse of the Statue of Liberty. Though you wont be able to get on the island, youll cruise past it and be able to get some great pictures.
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