New York is indisputably a world class tourist attraction. There is no other city like it, which is why a short trip can be daunting. How do you have enough time to see all of the important sights and have the important cultural experiences?
Unfortunately, you can’t see everything on a short trip. You can, however, prioritize and have an unforgettable experience in a span of a few days. Here are my top recommendations for a short trip to the city.
Spend one day covering the major tourist attractions
Start early in the morning, down at the Seaport, where you can catch a glimpse of the Brooklyn Bridge hovering over the East River. From there, walk towards the Financial District and get lost in the maze of skyscrapers on your way to the World Trade Center memorial. Afterwards, take the subway up the west side and hop out at W. 4th Street, where you can grab a pizza from John’s or a famous hot dog from Gray’s Papaya, depending on what you are in the mood for.
When you have finished eating, walk up 6th avenue towards Times Square. A detour to the Flatiron building, Madison Square Park and the Empire State Building would certainly be worthwhile. If you are not too exhausted in the evening, catch a sporting event. Depending on the time of year, New York City has two baseball teams playing, a basketball team and a hockey team. For shows, sporting events and other top attractions in New York, you can buy tickets online, often at a much lower price.
Soak up the culture
For day two, take advantage of the city’s world class museums and galleries. The Natural History Museum on the Upper West Side is legendary. So is the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the MoMA. If you get burnt out on museum wandering, you can always head off into Central Park and relax near one of the reservoirs, where you can watch miniature sail boats motor around against a dramatic backdrop of skyscrapers.
Get to know a few neighborhoods
Spend some time wandering around the West Village, Gramercy Park, Harlem or head out to Long Island City or a neighborhood in Brooklyn. This is the day to eat good food, lounge in one of the city’s parks, shop in the boutiques, and discover what makes individual neighborhoods tick. New York is one city, but with many boroughs and neighborhoods, all of which march to their own drum.