Heading to NYC? We share how to spend 2 days in New York City in this NYC itinerary, including the best sights and how to get around NYC.
New York is a city like no other, and we don’t mean that in a cliched way, everyone says it. The skyscrapers, the yellow cabs, the bagels, Broadway, Central Park, the bright lights of Times Square, Madison Avenue shopping—they’re all iconic images that you probably conjure up when you think of NYC.
Why visit NYC?
There’s more to this city than meets the eye. New York is more than a city; it’s an attitude, a state of mind. Fast-paced and ever-changing, it can be overwhelming at times but never dull.
It is a city of superlatives – one of the largest metropolises in the world. Established on an island at the mouth of the Hudson River and quickly growing north, south, and west, the city’s residents planted roots to create a dense, thriving urban center full of life, culture, commerce, and sport.
Just seeing Manhattan is enough to make your head spin—there are so many sights to be seen that it can feel like an impossible task to accomplish them all in one visit.
Whether you’re traveling on business or taking an extended vacation with family or friends, New York City has something for everyone.
There’s no way to see everything in New York City in 2 days, but you could certainly hit some of the famous skyscrapers in New York City, the best attractions, and get an excellent feel for this fantastic city.
All you need to do is get a New York City Pass which will save you time and money while giving free access to six tourist attractions with a 9 days validity.
So let us help you with a two-day itinerary to explore and discover this fantabulous destination.
2 days in New York City Itinerary
Getting around NYC
The best way to experience NYC is to walk, so there’s no need to rent a car. The subway is great (and cheap), as are taxis and ride-sharing services. Don’t worry about your bags, and go through the Luggage Storage guide NYC to familiarize yourself with all the information about the price and different stations where you can store your luggage.
After making an online booking, drop your bags at LuggageHero Penn Station and start your journey.
Day 1 in NYC
Start your day in Central Park!
Lush green gardens, exotic birds, majestic bridges, live art, and musical events, Central Park is the epicenter of several fun and recreational activities and will take you away from the din of New York.
If you are looking for a bite to eat before you start exploring, head to the nearby Sarabeth’s restaurant on W 59th Street for a fancy brunch option, or head to the Sip & Co coffee shop on 58th St.
Walk through the park and head west to the American Museum of Natural History. Delve in the intriguing history of the universe from its existence to its transformation. The museum showcases grand dioramas, magical earth, and a space center paired with a dedicated hall exhibiting mystical fossils.
Alternatively, you could head to the museums on the East of Central Park:
The Metropolitan Museum of Art – For all art lovers, it’s a paradise presenting a 5000-year-old history of art from all over the world. Visitors also get to experience the lush-green garden from the medieval era.
Guggenheim Museum– Exhibiting the work of one of the legendary artists, namely Picasso, Degas, Gaugin, and others, the museum in itself is an architectural masterpiece and is acknowledged under the Unesco World’s Heritage site.
For lunch, head to the Hell’s Kitchen district; home to some of the best restaurants in New York City. Enjoy Cuban sandwiches at Guantanamera on 8th Ave, enjoy Japanese cuisine at Donburiya on W 55th St, or try some Colombian delights at an affordable price at Empanada Mama on 9th Ave. New York has so many great food options so take a NYC food tour to try some of the best the city has to offer.
The museums continue with the Intrepid Sea, Air, and space museum. If aircraft, concords, submarines, and space shuttle also intrigue and excites you, this museum should be on your bucket list. Next to the museum is the Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise company, offering boat tours along the Hudson River. The Liberty Midtown Cruise is a 1-hour option that allows you to see the Statue of Liberty in a short period of time you could take the landmarks cruise to see many of the famous sights in NYC.
If you would rather see the Statue of Liberty up close, skip the Intrepid museum and head down to Battery Park to catch the ferry to the Statue of liberty. This symbolic heritage 305-foot-long statue on liberty island in upper New York bay represents hope, freedom, and justice is a site to click amazing pics and a beautiful view. It is best to ride in a city cruise to get a first-hand ground view of once the busiest inspection point in New York.
Spend the afternoon taking a stroll along the high line then exploring Greenwich. While strolling on the high line, you reach this quaint village and get to explore its aura while experiencing the buzzing art scene inviting artists from different walks of life to showcase their work.
Greenwich Village is full of amazing and cute cafes, ideal for a quick drink and bite to eat or an early dinner. Birch Coffee is a small, cozy coffee spot whilst Think Coffee has unique flavors of beans and makes for the perfect place to warm up during a Winter trip.
There are plenty of things to do in NYC at night and we recommend you head to the Top of the Rock for a beautiful viewpoint for sunsets with a 360-degree complete view of New York City. Don’t forget to make a booking in advance as it is usually packed for last-time visitors.
Then visit the iconic Times Square. This iconic commercial spot gleams with billboards, offering a unique visual treat for its visitors. It also hosts the famous annual New year eve’s ball drop event. There are plenty of things to do in Times Square to keep you entertained as well as plenty of restaurants in and around Times Square too.
Day 2 in NYC
After spending a night in one of the best places to stay in NYC , it is time for another day exploring NYC.
Start early and head to the Empire State Building for opening time. The mesmerizing view from 102 story skyscraper in Manhattan will take you to a different world altogether.
On the 86th floor, there is an observation deck to watch the sunrise paired with a 90-IN-90 tour, including a one-and-a-half-hour show on the monument’s rich history.
After seeing beautiful views of the city, learn more about the tragic events of 9/11 at the 9/11 Memorial & Museum. Pay a peaceful tribute to all those who lost their lives at this memorial after one of the most horrendous acts on humanity by humans and remind all of us to spread the message of love, peace, and harmony across the globe.
Next, head to the One World Observatory. You can find plenty of places
For a magical glimpse of the Manhattan skyline from America’s tallest building, one world center previously known as the Freedom Tower offer a view of a lifetime.
If it’s a special occasion, you could also head to the ONE DINE restaurant, offering fantastic views of the city.
Alternatively, you can pick up lunch from our next stop – The Oculus. There are plenty of chain cafes and restaurants inside the Oculus to choose from but you can also find some unique places to eat here too. Restaurant Marc Forgione offers some excellent seasonal dishes whilst Benares has an affordable prix fixe lunch. Bill’s Bar & Burger is a relaxed burger spot whilst Blue Smoke is a great barbecue place.
Walk through Wall Street then finish off your day with a trip to Brooklyn Bridge. A casual stroll on this magnificent bridge is worth it all to get a glimpse of New York city life. The place represents the soul of this stunning city, and the never say die spirit.