new york in 48 hours

New York in 48 Hours

New York, the "Big Apple", the "City that never sleeps". Whatever you want to call it NYC is one of the world's most iconic cities. Seeing it in 48 hours will be a race and choosing what to do and what not to see can be a daunting task, so we will highlight some of the best "must-do" activities while there on a short stay.

Doing yet another cruise (because we just LOVE cruising) departing from Miami, we made use of the layover in New York to spend some time there. We booked accommodation in Brooklyn as it’s slightly cheaper than staying in Manhattan itself. Getting around New York City can be chaotic. Taxis and Ubers are expensive, so a 48-hour subway pass is probably your cheapest and best option. We’re also fans of the Hop on Hop Off busses which gives you a great orientation of the area and will drop you at the major hot spots. For everything else, there’s the famous subway.

Day 1 in NY.

Pay a Visit to Lady Liberty which you can do for free from the Staten Island ferry. It was our Hop on Hop Off tour guide who told us “the only thing you’ll get for FREE in NYC is a ride on the Staten Island Ferry…which will include a view of Lady Liberty”. A symbol of inspiration and the American Dream, she was not as big as I expected. You can either ride the ferry (round trip) or opt for a tour to Liberty Island. Access to the crown is limited to advanced reservations and at certain times of the year reservations need to be made up to 4 months in advance. We had to content ourselves with a selfie while passing on the ferry.

The 9/11 attacks forever changed the skyline of New York and New Yorkers themselves. We visited the site now known as Ground Zero, almost an acre in size and in the footprints of the twin towers. It was a somber experience as locals and tourists alike gathered around the rim flow edge to contemplate and pay their respects to those who had lost their lives. There is also a Memorial Museum to visit close by, but for us, it was enough just to see the monumental pools.
Wall Street is the location of the New York stock exchange is just around the corner from Ground Zero, so be sure to go and see the Bull of Wall Street, a magnificent bronze statue. Legend has it that if you rub the bull’s testicles it will bring you good fortune. No wonder they were the shiniest part of the bull.

Next, walk Brooklyn Bridge. As our accommodation was located at the edge of the bridge on the Brooklyn side we walked into the Manhattan financial district one morning. But you could do this in either direction. The walk will take about half an hour on the pedestrian path and will offer amazing photo opportunities of the city skyline. You can use your 48-hour subway ticket to get back if time is limited and you don’t feel like the walk back.

Grand Central Station is next. It’s a magnificent architectural building well worth visiting. Grab a coffee and bagel for lunch, after all, NYC is known for its bagels. There is also a guided tour for those interested in the history of the building.

By now you’re probably getting tired, so head back to your hotel, freshen up, and enjoy that infamous cocktail the “Cosmopolitan” made famous by the character Carrie Bradshaw in the NYC hit ‘Sex in the City’.
You could also consider doing The High Line walk. It’s a former elevated railway platform that has been repurposed as a linear park walk. Walking above the streets following the route, you’ll be surrounded by incredible architecture (modern and old) and can marvel at the sunset over New Jersey. The 10th Avenue Square Garden populated by maple trees frames an awesome view of Lady Liberty.
Heading towards Hudson Yard where you’ll find many top-rated restaurants as a dinner option.

Day 2 in NY.

Central Park is the nation’s first great urban park was conceived as “the lungs of the city”. Being over 800 acres in size, Central Park could consume most of your day if you don’t know where you are going. So grab a map (you’ll need one) and a chili dog from one of the many vendors (yes you’ve just had breakfast but it’s a chili dog in Central Park for crying out loud) and start looking for the popular spots like Balto the sled dog hero, Bethesda Fountain and Terrace, the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, Strawberry Fields and the Literary Walk. If all the walking is a bit much and you would like to speed things up, try a bike tour instead. Between April and November, you can also rent a rowboat or embark on a romantic gondola ride.

Now that you’ve gotten your fill of fresh air and burnt off the calories from that chili dog it’s time to head to 5th Avenue to flex that plastic for some retail therapy and grab a bite to eat for lunch if you’re still hungry.

After all the walking you might want to rest your feet and head down to the harbor for a Hudson River cruise. See NYC and its skyline from the river and learn about the history of the various bridges and structures.

Times Square is another iconic location that is best seen at night. It’s a brain overload of bright lights and advertising billboards, but a sight to see nonetheless. While in this area grab a bite to eat at one of the many popular restaurants or head to Little Italy before seeing a popular Broadway show like the Blue Man Group, Chicago, The Lion King or Kinky Boots, but be sure to book in advance to avoid disappointment.

Top New York Excursions

With iconic locations like the Statute of Liberty, Time Square, Central Park, the Empire State Building and the World Trade Center, it’s no wonder that New York is expected to see over sixty-one million visitors in 2023. Billy Joel sang “I’m in a New York state of mind”. Experience the mindset, take that bite out of that apple and plan your trip today!

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