5 Days in New York: The Best Itinerary

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Planning to spend 5 days in New York City but not sure where to start? The journey may seem intimidating, so let us make it easier for you. Enjoy the city that we know and love thanks to our insider tips and advice. Here are our day-to-day recommendations for your first visit into New York City!

Day 1, Friday: Midtown and Tourist Hot Spots

Start your stay in New York City with the New York, New York: City Tour. This is a great way to see icons such as the Museum Mile, the Rockefeller Center, Saint John The Divine, Times Square, Chinatown, Little Italy, SoHo, Wall Street, Battery Park, and many more from Central Park to South Street Seaport.

5 days in New York, Midtown
Photo: Pixabay

Grab some lunch on restaurant row 46th street in Hell’s Kitchen, then walk through Times Square, the electric center of New York City. Find your favorite celebrity at Madame Tussauds Wax Museum!  Later, opt for an interactive and entertaining trip featuring on-board Broadway performers through the city on The Ride.


Day 2, Saturday: Triboro Tour and Top of the Rock

view-empire-state-building-from-top-of-the-rock
Photo: Unsplash

Since you have already taken the typical Manhattan tour, today it is time to head off the beaten path and into the outer boroughs of New York City. Explore the most of the city on a Triboro tour, where you will discover the best of the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens. Return back to Manhattan and visit either the Top of The Rock, the Empire State Building Observation Deck, or the One World Observatory for 360- degree city-sweeping views of Manhattan’s midtown and downtown scenes. The best views come at dusk, when the sun goes down and the city lights up.


Day 3, Sunday: Harlem, Gospel & the new Lower West Manhattan

The Vessel, Hudson Yards
Credit: Pexels

Attend an authentic Sunday morning service in Harlem on a Harlem Gospel Tour. This tour will let you dive into the rich history of Harlem. Spend the afternoon in the Soho and Nolita neighborhoods for the best shopping selection. Check out Black Tap for gourmet burgers and incredibly unique and ‘gram-worthy milkshakes. Capture the best sunset at the Highline in Chelsea. After, grab dinner at the Chelsea Market food hall, or fine dine in the Meatpacking District. You will find the best food and drink locations here that will take you as far into the night as you would like. If you’re looking for a more intensive experience, opt for the West side Story Walking Tour with Whitney Museum and let a local guide show you around Hudson Yards, Chelsea, the High Line, the Meatpacking District, Chelsea Market. The tour also includes a skip-the-line ticket to the Whitney Museum.


Day 4, Monday: Brooklyn Bound & Dinner Cruise

Brooklyn paved street
Photo: Unsplash

Start your day with a Brooklyn Walking Tour to explore Brooklyn Heights, Downtown Brooklyn and DUMBO in the hands of a New York expert. While in Brooklyn, we also recommend paying a visit to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden or the Brooklyn Museum. Later on, bike the Brooklyn Bridge to take in the views between the two sides of the East River back to Downtown Manhattan, where you may want to visit the Brookfield Place and the One World Observatory for sunset. Book a Dinner Cruise with Live Jazz Music to top off the night.


Day 5, Tuesday: Central Park, Museums & Broadway Shows

Central Park NYC
Photo: Unsplash

Spend the last of your 5 days in New York Midtown! Begin your day with a bike ride through Central Park. Whether you are looking to rent a bike for a few hours, or want a more structured bike tour, Central Park will be a pleasant way to spend your morning. Find lunch on the Upper East Side and then visit one of several iconic museums in the area, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET) or the Guggenheim Museum. Later in the evening, explore a bit around 42nd street to see the famous New York Public Library and Grand Central Station before attending a classic Broadway show to end your stay here in New York City.

Our Practical Tips To Make Your 5 Days in New York Easier

The first piece of advice is about your arrival in New York. Make sure you know about all options available for your airport transfer before you land in Big Apple. This will make your arrival much less stressful!

Click here to book your airport transfers: https://www.harlemspirituals.com/Transport

Make sure you also read about the 10 things you should not do while in NYC. They might prove helpful!


Although it may be hard to see everything that the city has to offer, a jam-packed visit to New York in 5 days allows you to see a lot of the city in many different perspectives. Consider buying a New York CityPASS or NYC Sightseeing Pass. Also, if you are interested in finding more 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.

Do you have a New York City “must-see”? Share it with us! And, if you enjoyed or found this post useful, please continue on sharing the love with friends and family!

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