Visiting New York in 5 Days: The Ultimate Itinerary

Planning a trip to New York City but not sure where to start? The journey may seem intimidating, so we want to make it easy for you. Enjoy the city that we know and love! Check out our day-to-day recommendations for your first visit into New York City.

Day 1, Friday: Midtown and Tourist Hot Spots

(Photo by Julienne Schaer/ NYC & Company)

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. 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

(Photo by Glenn Beltz)

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: Chelsea, the Highline & Meatpacking District

(Photo by Harlem Spirituals)

Attend an authentic Sunday morning service in Harlem on a Harlem Gospel Tour. 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 High Line and Chelsea Market Walking Tour and let a local guide show you around Chelsea, the High Line, Greenwich Village, the Meatpacking District, Chelsea Market and Soho.



Day 4, Monday: Brooklyn Bound & Dinner Cruise

(Photo by Alex Lopez)

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

(Photo by Christopher Postlewaite)

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 of contemporary art. 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.

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. Make a single payment for this booklet and receive countless discounts to enjoy many famous attractions. The discounts are valid for 9 days once used, so you will have plenty of flexibility and the chance to do it all while saving up to 40% on all total retail prices. 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

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Looking for some more New York City travel inspiration? Then you would enjoy these previous articles:

25 Things to do on Your First Visit to NYC

10 Reasons to Love Brooklyn

5 Original Ways to Discover NYC