New York City is packed with iconic attractions and a long list of must-see sights. Trying to plan a New York City One-Week Itinerary can be a daunting task – but no need to worry: we’ve done the hard work for you! Our 7 days in New York Itinerary includes all the major highlights and a few hidden gems.
How To Plan a Trip to New York
There is no right or wrong way to plan a trip to NYC. The city is diverse – and it has something for everyone.
Although we have never lived in the city, I have regularly been visiting New York since I was a child. While I am extremely comfortable in the city, I’m also still in awe of it – and on every trip I find something new to discover.
While New York trip planning can be overwhelming, it doesn’t have to be. The city – while massive and teeming with sights – is not as intimidating as it seems. In fact, with our New York Itinerary, we have made NYC trip planning easy!
Pro Tip: We suggest using our Trip Planning Templates to research and organize your NYC vacation!
About Our One Week in New York City Itinerary
Our NYC itinerary includes the best city sightseeing – which helps make planning a New York trip a breeze.
Each day of this 1 Week New York trip is spent visiting top attractions, exploring the city’s best neighborhoods and eating incredible food. We soar to the top of skyscrapers and delve deep into exciting districts.
We have outlined a detailed sightseeing plan for what to see in New York City – and have squeezed just about as much as we can into our New York 7-Day Itinerary.
It is an ideal First Time New York Itinerary, but can be used by return visitors, too.
Cost of 1 Week in New York
There is no question: New York is an expensive city. Many of the must see sights in NYC cost upwards of $30, but there are many free attractions in New York, too. When you plan a trip to New York City, it’s best to set a budget first. (Use our free vacation budget planner!)
In our 1-Week New York Itinerary, we include a range of activities from budget to expensive. Penny-pinching travelers can use our suggested itinerary for New York to help plan their trip – and our NYC on a Budget blog post offers even more money-saving tips!
Pro Tip: Everyone likes to save money – so we include a few thrifty tips for your week in New York at the end of the post.
Is a Week in New York Too Long or Too Short?
There are so many things to do in New York City that we could never get bored! However, how long you plan for New York depends on many factors. Money, personal interests and overall time allotted for your trip should be major considerations for your New York City vacation.
How Many Days to Visit New York?
We think one week in NYC is the perfect trip length; visitors can see the city sights, explore intriguing neighborhoods and even take a day trip from New York City.
That said, we understand that not all travelers are planning a New York 1 Week Itinerary. Visitors planning less time can condense our 7-Day New York Itinerary to include the sights they most want to see.
On the other hand, travelers organizing a longer trip to New York can use our NYC Itinerary 7 Days as a base for their trip plans and expand it – either by adding more sightseeing or exploring the attractions we outline at a slower pace.
Alternate New York Itineraries
To better help fellow travelers planning a trip to NY, we have devised multiple New York itineraries – for shorter and longer NYC stays – and include them at the end of the post. Whether you are building a one day in New York City Itinerary or if you are spending 10 days in the city, our 1 Week in New York Itinerary blog post is the place to start planning your trip!
New York City One-Week Itinerary
Must See NYC, Manhattan Skyline, New York City
Our itinerary for New York includes everything you need to plan your trip! We include all of the details of how to spend a week in New York.
In addition to the sights to see, throughout our New York Itinerary 7 Days we include helpful links, route maps, restaurant tips and pertinent information for visiting the city. With all the details we include, planning your NYC sightseeing adventure should be a breeze!
Save, Pin or Bookmark our New York 1-Week Itinerary so that you can use it to plan (and during) your trip to NYC!
DAY 1 – Midtown New York Sights & Broadway Play
Empire State Building from Madison Square Park in New York City, New YorkEmpire State Building and skyline view from Top of the Rock New York City NYC JetSettingFools.comTimes Square New York City NYC JetSettingFools.comGrand Central Terminal Station New York City NYC JetSettingFools.com
Start your 1 Week in New York Itinerary in iconic Midtown. Explore the city streets on foot and marvel at the world-famous architecture. Spend time in bustling Times Square, then end the day with a Broadway Theater performance.
New York City Walking Tour in Midtown
Kick off your trip to New York in a week in the most exciting part of the city: Midtown. Start your exploration on an NYC Walking Tour to see iconic skyscrapers and buildings. Visitors can join a guided Midtown Walking Tour – or explore on your own.
Self Guided Manhattan Walking Tour
You can create your own Self-Guided New York Walking Tour in Midtown by seeing the sights listed below and using this link to Google Maps for the walking tour route.
Flatiron Building NY: Triangular building, resembling a clothes iron, built in 1902. No entry; best views from Madison Square Park.
Empire State Building: Iconic Art Deco tower built in 1931. Visitors who want to ascend to the observation deck should purchase Skip-the-Line tickets!
New York Public Library: A historical landmark, the library’s entrance is guarded by two stone lion statues. Free to enter!
Rockefeller Center: Built by the Rockefeller family in the 1930s, the complex is comprised of 19 buildings, including Radio City Music Hall and Top of the Rock. Tickets are required for the Top of the Rock observation deck; visitors should purchase tickets in advance!
St. Patrick’s Cathedral: Taking up an entire city block, the church features soaring spires and stained-glass windows. Free to enter!
Chrysler Building: A striking Art Deco building constructed in 1930. No entry.
Grand Central Terminal: A busy transportation hub, the Main Concourse is a must-see (check out the ceiling and historic clock at the information booth). While at Grand Central Station, stop for a fancy cocktail at The Campbell, a NYC institution. For a meal with some history, try the seafood at Oyster Bar in Grand Central Station, which has been around since 1913.
Times Square: The buzzing square is lined with name brand stores and bright billboards – and is a must-see in New York! As you are dazzled by the lights and sounds, stay aware and hang on tight to your valuables – tourists are a prime target for scams and petty theft in Times Square. (More about our recommended Day Pack for traveling to keep your items safe at the end of the post!)
Empire State Building or Top of the Rock? Both the Empire State Building and the Top of the Rock are sights that we include on Day 1 of our New York 7-Day Itinerary. Both buildings are incredible from the outside…but even more impressive from their elevated observation decks. That said, tickets cost about $30 USD for entry and long lines are time consuming. For the sake of time and money, we recommend choosing one or the other. While going to the top of the Empire State Building is truly iconic, but we actually prefer the views from Top of the Rock, where we can see the Empire State Building – as well as a view over Central Park.
Broadway Show & Dinner
End the first day of your 1-week trip to New York with a Broadway theater performance. Tickets to the most popular shows are pricey, but there are Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway shows that cost less. You can also find less expensive tickets the day of the performance at TKTS.
For dinner, find a place to eat in Times Square or somewhere nearby. While most of the American chain restaurants that clutter Times Square are over-priced and quality-deficient, they are part of the Times Square vibe. That said, there are a few local establishments that offer a more unique dining experience, which we highly recommend seeking out. Make a reservation at Sardi’s – a theater institution – or feast on a fun pre-Broadway meal at Joe Allen.
DAY 2 – Central Park and NYC Museums
The Resevoir Central Park New York City NYC JetSettingFools.comImagine Strawberry Fields Central Park New York City NYC JetSettingFools.comSacco PIzza Hell’s Kitchen New York City NYC JetSettingFools.com
Columbus Circle New York City NYC JetSettingFools.comGreat Lawn Central Park New York City NYC JetSettingFools.com
Start the second day of your New York Week Itinerary at Columbus Circle, then explore Central Park. Spend the afternoon in one of the NYC museums – like The Met. End the day in Hell’s Kitchen, one of NYC’s best neighborhoods.
The traffic circle at the southwest corner of Central Park was designed along with the park in 1857. At the center is a 76-foot-tall monument dedicated to navigator Christopher Columbus. The statue was erected on the square in 1892 and is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The 843-acre Central Park was the first public park in the nation. One of the best ways to discover the park is on two wheels. Rent a bike and complete the loop (allow at least an hour), but be sure not to miss the Great Lawn, Strawberry Fields and the Reservoir – as well as the many statues, fountains and monuments.
For a drink in Central Park, we suggest the Loeb Boathouse – but for a meal, we suggest eating at the historic Tavern on the Green.
Want a better introduction to Central Park? Join one of the many Central Park Sightseeing Tours.
New York Museums
Some of the best museums in New York City are located in or near Central Park. While there are numerous options, on a first trip to NYC, we recommend visiting one of the best – like The Met (Metropolitan Museum of Art) or the American Museum of Natural History.
It is important to note that these two museums are massive. Visitors should plan on spending several hours visiting – or see the highlights by joining a tour.
Two tours that are highly recommended by fellow travelers are the Metropolitan Museum of Art Highlights Tour (get the details!) and The Met and Natural History Museums Guided Combo Tour (book it now!).
Pro Tip: Other New York museums near Central Park that may be of interest to travelers are the Museum of Modern Art (MoMa), the Guggenheim Museum, the Jewish Museum and the Museum of the City of New York.
End day two of your 1 week in New York Itinerary in the vibrant Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood. Known for a slew of international restaurants and an enticing nightlife, it is the perfect place to spend an evening.
While there are many restaurants in Hell’s Kitchen, we suggest indulging in a classic NYC pizza. Sacco Pizza is a Hell’s Kitchen institution – and their pizzas are phenomenal! You can also join a Hell’s Kitchen Food Walking Tour (or a tour just for dessert!) For an after-dinner drink, we like Valhalla, which is a local drinking hole that features numerous beers on tap.
Day 3 – Lower Manhattan Financial District
One World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan, New York City, NYStatue of Liberty from Staten Island Ferry, New York City, New YorkThe Oculus Train Station and Mall in New York City, New York911 Memorial New York City
On Day 3 of your 1 week trip to New York, discover the sights in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan, visiting some of the world’s most known landmarks. Top sights include the Statue of Liberty, Battery Park, One World Trade Center, the 9/11 Memorial and Wall Street.
The Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island
Seeing Lady Liberty is essential on every New York trip! A gift from France, the Statue of Liberty has stood in New York Harbor since 1886. Visitors can get an up-close view of the iconic statue and learn about the history of Ellis Island on a fascinating tour (get the details!) – but book it early, as they do fill up!
Pro Tip: Just want a glimpse of Lady Liberty? Visitors can hop on the free Staten Island Ferry for a nice view of the Statue of Liberty and the New York skyline.
Freedom Tower & 9/11 Memorial
The towering One World Trade Center stands at an impressive 1,776 feet (the year of US independence). The landmark skyscraper – which ranks as the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere – was completed in 2013. The One World Observatory is an observation deck that offers unmatched vistas from the 102nd floor.
At the base of the tower is the moving 9/11 Memorial dedicated to the victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The memorial consists of two reflecting pools, which outline where the Twin Towers once stood.
Pro Tip: To learn more about the events that took place on September 11, 2001, consider taking a 9/11 Memorial Tour or visiting the poignant 9/11 Memorial Museum.
New York Stock Exchange & Wall Street
Known world-wide, Wall Street is home to the New York Stock Exchange, Trump Tower and the Federal Hall National Memorial. Relatively new to the street is the Fearless Girl Statue, who stands across from the NYSE building.
Dinner & Drinks in the Financial District
There is a wide variety of food on offer in the Financial District. Delmonico’s, which opened in 1837, is a classic NYC restaurant dedicated to serving perfectly cooked steaks (but we have yet to eat there!). For fun after-dinner cocktails, check out The Dead Rabbit Grocery and Grog.
Day 4 – The Best New York Neighborhoods
Washington Square Park Fountain, New York City NYC JetSettingFools.comHigh Line Park tracks New York City NYC JetSettingFools.comSoho architecture New York City NYC JetSettingFools.com
Painted building in Little Italy in New York City, New YorkMcSorley’s Ale House Irish Bar New York City NYC JetSettingFools.com
Spend Day 4 of your One Week New York Itinerary walking through the trendiest neighborhoods of New York City. The neighborhoods to see are Chelsea, Greenwich Village, Soho, Chinatown, Little Italy, and the East Village.
Navigate New York Neighborhoods on Foot
Exploring the neighborhoods in NYC on foot is the best way to get a feel for the distinctly different districts. The neighborhoods are listed in the order so that you can walk from one to the next, spending the entire day immersing yourself into the local New York scene.
The Chelsea neighborhood, which is comprised of converted factories and art galleries, fronts the Hudson River. Top attractions include The Vessel at Hudson Yards, the High Line elevated park and the Chelsea Market.
Just south of Chelsea, Greenwich Village – or just The Village – is Manhattan’s bohemian district. Sights in The Village include Washington Square Park, the ‘Friends’ apartment building and the Strand Book Store.
The SoHo neighborhood is named for its location South of Houston Street (which is pronounced house-ton). The architecture of the district – namely, the cast iron design – is why many visitors go to the neighborhood. However, the district is well-known as a shopper’s paradise, with many name brand flagship stores sitting along Broadway.
NYC Chinatown is a captivating neighborhood. Crammed with Asian eateries and souvenir shops, the streets are lined with neon lights and signs in Chinese symbols. Visitors often go to the district looking for inexpensive knock-offs, but we think the real reason to go is for the food!
Once home to the city’s thriving Italian community, Little Italy has dwindled to just a few blocks. That said, it is still worth a stroll down Mulberry Street. Nearby sights include the Tenement Museum and the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral.
End your day in the eclectic East Village. The neighborhood is filled with thrift stores, dive bars and tattoo parlors. Interesting places to check out are the Turntable Lab, the Russian and Turkish Baths and the Blind Barber (a neighborhood barber shop with a speakeasy-style lounge in the back room).
Dinner & Drinks in East Village
There are numerous places to eat and drink (and dance the night away) in the East Village. Our favorite – and a NYC institution – is Katz’s Delicatessen. Established in 1888, the deli is famous for their Pastrami on Rye.
After dinner, stop by McSorley’s Old Ale House where they have been pouring house beers – either light or dark – since 1854. We love the cozy tavern atmosphere where the history is palpable.
Day 5 – Roosevelt Island, Upper East Side & Harlem
Aerial Roosevelt Tramway connecting Manhattan to Roosevelt Island in New York City, New YorkTito Puente street art mural by LookoutCrew on 110th Avenue in East Harlem, New York City, New York
On Day 5 of your 7 Days in New York Itinerary, discover Manhattan’s northern neighborhoods. Ride the tramway to Roosevelt Island, go shopping in the Upper East Side and discover Harlem in the evening.
Start your day by taking the aerial tram across the East River to the long and skinny Roosevelt Island. On the southern tip of the island there is a memorial park dedicated to President Franklin D. Roosevelt – and, from the park, there are amazing views of the NYC skyline.
Pro Tip: The Roosevelt Tramway is part of the NYC transit system; tickets are just $2.75 and are paid for via a MetroCard (more about public transport at the end of the post!).
Upper East Side
Considered to be one of the upscale neighborhoods in NYC, the Upper East Side is characterized by world-class museums, elegant architecture, chic eateries and classy bars. The area is also a haven for fashionistas; shoppers will find boutique shops, luxury brand stores and iconic department stores (like Barneys, Saks and Bloomingdale’s).
Pro Tip: The time-honored Bemelmans Bar in the Carlyle Hotel is a posh place to stop for a mid-day cocktail.
Just north of the glamorous Upper East Side is colorful East Harlem. Also called “El Barrio” and “Spanish Harlem” due to the large population of Latin Americans that reside in the district, East Harlem is a unique (some might say gritty) enclave in the city. Filled with intriguing street art murals and incredible Latin American restaurants, the neighborhood has a distinctive and fun vibe.
Pro Tip: The neighborhood was once a popular place for Italians to live. Patsy’s Pizzeria is an icon of the district; the restaurant served as inspiration for Francis Ford Coppola when creating The Godfather films (and they also make incredible pizzas!).
Home to the Apollo Theater and the city’s jazz scene, Harlem is a vibrant neighborhood full of character and culture. We like to wander in Harlem, letting our senses guide us through the neighborhoods. Fellow travelers can explore on their own or let a guide lead the way on a Harlem tour (Gospel, Jazz, Hip Hop and Soul Food are just a few of the themed tours offered in the eclectic district!).