PLANES AND PLANS

New York City Skyline

New York City in 4 Days

New York City is an amazing city located on the East Coast of the USA. It is a diverse and fun place with endless amounts to explore. You can easily spend weeks or even months in the city, with day trips to Long Island and surrounding states. However, four days is the perfect amount of time to explore the city for the first time.

Contents

Table of Contents

New York City Itinerary

New York City DAY 1

Central Park, New York City
Times Square, New York City

The MET

To begin your New York City adventure, take the Subway up to the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET). The MET is located about halfway up Central Park in the Upper East Side. This is one of the most famous galleries in the city. In fact, you may know it from the MET Gala. Entry tickets can be purchased online or at the for for USD$30*.

The museum houses over 490,000 pieces of art from around the world. You could spend all day exploring the collections, so I recommend focusing one or two areas you are most interested in. Perhaps check out the American Wing for a glimpse into some incredible works of American Art. Another great place to start is with the ‘100 Highlights Tour’ on the Bloomberg Connects App. Bring some headphones to listen to even more Audio Guides as you explore. 

Central Park

This afternoon, head out to explore Central Park. Central Park covers a HUGE area of the city, so I recommend hiring bikes to explore. Citi Bikes are everywhere in New York, and you can rent one from only USD$4.49* per ride. 

You could spend all day getting lost in the park. Instead, ride through the park in the direction of Columbus Circle. Stop along the way at Shakespeare GardenBelvedere Castle, Bow Bridge and Bethesda Terrace. Also pay respects to John Lennon at Strawberry Fields. Sheep Meadow is also a great place to rest for a picnic after cycling.

Rockefeller Centre

Next, head to the Rockefeller Centre to catch the sunset. The best views of the whole city, including of the Empire State Building, can be seen from the Top of the Rock. Make sure to book tickets ahead of time to avoid waiting hours in the line, particularly at this time of day. They can be purchased on the Top of the Rock website for around USD$55*. You can easily spend an hour up here observing the city as it lights up. 

Times Square

Finally, walk down to New York’s most famous sight Times Square. Yes, Times Square is extremely crowded and touristy. But, it is a must-see experience for your first time in the Big Apple! Be overwhelmed by all the lights of the billboards. This is truly the place that makes New York feel like the city that never sleeps. In Times Square, you will find lots of attractions, including favourites M&M’s World and Madame Tussad’s.

However, one of the best ways you can spend the night in this area is catching a Broadway show. You are bound to catch a favourite showing at any time of year. Be sure to check out the Broadway website to see what is showing during your visit, and to book tickets. Depending on your chosen seats, tickets typically range from USD$65* up to USD$700*.

New York City DAY 2

The High Line, New York City
NYC Bagel

The High Line

Spend the morning walking The High Line. This is my absolute favourite thing to do in New York City. The trail starts from Hudson Yards, where you will find the bee-hive shaped Vessel. Take your time walking the High Line, people watching, sun-baking and apartment hunting along the way. You will get incredible views along the way. This is because the scenery transitions from the modern skyscrapers of Hudson Yards to the industrial-style buildings in the Meatpacking District.

The path finishes near Chelsea Market, which is a great place to grab some brunch after the walk. A New York and personal favourite is Los Tacos No. 1 for the best tacos in the city. The menu is small, so order a variety to try all their incredible flavours. 

At the end of the High Line, you can find Little Island. This is a recently-opened public park on the Hudson River. Not only does it provide incredible skyline views, but there are also lots of hidden pockets to discover within the park itself. 

Greenwich Village

To feel like a true New Yorker, head over to Greenwich Village to explore. Firstly, stop by Murray’s Bagels on 6th Avenue to grab a fresh bagel with your filling of choice. Then, walk a few blocks to Washington Square Park to sit back on a park bench and feast on your bagels. This is a great spot for people-watching and relaxing. 

Financial District

This afternoon, head down to the Financial District. Start at the 9/11 Memorial & Museum. This area is an incredibly beautiful site that honours the events of 9/11, and the impact it had on both the city and the world. Spend some time overlooking the pools and reflecting on the event. The new One World World Trade Centre now shadows over the site, truly an incredible sight to see. I recommend downloading the audio guide app for a 40-minute tour of the site. 

Nearby you can find Wall Street. This area truly feels like a concrete jungle, with the New York Stock Exchange hidden amongst the skyscrapers. A great photo stop nearby is the Raging Bull Statue

Statue of Liberty

Another one of New York’s most iconic sights nearby is the Statue of Liberty. Catch the ferry across the state border to New Jersey to get up lose to this sight. Tickets can be booked ahead of time via the Statue City Cruises website. General admission costs around USD$24.50* and ferries depart every half from Battery Park.

The General admission ticket will allow you to hop off the ferry at both the Statue of Liberty and also Ellis Island. Ellis Island is worth the visit visit, as it is home to the National Immigration Museum. Here, you can learn about the history of immigration to the United States.

New York City DAY 3

Coney Island

This morning, take the subway out to Coney Island for a morning of adrenaline. Coney Island is home to Luna Park, an old-school theme park filled with rides and arcades. So, let your inner child run wild for the morning! The Brooklyn Flyer is my favourite for low-adrenaline views of the Brooklyn area. Tickets can be purchased online or at the gate. You can either purchase unlimited rides for USD$65*, or you can pay per ride at the park. There are also plenty of funky dining options in the park to keep you going. 

Brooklyn

This afternoon, head back into Brooklyn to explore another of the city’s boroughs. Brooklyn is huge, but I recommend having a picnic lunch at Prospect Park. Another hidden attraction in Brooklyn is the New York Transit Museum. Here, you can learn about the history of one of the world’s oldest subway systems. Tickets can be purchased at the door for USD$10*.

Whilst in Brooklyn, make sure to head to the waterfront neighbourhood of Dumbo. Walk down Washington Street to get an incredible view of the Manhattan Bridge. The contrast of the Manhattan skyline in the background always takes my breath away! For some delicious food in the area, head to Time Out Market New York. This market is home to endless incredible restaurants. My recommendation is to try a small entrée or side dish from a variety of places. Also, make sure to check out the Roof Top Bar for incredible views of the Brooklyn Bridge. 

Finally, head back into Manhattan via the Brooklyn Bridge. This 485m suspension bridge provides some of the best views of the Manhattan skyline, as the traffic rushes by below. This is also an incredible spot to watch the sunset over the city.

New York City DAY 4

United Nations, New York City
United Nations Tour, New York City

United Nations Headquarters

Located in an incredible marble building along the East River lies the United Nations Headquarters. They offer a range of guided tours around the venue that last for about one hour. I recommend opting for the Focus on Women Tour. Not only will you learn about the history and work of the UN, but specifically highlights the role of women in the agenda. During my visit, I was also able to step inside the Security Council Chamber and the Economic and Social Council Chamber. Having studied economics myself, this experience which was extremely mind-blowing.

Tickets must be booked online ahead of time in order to clear security screening requirements. Tickets cost USD$26 and can be booked through the Visitor Centre website.

Midtown

Afterward, walk over to Grand Central Terminal for some sightseeing. The venue is so much more than just a subway station. As you enter the Main Concourse, gaze up at the celestial ceiling. Also make sure to check out the Grand Central Market in the basement to stock up on local treats. Take your food to nearby Bryant Park for a picnic lunch.

The New York Public Library is located on Fifth Avenue just behind Bryant Park. You can explore the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building with the free audio guide

Continue down Fifth Avenue towards the Empire State Building. This recognisable landmark can be spotted from anywhere in the city, so you will not miss it as you pass by! Whilst there are incredible views from the top, I recommend heading to the Top of the Rock instead for an even better panorama.

Afterwards, stroll down Fifth Avenue for some of the best shopping in the world. 

SoHo

To end your New York City adventure, spend the evening exploring SoHo. This area has even more incredible shops hidden among the loft-style buildings. You can easily get lost in the streets here. Two of my favourite restaurants in this area are SoHo Diner and Lombardi’s Pizza. SoHo Diner serves all-day brunch on the weekends, whilst Lombardi’s Pizza holds the title of New York’s first pizzeria.

*Please note that all prices are current as of the publication date of this post.

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