5 Day itinerary for visiting New York City for the first time

Visiting New York City, let’s admit, this is for all of us very high on our bucket list. We all want to see those buildings and parks and monuments that you only got to see on TV so far. Especially for this purpose, I have put together tis 5day itinerary that will take you around all these famous places that you have seen in the movies and series. Although there is a lot to see and you could easily spend 2 weeks in this amazing city, I have tried to compile everything in a (heavily charged however ;-)) 5 day itinerary. Put on your comfy shoes and let’s get started with day 1.

Day 1 – 9/11 memorial places, China Town and Brooklyn

Take the subway to Fulton Street.

Let’s start this trip off with a hidden gem: a part of the Berlin wall. You can find this behind the WTC, to the left of Le District.

Now visit the 9/11 memorial, the One World Observatory and finally The Woolworth Building. This building is situated on Broadway, between Barclay Street and Park Place. This was, with its 214 meters, for 17 years long the highest building in the world.

Now visit Saint Paul’s Chapel on 209 Broadway.

Go to city hall and take a stroll around city hall park.

Visit China town and wander around the many streets.

Now go to Brooklyn Bridge and cross the Bridge (by bike or on foot). You can visit the Brooklyn Botanic Garden (free on Tuesdays and Saturday morning) and can go on a Brooklyn Brewery tour (free on Saturday). If you don’t mind the metro ride, you can equally visit Coney Island.

You can stroll around Brooklyn with the Brooklyn Flea market of walk the Brooklyn Heights Promenade or go to the more hipster area of Williamsburg.

Great viewing points on this first day are: Brooklyn Bridge Park en Brooklyn Heights Promenade

A typical New York meal can be eaten at Grimaldi’s Pizza (great pizza under the Brooklyn Bridge) or Juliani’s.

You could have a drink at the Union Pool of Night of Joy in Williamsburg (this is also a great viewing point)

There is a Target Supermarket (in case you want to have a picnic) on 255 Greenwich Street.

Day 2 – Financial District and Ellis Island

The programme yesterday was quite heavy, I admit. Don’t worry, in case you’ve missed anything, you can combine this with the Financial District and Ellis Island that we will be visiting today.

Take a subway to Wall Street. Visit Trinity Church and the New York Stock Exchange. Take a selfie with the charging bull. Now explore the financial district and Wall Street. You can have a drink at TGI Fridays (very known from movies and series) and then go visit the 9/11 Tribute Museum. If you’re in for a stroll or you want to eat a picnic, go to Battery Park and take the (free) Staten Island Ferry to have a great view of Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. Be aware that this ferry will not take you ON Ellis Island but it is a free alternative to have a look at it from on the water. If you want to go to Ellis Island, you might want to arrive early because this could take up some time. If you have some time left today, you can go to Governor’s Island, which is equally a great viewing point.

Day 3 – high line, Chelsea and West Village

Take the Subway to 34th Street – Hudson Yards

Take a stroll on the High Line, the great park on an elevated metro trail. Visit the Meat Packing District and the Chelsea Market. At the end of the High Line you’ll find West Village which is one of the nicest neighbourhoods of New York to stroll around. For the series binge-watchers amongst us: you can visit the Friends apartment on Grove and Bedfort Street or Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment (sex and the city) on 64 Perry Street.

You can equally go have a look at the New York University and Washington Square Park.

You can get your shopping fix wandering through SoHo and The Village.

You can buy food at the Chelsea Market (tip: buy some food to have a picnic in central Park tomorrow) or eat out at Alta (64W 10th Street), Balthazar, Jack’s Wife Freda, Café Gitane or Scarpetta (355W 14th Street). If you’re into something sweet, hit Magnolia Bakery.

Day 4: Central Park

Go to Grand Central Station. There is a hidden gem here under the form of a whispering gallery. Now go to Central Park, stroll around and have your picnic. If you want to have brunch, you can go to Sarabeth’s (make reservations in advance though). You can’t miss a lunch at the Shake Shack as well.

In Central Park you can enjoy the nature and visit Bow Bridge (great selfie spot), Belvedere Castle (for free), Bethesda Terrace and fountain (great selfiespot), The Mall, Strawberry Fields (a tribute to John Lennon), The Boathouse and the Metropolitan Museum of Art (great selfiespot as well, Gossip Girl fans, these are the famous Met steps!). You can equally visit the Central Park Zoo. From here you can go do some shopping for the rest of the day on 5th Avenue and visit the Trump Tower. If you want to visit a zoo for free, you can go to the Bronx Zoo, however this is further away.

Day 5 – Midtown Manhattan

Start at the United Nations Headquarters (by the water), walk towards the Chrysler Building and then the MetLife Building. For the Gossip Girl fans, the Waldorf Astoria Hotel is equally in this neigbourhood. Visit St. Patricks Cathedral, Rockefeller Center, NBC Studios and Top of the Rock. Top of TheRock is less expensive that the Empire State Building + you’ll have the Empire State Building on your photos! A good tip, if you’re not seeing a Broadway Show tonight, is going around sunset to have the best pictures. Now visit Radio City Music Hall, MoMa, Times Square, buy a New York souvenir at the Hard Rock Café and visit Madame Tussauds. After this long walk with all these amazing buildings, you can go chill in Bryant Park and have a look at the New York Library.

Great food, although expensive, can be eaten at Le Bernardin on 155 W Street. If you’re going to see a Broadway Show tonight, you can have dinner in the area (some suggestions: Toloache, Bar Americaine and Ca Va Brasserie).

Drinks and a great selfiespot can be found at The Campbell on 15 Vanderbilt Avenue.

I hope you enjoyed this 5day visit! if you know other places to visit, eat or have a drink, please share them in the comments!

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