Weekend in new York: The ideal 2 Day schedule

Headed to the big Apple and overwhelmed by all the options? read on for a comprehensive guide on how to spend the ideal weekend in new York!

New York is a city of superlatives. It’s the largest in the United States, and the 8 million-plus new Yorkers are fond of calling it the greatest city in the world.

To be fair, they certainly have a case to make. There’s no denying that new York City is one of the most vibrant, diverse, and exciting cities on the planet.

New York is home to so numerous renowned American images that it’s impossible to see it all on a short trip. The Statue of Liberty, Times Square, central Park, Broadway, wall Street, the empire state building — the list goes on and on. With just a weekend in new York, you’ll have to pick and choose.

I’ve been to new York several times throughout my life. From seeing the sights as a kid to ringing in the new Year with my partner and our favorite band, I’ve had some good times in the city.

As I’m a big fan of improvisation, I’ll leave you lots of wiggle room with this new York schedule by giving you plenty of options to choose from.

Let’s get down to company and see what you can get up to with 2 days in new York!

Day 1 in new York
Day 2 in new York
Insider’s suggestions for a weekend trip to new York
Getting to new York
Where to stay For a weekend in new York
Enjoy Your new York City weekend Getaway!

Day 1 in new York

I hope you got some good sleep the night before and I hope you’ve got comfortable walking shoes. It’s going to be a jam-packed weekend in new York.

Day one will be a whirlwind trip of the big Apple that gives you the opportunity to check numerous of the most well-known landmarks off your list. I’ll also offer some interesting detours and make sure to include time to wander and linger when you feel like it.

Before we get going, you ought to probably look into the new York City Explorer Pass. They have several options, all of which save you time and money. Both of these are precious resources on a short new York weekend trip.

I ought to also note that this schedule will focus on Manhattan. With only 2 days in the city, there simply isn’t enough time to venture to the other boroughs. You’ll just have to come back.


I can’t think of a better way to start a new York weekend trip than with a delicious bagel. There should be something in the water, because bagels just taste better here. 

Every new Yorker has their favorite bagel spot, but whatever you do, just skip the chains and make sure it’s a local deli for a much more authentic experience.

Since we’re going to start the schedule off in lower Manhattan, here are two local options for grabbing a bagel and coffee – Leo’s Bagels and Milk & Honey. With a full tummy and a good caffeine buzz, you’re ready to start exploring the city.

Lower Manhattan is where it all began for new York, and in a way for the country. This is where the first Congress gathered to draft the bill of Rights. It’s also where George Washington took the oath of office to become the nation’s first president.

Upon seeing all the skyscrapers, it may be hard to believe that this city began as a easy trading post. This corner of new York City is thought of as the financial center of the world. It’s home to the new York stock Exchange, the epicenter of capitalism. 

With just a weekend in new York, you’ll want to make the most of your time. That’s why I recommend jumping on a walking trip for your first morning. It guarantees you’ll waste less time getting lost and will learn much more about the city.

There are a million and one options for walking trips of lower Manhattan. totally free trips by Foot has quite a few, including their 3-hour downtown Manhattan Tour. It covers a lot of ground, including SoHo, little Italy, and Chinatown. 

As with other totally free tours, these are donation-based. Be sure to show your guide some love if you delighted in the tour, which I’m sure you will! They also have some amazing audio trips that you can use if you choose a diy approach.

Whether you do a walking trip or not, it’s worth it to check out Battery Park. From here you can catch a peek of one of the most renowned American images — the Statue of Liberty.

For many, heading to the lady liberty is a must-do. If that’s you, you’ll want to sign up for this tour. 

For those like me who choose to avoid long lines and entrance tickets, you can just hop on the Staten Island ferry. It’s completely totally free and offers some terrific views of both the Statue of liberty and the lower Manhattan skyline.

Just be aware that choosing either of those options will take up your entire morning. Time is not on your side with only 2 days in new York!


There’s still a lot of ground to cover, so I recommend choosing a quick lunch. That implies it’s time to get a slice of classic new York style pizza (which is completely different from the Chicago deep dish!). 

It’s not hard to find a pizza joint in Manhattan, but the last thing you want to do is have a disappointing slice in NYC. You can’t go wrong with Joe’s Pizza, which has been referred to as the “quintessential slice.”

From there, it’s just a quick walk to the next stop — the One world trade Center. This 1,776-foot tall building is the tallest in the country, built after the horrific events of September 11th, 2001. This is where you’ll find the 9/11 Memorial and Museum.

Where the twin Towers once stood, there are now two reflecting pools. surrounding them are plaques with all of the names of those who passed away in both the 1993 and 2001 attacks on the world trade center. 

While the memorial is totally free to visit, you’ll need a ticket for the museum. Click here to pick one up that allows you to skip the line. If you’d rather just purchase your entrance ticket, click here to do so. 

If it’s a good sunny day in the city, your next stop ought to be Rockefeller Park. It’s a terrific place to sit and reflect on the mournful experience of going to the 9/11 memorial. You can also soak in the views of the Hudson River and delight in some quality people-watching.

After a busy day of exploring the big Apple, it’s good to rest your exhausted feet and make a game plan for the evening.


How you spend your first evening in nyc depends on what you’re into. Some may want to make a reservation at one of the city’s world-class restaurants, while others will be content eating a street vendor hot dog!

You can literally find cuisine from all corners of the globe here. new York really is a foodie’s dream come true. 

What I will do is agree with Johnny T and what he says in a funny video giving suggestions for tourists. If you can find a place in your hometown, don’t go there in new York! skip the bland chain restaurants, try something new, and make sure it’s local.

This video is a must-watch for any first-time visitors to NYC, by the way. 

New York is known as the “City That never Sleeps,” so you’ve got numerous options for nightlife. I’m assuming you’ll be a bit exhausted after that epic day and actually really want to get some sleep.

You can sleep when you’re dead, though. No rest for the weary on a weekend in new York! Summon that 3rd wind and power through for at least a few much more hours.

The world really is your oyster on a weekend in new York. You can go salsa dancing, drink in a hidden speakeasy, hit a comedy club, see an underground punk band — the list goes on and on. 

My best guidance for your first night in new York is to do something you love. For me, that’s seeing live music, and there’s plenty of it in NYC! check the calendar on Jambase to see who’s playing when you’re in town.

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Day 2 in new York

It’s time for another busy day — a new York schedule in 2 days is possible, but it’s busy!


“Morning” implies different things to different people, especially on a new York weekend trip. The go-getters among us can get a leisurely breakfast while the hungover folks struggle to get out of bed.

I personally don’t think I’ve stepped outside before midday on any trip to nyc in my adult life. My technique is typically to find the nearest local cafe for a cup of coffee and a quick bite to eat.

If you’re into the whole brunch thing, there’s no shortage of places where it’s perfectly acceptable to dine with sunglasses on while nursing a Bloody Mary.

However you choose to get your day going, eventually make your way over to central Park. It’s pretty hard to miss — it’s that enormous green space on the map smack dab in the middle of the city.

There’s so much going on in and around the park that you could easily spend your entire day there. If you want to go that route, I fully support your decision. 

Central Park really is huge, so you might want some wheels to help you get around. You can rent a bike for two hours for just $7.50 and explore at your own leisure. There’s also a terrific 2-hour bike trip of the park with a local guide if you want to get much more out of your visit.

Spending the entire morning out in the park is terrific when it’s a good day. It’s not so good when it’s raining or freezing cold. If mother nature isn’t on your side, never fear. There are plenty of ways to spend a morning indoors.

New York is home to some absolutely amazing museums, several of which are located best by central Park. There’s the Metropolitan museum of Art, which features one of the greatest art collections on the planet. Click here to book your ticket and skip the line.

Just a stone’s throw away is the Guggenheim — a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed building full of modern and contemporary art. get your ticket in advancement for just $25.


One of the best things about spending a couple of days in new York is just wandering around the city’s numerous distinct neighborhoods.

Check out the architecture, do some window shopping, pop into a local bar for a drink, and just see where the wind takes you.

Some terrific places for this include Greenwich Village, the lower east Side, and Chelsea. My personal recommendation on a weekend in new York goes to the latter.

Hop on the subway or hop in a cab and make your way to the Chelsea Market. This is the ideal place to get a snack or a cup of coffee before continuing on your way. For the consumers among us, you may decide to linger a bit to peruse the offerings.

Chelsea is also home to the beautiful High Line, an elevated park built on a former railroad line. It was saved from the wrecking ball by identified residents and is now a fascinating place to experience nature, art, and design in the city. 

There’s nothing wrong with exploring Chelsea on your own, but you’ll get a lot much more out of it with a local guide. check out this amazing experience that trips both the market and the High Line — including food! 


At the end of a busy weekend in new York, a sunset cruise is a terrific option for a casual evening. This outstanding champagne sunset trip departs from the Chelsea Piers.

For those who choose to stay on land, the Frying pan is the ideal spot for dinner and drinks with a view.

Once again, I’m going to recommend you do whatever is going to make you happy. It may be cliche, but there really is something for everyone in NYC!

If you’re a sports fan, catching a game ought to be on your weekend in new York itinerary. The city is home to several teams in all professional sports as well as numerous minor league teams.

Both the Knicks (NBA) and Rangers (NHL) play in Madison Square Garden, which is known as the “World’s many well-known Arena.” catching a game or a concert there is a must-do experience in NYC.

If you’re much more into the performing arts, I recommend catching a show on Broadway. There are so numerous different shows every night of the week so it shouldn’t be hard to find something. Tickets can be difficult to get and expensive, though.

Check out the funny site Broadway for Broke people to find information on deals. We used their suggestions to score standing room tickets to book of Mormon for only $30 and had an absolute blast. I’ve never laughed so hard in my entire life!

It’s a bit too touristy and kitschy for me personally, but I know a lot of people have Times Square on their list. Go ahead and join the throngs of people under the neon glow of constant billboards and take a selfie with Spiderman.

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