1 Day in New York City

Making The Most of the Day: 1 Day in New York City (2024)

Everyone wants to visit the New York City (NYC). It is one of those fantastic cities that is probably on every traveler’s bucket list. And as it is a major city in the US, New York City’s airports act as transit hubs. Sometimes, you have a day to explore the city before embarking on another destination. I get it! And so, in this post, you will find the perfect itinerary for 1 Day in New York City.

This article may contain affiliate links, meaning if you decide to purchase via my links, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. For complete information, please see our affiliate disclaimer here.


  • The prices mentioned in the post are valid only at the time of publication. Ensure that you check the booking websites for up-to-date information and prices.
  • My opinions and views are unbiased. If the post is a collaboration, then they are specifically mentioned.
  • Ensure that you check the relevant websites for up-to-date information on COVID protocols.
  • For any adventurous activities, please note that there is a risk that can be dangerous. Ensure you read the terms and conditions recommended by individual agencies and do them at your own risk.
  • For visas, it is best to see the embassy website for changing rules.
  • While using the recommended guides, auto-drivers or taxi drivers, do your due diligence and trust your judgement.

About New York City

Situated on the east coast of the United States of America (USA), New York City is one of the most iconic cities in the world. The city is a global hub for art and entertainment and is popular for famous landmarks, such as the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building.

New York City, a mesmerizing metropolis that captivates the soul, is a beacon of diversity, energy, and unparalleled experiences. From the iconic skyline adorned with towering skyscrapers to the hustle and bustle of its vibrant streets, every corner of the city tells a unique story. The rhythm of life in the Big Apple is like no other – a symphony of cultures, cuisines, and creativity.

In the heart of Manhattan, Times Square pulsates with the vibrant glow of neon lights, showcasing the city’s ceaseless vitality. Central Park, an urban oasis sprawling amidst the concrete jungle, invites you to escape into nature’s embrace. The Statue of Liberty, standing tall in the harbor, symbolizes freedom and the city’s rich history.

Skyline - New York City

Culinary adventures await in every neighborhood, from the trendy eateries of Brooklyn to the world-class restaurants in Midtown. The city’s diverse gastronomic scene is a feast for the senses, offering a culinary journey that reflects the melting pot of cultures that define New York.

As the city that never sleeps, New York embraces the arts with Broadway’s dazzling performances, iconic museums like the MET, and the cutting-edge galleries of Chelsea. The vibrant street art and music scene add an extra layer to the city’s creative tapestry.

Whether you stroll through the historic streets of Greenwich Village or take in the panoramic views from the top of the Empire State Building, New York City weaves a spell that lingers in the heart. The city’s energy, people’s resilience, and the endless possibilities unfolding in its streets make falling in love with New York City an inevitable and unforgettable journey.

Pre-Planning and Important Information

Usually, you need at least 3 to 4 days as there are many things New York City can offer to its visitors. But if you have 1 day in New York City, you need to pre-plan and know before visiting the city.

  • If you want to see the highlights of New York City in one day, then ensure to book the attraction tickets in advance.

Pro Tip: Always purchase a combo ticket that provides you access to multiple attractions. This combo ticket will cost you less than the individual tickets combined.

  • The city can be expensive and so ensure that you either walk to some of these attractions or use public transportation such as subways.
  • Wear comfortable shoes and clothing as you will be walking quite a bit exploring the city.
  • The US has a tipping culture, and you are expected to tip at each restaurant or cafe.
  • The most popular times to visit New York City are during spring (March to May), summer (June to August) and fall (September to November) seasons, as there are lots of events and shows that happen during these times.
  • During the winter (December to February) season, the city quietens and there are less tourists at the time. But the city is one of the places where you can see the white Christmas in the US and there are still things that you can do in New York City during Christmas.
  • If you are a solo traveler like me, be cautious in the city, especially at night.
New York City Skyline
New York City Skyline

1 Day in New York City Itinerary

Morning – Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and Battery Park

If you are looking for places to visit on the west coast of the US, then here are the top 20 cities to visit on the west coast.

Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island

Start your morning very early and head straight to the Statue of Liberty. Referred to as Lady Liberty, the Statue of Liberty was a gift from the people of France to the US. It is conceived as a symbol of enduring friendship between France and the US.

To visit the Statue of Liberty and the museum, you will need to take a ferry from Battery Park to the Liberty Island. The ferry is around 15 minutes and costs about $25 to $35 per adult.

View of Statue of Liberty - New York City
View of Statue of Liberty

Serving as a main immigrant processing station, Ellis Island is a historic site in the harbor. There is a National Museum of Immigration on Ellis island that you can visit. The museum features artefacts, photographs, and other essential resources from history. The same ferry that goes to the Statue of Liberty stops by at Ellis Island. You can stop by at Ellis Island while going to the Statue of Liberty.


There is a cafe at Ellis Island where you can have coffee and breakfast. A more convenient location is at Battery Park, where there are a few more options for breakfast. Le District has a French-inspired market with excellent breakfast varieties.

Battery Park

Providing incredible views of New York Harbor, the Battery Park is an urban park. The name is derived from the artillery batteries that were once stationed here to protect the early Dutch settlers. After returning from the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, spend some time at the park admiring the beautiful views of the harbor.

Late Morning – The Financial District

The Financial District

Walk down to the Financial District from Battery Park. The walk is only 10 minutes and is less than a kilometer. With significant financial institutions, including the New York Stock Exchange, the Financial District is the city’s economic centre.

Some notable buildings and structures you can see are the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, Charging Bull, Fearless Girl statue, One World Trade Center, and 40 Wall Street.

Wall Street New York City
Wall Street

Early Afternoon – Central Park

Central Park

Located in the heart of Manhattan, Central Park is the city’s most famous and loved public park. Spread across 843 acres, Central Park was designed in the mid-19th century. Now, it is home to thousands of trees and plants, fountains, and bridges.

Carriage ride at Central Park, New York City
Carriage ride at Central Park

When you are in Central Park, you can visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Central Park Zoo and Delacorte Theater.


There are many upscale restaurants at Central Park. The neighbourhood is brimming with many cafes and restaurants that you can choose from. You can have your lunch at Tavern on the Green, The Loeb Boathouse, or The Central Park Conservatory Garden Cafe.

Late Afternoon – Empire State Building

Empire State Building

After your lunch at Central Park area, take a subway to Empire State Building. The journey on a subway is around 10 minutes.

Providing 360-degree panoramic views of the city, the Empire State Building is located at 350 Fifth Avenue. Completed in 1931 during the Great Depression, the Empire State Building was the tallest building at that time with a height of 443.2 meters.

There are three types of passes that you can purchase for the Empire State Building, and they start from $44 per adult. The main observatory deck is on the 86th floor of the building. You can also visit the top deck on the 102nd floor. The price of the ticket is higher for the top deck.

New York City
View from the Empire State Building

Evening – Fifth Avenue and Times Square

Fifth Avenue

Take a stroll on Fifth Avenue after you are done with the Empire State Building. With high-level and upscale shopping centers, restaurants, cultural institutes and historical landmarks, the Fifth Avenue is one of the prestigious avenues in the city.

Do not forget to visit the Billionaire’s Row between 49th and 60th streets of Fifth Avenue. The streets are filled with high-class and most expensive real estate in the world.


From Fifth Avenue, take a subway to Times Square. At Times Square, there are many restaurants where you can have your dinner. Try Toloache if you love Mexican or The View Restaurant & Lounge, a revolving restaurant.

Times Square

Known for digital signboards and dazzling displays of lights, Times Square is one of the busiest entertainment hubs in the city. Located at the heart of Broadway theater district, Times Square is a must visit in the city.

At New Years, the famous ball drop happens at Times Square and people from all around the world gather just to see that ball drop. Also, if you have time, do not forget to catch a show at Broadway.

Times Square New York City
Times Square

Closing Notes

In conclusion, the itinerary described in this post may seem a bit ambitious, but it is doable, and I followed the exact same itinerary during my first travel to New York City. But as I mentioned in the beginning, there are many more things you can see and do in this city, and 1 day in New York City seems a bit less.

Note: I have used American spellings throughout the post as New York City is in the US.

How can you support me?
You know how much I love coffee, so you can buy me a coffee – Buy me Coffee!

Or you can purchase from one of the below travel resources without any extra charge to you:
Travel Resources
Book your flight on Skyscanner.com or Trip.com
Reserve your accommodation on Stay22
Reserve your stay at a hostel on HostelWorld
Use RentalCars or DiscoverCars for hiring self-driven cars
Book your tours and travels or purchase tickets on Viator or GetYourGuide
For a universal SIM card, use DrimSim
Buy comprehensive travel insurance on SafetyWing and WorldNomads

If you liked this article and if it was helpful in your planning or traveling, do share, tweet, or pin this post.

Follow me on Instagram | Facebook | YouTube | Twitter | LinkedIn

Do you have a question? Do you want any suggestions and tips for travel, hikes, and scuba dives? Use the Subscription box below to sign up and get updates by email.

Learn how to plan more, travel more, & live more

Get valuable travel tips and tricks, travel inspirations and listen to my stories in your inbox.

Making The Most of the Day: 1 Day in New York City (2024)
    We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at any time.

    PIN for later reference | 1 Day in New York City