Top 10 Places To Visit in New York City in One Day
If you are going to travel to New York City for the first time and you only have one day to spare, you might be facing with a tough task of planning your sightseeing itinerary. Indeed, NYC is so big that zeroing out on just 10 places is on the verge of impossible. While planning your day, please account for the time you are likely spend traveling from one place or another and wait times in lines that can add up to hours. In addition, it would help to pick just one area of NYC that packs the highest concentration of attractions and leave the rest for another visit.
Many travel critics agree that nothing can beat Manhattan on the number of places to visit in New York City in one day. One of the 5 NYC boroughs, Manhattan is a pleasure to visit by day or night. Here you can either walk from one attraction to another, bike, catch a cab, water taxi or take public transportation. Once hunger sets in, you will not fall short of places to dine either, since downtown Manhattan is one of the best places on earth to find a restaurant to match your palate. From street hot dog and burger stands to posh upscale black tie restaurants, thousands of restaurants line busy streets of downtown NYC.
By no means you will be able to devote enough time to learn the in depth facts about all of these Top 10 places to visit in New York city in one day but you can definitely check them off your travel itinerary with careful planning. Do not wait, put on your comfy shoes and let’s go!
1. Rockefeller Plaza is not only the premier destination in the city it’s also one of the fun places to be early in the morning. If you want your family and friends back home catch you on TV, head over to the 30 Rockefeller Pl and catch your front row standing spots. First come, first serve basis and no tickets required for the Today Show! After you make your camera appearances you can just take an elevator to the 70th floor Top Rock Observation area opening unobstructed 360 degree views of NYC. From up high you can see a gorgeous panorama unfolding in front of you. Among the things you will see is Brooklyn Bridge, Chrysler Building, Hudson River and many other iconic landmarks of the city.
2. Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) located within a walking distance from the street level of the Rockefeller Center is one of the world’s renowned art museums to visit. The building is impressive both outside and inside. Six floors house an impressive collection of modern art in various forms like paintings, sculptures, films, photographs and much more. MOMA is closed on Tuesdays and can get quite crowded after 5pm. With limited time, start your exploration with the 5th floor that presents a collection of paintings. Watching at least one of multiple art films is highly recommended plus it will give your feet a chance to rest.
3. Central Park is next on your itinerary holding a bounty places to visit in New York City for young, old and everybody in between. This gorgeous downtown Manhattan Oasis is home to the Central Park Zoo, diverse landscapes, lakes and lush lawns. With careful planning you can skim the top of major highlights at the park. Getting a map and renting a bike is highly recommended, this way you can get from place to place fast. The Great Lawn sprawling across almost 6 city blocks is a must to visit, admire at a number of statues scattered around the area. You can also rent a canoe to enjoy cityscapes from the water.
4. Museum Mile stretching from 82nd to 105th streets in the Carnegie Hall area houses a number of important museums, but you will just have to pick one due to time limitations. Even in the best planned scenario, you can probably just see a fraction of exhibits. Metropolitan Museum of Art (Met) is probably the one highly recommended. Most visitors will need at least half a day to see the highlights of this magnificent museum, with limited time planning what you want to see in advance will help cut the time out of guesswork. The Great Hall will take you through soaring arches into the collection of world art that dates back thousands of years. Mastaba Tomb of Perneb simply cannot be missed along with Temple of Dendur in the Egyptian section of the museum.
5. Empire State Building is located within approximately 2 mile radius from the Met, the second tallest building in NYC recently surpassed by new skyscraper at One World Trade Center, it’s one of the most recognized landmarks in the world. Empire State Building Observation Decks located on the 86th and 102nd floors draw millions of visitors annually. The lines to get into elevators can take hours unless you pay a little extra and buy an Express Pass which is highly recommended. From the top you can see many landmarks including the Statue of Liberty on a clear day.
6. Madison Square Garden located within a few blocks from the 5th Avenue and presents world’s famous sporting and entertainment arena. The building is impressive from the outside and snapping a few family pictures would be a huge added bonus of your busy day in NYC.
7. Grand Central Terminal is a quintessential local attraction and one of the most impressive places to visit in New York City. Major public transportation hub that offers so much more. Take a guided tour, walk around by yourself to marvel at great architecture and art or head over the dining concourse to get some of the best eats in town. Whispering Gallery is a must to visit, especially if you have kids in tow.
8. NY Public Library is one of the most important historical buildings in NYC that should be visited at least once during your visit. Impressive marble architecture, curious exhibits and knowledgeable staff are sure to make your visit pleasurable.
9. Times Square is one of the most easily recognized places to visit in New York City because of its bustling and unforgettable atmosphere. A number of Times Square events are hosted here like New Years Eve Party, Valentine’s Day Celebration and many others. Check their schedule to find out when next event is coming up.
10. In the evening there’s no better way to end your busy sightseeing day that heading over to the Radio City Music Hall over at the Theater District to catch the famous Rockettes show or any other show of your liking. Make sure you book tickets way in advance.
Naturally, you might not get to see all of the places on our list depending on the time of the year you are coming. During certain time periods, many NYC landmarks might get especially crowded during the National holidays or school breaks which might compromise your carefully devised itinerary. Additionally, our itinerary has not covered other, no less significant and iconic places like the Ellis Island, Battery Park NYC and Ground Zero NYC. All these attractions are within the same city areas and would be ideal to tour during your next trip.
Do not despair, there’s always another time to take a bite out of the Big Apple.