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How to Spend a Weekend in New York City

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Spending a weekend in New York City? This guide will give what you need for a great 72 hours in NYC

If you’re visiting New York City for the weekend, these ideas will help you make the most of your getaway. Here’s some inspiration for your weekend itinerary to make sure you get the total New York City experience.

new york city skyline

New York City Skyline, Trover Photo by Steven Bostock

Friday Evening

Once you arrive on Friday evening, you’ll have 72 hours in New York City. A boutique hotel in the central downtown district is the way to go when staying in the city. You’ll be close to a number of exceptional restaurants, so you can dig into a juicy, seared steak at Porter House Bar & Grill or sample the upscale Mexican cuisine at Empellón.

After you’ve indulged in your first New York City meal, head to the East Village for drinks; it has everything a thirsty traveler might want. You can feel the friendly neighborhood vibe of Maiden Lane or choose the higher-end appeal of Ruffian, which has an excellent selection of wine.

Cap off your night with an awesome view of the city lights. The Empire State Building is open until 2 a.m. all year round, providing an exceptional 360-degree view of the city. For an authentic New York City experience, take in the sights from the Brooklyn Bridge, which is open to foot traffic until 10 p.m.

empire state building

The Empire State Building, New York City, Trover Photo by Carlo Dacanay

Saturday Morning

Sarabeth’s is the place for a truly indulgent brunch. Since it’s well known for its exquisite artisanal dishes, you might want to make a reservation and get there early, or be prepared to wait in line. If you prefer a less crowded spot to make the most of your remaining 48 hours in New York City, there are plenty of coffee shops to grab a delicious pastry and drink as you head out on Saturday morning in the city.

If you’re planning to take in a Broadway show on Saturday night, head directly to the TDF TKTS booth in Times Square. You can people watch at one of the city’s biggest attractions while you buy your tickets in advance.

Shoppers can take a walk down chic Fifth Avenue at 57th Street, where they’ll find a number of iconic stores, including Tiffany’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Bergdorf Goodman. If you’re looking to extend your shopping spree, you can head over to Madison Avenue. It’s home to Barney’s New York and high-end designers, such as Ralph Lauren.

rockefeller center

Rockefeller Center, New York City, Trover Photo by Jade Mojado

Artsy travelers will get a kick out of browsing books and music in edgy Greenwich Village, while Bohemian hipsters will love the sassy shops of the East Village.

For a lunch you won’t soon forget, you can dine 60 floors up at Manhatta in the Financial District. You’ll be delighted with stunning city views, classy comfort food, and a glass of wine.

Saturday Night

Before your Broadway show, you can treat yourself to an exceptional dinner at Gloria. If you’re looking for a casual spot to grab a bite, Los Tacos No. 1 is perfect for street-style tacos, quesadillas, and aguas frescas.

Not into Broadway hits? One of these New York City attractions is bound to capture your attention:

Sunday Morning

For your last 24 hours in New York City, you can grab some takeout at Ground Central Coffee Company before heading on over to Central Park.

Central Park is an attraction for all seasons; there’s skating in the winter, rowboat rentals in the summer, fields of yellow daffodils in the spring, and breathtaking colors in the fall. You can also hop on a fairytale carriage for a romantic ride around the park.

central park landscape

Central Park, New York City, Trover Photo by Alouise Dittrick

The park is conveniently located near many of New York City’s museums and art galleries. If you’re passionate about the past, the American Museum of Natural History is right in the park.

From Central Park, art lovers are also within walking distance of the Guggenheim, Metropolitan Museum of Art, or Met Breuer. If you’re working up an appetite, you won’t have to look farther than Flora Bar, which is in the same building as the Met Breuer. It’s a convenient lunch option for your culture-filled Sunday morning.

Sunday Night

A perfect way to spend your final night in New York City is to choose a district and immerse yourself in its unique atmosphere. You can grab a slice at Lombardi’s, the first pizzeria in America, before exploring Little Italy. Maybe you’d prefer to embrace the 70s charm of Big Wong King in Chinatown and slurp a bowl of congee. Or, you can absorb the vibrancy and culture of Harlem with some rejuvenating soul food at Amy Ruth’s.

Wrap up your Sunday night and your vacation at the site of the world’s largest digital art exhibition, which runs every night in Times Square from 11:57 p.m. to midnight. For a breathtaking three minutes, the massive billboards are synchronized to create an unmatched visual experience.

Any time is the ideal time to get into a New York state of mind. Book your weekend getaway to New York City today.

Check out our other Weekend Guides for our top destinations

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New Orleans

Atlanta

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