The BEST itinerary for 4 days in New York City

An Itinerary for 4 days in New York City

New York is an amazing city with an endless list of attractions to see and discover. The Big Apple is home to some of the world’s most iconic buildings and attracts over 63 million people each year. 4 days in New York

It can be a little overwhelming planning a first visit to New York and it’s almost impossible to see all of New York’s must see spots in just one visit. Trying to decide what to do, when to do it and how to do it. With a city this big it is a good idea to have a solid Itinerary, to avoid missing your most desired attractions.  4 days in New York

The following four days New York Itinerary will help tick off some of New York’s must see attractions such as Times Square, The Brooklyn Bridge, Central Park and the Statue of Liberty. The itinerary will also highlight some of New York’s lesser known spots, helping you experience some of NYC off the beaten path locations.

The itinerary is divided into 4 different days, most attractions are of walking distance of each other. However, it is possible for those not wanting to walk to either get the subway or purchase a hop on hop off NYC ticket. 

Day 1: Mid-Town Manhattan

Day one of the New York adventure begins in the heart of the city, Midtown Manhattan. Midtown Manhattan is home to some of New Yorks most iconic skyscrapers, including the Empire State Building, the Flatiron Building and the Chrysler Building. Midtown Manhattan is where shoppers head to shop till they drop on 5th Avenue, Music lovers go to catch a live performance of a Broadway musical and tourists go to get that picture-perfect selfie in front of Times Square. 4 days in New York

Times Square

The New York itinerary starts off bright and early with a visit to the iconic Times Square.  Stop for a moment to watch the screens flash before your eyes and let it sink in that you have in fact made it to NEW YORK CITY.

Times Square is the perfect picture spot and makes for an awesome time-lapse opportunity.

The above photo was taken at 6 am in the morning, with barely a single person in sight. There is something magical about seeing Times Square without any crowds.

Now, I do understand that most people will not want to get up at the crack of dawn to see Times Square. But…just be warned that the Square get’s mega busy throughout the day. So, you WILL spend a fair bit of your time dodging other tourists.

It is also important to note that Times Square is one of the most expensive places to eat in Manhattan. I’d advise walking a little further a field when looking for a bite to eat. That is one of the New York Tips I wish I knew on my first trip to the big apple.

The New York Public Library

After taking a moment to appreciate Times Square and all its glory. Head 10 minutes down the road to West 42nd Street to explore the New York Public Library. 

It is FREE for visitors to enter and I 100% recommend you do. It is an amazing building to explore.  4 days in New York

The above photo is a snap of the famous Rose Main Reading Room.

Grand Central Station

The next stop on the Itinerary is Grand Central Station located a further 5-minute walk from the New York City Library.

Stand on the famous staircase in the main concourse and watch as commuters rush on by.

With Grand Central being the largest train station in the world, it is a must stop destination on any New York trip.

When leaving the station, don’t forget to look up. You may be surprised at what you see.

*Hint* *Hint* It’s the Chrysler Building.  4 days in New York

5th Avenue, Empire State & Flatiron Building

After exploring Grand Central, make your way down 5th avenue, ticking off your favourite shops along the way. On your strolls down the avenue, keep an eye out for some photo opportunities of the Empire State and the Flatiron Building.

The High Line & Chelsea Market

Next, gear a little off the beaten path and walk along New York’s old historic freight rail line, newly known as the High Line.

The elevated park was built in 2009 as a relaxing park walkway for locals and tourists alike. 

This is a fun walk to engage in and soak up some of  New York’s history while in the Big Apple.

To find out more about New York’s High line walk, click here.

Chelsea Market is an exit point on the New York High Line and is the ideal place for some food and light shopping.

Photographed above, the nicest pancakes I have ever tasted from Chelsea Market.

Top of the Rock Sunset

To end the first day in New York City be sure to catch the sunset.

The top of the rock has to be one of the best places to watch the sunset in New York.

The observation deck on the top of the Rockefeller centre offers guests a 360 view of the city as the sky changes from day to night.

This experience will set you back $36 (additional $10 for sunset), it is, however, extremely worth it. The view is awesome.

Day 2: Lower Manhattan & Skyline Sunset

Lower Manhattan, otherwise known as New York’s Financial District is a great place to soak in New York’s history, enjoy a walk along the Hudson River waterfront and admire the sky-high buildings. Lower Manhattan is home to the One World Trade Centre, the Staten Island Ferries and the gateway to Brooklyn, the Brooklyn Bridge.

The Staten Island Ferry

The second day of the New York Itinerary starts with an adventure aboard the Staten Island Ferry to get a glimpse of Lady Liberty.

The best thing about this journey? It’s FREE

The second best thing about this journey? The AWESOME view of the New York City Skyline as the boat departs.

Pro Tip: Ride the ferry before mid-day for the perfect pic of the Statue of Liberty. In the evening time, the sun causes the statue to come out as a silhouette in pictures.

After departing the Staten Island Ferry, walk towards battery park and wall street and capture a photo with the famous wall street bull.

The World Trade Centre

New York’s World trade centre is the tallest building in the city and can be seen from nearly every angle in lower Manhattan. 4 days in New York

Take some time to explore lower Manhattan and capture some great photo shots of the skyscraper.

On top of the World Trade Centre, there is an observation desk for visitors, costing 36 dollars (I, however, have no personal experience with this).

9/11 Memorial

The 9/11 Memorial is simple a breathtakingly beautiful tribute to those who lost their lives back on September 11th 2001. 

It is heartbreaking to see, yet a vital stop while in New York. It is a lovely way to pay respect to the lives lost on such a tragic day.

The Memorial lies on the footprint of the Twin Towers and is a truly historic site.

Westfield World Trade Centre

The Westfield mall is possibly one of the most beautiful shopping facilities I have ever seen, with over 120 shops to explore.

It is a great place to stop by for a bit of shade from the sun, a bathroom break and some good old WIFI.

The centre also serves as a New York transportation link, needed for the next stop.

Exchange Place, Jersey City, New Jersey

Take the path train from the Westfield Mall in lower Manhattan to Exchange Place in Jersey City. This quick journey will take you across the Hudson River.

Here, find a spot and watch the sunset on New York City. Stick around until it’s darks to see the lights glisten like a star in the night sky.

Day 3: Central Park and NYC Entertainment

So far, the New York Itinerary has been pretty packed and fast moving. Day 3 has more of a relaxed vibe. The 3rd day consists of watching a taping of an NYC TV Show, exploring the stunning surroundings of Central Park, riding a cable car over to Roosevelt Island and ending the day with an inspiring Broadway show.

A New York TV Show Taping

New York TV Show

The first attraction of Day 3 is a little bit different and most definitely off the beaten path. The day starts off as an audience member of a New York TV show. Like, how cool is that?

Now, this stop involves a little bit of pre-planning and luck. I was lucky, that on two different visits to New York I got both Jimmy Fallon Tickets and Live with Kelly Tickets.

It easy to presume that the audience of popular television shows pays big bucks for their seats. However, that very far from the truth. In fact, the majority of the seats of New York TV shows are free. Yes, that’s right, FREE.

Roosevelt Island Tramway

Following a morning of light entertainment, head towards the Roosevelt Tramway (location on google maps). 

The tramway transports people back and forward between Manhatten and Roosevelt Island. The tram itself offers stunning views of New York City and the Island is a lovely place to walk around and explore. There is also an option to take a shuttle bus for those who are stuck for time.

The cable car cost $2.25 each way and the journey is valid on the New York subway card.

Central Park

Central Park

Central Park is located a 10-minute walk from the Roosevelt Tramway. The parks scenery is breathtaking and is well worth exploring for a few hours. Central Park is home to the New York Zoo, Bow Bridge and is the set of many New York City films.

If you would like to see all of which the park has to offer, I’d recommend renting a bike for an hour or two. The park is relatively easy to cycle and the only steep part is easy to avoid. For those on a budget, pre-book your rental using apps such as Groupon.

A Broadway Show

Frozen Broadway

The final part of Day 3 of the NYC itinerary is one of my favourite things to do while in New York. And that is, go see a Broadway show. After a few hours of exploring Central Park, head back to your hotel or hostel to get refreshed for a glamorous evening at Broadway. 

I am very much a budget traveller and like to spend as little as possible when travelling. I do, however, consider myself an ‘experience led’ budget traveller and Broadway is an experience not to be missed.

Besides, Broadway tickets don’t always have to cost an arm and a leg. In fact, on my last visit to NYC, I managed to get tickets to Frozen for under 60 dollars. Now that’s a bargain. 

Day 4: Brooklyn

The final day of the New York City Itinerary involves walking the streets of Brooklyn. Brooklyn is awesome! It is a great place to see the city from afar without having to venture too far away.

The Hudson River Waterfront

Start the day off by walking along the Hudson River waterfront. The waterfront is the host to some stunning views of the Brooklyn Bridge, the Manhattan skyline, the Manhattan Bridge and the statue of liberty.

My favourite spots along the waterfront are Brooklyn Bridge Park, Empire Fulton Ferry Park and Pebbles beach.

The Streets of Brooklyn

Once you have soaked in the beauty of the waterfront, dive a little deeper and stroll the streets of Brooklyn.

Brooklyn has so much character, it is easy to get lost exploring its charming streets. 

(Washington street pictured above)

Walk the Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge

No New York trip is complete without a stroll across the Brooklyn Bridge. 

I would suggest planning to spend 45 to 60 minutes walking across the bridge, as you will be stopping for pictures every chance you get.

It can be a little bit tricky to find the walkway of the bridge, as the start is positioned a little further away from the waterfront than expected. The starting point of the Brooklyn Bridge Walkway can be seen on Google Maps.

Liberty State Park

The final stop of the 4th day in New York takes tourists out of the hustle and bustle of the city and offers phenomenal views of NYC from a far.

The Statue Cruises from Battery Park in Lower Manhattan and stop off at Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty and finally, Liberty State Park.

Take some time to explore the park, take in one of the best views of the Manhattan skyline. Liberty State Park is soaked in history, with a tribute to the lives lost at 9/11 and the old New Jersey Railroad Terminal.

Liberty State Park is also a great place to watch the sunshine against the skyscrapers at sunset.

*For Those of who found this post useful be sure to check out my New York City vlog on Youtube. This was my second trip to New York on my four month stay in the US. I visited some of my favourite NYC spots*


4 Days in NYC
4 Days in NYC