Getting around NYC can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. By choosing a hotel that’s within a reasonable walking distance of the subway (or other forms of public transport), you can save money and time by not having to take taxis.

Definitely make the time to pay your respects at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. This is a powerful and moving experience that everyone should see.

Day 1

The first day of your 4 days in New York is all about dipping into Manhattan’s famous cultural offerings. We recommend starting your trip with one of New York’s world-renowned museums, such as the Met or Natural History Museum (book a skip-the-line pass to save time and money).

Alternatively, if you’re a history buff, the New York Public Library is another must-see, especially since it has the iconic lion statues that everyone takes photos with. After the museum, stroll through Bryant Park and take a moment to relax in this central NYC spot.

Next, head over to Hudson Yards to check out two of the newest and most Instagrammable spots in New York City: Vessel, which is a 154-story honeycomb-shaped structure, and the High Line, which is a mile long elevated park with dazzling skyline views.

Don’t forget to stop by a New York favorite: the infamous Shake Shack. This burger joint is better than In-N-Out any day, and it’s definitely a must-visit for any burger fanatic!

As you continue on your walking tour, make sure to keep an eye out for the Brooklyn Bridge. Once you cross over, you’ll be in Dumbo, or, as the locals call it, Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass (New Yorkers love acronyms).

For a final highlight of your first day in New York, walk over to the Empire State Building. There isn’t a more iconic skyscraper in the whole city, so be sure to take a few minutes out of your day to say hello to this stunning structure. To be in a better mood, cleaning your home in the New Year is a good way to start the year.

Day 2

It’s time to hit the streets of Manhattan on day two of your NYC itinerary. Start by strolling past the Flatiron Building—the city’s famous triangular skyscraper that is a must-see for visitors. You’ll find yourself staring up at it in awe, especially as you walk its narrowest point that’s just 6.5 feet wide!

Afterward, take in a classic New York attraction: the Statue of Liberty. You’ll need to arrive pretty early here if you want your own, other-people-free photo in front of the iconic statue, since it gets packed with tourists as soon as the sun rises. You’ll also want to check out nearby Madison Square Park, where you can see the iconic Flatiron Building.

On your way to Fifth Avenue, you’ll pass through the famous shopping street, where high-end boutiques line the sidewalks and famous attractions like Rockefeller Center—a must-visit during the holidays for its huge Christmas tree and ice-skating rink—are located. Make sure to check out Union Square, where you can stop by the famous Strand Bookstore if you’re a bibliophile (or simply want to see a unique NYC landmark).

If you’re hungry for a quick bite to eat, head to one of the many Instagram-worthy cafes that dot the city’s neighborhoods. You’ll find a lot of options here, from froyo and cookie dough to mini kebabs and even a rainbow-colored shake! Just be sure to note that a surprising number of these spots are cash-only.

Day 3

If you’re based in or around Midtown (and we really think you should be, see our where to stay guide for recommendations) your day will start with a pleasant stroll through one of NYC’s most surprising and chilled out places – the High Line. A former elevated rail line, it’s now a park in the sky where you can walk past native plants and trees while admiring the amazing architecture that surrounds it.

From here you’ll make your way to Rockefeller Center, home to stores like Lego and Nintendo as well as the famous ice-skating rink in winter. Then it’s time to take in some mind-blowing NYC views from the 100th, 101st and 102nd stories of the newly opened One World Observatory.

You’ll probably have to battle some crowds, but we guarantee you’ll be glad you made the effort. After all, the skyline of NYC is like no other, and there’s no better way to appreciate it than from the highest point in the city.

Next stop on your 3-day New York City itinerary will be Wall Street, the financial hub of the US that you’ll have seen in hundreds of Hollywood movies and TV shows. But be careful, New Yorkers move fast and don’t appreciate people stopping in the middle of the sidewalk, so just step to one side if you need to take photos or check your map.

Your last stop of the day should be in Manhattan’s Theater District for a Broadway show. Be sure to book ahead, though, as many of the best shows sell out months in advance. Luckily, there are plenty of affordable options in the city’s famous theater district, including Hamilton, Chicago, The Book of Mormon and Aladin.

Day 4

There’s a lot to see and do in NYC, so if you have the time, try to squeeze a few extra activities into your 4 days. Some ideas for this day:

Take a bus or train ride to Brooklyn and visit Williamsburg, one of New York’s most popular neighborhoods. This trendy ‘hood has lots of bars, restaurants, and views of Manhattan’s skyline. It’s also the home of Smorgasburg, a food-like festival that’s open Saturdays (closed in winter).

The Brooklyn Bridge is a must-see during your visit, and you can walk across it to admire the view from the other side. You’ll be able to see the Freedom Tower, Empire State Building, and Brooklyn Heights.

A trip to New York wouldn’t be complete without stopping at a famous bagel shop. You can’t go wrong with a classic lox and cream cheese bagel. But if that’s not your thing, there are plenty of other options to choose from, including poppy seed, cinnamon raisin, or a salty salmon with cream cheese bagel.

If you’re planning to see a Broadway show during your stay, consider having dinner in the Theater District on this day. Restaurants like Urban HAWKER, Capizzi, and Victor’s Cafe are all great choices for a pre-theatre meal.

New York is a city that’s always changing-restaurants, storefronts, and fads come and go at an incredibly fast pace. If you plan to see a museum, try to limit it to two or three so you don’t feel exhausted by the end of your NYC trip.

You could also take a cruise on the Hudson River to enjoy beautiful views of the city and eat a delicious dinner at the same time. This is a cool activity to do with a group of friends or even your significant other, and it’s perfect for sunset viewing.

Day 5

A lifetime in New York wouldn’t be enough to see everything this city has to offer-but a short trip can still have a huge impact. In this New York itinerary, you’ll find top things to do, yummy places to eat, super fun tours and tips for additional activities that can fill in your free days.

Begin your day with a walk over the Brooklyn Bridge. It’s a popular attraction, but you’ll have a much more peaceful experience if you arrive early before the crowds begin to gather. After your stroll, make your way to the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building, which are both incredibly impressive skyscrapers. Then head over to the 9/11 Museum, which is an extremely moving activity that will help you better understand what the people of New York are so proud of. It’s a bit somber, but you should visit it regardless of what your emotions are like.

You can also spend your afternoon walking through historic neighborhoods and soaking in culture via books, movies, and art. Or you can get some epic skyline views of Manhattan at the High Line, a modern park built on abandoned train tracks.

For a night out on the town, you can check out a comedy show at one of New York’s many clubs or attend Sleep No More, an immersive theatre experience based on Macbeth. If you prefer something more intimate, you could also catch a performance by an up-and-coming musical artist at the Apollo Theater.

If you’re looking to see a Broadway show, the theater district is located in Times Square. This is where you’ll find productions such as Hamilton, Lion King, Phantom of the Opera, and Wicked. You can also visit the New York Public Library for a fun, historic experience or try some of the trendy microbreweries that are popping up around the city.