Get ready to see the most iconic places in NYC, explore its eclectic neighborhoods, and experience its cultural and culinary diversity with our 3 days New York City itinerary. During these three action-packed days, you will cover all the best things to do in Manhattan, explore the must-see historical landmarks, sample its hottest food spots, and uncover some hidden gems in Brooklyn.
Whether you are a seasoned traveler or a first-time visitor to the city that never sleeps, this New York City itinerary is the ultimate way to see the Big Apple in all its glory.
Start your New York city trip at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum to gain a profound understanding of the city’s darkest moment. Immerse yourself in artifacts and exhibits that honor the memory of those who lost their lives to the tragic event, the heroic efforts of the first responders, and the resilience of New Yorkers.
For a more reflective experience, we recommend visiting in the morning when the crowds are smaller. These attractions are undoubtedly a must-see in NYC.
One way to see all of New York at once is by visiting One World Observatory, the third-tallest skyscraper in the city. From the observatory, you will enjoy unique and unparalleled views of the city’s skyline, landmarks, and surrounding areas, including the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, and the Empire State Building.
Get your ticket to the observatory here!
Another activity that is worth adding to your New York City itinerary is strolling to Oculus, which is located next to One World Observatory. The third largest transportation hub in NYC, the Oculus is a striking piece of architecture and gateway to several other top attractions. You will marvel at the unique combination of culture, architecture, and shopping it offers.
You simply can’t go wrong by adding Wall Street to your itinerary of places to visit in New York. See firsthand where the fate of the economy is determined and experience the hustle and bustle of the world’s financial hub with a wall street walking tour. You will see some of New York’s most iconic buildings and landmarks, including the New York Stock Exchange, Federal Reserve, and the charging bull.
Your 3 days in New York itinerary won’t be complete without a visit to Battery Park, one of NYC’s oldest and most historic parks. Formerly home to several artillery batteries and once a departure point for troops during World War II, Battery park is one of the best ways to view the city’s past. Plus, it offers stunning views of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and New York Harbor.
Once you are done at Battery Park, it is time to hop on a ferry to get a more up and close view of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, two of the world’s most recognizable landmarks.
One option to explore these must-see destinations in NYC is to take a ferry ride to the island or book a guided tour that will take you around the islands.
The ferry ride gives you an opportunity to step into the shoes of over 12 million immigrants who entered the USA through Ellis Island and get a sense of their journey.
Crossing the famous Brooklyn Bridge, one of the oldest suspension bridges in the USA, is another must-do activity to add to your 3-day itinerary in NYC. This walk offers stunning views of the Manhattan skyline and the East River.
Don’t forget to snap some photos, as this destination is one of the best vantage points in NYC.
After you cross the Brooklyn bridge, don’t forget to soak up the gorgeous views of Manhattan’s skyline from Brooklyn Bridge Park.
You will get some breathtaking views of the illuminated Manhattan skyline. The bright lights of the skyscrapers reflect off the East River, creating a magical atmosphere. The iconic Brooklyn Bridge itself is lit up at night, adding to the beauty of the scene.
Additionally, visitors can enjoy unobstructed views of the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges, the Statue of Liberty, and the One World Trade Center.
The calm and peaceful ambiance of the park at night provides the perfect setting for a romantic stroll or simply admiring the stunning views.
Round off the day by delighting your taste buds with some of the best dishes and drinks NYC has to offer by having dinner at Dumbo. This trendy neighborhood boasts a variety of restaurants with diverse cuisines and stunning views of the Manhattan skyline. It's the perfect spot for a romantic dinner or a night out with friends. Don't forget to take a stroll along the waterfront after dinner to enjoy the breathtaking views of the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges.
Kickstart your day with a tour of Central Park, one of the world’s most renowned parks. Visited by millions of tourists yearly, this park offers the perfect opportunity to see historical attractions such as Bethesda Fountain, Strawberry Fields, and John Lennon’s memorial.
In addition, you will see dozens of celebrity apartments and popular movie locations. This iconic park is massive, so we recommend taking a pedicab tour or a carriage ride instead of walking to cover most of it within one hour.
Right after your Central Park tour, walk to the Metropolitan Museum of Art adjacent to the park. You will discover two million works of art spanning five years of culture. While a visit isn’t enough to see everything in it, we recommend checking out iconic objects such as the statue of Athena Parthenos, The Temple of Dendur, the Egyptian Pharaoh Statue, and Van Gogh paintings. Don’t forget to add this vast and diverse museum to your list of what to see in New York City.
Add Upper East Side to your itinerary of places to visit in New York to get a glimpse into the lifestyles of the rich and famous. This posh neighborhood boasts stunning architectural masterpieces, luxury boutiques, and high-end restaurants.
In addition, you will discover homes of prominent families such as the Kennedys and Roosevelts. Check out our list of things to do here to enrich your experience at Upper East side. There are plenty of things to see and explore.
Next on our 3-day itinerary NYC is a leisure stroll from the famous 5th Avenue to the beautiful and historic St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The street is lined with several mind-blowing architecture and high-end shops, so get ready for some stunning views of iconic buildings and decorations of famous designer stores. Along the way, visit the 140 years old St. Patrick’s Cathedral, an impressive neo-Gothic architecture with intricate carvings that will take your breath away.
Your itinerary of must-sees in NYC is incomplete without including Rockefeller Center. An art deco masterpiece spanning over 22 acres, this center boasts famous landmarks such as the NBC Studio and ice skating rink. While at the center, don’t forget to visit the Top of the Rock observation deck to get a breathtaking view of New York’s Skyline.
Plus, you should try to locate the famous Christmas Tree if you are visiting during the holiday season. Rockefeller Center is also a great place to have a launch, as you will find many mouthwatering food options here.
Originally built in 1871 but demolished in 1910 and rebuilt in 1913, the Grand Central Station is one of the world’s largest and busiest train stations. Aside from being a transportation hub for over 750,000 commuters daily, the station played a significant role in the history of the United States. It was used to move troops and supplies to the front line during the World War. The Grand Central Station has been featured in numerous films, including Titanic. This destination is walkable from the Rockefeller Center, so add it to your list of things to do in Manhattan.
After your Grand Central Station tour, walk to the Summit One Vanderbilt and ride on the world’s largest external glass-bottomed elevator to the observation deck. Enjoy a stunning, panoramic view of New York City’s Skyline, including the Empire State Building and the World Trade Center. Plus, you can top up your visit to the Summit by exploring the interactive exhibits to learn more about the city’s rich culture and history. This destination is a must-see in NYC, so include it in your itinerary of places to visit in New York.
Experience the culture, artistic heritage, and energy of New York City by seeing a Broadway Show. Renowned for their spectacular production and cultural significance, these theatrical performances provide the perfect opportunity to see some celebrities perform live on stage. From classical musicals and contemporary dramas to comedies, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Undoubtedly, seeing a Broadway show is an excellent addition to any New Your City itinerary.
Round off your second-day New York City trip with a visit to Times Square. The heart of Broadway and one of the world’s most recognized places in the world, Times Square offers a visual feast, especially in the evening. You will love the ambiance created by the neon lights and LED billboards glowing above the square. Additionally, if you love people-watching, you will see an endless stream of people from all walks of life at Times Square.
Begin your morning with a tour of High Line Park to experience the beauty and creativity of New York. An elevated park built atop an abandoned railroad track, High Line Park features numerous attractions, including the world-famous Chelsea Market, the historic Meatpacking District, stunning green gardens, and various contemporary art installations.
As you exit High Line Park, take a walk to Hudson Yards to see the most expensive real-estate development project in US history. Costing about $25 billion, Hudson Yards is home to futuristic Skyscrapers, luxury shopping centers, bars, and restaurants. At the heart of this neighborhood, you will see The Vessel, a 150-foot climbable art installation.
Before you leave Hudson Yards, check out The Edge to tick it off your list of places to visit in New York. Opened to the public in 2020, The Edge is the highest outdoor observation deck in the United States. It is 1,100 feet above the streets and offers a stunning, unobstructed 360-degree view of NYC. Plus, its frameless angled glass walls create an illusion that you are floating above Manhattan.
If you love to see the Big Apple from up above, check the tickets to The Edge here.
The next activity on our 3 days New York City itinerary after leaving Hudson Yards is a visit to Chelsea and Lower Midtown. You will be fascinated by Chelsea’s neighborhood, famous for its art galleries and high-end boutiques. Likewise, you will love Lower Midtown’s bustling entertainment scene.
Before you leave this place, check out the iconic Flatiron building, a triangle-shaped building constructed in 1902. Once done, you can eat launch at the famous Eataly.
Don’t miss Washington Square Park, a must-see for every New York City trip planner. Originally a cemetery, it’s now a popular public space in the heart of the world-famous Greenwich Village. You will feel the energy and excitement as NYU students hang out, avant-garde artists play, and chess enthusiasts compete in the park. Visit the iconic Washington Arch while at the park, and don’t forget to snap photos to document your memories.
Walking through the Greenwich Village is a must-do for NYC trip planners who love the legends and history of the counterculture. You will be enthused as you stroll the streets where James Baldwin, Bob Dylan, and others started their career. Before leaving, take time to snap photos at the famous Friend Street corner and Al Fresco from the popular movie “The Jungle.”
Uncover stunning 19th-century architecture, chic boutiques, galleries, and more by walking through SoHo. The gorgeous architecture of this Cast Iron Historic District will blow your mind. While strolling past Cobblestone streets, keep your eyes peeled for celebrity sightings! NYC trip planners, who are fashion lovers, will adore SoHo’s trendy shops featuring vintage finds, cult fashions, and designer brands.
Visit Chinatown to experience the unique blend of traditional Chinese culture and modern-day New York City. One of the main highlights of NYC Chinatown is its food scene. If you have never seen authentic Chinese cuisines like roasted duck, bubble tea, or sidewalk fish, a trip to this neighborhood can be quite an eye-opener. Another thing that draws tourists to Chinatown is its array of markets and shops selling Chinese herbal remedies and other unique items.
New York City Hall is another historic landmark that’s a great inclusion to your New York 3 days itinerary. Constructed in the early 19th century, NYC Hall is rated as one of the finest architectural masterpieces of its period. Aside from its beautiful architecture, New York City Hall has a rich history as a venue for political and cultural events. It has hosted world-renowned figures like Martin Luther King Jr., Billie Holiday, and Bob Dylan. Today, it remains one of the most sought-after venues for cultural events in NYC.
Cap off your New York City trip with a dinner in Little Italy, one of Manhattan’s most colorful neighborhoods. Stroll streets lined with colorful storefronts, beautiful Italian flags, and fascinating red buildings as you make your way to some of Little Italy’s most iconic restaurants. Sample delectable prosciutto, cheeses, pizzas, and many other classic Italian dishes and drinks. Dinner in this beautiful neighborhood is an unforgettable way to round off your NYC trip.
Our 3-day New York City itinerary is carefully crafted to provide you with a perfect blend of sightseeing, culture, and entertainment.
From paying tribute to the lives lost at the 9/11 Memorial to taking in the breathtaking views of the Brooklyn Bridge from Dumbo, we have covered a lot of ground to make sure you get the most out of your visit. We are confident that you will not only enjoy the must-see attractions, but also the hidden gems that we have included.
Whether you're a first-time visitor or a frequent traveler to the Big Apple, our itinerary is designed to leave you with unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime.
So pack your bags, get ready to explore the city that never sleeps, and let our itinerary be your guide to an unforgettable New York adventure!