One Day in New York City Itinerary for First Time Visitors

By Casey Makovich

One day in New York City will go by in the blink of an eye, but with a good itinerary, you can see some of NYC's most iconic sights and create powerful lasting memories from your trip.

The key to seeing as much as possible, and enjoying it at the same time is an early wake-up time, good walking shoes and some sightseeing itinerary planning preparation.

We've outlined the perfect one day in NYC itinerary below, but there are countless ways to tailor your NYC sightseeing itinerary to your travel style and interests.

Save on Admission to Top NYC Attractions

With The New York Pass, you can save big on admission to more than 90 attractions in the city. Experience the best of NYC and visit as many sites as you want each day for one low price with this flexible pass. Simply put, you decide what to see and when you want to see it! Learn more about our available passes and attractions.

One Day in NYC Sample Itinerary

Stop 1: Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Immigration Museum

Start your day of sightseeing in NYC early and plan to catch the first cruise to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Immigration Museum (leaves Battery Park at 8:30 am).

The Statue of Liberty is an iconic symbol of the American Dream and an NYC must-see attraction.

Getting in: Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Immigration Museum tickets are included with The New York Pass. Please note: tickets to the Statue of Liberty pedestal and crown are sold separately and require advanced reservations.

Stop 2: Wall Street Walking Tour

No visit to the Financial Capital of the World is complete without seeing the sights of Wall Street and the New York Stock Exchange.

Go on a guided walking tour of the Financial District to make the most of your visit - your knowledgeable guide will provide entertaining and educational narration and context to all the sights you'll see, making sure you don't miss a thing.

Sights you'll see along the way, include the Charging Bull statue, Wall Street, New York Stock Exchange, and more.

Getting in: Wall Street Walking Tour tickets are included with The New York Pass.

Stop for Lunch

For a classic downtown lunch, check out Dominic's Italian Sausage, a food cart popular with the local residents and workers, or the trendy Ramen Co, home of the original Ramen Burger, one of New York's favorite viral foodie finds.

Stop 3: Central Park

Head to Central Park Sightseeing Bike Tours & Rentals and grab a bike to do some exploring--it's the best way to cover a lot of Central Park with a limited amount of time. Getting in: Central Park Sightseeing Bike Tours & Rentals are included with The New York Pass.

Stop 4: Times Square

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Times Square at Night[/caption]

After exploring Central Park, check another popular NYC destination off your list and head to Times Square to see the brilliant billboards, lights, and bustling city action.

Times Square is home to lots of shops (many geared towards tourists, so it can be a great spot to pick up small souvenirs), street performers, restaurants, and attractions.

Football fans will have fun exploring The NFL Experience, Times Square - a fully immersive football experience that puts you in the game and lets you test your skills against the pros with interactive combine events, a 4D cinema/thrill ride experience, tours of all 32 NFL franchises, and more.

Visitors looking to experience some of the glamour of NYC will enjoy meeting their favorite celebrities at Madame Tussauds New York. See over 200 impossibly lifelike wax figures - right in Times Square. You'll get to snap photos with everyone from Marilyn Monroe and George Clooney to Einstein and Maya Angelou. Getting in: Times Square is open to the public; The NFL Experience tickets and Madame Tussauds tickets are included with The New York Pass.

Stop 5: Empire State Building

Finish the day by visiting the Empire State Building for sweeping, 360-degree views of the city from this iconic landmark's 86th-floor observation deck.

The ESB observatory is open until 2am every day, so it's the perfect way to end your one day in NYC itinerary.

Getting in: Empire State Building tickets are included with The New York Pass.

Remember to Save on Admission

With this itinerary, you will be able to experience as many of the classic NYC landmarks without frantically rushing around too much. A lot of the activities and attractions mentioned in this post are included on The New York Pass–save money on admission to dozens of the most popular attractions in NYC is included for one low price. Save anywhere up to 40% off of the city’s most sought-after attractions with the pass versus regular gate admission prices. Learn more about The New York Pass here.

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weekend nyc
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Weekends in New York

The Big Apple is one of the most visited cities on the planet. On average, over 30 million people visit New York every year. That's...a lot of people. How many people do you know, like twelve? Times that by a gazillion, and you're only scratching the surface - probably. Math is hard. So the big question is, why do so many people flock to New York's shores every year? It probably helps that it's one of cinema's most photographed cities, with nearly half of the biggest blockbusters ever taking place - at least in part - in the Big Apple. The other reason is that there is so much to do and see there; a skyline full of literal iconography that you can visit, the 24-hour nightlife, the shopping, the restaurant scene. New York has it all. It's no wonder then, that so many people spend their weekends in New York. But with so much on offer, planning is vital. That's why we've curated this itinerary just for you. So fetch your best traveling hat, dust off those walking boots, and go grab a coffee. Here's our guide to weekends in New York! Saturday Morning You'll need some energy to power your day, so kick things off at Andrews Coffee Shop - your classic, all-American diner. But this isn't just any old breakfast experience, as many consider Andrews the best in the city! Pancakes, waffles, french toast, eggs, the list goes on. Then, when you're fueled up, let's get the big guns out of the way. First, we'll hit up the world-famous Empire State Building, which boasts the best views in the city from the top. But beyond viewing New York from 102 floors up, you can also explore 12 galleries that explain the history of the building, as well as the building's very own art gallery! Noon From there, it's time to get some lunch. You're spoiled for choice here, but we'd recommend Upland, a charming brasserie that offers a delightful fusion of Italian dishes with a Californian twist. They have sandwiches, pizza, pasta, and many more on offer, and why not pair your meal with a nice glass of wine? You're on vacation, after all. Next, head to Central Park for a wander around one of the world's most famous green spaces. Then, when you've explored enough (and burnt off some calories to boot), head to the nearby American Museum of Natural History. You can spend hours looking at ancient fossils, life-sized models, and learn all about the history of Earth. A little culture never hurt anyone, right? Night Next, as afternoon turns to evening and the city's neon lights take hold, fill your bucket list quota in one fell swoop with a trip on The RIDE. This bus slash viewing platform has you sitting in stadium-like seats as two hilarious guides give you insight into NYC's biggest sights and sounds. You'll pass Times Square, the Chrysler Building, Grand Central, and Carnegie Hall, to name but a few, learn about their history, and get a front-row seat to New York's quirky nightlife to boot! Then, grab a spot of dinner at COTE Korean Steakhouse, which offers some of the best slabs of meat in the city. Then, if you fancy it, check out the local watering holes. Attaboy down in SoHo offers a cozy atmosphere and delicious cocktails in a tucked-away location. Or, if you're looking for some amber relief, try The Dead Rabbit near Battery Park. This delightful taproom has a whole host of craft beers on offer, as well as other liquid delights should they take your fancy. Now, get some rest and prep your body for another day of fun! Sunday Morning Big day ahead of us, so start smart with a late breakfast at Trinity Place on Broadway. This converted bank vault makes for quite the unique dining experience, and you can pick up a breakfast flatbread to fill you up for the trip ahead. And what trip is that? Well, you might be wondering why we're starting the day so close to the coast? That's because there's one very important NYC landmark we haven't checked off yet. We're talking about the Statue of Liberty, or "Lady Liberty" to her friends. To get there, you'll need to board a ferry across the water. Then, once you're there, you can tour Ellis Island, get up close and personal with the old gal, and learn all about her history and how she came to be. Then, when you're all statued out, hop back on the ferry back to the mainland. Noon Lunchtime! Head over the Brooklyn Bridge to NYC's swanky suburb, and grab a panini at Pisillo Italian Panini. They have tons of variants to try no matter your taste, each named after an area of Italy. Try the Milano, trust us. Then, if the weather is good, go check out Coney Island and hop on some of the rides at Luna Park. Just a stone's throw from central Brooklyn, it's a great way to get a bit of beach time on your city vacation. Or, if the weather isn't good, go check out Brooklyn Museum and the nearby Botanical Gardens. The museum boasts a massive collection of artifacts from al over the world, including ancient Egypt, Africa, and Europe. The gardens provide you with 50+ acres of exotic plants and indoor greenhouses to wander. Night Time for a final meal and a tour of Brooklyn's brilliant nightlife! We recommend dining at Vinegar Hill House. The name might not sound appetizing, but once you flick through its brilliant New American menu, you'll be set. The pork chop with cheddar jalapeno grits might just be the best thing you've sampled all year. And now, to end this merry adventure, it's time to explore Brooklyn's bar scene. Want to put a spring in your step and end your vacation on a yee-haw high? Check out Skinny Dennis - a honky-tonk saloon with a burgeoning beer menu backed by live country music. Or, if cocktails are your things, you're spoiled for choice! We'd recommend Sweet Polly or Clover Club to sate your mixology needs. And, sadly, that's the end of our guide to weekends in New York! There's so much more to see and do; you'll just have to catch it all next time.
Dom Bewley
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Things to Do in the Bronx for Tourists

When planning a trip to New York City, you probably envision popular attractions in Manhattan. Times Square, the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty draw millions of people to the Big Apple each year, but there's a ton of things to do in the Bronx for tourists worth considering for your sightseeing itinerary, too. Look north of Manhattan to the Bronx where you'll discover fantastic museums, delicious restaurants, unique cultural experiences and lots of green space. Here are a few of our favorites, including: The Bronx Zoo Yankee Stadium New York Botanical Garden City Island Little Italy Woodlawn Cemetery Wave Hill Pelham Bay Park Bronx Museum of the Arts Van Cortlandt Park Free Entry with The New York Pass® Free entry to many of these popular New York attractions and activities are included on The New York Pass®. Used by over 3.5 million travelers, the New York Pass is the ultimate sightseeing pass, which includes admission to 90+ attractions, Fast Track Entry at select attractions, a free guidebook, & much more. Learn more about the New York Pass benefits & how to save up to 70% off attractions. New York Botanical Garden Hailed as one of New York's crowning glories, the New York Botanical Garden is a feast for the senses. With more than a million tropical, temperate and desert flora houses on 250 acres, the New York Botanical Garden is among the world’s largest plant research and conservation programs. The garden is opened to visitors year round. Getting in: New York Botanical Garden tickets are included on The New York Pass. The Bronx Zoo Did you know the Bronx Zoo is the largest urban zoo in the country? With more than 5,000 animals housed on 265 acres, it's easy to spend the day here. The grizzly bears and Congo gorillas are fan favorites, but the Wild Asia Monorail and Treetop Adventure and Nature Trek are quite popular experiences, too. Getting in: The Bronx Zoo tickets are separately ticketed and available for purchase upon arrival. City Island A one-and-a-half-mile island that's reminiscent of a quaint New England fishing village, City Island is definitely worth a visit. Tons of seafood restaurants are packed onto the island. Grab some fried clams and enjoy your meal while looking at Long Island Sound. and get a better understanding of New York's maritime history by stopping in the City Island Historical Society and Nautical Museum. Getting in: City Island is free and open to the public. Woodlawn Cemetery Woodlawn Cemetery is the final resting place of hundreds of notable people from all walks of life. Author Herman Melville, cartoonist Thomas Nast, suffragette Elizabeth Cady Stanton, jazz musician Miles Davis and George E. Haynes, co-founder of the Urban League, are all buried here. The cemetery is open to the public, and also boasts an arboretum featuring 140 unique species of trees, including 11 that measure more than five feet in diameter. Getting in: Woodlawn cemetery is free and open to the public. Yankee Stadium The current Yankee Stadium opened in 2009, replacing the storied "house that Ruth built." An Indiana limestone exterior and gate-like frieze along the top pay homage to the original stadium, but interior improvements make watching a game much more comfortable. Tours are offered daily, and there's a museum on site with baseballs autographed by every living Yankees player. Getting in: Yankee Stadium Tour tickets are included on The New York Pass – all games and other events are separately ticketed. Little Italy Mulberry Street in Manhattan may draw most tourists, but Arthur Avenue in the Bronx is where New Yorkers go when they want authentic Italian food. Specialty shops, restaurants, fish markets and bakeries draw people from all boroughs of New York to the Bronx's Little Italy. If you want to delve deeper into the area's history, a guided tour will help you discover the pivotal role Little Italy played in the development of the Bronx. Getting in: Bronx's Little Italy & Arthur Avenue Walking Tour tickets are included on The New York Pass. Bronx Museum of the Arts One of the youngest museums in the city, the Bronx Museum of the Arts spotlights contemporary American artists, specifically those of African, Asian or Latino ancestry. Many exhibits address current social or political issues. If you can't devote an entire day to the museum, stop by the Bronx Museum Community Mural at Bronx Terminal Market. Getting in: Bronx Museum of the Arts tickets are FREE available upon arrival. Van Cortlandt Park If you're tired of the hustle and bustle of the city, Van Cortlandt Park offers a welcomed respite. With more than 1,000 acres of green space, you'll find the perfect place for a cross-country run, a picnic or a stroll around a freshwater lake. The Van Cortlandt House Museum is the oldest standing structure in the Bronx and features exhibits about the family that lived in the home in the 18th and 19th centuries. Getting in: the Van Cortlandt Park is free and open to the public - admission fees for self-guided tours of the Van Cortlandt House Museum are available for purchase upon arrival. Pelham Bay Park Three times larger than Central Park, Pelham Bay Park is the largest public park in NYC and offers 13 miles of shoreline, a golf course, and a museum. At 2,766 acres, the park takes hours to fully explore. Stop by Orchard Beach, the Bronx's only public beach, launch a canoe in the park's lagoon, take a horseback riding excursion or visit the Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum for a look at a beautiful Greek Revival dwelling. Getting in: Pelham Bay Park is free and open to the public. Activities and events may require purchase of admission separately. Wave Hill Public Garden and Cultural Center Wave Hill is comprised of an elegant, 19th-century mansion surrounded by lush gardens featuring shaded pergolas, wildflowers and a view of the Hudson River and Palisades. Cultural and educational programming is also offered throughout the year. Don't get caught up in the hustle and bustle of Manhattan and overlook the city's northernmost borough. Visitors to the Bronx are always impressed with the number of unique things to see and do here. From parks to museums to ethnic restaurants, the Bronx has something for everyone! Getting in: Wave Hill Public Garden and Cultural Center tickets are available for purchase upon arrival. (The park offers free admission occasionally on Saturdays, check their website in advance.) Remember to Save on Attraction Admission Some of the fun things to do in the Bronx for tourists mentioned in the article above are included on The New York Pass. Whether you’re interested in going on a guided tour, seeing where the Yankees play, or seeing what's in bloom at the famous botanical gardens, planning things to do in the Bronx for tourists is easy with The New York Pass. If you plan on visiting multiple attractions, consider using the New York Pass which grants you free entry to over 90 attractions in New York City. That way you can do more when you sightsee and make the most of your time in New York City. For more information on the New York Pass, click here.
Casey Makovich
Blog

Things to Do in NYC on New Year's Eve for Tourists

Most people say that there is no place more magical to visit over the holidays than New York City – and we think they’re right! If you’ve never been to 'The Big Apple' for New Year’s Eve, 2018 is the perfect opportunity to experience NYC on New Year's Eve as a tourist. With so many distinct neighborhoods, famous landmarks and the excitement of a new beginning, we’re sure there's something for everyone in your group to enjoy this year. Whether this is your first visit to New York City or you’ve been to here a few times before, experiencing the sights on New Year’s Eve is one trip that you’re sure to remember for many years to come. Make sure you get the most out of your time in NYC with this comprehensive guide to enjoying the holiday festivities with the ones you love most and be sure to have a very Happy New Year! 10 Things to See and Do in NYC on New Year’s Eve for Tourists Free Entry with The New York Pass® Free entry to many of these popular New York attractions and activities are included on The New York Pass®. Used by over 3.5 million travelers, the New York Pass is the ultimate sightseeing pass, which includes admission to 90+ attractions, Fast Track Entry at select attractions, a free guidebook, & much more. Learn more about the New York Pass benefits & how to save up to 70% off attractions. 1. Check Out the Empire State Building No trip to New York City would be complete without a visit to the historic and beautiful Empire State Building. This attraction draws about 3.5 million visitors each year and never disappoints! You and your group will be able to experience NYC with breathtaking, 360360-degreenoramic views and feast your eye on the historic city skyline. Getting in: Empire State Building tickets are included on the New York City Explorer Pass®. 2. Meet the Stars at Madame Tussauds New York Spend a few hours hanging out with your favorite Hollywood actors, singers, and celebrities as you explore Madam Tussauds New York. This interactive wax museum features more than 200 lifelike figures that are waiting for their next selfie opportunity. Before you head out on the town for your holiday celebrations, be sure to stop in and snap a pic with your favorite stars. Admission: Madame Tussauds tickets are included with the New York Pass. 3. Take a Food Tour New York City is one of the major food capitals of the world and with so many great dining options, it can be hard to know where to start. Luckily, Food on Foot Tours is here to take the guesswork out of planning your meals! Learn all about the delicious meals being served all over the city –one bite at a time. With so many different culinary styles to choose from in NYC’s great melting pot, we’re sure you won’t go hungry. Getting in: Food on Foor Tour tickets are included with The New York Pass. 4. Rockefeller Center Tour Most people have seen the historic and beautiful Rockefeller Center on their TV and movie screens at some point and admired this beloved landmark for all it’s grandeur. Now, you can discover the treasure that is Rockefeller Center for yourself with this incredible guided tour. Learn about John D, Rockefeller’s visions and aspirations for this timeless space and have fun with the iconic holiday decorations too. Perfect for a few great holiday snaps, this is one tour in NYC that you won’t want to miss. Admission: guided Rockefeller Center Tour tickets are included with The New York Pass. 5. Top of the Rock Observatory Once you’ve taken in the sights on the ground at the Rockefeller Center, be sure to head on up to the observation deck for another spectacular view of the city. After taking a few snaps of the gorgeous crystal chandelier in the lobby, head on up to the 70th floor to feast your eyes on the true jewels of NYC. Here, you’ll be able to get a look at everything from the famous skyscraper’s that dominate the city’s skyline to beloved landmark’s like Central Park! Admission: Top of the Rock observation deck tickets are included with The New York Pass. 6. Graffiti & Street Art Tour This cool and interactive walking tour highlights some of the most interesting and iconic pieces of street art and graffiti that are located all throughout the Bushwick neighborhood in Brooklyn. Get a real feel for NYC’s urban culture by taking a look at the artwork of some of the city’s most talented underground and alternative artists. Getting in: Graffiti & Street Art Walking Tour of Brooklyn tickets are included on The New York Pass. 7. Grand Central Terminal Audio Tour Have you ever wondered what it’s like to stand in the center of New York City’s famous Grand Central Terminal at rush hour? Thousands of people pass through the station each day on their way in and out of the city, making for a breathtaking sight at any time of the day. Since 1871, visitors have marveled at the majestic ceiling design in the terminal and now, with this interesting audio tour, you can learn all about the grand history of this NYC landmark. Admission: Grand Central Terminal Audio-Tour tickets are included with The New York Pass. 8. Brooklyn Children’s Museum Have the little ones with you on your NYE adventure? Why not take some time out to ensure they’re enjoying the trip just as much as you are? Take a few hours to explore and play at the Brooklyn’s Children Museum before heading out to your evening activities. With fun interactive exhibits and plenty of opportunities for learning, everyone in the family will have a blast here! Getting in: Brooklyn Children's Museum tickets are separately ticketed and not included on The New York Pass. 9. Dave and Buster’s Times Square Planning on seeing the ball drop in Times Square? Then you should definitely make a pit-stop at Dave and Buster’s first! This huge indoor arcade is fun for the whole family with great food, drinks, games and more. Remember To Save On Attraction Admission Lots of the fun things to do in NYC on New Year's Eve for Tourists mentioned in this post are included on The New York Pass. Whether you’re interested in learning more about art and culture, you want to check out the city’s skyline from multiple angles or you’re all about the fun and games –there really is something for everyone in your group to enjoy during the NYE holidays. If you plan on visiting multiple attractions, consider using the New York Pass which grants you free entry to over 90 attractions in New York City. That way you can do more when you sightsee and make the most of your time in New York City. For more information on the New York Pass, click here.
Casey Makovich

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