How to Spend a Day in New York

Home to some of the world’s most iconic buildings, New York needs little introduction. The city offers enough to see and do to fill several weeks, let alone days, meaning 24 hours just isn’t enough to truly experience the Big Apple. But if that’s all the time you have – fear not. Below we’ve put together the perfect itinerary detailing how to spend a day in New York.

Central Park in New York City

In the morning


There’s only one way to start your day in New York – and that’s with a bagel. As one of the city’s trademark breakfasts, you’ll find them on sale in countless delis and bakeries. But with just 24 hours to spare, the best place to go is H&H Midtown Bagels East on the Upper West Side.

Central Park

Bow bridge in Central park at springtime

Bagel in hand, stroll down Colombus Avenue to 81st street and head to Central Park West. Spend some time exploring this famous city park either on foot or as part of a guided bike tour.

With so much to see, we recommend being on two wheels. A leisurely two-hour ride would see you navigate winding paths to visit the Strawberry Fields, Cleopatra’s Needle and many more famous sights.

Metropolitan Museum of Art in New YorkMetropolitan Museum of Art

Exit Central Park around 79th Street and onto Fifth Avenue, where you’ll find the entrance to the grand Metropolitan Museum of Art. Boasting one of the greatest art collections in the world, the museum contains over 2 million exhibits for you to explore.



Next, catch a cab, bus or walk down Fifth Avenue to the historic Rockefeller Centre. Enroute you’ll pass Trump Tower, as well as famous shops such as Tiffany’s and Saks.

You’ll probably have worked up quite an appetite by now and the Rockefeller Centre offers countless dining options. So whether you’re looking for a quick bite or a sit-down meal, you’ll be able to find lunch to suit everyone.

In the afternoon

Top of the RockAerial view of the New York skyline on a sunny afternoon

After lunch, it’s time to ascend 70 floors to the viewing decks at the Top of the Rock. Offering breathtaking panoramic views over the city’s skyline, you’ll see famous landmarks including the Chrysler Building, Brooklyn Bridge and, of course, the legendary skyscraper that is the Empire State Building.

If you’re visiting at Christmas time, you can also lace up your skates and spend some on the Rockefeller Centre’s ice rink. The iconic Rockefeller Christmas Tree is sure to get you in the festive spirit.

Times Square, New York CityTimes Square

From the Rockefeller Centre, it’s just a 10-minute walk to the iconic Times Square. With its billboard advertisements and neon-lit signs, this area epitomises the ‘city that never sleeps’.

Spend some time shopping, people-watching or simply gawping at the surrounding billboards.

The High Line

Summer panoramic view from the High Line promenade at sunset with the Hudson River

Escape the neon bustle and head to 34th Street and 11th Avenue, where you’ll find the starting point to the High Line. Built on a disused train bridge, this park offers beautiful greenery and fabulous river views.

Spend the remainder of your afternoon strolling along the greenway. There’s plenty of photo opportunities, as well as street vendors selling coffee and ice cream.

In the evening

Dinner Cruise

Exiting the High Line, you’ll find yourself in the perfect location for this evening’s activities. If you’re not on a budget, this is the perfect opportunity to treat yourself to a New York Dinner Cruise.

Statue of Liberty at sunset

Departing from Chelsea Piers, this three-hour cruise sails right past the Statue of Liberty. You’ll also get to experience views of Manhatten, New Jersey and Brooklyn, all whilst enjoying a delicious gourmet meal.

Those with a little less cash to splash may wish to head to South Street Seaport, where you can enjoy a one-hour Statue by Night Cruise.

Greenwich Village

The fountain at Washington Square Park at night, in Greenwich VillageThe High Line finishes just a short walk from the centre of Greenwich Village. So if you’re not keen to cruise – or equally if you’ve finished sailing and want to continue into the night – this is the place to go.

Here you’ll find some of New York’s trendiest restaurants, buzzing pubs and a vibrant bar scene. Spend your evening catching some live jazz, seeing a performance at one of the off-Broadway theatres or chuckling at a comedy club. The options for your night in New York City really are endless.



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