/3 Day NYC Itinerary to Experience the Best New York Attractions

3 Day NYC Itinerary to Experience the Best New York Attractions

You can actually get a $40 credit for Broadway tickets through the Sightseeing pass!

Times Square

Times Square - Things to do in New at Christmas

If you are not too tired after Broadway, pop into Times Square to see the flashing lights and night time atmosphere. Those lights do make it feel like it’s the middle of the day.

Times Square is not where I tend to spend a lot of time.

It’s just a square with flashing light advertisements and overpriced stores and restaurants, although we actually do like the Hard Rock Cafe here.

Times Square New York City - Check out this 3 day itinerary for NY and get the best NYC travel tips.

It’s very touristy and not where I spend a lot of time, but it’s worth seeing and having a photo at. It is Times Square after all.

You can always find time to fit it into your New York itinerary on another day.

Day 3: Statue of Liberty, Greenwich

Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island – 8:30am – 12:30pm

Statue of Liberty, NYC - Here is a 3 day guide to NYC, Click inside for the best NYC travel tips!

I can’t stress enough the importance of arriving for your Statue of Liberty tour as soon as it opens, or at least within the hour after.

The lines Statue of Liberty cruises can be soooo long.

It is a very popular New York attraction, but as you can read in this post, very worthwhile.

Statue of Liberty - one of the best things to do in NYC. Check inside for a 3 day itinerary and some top NYC travel tips!

If you beat the crowds you will love it. We didn’t have time to do the Ellis Islands part of the tour. If you don’t want to miss this important historical site then allow for extra time.

Battery Park is worth wandering through either before or after your tour.

12: 30- 1: 30pm: Washington Square

Washington Square New York

Jump on the subway (or 40 minute walk if you’re up for it) to Washington Square.

It’s quite the gathering spot for Avant-garde artists, chess enthusiasts, joyful children, and playful puppies.

Washington Square is well known for its large marble arch, fountain, and for it’s history of bohemian gatherings intent on changing the world for the better.

It’s a cool spot to soak up the sun and a little of local New York life. As a natural born hippy, I love it.

Broadway Street near here in SoHo is also pretty fun for shopping and people watching if you want to add in a little of that.

2pm: Indulge at Molly’s Cupcakes

Miolly's Cupcakes, NYC - eat here when in NY. Click inside for a 3 day itinerary of things to do in NYC ans get some top NYC travel tips!
Don’t miss Molly’s Cupcakes

Okay. time for one of the best cupcakes in New York.

Many people will queue for hours to get an famous Magnolia cupcake. However, I don’t do lines and I recommend you don’t.

Molly’s Cupcake is only a 5 minute walk from Washington Square, you will find no lines (hopefully) and a place to sit, play a game and dive into deliciousness.

Molly's Cupcakes - one of the best things to do in NYC with kids

If you are gluten free, get your hands on their gluten free chocolate cupcake. It is seriously the best cupcake I’ve ever had.

There are cute swinging chairs at the counter you can sit at and the coffee is pretty good here too.

2:30 pm: Explore Greenwich Village

Greenwich Village, NYC - Visit here during this 3 day NYC itinerary. Click inside for some of the best NYC travel tips!

If you were a hippy, a bohemian, and a change maker of the 60’s, Greenwich Village was your spirit home.

The tree lined streets of this popular residential neighborhood are now filled with cafes, bars and restaurants and is still the place to be. All are welcome in Greenwich; you may even spot a few celebrities here.

Greenwich is divided into East and West Village so take a walking tour and see which areas you like best.

Bleecker Street is famous for music venues.

Don’t miss Gay Street, a short angled, narrow street with Federal Style homes on one side and Greek Revival on the other. It is atypical New York and quietly hides amongst the grid of Greenwich Village.

It’s been in a few movies and music videos.

4 pm: Rockefeller Center

Rockefeller Plaza New York City at Christmas

Rockefeller Center is where you’ll find three of New York’s most famous landmarks: MoMA, St Patrick’s Cathedral, Saks Fifth Avenue.

There’s also the Top of the Rock, The skating rink (during winter) and NBC Studios. You can catch the Today Show filmed here if you visit in the early morning.

Our girls love it as it’s home of the American Girl Doll Store. It’s a bit too busy and sterile for me, but I still think it’s worth a visit.

American Girl Doll Store - one of the best things to do in NYC with kids

You may wish to do the Radio City Music Hall tour, home of the famous Rockettes. My parents wanted to visit, and it was included in our NYC Sightseeing Pass, so why not?

I ended up really enjoying it. The theater is beautiful and you will get to meet a Rockette and find out about their lives as high kicking dancers.

For the late night show lovers, here’s where you’ll find the Late Show with Jimmy Fallon.

I was fortunate enough to get a sneak peek at the set of Saturday Night Live upon visiting The Today Show online offices for a meeting.

It looks pretty cool. I think you’ll have fun there if you can get in.

Top of the Rock sunset

Sunset from Top of The Rock in NYC
Sunset from Top of The Rock

Why not end your NYC 3 day itinerary with a glorious sunset at the Top of the Rock?

Be aware this is the most popular tome of the day to visit. So you’ll want to book your timed visit in advance. Lines will be long.

It’s nice to see the twinkling of the Manhattan lights after the sun has gone down as well.

Unfortunately, you can’t get skip the line tickets, nor book entrance times in advance. You can only get your time when you visit the Box Office.

This flexible date ticket from Get Your Guide will allow you to skip the public general admission line for the Box Office.

After your visit to Top of the Rock, this may be a good opportunity to visit Times Square if you didn’t get a chance the previous evening.

Getting to and from the airport

New York has three airports: LaGuardia, JFK, and Newark (actually in New Jersey).

Where you fly into will depend on your budget, time, your choice of airline, and also consider the location of where you are staying at in New York.

If you stay on the west side of Manhattan, than Newark airport may be the better option.

The AirTrain is the cheapest way to get into Manhattan from JFK and Newark airports:

  • From JFK it’s $8 which includes your entry into the subway to continue to your Manhattan address
  • From Newark into Penn station it’s $13 and it takes about 40 minutes – way cheaper than taking a taxi. Be aware that taking cabs from the airports into New York do involve tolls. The toll is $15 coming in from New Jersey.

From LaGuardia

You get the bus Q70 Limited to Jackson Heights-Roosevelt Ave Subway Station and then take the subway for a cost of $2.75. It will take about 2 hours.

Also check out shared transport shuttle services. You prepay for your spot in a van that shuttles you to the door of your hotel (Manhattan only). It may involve some wait time but at prices starting at $19 it might be worth it. Learn more here.

If there are a few of you traveling, it might be cheaper to catch an Uber or check out Dial7 which was recommended to me as a excellent limousine pick up service to get too and from the airport.

Rates start at:

  • JFK $48
  • LaGuardia $34
  • Newark $44

You will still have to pay toll fees and gratuities however. There are coupon codes available from $5 – 14. check out more here.

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What would you add to this 3 day NYC itinerary? Any extra tips to save time and money?