Strolling through movie sets, contemplating New York from the heights or enjoying a gastronomy of mixtures and contrasts are just some of the many activities you can do and see in New York.
Whether you have already visited the city, or if you are a repeat visitor because you fell in love at first sight, you will know that you have to get organized, since the possibilities are endless if you only have two days.
But don't worry! You will discover with what I am about to tell you that, if you invest your time well, you will return from your trip with your dream come true. Let's get started!
1. Best of the Big Apple Day: From Times Square to 5th Avenue
Start your day with energy in Times Square
Start the morning, grab a coffee to go and take in one of the most vibrant sensory spectacles. In this mythical square, nerve center and place of passage of thousands of people, you can enjoy from one of the steps of its famous red staircase, the real New York atmosphere.
Let yourself be amazed by its dozens of LED screens or amused by some unique characters that you will find in costume. Times Square is the place of a thousand selfies and you won't want to leave without taking yours.
Climb the Empire State Building to get the best views
A pleasant stroll down Broadway will take you to one of New York's must-see attractions that is part of the **city'**s skyline: the Empire State Building. Who doesn't have the image of this architectural icon in their head?
But undoubtedly, what will leave you speechless, will be to climb the Empire State, specifically to its 86th floor. Nothing like being able to see the whole city in 360º and enjoy the American dream at your feet, with a myriad of skyscrapers that will make you feel like an ant. By the way, you should know that you can also climb the Empire State Building at night, so if it's a cloudy day, postpone this great plan for sunset.
A tip to avoid wasting time? Don't run out of tickets, book online and save the line to climb the Empire State Building.
Walk along Fifth Avenue
Just around the corner from the Empire you will find the famous Fifth Avenue. A New York City classic is crossing this commercial artery that will leave you speechless. Of course, it is not for all budgets but, without a doubt, strolling down the most famous street in New York is one of the first things you should do as soon as you set foot in the city.
Its cosmopolitan atmosphere and its connection to Manhattan's main points of interest such as St. Patrick's Cathedral or Rockefeller Center make Fifth Avenue the favorite place for visitors to get to know the must-see places in Manhattan. Indulging yourself is up to you, but remember it's only the first day.
A stop for lunch in the trendy new neighborhood
And just when you thought you knew everything about New York, they go and build an entire neighborhood on the west side of Manhattan, Hudson Yards.
Before we get to the highlights, let's make a technical stop for lunch at one of the most famous places for having the seal of the renowned and award-winning Spanish chef Jose Andres: Little Spain Market. You'll also find other interesting culinary options at The Shops and Restaurants at Hudson Yards shopping mall.
Hudson Yards Highlights
Hudson Yards is one of the recommended points of interest to investigate, whether you know the city or if it's your first time.
A neighborhood that is expected to be completed in a few years, where you can go inside to admire The Vessel, a beehive-shaped sculpture that will not leave you indifferent with its crisscrossing stairs, or climb The Edge, the highest open observatory in the Western Hemisphere, a vertiginous experience!
It's time for a great burger dinner.
To talk about hamburgers is to talk about America. You can find multiple options to savor a delicious Cheeseburger.
At Burger Joint you will find a variety at a very affordable price. Another icon for burger lovers is the legendary Five Guys; although you may already know it, as it is a chain of restaurants that is already installed in Spain, enjoy the original ones in a place like New York is an experience you can not miss. And if you want all the flavor in a cozier atmosphere, I invite you to get to know Napkin-Burgers. Undoubtedly, an experience that you can repeat at any time of your trip.
Anyway, here is a list of the best places to eat in New York in case you want to explore other options.
2. Manhattan to Brooklyn Day
Start by boarding a ferry to the Statue of Liberty
If you were jet lagged yesterday, wake up early - what could be more exciting to start the day than visiting the quintessential symbol of New York! The lady originally greeted the immigrants who came to seek a living on the new continent and today is the banner that continues to admire every visitor who wants to approach Liberty Island.
There are several options to enjoy this unforgettable experience, although it is true that everyone wants to get close to see it, so I recommend you get up early to take a ferry to Liberty Island from Battery Park.
If you feel like it, you can also visit the nearby Ellis Island, but the best advice I can give you is to book your ticket in advance to the Statue ofLiberty (some include transportation and a guided tour) so you don't miss the majestic Statue of Liberty.
Cross the Brooklyn Bridge
One of the most famous bridges in the world and one that you will have seen in movies hundreds of times, is the Brooklyn Bridge, which connects the borough with Manhattan. Any time of the day is a good time to take a walk over this suspension bridge from which you can't stop taking pictures. The Manhattan skyline is impressive from this perspective.
You will feel like a real superhero like Spiderman, but without webs to climb, just taking time to enjoy the unforgettable scenery at the foot of the Big Apple.
A stop for lunch and a view of the Manhattan skyline from DUMBO
And after a morning full of experiences, I suggest you try the best pizza in New York in Brooklyn. Just under the Brooklyn Bridge, at 1 Front Street, you'll find Grimaldi's, and your mouth is watering! Looking for other options? Take note of where to eat in Brooklyn.
After satisfying your palate, I suggest a leisurely stroll to see all that Brooklyn has to offer and visit DUMBO, a bohemian and artistic neighborhood where you can enjoy the most modern design next to the sober industrial architecture. To finish the tour, what better than taking a picture from Washington Street with the skyscrapers in the background of the Big Apple.
To close the day, experience a heart-stopping evening with the NBA live
And to end the day, you're in for a real treat: an NBA game in New York. It's not just a basketball game, it's a real spectacle for young and old alike. It's pure emotion that will make you feel like an American supporting the team of your choice, even if you have no idea what's going on.
3. Day A city of contrasts: Harlem, Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn
Discover, as the first option of the day, the surroundings of Manhattan with a Contrasts tour
A new day, a new experience. Today I recommend you to get out of Manhattan and experience the contrasts of New York with the famous contrasts tour that runs from Brooklyn to the Bronx, passing through Queens, and that will immerse you in the culture, history and architecture of New York.
- Learn about the history of Harlem and its typical "Brownstone Houses".
- Marvel at Yankee Stadium, New York's famous baseball team.
- Photograph the most famous graffiti in the Bronx.
- And see Queens County, the largest and most multicultural county in all of New York City, among many other things...
Wlliamsburg, Brooklyn, is not just the Jewish Quarter
Speaking of contrasts, Williamsburg is also the hipster neighborhood. This neighborhood with an industrial profile is full of street art, young people, signature stores and boutique restaurants. If you were left wanting more on your walk through Brooklyn yesterday, take advantage of the contrasts tour to explore and discover Williamsburg, its cafes and vintage stores.
Fancy a brunch?
The cafes of Williamsburg are an essential stop to enjoy a delicious brunch and different types of international cuisine.
At Cafe Mogador you can try delicious Moroccan and Mediterranean dishes in a cozy atmosphere.
A leisurely tour of the Jewish Quarter
And from the hipster area I invite you to walk through New York's Jewish Quarter, an area where you can observe the customs of Orthodox Jews with humility and austerity.
Close the night with a cocktail on a rooftop with a view
You can't miss the opportunity to experience New York's nightlife in the city that never sleeps. Can you imagine being able to enter the most outstanding clubs in the city and enjoy a delicious cocktail while listening to live music and enjoying the best views of the city?
Just choose your favorite from this list of the best rooftops in New York. Chin chin!
4. Harlem Day and Central Park
Start the day listening to gospel mass in Harlem
The best way to get a taste of Harlem culture is to attend a live gospel mass at a local church in the district. There are different options to visit the neighborhood away from the skyscrapers depending on your availability.
That's why I advise you to take the Harlem tour with gospel mass and let yourself be carried away in unison by the dozens of voices of the congregation. A unique experience to remember.
An afternoon bike ride in Central Park
Today is the day to enjoy New York's largest urban park without limits and take advantage of all there is to see and do in Central Park.
Rent a bike, spread out the picnic tablecloth and contemplate nature and the colors characteristic of the time of year you are in. More than 4 kilometers to enjoy calmly, breathe fresh air and, why not, do some sport. This is undoubtedly one of the best parks in New York.
5. Culture Day: The best museums and art in abundance
A must-see to start the day: MoMA
The Museum of Modern Art in New York is home to some of the world's most iconic artists such as Picasso, Warhol, Van Gogh, Dalí and Miró. Get your MoMA tickets in advance to save time and money and immerse yourself in a colorful and designer universe.
The duration of the visit can last as long as you are passionate about modern art. You decide!
Stroll along the Upper East Side and visit the Museum of Natural History
After the visit to the MoMa, you will head to the most chic and expensive neighborhood of New York, with Madison Avenue and its designer stores or Barney's, a luxurious shopping mall divided half for men and half for women.
I recommend you to have lunch at the Sfoglia restaurant, among the many options you have in this neighborhood. Of course, the classic style of the establishments predominates in this residential area of neighbors with high purchasing power.
And if you still want more, I invite you to visit one of the best natural science museums in the world, the American Museum of Natural History. Whether you go to New York with children or not, you will have a great time, almost as much fun as the protagonists of the movie "Night at the Museum".
To end the day, take a night cruise on the Hudson to see the lights of New York City
The New York night has its charm on land, but if we're talking about enjoying DJs and a delicious buffet while sailing on a yacht on the Hudson and East Rivers..., there's no better way to end the day! There are several options (and budgets for all budgets).
Some of the best Hudson River cruises include dinners are more premium and require black tie attire. Others are more casual and will still allow you to enjoy the views while enjoying a buffet dinner. The choice is yours!
6. New York Day at the Movies
Get ready to start your day with a movie and series tour in New York City
New York is a city of movies, but you already know that. You have in your retina hundreds of memories of scenes that have made you cry, laugh, get scared and above all dream.
This is the time to stop time and let yourself be carried away by the city to discover the best locations of movies and series filmed in New York. You'll find hidden treasures and take movie photos!
In the afternoon visit Ground Zero and the Financial District
You'll recognize New York's Financial District as soon as you arrive by the businessmen in suits hurrying through the streets. Stop for a bite to eat at one of the many fast food places lining the streets.
On the way to Ground Zero you can stop to watch the New York Stock Exchange or pet the famous buffalo for good luck.
If you want to get caught up in the excitement, you can't miss a visit to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, the site of the towering Twin Towers.
If you are in the area, don't miss the new Oculus, full of stores inside and where thanks to its incredible design you can play with your camera for a while.
End the day with your favorite musical on Broadway
And why did you decide to travel to New York? Well, among many things you dream of seeing your favorite musical in the mecca of musicals, on Broadway.
The Lion King, Aladdin, Phantom of the Opera or Wicked are just some of the examples that await you this season in New York. Don't know which one to choose? Check out this list of the best Broadway musicals.
7. Day Take a bite of the Big Apple
A delightful stroll along the High Line and Greenwich Village
What if I tell you that there is an urban garden where you can walk along the old train tracks...? Yes, it's true, the High Line is real and it is a very pleasant walk.
A route of about two and a half miles that mixes art and nature with large rest areas until you reach the Meatpacking District in Greenwich Village.
Enjoy the flavors of Chelsea Market
There's nothing better to eat than a trip to Chelsea Market for a delicious bite of whatever you're in the mood for. Don't miss the market's specialty, seafood.
Before leaving, take home a gastronomic souvenir, such as a good bottle of wine or a delicious sweet that make this place a highly recommended place.
An entertaining afternoon in Chinatown
Getting lost in Chinatown is one of my favorite things to do in New York. The endless market stalls and bazaars will make you feel like you're far away from the city, but it's definitely an experience. If you feel like eating or buying something to eat, these are the best places to eat in Chinatown, although I recommend that you save room in your stomach for the night.
In general, in Chinatown you can find all kinds of objects and accessories at very cheap prices. Do not miss the famous Canal Street imitations, noise and bustle combined with the art of bargaining.
Mamma mia! The best of Little Italy awaits you for dinner
As soon as you start to see, on the edge of Chinatown, checkered tablecloths and feel the Italian atmosphere... Stop, you've arrived in Little Italy. Try the delicious cannelloni at Da Gennaro and, since no one is bitter for a sweet, you can't miss their famous Cannoli.
8. Day It's time to go shopping
A sweet start to the day at Magnolia Bakery
Today you woke up with the inspiration of a star of the legendary Sex and the City series and you feel like having a cupcake at Magnolia Bakery with a cup of strong coffee to let everyone know that today is your shopping day.
SOHO and West Village: shopping paradise
Explore the designer stores in the SOHO neighborhood and visit the most exclusive New York rooftop with breathtaking views and a great atmosphere.
Stroll through the beautiful Washington Square Park with its symbolic triumphal arch, to end up immersed in the magical streets of the West Village. On Bleecker Street you will find numerous must-see places such as the Friends apartment building.
Did you say Outlet? Run, we're leaving!
I recommend you to go straight to spend the afternoon at Woodbury Commons, the best outlet in New York. There, you can choose to eat at one of several typical American chain restaurants such as McDonald's, Starbucks, Shake Shack and Chipotle.
Another option is to take something to eat in your backpack so as not to waste time and have dinner there when you have finished your shopping. Enjoy the best brands and discounts of up to 50% and 70%.
9. Day A unique experience
Flying over the Big Apple
You woke up with so much energy that on your last day you want to do something special. Well, I give you an idea that will make you as excited as adrenaline in your body.
Take a helicopter ride over the city of New York, it is a dream that you can make reality and that you will always remember on your return and you will want to tell about it. Different prices for all budgets and different itineraries await you.
Climbing the SUMMIT, another alternative to see New York from above
If the helicopter is not your thing, there is a skyscraper you can't miss. The recently opened SUMMIT One Vanderbilt has one of the most original views of the city. Why? Among other things, because of its architecture, its design and its almost 360º panoramic view.
If you do not have vertigo, the glass floor will surprise you and I assure you that, in addition to providing you with incredible photos, it will leave you with one of the most special memories of this trip. Of course, get your tickets in advance because there will be a waiting list.
Get off the beaten tourist track
A good plan for your last afternoon in New York is to visit one of the 10 secret places and other original plans that you can't miss before you leave. Did you know that you can enjoy authentic waterfalls without leaving the city by going to parks like Greenacre Park? Shhh... it's a secret!
10. Day The city you'll always want to come back to
It's time to say Bye and what better way than to shout it to the four winds from the heights of the Top of the Rock. It will be your moment, a magical moment, an image to remember. I recommend going up first thing in the morning to avoid queues. And then? Personally I love to return to that special place that I liked the most in the city on the last day of my trip, but if this is not your case, here are some other options.
Other museums that will win you over
I recommend you to go back to Central Park when you go down from the Top of the Rock to get to the Museum of the City of New York. In addition to enjoying its exhibitions, the fun store inside is the ideal place to complete the last purchases you have pending before ending your trip. And speaking of shopping, do not miss the article of the best things to buy in New York and review the list before leaving the city.
And as you still have time left, another museum that you will love: Madame Tussaud's, better known as the wax museum of New York. During your trip you have discovered the city and its customs, but with this visit you will also have the opportunity to meet the personalities that make New York New York, plus, of course, celebrities of international stature.
A farewell in style
If the experience of seeing New York from above has been one of your favorites, I have the last day plan you need. I have just the last day plan you need: the Roosevelt Island cable car. Located in the Upper East Side neighborhood, also near Central Park, it will offer you the views that will stick in your memory and make you want to come back again and again to New York.
Finally, here are the 10 best places to eat in New York, so you can come back with the best possible taste in your mouth. The city that never sleeps will be waiting for you with open arms when you want to come back.
Get the New York Pass to save on attraction tickets
Plan your trip by getting one of the following sightseeing passes and take advantage of two of the most important things when visiting a city - save money, but also time!
Use the sightseeing bus for more convenience on the go
More than 30 stops for you to visit the most important points of interest in New York on an open top bus at your own pace. The best tourist buses in New York make it easy for you not to waste time on your travels.
Get a transit pass to save time and money
If you plan to move around by subway or bus, since there are many days in the city, you can buy the MetroCard at any subway station in New York. I recommend using the 7-day card, as the 30-day card is overpriced. Check the map and schedules of the subway and bus network and follow my New York Subway Guide.
Consider the option of leaving the city if you have time to spare.
New York is amazing and we would never finish seeing it all, but if at some point in your trip you feel you have energy and time to take advantage of its privileged location within the country, do not hesitate to take an excursion from New York to complete your vision of the United States.