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Exciting Guide to 3 Days in New York City (An Introduction to the Concrete Jungle)

3 days in New York City

Planning a visit to the Big Apple can be exhilarating yet overwhelming, especially when faced with the abundance of attractions and only limited time. Fear not; I’ve crafted the ultimate 3-day NYC itinerary to ensure you experience the very best of this vibrant city.

From iconic landmarks to hidden gems, culinary delights, and artistic wonders, I included a little bit of everything in this itinerary. We have a lot of ground to cover in a 3 day trip to NYC, so let’s jump in!

Visiting New York City? If you haven’t decided where to stay (yet) check out our helpful guide on Where to Stay in New York City (The best neighborhoods for first timers +3 to avoid). Don’t have time? Here’s our favorite hotel in NYC, hands down.

Grand Central Terminal, 3 days in New York City

Who is This 3-Day New York City Itinerary For?

This 3 day New York City itinerary is for folks new to the Big Apple and want to experience as much of its magic as possible. This itinerary is ambitious; I try to (realistically) fit in as many iconic sights and places as 3 days in NYC will allow.

But let’s be honest — 3 days in New York City allows for just the tip of the iceberg. It’s okay if you spend extra time at one spot and have to cut out another. This guide is meant to be an introduction to the concrete jungle and will (hopefully) hook visitors enough to plan a return trip! 

The Chrysler Building, 3 days New York City Itinerary

Is 3 Days in New York City Enough Time?

As a local, I’ll be the first to say that any length of time in New York City never feels long enough. I’ve lived in New York for years and still discover something new on a regular basis. With that said, 3 days in New York City is suitable for a first impression. Any length of time in NYC is better than no time at all.

As long as you go into your trip knowing you won’t see everything the city offers, 3 days in NYC is enough time. In this guide, we’ll cover a lot of “first trip to New York City” essentials and can’t-miss attractions. We’ll touch on iconic food spots, historic buildings, and things to do (year-round) as an introduction to the Big Apple.

The Ferry, 3 days in New York City Itinerary

Tips for Visiting NYC for First Time

With only 3 days in New York City, we want to make the best use of your time and money. Here are some helpful tips for visiting New York City that will make a first visit easier.

Take Advantage of the Subway’s Tap to Pay System

  • The subway has a deal that can save you money on your 3 day trip to NYC. OMNY (One Metro New York) is a tap-to-pay feature that keeps track of your subway rides. After the 12th ride with the same payment method, you ride for free for the rest of that 7-day span.
  • New York City gets 63 million visitors per year, and that’s a lot of people trying to eat at the same popular places and see the same popular things. Prepare for long lines. Make reservations and book ahead whenever possible.

Comfortable Shoes are Non-Negotiable

  • New York City is best explored on foot because the city’s amazing neighborhoods and views are half the fun. As such, you’ll probably spend a lot of time walking from Point A to Point B. All this to say, bring good walking shoes when visiting New York City for three days.
Three days in New York City

3 Day New York City Itinerary

Table of Contents: Three Days in New York City

3 days in New York City

3 Day New York City Itinerary: Day 1

Whether it be an “I’m on vacation!” adrenaline rush or an itching to make the most of your three days in New York City, most folks will want to hit the ground running on day one. Therefore, this itinerary starts with an ambitious first day that’ll consist of a lot of walking and sightseeing.

Top Sights For Day One:

  • Explore Fifth Ave
  • Bryant Park, NYPL & Grand Central Terminal
  • The Chelsea Market
  • Little Island (Optional)
  • Walk the High Line to Hudson Yards
  • Hudson Yards
  • Times Square

NYC 3 Day Itinerary, Day 1, Morning: Explore Fifth Avenue

We’ll start our 3 days in NYC on Fifth Avenue, one of New York City’s most famous shopping districts. The iconic thoroughfare runs through most of Manhattan, but we’ll focus on the Midtown area riddled with some of New York City’s most iconic buildings. Below, I’ll list some can’t-miss attractions, running from north to south:

Plaza Hotel in New York City, 3 days in New York City
The Plaza Hotel

Opened in 1907, The Plaza Hotel is the poster child of luxury and prestige. Today, it serves as both a hotel and condos, but as you can imagine, the price tag is steep. Over the years, it’s housed countless celebrities and even presidents. The hotel has also been featured in movies (most famously Home Alone 2: Lost in New York) and has a Broadway play inspired & named after it (The Plaza Suite).

St. Patrick’s Cathedral

Working our way down Fifth Avenue, we find St. Patrick’s Cathedral. This Neo-Gothic-style cathedral has been stopping people in their tracks since 1879. With a seating capacity of 2,000+, this is one of the largest churches in NYCTouring the interior is a no-brainer and completely free, so swing by if the doors are open during your 3 days in NYC.

Rockefeller Center, 3 days NYC itinerary
The Rockefeller Center

A brainchild of one of the wealthiest men in the country, John D. Rockefeller, 30 Rockefeller Plaza is a (nearly) 100-year-old tourist attraction in NYC. There’s an underground concourse with restaurants, the main floor of the center is littered with stores, and on the roof, you’ll find one of the most popular observation decks in New York City. Not to mention, during the holidays, it has a striking Christmas tree.

Once you work your way down to 42nd Street you’ll be at a good stopping point. There are more landmarks within walking distance, and you’ll have to decide which you want to visit before continuing.

3 days NYC, Grand Central Terminal
Grand Central Terminal

Stepping into Grand Central Terminal feels like stepping into a European train station. The Beaux Arts design transports visitors into a detailed main hall that boasts a celestial ceiling and a famous four-faced clock. Today the Grand Central Terminal is one of the most iconic buildings in New York City and sees an average of 750,000 visitors daily. In fact – it’s the second most popular destination in NYC.

Summit One Vanderbilt, 3 days NYC
Summit One Vanderbilt

New York City’s newest observation deck, Summit One Vanderbilt, feels modern and elegant. Housed in the fourth tallest building in the city, you’ll get jaw-dropping views of Manhattan. Nearly every surface is made of either glass or a mirror (even the floor), so it feels like you’re floating 1,100 feet in the air.

New York Public Library, 3 days NYC
New York Public Library

The New York Public Library is one of the most iconic buildings in NYC and has been featured in movies and books. The Beaux-Arts style marble building stands in contrast to the glass and iron surrounding it. I encourage you to swing by during your three days in NYC, even if it’s just into the lobby (the architecture is worth it). Entrance is free, but it’s a library, so be mindful of your noise level!

free things to do with kids in NYC, 3 day NYC Itinerary
Bryant Park

Bryant Park is directly behind the New York Public Library and tucked under the shadow of the towering office buildings of Midtown Manhattan. Clocking in at 9.6 acres, this isn’t the largest park in New York City by any stretch of the imagination, but it often feels the most full. It’s a great place to stop and rest your legs with a cup of coffee and hosts a famous holiday market in the winter.

Local’s tip: Bryant Park has some of the best public bathrooms in NYC. An employee mans the door, and the lines move quickly. Take advantage; public bathrooms (especially clean ones) aren’t easy to find in NYC.

NYC Itinerary, Day 1: Afternoon, Explore the Chelsea Neighborhood

Okay, we had quite an eventful morning on Fifth Avenue. We walked, saw a lot, and probably worked up an appetite. Hop on the subway and head to Chelsea, a charming neighborhood on the west side of Midtown Manhattan, renowned for its public outdoor areas and a top-notch food market.

Chelsea Market in NYC, best things to do, 3 days NYC
Chelsea Market

The Chelsea Market is a famous food hall mixed with unique shops, restaurants, spice markets, and cafes. The market has 35 vendors waiting to impress you with tasty treats and fare. Some highlights include Los Tacos No. 1, Very Fresh Noodles, and Sarabeth’s. Grab a bite to eat, and if the weather is nice, consider enjoying it at one of the outdoor tables.

Fun Fact: The Chelsea Market is housed in the old Nabisco factory building – this building is the birthplace of the Oreo cookie!

Travel Tips NYC, Three Days in NEw York City
Little Island (Optional)

Little Island is one of the most unique parks in New York City, extending over the Hudson River on bulbous cement piers. The park has a (very short) hike up to a viewpoint that offers stellar skyline views and often has vendors selling small bites in a courtyard-like area.

Little Island, NYC Best Parks, Three days in new York City
View of Little Island from Pier 57
Pier 57 (Also Optional)

Pier 57 neighbors Little Island and is a multi-use building that includes a food hall, green spaces, and a stunning viewpoint of New York City. Access is free, and from Pier 57’s viewpoint, you can see the Edge, the Empire State Building, and the One World Trade Center in the Financial District.

Moving to New York City, 3 day NYC itinerary
The High Line

NYC’s High Line is a 1.45-mile public park built on a former freight rail line, offering nature, art, and unique city views from an elevated greenway. This 3-day New York City itinerary will only cover a distance from the Chelsea Market to Hudson Yards, which is roughly a 20-minute walk. The High Line is an excellent park in New York City for kids, too! During the warm summer months, a handful of vendors sell balloon animals and ice cream.

3 days NYC
The Vessel, with a view of Hudson Yards in the background
Hudson Yards

The Shops at Hudson Yards is an impressive mall in front of a famous art installation named The Vessel. Covering four floors, this shopping mall has more than 100 stores ranging from luxury brands like Cartier to more affordable stores like Uniqlo

When done shopping, head to the basement level to check out the Spanish food hall called Little Spain. The sangria is worth writing home about! And while here, take advantage of the restrooms! Again, (clean) public restrooms can be hard to come by in New York City, so use them when you can.

New Years Eve Times Square, 3 days NYC

NYC Itinerary, Night 1: See the Bright Lights at Times Square

Arguably the most famous attraction in New York City, Times Square is a bustling city square teeming with life and bright lights. Truthfully, it can be overwhelming and incredibly touristy. Still, Times Square is iconic and has to be included on any 3 day NYC itinerary. 

Within Times Square, there’s a wide variety of fun things to do. Some of the most popular attractions include the iconic Red Steps, the M&M Store, Hershey’s Chocolate World, and, of course, Broadway theaters. If you plan on checking out a performance, check out our guide highlighting 10 Brilliant Shows on Broadway, which also goes into how to save some money on tickets.

Local’s Tip: The people dressed in character costumes are often tourist traps. They try to pop into people’s photos and then demand payment, so be aware.

 3 days NYC

New York City Itinerary for 3 Days: Day 2

Day one of this three-day NYC itinerary had a ton of walking, but hopefully, there’s still some gas in the tank because day two is another big day. On day two, we’ll visit Central Park, a museum, and two of the most charming neighborhoods in Manhattan.

This is a “locals day” since we’ll hit locations popular with New Yorkers as well as tourists. If you brought an outfit specifically for taking photos, this is the best of your 3 days in NYC to wear it!

Top Sights for Day Two:

  • Central Park
  • Visit a museum (The Met, AMNH)
  • Explore SoHo
  • Explore Greenwich Village
  • End the nights with drinks at the best bars in the world

3 days NYC

NYC Itinerary, Day 2: Morning in Central Park

Central Park is a green oasis spanning 843 acres in the heart of Manhattan. The man-made park was designed by landscape architects Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux in 1858. In the 160+ years since, it’s become a popular destination full of fun things to do.

From serene lakes and manicured gardens to hidden waterfalls and rocky outcroppings, the park offers a diverse landscape for exploration. Intriguingly, over 240 movies have featured Central Park, making it the most filmed public space on the planet!

Some can’t miss spots in Central Park include:

Bethesda Fountain Central Park fall, 3 days NYC

Bethesda Terrace and Fountain: Bethesda Terrace boasts breathtaking views of the lake and 16,000 ceiling tiles. Its star attraction, the Angel of the Waters fountain, is a 26-foot beauty designed by the first woman to receive a major NYC art commission.

Best places to propose in NYC, Bow Bridge Central Park, 3 days NYC

The Bow Bridge: This cast-iron bridge is one of the most iconic landmarks in Central Park. It’s a popular spot for photo ops and offers beautiful views of the lake and the surrounding trees.

best things to do Central Park, 3 days NYC

Belvedere Castle: This whimsical castle offers panoramic views of the park and the city skyline. It’s a great place to take a break and enjoy the scenery.

After you’re done exploring Central Park, you should make time in your 3-day NYC itinerary for a museum. Right next to Central Park, there are two great museums to choose from — the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the American Museum of Natural History.

It’s easy to get museum fatigue, so instead of trying to see both, I suggest picking the one that appeals more to you. More info on both museums is below.

Moving to New York City, 3 days NYC
Option A: Visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Founded in 1870, the Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met) is often considered the best museum in New York City, so it would be inexcusable not to consider a visit during a 3-day trip to NYC. With over 2 million pieces of art spanning 5,000+ years, the Met is the largest museum in the country and the fifth largest museum in the world.

Averaging 6 million visitors annually, it’s also the most visited museum in New York City. It would take several days to explore properly. With that said, three days in New York City is ample time to dip your toes into the museum, especially if you make a list of what you want to see most. 

helpful tips for visiting New York City, 3 days NYC

Highlights at the Met include Carpeaux’s Ugolino and His Sons, Leutze’s Washington Crossing the Delaware, and van Gogh’s Self-Portrait with a Straw Hat. Want to know more great things to see at the Met?

itinerary for New York City, 3 days NYC
Option B: Visit the American Museum of Natural History

Suppose you’re more into fossils and natural wonders (or traveling with kids who don’t care for fine art). You may enjoy touring the epic American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) more than the Met. It’s also next to Central Park, so scheduling a visit into this 3-day NYC itinerary is easy.

Welcoming 5 million visitors per year and spanning all aspects of the natural world, the American Museum of Natural History in NYC is considered one of the greatest natural history museums on the planet. Guests are invited in by two massive dinosaur skeletons housed in the entry hall. From there, you can tour the impressive permanent exhibits or look at the exciting rotating exhibit.

T-Rex Fossil, Best Things to See at the American Museum of Natural History, 3 days NYC

Highlights of the American Museum of Natural History include the life-size model blue whale, the Willamette Meteorite, and fossil exhibits (like the T-Rex skeleton!).

NYC Itinerary, Day 2: Afternoon, Take the Subway to SoHo

SoHo’s buildings were originally factories and warehouses but were later turned into storefronts and restaurants on the lower levels and apartments above. Living in SoHo is expensive, but luckily, visiting is free.

The neighborhood doesn’t have a ton of famous landmarks or buildings, but SoHo is worth the stop for a taste of local life during a 3 days trip to NYC. Peruse the stores and shop a little, or swing into a restaurant for a quick bite. Here’s what I recommend you do in SoHo.

Aritzia SoHo Stores, 3 days NYC
Spend the Afternoon Shopping

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a list of things to do in SoHo that doesn’t include shopping. The stores in SoHo vary from high-end luxury designers to big department stores and unique boutiques crammed together from one block to the next. 

The shopping area spans 25 blocks, and if size alone is any indication, there’s a little bit of everything. The best shopping in NYC is done by getting lost, so roam from one block to the next. SoHo is also one of the best neighborhoods for people-watching because the local fashion is impressive.

fun activities for kids in NYC, 3 days NYC
Image Courtesy The Museum of Ice Cream
Visit the Museum of Ice Cream

The Museum of Ice Cream might be called a museum, but it feels more like a playground. The interactive museum teaches all about the world of ice cream through colorful exhibits. The star of the show is a toss-up between the three-story slide (the longest indoor slide in NYC) and the sprinkles pool.

With so much to explore (and a chance to sample ice cream), it’s no wonder so many folks make an effort to visit. If your 3 days in NYC allow, the Museum of Ice Cream is a memorable attraction, especially with kids and anybody looking for Instagram photos.

Cronut NYC Best gifts New York, 3 days NYC
Finish With Something Sweet

SoHo is full of amazing restaurants for brunch, dinner, or drinks, but it reigns supreme in one category: sweets. Treats are around every corner, but the following three spots are the best.

  • Laduree: One of the cutest cafes in NYC, the Parisian bakery is renowned for its macarons.
  •  Dominique Ansel: Famous for the cronut (half croissant, half doughnut) that’s introduced in new flavors monthly. Other must-tries include the DKA (kouign-amann) and blossoming hot chocolate. 
  •  Balthazar Boulangerie: Arguably the most famous brunch restaurant in NYC, the patisserie sells French pastries, including some of the best chocolate donuts you’ll ever try.

NYC Itinerary, Day 2: Evening in Greenwich Village

The rest of day two on this three-day NYC itinerary will take place in the Greenwich Village, where you can do as much (or as little) as you’d like. It’s the most charming neighborhood in New York City, and I’m not hesitating to say that. The tree-lined streets are home to dreamy brownstones, just like in the movies, and the never-ending stream of locals gives the neighborhood a lively energy.

helpful tips for visiting New York City, 3 days NYC
Washington Square Park

Washington Square Park is one of the most beautiful parks in New York City. It’s also one of the most recognizable, which is why it’s on this 3-day NYC itinerary.

The park is best recognized by the monolithic grand marble arch that sits at the park’s northern entrance and overlooks the central fountain. The Washington Square Arch was built to commemorate the centennial of George Washington’s inauguration.

Best Restaurant Greenwich Village, 3 days NYC
Friends Apartment, Carrie Bradshaw’s Apartment

Two of the most famous shows based in New York City are Friends and Sex and the City. The apartment where Rachel, Monica, Chandler, and Joey lived is at the corner of Bedford and Grove Streets, above a little restaurant named the Little Owl (in the show, it’s called Central Perk).

And for fans of Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City, her apartment is at 64 Perry Street. It’s located on one of the prettiest streets in the West Village and is lined with charming brownstones. Both locations are easy to find; there’s usually a crowd out front!

Iconic restaurants in New York City, 3 days NYC
Enjoy Drinks at (one of) the Best Bars in the World

The Greenwich Village is home to some of the best bars in the world, and I don’t say that hyperbolically, it’s a fact! The World’s 50 Best Bars has ranked four local bars on its list in recent years, and stopping by for a drink is a must while visiting the neighborhood. Below, I’ll outline the four bars.

Dante: The Best Bar in the World in 2019, Dante has two locations in the Village. One is on MacDougal, which focuses on Negronis, and the other is on Hudson, which focuses on Martinis. They also have one of the best happy hours in New York City, with cocktails at $10 each.

Katana Kitten: Currently ranked the 27th Best Bar in the World, Katana Kitten is a Japanese cocktail bar whose director of deliciousness, Masahiro Urushido, has also been named New York’s top bartender.

Mace: Although Mace only opened in 2015, it’s flirted with the 50 Best Bars list for years. It’s currently the 18th Best Bar in North America. The West Village bar also won the Best Cocktail Menu Award in 2022, meaning its cocktails are tasty, unique, and innovative.

Employee’s Only: Opened in 2004, Employee’s Only has been featured on the 50 Best Bars list for over a decade. The speakeasy-style bar is currently the 47th Best Bar in the World (and 14th in North America).

3 Days in New York City Itinerary: Day 3

The third and last day of this 3 day New York City itinerary will start in the historic downtown of Manhattan and end across the East River in DUMBO, Brooklyn.

Top Sights for Day 3 in NYC:

  • 9/11 Memorial & Museum
  • One World Trade Center + Oculus Mall
  • Wall Street + New York Stock Exchange
  • Brooklyn Bridge + Brooklyn Promenade
  • Explore DUMBO
  • BONUS: Take the ferry back to Manhattan

Day 3 in NYC Itinerary, Morning: Explore the Financial District

Start your morning in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan. This was the first part of Manhattan to be settled, so its historic significance is unrivaled. It’s also a neighborhood dense with highrises and bordered by The East and Hudson Rivers, and New York Harbor. Here are some of the top sights.

9/11 Museum

The National September 11 Memorial & Museum, located at the World Trade Center site in New York City, honors the victims of the September 11 attacks. Through artifacts, multimedia displays, and personal stories, the museum explores the events of 9/11 and their impact.

Mejores cosas que hacer en Nueva York, 9/11 Memorial, 3 days in New York City
The 9/11 Memorial Pools

Just outside the 9/11 Museum are the twin reflecting pools of the 9/11 Memorial, which occupy the footprints of the former North and South Towers. Each pool is nearly an acre in size and features the largest man-made waterfalls in North America. The cascading water creates a powerful and serene atmosphere, symbolizing the void left by the attacks and offering a space for quiet reflection.

Oculus Mall, Three Days in New York City
Oculus Mall

The Oculus Mall is a striking architectural landmark in Lower Manhattan. It features a unique white structure with wing-shaped steel ribs reaching upwards, resembling a dove taking flight. It is a major transportation hub, housing the World Trade Center PATH station and numerous stores and restaurants. Even those who don’t plan on shopping should swing in to admire the design.

New York Stock Exchange

The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is a cornerstone of the financial world, located in the heart of New York City’s Financial District. Its main building, on 18 Broad Street, boasts a grand Beaux-Arts architectural style, making it a historical landmark.

This is also where you’ll come across the Fearless Girl Statue, which stands as a symbolize gender diversity and encourage companies to hire more women in leadership positions. The statue has become a popular tourist attraction and a symbol of female empowerment.

Charging Bull

The Charging Bull, a bronze sculpture near Bowling Green Park, symbolizes financial optimism and prosperity. The mighty bull, created by Arturo Di Modica, stands 11 feet tall and leans back on its haunches. It’s snorting with its head lowered, and has become one of the most popular attractions in New York City.

Battery Park

Battery Park, at the southern tip of Manhattan, offers the closest views of the Statue of Liberty you’ll get on land. This 25-acre green space boasts historic sites like Castle Clinton, peaceful gardens, and the playful SeaGlass Carousel, making it a popular spot for relaxation and exploration.

Day 3 in NYC Itinerary, Afternoon: Cross into Brooklyn

Brooklyn is so enormous if it was a city, it’d be the fourth largest in the USA! 3 days in NYC is just not enough time to see it all. Luckily you don’t have to, right across the Brooklyn Bridge is DUMBO, one of the borough’s most memorable neighborhoods.

Walking the Brooklyn Bridge, 3 days NYC
Walk the Brooklyn Bridge

Connecting Manhattan to Brooklyn since 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge is one of the oldest bridges in the country. One of the most popular activities for first-time visitors to NYC is to walk the length of the Brooklyn Bridge and explore DUMBO afterward. The scenic one-mile walk usually takes 20-30 minutes and offers some of the best views of the city.

Juliana's pepperoni pizza DUMBO, 3 days NYC
Enjoy a Pie at Juliana’s

Once across the Brooklyn Bridge, make a beeline for Juliana’s Pizza for some of the best pizzas in New York City. Most evenings, the line is out the door and around the block, but your wait time should be shorter/non-existent if you go during lunch. Pies run around $30 each and feed 2 to 3 people.

Brooklyn Bridge Waterfront
Peruse the Brooklyn Promenade

The Brooklyn Promenade runs along the East River and offers stunning views of the Manhattan skyline. After lunch at Juliana’s, work off the carbs with a short stroll along the promenade, not in any particular direction, just soak in the views.

3 days NYC
Take a Photo on Washington & Waters Street

The photo spot at the intersection of Washington and Water Streets in DUMBO is a popular location offering a famous view of the Manhattan Bridge. Cobblestone streets and charming red-brick buildings frame the iconic bridge. This creates a picturesque backdrop for photos, especially with the Empire State Building visible through the bridge’s towers.

Summer in NYC, 3 days NYC
Time Out Market

Walk further down for Jane’s Carousel and the Time Out Market. It’s a food hall chock-full of little restaurants serving up delicious fare. The top floor has a rooftop bar where you can enjoy drinks with stunning views of Manhattan. It’s easy to stay for a few rounds and enjoy the pretty lights.

NYC ferry sunset in NYC, 3 days NYC
Take the Ferry Back to Manhattan

The ferry is a form of New York City’s public transportation system, and for only $4.00, folks can take a ride around the Big Apple. Riding the ferry, especially on the open-air top deck, is one of the best things to do in New York City at night. There’s a ferry terminal in DUMBO, under the Brooklyn Bridge.

The area around Lower Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge provides unreal vistas, with the skyscrapers lit up and locals scurrying along the waterfront. For seamless ticketing, skip the booths and opt for the NYC Ferry app. Here you can purchase tickets, scan a QR code to board, and access helpful maps.

Day 3 in NYC Itinerary, Night: Night to Yourself

The last evening of your 3 days in NYC is yours to take advantage of. This would be a great time to revisit favorite spots or buy souvenirs for friends (here’s my personal list of 10 fool-proof NYC souvenirs). If you are looking for more ideas or advice, read below.

More Activities for Your 3 Days Trip to New York City

If you have more than 3 days in NYC (or would like to swap some of the activities mentioned above), this section is for you.

The Empire State Building, 3 days NYC
The Empire State Building 

This iconic building is so cool from any vantage point, but visitors can take it up a notch by visiting its 102nd floor observation deck.

MoMA Museum in Midtown Manhattan, 3 days NYC
The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)

Home to world-renowned paintings like Vincent van Gogh’s The Starry Night, Claude Monet’s Water Lilies and notable works by Warhol, Basquiat and Dali, it’s no wonder MoMA is constantly crowded with happy visitors. You don’t have to be an avid art connoisseur to enjoy it. The artwork is well curated and displayed in a modern and airy environment for an experience anyone can enjoy.

New York Transit Museum exterior, 3 days NYC
New York Transit Museum

The New York Transit Museum is one of the best museums in NYC for kids. Take a walk down memory lane and explore vintage subway cars parked in a decommissioned subway station. The museum covers a century of subway history. The subway cars displays era-appropriate ads, which makes for some fun age-appropriate humor. Visitors are able to explore the inside of cars, some dating back to 1903,.

The Flatiron Building and Madison Square Park

The Flatiron Building is one of the most beloved in New York City. One fun thing to do in this area is to visit the original Shake Shack location just steps away. Grab a burger and enjoy it in Madison Square Park.

Cosas que hacer en Nueva York, Statue of Liberty, 3 days NYC
See the Statue of Liberty

The reason I didn’t include the Statue of Liberty in this guide is because it takes so much time to visit this super popular attraction. But, some folks might be willing to sacrifice time in their schedule for the well-known attraction. If you’re pining to see the statue of liberty during your 3 days in New York City, make sure to go extra early. If you take the Staten Island Ferry (free) it passes right by the Statue of Liberty.

Frequently Asked Questions
Is 3 days enough to see New York?

Three days can provide a glimpse of New York City’s highlights and serve as an introduction to the city.

Is it worth going to New York for 3 days?

Visiting New York City for three days can still offer valuable experiences and memorable moments, especially if you plan your itinerary wisely to prioritize key attractions and activities.

What neighborhoods should I see on a 3 day trip to New York?

On a 3-day trip to New York City, consider exploring neighborhoods like Midtown Manhattan, Lower Manhattan (including areas like the Financial District), and Brooklyn (like DUMBO) to get a diverse taste of the city’s culture, landmarks, and attractions.

What time is New York the least busy?

New York City tends to be least busy in the early morning hours, typically before 9:00 AM, especially on weekdays.

Can you walk around New York in a day?

While it’s possible to walk around some parts of New York City in a day, fully exploring the entire city on foot in one day is generally not feasible due to its size and numerous attractions spread across different neighborhoods.

More Helpful Guides For Your 3 Day NYC Trip:

Well, that my friends, is how to spend 3 days in New York City! And then some. I hope you enjoyed this comprehensive guide to 3 days in NYC. Let me know if you have any questions or comments below!

Enjoy the Big Apple!

Until next time!


Thursday 22nd of February 2024

Amazing! Thank you for the awesome tips!

MaryLyn Miller

Wednesday 27th of September 2023

Brilliant! Thank you for sharing your expertise in a concise guide. We are planning a trip to visit our youngest son who recently moved to NYC and will use your advice . Looking forward to future trips to NYC .

New York Simply

Wednesday 27th of September 2023

Thank you for the kind comment MaryLyn and congratulations to your son, what an exciting adventure! We hope you love the city as much as we do and make sure to visit for the holidays at least once in your life, you won't regret it. Cheers!


Saturday 22nd of July 2023

Brilliant guide, thank you! We went to nyc 2018 and did loads but kind of just wandered, wanted to plan it better this time and I think we’re probably going to follow this guide exactly as you said! Maybe miss a few little things but otherwise do it all👍🏻