What are the best things to do and see in New York and not miss anything? How to visit New York in 4, 5, or 6 days? Times Square, Manhattan, Wall Street, Statue of Liberty: we all know these must-sees of New York City. But there are also plenty of other unusual places and original things to do in New York. Let’s discover our TOP 40 things and must-sees to do and see in New York and our tips, advice, and good spots to eat and stay for a trip to New York. 100%.
- TOP 40 things to do in New York 🤩
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- Visiting New York in 4, 5, or 6 days: itinerary day by day 📍
- Where to stay in NYC 🌆
- Best spots where to eat 😋
1. TOP 40 best and original things to do in New York
Big Apple. New York is the largest city in the United States. It is also one of the most visited cities in the world.
The 5 boroughs of New York. New York City comprises 5 boroughs or districts: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island. Where to go to visit the must-sees of New York City?
Manhattan. The borough of Manhattan is New York’s most densely populated and the city’s most famous neighborhood. It is where you will find the main must-sees for visiting New York in 3 days of travel. However, if you visit New York in 4, 5, or 6 days or a week (see here an itinerary for 7 days), you will be able to discover other neighborhoods and places of the “Big Apple”.
1.0 Manhattan or the best place for visiting New York
Synonyms. New York and Manhattan are almost synonyms. When we think of New York, we always think of Manhattan without knowing it. Times Square, Central Park, Broadway. Many famous American series have Manhattan as decor. For example, Friends or Sex in the City. That’s why Manhattan is the absolute must-see in New York.
Divided into 5 main parts. To visit New York City, you must understand Manhattan’s different areas. They go from south to north: Lower Manhattan, Midtown Manhattan, Upper Manhattan, Harlem, and Washington Heights. Each of these areas has its vibe and interest. Here is a summary:
- Lower Manhattan: the oldest part, where the financial district of New York is located, but also a few more unusual places to visit in New York. Below, we will detail it in our TOP 40 best things to do in New York City.
- Midtown Manhattan: this is where the top things to do in New York are. Many skyscrapers are in this part of Manhattan, including the Empire State Building. Times Square and the MoMA museum of modern art are also in Midtown.
- Upper Manhattan: Central Park.
- Harlem: For a long time, it was the most dangerous area in Manhattan. It is much safer today, and Harlem shows an alternative side of Manhattan.
- Washington Heights: north-end of Manhattan. It is the least visited area of Manhattan.
You will find some of the best places to stay, from hotels to apartments to rent for visiting New York in 3, 4, 5, or 6 days, in our blog post: Best places to stay in New York.
1.1 Visiting Times Square
Symbol of New York. Times Square is one of the main places that most symbolize what you expect when you want to visit New York. Large illuminated billboards, stores, lots of people, Naked Cowboy: excitement at its peak! It is the most tourist place in the city. We will see later other sites of New Yorkers’ real life.
Day and night. Times Square is an exciting place to visit in New York, both during the day and at night. Indeed, this square is transformed at nightfall to show itself from another angle.
Shops to visit? Some of the most iconic stores in Times Square include M&M World, Disney Store, and Hershey’s Chocolate World. These are magical stores in New York to visit with the children or awaken your child’s soul! Here you can also discover limited and special collections in the stores of the most famous brands, such as Levis or Foot Locker.
Who is Naked Cowboy? This artist has been walking for years in boxers with a guitar, boots, and a cowboy hat in Times Square. Over the years, it has become an iconic attraction in Times Square all on its own.
1.2 Visiting The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island from New York
Offered by France. The Statue of Liberty in New York is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is located on Ellis Island. The Statue of Liberty was offered to New York as a sign of friendship to celebrate the centenary of the American Declaration of Independence. The Statue of Liberty is one of the must-sees in New York City.
Immigration Museum. Besides the Statue of Liberty, this is another critical and exciting place to visit in New York to understand its history. Visiting this museum is highly recommended. It is one of New York City’s flagship museums.
How to visit? To get to Ellis Island, see the Statue of Liberty and visit the Immigration Museum, you must take a ferry. For simplicity, you can buy tickets for the statue and museum, including the return ferry. In general, this type of ticket also includes an audio guide, which will make your visit more enjoyable. Here is an example: see the prices for museum tickets + return ferry + audio guide. Count a good half-day for this visit. In addition, you can also take the New York CityPASS for more savings and time savings. We describe the pros and cons of this pass below. Discover more in our blog post about the Statue of Liberty.
Ferry cruise without visiting the museums. If you are short on time, or if you are going to visit New York in less than 4 days, you can skip the visit to Ellis Island and solely take a ferry cruise around the Statue of Liberty. Fares for the ferry alone are slightly lower: check availability and book this cruise.
1.3 Summit One Vanderbilt: something not to be missed in New York
Unforgettable experience. This incredible attraction in New York is on the One Vanderbilt skyscraper, which is 427 meters high. It is an observation deck with a spectacular view of New York, but not exclusively. Summit One Vanderbilt offers an authentic artistic experience.
Interactive and fun activity. Once at the very top, we discover pretty astonishing installations: mirrors, silver balloons, and quite astonishing ceiling and floor. Discover more information and book tickets here: see photos, prices, and availability for the Summit One Vanderbilt experience. Rates vary depending on the day of the week and the time of day. Plan 1h30-2h for this visit.
What to choose? Summit One Vanderbilt is a whole new perspective on New York City. But plenty of other places known for years can also offer you an exceptional view of New York. For example, Empire State Building, located right next to it, or One World Trade Center. We detail it later in this TOP 40 of the best things to do in New York. The strong point of Summit One Vanderbilt is to offer an experience in addition to the view.
1.4 One World Trade Center Observatory
The tallest skyscraper in New York. The One World Trade Center skyscraper was built after the attacks of September 11, 2001. Nicknamed Freedom Tower, this skyscraper bears the same name as the northern twin tower of the World Trade Center, destroyed during these attacks. Today, One World Trade Center is the tallest skyscraper in Manhattan. A stone’s throw from the tower is the National September 11 Memorial Museum (see below).
Breathtaking view. Located in the heart of Manhattan, this skyscraper is very visited. There are three types of tickets to climb on top. The first one allows you to skip the queue for purchasing tickets on-site. The second ticket provides priority access to climb the tower but with an entry time to choose from. And finally, the third ticket allows priority access with a flexible entry time during the day. Find the dates and times: select the skip-the-line ticket to visit One World Observatory.
Do not miss. If you visit One World Observatory in New York, you cannot miss Sky Portal. It’s a glass platform you can walk on! Compared to Summit One Vanderbilt, which we saw above, this is a real plus for One World Trade Center Observatory, especially if you like thrills!
1.5 Visiting the National September 11 Memorial Museum in New York
A poignant visit. If you saw the 9/11 attacks when they happened, this tour will be even more poignant for you. In this memorial, we can discover the testimonies of this tragedy which took the lives of 3000 people. You can also see what has remained of the two towers. Commentaries are available in many languages to better understand the images, testimonies, and exhibits.
To be reserved in advance. Admission tickets must be booked beforehand; a week in advance is recommended. Plan about 1h or 1h30 for a visit. Find practical information and reservation of tickets in advance and without waiting on this link: skip-the-line tickets to visit the 9/11 memorial. The 9/11 memorial is one of the visits to do in New York if you visit the city in 4, 5, or 6 days. It is, therefore, part of our TOP of the essential things to do in New York. You can save time and money with the New York CityPASS if you visit the National 9/11 Memorial Museum and other places.
1.6 Strolling through Central Park, New York City
New York spirit. Located in Upper Manhattan, Central Park is a place inseparable from New York. This 341-hectare park is the green heart of Manhattan. It is one of the TOP must-sees to visit in New York during a trip of 4, 5, or 6 days or more. Come here to discover the life of New Yorkers and even to have a mythical picnic with a view of the buildings of Manhattan.
Visiting New York’s Central Park Zoo. Visiting this zoo is an excellent activity in New York for toddlers (2-3 year-olds) who don’t have a lot of stamina. Do you know the cartoon Madagascar? Yes, the heroes do come from this zoo! You can buy tickets on-site or online: book tickets for the Central Park Zoo (https://www.tiqets.com/en/new-york-attractions-c260932/tickets-for-central-park-zoo-p975564/?partner=whips&tq_campaign=swotnytop).
St. Patrick’s Cathedral. A stunning Gothic cathedral located not far from Times Square and Central Park. You can, for example, see it when you visit the heart of Manhattan before going to Central Park.
1.7 Visiting the American Museum of Natural History in New York
Close to Central Park. Just across from Central Park, the American Museum of Natural History is one of the museums to visit in New York with the family. You can easily spend half a day there. There is a large cafeteria, which is convenient for lunch. This museum is quite famous. Skip-the-line tickets are highly recommended. This museum is one of New York’s must-sees for many visitors.
Night at the museum. Did you know the movie “Night at the Museum “? Yes, it was filmed in this museum!
1.8 Visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York
The MET. The Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of the most visited museums in the world. It is on Fifth Avenue, which runs alongside Central Park. Thus, you can group these two visits to save time in travel. It is all the more interesting to do if you are going to visit New York only in 3 or 4 days. Here you can see American, European, or contemporary art and artifacts from antiquity and ancient Egypt.
When to visit The MET? Fridays and especially Saturdays are the busiest days. On Sundays after 11 a.m. too. If your trip to New York is during the weekend, you can, for example, visit The MET on Sunday when it opens. Wednesday and Thursday, especially in the morning, are the quietest days.
1.9 New York helicopter tour: an original activity to do in New York
Spectacular! If you want to mark your trip to New York, the helicopter tour is one of the best activities in New York. You will love this unique moment of your trip. You will be impressed to see the island of Manhattan from such a height.
Visiting New York from the sky. The helicopter tours offered have different durations. Usually 15 minutes, 20 minutes, or 30 minutes. The longer the ride lasts, the higher the price. Helicopter tour prices are high compared to other activities. It’s up to you to see according to your budget and your choice of visits in New York: discover the prices and dates for a tour of Manhattan Island by helicopter. This activity is considered one of New York’s most unusual activities.
1.10 Visiting Bryant Park in New York
At the foot of the Empire State Building. In the heart of Manhattan, Bryant Park is a small, relaxing, friendly corner of greenery. Sometimes you can see concerts or open-air theatrical performances here.
Must-see in winter. If you visit New York for the holiday season, visiting Bryant Park is a great place to discover. There is usually an ice rink and a Christmas market.
1.11 Relaxing at Madison Square in New York
“Iron”. The Flatiron building is an office building located in Midtown Manhattan. The term flatiron comes from its triangular shape, which recalls a clothes iron. An unusual structure not to be missed in New York!
1.12 Discovering the world-famous district of Manhattan: SoHo
Crowded and calm at the same time. The SoHo district is one of the most popular areas in Manhattan and New York. A part of SoHo is vibrant: many shops and luxury boutiques can be found here. For example, on Broadway. Another side of SoHo is more residential and quieter. SoHo is one of the must-sees neighborhoods in New York.
Best shopping. If you are looking to shop in New York, one of the best places is Woodbury Common Premium Outlets. This large outlet with more than 200 stores is 50 minutes from New York (a shopping tour trip from NY).
1.13 Seeing the atypical architecture of SoHo
Cast-iron Buildings. The architecture of SoHo is atypical. Many buildings are made of cast iron. In the past, it was used for factories and residential buildings. Cast iron buildings are a must-see in New York in the SoHo district.
Where to walk? These iconic New York buildings can be seen on many streets in SoHo. For example, Green Street, Broome Street, or Mercer Street. Walking in these streets will undoubtedly remind you of scenes from famous American films. You can also take a walking guided tour of the SoHo neighborhood, so you don’t miss anything.
1.14 Strolling through Chinatown and Little Italy
Chinatown. New York’s Chinatown is exotic and begins its history in the 18th century. The best-known Chinatown streets are Mott Street, Canal Street, Doyer Street, and Pell Street. The last two are more alleyways, in contrast to the main avenues of Manhattan. New York is a cosmopolitan city par excellence. It is in these neighborhoods that we perceive it even more.
Little Italy. Discover a little corner of Italy in the middle of Manhattan, or not. Mulberry Street represents Little Italy but has gradually lost its charm and authenticity.
1.15 Take a walk in High Line Park to visit New York differently
Unusual New York. Like the Coulée Verte in Paris, the High Line Park is suspended on the old, unused railway line site. A stroll here is a great way to see New York from a new perspective. We pass over the main avenues of New York, discovering this unusual side of New York.
1.16 Visiting New York’s Little Island
Surprising. Little Island is a park on the water, built on stilts. This park is close to the High Line. An excellent and unique visit to feel off the beaten track in New York! If you like to walk, you can add this visit to your program. If your stay in New York is for a short time, this is not an absolute must-do in New York. On the other hand, if you come here for more than 5 days in New York, do not miss it. Discover our ideas for itineraries further down in this post.
1.17 Visiting the original structure of the Vessel in New York
Surprising. Located at the northern end of High Line Park, you will be surprised to discover this original structure: The Vessel, with its 154 interconnected staircases and 80 observation platforms. The visit can be quick: allow about 40 minutes.
1.18 Discovering the NY Chelsea Market
Warm environment. Welcome to New York’s Chelsea Market! This place is perfect for discovering a little bit of local life. You will find here small shops, bakeries, and tasty restaurants; a great place to eat in New York. Visiting New York’s Chelsea Market is also an excellent opportunity to get off the beaten track. It is an essential activity for those who wish to visit New York differently.
Close to High Line. Chelsea Market is close to High Line Park. You can group these two visits into one, and even three, if we add the Vessel to it at the beginning. Whatever your itinerary, this market is a must-see in New York!
1.19 Visiting the Greenwich Village neighborhood in New York
Charming residential area. For visiting New York in 4, 5, or 6 days, you will certainly want to leave the noise and stress of the buildings sometimes. You will find a little sweetness and calm in the Greenwich Village district. You will love this less touristy and more authentic New York district: pretty houses, tree-lined alleys, small shops, and restaurants.
Friends. When visiting the Greenwich area, one place to spot is the Friends apartment! Of course, especially for fans of the series.
1.20 Visiting MoMA
Pop art and contemporary art. The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is one of the most incredible art museums in the world. Artworks from world-famous painters are exhibited here, including the ones from the Americans Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. Vincent Van Gogh’s masterpiece “The Starry Night” and Pablo Picasso’s “The Three Musicians” are shown here, with some impressionism paintings from Monnet and Matisse.
When to visit New York’s MoMA? Most visitors come on the weekend, especially on Saturdays. Otherwise, Weekdays, except Friday, are the quietest, especially after 4 p.m. You can buy tickets on-site or online: book tickets with an audio guide.
1.21 Empire State Building
Mythical skyscraper. The Empire State Building is one of the most famous places in New York, thanks to many Hollywood films such as King Kong. It is an Art-Deco skyscraper right in the heart of Manhattan and was inaugurated in 1931. Empire State Building was the tallest skyscraper in the world for a long time, from its construction till 1970. This skyscraper is still considered a must-see in New York today. Many visitors choose to visit the Empire State Building: it is the most famous and in the heart of New York.
Outdoor platform. The view of New York is incredible! The significant advantage of the Empire State Building is its open exterior platform. There are no windows. However, there is a grid. As the Empire State Building is one of the most touristic places in New York, there can be a lot of waiting. Read more in our blog post: Tips for visiting the Empire State Building.
Tickets. There are several types of skip-the-line tickets to go up the Empire State Building. Some give quick access to the checkouts, and others directly to the tower’s entrance bypassing the checkouts. Do note that prices are higher at sunset. Find out more here: tickets and times to climb the Empire State Building.
1.22 Visiting the Financial District of New York City
Wall Street. The largest Stock Exchange in the world is in front of you! For visiting New York in 4, 5, or 6 days, visiting the business district of New York allows you to feel the financial power of the United States and its spirit. You will find a bronze bull statue not far from Wall Street, symbolizing abundance and tenacity. Rubbing the nose of this bull would bring fortune.
The fearless little girl. In front of the New York Stock Exchange, this statue is “a symbol of our journey towards equality”, according to the president of the NYSE. Initially, the statue faced the New York Stock Exchange bull, gradually becoming an attraction in the New York business district.
1.23 Visiting the West Village neighborhood of New York
Residential and bohemian. West Village is one of the must-sees neighborhoods in New York if you come to spend more than 4 days here. Compared to Midtown Manhattan, this area is much quieter but still quite dynamic. It is an area of New York where many American celebrities live.
Sex and the City. Almost everywhere in New York, you can find references to American series. And here, in West Village, it is the turn of the famous series and later films “Sex and the City”. If you are coming to New York with friends, this guided tour around the series could be fabulous.
1.24 Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City
Mythical and free. What to do in New York to feel its atmosphere? Walk the Brooklyn Bridge! It is the most beautiful and well-known bridge in New York. It is one of the essential things to see and not miss in New York!
How long does it take? The bridge is 2 km long. To cross the Brooklyn Bridge, allow 30 minutes, including photos and short breaks. It is a lovely walk in New York, especially at the end of the afternoon.
1.25 Walking in the Brooklyn Bridge Park
Manhattan from another angle. When you cross the Brooklyn Bridge, you can walk in the park right next to the bridge. You will discover a fantastic view of Manhattan and the Manhattan Bridge from Brooklyn Bridge park! You should consider adding this urban oasis to your sightseeing itinerary (see our trip planning ideas below). A place to visit during the day, at the end of the day, or in the evening!
1.26 Best spots for brunch in New York
Some good spots. Discover delicious pancakes at Clinton St. Baking Company! It is a lovely American bakery restaurant in Manhattan. Another place you can eat in New York is The Grey Dog. Here, you will find delicious American dishes. Another American restaurant that we could recommend is Bubby’s. The atmosphere is excellent, the service and the food too. Later in this post, we give other places not to be missed in New York.
1.27 Discovering Smorgasburg Market in Brooklyn
Hipster. This open-air market is a great, off-the-beaten-track place to visit in New York! By visiting the Smorgasburg market, you will get a taste of the local life – an unusual thing to do in New York. An activity to do absolutely in New York to feel another atmosphere, totally different from Manhattan.
Williamsburg. Smorgasburg is on the banks of the East River with a direct view of Manhattan. Moreover, this market is close to the Williamsburg district of Brooklyn. It is a trendy and quite trendy area of New York. For a short stay, if you visit New York in less than 5 days, seeing this district is not essential.
1.28 Street art in New York
Bushwick. It is Brooklyn’s street art district! If you appreciate urban art, visiting this neighborhood is one of the best things in New York. Some time ago, this district was considered rather dangerous, but nowadays, it has a young and trendy side.
Guided tour recommended. It is best to take a guided tour to visit Bushwick. Thanks to the guide, you will discover the street art of Bushwick without getting lost.
1.29 Visiting the New York Public Library of New York City
Unusual thing to do in New York. The New York Public Library Reading Room is simply awe-inspiring. It is close to Summit One Vanderbilt. So you can enjoy Summit One Vanderbilt by also aiming for this magnificent library! The big plus of the visit: it’s free!
1.30 Spending an evening on a New York rooftop
A must-see in New York. Rooftops are part of New York’s DNA. The views from the various buildings and skyscrapers are incredible. It is, therefore, an excellent opportunity to enjoy the view of New York, but also to spend a superb evening. Rooftop prices are higher than elsewhere, but it is often worth it. For example, an excellent place with reasonable prices is Top of the Strand Rooftop Bar. You will also find other sites further down in this post.
Good to know. Taxes and tips must also be added to the shown prices. Tipping in New York is between 15 and 20%.
1.31 Seeing a musical on Broadway
The classics. The most popular and well-known musicals are The Phantom of the Opera, The Lion King, and Alladin. A lovely evening in perspective that make your trip to New York unforgettable! The ideal is to book tickets in advance, even before leaving for New York.
1.32 New York from the Top of the Rock
Rockefeller Center. Top of The Rock Observation Deck is in Rockefeller Center, less than 8 minutes from Times Square. Top of the Rock’s views are some of New York’s best! Here, you can see Central Park better than the Empire State Building. As usual, if it’s sunny, the sunsets are just splendid!
Tickets. Almost the same as for the other observation platforms in New York. The only significant difference is that the price is always the same. There is no extra charge for sunset times. Here are photos, fees, and ticket reservations for Top of the Rock.
1.33 Attending a basketball game in New York
NBA. There are two highly-ranked local teams. On one side, the New York Knicks play at Madison Square Garden (MSG) in Manhattan. And on the other, the Brooklyn Nets play at the Barclays Center (Brooklyn). Madison Square Garden is in the heart of New York City (round building in the photo below). If you visit New York in 4, 5, or 6 days, it is possible to see an NBA game. More than a match, it’s a real show that you will see!
Buy the tickets. Buying tickets at the last minute is not an option if you want to see an NBA game in New York. So, it is best to book tickets in advance.
1.34 Having a drink in a speakeasy in New York
Speakeasy. From 1920 to 1933, it was forbidden in the United States to manufacture and sell alcohol, Prohibition. Solutions to circumvent this law have emerged. One of them was the famous speakeasies bars. On the other hand, it was tough to locate these bars because the entrances were hidden. This same principle of bars exists today worldwide and, of course, in New York. But this time, just for this original and fun side. For example, Please Don’t Tell. Attention: it is crucial to reserve a table in advance to be sure to have one.
1.35 Visiting the Guggenheim Museum in New York
Modern and contemporary art. Another highly visited museum in New York! The Guggenheim Collection, the Thannhauser Collection, and the Kandinsky Collection are among the permanent collections. The architecture of the museum is impressive inside and outside. You can find out more about the temporary exhibitions on the museum’s website. In general, there is a small or no queue, so it is not necessary to book tickets in advance.
1.36 Experiencing gospel in Harlem
Gospel. Feeling the spirit and energy of gospel music live is a fascinating experience. In the Harlem neighborhood, many visitors attend Sunday mass within the local religious community.
Harlem: neighborhood of New York to visit? The reputation of the Harlem neighborhood is not the best, although it is changing and improving. The part closest to Central Park is different from the one further out. Moreover, from one street to another, the atmosphere varies enormously. Therefore, it is best to take a guided tour to visit this district.
1.37 Visiting Roosevelt Island by cable car: unusual thing to do in New York
Off the beaten track. Roosevelt Island is little known and little visited. However, access to this island near Manhattan is rather original. Take the cable car to discover this quiet little island of New York, away from the noisy life of Times Square.
Good to know! The cable car is included in the public transport card. It is an unusual activity to do in New York if you are going to come here for more than 5 or 6 days.
1.38 Seeing a baseball game in the Bronx
Yankees. The New York Yankees is an essential American baseball team. To attend their match, you have to go to the Bronx. This area of New York is not a tourist area. Few visitors come here. On the other hand, it is a district where the locals live.
Botanical Garden. In the Bronx, there is also an activity to do in New York: visit the botanical garden. It is not an essential activity, but to do if you are going to visit New York for more than 6 days.
1.39 Visiting the Bronx Zoo in New York
Largest Zoo in the United States. If you visit New York with the children in more than 6 days, the visit to the Bronx Zoo should be part of your itinerary. More than 8000 species live here, and more than 2 million people visit this zoo annually. An excellent activity to do with the family in New York!
1.40 Visiting the Queens borough of New York
Neighborhood to visit? The Queens neighborhood is the second most populous neighborhood in New York. And it is here that we find the most ethnic and cultural diversity. Very vast, Queens is not a tourist district. Very few travelers come here. As we said in the introduction, Manhattan is where the best things to do in New York are. Therefore, if you visit New York in less than 6 days, you can skip the visit to the Queens neighborhood.
2. What to do in New York with a City Pass: pros and cons
Pros. For visiting New York in 4, 5, or 6 days or more, you will see that the list of activities will grow. Besides, there are must-sees in New York that you will visit, especially on your first trip to New York. For example, seeing the Statue of Liberty or climbing a skyscraper for a panoramic view of New York. Thus, the New York CityPASS can be a perfect solution, saving you money and time.
Cons. Sometimes the City Pass is not a good deal. It is often the case when you plan to visit many places not included with the City Pass. Before choosing the City Pass and deciding if it is right for you, check the list of sites included, and do a little calculation to assess whether you will save money.
City Pass for 5 attractions. One of the best passes is the one that includes visits to 5 New York attractions of your choice. This pass is valid for 9 days and allows you to save up to 40% on New York must-sees. You will most probably visit more than 5 sights in New York. Thus the benefit is evident. For example, here are the 5 must-visit attractions included in the pass: the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, Top of the Rock, the Empire State Building, and the American Museum of Natural History. The top activities to do in New York for a great trip! Find more information here: New York CityPASS for 5 attractions.
Even more attractions. If on your list of things to do in New York, you have more than 5 attractions, see if other passes are not advantageous for you. For example, this pass with 95 visits. The idea is to decide on your itinerary, evaluate your budget, and then choose your pass.
3. Visiting New York in 3, 4, 5, or 6 days: planning & tips
Now that we have seen the TOP 40 must-sees and more unusual things to do in New York, here are some ideas for itineraries or schedules for a trip to New York.
Pay attention to the time difference. Jet lag, or jet lag syndrome, can significantly influence your trip. However, it depends a lot on each person.
3.1 Itinerary for visiting New York in 3 days
What to do in New York in 3 days? Here is a program of visits to give you some ideas for visiting the essentials and discovering more unusual New York. It is one of many possible suggestions. Here, the days are rather busy.
First day of travel in New York
- Going to Times Square
- Taking a walk to Bryant Park
- Visiting the New York Public Library
- Seeing the Empire State Building
- Going to the top of One Vanderbilt: an experience in addition to an incredible view of New York (see photos)
Itinerary for the second day of the trip to New York
- Visiting the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island (tickets + audio guide in French + ferry)
- Taking a walk in the High Line Park
- Seeing the original structure of the Vessel
- Visiting New York’s Little Island (optional)
- Visiting the neighborhood of Greenwich
- Going to Chelsea Market
- Visiting the National September 11 Memorial Museum (tickets to be purchased in advance)
- Seeing one of the best views of NYC: One World Observatory (optional)
Third day of the trip in New York:
- Taking a helicopter tour to see New York from the sky (book online)
- Visiting Saint Patrick’s Cathedral
- Going to Central Park
- Visiting the American Museum of Natural History in New York and/or the MET: we strongly recommend taking skip-the-line tickets to save time.
- Seeing a show on Broadway
3.2 What to do in New York in 4 days?
Fourth day of the trip in New York:
- Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge
- Chilling in Brooklyn Bridge Park
- Going to the Smorgasburg market (weekend only)
- Discovering street art in Brooklyn (guided tours to discover street art)
- Having a drink in a speakeasy in Manhattan or on a rooftop
3.3 What to visit in New York in 5 days?
5th day of the trip in New York:
- Exploring Soho, Chinatown, and Little Italy
- Visiting MoMA
- Seeing the Flatiron building
- Taking a cruise with dinner in the evening (book tickets)
3.4 Best things to do for visiting New York in 6 days
6th day of the trip in New York:
- Visiting New York’s Financial District
- Going to the Top of the Rock
- Visiting the West Village district (optional for a trip with friends: immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the “Sex and the City” series)
- Seeing an NBA game at Madison Square Garden
Also, discover a detailed itinerary for a 7-day trip to New York!
4. Best places and hotels to visit in New York
Midtown, Upper & Low Manhattan are perfect neighborhoods for a stay in New York. Therefore, when looking for your accommodation, prefer the southern part of the island and the heart of the island. Places north of Central Park are not the best for a trip. Here are some excellent places to stay for visiting New York with family or for a romantic getaway.
Visiting New York by foot. In the heart of Manhattan, the Hilton Garden Inn Hotel is ideally located for visiting New York. Just 10 minutes from the Empire State Building and an 8-minute walk from High Line Park, this hotel is ideal for sleeping in New York with the family.
Our favorite. Discover this excellent place: Luxury Studios Lower East Side. These are studios where you feel in New York. Another fantastic place to stay in New York is this B&B located a stone’s throw from High Line Park: Chelsea Pines Inn.
Discover our post about: the best places in Manhattan where to stay during a trip to New York.
5. Best spots in New York: restaurants, rooftops, brunches
Johny’s Luncheonette: a tasty place for brunch or breakfast in New York! Only a few minutes from Empire State Building. The rates are pretty correct for New York.
Refinery Rooftop: a nice place in the heart of New York to go out at night. Only some tables have a clear view, but the atmosphere is relaxed.
The Smith: a typical good place to eat in New York close to Central Park! It is a chain with several restaurants in Manhattan.
230 FIFTH Rooftop Garden Bar and Restaurant: another perfect rooftop for a drink with a spectacular view of New York! And with reasonable prices!
Urban Vegan Kitchen: a delicious vegan restaurant in the Greenwich district of New York.
Dead Rabbit: This bar is a great place to drink in New York.
In our TOP 40 best things to do and visit in New York, we have included the absolute must-sees in New York and more unusual places in New York. While visiting New York in 4 days, you must consider the timezone difference, which can slow down your discovery of the city. Manhattan is home to the majority of New York’s must-sees. Among the things not to miss in New York are Times Square, Empire State Building, Central Park, and the 9/11 memorial. However, Brooklyn is also interesting to visit if you visit New York in 5 or 6 days. Do not hesitate to visit New York differently to discover New York life. For example, seeing the more unusual side of New York, in Chelsea’s covered market, on the High Line, or even on Roosevelt Island.