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Thrilling 2 Day New York Itinerary To Explore The Big Apple

New York, the city that never sleeps, the concrete jungle, the Big Apple, so many names for a place that will mesmerize you. Heading there and need a good, epic 2 day New York Itinerary? Look no further, this local right here created one just for you.

In New York, there’s always a new place to visit, no matter if you’re a regular or a first-timer who has only 2 days to explore this incredible place. I’ve put together this 2 day New York itinerary to help you make the most out of your visit. This itinerary includes some of the top sights that I have visited frequently as a local.  

So grab your comfy walking shoes, get your camera, and immerse yourself in New York City’s captivating energy. Let’s dive in and make the most of your unforgettable two days in NYC. 

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2 Day New York Itinerary: Day One

See The Statue Of Liberty & Ellis Island

On your first day in this 2 day New York itinerary, start your adventure by visiting perhaps the most iconic attractions in the city: The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. 

This historic landmark symbolizes the American Dream and provides an excellent opportunity to learn about the country’s history, people, and traditions. To get there, take a ferry ride to Liberty Island to get up close and personal with Lady Liberty herself, and be sure to climb to the top of the statue’s pedestal for breathtaking views of New York Harbor. 

From here, make your way to Ellis Island, which is where over 12 million immigrants entered the US between 1892 to 1954. Be sure to see all the exhibits and archives to understand the rich cultural diversity that makes New York City what it is today.

Save time and book your tickets in advance here.

Visit The Charging Bull & Wall Street

Photo for 2 day New York itinerary of the Charging Bull.
Charging Bull

After you’ve made your way back from Liberty Island, take the subway downtown and walk to the iconic Wall Street. Known as America’s financial capital, Wall Street is where the world’s largest financial institutions are located. 

I recommend you see the New York Stock Exchange and Federal Hall National Memorial before visiting one of the city’s most popular sights, The Charging Bull Statue, a symbol of ambition and prosperity. Snap some photos with this famous landmark before heading to Bowling Green Park in Lower Manhattan for a well-deserved rest!

Address: 26 Broadway New York City, NY 10004

 Explore The World Trade Center

The World Trade Center

A hub for culture, commerce, and community, featuring the famous Oculus. This striking piece of architecture is a must-see, with its stunning glass roof and brilliant white beams illuminating the space.

With plenty of shops, restaurants, and exhibits to explore inside, the World Trade Center is a great place to spend your first day in New York. Take a stroll on the nearby elevated park, High Line, and soak up the city views before continuing your urban exploration.

Address: 50 Church Street, New York, NY 10007

Pay Tribute & Visit 9/11 Memorial & Museum

9/11 Memorial

On a typical Tuesday morning on September 11, 2001, the world as we knew it changed forever. The events of that fateful day, which saw the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center crumble to the ground, were shocking and devastating. 

To pay tribute to the thousands of lives that were lost and those who risked their own to help others, visit the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. Visiting the memorial and museum to pay tribute or just learn more about the United States’ history will provide importance and pride to your trip. 

You can visit every day, except Tuesdays from 9 AM to 7 PM. You can view admission prices here.

Address: 180 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10007

One World Observatory

Have one magical evening in the city by visiting One World Observatory at the top of One World Trade Center. This awe-inspiring space offers spectacular 360-degree views of New York City, including the Empire State Building, and the Statue of Liberty. 

Spend some time to take it all in before heading down to ground level to explore Battery Park and catch a glimpse of Ellis Island. Make sure to watch the sunset over this incredible skyline!

Avoid any lines and purchase your ticket in advance. You can visit every day from 10 AM to 7 PM.

Address: 117 West St, New York, NY 10007

Stroll The Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge

The Brooklyn Bridge is a must-see for a two-day trip to NYC. This iconic structure spans the East River and connects Manhattan to its neighboring area of Brooklyn. 

Walk across this historic bridge or enjoy breathtaking views of the city skyline from underneath it. Make sure you also take some time to explore DUMBO (Down Under The Manhattan Bridge Overpass) and enjoy its unique shops, restaurants, art galleries, and street performers.

Cruise New York With A Boat Tour

Take an evening cruise on New York Harbor to get a different view of the Big Apple. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a returning tourist, this tour will give you breathtaking views of the city’s skyline you might have never seen before. 

Capture stunning photos of iconic landmarks such as the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and the Brooklyn Bridge as you navigate around the harbor. Sit back and relax as an experienced guide narrates these landmarks’ history and meaning. 

2 Day New York Itinerary: Day Two

Grand Central Station

A two-day New York City itinerary wouldn’t be complete without visiting Grand Central Station. It’s the world’s largest train station in terms of size and passenger traffic. Admire its beautiful architecture as you wander around its stunning halls.

Make sure to take a peek at the famous Whispering Gallery, where two people can stand facing opposite walls and have a hushed conversation that will be clearly heard by each other! Plus, don’t forget to take some time to stock up on snacks from the many food vendors located here before setting off for your next adventure.

Address: 89 E 42nd St, New York, NY 10017

Explore St. Patrick’s Cathedral

St. Patrick’s Cathedral

Continue your day by exploring St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the largest Neo-Gothic Roman Catholic Church in the United States. I also recommend you visit the crypt of Archbishop John Hughes, who completed this beautiful structure in 1879. You’ll be surprised at the intricate details of the towering stained-glass windows and the delicate carvings on the stone columns. 

Take a guided tour to learn more about the cathedral’s fascinating past and present, and don’t forget to take a peek at the treasury, which contains some of the city’s most beautiful and complex pieces of art. 

The cathedral is open every day from 6:30 AM to 8:45 PM.

Address: 5th Ave, New York, NY 10022

Visit The Rockefeller Center

Rockefeller Center

Experience the beauty of NYC from above by visiting the iconic Rockefeller Center. There are many stores, restaurants, and attractions, including the Top of the Rock Observation Deck, for breathtaking views of the city skyline. Take a stroll along Fifth Avenue or visit Radio City Music Hall before heading to your next destination as well.

Address: 45 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10111

Gawk At Times Square

A trip to New York City wouldn’t be complete without stopping by Times Square, the buzzing center of NYC’s entertainment and media industry. When you stare at the bright lights, flashy billboards, and bustling crowds it will leave you awestruck.

If you get time, try to catch one of the popular Broadway shows to enjoy a genuine NYC experience.

Explore The Empire State Building

Empire State Building

One of my favorite places to visit is the Empire State Building, another one of New York City’s most iconic spots. Multiple elevators are available to take you up 102 stories for stunning city skyline views. This iconic landmark stands as a symbol of the city and its energetic spirit, and it’s easy to see why. It’s the best way to see New York in 2 days. 

There are plenty of exhibits that will educate you about its fascinating history and will keep you entertained as well. Apart from this, the building features various observation decks on a few floors to give you the best views of the city.

Be sure to purchase your tickets in advance here. Doors are open every day from 10 AM to 9 PM.

Address: 20 W 34th St., New York, NY 10001

View Art At The Metropolitan Museum Of Art

Next on this two-day New York itinerary, I’ll take you to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, or as we locals call it the MET. This is one of the world’s greatest art galleries. You could easily spend a whole day here as there are over 5 million pieces of art on display!

Visiting the MET you can travel back through ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, and more, with the extensive art collections here. Make sure to visit the modern art galleries to see works from famous artists like Monet, Van Gogh, and even Picasso. 

For any art lover, the MET is an iconic museum and a must-see during your visit to NYC. You will easily get excited gazing at some of the world’s greatest masterpieces.

For adults admission is $30, however, if you plan on visiting another exhibit the price might increase. Purchase your tickets in advance online here. You can visit the MET Sunday to Thursday from 10 AM to 5 PM and Friday to Saturday 10 AM to 9 PM. The MET is closed on Wednesdays.

Address: 1000 5th Ave, New York, NY 10028

Stroll Central Park

If you’re looking for something a bit more peaceful, I highly suggest you take a stroll through Central Park. This iconic 843-acre park is the perfect place to spend an afternoon or evening in nature. There are many stunning features to explore, such as the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, Bethesda Fountain, and Belvedere Castle.

For those feeling adventurous, ride a horse and carriage or explore its many trails. From relaxing ponds to lush gardens, Central Park has something for everyone and a must-see on this two day New York itinerary. 

See A Broadway Show

Seeing a Broadway show should be a must during your very short trip to New York. Whether you’re into musicals, or not so much, this is an experience worth having in a lifetime. 

I highly suggest reserving tickets in advance here. From the moment the curtains open until the very end of the show, you’ll be captivated by the energy and excitement of Broadway.

How To Get Around New York City

Whether you prefer walking, taking the subway, riding a ferry, hopping in a taxi, or using the bus, there are plenty of ways to navigate around the city. As a previous local, I’m going to show you how to get around for this 2-day New York itinerary.

Foot

Walking is the best way to explore New York City, especially if you want to experience the city like the locals. Many popular attractions, such as Times Square, Central Park, and High Line, are easily accessible by foot. 

New York City is divided into numbered streets and avenues, so it’s relatively easy to navigate once you get used to the grid system. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes to walk freely around town!

Subway

The New York City subway system, apart from being iconic, is one of the world’s most extensive public transportation grids. It covers all of New York and offers an affordable way to travel longer distances quickly within the city. 

The subway operates 24/7, with frequent trains running on different lines, and you can purchase a MetroCard at subway stations to pay for your fares. We recommend you check the subway map or use navigation apps to plan your route and familiarize yourself with the different lines and stops.

Ferry

If you want to enjoy breathtaking views of the city while getting from one place to another, then taking a ferry is a great option. New York City offers ferry services that connect different parts of the city. The Staten Island Ferry, for example, is free and provides a great sight of the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline. 

There are other ferry services, like the East River Ferry and the NYC Ferry, that have affordable fares and provide convenient access to various waterfront neighborhoods.

Find out more about pricing and purchase your ferry tickets in advance here.

Taxi

Taxis are an iconic part of New York City’s transportation system, and calling a yellow cab is a common sight on the streets. Taxis can be found throughout the city, and you can easily hail one by raising your hand when the roof light is lit. 

Taxi fares are metered, and there may be additional charges for tolls, surcharges, and tips, so make sure to have this in mind when you’re looking for a yellow car.

Ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft are also great options, which offer competitive prices and additional options. 

Bus

New York City buses are excellent for traveling shorter distances. The bus network covers the entire city and operates 24/7, just like the subway.

You can pay your bus fare using a MetroCard or exact change if you have it with you. Bus stops are usually marked with a sign, and you can use the MTA Bus Time app for real-time bus arrival information.

Two Day New York Itinerary Recap

2 Day New York Itinerary Day 1

  • See The Statue Of Liberty & Ellis Island
  • Visit The Charging Bull & Wall Street
  •  Explore The World Trade Center
  • Pay Tribute & Visit 9/11 Memorial & Museum
  • One World Observatory
  • Stroll The Brooklyn Bridge
  • Cruise New York With A Boat Tour

2 Day New York Itinerary Day 2

  • Grand Central Station
  • Explore St. Patrick’s Cathedral
  • Visit The Rockefeller Center
  • Gawk At Times Square
  • Explore The Empire State Building
  • View Art At The Metropolitan Museum Of Art
  • Stroll Central Park
  • See A Broadway Show

2 Day New York Itinerary Final Thoughts

 Well, that’s a wrap on our 2 day New York itinerary. Follow my guide and you’ll have a great time exploring the city and its attractions. Whether you’re looking for fine dining experiences, Broadway shows, or just enjoying nature walks in Central Park, you will surely have an unforgettable experience. So wear your walking shoes and prepare for an amazing two-day journey in the Big Apple!

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