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    New York in 1 day: how to spend 24 hours in the Big Apple

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    Lluis Enric Mayans

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    Have you just arrived in the Big Apple, but are short of time? Do you have 24 hours or so but don't want to miss out on any of Manhattan's most fascinating attractions, despite the harmful effects of jet lag due to the time difference in New York? Here is the key question: cdare to see New York in one day? Seeing it all is obviously an impossible undertaking, given that perhaps 7 days in New York would not be enough to have a total experience! So let's try to plan a small itinerary.

    PS: if you want to know in depth the tourist offer of the city here is an overview of the main things to do in New York, if you have a little more time available, be sure to take a look at all the other New York itineraries in the dedicated section.


    • What to see in New York in one day: itinerary planning
    • Central Park: nature immersed in the metropolis
    • Times Square and the surrounding area: the beating heart of Manhattan
    • See New York from the Empire State Building
    • Downtown, Wall Street and the Financial District
    • On the banks of the Hudson: an unexpected quiet
    • What to see in New York: how to end the evening in style!

    What to see in New York in one day: itinerary planning

    In our daily itinerary we will start from mid-town, in particular Central Park, and we will gradually go down south, towards downtown, the upper city, the place where the tallest skyscrapers in New York are located and where the most famous metropolitan skyline in the world was formed.

    For travel you can rely on the metro, for example, using the day ticket, at a rather reasonable price, or, if you want to travel more comfortably (but also spending a little more), you can rely on city taxis (remember that the tip is not included in the price!). However, my opinion is that the subway is the best way to visit New York.

    Central Park: nature immersed in the metropolis

    View of the Hudson River
    View of Central Park
    The Statue of Liberty from the New York Pier
    The building of the historic David Letterman Show

    An immense park in one of the largest metropolises in the world, this is it Central Park, the ideal place to take a nice relaxing walk (perhaps in a carriage!).

    Go down with the metro at the height of 72nd street and from there start your walk south (Central Park is immense, in a single day you will not be able to enjoy it all, so let's focus on a small portion south of the park).

    As soon as you arrive you can admire it Strawberry Fields, the quiet and shady strawberry field dedicated to John Lennon, as well as the Imagine mosaic, both near the spot where the Beatles singer was killed in 1980.

    Continuing south you can admire the beautiful emerald lawn Sheep Meadow (literally sheep meadow) and Donald Trump's ice rink Wollman Rink (lovely especially in winter).

    We should be around mid-morning, and it's time to get back on the subway. If, on the other hand, you have lingered in Central Park pulling until lunchtime, then you will be pleased to know that just south of Central Park you can taste what is considered unanimously one of the best burger in NYC (Burger Joint at Le Parker Meridien, 119 West, 56th Street). Let's take the Metro now (at Columbus Circle or on 57th street) and head to Times Square.

    Times Square and the surrounding area: the beating heart of Manhattan

    Times Square
    I teatri di Broadway
    Madison Square Garden
    The skyscrapers of New York

    Times Square more than a square it is a crossroads, the point where Broadway intersects with Seventh Avenue, and it is really from this intersection that all the energy of New York seems to radiate, branching off along the arteries of the whole city.

    It is impossible not to notice Times Square, so much is a concentration of lights, shops, clubs and eccentric characters. Times Square is the theater district where the myth of Broadway, and in selecting what to see in New York in one day it is always among the first choices, however it is not the case to limit yourself to Times Square!

    There are in fact many places to visit around, moving on foot: for example the Fifth Avenue, the New York shopping artery par excellence, the Rockefeller Center (between Fifth and Sixth Avenues), where New York's most famous ice skating takes place in winter, and the beautiful St. Patrick's Cathedral (Fifth Avenue, between 50 and 51st street), which, nestled among the skyscrapers, creates a truly surprising contrast effect.

    See New York from the Empire State Building

    Visit the Empire State Building
    New York Downtown
    Empire State Building
    View from the Empire State Building

    After a well-deserved lunch break, it's time to see New York from another perspective: from the sky! L'Empire State Building (between Fifth Avenue and 34th Street West) is the ideal building to be able to admire New York from above.

    To get to the top, plan at least half an hour, but it is possible that you will lose even more (the lines are often quite long). In any case, the view will pay off the wait.

    PS: You want to skip the line? There is a way! Book directly at this link (or buy one of the New York passes) and you will skip the long queue.

    Downtown, Wall Street and the Financial District

    The time has come to take the subway again, again heading South, this time towards Downtown, where the skyscrapers stand tall with great majesty; this is the area of ​​the financial district of Wall Street, near the charming Trinity Church, but also of the Freedom tower, the huge skyscraper recently completed that stands on the ashes of the twin towers at the site of the World Trade Center.

    On the two bases of the old skyscrapers there are now 2 waterfalls, moving memorials that commemorate the victims of the 2001 tragedy (we talked about them in our in-depth study on the 9 11 Memorial). Just opposite you can also make a stop at the church of San Paul, where many memories and testimonies of the dramatic events of 11 September have been collected.

    On the banks of the Hudson: an unexpected quiet

    View from Battery Park
    Banks of the Hudson
    Tramonto a New York
    Jersey City da Battery Park

    Continue south (you can also do it on foot if you are in the mood for walking) until you reach Battery Park, the park on the pier, from which you can see the Statue of Liberty and the boats moving to the opposite islands. I highly recommend you take a nice relaxing walk (it's not too long, don't worry) heading west, skirting the sea, then crossing Robert F. Wagner Jr Park to get to South Cove Park.

    From there you can enjoy a beautiful panorama, overlooking theHudson, towards Jersey City, a beautiful view that, with great surprise, will give you an unexpected quiet, in contrast to everything you have been able to admire up to that moment. In fact, noise and vitality give way to silence and contemplation and suddenly you will feel like you are no longer in the same city! The ideal place to watch the sunset.

    What to see in New York: how to end the evening in style!

    Now is the time to go to dinner. So let's take the subway and go back to Mid-Town. If what you are looking for is a good quality steak and well done I recommend it Smith & Wollensky, at 797 of Third Avenue (the prices are not low but it is a quality restaurant); if, on the other hand, you want to enjoy the madness of New York again, you have a unique opportunity: to enjoy a special dinner, served by singing waiters who will delight you with the great melodies of Broadway: Ellen's Stardust Diner, you can find all the information you need about this place in the Ellen's Stardust Diner post. One of the funniest places in New York!

    To end the day in style, you need the right hotel at the right time and in Manhattan you will be spoiled for choice. Since finding your way around the many proposals and the different neighborhoods is anything but trivial, I suggest you take a look at our article on how to find a hotel in New York.


    If you have more days available, take a look at our itineraries New York in 4 days, New York in 5 days and New York in 8 days.

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