Perfect 2-Days Itinerary for New York First Timers

New York City

New York is one of the most iconic cities in the world and the one you for sure should see.

It can be just a short stay due to the flight with a connection through one of New York’s airports or a weekend trip.

Of course, it is very hard to explore such a big city just in a couple of days so we’ve decided to choose some of the best places you can observe just in 2 days.

Using our guide, you’ll be able to visit some of the most significant places in the Big Apple.

NYC is one of the largest cities in the world that consists of Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, Staten Island, and of course Manhatten.

The last one is the most famous borough of New York City that is known for its skyline, shops, and attractions.

Considering the size of the city, there are thousands of great places to visit.

To save your time and strength we’ve gathered some great destinations and grouped them according to their location so you can save time on transportation.


Subway is the most popular and the most effective way to mover around New Your City.

It means that the first thing you should do is to buy NYC subway tickets for two days.

In the next two days, they will be very important for you as due to numerous traffic jams it is a real nightmare to drive around the city.

10 AM: Staten Island Ferry Trip

Staten Island Ferry
Staten Island Ferry

The Staten Island Ferry is an absolutely free option as well as a great way to get from Manhattan to Staten Island and back.

It navigates right near the Statue of Liberty and provides its passengers with an incredible view of the NY skyline.

The ferry operates 7 days a week 24 hours a day and runs between Staten Island’s St. George Ferry Terminal and the Whitehall Ferry Terminal in Manhattan.

One other great point is that there is a food concession on the ferry so you can enjoy your morning coffee while taking a ride.

11 AM: Lower Manhattan Exploration

Lower Manhattan
Lower Manhattan

There are three main areas on the island of Manhattan.

Start to explore the island from South to North and don’t miss Downtown that comprises the south of 14th street.

Visiting lower Manhattan, make sure to attend such places as the Financial District, Chinatown, Greenwich Village, Tribeca Little Italy, and SoHo.

2 PM: Brooklyn

Brooklyn Bridge
Brooklyn Bridge

Take a walk through the Brooklyn Beach and head to another area of New York City – Brooklyn.

According to locals, Brooklyn is home for everyone and it is clear from first sight as local cultural diversity is absolutely incredible.

Brooklyn is known as the most indie area in the city.

The reason is that most youngsters move from Manhattan in a search of lower rents and fewer tourists.

Visiting Brooklyn, there are three areas that you for sure should see:

  • DUMBO is full of art galleries and has great views of the East River.
  • Williamsburg is the trendiest area with boutique hotels, galleries, vintage shops, cafes, bars, and restaurants.
  • Greenpoint is a favorite place of hipsters so it has become a sort of Williamsburg’s extension.

6 PM: Midtown Manhattan

Midtown Manhattan
Midtown Manhattan

Midtown Manhattan is the area between 14th and 59th streets where Central Park begins.

Going to Midtown, make sure to visit such places as Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen, Theater District, and other neighborhoods.

It is easy to explore the area on foot as the streets are grid-shaped and numbered.

It is better to start your walk at Union Square and walk along Broadway.

Taking this route, you’ll be able to see Madison Square Park, Flatiron Building and a bunch of other architectural masterpieces.

After it, go through the musical area and head to Times Square.

Times Square
Times Square

Following our guide, you’ll be able to get at Times Square exactly at the time when the lights are switched on and the area shines and sparks.


10 AM: High Line

New York street
New York street

The next day, first of all, drop your bags at luggage storage.

After it, you can enjoy how the wakes up from the High Line.

After exploring the area on foot, it’s time to look for a place to have your breakfast.

The best options can be found in the Meatpacking District.

The great point is that there are not only some great restaurants but also the Whitney Museum of American Art and the views from the rooftop of The Standard.

12 AM: Uptown Manhattan

The Northernmost part of Manhattan includes the Upper East Side, the Upper West Side, as well as Harlem and some other areas.

The streets in the area are well-organized and numbered according to a linear layout so it is very easy to navigate through the area.

The most popular destination in the area is, of course, Central Park that is known as a central lung of the island as well as the largest city park in the world.

2 PM: Central Park

If you want to explore Central Park, you need to start from its southeastern corner that is between 59th street and 5th avenue.

After crossing the Gapstown Bridge, walk through the park’s main promenade that is also known as the Mall.

It is the place where vendors and artists gather.

Right after the Mall, there are Bethesda Terrace and Fountain.

After it, there are two options you can choose from.

The first one is to explore the Conservatory Water and the Alice in Wonderland statue.

The second one is to enjoy the view of the lake from the cheesy Bow Bridge.

All Beatles fans should visit Strawberry Fields where the tribute to John Lennon is located.

6 PM: Rooftop Views

Rooftop View
Rooftop View

When your time to New York comes to its end, it is time to take some of the most incredible photos and enjoy a stunning view.

You need to climb to one of the viewpoints of NYC before leaving it.

You can head to the Empire State Building or the Top of the Rock in the Rockefeller building.

It is a perfect opportunity to absorb the view of Manhattan and surrounding areas from the heights.

Believe us, it is something that you’ll remember for the rest of your life.

Central Park
Central Park

Even if your time in New York will stretch a little, you can just follow this guide at a slower pace.

In any case, take the time you have and enjoy your stay in the Big Apple.

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