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One Week in New York City: Detailed 7-Day Itinerary (+Map)

One Week in New York City: Detailed 7-Day Itinerary (+Map)

New York City offers an overwhelming array of attractions, each more interesting than the other. This makes it quite challenging to plan your first trip. What are the must-sees? How do you group the attractions in the most efficient way? In other words, where do you even start to prepare your New York itinerary?

We recently spent a week in New York and it took me about as much time to plan this trip as the time actually spent exploring… No kidding.

To simplify your preparations and help you create a realistic plan for 7 days in New York, I am sharing our one-week NYC itinerary pretty much as we did it. It covers all the top attractions, but also several hidden gems and local favorites that will make your trip so much more memorable.

Good to know: For most of the days in this itinerary, you can also find a very detailed plan (with hours indicated for your reference) based on our personal experience and exactly what we did in 7 days in NYC.

To help you get a better idea of how everything fits together, we also created a map indicating all the places mentioned in this article, as well as some restaurant recommendations.

How to use this map: Use your computer mouse (or fingers) to zoom in or out. Click on the icons to get more information about each place. Click the arrow on the top left corner for the index. Click the star next to the map’s title to add it to your Google Maps account. To view the saved map on your smartphone or PC, open Google Maps, click the menu and go to ‘Your Places’/’Maps’. If you want to print the map or see it in a bigger window, click on ‘View larger map’ in the top right corner.


Good to know: One week is an ideal duration to explore the Big Apple, allowing you to experience the best of the city with manageable daily routes. However, we realize that not everyone has that much time. But no worries – if your stay is shorter, you can easily adapt our suggested itinerary to fit a 3, 4, 5, or 6-day visit by focusing on your must-see sights and swapping some things around based on your interests.

Needless to say, you can easily swap the attractions or even entire days of this itinerary and adjust it to your interests.

PRO TIP: Check the opening times/days of any attractions you want to visit. To avoid disappointment and save time, book your tickets in advance!

Where to stay: For this itinerary, we recommend staying in central Manhattan. We split our stay between Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Penn Station and Virgin Hotels New York City – we did this just to try different hotels in the area). They were both quite different – one more traditional and the other one more modern and hip – but both really good and the location was excellent. There are many other great hotels nearby, so check for the best deals available for your travel dates.

One week New York itinerary

Here is our recommended New York 7-day itinerary:



Depending on what time you arrive in New York, you will likely not have a full day to explore. We recommend starting with a visit to Chelsea and Hudson Yards on the first day. It’s within walking distance of central Manhattan (and hotels we recommended) and you can see the highlights here in just a few hours. But there is also enough to see and do if you have more time.

Here are some places we recommend visiting on your first day in New York: Little Island, Pier 57 Rooftop Park, Chelsea Market, The High Line, Hudson Yards, Vessel, and the Edge. If you have extra time, you could also visit the Whitney Museum of American Art on this day.

TIP: The Edge is one of the best observation decks in New York and a great place to be around sunset. It can get quite busy here, so be sure to book your tickets in advance! If you want to start your NYC trip with a bang, check out the City Climb Skyscraping Experience at the Edge!

Good to know: Chelsea Market is a great place for lunch or dinner – you will find everything here, from burgers and Asian food to some of the best tacos in NYC. Pier 57 has a small food court as well. We also indicated a few nice restaurants in this area on our map, but these will require reservations, definitely for dinner.

The High Line New York City
The High Line.
Chelsea Market New York
Chelsea Market.
Little Island on the Hudson River in New York
Little Island.

Timing-wise, this is what your first day in NYC could look like (based on what we did):

  • Arrive in NYC, check in at the hotel, etc.
  • Make your way to the Hudson River (by taxi, subway, or on foot).
  • 4 – 5 PM: Visit Pier 57 and its rooftop terrace and Little Island.
  • 5 – 6 PM: Visit Chelsea Market and walk the entire length of the Highline. Plan some extra time if you want to have an early dinner!
  • 6 – 6.15 PM: Hudson Yards, Vessel (photo stop).
  • 6.30 – 7.30 PM: Edge (book tickets in advance!).
  • Dinner at Ci Siamo.

Good to know: If you have just 5-6 days in New York and are looking for a shorter itinerary, or if you cannot visit all these places on day 1, this entire section could be easily incorporated in the late afternoon/evening on day 6 of our itinerary below. Location- and timing-wise, it’s a perfect fit.

The Edge observation deck in New York
The Edge has the most unique outdoor observation deck in Manhattan!
Glass floor at the Edge viewing platform in Manhattan NYC
Glass floor at the Edge viewing platform.
Vessel at Hudson Yards in New York City
Vessel at Hudson Yards.



No New York itinerary could be complete without seeing the Statue of Liberty! A proper visit to Liberty Island and Ellis Island requires at least 4-5 hours, so start early and schedule enough time for it. You also have to book in advance!

For more information on how to visit the Statue of Liberty, please see our detailed guide below.

LEARN MORE: How to Visit the Statue Of Liberty from New York

After you return to Manhattan, explore the Financial District and the landmarks of the World Trade Center.

Some of the must-sees of the Financial District include Wall Street, the New York Stock Exchange, and the famous Charging Bull. Afterward, check out the Trinity Church and also St. Paul’s Chapel.

At the World Trade Center, you really can’t miss Ground Zero with 9/11 Memorial Pools and the impressive Oculus building. The 9/11 Memorial Museum is also absolutely worth a visit! But there is so much more to see here: FDNY Memorial Wall, The Sphere, St. Nicholas Church, etc.

We did and highly recommend this amazing 9/11 Memorial Tour. It’s one of the best tours we did in New York! Our tour included skip-the-line tickets to the museum. If you plan to go on your own, be sure to book timed-entry tickets in advance!

End your day with a visit to One World Observatory, the highest observation deck in New York. The 360° views are absolutely phenomenal! Also here, it’s best to book your tickets in advance.

Statue of Liberty - New York itinerary
Statue of Liberty and Manhattan skyline.
Charging Bull, NYC Financial District
Charging Bull at the Financial District.
The Oculus at WTC - one week in New York
The Oculus at World Trade Center.

This is what this day could look like, based exactly on what we did:

  • 9 AM – 1 PM: Statue of Liberty.
  • 1.30 – 2 PM: Charging Bull and lunch at Liberty Bagels.
  • 2 – 3 PM: Financial District, Trinity Church.
  • 3 – 5 PM: 9/11 Memorial Tour.
  • 5 – 7 PM: 9/11 Memorial Museum (tickets were included with the tour).
  • 7.15 – 8.15 PM: One World Observatory (we booked (flexible) tickets in advance).
  • Dinner at EATALY NYC Downtown.

Alternative suggestion: If you are not interested in spending half a day to visit the Statue of Liberty, you can also simply book a 1-hour sightseeing cruise. There are many options, but you must pay attention to the departure location! For this itinerary, we recommend this scenic cruise from Pier 16, very close to the Financial District in Lower Manhattan.

Bucket list: In this same area, you could also do a helicopter tour. It takes very little time (12-30 minutes depending on the options chosen), has many possible departure times, and is a great addition to any NYC itinerary. By far the best option for this itinerary is this highly-rated helicopter tour starting from Pier 6. Just be sure to book well in advance because it’s extremely popular! We hesitated a bit too long and it was sold out for the time that suited us…

World Trade Center and 9-11 Memorial Pools in New York
Ground Zero Memorial at WTC.
9 11 Memorial Museum in New York
9/11 Memorial Museum.
New York sunset from One World Trade Center
Sunset view from One World Observation Deck.



Next, it’s time to explore Midtown Manhattan and the area around Central Park!

We recommend starting your day with a short walk on the famous Museum Mile and visiting one of the museums. Plan to spend no more than 2-3 hours at a museum – your back will thank you and you will still have plenty of time for the rest of the places we recommend seeing on this day.

By far the most impressive is the Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met). This museum is enormous, has the strangest (but amazing!) collection of a bit of everything, and it’s overwhelming. We visited the MET with this 2-hour ‘express tour’ and were really glad to have a guide. We wouldn’t have seen half as much on our own!

Other options include the Guggenheim Museum or the American Museum of Natural History. The latter is especially great if visiting New York with a family. Both of these museums are included with the New York CityPASS.

In the afternoon, explore the famous Central Park. This park is also immense, so we recommend concentrating on the southern part where all the famous spots are located. Some of the must-sees at Central Park include Belvedere Castle, Bethesda Terrace, Bow Bridge, and the boating lake. In winter, you can go ice skating at Wollman Rink.

LEARN MORE: Top Places Not To Miss in Central Park

Afterwards, do some window shopping on 5th Avenue and check out St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

Next, walk to Rockefeller Center and visit Top of The Rock. This observation deck is very centrally located and offers the best views in Manhattan. Of course, it would be nice to be here at sunset, but this will depend on the time of year. I wouldn’t worry about it though – the views are spectacular at any time! But I highly recommend booking your tickets in advance!

Have an early dinner and end your day with a visit to the iconic Times Square and see a Broadway Show (see all the best options here and book tickets in advance!). We opted for The Lion King at Minskoff Theater, right at Times Square.

The Met Museum in New York City
The Met.
Central Park New York City
Central Park.
Bethesda Terrace in Central Park New York City
Bethesda Terrace in Central Park.

This is what this day could look like, based on what we did:

  • +-10 AM: Arrive at Museum Mile, see the Guggenheim Museum from the outside, and walk to the MET.
  • 11 AM – 1 PM: Met Express guided tour.
  • 1 – 1.30 PM. Lunch. To save time, you could have lunch at the MET. We bought some sandwiches at Sant Ambroeus Madison (very pricey but really good) and held a small picnic at Central Park.
  • 1.30 – 4.30 PM: Central Park, 5th Avenue.
  • 4.30 – 5.30 PM: Top of the Rock (book timed-entry tickets!).
  • Quick dinner – there are tons of restaurants and eateries in this area.
  • 7 or 8 PM: Broadway Show (check what’s available and book in advance!).
  • Times Square.

If this sounds too rushed for you, you could also visit The Met without a tour. In that case, arrive at 10 AM, when it opens. Alternatively, spend less time at Central Park and/or 5th Avenue. There are also pedicab tours available at the park, if you don’t want to walk as much.

If you can book a show that starts at 8 PM (most shows start later on weekends), that will also give you more time for the other attractions during the day.

Manhattan view from the Top of The Rock, New York
View from the Top of The Rock.
Rockefeller Center NYC
Rockefeller Center.
Times Square New York City at night
Times Square.



With a week in New York, you should find some time to explore some local neighborhoods beyond the most popular tourist attractions. We opted for Brooklyn, Chinatown, and Little Italy since it’s really easy to fit all of these together in a single day.

Start your day with a walk from Manhattan over the iconic Brooklyn Bridge. The best place to access this bridge is just as you exit the Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall subway station. We indicated it on our map.

Once in Brooklyn, continue on the bridge as far as you can, and visit Brooklyn Heights. This is such a cool area, with trendy cafes and restaurants. You could stop for a coffee and some delicious pastries at L’Appartement 4F on Montague Street. Next, continue north on Brooklyn Heights Promenade and stop for pictures at Old Pier 1.

For lunch, we recommend Time Out Market. They have a big food court with tons of restaurants and a beautiful rooftop terrace with stunning views over the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan Skyline. Don’t forget to take some pictures at the Dumbo – Manhattan Bridge Viewpoint before you leave Brooklyn!

Next, walk over (a very noisy) Manhattan Bridge back to Manhattan. Here, we highly recommend visiting the Tenement Museum. Set inside an old tenement house, a visit here gives a unique look into over 100 years of New York City history.

The museum can only be visited with a 1-hour guided tour. Each tour is a bit unique as it focuses on different families who lived here in different periods. We didn’t book in advance and simply joined the next available tour. But if you want to be sure to do a specific tour at a specific time, I recommend making reservations on their website in advance.

Afterward, explore the local neighborhoods like Chinatown and Little Italy. We booked this highly-rated Chinatown & Little Italy food tour. It’s a great way to see the highlights of this unique part of Manhattan and at the same time try all kinds of foods from local eateries. If you do this tour at 5.30-7.30 PM as we did, you won’t need dinner anymore!

In the evening, you could visit the Empire State Building (or leave it for another day, e.g. day 6 in this itinerary). In any case, book tickets in advance or you risk wasting lots of time. We ended this day with some drinks at a rooftop bar at our hotel.

Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan skyline - 7 Days in New York
Brooklyn Bridge.
Brooklyn Heights Promenade in New York
Brooklyn Heights Promenade.
DUMBO Manhattan Bridge View Brooklyn NYC
DUMBO Manhattan Bridge View.

This is what this day could look like, based on what we did:

  • 10 – 11 AM: Brooklyn Bridge.
  • 11 AM – 12 PM: Brooklyn Heights, Old Pier 1.
  • 12 – 1 PM: Lunch at Time Out Market.
  • 1 – 2.30 PM: More time to explore Brooklyn.
  • 2.30 – 3 PM: Manhattan Bridge.
  • 3 – 5 PM: Chinatown and Tenement Museum.
  • 5.30 – 7 PM: Chinatown & Little Italy food tour.
  • Evening: Empire State Building (optional, alternatively on day 6), or drinks at some rooftop bar.

Good to know: If you want to see Brooklyn Bridge without too many crowds, you could start your day earlier. That would also give you more time in Brooklyn if you prefer to explore more, do some shopping, etc.

A note on Brooklyn street art. We wanted to do a Bushwick street art tour in Brooklyn on this day. However, Brooklyn is huge and those tours run on a completely different side of the neighborhood which is easier to access from Manhattan. Plus, because of the time when these tours start, it’s very difficult to fit this together on the same day as the Brooklyn Bridge area. So we did a street art tour on another day – see day 6 of our itinerary.

Doyers Street Chinatown NYC
Tenement Museum in New York.
Tenement Museum.
Chinatown NYC



Today, we recommend going back to Midtown Manhattan (same area as on day 3) and exploring more. There is just so much to see and do here that you can easily fill another day here.

We recommend starting your day with a visit to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). Book the tickets for the earliest time slot and plan to spend about 2 hours. You won’t see everything, but it’s enough for the highlights.

Afterwards, you could choose one of the following attractions: a Radio City Music Hall Backstage Tour or visit Madame Tussauds. There is time for lunch before or after this, depending on your preference and the tickets/tours you choose.

We opted to visit the Radio City Music Hall, best known for its precision dancers Rockettes who perform on the Radio City Christmas Spectacular every holiday season. The building is an Art Deco masterpiece and is such an iconic NYC venue. It has hosted so many legendary concerts and major events like the Grammys and MTV Music Awards. We had no idea what to expect of this backstage tour, but it was really worth it!

Afterward, visit the Grand Central Terminal (or you can also have lunch here). You can just check out the main hall and the Grand Central Clock, but there is much history and iconic places to discover! We booked The Official Grand Central Terminal Tour and were wowed by all the hidden treasures we would have never noticed on our own. Be sure to stop by The Campbell for some drinks!

Finally, visit SUMMIT One Vanderbilt which is located just next to the station. This is one of the most modern and unique observation decks in Manhattan. Be sure to book tickets in advance and plan about 1.5-2 hours for a visit.

Afterward, you could walk to Bryant Park and see the New York Public Library. There are also many restaurants in that area for dinner. The restaurant we chose in Bryant Park was really not great so, unfortunately, I can’t recommend anything specific.

Vincent van Gogh’s Painting The Starry Night at MoMA NYC
Vincent van Gogh’s “The Starry Night” at the MoMA.
Radio City Music Hall NYC
Radio City Music Hall.
SUMMIT One Vanderbilt - New York 7 day itinerary
SUMMIT One Vanderbilt.

This is what this day could look like, based on what we did:

Alternative suggestions:

Depending on your choices and the places you decide to visit, this could be quite a full day, or not at all. For example, if you are not interested in Radio City and are happy to just quickly see the Grand Central Terminal without taking a tour, you could have plenty of time left in the late afternoon/early evening.

So if you want to see another Broadway Show or maybe a sports game by the New York Yankees, Mets, Knicks, or Giants…, this day could be a good moment to fit it into your NYC itinerary.

Grand Central Terminal New York City
Grand Central Terminal.
The Campbell at Grand Central Terminal in New York
The Campbell Bar at Grand Central Terminal.
Manhattan sunset view from SUMMIT One Vanderbilt
Manhattan sunset view from SUMMIT One Vanderbilt.



Start this day at the Empire State Building. The most iconic skyscraper in New York, a visit here is really not to be missed! Book the earliest time slot to avoid the biggest crowds and upgrade to the 102nd floor for the most dazzling views in Manhattan.

Afterward, walk south on 5th Avenue, pass Madison Square Park, Flatiron, and on to Union Square where you can also check out a local market. From here, take a subway to the Bushwick neighborhood in Brooklyn for a street art tour. It might look far but it’s only 10-15 minutes by metro. You can have lunch in this quirky area too.

After the tour, return to Manhattan and visit Washington Square. It’s best known for the Washington Square Arch, but it’s also just a really cool lively spot. On a nice sunny day, you will find many street entertainers here.

Next, explore Greenwich Village. The ‘Sex and the City’ fans will want to see Carrie Bradshaw’s House on Perry Street! This area is also great for boutique shopping.

The rest of this day really depends on your interests. See further below for our suggestions.

Empire State Building views - NYC itinerary
Views from the Empire State Building.
King Kong at the Empire State Building NYC
The not-so-scary (but very cool) King Kong experience at the Empire State Building ;).
New York 7 day itinerary - Flatiron and Madison Square Park
Flatiron and Madison Square Park.

This is what this day could look like, based on what we did:

  • 9 – 10.15 AM: Empire State Building (book tickets for the earliest time slot and arrive at least 10-15 minutes before it opens).
  • 10.15 – 11.30 AM (can be done much quicker too): 5th Avenue, Madison Square Park, Flatiron, Union Square.
  • 11.30 AM – 12.45 PM: Subway to Montrose Station and lunch in Brushwick.
  • 1 – 2.30 PM: Bushwick Street Art Tour (or a graffiti workshop if you prefer).
  • 2.30 – 3.30 PM: Back to Manhattan and walk to Washington Square.
  • 3.30 – 4 PM: Greenwich Village.
  • Late afternoon/evening: see recommendations below.

Alternative suggestions:

If you didn’t have enough time to explore everything we suggested on day 1, you can easily do it here. The High Line, Little Island, and Chelsea Market are just a short walk away from Greenwich Village.

Alternatively, explore SOHO, which is a shoppers’ paradise with lots of designer boutiques and famous brand stores concentrated in a rather small area. Here you can also visit the Museum of Ice Cream. If you don’t mind traveling further south for a photo, check out the Ghostbusters Headquarters, etc.

Just as on day 5, this evening could also be used to see a show or a sports game.

Brooklyn street art - one week in New York
There is so much cool street art in Brooklyn.
Street performer, Washington Square NYC
One of many street performers at Washington Square NYC
Perry Street, Greenwich Village New York City
Perry Street, Greenwich Village.


If you have one more (half) day left in your New York itinerary, there are so many ways to fill it!

You can visit more museums, like the American Museum of Natural History, or some fun attractions like the FRIENDS™ Experience… Book a helicopter tour, take a sunset sailing tour, do a Broadway behind-the-scenes tour, or join one or another tour of famous movie filming locations

There are literally hundreds of options! I recommend browsing around on this tour/ticket website for some ideas. Do something different, something that will make this New York trip even more memorable for you!

Here are a few additional suggestions for places beyond Manhattan, based on what we considered for our trip:

Harlem and gospel concerts (half a day). If you have ever dreamt of visiting the Harlem neighborhood and attending its famous gospel concerts, then don’t miss the chance! In that case, you will have to adjust your itinerary and move some days around because most choirs only sing on certain days of the week. Usually, on Sundays, but some also on Saturdays and Wednesdays. See here for the best tour options.

Coney Island (half a day). Located in Brooklyn, about 1 hour by train from Manhattan, Coney Island is New York’s beach destination. Here, you can enjoy sandy beaches, the iconic Riegelmann Boardwalk, the historic amusement park Luna Park, or Nathan’s Famous hot dogs. With lively summer events and a vibrant atmosphere, Coney Island is a fun destination for those looking to experience a very different side of New York, especially in summer.

In the winter holiday season, you can even find quirky excursions like this Dyker Heights Holiday Lights Bus Tour

Niagara Falls (a VERY long day trip or 2 days). Niagara Falls is one of the most popular day trip destinations from New York City and there are many highly-rated tours that can bring you there. However, keep in mind that an excursion like this will require a VERY long day, so if you decide to do it, don’t leave it for the last day of your itinerary. Alternatively, consider a 2-day tour.

Coney Island aerial view - one week in New York
Coney Island in Brooklyn.
Central Perk cafe FRIENDS Experience NYC
Central Perk Café at the FRIENDS Experience.
Niagara Falls - day trip from New York
Niagara Falls (American side).

Some Practical Tips for Visiting NYC

Here are a few practical tips to enjoy your week in New York and make the best of it:

  • Consider flying to Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) – it’s so much smaller than JFK and has a very easy and quick train connection directly to Penn Station.
  • Use the subway for longer distances. It’s so easy and quick. Plus, you don’t have to worry about the tickets – just scan your credit card or smartphone wallet at the entrance and that’s it.
  • Book as much as possible in advance! It will save you so much time everywhere.
  • Join a few guided tours! We did quite a few guided tours in New York and they made the trip so much more special. There is nothing like having a local guide with you! TIP – We booked most of the tours for this trip via Walks. We have done dozens of tours with this organization all over Europe and now also in the USA, and they are always top-notch.
  • If you want to dine at specific restaurants, do some research upfront and make reservations. My best tip is to look at Google Maps and choose the best-rated restaurants that are close to where you will be in the evening. There is no shortage of places to eat in NYC, but it’s so busy everywhere.
  • Wear comfortable shoes and dress in layers. You will be exploring from morning to evening, be sure that you are comfortable no matter what.
  • Carry only things you really need. Most NYC attractions have airport-style security checks, plus, big bags aren’t allowed in many places. The lighter you travel, the easier it will be! I also recommend swapping backpacks for crossbody bags. I packed a crossbody bag and only had to leave it in a locker once, when visiting the Crown of the Statue of Liberty (due to a very narrow staircase).

This sums up our recommended 7-day New York itinerary. I hope that it helps you plan a truly memorable trip without spending a week on it, as I did ;).

Have a great time in the City That Never Sleeps!

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7-day New York City itinerary for first trip

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Wednesday 26th of June 2024

Great itinerary. We are visiting New York in the fall and will have 8.5 days. What do you recommend?


Wednesday 26th of June 2024

Hi Karen, you could pretty much follow our itinerary as it is and I would add a two-day tour to Niagara Falls. If you still have some extra time, go shopping! There are so many great shopping opportunities in NYC.


Tuesday 18th of June 2024

Wow!! Thanks for being so thorough. And for giving detailed tips & reminders. Best I’ve seen for NYC. Thanks


Wednesday 19th of June 2024

Thank you for your kind feedback, Marty. Enjoy New York!


Monday 17th of June 2024

Hi Jurga,

We are heading to NYC end of August for a vacation. You have just made all the planning so easy with your awesome itinerary.

Last trip to Venice and Greece was outstanding taking all your tips.

Thank you again, Ash


Tuesday 18th of June 2024

What a great timing indeed, Ashley! Have a wonderful time exploring the Big Apple!

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