How To: Make The Most of a Short Stay in New York

If this is your first time in the City it is completely natural to feel overwhelmed by its size, high energy and its endless options of things to do. Even if you have already visited once or twice before, it is still difficult to decide where to begin exploring! We are here to aid you in your travels through the Big Apple. Here is our top advice on how to make the most out of a short stay in New York…

1- Be at the center of things

First things first: accommodation. We recommend you choose a place that is located in the heart of Manhattan, so you don’t waste time getting to the places you need to be. It’s always great to discover the city through it’s public transportation, but if you’re here for a short stay, it’s best if you don’t waste your time on 30-minute subway rides each time you need to go somewhere. Thus for instance, if this is your first time in NY and you want to be at walking distance from most of the major attractions, think Midtown.

2- Trust the locals

Nobody knows the Big Apple better than the New Yorkers themselves. When deciding on your program, make sure you also have a look at blogs, forums, social media and listen to what the locals have to say about their city. This is the best way to find out about hidden gems, off-the-beaten paths activities, nice addresses and to collect thoughtful advice. You are reading this blog, so you know what we are talking about, right?

3- Take a guided tour

If you are short on time but you would like to see it all, take a guided tour! Driving around the city will offer you a great overview of what New York is about. It will enable you to discover several neighborhoods in a short time frame while also getting to know about the history of the New York City and other cultural aspects -which, in our opinion, is definitely a must. Plus, you might spot things you would never have seen on your own. Whether you’re into discovering Manhattan or looking for off-the-beaten path or thematic experiences, there are many options!

4- Buy passes

If you purchase either a New York CityPass, a Downtown Culture Pass, or a Sightseeing Pass, you will get to skip many lines of attractions. This saves you a lot of time on your travels!

5- Eat like a New Yorker

Locals will often eat on the go. So act like one and don’t waste hours sitting in restaurants for all of your meals. Although you’ll definitely want to find nice restaurants for dinners, we recommend quicker on-the-go styled lunches. New York offers countless options for delicious and quick foods whether you choose to eat from a food cart, a food truck, a hole-in-the-wall, a food market or a famous food chain such as Shake Shack. Grab your sandwich, pave the streets or sit in a park!

6- Go all-inclusive

When you don’t have time, trusting professionals to personally build a program that includes it all often proves to be one of the best options. This option works out well if you haven’t had time to do your research or if you are traveling on business. You can trust experts like us to create a program for your entire stay —including your accommodation, transportation, activities and meals, or just a part of it. Our Harlem Soul Food and Jazz tour, for instance, will almost guarantee you a fantastic and unique evening. It includes transportation to and from Harlem, dinner, admission to a local jazz club and drinks, so you don’t have to worry about a thing except being on time!

7- Comfort is Key

We cannot stress this enough! Wear comfortable shoes so you can walk all day, and appropriate clothes depending on the season so that weather doesn’t stop you from going out, Because it is by walking the streets of New York that you’ll best understand what this city is about!


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 or contact us at

Have some advice on how to make the most of a short stay in New York? Don’t hesitate to share them in the comments. We’d love to hear from you!

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