The Best Way to See New York in One Weekend
August 14 2023
A weekend in New York never feels like enough, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a great 48 hours in the city and see some of the best the metropolis has to offer. If you plan it right, you can see the best of the Big Apple in just a weekend.
But where do you start?
We’ve got your back - here is our guide on how to see the most of New York in 48 hours – whether you’re looking for iconic landmarks or hidden gems.
If you only have a weekend in the city, the key to making the most of the day is waking up early every day – if not to see it all, to avoid the daytime crowds. No trip to New York is complete without a trip to Times Square – and there’s no time better to see it than early morning.
Head to the square as early as you can, snap some pictures, and it’s time to find a hearty New York breakfast to get you started for the day (check out our list of the best places to get brunch in the city).
After brunch, head towards Central Park to enjoy one of the biggest urban green spaces in the world. Grab a cup of New York coffee from one of the many coffee stands before hitting the trails to get lost in the beauty of the greenery.
A true New York experience is visiting a food cart – and it’s the perfect quick lunch to keep you going for the afternoon – dotted all over the city you won’t have to walk far to find one. After you’ve eaten, head to Fifth Avenue – one of the city’s most famous streets – and spend the early afternoon exploring the city’s flagship stores.
Once you’ve seen what Fifth Avenue has to offer, head towards the Empire State Building and up to the observation deck for the city’s most famous skyline view. After the sun has set, head towards Little Italy for a real New York Italian experience in one of the many great restaurants.
After dinner, head towards Broadway and end your night with a Broadway show. Broadway is one of the city’s most popular attractions, and even if you’re not into musicals or live theater, you can also find comedy, magic, and other acts in the area.
Once you’re awake and you’ve grabbed breakfast from one of the many diners in the city, head towards Brooklyn Bridge. The famous bridge offers impressive views of the New York skyline, plenty of photo opportunities – and it’s the gateway to Brooklyn.
Cross the bridge on foot and explore the DUMBO neighborhood on the other side - famous for quaint cobblestone streets, art galleries, and stunning views across the Hudson and Manhattan Skyline.
After seeing all DUMBO has to offer, head towards the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens for a late morning stroll. Miles away from the hustle and bustle of the city, the gardens offer a quiet and beautiful green space to relax and unwind for a couple of hours.
Head towards Williamsburg, a famous “hipster” neighborhood, for a quick lunch, before visiting the vintage shops, local boutiques and seeing the unique street art and graffiti. After Williamsburg, take the ferry to Liberty Island to see Lady Liberty before heading back toward Manhattan to pay your respects at the 9/11 Memorial.
End your day with a dinner cruise at sunset on the Hudson. As the sun goes down, you’ll be treated to spectacular views across the water and skyline, and after sunset, you’ll experience the city lighting up from a unique view – the perfect way to end a weekend in New York.
If you’re thinking about a weekend getaway to New York, there is no better spot than the Hotel Beacon – putting you right in the heart of New York’s favorite neighborhood.