I think it is the minimum time to get to know the most important things in the city. With fewer days you have to give up many essential things. Although I am going to leave a lot of things in the pipeline (the ideal is a week) with this route you will get a good idea of what NYC is.
Before getting into the subject, I recommend that you take a look at the most popular tourist cards in the city. New York is an expensive city and access to its tourist attractions too. To save you good money, it is more than recommended to get one of these cards:
- New York Explorer Pass : Allows you to enter 3, 4, 5, 7 or 10 of the 90 tourist attractions it includes.
- New York Pass : Allows you free entry to more than 100 tourist attractions (it’s the one you would buy for a 5-day visit in New York)
- City Pass : Allows you to enter 6 of the most popular tourist attractions with a 44% discount.
Which one suits you? Well, it’s up to you to check the accounts depending on what you want to visit. Personally, as I am a compulsive “visitor”, I keep the New York Pass .
This is an orientation guide so you can get an idea of how you can distribute your five days in New York in a more or less coherent way. Also so you need to use public transport as little as possible. After all, the best way to know a city is to kick it.
As New York is so immense the best thing you can do is distribute your days in large areas more or less as I propose below.
New York Guide
The first day of this route through New York in 5 days we will dedicate to the Midtown area (where Times Square is and a good number of very interesting things to visit).
The best possible starting point for any New York itinerary is Times Square, one of the most iconic and busiest corners of the city. Without a doubt it is the most emblematic area of the city.
It is a triangular shaped space, formed by the confluence of Broadway with Seventh Avenue, full of bars, theaters, museums, restaurants, shops and venues of all kinds, whose gigantic advertising posters flash throughout the day.
It is also the most popular and most crowded New Year’s Eve venue in the world, where thousands of people await the descent of the ball that announces the arrival of the New Year.
The best snapshots are made from the famous TKTS red staircase . As always it is crowded with people so the ideal is to go first thing in the morning. However, it is more charming at night, when the billboard lights illuminate the New York night. Visit Times Square both day and night !!!
In addition to recreating yourself with the views, you can take advantage to enter one of the many stores that are here and compensate your spending desires.
You can also regain strength in legendary establishments such as Hard Rock Café or Planet Hollywood or try the most famous cheesecakes in the city at Junior’s. They are not the cheapest option, but highly recommended if you want to live an authentic New York experience.
Empire State Building
The next stop on the New York itinerary is the Empire State Building, the third largest skyscraper in the Big Apple with more than 380 meters .
From any of the two viewpoints that it has (one is on the 86th floor; the other, on the 102nd) you can enjoy incredible views of the Manhattan area and, on clear days, of New Jersey and even Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Delaware.
Of course, it must be taken into account that, being one of the essential tourist attractions to see in New York, it is very crowded . So if you prefer to avoid long lines, it is advisable to buy the ticket online or go first thing in the morning.
Rockefeller Center and Top of The Rock Lookout
From here we can go to the Rockefeller Center, a complex consisting of 19 buildings, organized around a central one, 30 Rock or GE Building.
At the top is the Top of The Rock viewpoint , whose visit is one of the most recommended plans to do in New York due to the incredible views it gives to the city, Central Park and the mythical Empire State Building.
It is one of the most visited places and you need to book your visit or you run the risk of finding yourself without places for the day you go. If you carry any of the tourist cards consult the method to make your reservation.
Once you have enjoyed the views, you should take a look at the photographic exhibition on the construction of the complex.
At Christmas the central plaza of the complex is transformed into a large ice rink . In addition, a gigantic Christmas tree is installed , the lighting of which marks the official beginning of this intimate party.
Here you will also find Radio City Music Hall, which is an art deco icon, NBC Studios , where such popular programs as Saturday Night Life or Tonight Show , and Channel Gardens are recorded .
We continue along Fifth Avenue, which is the soul of the city and one of the most famous and luxurious streets of the New York street guide.
Throughout its seven kilometers of extension, there are numerous houses and mansions of the most sumptuous, infinity of commercial options and the most luxurious stores, such as Tiffany, Cartier, Prada, Bergdorf Goodman or Sacks.
As is well known, it is one of the most expensive streets in the world (it is even known as the Avenida de los Millonarios) and an object of desire for travelers seeking the most exclusive purchases.
One of the best things when it comes to what to see when you visit New York.
St. Patrick’s Cathedral
Fifth Avenue also has some must-see attractions in New York. For example , the Cathedral of Saint Patrick , which is consecrated to the saint who gives it its name, patron saint of Ireland.
It stands out for its beautiful neo-Gothic façade and because it houses gigantic organsmade up of more than 10,000 tubes and an impressive replica of Michelangelo’s sculpture of La Piedad . Another curious fact is that it has 19 bells, each of which has the name of a saint.
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Once here, we can take the opportunity to visit the Museum of Modern Art, located two blocks from the Cathedral. It is one of the most important museums in the world , as it contains more than 10,000 works of art by universal artists such as Cézanne, Matisse, Dalí, Miró and Warhol, among others.
The most sought-after works are The Young Ladies of Avignon , by Pablo Picasso, The Starry Night , by Van Gogh, and The Persistence of Memory , by the great Dalí. Another interesting space is the Sculpture Garden, Rodin’s works being especially outstanding.
It is a fairly large museum, whose visit does not exceed two hours. If you don’t have much time, it is recommended to focus on the fourth and fifth floors , where the most important works are located.
As for the cost, it is free with the New York Pass card , which also has preferential access. And on Fridays from 16:00 to 20:00 the entrance is free.
An excellent way to conclude the first day of this trip to New York in five days is enjoying a musical in one of the many theaters that this street concentrates. The possibilities are endless: The Lion King , Chicago , Les Miserables , Aladdin , The Phantom of the Opera, Cats …
Although tickets can be purchased at the box office, the most comfortable and best way to ensure one is to buy them online, at least a couple of months in advance. Another option is to buy them at TKTS (where the famous red stairs) in Times Square, as they have them for the same day at reduced prices.
What To See When You Visit New York