New York City One-Week Itinerary

New York City One-Week Itinerary

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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 7 days in New York Itinerary includes all the major highlights and a few hidden gems.


How To Plan A Trip To New York

Must See NYC, Manhattan Skyline, New York City

There is no right or wrong way to plan a trip to NYC. The city is diverse – and it has something for everyone.

Although we have never lived in the city, I have regularly been visiting New York since I was a child. While I am extremely comfortable in the city, I’m also still in awe of it – and on every trip I find something new to discover. 

While New York trip planning can be overwhelming, it doesn’t have to be. The city – while massive and teeming with sights – is not as intimidating as it seems. In fact, with our New York Itinerary, we have made NYC trip planning easy!


About Our One Week In New York City Itinerary

Our NYC itinerary includes the best city sightseeing. Each day of this 1 week New York trip is spent visiting top attractions, exploring the city’s best neighborhoods and eating incredible food. We soar to the top of skyscrapers and delve deep into exciting districts. 

We have outlined a detailed sightseeing plan for what to see in New York City – and have squeezed just about as much as we can into our New York 7-Day Itinerary. 


Cost of 1 Week in New York

There is no question: New York is an expensive city. Many of the must see sights in NYC cost upwards of $30, but there are many free attractions in New York, too.

In our 1-Week New York Itinerary, we include a range of activities from budget to expensive. Penny-pinching travelers can use our suggested itinerary for New York to help plan their trip – and our NYC on a Budget blog post offers even more money-saving tips! 

Pro Tip: Everyone likes to save money – so we include a few thrifty tips for your week in New York at the end of the post.


Is a Week in New York Too Long or Too Short? 

There are so many things to do in New York City that we could never get bored! However, how long you plan for New York depends on many factors. Money, personal interests and overall time allotted for your trip should be major considerations.

How Many Days to Visit New York?

We think one week in NYC is the perfect trip length; visitors can see the city sights, explore intriguing neighborhoods and even take a day trip from New York City.

That said, we understand that not all travelers are planning a New York 1 Week Itinerary. Visitors planning less time can condense our 7-Day New York Itinerary to include the sights they most want to see.

On the other hand, travelers organizing a longer trip to New York can use our NYC Itinerary 7 Days as a base for their trip plans and expand it – either by adding more sightseeing or exploring the attractions we outline at a slower pace. 

Alternate New York Itineraries

To better help fellow travelers, we have devised multiple New York itineraries – for shorter and longer NYC stays – and include them at the end of the post. Whether you are building a one day in New York City Itinerary or if you are spending 10 days in the city, our 1 Week in New York Itinerary blog post is the place to start planning your trip!


New York City One-Week Itinerary

Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City, New York

Our itinerary for New York includes everything you need to plan your trip! We include all of the details of how to spend a week in New York. 

In addition to the sights to see, throughout our New York Itinerary 7 Days we include helpful links, route maps, restaurant tips and pertinent information for visiting the city. With all the details we include, planning your NYC sightseeing adventure should be a breeze!

Save, Pin or Bookmark our New York 1-Week Itinerary so that you can use it to plan (and during!) your trip to NYC!


DAY 1 – Midtown New York Sights & Broadway Play

Start your 1 Week in New York Itinerary in iconic Midtown. Explore the city streets on foot and marvel at the world-famous architecture. Spend time in bustling Times Square, then end the day with a Broadway Theater performance.


New York City Walking Tour in Midtown

Kick off your trip to New York in a week in the most exciting part of the city: Midtown. Start your exploration on an NYC Walking Tour to see iconic skyscrapers and buildings. Visitors can join a guided Midtown Walking Tour – or explore on your own. 

Self Guided Manhattan Walking Tour

You can create your own Self-Guided New York Walking Tour in Midtown by seeing the sights listed below and using this link to Google Maps for the walking tour route. 

Flatiron Building NY: Triangular building, resembling a clothes iron, built in 1902. No entry; best views from Madison Square Park.

Empire State Building: Iconic Art Deco tower built in 1931. Visitors who want to ascend to the observation deck should purchase Skip-the-Line tickets!

New York Public Library: A historical landmark, the library’s entrance is guarded by two stone lion statues. Free to enter!

Rockefeller Center: Built by the Rockefeller family in the 1930s, the complex is comprised of 19 buildings, including Radio City Music Hall and Top of the Rock. Tickets are required for the Top of the Rock observation deck; visitors should purchase tickets in advance!

St. Patrick’s Cathedral: Taking up an entire city block, the church features soaring spires and stained-glass windows. Free to enter!

Chrysler Building: A striking Art Deco building constructed in 1930. No entry.

Grand Central Station: A busy transportation hub, the Main Concourse is a must-see (check out the ceiling and historic clock at the information booth). While at Grand Central Station, stop for a fancy 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: The buzzing square is lined with name brand name stores and bright billboards – and is a must-see in New York! As you are dazzled by the lights and sounds, stay aware and hang on tight to your valuables – tourists are a prime target for scams and petty theft in Times Square. (More about our recommended Day Pack for traveling to keep your items safe at the end of the post!)


Empire State Building or Top of the Rock? Both the Empire State Building and the Top of the Rock are sights that we include on Day 1 of our New York 7-Day Itinerary. Both buildings are incredible from the outside…but even more impressive from their elevated observations decks. That said, tickets cost about $30 USD for entry and long lines are time consuming. For the sake of time and money, we recommend choosing one or the other. While going to the top of the Empire State Building is truly iconic, but we actually prefer the views from Top of the Rock, where we can see the Empire State Building – as well as a view over Central Park. 


Broadway Show & Dinner

End the first day of your 1-week trip to New York with a Broadway theater performance. Tickets to the most popular shows are pricey, but there are Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway shows that cost less. You can also find less expensive tickets the day of the performance at TKTS.

For dinner, find a place to eat in Times Square or somewhere nearby. While most of the American chain restaurants that clutter Times Square are over-priced and quality-deficient, they are part of the Times Square vibe. That said, there are a few local establishments that offer a more unique dining experience, which we highly recommend seeking out. Make a reservation at Sardi’s – a theater institution – or feast on a fun pre-Broadway meal at Joe Allen. 


DAY 2 – Central Park and NYC Museums

Start the second day of your New York Week Itinerary at Columbus Circle, then explore Central Park. Spend the afternoon in one of the NYC museums – like The Met. End the day in Hell’s Kitchen, one of NYC’s best neighborhoods. 

Columbus Circle

The traffic circle at the southwest corner of Central Park was designed along with the park in 1857. At the center is a 76-foot-tall monument dedicated to navigator Christopher Columbus. The statue was erected on the square in 1892 and is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. 


Central Park

The 843-acre Central Park was the first public park in the nation. One of the best ways to discover the bike is on two wheels. Rent a bike and complete the loop (allow at least an hour), but be sure not to miss the Great Lawn, Strawberry Fields and the Reservoir – as well as the many statues, fountains and monuments.

For a drink in Central Park, we suggest the Loeb Boathouse – but for a meal, we suggest eating at the historic Tavern on the Green.

Want a better introduction to Central Park? Join one of the many Central Park Sightseeing Tours


New York Museums

Some of the best museums in New York City are located in or near Central Park. While there are numerous options, on a first trip to NYC, we recommend visiting one of the best – like The Met (Metropolitan Museum of Art) or the American Museum of Natural History

It is important to note that these two museums are massive. Visitors should plan on spending several hours visiting – or see the highlights by joining a tour. 

Two tours that are highly recommended by fellow travelers are the Metropolitan Museum of Art Highlights Tour (get the details!) and The Met and Natural History Museums Guided Combo Tour (book it now!). 

Pro Tip: Other New York museums near Central Park that may be of interest to travelers are the Museum of Modern Art (MoMa), the Guggenheim Museum, the Jewish Museum and the Museum of the City of New York. 


Hell’s Kitchen

End day two of your 1 week in New York Itinerary in the vibrant Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood. Known for a slew of international restaurants and an enticing nightlife, it is the perfect place to spend an evening. 

While there are many restaurants in Hell’s Kitchen, we suggest indulging in a classic NYC 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!) For an after-dinner drink, we like Valhalla, which is a local drinking hole that features numerous beers on tap. 


Day 3 – Lower Manhattan Financial District

On Day 3 of your 1 week trip to New York, discover the sights in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan, visiting some of the world’s most known landmarks. Top sights include the Statue of Liberty, Battery Park, One World Trade Center, the 9/11 Memorial and Wall Street.


The Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island

Seeing Lady Liberty is essential on every New York trip! A gift from France, the Statue of Liberty has stood in New York Harbor since 1886. Visitors can get an up-close view of the iconic statue and learn about the history of Ellis Island on a fascinating tour (get the details!) – but book it early, as they do fill up!

Pro Tip: Just want a glimpse of Lady Liberty? Visitors can hop on the free Staten Island Ferry for a nice view of the Statue of Liberty and the New York skyline.


Freedom Tower & 9/11 Memorial

The towering One World Trade Center stands at an impressive 1,776 feet (the year of US independence). The landmark skyscraper – which ranks as the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere – was completed in 2013. The One World Observatory is an observation deck that offers unmatched vistas from the 102nd floor.

At the base of the tower is the moving 9/11 Memorial dedicated to the victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The memorial consists of two reflecting pools, which outline where the Twin Towers once stood. 

Pro Tip: To learn more about the events that took place on September 11, 2001, consider taking a 9/11 Memorial Tour or visiting the poignant 9/11 Memorial Museum.


New York Stock Exchange & Wall Street

Known world-wide, Wall Street is home to the New York Stock Exchange, Trump Tower and the Federal Hall National Memorial. Relatively new to the street is the Fearless Girl Statue, who stands across from the NYSE building. 


Dinner & Drinks in the Financial District

There is a wide variety of food on offer in the Financial District. Delmonico’s, which opened in 1837, is a classic NYC restaurant dedicated to serving perfectly cooked steaks (but we have yet to eat there!). For fun after-dinner cocktails, check out The Dead Rabbit Grocery and Grog. 


Day 4 – The Best New York Neighborhoods

Spend Day 4 of your One Week New York Itinerary walking through the trendiest neighborhoods of New York City. The neighborhoods to see are Chelsea, Greenwich Village, Soho, Chinatown, Little Italy, and the East Village.


Navigate New York Neighborhoods on Foot

Exploring the neighborhoods in NYC on foot is the best way to get a feel for the distinctly different districts. The neighborhoods are listed in the order so that you can walk from one to the next, spending the entire day immersing yourself into the local New York scene. 



The Chelsea neighborhood, which is comprised of converted factories and art galleries, fronts the Hudson River. Top attractions include The Vessel, the High Line elevated park and the Chelsea Market.


Greenwich Village

Just south of Chelsea, Greenwich Village – or just The Village – is Manhattan’s bohemian district. Sights in The Village include Washington Square Park, the ‘Friends’ apartment building and the Strand Book Store. 



The SoHo neighborhood is named for its location South of Houston Street (which is pronounced house-ton). The architecture of the district – namely, the cast iron design – is why many visitors go to the neighborhood. However, the district is well-known as a shopper’s paradise, with many name brand flagship stores sitting along Broadway.


Chinatown NYC

NYC Chinatown is a captivating neighborhood. Crammed with Asian eateries and souvenir shops, the streets are lined with neon lights and signs in Chinese symbols. Visitors often go to the district looking for inexpensive knock-offs, but we think the real reason to go is for the food! 


Little Italy

Once home to the city’s thriving Italian community, Little Italy has dwindled to just a few blocks. That said, it is still worth a stroll down Mulberry Street. Nearby sights include the Tenement Museum and the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral. 


East Village

End your day in the eclectic East Village. The neighborhood is filled with thrift stores, dive bars and tattoo parlors. Interesting places to check out are the Turntable Lab, the Russian and Turkish Baths and the Blind Barber (a neighborhood barber shop with a speakeasy-style lounge in the back room). 


Dinner & Drinks in East Village

There are numerous places to eat and drink (and dance the night away) in the East Village. Our favorite – and a NYC institution – is Katz’s Delicatessen. Established in 1888, the deli is famous for their Pastrami on Rye. 

After dinner, stop by McSorley’s Old Ale House where they have been pouring house beers – either light or dark – since 1854. We love the cozy tavern atmosphere where the history is palpable.


Day 5 – Roosevelt Island, Upper East Side & Harlem

On Day 5 of your 7 Days in New York Itinerary, discover Manhattan’s northern neighborhoods. Ride the tramway to Roosevelt Island, go shopping in the Upper East Side and discover Harlem in the evening. 

Roosevelt Island

Start your day by taking the aerial tram across the East River to the long and skinny Roosevelt Island. On the southern tip of the island there is a memorial park dedicated to President Franklin D. Roosevelt – and, from the park, there are amazing views of the NYC skyline. 

Pro Tip: The Roosevelt Tramway is part of the NYC transit system; tickets are just $2.75 and are paid for via a MetroCard (more about public transport at the end of the post!).


Upper East Side

Considered to be one of the upscale neighborhoods in NYC, the Upper East Side is characterized by world-class museums, elegant architecture, chic eateries and classy bars. The area is also a haven for fashionistas; shoppers will find boutique shops, luxury brand stores and iconic department stores (like Barneys, Saks and Bloomingdale’s). 

Pro Tip: The time-honored Bemelmans Bar in the Carlyle Hotel is a posh place to stop for a mid-day cocktail.


East Harlem

Just north of the glamorous Upper East Side is colorful East Harlem. Also called “El Barrio” and “Spanish Harlem” due to the large population of Latin Americans that reside in the district, East Harlem is a unique (some might say gritty) enclave in the city. Filled with intriguing street art murals and incredible Latin American restaurants, the neighborhood has a distinctive and fun vibe. 

Pro Tip: The neighborhood was once a popular place for Italians to live. Patsy’s Pizzeria is an icon of the district; the restaurant served as inspiration for Francis Ford Coppola when creating The Godfather films (and they also make incredible pizzas!). 



Home to the Apollo Theater and the city’s jazz scene, Harlem is a vibrant neighborhood full of character and culture. We like to wander in Harlem, letting our senses guide us through the neighborhoods. Fellow travelers can explore on their own or let a guide lead the way on a Harlem tour (Gospel, Jazz, Hip Hop and Soul Food are just a few of the themed tours offered in the eclectic district!).

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Day 6 – Brooklyn

On Day 6 of your 1 Week in New York Itinerary, walk from Manhattan to Brooklyn via the beautiful Brooklyn Bridge. Stroll the NYC neighborhoods of Brooklyn, including DUMBO, Williamsburg and Carroll Gardens.


Brooklyn Bridge Walk

Start your day by walking across the iconic Brooklyn Bridge. Completed in 1883, the bridge is one of the most beautiful in the city. Along the walk, stop to take in the views back toward Manhattan. 

Pro Tip: Once in Brooklyn, spend some time at the Brooklyn Bridge Park, which offers a sublime vantage point of the Manhattan skyline. 



Stroll through DUMBO – which is an acronym for ‘Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass.’ The district was once dominated by factories, but the warehouses have all been converted into hip establishments. 

Pro Tip: The nearby Dekalb Market Hall is a good place for lunch. The marketplace has 40 vendors serving some of the best NYC eats. 



Brooklyn’s trendiest neighborhood, Williamsburg is a hotbed of creativity and all things cool. Flea markets, vintage clothing, a factory-turned-park and a copious number of hip brunch spots, there are endless things to do in Williamsburg. Also home to the Brooklyn Brewery, fans of craft beer can visit for a brewery tour. 

Pro Tip: To best experience Williamsburg, join a guide on a tour of the neighborhood (like this one!) or go on a fun Craft Beer Crawl


Carrol Gardens

End your day on the brownstone lined streets of the Carrol Gardens district. The quintessential Brooklyn neighborhood has a long been a favorite of Italian-American families, which is evident in the numerous Italian eateries.


Dinner & Drinks in Brooklyn

Brooklyn is a favorite neighborhood for dining – especially on Italian fare. For pre-dinner drinks, get a sense of nostalgia at Brooklyn Social, a vintage cocktail lounge that dates to the 1920s. Then, for dinner, feast on an Italian meal at Frankie’s 457 (anything you order will be delicious, trust us!) After your delectable dinner, have a pint of locally crafted beer at the Other Half Brewing Company


Day 7 – Day Trip from New York City or Local Event

Wrap up your 1 Week in NYC with a day trip outside of the city. Visitors who would rather experience more of New York City can attend a local event, like a sports game. 


New York City Day Trips

From NYC, it is easy to get to nearby destinations and other major US cities. On the last day of your New York Itinerary for 1 Week, go to one of the top places to visit near New York. While you can reach all of destinations with public transport or with a car rental, we include links to top-rated New York City day tours that will also get you there. 

Coney Island

In the summertime, Coney Island is a perfect city escape. The seaside city features a beach, boardwalk and amusement park. Plus, it is easy to get there using public transportation. 

The Hamptons

Spend a full day on Long Island visiting the coastal villages. Highlights include Sag Harbor, wine tastings and shopping. Get the details of this tour! 

Niagara Falls

Visit the spectacular Niagara Falls on a day trip from New York. The full-day tour includes a ride on the Maid of the Mist boat that gets visitors close to the falls. Find out more about the tour!

Pro Tip: For a truly epic experience, travel by plane from NYC to Niagara Falls! Read the rave reviews!

Washington DC

One of the most popular day trips from New York City, the Washington DC trip features the city’s top sights in a single day! Use our guide of Things To Do in Washington DC or Book a tour! 

Pro Tip: Visitors can also visit Philadelphia and Washington DC in one day! Get the details of the full day tour!


Take a trip to the historic city of Boston! Visit the Harvard campus and follow Boston’s Freedom Trail. Use our guide to Boston Sightseeing or Join a tour!


New York City Sporting Events

New Yorkers are passionate about their sports teams – and attending a game is a fabulous activity to include in your Itinerary for New York! As big baseball fans, while visiting New York, we have watched both the Yankees and the Mets play – and we can tell you, the atmosphere is electric! 

In addition to the baseball teams, New York hosts multiple professional sports teams (including hockey, basketball and two pro football teams) – so there is a good chance one of the teams will be playing at home during your NYC trip. Check StubHub for tickets to NYC sporting events (as well as concerts and theater tickets!) 


Alternate New York City Itinerary Suggestions

We have outlined an absolutely fabulous way to spend one week in New York – but what if you have less (or more!) time? 

Regardless of how many days you plan to spend in New York, our New York 7 Day Itinerary can be used as a base. Start with our outline for planning your trip to NYC – even if you are planning more (or less) time in the city. Simply adjust our New York suggested itinerary to create the best New York itinerary for you! Below we offer our best NYC sightseeing recommendations for shorter and longer stays. 


New York One Day Itinerary

Planning a NYC One-Day Itinerary is tough; there is just so much to see and do! But if you are going to plan a New York trip for 1 day, we recommend making the most of it! To create your New York one day trip planner, it is best on one area of the city. 

New York City Itinerary 1 Day

Our best advice for how to spend the day in New York is to simply choose a single day from our above outlined New York 7-Day Itinerary based on your specific interests. For example, if the Statue of Liberty is a must-see, use Day 3 of our 7-Day Itinerary New York. Or, if going to the Top of the Rock is top of your list, then follow our outline for Day 1. 

Alternatively, you can create a New York in One Day Itinerary by combining sights from Days 1 and 2 or Days 2 and 3. Or, better yet, let someone else do all the planning for you and join a guide for a comprehensive 6-hour New York tour of the top things to do in NYC in one day. Find out more!

Pro Tip: Just remember, if including any ticketed attractions in your 1 Day in NYC, it is best to buy Skip the Line Tickets!


New York Itinerary 2 Days 

Planning an NYC 2 Day Itinerary is not much easier! You will still be pressed for time, however, planning a trip to New York City in 2 days still allows quite a bit of time for sightseeing. 

New York 2 Day Itinerary 

With only 2 days in New York City, we recommend creating a New York trip itinerary that includes the iconic NYC sights.

On the first day of your trip, follow our agenda for Day 1 as outlined in our 7-Day NYC trip itinerary. Then, on Day 2, spend the morning in Central Park, the afternoon in Lower Manhattan and the evening in one of the Mid-Town neighborhoods (combining Days 2, 3 and 4 – and eliminating some neighborhood exploration).


New York Itinerary 3 Days

Planning a 3 day trip to New York is easy! Trust us – you can cram a lot of sightseeing into a New York City 3 Day Itinerary!

3 Day NYC Itinerary

We think the best way to spend 3 days in New York City is to simply stick to the first three days in our New York City One-Week Itinerary. Essentially, this is a Manhattan Itinerary, but it will allow you to really get a feel for the city. 

Alternatively, you could skip visiting a museum on Day 2 and instead spend that time visiting Brooklyn or one of the other neighborhoods that we outline on Days 4 or 5.


New York Itinerary 4 Days

On a 4 day trip to New York, visitors can really get a feel for the city! There are many ways to plan a 4 Days in New York Itinerary, so it depends on your interests. 

New York in 4 Days Itinerary

With 4 days in NYC, we recommend rearranging our One Week New York Itinerary for better sightseeing. Follow Day 1 as written, on Day 2 squeeze in other neighborhoods (from Day 5). Then use Day 3 as outlined. On the last day of your 4 day trip to NYC, choose neighborhood exploration (as outlined in Day 4) or head over to Brooklyn (which is Day 6 on the above New York travel itinerary). 


New York Itinerary 5 Days

We think 5 day trips to New York allow substantial time for city sightseeing! If you are planning to visit New York in 5 days, there is plenty to see!

New York 5 Day Itinerary 

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 One Week New York City Trip Planner). 

Pro Tip: Some of the sights we list in Day 5 (Roosevelt Island, Upper East Side, El Barrio and Harlem) could possibly be added to Day 2 – after you visit Central Park and a famous NYC museum. 


New York Itinerary 6 Days

Spending 6 days in NYC is a fantastic introduction to the city – and it is fairly easy to compile an ideal itinerary. 

6 Days New York Itinerary

We think the best way to create a New York 6 Day Itinerary is to simply follow our outline of the first six days as written in our 7 Days New York Itinerary.

There really is so much to see and do in NYC that a day trip outside of the city is not necessary. However, if going to Boston or Washington DC is high on your list while visiting New York, then add the sightseeing from Day 5 of our One Week New York trip plan into Day 2 to free up a day for a New York day trip. 


New York Itinerary 10 Days

Creating a 10 days in New York Itinerary really opens the possibilities for deeper exploration and a more relaxed pace of sightseeing. Using our 7-Day New York Itinerary as a base, we recommend simply make a few tweaks. 

New York 10 Day Itinerary 

For an ideal New York 10-Day Itinerary, we would break our above Day 2 into two days; spend one day in Central Park and the Upper West Side. The following day, visit New York museums for the entire day (this would be a great day to save for a rainy day!).

In an ideal NYC 10 day trip, we would also break Day 3 into two days. Rather than rushing to see the sights in the Financial District, we would spend an entire day visiting the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. The following day, take in the sights of Financial District.

Visitors can also add a second day trip from New York City to their 10 day trip – or dive more deeply into a favorite neighborhood to better explore it. 


Tips For Our New York City One-Week Itinerary

Now that you know what to do in New York for a week, we have a few more tips for your 1 Week New York Trip! 


Money-Saving City Cards for NYC

The cost of sightseeing in New York City can add up in a hurry! Entrance to attractions and museums is expensive. To save money, we recommend purchasing a city sightseeing card, which can provide substantial savings. 

There are two main kinds of attractions cards that offer discounts; there are cards that are valid for unlimited sights within a certain number of days or cards that offer a specific number of attractions over a longer period of time. Visitors need to determine which card is the most economical based on their interests and planned sightseeing. 

The New York Pass

The New York Pass offers access to more than 100 attractions within a certain number of days. Sightseers who want to enter all of the top sights will likely benefit from The Pass. However, to get the most value out of the card, it will be beneficial to rearrange your New York Sightseeing Itinerary so that multiple ticketed sights included with the card are visited in one, two or three days. 

The NYC Explorer Pass

The NYC Explorer Pass is valid for a selected number of attractions, which makes sense for travelers who only want to see one or two ticketed attractions per day.


Getting Around NYC

New York City taxi cabs are expensive! Using Uber instead of hopping into a cab is less expensive, but not cheap. The most economical way to get around the city (besides using your own two feet!) is via public transport. The subway is incredibly efficient – saving both time and money (and, besides, it is a true New York experience!).

To use the subway, visitors will want to purchase a 7 Day Unlimited MetroCard, which is perfect for your One Week New York Itinerary! The card is good for unlimited transit on all subways, city buses and the Tramway. Find out more on the official MTA website

An alternate way to get around is to buy a ticket for the Big Bus NYC. The tourist bus if perfect for travelers who are only looking for transportation to the top New York City tourist sights. 


Where to Eat in New York City

With the incredible number of restaurants in New York City, it can be difficult to choose where to eat in the city. Throughout our suggested New York Itinerary, we have included some of our best recommendations for places to eat in NYC. 

That said, eating at restaurants in New York (and drinking in the bars!) will quickly increase the cost of your 1 Week NYC trip. Corner delis and grocery stores are a great option for cheaper food; you can even assemble picnic meals and eat in picturesque squares and parks.

We offer suggestions of our favorite cheap eats in our NYC Budget Trip blog post. 


Where To Stay in New York City

We have stayed in multiple places in NYC. During our visit to New York City in the summertime, we stayed at the hip Hudson New York Central Park hotel. While the rooms are small (as in teeny tiny), the hotel is well-designed and close to Central Park. We loved our stay there as it was a great base for exploration.

Hotels for your NYC Trip

However, there are many accommodation options 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 at $200-$250/night. For those on a smaller budget, there are several hostels in New York City, like Broadway Hotel and Hostel

Start your search for the best priced hotels on – like we do!

NYC Airbnb

On other trips to the city, we have stayed in Airbnb apartments. There are numerous listings for Airbnb apartments in NYC – and we love it because they usually have more space than most hotel rooms, we can cook simple meals in the kitchen and we get to feel like locals. 

Not already a member of Airbnb? Use this link to create an account and save money on your first stay!

Housesitting in New York 

We have also found accommodations in New York City as house and pet sitters. While this is not an ideal way for everyone to travel, we enjoy petsetting in cities around the world! Find out more about how you can become a housesitter and stay in accommodations for free in our blog post, International Housesitting


Getting to New York City

New York can be reached by plane, train, boat, bus and car. 

Our preferred method of getting anywhere is by flying (we are JetSetting Fools, after all!). There are three major airports that service NYC: John F Kennedy (JFK), LaGuardia (LGA) and Newark (EWR). 

When we need to purchase plane tickets, we start our search for the best deals on airline tickets on Skyscanner.

Pro Tip: Getting from any of the airports into the city can be expensive! That said, there are economical options from each airport, so do a little research for the airport you will be flying into before you hop into an overpriced cab. 


What To Pack for Your New York City Trip

We have just a few final travel tips and packing hacks for your trip!


Walking Shoes

Our New York Itinerary Planner includes long days of city discovery – so make sure you pack a pair of comfortable walking shoes! I like to wear city walking shoes by Columbia – and Kris likes his Merrell shoes. Read more of our tips in our blog post, The Best Shoes for Traveling


Weather Gear

New York has four seasons; hot summers, cold winters…and the possibility of rain year-round. It is wise to pack a travel umbrella or packable raincoat for your trip. In the summer, sunscreen and hat are advised. And, because you will be walking so much, don’t forget to bring a refillable water bottle (this collapsible water bottle is great for travelers and there are water fountains found throughout the city!)


Travel Camera

New York is a stunning city…but it can be difficult to photograph (especially with a phone camera!). We recommend using an proper camera with a zoom lens for your trip to NYC. We travel with a Canon Rebel and use an everyday 18-135mm lens, which takes amazing photos. We also carry a Canon PowerShot ELPH, which is small enough to fit into a zippered pocket and ideal budget camera.


Anti-Theft Bag

While we think New York is a safe city, it’s always a good idea to keep valuables – like money, ID and phone – tucked away out of the reach of sticky-fingered thieves.

I use a cross-body Timbuk2 Messenger Bag, which isn’t designed for travel, but works phenomenally well as a day bag. When traveling in big cities, we also use a money belt, which is concealed beneath our clothes. Travelon also makes a line of specific Anti-Theft bags for travelers. Find all of our tips in our blog post, The Best Day Bags for Travel.



It’s easy to get turned around or lost in any new city! We highly recommend purchasing a city map prior to your trip; sightseeing is always more enjoyable when you have a basic understanding of the city layout.


WiFi and Charger

Map or not, we would be lost in NYC without WiFi! Foreign visitors can purchase a SIM card, but frequent travelers and groups traveling together may want to consider a GlocalMe Mobile WiFi device. Users can connect 5 devices at a time – but the best part of this Mobile Wi-Fi Hotspot is that data packages can be purchased online. As a bonus, the devise doubles as a portable charger. 

Visitors utilizing hand held devices for city sightseeing will want to make sure to have a portable charger. Between using online directions and sharing photos on social media, batteries quickly run out of juice. 


Travel Insurance

We think travel insurance is essential! Not only does it come in handy with cancelled flights or lost luggage, but it can also be vital if you get injured or ill while traveling. If you haven’t already obtained travel insurance for your trip, travel protected with World Nomads.


Start planning your trip to New York! Search for the lowest airfares, the best accommodations and fun things to do…then start packing!  Want more travel planning tips? Head over to our Travel Planning page for more information and tips on traveling – and for country-specific information, take a look at our Travel Guides page!


Visiting More Of The United States? 

We have detailed itineraries for your trip to Austin, TX, a Weekend in Denver, Seattle, Portland and Chicago or for your perfect visit to San Francisco. Itching for a road trip? We’ve got you covered in Montana, the Oregon Coast and California Highway 1!

The Best USA Destinations for a Weekend

There is no question that NYC ranks as one of the top destinations in the United States – even on a weekend trip! If you are looking for other fabulous places to visit, use our guide to the Top Quick Weekend Getaways in the USA for inspiration. 

Our guide to the Best Weekend Getaways in USA Top 20 Destinations

Best Weekend Getaways in USA Top 20 Destinations

Find all of our tips for US destinations on our USA Travel page!


We want to know: Do you have any tips for planning a New York Itinerary? What would you add to our New York City Itinerary 7 Days? Give us your best tips and advice in the comments! 


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27 thoughts on “New York City One-Week Itinerary

  1. Mariana

    I LOOVEEEEEE YOU SOOOOO MUUUUCH!!! thank you for this amazing post!!! you saved my life, I was so lost, I had no idea where to start. Is going to be my first time in NYC and I’m super excited. Thanks so much for all these information. 🙂

    oh! and the maps are the best!!

  2. Great travel guide…nice blog for all day tour of NYC can be the most exciting experiences, with all the iconic landmarks. And walking around is also a terrific feeling, with all the hustle and bustle of the streets.

  3. My husband and I just visited NYC for a week! Good itinerary, but we didn’t get nearly that much stuff done when visiting the Financial District. Most of the Day was spend in the 9/11 Museum (not a place you’d want to rush through. So good!)
    We splurged on Liberty and Ellis Island rather than the Staten Island Ferry, but it would have helped to do those first before the 9/11 Memorial and Museum as they close much sooner. We ended up visiting the islands the following day.

  4. Stephanie Seah

    Do you also have any itinerary suggestion for LA and Canada?
    Your NYC One week itinerary is very helpful and informative.

  5. Great post. Visiting New York next year as part of a longer trip travelling down the east cost. We’re probably not going to have enough time to spend 7 days in NYC so how long would you say is the optimum time to cover most of the sights and experiences?

    • Sounds like a fun trip! It is possible to breeze through the highlights of New York City in 2 days – but that would be really pushing it. I would suggest 3 days at a minimum (following the first three days of our itinerary to see the best sights) and, with 4 days, adding a trip to Brooklyn and/or Harlem to explore beyond Manhattan. Have a great time!

  6. Deanna Hall

    I’ve been to New York a few times and always found plenty to do. Really liked different Broadway shows. Walked across the Brooklyn Bridge a few times. Found some really good ice cream on the other side. Really liked the American Museum of Natural History. The 9/11 Memorial is a must.

  7. Wow, I’m heading to New York for a couple of weeks and I was worried I’d end up bored being in the one place for all that time. After reading this it doesn’t seem likely! Thanks for all the tips. I’ll be there for the 4th of July too! Can’t wait for the fireworks 🙂

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