Man taking photo in New York
Things to do

New York Travel Guide: 3 Day Itinerary for New York City

New York features hundreds of fun things to do and see, so how do you decide what to squeeze into a 3-day trip to the Big Apple? Before you visit New York, read our latest New York Travel Guide article, ‘Guide to 3 Days in New York: 3 Day Itinerary for New York City,’ to about the top must-experience attractions and activities.

October 9, 2020

These are unusual times we find ourselves living in, with restrictions being put in place and lifted with little notice, so please be sure to confirm operating hours before visiting any of the attractions or venues mentioned in this article.

Whether you’re planning your first or 20th visit to New York City, you’ll want to make the most of the time that you have. So, with hundreds of fun things to do and see, what do you decide to squeeze into a 3-day trip to the Big Apple? If you’re visiting New York just for the weekend, you'll enjoy this New York Travel Guide article to learn about the best 3-day itinerary for New York.

This latest article, ‘New York Travel Guide: 3 Day Itinerary for New York City,’ in our New York Travel Guide presents you with the best way to make the most of your time on a short trip to NYC.

Feeling overwhelmed by the many things to do and see in NYC? If you have limited time to spend in New York, you’ll want to make the most of your time. This article will help you maximize your days and nights so that you can see the best of the city and create great memories.

Day 1 - Midtown Manhattan

Times Square - Start your day in Times Square, the Crossroads of the World. Times Square is actually a section of Midtown that forms a triangle between Broadway and Seventh Avenue, from 42nd to 47th Street. Times Square features many retail shops and food kiosks, and ticket booths where you can get Broadway show tickets for later in the evening. From Times Square, you can walk just a few steps to the sanctuary of beautiful Bryant Park.

New York Public Library - When you leave Bryant Park on 42nd Street, walk to 5th Avenue and you’ll find the main New York City Library branch. This building was built in 1913 and it is a Beaux-arts gem with a giant Reading Room (the setting for a scene in the ‘Ghostbusters’ movie). 

Grand Central Terminal - As you exit the Library, head back to 42nd Street to admire the Chrysler Building. Enter Grand Central Terminal through the doors on 42nd Street and Park Avenue. In Grand Central Terminal, visit the Whispering Wall and sit down to eat at one of the fantastic New York City restaurants.

Rockefeller Center - From Grand Central Terminal, make your way again to 5th Avenue to do some shopping at Rockefeller Center. Rockefeller Center is where you’ll find the famous Rockefeller Center tree and skating rink during winter.

Whether you’re planning your first or 20th visit to New York City, you’ll want to make the most of the time that you have. So, with hundreds of fun things to do and see, what do you decide to squeeze into a 3-day trip to the Big Apple?

Day 2 - Central Park, Upper West Side, Upper East Side

Central Park - Relax in the tranquility of Central Park. Enter the Park at 59th Street and Central Park South. Take a few photos at Gapstow Bridge or the Pond, and then grab a coffee at Le Pain Quotidien to take with you as you go on a self-guided tour of sculptures in the Park.

American Museum of Natural History - The American Museum of Natural History is located on Central Park West, just across the street from Central Park. This top New York City museum is one of the largest natural history museums in the world and it is comprised of 46 interconnected buildings that house 45 permanent exhibition halls.

5th Avenue - After a day at the American Museum of Natural History, head to the other side of Central Park and a bit south to do some shopping on famous 5th Avenue. Browse inside of the Apple store, pick up a designer outfit at Saks Fifth Avenue and admire the diamonds at Tiffany & Co. If you’re in New York at Christmas time, stay into the evening to see the department store windows dressed in their best holiday decorations.

Day 3 - Lower Manhattan

Wall Street - Explore the Financial District and Wall Street in Lower Manhattan. Wall Street, at the intersection of Wall and Broad Streets, is where the first U.S. Congress met after America won its independence. On the Southwest Corner of Wall and Broad Streets, you’ll find the New York Stock Exchange, a short limestone building that doesn’t have any signage or plaques.

9/11 Memorial & Museum - On any visit to New York, you must plan to spend time at the 9/11 Memorial & Museum. The Memorial & Museum sits on the grounds of the former World Trade Center, which fell during the attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001. A pair of Reflecting Pools sit in the exact location that the Twin Towers sat in and they feature the names of all the victims of the September 11 attacks.

Battery Park - Battery Park has served the City of New York in many ways over the years, beginning in the War of 1812 when it was used as a fort to defend against the British. In the second half of the 19th century, prior to the opening of Ellis Island, it processed immigrants to America. Battery Park will be your gateway to the Statue of Liberty and the Staten Island Ferry. 

This is certainly not an exhaustive list of things you can see and do on a 3-day trip to NYC. These are the highlights that you should include in your itinerary, but feel free to explore each area of Manhattan even more and take some side trips that make your visit to NYC extra special.

This latest article, ‘New York Travel Guide: 3 Day Itinerary for New York City,’ presents you with just a few suggestions on what you can do, see and experience during a 3-day stay in the world's most exciting city. 

You may also enjoy this recent article, 'Guide to Free or Cheap Things to do in New York City.'

When you are ready to book your next visit to New York, see our current Special Offers for the ‘Guaranteed Best Rates’ at our Times Square Hotel or go here to Book Now.

If you are looking for other ‘New York City Things to do’, see our New York Visitors Guide for more inspiration!