Planning an inaugural trip to New York City can be daunting. From museums to Broadway, from the Bronx to Brooklyn, there is an endless amount of things to see and do. I lived in NYC for almost 15 years and still haven’t experienced it all. I now visit with fresh eyes, playing tourist throughout my old stomping grounds.
Must-see NYC landmarks such as the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty and must-do activities such as strolling Central Park should be included on any itinerary, but you have enough time to go beyond the basics. Cluster your visit by neighborhood and take advantage of the subway. Here’s how to experience the best of New York City in three days.
Expect warm, humid summers and cold, snowy winters. Spring and fall are temperate.
If you only have time for one thing, make it Times Square. It’s an iconic site that's worth seeing at least once.
Many of New York City’s popular landmarks are clustered around Midtown Manhattan. Starting at 34th Street, head to the top of the Empire State Building for city views. Then, travel north (on foot, via subway, or by cab), passing by Bryant Park, to Rockefeller Center. Here, you’ll also find Radio City Music Hall and St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
Then, either stay in the area and walk around Wall Street and the Seaport District or head north through Chinatown and Little Italy, followed by shopping in SoHo. Finally, stroll across the Brooklyn Bridge (a 30-60 minute walk depending on your pace) and explore that borough. When you're done, take the subway back to Manhattan.
On your final day, wander along The High Line, an elevated park on the city’s west side, and explore Greenwich Village and the West Village, including Washington Square Park, always buzzing with locals and tourists. Browse the Whitney Museum of American Art and hop over to Little Island, one of NYC’s newest attractions.