View from the top of the Empire State Building NYC

4-Day New York Itinerary: Steal this NYC Guide by a Local!

Are you planning a 4-day New York itinerary and want to make sure you don’t miss a thing? I’m an NYC local who’s been living in New York City for 20+ years. I love to explore the city and to help readers like you plan fun and amazing trips to NYC.

So, I’ve put together a massive, ultimate 4 days in New York City guide so you can see classic sights and also explore the best of NYC’s iconic neighborhoods.

4 Days in New York

Planning 4 Days in New York (Like a Local)

Before getting started, you’ll see this New York in 4 days itinerary has a lot of walking. It’s the best way to see the city. Not just iconic sights but also the neighborhoods that make up the heart of the city.

If your legs need a break, the subway, a taxi, or an Uber are great alternatives to walking. Just remember, taxis, Ubers, and the like are subject to NYC traffic the same as any other car on the road. The subway will nearly always be the faster alternative when your legs just won’t go anymore.

For help in planning a trip to New York for 4 days or any amount of time, check out this New York City planning guide.

New York City: A Planning Guide for an Unforgettable Trip!

Get proven tips from an NYC local about the best things to see & do, where to stay, as well as essential info about getting in & around NYC to make trip planning a breeze.

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    Day 1 – Empire State Building & Classic NYC Sightseeing

    As a local New Yorker, I recommend starting off your 4 days in NYC on foot, outdoors seeing the biggest New York City sight of them all…the city itself with all of its grit and glitz, wackiness and wow!

    If you’re like most NYC sightseers, you’re probably starting from somewhere close to Midtown. So, set off on foot to get a feel for the city vibe, grab a bagel with cream cheese, and begin your itinerary for 4 days in New York at the Empire State Building!

    After all, whether you live in New York City or are here for a visit, there’s no better way to see the city than from atop its most classic skyscraper.

    Empire State Building

    This Art Deco classic, situated steps away from Macy’s and Herald Square at 34th St. & 5th Ave, is a can’t miss while you’re spending 4 days in New York City.

    Even with so many other skyscrapers in New York City, the Empire State Building is still my favorite! There’s so much more than just a spectacular view! And, even if you’ve visited in the past, you should plan a return visit to see what’s new!

    Aside from being as iconic to New York as the Eiffel Tower is to Paris, the Empire State Building transports you back in time to when the magnificent New York City skyline was just taking shape.

    The building has been maintained and restored in some places to preserve the classic 1930s accents, from the building’s lobby to its elevator doors, and built-in mailboxes.

    The updated exhibits that are part of your visit tell the story of how the Empire State Building was built in just 1 year(!) at the start of the Great Depression. And how once completed, it became the tallest building in the world until 1970 when the World Trade Center towers were built. 

    Just watch out, though! King Kong himself might pop up when you least expect it!

    King Kong at the Empire State Building in NYC

    Seeing the Empire State Building and learning about its history is, of course, only part of the reason for visiting!

    The observation platforms on the 86th floor and the 102nd floor offer sweeping views of Manhattan, the outer boroughs of the city, as well as New Jersey on the other side of the Hudson River. In fact, on a clear day, you can see as far north as the Catskill Mountains in Upstate New York.

    It’s only when you get a birds-eye view of NYC that you can really ground yourself with Manhattan’s geography as an island(!), realize how big Central Park actually is, and understand how all of New York’s 5 boroughs are connected. 

    There’s no better way to start your 4 days in New York!

    How to Visit:

    View from the top of the Empire State Building NYC

    Don’t waste a single second waiting in line. Book a skip-the-line-ticket so you can enter the Empire State Building and begin your trip up to the observation deck right away. With all the time you save, you can savor the views from the highest open-air viewpoint in New York City.

    With a deeper appreciation of how New York’s skyscrapers sprouted from the island’s bedrock and a better sense of the lay of the land, walk towards Herald Square to catch a glimpse of the historic Macy’s Department Store. Then, head north, or up, 5th Avenue.

    ProTip: You’ll know you’re walking up or down an avenue based on the numbered streets. If the numbers are getting higher (34, 35, 36…), you’re walking up that avenue. If the numbers are getting lower (34, 33, 32…), you’re walking down that avenue. For more, check out this first time in New York City guide.

    New York Public Library

    At 42nd Street and 5th Avenue, you’ll be in front of the main branch of the New York Public Library and alongside Bryant Park.

    The historic library building is more than 100 years old and is watched over by the 2 famous lions affectionately called Patience and Fortitude.

    If you were a Sex in the City fan, this is the gorgeous library building where Carrie was supposed to marry Big!

    The building is free and open to the public so no need to plan a wedding. Don’t miss out on the chance to admire the gorgeous Rose Reading Room with its painted ceiling. 

    This also happens to be a great place to use a restroom since New York City is notorious for not having enough public bathrooms.

    Grand Central Terminal & Bryant Park

    From the New York Public Library, Grand Central Terminal is just 1 1/2 blocks away along 42nd Street, walking with Bryant Park at your back. 

    The Beaux-Arts building is a National Historic Landmark, in addition to being an active train station complete with shops and places to eat. It’s a sight all itself and not to be missed on your 4 day New York itinerary.

    The constellation ceiling in the main concourse sparkles. Head up the stairs towards the Apple Store for a classic photo-op. Then, take the ramps down to the lower level to the whispering gallery, a fun acoustic feature just outside the Oyster Bar entrance.

    Under the arched ceiling, stand in one corner facing the wall. (I promise I’m not that teacher making you stand in the corner!) Someone else should stand in the opposite diagonal corner. Now, whisper into the corner arch. The person in the opposite corner will hear everything you say no matter how noisy the terminal is!

    Grand Central also has shops and a gourmet market on the main level and a food court on the lower level. There are bathrooms on the lower level as well. 

    Walk back along 42nd Street, towards the New York Public Library and Bryant Park. Depending on the time of year you visit, Bryant Park could be an open green space or a not-to-be-missed holiday market and ice rink like during the Christmas season. (More info below on visiting New York during the holiday season.)

    Rockefeller Center & St. Patrick’s Cathedral

    When you’re ready, walk up 5th Avenue to 49th and 50th Streets, the home of Rockefeller Center and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Along the way, you may be tempted to do some 5th Avenue (window) shopping! 

    Both places are free to visit unless you’re there in winter and want to skate at the famous Rockefeller Center rink. If that’s your timing, don’t forget about Saks Fifth Avenue and their famous holiday-themed department store windows and light show.

    If you’re a fan of the Today Show, their studios are in Rockefeller Center, too!

    St. Patrick’s Cathedral sits just across 5th Avenue. It was completed in 1879 and is the largest Neo-Gothic Cathedral in North America, as well as a National Historic Landmark.

    The grand exterior is second only to the beautiful marble columns and stained glass inside. The Cathedral is free for all people to visit.

    ProTip: This area has delicious pubs that are perfect for lunch. Take a look at Connolly’s or Bill’s Bar & Burger. If you’re looking for a more upscale lunch, Limani, Del Frisco’s Grille, and Fig and Olive might be just what you’re looking for. 

    Museum of Modern Art

    museum gallery nyc

    Exploring New York in 4 days won’t be enough to see all of the city’s world-famous museums, but there are a few you just can’t miss!

    So, after lunch and some downtime for your legs, head to MoMa for an afternoon of Modern Art. The world-famous museum is on W. 53rd Street between 5th and 6th Avenues. This is about a 5-minute walk from the Rockefeller Center area.

    Be sure to get your MoMA tickets in advance to avoid any line there might be.

    The museum is home to Van Gogh’s The Starry Night, as well as works by Picasso, Monet, Gaugin, Dali, Matisse, Warhol, and Pollock. I recommend spending no more than a couple of hours focusing on the works of art, artists, and exhibitions that are most interesting to you to avoid museum fatigue!

    This is plenty of time to see works like Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Cans, Monet’s Water Lillies, and several others.

    Broadway and Times Square

    Times Square Where to Stay in New York City

    Depending on your timing and interest, you can finish the walk up 5th Avenue to 57th St. where the iconic jewelry store Tiffany and Co sits on the corner. Along the way, you’ll pass by other luxury brand stores like Gucci and Louis Vuitton. 

    Otherwise, from MoMA, head west along 53rd St to Broadway. Walk down Broadway into the theater district and towards Times Square.

    In just a few blocks, you’ll be greeted by the famous neon lights of Times Square. The red steps just next to the TKTS booth are a great place to get above the cars and people and manage the sensory overload from the sights, sounds, and smells. It’s also a perfect place to take photos, whether you want to capture the scene, take a selfie, or a family photo without 100s of others in the shot!

    And no new york 4 day itinerary is complete without seeing a Broadway show! The TKTS booth sells discounted same-day Broadway tickets. If you’re flexible about what to see, check out what they have for sale and grab seats for that night.

    Either way, if it’s not yet totally dark when you arrive in Times Square, plan to come back after dark. Broadway shows typically end between 10-10:30 pm, which is a perfect time to see the lights sparkle at night.

    And if you’re out late or your hotel is close by to Times Square, come back for 3 minutes, from 11:57 pm – 12:00 am. Every night there’s a synchronized “Midnight Moment” when all the digital screens present an art exhibition. It’s super cool to see and focuses on monthly art themes.

    Day 2 – Classic New York City Museums and Central Park

    Today, let’s get out of midtown and explore a bit more of what makes New York City such a special place.

    Take the subway up to the Upper West Side.

    There are a few subway lines that go to the Upper West Side. The B, C, 1, 2, & 3 trains all make stops throughout the neighborhood. The B & C lines stop along Central Park West after 59th Street & Columbus Circle, including at the entrance of the American Museum of Natural History.

    The 1, 2, & 3 trains run along Broadway, with the 1 train making local stops and the 2 & 3 trains making express stops. You can get all of these lines from Midtown West. 72nd Street and 96th Street are the express stops after Times Square, making it quick and easy to go from Midtown West to the Upper West Side.

    Central Park Lake NYC

    If you want to start the day with a walk, you could get to the Upper West Side in about 40 minutes on foot from Midtown West. The best part is a good chunk of that walk takes you through parts of Central Park.

    There are lots of fun things to do on the Upper West Side that give you a truly local perspective. I’ve included a few in this itinerary but if you have more time or prefer some city exploration to a museum visit, there’s plenty to choose from in this classic NYC neighborhood.

    However, you arrive on the Upper West Side, make your way to Central Park West and the American Museum of Natural History at 79th Street.

    American Museum of Natural History

    New York City, American Museum Of Natural History

    The museum is a treasure trove of exhibits spanning 45 museum halls from native animals, dinosaur fossils, people of long ago, and the wonders of the universe. 

    The museum is simply amazing! Every time I’ve visited I’m drawn in by something new. If you’re traveling to New York City with kids, this is one museum that has something to keep everyone smiling and fascinated!

    Just be sure to get skip-the-line tickets (for the same price as buying the tickets at the museum) to avoid the headache of waiting to enter.

    Alternative Option: If you opt for city exploration instead of the Museum of Natural History, explore the Upper West Side. Here are just a few of the possibilities.

    • Eat breakfast at the classic City Diner on W.90th Street or, if it’s a weekend, have brunch at Fred’s or Sarabeth’s.
    • Visit beautiful Riverside Park.
    • See Grant’s Tomb.
    • Melt over the cookies at Levain Bakery.
    • Say hello to the peacocks as you admire St. John the Divine Cathedral. 
    • Stroll through the upper reaches of Central Park to see the reservoir or even the Harlem Meer.

    After a morning at the museum or exploring the sights and vibe of the Upper West Side, make your way into Central Park. You may even want to bring some lunch into the park for a picnic.

    Central Park

    Central Park NYC

    Along Columbus Avenue, along the backside of the Museum of Nature History, you’ll find bagels, pizzas, and even a Shake Shack. Or walk to Broadway and W.80th Street to shop for picnic goodies at the classic NYC market, Zabars.

    Take this time to eat and explore Central Park. Assuming you enter the park from the Museum of Natural History, you’ll want to see popular places like:

    • Belvedere Castle
    • Shakespeare Garden
    • the Ramble
    • the Lake
    • Bow Bridge
    • Bethesda Terrace
    • Strawberry Fields

    Little by little, you want to explore this region of Central Park before making your way to the Metropolitan Museum of Art at E.80th Street and 5th Avenue. 

    To help you picture it, Central Park is the shape of a rectangle. If you enter from the Museum of Natural History, you want to land directly across on the opposite side of that rectangle so you can visit the Met.

    After spending a chunk of the midday in Central Park, take the afternoon to walk the corridors of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

    Metropolitan Museum of Art

    There’s enough to see in the museum to last you a month so the best plan is to focus on the pieces of art and exhibits you want to see before museum fatigue sets in. I recommend the Egyptian Collections, the renaissance collections, Rembrandt’s paintings, Washington Crossing the Delaware, and works by Van Gogh, Monet, and Degas.

    If the Metropolitan Museum of Art isn’t your top choice, you’re in luck because you’re already on Museum Mile. Choose to visit the Guggenheim, the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, or the Frick Collection instead.

    With an afternoon spent admiring works of art at some of the world’s best museums, head back into Central Park to begin your walk back towards Midtown.

    • Walk the famous Mall pathway.
    • See the Balto Statue. 
    • Take a rest in Sheep’s Meadow
    • Don’t miss the pretty Gapstow Bridge and Pond area.

    ProTip: If you’re traveling as a family, Central Park is a great diversion from museum visits with plenty of green space, rocks for climbing, and playgrounds.

    If you can, exit Central Park towards Columbus Circle. You’ll have the chance to shop, eat, and use the restrooms at the Time Warner Center before making your way back towards Midtown and the theater district just a few blocks down Broadway.

    Fun Fact! While Central Park was constructed in the mid-1800s, Broadway’s curving street path follows the Native American footpath the local tribes used before European settlers arrived. 

    Day 3: The High Line, Chelsea & Greenwich Village

    Let’s head to the Hudson River and a few areas south of Midtown. 

    The goal is to start at Hudson Yards. If your hotel is in Midtown, walk to W. 34th Street and 10th Avenue. Alternatively, you could take the #7 subway train to Hudson Yards from Times Square.

    Alternative Option: The Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum is docked at W.46th Street in the Hudson River. This aircraft carrier displays military planes, the Concord, and even the space shuttle. If you had this museum on your list, it could make sense to start here and then make your way to Hudson Yards about a 10-15 minute walk from the Intrepid.

    Hudson Yards

    Hudson Yards and the Vessel New York City

    Hudson Yards is a formerly industrial area of Manhattan with old rail lines that has and continues to be revitalized with new construction and development. 

    Hudson Yards is a food and shopping venue with favorites like Mercado Little Spain serving up authentic dishes from Spain in different settings or stations. It’s similar to Eataly located near the Flatiron Building and how they focus on Italian eats.

    The most popular attraction, though, in Hudson Yards is The Vessel. It’s a 16-story, outdoor structure meant for climbing. It has stairs and platforms at different angles and positions along the climb that makes for some fun and creative photo-ops!

    As long as you reserve your tickets for a specific time and date, there’s no cost to climb The Vessel.

    The High Line

    High Line Chelsea NYC

    Once you’re ready, set off to walk the High Line. This elevated park was created on top of an abandoned elevated rail track. You can enter at W.34th Street in between 11th and 12th Avenues or on W.30th Street, right near the Hudson Yards area.

    Along the High Line, expect to find temporary exhibits, street art, food stands, and depending on when you visit, flowers and plants blooming right over the old rail tracks. There’s a High Line app you can download and use as a guide along the way.

    The elevated park has entrances and exits down to Gansevoort Street. Depending on what you want to do, there are plenty of diversions as the High Line passes over the neighborhood of Chelsea, before finishing on the doorstep of Greenwich Village.

    I recommend walking the complete length of the High Line, exiting at Gansevoort Street just near the Whitney Museum of Art. From here, loop back up 9th Avenue a couple of blocks to Chelsea Market.

    Chelsea

    New York. Manhattan. The Lobster Place at Chelsea Market

    Chelsea Market is a shopping and food destination, which is perfect since you’ve likely worked up an appetite climbing the Vessel and walking the High Line. The space is a former Nabisco factory now lined with some of the cities best eats and even home to the Food Network’s cooking studios.

    Is your mouth watering but you’re not sure where to stop? Lobster Place and Los Tacos No. 1 are can’t miss stops for a few bites of deliciousness. 😉

    Besides the market, some of the best things to do in Chelsea include visiting some of the many art galleries and seeing the Rubin Museum of Art, a small museum dedicated to Himalayan art.

    Greenwich Village 

    Quiet Empty Commerce Street in the Historic Greenwich Village Neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City

    The best way to enjoy Greenwich Village is to wander through its narrow, leafy streets to admire the architecture and take in the more relaxed vibe compared to midtown. Greenwich Village’s shops, theaters, hidden spots, and classic cafes reveal themselves the more you explore the neighborhood.

    In the Christopher St. and 7th Avenue area, you’ll find the famous Friends Apartment building on the corner of Grove and Bedford Streets. While you’re there, take time to look for historic Grove Court and the oldest wooden house still standing in Manhattan.

    Discover a hidden Little Italy on Bleecker Street between 7th and 6th Avenues. Taste everything from pizza slices to rice balls to fine cheeses and cannolis!

    Make your way across 6th Avenue and up Minetta Lane to MacDougal Street. From the Comedy Cellar to the historic Cafe Wha to Artichoke Pizza, world-famous falafel, Godfather filming locations, and historic homes, there’s more than enough to taste and explore in these few blocks of Greenwich Village.

    While you’re there, save time to visit Washington Square Park and its famous arch. There are always fun and interesting things to watch happening in the park!

    If you have more time, this guide with the best things to do in Greenwich Village will help you uncover more in this favorite New York neighborhood.

    Day 4 – Brooklyn Bridge, 9/11 Museum, and Lower Manhattan

    Lower Manhattan is the oldest part of New York City. It has seen hundreds of years worth of history, human efforts, and struggles. What’s left are some of the city’s most compelling places to see and layers upon layers of discoveries. 

    Brooklyn Bridge

    Brooklyn Bridge NYC

    Begin the day by walking onto the Brooklyn Bridge. The easiest way to get there is by subway. Take the 2 or 3 express train to Park Place or the N, R, or W train to City Hall. The ramp leading up to the pedestrian promenade on the Brooklyn Bridge is just across from City Hall and City Hall Park.

    The Brooklyn Bridge is a must-see while in New York City. The architecture of the bridge is stunning. The views over the water and looking back over Lower Manhattan are spectacular, especially on a clear blue sky day. And, the photo opportunities are endless! 

    It’s best to arrive as early in the morning as you can. The sunrise and early morning light make it worth the early move, not to mention you’ll arrive before everyone else does!

    The Brooklyn Bridge has an incredible history. Without turning this into a full-fledged history lesson, take a moment while you’re standing on the bridge to realize that it was built entirely by hand! It took 14 years to build and was completed in May of 1883 before electric machinery was used in building projects. Remember, it only took 1 year to build the Empire State Building.

    ProTip: If you’re visiting New York City with kids, read this Brooklyn Bridge picture book before your trip. Kids (and grown-ups) will love looking for the different parts of the bridge and its history while walking on the pedestrian promenade.

    9/11 Memorial & Museum

    9/11 Museum NYC

    After walking back off the bridge and into Lower Manhattan, walk through City Hall Park and a couple of blocks to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum.

    Pay respects to the lives lost at the Reflecting Pools marking the original footprints of the Twin Towers. The names inscribed along the perimeter of the pools are just one of many thoughtful details throughout the memorial. For example, the Survivor Tree is one that has been replanted after being pulled from the rubble and rehabilitated. 

    Next, head inside to the 9/11 Museum. It’s best to get your tickets in advance to avoid the line. You’ll be given a timed-entry, so you’ll know exactly when to arrive at the museum.

    Inside the museum, it is a place to remember and reflect. There are many artifacts from the day, including first-hand accounts through photography and audio and video recordings. 

    After an early start, a walk on the Brooklyn Bridge, and a visit to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, it’s likely to be about midday.

    For the rest of the day, you have a few options to choose from in Lower Manhattan. 

    New York City Statue of Liberty with boat in Manhattan over Hudson River

    If you’d like to visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Immigration Museum, you’ll need to book tickets ahead of time and go straight there once you’re finished at the 9/11 Museum. A visit to both places will take 5 hours. You can also choose to visit just the Statue of Liberty or Ellis Island. This will take about 2 hours.

    Another choice for your NYC 4 day itinerary is to explore more of Lower Manhattan, while also seeing the Statue of Liberty from a distance.

    From the 9/11 Museum, you’ll have time to explore the Occulus across the street. Cross through Zuccotti Park and down Broadway. 

    Stop at Trinity Church and Cemetery. While the original church was burned in a fire in 1776, this historic church community dates back to the late 1600s. Founding Fathers like George Washington and Alexander Hamilton worshipped here.

    Hamilton fans can pay their respects in Trinity Cemetery at the graves of Alexander Hamilton, his wife Eliza, her sister Angelica Schuyler, their son Alexander Hamilton, and other Revolutionary War figures like Patriot spy Hercules Mulligan. 

    Contex Travel NYC

    Head down Wall Street to see the Stock Exchange and the Fearless Girl Statue. You can’t miss the giant statue of George Washington standing on the steps of Federal Hall. New York City was the original national capital city and George Washington was inaugurated at Federal Hall.

    ProTip: You can also visit inside Federal Hall. It’s managed by the National Parks System and has interesting historical things to see. General Washington himself sometimes makes an appearance. 😉

    Continue back down Broadway to Bowling Green. Take a photo with the famous Charging Bull statue.

    As you stand in Bowling Green transport yourself back and imagine Dutch settlers and the Native Americans selling and trading goods at the market that once happened here. Or picture the Sons of Liberty tearing down the statue of King George III that once stood here once they learned independence had been declared.

    Walk through Battery Park or along State Street to the Staten Island Ferry. Take the ferry for a round trip journey out into the harbor. You’ll pass by the Statue of Liberty, as well as get another perspective of Manhattan as an island, coming full circle from that first look from atop the Empire State Building. 

    ProTip: If you decide to visit the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, or both, the Statue Cruises depart from Battery Park.

    With any remaining time in the day, you could:

    • Walk over to the historic South Street Seaport District for shopping, food, and drink.
    • Take the N, R, or W train from Rector Street to uptown to Canal Street and Chinatown to end the day with some authentic Dim Sum.

    For more ideas, check out this detailed Lower Manhattan itinerary to help you explore more of this area like a local! 😉

    More Time than 4 Days in New York City?

    Riverside Park Hudson River Views and Grant's Tomb NYC

    New York City has an endless number of things to see, do, and eat!

    Take it from a local. You could stay a year and still not check off everything on your New York City bucket list.

    If you decide to extend your 4 days in New York itinerary, explore the neighborhood guides linked in this itinerary. I’ve chosen some of the best things to do in these areas but there’s still more to explore.

    This list of 100 Things to Do in New York City is full of ideas from visiting Yankee Stadium to eating your heart out at Brooklyn’s Smorgasburg to walking the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens and discovering the hidden gem of Governor’s Island.

    If you’re looking for New York City street art, explore the neighborhood of Bushwick in Brooklyn. You also just might stumble upon one of NYC’s best pizza places…

    For an off-the-beaten-path stop, you just might be brave enough to visit New York’s most haunted house. If you do visit, pair it with a visit to the Lower East Side Tenement Museum to compare what life was like back in the 19th and 20th centuries for the wealthy and newly arriving immigrants.

    Planning a 4 Days in New York City Itinerary at Christmas?

    Christmas in New York City Rockefeller Center Tree

    If you’re planning 4 days in NYC at Christmastime, you’ll want to plan for the season. Day 1 of this itinerary, for example, would be a great way to see iconic sights like the Empire State Building while also bringing you to popular holiday spots like the Winter Village in Bryant Park or the tree in Rockefeller Center.

    But you also might want to modify this itinerary to allow for more shopping, ice skating, or to go to a holiday performance.

    This Christmas in New York guide goes into more detail to help you plan your visit during the festive holiday season. And be sure you’ve packed accordingly for the weather! You’ve got to know what to wear in NYC in winter so the cold doesn’t spoil your visit.

    Where to Stay in New York

    Hotel Room

    Whether you’ve got 4 days in New York or longer, figuring out where to stay in New York City is one of the hardest decisions when planning an NYC trip. It’s overwhelming to find a hotel at the right price and in the right neighborhood! 

    This itinerary assumes Midtown as a starting point. Many New York City visitors stay in either Midtown West or Midtown East because of its central location and its access to many subway lines. Aside from staying within your budget, staying as close as possible to a subway line is important to cut down on the time it takes to get to and from places around the city.

    Here are a few hotel ideas depending on your budget. For an in-depth look at New York City hotels and neighborhoods, check out my where to stay in New York City guide. The guide breaks down the pros and cons of each neighborhood, the subway lines nearby, and gives hotel suggestions.

    Hampton Inn Times Square Central

    Located on W.41st Street in between 7th and 8th Avenues, this budget-friendly hotel is centrally located to all of the sights of midtown and well-connected with many of the city’s subway lines connecting at 42nd Street, Times Square. Reservations include breakfast. Hilton Honors loyalty program members can use or earn points for their stay.

    Archer Hotel New York

    This posh boutique hotel on W.38th Street is just a few minute’s walking to Bryant Park and several subway lines. The hotel’s design is just beautiful and, even with its central location, offers guests a quiet hideaway. And, don’t miss checking out the rooftop bar with views of the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building. 

    CitizenM New York Times Square

    Sitting in the heart of the theater district, this W.50 St. hotel is also just steps from Times Square and within walking distance to all of midtown’s top sights. Reservations include breakfast and rooms with amazing city views are available.

    Getting from the Airport to Manhattan

    JFK to Manhattan

    New York City is served by 3 major airports, JFK and LaGuardia in Queens and Newark-Liberty in New Jersey. Each has connections to Manhattan. LaGuardia is geographically the closest but historically has been the trickiest for public transportation. JFK and Newark have train connections to help for a seamless airport transfer.

    All the airports are also served by taxis, car services, and van transportation. Don’t spend a single second of your New York 4 day trip stressing about airport transfers!

    No matter which airport you fly into, these detailed guides have what you need to know.

    New York City Tips

    view from Empire State Building NYC

    A 4 day trip to New York is not only about planning. It’s about managing the city flow and getting around easily.

    I’ve put together a list of NYC dos and don’ts so you can blend right in with the locals. 😉

    The great news is if you follow this New York 4 day itinerary, you’ll already be ahead of the game. Several of the tips include exploring beyond the Times Square area.

    But beyond that, here are a few need-to-know New York City tips.

    • New Yorkers are pedestrians. Our sidewalks are like your roads and highways. We use them to commute to work, get to school, and grocery shop. If you stop while your walking, whether to take a photo or check a map, move to the side. There’s likely to be people behind you who won’t expect your sudden stop.
    • Wait for people to exit the subway car before you enter. You’ll notice people on the platform moving to the sides of the subway doors so they’re ready to enter when everyone’s off.
    • Avoid chain restaurants. I’m not saying this to start a culture war, but only to remind you that New York City is home to thousands of incredible restaurants in every cuisine you could ever want, some even operated by world-famous chefs. Don’t waste any stomach space on food you can easily get back home.
    • And lastly, New Yorkers may look like they’re always in a hurry, but if you need help finding something, don’t be afraid to ask. We’re actually quite friendly despite our all-business expressions. 😉

    Quick 4 Days in New York Itinerary Planning Resources:

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