3 Days in New York: The Ideal Itinerary For A Long Weekend in NYC

This post is also available in: French

So, you have a long weekend to spend in New York City! With so many must-see sights and landmarks, neighborhoods and boroughs, you may ask yourself, “Where in the world do I start?” Luckily, with a little bit of planning, there actually are ways to cram in all the major NYC points of interest in a short amount of time over a couple of days. Here is a fantastic itinerary for squeezing in the absolute best sights, food, and culture into your long weekend in the legendary Big Apple, including The NYC Weekender: our exclusive ‘buy 2 get 1 free’ tour package featuring our 3 must-see NYC tours to explore the best of the city in just 3 days!



For your first day discovering New York City over a long weekend, we first recommend joining the New York, New York, city tour from 09:30am to 01:30pm, then joining an unforgettable cruise to the Statue of Liberty and ending with hitting up an observation deck for stunning views of the City.


downtown-new-york-harlem-spiritualsMorning: New York, New York City tour

09:30am – 01:30pm – Departure from Harlem Spirituals Office in Times Square

A first day discovering New York City just wouldn’t be as epic as starting out with an overview of all of its world-renowned landmarks and attractions from Central Park to South Street Seaport. You’ll see Columbus Circle, 5th Avenue, Rockefeller Center, the Empire State Building, Times Square, Chinatown, Little Italy, SoHo, Wall Street, the 9/11 Memorial, the Oculus, Battery Park, and much more. Aboard a deluxe coach, you’ll be cruising through Midtown and Downtown in style, learning super interesting historical facts about the city, and getting useful tips from your experienced, local, certified guide! With several stop offs along the way, you’ll also get many opportunities to walk through neighborhoods and take pictures.


hudson-eats-brookfield-place-manhattan-nyc-hudson-eats-terrace-790pxLunch: Try a NYC Foodcourt!

Head to Le District for delicious French food or the Hudson Eats food court at Brookfield Place with numerous dining options from all over the globe, including burgers, vegan pizzas, sushis, BBQ dishes, and so much more!



statue-of-liberty-nyc-harlem-spiritualsAfternoon: Statue of Liberty Cruise

Departure from Battery Park

Join the must-see Statue of Liberty Cruise. You, of course, mustn’t come all this way to New York City and not take close-up pics of the most famous statue in the world! With the official Statue of Liberty cruise, you will be granted access to Liberty and Ellis Islands (with access to the Museum of Immigration) and to the new museum of the Statue of Liberty.


downtown-nyc-by-night-one-world-790pxEvening: One World Observatory

As if you hadn’t already seen and experienced an incredible day of sightseeing and discovery, the last activity we recommend for Day 1 of this long weekend is 1 World Observatory in Downtown Manhattan for the most killer views (and photo opportunities!) atop the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere! This must-see observation deck takes you 102 stories above the crowded streets, with three expansive levels to explore for some ridiculously gorgeous views.




The absolute best things to do on a Sunday in New York City are attending a world-famous Gospel mass in Harlem, exploring Central Park from all angles, or alternatively, visiting New York’s most famous museum: the Met, enjoying daylight views from Top of the Rock or the Empire State Building, and then seeing a Broadway show before getting lost in Times Square in the evening.


gospel-choir-harlem-spiritualsMorning: Harlem Gospel tour with Brunch

09:30am – 02:30pm – Departure from Harlem Spirituals Office in Times Square

We are all very well familiar with the impact The Harlem Renaissance of the ’20s and the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s had on the world: the jazz music, literature, arts, political change! Two other acclaimed contributions Harlem has nurtured are Gospel music and soul food. With our Harlem Gospel Tour with Brunch, you’ll learn about Harlem’s historic sights and sounds with an authentic and unforgettable Gospel mass, as well as have a unique brunch experience at the most famous soul food restaurant in New York!

Lunch: Have a brunch in Harlem

Enjoy a delicious brunch in Harlem to have a taste of the local cuisine.


central-park-harlem-spiritualsAfternoon: Central Park or Met Museum

After that, we recommend taking a stroll through Central Park, admiring the fountains, landscape, surrounding scenery, and so much more! Heck, Central Park is one of the most famous parks in the world. There’s boating, horse & carriage rides, gondola tours, biking, dancing, roller-skating, a carousel, playgrounds, a seasonal amusement park, restaurants & bars, ample benches for resting up, people watching and view-enjoying. In case of bad weather, or if you’re more in the mood for the cultural experience, head to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, or Met, New York’s largest museum! Its collections include works of art spanning more than 5,000 years of world culture, from the splendors of ancient Egypt to contemporary works by today’s leading artists from all over the world. Enough to keep you busy for days so one piece of advice: plan your visit itinerary in advance so you don’t miss the sections of the museum you are most interested in.


Central-park-aerial-view-harlem-spiritualsLate afternoon: View New York from above

If you want to squeeze in as many attractions as you can during your stay, this is the right time to include Top of the Rock’s unrivaled views of Central Park and the Empire State Building, among the other gleaming landmarks and recognizable sights here in New York City! Hitting it up at the end of the afternoon is best so you can revel in killer views of the sun setting upon this dazzling concrete jungle.

Alternatively, if you don’t have enough time to fit it an observatory at the end of your afternoon, you can also try to squeeze it in in the morning. That is if you can wake up very early and be there by 08:00am on the dot for the opening. Spend 1 hour there then head back to Times Square to join the Gospel tour at 09:30am!


kid-times-square-night-790pxEvening: Broadway and Times Square

To finish up the day, nothing says living it up in New York City like catching an authentic Broadway show! See a brand new musical or an all-time classic. There’s something for everyone…on Broadway! After the show, head to Times Square to get mesmerized by all the sounds and lights of this iconic NYC must-see.




For your final day in the city that never sleeps start off by exploring New York’s hippest borough for an insightful Brooklyn Walking Tour. Afterwards, head downtown to get some serious shopping done, and then let the grand finale be a breathtaking helicopter tour above this metropolis! Or if you’re not that into such experiences, head to the 9/11 Memorial Museum to learn more about the tragic events to struck New York in 2001.


brooklyn-paved-street-harlem-spiritualsMorning: Brooklyn Walking Tour

09:00am-11:30am – Departure from Harlem Spirituals Office in Times Square

For 2.5 hours on Monday morning, grab at the chance to explore the small town charm and eclectic spirit of Brooklyn Heights, Downtown Brooklyn, and DUMBO, three of the most interesting neighborhoods of this with-it borough with stunning views of the notorious Manhattan skyline and The Brooklyn Bridge. You’ll get insider information on these vibrant neighborhoods from your knowledgeable local guide during this small group tour, bask in amazing views of the East River and Brooklyn’s famous architecture (including its Brownstones), and discover resident boutiques, artisanal shops, galleries, and its total foodies’ paradise! Click here to reserve your Brooklyn Walking Tour today!


brooklyn-bridge-new-york-harlemspiritualsLunch: Indulge in some NYC classics

Some people say the best pizzas are in DUMBO. Choose for yourself at the neighborhood’s two best pizza joints: Juliana’s or Grimaldi’s. Or get a burger at iconic Shake Shack, our all time favorites! and eat al fresco on the riverfront.


the-big-apple-helicopter-tour-lady-liberty-harlem-spiritualsAfternoon: Brooklyn Bridge and Helicopter tour or 9/11 Memorial Museum

After lunch, take a stroll on the Brooklyn Bridge. And for the grand finale, the icing on the cake of your epic long weekend in New York City, take the plunge and soar above this giant world-famous city with an unforgettable helicopter tour! Take in its grandeur, at spectacular aerial heights, all of the renowned landmarks and geographical marvels NYC has to offer! As an alternative if you are not a fan of the heights, a slightly less spectacular visit yet just as important: that of the Museum of the 9/11 Memorial Museum. Plan about 2 hours to visit all sections of the museum and learn everything about the tragedy that hit NYC almost 20 years ago.


oculus-downtown-nyc-harlem-spiritualsLate afternoon: Shopping!

To wrap up your stay, nothing says New York like some shopping: either at Century 21 to find the best deals, or at Westfield World Trade Center at the Oculus in Downtown Manhattan. Westfield is the largest shopping complex in Manhattan, with 125 retail spaces (and tons of great food options), open 10am-9pm Monday thru Saturday, and Sunday 11am-7pm! Here is a complete list of the stores at Westfield World Trade Center.



< Make all your reservations >

Now with the program in hand, it is time to book all tours and activities before they sell out. To do so, you just need to go to click on the links below:

If you want to add activities and attractions to your program, consider buying the 3-day Sightseeing Pass! It will grant you access to more than a hundred activities for a package rate that is cheaper than if you had bought all services separately.

Last but not least, we also highly advise you to book your airport transfers in advance (by shuttle or private car) so you can start your stay with peace of mind!


< Download the itinerary >

Click here to download the itinerary!Itinerary-3 days in new york-harlem spirituals


With a long weekend ahead of you in this city, that always has something going on and has so many must-see sights you need to discover for yourself, why not do it all? Experience New York City on land, on foot, from the air, by boat, from down in the subway- all the way up thousands of feet above ground in a helicopter. Remember that if you want to save big on your adventure, get our exclusive ‘buy 2 get 1 free’ package: New York, New York Tour, Harlem Gospel Tour, and Brooklyn Walking Tour! Follow our itinerary above to the “T” or bits and pieces of it to have your very own long weekend of a lifetime.

If you are interested in finding more things to do in New York City, search through our complete range of tours, attractions and activities. We can also tailor-make programs specifically to match your desires and budgets. Harlem Spirituals is the ideal one-stop-shop to simplify your planning! Find more information on www.harlemspirituals.com or contact us at info@harlemspirituals.com