Insider's Guide to New York City

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3 Days in NYC: Suggested Itineraries

By Viator, May 2015

5 2055 Reviews | Add your review

New York. The Big Apple. So much can be said about this iconic city that it can be difficult to know where to begin. As a visitor, then, you'll be hard pressed to make heads or tails of where to go in this illustrious burg. Luckily, we're here to help you out.

New Yorkers are lucky. But you, dear visitor, are far luckier. This is a city made for explorers: the more you roam in New York, the more you discover, the more you'll want to see; and the more you'll be thrilled by the range of things to do in New York City.

Day 1: Get Oriented

A CityPASS is still widely regarded as the best deal in Manhattan (a bold statement), and will help you to gain entry into a number of 'must-see' monuments and museums, all while skipping the line. Alternatively, see what you wish aboard a hop-on hop-off bus tour, and roam the Big Apple at your own pace.

Day 2: Museums, Shopping, and Eating

New York is perhaps the center of the Earth for these three leisurely activities. The Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met) is a must-see experience, and routinely displays some of the best artistic exhibits anywhere in the world.

The Guggenheim on Fifth Avenue is also a sight to behold (both inside and out), and is highly recommended. While out eyeing masterpieces, window-shop your way into something more affordable than priceless art, and get your shopping fix. The city's Garment District in Midtown is singularly New York, while for cool boutique shopping check out SoHo (a great area in its own right), the once gritty, now chic Meatpacking District, Greenwich Village's Bleeker Street, NoLita, and the Lower East Side.

Got your shopping bags? Been on your feet too long now? Why not take it easy on a romantic dinner cruise, or enjoy some light jazz before heading to bed? And if you’re a natural New Yorker and sleep standing up, how about some culturally rich soul food and jazz in Harlem?

Day 3: More

Typically, with only three days in a location, it is advisable to see some of the surrounding countryside and the foray into what landscape made the city you’re visiting so spectacular. New York, however, is a different case. Practically a UNESCO World-Heritage site for the diverse range of cultural, historical, and beautiful monuments, spend this day seeing what you failed to earlier on.

A helicopter tour is an exhilarating and delightful way to see all of the cityscape, while taking in a Broadway play is another option. Don't forget Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, which beckon to those looking to explore the Big Apple a bit more.

And if you're really itching to see what's beyond the city, sign yourself up for a day trip by private plane to Niagara Falls. This Viator Exclusive allows you to spend the day at the falls - and still make it back to Manhattan in time for dinner!

Tours & Tickets

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Lower Manhattan Bike Tour

Location: New York City, New York
Duration: 5 hours

From USD $89.00

Viator Exclusive: THE TOUR New York City

3.5 star rating: Worth doing 10 Reviews

Location: New York City, New York
Duration: 90 minutes

From USD $45.00

New York City Hop-on Hop-off Tour

4 star rating: Recommended 1751 Reviews

Location: New York City, New York
Duration: Flexible

From USD $48.99

Viator VIP: NYC Night Helicopter Flight and Statue of Liberty Cruise

4 star rating: Recommended 105 Reviews

Location: New York City, New York
Duration: 1 hour 45 minutes

From USD $249.00

New York Rooftop Lounge Experience

4 star rating: Recommended 57 Reviews

Location: New York City, New York
Duration: 4 hours

From USD $75.00

Statue of Liberty Lunch Cruise

4 star rating: Recommended 4 Reviews

Location: New York City, New York
Duration: 2 hours

From USD $55.00

Complete New York, New York Helicopter Tour

4.5 star rating: Recommended 223 Reviews

Location: New York City, New York
Duration: 20 minutes

From USD $189.00

Viator Exclusive: Niagara Falls Day Trip from New York by Private Plane

4.5 star rating: Recommended 145 Reviews

Fly by private 30-seater plane to Niagara Falls from New York and avoid lengthy airport procedures; it's a Viator Exclusive that's available nowhere else! ...  Read more

Location: New York City, New York
Duration: 14 hours (approx.)

From USD $649.00

New York City 3-Day Hop-On Hop-off Bus Tour and Attractions Pass

4.5 star rating: Recommended 61 Reviews

Location: New York City, New York
Duration: Flexible

From USD $110.00

New York Night Club Experience

4.5 star rating: Recommended 17 Reviews

Location: New York City, New York
Duration: 4 hours

From USD $65.00

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