7-Day NYC Itinerary: The Perfect Week in the Big Apple

If you are planning a 7-day visit to New York City, then you are in the right place. The Big Apple is a destination filled with countless sights, sounds, and tastes to explore, and planning a week in this iconic city can seem overwhelming.

But fret not, as someone that lived in NYC for over 15 years, our 7-day itinerary is designed to ensure we make the most of our stay.

We’ll be navigating through the bustling streets, scouting out the best food, and hitting all the must-see landmarks, with a mix of classic attractions and local gems.

So let’s get right into our 1-week New York City itinerary!

Day 1: Exploring Downtown Manhattan

On our first day, we’re diving into the heart of Downtown Manhattan, where the energy of the city’s financial pulse meets rich historical landmarks.

Financial District and Wall Street

We’ll start our trip wandering through the Financial District, the hub of economic buzz where towering skyscrapers house major financial institutions. Walking down Wall Street, we’ll come face-to-face with the New York Stock Exchange and snap a photo with the iconic Charging Bull statue, embodying the aggressive financial optimism and prosperity.

The 9/11 Memorial and One World Observatory

9/11 Memorial Pools

Our next stop is a visit that humbles us at the 9/11 Memorial. Here, we take a moment to reflect by the twin reflecting pools where the Twin Towers once stood.

Just a few steps away, we’ll ascend to the top of the One World Observatory for a panoramic view of the city from the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere.

Stop by the Oculus, a striking architectural structure that serves as a transportation hub, retail space, and pedestrian walkway. Its unique design features a ribbed, wing-like structure that creates a sense of openness and light within the space. It is certainly one of the most notable landmarks in NYC.

Battery Park and Ferry to the Statue of Liberty

We’ll wind down our day at Battery Park, a green oasis perfect for waterfront strolls with views of the Statue of Liberty.

From here, take a ferry to Liberty Island, where you can explore the grounds and visit the Statue of Liberty.

Make sure you book your tickets in advance, especially if you want to access the pedestal or crown of the statue. Don’t miss out on the Statue of Liberty Museum to learn more about the history and significance of this iconic symbol.

Day 2: Midtown Manhattan

On our second day, we’re tackling the vibrant heart of NYC: Midtown Manhattan. It packs some of New York’s most iconic landmarks into a couple of square miles, so let’s make the most of it!

Empire State Building and Top of the Rock

Starting at the Empire State Building, we’ll get an early start to beat the crowds and soak in the sunrise views from the 86th or 102nd floor observatories. The sight of the city waking up beneath us is unforgettable.

A short walk away, we can compare perspectives at the Top of the Rock. The panorama here includes the Empire State, so it adds a new dimension to our skyline photos.

Times Square and Broadway

Times Square

Next, we’ll meander over to Times Square, the beating neon heart of New York. Here, the energy is palpable at any time of day with digital billboards and the buzz of tourists and locals alike.

As for Broadway, it’s steps away and it’s where the magic of theater comes alive. Check out the TKTS booth for discounted tickets for a later evening show or book one in advance to snag a seat at one of the top shows.

A broadway show is a must-see in a week trip here in NYC, so don’t make sure you make an effort to secure those tickets! You can also get them online on sites like ticketmaster, but doing it in person is usually better.

Central Park and Museums

Spend the rest of your in the lush greenery of Central Park, one of the most well-known places in NYC. This 843-acre space is massive and takes quite a bit of time to see. But for the average tourist, you’ll want to check out Bethesda Terrace and the iconic Bow Bridge.

Don’t miss out on the Great Lawn in Central Park. It is a vast, open green space in the center of the park with stunning views of the surrounding landscape. This is a great place for recreational activities such as picnicking, sunbathing, or just relaxing and enjoying the outdoors.

Day 3: The High Line and Hudson Yards

On day five, we’re going to explore the elevated beauty of the High Line before heading over to the bustling Hudson Yards. We’ve got a fantastic mix of greenery, urban architecture, and stunning views on the agenda, so let’s gear up for some walking and sightseeing.

Morning Walk on the High Line

The High Line

We’ll start our day with a stroll on the High Line, an iconic, elevated park built on a historic freight rail line. It’s a wonderful fusion of nature, art, and design, stretching about 1.45 miles through Manhattan’s West Side.

As we walk, we’ll absorb the urban gardens, installations, and murals — remember to wear comfy shoes!

Chelsea Market For Lunch

By midday, we’re bound to be peckish, so let’s hit Chelsea Market for lunch. This food hall, just a stone’s throw from the High Line, boasts a myriad of vendors serving up everything from Asian fusion to classic New York pizza.

  • Favorites to Try:
    • Lobster Roll from the seafood counters
    • Tacos from Los Tacos No. 1
    • A sweet treat from one of the boutique bakeries

Hudson Yards and The Vessel

The Vessel

Post lunch, it’s a short walk to Hudson Yards, a modern marvel of New York. We’ll encounter “The Vessel,” a honeycomb-like sculpture and the centerpiece of this neighborhood.

You can climb the intricate staircases for a different perspective of the city or admire it from the ground if you’d rather keep our feet flat.

Note that the Vessel is set to reopen in late 2024, so you might not be able to climb up. But nonetheless, seeing the stunning architecture from below is worth the trip!

Observation Decks: The Edge and Hudson River Views

To wrap up our day, we’ll ascend to The Edge, the highest outdoor sky deck in the Western Hemisphere. It provides an unparalleled 360-degree view of New York City.

As the sun dips, the sky transforms into a painting, making it the perfect time to toast to our adventures at a rooftop bar with vistas of the Hudson River and the city skyline.

Day 4: Crossing Brooklyn

On Day 3 of our NYC itinerary, we’ll experience the cultural vibrancy and scenic charm of Brooklyn. From the iconic Brooklyn Bridge to the historic amusement district of Coney Island, it’s a day packed with sights, sounds, and flavors unique to this borough.

Brooklyn Bridge and Dumbo

Brooklyn Bridge is one of NYC’s most iconic landmarks

We kick off our Brooklyn journey by walking across the Brooklyn Bridge, one of the most Instagrramable places in NYC. Take your time to enjoy the stunning views of the Manhattan skyline and the East River, especially during sunrise for that perfect photo op.

Once we reach Brooklyn, our first stop is Dumbo, short for “Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass.” Here, we’ll stroll along the cobblestone streets, check out chic boutiques, and maybe grab a coffee at one of the local cafes.

For lunch, we can hop into a classic pizza joint like Juliana’s or Grimaldi’s—expect a line, but it’s worth it for some of the best slices in NYC.

Prospect Park and Brooklyn Museums

Post-lunch, we’ll head over to Prospect Park, a green haven designed by the same landscape architects as Central Park. Here, we unwind amidst the beautiful lawns, and if time allows, check out the Prospect Park Zoo or the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

For those looking for a bit of culture and history, check out Brooklyn Museum, one of the oldest and largest museums in the city, featuring a wide range of both historical and contemporary exhibitions.

Coney Island

Coney Island

As the afternoon wanes, we journey to the famed Coney Island, Brooklyn’s seaside playground.

It’s a nostalgic ride through classic amusement park experiences, from the rickety thrills of the Cyclone roller coaster to the colorful Wonder Wheel. Have fun on the boardwalk and grab some Nathan’s Famous hot dogs—a Coney Island staple!

Coney Island is also home to one of NYC’s biggest beaches, so if you are visiting NYC in the summer, make sure to bring your swimsuit and enjoy the late afternoon there! It is definitely not a bad way to finish off the day!

Day 5: Explore The Different Cultural Neighborhoods

New York City is a rich mosaic of cultures, and today we explore neighborhoods where this tapestry comes to life. Let’s dive into the history, taste the flavors, and experience the atmosphere that make each area unique.

Chinatown and Little Italy

Chinatown in NYC

Chinatown is known for its vibrant colors and bustling streets where we can indulge in some of the best food that captures the essence of traditional Chinese cuisine.

Make sure we snag a dumpling or two and sip on authentic coffee at a local teahouse.

Just a short walk from Chinatown is Little Italy, which feels like a leap across the globe. Here, we can treat our taste buds to Italian pastries or sit down for a hearty plate of pasta.

Korea Town

A visit to Korea Town (K-Town) is a must for those looking to experience a bit of Korean culture. Located in Midtown Manhattan, this neighborhood is known for its authentic Korean cuisine, karaoke bars, spas, and specialty stores.

Check out the bustling streets, indulge in traditional Korean BBQ, sample delicious street food, and shop for Korean beauty products and fashion.

K-Town also has an epic nightlife and entertainment scene, with its array of bars, lounges, and entertainment venues.

Helicopter Ride Over Manhattan Tour

Helicopter ride over NYC

To cap off our day, let’s take to the skies with a Helicopter Ride Over Manhattan Tour. Soaring above the city offers us a breathtaking new perspective. We’ll fly past iconic landmarks and gain a whole new appreciation for the island’s layout and the cultural pockets we’ve wandered today.

It’s not every day we get to see New York City from this angle, so ensure our cameras are charged for this unforgettable experience.

Day 6: The Great Museums of NYC

Today, we’re diving into the cultural heart of New York City by exploring its most prestigious museums. We’ll step into the world of classic and modern art, history, and some unique spy-related intrigue.

Metropolitan Museum of Art and Guggenheim

First up is The Metropolitan Museum of Art, commonly known as The Met. Housing over two million works, it’s a treasure trove of world art. Don’t miss the Egyptian artifacts or the European paintings—they’re a must-see. We’ll want to spend several hours here to really appreciate everything.

Just down the road, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum awaits. Its distinctive spiral structure is a work of art in itself. Inside, the focus is on modern and contemporary art. We’ll let Frank Lloyd Wright’s iconic building guide us through the impressive collection.



For something different, let’s hit SPYSCAPE, New York’s spy museum. Here, we can check out gadgets and stories from the world of espionage. It’s interactive; we can even test our own spy skills. Plus, it’s a nice change of pace from classic art and history.

It is one of the most unusual attractions in NYC, but definitely worth a visit!

Modern Art and History

Next, we’re off to the Museum of Modern Art, affectionately called MoMA by enthusiasts. MoMA is where we’ll get up close with works from artists like Van Gogh and Warhol. Modern art can be challenging, but it’s always thought-provoking, and MoMA displays some of the best.

As the sun starts to dip, we’ll stroll over to the American Museum of Natural History near Central Park. It’s famous for its massive dinosaur skeletons and the Hayden Planetarium. We won’t forget to catch a glimpse of the Belvedere Castle inside the park, as it’s one of those attractions that’s easily overlooked but definitely worth our time.

Tomorrow we wrap up our week, but for now, let’s savor the art and history that has shaped New York into the vibrant cultural hub it is today.

Day 7: Leisure, Shopping, and Farewell to NYC

On our last day in New York, we’ll take it easy with some leisure shopping along the famous Fifth Avenue, enjoy the tranquility of Bryant Park with a coffee in hand, and then say goodbye to the city that never sleeps.

Fifth Avenue and Boutiques

Stepping onto Fifth Avenue is like walking into a fashion paradise. We’ll find flagship stores of the world’s most luxe brands here—think Tiffany & Co., Louis Vuitton, and Gucci.

The window displays alone are worth the visit. Let’s not forget the smaller boutiques that line the streets offering unique finds and the latest trends.

Since it’s our last day, it’s the perfect opportunity to pick up those New York souvenirs and maybe splurge on that one keepsake we’ve been eyeing.

Bryant Park and Coffee Shops

Bryant Park Midtown Manhattan
Bryant Park

After all that shopping, we’ll want a change of pace. Bryant Park is our oasis in midtown. Surrounded by skyscrapers, the park is an ideal spot to chill out. We can grab a coffee from one of the many charming coffee shops nearby—maybe a latte or an espresso to enjoy on a leisurely stroll.

This picturesque park often has some friendly squirrels, and it’s a fantastic place to people-watch. Make sure you check out the New York Public Library in the park.

It is one of the most beautiful buildings in NYC, especially the interior, and the entrance is completely free! The main bit kinda reminds us of Hogwarts in Harry Potter!

Tips For Visiting NYC In A Week

When you’re planning a week in New York, you want to cover your bases: from when to visit to sorting out our stays, getting around the city, exploring with passes, and managing our budget. So let’s dive in and map out the essentials for a memorable NYC adventure.

Best Time to Visit

NYC in winter

Spring and fall are ideal for comfortable weather and fewer crowds, but there’s no denying the magic of NYC during winter holidays. Our tip? Check the calendar for big events that might impact hotel availability and prices.

Where to Stay

Manhattan is the obvious choice to stay in NYC if budget isn’t a problem. But if budget is an issue, consider places like Queens or Brooklyn.

  • Budget-Friendly: Try neighborhoods like the Queens or Brooklyn.
  • Mid-Range: Look at places in Midtown or Greenwich Village.
  • Luxury: Indulge in the lavish hotels of Lower Manhattan or the Upper East Side.

Transportation Tips

Get a Metrocard for the subway to save on getting around—it’s efficient and often faster than a taxi or Uber, especially during rush hour. Plus, walking is not only free but offers us the best views and city vibe.

  • Subway: $2.90 per ride.
  • Taxi or Uber: Variable, often pricier but convenient for cross-town travel.

New York Pass and Sightseeing

We recommend getting the New York CityPASS if you are spending a week in NYC. It lasts nine days and gives visitors access to many attractions, such as the Empire State Building Observatory, American Museum of Natural History, Top of the Rock Observatory, and much more!

Budgeting Your Trip

To avoid any surprises, we outline our budget ahead of time. Here’s a basic breakdown per person to give us an idea:

  • Flight: $300 – $700
  • Accommodation: $150/day for a double room.
  • Food & Drinks: $100/day
  • Transit: $33 for a 7-day unlimited Metrocard.
  • Sightseeing Passes: Varies, but worth the upfront cost for savings later.

Remember, these costs can fluctuate based on the season and our personal choices!

Final Notes

If you weren’t sure how to spend 7 days in NYC, we hope you are now. Seven days might not be the typical amount of time you spend in the Big Apple, but it can definitely be rewarding as it allows you to slow down your pace and explore off the beaten path gems.

Any questions? Leave them in the comments below!

Disclaimer: Some of the links above are affiliate links. That means if you book or make a purchase through the links, we will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you! The money will help run this site! Thank you!

Leave a Comment