New York City comprises 5 boroughs sitting where the Hudson River meets the Atlantic Ocean.
New York City comprises 5 boroughs sitting where the Hudson River meets the Atlantic Ocean. At its core is Manhattan, a densely populated borough that’s among the world’s major commercial, financial and cultural centers. Its iconic sites include skyscrapers such as the Empire State Building and sprawling Central Park. Broadway Theater is staged in neon-lit Times Square. New York City is a center for media, culture, food, fashion, art, research, finance, and trade. It has one of the largest and most famous skylines on earth, dominated by the iconic Em
10:00am-12:00pm : Central Park
In the midst of all of the city's concrete and high-rises, Central Park brings greenery and shady places for relaxation--as well as a zoo, carousel, skating rink, theater, and several fountains--to the northern part of the city. Stroll, bike, picnic, or people-watch among 341 hectares (843 acres) of lakes, jogging paths, woodlands, walkways, lawns, and trees. One of the country's major historical landmarks, the park hosts frequent concert, plays, and art shows. Stop by the Alice in Wonderland statue, a favorite place for photos.
10:00am-1:00pm : American Museum of Natural History
Navigate the wonders of the natural world at American Museum of Natural History, one of the largest museums in the world. Conveniently located across from Central Park, the museum complex features 45 permanent exhibits spread throughout 27 interconnected buildings. Admire the life-size displays of African elephants as you tour the Hall of African Mammals, or head to the Hall of Fossils to see fossilized skeletons of Tyrannosaurus rex or a giant Stegosaurus. Enhance your museum experience with an IMAX movie or a show in the planetarium.
1:30pm-5:30pm : The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The country's largest museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art houses vast series of collections, with more than 2 million works divided among 17 departments. Within this single building view thousands of pieces of American and European art, including notable works by Whistler, Sargent, Rembrandt, and Vermeer. The museum also notably contains what's considered the greatest collection of Egyptian art outside Cairo. One of the world's most prestigious centers of art and culture, the museum welcomes more than 5 million visitors each year. Step inside to see Roman statues, musical instruments, antique weapons, costumes, period rooms, Egyptian artifacts, and modern photographs. Consider a guided tour of the museum highlights. You may want to end your visit with a drink in the rooftop bar.
10:00am-1:00pm : Statue of Liberty National Monument
A gift of friendship from the people of France, Statue of Liberty National Monument long represented the first glimpse of the United States for thousands of immigrants arriving across the Atlantic Ocean from distant lands. The 93 m (305 ft) statue's large pedestal includes an interior exhibit explaining the significance of this icon of liberty and democracy. Designed by sculptor F.A. Bartholdi and dedicated in 1886, the statue represents the Roman goddess of freedom holding a torch and a tablet of laws. It's essential to book tickets in advance. "Pedestal" tickets give you access the inside of the pedestal, the museum, and the Fort Wood level. Reservations to visit the crown can fill up to six months in advance. Ferries depart from Battery Park, New York or Liberty State Park, New Jersey. Check the ferry schedules and leave plenty of time for the security screenings.
1:30pm-4:00pm : Empire State Building
The 103-story Empire State Building in midtown stood as the world's tallest building for nearly four decades, from its completion in 1931 until 1970, when it was surpassed by another New York skyscraper. Considered an American cultural icon, the building underwent a massive renovation in 2010 to make it more energy efficient and eco-friendly. Admire the Art Deco mosaics in the lobby, and then take an elevator to the observation deck at the top, where you'll have 360-degree views of the entire city. If you don't have time to wait in line for the top, visit the 86th-floor observatory, which at 320 m (1,050 ft) high still provides remarkable views. If you're in the city in the evening, try to catch a glimpse of the building to see its pinnacle bathed in lights.
4:30pm-5:30pm : 9/11 Memorial
Commemorating the watershed event of recent American history, 9/11 Memorial marks the spot of the two World Trade Center buildings that were destroyed during the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Gain a deeper understanding of the tragic events surrounding those attacks by taking a guided walking tour of Ground Zero. A museum features exhibits ranging from objects found in the rubble to multimedia displays offering the stories and final voicemails of those who died in the buildings. You can stop by the memorial's two reflecting pools, designed to inspire hope and renewal and to pay tribute to victims.
10:00am-10:30am : St. Paul's Chapel
The oldest surviving public church building in Manhattan, St. Paul's Chapel features a simple but comfortable interior, designed to encourage attendance. Built in the 1760s on land granted by the queen of England, the chapel is a classic example of Georgian churches characteristic for its time. The building survived the fire of 1776, when the British captured the city and devastated the neighborhood. After the attacks on September 11, 2001, the chapel became a place of refuge for recovery workers from the nearby site of the collapsed twin towers. To see where George Washington worshiped when he visited the chapel, look for the oil painting of the national coat of arms, which hangs right over his pew.
11:00am-12:30pm : Rockefeller Center
Dive into New York City’s rich history with a tour of landmark Rockefeller Center. Sprawling over 9 hectares (22 acres) of midtown Manhattan, the 19-building complex is home to some of the city’s most important financial and commercial headquarters. Take a guided tour of the complex to learn about the Rockefeller family and the center's remarkable architecture, or get a behind-the-scenes look at NBC Studios, where the Today Show and other programs are filmed. Head 70 floors up to the Top of the Rock observation deck to enjoy panoramic views of the city.
1:00pm-3:30pm : Grand Central Terminal
Experience the bustling feel of the city at its transportation center, Grand Central Terminal. With old-world charm and impressive turn-of-the-century architecture, the two-story station covers an area of 19 hectares (48 acres), making it one of the largest terminals in the world. Wander the buzzing main concourse to admire the high-vaulted ceilings adorned with constellations, or the four-face clock that serves as the station’s icon. Head into the station's concourses for a wide array of restaurants and shops, including a market where you can pick up local produce and meat.
4:00pm-6:00pm : The High Line
A breath of fresh air in the middle of the big city, The High Line is a 1.6 km (1 mi) linear park. It's built on a short section of an abandoned elevated railway that once ran along the lower west side of Manhattan. Redesigned and planted as an aerial greenway, the first few sections of the park opened in 2009. The elevated park features gardens, birdhouses, benches, artwork, and cafes, and offers views of the city and the Hudson River. View the exhibit of mirror sculptures designed to reflect the surrounding greenery. An installation of 700 purple and gray glass panes, calibrated to match the center pixel of 700 digital pictures taken every minute on the Hudson, creates an extended portrait of the river.
10:00am-11:00am : New York Public Library
Admire the high marble arches and elegant pillars of one of New York City’s most iconic landmarks, New York Public Library. Situated in midtown Manhattan, the Beaux Arts structure serves as the flagship building of the New York Public Library system, containing a collection of over 6 million books. Take in the impressive carved ceiling, grand chandeliers, and ornate detailing of the famous Rose Main Reading Room, or take a seat outside and examine the building’s beautiful facade of carved marble. Stop by the library store to peruse the selection of antique books and library souvenirs.
11:30am-12:30pm : Times Square
Few places conjure up as many iconic images of New York as Times Square, the tourist center of the city, filled with bright video screens and LED signs flashing their messages 24 hours a day. Despite its name, this city landmark isn't a square at all, but the triangular intersections of several main roads in the middle of Manhattan. Stop at the prominent visitor center for restaurant and hotel recommendations, free maps, and ticket sales for many tourist attractions. Often called the crossroads of the world, the area features themed restaurants, theaters, and shops.
1:00pm-4:00pm : Top of the Rock
Get above many of Manhattan's high-rises at Top of the Rock, with an unobstructed, 360-degree view from the 70th floor. You can also gaze far and wide from protected outdoor terraces on the 67th and 69th floors. After a renovation that kept it closed for several years, the deck reopened in 2005. Designed to resemble an ocean liner's deck, the observation deck offers a bird's-eye view of many of the city's iconic buildings. A timed entry system helps keep the lines shorter and the experience less crowded than at other viewing platforms in the city. Save even more time by purchasing your tickets online.
4:30pm-6:00pm : Rubin Museum of Art
The Rubin Museum of Art is an arts oasis and cultural hub in New York City’s vibrant Chelsea neighborhood that inspires visitors to make powerful connections between contemporary life and the art and ideas of the Himalayas, India, and neighboring regions. With a diverse array of thought-provoking exhibitions and programs—including films, concerts, and on-stage conversations—the Rubin provides immersive experiences that encourage personal discoveries and spark new ways of seeing the world. Emphasizing cross-cultural connections, the Rubin is a space to contemplate the big questions that extend across history and span human cultures.
10:00am-1:00pm : Broadway
Explore America's famed Broadway theater district during your trip to New York City. Since 1883, when Metropolitan Opera House relocated to West 39th Street and Broadway, this part of the city has served as a major attraction for locals and tourists, offering outstanding live-theater performances. The district is located in Midtown Manhattan and is known to many as the heart of the city for its historic and artistic value. See award-winning plays and musicals, classic theater pieces, and though-provoking, original work at any of its renowned theaters. If you don't have time to sit through an entire play, simply walk around and wonder at the district's neon lights and fast-paced crowds.
1:30pm-4:30pm : The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Delve into the world of 19th- and 20th-century art at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). The museum houses more than 150,000 paintings, drawings, sculptures, prints, photos, models and design objects created between 1880 and the present. View works by some of the contemporary art world's most influential artists, including Van Gogh, Monet, Picasso, and Rousseau. Don't miss the museum's world-renowned art photography collection. Try to save time for the vast collection of films and books. You can sip refreshments at the Terrace cafe while overlooking the museum's famous sculpture garden.
5:00pm-6:00pm : St. Patrick's Cathedral
Explore the interior of St. Patrick's Cathedral to witness its altars designed by Tiffany & Co, colorful stained-glass windows, and impressive organs. Featuring 19th-century Gothic Revival construction, this landmark Roman Catholic church takes up a whole city block and can accommodate 2,200 people. The gallery organ has a glorious wood facade and contains 7,855 pipes. Visit the on-site gift shop for religious and spiritual items. such as rosaries, prayer cards, and books. Guided tours and audio tours are available.
10:00am-11:00am : Chrysler Building
Known for its classic Art Deco architecture, Chrysler Building is one of the city's most recognizable landmarks. Located on Manhattan's east side, the 319 m (1046 ft) skyscraper, built in 1930, used to be the world's tallest building until the construction of the Empire State Building. Because it was originally intended to be the Chrysler Corporation's headquarters, the building has replicas of 1929 Chrysler radiator caps as the corner ornamentation on the 31st floor. Although much of the building is leased to businesses and unavailable to visitors, take a moment to admire the building's exterior and visit the lobby to get a closer look at the Art Deco details and the renowned ceiling mural by Edward Trumbull.
11:30am-3:30pm : Bronx Zoo
The world's largest urban zoo, Bronx Zoo displays more than 650 different species from across the globe--about 6,000 animals in total. The 107 hectare (265 acre) park features numerous sections and regional themes, including Wild Asia, Madagascar, African Plains, the World of Monkeys, and Tiger Mountain. You'll find a colony of critically endangered western lowland gorillas in their jungle habitat in the Congo Gorilla Forest, which showcases the zoo's commitment to conservation and provides residents with spacious outdoor enclosures. Check the zoo's online events schedule for animal feedings, zookeeper talks, and enrichment activities.
4:30pm-6:00pm : Tenement Museum
To see America through the eyes of an immigrant living in New York about a century ago, visit Tenement Museum, a five-story brick building that once served as home to nearly 7,000 people from over 20 different nations. The museum promotes tolerance and provides a historical perspective on the immigrant experience, featuring exhibits built to depict the lives of those who lived here between 1869 and 1935. You can take a tour of the former tenement any day of the week, but to place the lives of immigrants in the broader context of the city's history, consider taking a walking tour of the entire neighborhood. Check online for availability, and take advantage of considerable savings by booking a combination tenement-neighborhood tour.