Three Days in Manhattan - Travel Itinerary
Where to even begin?!
Recently, I had two friends come for a quick weekend getaway trip and stayed three days in Manhattan.
Their itinerary inspired me to create a travel plan for an ideal trip. If you follow this itinerary, you should be able to get most things crossed off your checklist. This itinerary is a bit fast-paced and packed, so feel free to omit some items off of your own version.
Pack good walking/running shoes - you will walk a lot in NYC, especially compared to many other states where the main transportation is driving, COMFY SHOES IS A MUST!! Don’t bring your wedged little boots, thinking that you want to look cute. No one looks at your feet and if you’re walking 8+ miles a day, you need sneakers :).
Upper East Side, Central Park, Times Square, Rockefeller Center, Fifth Avenue, Midtown East/West, Hell’s Kitchen, Flatiron
Start the day of early at 8 am
If you’re near the West Side, go to BEST BAGEL & COFFEE and if you’re near the East, go to Ess-e-Bagel. Bagels in New York are a must (and I don’t even really like bagels that much) but they are pretty different here compared to bagels from other states. There’s just something about the bread in NYC that makes these bagels so delicious. You can ball out on a salmon bagel if you want, but a normal bagel with smear will do just fine. This is a great inexpensive breakfast to start off your day. Coffee can be purchased at the same shop or you can go to a cafe of your choosing. Good coffee places I recommend are: Joe’s Coffee, Gregory’s Coffee, Blue Bottle Coffee, Prete A Manjer, La Colombe.
Walk to Fifth Avenue and walk north to Central Park
Walking down Fifth Avenue is quite a cultural experience. This is the place where luxury shopping was born in the U.S. and it’s pretty fun to window shop here. There are many stores that are inexpensive and sell more common goods, so the options are plenty. Walk north to Central Park South where you will see the Plaza Hotel and the beginnings of the park.
You can explore the park now or continue walking to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Explore that for a little bit and head to the Guggenheim Museum (it’s right next door across the street) if you are still craving more exhibits. Afterwards, if you haven’t already done so, explore Central Park. I recommend walking to the Bethesda Fountain.
Then either walk, Uber, or train (“train” = subway) back to Rockefeller Center where you can see the 30 Rock Building (note: 30 Rock was not filmed here) and take a tour of NBC Studios or go ice skating in the iconic rink.
Then walk to Times Square which is just a tourist trap, but one that you need to cross off anyways. It’s actually quite magical at night.
Then train down to Flatiron and explore Madison Square Garden (where the original Shake Shack was) and Eataly the Italian-themed grocery store. There’s also a 1 Michelin star KBBQ restaurant called Cote that I highly recommend - no one has gone and not fallen in love yet. You’ll need to make reservations for Cote 1 month in advance of the date you wish to eat there. For those that don’t love KBBQ, it’s not really Korean BBQ but more of a high-end/high-quality steak experience that is severely under-priced.
Financial District, SoHo, Tribeca, Chelsea
I recommend starting your day off at Battery Park and working your way up! Battery Park is at the very tip of Manhattan and from there you can see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island (If you’re short on time, I recommend just seeing it with your eyes from Battery Park instead of visiting it up close because the up close visit takes about 3-5 hours). From Battery Park you can walk up to the 9/11 Memorial and see the Twin Towers memorial. I highly recommend this museum. It is sombering and makes you feel a lot, but gives you a new perspective of New York that is different from what the rest of your trip will be like.
After the 9/11 Memorial, go to the Occulus Mall and take some pics there - the lighting is really good here. Btw, this is the only “mall” in Manhattan - the rest of our shops are on the streets rather than within a contained “mall”.
From there, walk to Tribeca Piers to get a good view of the World Trade Center & FiDi (Financial District) from afar. Then walk to SoHo for shopping. If you love shopping, you’ll want to spend a few hours here. Every brand you can imagine has a little shop here.
Then walk north to Greenwich Village and Washington Square Park. This is home of NYU students, but is also just a great place to see a variety of people chilling at the park.
Feel free to sprinkle in food throughout the day at the restaurant of your choosing.
If you’re still up for the challenge, go to Chelsea Market and The Highline.
East Village, Lower East Side, Greenwich Village
For Day 3, you can explore East Village/Lower East Side which is full of bars, restaurants, dessert places, and small entertainment. There are a lot of comedy shows here as well as intimate concert halls, performance art, and mini art galleries.
Veselka is a popular Polish restaurant with peroigies and Kat’z Deli is a famous sandwich shop for beef stroganauf. Both are 10/10 delicious.
And that’s it - remember, this is just the skeleton and skin for the itinerary. Message me for a more detailed itinerary if you want one!