48 Hours In New York City

48 hours in new york

Known as the city that never sleeps, New York is a must-see destination. Home to famous landmarks such as the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, and Times Square, there is also plenty to see in each of the city’s five boroughs. The city offers a vast variety of cuisines, art, and culture. Noted as one of the most diverse metropolises in the United States, over 800 languages are spoken among the over 20 million inhabitants. It might seem like an overwhelming amount of things to do if you only have two days in the city, but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Take a look at our itinerary for 48 hours in New York City, USA.

Day 1: Afternoon - Hang out in Central Park. Visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

3015-Central Park-Sheep Meadow
Source: Photo by user Ingfbruno used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Central Park is an essential and iconic attraction to visit in New York. You could easily spend the whole day here. Wander amidst the paths and stumble upon beautiful fields, gardens and fountains. It is a great place to take a break and people watch while sitting on a park bench. No matter the season, it is a scenic and beautiful place to be. Afterward, you can walk down the street to check out some stunning and world-renowned art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, or MET, as the locals call it. It has over two million pieces and collections ranging from modern art to ancient Egypt.


Address: 1000 5th Ave, New York, NY 10028, USA

Website: MET

Day 1: Evening - Get an aerial view of the city on the Roosevelt Island Tramway before dinner.

New Roosevelt tram fr QBB jeh
Source: Photo by user Jim.henderson used under CC0

The Roosevelt Island Tramway offers sweeping views of the New York skyline, and it is a great way to get some iconic photos if you’re on a tight schedule. It runs every 7-15 minutes from 59th Street and Second Avenue in Manhattan to Tramway Plaza on Roosevelt Island. You’ll need an MTA MetroCard to pay for the fare, but it operates till late hours on most days.

Roosevelt Island Tram

Address: E 59th St & 2nd Avenue New York, NY 10022

Website: Roosevelt Island Tram

Day 1: Night - Go bar hopping or explore the city's night clubs.

Posted by Le Bain at The Standard, High Line on Monday, 11 June 2018

Manhattan has a nightlife like no other. You can find bars and clubs suited for everyone. Try out Bedlam in East Village for a gay-friendly atmosphere, complete with memorable decor including book-themed wallpaper and a giant moose head. For an upscale option, try Le Bain which is on the top floor of the Standard Hotel and offers panoramic views of the city along with glitz and glamour. If you are interested in checking out the underground club scene, try Output. For internationally renowned DJs, check out Pacha. Or for an exclusive venue, you’re better off trying your luck at Cielo which is always a popular option.

Day 2: Morning - Get your breakfast then tour the MOMA or Guggenheim.

“I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers.” –Claude Monet, born on this day in 1840 Several of the...

Posted by MoMA The Museum of Modern Art on Wednesday, 14 November 2018

The Museum of Modern Art, or MOMA, is a classic must-see in New York. It is one of the most influential museums for modern art in the world. Collections feature everything from architecture and design to photography and electronic media. Some popular attractions include Vincent van Gogh’s The Starry Night and Henri Matisse’s The Dance. It’s tempting to spend all your time here, but make an effort to see the Guggenheim while you’re at it. Here, you will find an extensive collection of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist and modern art.


Address: 11 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019, USA

Website: MOMA


Address: 1071 5th Ave, New York, NY 10128, USA

Website: Guggenheim

Day 2: Afternoon - Explore Belvedere Castle. Head to the Museum of the City of New York. Relax at a nearby coffee shop.

Belvedere Castle (5037615249)
Source: Photo by user KimonBerlin used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Belvedere Castle is located in Central Park and was built in 1869 primarily for decoration and to offer a panoramic view of the surrounding gardens. You’ll find free community programs and a visitor center here. After taking in the view, step over to the Museum of the City of New York where you can learn more about the history of the Big Apple. It features over 1.5 million items. Step back in time and see antiques, documents and photographs that reveal what New York used to be hundreds of years ago. Afterward, grab a quick pick me up at a nearby coffee shop and rest your feet for a minute.

Belvedere Castle

Address: 79th St, New York, NY 10021, USA

Website: Belvedere Castle

Museum of the City of New York

Address: 1220 5th Ave & 103rd Street, New York, NY 10029, United States

Website: Museum of the City of New York

Day 2: Evening - Stroll through Times Square, admiring the lights and buildings. Have dinner in the area.

NYC - Times Square
Source: Photo by user Jean-Christophe B... used under CC BY 3.0

Times Square is hard to miss. The barrage of lights and sound is overwhelming and like nothing else. Located in Midtown, at the crossroads of Broadway and Seventh Avenue, Times Square draws over 50 million visitors a year. You’ll find name brands in clothing, jewelry, dining and entertainment. Walk along the street and check out the latest plays on Broadway. Grab dinner nearby from one of the many options, including McDonalds, TGI Friday’s, Danji, Beco or La Pulperia.

Day 2: Night - Head to Carnegie Hall for a musical performance.

Source: Photo by user Wholtone used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

Carnegie is a prestigious and world-renowned venue for classical music and performance. The architecture alone is stunning. Some of the more well-known artists to perform here include Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, Nina Simone and The Beatles. Check out their website to find out which performances are coming up this year so that you can plan ahead.

Carnegie Hall

Address: 881 7th Ave, New York, NY 10019, USA

Website: Carnegie Hall

Day 3: Morning - Have breakfast then visit the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Source: Photo by user AGogh used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden offers a beautiful outdoor experience for the whole family. The autumn foliage is stunning but so are the blooming flowers and budding trees in the spring. There are many community and kid-friendly events going on so be sure to check their website. Members have free entry while the adult entrance fee is $15 (USD). The extensive garden features many local and exotic flora and fauna, all of which is well documented and landscaped for everyone to appreciate.

Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Address: 990 Washington Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11225, USA

Website: Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Day 3: Afternoon - Head to Prospect and tour Prospect Park Zoo. Travel to Liberty Island and check out the Statue of Liberty.

0327New York City Statue of Liberty
Source: Photo by user Laslovarga used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Located in Brooklyn, the Prospect Park Zoo opened in 1935 and offers engaging and educational exhibits on all kinds of animals and wildlife. This is a great option for families. The exhibits feature animals from all over the world, and thoughtful and intricate exhibits on animal habitats. Finally, end your 48 hours with the most iconic landmark of all. The Statue of Liberty is a colossal sculpture gifted to the U.S. from France in 1886 and it sits in the New York Harbor. Take a ferry over to Liberty Island and marvel at this national monument. While you’re there, take the next ferry over to Ellis Island to see the Immigration Museum and learn about the historical role of the two islands in American immigration history.

Prospect Park Zoo

Address: 450 Flatbush Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11225, USA

Website: Prospect Park Zoo

Statue of Liberty

Address: New York, NY 10004, USA

Website: Statue of Liberty

The Big Apple

48 hours is certainly not enough time to appreciate the Big Apple, but hopefully, with this itinerary, you will be able to hit the major sites. Many of these options are family-friendly and suit everyone’s interests. You’ll learn a bit about the history of the city, appreciate some world-renowned art and kick your feet up at the end of the night.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Katherine is a 24 year old graduate student from the United States. Her latest travels include Japan, Malaysia, Thailand and Uganda. Photography and writing are her ideal ways to explore and...Read more

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