A One Day Itinerary for New York City:
Welcome to my one day New York City itinerary guide! Obviously, NYC is huge! Most people that live there haven’t even seen every inch of the city. However, I have put together a comprehensive list of things to do, eat, and see to get the most out of a one day visit to the Big Apple!
I am going to do this post two different ways…I am going to give you the details about what we actually did on this trip and then at the bottom I am going to list the Itinerary that I had originally planned to use, but wasn’t able to because of so much rain.
Another nice thing that you can do is purchase a New York City Pass that allows you pre purchased access to many of the museums and gives you access to the Hop-on-Hop-off Bus! Similarly, you can get this City Pass, which allows you to pick 3 main attractions to get into with discounted rates.
If you read my last post A Day in Washington D.C.; This post is technically the second part of that Post. We rode the train from VA to DC for one day and then rode a MegaBus from DC to NYC for one day. The Bus was fine; however, in the future, I will ride the train the entire way. We arrived in New York City around 10 am, so my itinerary plans are made to start around that time.
1. Hotel Check-in | CitizenM Hotel
Assuming that you are spending one night in the city, I would check-in to your hotel first thing. However, make sure you call ahead of time in order to request early check-in. This is the only reason I was able to check-in early on our trip! If you are not spending the night, simply ignore this part.
CitizenM Hotel Review:
We stayed at the CitizenM Hotel at 7th and 50th. This was the most incredible hotel that I have ever stayed in. I highly recommend spending just a little bit extra on this hotel, especially if you are only staying for one night! The room is small, as are most in NYC, but it is breath-taking. Everything is controlled by an iPad including the TV, free music, the blinds, the lights, etc. The theme of the Hotel is “CitizenM says…” followed by a funny random quote (read pictures below).
2. Food | Lunch Time:
After checking into our Hotel (50th and 7th), we walked down 50th street, towards Rockefeller Center. We stopped for food around 11 at The Melt Shop! They make souped up grilled cheeses. I had the buffalo chicken melt and it was insanely delicious!
3. Top of the Rock:
There are a few different options for getting sky high views in the city. We chose Top of the Rock mostly because it was centrally located to most of the things that we wanted to do. Reviewers recommend to get their as early in the day as possible. Also, I recommend purchasing tickets on your phone before you go. This will save you time from standing in line at the ticket counter. There is a security screening, so make sure you don’t have anything like knives, etc. on you when you go.
It started to rain as soon as we got to the top, making it harder to see as far as you would normally be able to. However, God is Good and the rain died down and the sun came out long enough for us to get some good views and decent pictures!
4. Cheesecake at Junior’s on Broadway
Junior’s was recommended to me by several different people and it did not disappoint! There are two different locations on Broadway; we stopped at the one at 49th street. We simply stopped in for coffee and cheesecake, which was a delicious treat on a rainy day!
5. Walk Uptown through Time’s Square
No trip to New York is complete without a walk through Time’s Square. Depending on what you feel like doing, you may or may not spend a lot of time here. There are a lot of photo opps and shops to stop by, or simply grab a seat somewhere, enjoy the views and people watch.
6. Explore Macy’s
I knew that this was the largest store in the world, but it is even more mind blowing that I could have ever imagined. I was so amazed I didn’t really take many pictures. It covers an entire city block; according to Google, it has 10.5 levels and covers 2 million square feet of shopping floor. There is a Gucci and Louis Vuitton Store inside, there is a Starbucks, restaurants, a Bar, and an ENTIRE floor of women’s shoes. We could take a girls trip and spend an entire day in this store!
7. Get a Taxi or Uber to Chelsea Market
Chelsea Market is a unique food/shopping market in the neighborhood of Chelsea in NYC. The building itself is very unique and there is much to see. Also, this is a great destination to put as your location for Uber or a Taxi to get to the High Line (next feature).
8. The High Line
This was one of my favorite parts of our day. The High Line is an old set of train tracks that was turned into a walking trail/park that is above the city.
The history behind it is that before trucking companies were a thing, the city had trains to carry in supplies. The original train was on the actual roads of NYC. Well, apparently, people refused to stop walking, even when the train was coming, so people kept getting hit and dying. Therefore, they build new train tracks above the city! Eventually, trucking became popular and the train was no longer needed… which is why those train tracks are now a city park.
We went right around dusk, and I highly recommend it! The sky was gorgeous! Praise God that the rain held off enough for us to enjoy a nice walk and beautiful views!
9. Pre-Dinner Drinks | Find a Rooftop Bar
After the High Line, we took an Uber back to our hotel to check out the rooftop bar at our Hotel. The views were amazing; I wish is was warmer so we could have enjoyed sitting outside here more. I am sure that there are tons of rooftop bars in the city. Google “rooftop bars near _____”. Insert whatever location you plan on ending up at.
10. Dinner | Basso56
We had dinner at a nice Italian Restaurant, Basso56. I made reservations before we arrive in the city, just to be safe. The food was delicious; we had a bottle of Sangiovese, calamari, chicken parmesan, spaghetti, and tiramisu! Between getting tired and enjoying the moment I did not get any pictures from dinner, but it was a great experience!
As I mentioned in the beginning, my original itinerary had a few more items in it that we chose to exclude due to rain. However, I will share it with you. This itinerary starts uptown and goes downtown.
- Early Lunch at Tanner Smith’s
- Walk through Central Park
- Walk downtown by the shops on 5th Ave.
- Explore Macy’s
- Walk downtown to Time’s Square
- Top of the Rock
- Cheesecake at Junior’s
- Uber to the High Line
- Chelsea Market
- One World Observatory or Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge
Thanks for reading my one day New York City itinerary guide! I am already planning another New York City trip for late summer! I hope to be able to do some of the things I had to leave off this time! What is your favorite spot in NYC?
Previous Post: A Day in Washington D.C. | A One Day Itinerary
This is not a sponsored post – All travel expenses were paid for by myself – All opinions are honestly and organically my own.
21 thoughts on “New York City | The Best Things to Do and See in One Day”
This is absolutely amazing! Your pictures are stunning, New York is on my bucket list and I’d love to visit when I’m older so it’s great that you got to do this! And your hotel looked lovely! 🙂 x
Thank you so much! I’m glad you enjoyed! It should be on everyone’s bucket list! I hope you get to go ♥️♥️
I have been to NYC three times and each trip I did something different. I would recommend going to the Metropolitan Museum of Art because it houses 5,000 years worth of art from around the world-not just paintings- and the building is stunning inside as well. Also it is good to have a Broadway Show checked off your list, there are so many choices! Cool hotel room!
I agree! I definitely want see a broadway show next time! The museum sounds good too!
Also the Cathedrals are beautiful, some give tours. I visited St. Patrick’s and it was beautiful!
Yeah! I like that idea too!!
I love NYC! This is a great guide to hit some highlights in one day!
Thanks for checking it out!! ♥️
This post makes me so excited for my New York trip in May! x
Yay that’s awesome! I hope you have a blast!!
Thank you x
So glad you visited nyc and had a great time! It’s one of my favorite places ever!
What a great one day guide! I love all of the CitizenM labels!
Thank you! And I know right, clever marketing!!
That hotel is so funny! Love it! And it looks like you had a great time!
Yes!!! I absolutely loved that hotel ♥️ It was a blast!
Definitely want to visit Top of the Rock next time I’m in NYC; thank you for sharing your itinerary with us!
It is definitely a must do! One world observatory is another good one (I haven’t done that one yet)
How is traveling with the mega-bus? We were going by plane but mannnnn… those bus tickets are cheap!
It’s pretty bumpy, but the 5 hours from DC wasn’t too bad. Cause like you said, it’s crazy cheap! We slept a lot. I don’t think I could handle it all the way from home though.