New York City is a massive metropolis full of electric energy. There’s something spectacular about seeing famous media highlights for yourself in person at last, like finally putting a face to the name on a screen. As the most populous city in America, there is too much of NYC to cover in one weekend. We know that many of us don’t get enough time off work, and we must squeeze as many memorable moments into one trip as possible. While the one-weekend visit will have you longing for more, here’s your weekend itinerary for your quick getaway to New York City. Save some headaches and many hours of planning by stealing our itinerary. Here we go!
FRIDAY: FLY TO NEW YORK CITY
- Of course, fill in the blank with your home airport
- Depending on your work schedule and location, you might be able to catch a flight after the work day. Otherwise, you might want to schedule time off to fly over.
- Three top locations to fly into include John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), LaGuardia Airport (LGD), and Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR).
- Arrive, commute into NYC, and check in to your stay
- Recommendation: Just take a Lyft or Uber from the airport. It will be pricey, but it’s much easier than all other transit options. For such a short trip, we recommend staying in a hotel in either Midtown Manhattan at the Archer Hotel or the Lower East Side at PUBLIC Hotel.
- Check Time Square off the bucket list
- Head back to the hotel and rest for the next day
SATURDAY: NEIGHBORHOODS & SKYSCRAPERS
- Start with bagels
- Recommendation: Best Bagel and Coffee. Some friends that lived in NYC for years shared this place with us, and it’s truly all you could want from an NYC bagel.
- Scope out Iconic Landmarks
- Gawk at the New York Library. Live out your Gossip Girl dreams with a visit to Grand Central Station, then follow that stop with a visit to the Met. Make sure to get your selfie on the steps before walking through the most incredible collection of art you’ve ever seen. We highly recommend skipping the ticket line and buying your tickets in advance before on the Tiqets app.
- Take the subway to Lower Manhattan
- This should be a straightforward commute as you’re already near Grand Central Station. Grab a metro card on your way to use it for the day.
- Grab a New York Slice
- Explore Lower Manhattan
- Wander through the Financial District to experience a first-hand feel for Wall Street.
- Since time is limited, don’t spend half a day visiting the Statue of Liberty. Instead, say hello to her from Manhattan! Battery Park will offer views of the icon from the shore.
- Stop by the 9/11 memorial at Ground Zero, and spend an hour or so at The National September 11 Memorial Museum. We highly recommend skipping the ticket line and buying your tickets in advance before on the Tiqets app.
- On the way back towards Midtown, stop by the Highline for a beautiful walk, then wrap up Lower Manhattan with a visit to the Vessel – a giant beehive-looking structure in Hudson Yards.
- Go up to the top of Summit One Vanderbilt
- Recommendation: buy tickets for 90 minutes before sunset for the best views of the city and plenty of time to get through security lines and the elevator to see it.
- This is the absolute best views of New York City. Forget the Empire State Building. This place gives you spectacular viewpoints looking down on the Empire State Building! The Summitt is a must-visit destination combining out-of-this-world art installations, a high-floor bar for snacks and drinks, and an unforgettable and extreme elevator ride. We highly recommend skipping the long ticket line at the box office and buying your tickets in advance before going through the Tiqets app.
- Casual dinner at a local restaurant
- Commute back to your overnight stay and rest up for tomorrow’s travel day
SUNDAY: CENTRAL PARK & UPPER WEST SIDE // FLY HOME
- Early Morning in Central Park
- Though you had a full day yesterday, no trip to NYC is complete without a visit to Central Park. Take the subway to the park’s edge and either walk or bike around until it’s time for brunch.
- Recommendation: Fred’s Restaurant on the Upper West Side is a local favorite and an absolute treat for dog lovers. Follow up brunch with a shared cookie from the famous Levain Bakery down the street.
- Shop the Sunday Markets
- While on the West Side, head to the Grand Bazaar NYC for the city’s most curated weekly markets. Find anything from fur coats to film rolls to vintage jewelry. They’re open every Sunday and are one of our favorite markets worldwide.
- Commute to one of the NYC airports
- Check in at the airport and kiss the Big Apple goodbye (for now!)
If you love New York, we know you’ll love it at Christmas time! Check out our blog on how to have the best holiday weekend escape to NYC.