Ah, New York City, or the Big Apple… the place where dreams come true, where people come for pleasure and business from all over the world, mixing and creating a scintillating and vibrant atmosphere. You could easily spend 1 week in NYC with activities and sites still left for your mind to ponder.
A city like New York can be very intimidating to any traveler, no matter if you're novice or expert, solo or with friends. If you don’t have the luxury of spending your sweet time exploring and only have one day to pack as much in as you can and create some unforgettable memories that leave you wanting more, then you will want to read on! From stepping off the plane in the morning to boarding 24 hours later, let me take you through a perfect day in The Big Apple.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so why not treat it that way? If you feel the need to become a local New Yorker for 24 hours, grab a bagel with cream cheese on the go, with a classic Americano coffee of course. Many bagels will be readily available on any corner store, however you should try to locate a store that makes them fresh throughout the day. If you play your cards right, you won’t have to worry about eating until much later in the day.
9 Statue of Liberty
Another must-see and hard to miss attraction, the Statue of Liberty is perhaps, along with Central Park, New York’s most famous attraction, and indeed the world. Board the ferry from the Battery Park Terminal, arrive on the island and climb to the top for sensational, panoramic views of Greater Manhattan, with the Hudson splitting through the middle. My advice would be to take the guided tour to get the most out of your journey here.
8 Central Park
Experience tranquillity right in the middle of one of the world’s busiest cities. Whether you are in New York for a week or a day, Central Park is a must-see and, to be honest, it is quite hard to miss, what with being located smack-bang in the center of New York! You would be happy to know that it is free to enter and there are plenty of fun activities that are also free, surprise, surprise.
If you only have 24 hours, you can choose to spend it within the confines of the park by taking full advantage of activities such as rowboats on the lake, ice skating (depending on the season), fishing or visiting the children’s zoo. However, if you are looking to make the most of your day, you’ll simply want to see what Central Park has to offer, and move on.
While you are in the area of Central Park, why not head to Madison Square Park for some well-deserved lunch (that is if you are hungry after those bagels). Use this as a chance to sit down and rest your legs for a big afternoon ahead. There are a number of options depending on your budget; from fancy restaurants to cheap eats, but nevertheless, it's a tranquil and peaceful park to spend an hour escaping the hustle and bustle of the city. If you are a sports fan, you can scope out Madison Square Garden and, if your lucky enough, there may even be a sporting event on for you to check out!
6 Greenwich Village
Grab one of New York’s famous yellow cabs or head underground to the subway and visit Greenwich Village. Begin your time here at Washington Square Arch, and if you love coffee, then you will want to make your way down to Caffe Reggio, the home of New York’s original cappuccino. After the obligatory coffee stop, keep walking to find yourself amidst the bars and clubs of the Village. Wherever you find yourself in Greenwich Village, you are sure to have a great time.
5 River cruisin’
Departing from South Ferry, the river cruise down the Hudson is sure to leave you speechless. It is a one hour, free cruise that will see you take-in the NYC skyline, Lady Liberty and Ellis Island, before returning back to South Ferry. Here, you will only be a short 10-minute walk from the famous Financial District, and indeed, Wall Street. You will come across the infamous Raging Bull on Wall Street, as well as the 17th century Trinity Church, Stone Street, and Mill Lane
4 Empire State Building
One cannot simply come to terms with the sheer size and urbanization of New York until they experience it in person from the Empire State Building. If you're a film buff, you’ll be happy to know that many movies have been shot in this very building, which also houses many businesses as well.
Tickets do cost money and, as you can imagine, are quite high in demand, so ensure you book your tickets in advance. No matter if you have seen the city from the river cruiser or from Liberty Island, there is nothing quite like the view from the 102nd floor. You really do have to experience it to believe it.
3 Shoppers Haven
Spend the mid-afternoon walking off lunch and reflecting on the significance of the city you are standing in by taking a few hours to shop. It is only appropriate that one of the largest cities in the world is a paradise for shoppers, but as you can imagine, it does not come cheap. Of course, there are stores and malls to cover any budget, but you must be careful not to get carried away. SoHo and Bloomingdales are just some of the places you can find that dream sweater and possibly even spot a celebrity or two!
Aside from the sights and activities of New York, it is also famous for its Broadway productions. There is no shortage of theatres either, with World Travel Guide claiming there are a staggering 41 to choose from, so you are bound to find a show that suits you, and once again, your budget. If you don’t feel like walking too far during your day in NYC, you can opt to stay around the Broadway/Times Square area and rest assured (pun not intended) that you will be satisfied for the whole day.
1 Times Square
Times Square has something for everyone, much like the rest of New York, really. Whether you enjoy sports, theatre, culinary flare, or if just being around lots of people gets you going, then Times Square is a must visit. Madame Tussauds Wax Museum calls the Square home, as well as many museums, or if you are in a lazy mood (I don’t blame you) then you can purchase an all-day hop-on-hop-off bus pass and explore Times Square, and the infinite other attractions in New York City.