A great NYC 2 Day Itinerary using the New York City Explorer Pass. Here we use the 5-attraction pass for admission to the Hop On/Hop Off Downtown Tour, Empire State Building, ZEPHYR Statue of Liberty Cruise, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and New York Botanical Garden.
NYC 2 Day Itinerary
Day 1: Sightseeing & Top Attractions
Key Sights: Times Square, Hop On/Hop Off Bus Tour, Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty Express Cruise
Start off your day in Times Square, the neon hub of New York City and the world’s most visited tourist attraction. After getting your fill of the bustling streets and big Broadway signs, head for the Theater District to pick up your Hop On/Hop Off Downtown Tour tickets and board the double-decker tour bus.
The Downtown Tour makes 23 stops, all of which are at top attractions and well-known neighborhoods throughout the city. You’ll pass Carnegie Garden, Winter Garden, and again through Times Square before you reach the Empire State Building, which is your first stop.
Use your New York City Explorer Pass for entrance to the Empire State Building and cruise on up to the 86th floor where you’ll have 360-degree views of the famous Manhattan skyline.
Afterwards, stop for lunch or hop back on your Downtown Tour. Once aboard the bus, there’s plenty more to see. You’ll travel through Union Square, the Flatiron District, Greenwich Village, SoHo, and Chinatown before you reach your final destination. Feel free to stop at any neighborhoods that interest you.
Finally, you’ll end up at Battery Park, where you’ll walk through the Seaport District to Pier 16 on South Street. From here, you’ll depart for your ZEPHYR Statue of Liberty Express Cruise. Avoid the long lines for the Ferry out to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Islands, opting instead to see these sights right from the water. The views are stunning (with lots of photo ops) and you’ll enjoy a narration of 400 years of New York City history from your knowledgeable guide.
More Info: New York City Explorer Pass
NYC 2 Day Itinerary
Day 2: Museums, Shopping, Leisure
Key Sights: Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York Botanical Garden, Central Park, Upper East Side Shopping
Now that you know the lay of the land, the second day of your best of NYC 2 Day Itinerary is all about culture and leisure. Start your day off on the Upper East Side at the world-famous Metropolitan Museum of Art. Five thousand years of world art is housed in this museum, comprising a two-million piece collection. You won’t be able to see it all in one day, but you can certainly get through several galleries. The American Wing, European Paintings, and Greek and Roman Art are three of the most popular categories for first-time visitors.
After you’ve explored the Met, head outside for a picnic and some relaxation in Central Park. Stop at a nearby grocery store first, like Grace’s Market Place, or grab something from one of the many vendors in the park itself. Central Park is a great place to people watch, throw a frisbee around, go for a stroll, or simply sprawl out on the grass.
When you’ve recooperated from your morning exploits, it’s on to Fifth Avenue, recognized around the world as one of the most prestigous shopping streets in the world. Although it’s known for its expensive boutique shops, like Louis Vuitton, Prada, Versace, and Chanel, there are also less expensive places to shop. Fifth Avenue is home to luxury department stores, an architecturally intriguing Apple store, the largest Build-A-Bear Workshop in the world, and lesser-scale stores like Best Buy, Barnes & Noble, and the Gap.
Finish your best of NYC 2 Day Itinerary off by heading north to the Bronx, where you’ll find the most mystical urban oasis on Manhattan, the New York Botanical Garden. The 250-acre park features over 50 gardens, like the Native Plant Garden, the Azaela Garden, and the Conifer Arboretum. The NY Botanical Garden also offers special exhibitions, cafes, a cool gift shop, and special activities for kids.
NYC 2 Day Itinerary Wrap-Up
With a little planning, you can see a lot of New York City with this best of NYC 2 Day Itinerary, without stress and without spending a fortune. It makes a big difference if you have some idea of what you want to see and know how to get from one attraction to another before you arrive in the City. Start planning your own NYC 2 Day Itinerary with a map in hand, and you’ll be good to go!