If you’ve only got 2 days in the Big Apple, you’ll want to cram as much as you can into your New York itinerary. While there’s so much to see and do, it’s possible to tick off the big city sights in just 48 hours. And of course, you’ll have an excuse to go back and do it all again.
Ready to do some non-stop New York sightseeing? Here’s a sample 2-day itinerary to help you plan your trip…
Spend your first day in New York doing a whistle-stop tour of the main sights and soaking up the atmosphere of this buzzing city. The Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, Times Square and the Rockefeller Centre are the most famous sights and landmarks to tick off on your trip. You’ve also got Brooklyn Bridge, Central Park and countless others, too.
Stroll around central Manhattan and you’ll find that some of the sights are accessible by foot. If you want a relaxed first day, take a guided bus tour and you’ll be ferried leisurely from one spot to another. You’ll not only discover new sights along the way, your dedicated guide will offer tips on how to spend the rest of your time in the city. Plus, if any attractions take your fancy, you can hop off and take a closer look.
Explore Downtown - Red Route
Explore Uptown – Blue Route
Hit New York’s museums and galleries to get your culture fix. The two must-visit galleries are the Museum of Modern Art and The Metropolitan Museum of Art which are home to vast collections of work, with rare pieces from Van Gogh, Picasso, Warhol and Dali, to name a few.
There’s also the moving 9/11 Memorial & Museum where you’ll learn about the events and lead up to September 11th. And, for something a bit different, there’s the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum where you can see fighter planes, submarines and the world’s fastest jets.
Bet you didn’t know that the Empire State Building is open until 2am most nights. There’s no need to squeeze in a visit in during the day when you can head up there after dark. The most breathtaking views are when the city is all lit up in a myriad of neon colours once the sun goes down. After 9pm on most nights during the week, there’s even a jazz saxophonist to entertain you while you visit.
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Explore Downtown Route, Stop: Empire State Building / Korea Town
Empire State Building Tickets
There’s nothing like a morning stroll in Central Park to start the day. Grab breakfast from a street vendor or café and then walk or cycle around the park. You’ve got gardens, lakes and mini waterfalls to discover as you explore this peaceful oasis in the centre of the city. Plus, there’s always something going on all year round, from morning yoga sessions to events and food festivals, so get stuck in.
Explore Uptown Route, Stop: Central Park Zoo
After a morning at the park, make your way down to the High Line to explore another unique green space. Walk along the disused rail track, which has been turned into a glorious garden, and enjoy views of New York’s skyline. The walk takes you right into the meatpacking district and Greenwich Village which is the perfect place to stop for a spot of lunch.
From Greenwich Village, it’s easy to get to Battery Park. Visit the 9/11 memorial if you haven’t done so already and stroll around the peaceful gardens there. Then, head to the ferry port to get the free Staten Island Ferry which runs every 30 minutes. The 25-minute journey takes you across the New York Harbour and you’ll get perfect views of the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge and the skyscrapers of Lower Manhattan.
Explore Downtown Route, Stop: Statue of Liberty / Battery Park
9/11 Memorial & Museum Tickets
You’ve seen New York’s best bits and had a taste of the Big Apple. So spend your last evening in the hub of all the action – Times Square. This place is best seen when the sun goes down, so you can enjoy all the bright lights and colourful billboards. There are plenty of places to dine at in Times Square too, including the famous John’s of Times Square where you can feast on some of the best pizza in the city.
If you’ve got time after your fun-packed trip to the states, end your city visit on a high by seeing a Broadway musical. Some shows have to be booked in advance, but some offer half price tickets on the day and cheap standing-only tickets too. Try your luck at the theatres to see if you can bag a great deal.
Ready for the most fun you’ve ever had in 2 days? The Big Apple lines up loads of sights and attractions, but if you plan your New York itinerary well, you’ll get a great introduction to the city in just 48 hours. And if you've a few hours spare still, check out the other ways you can spend your time in this lively city.