A friend was visiting New York just for one day and asked me what he can do within a day not spending a lot of money. Let me share what I told him to do during his One Day In New York. As I was out of town and didn’t have much time it’s just a quick rudimentary list. I promise to write up an extensive New York Travel Guide on day in the future:
#1: Big Bus Sightseeing Tour
A Hop On Hop Off Sightseeing Tour, like Big Bus, is one of the best ways to start your trip!
This classic Hop On Hop Off bus tour includes loops of downtown, midtown, and uptown Manhattan.
Every Big Bus double-decker bus features live narration by a professional guide, so you’ll learn all about the city’s history, culture, and more while your guide directs your attention to famous landmarks along the way.
#2: Empire State Building
Visit New York City’s most iconic building, the Empire State Building, and experience a New York City landmark.
With a newly renovated Art Deco lobby, the historical Dare to Dream exhibit, and the Sustainability Exhibit, a visit to the Empire State Building offers more than just an impressive view (though that alone makes a visit worth the trip!). You’ll learn all about the historical and cultural significance of the Empire State Building, including its importance as a beacon of hope during a time of despair for the American economy.
When you make it up to the 86th-floor observatory, you’ll get spectacular views of downtown Manhattan and the water–you won’t find better photo opportunities than this.
Estimating how much time this will take can be tricky, as your entrance is determined by security and elevator lines. Going this early in the day, however, should limit the time you have to wait. Plan to spend between 30-40 minutes at the top.
#3: Chelsea Market
Spend an hour or so in one of the most popular local shopping areas – Chelsea Market. Filled with everything from crafty shops to local food joints and more, you’ll find everything you could ever imagine wanting at this place.
It’s a great neighborhood resource that most travelers don’t know about, so you’ll get a good taste of NYC food culture without the expense of a five star restaurant. Be sure to try some of their French pastries and cheese – a specialty.
#3: High Line Park
A rehabilitated stretch of elevated railroad track, the High Line spans about a mile and a half of Manhattan’s airspace in the Lower West Side.
Today this park is filled with beautiful greenery (with a particular focus on native species) and even some wild creatures. The High Line also hosts special events like stargazing and horticulturist-led tours.
#4: 9/11 Memorial and Museum
If you only have one day in NYC, then your last attraction should definitely be the 9/11 Memorial and Museum.
This poignant memorial to the tragic events of September 11, 2001 is compelling and informative, and is one of the most popular museums in all of New York right now.
In the Museum, explore multiple exhibit galleries that retell the story of the time before, during, and after the attacks, remember the lives lost in the 1993 bombing and the 2001 attacks, and preserve relics that remain from the destruction of the Twin Towers.
The exterior Memorial is striking, too, with its signature water features and light displays.
To round the day up have Dinner at Carmine’s
This famous Italian eatery serves only the best authentic cuisine in a bustling environment in the Times Square / Theater District area.
Everyone will love the hearty, delicious dishes lovingly crafted by top Italian chefs. You can’t leave NYC without trying Carmine’s!