Everyone wants to visit NYC, but planning a trip can be a tad overwhelming.
*lots of pictures at the bottom in a slideshow. Scroll over words for links
Times Square in Manhattan, NY brings over 41.9 million tourists a year and Central Park isn’t too far behind with 40 million. So, when you’re planning a trip to New York City, you’ve gotta be strategic. Here’s a Friday – Sunday guide for the ultimate trip to the city with the most people in the USA.
I’ve had several friends from the midwest visit since I moved to the Big Apple back in January after New Years. They always have a list of things they want to do that goes a little like this:
- Times Square
- Central Park
- Statue of Liberty
- Washington Square Park
- Brooklyn Bridge
And the list goes on. If your list looks something like this, fly in Thursday night to LGA. If you try to fly into the city on Friday morning, it’s going to take some time to get off the plane, get a taxi/uber, and get settled.
I’m going to walk you through a route from the Upper East Side in Manhattan (1 of the 5 boroughs)
8:30 – 10am:
Get a workout in
- This will get your mind right and ready to take on a day full of subway rides, walking, and casual drinking
- There are so many incredible places to workout in NYC. I live in Upper East Side on 78th and 2nd and I have a hundred gyms to check out like Crunch Fitness, Concrete Jungle, Equinox, or Y7 Studio. You can get a day pass for free almost anywhere or try ClassPass for free.
10am – 12pm:
Grab a bite to eat
- Upper East Side Brunch: The Penrose or a quick bite at H+ H Bagels
12pm – 12:45:
Travel to the Financial District with a destination of “Staten Island Ferry” (Download the App City Mapper to help you get everywhere)
- Take the downtown 6 from 77th Street transfer to the downtown 4/5 and get off at Bowling Green. Walk to Whitehall Ferry Terminal and get on the Staten Island Ferry for free
12:45 – 2:
Statue of Liberty
- The Staten Island Ferry leaves every 30 minutes and takes you right past the statue of liberty (stand on the right side of the boat). Hop off and go directly back to Manhattan (stand on left side of the boat going back)
- This is a gorgeous ride. You will get amazing views of NYC, be out on the water, and it’s free
2 – 2:45:
- A 14-minute walk from where you get off the Ferry. You will walk past the Charging Bull, the NYSE, and see a few interestingly dressed people….
2:45 – 3:15:
- Eately is located in the World Trade Center
- Do you like Italian food? Here you will be overwhelmed with freshly baked pasta and pizza, an assortment of olives, a variety of wines, different restaurants, and a cooking school
3:15 – 3:45:
- Ground Zero is located right around the corner from Eately
3:45 – 6pm:
- Option 1: You will want to head to Brooklyn Heights Promenade to get amazing views of the Brooklyn Bridge. Take the subway to downtown/Brooklyn
- Option 2: The William Vale, a 5-star hotel in Brooklyn, has crazy cool views. I would probably say this is the best spot if you’re into seeing the whole city and the Brooklyn Bridge. Plus, you can grab some drinks + apps.
6:30pm – 9pm:
Washington Square Park
- Located in the West Village
- After walking through WSP and seeing people play chess, kids play in the fountain, and puppeteers, you will probably want to grab a bite to eat.
- West Village is sprinkled with great food and drinks. Some recommendations are:
- Joe’s Pizza (classic NY pizza, always a line out the door)
- Numero 28 (cash only)
- Ramen Thukpa
9pm – 12am:
Night life in West Village / Greenwich Villag / Bleeker Street
- At this point, you’re probably exhausted. My friends sure were! I’d recommend taking it easy on Friday night since you still have a full day in the city ahead of you, so I’m cutting you off no later than 12am, which is early!
- LPR (don’t get here before 11pm, but it’s fun on Fridays – Live Music 90’s night)
- 3 Sheets Saloon if you’re a recent college grad. Oh, and it’s cheap
- Blind Tiger if you’re looking to try some beer and not get too wild
- The Garret if you’re looking for more of an intimate night with loungey chairs and hand-crafted cocktails
- Comedy Cellar if you like laughing
Friday is complete! And you were efficient! Now you have a better feel of the city and how to navigate.
For Saturday + Sunday, here are a few ideas:
- Central Park
- Citi Bike, walk, take a little boat ride, check out the boathouse, grab a bottle of wine and a blanket, the MET
- Bottomless Brunch (Go between 1-4pm) or a Drag Brunch
- Chelsea High Line
- What is it? A once-abandoned elevated train track in Chelsea, Manhattan that was transformed awhile back into a crazy-popular walkway
- Chinatown famous Dim Sum Palace
- Have you ever had dumplings?
- Times Square at NIGHT
- Go around 8pm to get the full effect of the neon lights and flashing cameras. Since you’re here, you may as well check out a Broadway Show
- Jets or Giants game at Metlife in New Jersey (coachusa bus for $7)
- Yankees game (Bronx) or Mets game (Queens)
- ^^ See two more boroughs!