How to Explore New York City in Three Days
Ah, New York City. I love it so much and had such a fun time on my most recent trip there. As great as it is to visit though, it can be a bit overwhelming. I wrote up a few of my best suggestions so you don’t have to feel quite as lost as I have so you can take the city by storm!
It can be hard to learn public transportation just by studying maps on your computer, so no matter what you’ll probably have some adjusting to do when you start your vaca. You can do a little prep though — know the places you want to go and what mode of transportation best suits it. Taking the subway or the bus is probably your most affordable option, but Taxis are so convenient because you can flag one down pretty much anywhere. Plus, I always feel pretty cool and like a New Yorker whenever I put my hand out to hail one.
2. Be local, not touristy
This is tricky because I definitely don’t blame anyone for wanting to go to the top of the Empire State Building or taking a tour of Eliis Island — I totally get it — these tourist attractions are part of the city’s DNA so of course you want to do those things. My only objection is that they take up so much time. Just one of these activities will pretty much take up an entire day, and when you only have three days to see such a big city you have to choose very wisely.
The first time I went to NYC I spent a week there and did every touristy thing you could think of. In my super quick trips since then, I’ve tried to spend more time wondering neighborhoods and trying different local restaurants. During my most recent trip, I literally spent hours wondering the upper east side (it has my heart forever). In the three days I was there, I visited so many Manhattan neighborhoods, which makes me feel like I’m actually getting to know the city instead of just being a tourist. Basically, I recommend doing a lot of little things instead of one or two big things when you only have a few days.
3. Make Reservations
Where I come from, most places do not require a reservation. This is not the case in NYC. If you have a restaurant you really want to try or a rooftop bar you’ve been dying to sip cocktails on — make a reservation. If it seems like it’s a more relaxed, casual place and you feel reservations probably aren’t necessary, I still highly recommend calling and asking. Better to call ahead and double check than to show up the day of and you can’t get a table.
4. Choose your location wisely
Whether you’re staying in an Airbnb or a hotel, choose your location super carefully. Want to wander picturesque streets and sip coffee in small cafes? Stay near the upper east side. Feel the need to be super close to all the crowds and plan on seeing five Broadway shows while you’re visiting? Stay near time square. Looking for a music scene in local bars? Check out the lower east side. You get the picture. Choose to stay closest to the activities you plan on spending most of your time doing. You’ll save money and time on transportation.
New York City is endless. You could live there your entire life and never see everything it has to offer. Do what feels right to you in the time you have to spend there — but trust me when I say it is one of most fabulous cities in the world!
What's your fav thing to do in NYC? Share below!