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New York City in Five Days

Guide for a short trip to New York City

You can easily spend months in New York City and the surrounding boroughs and still not see and experience enough. Here's a list of first-timer sights to see. Try to pick a few things from these lists and not rush too much because you'll be back.

Central Park & Museum Mile

Central Park​

You can easily spend a full day exploring Central Park. Visit the Loeb Boathouse, Central Park Zoo, Bethesda Terrace, and try a bike or walking tour.

The Museum Mile

On the famous 5th Avenue, you'll find eight of the world's best museums:

1. The Metropolitan Museum of Art

2. Solomon Guggenheim Museum

3. El Museo del Barrio

4. Museum of the City of New York

5. Jewish Museum

6. Cooper-Hewitt National Museum of Design

7. National Academy Museum and School of Fine Arts

8. Goethe House German Cultural Center

Not on Museum Mile but should be considered in your museum planning:

1. The Museum of Modern Art

2. The Frick Collection

3. The Morgan Library & Museum

4. Neue Galerie New York

5. National Museum of the American Indian

6. American Museum of Natural History

7. Brooklyn Museum

8. Whitney Museum of American Art

9. Tenement Museum

Midtown & Times Square

Midtown Highlights

Home to the most iconic buildings and neighborhoods in New York, including:

1. Chrysler Building

2. Empire State Building

3. United Nations Headquarters

4. St. Patrick's Cathedral

5. New York Public Library

6. Rockefeller Center and the Top of the Rock viewing deck

7. Radio City Music Hall

8. Grand Central Station

9. Times Square and Broadway

10. Flatiron District

11. Gramercy Park

12. Union Square

13. Hell's Kitchen


So much is in lower Manhattan that it will take a few days to explore the various neighborhoods and sights.

1. Chinatown

2. Little Italy

3. Nolita

4. Lower East Side

-Wall Street

-9/11 Memorial and Museum

-Stone Street

-Tenement Museum

5. Chelsea & The Highline

6. Meatpacking District

7. Greenwich Village & Washington Square Park

8. West Village

9. SoHo

10. Tribeca

11. East Village & Alphabet City

12. Noho

13. Statute of Liberty

Farther down from the rest of downtown, the Statute of Liberty on Ellis Island is accessible by ferry tours. If you want to only see the statute from a distance, the Staten Island Ferry is free and runs frequently.


1. Brooklyn Bridge. If weather permits, walk across.

2. Prospect Park and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden

3. Williamsburg

4. Greenpoint

5. Bushwick

6. Coney Island. Farther out but a perfect experience outside of the city.

Bronx & Harlem

The Bronx

1. New York Botanical Garden

2. The Bronx Zoo

3. For Food: Arthur Avenue, "Little Italy"

Harlem & East Harlem

Explore Harlem and iconic sights like the Apollo Theater and visit East Harlem, known as "el Barrio" for colorful street art and authentic Puerto Rican dishes.


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