2 Days in New York City – A Weekend in NYC Itinerary For Your Trip

Planning a weekend in NYC, but unsure what to do and places to go to maximize your time?

We’ve put together a great itinerary for 2 days in New York that will showcase some of the best that NYC has to offer in just one weekend!



Stop #1 – Big Bus New York Sightseeing Tour

A Hop On Hop Off Sightseeing Tour is one of the best ways to start your visit to New York City; you’ll get a comprehensive overview of the city’s history, unique culture, and layout of all of the sights you want to go back to for a visit.


Sit back and relax as this comfortable bus takes you around NYC, showcasing all of the landmarks and hotspots that you may not otherwise get a chance to visit. Informative tour guides will narrate the tour with insider information and important facts about tour highlights, including: 

  • Empire State Building
  • SOHO/ Little Italy
  • Brooklyn Bridge/ City Hall
  • Wall Street/ Charging Bull
  • High Line
  • Madison Square Garden
  • and many more!

This tour is the ideal attraction for getting a thorough overview of NYC’s main landmarks.


Stop #2 – The Guggenheim Museum

Next, head uptown for a visit to this prestigious modern art museum. The Guggenheim Museum has recently been renovated, so even if you’ve been here before you’re due for another visit. Plus, the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed building is itself quite a sight to see standing as a testament to both Wright’s and Guggenheim’s advendurous spirits!


Some of the featured artists on display include all of your classic and modern favorites, like Calder, Kandinsky, Picasso, Van Gogh, and many more. From sculpture and painting to sketches and innovative installations, you’ll find a beautiful variety of styles and genres of artwork to enrich your visit.


Lunch in the Upper East Side

As with most New York neighborhoods, the Upper East Side (or UES to locals) is filled with tons of restaurant options. Check out the Candle Café for vegetarian options, or Le Pain Quotidien for some great sandwich choices. Of course, you really can’t go wrong with exploring on your own!


Stop #3 – Central Park

Since you’ll already be in the area, don’t forget to take a stroll around the country’s most famous urban greenspace. Although it’s actually a full 843 acres, don’t worry – you won’t need to explore the entire park to get a sense of its culture and atmosphere.


Stop #4 – Option 1 (indoor): Intrepid Sea Air & Space Museum

Fans of military history will love a visit the Intrepid Sea Air and Space Museum. Housed on a historic aircraft carrier, this amazing museum features fascinating permanent exhibits and exciting temporary exhibits that everyone can enjoy, covering everything from historic aircraft in Vietnam to the submarine “Growler.


Learn something new about the history of American naval ships and aircraft as you walk aboard this National Historic Landmark. They also offer specific family-friendly event various times of year, so check their operating calendar before your visit to see if anything special is going on during your time in NYC. If you’re especially interested in the history of NASA and the American space program, an upgrade to the Space Shuttle Pavilion is a smart choice.


Stop #5 – 9/11 Tribute Center

If you’ve still got some wind in your sails after the cruise, why not pop down to the 9/11 Tribute Center for a brief look at this moving monument. You can also opt for a guided walking tour down to the 9/11 Memorial. The last tour departs at 5:30, so plan accordingly when negotiating the rest of your day.


Dinner in Hell’s Kitchen

Although this was once a less-developed neighborhood, Hell’s Kitchen is today filled with a wide variety of up-and-coming restaurants. Try the American Retro Bar & Grill for a pub atmosphere, or 42nd Street Restaurant and Pizza for your standard NYC-style pizza. Looking for something a bit more creative? Try 44 & X Hell’s Kitchen for innovative American fare.



Stop #1 – Empire State Building

You’ve got to check out one of the most iconic structures in all of New York City – the Empire State Building. Ascend to the Observatory on the 86th floor for some of the best views of the entire city – don’t forget your camera!


A visit here first thing can actually be a good way to orient yourself in relation to the city at large because you’ll see everything from above before you find it on the ground.

Don’t forget to leave a little time to marvel at the interior and exterior of the building itself: its Art Deco style is very distinctive. Everyone entering this attraction is required to go through a security line, so plan additional time into your estimation. We recommend reserving at least an hour at this attraction (not including wait time).


Stop #2 – Times Square

Although this area often gets a bad reputation as an overly touristy area, it’s worth the visit because there are so many fun and free attractions to explore in this neighborhood. 


You’ll also experience the best of NYC’s funky side with street performers, artists, and entertaining characters populating this area. Stop in some of the big-name stores (even if it’s just to window shop) and snap a few photos of the entrancing digital billboards.


Lunch in Times Square

Again, this may feel a bit touristy, but there are so many great dining options here that it’s hard to pass up the chance to eat at some of the most famous restaurants in NYC. From the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company to the Hard Rock Café, all the biggest and best are represented in this exciting neighborhood.


Stop #3 – Option 1 (indoor): Museum of Modern Art

Spend an hour or two at one of the most popular art museums in the country. The Museum of Modern Art (or MoMA) is home to quite possibly the greatest collection of modern art in the entire world.

Some of the most famous works of art will be found in these galleries, including Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Cans, Van Gogh’s Starry Night, and Claude Monet’s Reflections of Clouds on the Water-Lily Pond.

You’ll also see works by the biggest names in contemporary art, from Jackson Pollack to Cindy Sherman and beyond. Come here prepared to be inspired! Be sure to check out the gift shop, too, for some unique presents. 


Stop #3 – Option 2 (outdoor): Central Park Bike Rentals

The Central Park Sightseeing bike rentals are a great way to work off some of those calories from all the New York-style pizza you’ve been eating. Pick up the bike in the afternoon and ride around the many and varied bike paths that wind through Central Park–one of the best ways to explore the massive park.


If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even use your bike as a means of transportation throughout NYC. It will save you from the traffic of driving or cabs and the sometimes confusing Metro subway system. It’s also a great way to get around and see more of the city than you would on foot or from a distance on a bus tour.


If you choose to explore by bike for a day, just pick your bike up before visiting your first attraction for the day.

The time that this attraction will take will vary a lot depending on what you want to do with the bike and how far you want to go. We recommend leaving at least one hour to enjoy exploring the Park itself, but you may want 2-3 hours if you’re really active.


Stop #4 – Top of the Rock Observatory

This perennially popular attraction is another way to get a great birds-eye perspective on New York City. If you feel like you didn’t get enough with your Empire State Building visit, head to Rockefeller Center and explore this unique observatory at the Top of the Rock–plus, you’ll get one of the best views of the Empire State Building from Top of the Rock. 


Proceed to the dedicated City Explorer Pass® line for admission. We recommend leaving at least an hour for this attraction.


Dinner in the Midtown

You’re now conveniently located in Midtown where dining options abound. You’ll find everything from pizza and sandwich joints to indie gastropubs.


If you’re interested in dining someplace a bit more upscale (or smaller – like many NYC restaurants), be sure to make reservations in advance.


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