Three Day New York Itinerary for First Time Tourists

New York 9/11 Memorial

There are cities and then there’s the world’s greatest city, New York. New York to me is much more than a city, it’s a part of one’s identity, it’s a lifestyle and worlds apart from most American cities. Follow my first time tourist three day New York Itinerary to see and soak in some of the sights and experiences this wonderful city has to offer. I say some because there is always something more to do or see. I’ve been to the city a couple of times I still have lots of stuff unchecked on my list.

Some Quick Tips

  • As a first time tourist, I would ideally suggest booking an accommodation somewhere in midtown Manhattan. Midtown is quite central and a short commute to most tourist destinations.
  • New York is a very walkable city and you will see people walking around the city at all times of the hour. The subway is great and I just followed Google Maps to know the train, timings and subway station to take. I mostly either walked or took the subway and only needed to use Uber to and from the airport.
  • I feel food is a major of a travel experience and one should definitely try to eat at the popular spots or common watering holes of the places you visit. That said, meal times often get shuffled around when you are traveling so I always end up referring to Yelp for the best recommendations. (Not an Ad)
  • You will end up walking A LOT in New York and its really best to wear comfortable shoes. So skip the heels and embrace the sneakers.

Three Day New York Itinerary

Day 1 :

New York Statue of Liberty

New York Statue of Liberty

1. As a first time tourist, Liberty Lady must be on your list of things to see. The official Statue Cruises ferry service from Battery, Manhattan will take you to the Liberty Island and you can book your tickets for the ferry either online or in person.
2. Once back in Manhattan you can take a walk around the famous Wall Street, take a pic with the Charging Bull and Fearless Girl.
3. A short 0.5 mile walk further north and you will be at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum.

New York Stock Exhange

1. After lunch, you could take a short 0.4 mile walk to the New York City Hall.
2. If you’ve always wanted to walk across Brooklyn Bridge, the start point for the bridge is a 5 minute walk from the City Hall.

By this time your feet will be screaming for some TLC and it’s probably a great time to head back to the hotel.

1. After you feel sufficiently rested, you could head catch a Broadway show. Check out this guide to score cheap Broadway tickets.

Day 2:

New York Grand Central

1. Explore midtown today. Check out St. Patrick’s Cathedral, a gorgeous Roman Catholic cathedral on 5th Avenue.
2. At about half a mile is the historical Grand Central Terminal. Watch the hustle bustle of people rushing around to catch trains and marvel at this over a century old NYC landmark.
3. Check out the main branch of the New York Public Library a short walk away from Grand Central. If books aren’t your scene, laze around on the library steps and spend some quality time people watching.

New York Skyline


1. As you walk around midtown you will notice many of new york’s landmarks, such as Radio City Music Hall, Ford Foundation, Van Gogh’s Ear, Rockefeller Centre, Chrysler Building.
2. Next up, go up either the Empire State Building or Top of the Rock Observatory to view the New York skyline. Though the Empire State Building is more popular thanks to popular culture, I prefer the Top of the Rock Observatory because the Empire State Building is part of the skyline then.

Head to your hotel to catch some rest and a few quick zzzz’s if you need to.

1. Spend some time at the famous Times Square, look at the light, people watch. Beware of the street performers there, if you take a picture with them, you need to give them a tip.
There are tons of stores around Times Square and the Macy’s flagship store is a short walk away if you’re interested in some quick shopping.

Day 3:

Sheep Meadow

1. My favorite way to relax in NYC would have to be take a stroll around Central Park. I’m always awed by all that green smack dab in the middle of a concrete jungle. Of course you could spend an entire day in Central Park, but my favorite landmarks are Sheep Meadow, Bethesda Terrace and Fountain, Strawberry Fields (dedicated to John Lennon). There is also a small zoo you could check out if you’re accompanied by children.
2. Your trip to New York City would be incomplete without a trip to one of its many museums. You could check out the Metropolitan Museum of Art, MoMA or American Musuem of Natural History. Keep in mind these museums are huge and you could easily spend an entire day enthralled by all the displays at either one of them.

The time to say your goodbyes to the wonderful city is here now. You are going to take back an everlasting impression and love for this wonderful city. I know I did.

I hope this Three Day New York Itinerary helps you in exploring the city. There’s so much still left to see, so here’ hoping you and I can go back again someday.

Until the next time!

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