New York City is packed with iconic attractions and a long list of must-see sights. Trying to plan a New York City One-Week Itinerary can be a daunting task – but no need to worry: we’ve done the hard work for you! Our New York Itinerary includes all the major highlights and a few hidden gems.
Our NYC itinerary is packed; if hard-core sightseeing isn’t appealing, simply eliminate some of the activities to make it better suit you. We included a range of activities from budget to expensive (with money-saving tips listed at the end of the post!) – so, again, use this suggested itinerary for New York and choose what fits your style of travel. Our 7 day New York Itinerary can be condensed if you have less time. See our suggestions below for shorter stays in the city.
New York City One-Week Itinerary
We’ve included a massive number of links – to maps, restaurants, sights and neighborhoods – in our itinerary for New York to help in your sightseeing planning and adventures. So, if you only have one day in New York or if you are spending 10 days in the city, our 1 week in New York itinerary can help you plan your entire trip. Have fun on your NYC travels!
Day 1 – Midtown
Iconic NYC buildings, Times Square, Theater
Start your exploration of New York City on a walking tour to see New York’s most iconic skyscrapers and buildings – and end your first day in the city with a theater show.
- Join a Midtown Walking Tour or head out on your own to see the following sights:
- Broadway Show
- Same-day Show Tickets (Including Broadway, Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway)
Tips for Day 1 of our New York City One-Week Itinerary
- Empire State Building or Top of the Rock: For the sake of time (and money), choose between going to the top of the Empire State Building (ESB) OR Top of the Rock (ToTR) at Rockefeller Center. The cost is about the same and long lines should be expected at both. Going to the top of the ESB is truly iconic, but we actually preferred the views from ToTR where we could see the Empire State Building – as well as a view over Central Park. Use this article on ESB vs ToTR to help you decide.
- Tips on What to Eat and Drink
- Get into the New York spirit and try some ‘street meat’ – those are street vendors selling hot dogs and other sandwiches…and they are actually quite delicious.
- While at Grand Central Station, stop for a cocktail at The Campbell, a NYC institution. For a meal with some history, try the seafood at Oyster Bar in Grand Central Station, which has been around since 1913.
- Times Square is filled with restaurants – many of them classic American food chains, like Red Lobster and TGI Fridays, but there are heaps of other options, too. A local chain restaurant, The Heartland Brewery, brews and serves their own craft beers. Check out the complete list of restaurants in Times Square.
- If Times Square is too busy and chaotic for your eating pleasure, consider detouring out of the immediate area to one of these less-touristy restaurants near Times Square.
- Map – A link to Google Maps for Day 1 of our New York City One-Week Itinerary
Day 2 – Central Park and Upper West Side
Nature, Museum and Neighborhoods
Start the day at Columbus Circle, then head into Central Park heading north toward Harlem. Walk along the Hudson River and Riverside Park back into the city – stopping at the American Natural History Museum, if time allows. End the day in Hell’s Kitchen, one of NYC’s best neighborhoods.
- Columbus Circle – Pop inside the shops to grab breakfast from Bouchon Bakery and take in the view.
- Central Park – Head into 843-acre Central Park, the first public park in the nation. Rent a bike and complete the loop, but be sure not to miss the Great Lawn, Strawberry Fields and the Resevoir – as well as the many statues, fountains and monuments. For a drink in Central Park, we suggest the Loeb Boathouse; for a meal, head to the historic Tavern on the Green. For an even better introduction to Central Park, join one of the many Central Park Sightseeing Tours.
- Riverside Park (Stop for a drink at the Boat Basin Cafe)
- American Museum of Natural History
- Hell’s Kitchen
Tips for Day 2 of our New York City One-Week Itinerary
- Distance – Day 2 of our New York City One-Week Itinerary covers a lot of ground – more than 10 miles. Consider using the subway or Big Bus Tours to get around if the walking is too much. For a more relaxed day, eliminate one of the activities.
- Tips on What to Eat and Drink
- There are many restaurants in Hell’s Kitchen, but we suggest indulging in pizza. Sacco Pizza is a Hell’s Kitchen institution – and their pizzas are phenomenal! You can also join a Hell’s Kitchen Food Walking Tour (or a tour just for dessert!)
- Valhalla is a local bar with lots of beers on tap.
- For a bar with a view, head to the Sky Terrace at the Hudson New York Central Park hotel. The rooftop bar features stunning views and is a fantastic spot to watch the sunset over the city.
- MAP – A link to Google Maps for Day 2 of our New York City One-Week Itinerary
Day 3 – Lower Manhattan
One World Trade Center, 9/11 Memorial, Wall Street, Staten Island Ferry, Statue of Liberty, Battery Park, Chinatown, Little Italy
Spend the day in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan, visiting some of the world’s most known landmarks.
- One World Trade Center (and One World Observatory)
- 9/11 Memorial (consider taking a 9/11 Memorial Tour or visiting the 9/11 Memorial Museum)
- Trinity Church
- Wall Street
- Staten Island Ferry
- Statue of Liberty
- Battery Park
- Charging Bull
- Little Italy
Tips for Day 3 of our New York City One-Week Itinerary
- Statue of Liberty or Staten Island Ferry: Choose between visiting the Statue of Liberty – or simply getting close to it with a ride on the Staten Island Ferry. While visiting the Statue of Liberty allows visitors to go inside, it must be planned in advance. The Staten Island Ferry, however, is free and provides great views of Lady Liberty and the Lower Manhattan skyline.
- Tips on What to Eat and Drink
- There are many delis in Lower Manhattan where you can grab a sandwich to go.
- For dinner, choose to either eat in Chinatown or Little Italy – depending on your preference. For a real taste of the two neighborhoods, join the Chinatown and Little Italy Food Tour.
- For after dinner drinks, sip on wine al fresco in Little Italy and soak up the charm of the neighborhood.
- MAP – A link to Google Maps for Day 3 of our New York City One-Week Itinerary
- Rather than walking from the Charging Bull statue to Chinatown, take the subway from Bowling Green Station to Canal Street.
Day 4 – Midtown Neighborhoods
Soho, Nolita, East Village, Greenwich Village, Chelsea
Spend the day walking through the trendiest neighborhoods of New York City.
- East Village
- McSorley’s Ale House
- Washington Square Park
- Greenwich Village
- Chelsea (and the Chelsea Market)
- High Line Park
Tips for Day 4 of our New York City One-Week Itinerary
- Shopping – There are unique stores sprinkled throughout these Midtown neighborhoods. Join the Soho and Nolita Shopping Tour and bring a lightweight, foldable shopping bag with you to carry all of your purchases!
- Tips on What to Eat and Drink
- These neighborhoods are filled with restaurants and bars! Find one with a lot of people; crowds mean the food is good!
- Since you are starting the day in Soho, swing by Dominique Ansel Bakery and join the queue for the cronut craze.
- We think a stop for a beer (or two!) at McSorley’s Ale House is essential.
- For dinner, there are many places near (and in) the Chelsea Market. For a casual meal, try Bill’s Bar and Burgers. For something a little nicer, head to The Standard Grill.
- MAP – A Link to Google Maps for Day 4 of our New York City One-Week Itinerary
Day 5 – Museums and the Upper East Side
Museums, Tramway and Roosevelt Island
Spend the day visiting a few of the New York City’s best museums then catch the tramway to Roosevelt Island. End the day with drinks at the Carlyle.
- Choose one or two of the great museums in the area:
- Tramway to Roosevelt Island
- Roosevelt Island
- Drinks at Bemelmans Bar at the Carlyle
Tips for Day 5 of our New York City One-Week Itinerary
- Many museums are included in city passes, like the NYC Sightseeing Day Pass.
- Roosevelt Island – Check out this list of things to do on Roosevelt Island – or this list from Lonely Planet.
- MAP – A link to Google Maps for Day 5 of our New York City One-Week Itinerary (excluding sightseeing on Roosevelt Island, however the Tramway is marked on the map)
Day 6 – Brooklyn
Brooklyn Bridge, Brooklyn Bridge Park, DUMBO, Williamsburg, Carroll Gardens
Start the day with a walk from Manhattan to Brooklyn via the beautiful Brooklyn Bridge. Stroll the neighborhoods of Brooklyn, including DUMBO, Williamsburg and Carroll Gardens.
- Walk the Brooklyn Bridge
- Enjoy the New York skyline from Brooklyn Bridge Park
- Stroll through the DUMBO neighborhood
- Wander through the hip Williamsburg neighborhood– or join this tour of Brooklyn
- Head to the Brooklyn Brewery for a tour – or join a Brooklyn Craft Beer Crawl
- End the day in low-key Carroll Gardens
Tips for Day 6 of our New York City One-Week Itinerary
- Tips on What to Eat and Drink
- Brunch is the thing to do in Williamsburg during the day (which we believe directly corrolates to the number of trendy bars in Williamsburg). Try one of these recommended brunch spots in Williamsburg.
- For something more laid-back than Williamsburg, have dinner and drinks in Carroll Gardens. For a sense of nostalgia, head to Brooklyn Social for pre-dinner drinks. Feast on an Italian meal at Frankie’s 457 and then enjoy craft cocktails next door at Prime Meats.
- MAP – A link to Google Maps for Day 6 of our New York City One-Week Itinerary
Day 7 – Shopping and Sports
Spend the morning shopping at some of New York’s most famous retailers and then spend the evening watching one of New York’s sports teams in action.
- Shopping – New York City is one of the most famous shopping hubs in the world. Use this guide to plan your shopping spree – or, hire a personal stylist to lead the way to best boutiques and luxury shops.
- Sports – Catch a game to complete your New York Experience. Check StubHub for tickets to NYC sporting events (as well as concerts and theater tickets!) Tip: Get your New York city sports gear before your visit!
- Museums – Rather than going shopping or watching sports, visit more museusms in NYC, including New York City Museums that are free!
Tips for our New York City One-Week Itinerary:
New York City Itinerary Tips
Our New York 7 Day Itinerary can be used as a base for planning your trip to NYC, even if you have less than a week in the city. Simply adjust our New York suggested itinerary to create the best New York itinerary for you! Here are some NYC sightseeing recommendations for shorter stays:
New York Itinerary 2 Days
With only 2 days in New York City, we would see the iconic NYC sights on the first day (Day 1 of our NYC trip itinerary) and then on Day 2, spend the morning in Central Park, the afternoon in Lower Manhattan and the evening in Mid-Town (combining Day 2 and 3 – and eliminating some neighborhood exploration).
New York Itinerary 3 Days
With 3 days in New York City, we would stick to the first three days as outlined in our New York City One-Week Itinerary.
New York Itinerary 4 Days
With 4 days in NYC, we would follow the first 3 days of our 7 day New York Itinerary – and then skip the days of neighborhoods and museums and instead head over to Brooklyn for the fourth day (Day 6 on the above New York travel itinerary).
New York Itinerary 5 Days
With 5 days in New York City, we would use the above New York trip itinerary for the first 4 days, skip Day 5, and spend the last day in Brooklyn (Day 6 on our itinerary).
Money-Saving Tips for NYC
- Check out all of the benefits (like saving time and money) with the New York City Pass, Sightseeing Day Pass or NYC Explorer Pass.
- Save money with discounts up to 40% on New York City Tours and Activities with Viator.
- Cabs are expensive; use the subway or Uber instead. Or, buy a ticket for the Big Bus NYC for transportation to all the top New York City tourist sights!
Where To Stay in New York City
During our visit to New York city, we stayed at the Hudson New York Central Park hotel and in this awesome Airbnb Apartment. (Not already a member of Airbnb? Use this link to create an account and save money on your first stay!)
We have found that staying in apartments is often less expensive than hotel rooms – with the added benefit of a kitchen and, usually, more space. New York City holiday apartments can be found on Airbnb, on FlipKey (which is part of TripAdvisor) or on VRBO – Vacation Rentals By Owner.
However, there are many accommodations to choose from in New York City that range from luxury, iconic hotels to budget hostels. Don’t worry if top hotels, like the Four Seasons and St. Regis, don’t fit your budget; there are many NYC hotels priced $100-$250/night – or search for New York City hotel deals on hotels.com. You might also find a deal on a hotel room by bidding on Priceline.
For those on a smaller budget, there are several hostels in New York City, like Broadway Hotel and Hostel. Or, stay in NYC for free with Couchsurfing – an online community connecting travelers to local hosts.
Getting to New York City
Our preferred method of getting anywhere is by flying (we are JetSetting Fools, after all!). However, due to our unique circumstances (flight benefits earned from years of service with a major airline), we rarely buy airline tickets. That being said, when we do need to purchase plane tickets, we start our search for the best deals on airline tickets on Skyscanner or Flight Hub.
Before You Go to NYC
- Don’t forget to pack a pair of lightweight and comfortable walking shoes. I (Sarah) have traveled with these shoes by Columbia, Skechers and Reef. Kris prefers wearing these shoes by Merrell and Sanuk.
- We’re certain you’ll be snapping tons of photos during your trip. Rather than relying on your mobile phone to capture the sights, upgrade to an actual camera for higher quality photos (that can later be beautifully compiled into a travel photo book). We travel with a Canon Rebel (which takes amazing photos, but can be a bit clunky) and a Canon PowerShot ELPH (which takes beautiful pictures, is slim and lightweight – and the new models are wifi enabled so you can share your trip pics to social media in real time!).
- It’s easy to get turned around or lost in any new city! Be sure to have a good city map and/or guidebook prior to arriving. If relying on mobile app maps, carry your charger with you; it’s common to ask bar staff for an outlet to charge your device.
- We think travel insurance is essential! If you haven’t already obtained travel insurance for your trip, travel protected with World Nomads.
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