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  • Writer's pictureSarah

How to Spend 24 Hours in NYC

Updated: Oct 31, 2019

I recently traveled to New York City for work, which provided the perfect opportunity to stay the weekend and explore the city.  Since I was working, I only had one day of free time for sightseeing. New York has so much to see and do that you can’t possibly fit it all in one day. However, I narrowed it down to have the perfect NYC experience in a single day. Here’s how I spent 24 hours in NYC...

Nighttime Start: The Benjamin Hotel


The NYC adventure started at The Benjamin Hotel, which is a historic hotel dating back to the 1920s. It is conveniently located in Midtown East, which is close to my office for work, but is also close to several landmarks and points of interest in Midtown. It is also located right next to a subway station, which makes getting to other parts of town more convenient. The hotel itself is comfortable and has great service.

Midtown at Night


The 24 hours in NYC began late Friday night around 11:00 pm in Midtown, which is home to many famous landmarks such as Times Square, Rockefeller Center, and Grand Central Station. NYC is the city that never sleeps, which means you can go do many touristy things at night. My husband joined me and we started our exploration of midtown by walking by the Rockefeller Center and its famous ice-skating rink. Next, we visited the iconic Times Square which was full of bright lights and too many people. Finally, we circled back to Grand Central Station. Walking around Midtown will give you a good taste of NYC. Morning: Bagels and Coffee

When in NYC, you have to get a bagel and coffee. I grabbed a coffee and bagel from Irving Farm Coffee Roasters, which is located right next to The Benjamin on E 50th Street. The coffee was good, but the best bagels can be found at Ess-a-Bagel just one block down on 3rd Ave.

Subway Ride to Lower Manhattan I’m not going to lie; the Subway is a little confusing to figure out at first. It took us a minute to figure out which train to take down to Lower Manhattan to go to the 9/11 Memorial. Be careful to make sure you get on the right train because some are local trains that stop at every station and some are express trains that will only stop at certain stations. We took the 6 train down to the Brooklyn Bridge station and then walked over a few blocks to the memorial. 

9/11 Memorial and Museum


When it comes Lower Manhattan, the 9/11 Memorial & Museum are a must see. I recommend going in the morning as it tends to get busier and crowded in the afternoon. When walking up, you will see the two pools where the twin towers once stood. The museum itself is underground in what would have been the basement of the Twin Towers. In the museum, you can see the excavated columns that surrounded the North Tower, the steel beams from the 96-99th floors where the plane impacted the building, fragments of the planes, the last column that was left standing, and so many other artifacts associated with the events of 9/11. Visiting the 9/11 Memorial & Museum was a moving experience and I highly recommend it.   Afternoon: The Finance District and Charging the Bull


Other things to do and see in Lower Manhattan include seeing the Financial District which includes the New York Stock Exchange and Charging the Bull. The Wall Street Bull is a bronze sculpture that has become an icon in the Financial District at the intersections of Broadway and Morris Street. People line up to take pictures with it and it can attract a crowd. 

The Statue of Liberty There are several ways to go see the Statue of Liberty. You can buy a variety of tickets to go take a tour or you can even buy tickets to a ferry ride over to Ellis Island. However, you can take the Staten Island Ferry for free and still get a great view. Unfortunately, we did not have time to take a ferry over to see the statue up close, but we got a great view of the Statue of Liberty from Battery Park.  Fraunces Tavern


For food, we stopped at Fraunces Tavern which not only has great food but is also a historical landmark from the Revolutionary War. It served as George Washington’s headquarters and was where he said farewell to his officer after the war. The atmosphere was charming and the food was delicious. My husband ordered a burger and I ordered the lobster mac n cheese.  Brooklyn Bridge

We finished out our day in Lower Manhattan by walking part of the Brooklyn Bridge. They have a walkway for you to walk above all the cars down the middle of the bridge. It’s worth walking out far enough to get a fantastic view of the skyline. We went around sunset and it was breathtaking.  Evening: Broadway Show

While in NYC, you should definitely go see a Broadway show. There is a wide variety of different shows to pick from. We saw Phantom of the Opera and it was fantastic! Also, a lot of shows are just a few blocks away from Times Square so you can walk around Midtown and take in all of the sights. This was the perfect end to our 24 hours in NYC.

What's your perfect day in NYC? Let me know in the comments!

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Don Iorio
Don Iorio
06 เม.ย. 2562

Sarah: Thank you for the wonderful advice. I love going to Carmines Italian restaurant in Time Square on W 44th St. Carmines is near the theater for Phantom.

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