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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
There is no right or wrong way to plan a trip to NYC. The city is extremely 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. While massive and teeming with sights – it is not as intimidating as it may seem. In fact, with our New York Itinerary, we have made NYC trip planning easy!
Pro Tip: We suggest using our Trip Planning Templates to research and organize your NYC vacation!
About Our One Week in New York City Itinerary
Our NYC Itinerary includes the best sightseeing spots – which will help you with planning a New York trip.
Each day of this 1 Week New York trip is spent visiting top attractions, exploring the 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.
It is an ideal First Time New York Itinerary, but can be used by return visitors, as well.
Cost of 1 Week in New York
There is no question: New York is expensive. Many of the must see sights in NYC cost upwards of $30, but there are many free attractions in New York, too. When you plan a trip to New York City, it’s best to set a budget first. (Use our free vacation budget planner for tips!)
In our 1-Week New York Itinerary, we include a range of activities from budget to high-end. Penny-pinching travelers can use our suggested itinerary for New York to help plan their trip – and our NYC on a Budget article 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. Costs, personal interests and overall time allotted for your trip should be major considerations for your New York City vacation.
How Many Days to Visit New York?
We think one week in NYC is the perfect trip length. With 7 days in NYC, visitors can see the top 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 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 planning a trip to NY, 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 Big Apple, our 1 Week in New York Itinerary blog post is the place to start planning your trip!
New York City One-Week Itinerary
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 in 7 Days we include helpful links, route maps, restaurant tips and other pertinent information. 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 choose to explore on your own.
Self Guided Manhattan Walking Tour
While we think it is a good idea to start off your 7 days in New York City trip with a helpful guide, it’s not necessary. You can create your own Self-Guided New York Walking Tour in Midtown by seeing the sights listed below and using this Map 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 Terminal: 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 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.)
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 on the first night of your 7 day trip to New York, 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 not noted as the best places to in NYC, they are part of the Times Square vibe.
That said, there are a few local establishments that offer a unique dining experience, which we recommend seeking out. Pop into Brooklyn Diner for classic American fare or Junior’s Restaurant and Bakery for amazing NYC Cheesecake. Alternatively, make a reservation at Sardi’s – a theater institution – or feast on a fun pre-Broadway meal at Joe Allen as an excellent way to kick off your 7 Day NYC Itinerary.
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 is a good place to start Day 2 of your 7 Day Itinerary NYC. 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.
The 843-acre Central Park was the first public park in the United States and an absolute must see for your New York in 7 Days Itinerary.
One of the best ways to discover Central Park 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 along the Mall.
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. The iconic Central Park landmark restaurant offers fantastic food in an elegant environment (be sure to make a reservation).
Top Tip: Want a better introduction to Central Park? Join one of the many Central Park Sightseeing Tours.
New York Museums
With a week in NYC, visitors should definitely plan on visiting one of the city’s iconic 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 New York museums are massive. Visitors should plan on spending several hours visiting – or seeing 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.
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 an excellent 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 drinks, we like Valhalla, which is a local drinking hole that features numerous craft 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 great view of the Statue of Liberty and the New York skyline.
Freedom Tower & 9/11 Memorial
A must-see for your 7 Days Itinerary in New York, the sights at the World Trade Center are both magnificent and moving.
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.
New York Stock Exchange & Wall Street
Known world-wide, Wall Street is home to the New York Stock Exchange and the Federal Hall National Memorial. Relatively new to Wall 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 – so it’s the perfect place for dinner on Day 3 of your One Week in New York Itinerary.
Delmonico’s, which opened in 1837, is a classic NYC restaurant dedicated to serving perfectly cooked steaks (but with a recent ownership change, the re-opening date is uncertain).
The historic Fraunces Tavern, dating to 1762 and boasting famous clientele (like George Washington), is a classic pub with upscale eats and an incredible selection of whiskey and craft beer. For fun after-dinner cocktails, check out The Dead Rabbit Irish Pub that is right around the corner.
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
Visitors staying in New York for a week have ample time to get to know the city and its unique neighborhoods. Exploring the neighborhoods in NYC on foot is the best way to get a feel for the distinctly different districts. The neighborhoods we recommend seeing are listed in 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 at Hudson Yards, the High Line elevated park and the Chelsea Market.
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.
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!
Once home to NYC’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.
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, drink and dance the night away in the East Village. Our favorite place to eat – 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 their house beers – either light or dark – since 1854. We love the cozy tavern atmosphere, saw dust covered floors and energetic (if not a bit surly) bartenders!
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.
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 – along with amazing views of the NYC skyline.
Pro Tip: The Roosevelt Tramway is part of the NYC transit system and fares are paid for via a MetroCard (more about public transport at the end of the article).
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.
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 enclave. 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!).
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.
Prospect Park and Brooklyn Botanic Garden
One of the largest parks in Brooklyn and a historic landmark, Prospect Park is a top destination in Brooklyn. In fact, if you are planning a trip to New York City with family and young kids, it’s an absolute must!
Highlights of the park include the Prospect Park Zoo, a carousel, monuments and walking paths. The adjacent Brooklyn Botanic Garden and Brooklyn Museum are other nearby attractions – and the park’s weekly Smorgasburg event is a big hit with foodies!
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.
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.
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!
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!
New York City Sporting Events
End your New York Travel Itinerary 7 Days Adventure at a sporting event. 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 NHL Hockey, NBA Basketball and NFL football teams) – so there is a good chance one of the teams will be playing at home during your NYC trip.
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 for your vacation. 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.
Pro Tip: Planning to visit New York City for Christmas? Wonderful! Check out our dedicated article for all the Best NYC Experiences at Christmas!
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 to just focus on one area.
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 will have you making some tough decisions! 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 can be made 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 better 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 to know the Big Apple! 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 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 option – and we make it fairly easy for you 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 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, concentrate on visiting the best New York museums (this would also be great things to do on a rainy day in NYC!).
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! These tips are designed to help you plan a NYC trip with ease…and save a little money, too.
1 Week in New York Budget
Trips to New York City can be expensive! We highly recommend setting a 1 Week in New York Budget to ensure that you stay within your limits – and we are sharing a few top money-saving tips for your trip.
Plan New York Trip: Money-Saving City Cards for NYC
When you plan trip to NYC, you will notice that 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 NYC 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.
Pro Tip: In order to get the most out of your pass, we recommend buying your attractions pass in advance – and planning a NYC trip around the sights you want to see.
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.
New York CityPass
Another great attractions pass, the New York CityPass allows ticket holders to visit 6 amazing attractions within nine days…for one low price. The CityPass can be extremely beneficial – both for cost and ease of sightseeing – when you plan trip to New York City.
Plan Ahead: 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.
Pro Tip: We offer suggestions of our favorite cheap eats in our NYC Budget Trip blog post.
Plan New York City Trip: Flights, Transport, Accommodations
We are sharing out top tips on the essentials for your trip: How to get there, how to get around and where to stay. Plus we have tips for what to pack!
Getting to New York City
The first step in how to plan New York trip is to determine how you will get there. 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).
Pro Tip: Getting from any of the NYC 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.
Getting Around NYC
New York City taxi cabs are the most costly option. Using Uber or Lyft instead of hopping into a cab is less expensive, but not cheap. The most economical way to get around (besides using your own two feet!) is via public transport. The subway is actually quite efficient – saving both time and money (and, besides, it is a true New York experience!).
To use the NYC 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 Roosevelt Island 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.
Finding the Best Places to Stay in New York City
When looking for places to stay in New York City, there are a few key factors to consider. Location, Price, Safety and Cleanliness are our top priorities when finding NYC accommodations.
We prefer staying in hotels in Midtown – as it makes getting around on foot to top attractions a lot easier. Naturally, good hotels in the heart of the city cost the most. If you cannot find lodging that meets your requirements in Midtown, look for a hotel further away that is close to a major subway line.
Pro Tip: Before starting your search, use our tips for booking the best hotels at the best prices.
Where To Stay in New York City: Our Recent Stays
We have stayed in multiple places in NYC over the years. During our visit to New York City in the summertime, we stayed at the hip Hudson New York Central Park hotel (but it has been closed for renovations for some time).
Hotels for your NYC Trip
There are many accommodation options to choose from in New York City that range from iconic hotels to budget hostels. Don’t worry if luxury hotels, like the Four Seasons and St. Regis, don’t fit your budget; there are many NYC hotels priced at $200-$250/night (yup, that’s the budget range for this year!).
Start your search for the best priced hotels on Booking.com – like we do!
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.
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 trusted housesitter and stay in accommodations for free in our article, International Housesitting.
What To Pack for Your New York City Trip
Walking Shoes for NYC
Our New York Itinerary Planner includes long days of discovery by foot – 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.
NYC Weather Gear
New York has four seasons; along with hot summers and cold winters…the possibility of rain is 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).
Travel Camera for NYC Photos
New York is a stunning sight…but it can be difficult to photograph (especially with a phone camera). We recommend using a 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.
While we feel New York is as safe as most any other big 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 to congested locations, 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 big city, and while we provide map links in our New York planner, 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 connectivity! 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 10 devices at a time – but the best part of this Mobile Wi-Fi Hotspot is that eSim data packages can be purchased online. As a bonus, the device doubles as a portable charger.
Visitors utilizing hand held devices on their own network will still want to have a portable charger. Between using online directions and sharing photos on social media, batteries quickly run out of juice!
NYC Travel Insurance
Travel insurance may come in handy with cancelled flights or lost luggage, and can also be vital if you get injured or ill while traveling. If you haven’t already obtained travel insurance for your trip to New York, consider traveling protected with World Nomads.
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 or San Diego. Itching for a road trip? We’ve got you covered in Montana, on the Oregon Coast (or Columbia River Gorge) and California Highway 1 (including Malibu)!
The Best USA Destinations for a Weekend
There is no question that NYC ranks as one of the top destinations in the United States! If you are looking for other fabulous places to visit, use our guide to the Top Quick Weekend Getaways in the USA for inspiration. Seeking out a less-visited spot? We get it! Check out our Underrated US Destinations and Top Underrated Travel Spots Around the World.
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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